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No lawyer, no law

8 Dec

Pro bono publico
Redeeming the touch of justice that brought each of us to the Bar

By Howard B. Miller
President, State Bar of California

Miller
Unfortunately the colloquial meaning of pro bono has become legal services for free, at no cost. But the proper meaning and importance of the words is in the full Latin quote: for the public good.

Several almost simultaneous developments have brought us to a tipping point in the commitment of the legal profession to pro bono work, and in our understanding that it is for the public good.

No lawyer, no law

We were all caught unawares in the past year not only by the scope of the loan foreclosure crisis, but by the cracks and failures that it showed in our legal system. We know of too many cases where homeowners would have had legal defenses to foreclosure, but without lawyers in our California system of non-judicial foreclosure the result was a loss of homes. For over a century our legislature and courts have constructed an elaborate series of technicalities and protections for homeowners faced with foreclosure. But the existence of those protections made no difference to those who had no legal representation. It is as though all those laws did not exist, as though because there was no representation all the work and thought that went into those laws and protections had never been done.

And so we learned again, with a vengeance: No lawyer, no law.

Litigating against your lender

8 Dec

“The Fed’s study found that only 3 percent of seriously delinquent borrowers – those more than 60 days behind – had their loans modified to lower monthly payments . . . The servicers are making assumptions that are much too anti-modification, The servicers have the authority’’ to help borrowers, “they just don’t want to use it.’’ www.thestopforeclosureplan.com
The Boston Globe “Lenders Avoid Redoing Loans, Fed Concludes” July 7, 2009.
LITIGATING AGAINST YOUR LENDER
The state and federal government may structure a mortgage modification program as voluntary on the part of the lender, but may provide incentives for the lender to participate. A mandatory mortgage modification program requires the lender to modify mortgages meeting the criteria with respect to the borrower, the property, and the loan payment history.
www.thestopforeclosureplan.com

1.If you feel you were taken advantage of or not told the whole truth when you received your loan and want to consider legal action against your lender, call us.
1.Did you know that in some cases the lender is forced to eliminate your debt completely and give you back the title to your home?
2.If you received your loan based on any of the following you may have possible claims against your lender:
1.Stated Income
2.Inflated Appraisal
3.If you were sold on taking cash out of your home
4.If you were sold on using your home’s equity to pay off your credit cards or auto loans
5.If you refinanced more than one time in the course of a 3 year period
6.If you were charged high fees
7.If you were sold on getting a negative amortization loan, or adjustable rate loan
8.If your loan had a prepayment penalty
9.If you feel your interest rate is higher than it should be
10.If your initial closing costs looked different at signing than you were lead to believe
11.If you know more than one person in your same position that closed a loan with the same lender or mortgage broker
12.If you feel you were given an inferior loan because of your race
13.If you feel that your lender is over aggressive in their collections actions
14.If there is more than 3 people in your neighborhood that are facing foreclosure
15.If you only speak Spanish and all your disclosures were given to you in English

Predatory lending is a term used to describe unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices of some lenders during the loan origination process. There are no legal definitions in the United States for predatory lending, though there are laws against many of the specific practices commonly identified as predatory, and various federal agencies use the term as a catch-all term for many specific illegal activities in the loan industry. Predatory lending is not to be confused with predatory mortgage servicing (predatory servicing) which is used to describe the unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices of lenders and servicing agents during the loan or mortgage servicing process, post origination.

One less contentious definition of the term is the practice of a lender deceptively convincing borrowers to agree to unfair and abusive loan terms, or systematically violating those terms in ways that make it difficult for the borrower to defend against. Other types of lending sometimes also referred to as predatory include payday loans, credit cards or other forms of consumer debt, and overdraft loans, when the interest rates are considered unreasonably high. Although predatory lenders are most likely to target the less educated, racial minorities and the elderly, victims of predatory lending are represented across all demographics.

Predatory lending typically occurs on loans backed by some kind of collateral, such as a car or house, so that if the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender can repossess or foreclose and profit by selling the repossessed or foreclosed property. Lenders may be accused of tricking a borrower into believing that an interest rate is lower than it actually is, or that the borrower’s ability to pay is greater than it actually is. The lender, or others as agents of the lender, may well profit from repossession or foreclosure upon the collateral.

Abusive or unfair lending practices www.thestopforeclosureplan.com
There are many lending practices which have been called abusive and labeled with the term “predatory lending.” There is a great deal of dispute between lenders and consumer groups as to what exactly constitutes “unfair” or “predatory” practices, but the following are sometimes cited.

•Unjustified risk-based pricing. This is the practice of charging more (in the form of higher interest rates and fees) for extending credit to borrowers identified by the lender as posing a greater credit risk. The lending industry argues that risk-based pricing is a legitimate practice; since a greater percentage of loans made to less creditworthy borrowers can be expected to go into default, higher prices are necessary to obtain the same yield on the portfolio as a whole. Some consumer groups argue that higher prices paid by more vulnerable consumers cannot always be justified by increased credit risk.
•Single-premium credit insurance. This is the purchase of insurance which will pay off the loan in case the homebuyer dies. It is more expensive than other forms of insurance because it does not involve any medical checkups, but customers almost always are not shown their choices, because usually the lender is not licensed to sell other forms of insurance. In addition, this insurance is usually financed into the loan which causes the loan to be more expensive, but at the same time encourages people to buy the insurance because they do not have to pay up front.
•Failure to present the loan price as negotiable. Many lenders will negotiate the price structure of the loan with borrowers. In some situations, borrowers can even negotiate an outright reduction in the interest rate or other charges on the loan. Consumer advocates argue that borrowers, especially unsophisticated borrowers, are not aware of their ability to negotiate and might even be under the mistaken impression that the lender is placing the borrower’s interests above its own. Thus, many borrowers do not take advantage of their ability to negotiate.
•Failure to clearly and accurately disclose terms and conditions, particularly in cases where an unsophisticated borrower is involved. Mortgage loans are complex transactions involving multiple parties and dozens of pages of legal documents. In the most egregious of predatory cases, lenders or brokers have been known to not only mislead borrowers, but actually alter documents after they have been signed.
•Short-term loans with disproportionally high fees, such as payday loans, credit card late fees, checking account overdraft fees, and Tax Refund Anticipation Loans, where the fee paid for advancing the money for a short period of time works out to an annual interest rate significantly in excess of the market rate for high-risk loans. The originators of such loans dispute that the fees are interest.
•Servicing agent and securitization abuses. The mortgage servicing agent is the entity that receives the mortgage payment, maintains the payment records, provides borrowers with account statements, imposes late charges when the payment is late, and pursues delinquent borrowers. A securitization is a financial transaction in which assets, especially debt instruments, are pooled and securities representing interests in the pool are issued. Most loans are subject to being bundled and sold, and the rights to act as servicing agent sold, without the consent of the borrower. A federal statute requires notice to the borrower of a change in servicing agent, but does not protect the borrower from being held delinquent on the note for payments made to the servicing agent who fails to forward the payments to the owner of the note, especially if that servicing agent goes bankrupt, and borrowers who have made all payments on time can find themselves being foreclosed on and becoming unsecured creditors of the servicing agent. Foreclosures can sometimes be conducted without proper notice to the borrower. In some states (see Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 746), there is no defense against eviction, forcing the borrower to move and incur the expense of hiring a lawyer and finding another place to live while litigating the claim of the “new owner” to own the house, especially after it is resold one or more times. When the debtor demands that the current claimed note owner produce the original note with his signature on it, the note owner typically is unable or unwilling to do so, and tries to establish his claim with an affidavit that it is the owner, without proving it is the “holder in due course”, the traditional standard for a debt claim, and the courts often allow them to do that. In the meantime, the note continues to be traded, its physical whereabouts difficult to discover.
Consumers believe that they are protected by consumer protection laws, when their lender is really operating wholly outside the laws. Refer to 16 U.S.C. 1601 and 12 C.F.R. 226.

Underlying issues
There are many underlying issues in the predatory lending debate:

•Judicial practices: Some argue that much of the problem arises from a tendency of the courts to favor lenders, and to shift the burden of proof of compliance with the terms of the debt instrument to the debtor. According to this argument, it should not be the duty of the borrower to make sure his payments are getting to the current note-owner, but to make evidence that all payments were made to the last known agent for collection sufficient to block or reverse repossession or foreclosure, and eviction, and to cancel the debt if the current note owner cannot prove he is the “holder in due course” by producing the actual original debt instrument in court.
http://www.thestopforeclosureplan.com•Risk-based pricing: The basic idea is that borrowers who are thought of as more likely to default on their loans should pay higher interest rates and finance charges to compensate lenders for the increased risk. In essence, high returns motivate lenders to lend to a group they might not otherwise lend to — “subprime” or risky borrowers. Advocates of this system believe that it would be unfair — or a poor business strategy — to raise interest rates globally to accommodate risky borrowers, thus penalizing low-risk borrowers who are unlikely to default. Opponents argue that the practice tends to disproportionately create capital gains for the affluent while oppressing working-class borrowers with modest financial resources. Some people consider risk-based pricing to be unfair in principle. Lenders contend that interest rates are generally set fairly considering the risk that the lender assumes, and that competition between lenders will ensure availability of appropriately-priced loans to high-risk customers. Still others feel that while the rates themselves may be justifiable with respect to the risks, it is irresponsible for lenders to encourage or allow borrowers with credit problems to take out high-priced loans. For all of its pros and cons, risk-based pricing remains a universal practice in bond markets and the insurance industry, and it is implied in the stock market and in many other open-market venues; it is only controversial in the case of consumer loans.
•Competition: Some believe that risk-based pricing is fair but feel that many loans charge prices far above the risk, using the risk as an excuse to overcharge. These criticisms are not levied on all products, but only on those specifically deemed predatory. Proponents counter that competition among lenders should prevent or reduce overcharging.
•Financial education: Many observers feel that competition in the markets served by what critics describe as “predatory lenders” is not affected by price because the targeted consumers are completely uneducated about the time value of money and the concept of Annual percentage rate, a different measure of price than what many are used to.
•Caveat emptor: There is an underlying debate about whether a lender should be allowed to charge whatever it wants for a service, even if it seems to make no attempts at deceiving the consumer about the price. At issue here is the belief that lending is a commodity and that the lending community has an almost fiduciary duty to advise the borrower that funds can be obtained more cheaply. Also at issue are certain financial products which appear to be profitable only due to adverse selection or a lack of knowledge on the part of the customers relative to the lenders. For example, some people allege that credit insurance would not be profitable to lending companies if only those customers who had the right “fit” for the product actually bought it (i.e., only those customers who were not able to get the generally cheaper term life insurance).
•Discrimination: Some organizations feel that many financial institutions continue to engage in racial discrimination. Most do not allege that the loan underwriters themselves discriminate, but rather that there is systemic discrimination. Situations in which a loan broker or other salesman may negotiate the interest rate are likely more ripe for discrimination. Discrimination may occur if, when dealing with racial minorities, loan brokers tend to claim that a person’s credit score is lower than it is, justifying a higher interest rate charged, on the hope that the customer assumes the lender to be correct. This may be based on an internalized bias that a minority group has a lower economic profile. It is also possible that a broker or loan salesman with some control over the interest rate might attempt to charge a higher rate to persons of race which he personally dislikes. For this reason some call for laws requiring interest rates to be set entirely by objective measures.
OCC Advisory Letter AL 2003-2 describes predatory lending as including the following:

•Loan “flipping” – frequent refinancings that result in little or no economic benefit to the borrower and are undertaken with the primary or sole objective of generating additional loan fees, prepayment penalties, and fees from the financing of credit-related products;
•Refinancings of special subsidized mortgages that result in the loss of beneficial loan terms;
•”Packing” of excessive and sometimes “hidden” fees in the amount financed;
•Using loan terms or structures – such as negative amortization – to make it more difficult or impossible for borrowers to reduce or repay their indebtedness;
•Using balloon payments to conceal the true burden of the financing and to force borrowers into costly refinancing transactions or foreclosures;
•Targeting inappropriate or excessively expensive credit products to older borrowers, to persons who are not financially sophisticated or who may be otherwise vulnerable to abusive practices, and to persons who could qualify for mainstream credit products and terms;
•Inadequate disclosure of the true costs, risks and, where necessary, appropriateness to the borrower of loan transactions;
•The offering of single premium credit life insurance; and
•The use of mandatory arbitration clauses.
It should be noted that mortgage applications are usually completed by mortgage brokers, rather than by borrowers themselves, making it difficult to pin down the source of any misrepresentations.

A stated income loan application is where no proof of income is needed. When the broker files the loan, they have to go by whatever income is stated. This opened the doors for borrowers to be approved for loans that they otherwise would not qualify for, or afford.

Although the target for most scammers, lending institutions were often complicit in what amounted to multiparty mortgage fraud. The Oregonian obtained a JP Morgan Chase memo, titled “Zippy Cheats & Tricks.” Zippy was Chase’s in-house automated loan underwriting system, and the memo was a primer on how to get risky mortgage loans approved.

United States legislation combating predatory lending
Many laws at both the Federal and state government level are aimed at preventing predatory lending. Although not specifically anti-predatory in nature, the Federal Truth in Lending Act requires certain disclosures of APR and loan terms. Also, in 1994 section 32 of the Truth in Lending Act, entitled the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994, was created. This law is devoted to identifying certain high-cost, potentially predatory mortgage loans and reining in their terms.www.thestopforeclosureplan.com

Twenty-five states have passed anti-predatory lending laws. Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Carolina are among those states considered to have the strongest laws. Other states with predatory lending laws include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. These laws usually describe one or more classes of “high-cost” or “covered” loans, which are defined by the fees charged to the borrower at origination or the APR. While lenders are not prohibited from making “high-cost” or “covered” loans, a number of additional restrictions are placed on these loans, and the penalties for noncompliance can be substantial.
http://www.thestopforeclosureplan.com

How to Stop Foreclosure

5 Dec

This is general information and assumes that you have access to the rest of the material on the blog. Foreclosures come in various flavors.

First of all you have non-judicial and judicial foreclosure states. Non-judicial basically means that instead of signing a conventional mortgage and note, you signed a document that says you give up your right to a judicial proceeding. So the pretender lender or lender simply instructs the Trustee to sell the property, giving you some notice. Of course the question of who is the lender, what is a beneficiary under a deed of trust, what is a creditor and who owns the loan NOW (if anyone) are all issues that come into play in litigation.

In a non-judicial state you generally are required to bring the matter to court by filing a lawsuit. In states like California, the foreclosers usually do an end run around you by filing an unlawful detainer as soon as they can in a court of lower jurisdiction which by law cannot hear your claims regarding the illegality of the mortgage or foreclosure.

In a judicial state the forecloser must be the one who files suit and you have considerably more power to resist the attempt to foreclose.

Then you have stages:

STAGE 1: No notice of default has been sent.

In this case you want to get a forensic analysis that is as complete as humanly possible — TILA, RESPA, securitization, title, chain of custody, predatory loan practices, fraud, fabricated documents, forged documents etc. I call this the FOUR WALL ANALYSIS, meaning they have no way to get out of the mess they created. Then you want a QWR (Qualified Written Request) and DVL (Debt Validation Letter along with complaints to various Federal and State agencies. If they fail to respond or fail to answer your questions you file a suit against the party who received the QWR, the party who originated the loan (even if they are out of business), and John Does 1-1000 being the owners of mortgage backed bonds that are evidence of the investors ownership in the pool of mortgages, of which yours is one. The suit is simple — it seeks to stop the servicer from receiving any payments, install a receiver over the servicer’s accounts, order them to answer the simple question “Who is my creditor and how do I get a full accounting FROM THE CREDITOR? Alternative counts would be quiet title and damages under TILA, RESPA, SEC, etc.

Tactically you want to present the forensic declaration and simply say that you have retained an expert witness who states in his declaration that the creditor does not include any of the parties disclosed to you thus far. This [prevents you from satisfying the Federal mandate to attempt modification or settlement of the loan. You’ve asked (QWR and DVL) and they won’t tell. DON’T GET INTO INTRICATE ARGUMENTS CONCERNING SECURITIZATION UNTIL IT IS NECESSARY TO DO SO WHICH SHOULD BE AFTER A FEW HEARINGS ON MOTIONS TO COMPEL THEM TO ANSWER.

IN OTHER WORDS YOU ARE SIMPLY TELLING THE JUDGE THAT YOUR EXPERT HAS PRESENTED FACTS AND OPINION THAT CONTRADICT AND VARY FROM THE REPRESENTATIONS OF COUNSEL AND THE PARTIES WHO HAVE BEEN DISCLOSED TO YOU THUS FAR.

YOU WANT TO KNOW WHO THE OTHER PARTIES ARE, IF ANY, AND WHAT MONEY EXCHANGED HANDS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR LOAN. YOU WANT EVIDENCE, NOT REPRESENTATIONS OF COUNSEL. YOU WANT DISCOVERY OR AN ORDER TO ANSWER THE QWR OR DVL. YOU WANT AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING IF IT IS NECESSARY.

Avoid legal argument and go straight for discovery saying that you want to be able to approach the creditor, whoever it is, and in order to do that you have a Federal Statutory right (RESPA) to the name of a person, a telephone number and an address of the creditor — i.e., the one who is now minus money as a result of the funding of the loan. You’ve asked, they won’t answer.

Contemporaneously you want to get a temporary restraining order preventing them from taking any further action with respect to transferring, executing documents, transferring money, or collecting money until they have satisfied your demand for information and you have certified compliance with the court. Depending upon your circumstances you can offer to tender the monthly payment into the court registry or simply leave that out.

You can also file a bankruptcy petition especially if you are delinquent in payments or are about to become delinquent.

STAGE 2: Notice of Default Received

Believe it or not this is where the errors begin by the pretender lenders. You want to challenge authority, authenticity, the amount claimed due, the signatory, the notary, the loan number and anything else that is appropriate. Then go back to stage 1 and follow that track. In order to effectively do this you need to have that forensic analysis and I don’t mean the TILA Audit that is offered by so many companies using off the shelf software. You could probably buy the software yourself for less money than you pay those companies. I emphasize again that you need a FOUR WALL ANALYSIS.

Stage 3 Non-Judicial State, Notice of Sale received:

State statutes usually give you a tiny window of opportunity to contest the sale and the statute usually contains exact provisions on how you can do that or else your objection doesn’t count. At this point you need to secure the services of competent, knowledgeable, experienced legal counsel — professionals who have been fighting with these pretender lenders for a while. Anything less and you are likely to be sorely disappointed unless you landed, by luck of the draw, one of the increasing number of judges you are demonstrating their understanding and anger at this fraud.

Stage 4: Judicial State: Served with Process:

You must answer usually within 20 days. Failure to do so, along with your affirmative defenses and counterclaims, could result in a default followed by a default judgment followed by a Final Judgment of Foreclosure. See above steps.

Stage 5: Sale already occurred

You obviously need to reverse that situation. Usually the allegation is that the sale should be vacated because of fraud on the court (judicial) or fraudulent abuse of non-judicial process. This is a motion or Petitioner but it must be accompanied by a lawsuit, properly served and noticed to the other side. You probably need to name the purchaser at sale, and ask for a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) that stops them from moving the property or the money around any further until your questions are answered (see above). At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you need a good forensic analyst and a good lawyer.

Stage 6: Eviction (Unlawful Detainer Filed or Judgment entered:

Same as Stage 5.

The Long-Term Cost of the Mortgage Fraud Meltdown — The Real Legacy of Wall Street

13 Nov

This is a re-post by Niel Garfield

Posted 21 hours ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog

Editor’s Note: Why do I do this? Because we are delivering a message to future generations about how the world works contrary to our constitution and contrary to American values and ideals. Conservatives conserve nothing except the wealth of the fantastic few while the liberals liberate nobody from the yoke of economic slavery. Maybe it’s all a game. I won’t play and if you care about this country and wish to avoid a societal collapse, you should stop playing too.

History has shown us with grim clarity what happens to any country or empire when the power and the wealth gets so concentrated in just a few people while the rest of the population can’t keep a roof over their head and can’t eat food and can’t get medical care, all hell breaks loose. Galbraith, IMF economists, World Bank economists, all know what is going to happen do to our failure to police our own, our failure to make it right and our failure to make amends to our allies or would-be allies.

Children are learning an important lesson: in their world, Mom and Dad are powerless to prevent the worst things from happening and there is nobody else they can depend upon. A whole generation is growing up with the notion that the American Dream is an unknown, unknowable fantasy. Every time the far right asserts personal responsibility in the face of a wretched fraud committed on most of the country, they close the gate a little more, waiting for the final slaughter. Every time the far left wimps out on their own paltform, the one the people elected them on for CHANGE NOW, they deceive and abandon our citizens.

And so we are a Prozac nation because everyone is depressed. We are a Xanax nation because everyone is so stressed out we can’t think straight. And those of us who are entering our twilight years see a future where our children and grandchildren and their children will lead bleak lives of quiet desperation in a country which proclaims free speech and assembly but has surrendered that basic right to about 100 institutions that control the lobbyists who control the flow of money in Washington and state houses.

In April, 2007 stocks were up, confidence was high and everyone had been convinced that all was well without questioning anything. Meanwhile in the inner recesses of the Federal Reserve and halls of power of the executive branch and the U.S. Department of Treasury in particular, they knew the collapse was coming and the only reason they did nothing was political — they didn’t want to admit that the free market was not working, that it wasn’t free, that it was controlled by monopoly and oligopoly, and that the government wasn’t working either because we the people had allowed people to get re-elected despite their sell-out of our countries and our lives.

In I did some very simple calculations and determined that the DJIA was not actually worth 14,000, it was worth 8,000. As it came down, more stumps revealed themselves as the high water receded. The equities market is overpriced by about 25%-30%. Housing is still inflated by 15%-20%. Nobody wants to hear this. The dollar is in a swan dive because everyone in the world knows the reality except the citizens of the United States of America where we have a “free press” that would rather entertain us than actually tell us the news.

I’m doing my part. What are you doing to end this catastrophe?

Job Woes Exacting a Toll on Family Life
By MICHAEL LUO

THE WOODLANDS, Tex. — Paul Bachmuth’s 9-year-old daughter, Rebecca, began pulling out strands of her hair over the summer. His older child, Hannah, 12, has become noticeably angrier, more prone to throwing tantrums.

Initially, Mr. Bachmuth, 45, did not think his children were terribly affected when he lost his job nearly a year ago. But now he cannot ignore the mounting evidence.

“I’m starting to think it’s all my fault,” Mr. Bachmuth said.

As the months have worn on, his job search travails have consumed the family, even though the Bachmuths were outwardly holding up on unemployment benefits, their savings and the income from the part-time job held by Mr. Bachmuth’s wife, Amanda. But beneath the surface, they have been a family on the brink. They have watched their children struggle with behavioral issues and a stress-induced disorder. He finally got a job offer last week, but not before the couple began seeing a therapist to save their marriage.

For many families across the country, the greatest damage inflicted by this recession has not necessarily been financial, but emotional and psychological. Children, especially, have become hidden casualties, often absorbing more than their parents are fully aware of. Several academic studies have linked parental job loss — especially that of fathers — to adverse impacts in areas like school performance and self-esteem.

“I’ve heard a lot of people who are out of work say it’s kind of been a blessing, that you have more time to spend with your family,” Mr. Bachmuth said. “I love my family and my family comes first, and my family means more than anything to me, but it hasn’t been that way for me.”

A recent study at the University of California, Davis, found that children in families where the head of the household had lost a job were 15 percent more likely to repeat a grade. Ariel Kalil, a University of Chicago professor of public policy, and Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, of the Institute for Children and Poverty in New York, found in an earlier study that adolescent children of low-income single mothers who endured unemployment had an increased chance of dropping out of school and showed declines in emotional well-being.

In the long term, children whose parents were laid off have been found to have lower annual earnings as adults than those whose parents remained employed, a phenomenon Peter R. Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, mentioned in a speech last week at New York University.

A variety of studies have tied drops in family income to negative effects on children’s development. But Dr. Kalil, a developmental psychologist and director of the university’s Center for Human Potential and Public Policy, said the more important factor, especially in middle-class households, appeared to be changes in family dynamics from job loss.

“The extent that job losers are stressed and emotionally disengaged or withdrawn, this really matters for kids,” she said. “The other thing that matters is parental conflict. That has been shown repeatedly in psychological studies to be a bad family dynamic.”

Dr. Kalil said her research indicated that the repercussions were more pronounced in children when fathers experience unemployment, rather than mothers.

She theorized that the reasons have to do with the importance of working to the male self-image, or the extra time that unemployed female breadwinners seem to spend with their children, mitigating the impact on them.

Certainly, some of the more than a dozen families interviewed that were dealing with long-term unemployment said the period had been helpful in certain ways for their families.

Denise Stoll, 39, and her husband, Larry, 47, both lost their positions at a bank in San Antonio in October 2008 when it changed hands. Mrs. Stoll, a vice president who managed a technology group, earned significantly more than her husband, who worked as a district loan origination manager.

Nevertheless, Mr. Stoll took unemployment much harder than she did and struggled to keep his spirits up, before he landed a new job within several months in the Kansas City area, where the family had moved to be closer to relatives. He had to take a sizable pay cut but was grateful to be working again.

Mrs. Stoll is still looking but has also tried to make the most of the additional time with the couple’s 5-year-old triplets, seeking to instill new lessons on the importance of thrift.

“Being a corporate mom, you work a lot of hours, you feed them dinner — maybe,” she said. “This morning, we baked cookies together. I have time to help them with homework. I’m attending church. The house is managed by me. Just a lot more homemaker-type stuff, which I think is more nurturing to them.”

Other families, however, reported unmistakable ill effects.

Robert Syck, 42, of Fishers, Ind., lost his job as a call-center manager in March. He has been around his 11-year-old stepson, Kody, more than ever before. Lately, however, their relationship has become increasingly strained, Mr. Syck said, with even little incidents setting off blowups. His stepson’s grades have slipped and the boy has been talking back to his parents more.

“It’s only been particularly in the last few months that it’s gotten really bad, to where we’re verbally chewing each other out,” said Mr. Syck, who admitted he had been more irritable around the house. “A lot of that is due to the pressures of unemployment.”

When Mr. Bachmuth was first laid off in December from his $120,000 job at an energy consulting firm, he could not even bring himself to tell his family. For several days, he got dressed in the morning and left the house as usual at 6 a.m., but spent the day in coffee shops, the library or just walking around.

Mr. Bachmuth had started the job, working on finance and business development for electric utilities, eight months earlier, moving his family from Austin. They bought something of a dream home, complete with a backyard pool and spa.

Although she knew the economy was ultimately to blame, Mrs. Bachmuth could not help feeling angry at her husband, both said later in interviews.

“She kind of had something in the back of her mind that it was partly my fault I was laid off,” Mr. Bachmuth said. “Maybe you’re not a good enough worker.”

Counseling improved matters significantly, but Mrs. Bachmuth still occasionally dissolved into tears at home.

Besides quarrels over money, the reversal in the couple’s roles also produced friction. Mrs. Bachmuth took on a part-time job at a preschool to earn extra money. But she still did most, if not all, of the cooking, cleaning and laundry.

Dr. Kalil, of the University of Chicago, said a recent study of how people spend their time showed unemployed fathers devote significantly less time to household chores than even mothers who are employed full-time, and do not work as hard in caring for children.

Mr. Bachmuth’s time with his girls, however, did increase. He was the one dropping off Rebecca at school and usually the one who picked her up. He began helping her more with homework. He and Hannah played soccer and chatted more.

But the additional time brought more opportunities for squabbling. The rest of the family had to get used to Mr. Bachmuth being around, sometimes focused on his search for a job, but other times lounging around depressed, watching television or surfing soccer sites on the Internet.

