Tag Archives: foreclosure defense

Predatory Lending and Predatory Servicing together at last Jan 1, 2013 Civil Code §2924.12(b)

10 Dec

Predatory Lending are abusive practices used in the mortgage industry that strip borrowers of home equity and threaten families with bankruptcy and foreclosure.

Predatory Lending can be broken down into three categories: Mortgage Origination, Mortgage Servicing; and Mortgage Collection and Foreclosure.

Mortgage Origination is the process by which you obtain your home loan from a mortgage broker or a bank.

Predatory lending practices in Mortgage Origination include:
# Excessive points;
# Charging fees not allowed or for services not delivered;
# Charging more than once for the same fee
# Providing a low teaser rate that adjusts to a rate you cannot afford;
# Successively refinancing your loan of “flipping;”
# “Steering” you into a loan that is more profitable to the Mortgage Originator;
# Changing the loan terms at closing or “bait & switch;”
# Closing in a location where you cannot adequately review the documents;
# Serving alcohol prior to closing;
# Coaching you to put minimum income or assets on you loan so that you will qualify for a certain amount;
# Securing an inflated appraisal;
# Receiving a kickback in money or favors from a particular escrow, title, appraiser or other service provider;
# Promising they will refinance your mortgage before your payment resets to a higher amount;
# Having you sign blank documents;
# Forging documents and signatures;
# Changing documents after you have signed them; and
# Loans with prepayment penalties or balloon payments.

Mortgage Servicing is the process of collecting loan payments and credit your loan.

Predatory lending practices in Mortgage Servicing include:
# Not applying payments on time;
# Applying payments to “Suspense;”
# “Jamming” illegal or improper fees;
# Creating an escrow or impounds account not allowed by the documents;
# Force placing insurance when you have adequate coverage;
# Improperly reporting negative credit history;
# Failing to provide you a detailed loan history; and
# Refusing to return your calls or letters.
#

Mortgage Collection & Foreclosure is the process Lenders use when you pay off your loan or when you house is repossessed for non-payment

Predatory lending practices in Mortgage Collection & Foreclosure include:
# Producing a payoff statement that includes improper charges & fees;
# Foreclosing in the name of an entity that is not the true owner of the mortgage;
# Failing to provide Default Loan Servicing required by all Fannie Mae mortgages;
# Failing to follow due process in foreclosure;
# Fraud on the court;
# Failing to provide copies of all documents and assignments; and
# Refusing to adequately communicate with you.

Abuses by Mortgage Service Companies

Although predatory lending has received far more attention than abusive servicing, a significant percentage of consumer complaints over loans involve servicing, not origination. For example, the director of the Nevada Fair Housing Center testified that of the hundreds of complaints of predatory lending issues her office received in 2002, about 42 percent involved servicing once the loan was transferred

Abusive Mortgage Servicing Defined:

Abusive servicing occurs when a servicer, either through action or inaction, obtains or attempts to obtain unwarranted fees or other costs from borrowers, engages in unfair collection practices, or through its own improper behavior or inaction causes borrowers to be more likely to go into default or have their homes foreclosed. Abusive practices should be distinguished from appropriate actions that may harm borrowers, such as a servicer merely collecting appropriate late fees or foreclosing on borrowers who do not make their payments despite proper loss mitigation efforts. Servicing can be abusive either intentionally, when there is intent to obtain unwarranted fees, or negligently, when, for example, a servicer’s records are so disorganized that borrowers are regularly charged late fees even when mortgage payments were made on time.

Abusive servicing often happens to debtors who have filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan and are in the process of making payments under the Plan. If you suspect that your mortgage servicer is abusing your relationship by charging unnecessary fees while you are paying off your Chapter 13 Plan, call us. We can help.

There is significant evidence that some Mortgage servicers have engaged in abusive behavior and that borrowers have frequently been the victims. Some servicers have engaged in practices that are not only detrimental to borrowers but also illegal Such abuse has been documented in court opinions and decisions, in the decisions and findings of ratings agencies, in litigation and settlements obtained by government agencies against prominent servicers, in congressional testimony, and in newspaper accounts of borrowers who claim to have been mistreated by servicers. The abusive servicing practices documented in these sources include improper foreclosure or attempted foreclosure, improper fees, improper forced-placed insurance, and improper use or oversight of escrow funds .

Civil Code §2924.12(b) Right to Sue Mortgage Servicers for Injunctive Relief, Damages, Treble Damages, and Right to Attorney’s Fees. : )

5 Dec

prohabition-images

H. Right to Sue Mortgage Servicers for Injunctive Relief, Damages, Treble Damages, and Right to Attorney’s Fees

2013 is going to be a good year

One of the most important provisions of the Act from a lender’s perspective is that it provides borrowers with the right to sue mortgage servicers for injunctive relief before the trustee’s deed upon sale has recorded, or if it has already recorded, to sue for actual economic damages, if the mortgage servicer has not corrected any “material” violation of certain enumerated portions of the Act before the trustee’s deed upon sale recorded. (Civil Code §2924.12(a).) In an area that will certainly open up a Pandora’s Box of litigation, the Act does not define what constitutes a “material” violation of the Act. If a court finds that the violation was intentional, reckless or willful, the court can award the borrower the greater of treble (triple) damages or $50,000. (Civil Code §2924.12(b).) Furthermore, a violation of the enumerated provisions of the Act is also deemed to be a violation of the licensing laws if committed by a person licensed as a consumer or commercial finance lender or broker, a residential mortgage lender or servicer, or a licensed real estate broker or salesman. (Civil Code §2924.12(d).) Lastly, in a one-sided attorney’s fee provision that only benefits borrowers, the court may award a borrower who obtains an injunction or receives an award of economic damages as a result of the violation of the Act their reasonable attorney’s fees and costs as the prevailing party. (Civil Code §2924.12(i).) This provides all the more reason for lenders and mortgage servicers to comply with the terms of the Act. This provision for the recovery by only the borrower of their reasonable attorney’s fees makes it more likely that borrowers will file litigation against mortgage lenders or servicers than they otherwise would. Compliance is the lender’s or mortgage servicer’s best defense to litigation under the Act.

Significantly for lenders, as long as the mortgage servicer remedies the material violation of the Act before the trustee’s deed upon sale has recorded, the Act specifically provides that the mortgage servicer shall not be liable under the Act for any violation or damages. (Civil Code §2924.12(b) & (c).) The Act also clarifies that signatories to the National Mortgage Settlement who are in compliance with the terms of that settlement, as they relate to the terms of the Act, will not face liability under the Act. (Civil Code §2924.12(g).

Improper foreclosure or attempted foreclosure

Because servicers can exact fees associated with foreclosures, such as attorneys’ fees, some servicers have attempted to foreclose on property even when borrowers are current on their payments or without giving borrowers enough time to repay or otherwise working with them on a repayment plan Furthermore, a speedy foreclosure may save servicers the cost of attempting other techniques that might have prevented the foreclosure.

Some servicers have been so brazen that they have regularly claimed to the courts that borrowers were in default so as to justify foreclosure, even though the borrowers were current on their payments. Other courts have also decried the frequent use of false statements to obtain relief from stay in order to foreclose on borrowers’ homes. For example, in Hart v. GMAC Mortgage Corporation, et al., 246 B.R. 709 (2000), even though the borrower had made the payments required of him by a forbearance agreement he had entered into with the servicer (GMAC Mortgage Corporation), it created a “negative suspense account” for moneys it had paid out, improperly charged the borrower an additional monthly sum to repay the negative suspense account, charged him late fees for failing to make the entire payment demanded, and began foreclosure proceedings.

Improper fees

Claiming that borrowers are in default when they are actually current allows servicers to charge unwarranted fees, either late fees or fees related to default and foreclosure. Servicers receive as a conventional fee a percentage of the total value of the loans they service, typically 25 basis points for prime loans and 50 basis points for subprime loans In addition, contracts typically provide that the servicer, not the trustee or investors, has the right to keep any and all late fees or fees associated with defaults. Servicers charge late fees not only because they act as a prod to coax borrowers into making payments on time, but also because borrowers who fail to make payments impose additional costs on servicers, which must then engage in loss mitigation to induce payment.

Such fees are a crucial part of servicers’ income. For example, one servicer’s CEO reportedly stated that extra fees, such as late fees, appeared to be paying for all of the operating costs of the company’s entire servicing department, leaving the conventional servicing fee almost completely profit The pressure to collect such fees appears to be higher on subprime servicers than on prime servicers:

Because borrowers typically cannot prove the exact date a payment was received, servicers can charge late fees even when they receive the payment on time Improper late fees may also be based on the loss of borrowers’ payments by servicers, their inability to track those payments accurately, or their failure to post payments in a timely fashion. In Ronemus v. FTB Mortgage Services, 201 B.R. 458 (1996), under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, the borrowers had made all of their payments on time except for two; they received permission to pay these two late and paid late fees for the privilege. However, the servicer, FTB Mortgage Services, misapplied their payments, then began placing their payments into a suspense account and collecting unauthorized late fees. The servicer ignored several letters from the borrowers’ attorney attempting to clear up the matter, sent regular demands for late fees, and began harassing the borrowers with collection efforts. When the borrowers sued, the servicer submitted to the court an artificially inflated accounting of how much the borrowers owed.

Some servicers have sent out late notices even when they have received timely payments and even before the end of a borrower’s grace period Worse yet, a servicer might pocket the payment, such as an extra payment of principal, and never credit it to the borrower Late fees on timely payments are a common problem when borrowers are making mortgage payments through a bankruptcy plan

Moreover, some servicers have also added false fees and charges not authorized by law or contract to their monthly payment demands, relying on borrowers’ ignorance of the exact amount owed. They can collect such fees or other unwarranted claims by submitting inaccurate payoff demands when a borrower refinances or sells the house). Or they can place the borrowers’ monthly payments in a suspense account and then charge late fees even though they received the payment Worse yet, some servicers pyramid their late fees, applying a portion of the current payment to a previous late fee and then charging an additional late fee even though the borrower has made a timely and full payment for the new month Pyramiding late fees allows servicers to charge late fees month after month even though the borrower made only one late payment

Servicers can turn their fees into a profit center by sending inaccurate monthly payment demands, demanding unearned fees or charges not owed, or imposing fees higher than the expenses for a panoply of actions For example, some servicers take advantage of borrowers’ ignorance by charging fees, such as prepayment penalties, where the note does not provide for them Servicers have sometimes imposed a uniform set of fees over an entire pool of loans, disregarding the fact that some of the loan documents did not provide for those particular fees. Or they charge more for attorneys’, property inspection, or appraisal fees than were actually incurred. Some servicers may add a fee by conducting unnecessary property inspections, having an agent drive by even when the borrower is not in default, or conducting multiple inspections during a single period of default to charge the resulting multiple fees

The complexity of the terms of many loans makes it difficult for borrowers to discover whether they are being overcharged Moreover, servicers can frustrate any attempts to sort out which fees are genuine.

Improperly forced-placed insurance

Mortgage holders are entitled under the terms of the loan to require borrowers to carry homeowners’ insurance naming the holder as the payee in case of loss and to force-place insurance by buying policies for borrowers who fail to do so and charging them for the premiums However, some servicers have force-placed insurance even in cases where the borrower already had it and even provided evidence of it to the servicer Worse yet, servicers have charged for force-placed insurance without even purchasing it. Premiums for force-placed insurance are often inflated in that they provide protection in excess of what the loan.

Escrow Account Mismanagement

One of the benefits of servicing mortgages is controlling escrow accounts to pay for insurance, taxes, and the like and, in most states, keeping any interest earned on these accounts Borrowers have complained that servicers have failed to make tax or insurance payments when they were due or at all. The treasurer of the country’s second largest county estimated that this failure to make timely payments cost borrowers late fees of at least $2 million in that county over a two-year span, causing some to lose their homes. If servicers fail to make insurance payments and a policy lapses, borrowers may face much higher insurance costs even if they purchase their own, non-force-placed policy. Worse yet, borrowers may find themselves unable to buy insurance at all if they cannot find a new insurer willing to write them a policy

You can make a claim for mortgage service abuse, and often the court will award actual and punitive damages. If you think you have been a victim of mortgage service abuse, contact us. We can help you make a claim.

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 decided. And … Yes we have had this motion granted. ex-parte-application-for-stay-of-judgment-or-unlawful-detainer3
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 Case

BILL NUMBER: AB 278	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  86
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  JULY 11, 2012
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  JULY 11, 2012
	PASSED THE SENATE  JULY 2, 2012
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  JULY 2, 2012
	AMENDED IN SENATE  SEPTEMBER 1, 2011
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 23, 2011

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Members Eng, Feuer, Mitchell, and John A.
Pérez
   (Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Davis, Carter, and Skinner)

   (Principal coauthors: Senators Leno, Evans, Calderon, Corbett,
DeSaulnier, Hancock, Pavley, and Steinberg)

                        FEBRUARY 8, 2011

   An act to amend and add Sections 2923.5 and 2923.6 of, to amend
and repeal Section 2924 of, to add Sections 2920.5, 2923.4, 2923.7,
2924.17, and 2924.20 to, to add and repeal Sections 2923.55, 2924.9,
2924.10, 2924.18, and 2924.19 of, and to add, repeal, and add
Sections 2924.11, 2924.12, and 2924.15 of, the Civil Code, relating
to mortgages.

	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

   AB 278, Eng. Mortgages and deeds of trust: foreclosure.
   (1) Existing law, until January 1, 2013, requires a mortgagee,
trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent to contact the borrower
prior to filing a notice of default to explore options for the
borrower to avoid foreclosure, as specified. Existing law requires a
notice of default or, in certain circumstances, a notice of sale, to
include a declaration stating that the mortgagee, trustee,
beneficiary, or authorized agent has contacted the borrower, or has
tried with due diligence to contact the borrower, or that no contact
was required for a specified reason.
   This bill would add mortgage servicers, as defined, to these
provisions and would extend the operation of these provisions
indefinitely, except that it would delete the requirement with
respect to a notice of sale. The bill would, until January 1, 2018,
additionally require the borrower, as defined, to be provided with
specified information in writing prior to recordation of a notice of
default and, in certain circumstances, within 5 business days after
recordation. The bill would prohibit a mortgage servicer, mortgagee,
trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent from recording a notice of
default or, until January 1, 2018, recording a notice of sale or
conducting a trustee's sale while a complete first lien loan
modification application is pending, under specified conditions. The
bill would, until January 1, 2018, establish additional procedures to
be followed regarding a first lien loan modification application,
the denial of an application, and a borrower's right to appeal a
denial.
   (2) Existing law imposes various requirements that must be
satisfied prior to exercising a power of sale under a mortgage or
deed of trust, including, among other things, recording a notice of
default and a notice of sale.
   The bill would, until January 1, 2018, require a written notice to
the borrower after the postponement of a foreclosure sale in order
to advise the borrower of any new sale date and time, as specified.
The bill would provide that an entity shall not record a notice of
default or otherwise initiate the foreclosure process unless it is
the holder of the beneficial interest under the deed of trust, the
original or substituted trustee, or the designated agent of the
holder of the beneficial interest, as specified.
   The bill would prohibit recordation of a notice of default or a
notice of sale or the conduct of a trustee's sale if a foreclosure
prevention alternative has been approved and certain conditions exist
and would, until January 1, 2018, require recordation of a
rescission of those notices upon execution of a permanent foreclosure
prevention alternative. The bill would, until January 1, 2018,
prohibit the collection of application fees and the collection of
late fees while a foreclosure prevention alternative is being
considered, if certain criteria are met, and would require a
subsequent mortgage servicer to honor any previously approved
foreclosure prevention alternative.
   The bill would authorize a borrower to seek an injunction and
damages for violations of certain of the provisions described above,
except as specified. The bill would authorize the greater of treble
actual damages or $50,000 in statutory damages if a violation of
certain provisions is found to be intentional or reckless or resulted
from willful misconduct, as specified. The bill would authorize the
awarding of attorneys' fees for prevailing borrowers, as specified.
Violations of these provisions by licensees of the Department of
Corporations, the Department of Financial Institutions, and the
Department of Real Estate would also be violations of those
respective licensing laws. Because a violation of certain of those
licensing laws is a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated
local program.
   The bill would provide that the requirements imposed on mortgage
servicers, and mortgagees, trustees, beneficiaries, and authorized
agents, described above are applicable only to mortgages or deeds of
trust secured by residential real property not exceeding 4 dwelling
units that is owner-occupied, as defined, and, until January 1, 2018,
only to those entities who conduct more than 175 foreclosure sales
per year or annual reporting period, except as specified.
   The bill would require, upon request from a borrower who requests
a foreclosure prevention alternative, a mortgage servicer who
conducts more than 175 foreclosure sales per year or annual reporting
period to establish a single point of contact and provide the
borrower with one or more direct means of communication with the
single point of contact. The bill would specify various
responsibilities of the single point of contact. The bill would
define single point of contact for these purposes.
   (3) Existing law prescribes documents that may be recorded or
filed in court.
   This bill would require that a specified declaration, notice of
default, notice of sale, deed of trust, assignment of a deed of
trust, substitution of trustee, or declaration or affidavit filed in
any court relative to a foreclosure proceeding or recorded by or on
behalf of a mortgage servicer shall be accurate and complete and
supported by competent and reliable evidence. The bill would require
that before recording or filing any of those documents, a mortgage
servicer shall ensure that it has reviewed competent and reliable
evidence to substantiate the borrower's default and the right to
foreclose, including the borrower's loan status and loan information.
The bill would, until January 1, 2018, provide that any mortgage
servicer that engages in multiple and repeated violations of these
requirements shall be liable for a civil penalty of up to $7,500 per
mortgage or deed of trust, in an action brought by specified state
and local government entities, and would also authorize
administrative enforcement against licensees of the Department of
Corporations, the Department of Financial Institutions, and the
Department of Real Estate.
   The bill would authorize the Department of Corporations, the
Department of Financial Institutions, and the Department of Real
Estate to adopt regulations applicable to persons and entities under
their respective jurisdictions for purposes of the provisions
described above. The bill would provide that a violation of those
regulations would be enforceable only by the regulating agency.
   (4) The bill would state findings and declarations of the
Legislature in relation to foreclosures in the state generally, and
would state the purposes of the bill.
   (5) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse
local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
   (a) California is still reeling from the economic impacts of a
wave of residential property foreclosures that began in 2007. From
2007 to 2011 alone, there were over 900,000 completed foreclosure
sales. In 2011, 38 of the top 100 hardest hit ZIP Codes in the nation
were in California, and the current wave of foreclosures continues
apace. All of this foreclosure activity has adversely affected
property values and resulted in less money for schools, public
safety, and other public services. In addition, according to the
Urban Institute, every foreclosure imposes significant costs on local
governments, including an estimated nineteen thousand two hundred
twenty-nine dollars ($19,229) in local government costs. And the
foreclosure crisis is not over; there remain more than two million
"underwater" mortgages in California.
   (b) It is essential to the economic health of this state to
mitigate the negative effects on the state and local economies and
the housing market that are the result of continued foreclosures by
modifying the foreclosure process to ensure that borrowers who may
qualify for a foreclosure alternative are considered for, and have a
meaningful opportunity to obtain, available loss mitigation options.
These changes to the state's foreclosure process are essential to
ensure that the current crisis is not worsened by unnecessarily
adding foreclosed properties to the market when an alternative to
foreclosure may be available. Avoiding foreclosure, where possible,
will help stabilize the state's housing market and avoid the
substantial, corresponding negative effects of foreclosures on
families, communities, and the state and local economy.
   (c) This act is necessary to provide stability to California's
statewide and regional economies and housing market by facilitating
opportunities for borrowers to pursue loss mitigation options.
  SEC. 2.  Section 2920.5 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2920.5.  For purposes of this article, the following definitions
apply:
   (a) "Mortgage servicer" means a person or entity who directly
services a loan, or who is responsible for interacting with the
borrower, managing the loan account on a daily basis including
collecting and crediting periodic loan payments, managing any escrow
account, or enforcing the note and security instrument, either as the
current owner of the promissory note or as the current owner's
authorized agent. "Mortgage servicer" also means a subservicing agent
to a master servicer by contract. "Mortgage servicer" shall not
include a trustee, or a trustee's authorized agent, acting under a
power of sale pursuant to a deed of trust.
   (b) "Foreclosure prevention alternative" means a first lien loan
modification or another available loss mitigation option.
   (c) (1) Unless otherwise provided and for purposes of Sections
2923.4, 2923.5, 2923.55, 2923.6, 2923.7, 2924.9, 2924.10, 2924.11,
2924.18, and 2924.19, "borrower" means any natural person who is a
mortgagor or trustor and who is potentially eligible for any federal,
state, or proprietary foreclosure prevention alternative program
offered by, or through, his or her mortgage servicer.
   (2) For purposes of the sections listed in paragraph (1),
"borrower" shall not include any of the following:
   (A) An individual who has surrendered the secured property as
evidenced by either a letter confirming the surrender or delivery of
the keys to the property to the mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or
authorized agent.
   (B) An individual who has contracted with an organization, 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 mortgagees or beneficiaries.
   (C) An individual who has filed a case under Chapter 7, 11, 12, or
13 of Title 11 of the United States Code and the bankruptcy court
has not entered an order closing or dismissing the bankruptcy case,
or granting relief from a stay of foreclosure.
   (d) "First lien" means the most senior mortgage or deed of trust
on the property that is the subject of the notice of default or
notice of sale.
  SEC. 3.  Section 2923.4 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2923.4.  (a) The purpose of the act that added this section is to
ensure that, as part of the nonjudicial foreclosure process,
borrowers are considered for, and have a meaningful opportunity to
obtain, available loss mitigation options, if any, offered by or
through the borrower's mortgage servicer, such as loan modifications
or other alternatives to foreclosure. Nothing in the act that added
this section, however, shall be interpreted to require a particular
result of that process.
   (b) Nothing in this article obviates or supersedes the obligations
of the signatories to the consent judgment entered in the case
entitled United States of America et al. v. Bank of America
Corporation et al., filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Columbia, case number 1:12-cv-00361 RMC.
  SEC. 4.  Section 2923.5 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
   2923.5.  (a) (1) A mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee,
beneficiary, or authorized agent may not record a notice of default
pursuant to Section 2924 until both of the following:
   (A) Either 30 days after initial contact is made as required by
paragraph (2) or 30 days after satisfying the due diligence
requirements as described in subdivision (e).
   (B) The mortgage servicer complies with paragraph (1) of
subdivision (a) of Section 2924.18, if the borrower has provided a
complete application as defined in subdivision (d) of Section
2924.18.
   (2) A mortgage servicer shall contact the borrower in person or by
telephone in order to assess the borrower's financial situation and
explore options for the borrower to avoid foreclosure. During the
initial contact, the mortgage servicer shall advise the borrower that
he or she has the right to request a subsequent meeting and, if
requested, the mortgage servicer shall schedule the meeting to occur
within 14 days. The assessment of the borrower's financial situation
and discussion of options may occur during the first contact, or at
the subsequent meeting scheduled for that purpose. In either case,
the borrower shall be provided the toll-free telephone number made
available by the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) to find a HUD-certified housing counseling agency.
Any meeting may occur telephonically.
   (b) A notice of default recorded pursuant to Section 2924 shall
include a declaration that the mortgage servicer has contacted the
borrower, has tried with due diligence to contact the borrower as
required by this section, or that no contact was required because the
individual did not meet the definition of "borrower" pursuant to
subdivision (c) of Section 2920.5.
   (c) A mortgage servicer's loss mitigation personnel may
participate by telephone during any contact required by this section.

    (d) A borrower may designate, with consent given in writing, a
HUD-certified housing counseling agency, attorney, or other adviser
to discuss with the mortgage servicer, on the borrower's behalf, the
borrower's financial situation and options for the borrower to avoid
foreclosure. That contact made at the direction of the borrower shall
satisfy the contact requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision
(a). Any loan modification or workout plan offered at the meeting by
the mortgage servicer is subject to approval by the borrower.
    (e) A notice of default may be recorded pursuant to Section 2924
when a mortgage servicer has not contacted a borrower as required by
paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) provided that the failure to contact
the borrower occurred despite the due diligence of the mortgage
servicer. For purposes of this section, "due diligence" shall require
and mean all of the following:
   (1) A mortgage servicer shall first attempt to contact a borrower
by sending a first-class letter that includes the toll-free telephone
number made available by HUD to find a HUD-certified housing
counseling agency.
   (2) (A) After the letter has been sent, the mortgage servicer
shall attempt to contact the borrower by telephone at least three
times at different hours and on different days. Telephone calls shall
be made to the primary telephone number on file.
   (B) A mortgage servicer may attempt to contact a borrower using an
automated system to dial borrowers, provided that, if the telephone
call is answered, the call is connected to a live representative of
the mortgage servicer.
   (C) A mortgage servicer satisfies the telephone contact
requirements of this paragraph if it determines, after attempting
contact pursuant to this paragraph, that the borrower's primary
telephone number and secondary telephone number or numbers on file,
if any, have been disconnected.
   (3) If the borrower does not respond within two weeks after the
telephone call requirements of paragraph (2) have been satisfied, the
mortgage servicer shall then send a certified letter, with return
receipt requested.
   (4) The mortgage servicer shall provide a means for the borrower
to contact it in a timely manner, including a toll-free telephone
number that will provide access to a live representative during
business hours.
   (5) The mortgage servicer has posted a prominent link on the
homepage of its Internet Web site, if any, to the following
information:
   (A) Options that may be available to borrowers who are unable to
afford their mortgage payments and who wish to avoid foreclosure, and
instructions to borrowers advising them on steps to take to explore
those options.
   (B) A list of financial documents borrowers should collect and be
prepared to present to the mortgage servicer when discussing options
for avoiding foreclosure.
   (C) A toll-free telephone number for borrowers who wish to discuss
options for avoiding foreclosure with their mortgage servicer.
   (D) The toll-free telephone number made available by HUD to find a
HUD-certified housing counseling agency.
    (f) This section shall apply only to mortgages or deeds of trust
described in Section 2924.15.
   (g) This section shall apply only to entities described in
subdivision (b) of Section 2924.18.
    (h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 5.  Section 2923.5 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2923.5.  (a) (1) A mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee,
beneficiary, or authorized agent may not record a notice of default
pursuant to Section 2924 until both of the following:
   (A) Either 30 days after initial contact is made as required by
paragraph (2) or 30 days after satisfying the due diligence
requirements as described in subdivision (e).
   (B) The mortgage servicer complies with subdivision (a) of Section
2924.11, if the borrower has provided a complete application as
defined in subdivision (f) of Section 2924.11.
   (2) A mortgage servicer shall contact the borrower in person or by
telephone in order to assess the borrower's financial situation and
explore options for the borrower to avoid foreclosure. During the
initial contact, the mortgage servicer shall advise the borrower that
he or she has the right to request a subsequent meeting and, if
requested, the mortgage servicer shall schedule the meeting to occur
within 14 days. The assessment of the borrower's financial situation
and discussion of options may occur during the first contact, or at
the subsequent meeting scheduled for that purpose. In either case,
the borrower shall be provided the toll-free telephone number made
available by the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) to find a HUD-certified housing counseling agency.
Any meeting may occur telephonically.
   (b) A notice of default recorded pursuant to Section 2924 shall
include a declaration that the mortgage servicer has contacted the
borrower, has tried with due diligence to contact the borrower as
required by this section, or that no contact was required because the
individual did not meet the definition of "borrower" pursuant to
subdivision (c) of Section 2920.5.
   (c) A mortgage servicer's loss mitigation personnel may
participate by telephone during any contact required by this section.