“My dad’s around a lot more, so it’s a little strange because he gets frustrated he’s not at work, and he’s not being challenged,” Hannah said. “So I think me and my dad are a lot closer now because we can spend a lot more time together, but we fight a lot more maybe because he’s around 24-7.”

When Rebecca began pulling her hair out in late summer in what was diagnosed as a stress-induced disorder, she insisted it was because she was bored. But her parents and her therapist — the same one seeing her parents — believed it was clearly related to the job situation.

The hair pulling has since stopped, but she continues to fidget with her brown locks.

The other day, she suddenly asked her mother whether she thought she would be able to find a “good job” when she grew up.

Hannah said her father’s unemployment had made it harder for her to focus on schoolwork. She also conceded she had been more easily annoyed with her parents and her sister.

At night, she said, she has taken to stowing her worries away in an imaginary box.

“I take all the stress and bad things that happen over the day, and I lock them in a box,” she said.

Then, she tries to sleep.

Your tags: Eviction, foreclosure

Other Tags: conservatives, DJIA, IMF, Prozac, U.S Department of Treasury, World Bank, Xanax, bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, securities fraud

Published: November 12, 2009 6:04 pm
Livinglies’s Weblog, Eviction, foreclosure

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“Officials” Who Sign for MERS: False, Fraudulent, Fabricated, Forged and Void Documents in the Chain

Posted 3 days ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog

all we have left is the obligation, unsecured and subject to counterclaims etc. MOST IMPORTANT procedurally, it requires a lawsuit by the would-be forecloser in order to establish the terms of the obligation and the security, if any. This means they must make allegations as to ownership of the receivable and prove it — the kiss of death for all would be lenders except investors who funded these transactions.

sirrowan
sirrowan@peoplepc.com

“I just thought of something. I was reading what was posted a few above me regarding MERS own rules. They claim that their “officers” tend to act without authority from MERS and they do not use any records held by MERS etc.

How can this be? How can they be officers then? They aren’t if you ask me. Now wonder all these judges are telling them they are nothing but agents if even that, lol.

But if they were officers, wouldn’t MERS be liable for the actions of their “officers” on behalf of MERS?”

ANSWER from Neil

Sirrowan: GREAT POINT! The answer is that if they have a user ID and password ANYONE can become a “limited signing officer” for MERS.

Sometimes they say they are vice-president, sometimes they use some other official title. But the fact remains that they have no connection with MERS, no employment with MERS, no access to MERS records, and definitely no direct grant of a POA (Power of attorney). It’s a game.

This is why I have repeatedly say that in every securitized chain, particularly in the case of a MERS chain, there are one or more documents that are fabricated, forged or voidable. Whether this rises the level of criminality is up to future courts to determine.

One thing is sure — a party who signs a document that has no authority to sign it in the capacity they are representing has just committed violations of federal and state statute and common law. And the Notary who knew the party was not authorized as represented has committed a violation as well. Most states have statutes that say a bad notarization renders the document void, even if it was recorded. This breaks the chain of title and reverts back to the originating lender (at best) or voids the documents in the originating transaction (at worst).

In either event, the distinction I draw between the obligation (the substance of the transaction caused by the funding of a “loan product”) and the note (which by law is ONLY EVIDENCE of the obligation and the mortgage which is ONLY incident to the note, becomes very important. If the documents (note and mortgage) are void then all we have left is the obligation, unsecured and subject to counterclaims etc. MOST IMPORTANT procedurally, it requires a lawsuit by the would-be forecloser in order to establish the terms of the obligation and the security, if any. This means they must make allegations as to ownership of the receivable and prove it — the kiss of death for all would be lenders except investors who funded these transactions.

Your tags: Eviction, foreclosure

Other Tags: chain of title, disclosure, evidence, foreclosure defense, foreclosure offense, fraud, investors, lenders, MERS, Obligation, securitization, Signatures, trustee, bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, securities fraud

Published: November 10, 2009 3:10 pm
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What to Look For and Demand Through QWR or Discovery Part II

Posted 4 days ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog

Dan Edstrom, you are great!

OK I found the loan level details for my deal. It shows my loan in foreclosure and my last payment in 6/2008 (which is accurate). What it doesn’t say (among other things) is what advances were made on the account. Very interesting. This report is generated monthly but they are only reporting the current month. It also shows which pool my loan is in (originally their were approx. 4 pools, now there are 2). This means I can use all of this information to possibly calculate the advances reported – except that two months before I missed my first payment they stopped reporting SUB-servicer advances. [Editor's Note: Those who are computer savvy will recognize that these are field names, which is something that should be included in your demand and in your QWR. You will also wanat the record data and metadata that is attached to each record. ]

DIST_DATE
SERIES_NAME
LOAN_NUM
POOL_NUM
DEAL_NUM LTV_DISCLOSED_PCT CLTV_PCT CREDIT_SCORE_NBR BACK_END_DTI_PCT
JUNIOR_RATIO LOAN_DOC_TYPE_DSCR LOAN_PURPOSE_TYPE_DSCR OCCUPANCY_TYPE PROPERTY_TYPE_DSCR LIEN_PRIORITY_DSCR STANDALONE_IND SILENT_SECOND_IND PROPERTY_STATE CONFORMING_BAL_IND INT_RATE_TYPE_DSCR MARGIN_GROSS_PCT
PMT_1ST_DATE INT_CHG_FREQ_MTH_QTY INT_CHG_PRD_INCR_CEIL_RATE INT_LIFE_CEIL_RATE INT_LIFE_FLOOR_RATE INT_ONLY_TERM_MTH_QTY INT_CHG_1ST_MTH INT_CHG_FREQ_DSCR INT_CHG_MTH_DIFF_QTY MORTAGE_INSURANCE_PROVIDER MORTAGE_INSURANCE_TYPE_DSCR MATURITY_DATE
NOTE_DATE
PRIN_ORIG_BAL
SOLD_BAL
TERM_ORIG_MTH_QTY PREPMT_PENALTY_TERM_MTH_QTY BORROWER_RESIDUAL_INCOME_AMT RFC_GRADE_CODE PRODUCT_GROUP_FALLOUT_DSCR MI_TYPE_DSCR INDEX_TYPE_CODE INDEX_TYPE_DSCR MLY_CURTAILMENT_AMT MLY_DRAW_GROSS_AMT MLY_COUPON_NET_RATE MLY_COUPON_GROSS_RATE MLY_PRIN_UNPAID_BAL MLY_PRIN_SCHED_BAL LOAN_AGE MLY_TERM_REMAIN_MTH_QTY MLY_UTILIZATION_PCT MLY_DELQ_REPORT_METHOD MLY_LOAN_STATUS_CODE MLY_LOAN_STATUS_DSCR MLY_PREPMT_TYPE_DSCR MLY_PAID_TO_DATE

If anyone wants this file or any of the servicing reports so they can see the actual data shoot me an email.

Thanks,
Dan Edstrom
dmedstrom@hotmail.com

Your tags: Eviction, foreclosure

Other Tags: accounting, disclosure, discovery, Edstrom, foreclosure defense, foreclosure offense, fraud, lost note, Mortgage, quiet title, QWR, TILA audit, trustee, bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, GTC | Honor, Investor, securities fraud

Published: November 9, 2009 6:24 pm
Livinglies’s Weblog, Eviction, foreclosure

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TENT CITY, California While Vacant Houses Deteriorate

Posted 4 days ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog

TENT CITY, California While Vacant Houses Deteriorate

From watergatesummer.blogspot.com we have this post on the moronic ideology that misuses our natural and creative resources. It can be said that conservatives do not conserve and liberals do not liberate. I coined that because it is obvious that politics in this country is degrading even while some try to revive it.

Out of pure ideology and ignorance, people are being ejected from homes they own on the pretense that they don’t own the home. This sleight of hand is accomplished by “bridge to nowhere” logic — the pretender lender merely pretends to be authorized to initiate foreclosure proceedings. They come into court with a pile of inconsistent documents with little or no REAL connection with the originating papers and zero connection with the REAL lender.

So we end up with hundreds of thousands of homes that are empty, subject to vandalism and decay from lack of mainteance and lack of anyone living in them, combined with nobody paying utility bills etc that would help take the edge off the crisis. Instead, we choose to allow TENT CITY where there are no decent facilities, where people are living in tents literally, resulting in a greater drain on social services, police, fire, health, schools etc.

Why because some ideologue and people who mindlessly subscribe to such ideology has already played Judge and Jury and convicted these victims of Wall Street fraud. They are certain that these are deadbeats that don’t pay thier bills and won’t listen when someone points out that many of these people had nearly perfect credit scores before tragedy hit. That means the victims were generally considered to have been better credit risks based upon an excellent record of paying their bills, than their ideological detractors.

Someone of this ideology will tell us or anyone who will listen that the victims should have read what they were signing. The is fact that NOBODY reads those closing documents, not even lawyers, not even the ideological (don’t confuse me with the facts) conservatives. So the same people who say you should have read those documents, didn’t read their own.

And now everyone who is NOT in foreclosure or who has already lost possession of their home and who signed a securitized loan package is “underwater” an average of 25% , which means that they are, on average around $70,000 in debt that will never be covered by equity in their lifetime — so they can’t move without coming to the table with the shortfall.

Such ideologues fall short of helping their fellow citizens to be sure. What is astonishing is that they fall short of helping themselves, which means they subject their life partners, spouses, children and other dependents to the same mindless mind-numbing shoot myself in the foot political theology. And somehow it is THESE people who are controlling the pace of the recovery, controlling the correction in housing and social services who are claiming to be angry about their country being taken away from them!

Your tags: Eviction, foreclosure

Other Tags: bailout, housing, lender, POLICY, securitization, tent city, CDO, CORRUPTION, GTC | Honor, Mortgage, securities fraud

Published: November 9, 2009 6:15 pm
Livinglies’s Weblog, Eviction, foreclosure

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U.S. STANDS FIRM IN SUPPORT OF WALL STREET WHILE THE REST OF THE WORLD TAKES THE ECONOMIC CRISIS SERIOUSLY

Posted 5 days ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog

MR. GEITNER, MR. SUMMERS AND OTHERS WHO ARE ON THE ECONOMIC TEAM DESERVE some CREDIT FOR BRINGING US BACK FROM AN ECONOMIC PRECIPICE THAT WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN A DEPRESSION FAR DEEPER AND LONGER THAN THE GREAT DEPRESSION. AND THEY SHOULD BE CUT SOME SLACK BECAUSE THEY WERE HANDED A PLATE ON WHICH THE ECONOMY WAS BASED LARGELY ON VAPOR — THE CONTRACTION OF WHICH WILL SPELL DISASTER IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.
THAT SAID, THEY ARE GOING TOO FAR IN PROTECTING INVESTMENT BANKS AND DEPOSITORY BANKS FROM THEIR OWN STUPIDITY AND ENCOURAGING BEHAVIOR THAT THE TAXPAYERS WILL ABSORB — AT LEAST THEY THINK THE TAXPAYERS WILL DO IT.
As the following article demonstrates, the model currently used in this country and dozens of other countries is “pay to play” — and if there is a crash it is the fees the banks paid over the years that bails them out instead of the taxpayers.
For reasons that I don’t think are very good, the economic team is marginalizing Volcker and headed down the same brainless path we were on when Bush was in office, which was only an expansion of what happened when Clinton was in office, which was a “me too” based upon Bush #1 and Reagan. The end result is no longer subject to conjecture — endless crashes, each worse than the one before.
The intransigence of Wall Street and the economic team toward any meaningful financial reform adds salt to the wound we created in the first palce. We were fortunate that the rest of the world did not view the economic meltdown as an act of war by the United States. They are inviting us to be part of the solution and we insist on being part of the problem.
Sooner or later, the world’s patience is going to wear thin. Has anyone actually digested the fact that there is buyer’s run on gold now? Does anyone care that the value of the dollar is going down which means that those countries, companies and individuals who keep their wealth in dollars are dumping those dollars in favor of diversifying into other units of storage?
The short-term “advantage” will be more than offset by the continuing joblessness and homelessness unless we take these things seriously. Culturally, we are looking increasingly barbaric to dozens of countries that take their role of protecting the common welfare seriously.
Bottom Line on these pages is that it shouldn’t be so hard to get a judge to realize that just because the would-be forecloser has a big expensive brand name doesn’t mean they are anything better than common thieves. But like all theft in this country, the bigger you are the more wiggle room you get when you rob the homeless or a bank or the government or the taxpayers. Marcy Kaptur is right. She calls for a change of “generals” (likening Obama’s situation to Lincoln), since their skills were perhaps valuable when Obama first tackled the economic crisis — but now are counterproductive. We need new generals on the economic team that will steer us clear from the NEXT crisis not the LAST crisis.

November 8, 2009
Britain and U.S. Clash at G-20 on Tax to Insure Against Crises
By JULIA WERDIGIER

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — The United States and Britain voiced disagreement Saturday over a proposal that would impose a new tax on financial transactions to support future bank rescues.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, leading a meeting here of finance ministers from the Group of 20 rich and developing countries, said such a tax on banks should be considered as a way to take the burden off taxpayers during periods of financial crisis. His comments pre-empted the International Monetary Fund, which is set to present a range of options next spring to ensure financial stability.

But the proposal was met with little enthusiasm by the United States Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, who told Sky News in an interview that he would not support a tax on everyday financial transactions. Later he seemed to soften his position, saying it would be up to the I.M.F. to present a range of possible measures.

“We want to make sure that we don’t put the taxpayer in a position of having to absorb the costs of a crisis in the future,” Mr. Geithner said after the Sky News interview. “I’m sure the I.M.F. will come up with some proposals.”

The Russian finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, also said he was skeptical of such a tax. Similar fees had been proposed by Germany and France but rejected by Mr. Brown’s government in the past as too difficult to manage. But Mr. Brown is now suggesting “an insurance fee to reflect systemic risk or a resolution fund or contingent capital arrangements or a global financial transaction levy.”

Supporters of a tax had argued that it would reduce the volatility of markets; opponents said it would be too complex to enact across borders and could create huge imbalances. Mr. Brown said any such tax would have to be applied universally.

“It cannot be acceptable that the benefits of success in this sector are reaped by the few but the costs of its failure are borne by all of us,” Mr. Brown said at the summit. “There must be a better economic and social contract between financial institutions and the public based on trust and a just distribution of risks and rewards.”

At the meeting at the Scottish golf resort, the last to be hosted by Britain during its turn leading the group, the ministers agreed on a detailed timetable to achieve balanced economic growth and reiterated a pledge not to withdraw any economic stimulus until a recovery was certain.

They also committed to enact limits on bonuses and force banks to hold more cash reserves. But they failed to reach an agreement on how to finance a new climate change deal ahead of a crucial meeting in Copenhagen next month.

The finance ministers agreed that economic and financial conditions had improved but that the recovery was “uneven and remains dependent on policy support,” according to a statement released by the group. The weak condition of the economy was illustrated Friday by new data showing the unemployment rate in the United States rising to 10.2 percent in October, the highest level in 26 years.

The finance ministers also acknowledged that withdrawing stimulus packages required a balancing act to avoid stifling the economic recovery that has just begun.

“If we put the brakes on too quickly, we will weaken the economy and the financial system, unemployment will rise, more businesses will fail, budget deficits will rise, and the ultimate cost of the crisis will be greater,” Mr. Geithner said. “It is too early to start to lean against recovery.”

As part of the group’s global recovery plan, the United States would aim to increase its savings rate and reduce its trade deficit while countries like China and Germany would reduce their dependence on exports. Economic imbalances were widely faulted as helping to bring about the global economic downturn.

Mr. Geithner acknowledged on Saturday that the changes would take time but that “what we are seeing so far has been encouraging.”

Your tags: Eviction, foreclosure

Other Tags: bailout, credit, economic team, financial reform, foreclosures, Geitner, Summers, Volker, bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, securities fraud

Published: November 8, 2009 6:55 pm
Livinglies’s Weblog, Eviction, foreclosure

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I’m OK. Thanks for asking

Posted 6 days ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog
Livinglies’s Weblog, foreclosure

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FOLLOWING THE MONEY — WHAT TO ASK FOR AND LOOK FOR

Posted 6 days ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog
Livinglies’s Weblog, Eviction, foreclosure

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Why “too big to fail” has to be dealt with this time

Posted 6 days ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog
Livinglies’s Weblog, foreclosure

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AIG Reports Profits Increase — More Smoke and Mirrors

Posted 7 days ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog
Livinglies’s Weblog, Eviction, foreclosure

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Foreclosure Defense: New York Judge Gets It HSBC v Valentin N.Y. Sup., 2008

Posted 7 days ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog
Livinglies’s Weblog, Eviction, foreclosure

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Bankruptcy Court Wipes Out Mortgage Debt When Servicer Fails to Document Claim

27 Oct

10/26/2009 By: Darrell Delamaide

A federal bankruptcy judge in New York created new uncertainties for mortgage servicers when he expunged a mortgage debt after the servicer could not provide sufficient documentation that it had a claim on the home.

The ruling came earlier this month in bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York in a case involving Mount Laurel, New Jersey-based PHH Mortgage and a property in White Plains, the New York Times reported.

Judge Robert Drain wiped out a $461,263 mortgage debt on the property, in another case of how things can go wrong when documentation does not keep up with transfers of mortgages in a world of securitized loans.

A recent ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court similarly denied the Mortgage Electronic Registration Service (MERS) rights to recovery in a foreclosure case, even though MERS often stands in for banks that actually hold the mortgage. As a consequence, the bank holding the mortgage lost out in the foreclosure.

In the PHH case, the homeowner, who was not identified, filed for bankruptcy and PHH claimed its mortgage debt.

When attempts by the homeowner’s lawyer to get PHH to modify the debt met with no success, he asked for proof of PHH’s standing and received a letter stating that PHH was the servicer of the loan but that the holder of the note was U.S. Bank, as trustee of a securitization pool.

When he then asked for proof that U.S. Bank was indeed the holder of the note, he received only an affidavit from an executive at PHH Mortgage, the Times reported.

Among the documents supplied to the court to support PHH’s assertion was a copy of the assignment of the mortgage, but this was signed by the same PHH executive identified this time as an official of MERS, and was dated March 26 of this year, well after the bankruptcy had been filed.

In the hearing, the PHH lawyer argued that in the secondary market, there are many cases where assignment of mortgages or assignment of notes don’t happen at the time they should – that this was standard operating procedure for many years.

Judge Drain rejected that argument, the Times reported. “I think that I have a more than 50 percent doubt that if the debtor paid this claim, it would be paying the wrong person,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “That’s the problem. And that’s because the claimant has not shown an assignment of a mortgage.”

PHH is appealing Judge Drain’s decision.

The ruling also puts the homeowner in uncharted territory. “Right now I am in bankruptcy court with a house that has no discernible debt on it,” her lawyer told the Times, “yet I have a client with a signed mortgage. We cannot in theory just go out and sell this house because the title company won’t give a clear title on it.”

The lawyer’s options are to file an amended plan or sue to try to get clear title to the property.

Foreclosure Victory For Nor Cal Area Homeowner!

7 Sep

A Sacramento area court ruling against the plaintiff came in an unlawful detainer hearing last Friday. Lenders and servicers are taking notice of the “sale” by trustee that was set aside in favor of a loan modification. Submitted by Steve Shafer

February 5, 2009 / Sacramento California – The Bay Area Superior Court decision and judgment against the plaintiff allows the “sale” by the trustee to be set aside in favor of a loan modification.
Lenders nationwide who originate and service loans know California offers them a “safe haven” from homeowner’s who dispute a recent foreclosure. That means overwhelming odds for anyone in foreclosure who loses their home to a lender in a foreclosure. The borrower becomes a holdover and must respond to an unlawful detainer after their home is lost.

That was not the case for an El Dorado area resident at a recent hearing for an unlawful detainer matter heard in a Placerville County superior court room. The recent victory in court was in an unlawful detainer matter for the defendant Ms. Stella Onyeu and mortgage lender and securities sponsor – AURORA LOAN SERVICES v. STELLA D. ONYEU (case number PCU2008032).

AURORA LOAN SERVICES like so many other lender servicing agents has come under greater scrutiny as of late for questionable business practices. According to its web site Aurora Loan Services is operating as usual. The company is a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Bank, and not part of the Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. bankruptcy filing.

The case was originally filed in October of last year and shortly thereafter was dismissed when the Plaintiff failed to show at a scheduled hearing. Subsequent motions were filed to vacate the dismissal in favor of a motion to dismiss by the plaintiffs. The matter was heard recently heard again by the same court and earlier mentioned presiding judge. Mark Terbeek is the attorney for the Defendant and Maher Soliman a Juris Pro witness provided case development and court expert testimony.

This judgment for the defendant is monumental given the courts limited jurisdiction related to the lenders sole focus to have the borrower removed from the home. The issues at hand are the legal procedural limitations and high attrition rate for defendants and their attorney’s. The problem is the defendant’s lack of standing for pleading a wrongful foreclosure due to jurisdiction of the court.

So what does this all mean? Many homeowners can find some hope, for the moment, in knowing the otherwise unfriendly California UD courts will now hold some promise for hearing arguments as to the foreclosure and the plaintiffs standing. According to foreclosure and REO sales analyst Brenda Michelson of Nationwide Loan Services “It’s hit or miss at this level of the law and the courts willingness to step outside of its jurisdiction.” The smaller outlying courts seem to me to be more willing to entertain defense arguments that the plaintiff may not be the holder in due course and lacks capacity throughout the foreclosure” Terbeek’s response is that if the plaintiff cannot demonstrate a logical and properly conveyed transfer of the beneficial interest – it is not entitled to possession.

After the foreclosure and conveyance back to the trustee, the homeowner is considered unlawfully occupying the dwelling as a holdover. However, the court ruled that AURORA had in fact violated its duty to show good faith and comply accordingly under the recent California statutes and amendments Power of Sale provision. The presiding judge who heard the matter ordered a judgment against the company allowed for Terbeek to enter a request for all legal fees due.

According to legal expert Soliman, “there are more attorneys willing to now jump into the wrongful foreclosure business and fight the court on the jurisdiction issue. However, it is nearly impossible to rely on the judge and courts at this level”. Soliman is an examiner with Nationwide Loan Services and has engagements in multiple cases throughout California through attorneys such as Terbeek who represented the defendant.

Jurisdiction: An Overview

The term jurisdiction is really synonymous with the word “power” and the sovereignty on behalf of which it functions. Any court possesses jurisdiction over matters only to the extent granted to it by the Constitution, or legislation of a paramount fundamental question for lawyers is whether a given court has jurisdiction to preside over a given case. A jurisdictional question may be broken down into various components including whether there is jurisdiction over the person (in personam), the subject matter, or res (in rem), and to render the particular judgment sought.

An unlawful detainer lawsuit is a “summary” court procedure. This means that the court action moves forward very quickly, and that the time given the tenant to respond during the lawsuit is very short. For example, in most cases, the tenant has only five days to file a written response to the lawsuit after being served with a copy of the landlord’s complaint. Normally, a judge will hear and decide the case within 20 days after the borrower now tenant files an answer.

The question of whether a given court has the power to determine a jurisdictional question is itself a jurisdictional question. Such a legal question is referred to as “jurisdiction to determine jurisdiction.” In order to evict the tenant, the landlord must file an unlawful detainer lawsuit in superior court. In an eviction lawsuit, the lender is the “plaintiff” and the prior borrower and homeowners become an occupant holdover and the “defendant.” Immediately after the trustee sale of the home the conveyance by the trustee is entered in favor of the lender. Until recently in most cases the lender is with in its right foreclose if a borrower has missed a number of payments, failed to make the insurance premiums or not paid the property taxes. “But sometimes a lender is wrong and you can fight foreclosure by challenging the foreclosure process and related documents” said Soliman.

As the new owner of record AURORA HOME LOAN SERVICES must follow procedures no different than that of a landlord in a tenant occupancy dispute. The next step is to remove the homeowner from the subject dwelling. If the tenant doesn’t voluntarily move out after the landlord has properly given the required notice to the tenant, the landlord can evict the tenant. If the lender makes a mistake in its filing of the foreclosure documents a court my throw out the whole foreclosure case. In the case of a wrongful foreclosure the borrower’s claims are limited to affirmative defenses.

Affirmative Defenses

Unlike a judicial proceeding, California lenders need to merely wait out the mandatory term for issuing default notices and ensure it has properly served those notices to the borrower. In other words the hearing and trial taken place in the above referenced matter is not subject to arguments brought by the homeowner for wrongful foreclosure versus the question as to lawful possession of the property by the lender.

California lenders are typically limited to only the defenses a landlord will face when opposed and made subject to claims of wrongfully trying to evict a tenant. Claims such as the Plaintiff has breached the warranty to provide habitable premises, plaintiff did not give proper credit before the notice to pay or quit expired or plaintiff waived, changed, or canceled the notice to quit, or filed the complaint to retaliate against defendant are often completely unrelated to the matter at hand. The courts decision to enforce the provisions of an earlier modification in lieu of a foreclosure sends a major wake up call to the lenders who are under siege to avoid foreclose and be done with mortgage mess affecting United States homeowners. Soliman says the decision is unfortunately not likely to be read into as case precedent for future lawyers and wrongful defendants seeking to introduce our case as an example of a lenders wrongful action.

Soliman goes on to say “it’s both interesting and entertaining to see experienced attorneys who jump in and immediately question the issue of the courts authority. Its reality time when they get to their first hearing and see first hand the problematic issues with jurisdiction.”

Servicing agents are never the less on notice they must be ready to defend themselves when the opportunity to argue the plaintiffs standing are allowed in an unlawful detainer motivate by a foreclosure. Therefore, the debate about what the courts hear will remain open and subject to further scrutiny by the lawyers for both sides and judges who preside over the courts at this level.

Nationwide Loan Servicing is an approved Expert Witness who provides court testimoney in matters concerning wrongful foreclosures, Federal Savings Banks regultory violations and SEC filings for private registrations.

SB 94 and its interferance with the practice

5 Sep

CA SB 94 on Lawyers & Loan Modifications Passes Assembly… 62-10

The California Assembly has passed Senate Bill 94, a bill that seeks to protect homeowners from loan modification scammers, but could end up having the unintended consequence of eliminating a homeowner’s ability to retain an attorney to help them save their home from foreclosure.

The bill, which has an “urgency clause” attached to it, now must pass the State Senate, and if passed, could be signed by the Governor on October 11th, and go into effect immediately thereafter.

SB 94’s author is California State Senator Ron Calderon, the Chair of the Senate Banking Committee, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone familiar with the bigger picture. Sen. Calderon, while acknowledging that fee-for-service providers can provide valuable services to homeowners at risk of foreclosure, authored SB 94 to ensure that providers of these services are not compensated until the contracted services have been performed.

SB 94 prevents companies, individuals… and even attorneys… from receiving fees or any other form of compensation until after the contracted services have been rendered. The bill will now go to the Democratic controlled Senate where it is expected to pass.

Supporters of the bill say that the state is literally teeming with con artists who take advantage of homeowners desperate to save their homes from foreclosure by charging hefty fees up front and then failing to deliver anything of value in return. They say that by making it illegal to charge up front fees, they will be protecting consumers from being scammed.

While there’s no question that there have been some unscrupulous people that have taken advantage of homeowners in distress, the number of these scammers is unclear. Now that we’ve learned that lenders and servicers have only modified an average of 9% of qualified mortgages under the Obama plan, it’s hard to tell which companies were scamming and which were made to look like scams by the servicers and lenders who failed to live up to their agreement with the federal government.

In fact, ever since it’s come to light that mortgage servicers have been sued hundreds of times, that they continue to violate the HAMP provisions, that they foreclose when they’re not supposed to, charge up front fees for modifications, require homeowners to sign waivers, and so much more, who can be sure who the scammers really are. Bank of America, for example, got the worst grade of any bank on the President’s report card listing, modifying only 4% of the eligible mortgages since the plan began. We’ve given B of A something like $200 billion and they still claim that they’re having a hard time answering the phones over there, so who’s scamming who?

To make matters worse, and in the spirit of Y2K, the media has fanned the flames of irrationality with stories of people losing their homes as a result of someone failing to get their loan modified. The stories go something like this:

We gave them 1,000. They told us to stop making our mortgage payment. They promised us a principal reduction. We didn’t hear from them for months. And then we lost our house.

I am so sure. Can that even happen? I own a house or two. Walk me through how that happened again, because I absolutely guarantee you… no way could those things happen to me and I end up losing my house over it. Not a chance in the world. I’m not saying I couldn’t lose a house, but it sure as heck would take a damn sight more than that to make it happen.

Depending on how you read the language in the bill, it may prevent licensed California attorneys from requiring a retainer in advance of services being rendered, and this could essentially eliminate a homeowner’s ability to hire a lawyer to help save their home.

Supporters, on the other hand, respond that homeowners will still be able to hire attorneys, but that the attorneys will now have to wait until after services have been rendered before being paid for their services. They say that attorneys, just like real estate agents and mortgage brokers, will now only be able to receive compensation after services have been rendered.

But, assuming they’re talking about at the end of the transaction, there are key differences. Real estate agents and mortgage brokers are paid OUT OF ESCROW at the end of a transaction. They don’t send clients a bill for their services after the property is sold.

Homeowners at risk of foreclosure are having trouble paying their bills and for the most part, their credit ratings have suffered as a result. If an attorney were to represent a homeowner seeking a loan modification, and then bill for his or her services after the loan was modified, the attorney would be nothing more than an unsecured creditor of a homeowner who’s only marginally credit worthy at best. If the homeowner didn’t pay the bill, the attorney would have no recourse other than to sue the homeowner in Small Claims Court where they would likely receive small payments over time if lucky.

Extending unsecured credit to homeowners that are already struggling to pay their bills, and then having to sue them in order to collect simply isn’t a business model that attorneys, or anyone else for that matter, are likely to embrace. In fact, the more than 50 California attorneys involved in loan modifications that I contacted to ask about this issue all confirmed that they would not represent homeowners on that basis.

One attorney, who asked not to be identified, said: “Getting a lender or servicer to agree to a loan modification takes months, sometimes six or nine months. If I worked on behalf of homeowners for six or nine months and then didn’t get paid by a number of them, it wouldn’t be very long before I’d have to close my doors. No lawyer is going to do that kind of work without any security and anyone who thinks they will, simply isn’t familiar with what’s involved.”

“I don’t think there’s any question that SB 94 will make it almost impossible for a homeowner to obtain legal representation related to loan modifications,” explained another attorney who also asked not to be identified. ”The banks have fought lawyers helping clients through the loan modification process every step of the way, so I’m not surprised they’ve pushed for this legislation to pass.”

Proponents of the legislation recite the all too familiar mantra about there being so many scammers out there that the state has no choice but to move to shut down any one offering to help homeowners secure loan modifications that charges a fee for the services. They point out that consumers can just call their banks directly, or that there are nonprofit organizations throughout the state that can help homeowners with loan modifications.

While the latter is certainly true, it’s only further evidence that there exists a group of people in positions of influence that are unfamiliar , or at the very least not adequately familiar with obtaining a loan modification through a nonprofit organization, and they’ve certainly never tried calling a bank directly.

The fact that there are nonprofit housing counselors available, and the degree to which they may or may not be able to assist a given homeowner, is irrelevant. Homeowners are well aware of the nonprofit options available. They are also aware that they can call their banks directly. From the President of the United States and and U.S. Attorney General to the community newspapers found in every small town in America, homeowners have heard the fairy tales about about these options, and they’ve tried them… over and over again, often times for many months. When they didn’t get the desired results, they hired a firm to help them.

Yet, even the State Bar of California is supporting SB 94, and even AB 764, a California Assembly variation on the theme, and one even more draconian because of its requirement that attorneys only be allowed to bill a client after a successful loan modification has been obtained. That means that an attorney would have to guarantee a homeowner that he or she would obtain a modification agreement from a lender or servicer or not get paid for trying. Absurd on so many levels. Frankly, if AB 764 passes, would the last one out of California please turn off the lights and bring the flag.

As of late July, the California State Bar said it was investigating 391 complaints against 141 attorneys, as opposed to nine investigations related to loan modifications in 2008. The Bar hasn’t read anywhere all of the complaints its received, but you don’t have to be a statistician to figure out that there’s more to the complaints that meets the eye. So far the State Bar has taken action against three attorneys and the Attorney General another four… so, let’s see… carry the 3… that’s 7 lawyers. Two or three more and they could have a softball team.

At the federal level they’re still reporting the same numbers they were last spring. Closed 11… sent 71 letters… blah, blah, blah… we’ve got a country of 300 million and at least 5 million are in trouble on their mortgage. The simple fact is, they’re going to have to come up with some serious numbers before I’m going to be scared of bumping into a scammer on every corner.

Looking Ahead…

California’s ALT-A and Option ARM mortgages are just beginning to re-set, causing payments to rise, and with almost half of the mortgages in California already underwater, these homeowners will be unable to refinance and foreclosures will increase as a result. Prime jumbo foreclosure rates are already up a mind blowing 634% as compared with January 2008 levels, according to LPS Applied Analytics.

Clearly, if SB 94 ends up reducing the number of legitimate firms available for homeowners to turn to, everyone involved in its passage is going to be retiring. While many sub-prime borrowers have suffered silently through this horror show of a housing crisis, the ALT-A and Option ARM borrowers are highly unlikely to slip quietly into the night.

There are a couple of things about the latest version of SB 94 that I found interesting:

1. It says that a lawyer can’t collect a fee or any other compensation before serivces have been delivered, but it doesn’t make clear whether attorneys can ask the client to deposit funds in the law firm’s trust account and then bill against thsoe funds as amounts are earned. Funds deposited in a law firm trust account remain the client’s funds, so they’re not a lawyer’s “fees or other compensation”. Those funds are there so that when the fees have been earned, the lawyer doesn’t have to hope his or her bill gets paid. Of course, it also says that an attorney can’t hold any security interest, but money in a trust account a client’s money, the attorney has no lien against it. All of this is a matter of interpretation, of course, so who knows.

2. While there used to be language in both the real estate and lawyer sections that prohibited breaking up services related to a loan modification, in the latest version all of the language related to breaking up services as applied to attorneys has been eliminated. It still applies to real estate licensed firms, but not to attorneys. This may be a good thing, as at least a lawyer could complete sections of the work involved as opposed to having to wait until the very end, which the way the banks have been handling things, could be nine months away.

3. The bill says nothing about the amounts that may be charged for services in connection with a loan modification. So, in the case of an attorney, that would seem to mean that… well, you can put one, two and three together from there.

4. Lawyers are not included in definition of foreclosure consultant. And there is a requirement that new language be inserted in contracts, along the lines of “You don’t have to pay anyone to get a loan modification… blah, blah, blah.” Like that will be news to any homeowner in America. I’ve spoken with hundreds and never ran across one who didn’t try it themselves before calling a lawyer. I realize the Attorney General doesn’t seem to know that, but look… he’s been busy.

Conclusion…

Will SB 94 actually stop con artists from taking advantage of homeowners in distress? Or will it end up only stopping reputable lawyers from helping homeowners, while foreclosures increase and our economy continues its deflationary free fall? Will the California State Bar ever finishing reading the complaints being received, and if they ever do, will they understand what they’ve read. Or is our destiny that the masses won’t understand what’s happening around them until it sucks them under as well.

I surely hope not. But for now, I’m just hoping people can still a hire an attorney next week to help save their homes, because if they can’t… the Bar is going to get a lot more letters from unhappy homeowners.

Don’t get HAMP ED out of your home!

5 Sep

By Walter Hackett, Esq.
The federal government has trumpeted its Home Affordable Modification Program or “HAMP” solution as THE solution to runaway foreclosures – few things could be further from the truth. Under HAMP a homeowner will be offered a “workout” that can result in the homeowner being “worked out” of his or her home. Here’s how it works. A participating lender or servicer will send a distressed homeowner a HAMP workout agreement. The agreement consists of an “offer” pursuant to which the homeowner is permitted to remit partial or half of their regular monthly payments for 3 or more months. The required payments are NOT reduced, instead the partial payments are placed into a suspense account. In many cases once enough is gathered to pay the oldest payment due the funds are removed from the suspense account and applied to the mortgage loan. At the end of the trial period the homeowner will be further behind than when they started the “workout” plan.
In California, the agreements clearly specify the acceptance of partial payments by the lender or servicer does NOT cure any default. Further, the fact a homeowner is in the workout program does NOT require the lender or servicer to suspend or postpone any non-judicial foreclosure activity with the possible exception of an actual trustee’s sale. A homeowner could complete the workout plan and be faced with an imminent trustee’s sale. Worse, if a homeowner performs EXACTLY as required by the workout agreement, they are NOT assured a loan modification. Instead the agreement will include vague statements that the homeowner MAY receive an offer to modify his or her loan however there is NO duty on the part of the servicer or lender to modify a loan regardless of the homeowner’s compliance with the agreement.

A homeowner who fully performs under a HAMP workout is all but guaranteed to have given away thousands of dollars with NO assurance of keeping his or her home or ever seeing anything resembling an offer to modify a mortgage loan.
While it may well be the case the government was making an honest effort to help, the reality is the HAMP program is only guaranteed to help those who need help least – lenders and servicers. If you receive ANY written offer to modify your loan meet with a REAL licensed attorney and ask them to review the agreement to determine what you are REALLY agreeing to, the home you save might be your own.

A ‘Little Judge’ Who Rejects Foreclosures, Brooklyn Style

2 Sep

By Michael Powell – NY Times – 8/30/09

The judge waves you into his chambers in the State Supreme Court building in Brooklyn, past the caveat taped to his wall — “Be sure brain in gear before engaging mouth” — and into his inner office, where foreclosure motions are piled high enough to form a minor Alpine chain.

“I don’t want to put a family on the street unless it’s legitimate,” Justice Arthur M. Schack said.

Every week, the nation’s mightiest banks come to his court seeking to take the homes of New Yorkers who cannot pay their mortgages. And nearly as often, the judge says, they file foreclosure papers speckled with errors.

He plucks out one motion and leafs through: a Deutsche Bank representative signed an affidavit claiming to be the vice president of two different banks. His office was in Kansas City, Mo., but the signature was notarized in Texas. And the bank did not even own the mortgage when it began to foreclose on the homeowner.

The judge’s lips pucker as if he had inhaled a pickle; he rejected this one. “I’m a little guy in Brooklyn who doesn’t belong to their country clubs, what can I tell you?” he says, adding a shrug for punctuation. “I won’t accept their comedy of errors.”

The judge, Arthur M. Schack, 64, fashions himself a judicial Don Quixote, tilting at the phalanxes of bankers, foreclosure facilitators and lawyers who file motions by the bale. While national debate focuses on bank bailouts and federal aid for homeowners that has been slow in coming, the hard reckonings of the foreclosure crisis are being made in courts like his, and Justice Schack’s sympathies are clear. He has tossed out 46 of the 102 foreclosure motions that have come before him in the last two years. And his often scathing decisions, peppered with allusions to the Croesus-like wealth of bank presidents, have attracted the respectful attention of judges and lawyers from Florida to Ohio to California. At recent judicial conferences in Chicago and Arizona, several panelists praised his rulings as a possible national model.

His opinions, too, have been greeted by a cry of affront from a bank official or two, who say this judge stands in the way of what is rightfully theirs. HSBC bank appealed a recent ruling, saying he had set a “dangerous precedent” by acting as “both judge and jury,” throwing out cases even when homeowners had not responded to foreclosure motions. Justice Schack, like a handful of state and federal judges, has taken a magnifying glass to the mortgage industry. In the gilded haste of the past decade, bankers handed out millions of mortgages — with terms good, bad and exotically ugly — then repackaged those loans for sale to investors from Connecticut to Singapore. Sloppiness reigned. So many papers have been lost, signatures misplaced and documents dated inaccurately that it is often not clear which bank owns the mortgage.

Justice Schack’s take is straightforward, and sends a tremor through some bank suites: If a bank cannot prove ownership, it cannot foreclose. “If you are going to take away someone’s house, everything should be legal and correct,” he said. “I’m a strange guy — I don’t want to put a family on the street unless it’s legitimate.”

Justice Schack has small jowls and big black glasses, a thin mustache and not so many hairs combed across his scalp. He has the impish eyes of the high school social studies teacher he once was, aware that something untoward is probably going on at the back of his classroom. He is Brooklyn born and bred, with a master’s degree in history and an office loaded with autographed baseballs and photographs of the Brooklyn Dodgers. His written decisions are a free-associative trip through popular, legal and literary culture, with a sideways glance at the business pages.

Confronted with a case in which Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs passed a defaulted mortgage back and forth and lost track of the documents, the judge made reference to the film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the evil banker played by Lionel Barrymore. “Lenders should not lose sight,” Justice Schack wrote in that 2007 case, “that they are dealing with humanity, not with Mr. Potter’s ‘rabble’ and ‘cattle.’ Multibillion-dollar corporations must follow the same rules in the foreclosure actions as the local banks, savings and loan associations or credit unions, or else they have become the Mr. Potters of the 21st century.”

Last year, he chastised Wells Fargo for filing error-filled papers. “The court,” the judge wrote, “reminds Wells Fargo of Cassius’s advice to Brutus in Act 1, Scene 2 of William Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’: ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’ ”

Then there is a Deutsche Bank case from 2008, the juicy part of which he reads aloud:

“The court wonders if the instant foreclosure action is a corporate ‘Kansas City Shuffle,’ a complex confidence game,” he reads. “In the 2006 film ‘Lucky Number Slevin,’ Mr. Goodkat, a hit man played by Bruce Willis, explains: ‘A Kansas City Shuffle is when everybody looks right, you go left.’ ”The banks’ reaction? Justice Schack shrugs. “They probably curse at me,” he says, “but no one is interested in some little judge.”

Little drama attends the release of his decisions. Beaten-down homeowners rarely show up to contest foreclosure actions, and the judge scrutinizes the banks’ papers in his chambers. But at legal conferences, judges and lawyers have wondered aloud why more judges do not hold banks to tougher standards.

“To the extent that judges examine these papers, they find exactly the same errors that Judge Schack does,” said Katherine M. Porter, a visiting professor at the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and a national expert in consumer credit law. “His rulings are hardly revolutionary; it’s unusual only because we so rarely hold large corporations to the rules.”

Banks and the cottage industry of mortgage service companies and foreclosure lawyers also pay rather close attention. A spokeswoman for OneWest Bank acknowledged that an official, confronted with a ream of foreclosure papers, had mistakenly signed for two different banks — just as the Deutsche Bank official did. Deutsche Bank, which declined to let an attorney speak on the record about any of its cases before Justice Schack, e-mailed a PDF of a three-page pamphlet in which it claimed little responsibility for foreclosures, even though the bank’s name is affixed to tens of thousands of such motions. The bank described itself as simply a trustee for investors.

Justice Schack came to his recent prominence by a circuitous path, having worked for 14 years as public school teacher in Brooklyn. He was a union representative and once walked a picket line with his wife, Dilia, who was a teacher, too. All was well until the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.

“Why’d I go to law school?” he said. “Thank Mayor Abe Beame, who froze teacher salaries.”

He was counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association in the 1980s and ’90s, when it was on a long winning streak against team owners. “It was the millionaires versus the billionaires,” he says. “After a while, I’m sitting there thinking, ‘He’s making $4 million, he’s making $5 million, and I’m worth about $1.98.’ ”

So he dived into a judicial race. He was elected to the Civil Court in 1998 and to the Supreme Court for Brooklyn and Staten Island in 2003. His wife is a Democratic district leader; their daughter, Elaine, is a lawyer and their son, Douglas, a police officer.Justice Schack’s duels with the banks started in 2007 as foreclosures spiked sharply. He saw a plague falling on Brooklyn, particularly its working-class black precincts. “Banks had given out loans structured to fail,” he said.

The judge burrowed into property record databases. He found banks without clear title, and a giant foreclosure law firm, Steven J. Baum, representing two sides in a dispute. He noted that Wells Fargo’s chief executive, John G. Stumpf, made more than $11 million in 2007 while the company’s total returns fell 12 percent. “Maybe,” he advised the bank, “counsel should wonder, like the court, if Mr. Stumpf was unjustly enriched at the expense of W.F.’s stockholders.”

He was, how to say it, mildly appalled. “I’m a guy from the streets of Brooklyn who happens to become a judge,” he said. “I see a bank giving a $500,000 mortgage on a building worth $300,000 and the interest rate is 20 percent and I ask questions, what can I tell you?”

Brown Sues 21 Individuals and 14 Companies Who Ripped Off Homeowners Desperate for Mortgage Relief

17 Jul

News Release
July 15, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: (916) 324-5500
Print Version
Attachments

Los Angeles – As part of a massive federal-state crackdown on loan modification scams, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. at a press conference today announced the filing of legal action against 21 individuals and 14 companies who ripped off thousands of homeowners desperately seeking mortgage relief.

Brown is demanding millions in civil penalties, restitution for victims and permanent injunctions to keep the companies and defendants from offering mortgage-relief services.

“The loan modification industry is teeming with confidence men and charlatans, who rip off desperate homeowners facing foreclosure,” Brown said. “Despite firm promises and money-back guarantees, these scam artists pocketed thousands of dollars from each victim and didn’t provide an ounce of relief.”

Brown filed five lawsuits as part of “Operation Loan Lies,” a nationwide sweep of sham loan modification consultants, which he conducted with the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s office and 22 other federal and state agencies. In total, 189 suits and orders to stop doing business were filed across the country.

Following the housing collapse, hundreds of loan modification and foreclosure-prevention companies have cropped up, charging thousands of dollars in upfront fees and claiming that they can reduce mortgage payments. Yet, loan modifications are rarely, if ever, obtained. Less than 1 percent of homeowners nationwide have received principal reductions of any kind.

Brown has been leading the fight against fraudulent loan modification companies. He has sought court orders to shut down several companies including First Gov and Foreclosure Freedom and has brought criminal charges and obtained lengthy prison sentences for deceptive loan modification consultants.

Brown’s office filed the following lawsuits in Orange County and U.S. District Court for the Central District (Los Angeles):

- U.S. Homeowners Assistance, based in Irvine;
– U.S. Foreclosure Relief Corp and its legal affiliate Adrian Pomery, based in the City of Orange;
– Home Relief Services, LLC, with offices in Irvine, Newport Beach and Anaheim, and its legal affiliate, the Diener Law Firm;
– RMR Group Loss Mitigation, LLC and its legal affiliates Shippey & Associates and Arthur Aldridge. RMR Group has offices in Newport Beach, City of Orange, Huntington Beach, Corona, and Fresno;
– and
– United First, Inc, and its lawyer affiliate Mitchell Roth, based in Los Angeles.

U.S. Homeowners Assistance
Brown on Monday sued U.S. Homeowners Assistance, and its executives — Hakimullah “Sean” Sarpas and Zulmai Nazarzai — for bilking dozens of homeowners out of thousands of dollars each.

U.S. Homeowners Assistance claimed to be a government agency with a 98 percent success rate in aiding homeowners. In reality, the company was not a government agency and was never certified as an approved housing counselor by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. None of U.S. Homeowners Assistance’s known victims received loan modifications despite paying upfront fees ranging from $1,200 to $3,500.

For example, in January 2008, one victim received a letter from her lender indicating that her monthly mortgage payment would increase from $2,300 to $3,500. Days later, she received an unsolicited phone call from U.S. Homeowners Assistance promising a 40 percent reduction in principal and a $2,000 reduction in her monthly payment. She paid $3500 upfront for U.S. Homeowners Assistance’s services.

At the end of April 2008, her lender informed her that her loan modification request had been denied and sent her the documents that U.S. Homeowners Assistance had filed on her behalf. After reviewing those documents, she discovered that U.S. Homeowners Assistance had forged her signature and falsified her financial information – including fabricating a lease agreement with a fictitious tenant.

When she confronted U.S. Homeowners Assistance, she was immediately disconnected and has not been able to reach the company.

Brown’s suit contends that U.S. Homeowners Assistance violated:
– California Business and Professions Code section 17500 by falsely stating they were a government agency and misleading homeowners by claiming a 98 percent success rate in obtaining loan modifications;

- California Business and Professions Code section 17200 by failing to perform services made in exchange for upfront fees;

- California Civil Code section 2945.4 for unlawfully collecting upfront fees for loan modification services;

- California Civil Code section 2945.45 for failing to register with the California Attorney General’s Office as foreclosure consultants; and

- California Penal Code section 487 for grand theft.

Brown is seeking $7.5 million in civil penalties, full restitution for victims, and a permanent injunction to keep the company and the defendants from offering foreclosure consultant services.

US Homeowners Assistance also did business as Statewide Financial Group, Inc., We Beat All Rates, and US Homeowners Preservation Center.

US Foreclosure Relief Corporation
Brown last week sued US Foreclosure Relief Corporation, H.E. Service Company, their executives — George Escalante and Cesar Lopez — as well as their legal affiliate Adrian Pomery for running a scam promising homeowners reductions in their principal and interest rates as low as 4 percent. Brown was joined in this suit by the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Missouri.

Using aggressive telemarketing tactics, the defendants solicited desperate homeowners and charged an upfront fee ranging from $1,800 to $2,800 for loan modification services. During one nine-month period alone, consumers paid defendants in excess of $4.4 million. Yet, in most instances, defendants failed to provide the mortgage-relief services. Once consumers paid the fee, the defendants avoided responding to consumers’ inquiries.

In response to a large number of consumer complaints, several government agencies directed the defendants to stop their illegal practices. Instead, they changed their business name and continued their operations – using six different business aliases in the past eight months alone.

Brown’s lawsuit alleges the companies and individuals violated:
– The National Do Not Call Registry, 16 C.F.R. section 310.4 and California Business and Professions Code section 17200 by telemarketing their services to persons on the registry;

- The National Do Not Call Registry, 16 C.F.R. section 310.8 and California Business and Professions Code section 17200 by telemarketing their services without paying the mandatory annual fee for access to telephone numbers within the area codes included in the registry;

- California Civil Code section 2945 et seq. and California Business and Professions Code section 17200 by demanding and collecting up-front fees prior to performing any services, failing to include statutory notices in their contracts, and failing to comply with other requirements imposed on mortgage foreclosure consultants;

- California Business and Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500 by representing that they would obtain home loan modifications for consumers but failing to do so in most instances; by representing that consumers must make further payments even though they had not performed any of the promised services; by representing that they have a high success rate and that they can obtain loan modification within no more than 60 days when in fact these representations were false; and by directing consumers to avoid contact with their lenders and to stop making loan payments causing some lenders to initiate foreclosure proceedings and causing damage to consumers’ credit records.

Victims of this scam include a father of four battling cancer, a small business owner, an elderly disabled couple, a sheriff whose income dropped due to city budget cuts and an Iraq-war veteran. None of these victims received the loan modification promised.

Brown is seeking unspecified civil penalties, full restitution for victims, and a permanent injunction to keep the company and the defendants from offering foreclosure consultant services.

The defendants also did business under other names including Lighthouse Services and California Foreclosure Specialists.

Home Relief Services, LLC
Brown Monday sued Home Relief Services, LLC., its executives Terence Green Sr. and Stefano Marrero, the Diener Law Firm and its principal attorney Christopher L. Diener for bilking thousands of homeowners out of thousands of dollars each.

Home Relief Services charged homeowners over $4,000 in upfront fees, promised to lower interest rates to 4 percent, convert adjustable-rate mortgages to low fixed-rate loans and reduce principal up to 50 percent within 30 to 60 days. None of the known victims received a modification with the assistance of the defendants.

In some cases, these companies also sought to be the lenders’ agent in the short-sale of their clients’ homes. In doing so, the defendants attempted to use their customers’ personal financial information for their own benefit.

Home Relief Services and the Diener Law Firm directed homeowners to stop contacting their lender because the defendants would act as their sole agent and negotiator.

Brown’s lawsuit contends that the defendants violated:
– California Business and Professions Code section 17500 by claiming a 95 percent success rate and promising consumers significant reductions in the principal balance of their mortgages;

- California Business and Professions Code section 17200 by failing to perform on promises made in exchange for upfront fees;

- California Civil Code section 2945.4 for unlawfully collecting upfront fees for loan modification services;

- California Business and Professions Code section 2945.3 by failing to include cancellation notices in their contracts;

- California Civil Code section 2945.45 by not registering with the Attorney General’s office as foreclosure consultants; and

- California Penal Code section 487 for grand theft.

Brown is seeking $10 million in civil penalties, full restitution for victims, and a permanent injunction to keep the company and the defendants from offering foreclosure consultant services.

Two other companies with the same management were also involved in the effort to deceive homeowners: Payment Relief Services, Inc. and Golden State Funding, Inc.

RMR Group Loss Mitigation Group
Brown Monday sued RMR Group Loss Mitigation and its executives Michael Scott Armendariz of Huntington Beach, Ruben Curiel of Lancaster, and Ricardo Haag of Corona; Living Water Lending, Inc.; and attorney Arthur Steven Aldridge of Westlake Village as well as the law firm of Shippey & Associates and its principal attorney Karla C. Shippey of Yorba Linda – for bilking over 500 victims out of nearly $1 million.

The company solicited homeowners through telephone calls and in-person home visits. Employees claimed a 98 percent success rate and a money-back guarantee. None of the known victims received any refunds or modifications with the assistance of defendants.

For example, in July 2008, a 71-year old victim learned his monthly mortgage payments would increase from $2,470 to $3,295. He paid $2,995, yet received no loan modification and no refund.

Additionally, RMR insisted that homeowners refrain from contacting their lenders because the defendants would act as their agents.

Brown’s suit contends that the defendants violated:

- California Business and Professions Code section 17500 by claiming a 98 percent success rate and promising consumers significant reductions in the principal balance of their mortgages;

- California Business and Professions Code section 17200 by failing to perform on promises made in exchange for upfront fees;

- California Civil Code section 2945.4 for unlawfully collecting upfront fees for loan modification services;

- California Business and Professions Code section 2945.3 by failing to include cancellation notices in their contracts;

- California Civil Code section 2945.45 by not registering with the Attorney General’s office as foreclosure consultants; and

- California Penal Code section 487 for grand theft.

Brown is seeking $7.5 million in civil penalties, full restitution for victims, and a permanent injunction to keep the company and the defendants from offering foreclosure consultant services.

United First, Inc.
On July 6, 2009, Brown sued a foreclosure consultant and an attorney — Paul Noe Jr. and Mitchell Roth – who conned 2,000 desperate homeowners into paying exorbitant fees for “phony lawsuits” to forestall foreclosure proceedings.

These lawsuits were filed and abandoned, even though homeowners were charged $1,800 in upfront fees, at least $1,200 per month and contingency fees of up to 80 percent of their home’s value.

Noe convinced more than 2,000 homeowners to sign “joint venture” agreements with his company, United First, and hire Roth to file suits claiming that the borrower’s loan was invalid because the mortgages had been sold so many times on Wall Street that the lender could not demonstrate who owned it. Similar suits in other states have never resulted in the elimination of the borrower’s mortgage debt.

After filing the lawsuits, Roth did virtually nothing to advance the cases. He often failed to make required court filings, respond to legal motions, comply with court deadlines, or appear at court hearings. Instead, Roth’s firm simply tried to extend the lawsuits as long as possible in order to collect additional monthly fees.

United First charged homeowners approximately $1,800 in upfront fees, plus at least $1,200 per month. If the case was settled, homeowners were required to pay 50 percent of the cash value of the settlement. For example, if United First won a $100,000 reduction of the mortgage debt, the homeowner would have to pay United First a fee of $50,000. If United First completely eliminated the homeowner’s debt, the homeowner would be required to pay the company 80 percent of the value of the home.