   (d) A borrower may designate, with consent given in writing, a
HUD-certified housing counseling agency, attorney, or other adviser
to discuss with the mortgage servicer, on the borrower's behalf, the
borrower's financial situation and options for the borrower to avoid
foreclosure. That contact made at the direction of the borrower shall
satisfy the contact requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision
(a). Any loan modification or workout plan offered at the meeting by
the mortgage servicer is subject to approval by the borrower.
   (e) A notice of default may be recorded pursuant to Section 2924
when a mortgage servicer has not contacted a borrower as required by
paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) provided that the failure to contact
the borrower occurred despite the due diligence of the mortgage
servicer. For purposes of this section, "due diligence" shall require
and mean all of the following:
   (1) A mortgage servicer shall first attempt to contact a borrower
by sending a first-class letter that includes the toll-free telephone
number made available by HUD to find a HUD-certified housing
counseling agency.
   (2) (A) After the letter has been sent, the mortgage servicer
shall attempt to contact the borrower by telephone at least three
times at different hours and on different days. Telephone calls shall
be made to the primary telephone number on file.
   (B) A mortgage servicer may attempt to contact a borrower using an
automated system to dial borrowers, provided that, if the telephone
call is answered, the call is connected to a live representative of
the mortgage servicer.
   (C) A mortgage servicer satisfies the telephone contact
requirements of this paragraph if it determines, after attempting
contact pursuant to this paragraph, that the borrower's primary
telephone number and secondary telephone number or numbers on file,
if any, have been disconnected.
   (3) If the borrower does not respond within two weeks after the
telephone call requirements of paragraph (2) have been satisfied, the
mortgage servicer shall then send a certified letter, with return
receipt requested.
   (4) The mortgage servicer shall provide a means for the borrower
to contact it in a timely manner, including a toll-free telephone
number that will provide access to a live representative during
business hours.
   (5) The mortgage servicer has posted a prominent link on the
homepage of its Internet Web site, if any, to the following
information:
   (A) Options that may be available to borrowers who are unable to
afford their mortgage payments and who wish to avoid foreclosure, and
instructions to borrowers advising them on steps to take to explore
those options.
   (B) A list of financial documents borrowers should collect and be
prepared to present to the mortgage servicer when discussing options
for avoiding foreclosure.
   (C) A toll-free telephone number for borrowers who wish to discuss
options for avoiding foreclosure with their mortgage servicer.
   (D) The toll-free telephone number made available by HUD to find a
HUD-certified housing counseling agency.
   (f) This section shall apply only to mortgages or deeds of trust
described in Section 2924.15.
   (g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2018.
  SEC. 6.  Section 2923.55 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2923.55.  (a) A mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee,
beneficiary, or authorized agent may not record a notice of default
pursuant to Section 2924 until all of the following:
    (1) The mortgage servicer has satisfied the requirements of
paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).
   (2) Either 30 days after initial contact is made as required by
paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) or 30 days after satisfying the due
diligence requirements as described in subdivision (f).
   (3) The mortgage servicer complies with subdivision (c) of Section
2923.6, if the borrower has provided a complete application as
defined in subdivision (h) of Section 2923.6.
   (b) (1) As specified in subdivision (a), a mortgage servicer shall
send the following information in writing to the borrower:
   (A) A statement that if the borrower is a servicemember or a
dependent of a servicemember, he or she may be entitled to certain
protections under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50
U.S.C. Sec. 501 et seq.) regarding the servicemember's interest rate
and the risk of foreclosure, and counseling for covered
servicemembers that is available at agencies such as Military
OneSource and Armed Forces Legal Assistance.
   (B) A statement that the borrower may request the following:
   (i) A copy of the borrower's promissory note or other evidence of
indebtedness.
   (ii) A copy of the borrower's deed of trust or mortgage.
   (iii) A copy of any assignment, if applicable, of the borrower's
mortgage or deed of trust required to demonstrate the right of the
mortgage servicer to foreclose.
   (iv) A copy of the borrower's payment history since the borrower
was last less than 60 days past due.
   (2) A mortgage servicer shall contact the borrower in person or by
telephone in order to assess the borrower's financial situation and
explore options for the borrower to avoid foreclosure. During the
initial contact, the mortgage servicer shall advise the borrower that
he or she has the right to request a subsequent meeting and, if
requested, the mortgage servicer shall schedule the meeting to occur
within 14 days. The assessment of the borrower's financial situation
and discussion of options may occur during the first contact, or at
the subsequent meeting scheduled for that purpose. In either case,
the borrower shall be provided the toll-free telephone number made
available by the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) to find a HUD-certified housing counseling agency.
Any meeting may occur telephonically.
   (c) A notice of default recorded pursuant to Section 2924 shall
include a declaration that the mortgage servicer has contacted the
borrower, has tried with due diligence to contact the borrower as
required by this section, or that no contact was required because the
individual did not meet the definition of "borrower" pursuant to
subdivision (c) of Section 2920.5.
   (d) A mortgage servicer's loss mitigation personnel may
participate by telephone during any contact required by this section.

   (e) A borrower may designate, with consent given in writing, a
HUD-certified housing counseling agency, attorney, or other adviser
to discuss with the mortgage servicer, on the borrower's behalf, the
borrower's financial situation and options for the borrower to avoid
foreclosure. That contact made at the direction of the borrower shall
satisfy the contact requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision
(b). Any foreclosure prevention alternative offered at the meeting by
the mortgage servicer is subject to approval by the borrower.
   (f) A notice of default may be recorded pursuant to Section 2924
when a mortgage servicer has not contacted a borrower as required by
paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), provided that the failure to
contact the borrower occurred despite the due diligence of the
mortgage servicer. For purposes of this section, "due diligence"
shall require and mean all of the following:
   (1) A mortgage servicer shall first attempt to contact a borrower
by sending a first-class letter that includes the toll-free telephone
number made available by HUD to find a HUD-certified housing
counseling agency.
   (2) (A) After the letter has been sent, the mortgage servicer
shall attempt to contact the borrower by telephone at least three
times at different hours and on different days. Telephone calls shall
be made to the primary telephone number on file.
   (B) A mortgage servicer may attempt to contact a borrower using an
automated system to dial borrowers, provided that, if the telephone
call is answered, the call is connected to a live representative of
the mortgage servicer.
   (C) A mortgage servicer satisfies the telephone contact
requirements of this paragraph if it determines, after attempting
contact pursuant to this paragraph, that the borrower's primary
telephone number and secondary telephone number or numbers on file,
if any, have been disconnected.
   (3) If the borrower does not respond within two weeks after the
telephone call requirements of paragraph (2) have been satisfied, the
mortgage servicer shall then send a certified letter, with return
receipt requested, that includes the toll-free telephone number made
available by HUD to find a HUD-certified housing counseling agency.
   (4) The mortgage servicer shall provide a means for the borrower
to contact it in a timely manner, including a toll-free telephone
number that will provide access to a live representative during
business hours.
   (5) The mortgage servicer has posted a prominent link on the
homepage of its Internet Web site, if any, to the following
information:
   (A) Options that may be available to borrowers who are unable to
afford their mortgage payments and who wish to avoid foreclosure, and
instructions to borrowers advising them on steps to take to explore
those options.
   (B) A list of financial documents borrowers should collect and be
prepared to present to the mortgage servicer when discussing options
for avoiding foreclosure.
   (C) A toll-free telephone number for borrowers who wish to discuss
options for avoiding foreclosure with their mortgage servicer.
   (D) The toll-free telephone number made available by HUD to find a
HUD-certified housing counseling agency.
   (g) This section shall not apply to entities described in
subdivision (b) of Section 2924.18.
   (h) This section shall apply only to mortgages or deeds of trust
described in Section 2924.15.
   (i)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 7.  Section 2923.6 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
   2923.6.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares that any duty that
mortgage servicers may have to maximize net present value under
their pooling and servicing agreements is owed to all parties in a
loan pool, or to all investors under a pooling and servicing
agreement, not to any particular party in the loan pool or investor
under a pooling and servicing agreement, and that a mortgage servicer
acts in the best interests of all parties to the loan pool or
investors in the pooling and servicing agreement if it agrees to or
implements a loan modification or workout plan for which both of the
following apply:
   (1) The loan is in payment default, or payment default is
reasonably foreseeable.
   (2) Anticipated recovery under the loan modification or workout
plan exceeds the anticipated recovery through foreclosure on a net
present value basis.
   (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the mortgage servicer
offer the borrower a loan modification or workout plan if such a
modification or plan is consistent with its contractual or other
authority.
   (c) If a borrower submits a complete application for a first lien
loan modification offered by, or through, the borrower's mortgage
servicer, a mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or
authorized agent shall not record a notice of default or notice of
sale, or conduct a trustee's sale, while the complete first lien loan
modification application is pending. A mortgage servicer, mortgagee,
trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall not record a notice
of default or notice of sale or conduct a trustee's sale until any of
the following occurs:
   (1) The mortgage servicer makes a written determination that the
borrower is not eligible for a first lien loan modification, and any
appeal period pursuant to subdivision (d) has expired.
   (2) The borrower does not accept an offered first lien loan
modification within 14 days of the offer.
   (3) The borrower accepts a written first lien loan modification,
but defaults on, or otherwise breaches the borrower's obligations
under, the first lien loan modification.
   (d) If the borrower's application for a first lien loan
modification is denied, the borrower shall have at least 30 days from
the date of the written denial to appeal the denial and to provide
evidence that the mortgage servicer's determination was in error.
   (e) If the borrower's application for a first lien loan
modification is denied, the mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee,
beneficiary, or authorized agent shall not record a notice of default
or, if a notice of default has already been recorded, record a
notice of sale or conduct a trustee's sale until the later of:
   (1) Thirty-one days after the borrower is notified in writing of
the denial.
   (2) If the borrower appeals the denial pursuant to subdivision
(d), the later of 15 days after the denial of the appeal or 14 days
after a first lien loan modification is offered after appeal but
declined by the borrower, or, if a first lien loan modification is
offered and accepted after appeal, the date on which the borrower
fails to timely submit the first payment or otherwise breaches the
terms of the offer.
   (f) Following the denial of a first lien loan modification
application, the mortgage servicer shall send a written notice to the
borrower identifying the reasons for denial, including the
following:
   (1) The amount of time from the date of the denial letter in which
the borrower may request an appeal of the denial of the first lien
loan modification and instructions regarding how to appeal the
denial.
   (2) If the denial was based on investor disallowance, the specific
reasons for the investor disallowance.
   (3) If the denial is the result of a net present value
calculation, the monthly gross income and property value used to
calculate the net present value and a statement that the borrower may
obtain all of the inputs used in the net present value calculation
upon written request to the mortgage servicer.
   (4) If applicable, a finding that the borrower was previously
offered a first lien loan modification and failed to successfully
make payments under the terms of the modified loan.