Brown’s lawsuit contends that Noe, Roth and United First:

- Violated California’s credit counseling and foreclosure consultant laws, Civil Code sections 1789 and 2945

- Inserted unconscionable terms in contracts;

- Engaged in improper running and capping, meaning that Roth improperly partnered with United First, Inc. and Noe, who were not lawyers, to generate business for his law firm violating California Business and Professions Code 6150; and

- Violated 17500 of the California Business and Professions Code.

Brown’s office is seeking $2 million in civil penalties, full restitution for victims, and a permanent injunction to keep the company and the defendants from offering foreclosure consultant services.

Tips for Homeowners
Brown’s office issued these tips for homeowners to avoid becoming a victim:

DON’T pay money to people who promise to work with your lender to modify your loan. It is unlawful for foreclosure consultants to collect money before (1) they give you a written contract describing the services they promise to provide and (2) they actually perform all the services described in the contract, such as negotiating new monthly payments or a new mortgage loan. However, an advance fee may be charged by an attorney, or by a real estate broker who has submitted the advance fee agreement to the Department of Real Estate, for review.

DO call your lender yourself. Your lender wants to hear from you, and will likely be much more willing to work directly with you than with a foreclosure consultant.

DON’T ignore letters from your lender. Consider contacting your lender yourself, many lenders are willing to work with homeowners who are behind on their payments.

DON’T transfer title or sell your house to a “foreclosure rescuer.” Fraudulent foreclosure consultants often promise that if homeowners transfer title, they may stay in the home as renters and buy their home back later. The foreclosure consultants claim that transfer is necessary so that someone with a better credit rating can obtain a new loan to prevent foreclosure. BEWARE! This is a common scheme so-called “rescuers” use to evict homeowners and steal all or most of the home’s equity.

DON’T pay your mortgage payments to someone other than your lender or loan servicer, even if he or she promises to pass the payment on. Fraudulent foreclosure consultants often keep the money for themselves.

DON’T sign any documents without reading them first. Many homeowners think that they are signing documents for a new loan to pay off the mortgage they are behind on. Later, they discover that they actually transferred ownership to the “rescuer.”

DO contact housing counselors approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who may be able to help you for free. For a referral to a housing counselor near you, contact HUD at 1-800-569-4287 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or http://www.hud.gov.

If you believe you have been the victim of a mortgage-relief scam in California, please contact the Attorney General’s Public Inquiry Unit at http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php.
# # #

Ex-parte aplication for TRO and injunction

8 Jul

EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR OSC TRO

Pretender Lenders

2 Jul

— read and weep. Game Over. Over the next 6-12 months the entire foreclosure mess is going to be turned on its head as it becomes apparent to even the most skeptical that the mortgage mess is just that — a mess. From the time the deed was recorded to the time the assignments, powers of attorneys, notarization and other documents were fabricated and executed there is an 18 minute Nixonian gap in the record that cannot be cured. Just because you produce documents, however real they appear, does not mean you can shift the burden of proof onto the borrower. In California our legislator have attempted to slow this train wreck but the pretender lenders just go on with the foreclosure by declaring to the foreclosure trustee the borrower is in default and they have all the documents the trustee then records a false document. A notice of default filed pursuant to Section 2924 shall include a declaration from the mortgagee, beneficiary, or authorized agent that it has contacted the borrower, tried with due diligence to contact the borrower as required by this section, or the borrower has surrendered the property to the mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent.
Invalid Declaration on Notice of Default and/or Notice of Trustee’s Sale.

The purpose of permitting a declaration under penalty of perjury, in lieu of a sworn statement, is to help ensure that declarations contain a truthful factual representation and are made in good faith. (In re Marriage of Reese & Guy, 73 Cal. App. 4th 1214, 87 Cal. Rptr. 2d 339 (4th Dist. 1999).
In addition to California Civil Code §2923.5, California Code of Civil Procedure §2015.5 states:
Whenever, under any law of this state or under any rule, regulation, order or requirement made pursuant to the law of this state, any matter is required or permitted to be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the sworn statement, declaration, verification, certificate, oath, or affidavit, in writing of the person making the same, such matter may with like force and effect be supported, evidenced, established or proved by the unsworn statement, declaration, verification, or certificate, in writing of such person which recites that is certified or declared by him or her to be true under penalty of perjury, is subscribed by him or her, and (1), if executed within this state, states the date and place of execution; (2) if executed at any place, within or without this state, states the date of execution and that is so certified or declared under the laws of the State of California. The certification or declaration must be in substantially the following form:
(a) If executed within this state:
“I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct”:
_____________________ _______________________
(Date and Place) (Signature)

For our purposes we need not look any farther than the Notice of Default to find the declaration is not signed under penalty of perjury; as mandated by new Civil Code §2923.5(c). (Blum v. Superior Court (Copley Press Inc.) (2006) 141 Cal App 4th 418, 45 Cal. Reptr. 3d 902 ). The Declaration is merely a form declaration with a check box.

No Personal Knowledge of Declarant
According to Giles v. Friendly Finance Co. of Biloxi, Inc., 199 So. 2nd 265 (Miss. 1967), “an affidavit on behalf of a corporation must show that it was made by an authorized officer or agent, and the officer him or herself must swear to the facts.” Furthermore, in Giles v. County Dep’t of Public Welfare of Marion County (Ind.App. 1 Dist.1991) 579 N.E.2d 653, 654-655 states in pertinent part, “a person who verified a pleading to have personal knowledge or reasonable cause to believe the existence of the facts stated therein.” Here, the Declaration for the Notice of Default by the agent does not state if the agent has personal knowledge and how he obtained this knowledge.
The proper function of an affidavit is to state facts, not conclusions, ¹ and affidavits that merely state conclusions rather than facts are insufficient. ² An affidavit must set forth facts and show affirmatively how the affiant obtained personal knowledge of those facts. ³
Here, The Notice of Default does not have the required agent’s personal knowledge of facts and if the Plaintiff borrower was affirmatively contacted in person or by telephone
to assess the Plaintiff’s financial situation and explore options for the Plaintiff to avoid foreclosure. A simple check box next to the “facts” does not suffice.
Furthermore, “it has been said that personal knowledge of facts asserted in an affidavit is not presumed from the mere positive averment of facts, but rather, a court should be shown how the affiant knew or could have known such facts, and, if there is no evidence from which the inference of personal knowledge can be drawn, then it is
¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬____________________________________________________________________________
¹ Lindley v. Midwest Pulmonary Consultants, P.C., 55 S.W.3d 906 (Mo. Ct. App. W.D. 2001).
² Jaime v. St. Joseph Hosp. Foundation, 853 S.W.2d 604 (Tex. App. Houston 1st Dist. 1993).
³ M.G.M. Grand Hotel, Inc. v. Castro, 8 S.W.3d 403 (Tex. App. Corpus Chrisit 1999).

presumed that from which the inference of personal knowledge can be drawn, then it is presumed that such does not exist.” ¹ The declaration signed by agent does not state anywhere how he knew or could have known if Plaintiff was contacted in person or by telephone to explore different financial options. It is vague and ambiguous if he himself called plaintiff.
This defendant did not adhere to the mandates laid out by congress before a foreclosure can be considered duly perfected. The Notice of Default states,

“That by reason thereof, the present beneficiary under such deed of trust, has executed and delivered to said agent, a written Declaration of Default and Demand for same, and has deposited with said agent such Deed of Trust and all documents evidencing obligations secured thereby, and has declared and does hereby declare all sums secured thereby immediately due and payable and has elected and does hereby elect to cause the trust property to be sold to satisfy the obligations secured thereby.”

However, Defendants do not have and assignment of the deed of trust nor have they complied with 2923.5 or 2923.6 or 2924 the Deed of Trust, nor do they provide any documents evidencing obligations secured thereby. For the aforementioned reasons, the Notice of Default will be void as a matter of law. The pretender lenders a banking on the “tender defense” to save them ie. yes we did not follow the law so sue us and when you do we will claim “tender” Check Mate but that’s not the law.

Recording a False Document
Furthermore, according to California Penal Code § 115 in pertinent part:
(a) Every person who knowingly procures or offers any false or forged instrument to be filed, registered, or recorded in any public office within this state, which instrument, if genuine, might be filed, registered, or recorded under any law of this state or of the United States, is guilty of a felony.

If you say you have a claim, you must prove it. If you say you are the lender, you must prove it. Legislators take notice: Just because bankers give you money doesn’t mean they can change 1000 years of common law, statutory law and constitutional law. It just won’t fly. And if you are a legislator looking to get elected or re-elected, your failure to act on what is now an obvious need to clear title and restore the wealth of your citizens who were cheated and defrauded, will be punished by the votes of your constituents.

OHIO SLAM DUNK by Judge Morgenstern-Clarren: US BANK TRUSTEE and OCWEN Crash and Burn

30 Jun

Posted 18 hours ago by livinglies on Livinglies’s Weblog

Pretender Lenders — read and weep. Game Over. Over the next 6-12 months the entire foreclosure mess is going to be turned on its head as it becomes apparent to even the most skeptical that the mortgage mess is just that — a mess. From the time the deed was recorded to the time the assignments, powers of attorneys, notarizations and other documents were fabricated and executed there is an 18 minute Nixonian gap in the record that cannot be cured. Just because you produce documents, however real they appear, does not mean you can shift the burden of proof onto the borrower.
If you say you have a claim, you must prove it. If you say you are the lender, you must prove it.
Bottom Line: Every acquisition of residential real property that was allegedly subject to a securitized mortgage is subject to nullification whether it was by non-judicial foreclosure, judicial foreclosure, short-sale, modification or just a regular sale. Every foreclosure, short-sale or modification is subject to the same fatal flaw. Pension funds are not going to file foreclosure suits even though they are the ones who allegedly own the loans.
Legislators take notice: Just because bankers give you money doesn’t mean they can change 1000 years of common law, statutory law and constitutional law. It just won’t fly. And if you are a legislator looking to get elected or re-elected, your failure to act on what is now an obvious need to clear title and restore the wealth of your citizens who were cheated and defrauded, will be punished by the votes of your constituents.
in_re_wells_bankruptcy_oh_nd_decision_22_jun_2009

In_Re_Wells_Bankruptcy_OH_ND_Decision_22_Jun_2009
memo_20090212_Motions for Relief From Stay Update – Endorsement of Note by Alleged Attorney-in-Fact_pmc-2
memo_20080709_Additional Guidance on Motions for Relief From Stay_pmc-1
memo_20080212_Tips for How a Motion for Relief From Stay Can Proceed Smoothly Through the Court _pmc-1
memo_19980824_Motions for Relief From Stay_pmc-1

Homecomings TILA complaint GMAC

27 Jun

homecomingstila

Option One Complaint Pick a payment lawsuit

27 Jun

optionone

Win the eviction by Summary judgement

27 Jun

When title to the property is still in dispute ie. the foreclosure was bad. They (the lender)did not comply with California civil code 2923.5 or 2923.6 or 2924. Or the didn’t possess the documents to foreclose ie. the original note. Or they did not possess a proper assignment 2932.5. at trial you will be ignored by the learned judge but if you file a Motion for Summary Judgmentevans sum ud
template notice of Motion for SJ
TEMPLATE Points and A for SJ Motion
templateDeclaration for SJ
TEMPLATEProposed Order on Motion for SJ
TEMPLATEStatement of Undisputed Facts
you can force the issue and if there is a case filed in the Unlimited jurisdiction Court the judge may be forced to consider title and or consolidate the case with the Unlimited Jurisdiction Case2nd amended complaint (e) manuel
BAKER original complaint (b)
Countrywide Complaint Form
FRAUDULENT OMISSIONS FORM FINAL
sample-bank-final-complaint1-2.docx

CALIFORNIA CODES
CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
SECTION 437c-438

437c. (a) Any party may move for summary judgment in any action or
proceeding if it is contended that the action has no merit or that
there is no defense to the action or proceeding. The motion may be
made at any time after 60 days have elapsed since the general
appearance in the action or proceeding of each party against whom the
motion is directed or at any earlier time after the general
appearance that the court, with or without notice and upon good cause
shown, may direct. Notice of the motion and supporting papers shall
be served on all other parties to the action at least 75 days before
the time appointed for hearing. However, if the notice is served by
mail, the required 75-day period of notice shall be increased by five
days if the place of address is within the State of California, 10
days if the place of address is outside the State of California but
within the United States, and 20 days if the place of address is
outside the United States, and if the notice is served by facsimile
transmission, Express Mail, or another method of delivery providing
for overnight delivery, the required 75-day period of notice shall be
increased by two court days. The motion shall be heard no later than
30 days before the date of trial, unless the court for good cause
orders otherwise. The filing of the motion shall not extend the time
within which a party must otherwise file a responsive pleading.
(b) (1) The motion shall be supported by affidavits, declarations,
admissions, answers to interrogatories, depositions, and matters of
which judicial notice shall or may be taken. The supporting papers
shall include a separate statement setting forth plainly and
concisely all material facts which the moving party contends are
undisputed. Each of the material facts stated shall be followed by a
reference to the supporting evidence. The failure to comply with this
requirement of a separate statement may in the court’s discretion
constitute a sufficient ground for denial of the motion.
(2) Any opposition to the motion shall be served and filed not
less than 14 days preceding the noticed or continued date of hearing,
unless the court for good cause orders otherwise. The opposition,
where appropriate, shall consist of affidavits, declarations,
admissions, answers to interrogatories, depositions, and matters of
which judicial notice shall or may be taken.
(3) The opposition papers shall include a separate statement that
responds to each of the material facts contended by the moving party
to be undisputed, indicating whether the opposing party agrees or
disagrees that those facts are undisputed. The statement also shall
set forth plainly and concisely any other material facts that the
opposing party contends are disputed. Each material fact contended by
the opposing party to be disputed shall be followed by a reference
to the supporting evidence. Failure to comply with this requirement
of a separate statement may constitute a sufficient ground, in the
court’s discretion, for granting the motion.
(4) Any reply to the opposition shall be served and filed by the
moving party not less than five days preceding the noticed or
continued date of hearing, unless the court for good cause orders
otherwise.
(5) Evidentiary objections not made at the hearing shall be deemed
waived.
(6) Except for subdivision (c) of Section 1005 relating to the
method of service of opposition and reply papers, Sections 1005 and
1013, extending the time within which a right may be exercised or an
act may be done, do not apply to this section.
(7) Any incorporation by reference of matter in the court’s file
shall set forth with specificity the exact matter to which reference
is being made and shall not incorporate the entire file.
(c) The motion for summary judgment shall be granted if all the
papers submitted show that there is no triable issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as
a matter of law. In determining whether the papers show that there is
no triable issue as to any material fact the court shall consider
all of the evidence set forth in the papers, except that to which
objections have been made and sustained by the court, and all
inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence, except summary
judgment may not be granted by the court based on inferences
reasonably deducible from the evidence, if contradicted by other
inferences or evidence, which raise a triable issue as to any
material fact.
(d) Supporting and opposing affidavits or declarations shall be
made by any person on personal knowledge, shall set forth admissible
evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent
to testify to the matters stated in the affidavits or declarations.
Any objections based on the failure to comply with the requirements
of this subdivision shall be made at the hearing or shall be deemed
waived.
(e) If a party is otherwise entitled to a summary judgment
pursuant to this section, summary judgment may not be denied on
grounds of credibility or for want of cross-examination of witnesses
furnishing affidavits or declarations in support of the summary
judgment, except that summary judgment may be denied in the
discretion of the court, where the only proof of a material fact
offered in support of the summary judgment is an affidavit or
declaration made by an individual who was the sole witness to that
fact; or where a material fact is an individual’s state of mind, or
lack thereof, and that fact is sought to be established solely by the
individual’s affirmation thereof.
(f) (1) A party may move for summary adjudication as to one or
more causes of action within an action, one or more affirmative
defenses, one or more claims for damages, or one or more issues of
duty, if that party contends that the cause of action has no merit or
that there is no affirmative defense thereto, or that there is no
merit to an affirmative defense as to any cause of action, or both,
or that there is no merit to a claim for damages, as specified in
Section 3294 of the Civil Code, or that one or more defendants either
owed or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff or plaintiffs. A motion
for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely
disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for
damages, or an issue of duty.
(2) A motion for summary adjudication may be made by itself or as
an alternative to a motion for summary judgment and shall proceed in
all procedural respects as a motion for summary judgment. However, a
party may not move for summary judgment based on issues asserted in a
prior motion for summary adjudication and denied by the court,
unless that party establishes to the satisfaction of the court, newly
discovered facts or circumstances or a change of law supporting the
issues reasserted in the summary judgment motion.
(g) Upon the denial of a motion for summary judgment, on the
ground that there is a triable issue as to one or more material
facts, the court shall, by written or oral order, specify one or more
material facts raised by the motion as to which the court has
determined there exists a triable controversy. This determination
shall specifically refer to the evidence proffered in support of and
in opposition to the motion which indicates that a triable
controversy exists. Upon the grant of a motion for summary judgment,
on the ground that there is no triable issue of material fact, the
court shall, by written or oral order, specify the reasons for its
determination. The order shall specifically refer to the evidence
proffered in support of, and if applicable in opposition to, the
motion which indicates that no triable issue exists. The court shall
also state its reasons for any other determination. The court shall
record its determination by court reporter or written order.
(h) If it appears from the affidavits submitted in opposition to a
motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication or both that
facts essential to justify opposition may exist but cannot, for
reasons stated, then be presented, the court shall deny the motion,
or order a continuance to permit affidavits to be obtained or
discovery to be had or may make any other order as may be just. The
application to continue the motion to obtain necessary discovery may
also be made by ex parte motion at any time on or before the date the
opposition response to the motion is due.
(i) If, after granting a continuance to allow specified additional
discovery, the court determines that the party seeking summary
judgment has unreasonably failed to allow the discovery to be
conducted, the court shall grant a continuance to permit the
discovery to go forward or deny the motion for summary judgment or
summary adjudication. This section does not affect or limit the
ability of any party to compel discovery under the Civil Discovery
Act (Title 4 (commencing with Section 2016.010) of Part 4).
(j) If the court determines at any time that any of the affidavits
are presented in bad faith or solely for purposes of delay, the
court shall order the party presenting the affidavits to pay the
other party the amount of the reasonable expenses which the filing of
the affidavits caused the other party to incur. Sanctions may not be
imposed pursuant to this subdivision, except on notice contained in
a party’s papers, or on the court’s own noticed motion, and after an
opportunity to be heard.
(k) Except when a separate judgment may properly be awarded in the
action, no final judgment may be entered on a motion for summary
judgment prior to the termination of the action, but the final
judgment shall, in addition to any matters determined in the action,
award judgment as established by the summary proceeding herein
provided for.
(l) In actions which arise out of an injury to the person or to
property, if a motion for summary judgment was granted on the basis
that the defendant was without fault, no other defendant during
trial, over plaintiff’s objection, may attempt to attribute fault to
or comment on the absence or involvement of the defendant who was
granted the motion.
(m) (1) A summary judgment entered under this section is an
appealable judgment as in other cases. Upon entry of any order
pursuant to this section, except the entry of summary judgment, a
party may, within 20 days after service upon him or her of a written
notice of entry of the order, petition an appropriate reviewing court
for a peremptory writ. If the notice is served by mail, the initial
period within which to file the petition shall be increased by five
days if the place of address is within the State of California, 10
days if the place of address is outside the State of California but
within the United States, and 20 days if the place of address is
outside the United States. If the notice is served by facsimile
transmission, Express Mail, or another method of delivery providing
for overnight delivery, the initial period within which to file the
petition shall be increased by two court days. The superior court
may, for good cause, and prior to the expiration of the initial
period, extend the time for one additional period not to exceed 10
days.
(2) Before a reviewing court affirms an order granting summary
judgment or summary adjudication on a ground not relied upon by the
trial court, the reviewing court shall afford the parties an
opportunity to present their views on the issue by submitting
supplemental briefs. The supplemental briefing may include an
argument that additional evidence relating to that ground exists, but
that the party has not had an adequate opportunity to present the
evidence or to conduct discovery on the issue. The court may reverse
or remand based upon the supplemental briefing to allow the parties
to present additional evidence or to conduct discovery on the issue.
If the court fails to allow supplemental briefing, a rehearing shall
be ordered upon timely petition of any party.
(n) (1) If a motion for summary adjudication is granted, at the
trial of the action, the cause or causes of action within the action,
affirmative defense or defenses, claim for damages, or issue or
issues of duty as to the motion which has been granted shall be
deemed to be established and the action shall proceed as to the cause
or causes of action, affirmative defense or defenses, claim for
damages, or issue or issues of duty remaining.
(2) In the trial of the action, the fact that a motion for summary
adjudication is granted as to one or more causes of action,
affirmative defenses, claims for damages, or issues of duty within
the action shall not operate to bar any cause of action, affirmative
defense, claim for damages, or issue of duty as to which summary
adjudication was either not sought or denied.
(3) In the trial of an action, neither a party, nor a witness, nor
the court shall comment upon the grant or denial of a motion for
summary adjudication to a jury.
(o) A cause of action has no merit if either of the following
exists:
(1) One or more of the elements of the cause of action cannot be
separately established, even if that element is separately pleaded.
(2) A defendant establishes an affirmative defense to that cause
of action.
(p) For purposes of motions for summary judgment and summary
adjudication:
(1) A plaintiff or cross-complainant has met his or her burden of
showing that there is no defense to a cause of action if that party
has proved each element of the cause of action entitling the party to
judgment on that cause of action. Once the plaintiff or
cross-complainant has met that burden, the burden shifts to the
defendant or cross-defendant to show that a triable issue of one or
more material facts exists as to that cause of action or a defense
thereto. The defendant or cross-defendant may not rely upon the mere
allegations or denials of its pleadings to show that a triable issue
of material fact exists but, instead, shall set forth the specific
facts showing that a triable issue of material fact exists as to that
cause of action or a defense thereto.
(2) A defendant or cross-defendant has met his or her burden of
showing that a cause of action has no merit if that party has shown
that one or more elements of the cause of action, even if not
separately pleaded, cannot be established, or that there is a
complete defense to that cause of action. Once the defendant or
cross-defendant has met that burden, the burden shifts to the
plaintiff or cross-complainant to show that a triable issue of one or
more material facts exists as to that cause of action or a defense
thereto. The plaintiff or cross-complainant may not rely upon the
mere allegations or denials of its pleadings to show that a triable
issue of material fact exists but, instead, shall set forth the
specific facts showing that a triable issue of material fact exists
as to that cause of action or a defense thereto.
(q) This section does not extend the period for trial provided by
Section 1170.5.
(r) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to actions brought
pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 1159) of Title 3 of
Part 3.
(s) For the purposes of this section, a change in law does not
include a later enacted statute without retroactive application.

438. (a) As used in this section:
(1) “Complaint” includes a cross-complaint.
(2) “Plaintiff” includes a cross-complainant.
(3) “Defendant” includes a cross-defendant.
(b) (1) A party may move for judgment on the pleadings.
(2) The court may upon its own motion grant a motion for judgment
on the pleadings.
(c) (1) The motion provided for in this section may only be made
on one of the following grounds:
(A) If the moving party is a plaintiff, that the complaint states
facts sufficient to constitute a cause or causes of action against
the defendant and the answer does not state facts sufficient to
constitute a defense to the complaint.
(B) If the moving party is a defendant, that either of the
following conditions exist:
(i) The court has no jurisdiction of the subject of the cause of
action alleged in the complaint.
(ii) The complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a
cause of action against that defendant.
(2) The motion provided for in this section may be made as to
either of the following:
(A) The entire complaint or cross-complaint or as to any of the
causes of action stated therein.
(B) The entire answer or one or more of the affirmative defenses
set forth in the answer.
(3) If the court on its own motion grants the motion for judgment
on the pleadings, it shall be on one of the following bases:
(A) If the motion is granted in favor of the plaintiff, it shall
be based on the grounds that the complaint states facts sufficient to
constitute a cause or causes of action against the defendant and the
answer does not state facts sufficient to constitute a defense to
the complaint.
(B) If the motion is granted in favor of the defendant, that
either of the following conditions exist:
(i) The court has no jurisdiction of the subject of the cause of
action alleged in the complaint.
(ii) The complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a
cause of action against that defendant.
(d) The grounds for motion provided for in this section shall
appear on the face of the challenged pleading or from any matter of
which the court is required to take judicial notice. Where the motion
is based on a matter of which the court may take judicial notice
pursuant to Section 452 or 453 of the Evidence Code, the matter shall
be specified in the notice of motion, or in the supporting points
and authorities, except as the court may otherwise permit.
(e) No motion may be made pursuant to this section if a pretrial
conference order has been entered pursuant to Section 575, or within
30 days of the date the action is initially set for trial, whichever
is later, unless the court otherwise permits.
(f) The motion provided for in this section may be made only after
one of the following conditions has occurred:
(1) If the moving party is a plaintiff, and the defendant has
already filed his or her answer to the complaint and the time for the
plaintiff to demur to the answer has expired.
(2) If the moving party is a defendant, and the defendant has
already filed his or her answer to the complaint and the time for the
defendant to demur to the complaint has expired.
(g) The motion provided for in this section may be made even
though either of the following conditions exist:
(1) The moving party has already demurred to the complaint or
answer, as the case may be, on the same grounds as is the basis for
the motion provided for in this section and the demurrer has been
overruled, provided that there has been a material change in
applicable case law or statute since the ruling on the demurrer.
(2) The moving party did not demur to the complaint or answer, as
the case may be, on the same grounds as is the basis for the motion
provided for in this section.
(h) (1) The motion provided for in this section may be granted
with or without leave to file an amended complaint or answer, as the
case may be.
(2) Where a motion is granted pursuant to this section with leave
to file an amended complaint or answer, as the case may be, then the
court shall grant 30 days to the party against whom the motion was
granted to file an amended complaint or answer, as the case may be.
(3) If the motion is granted with respect to the entire complaint
or answer without leave to file an amended complaint or answer, as
the case may be, then judgment shall be entered forthwith in
accordance with the motion granting judgment to the moving party.
(4) If the motion is granted with leave to file an amended
complaint or answer, as the case may be, then the following
procedures shall be followed:
(A) If an amended complaint is filed after the time to file an
amended complaint has expired, then the court may strike the
complaint pursuant to Section 436 and enter judgment in favor of that
defendant against that plaintiff or a plaintiff.
(B) If an amended answer is filed after the time to file an
amended answer has expired, then the court may strike the answer
pursuant to Section 436 and proceed to enter judgment in favor of
that plaintiff and against that defendant or a defendant.
(C) Except where subparagraphs (A) and (B) apply, if the motion is
granted with respect to the entire complaint or answer with leave to
file an amended complaint or answer, as the case may be, but an
amended complaint or answer is not filed, then after the time to file
an amended complaint or answer, as the case may be, has expired,
judgment shall be entered forthwith in favor of the moving party.
(i) (1) Where a motion for judgment on the pleadings is granted
with leave to amend, the court shall not enter a judgment in favor of
a party until the following proceedings are had:
(A) If an amended pleading is filed and the moving party contends
that pleading is filed after the time to file an amended pleading has
expired or that the pleading is in violation of the court’s prior
ruling on the motion, then that party shall move to strike the
pleading and enter judgment in its favor.
(B) If no amended pleading is filed, then the party shall move for
entry of judgment in its favor.
(2) All motions made pursuant to this subdivision shall be made
pursuant to Section 1010.
(3) At the hearing on the motion provided for in this subdivision,
the court shall determine whether to enter judgment in favor of a
particular party.

What is worse bankruptcy or foreclosure?

25 Jun

So what is worse, bankruptcy or foreclosure? Which will have the biggest impact on my credit score? Both bankruptcy and foreclosure will have serious negative affects on your personal credit report and your credit score as well. With re-established credit after a bankruptcy and/or foreclosure you can possibly qualify for a good mortgage once again in as little as 24 months. Therefore, it is very difficult to say one is worse than the other, but the bottom line is that they are both very bad for you and should be avoided if all possible.

Foreclosure is worse then bankruptcy because you are actually losing something of value, your home. Once you are in foreclosure you will lose any and all equity in your home. If there is no equity in the home you will be responsible for the remaining balance after the property auction. With chapter 7 bankruptcy all of your unsecured debts are erased and you start over and in most cases you will not lose anything other then your credit rating.

Many times qualifying for a mortgage after a foreclosure is more difficult than applying for a home after a bankruptcy. With that said, that could possibly lead you to believe that foreclosure is worse than bankruptcy. Most people who have a home foreclosed upon end up filing bankruptcy as well.

Bankruptcy and Foreclosure filings are public records, however no one would know about your proceedings under normal circumstances. The Credit Bureaus will record your bankruptcy and a foreclosure. Bankruptcies will remain on your credit record for 10 years while foreclosures can stay on your report for up to 7 years.

In some cases, one can refinance out of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy with a 12 month trustee payment history and a timely mortgage history. It is much more difficult to obtain financing with a foreclosure on your record.

Foreclosure is worse because of the loss of value. You will not receive any compensation for the equity in your home if it proceeds to foreclosure.

Standing argument

7 Jun

judge-youngs-decision-on-nosek

Ameriquest’s final argument, that the sanctions are a
criminal penalty, is bereft of authority. Ameriquest cites F.J.
Hanshaw Enterprises, Inc. v. Emerald River Development, Inc., 244
F.3d 1128 (9th Cir. 2001), a case about inherent powers – not
Rule 11 –

This is an excerpt from the decision just this bloggers note the Hanshaw Case was my case. I argued this case at the 9th circuit court of appeals

http://openjurist.org/244/f3d/1128/fj-v-emeraldfj-v-emerald

If you will grasp the implications of this judge-youngs-decision-on-nosekdecision all or most all the evictions and  foreclosures are being litigated by the wrong parties that is to say parties who have no real stake in the outcome. they are merely servicers not the real investors. They do not have the right to foreclose or evict. No assignment No note No security interest No standing They do not want to be listed anywhere. They (the lenders) have caused the greatest damage to the American Citizen since the great depression and they do not want to be exposed or named in countless lawsuits. Time and time again I get from the judges in demurer hearings ” I see what you are saying counsel but your claim does not appear to be against this defendant” the unnamed investment pool of the Lehman Brothers shared High yield equity Fund trustee does not exist and so far can’t be sued.

Exponential Usury On Wall Street

24 May

By Edward W. Miller, MD

Thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion, and thou hast forgotten me saith the Lord.” – Ezekiel 22:12 (King James Version)

And Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple and turned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, ‘It is written, ‘My house show be called a house of prayer'; but you make it a den of robbers.'” -Matthew 21: 12

AS for our economy, the ongoing failure of millions of “sub-prime” mortgages with 9 million threatened foreclosures across the country, the increasing reported lack of “affordable housing”, along with a consumer debt of $2.52 trillion, and a major economic recession stretching across the industrial world comes as no surprise to those who have watched Congress, again and again surrender to Wall Street lobbying over the past half century. The first major slide downhill took place on June 23rd, 1947, when a newly elected Republican Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act over president Truman’s veto. The results of this assault on American labor appeared gradually over the years. Beginning in 1972, statistics show that wages were already falling below the costs of living for the American middle class.

The present huge pyramid of debt, both public and private was made possible by the weakening of labor’s political input plus thirty years of Congress’ relentless deregulation of our financial markets, culminating, during the Clinton Administration, in the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which Act had prohibited banks from dealing in high-risk securities. In effect, Washington supposed regulators had become passive enablers to Wall Street’s financial binge drinkers.

As columnist Robert Scheer pointed out (March 12th SF Chronicle): “The Clinton-backed Gramm-Leach-Baily Act of 1999 called the “Financial Services Modernization Act,” permitted banks, stock brokers, and insurance companies to merge and was exacerbated by Bush’s appointment of rapacious corporate foxes to watch the corporate hen house.” They will take care of their own…Their action was made possible only by the federal government’s using our tax dollars to pick up the bad debt of the banks.”

President Signs Mortgage Bills

20 May

Carrie Bay | 05.20.09

President Barack Obama signed two housing bills into law on Wednesday afternoon – one that provides additional foreclosure relief and a second that targets mortgage fraud and other criminal activity related to federal assistance programs. The Helping Families Save Their Home Act will make vital changes to the Hope for Homeowners (H4H) program to encourage servicers to employ the plan as a means to help underwater homeowners under the administration’s Making Home Affordable program.

The bill also includes a servicer safe haven to provide lenders with liability protections from investors for the mortgage modifications they make. It provides for an additional $130 million to fund foreclosure prevention efforts, such as counseling and education, and establishes foreclosure protections for renters. In addition, the new law more than triples the FDIC’s line of credit with the Treasury to $100 billion – a measure intended to rebuild the agency’s depleted insurance fund while keeping lenders’ depository insurance fees at a minimum.

The act also permanently raises the insurance cap on individual bank accounts from $100,000 to $250,000.

The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) grants new resources to help fight financial fraud and address the rapid rise in mortgage and foreclosure rescue scams. The legislation provides nearly $500 million for the investigation and prosecution of such criminal activity – a move that John A. Courson, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) called “imperative in protecting vulnerable consumers as well as protecting the integrity of our housing finance system.” Of the funds provided under FERA, the majority will be allocated to the hiring of fraud prosecutors and investigators at the Justice Department and to increasing the number of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents devoted to mortgage fraud.

The money will also be used to expand the staff of the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Justice Department’s criminal, civil, and tax divisions. In addition, the legislation, for the first time, expands federal fraud statutes to also apply to independent mortgage companies and mortgage brokers that are not regulated or insured by the government.

Using the countrywide complaint in your own case

9 May

Using the countrywide complaint in your own casecounrtrywidelanderscomplaintand countrywidelanders and word versionsCountrywide attorney general Complaint Form and templetsCountrywide Complaint Form

Toxic Corpus no note no corpus

8 May

In a trust (all trusts) there is a grantor/trustor, Trustee and a Beneficiary/investor. Right? Well, there is one more vital element you need for every trust that most people do not look at. You always need a “corpus” or a body of the trust. Right?

Well, sit down! Take a deep breath and keep reading: A transaction that uses a ‘deed of trust’ involves a trust. There is a ‘grantor/trustor’, a ‘trustee’, a ‘beneficiary/investor’ . Please tell me what the ‘corpus’ IS for this type of a trust? Most people think it is the property—but hold on—it isn’t–the property has a deed to it and the deed to the property is ONLY used as security for the real corpus–the Promissory Note! And–that is why they call these notes “Toxic Assets”. Without the Promissory Note (asset and corpus) there CANNOT be a valid trust. Without a valid trust–there is no longer need for any security called the ‘deed of trust’. RIGHT?

This is soooo simple that it is overlooked by EVERYONE—but it IS the law!!! They NEVER talked about trust law in a fight with a deed of trust and foreclosure–but that is because the TRUSTOR/GRANTOR does not bring it up. It is the job of the Trustor/Grantor to bring this up, that the Trust does NOT exist any longer because the corpus of the trust IS NOT THERE!

Let me know your thoughts on this.

Doan on “produce the Note”

3 May

Are Courts in California Truly Limited by Non-Judicial Foreclosure Statutes?

By Michael Doan on May 2, 2009 in Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosure News

Recently, many California Courts have been dismissing lawsuits filed to stop non-judicial foreclosures, ruling that the non-judicial foreclosure statutes occupy the field and are exclusive as long as they are complied with. Thus, in the case where a notice of default is recorded and a lawsuit then filed in response to stop the foreclosure since the foreclosing party does not possess the underlying note, all too often the Court will simply dismiss the case and claim “2924 has no requirement to produce the note.”

Thus, these Courts view the statutes that regulate non-judicial foreclosures as all inclusive of all the requirements and remedies in foreclosure proceedings. Indeed, California Civil Code sections 2924 through 2924k provide a comprehensive framework for the regulation of a nonjudicial foreclosure sale pursuant to a power of sale contained in a deed of trust. This comprehensive statutory scheme has three purposes: ‘“(1) to provide the creditor/beneficiary with a quick, inexpensive and efficient remedy against a defaulting debtor/trustor; (2) to protect the debtor/trustor from wrongful loss of the property; and (3) to ensure that a properly conducted sale is final between the parties and conclusive as to a bona fide purchaser.” [Citations.]’ [Citation.]” (Melendrez v. D & I Investment, Inc. (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 1238, 1249–1250 [26 Cal. Rptr. 3d 413].)

Notwithstanding, the foreclosure statutes are not exclusive. If someone commits murder during an auction taking place under Civil Code 2924, that does not automatically mean they are immune from criminal and civil liability. Perhaps this is where some of these courts are “missing the boat.”

For example, in Alliance Mortgage Co. v. Rothwell (1995) 10 Cal. 4th 1226, 1231 [44 Cal. Rptr. 2d 352, 900 P.2d 601], the California Supreme Court concluded that a lender who obtained the property with a full credit bid at a foreclosure sale was not precluded from suing a third party who had fraudulently induced it to make the loan. The court concluded that “ ‘the antideficiency laws were not intended to immunize wrongdoers from the consequences of their fraudulent acts’ ” and that, if the court applies a proper measure of damages, “ ‘fraud suits do not frustrate the antideficiency policies because there should be no double recovery for the beneficiary.’ ” (Id. at p. 1238.)

Likewise, in South Bay Building Enterprises, Inc. v. Riviera Lend-Lease, Inc. [*1071] (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 1111, 1121 [85 Cal. Rptr. 2d 647], the court held that a junior lienor retains the right to recover damages from the trustee and the beneficiary of the foreclosing lien if there have been material irregularities in the conduct of the foreclosure sale. (See also Melendrez v. D & I Investment, Inc., supra, 127 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1257–1258; Lo v. Jensen (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 1093, 1095 [106 Cal. Rptr. 2d 443] [a trustee's sale tainted by fraud may be set aside].)

In looking past the comprehensive statutory framework, these other Courts also considered the policies advanced by the statutory scheme, and whether those policies would be frustrated by other laws. Recently, in the case of California Golf, L.L.C. v. Cooper, 163 Cal. App. 4th 1053, 78 Cal. Rptr. 3d 153, 2008 Cal. App. LEXIS 850 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 2008), the Appellate Court held that the remedies of 2924h were not exclusive. Of greater importance is that the Appellate Court reversed the lower court and specifically held that provisions in UCC Article 3 were allowed in the foreclosure context:

Considering the policy interests advanced by the statutory scheme governing nonjudicial foreclosure sales, and the policy interests advanced by Commercial Code section 3312, it is clear that allowing a remedy under the latter does not undermine the former. Indeed, the two remedies are complementary and advance the same goals. The first two goals of the nonjudicial foreclosure statutes: (1) to provide the creditor/beneficiary with a quick, inexpensive and efficient remedy against a defaulting debtor/trustor and (2) to protect the debtor/trustor from a wrongful loss of the property, are not impacted by the decision that we reach. This case most certainly, however, involves the third policy interest: to ensure that a properly conducted sale is final between the parties and conclusive as to a bona fide purchaser.

This is very significant since it provides further support to lawsuits brought against foreclosing parties lacking the ability to enforce the underlying note, since those laws also arise under Article 3. Under California Commercial Code 3301, a note may only be enforced if one has actual possession of the note as a holder, or has possession of the note not as a non-holder but with holder rights.

Just like in California Golf, enforcing 3301 operates to protect the debtor/trustor from a wrongful loss of the property. To the extent that a foreclosing party might argue that such lawsuits disrupt a quick, inexpensive, and efficient remedy against a defaulting debtor/trustor, the response is that “since there is no enforceable obligation, the foreclosing entity is not a party/creditor/beneficiary entitled to a quick, inexpensive, and efficient remedy,” but simply a declarant that recorded false documents.

This is primarily because being entitled to foreclose non-judicially under 2924 can only take place “after a breach of the obligation for which that mortgage or transfer is a security.” Thus, 2924 by its own terms, looks outside of the statute to the actual obligation to see if there was a breach, and if the note is unenforceable under Article 3, there can simply be no breach. End of story.

Accordingly, if there is no possession of the note or possession was not obtained until after the notice of sale was recorded, it is impossible to trigger 2924, and simple compliance with the notice requirements in 2924 does not suddenly bless the felony of grand theft of the unknown foreclosing entity. To hold otherwise would create absurd results since it would allow any person or company the right to take another persons’ home by simply recording a false notice of default and notice of sale.

Indeed, such absurdity would allow you to foreclose on your own home again to get it back should you simply record the same false documents. Thus it is obvious that these courts improperly assume the allegations contained in the notice of default and notice of sale are truthful. Perhaps these courts simply can not or choose not to believe such frauds are taking place due to the magnitude and volume of foreclosures in this Country at this time. One can only image the chaos that would ensue in America if the truth is known that millions of foreclosures took place unlawfully and millions more are now on hold as a result of not having the ability to enforce the underlying obligation pursuant to Article 3.

So if you are in litigation to stop a foreclosure, you can probably expect the Court will want to immediately dismiss your case. These Courts just can not understand how the law would allow someone to stay in a home without paying. Notwithstanding, laws can not be broken, and Courts are not allowed to join with the foreclosing parties in breaking laws simply because “not paying doesn’t seem right.”

Accordingly, at least for appeal purposes, be sure to argue that 2924 was never triggered since there was never any “breach of the obligation” and that Appellate Courts throughout California have routinely held that other laws do in fact apply in the non-judicial foreclosure process since the policies advanced by the statutory non-judicial foreclosure scheme are not frustrated by these other laws.

Sample complaint template

26 Apr

this is the type of complaint to get the lender to the table sample-bank-final-complaint1-2

FORECLOSURE DEFENSE: CALIFORNIA SOMETIMES IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

25 Apr

As I continue through this journey through the maze created by lenders, investment bankers, title agents and closing/escrow agents I keep discovering things that end up being quite interesting.

For example: In California the requirements for posting Notice of sale are very clear and yet, I am told that they are routinely ignored. This would invalidate the notice of sale on the most basic of concepts “notice,” by definition and therefore could be attacked at any time as a defect of service and jurisdiction while at the same time bring your claims under TILA, usury, identity theft, fraud, etc. California requires public and private posting as do most other states. The public part is what they ordinarily ignore. see notice-of-the-sale-thereof-shall-be-given-by-posting-a-written-notice

With the new law changes Civil code 2923.5  that became effective Sept 6, 2008 it adds more procedures that are routinely not followed ie. a Declaration must be attached and recorded that recites that the lender has met and assessed the borrowers financial condition and made alternatives to forclosure ie. modification. First they don’t do it and second the declaration is not even under penalty of pujury. So on its face the sale could be set aside.

After the notice of default the lender routinely switches trustee’s and records a Substitution of trustee with an affidavit that is not under penalty of perjury. Again the sale could be set aside for this.

For example. MERS, whose legal status is dubious at best anyway inasmuch as it plainly violates the recording requirements of every state and which supposedly has not one but multiple corporate entities, one of which has been suspended from operation in California, is subject to specific instructions as to what to do with the “master Deed of Trust and what to do with the individual deed of trust, the procedures, language to be inserted etc. These too I am told are routinely ignored especially when it comes to (a) showing that you have provided a copy of the Master Deed of Trust and (b) having the proof as specifically required in the FNMA/Freddie instruction sheet.

As stated in my other posts, the entire MERS concept causes, in my opinion, a separation between the alleged security instrument and provisions, the Trustee’s authority and the note, all of which end up being different people who were all “real parties in interest” receiving fees and value not disclosed in the GFE or settlement statement. In all these closings the borrower is subjected to a series of documents that hide the true nature of the transaction, the true source of funds, the true lender, and the application of funds contrary to the terms of the note.

All of these new requirements create questions of fact, that if not correct, create a method to set aside the sale by way of court action. I guess that’s the point the lenders trustees and servicers are banking on the victims not fighting it.

Borrowers’ Defenses to Forclosure

19 Apr

A great source of information you can use, and since the Guy is in Washington I can give him all the credit
defensestoforeclosure

Doan deal 2

18 Apr

Mortgage Chaos? Add a Bankruptcy and its a Recipe for Disaster! Part II

My last article laid out the framework for the bankruptcy real estate cocktail. This article will attempt to predict how that cocktail will be served and its ramifications. Remember, this recipe for disaster requires two things: a “Non-Perfected” Mortgage and a Bankruptcy.

So far, about 70 to 80% of the mortgages I see in local Bankruptcy cases here in the Southern District of California Bankruptcy Court appear to be non-perfected. Despite my continued requests to the mortgage companies to produce either proof they possess the underlying note or proof of a recorded assignment, I have received neither. Instead I get the run around, “Yes we have the original note. Really, can I see? Actually no, I thought we had the original, but we have a copy…………Yes we have the assignment. Really, can I see? Sure, here you go. But that was not recorded. Oh…….” Its the same song and dance. So what becomes of this?

Chapter 7: The trustee will most likely put on his “544 hat” and now “strip the lien off the house.”

When he does this, he creates an unencumbered piece of real estate in most cases, with the exception of a small amount of past taxes and HOA fees remaining as liens on the property. The property is then sold and net profits held in trust. A notice is then sent to the creditors of the bankruptcy to submit a claim if they want to get paid.

The claims are then reviewed, and paid pro-rata or objected to with the Bankruptcy Court issuing the final ruling. The Claims process is a complex area too lengthy to discuss for this Blog, but suffice to say, many claims will be objected to as well, since most credit card debt and collection agents have similar problems in proving they too own their debts. Moreover, you might ask what happens to the mortgage lien which has now become a large unsecured debt? It might be paid, provided they can prove they own the note. However, it also may not. There is a Bankruptcy Code section, 11 USC 502(d) which states that a creditor may not be able to share in the distribution if they did not give up there lien when requested by the trustee under 544. So, it could be that any remaining monies may even go back to the debtor if the new unsecured mortgage claim is disallowed! But this remains a grey area, and time will tell.

But what if the debtor wants to keep the house? No problem. Time to make a deal with the trustee. Suppose that the House was bought for $650,000 in 2006 with 100% financing and now is worth $500,000. The debtor is negative $150,000 in equity. Upside Down! Now lets say a bankruptcy is filed. The Mortgage Note was not perfected so Bankruptcy Trustee avoids the lien. Now he has this $500,000 piece of real estate that he wants to sell, but the debtor wants to keep it. So the debtor makes an offer of $430,000 to keep the house and the Trustee agrees. Trustee agrees since he would only net $430,000 anyways after costs of sale, attorney fees, marketing, etc. Debtor gets the $430,000 from a new loan he might qualify for, have cosigned, or have a family member engage their credit. Trustee then takes the $430,000 and distributes to creditors, which include the debtor’

s non-dischargeable taxes, non-dischargeable child support obligations, and non-dischargeable student loans.

Wow! Lets get this straight: Mortgage reduced from $650,000 to $430,000, and over $100,000 in non-dischargeable bankruptcy debt consisting of student loans, taxes, and support obligations also paid, and all other debt wiped out? Sounds like the lemon just turned into lemonade! Also, time to also read the blog on why the credit score is much better after bankruptcy than before now.

Chapter 13: In Chapter 13, the Trustee does not liquidate assets. Instead, he administers a three to five year plan by distributing the monthly payments from the debtor to the creditors, and the avoidance powers of the Chapter 7 Trustee are given to the Debtor(at least here in the Ninth Circuit….western states in the US). This includes the power to remove unperfected liens such as unperfected mortgages.

So now the debtor can remove the mortgage just like a Chapter 7 Trustee.

But that might be a problem. The Chapter 13 Trustee may object now to the bankruptcy since the debtor has too many assets. Well, as discussed above, time to get another smaller mortgage, pay that money into the Chapter 13 plan, and again pay off the non-dischargeable debt. Even better, if not all the creditors filed claims, the money then reverts to the debtor!

In the alternative, the simple threat of litigating the issues to remove the mortgage sure makes for a great negotiating tool to deal with the lender and rewrite the mortgage…..knocking off possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars and also lowering the interest rate substantially.

Involuntary Bankruptcies? Is there such a thing? Unfortunately, YES. And this could be very problematic. If several creditors are owed substantial sums of money, say a SBA Loan, large Medical Bill, or even large credit cards, they could petition the court for an involuntary bankruptcy. The debtor has no control to stop it. Next thing the debtor knows, he is in a bankruptcy and all the property is being liquidated, less the property allowed by exemption law. Then steps up the Chapter 7 Trustee and discovers that the Mortgage is not perfected. Well, there goes the house now! Or does it?

Once again, a smart debtor would argue to the trustee that he will get a loan to pay the trustee as discussed above. Problem solved, and what appears to be disaster at first, may be a blessing in disguise. The debtor keeps his home with a much smaller mortgage and removes non-dischargeable debts. He is better off now than before, even though he did not want this!

So the Recipe for Disaster appears to only affect the Mortgage Companies. They are the losing parties here, and rightly so for getting sloppy…..attempting to save $14 per loan times thousands of loans. Why didn’t they compute losing hundreds of thousands of dollars per loan times thousands of loans? Couldn’

t they connect the dots? No…..like I said, lots of smart Real Estate Attorneys and lots of smart Bankruptcy Attorneys, but not too many Bankruptcy Real Estate Attorneys and none of them worked for the Mortgage industry.

But everyone else now seems to win. The debtor reduces his mortgage, gets a better interest rate, and eliminates the rest of his debts. The trustee makes a healthy profit on distributing such a large dividend to creditors. And the creditors who obey the law now share in a large dividend.

Of course, all the forgoing is Brand New. It has not been done yet in any cases I am aware of. But since talking with other Bankruptcy Attorneys across the Nation for the past couple weeks, its starting to catch on. I’

m told a few trustees back east have started this procedure now. And just today, I get an announcement from our local Chapter 7 Trustee that he is making new requirements concerning producing documents in all cases before him so that he can start avoiding these liens. Coincidentally, this also comes after three of our Local Bankruptcy Judges started denying relief to Mortgage Creditors when coming before the Bankruptcy Court during the past week! Its brand new…but catching on like wildfire.

Housing Bubble? Mortgage Bubble? Well now it’

s a Housing Mortgage Bubble disaster about to happen in Bankruptcy Court. Congress was not able to reform the predatory lending abuses. The Lenders certainly do not seem interested in workout programs. I guess its time for a Bankruptcy Cocktail!

Written by Attorney Michael G. Doan

90 days plus 90 foreclosure law

5 Apr

B. 90-DAY EXTENSION TO FORECLOSURE PROCESS
Q 83. What, in a nutshell, is the new law extending the foreclosure process by 90 days?
A Under the new California Foreclosure Prevention Act, lenders foreclosing on certain loans are prohibited from giving a notice of sale until the lapse of at least 3 months plus 90 days after the filing of the notice of default (see Question 88). A loan servicer can obtain an exemption from this requirement by demonstrating that it has a comprehensive loan modification program (see Questions 89 to 94).
Q 84. What is the purpose of this law?
A The purpose of this law is to try to stem the tide of foreclosures and their adverse consequences by providing additional time for lenders to work out loan modifications with borrowers as well as creating an incentive for lenders to establish comprehensive loan modification programs.
Q 85. When will this law be in effect?
A This bill was enacted into law on February 20, 2009 along with the state budget. Its provisions take effect on or about March 16, 2009.
More specifically, the law states that the appropriate commissioners must adopt regulations to carry out this law within 10 days of its enactment (see Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(d)), which would be by March 2, 2009. The law also states that it will become operative 14 days after the issuance of such regulations (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.52(d)), which would be on or about March 16, 2009.
This law will stay in effect only until January 1, 2011 at which time it will be repealed, unless it is deleted or extended by statute (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.52(d)).
Q 86. How does this new law affect the foreclosure timeline?
A Under preexisting law, a lender who files a notice of default in the foreclosure process must wait at least 3 months before giving a notice of sale (Cal. Civil Code § 2924). The new law extends that 3-month period by an additional 90 days.
Also under preexisting law, the general rule of thumb is that the entire foreclosure process takes a minimum of 4 months from the filing of a notice of default until the final trustee’s sale. Under the new law, that general rule of thumb is extended by 90 more days for a total of about 7 months, unless the lender is exempt. For more information about the foreclosure process, C.A.R. offers a legal article entitled Foreclosure Timeline.
Q 87. Under the new law, is the minimum time frame from the filing of a notice of default to the notice of sale a total of 6 months or 180 days?
A Neither. The way the law is written, the minimum time frame from the filing of the notice of default to the notice of sale is technically “3 months plus 90 days.”
Q 88. What type of loan falls under the new law extending the foreclosure process by 90 days?
A Unless otherwise exempt, the 90-day extension to the foreclosure process applies to loans that meet all of the following requirements:
The loan was recorded from January 1, 2003 to January 1, 2008, inclusive;

The loan is secured by a first deed of trust for residential real property;

The borrower occupied the property as a principal residence at the time the loan became delinquent; and

A notice of default has been recorded on the property.
(Cal. Civil Code § 2923.52(a).)
Q 89. What are the exceptions to the new law extending the foreclosure process by 90 days?
A Most notably, a loan servicer is exempt from the 90-day extension to the foreclosure process if the loan servicer has obtained an order of exemption based on the implementation of a comprehensive loan modification program (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(a)) (see Questions 89 to 94). The order of exemption must be current and valid at the time the notice of sale is given (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.52(b)).
Other exceptions to the 90-day extension include the following:
Certain state or local public housing agency loans (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.52(c)).

When a borrower has surrendered the property as evidenced by a letter confirming the surrender or delivery of the keys to the property to the lender or authorized agent (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.55(a)).

When a borrower has contracted with any person or entity whose primary business is advising people who have decided to leave their homes on how to extend the foreclosure process and avoid their contractual obligations to the lenders (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.55(b)).

When a borrower has filed a bankruptcy case and the court has not entered an order closing or dismissing the case or granting relief from a stay of foreclosure (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.55(c)).
Q 90. What constitutes a comprehensive loan modification program?
A A comprehensive loan modification program that may exempt the loan servicer from the 90-day extension to the foreclosure process includes all of the following features:
The loan modification program is intended to keep borrowers whose principal residences are located in California in those homes when the anticipated recovery under loan modification exceeds the anticipated recovery through foreclosure on a net present value basis (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(a)).

It targets a 38 percent or less ratio of the borrower’s housing-related debt to the borrower’s gross income (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(a)). Housing-related debt is debt that includes loan principal, interest, property taxes, hazard insurance, flood insurance, mortgage insurance and homeowner association fees (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(k)(2)).

It includes some combination of loan modifications terms as specified (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(a)) (see Question 91).