         (5) If applicable, a description of other foreclosure
prevention alternatives for which the borrower may be eligible, and a
list of the steps the borrower must take in order to be considered
for those options. If the mortgage servicer has already approved the
borrower for another foreclosure prevention alternative, information
necessary to complete the foreclosure prevention alternative.
   (g) In order to minimize the risk of borrowers submitting multiple
applications for first lien loan modifications for the purpose of
delay, the mortgage servicer shall not be obligated to evaluate
applications from borrowers who have already been evaluated or
afforded a fair opportunity to be evaluated for a first lien loan
modification prior to January 1, 2013, or who have been evaluated or
afforded a fair opportunity to be evaluated consistent with the
requirements of this section, unless there has been a material change
in the borrower's financial circumstances since the date of the
borrower's previous application and that change is documented by the
borrower and submitted to the mortgage servicer.
   (h) For purposes of this section, an application shall be deemed
"complete" when a borrower has supplied the mortgage servicer with
all documents required by the mortgage servicer within the reasonable
timeframes specified by the mortgage servicer.
   (i) Subdivisions (c) to (h), inclusive, shall not apply to
entities described in subdivision (b) of Section 2924.18.
   (j) This section shall apply only to mortgages or deeds of trust
described in Section 2924.15.
    (k)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 8.  Section 2923.6 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2923.6.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares that any duty
mortgage servicers may have to maximize net present value under their
pooling and servicing agreements is owed to all parties in a loan
pool, or to all investors under a pooling and servicing agreement,
not to any particular party in the loan pool or investor under a
pooling and servicing agreement, and that a mortgage servicer acts in
the best interests of all parties to the loan pool or investors in
the pooling and servicing agreement if it agrees to or implements a
loan modification or workout plan for which both of the following
apply:
   (1) The loan is in payment default, or payment default is
reasonably foreseeable.
   (2) Anticipated recovery under the loan modification or workout
plan exceeds the anticipated recovery through foreclosure on a net
present value basis.
   (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the mortgage servicer
offer the borrower a loan modification or workout plan if such a
modification or plan is consistent with its contractual or other
authority.
   (c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2018.
  SEC. 9.  Section 2923.7 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2923.7.  (a) Upon request from a borrower who requests a
foreclosure prevention alternative, the mortgage servicer shall
promptly establish a single point of contact and provide to the
borrower one or more direct means of communication with the single
point of contact.
   (b) The single point of contact shall be responsible for doing all
of the following:
   (1) Communicating the process by which a borrower may apply for an
available foreclosure prevention alternative and the deadline for
any required submissions to be considered for these options.
   (2) Coordinating receipt of all documents associated with
available foreclosure prevention alternatives and notifying the
borrower of any missing documents necessary to complete the
application.
   (3) Having access to current information and personnel sufficient
to timely, accurately, and adequately inform the borrower of the
current status of the foreclosure prevention alternative.
   (4) Ensuring that a borrower is considered for all foreclosure
prevention alternatives offered by, or through, the mortgage
servicer, if any.
   (5) Having access to individuals with the ability and authority to
stop foreclosure proceedings when necessary.
   (c) The single point of contact shall remain assigned to the
borrower's account until the mortgage servicer determines that all
loss mitigation options offered by, or through, the mortgage servicer
have been exhausted or the borrower's account becomes current.
   (d) The mortgage servicer shall ensure that a single point of
contact refers and transfers a borrower to an appropriate supervisor
upon request of the borrower, if the single point of contact has a
supervisor.
   (e) For purposes of this section, "single point of contact" means
an individual or team of personnel each of whom has the ability and
authority to perform the responsibilities described in subdivisions
(b) to (d), inclusive. The mortgage servicer shall ensure that each
member of the team is knowledgeable about the borrower's situation
and current status in the alternatives to foreclosure process.
   (f) This section shall apply only to mortgages or deeds of trust
described in Section 2924.15.
   (g) (1) This section shall not apply to a depository institution
chartered under state or federal law, a person licensed pursuant to
Division 9 (commencing with Section 22000) or Division 20 (commencing
with Section 50000) of the Financial Code, or a person licensed
pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 10000) of Division 4 of
the Business and Professions Code, that, during its immediately
preceding annual reporting period, as established with its primary
regulator, foreclosed on 175 or fewer residential real properties,
containing no more than four dwelling units, that are located in
California.
   (2) Within three months after the close of any calendar year or
annual reporting period as established with its primary regulator
during which an entity or person described in paragraph (1) exceeds
the threshold of 175 specified in paragraph (1), that entity shall
notify its primary regulator, in a manner acceptable to its primary
regulator, and any mortgagor or trustor who is delinquent on a
residential mortgage loan serviced by that entity of the date on
which that entity will be subject to this section, which date shall
be the first day of the first month that is six months after the
close of the calendar year or annual reporting period during which
that entity exceeded the threshold.
  SEC. 10.  Section 2924 of the Civil Code, as amended by Section 1
of Chapter 180 of the Statutes of 2010, is amended to read:
   2924.  (a) Every transfer of an interest in property, other than
in trust, made only as a security for the performance of another act,
is to be deemed a mortgage, except when in the case of personal
property it is accompanied by actual change of possession, in which
case it is to be deemed a pledge. Where, by a mortgage created after
July 27, 1917, of any estate in real property, other than an estate
at will or for years, less than two, or in any transfer in trust made
after July 27, 1917, of a like estate to secure the performance of
an obligation, a power of sale is conferred upon the mortgagee,
trustee, or any other person, to be exercised after a breach of the
obligation for which that mortgage or transfer is a security, the
power shall not be exercised except where the mortgage or transfer is
made pursuant to an order, judgment, or decree of a court of record,
or to secure the payment of bonds or other evidences of indebtedness
authorized or permitted to be issued by the Commissioner of
Corporations, or is made by a public utility subject to the
provisions of the Public Utilities Act, until all of the following
apply:
   (1) The trustee, mortgagee, or beneficiary, or any of their
authorized agents shall first file for record, in the office of the
recorder of each county wherein the mortgaged or trust property or
some part or parcel thereof is situated, a notice of default. That
notice of default shall include all of the following:
   (A) A statement identifying the mortgage or deed of trust by
stating the name or names of the trustor or trustors and giving the
book and page, or instrument number, if applicable, where the
mortgage or deed of trust is recorded or a description of the
mortgaged or trust property.
   (B) A statement that a breach of the obligation for which the
mortgage or transfer in trust is security has occurred.
   (C) A statement setting forth the nature of each breach actually
known to the beneficiary and of his or her election to sell or cause
to be sold the property to satisfy that obligation and any other
obligation secured by the deed of trust or mortgage that is in
default.
   (D) If the default is curable pursuant to Section 2924c, the
statement specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section
2924c.
   (2) Not less than three months shall elapse from the filing of the
notice of default.
   (3) Except as provided in paragraph (4), after the lapse of the
three months described in paragraph (2), the mortgagee, trustee, or
other person authorized to take the sale shall give notice of sale,
stating the time and place thereof, in the manner and for a time not
less than that set forth in Section 2924f.
   (4) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), the mortgagee, trustee, or
other person authorized to take sale may record a notice of sale
pursuant to Section 2924f up to five days before the lapse of the
three-month period described in paragraph (2), provided that the date
of sale is no earlier than three months and 20 days after the
recording of the notice of default.
   (5) Until January 1, 2018, whenever a sale is postponed for a
period of at least 10 business days pursuant to Section 2924g, a
mortgagee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall provide written
notice to a borrower regarding the new sale date and time, within
five business days following the postponement. Information provided
pursuant to this paragraph shall not constitute the public
declaration required by subdivision (d) of Section 2924g. Failure to
comply with this paragraph shall not invalidate any sale that would
otherwise be valid under Section 2924f. This paragraph shall be
inoperative on January 1, 2018.
   (6) No entity shall record or cause a notice of default to be
recorded or otherwise initiate the foreclosure process unless it is
the holder of the beneficial interest under the mortgage or deed of
trust, the original trustee or the substituted trustee under the deed
of trust, or the designated agent of the holder of the beneficial
interest. No agent of the holder of the beneficial interest under the
mortgage or deed of trust, original trustee or substituted trustee
under the deed of trust may record a notice of default or otherwise
commence the foreclosure process except when acting within the scope
of authority designated by the holder of the beneficial interest.
   (b) In performing acts required by this article, the trustee shall
incur no liability for any good faith error resulting from reliance
on information provided in good faith by the beneficiary regarding
the nature and the amount of the default under the secured
obligation, deed of trust, or mortgage. In performing the acts
required by this article, a trustee shall not be subject to Title
1.6c (commencing with Section 1788) of Part 4.
   (c) A recital in the deed executed pursuant to the power of sale
of compliance with all requirements of law regarding the mailing of
copies of notices or the publication of a copy of the notice of
default or the personal delivery of the copy of the notice of default
or the posting of copies of the notice of sale or the publication of
a copy thereof shall constitute prima facie evidence of compliance
with these requirements and conclusive evidence thereof in favor of
bona fide purchasers and encumbrancers for value and without notice.
   (d) All of the following shall constitute privileged
communications pursuant to Section 47:
   (1) The mailing, publication, and delivery of notices as required
by this section.
   (2) Performance of the procedures set forth in this article.
   (3) Performance of the functions and procedures set forth in this
article if those functions and procedures are necessary to carry out
the duties described in Sections 729.040, 729.050, and 729.080 of the
Code of Civil Procedure.
   (e) There is a rebuttable presumption that the beneficiary
actually knew of all unpaid loan payments on the obligation owed to
the beneficiary and secured by the deed of trust or mortgage subject
to the notice of default. However, the failure to include an actually
known default shall not invalidate the notice of sale and the
beneficiary shall not be precluded from asserting a claim to this
omitted default or defaults in a separate notice of default.
  SEC. 11.  Section 2924 of the Civil Code, as amended by Section 2
of Chapter 180 of the Statutes of 2010, is repealed.
  SEC. 12.  Section 2924.9 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.9.  (a) Unless a borrower has previously exhausted the first
lien loan modification process offered by, or through, his or her
mortgage servicer described in Section 2923.6, within five business
days after recording a notice of default pursuant to Section 2924, a
mortgage servicer that offers one or more foreclosure prevention
alternatives shall send a written communication to the borrower that
includes all of the following information:
   (1) That the borrower may be evaluated for a foreclosure
prevention alternative or, if applicable, foreclosure prevention
alternatives.
   (2) Whether an application is required to be submitted by the
borrower in order to be considered for a foreclosure prevention
alternative.
   (3) The means and process by which a borrower may obtain an
application for a foreclosure prevention alternative.
   (b) This section shall not apply to entities described in
subdivision (b) of Section 2924.18.
   (c) This section shall apply only to mortgages or deeds of trust
described in Section 2924.15.
   (d)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 13.  Section 2924.10 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.10.  (a) When a borrower submits a complete first lien
modification application or any document in connection with a first
lien modification application, the mortgage servicer shall provide
written acknowledgment of the receipt of the documentation within
five business days of receipt. In its initial acknowledgment of
receipt of the loan modification application, the mortgage servicer
shall include the following information:
   (1) A description of the loan modification process, including an
estimate of when a decision on the loan modification will be made
after a complete application has been submitted by the borrower and
the length of time the borrower will have to consider an offer of a
loan modification or other foreclosure prevention alternative.
   (2) Any deadlines, including deadlines to submit missing
documentation, that would affect the processing of a first lien loan
modification application.
   (3) Any expiration dates for submitted documents.
   (4) Any deficiency in the borrower's first lien loan modification
application.
   (b) For purposes of this section, a borrower's first lien loan
modification application shall be deemed to be "complete" when a
borrower has supplied the mortgage servicer with all documents
required by the mortgage servicer within the reasonable timeframes
specified by the mortgage servicer.
   (c) This section shall not apply to entities described in
subdivision (b) of Section 2924.18.
   (d) This section shall apply only to mortgages or deeds of trust
described in Section 2924.15.
   (e)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 14.  Section 2924.11 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.11.  (a) If a foreclosure prevention alternative is approved
in writing prior to the recordation of a notice of default, a
mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized
agent shall not record a notice of default under either of the
following circumstances:
   (1) The borrower is in compliance with the terms of a written
trial or permanent loan modification, forbearance, or repayment plan.

   (2) A foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in
writing by all parties, including, for example, the first lien
investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer, as applicable, and
proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer.
   (b) If a foreclosure prevention alternative is approved in writing
after the recordation of a notice of default, a mortgage servicer,
mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall not record
a notice of sale or conduct a trustee's sale under either of the
following circumstances:
   (1) The borrower is in compliance with the terms of a written
trial or permanent loan modification, forbearance, or repayment plan.

   (2) A foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in
writing by all parties, including, for example, the first lien
investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer, as applicable, and
proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer.
   (c) When a borrower accepts an offered first lien loan
modification or other foreclosure prevention alternative, the
mortgage servicer shall provide the borrower with a copy of the fully
executed loan modification agreement or agreement evidencing the
foreclosure prevention alternative following receipt of the executed
copy from the borrower.
   (d) A mortgagee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall record a
rescission of a notice of default or cancel a pending trustee's sale,
if applicable, upon the borrower executing a permanent foreclosure
prevention alternative. In the case of a short sale, the rescission
or cancellation of the pending trustee's sale shall occur when the
short sale has been approved by all parties and proof of funds or
financing has been provided to the mortgagee, beneficiary, or
authorized agent.
   (e) The mortgage servicer shall not charge any application,
processing, or other fee for a first lien loan modification or other
foreclosure prevention alternative.
   (f) The mortgage servicer shall not collect any late fees for
periods during which a complete first lien loan modification
application is under consideration or a denial is being appealed, the
borrower is making timely modification payments, or a foreclosure
prevention alternative is being evaluated or exercised.
   (g) If a borrower has been approved in writing for a first lien
loan modification or other foreclosure prevention alternative, and
the servicing of that borrower's loan is transferred or sold to
another mortgage servicer, the subsequent mortgage servicer shall
continue to honor any previously approved first lien loan
modification or other foreclosure prevention alternative, in
accordance with the provisions of the act that added this section.
   (h) This section shall apply only to mortgages or deeds of trust
described in Section 2924.15.
   (i) This section shall not apply to entities described in
subdivision (b) of Section 2924.18.
   (j)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 15.  Section 2924.11 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.11.  (a) If a borrower submits a complete application for a
foreclosure prevention alternative offered by, or through, the
borrower's mortgage servicer, a mortgage servicer, trustee,
mortgagee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall not record a notice
of sale or conduct a trustee's sale while the complete foreclosure
prevention alternative application is pending, and until the borrower
has been provided with a written determination by the mortgage
servicer regarding that borrower's eligibility for the requested
foreclosure prevention alternative.
   (b) Following the denial of a first lien loan modification
application, the mortgage servicer shall send a written notice to the
borrower identifying with specificity the reasons for the denial and
shall include a statement that the borrower may obtain additional
documentation supporting the denial decision upon written request to
the mortgage servicer.
   (c) If a foreclosure prevention alternative is approved in writing
prior to the recordation of a notice of default, a mortgage
servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall
not record a notice of default under either of the following
circumstances:
   (1) The borrower is in compliance with the terms of a written
trial or permanent loan modification, forbearance, or repayment plan.

   (2) A foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in
writing by all parties, including, for example, the first lien
investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer, as applicable, and
proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer.
   (d) If a foreclosure prevention alternative is approved in writing
after the recordation of a notice of default, a mortgage servicer,
mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall not record
a notice of sale or conduct a trustee's sale under either of the
following circumstances:
   (1) The borrower is in compliance with the terms of a written
trial or permanent loan modification, forbearance, or repayment plan.