The loan servicer seeks long-term sustainability for the borrower (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(a)).
Q 91. What are the loan modification terms that must be included in a comprehensive loan modification program?
A A comprehensive loan modification program that may qualify for exemption from the new law extending the foreclosure process by 90 days must include some combination of the following features:
An interest rate reduction, as needed, for a fixed term of at least five years;
An extension of the amortization period for the loan term to no more than 40 years from the original date of the loan;
Deferral of some portion of the unpaid principal balance until loan maturity;
Principal reduction;
Compliance with a federally mandated loan modification program; or
Other factors that the appropriate commissioner determines.
(Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(a)(3).) See also Question 92.
Q 92. Does a loan servicer have to modify loans to get an exemption from the 90 day extension to the foreclosure process?
A No. A loan servicer is not required to modify a loan for a borrower who is not willing or able to pay under the modification. Furthermore, a loan servicer is not required to violate any contractor agreement for investor-owned loans. (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(i).)
Q 93. How does a loan servicer obtain an order of exemption from the new law extending the foreclosure process by 90 days?
A A loan servicer may apply to the appropriate commissioner (see Question 94) for an order exempting loans that it services from the new law extending the foreclosure process by 90 days (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(b)(1)). Upon receipt of an initial application for exemption, the commissioner must issue a temporary order exempting the mortgage loan servicer from the 90-day extension to the foreclosure process (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(b)(2)). Within 30 days of receipt of the application, the commissioner must make a final determination by issuing a final order exempting the loan servicer or denying the application (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(b)(3)). If the application is denied, the temporary order of exemption shall expire 30 days after the date of denial (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(b)(1)).
Q 94. To which commissioner does a loan servicer apply for exemption?
A A lender or loan servicer would apply for an exemption to the following commissioner as appropriate:
Commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions for commercial and industrial banks, savings associations, and credit unions organized in California to service mortgage loans;

Commissioner of the Department of Real Estate for licensed real estate brokers servicing mortgage loans; and

Commissioner of the Department of Corporations for licensed residential mortgage lenders and servicers, licensed finance lenders and brokers, and any other entities servicing mortgage loans not regulated by the Department of Financial Institutions or Department of Real Estate.
(Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(k)(1).)
Q 95. How does a homeowner ascertain whether his or her loan servicer is exempt from the 90-day extension to the foreclosure process?
A The Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing must maintain a publicly-available Internet website disclosing the final orders granting exemptions, the date of each order, and a link to Internet websites describing the loan modification programs (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.52(f)) (see also Question 96).
Q 96. Does a loan servicer have to inform the borrower as to whether the loan servicer is exempt from the longer foreclosure timeframe?
A Yes. A notice of sale must include a declaration from the loan servicer stating both of the following:
Whether the loan servicer has obtained a final or temporary order of exemption from the 90-day extension to the foreclosure process that is current and valid on the date the notice of sale is filed; and
Whether the 90-day extension to the foreclosure process under the new law does not apply.
The law requires the loan servicer’s declaration of exemption on the notice of sale, even though it may have been more helpful for the borrower if the declaration was on the notice of default. This requirement will stay in effect only until January 1, 2011 at which time it will be repealed, unless it is deleted or extended by statute. (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.54.)

Q 97. What is the penalty for violating this law?
A Anyone who violates this law shall be deemed to have violated his or her license law as it relates to these provisions (Cal. Civil Code § 2923.53(h)).
Q 98. Where do I find this law?
A This law is set forth at sections 2923.52 to 2923.55 of the California Civil Code. The full text of this law is available at the California Legislative Counsel website at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.

they-must-call-and-offer-to-work-it-out-2923.5

31 Mar

they-must-call-and-offer-to-work-it-out-29235

Eviction defense no declaration no valid sale no eviction

30 Mar

trial-brief-you-can-use-to-win-the-eviction-under-the-new-29235-we-beat-b-of-a-with-it

Plaintiff claims they have complied with civil code 2924 in paragraphs 4 thru 7 of their complaint that they have met the burden of proof in that a sale had occurred and the trustees Deed establishes this presumption that the sale was “duly Perfected” and Civil Code 2924 has been complied with.
Defendant would claim that they have not defendant will submit to the court a certified copy of the Notice of Trustees Sale and ask the court to take judicial notice of said document.
If the Trustees sale had occurred prior to Sept 6,2008 plaintiff would prevail but for other procedural defects in the assignment of the Deed of Trust in Civil code 2932.5 prior to sale.
For our purposes we need not look any farther than the Notice of Trustees Sale to find the declaration is not signed under penalty of perjury; as mandated by new Civil code 2923.5. (c) . (Blum v. Superior Court (Copley Press Inc.) (2006) 141 Cal App 4th 418, 45 Cal. Reptr. 3d 902 ) This lender did not adhere to the mandates laid out by congress before a foreclosure can be considered duly perfected.
As a general rule, the purpose of the unlawful detainer proceeding is solely to obtain possession, and the right to possession is the only issue in the trial. The title of the landlord is usually not an issue, and the tenant cannot frustrate the summary nature of the proceedings by cross-complaints or affirmative defenses.
A different rule applies in an unlawful detainer action that is brought by the purchaser after a foreclosure sale. His or her right to obtain possession is based upon the fact that the property has been “duly sold” by foreclosure proceedings, CC1161a (b) (3) and therefore it is necessary that the plaintiff prove each of the statutory procedures has been complied with as a condition for seeking possession of the property.
When the eviction is by a bona fide bidder at the sale the defendant has no defenses to eviction. However as in this case a beneficiary that is the plaintiff in the unlawful detainer action must prove that it has duly complied with each of the statutory requirements for foreclosure, and the trustor can put these questions in issue in the unlawful detainer proceeding. Miller and Star 3rd 10:220.

United First Class Action

9 Mar

On Saturday March 7,2009 a meeting was held for 200 plus victims of the United First equity save your house scam. At that meeting it was determined that a class action should be filed to recover the funds lost by the victims of the unconscionable contract.

As a first step an involuntary Bankruptcy is being filed today March 9, 2009. To be considered as a creditor of said Bankruptcy please Fax the Joint Venture agreement and retainer agreement to 909-494-4214.
Additionally it is this attorneys opinion that said Bankruptcy will act as a “stay” for all averse actions being taken by lenders as against said victims. This opinion is based upon the fact that United First maintained an interest in the real property as a joint venture to 80% of the properties value(no matter how unconscionable this may be) this is an interest that can be protected by the Bankruptcy Stay 11 USC 362.

Banks Refusing To Take Back Foreclosed Properties

9 Mar

NPR ^
Posted on Saturday, March 07, 2009 11:56:28 PM by Chet 99
All Things Considered, March 3, 2009 • Let’s say you’re one of the millions of Americans facing foreclosure. You made mistakes, borrowed more than you should have — or maybe you lost your job — and now have to walk away from your house. In some parts of the country, simply walking away isn’t so simple — especially if the bank doesn’t want your house.
At 8:30 nearly every Monday morning, employees from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office stand in a windowless room in Cleveland’s Justice Center to auction off hundreds of foreclosed houses.
Hoping to buy are a few investors, bargain hunters and the rare person trying to save his or her house. Most often, it’s lawyers from local law firms representing global financial institutions who claim property here. Although these days, that’s starting to change.
When there’s no bid, the lender can either try to sell at another sheriff sale or do nothing. Doing nothing means the foreclosure is not complete. And Cleveland foreclosure attorney Larry Rothenberg says doing nothing is becoming more popular.
Lenders Not Bidding
“Lately, lenders are finding that the costs to purchase property at the sheriff sale and resell it, and the likelihood of finding a buyer weigh against a decision to buy the property. And so it’s become more likely than before that lenders are not entering bids at sheriff sales,” Rothenberg says.
That changes the foreclosure equation. Rick Sharga of RealtyTrac says employees at his online foreclosure sales company have heard of other cities where lenders are walking away from foreclosures, and he worries it could spread.
“There are some urban areas where you’ve had rapid price depreciation, where you also have extreme unemployment issues, and nobody’s buying the properties,” Sharga says. “All those conditions need to be in place before a lender is going to be motivated to do what you’re seeing happen now.”
And when lenders don’t complete a foreclosure action at a sheriff sale, the house stays in the homeowner’s name.
‘It’s Not My House’
Sharon Little says she was shocked to find out she was still listed as the owner of a rental property on a busy Cleveland street. She walked away from the house in 2006 when she declared bankruptcy. Since then, thieves have stripped the house of siding, copper plumbing, and even windows. She found out her name was still on the deed only when she got a summons last October to appear in housing court.
“Eventually, they’re going to tear this house down,” Little says. “Somebody’s going to have to foot the bill, and frankly I think it should be the bank because it’s their house. It’s not my house really, so …”
Begging For Foreclosure
But the city of Cleveland is writing tickets for housing code violations to whomever is listed on the deed.
Bus driver Curley Jackson has been on the phone with his loan servicers trying to persuade them to foreclose on property he can no longer afford.
“I surrendered these properties back to you all. I said, ‘You keep leaving them in my name, I’m getting these tickets.’ They don’t care. They’re not getting a ticket. They’re not getting threatened with jail,” Jackson says.
Cleveland Housing Court officials say they are now seeing homeowners take matters into their own hands. Little, for instance, wrote up a deed and gave her house to her lender.
“That’s because it was their house from the jump, so that’s what we do — give it right back to them. You can keep your house. I don’t want it,” Little says.
Untouchable Real Estate
Bankruptcy attorney Richard Nemeth has asked state lawmakers to propose a bill that would force lenders to completely follow through with foreclosure or forgive the homeowner’s debt.
“It’s a really sad set of affairs when people don’t want to touch a piece of real estate with a 10-foot pole,” Nemeth says.
County officials in Cleveland hope a new land bank will help solve this problem by giving lenders a place to dump unwanted property. In the meantime, the city is forced to use scarce tax dollars to maintain or demolish some of these unwanted foreclosed houses.

Mortgage Chaos? Add a Bankruptcy and its a Recipe for Disaster!

7 Mar

There are many bright Real Estate Attorneys out there.  Likewise, there are many bright Bankruptcy Attorneys out there.  But I don’t think there are that many bright Bankruptcy Real Estate Attorneys out there.  And the few that do exist…..well, I don’t think they worked for the Mortgage Companies. Why?  Well if they did, the transfer of loans would not have existed the way that did for the past several years.  Lately, the big news in foreclosures has been the Ohio cases where Judge Boyko dismissed 14 foreclosures on October 31, 2007, and his Colleague, Judge Kathleen O’Malley of the same court, followed suite ordering another 32 dismissals on November 14, 2007.    But that’s only the beginning.  It gets worse.  Add a bankruptcy filing to the mix and its like adding gas to the fire.  The reason being, from a little bankruptcy code section called 11 USC 544.  Basically, that section allows a Trustee appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to avoid non-perfected liens.  Non-perfected liens are liens that exist, but are not fully noticed to everyone, sort of like secret liens.  Its like if someone loans you $50,000 and takes a lien out on your house, but never records their lien with the county recorder.  If that house sells, the lien is not paid since escrow was not aware of it.  Had it been recorded by a “deed of trust” or “mortgage,” the Title Company and Escrow Company would not have closed once they saw it, unless it was paid. Because of all the crazy real estate financing, securitization, and reselling of all the mortgages, sort of the same thing has happened with all the mortgages and trust deeds, but on a much larger scale.    Normally, most states require that when a mortgage or real estate loan is sold or transferred to another lender, certain things must happen to maintain perfection, that is, in order to make sure that lien gets paid at a later date.  Generally, the purchaser of the Mortgage has it recorded at the County Recorders Office.  This is usually done thru a recorded assignment of the underlying note and mortgage or a new Mortgage being recorded and transfer of the Note.The Note is the most important part of any Mortgage or Deed of Trust.  The Mortgage or Deed of Trust is useless without the Note, and usually can not exist without it.  It’s a negotiable instrument, just like a check.  So when its transferred, it needs to be endorsed, just like a check.  So essentially, all real estate has documents recorded to evidence the lien, and which are linked to the “checks.”  Well, this is where the problem lies.  In most of the Mortgage Transfers which took place recently, the Mortgage or Deed of Trust was transferred, but not the Note.  Whoops!  Why?  It was just too expensive to track down every note for every mortgage since they were all bundled up together and sold in large trusts, then resold, resold, etc.  Imagine trying to find 1 note among thousands, which were sold in different trust pools over time.  Pretty hard to do!  So shortcuts happened.  Soon enough, shortcuts were accepted and since there were very little foreclosures during the last 7 year real estate bubble, no one really noticed in the few foreclosures that took place.    Until recently. That’s where the Ohio cases come in. Times have now changed.  That little shortcut stopped the foreclosures in Ohio since the most basic element of any lawsuit is that the party bringing the lawsuit is the “real party in interest.”  That is, they are the aggrieved party, injured party, relief seeking party.  So in Ohio, the Judge dismissed all the cases since they did not possess the Notes or Assignments on the date of filing, and technically were not the real party in interest to file the suit at the time.  But that maybe only a temporary problem until they find the note or assignment.  At that point, they will probably just file the foreclosure lawsuit again.  So its just a delay.  But the bigger problem exists in Bankruptcy.  You see, once a Bankruptcy Case is filed, the Automatic Stay goes into effect.  Everything is frozen.  Mistakes can no longer be corrected.  And if the lender did not have the note or recorded assignment when the bankruptcy case was filed, they are no longer “perfected.” And this problem can not be fixed!  Finding the note or assignment at that point is simply too late.  That $12 shortcut may now have cost the lender a $500,000 mortgage!    The Bankruptcy Trustee now is in charge, puts his 11 USC 544 hat on, and voila, removes the mortgage!  Yes, that house that once had no equity worth $450,000 with $500,000 owed on it, is now FREE AND CLEAR!  He sells it, and disburses all the proceeds to the creditors.  Next Issue, I’ll explain the ramifications of this chaos….both beneficial and detrimental.

But the bigger problem exists in Bankruptcy.  You see, once a Bankruptcy Case is filed, the Automatic Stay goes into effect.  Everything is frozen.  Mistakes can no longer be corrected.  And if the lender did not have the note or recorded assignment when the bankruptcy case was filed, they are no longer “perfected.” And this problem can not be fixed!  Finding the note or assignment at that point is simply too late.  That $12 shortcut may now have cost the lender a $500,000 mortgage!    The Bankruptcy Trustee now is in charge, puts his 11 USC 544 hat 

2924.3. (a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), a
person who has undertaken as an agent of a mortgagee, beneficiary, or
owner of a promissory note secured directly or collaterally by a
mortgage or deed of trust on real property or an estate for years
therein, to make collections of payments from an obligor under the
note, shall mail the following notices, postage prepaid, to each
mortgagee, beneficiary or owner for whom the agent has agreed to make
collections from the obligor under the note:
(1) A copy of the notice of default filed in the office of the
county recorder pursuant to Section 2924 on account of a breach of
obligation under the promissory note on which the agent has agreed to
make collections of payments, within 15 days after recordation.
(2) Notice that a notice of default has been recorded pursuant to
Section 2924 on account of a breach of an obligation secured by a
mortgage or deed of trust against the same property or estate for
years therein having priority over the mortgage or deed of trust
securing the obligation described in paragraph (1), within 15 days
after recordation or within three business days after the agent
receives the information, whichever is later

Sec. 2932.5

Where a power to sell real property is given to a
mortgagee, or other encumbrancer, in an instrument intended to secure
the payment of money, the power is part of the security and vests in
any person who by assignment becomes entitled to payment of the
money secured by the instrument. The power of sale may be exercised
by the assignee if the assignment is duly acknowledged and recorded.

FROM TIM MCLANDLESS
Most all foreclosures in California can be set aside. The power of sale by non judicial means is contained in the civil code 2932. In order to be valid the assignment must be recorded California civil code 2932.5. Most all notices of default recorded by the “Sub-Prime” lenders have not recorded an assignment till just before or just after the Trustee’s sale. They rely on the MERS agency agreement to protect them but under California law they are wrong.
Law Offices of
TIMOTHY McCandless
15647 Village Dr
Victorville, Ca 92392
TEL (760) 733-8885; FAX (909)494-4214

Sec. 2934

Any assignment of a mortgage and any assignment of the
beneficial interest under a deed of trust may be recorded, and from
the time the same is filed for record operates as constructive notice
of the contents thereof to all persons; and any instrument by which
any mortgage or deed of trust of, lien upon or interest in real
property, (or by which any mortgage of, lien upon or interest in
personal property a document evidencing or creating which is required
or permitted by law to be recorded), is subordinated or waived as to
priority may be recorded, and from the time the same is filed for
record operates as constructive notice of the contents thereof, to
all persons.

NOTE SECURED BY REAL ESTATE
HON. SAMUEL L. BUFFORD
UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY JUDGE
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
(FORMERLY HON.) R. GLEN AYERS
LANGLEY & BANACK
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTUTUTE
APRIL 3, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C.
WHERE’S THE NOTE, WHO’S THE HOLDER
INTRODUCTION
In an era where a very large portion of mortgage obligations have been securitized, by assignment to a trust indenture trustee, with the resulting pool of assets being then sold as mortgage backed securities, foreclosure becomes an interesting exercise, particularly where judicial process is involved. We are all familiar with the securitization process. The steps, if not the process, is simple. A borrower goes to a mortgage lender. The lender finances the purchase of real estate. The borrower signs a note and mortgage or deed of trust. The original lender sells the note and assigns the mortgage to an entity that securitizes the note by combining the note with hundreds or thousands of similar obligation to create a package of mortgage backed securities, which are then sold to investors.
Unfortunately, unless you represent borrowers, the vast flow of notes into the maw of the securitization industry meant that a lot of mistakes were made. When the borrower defaults, the party seeking to enforce the obligation and foreclose on the underlying collateral sometimes cannot find the note. A lawyer sophisticated in this area has speculated to one of the authors that perhaps a third of the notes “securitized” have been lost or destroyed. The cases we are going to look at reflect the stark fact that the unnamed source’s speculation may be well-founded.
UCC SECTION 3-309
If the issue were as simple as a missing note, UCC §3-309 would provide a simple solution. A person entitled to enforce an instrument which has been lost, destroyed or stolen may enforce the instrument. If the court is concerned that some third party may show up and attempt to enforce the instrument against the payee, it may order adequate protection. But, and however, a person seeking to enforce a missing instrument must be a person entitled to enforce the instrument, and that person must prove the instrument’s terms and that person’s right to enforce the instrument. §3-309 (a)(1) & (b).
WHO’S THE HOLDER
Enforcement of a note always requires that the person seeking to collect show that it is the holder. A holder is an entity that has acquired the note either as the original payor or transfer by endorsement of order paper or physical possession of bearer paper. These requirements are set out in Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been adopted in every state, including Louisiana, and in the District of Columbia. Even in bankruptcy proceedings, State substantive law controls the rights of note and lien holders, as the Supreme Court pointed out almost forty (40) years ago in United States v. Butner, 440 U.S. 48, 54-55 (1979).
However, as Judge Bufford has recently illustrated, in one of the cases discussed below, in the bankruptcy and other federal courts, procedure is governed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy and Civil Procedure. And, procedure may just have an impact on the issue of “who,” because, if the holder is unknown, pleading and standing issues arise.
BRIEF REVIEW OF UCC PROVISIONS
Article 3 governs negotiable instruments – it defines what a negotiable instrument is and defines how ownership of those pieces of paper is transferred. For the precise definition, see § 3-104(a) (“an unconditional promise or order to pay a fixed amount of money, with or without interest . . . .”) The instrument may be either payable to order or bearer and payable on demand or at a definite time, with or without interest.
Ordinary negotiable instruments include notes and drafts (a check is a draft drawn on a bank). See § 3-104(e).
Negotiable paper is transferred from the original payor by negotiation. §3-301. “Order paper” must be endorsed; bearer paper need only be delivered. §3-305. However, in either case, for the note to be enforced, the person who asserts the status of the holder must be in possession of the instrument. See UCC § 1-201 (20) and comments.
The original and subsequent transferees are referred to as holders. Holders who take with no notice of defect or default are called “holders in due course,” and take free of many defenses. See §§ 3-305(b).
The UCC says that a payment to a party “entitled to enforce the instrument” is sufficient to extinguish the obligation of the person obligated on the instrument. Clearly, then, only a holder – a person in possession of a note endorsed to it or a holder of bearer paper – may seek satisfaction or enforce rights in collateral such as real estate.
NOTE: Those of us who went through the bank and savings and loan collapse of the 1980’s are familiar with these problems. The FDIC/FSLIC/RTC sold millions of notes secured and unsecured, in bulk transactions. Some notes could not be found and enforcement sometimes became a problem. Of course, sometimes we are forced to repeat history. For a recent FDIC case, see Liberty Savings Bank v. Redus, 2009 WL 41857 (Ohio App. 8 Dist.), January 8, 2009.
THE RULES
Judge Bufford addressed the rules issue this past year. See In re Hwang, 396 B.R. 757 (Bankr. C. D. Cal. 2008). First, there are the pleading problems that arise when the holder of the note is unknown. Typically, the issue will arise in a motion for relief from stay in a bankruptcy proceeding.
According F.R.Civ. Pro. 17, “[a]n action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest.” This rule is incorporated into the rules governing bankruptcy procedure in several ways. As Judge Bufford has pointed out, for example, in a motion for relief from stay, filed under F.R.Bankr.Pro. 4001 is a contested matter, governed by F. R. Bankr. P. 9014, which makes F.R. Bankr. Pro. 7017 applicable to such motions. F.R. Bankr. P. 7017 is, of course, a restatement of F. R. Civ. P. 17. In re Hwang, 396 B.R. at 766. The real party in interest in a federal action to enforce a note, whether in bankruptcy court or federal district court, is the owner of a note. (In securitization transactions, this would be the trustee for the “certificate holders.”) When the actual holder of the note is unknown, it is impossible – not difficult but impossible – to plead a cause of action in a federal court (unless the movant simply lies about the ownership of the note). Unless the name of the actual note holder can be stated, the very pleadings are defective.
STANDING
Often, the servicing agent for the loan will appear to enforce the note. Assume that the servicing agent states that it is the authorized agent of the note holder, which is “Trust Number 99.” The servicing agent is certainly a party in interest, since a party in interest in a bankruptcy court is a very broad term or concept. See, e.g., Greer v. O’Dell, 305 F.3d 1297, 1302-03 (11th Cir. 2002). However, the servicing agent may not have standing: “Federal Courts have only the power authorized by Article III of the Constitutions and the statutes enacted by Congress pursuant thereto. … [A] plaintiff must have Constitutional standing in order for a federal court to have jurisdiction.” In re Foreclosure Cases, 521 F.Supp. 3d 650, 653 (S.D. Ohio, 2007) (citations omitted).
But, the servicing agent does not have standing, for only a person who is the holder of the note has standing to enforce the note. See, e.g., In re Hwang, 2008 WL 4899273 at 8.
The servicing agent may have standing if acting as an agent for the holder, assuming that the agent can both show agency status and that the principle is the holder. See, e.g., In re Vargas, 396 B.R. 511 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008) at 520.
A BRIEF ASIDE: WHO IS MERS?
For those of you who are not familiar with the entity known as MERS, a frequent participant in these foreclosure proceedings:
MERS is the “Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. “MERS is a mortgage banking ‘utility’ that registers mortgage loans in a book entry system so that … real estate loans can be bought, sold and securitized, just like Wall Street’s book entry utility for stocks and bonds is the Depository Trust and Clearinghouse.” Bastian, “Foreclosure Forms”, State. Bar of Texas 17th Annual Advanced Real Estate Drafting Course, March 9-10, 2007, Dallas, Texas. MERS is enormous. It originates thousands of loans daily and is the mortgagee of record for at least 40 million mortgages and other security documents. Id.
MERS acts as agent for the owner of the note. Its authority to act should be shown by an agency agreement. Of course, if the owner is unknown, MERS cannot show that it is an authorized agent of the owner.
RULES OF EVIDENCE – A PRACTICAL PROBLEM
This structure also possesses practical evidentiary problems where the party asserting a right to foreclose must be able to show a default. Once again, Judge Bufford has addressed this issue. At In re Vargas, 396 B.R. at 517-19. Judge Bufford made a finding that the witness called to testify as to debt and default was incompetent. All the witness could testify was that he had looked at the MERS computerized records. The witness was unable to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Rules of Evidence, particularly Rule 803, as applied to computerized records in the Ninth Circuit. See id. at 517-20. The low level employee could really only testify that the MERS screen shot he reviewed reflected a default. That really is not much in the way of evidence, and not nearly enough to get around the hearsay rule.
FORECLOSURE OR RELIEF FROM STAY
In a foreclosure proceeding in a judicial foreclosure state, or a request for injunctive relief in a non-judicial foreclosure state, or in a motion for relief proceeding in a bankruptcy court, the courts are dealing with and writing about the problems very frequently.
In many if not almost all cases, the party seeking to exercise the rights of the creditor will be a servicing company. Servicing companies will be asserting the rights of their alleged principal, the note holder, which is, again, often going to be a trustee for a securitization package. The mortgage holder or beneficiary under the deed of trust will, again, very often be MERS.
Even before reaching the practical problem of debt and default, mentioned above, the moving party must show that it holds the note or (1) that it is an agent of the holder and that (2) the holder remains the holder. In addition, the owner of the note, if different from the holder, must join in the motion.
Some states, like Texas, have passed statutes that allow servicing companies to act in foreclosure proceedings as a statutorily recognized agent of the noteholder. See, e.g., Tex. Prop. Code §51.0001. However, that statute refers to the servicer as the last entity to whom the debtor has been instructed to make payments. This status is certainly open to challenge. The statute certainly provides nothing more than prima facie evidence of the ability of the servicer to act. If challenged, the servicing agent must show that the last entity to communicate instructions to the debtor is still the holder of the note. See, e.g., HSBC Bank, N.A. v. Valentin, 2l N.Y. Misc. 3d 1123(A), 2008 WL 4764816 (Table) (N.Y. Sup.), Nov. 3, 2008. In addition, such a statute does not control in federal court where Fed. R. Civ. P. 17 and 19 (and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7017 and 7019) apply.
SOME RECENT CASE LAW
These cases are arranged by state, for no particular reason.
Massachusetts
In re Schwartz, 366 B.R.265 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2007)
Schwartz concerns a Motion for Relief to pursue an eviction. Movant asserted that the property had been foreclosed upon prior to the date of the bankruptcy petition. The pro se debtor asserted that the Movant was required to show that it had authority to conduct the sale. Movant, and “the party which appears to be the current mortgagee…” provided documents for the court to review, but did not ask for an evidentiary hearing. Judge Rosenthal sifted through the documents and found that the Movant and thecurrent mortgagee had failed to prove that the foreclosure was properly conducted.
Specifically, Judge Rosenthal found that there was no evidence of a proper assignment of the mortgage prior to foreclosure. However, at footnote 5, Id. at 268, the Court also finds that there is no evidence that the note itself was assigned and no evidence as to who the current holder might be.
Nosek v. Ameriquest Mortgage Company (In re Nosek), 286 Br. 374 (Bankr D Mass. 2008).
Almost a year to the day after Schwartz was signed, Judge Rosenthal issued a second opinion. This is an opinion on an order to show cause. Judge Rosenthal specifically found that, although the note and mortgage involved in the case had been transferred from the originator to another party within five days of closing, during the five years in which the chapter 13 proceeding was pending, the note and mortgage and associated claims had been prosecuted by Ameriquest which has represented itself to be the holder of the note and the mortgage. Not until September of 2007 did Ameriquest notify the Court that it was merely the servicer. In fact, only after the chapter 13 bankruptcy had been pending for about three years was there even an assignment of the servicing rights. Id. at 378.
Because these misrepresentations were not simple mistakes: as the Court has noted on more than one occasion, those parties who do not hold the note of mortgage do not service the mortgage do not have standing to pursue motions for leave or other actions arising form the mortgage obligation. Id at 380.
As a result, the Court sanctioned the local law firm that had been prosecuting the claim $25,000. It sanctioned a partner at that firm an additional $25,000. Then the Court sanctioned the national law firm involved $100,000 and ultimately sanctioned Wells Fargo $250,000. Id. at 382-386.
In re Hayes, 393 B.R. 259 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2008).
Like Judge Rosenthal, Judge Feeney has attacked the problem of standing and authority head on. She has also held that standing must be established before either a claim can be allowed or a motion for relief be granted.
Ohio
In re Foreclosure Cases, 521 F.Supp. 2d (S.D. Ohio 2007).
Perhaps the District Court’s orders in the foreclosure cases in Ohio have received the most press of any of these opinions. Relying almost exclusively on standing, theJudge Rose has determined that a foreclosing party must show standing. “[I]n a foreclosure action, the plaintiff must show that it is the holder of the note and the mortgage at the time that the complaint was filed.” Id. at 653.
Judge Rose instructed the parties involved that the willful failure of the movants to comply with the general orders of the Court would in the future result in immediate dismissal of foreclosure actions.
Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Steele, 2008 WL 111227 (S.D. Ohio) January 8, 2008.
In Steele, Judge Abel followed the lead of Judge Rose and found that Deutsche Bank had filed evidence in support of its motion for default judgment indicating that MERS was the mortgage holder. There was not sufficient evidence to support the claim that Deutsche Bank was the owner and holder of the note as of that date. Following In re Foreclosure Cases, 2007 WL 456586, the Court held that summary judgment would be denied “until such time as Deutsche Bank was able to offer evidence showing, by a preponderance of evidence, that it owned the note and mortgage when the complaint was filed.” 2008 WL 111227 at 2. Deutsche Bank was given twenty-one days to comply. Id.
Illinois
U