   (2) A foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in
writing by all parties, including, for example, the first lien
investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer, as applicable, and
proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer.
   (e) This section applies only to mortgages or deeds of trust as
described in Section 2924.15.
   (f) For purposes of this section, an application shall be deemed
"complete" when a borrower has supplied the mortgage servicer with
all documents required by the mortgage servicer within the reasonable
timeframes specified by the mortgage servicer.
   (g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2018.
  SEC. 16.  Section 2924.12 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.12.  (a) (1) If a trustee's deed upon sale has not been
recorded, a borrower may bring an action for injunctive relief to
enjoin a material violation of Section 2923.55, 2923.6, 2923.7,
2924.9, 2924.10, 2924.11, or 2924.17.
   (2) Any injunction shall remain in place and any trustee's sale
shall be enjoined until the court determines that the mortgage
servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent has
corrected and remedied the violation or violations giving rise to the
action for injunctive relief. An enjoined entity may move to
dissolve an injunction based on a showing that the material violation
has been corrected and remedied.
   (b) After a trustee's deed upon sale has been recorded, a mortgage
servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall
be liable to a borrower for actual economic damages pursuant to
Section 3281, resulting from a material violation of Section 2923.55,
2923.6, 2923.7, 2924.9, 2924.10, 2924.11, or 2924.17 by that
mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized
agent where the violation was not corrected and remedied prior to the
recordation of the trustee's deed upon sale. If the court finds that
the material violation was intentional or reckless, or resulted from
willful misconduct by a mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee,
beneficiary, or authorized agent, the court may award the borrower
the greater of treble actual damages or statutory damages of fifty
thousand dollars ($50,000).
   (c) A mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or
authorized agent shall not be liable for any violation that it has
corrected and remedied prior to the recordation of a trustee's deed
upon sale, or that has been corrected and remedied by third parties
working on its behalf prior to the recordation of a trustee's deed
upon sale.
   (d) A violation of Section 2923.55, 2923.6, 2923.7, 2924.9,
2924.10, 2924.11, or 2924.17 by a person licensed by the Department
of Corporations, Department of Financial Institutions, or Department
of Real Estate shall be deemed to be a violation of that person's
licensing law.
   (e) No violation of this article shall affect the validity of a
sale in favor of a bona fide purchaser and any of its encumbrancers
for value without notice.
   (f) A third-party encumbrancer shall not be relieved of liability
resulting from violations of Section 2923.55, 2923.6, 2923.7, 2924.9,
2924.10, 2924.11, or 2924.17 committed by that third-party
encumbrancer, that occurred prior to the sale of the subject property
to the bona fide purchaser.
   (g) A signatory to a consent judgment entered in the case entitled
United States of America et al. v. Bank of America Corporation et
al., filed in the United States District Court for the District of
Columbia, case number 1:12-cv-00361 RMC, that is in compliance with
the relevant terms of the Settlement Term Sheet of that consent
judgment with respect to the borrower who brought an action pursuant
to this section while the consent judgment is in effect shall have no
liability for a violation of Section 2923.55, 2923.6, 2923.7,
2924.9, 2924.10, 2924.11, or 2924.17.
   (h) The rights, remedies, and procedures provided by this section
are in addition to and independent of any other rights, remedies, or
procedures under any other law. Nothing in this section shall be
construed to alter, limit, or negate any other rights, remedies, or
procedures provided by law.
   (i) A court may award a prevailing borrower reasonable attorney's
fees and costs in an action brought pursuant to this section. A
borrower shall be deemed to have prevailed for purposes of this
subdivision if the borrower obtained injunctive relief or was awarded
damages pursuant to this section.
   (j) This section shall not apply to entities described in
subdivision (b) of Section 2924.18.
   (k)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 17.  Section 2924.12 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.12.  (a) (1) If a trustee's deed upon sale has not been
recorded, a borrower may bring an action for injunctive relief to
enjoin a                                                 material
violation of Section 2923.5, 2923.7, 2924.11, or 2924.17.
   (2) Any injunction shall remain in place and any trustee's sale
shall be enjoined until the court determines that the mortgage
servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent has
corrected and remedied the violation or violations giving rise to the
action for injunctive relief. An enjoined entity may move to
dissolve an injunction based on a showing that the material violation
has been corrected and remedied.
   (b) After a trustee's deed upon sale has been recorded, a mortgage
servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall
be liable to a borrower for actual economic damages pursuant to
Section 3281, resulting from a material violation of Section 2923.5,
2923.7, 2924.11, or 2924.17 by that mortgage servicer, mortgagee,
trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent where the violation was not
corrected and remedied prior to the recordation of the trustee's
deed upon sale. If the court finds that the material violation was
intentional or reckless, or resulted from willful misconduct by a
mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized
agent, the court may award the borrower the greater of treble actual
damages or statutory damages of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
   (c) A mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or
authorized agent shall not be liable for any violation that it has
corrected and remedied prior to the recordation of the trustee's deed
upon sale, or that has been corrected and remedied by third parties
working on its behalf prior to the recordation of the trustee's deed
upon sale.
   (d) A violation of Section 2923.5, 2923.7, 2924.11, or 2924.17 by
a person licensed by the Department of Corporations, Department of
Financial Institutions, or Department of Real Estate shall be deemed
to be a violation of that person's licensing law.
   (e) No violation of this article shall affect the validity of a
sale in favor of a bona fide purchaser and any of its encumbrancers
for value without notice.
   (f) A third-party encumbrancer shall not be relieved of liability
resulting from violations of Section 2923.5, 2923.7, 2924.11, or
2924.17 committed by that third-party encumbrancer, that occurred
prior to the sale of the subject property to the bona fide purchaser.

   (g) The rights, remedies, and procedures provided by this section
are in addition to and independent of any other rights, remedies, or
procedures under any other law. Nothing in this section shall be
construed to alter, limit, or negate any other rights, remedies, or
procedures provided by law.
   (h) A court may award a prevailing borrower reasonable attorney's
fees and costs in an action brought pursuant to this section. A
borrower shall be deemed to have prevailed for purposes of this
subdivision if the borrower obtained injunctive relief or was awarded
damages pursuant to this section.
   (i) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2018.
  SEC. 18.  Section 2924.15 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.15.  (a) Unless otherwise provided, paragraph (5) of
subdivision (a) of Section 2924, and Sections 2923.5, 2923.55,
2923.6, 2923.7, 2924.9, 2924.10, 2924.11, and 2924.18 shall apply
only to first lien mortgages or deeds of trust that are secured by
owner-occupied residential real property containing no more than four
dwelling units. For these purposes, "owner-occupied" means that the
property is the principal residence of the borrower and is security
for a loan made for personal, family, or household purposes.
   (b)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 19.  Section 2924.15 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.15.  (a) Unless otherwise provided, Sections 2923.5, 2923.7,
and 2924.11 shall apply only to first lien mortgages or deeds of
trust that are secured by owner-occupied residential real property
containing no more than four dwelling units. For these purposes,
"owner-occupied" means that the property is the principal residence
of the borrower and is security for a loan made for personal, family,
or household purposes.
   (b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2018.
  SEC. 20.  Section 2924.17 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.17.  (a) A declaration recorded pursuant to Section 2923.5
or, until January 1, 2018, pursuant to Section 2923.55, a notice of
default, notice of sale, assignment of a deed of trust, or
substitution of trustee recorded by or on behalf of a mortgage
servicer in connection with a foreclosure subject to the requirements
of Section 2924, or a declaration or affidavit filed in any court
relative to a foreclosure proceeding shall be accurate and complete
and supported by competent and reliable evidence.
   (b) Before recording or filing any of the documents described in
subdivision (a), a mortgage servicer shall ensure that it has
reviewed competent and reliable evidence to substantiate the borrower'
s default and the right to foreclose, including the borrower's loan
status and loan information.
   (c) Until January 1, 2018, any mortgage servicer that engages in
multiple and repeated uncorrected violations of subdivision (b) in
recording documents or filing documents in any court relative to a
foreclosure proceeding shall be liable for a civil penalty of up to
seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) per mortgage or deed of
trust in an action brought by a government entity identified in
Section 17204 of the Business and Professions Code, or in an
administrative proceeding brought by the Department of Corporations,
the Department of Real Estate, or the Department of Financial
Institutions against a respective licensee, in addition to any other
remedies available to these entities. This subdivision shall be
inoperative on January 1, 2018.
  SEC. 21.  Section 2924.18 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.18.  (a) (1) If a borrower submits a complete application for
a first lien loan modification offered by, or through, the borrower'
s mortgage servicer, a mortgage servicer, trustee, mortgagee,
beneficiary, or authorized agent shall not record a notice of
default, notice of sale, or conduct a trustee's sale while the
complete first lien loan modification application is pending, and
until the borrower has been provided with a written determination by
the mortgage servicer regarding that borrower's eligibility for the
requested loan modification.
   (2) If a foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in
writing prior to the recordation of a notice of default, a mortgage
servicer, mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall
not record a notice of default under either of the following
circumstances:
   (A) The borrower is in compliance with the terms of a written
trial or permanent loan modification, forbearance, or repayment plan.

   (B) A foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in
writing by all parties, including, for example, the first lien
investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer, as applicable, and
proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer.
   (3) If a foreclosure prevention alternative is approved in writing
after the recordation of a notice of default, a mortgage servicer,
mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall not record
a notice of sale or conduct a trustee's sale under either of the
following circumstances:
   (A) The borrower is in compliance with the terms of a written
trial or permanent loan modification, forbearance, or repayment plan.

   (B) A foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in
writing by all parties, including, for example, the first lien
investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer, as applicable, and
proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer.
   (b) This section shall apply only to a depository institution
chartered under state or federal law, a person licensed pursuant to
Division 9 (commencing with Section 22000) or Division 20 (commencing
with Section 50000) of the Financial Code, or a person licensed
pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 10000) of Division 4 of
the Business and Professions Code, that, during its immediately
preceding annual reporting period, as established with its primary
regulator, foreclosed on 175 or fewer residential real properties,
containing no more than four dwelling units, that are located in
California.
   (c) Within three months after the close of any calendar year or
annual reporting period as established with its primary regulator
during which an entity or person described in subdivision (b) exceeds
the threshold of 175 specified in subdivision (b), that entity shall
notify its primary regulator, in a manner acceptable to its primary
regulator, and any mortgagor or trustor who is delinquent on a
residential mortgage loan serviced by that entity of the date on
which that entity will be subject to Sections 2923.55, 2923.6,
2923.7, 2924.9, 2924.10, 2924.11, and 2924.12, which date shall be
the first day of the first month that is six months after the close
of the calendar year or annual reporting period during which that
entity exceeded the threshold.
   (d) For purposes of this section, an application shall be deemed
"complete" when a borrower has supplied the mortgage servicer with
all documents required by the mortgage servicer within the reasonable
timeframes specified by the mortgage servicer.
   (e) If a borrower has been approved in writing for a first lien
loan modification or other foreclosure prevention alternative, and
the servicing of the borrower's loan is transferred or sold to
another mortgage servicer, the subsequent mortgage servicer shall
continue to honor any previously approved first lien loan
modification or other foreclosure prevention alternative, in
accordance with the provisions of the act that added this section.
   (f) This section shall apply only to mortgages or deeds of trust
described in Section 2924.15.
   (g)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 22.  Section 2924.19 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.19.  (a) (1) If a trustee's deed upon sale has not been
recorded, a borrower may bring an action for injunctive relief to
enjoin a material violation of Section 2923.5, 2924.17, or 2924.18.
   (2) Any injunction shall remain in place and any trustee's sale
shall be enjoined until the court determines that the mortgage
servicer, mortgagee, beneficiary, or authorized agent has corrected
and remedied the violation or violations giving rise to the action
for injunctive relief. An enjoined entity may move to dissolve an
injunction based on a showing that the material violation has been
corrected and remedied.
   (b) After a trustee's deed upon sale has been recorded, a mortgage
servicer, mortgagee, beneficiary, or authorized agent shall be
liable to a borrower for actual economic damages pursuant to Section
3281, resulting from a material violation of Section 2923.5, 2924.17,
or 2924.18 by that mortgage servicer, mortgagee, beneficiary, or
authorized agent where the violation was not corrected and remedied
prior to the recordation of the trustee's deed upon sale. If the
court finds that the material violation was intentional or reckless,
or resulted from willful misconduct by a mortgage servicer,
mortgagee, beneficiary, or authorized agent, the court may award the
borrower the greater of treble actual damages or statutory damages of
fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
   (c) A mortgage servicer, mortgagee, beneficiary, or authorized
agent shall not be liable for any violation that it has corrected and
remedied prior to the recordation of the trustee's deed upon sale,
or that has been corrected and remedied by third parties working on
its behalf prior to the recordation of the trustee's deed upon sale.
   (d) A violation of Section 2923.5, 2924.17, or 2917.18 by a person
licensed by the Department of Corporations, the Department of
Financial Institutions, or the Department of Real Estate shall be
deemed to be a violation of that person's licensing law.
   (e) No violation of this article shall affect the validity of a
sale in favor of a bona fide purchaser and any of its encumbrancers
for value without notice.
   (f) A third-party encumbrancer shall not be relieved of liability
resulting from violations of Section 2923.5, 2924.17 or 2924.18,
committed by that third-party encumbrancer, that occurred prior to
the sale of the subject property to the bona fide purchaser.
   (g) The rights, remedies, and procedures provided by this section
are in addition to and independent of any other rights, remedies, or
procedures under any other law. Nothing in this section shall be
construed to alter, limit, or negate any other rights, remedies, or
procedures provided by law.
   (h) A court may award a prevailing borrower reasonable attorney's
fees and costs in an action brought pursuant to this section. A
borrower shall be deemed to have prevailed for purposes of this
subdivision if the borrower obtained injunctive relief or damages
pursuant to this section.
   (i) This section shall apply only to entities described in
subdivision (b) of Section 2924.18.
   (j)  This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 23.  Section 2924.20 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   2924.20.  Consistent with their general regulatory authority, and
notwithstanding subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 2924.18, the
Department of Corporations, the Department of Financial Institutions,
and the Department of Real Estate may adopt regulations applicable
to any entity or person under their respective jurisdictions that are
necessary to carry out the purposes of the act that added this
section. A violation of the regulations adopted pursuant to this
section shall only be enforceable by the regulatory agency.
  SEC. 24.  The provisions of this act are severable. If any
provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that
invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can
be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
  SEC. 25.   No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
Constitution.

No right to “HAMP” as third party bene try Negligence with a side of “HAMP”

26 Oct

For all those who have found out the hard way that judges do not like a breach of HAMP contract cause of action, here is a way around it: sue for negligent handling of the HAMP application and use this citation in your opposition to demurrer:

“It is well established that a person may become liable in tort for negligently failing to perform a voluntarily assumed undertaking even in the absence of a contract so to do. A person may not be required to perform a service for another but he may undertake to do so — called a voluntary undertaking. In such a case the person undertaking to perform the service is under a duty to exercise due care in performing the voluntarily assumed duty, and a failure to exercise due care is negligence. [emphasis added]” Valdez v. Taylor Auto. Co. (1954) 129 Cal.App.2d 810, 817; Aim Ins. Co. v. Culcasi (1991) 229 Cal. App. 3d 209, 217-218.