Not all federal district judges are as concerned with the issues surrounding the transfer of notes and mortgages. Cook is a very pro lender case and, in an order granting a motion for summary judgment, the Court found that Cook had shown no “countervailing evidence to create a genuine issue of facts.” Id. at 3. In fact, a review of the evidence submitted by U.S. Bank showed only that it was the alleged trustee of the securitization pool. U.S. Bank relied exclusively on the “pooling and serving agreement” to show that it was the holder of the note. Id.
Under UCC Article 3, the evidence presented in Cook was clearly insufficient.
New York
HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Valentin, 21 Misc. 3D 1124(A), 2008 WL 4764816 (Table) (N.Y. Sup.) November 3, 2008. In Valentin, the New York court found that, even though given an opportunity to, HSBC did not show the ownership of debt and mortgage. The complaint was dismissed with prejudice and the “notice of pendency” against the property was canceled.
Note that the Valentin case does not involve some sort of ambush. The Court gave every HSBC every opportunity to cure the defects the Court perceived in the pleadings.
California
In re Vargas, 396 B.R. 511 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008)
and
In re Hwang, 396 B.R. 757 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008)
These two opinions by Judge Bufford have been discussed above. Judge Bufford carefully explores the related issues of standing and ownership under both federal and California law.
Texas
In re Parsley, 384 B.R. 138 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2008)
and
In re Gilbreath, 395 B.R. 356 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2008)
These two recent opinions by Judge Jeff Bohm are not really on point, but illustrate another thread of cases running through the issues of motions for relief from stay in bankruptcy court and the sloppiness of loan servicing agencies. Both of these cases involve motions for relief that were not based upon fact but upon mistakes by servicing agencies. Both opinions deal with the issue of sanctions and, put simply, both cases illustrate that Judge Bohm (and perhaps other members of the bankruptcy bench in the Southern District of Texas) are going to be very strict about motions for relief in consumer cases.
SUMMARY
The cases cited illustrate enormous problems in the loan servicing industry. These problems arise in the context of securitization and illustrate the difficulty of determining the name of the holder, the assignee of the mortgage, and the parties with both the legal right under Article 3 and the standing under the Constitution to enforce notes, whether in state court or federal court.
Interestingly, with the exception of Judge Bufford and a few other judges, there has been less than adequate focus upon the UCC title issues. The next round of cases may and should focus upon the title to debt instrument. The person seeking to enforce the note must show that:
(1) It is the holder of t his note original by transfer, with all necessary rounds;
(2) It had possession of the note before it was lost;
(3) If it can show that title to the note runs to it, but the original is lost or destroyed, the holder must be prepared to post a bond;
(4) If the person seeking to enforce is an agent, it must show its agency status and that its principal is the holder of the note (and meets the above requirements).
Then, and only then, do the issues of evidence of debt and default and assignment of mortgage rights become relevant.
Filed under: CDO, CORRUPTION, Eviction, Investor, MODIFICATION, Mortgage, bubble,foreclosure, securities fraud | Tagged: borrower, disclosure, foreclosure defense, foreclosure offense, fraud, Lender Liability, mortgage meltdown, predatory lending, securitization, trustee
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28 Responses to “This is it! WHERE’S THE NOTE, WHO’S THE HOLDER: ENFORCEMENT OF PROMISSORY NOTE SECURED BY REAL ESTATE”
Alina, on March 6th, 2009 at 2:41 PM Said:
Here is another interesting tidbit. Yesterday, I searched all recorded assignments in my county for the servicing company on my loan. The guy who signed the assignement as Asst. Sec. for MERS, has also signed as Document Control Officer for the servicing company and as either an asst. sec or Document Control Officer for other banks. Each signature was notarized by the same person and witnessed by the same persons acknowledging that this person is ________ of _________ company. Assignors and assignees all have the same address.
Additionally, same law firm and same company prepared the assignment, a company out of Missouri. Definitely smells of fraud, a big smelly fish.
This is right along the lines of the King County, NY decision.
Don’t know how to present this evidence to the Court. Any suggestions? I was thinking of doing a Request for Judicial Notice. Thanks.
MSoliman, on March 6th, 2009 at 12:44 PM Said:
The structure for the Real Estate Trust prohibits ownership of Assets. Depositor and the Pass-through enitities including custodial roles and Master Servicer. must remin bankrupt insulate. Otherwise its debt and a big hypotheication.
If the assets are detemined to be held by any of the above the affilliates the Trust falls apart (I assue that would begin with the Sponsor / Depositor who acts as the TRS in a REIT).
These loans are treated as recievables with no regard for regulatory requirements – NO CAN DO.
SEC and HUD are in conflict and markets remain confused. The security remains tied into the UCC filing and the investors interest is fractionalized as are the other interests in the cash flow.
I have been waiting for this and that is the governments intereference into the real determination of accountability. Bernake revealed a sweeping change to GAAP and FASB interpretations of accounting policy….accountability rests with IRS reporting under the appropriate method of accoounting,
In other words the combinations will pass through revenue or show income and earings on a profit and loss. Basis accountig for the assets and any gain or loss on sale / reversion will likley fall onto the Federal Saving Bank. This is a capital reserves maintenance crisis for the FSB’s who are sheltered uner this mess.
M Soliman admin@borrowerhotline.com
livinglies, on March 6th, 2009 at 1:51 AM Said:
Allan: File motion with the court declaring you have not been served. If you want, go to Florida Bar Website and file grievance.
Allan (still trying to understand “holder in due course”!), on March 5th, 2009 at 6:23 PM Said:
I recorded a lien back in 2004 that put everyone on notice that borrower lacked capacity, that her identity was stolen, that her signatures were forged.
In 2005, after I reinstated the mortgage, it got securitized and placed by WAMU in SASCO 2005 RF5.
USBank N.A. claims it is the trustee for SASCO certificate holders. When I attempt to track down SASCO, all I come up with is Barclay’s. How does one track if SASCO still exists?
The IMPORTANT question here is, in this scenario, with assignments unrecorded and hastily assembled well after the lawsuit, WHO is “holder in due course”? and what rights do they have?
Also, Florida Default Law Group has been engaging in unethical tricks, including scheduling hearings on Summary Judgment Motions WITHOUT notice to me, though it certifies to the Court it has sent copies to me. What to do with such antics? Is there a Board of Bar Overseers? Do they have any teeth?
RSVP
Allan
BeMoved@AOL.com
Bryan Brey, on March 4th, 2009 at 7:07 PM Said:
@ Alina
Brilliant Alina, brilliant!
Alina, on March 4th, 2009 at 6:09 PM Said:
Bryan,
My argument exactly. U.S. Bank would fall under the definition of a “business trust.”
The business trust and its assets are managed for the benefit of persons who hold transferable certificates issued by the trustees. The ownership shares into which the beneficial interest in the property is divided are called “shares of beneficial interest.” These shares can be issued in the names of the beneficiaries or held by the trustees in “bearer form” (no designated owner name for each share).
Both Willey and Corcoran deal with a trust trying to foreclose. Per Willey, the trust cannot bring suit without including the trustee(s).
And per Corcoran, no business trust can bring suit on a mortgage and note in the State of Florida without authorization from its original state.
In my case, the purported assignment is to the trustee, not the trust.
Still researching all this. Also, reseraching FTC Holder in Due Course.
Bryan Brey, on March 4th, 2009 at 4:56 PM Said:
@ Alina
Reading

 Consumer and Saxon lack standing to pursue this litigation. 2 It is well
established that a plaintiff must prove standing by showing: (1) injury in
fact; (2) a causal connection between the injury and the defendant’s
conduct; and (3) a likelihood that a favorable outcome will redress the
injury. See Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61, 112 S. Ct.
2130, 119 L. Ed. 2d 351 (1992).
Consumer [*14] seeks, in essence, to “enforce the [Promissory] Note and
Deed of Trust if [Ms.] Hillery does not pay the Rescission Balance by a date
set by this Court.” Compl. P 27. Thus, as Consumer itself acknowledges, to
proceed with this action, it must demonstrate that it is the holder of not
only the deed of trust but also the promissory note. If not, it has no
injury in fact. See In re ForeclosureCases, 521 F. Supp. 2d 650, 653 (S.D.

UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE COMMITTEE

WHERE’S THE NOTE, WHO’S THE HOLDER: ENFORCEMENT OF PROMISSORY NOTE SECURED BY REAL ESTATE

HON. SAMUEL L. BUFFORD
UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY JUDGE
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

(FORMERLY HON.) R. GLEN AYERS
LANGLEY & BANACK
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTUTUTE
APRIL 3, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C.

WHERE’S THE NOTE, WHO’S THE HOLDER

INTRODUCTION

In an era where a very large portion of mortgage obligations have been securitized, by assignment to a trust indenture trustee, with the resulting pool of assets being then sold as mortgage backed securities, foreclosure becomes an interesting exercise, particularly where judicial process is involved. We are all familiar with the securitization process. The steps, if not the process, is simple. A borrower goes to a mortgage lender. The lender finances the purchase of real estate. The borrower signs a note and mortgage or deed of trust. The original lender sells the note and assigns the mortgage to an entity that securitizes the note by combining the note with hundreds or thousands of similar obligation to create a package of mortgage backed securities, which are then sold to investors.

Unfortunately, unless you represent borrowers, the vast flow of notes into the maw of the securitization industry meant that a lot of mistakes were made. When the borrower defaults, the party seeking to enforce the obligation and foreclose on the underlying collateral sometimes cannot find the note. A lawyer sophisticated in this area has speculated to one of the authors that perhaps a third of the notes “securitized” have been lost or destroyed. The cases we are going to look at reflect the stark fact that the unnamed source’s speculation may be well-founded.

UCC SECTION 3-309

If the issue were as simple as a missing note, UCC §3-309 would provide a simple solution. A person entitled to enforce an instrument which has been lost, destroyed or stolen may enforce the instrument. If the court is concerned that some third party may show up and attempt to enforce the instrument against the payee, it may order adequate protection. But, and however, a person seeking to enforce a missing instrument must be a person entitled to enforce the instrument, and that person must prove the instrument’s terms and that person’s right to enforce the instrument. §3-309 (a)(1) & (b).

WHO’S THE HOLDER

Enforcement of a note always requires that the person seeking to collect show that it is the holder. A holder is an entity that has acquired the note either as the original payor or transfer by endorsement of order paper or physical possession of bearer paper. These requirements are set out in Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been adopted in every state, including Louisiana, and in the District of Columbia. Even in bankruptcy proceedings, State substantive law controls the rights of note and lien holders, as the Supreme Court pointed out almost forty (40) years ago in United States v. Butner, 440 U.S. 48, 54-55 (1979).

However, as Judge Bufford has recently illustrated, in one of the cases discussed below, in the bankruptcy and other federal courts, procedure is governed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy and Civil Procedure. And, procedure may just have an impact on the issue of “who,” because, if the holder is unknown, pleading and standing issues arise.

BRIEF REVIEW OF UCC PROVISIONS

Article 3 governs negotiable instruments – it defines what a negotiable instrument is and defines how ownership of those pieces of paper is transferred. For the precise definition, see § 3-104(a) (“an unconditional promise or order to pay a fixed amount of money, with or without interest . . . .”) The instrument may be either payable to order or bearer and payable on demand or at a definite time, with or without interest.

Ordinary negotiable instruments include notes and drafts (a check is a draft drawn on a bank). See § 3-104(e).

Negotiable paper is transferred from the original payor by negotiation. §3-301. “Order paper” must be endorsed; bearer paper need only be delivered. §3-305. However, in either case, for the note to be enforced, the person who asserts the status of the holder must be in possession of the instrument. See UCC § 1-201 (20) and comments.

The original and subsequent transferees are referred to as holders. Holders who take with no notice of defect or default are called “holders in due course,” and take free of many defenses. See §§ 3-305(b).

The UCC says that a payment to a party “entitled to enforce the instrument” is sufficient to extinguish the obligation of the person obligated on the instrument. Clearly, then, only a holder – a person in possession of a note endorsed to it or a holder of bearer paper – may seek satisfaction or enforce rights in collateral such as real estate.

NOTE: Those of us who went through the bank and savings and loan collapse of the 1980’s are familiar with these problems. The FDIC/FSLIC/RTC sold millions of notes secured and unsecured, in bulk transactions. Some notes could not be found and enforcement sometimes became a problem. Of course, sometimes we are forced to repeat history. For a recent FDIC case, see Liberty Savings Bank v. Redus, 2009 WL 41857 (Ohio App. 8 Dist.), January 8, 2009.

THE RULES

Judge Bufford addressed the rules issue this past year. See In re Hwang, 396 B.R. 757 (Bankr. C. D. Cal. 2008). First, there are the pleading problems that arise when the holder of the note is unknown. Typically, the issue will arise in a motion for relief from stay in a bankruptcy proceeding.

According F.R.Civ. Pro. 17, “[a]n action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest.” This rule is incorporated into the rules governing bankruptcy procedure in several ways. As Judge Bufford has pointed out, for example, in a motion for relief from stay, filed under F.R.Bankr.Pro. 4001 is a contested matter, governed by F. R. Bankr. P. 9014, which makes F.R. Bankr. Pro. 7017 applicable to such motions. F.R. Bankr. P. 7017 is, of course, a restatement of F.R. Civ. P. 17. In re Hwang, 396 B.R. at 766. The real party in interest in a federal action to enforce a note, whether in bankruptcy court or federal district court, is the owner of a note. (In securitization transactions, this would be the trustee for the “certificate holders.”) When the actual holder of the note is unknown, it is impossible – not difficult but impossible – to plead a cause of action in a federal court (unless the movant simply lies about the ownership of the note). Unless the name of the actual note holder can be stated, the very pleadings are defective.

STANDING

Often, the servicing agent for the loan will appear to enforce the note. Assume that the servicing agent states that it is the authorized agent of the note holder, which is “Trust Number 99.” The servicing agent is certainly a party in interest, since a party in interest in a bankruptcy court is a very broad term or concept. See, e.g., Greer v. O’Dell, 305 F.3d 1297, 1302-03 (11th Cir. 2002). However, the servicing agent may not have standing: “Federal Courts have only the power authorized by Article III of the Constitutions and the statutes enacted by Congress pursuant thereto. … [A] plaintiff must have Constitutional standing in order for a federal court to have jurisdiction.” In re Foreclosure Cases, 521 F.Supp. 3d 650, 653 (S.D. Ohio, 2007) (citations omitted).

But, the servicing agent does not have standing, for only a person who is the holder of the note has standing to enforce the note. See, e.g., In re Hwang, 2008 WL 4899273 at 8.

The servicing agent may have standing if acting as an agent for the holder, assuming that the agent can both show agency status and that the principle is the holder. See, e.g., In re Vargas, 396 B.R. 511 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008) at 520.

A BRIEF ASIDE: WHO IS MERS?

For those of you who are not familiar with the entity known as MERS, a frequent participant in these foreclosure proceedings:

MERS is the “Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. “MERS is a mortgage banking ‘utility’ that registers mortgage loans in a book entry system so that … real estate loans can be bought, sold and securitized, just like Wall Street’s book entry utility for stocks and bonds is the Depository Trust and Clearinghouse.” Bastian, “Foreclosure Forms”, State. Bar of Texas 17th Annual Advanced Real Estate Drafting Course, March 9-10, 2007, Dallas, Texas. MERS is enormous. It originates thousands of loans daily and is the mortgagee of record for at least 40 million mortgages and other security documents. Id.

MERS acts as agent for the owner of the note. Its authority to act should be shown by an agency agreement. Of course, if the owner is unknown, MERS cannot show that it is an authorized agent of the owner.

RULES OF EVIDENCE – A PRACTICAL PROBLEM

This structure also possesses practical evidentiary problems where the party asserting a right to foreclose must be able to show a default. Once again, Judge Bufford has addressed this issue. At In re Vargas, 396 B.R. at 517-19. Judge Bufford made a finding that the witness called to testify as to debt and default was incompetent. All the witness could testify was that he had looked at the MERS computerized records. The witness was unable to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Rules of Evidence, particularly Rule 803, as applied to computerized records in the Ninth Circuit. See id. at 517-20. The low level employee could really only testify that the MERS screen shot he reviewed reflected a default. That really is not much in the way of evidence, and not nearly enough to get around the hearsay rule.

FORECLOSURE OR RELIEF FROM STAY

In a foreclosure proceeding in a judicial foreclosure state, or a request for injunctive relief in a non-judicial foreclosure state, or in a motion for relief proceeding in a bankruptcy court, the courts are dealing with and writing about the problems very frequently.

In many if not almost all cases, the party seeking to exercise the rights of the creditor will be a servicing company. Servicing companies will be asserting the rights of their alleged principal, the note holder, which is, again, often going to be a trustee for a securitization package. The mortgage holder or beneficiary under the deed of trust will, again, very often be MERS.

Even before reaching the practical problem of debt and default, mentioned above, the moving party must show that it holds the note or (1) that it is an agent of the holder and that (2) the holder remains the holder. In addition, the owner of the note, if different from the holder, must join in the motion.

Some states, like Texas, have passed statutes that allow servicing companies to act in foreclosure proceedings as a statutorily recognized agent of the noteholder. See, e.g., Tex. Prop. Code §51.0001. However, that statute refers to the servicer as the last entity to whom the debtor has been instructed to make payments. This status is certainly open to challenge. The statute certainly provides nothing more than prima facie evidence of the ability of the servicer to act. If challenged, the servicing agent must show that the last entity to communicate instructions to the debtor is still the holder of the note. See, e.g., HSBC Bank, N.A. v. Valentin, 2l N.Y. Misc. 3d 1123(A), 2008 WL 4764816 (Table) (N.Y. Sup.), Nov. 3, 2008. In addition, such a statute does not control in federal court where Fed. R. Civ. P. 17 and 19 (and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7017 and 7019) apply.

SOME RECENT CASE LAW

These cases are arranged by state, for no particular reason.

Massachusetts

In re Schwartz, 366 B.R.265 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2007)

Schwartz concerns a Motion for Relief to pursue an eviction. Movant asserted that the property had been foreclosed upon prior to the date of the bankruptcy petition. The pro se debtor asserted that the Movant was required to show that it had authority to conduct the sale. Movant, and “the party which appears to be the current mortgagee…” provided documents for the court to review, but did not ask for an evidentiary hearing. Judge Rosenthal sifted through the documents and found that the Movant and the current mortgagee had failed to prove that the foreclosure was properly conducted.

Specifically, Judge Rosenthal found that there was no evidence of a proper assignment of the mortgage prior to foreclosure. However, at footnote 5, Id. at 268, the Court also finds that there is no evidence that the note itself was assigned and no evidence as to who the current holder might be.

Nosek v. Ameriquest Mortgage Company (In re Nosek), 286 Br. 374 (Bankr D Mass. 2008).

Almost a year to the day after Schwartz was signed, Judge Rosenthal issued a second opinion. This is an opinion on an order to show cause. Judge Rosenthal specifically found that, although the note and mortgage involved in the case had been transferred from the originator to another party within five days of closing, during the five years in which the chapter 13 proceeding was pending, the note and mortgage and associated claims had been prosecuted by Ameriquest which has represented itself to be the holder of the note and the mortgage. Not until September of 2007 did Ameriquest notify the Court that it was merely the servicer. In fact, only after the chapter 13 bankruptcy had been pending for about three years was there even an assignment of the servicing rights. Id. at 378.

Because these misrepresentations were not simple mistakes: as the Court has noted on more than one occasion, those parties who do not hold the note of mortgage do not service the mortgage do not have standing to pursue motions for leave or other actions arising form the mortgage obligation. Id at 380.

As a result, the Court sanctioned the local law firm that had been prosecuting the claim $25,000. It sanctioned a partner at that firm an additional $25,000. Then the Court sanctioned the national law firm involved $100,000 and ultimately sanctioned Wells Fargo $250,000. Id. at 382-386.

In re Hayes, 393 B.R. 259 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2008).

Like Judge Rosenthal, Judge Feeney has attacked the problem of standing and authority head on. She has also held that standing must be established before either a claim can be allowed or a motion for relief be granted.

Ohio

In re Foreclosure Cases, 521 F.Supp. 2d (S.D. Ohio 2007).

Perhaps the District Court’s orders in the foreclosure cases in Ohio have received the most press of any of these opinions. Relying almost exclusively on standing, the Judge Rose has determined that a foreclosing party must show standing. “[I]n a foreclosure action, the plaintiff must show that it is the holder of the note and the mortgage at the time that the complaint was filed.” Id. at 653.

Judge Rose instructed the parties involved that the willful failure of the movants to comply with the general orders of the Court would in the future result in immediate dismissal of foreclosure actions.

Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Steele, 2008 WL 111227 (S.D. Ohio) January 8, 2008.

In Steele, Judge Abel followed the lead of Judge Rose and found that Deutsche Bank had filed evidence in support of its motion for default judgment indicating that MERS was the mortgage holder. There was not sufficient evidence to support the claim that Deutsche Bank was the owner and holder of the note as of that date. Following In re Foreclosure Cases, 2007 WL 456586, the Court held that summary judgment would be denied “until such time as Deutsche Bank was able to offer evidence showing, by a preponderance of evidence, that it owned the note and mortgage when the complaint was filed.” 2008 WL 111227 at 2. Deutsche Bank was given twenty-one days to comply. Id.

Illinois

U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Cook, 2009 WL 35286 (N.D. Ill. January 6, 2009).

Not all federal district judges are as concerned with the issues surrounding the transfer of notes and mortgages. Cook is a very pro lender case and, in an order granting a motion for summary judgment, the Court found that Cook had shown no “countervailing evidence to create a genuine issue of facts.” Id. at 3. In fact, a review of the evidence submitted by U.S. Bank showed only that it was the alleged trustee of the securitization pool. U.S. Bank relied exclusively on the “pooling and serving agreement” to show that it was the holder of the note. Id.

Under UCC Article 3, the evidence presented in Cook was clearly insufficient.

New York

HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Valentin, 21 Misc. 3D 1124(A), 2008 WL 4764816 (Table) (N.Y. Sup.) November 3, 2008. In Valentin, the New York court found that, even though given an opportunity to, HSBC did not show the ownership of debt and mortgage. The complaint was dismissed with prejudice and the “notice of pendency” against the property was cancelled.

Note that the Valentin case does not involve some sort of ambush. The Court gave every HSBC every opportunity to cure the defects the Court perceived in the pleadings.

California

In re Vargas, 396 B.R. 511 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008)

and

In re Hwang, 396 B.R. 757 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008)

These two opinions by Judge Bufford have been discussed above. Judge Bufford carefully explores the related issues of standing and ownership under both federal and California law.

Texas

In re Parsley, 384 B.R. 138 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2008)

and

In re Gilbreath, 395 B.R. 356 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2008)

These two recent opinions by Judge Jeff Bohm are not really on point, but illustrate another thread of cases running through the issues of motions for relief from stay in bankruptcy court and the sloppiness of loan servicing agencies. Both of these cases involve motions for relief that were not based upon fact but upon mistakes by servicing agencies. Both opinions deal with the issue of sanctions and, put simply, both cases illustrate that Judge Bohm (and perhaps other members of the bankruptcy bench in the Southern District of Texas) are going to be very strict about motions for relief in consumer cases.

SUMMARY

The cases cited illustrate enormous problems in the loan servicing industry. These problems arise in the context of securitization and illustrate the difficulty of determining the name of the holder, the assignee of the mortgage, and the parties with both the legal right under Article 3 and the standing under the Constitution to enforce notes, whether in state court or federal court.

Interestingly, with the exception of Judge Bufford and a few other judges, there has been less than adequate focus upon the UCC title issues. The next round of cases may and should focus upon the title to debt instrument. The person seeking to enforce the note must show that:

It is the holder of this note original by transfer, with all necessary rounds;
It had possession of the note before it was lost;
If it can show that title to the note runs to it, but the original is lost or destroyed, the holder must be prepared to post a bond;
If the person seeking to enforce is an agent, it must show its agency status and that its principal is the holder of the note (and meets the above requirements).

Then, and only then, do the issues of evidence of debt and default and assignment of mortgage rights become relevant.

 Whether or not Saxon, the servicer of the loan, has standing in the instant
case rises and falls with whether or not Consumer has standing. See In re
Kang Jin Hwang, 393 B.R. 701, 712 (C.D. Cal. 2008)(indicating that a loan
servicer cannot bring an action without the holder of the promissory note).
That is, if Consumer can demonstrate that it is the owner of both the deed
of trust and the promissory note, then it was proper for Saxon to have been
named a plaintiff at the outset of the litigation along with Consumer.

The trap of Forbearance agreements

7 Mar

Obviously there are a lot of home owners in trouble. You need to warn them of a trap that has been set for them. I’ve given you some information concerning my case, but I would appreciate 5 minutes of “talk time” at your convenience.

The “trap” is the use of a forbearance agreement. I can go into greater detail and show you the proof if you have the time. Here is how it works:

My case sets legal precedent in the mortgage loan industry. With the recent Court decisions the loan servicer’s plan for stealing a home is as follows:

HOW TO STEAL A HOME BY ORANGE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE ANDREW BANKS APPROVED PLAN

1. File a Notice of Default

2. Within the 90 calendar days allotted for the Notice, stall the consumer’s rights for information concerning debt validation. RESPA Section 6 requires a loan servicer’s response within 60 business days (excluding holidays and weekends) of receipt of a Qualified Written Request. Mathematically, (lay out a calendar to prove it to yourself) the 90 calendar days is only 5 days longer than 60 business days and less than that if a holiday falls within the 60 days. For the 60 day response to “beat” the expiration of the Notice of Default the consumer would have to write a letter the very day a Notice of Default is filed (the consumer is seldom aware of the day of filing or that one is even being filed) because the lag in “mail time” will erase the 5 day “cushion”.

3. Toward the end of the 90 day Notice of Default timeframe the loan servicer contacts the consumer and offers a Forbearance Agreement to “postpone” the sale “until the details of the discrepancy of the records can be worked out”. The consumer hesitates to sign an agreement that overstates the amount they owe. The loan servicer refers to the language of the agreement that declares that “Unless all payments are made in accordance with the agreement, the agreement may immediately terminate and revert to the terms of the Original Note.” The loan servicer explains that all the consumer has to do is not make a payment if they “aren’t satisfied” with the results of the verification or for any other reason. They go on to explain that “The forbearance agreement is only a ‘time out’, giving all parties the opportunity to get to the truth and avoid the sale of the property”.

4. Once the forbearance agreement is signed, according to the Court’s decision in my case, the debt is forever verified and the consumer has no further rights under RESPA Section 6 or Section 809 (b) of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Apparently a few Courts disagree with Judge Banks and agree with me on questioning the validity of such agreements.

In Waters v. Min Ltd., the court framed the question as whether the contract

“was such as no man in his senses and not under delusion would make on the

one hand, and as no honest and fair man would accept on the other.