Fix Income Inequality with $10 million Loans for Everyone the 99 solution

25 Apr

“I wonder how many audience members know that Bair’s plan is more or less exactly the revenue model for all of America’s biggest banks. You go to the Fed, get a buttload of free money, lend it out at interest (perversely enough, including loans right back to the U.S. government), then pocket the profit.” Matt Taibbi

From Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi on Sheila Bair’s Sarcastic Piece

I hope everyone saw ex-Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chief Sheila Bair’s editorial in the Washington Post, entitled, “Fix Income Inequality with $10 million Loans for Everyone!” The piece might have set a world record for public bitter sarcasm by a former top regulatory official.

In it, Bair points out that since we’ve been giving zero-interest loans to all of the big banks, why don’t we do the same thing for actual people, to solve the income inequality program? If the Fed handed out $10 million to every person, and then got each of those people to invest, say, in foreign debt, we could all be back on our feet in no time:

Under my plan, each American household could borrow $10 million from the Fed at zero interest. The more conservative among us can take that money and buy 10-year Treasury bonds. At the current 2 percent annual interest rate, we can pocket a nice $200,000 a year to live on. The more adventuresome can buy 10-year Greek debt at 21 percent, for an annual income of $2.1 million. Or if Greece is a little too risky for you, go with Portugal, at about 12 percent, or $1.2 million dollars a year. (No sense in getting greedy.)

Every time I watch a Republican debate, and hear these supposedly anti-welfare crowds booing the idea of stiffer regulation of Wall Street, I wonder how many audience members know that Bair’s plan is more or less exactly the revenue model for all of America’s biggest banks. You go to the Fed, get a buttload of free money, lend it out at interest (perversely enough, including loans right back to the U.S. government), then pocket the profit.http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2011/7/22/pushing_crisis_gop_cries_wolf_on

Logo of the United States Federal Deposit Insu...

Logo of the United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which incorporates the seal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Considering that we now know that the Fed gave out something like $16 trillion in secret emergency loans to big banks on top of the bailouts we actually knew about, you might ask yourself: How are these guys in financial trouble? How can they not be making mountains of money, risk-free? But they are in financial trouble:

• We’re about to see yet another big blow to all of the usual suspects – Goldman, Citi, Bank of America, and especially Morgan Stanley, all of whom face potential downgrades by Moody’s in the near future.

We’ve known this was coming for some time, but the news this week is that the giant money-managing firm BlackRock is talking about moving its business elsewhere. Laurence Fink, BlackRock’s CEO, told the New York Times: “If Moody’s does indeed downgrade these institutions, we may have a need to move some business around to higher-rated institutions.”

It’s one thing when Zero Hedge, William Black, myself, or some rogue Fed officers in Dallas decide to point fingers at the big banks. But when big money players stop trading with those firms, that’s when the death spirals begin.

Morgan Stanley in particular should be sweating. They’re apparently going to be downgraded three notches, where they’ll be joining Citi and Bank of America at a level just above junk. But no worries: Bank CFO Ruth Porat announced that a three-level downgrade was “manageable” and that only losers rely totally on agencies like Moody’s to judge creditworthiness. “A lot of clients are doing their own credit work,” she said.

• Meanwhile, Bank of America reported its first-quarter results yesterday. Despite that massive ongoing support from the Fed, it earned just $653 million in the first quarter, but astonishingly the results were hailed by most of the financial media as good news. Its home-turf paper, the San Francisco Chronicle, crowed that BOA “Posts Higher Profits As Trading Results Rebound.” Bloomberg, meanwhile, summed up results this way: “Bank of America Beats Analyst Estimates As Trading Jumps.”

But the New York Times noted that BOA’s first-quarter profit of $653 million was down from $2 billion a year ago, and paled compared to results of more successful banks like Chase and Wells Fargo.

Zero Hedge, meanwhile, posted an amusing commentary on BOA’s results, pointing out that the bank quietly reclassified nearly two billion dollars’ worth of real estate loans. This is from BOA’s report:

During 1Q12, the bank regulatory agencies jointly issued interagency supervisory guidance on nonaccrual policies for junior-lien consumer real estate loans. In accordance with this new guidance, beginning in 1Q12, we classify junior-lien home equity loans as nonperforming when the first-lien loan becomes 90 days past due even if the junior-lien loan is performing. As a result of this change, we reclassified $1.85B of performing home equity loans to nonperforming.

In other words, Bank of America described nearly two billion dollars of crap on their books as performing loans, until the government this year forced them to admit it was crap.

ZH and others also noted that BOA wildly underestimated its exposure to litigation, but that’s nothing new. Anyway, despite the inconsistencies in its report, and despite the fact that it’s about to be downgraded – again – Bank of America’s shares are up again, pushing $9 today.

The Top Twelve Reasons Why You Should Hate the Mortgage Settlement

9 Feb

As readers may know by now, 49 of 50 states have agreed to join the so-called mortgage settlement, with Oklahoma the lone refusenik. Although the fine points are still being hammered out, various news outlets (New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal) have details, with Dave Dayen’s overview at Firedoglake the best thus far.

The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that the SEC is about to launch some securities litigation against major banks. Since the statue of limitations has already run out on securities filings more than five years old, this means they’ll clip the banks for some of the very last (and dreckiest) deals they shoved out the door before the subprime market gave up the ghost.

The various news services are touting this pact at the biggest multi-state settlement since the tobacco deal in 1998. While narrowly accurate, this deal is bush league by comparison even though the underlying abuses in both cases have had devastating consequences.

The tobacco agreement was pegged as being worth nearly $250 billion over the first 25 years. Adjust that for inflation, and the disparity is even bigger. That shows you the difference in outcomes between a case where the prosecutors have solid evidence backing their charges, versus one where everyone know a lot of bad stuff happened, but no one has come close to marshaling the evidence.

The mortgage settlement terms have not been released, but more of the details have been leaked:

1. The total for the top five servicers is now touted as $26 billion (annoyingly, the FT is calling it “nearly $40 billion”), but of that, roughly $17 billion is credits for principal modifications, which as we pointed out earlier, can and almost assuredly will come largely from mortgages owned by investors. $3 billion is for refis, and only $5 billion will be in the form of hard cash payments, including $1500 to $2000 per borrower foreclosed on between September 2008 and December 2011.

Banks will be required to modify second liens that sit behind firsts “at least” pari passu, which in practice will mean at most pari passu. So this guarantees banks will also focus on borrowers where they do not have second lien exposure, and this also makes the settlement less helpful to struggling homeowners, since borrowers with both second and first liens default at much higher rates than those without second mortgages. Per the Journal:

“It’s not new money. It’s all soft dollars to the banks,” said Paul Miller, a bank analyst at FBR Capital Markets.

The Times is also subdued:

Despite the billions earmarked in the accord, the aid will help a relatively small portion of the millions of borrowers who are delinquent and facing foreclosure. The success could depend in part on how effectively the program is carried out because earlier efforts by Washington aimed at troubled borrowers helped far fewer than had been expected.

2. Schneiderman’s MERS suit survives, and he can add more banks as defendants. It isn’t clear what became of the Biden and Coakley MERS suits, but Biden sounded pretty adamant in past media presentations on preserving that.

3. Nevada’s and Arizona’s suits against Countrywide for violating its past consent decree on mortgage servicing has, in a new Orwellianism, been “folded into” the settlement.

4. The five big players in the settlement have already set aside reserves sufficient for this deal.

Here are the top twelve reasons why this deal stinks:

1. We’ve now set a price for forgeries and fabricating documents. It’s $2000 per loan. This is a rounding error compared to the chain of title problem these systematic practices were designed to circumvent. The cost is also trivial in comparison to the average loan, which is roughly $180k, so the settlement represents about 1% of loan balances. It is less than the price of the title insurance that banks failed to get when they transferred the loans to the trust. It is a fraction of the cost of the legal expenses when foreclosures are challenged. It’s a great deal for the banks because no one is at any of the servicers going to jail for forgery and the banks have set the upper bound of the cost of riding roughshod over 300 years of real estate law.

2. That $26 billion is actually $5 billion of bank money and the rest is your money. The mortgage principal writedowns are guaranteed to come almost entirely from securitized loans, which means from investors, which in turn means taxpayers via Fannie and Freddie, pension funds, insurers, and 401 (k)s. Refis of performing loans also reduce income to those very same investors.

3. That $5 billion divided among the big banks wouldn’t even represent a significant quarterly hit. Freddie and Fannie putbacks to the major banks have been running at that level each quarter.

4. That $20 billion actually makes bank second liens sounder, so this deal is a stealth bailout that strengthens bank balance sheets at the expense of the broader public.

5. The enforcement is a joke. The first layer of supervision is the banks reporting on themselves. The framework is similar to that of the OCC consent decrees implemented last year, which Adam Levitin and yours truly, among others, decried as regulatory theater.

6. The past history of servicer consent decrees shows the servicers all fail to comply. Why? Servicer records and systems are terrible in the best of times, and their systems and fee structures aren’t set up to handle much in the way of delinquencies. As Tom Adams has pointed out in earlier posts, servicer behavior is predictable when their portfolios are hit with a high level of delinquencies and defaults: they cheat in all sorts of ways to reduce their losses.

7. The cave-in Nevada and Arizona on the Countrywide settlement suit is a special gift for Bank of America, who is by far the worst offender in the chain of title disaster (since, according to sworn testimony of its own employee in Kemp v. Countrywide, Countrywide failed to comply with trust delivery requirements). This move proves that failing to comply with a consent degree has no consequences but will merely be rolled into a new consent degree which will also fail to be enforced. These cases also alleged HAMP violations as consumer fraud violations and could have gotten costly and emboldened other states to file similar suits not just against Countrywide but other servicers, so it was useful to the other banks as well.

8. If the new Federal task force were intended to be serious, this deal would have not have been settled. You never settle before investigating. It’s a bad idea to settle obvious, widespread wrongdoing on the cheap. You use the stuff that is easy to prove to gather information and secure cooperation on the stuff that is harder to prove. In Missouri and Nevada, the robosigning investigation led to criminal charges against agents of the servicers. But even though these companies were acting at the express direction and approval of the services, no individuals or entities higher up the food chain will face any sort of meaningful charges.

9. There is plenty of evidence of widespread abuses that appear not to be on the attorney generals’ or media’s radar, such as servicer driven foreclosures and looting of investors’ funds via impermissible and inflated charges. While no serious probe was undertaken, even the limited or peripheral investigations show massive failures (60% of documents had errors in AGs/Fed’s pathetically small sample). Similarly, the US Trustee’s office found widespread evidence of significant servicer errors in bankruptcy-related filings, such as inflated and bogus fees, and even substantial, completely made up charges. Yet the services and banks will suffer no real consequences for these abuses.

10. A deal on robosiginging serves to cover up the much deeper chain of title problem. And don’t get too excited about the New York, Massachusetts, and Delaware MERS suits. They put pressure on banks to clean up this monstrous mess only if the AGs go through to trial and get tough penalties. The banks will want to settle their way out of that too. And even if these cases do go to trial and produce significant victories for the AGs, they still do not address the problem of failures to transfer notes correctly.

11. Don’t bet on a deus ex machina in terms of the new Federal foreclosure task force to improve this picture much. If you think Schneiderman, as a co-chairman who already has a full time day job in New York, is going to outfox a bunch of DC insiders who are part of the problem, I have a bridge I’d like to sell to you.

12. We’ll now have to listen to banks and their sycophant defenders declaring victory despite being wrong on the law and the facts. They will proceed to marginalize and write off criticisms of the servicing practices that hurt homeowners and investors and are devastating communities. But the problems will fester and the housing market will continue to suffer. Investors in mortgage-backed securities, who know that services have been screwing them for years, will be hung out to dry and will likely never return to a private MBS market, since the problems won’t ever be fixed. This settlement has not only revealed the residential mortgage market to be too big to fail, but puts it on long term, perhaps permanent, government life support.

As we’ve said before, this settlement is yet another raw demonstration of who wields power in America, and it isn’t you and me. It’s bad enough to see these negotiations come to their predictable, sorry outcome. It adds insult to injury to see some try to depict it as a win for long suffering, still abused homeowners.

MARK J. DEMUCHA AND CHERYL M. DEMUCHA, a Reply Brief that worked

14 Dec

No. F059476

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FIFTH APPELLATE DISTRICT

                                                                                                                                                           

Wells Fargo in Laredo, Texas

Image via Wikipedia

Appellants and Plaintiffs

v.

WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE, INC.; WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION a.k.a. WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.; FIRST AMERICAN LOANSTAR TRUSTEE SERVICES; FIRST AMERICAN CORPORATION; AND DOES 1 TO 45

Respondents and Defendants

                                                                                                                                                           

Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Kern

Case No.  S-1500-CV-267074

Honorable SIDNEY P. CHAPIN, Judge

Department 4

Tele: 661.868.7205

                                                                                                                                                           

REPLY BRIEF OF APPELLANTS MARK J. DEMUCHA AND CHERYL M. DEMUCHA

                                                                                                                                                           

Michael D. Finley, Esq.