” 412 Mass. at 66, 587 N.E.2d 231.

The court noted that “[i]n Brooklyn Savings Bank v. O’Neil, 324 U.S. 697 (1945), the Supreme Court addressed the question of waiver under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Court held that “a statutory right conferred on a private party, but affecting the public interest, may not be waived or released if such waiver or release contravenes the statutory policy”…“The public benefits from enforcement of TILA because it creates a system of disclosure that improves the bargaining posture of all borrowers.” Therefore, such a waiver is unenforceable with regards to the TILA. (I have many more references concerning our situation).

The legislation that must be enacted, with the least cost to the taxpayer or the government and quickest remedy for the consumers, is to allow a certified program of Mortgage Loan Auditors, under the affiliation with or supervision of one or more of the already established organizations like HOPE NOW. The borrower pays an upfront audit fee and presents all necessary documentation, (original note, cancelled checks, etc.) that is required to preform a verifiable loan audit. The auditor’s work is then compared with the information provided to the borrower from the loan servicer. If there is a discrepancy between the two positions and the loan servicer is overstating the amounts owing, the independent auditor’s information is presented to the loan servicer for verification and proof positive to substantiate the difference. If the difference cannot be proven by the loan servicer, according to the terms of the original note and subsequent signed modifications, the loan servicer must immediately adjust the balances and credit any and all related charges and credit the cost of the loan audit that was pre-paid by the consumer. The result of finding of the discrepancy of the loan records is reported to HUD and any other regulatory agency that monitors loan servicers so any patterns of abuse can be compiled.

This process provides the transparency we have all so desperately sought and finally makes the loan servicer accountable for their mistakes. It costs the government nothing, it prevents loan servicing abuse. It finally makes enforcement of the statutes that have been unenforceable for decades possible. It makes finally allows each of us little people live longer in the homes we love so dearly on “Main Street”. Thank you for your time and HOPE you will make this CHANGE!

California Issues Foreclosure Moratorium

25 Feb

Carrie Bay | 02.25.09

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved a bill appended to the state’s budget package last week that institutes a 90-day foreclosure moratorium throughout the Golden State. Introduced by Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), the moratorium applies to first mortgages recorded between January 1, 2003 and January 1, 2008.

State regulators, however, can deem loan servicers and lenders exempt from the new law if they have a mortgage modification program already in place that includes principal deferral, interest rate reductions for five years or more, or extended loan terms. The lender’s loan restructuring program also has to ensure new monthly payments are no more than 38 percent of the borrower’s income. The state’s stipulated debt-to-income ratio is significantly lower than the 31 percent target called for in the Obama Administration’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.

Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “It was a step backward from where things were going from an industry standpoint and a federal standpoint.”

According to the Chronicle, Corbett herself said that she would have liked a bill with stronger enforcement for modifications but was limited from more aggressive measures by the state’s banking regulators.

Mortgageorb.com reported that California’s banking groups, including the California Bankers Association and the California Mortgage Bankers Association, have written strong oppositions to the bill, arguing the moratorium will negatively impact home sales and further delay recovery.

Beth Mills, a spokesperson for the California Bankers Association, told the Chronicle that struggling borrowers and their lenders already have more than enough time to search for mutual solutions. Mills pointed out that a state law passed in 2008 increased the required time span between first notification of foreclosure and final sale of the property by 30 days, to a total of 141 days. According to Mills, more time is not the silver bullet to every troubled loan, the Chronicle said.

Federal bill would let judges modify home mortgages

23 Feb

Orlando Business Journal – by Richard Bilbao

The proposed Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2009, for the first time ever, would let judges modify the terms of a home mortgage for someone who’s filed for personal bankruptcy.

More specifically, Senate Bill 61 and its companion bill H.R. 200, introduced in the House and Senate on Jan. 6, would allow judges to:

• Modify or reduce the principle balance on a home mortgage to its current market value, as opposed to when the home was bought.

• Stretch out a home mortgage for up to 40 years to help lower payments.

• Reduce and change a variable mortgage interest rate to a fixed-rate.

However, not every distressed home falls under the guidelines of the bill.

Both the Senate and House bills — sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. John Conyers , D-Mich., respectively — require homeowners who’ve filed for personal bankruptcy to have:

• Been informed, beforehand, that the home will be subject to a foreclosure.

• A mortgage created prior to the date the bill passes.

• Certification that they tried and failed to negotiate a loan modification with the lender 15 days before filing for bankruptcy. However, this requirement would be waived if the home faces foreclosure within 30 days.

Modifying a loan to help a property stay out of foreclosure is common in the commercial sector, such as hotels and office buildings, as well as in some consumer sectors, such as cars.

But it’s unheard of for bankruptcy courts to modify home mortgages, said Roy Kobert, a bankruptcy attorney for Broad and Cassel in Orlando. “The present inability to modify home mortgages for Americans is the holy grail in consumer bankruptcy — it’s virtually impenetrable.”

In commercial bankruptcies, “the code permits judges to modify the mortgage amount and the interest rate, but also allows commercial lenders to participate in the appreciation of the collateral on a sliding scale basis,” he said.

That provision for residential lenders is not included in the Senate bill, but is in the House version, he said.

Risky business

Central Florida businesspeople have mixed reactions to a proposed federal law that could tip the balance of power in personal bankruptcy cases in favor of homeowners over lenders.

At least one local Realtor likes the proposed Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2009.

Keeping homes out of foreclosure would make them easier to sell, because prospective buyers typically don’t look at foreclosed properties, said Kathleen Gallagher McIver, a broker with Re/Max Town and Country Realty in Winter Springs.

But giving courts the power to restructure a loan may leave a bitter taste in lenders’ mouths that can backfire on homeowners, said Rob Nunziata, president of FBC Mortgage LLC, an Orlando-based mortgage broker.

The proposed law would introduce a whole new type of risk for lenders and investors, who would have to fear having a court judge change the amount of return the investor originally expected to get. “Mortgages in bankruptcy have been considered sacred, but this could change the ground rules” for lending, said Nunziata.

For example, although the plan is only for existing mortgages, this could cause lenders to raise rates on future mortgages in fear of the law being modified to include new mortgages, he said.

But the proposed law may also help lenders, said Chip Herron, an attorney with Wolff, Hill, McFarlin & Herron P.A. in Orlando. “Creditors will be better off when there’s an owner who wants [to stay in a distressed home] and continue taking care of it,” he said.

The bill, if passed, also could cause a dramatic drop in personal bankruptcy filings and foreclosures due to some homeowners wanting to work things out instead of walking away, said Herron.

“This goes a long way to solving the real estate crisis. Someone will be setting a floor to what these homes are worth instead of letting them continue to devalue.”

Lenders Fighting Mortgage Rewrite Measure Targets Bankrupt Homeowners

21 Feb

Sen. Richard J. Durbin’s bill would allow bankruptcy judges to alter the terms of first mortgages for primary residences.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin’s bill would allow bankruptcy judges to alter the terms of first mortgages for primary residences. (By Alex Wong — Associated Press)

By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 22, 2008; Page D01

The nation’s largest lending institutions are lobbying hard to block a proposal in Congress that would give bankruptcy judges greater latitude to rewrite mortgages held by financially strapped homeowners.

The proposal, which could come to a vote in the Senate as early as next week, is being pushed by Democratic congressional leaders and a large coalition of groups that includes labor unions, consumer advocates, civil rights organizations and AARP, the powerful senior citizens’ lobby.

The legislation would allow bankruptcy judges for the first time to alter the terms of mortgages for primary residences. Under the proposal, borrowers could declare bankruptcy, and a judge would be able to reduce the amount they owe as part of resolving their debts.

Currently, bankruptcy judges cannot rewrite first mortgages for primary homes. This restriction was adopted in the 1970s to encourage banks to provide mortgages to new home buyers.

The Democrats and their allies see the plan as an antidote to the recent mortgage crisis, especially among low-income borrowers with subprime loans. The legislation would prevent as many as 600,000 homeowners from being thrown into foreclosure, its advocates say.

“We should be giving families every reasonable tool to ensure they can keep a roof over their heads,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat and author of a leading version of the legislation.

But the banks argue that any help the proposal might provide to troubled homeowners in the short run would be offset by the higher costs that borrowers would have to pay to get mortgages in the future. The reason, banks say, is that they would pass along the added risk to borrowers in the form of higher interest rates, larger down payments or increased closing costs.
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If banks were unable to pass on the entire cost, they could be forced to trim their profits.

“This provision is incredibly counterproductive,” said Edward L. Yingling, president of the America Bankers Association. “We will lobby very, very strongly against it.”

The Durbin measure is part of a larger housing assistance bill being pushed by Democrats in the Senate. A separate version of the measure was approved late last year, mostly along party lines, by the House Judiciary Committee. The Bush administration has said that it opposes both provisions as overly coercive and potentially detrimental to the already strained mortgage market.

Lobbyists for major banks have made the proposal’s defeat a top priority. They have been meeting at least weekly to coordinate their efforts and have fanned out on Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers and their staffs.

At least a dozen industry associations have banded together to fight the proposed legislation. They include the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Consumer Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association. These groups and others have signed joint letters to lawmakers on the issue.

In one of their letters, sent to Senate leaders last week, the groups wrote that the legislation would “have a very negative impact in the financial markets, which are struggling in part because of difficulties in valuing the mortgages that underlay securities [and] would greatly increase the uncertainty that already exists.”

Bank lobbyists have also gone online to make their case. The mortgage bankers have set up a Web site, http://www.mortgagebankers.org/StopTheCramDown, that can calculate how much mortgage costs might increase by state and by county if the Durbin measure were to become law. “Cram down” is the industry term for a forced easing of mortgage terms.

Supporters of the measure are also sending letters and meeting with lawmakers. A letter urging a quick vote on the proposal was delivered to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) last week. It was signed by 19 organizations, including the Consumer Federation of America, the AFL-CIO, the National Council of La Raza, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and AARP.

The letter said, “The court-supervised modification provision is a commonsense solution that will help families save their homes without any cost to the U.S. Treasury, while ensuring that lenders recover at least what they would in a foreclosure.”

The Center for Responsible Lending, a pro-consumer watchdog group that backs Durbin’s effort, is trying to instigate voter e-mails to lawmakers on the subject. The group’s Web site includes a page that allows people to send electronic notes supporting the measure to their elected representatives with just a few clicks of a mouse.

AARP spokesman Jim Dau said his group will also ramp up its efforts. It may soon ask its activists to urge lawmakers to back the mortgage-redrafting legislation. AARP, which is the nation’s largest lobby group, has a list of 1.5 million volunteers whom it says it can call upon to contact lawmakers on legislative matters.

Lawyers that get it Niel Garfield list

14 Feb

Lawyers that get it Niel Garfield list
lawyers-that-get-it-02092

Fannie, Freddie Suspend Foreclosures Pending Administration’s Housing Plan

13 Feb

Carrie Bay | 02.13.09

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced on Friday that they are suspending all foreclosure sales and evictions of occupied properties through March 6th, in anticipation of the Obama Administration’s national foreclosure prevention and loan modification program.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner touched on the idea of a national mortgage relief program when he outlined the new administration’s Financial Stability Plan on Tuesday, but did not divulge any details on the specifics of the program. Geithner promised congressional leaders in a follow-up hearing that the program would be finalized within the next three weeks.

In a concerted effort to offer the full spectrum of assistance to troubled borrowers facing foreclosure, a number of large lenders also committed to a temporary foreclosure moratorium this week – holding out for a March 6th deadline for the government’s housing and mortgage aid initiative.

Fannie and Freddie had previously put in place a suspension of foreclosure sales and evictions through January and extended the eviction freeze through the end of February. In addition, the companies adopted a national Real Estate Owned (REO) Rental Policy that allows renters of foreclosed properties to remain in their homes or receive transitional financial assistance should they choose to seek new housing.

Watch for the Substitution of Trustee if they are recorded late INVALID FORECLOSURE SALE

8 Feb

Been Evicted need a stay of execution till Fraud case against lender decided …?

1 Feb

Many a client call me when its toooooo late however sometimes something can be done it would envolve an appeal and this application for a stay. Most likely you will have to pay the reasonable rental value till the case is decidedex-parte-application-for-stay-of-judgment-or-unlawful-detainer2

$8.4 Billion Countrywide Settlement… and why they only lower the interest!

31 Jan

I have gotten a number of calls asking if the home ownership retention program announced by Bank of America is likely to have an impact on foreclosures in CA. This program is a settlement with the CA Attorney General, Jerry Brown, and other state attorney generals that were suing Countrywide / Bank of America for predatory lending practices. It is expected to provide up to $8.4 Billion to 400,000 borrowers nationwide, with $3.5 Billion to 125,000 borrowers in CA.

While $8.4 Billion is a huge number – roughly 7.75% of BAC’s market cap today – it is literally a laughable amount. Problem is that it equals only $28,000 per loan in California. I compared that number to the average amount a California homeowner is upside down at the time of foreclosure – the average total debt is $26,200 more than they originally borrowed.(all that negative amortization) So in the best case scenario this puts borrowers back where they started, in loans they fundamentally can’t afford.So really it is nothing. The best thing is that it is admission of fault that could be used in individual cases against the lender in an individual action.

Note that they clearly state that principal balance reduction will only be available on a limited basis to restore negative equity from pay option ARMs – which makes sense given that they really don’t have enough money to do much more. Instead the primary goal is to ensure “modifications are affordable”. Given that they simply don’t have the money to lower principal balances to affordable levels, that means more artificially low payments… the exact thing that got us into this problem in the first place.

So back to the original question, will it likely impact foreclosures? Sort of, but only temporarily. It could impact your foreclosure if you were to copy the complaint and file your own case against countrywide at least you would not get a demur to the complaint. I posted the text of the complaint on Dec 31, 2008 California and everybody else V Countrywidecountrywide-complaint-form

They have graciously committed to not pursue foreclosure until they have contacted the owner and made a decision on program eligibility. So it appears to impact foreclosures, except that the recently passed SB1137 re codified as civil code 2923.5 and 2923.6 required them to do that anyway – so this claim is little more than spin.

Since this completely fails to address the underlying problem of the original loan amounts often exceeding current market value by $100k or more I’d also say the impact will only be temporary. Though that may still be a long time. In one case I recently reviewed Countrywide had a loan balance of over $900k on a home worth $550k – they modified the payment to 2% interest only for 5 years. The homeowner can afford it for now, but what happens in 5 years? Your’e kidding yourself if you think values are going back to those levels that quickly. Do we really still want to be cleaning this mess up 5 years from now?

Bottom line, Jerry Brown and the other state’s attorney generals have given Bank of America a gift. The opportunity to avoid litigation while getting the state’s endorsement for a plan that will never work and buying them precious time to find a way out of their dire predicament. Like the bailouts it’s possible it may help save this financial institution, but it will only delay our return to a stable and healthy real estate market.

The Doan deal

25 Jan

California Civil Code 2923.6 enforces and promotes loan modifications to stop foreclosure in the state. California Civil Code 2923.6 (Servicer’s Duty under Pooling Agreements) went into effect on July 8, 2008. It applies to all loans from January 1, 2003, to December 31, 2007 secured by residential real property for owner-occupied residences.

The new law states that servicing agents for loan pools owe a duty to all parties in the pool so that a workout or modification is in the best interests of the parties if the loan is in default or default is reasonably foreseeable, and the recovery on the workout exceeds the anticipated recovery through a California foreclosure based on the current value of the property.

Almost all residential mortgages have Pooling and Servicing Agreements (“PSA”) since they were transferred to various Mortgage Backed Security Trusts after origination. California Civil Code 2823.6 broadens and extends this PSA duty by requiring servicers to accept loan modifications with borrowers.

How does this law apply?

Attorney Michael Doan provides this example of how the new law applies in his article entitled “California Foreclosures: Lenders Must Accept Loan Modifications” on the Mortgage Law Network blog. We removed the borrower’s name from the example for the sake of privacy.

A California borrower’s loan is presently in danger of foreclosure. The house he bought 2 years ago for $800,000 with a $640,000 first and $140,000 second, has now plummeted in value to $375,000. The borrower can no longer afford the $9,000 per month mortgage payment. But, he is willing, able, and ready to execute a modification of his loan on the following terms:

a) New Loan Amount: $330,000.00

b) New Interest Rate: 6% fixed

c) New Loan Length: 30 years

d) New Payment: $1978.52

While this new loan amount of $330,000 is less than the current fair market value, the costs of foreclosure need to be taken into account. Foreclosures typically cost the lender $50,000 per foreclosure. For example, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress estimated in June, 2007, that the average foreclosure results in $77.935.00 in costs to the homeowner, lender, local government, and neighbors. Of the $77,935.00 in foreclosure costs, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress estimates that the lender will suffer $50,000.00 in costs in conducting a non-judicial foreclosure on the property, maintaining, rehabilitating, insuring, and reselling the property to a third party. Freddie Mac places this loss higher at $58,759.00.

Accordingly, the anticipated recovery through foreclosure on a net present value basis is $325,000.00 or less and the recovery under the proposed loan modification at $330,000.00 exceeds the net present recovery through foreclosure of $325,000.00 by over $5,000.00. Thus, California Civil Code 2823.6 would mandate a modification to the new terms.

This new law remains in effect until January 1, 2013. Restructuring your mortgage will stop foreclosure and lower mortgage payments. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be able to lower your interest rate, as well. Visit the “Get Started” page to find out if you can benefit from this new California law and avoid foreclosure.

I HAVE A PLAN If the foreclosure has occured and you are now facing Eviction I HAVE A PLAN

25 Jan

The next thing you can expect is a knock on your door. It will be the friendliest guy or gal that you would ever want to meet. Its the real estate agent with orders to get you out of the house. They may offer you cash for keys or whatever remember they are not your friend they have one purpose and one purpose only. TO GET YOU AND YOUR FAMILY OUT.
They may say things like don’t worry we can get you back in the house and you can buy it back. I had one Realtor promise that the people could buy back the house they just needed to move out over the weekend and the lender would work things out for them. They did only to find the Marshall had posted the house and nobody could get back in except a 3 hour period to get their stuff to the curb. Don’t let it happen to you.

In California tenants have 60 days and former owners 3 days before an eviction can be stated.

Step 1 send the party that gives you this notice a rental agreement showing someone as being a tenant in the house. (This will get you Sixty days)

Step 2 File a lawsuit for fraud and improper sale in that 2923.5 was not complied with prior to sale. sample-bank-final-complaint1
Step 3 File a Lis Pendenslisp-for-client

Step 4 Make motion to consolidate eviction with Superior court case.galejacksonconsolidation Alternative to Step 4 would be to apply for a temporary restraining order to hold the eviction till Fraud Case determined. Alternative to step 4 actually a Step 5 would be a motion in the unlawful detainer court for a stay of the judgment till the outcome of the Fraud case.

What will this do?

In the worst case it will keep you in your house and you may have to post a bond equaling the reasonable rental value of your house. Let me take that back just remember Judges have the power and the can disregard the law and the constitution and put you out without even a trial. This is the extreme and some days are extreme. The lenders lawyers are in front of that judge all the time, but as a whole you can expect a fair minded judge.

In the best case you could be in your house without having to post a bond and you will be offered the house back at today’s value and a low rate of interest.

San Marcos California Foreclosure mess thier Modification department is outsourced to India

25 Jan

by nowaq
(san marcos ca usa)

My mortgage is being service by Option One Mortgage co. It started with 6.14% and first reset 1-01-07 to 9.14%. I was behind on my payment on the first resetting I called Option to make arrangement payment but I was told that I’m not qualified bec. I’ve been late a month only and loan mod. is only for people who are behind for more than 2 mos. In my situation, a mortgage of $3655 plus a second mortgage loan of $378 is hard to come up with for 2 mos. Third mo. came I called again asking for loan modification but this time, I was dealing with people from India telling me to sell my house because I can’t afford it. I explained to him whats going on my side and requested to talk mitigation officer but this person said that he is the mitigation officer. I hung up on him. I received a notice of default after that. I have a sheriff sale on 8-07-07 but filed Bk 13 so I can keep my house and hoping that things will get better soon and be on track again. Don’t deal with sales rep. from other countries. Demand to talk with US reps that at least know whats going on here. Maybe if I was dealing with US reps. I was able to do loan mod. and not to go thru this foreclosure and BK. I’m hoping also that these mortgage cos. learned their lesson of not using sales reps from other countries. My situation was doable at the beginning but once past 2 mos. My loan reset again last 7-01-07 to 11.14% and by 1-01-08 it will be 13.14%. Also, if you have hard time paying with your credit card bills, don’t use debt settlement cos. The only time they can start negotiating for you is when you are in collection, they wont tell you up front. They will only tell you that it has to be bad in order to get better.

My plan for Loan Modifications i.e. Attorney loan mod

25 Jan

Recent Loan Modification studies have shown that a large percentage of traditional loan modifications put the borrowers more upside down than when they started.
Unfortunately many loan mods are leaving people with higher monthly payments. In many loan modifcation the money you did not pay gets tacked on to the back of the loan… Increasing your loan balance and making you more upside down. This is why over 50% of all loan mods are in default. They are not fixing the problem they are just postponing it.

Before you go into default on your loans at the advice of some former subprime loan seller, make sure you understand that absent finding some legal leverage over the lender you have a good chance of seeing your payments going up.

Our Loan Modification program includes

1. Upside Down Analysis

2. Qualified Written Request and offer of Loan Modification

3. Letter informing lender of clients election to pursue remedies carved out by recent California Law under 2923.6 and or Federal Programs under the Truth in lending Act and the Fair Debt collection practices Act.

4. Letter Disputing debt (if advisable)

5. Cease and Desist letters (if advisable)

6. Follow up, contact with negotiator, and negotiation by an attorney when needed.
By now many of you have read about all the Federal Governments Loan Modification Programs. Others have been cold called by a former loan brokers offering to help you with your Loan Modification. Its odd that many of the brokers who put people into these miserable loans are now charging people up front to get out of the them.

Before you spend thousands of dollars with someone, do an investigation:

1. Is the person licensed by the California Department of Real Estate? Or, the California State Bar?

2. Are your potential representatives aware that have to be licensed according to the DRE?

3. Are they asking you for money up front? They are violating the California Foreclosure Consultant act if they are neither CA attorneys nor perhaps Real Estate brokers in possesion of a no opinion letter from the California Department of Real Estate? Note… if a Notice of Default has been filed against your residence only attorneys acting as your attorney can take up front fees. Don’t fall for “attorney backed” baloney. Are you retaining the services of the attorney or not? Did you sign a retainer agreement ?

4. If your potential representative is not an attorney make sure he or she is a Real Estate Broker capable of proving their upfront retainer agreement has been given a no opinon letter by the DRE. (As of November 2008 – only 14 non attorney entites have been “approved by the DRE.)

5. If somone says they are attorney backed – ask to speak with the attorney. What does attorney backed mean? From what we have seen it is usually a junk marketing business being run by someone who can not get a proper license to do loan modifications.

6. Find out how your loan modification people intend to gain leverage over the lender.

7. If you are offered a loan audit or a Qualfied Written Request under RESPA letter – will an attorney be doing the negotiating against the lender? Will you have to hire the attorney after you pay for your loan audit? Doesn’t that put cart before the horse?

8. Will it do you any good to have a loan audit done if you later have to go out and retain an attorney. You want to retain their services of an attorney before you pay for the audit. The loan audit is the profit center; negotiation takes time.
9. What kind of results should you expect?

10. Who will be doing your negotiating?

11. Will the Loan Modification request go out on Legal Letterhead?

12. How much will you have to pay? Are you looking for a typical loan mod result or are you looking to leverage the law in the hopes of getting a better than average loan mod result.

13. What if your are not satisfied with the loan modification offered by the lender?

14. Should you go into default on both loans prior to requesting a loan modification? Why? What happens if the loan mod does not work out to your satisfaction? (very important question.)

15. Will an attorney review the terms of your loan modification with you? Will you have to waive your anti-deficiency protections if you sign your loan modification paperwork? Will an attorney help you leverage recent changes in California law in an attempt to get a substantial reduction in the principle?

TRO Granted v Downey Savings

23 Jan

weinshanktroorder

fighting the good fight

22 Jan

Hi & Thank You for all that you are doing,

We sent a letter to the Trustee company (Quality Loan Service) alerting them that they did not comply with Oregon statutes because they did not properly record the Trustee’s Notice of Sale in BOTH of the counties that the property is located in. The foreclosure auction scheduled for Tuesday 01/20/2009 was subsequently “Cancelled” by the Trustee company.

We know that we can expect them to re-file a new Trustee’s Notice of Sale. All the foreclosure paperwork dating back to 2004 (‘yes … we have been fighting the good fight’) and the original loan documents that were signed at closing state “Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., as NOMINEE for Lime Financial”. My questions are:
1. If Lime Financial is out of business and no longer exists (according to their representatives via phone) who will MERS act as Nominee for?
2. We know that Lime Financial sold/securitized the loan to “US Bank N,A. as Trustee for the Registered Holders of Home Equity Asset Trust 2005-1″. Are they now the benficiary?
3. What actions (from A-Z) should we be taking NOW if our all consuming goal is to obtain “quiet title” and be mortgage free?

Any and all help that you can provide is sincerely appreciated.

Greg Lisa

________________________________________

2923.6 complaint

22 Jan

form29236complaint

Firm pursuing foreclosure might not be your lender

19 Jan

By PAULA LAVIGNE
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

Figuring out which company to deal with during a foreclosure can be daunting. Even if the original mortgage was with a company recognized by the borrower, that company may not be the one acting against the borrower in court.

For example: Wells Fargo filed more than 3,600 foreclosure lawsuits in Iowa from January 2005 to February 2008, more than any other company identified in Iowa court data. But the company could be taking legal action because it processed payments for another mortgage company or acted as a trustee for investors – not because it’s the original lender.

Two company names that often appear on Iowa foreclosures – Deutsche Bank and Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS – can be even more puzzling to borrowers.

Deutsche Bank, a global financial services firm with headquarters in Germany, may be listed as a loan’s owner of record, but it likely doesn’t have an actual stake in foreclosure proceedings. The firm acts as a trustee for investors holding mortgage-backed securities.

A loan winds up in a mortgage- backed security after it is sold by the company that originated the note. An investment bank pools that loan with others. It then sells securities, which represent a portion of the total principal and interest payments on the loans, to investors such as mutual funds, pension funds and insurance companies.

MERS, meanwhile, is neither the servicer nor the lender. Companies pay the firm to represent them and track loans as they change hands.

So while MERS should be able to point borrowers to the appropriate contact in a foreclosure proceeding, Deutsche Bank urges borrowers to contact loan servicers instead.

A tip for borrowers facing a foreclosure action: Make sure the company bringing the foreclosure action has the legal right to do so.

University of Iowa law professor Katherine Porter led a national study of 1,733 foreclosures and found that 40 percent of the creditors filing the lawsuits did not show proof of ownership. The study will be published later this year.

Companies, she said, have been “putting the burden on the consumer – who is bankrupt – to try to decide whether it’s worth it to press the issue.”

Max Gardner III, a bankruptcy attorney in North Carolina and a national foreclosure expert, said the trend is spreading to other states. “You have to prove in North Carolina that you have the original note,” he said. “Judges have not (asked for) that very often, until the last five or six months.”

MERS and Deutsche Bank faced court challenges last year over whether they had legal standing to bring a foreclosure action, with mixed results.

A federal judge in Florida ruled in favor of MERS, dismissing a class-action lawsuit that claimed the company did not have the right to initiate foreclosures. But a federal judge in Ohio ruled against Deutsche Bank, dismissing 14 foreclosure lawsuits after Deutsche Bank couldn’t provide proof of ownership. The Ohio attorney general has not been successful in getting state judges to follow suit.

In Iowa, attorneys and lending experts say they haven’t seen similar rulings against Deutsche Bank

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