Law Offices of Michael D. Finley

25375 Orchard Village Road, Suite 106

Valencia, CA 91355-3000

661.964.0444

Attorneys for Plaintiffs-Appellants,

MARK J. DEMUCHA and CHERYL M. DEMUCHA

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES                                                                                                        ii

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                         1

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS                                                                                                  2

PROCEDURAL HISTORY                                                                                                          4

STANDARD OF REVIEW                                                                                                          4

ARGUMENT                                                                                                                                5

A.   THE DEMURRER WAS NOT PROPERLY SUSTAINED                                    5

B.   THE COMPLAINT VERY PLAINLY CONTAINS A
TENDER, EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT REQUIRED FOR
A QUIET TITLE ACTION                                                                                        5

C.   SUSTAINING OF THE DEMURRER WAS REVERSIBLE
ERROR BECAUSE CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES
WELLS FARGO TO POSSESS THE NOTE IN ORDER TO
ENFORCE THE LOAN                                                                                             7

D.   THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS
REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE
DEMURRER ON THE CLAIMS TO QUIET TITLE AND
REMOVE CLOUD ARE BASED UPON THE DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE NATURE OF THE
DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT                                                                                   8

E.    THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS
REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE
DEMURRER ON THE CLAIM FOR FRAUD AND MISREPRESENTATION ARE BASED UPON THE
DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE CONTENT
OF THE DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT                                                                    9

F.    THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS
REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE
DEMURRER ON THE CLAIM FOR INFLICTION OF
EMOTIONAL DISTRESS ARE BASED UPON THE
DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE CONTENT
OF THE DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT                                                                    9

G.   THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS
REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE
DEMURRER ON THE CLAIM FOR SLANDER OF
CREDIT ARE BASED UPON THE DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE CONTENT OF THE
DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT                                                                                  10

H.   THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS
REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE
DEMURRER ON THE CLAIM FOR INFLICTION OF
EMOTIONAL DISTRESS ARE BASED UPON THE
DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE
CONTENT OF THE DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT                                               10

CONCLUSION                                                                                                                            10

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

CASES

                                                                                                                                                     Page

Caporale v. Saxon Mortgage, Bankr. North Dist. Cal., San Jose Case No. 07-54109.                  8

In re Foreclosure Cases, 2007 WL 3232430 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2007).                                        8

Staff Mortgage v. Wilke (1980) 625 F.2d 281                                                                               8

Starr v. Bruce Farley Corp. (9th Cir. 1980), 612 F.2d 1197.                                                           8

Whitman v. Transtate Title Co. (1985) 165 Cal.App.3d 312, 322-323.                              6

STATUTES

Commercial Code § 3301.                                                                                                     7, 8, 9,

INTRODUCTION

            Defendants/Respondents continue to mischaracterize the Plaintiffs’/Appellants’ complaint very deliberately, apparently because they realize that the Plaintiff’s complaint as actually plead is beyond their ability to oppose it. Calling the Plaintiffs’ Complaint “inartfully drafted” because it does not state that it is a challenge to a non-judicial foreclosure is wishful thinking. The complaint is very artfully drafted as a Quiet Title action. The plaintiffs are not seeking to “stave off foreclosure of a mortgage,” but seeking to remove a false claim against their title to the property. No non-judicial foreclosure has taken place. No foreclosure sale has occurred, so there is no foreclosure sale to challenge or undo, but the Defendants/Respondents insist on arguing the case at the demurrer level and on this appeal as a complaint to challenge or set aside a non-judicial foreclosure and keep trying to apply those inapplicable pleading requirements to the complaint. The plaintiffs did seek a preliminary injunction against the foreclosure and obtained it because the Defendants/Respondents did not comply with the laws regarding non-judicial foreclosure. However, that does not make their complaint a “central defense” to non-judicial foreclosure as Defendants/Respondents argue throughout their brief. The mischaracterization of the case was a key element of the lower court’s error and continues to be a key element of the Defendants’/Respondents’ false arguments.

Further, Plaintiffs/Appellants never argued that producing the note was a preliminary requirement to non-judicial foreclosure, but Plaintiffs/Appellants have plead very specifically throughout the complaint that possessing the note is a requirement for the Defendants/Respondents to have any right to enforce the note whatsoever, which has been established California law (and in every state that has adopted the Uniform Commercial Code) for a very long time. The references to producing the note were merely offered as evidence demonstrating that the Defendants/Respondents do no possess the note because they repeatedly fail and refuse to produce it. In fact, it is important to note that the Defendants/Respondents have never yet argued that the note is in their possession as required by law.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

A.        THE SUBJECT TRANSACTION.

The Defendants’/Respondents’ Statement of Facts has a very subtle attempt at subterfuge and misdirection in that it places a statement made about their finances during litigation after Plaintiffs/Appellants incurred legal fees in a different context as though the statement were made prior to litigation during the time that the prior (and possibly current) note holder CTX Mortgage had the loan and prior to the recording of the notice of default. Defendants/Respondents have gone to great lengths to take this statement out of context and have argued extensively that this constitutes proof that the Plaintiffs/Appellants were unable to tender payment. However, this requires the assumption that only one conclusion may be drawn from the statement rather than a range of possibilities, including the fact that the Plaintiffs/Appellants had incurred attorney’s fees by that time.

B.        THE DEMUCHAS’ CONTENTIONS.

As in the underlying Demurrer, the Defendants/Respondents continue to falsely argue that there was no allegation of Tender in the Complaint. However, as demonstrated in the Appellants’ Opening Brief, there is no requirement of tender to plead Quiet Title. Even so, the Defendants/Respondents quote the allegation of tender that is in the Complaint even while arguing that there is no allegation of tender. This demonstrates the Defendants’/Respondents’ motive in deliberately mischaracterizing the complaint: they wish to apply a non-applicable standard to the complaint. Then when the non-applicable standard has been complied with anyway, they attempt to mislead the court by arguing that a plain allegation of tender is not an allegation of tender. However, as will be shown, the Defendants/Respondents have cited a case that states that tender can be offered in the complaint, and need not have been offered prior to filing the complaint.

C.        DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ASSERTION OF NO ALLEGATION OF TENDER OF ALL AMOUNTS DUE IS BLATANTLY FALSE.

As stated above, Plaintiffs/Appellants have already demonstrated that tendering payment is not a required element of a Quiet Title action, but that they have pleaded tender anyway. The Defendants’/Respondents’ arguments that payments must be tendered “when due” misstates the law, even for cases challenging non-judicial foreclosures, which this case is not. As will be shown below, the Defendants/Respondents cited a case that indicates very clearly that even in non-judicial foreclosure cases, a tender may be made in the complaint and need not have been made prior to filing the complaint.

D.        THE FORECLOSURE PROCEEDINGS AND THE DEMUCHAS’ ATTEMPTS TO DELAY OR HALT THEM.

The Defendants/Respondents’ focus on these extra proceedings within the case is a red herring to distract the court’s focus from the demurrer. The appeal is not about the ex-parte application for a preliminary injunction that was granted due to the fact that the Defendants/Respondents did not comply with California law requiring a specific declaration to be signed under penalty of perjury that was not. The Defendants/Respondents are going well outside the Complaint’s four corners to abuse the details of the ex-parte application that was not about the Complaint nor the Demurrer that are the subjects of this appeal. And once again, they are trying to argue the issue of the Plaintiffs’/Appellants’ financial situation as stated during the ex-parte proceedings after they had already incurred attorney’s fees for the false proposition that the Plaintiffs/Appellants were allegedly incapable of tendering payment prior to incurring the additional attorney’s fees of litigation when that is not the only conclusion that can be drawn from the separate ex-parte pleadings. Finally, they continue to shout endlessly about the issue of tender when it is not a required part of pleading the elements of Quiet Title and when pleading tender is required, an offer made in the complaint itself is deemed sufficient, as will be shown below.

E.        THE ARGUMENTS ABOUT FAILURE TO “PRODUCE THE NOTE” ARE A RED HERRING TO DISTRACT THE COURT FROM THE LEGAL REQUIREMENT THAT THE DEFENDANTS “POSSESS THE NOTE.”

The Defendants/Respondents continue to make a big deal about the fact that in a few places, the Complaint mentions that the defendants have failed to produce the original note. However, their own arguments on this point mention that the complaint further alleges their failure to hold or possess the original note, which is the more key portion of the pleadings.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

            The parties’ explanations of the case’s procedural history are close enough that no further discussion is necessary.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

            Some of the arguments contained in the Defendants’/Respondents’ Standard of Review section of their brief are specious, especially in the final paragraph arguing the subjects of tender and producing the note. The Defendants/Respondents have never demonstrated that California law requires an allegation of tender for a Quiet Title action, but have only cited as authority for this position cases that are focused on undoing a foreclosure sale after it has been completed. However, even those cases state that tender does not have to be made before filing the complaint, but the tender itself can be made within the complaint, and there cannot be any question that an offer of tender is made within the complaint. The Plaintiffs’/Appellants’ current attorney helped prepare pleadings for them in the trial court case and even made special, limited scope appearances for them, even though they were officially in pro per, so they incurred considerable legal fees during the litigation, which certainly had an effect on their financial situation at the time that they filed their ex parte application for a preliminary injunction, so the Defendants’/Respondents’ argument that the ex parte papers demonstrate that the Plaintiffs/Appellants could not tender payment is false. Further, the Defendants’/Respondents’ argument that “the central premise of each cause of action of the DeMuchas’ First Amendent Complaint [is] that a lender must ‘produce the note’ while conducting a non-judicial foreclosure” is a blatant misstatement of the Complaint’s content. The Complaint is not about non-judicial foreclosure, it is about quieting title. And the central premise is that a lender must possess the note in order to have a right to enforce the note, which is the law in California and every other state that has adopted the Uniform Commercial Code. No non-judicial foreclosure has yet taken place regarding the subject property.

ARGUMENT

A.        THE DEMURRER WAS NOT PROPERLY SUSTAINED.

Defendants/Respondents are demonstrating to this court the same misdirection and deliberate mischaracterization of the pleadings that misled the trial court into committing reversible error by improperly sustaining a demurrer to a valid complaint. The Defendants/Respondents have never demonstrated that tender is a requirement for a Quiet Title action. They have mischaracterized the case as a case to undo a non-judicial foreclosure when no non-judicial foreclosure has ever been completed regarding the subject property. The cases that they cited to the trial court and to this court regarding the requirements of a tender allegation were cases in which the subject property had been sold at a non-judicial foreclosure sale, which was being challenged after the fact. They have mischaracterized the Complaint’s allegations as though they state that “producing the note” is a requirement for non-judicial foreclosure, which is a blatant misstatement. The complaint states the true fact that the defendants have failed and refused to produce the note only as evidence of the fact that they do not possess the note and therefore have no right to enforce the note under California law. It is worth noting that the Defendants’/Respondents’ 34-page Appellate Brief never claims that they are the holders of the note as required by law.

B.        THE COMPLAINT VERY PLAINLY CONTAINS A TENDER, EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT REQUIRED FOR A QUIET TITLE ACTION.

Defendants/Respondents continue their same improper tactic used with the trial court of citing irrelevant cases seeking to undo a foreclosure sale after the fact. Since no foreclosure sale has yet taken place regarding the subject property and this is a Quiet Title action, those cases are all irrelevant and inapplicable to the First Amended Complaint that is the subject of the Demurrer and this appeal. However, even under the Defendants’/Respondents’ inapplicable cases, the Defendants/Respondents have swerved into something that destroys their arguments completely: Citing Whitman v. Transtate Title Co. (1985) 165 Cal.App.3d 312, 322-323, the Defendants/Respondents correctly stated on page 11 of their brief, “therefore as a condition precedent to any action challenging a foreclosure, a plaintiff must pay or offer to pay the secured debt before an action is commenced or in the complaint.” (Emphasis added).  This is not an action challenging a foreclosure, but even if those standards were inappropriately applied to this action, the tender or offer to pay can be made “in the complaint.” The Verified First Amended Complaint (“VFAC”) states, “Plaintiff offers to pay and mortgage payments on the property to the individual or entity that is the valid holder of the original note as required by California Commercial Code § 3301, et seq. and all property taxes to the appropriate government agency.” (VFAC page 3, line 28 through page 4, line 7). This is a very clear tender, made “in the complaint,” even though it is not required in a Quiet Title Action.

Since tender is not a statutory element of a Quiet Title action, the Defendants’/Respondents’ arguments regarding the difficult financial times mentioned in the Plaintiffs’/Appellants’ ex-parte application for a preliminary injunction are moot. However, it should be noted that by the time the Plaintiffs/Appellants filed their ex-parte application, they had the additional financial burden of paying for attorney’s fees to have the same attorney who now represents them on appeal prepare pleadings for them and make special, limited scope appearances for them on the trial court level, so the conclusion that the Defendants/Respondents are asking the court to make are inaccurate.

Even the Defendants’/Respondents’ arguments regarding “implicit integration” of foreclosure issues are irrelevant, because the cases that they cited specifically involved a non-judicial foreclosure in which the sale had been completed, but no non-judicial foreclosure sale has taken place regarding the subject property. The defendants’ argument that Plaintiffs’/Appellants’ have failed to cite any authority for the fact that no allegation of tender is required is another false statement. Plaintiffs have directly quoted Code of Civil Procedure § 761.020, which fully sets forth the elements of a Quiet Title Action, and there is no requirement of tender. However, even if the court somehow found that a tender allegation was required, the tender allegation has been made in the Complaint in accordance with the Defedants’/Appellants’ own citations as set forth above. Further, the Defendants’/Respondents’ arguments that “a court of equity will not order a useless act performed” (FPCI Re-Hab 01, etc. v. E&G Investments, Ltd. (1989) 207 Cal.App.3d 1018, 1022, and “equity will not interpose its remedial power in the accomplishment of what seemingly would be nothing but an idly and expensively futile act” (Leonard v. Bank of America Ass’n (1936) 16 Cal. App. 2d 341, 344) could and should just as easily be applied to the futile and useless acts that Defendants’/Respondents’ are requesting to be required and plead when they do not possess the original note and therefore have no right to expect payments, seek payments, nor threaten foreclosure because they did not receive payments that they had no right to receive in the first place, pursuant to Commercial Code § 3301. It can and should also be used to destroy their argument that plaintiff must be subjected to the requirements of case law regarding actions seeking to undo foreclosure irregularities before the foreclosure has even been completed, as though plaintiff should be able to foresee every foreclosure irregularity with a crystal ball before the process is even completed!

C.        SUSTAINING OF THE DEMURRER WAS REVERSIBLE ERROR BECAUSE CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES WELLS FARGO TO POSSESS THE NOTE IN ORDER TO ENFORCE THE LOAN.

Plaintiffs/Appellants have cited a fully binding California Statute, Commercial Code § 3301, which specifically states that in order to be a “person entitled to enforce an instrument,” the Defendants/Respondents must have been the holder of the instrument, with very limited exceptions. In opposition, the Defendants/Respondents continue their same bad habit engaged in during the trial court proceedings of citing and relying upon federal trial court cases, which are not binding authority in any way, without disclosing to the court that they are citing non-binding authority. In addition, many of their citations do not even contain the full reference, so that it is difficult or impossible to locate and read the case. As for the federal trial court cases, all that they have demonstrated is that there is a need for a California appellate court to clear up the confusion that clearly exists regarding California’s law, and especially Commercial Code § 3301. Further, their statement that every court that has considered the issue has ruled that possessing the note is not necessary for a foreclosure is false. For example, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, a federal trial court judge stopped a foreclosure because the bank could not produce the note in the case of Caporale v. Saxon Mortgage, Case No. 07-54109. Like the Defendants’/Respondents’ authorities, this case is only persuasive authority, not binding, but it was reported on by ABC News, and a copy of the news video is available to be viewed online at http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/7_on_your_side&id=6839404. If the court is going to consider the non-binding federal trial court decisions offered by the Defendants/Respondents, the court should also consider the non-binding persuasive authority of In re Foreclosure Cases, 2007 WL 3232430 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2007), wherein U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Boyko dismissed without prejudice fourteen judicial foreclosure actions filed by the trustees of securitized trusts against borrowers who had defaulted on their residential mortgages that had been sold into securitized trusts, based upon the application of Uniform Commercial Code § 3-301 to the mortgages in question.

As for their claim that the commercial code does not apply to a mortgage or a note secured by deed of trust, the Defendants/Respondents are willfully ignoring Staff Mortgage v. Wilke (1980) 625 F.2d 281, 6 Bankr.Ct.Dec. 1385, 29 UCC Rep.Serv. 639, cited in Plaintiffs’/Appellants’ Opening Brief, which clearly states that “notes secured by deeds of trust…were ‘instruments’ under the California Commercial Code.” This holding is repeated in Starr v. Bruce Farley Corp. (9th Cir. 1980), 612 F.2d 1197. The Defendants/Respondents have offered nothing other than their own opinion for the proposition that the note secured by deed of trust in question is not a “negotiable instrument” within the meaning of Commercial Code § 3301, even though they claim to have purchased the note, which by definition makes it negotiable.

D.        THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE DEMURRER ON THE CLAIMS TO QUIET TITLE AND REMOVE CLOUD ARE BASED UPON THE DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE NATURE OF THE DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT.

As always, the Defendants/Respondents insist upon misrepresenting the nature of the First Amended Complaint. Every element of each of these causes of action was specifically plead, as has been demonstrated. Pursuant to Commercial Code § 3301, the Defendants/Respondents have no right to enforce the note unless they possess the note. Plaintiffs/Appellants rely upon the appellate court to read the First Amended Complaint and comprehend it independently of the Defendants’/Respondents’ misrepresentations.

E.        THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE DEMURRER ON THE CLAIM FOR FRAUD AND MISREPRESENTATION ARE BASED UPON THE DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE CONTENT OF THE DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT.

The content of the First Amended Complaint speaks for itself. The Defendants/Respondents continue to look right at the paragraphs of the document that contain the elements required by law for each cause of action and to falsely state that the required allegations are not there. Plaintiffs/Appellants rely upon the appellate court to read the First Amended Complaint and comprehend it independently of the Defendants’/Respondents’ misrepresentations.

F.         THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE DEMURRER ON THE CLAIM FOR INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS ARE BASED UPON THE DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE CONTENT OF THE DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT.

The content of the First Amended Complaint speaks for itself. The Defendants/Respondents continue to look right at the paragraphs of the document that contain the elements required by law for each cause of action and to falsely state that the required allegations are not there. Plaintiffs/Appellants rely upon the appellate court to read the First Amended Complaint and comprehend it independently of the Defendants’/Respondents’ misrepresentations.

G.        THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE DEMURRER ON THE CLAIM FOR SLANDER OF CREDIT ARE BASED UPON THE DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE CONTENT OF THE DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT.

The content of the First Amended Complaint speaks for itself. The Defendants/Respondents continue to look right at the paragraphs of the document that contain the elements required by law for each cause of action and to falsely state that the required allegations are not there. Plaintiffs/Appellants rely upon the appellate court to read the First Amended Complaint and comprehend it independently of the Defendants’/Respondents’ misrepresentations.

H.        THE DEFENDANTS’/RESPONDENTS’ ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF SUSTAINING THE DEMURRER ON THE CLAIM FOR INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS ARE BASED UPON THE DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION OF THE CONTENT OF THE DEMUCHAS’ COMPLAINT.

The content of the First Amended Complaint speaks for itself. The Defendants/Respondents continue to look right at the paragraphs of the document that contain the elements required by law for each cause of action and to falsely state that the required allegations are not there. Plaintiffs/Appellants rely upon the appellate court to read the First Amended Complaint and comprehend it independently of the Defendants’/Respondents’ misrepresentations.

CONCLUSION

            The trial court erred in sustaining the demurrer without leave to amend and entering a judgment of dismissal. The rules of a non-judicial foreclosure proceeding and litigation to set aside a non-judicial foreclosure do not apply to a quiet title action that is filed prior to a foreclosure sale. The Commercial Code’s requirements that the entity enforcing a note must possess the original note (with limited exceptions) applies to a Note Secured by Deed of Trust. Even in the context of a non-judicial foreclosure, there is no “breach” unless the entity that did not receive the mortgage payments had a right to receive the mortgage payments through possession of the original note or compliance with another recognized exception under the Commercial Code. Any other result would cause an unnecessary conflict of laws and allow fraudulent “lenders” to engage in non-judicial foreclosures and sales of property so long as they complied with the technical requirements of a non-judicial foreclosure. All of the causes of action of the Verified First Amended Complaint are properly plead, with the exception that “punitive damages” is not technically a cause of action, but that can be resolved by striking the label “Sixth Cause of Action” and just allowing the heading “Punitive Damages” to stand.

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED,

            Dated: 23 December 2010                                                                                                                  

Michael D. Finley, Esq.

Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellants

Mark J. DeMucha & Cheryl M. DeMucha

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE

Pursuant to rule 8.204(c) of the California Rules of Court, I hereby certify that this brief contains 3,914 words, including footnotes. In making this certification, I have relied on the word count of the computer program used to prepare the brief.

Dated: 23 December 2010                                                                                                                  

Michael D. Finley, Esq.

Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellants

Mark J. DeMucha & Cheryl M. DeMucha

 PROOF OF SERVICE

STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

I am employed in the County of Los Angeles, State of California. I am over the age of 18 and not a party to the within action; my business address is: 25375 Orchard Village Road, Suite 106, Valencia, CA 91355-3000.

On 23 December 2010 I served the foregoing document described as: Appellant’s Opening Brief on the interested parties in this action by placing a true copy thereof in sealed envelopes addressed as follows:

(Attorneys for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. & Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.): Kutak Rock LLP, 18201 Von Karman, Suite 1100, Irvine, CA 92612

(Attorneys for First American Loanstar Trustee Services & First American Corporation): Wright, Finlay & Zak, LLP, 4665 MacArthur Court, Suite 280, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Judge Sidney P. Chapin, Kern County Superior Court, Metropolitan Division, 1415 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93301

BY MAIL: I deposited such envelopes in the mail at Valencia, California. The envelopes were mailed with first class postage thereon fully prepaid.

ALSO, BY ELECTRONIC FILING WITH THE SUPREME COURT: In addition, I filed an electronic copy of the Appellant’s Opening Brief with the Supreme Court of California on 23 December 2010, through the Supreme Court’s website.

Dated: 23 December 2010                                                                                                                  

Michael D. Finley, Esq.

Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellants

Mark J. DeMucha & Cheryl M. DeMucha

Fighting Foreclosure in California

11 Nov

Using the Courts to Fight a California or Other Non-Judicial Foreclosure – 3-Stage Analysis – including a Homeowner Action to “Foreclose” on the Bank’s Mortgage Security Interest – rev.

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California real property foreclosures are totally different from foreclosures in New York and many other states. The reason is that more than 99% of the California foreclosures take place without a court action, in a proceeding called a “non-judicial foreclosure”. Twenty-one states do not have a non-judicial foreclosure. [These states are CT, DE, FL, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, NE, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OH, PA, SC, UT, VT. – Source: realtytrac.com] In California, the lending institution can go through a non-judicial foreclosure in about 4 months from the date of the filing and recording of a “Notice of Default”, ending in a sale of the property without any court getting involved. The California homeowner can stop the sale by making full payment of all alleged arrears no later than 5 days prior to the scheduled sale. Unlike a judicial foreclosure, the homeowner will have no right to redeem the property after the sale (“equity of redemption”, usually a one-year period after judicial foreclosure and sale). For a visual presentation of the timeline for California and other state non-judicial foreclosures, go to Visual Timeline for California Non-Judicial Foreclosures.

A 50-state analysis of judicial and non-judicial foreclosure procedures is available at 50-State Analysis of Judicial and Non-Judicial Foreclosure Procedures.]

The problem I am going to analyze and discuss is under what circumstances can a homeowner/mortgagor go into court to obtain some type of judicial relief for wrongful or illegal conduct by the lender or others relating to the property and mortgage. My discussion applies as to all states in which non-judicial foreclosures are permitted.

There are three distinct stages that need to be separately discussed. These stages are the borrower’s current situation. The three stages are:

 

  • Homeowner is not in any mortgage arrears [declaratory judgment action]
  • Homeowner is behind in mortgage payments – at least 5 days before auction [injunction action, which could even be called an action by a homeowner to “foreclose” upon or eliminate the lending institution’s mortgage security interest]
  • Property was sold at auction [wrongful foreclosure action]

 

I. Homeowner Is Not in any Mortgage Arrears [Declaratory Judgment Action]

As long as a homeowner keeps making the mortgage payments, and cures any occasional short-term default, the homeowner is in a position to commence an action in federal or state court for various types of relief relating to the mortgage and the obligations thereunder. One typical claim is a declaratory judgment action to declare that the mortgage and note are invalid or that the terms are not properly set forth. There are various other types of claims, as well. The filing of such an action would not precipitate a non-judicial foreclosure. Compare this to a regular foreclosure, in which the homeowner stops paying on the mortgage, gets sued in a foreclosure action, and then is able in the lawsuit to raise the issues (as “defenses”) which the California homeowner would raise as “claims” or “causes of action” in the lawsuit being discussed for this first stage.

II. Homeowner Is Behind in Mortgage Payments – at Least 5 Days before Auction [Injunction Action seeking TRO and Preliminary Injunction, which you might say is a homeowner’s own “foreclosure proceeding against the bank and its mortgage interest”]

This is the most difficult of the three stages for making use of the courts to oppose foreclosure. The reasons are: foreclosure and sale is apt to take place too quickly; the cost of seeking extraordinary (injunctive) relief is higher because of the litigation papers and hearing that have to be done in a very short period of time to obtain fast TRO and preliminary injunctive relief to stop the threatened sale; the cost of this expensive type of injunctive litigation is probably much higher for many homeowners than just keeping up the mortgage payments; and, finally, you would have to show a greater probability of success on the merits of the action than you would need to file a lawsuit as in Stage 1, so that the homeowner’s chances of prevailing (and getting the requested injunction) are low and the costs and risks are high.

Nevertheless, when the facts are in the homeowner’s favor, the homeowner should consider bringing his plight to the attention of the court, to obtain relief from oppressive lending procedures. The problem with most borrower-homeowners is that they do not have any idea what valid bases they may have to seek this kind of relief. What anyone should do in this case is talk with a competent lawyer as soon as possible, to prevent any further delay from causing you to lose an opportunity to fight back. You need to weigh the cost of commencing a court proceeding (which could be $5,000 more or less to commence) against the loss of the home through non-judicial foreclosure.

 

III. Property Was Sold at Auction [Wrongful Foreclosure Action]

If the property has already been sold, you still have the right to pursue your claims, but in the context of a “wrongful foreclosure” lawsuit, which has various legal underpinnings including tort, breach of contract and statute. This type of suit could not precipitate any foreclosure and sale of the property because the foreclosure and sale have already taken place. Your remedy would probably be monetary damages, which you would have to prove. You should commence the action as soon as possible after the wrongful foreclosure and sale, and particularly within a period of less than one year from the sale. The reason is that some of your claims could be barred by a short, 1-year statute of limitations.

If you would like to talk about any possible claims relating to your mortgage transaction, please give me a call. There are various federal and state statutes and court decisions to consider, with some claims being substantially better than others. I am available to draft a complaint in any of the 3 stages for review by your local attorney, and to be counsel on a California or other-state action “pro hac vice” (i.e., for the one case) when associating with a local lawyer.

Delaware suing MERS Video

4 Nov

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908//vp/45070527#45070527

Delaware suing MERS video

The Law of Capitalism THE MASS MISS JOINDER

21 Oct

I attended the Attorney General and state Bar hearing as to the intervention of the state bar into the law practice of Mitchell Stein and the K2 mass Joinder cases in Los Angeles in front of Judge Johnson. The tentative was a scathing implication of Mitchell Stein and his purported involvement with the “marketing companies” and the allegations of unfair business practices all needed for the AG and the State Bar to step in and confiscate 1.6 million in various accounts.

I was there to opine the status of the case itself and the merits of the cases and as to the victims rights as against the banks. If the Bar took over the practice would they defend the cases would they protect the victims right. No they are not; right now they the State Bar are telling the victims they are on there own.

Once again these suits I have been following and hoping could get past the Demur stage the Banks would be forced to answer. Then there would be motions for Summary Judgement and if the Victims could survive the Summary Judgement and thousands of requests for admissions and interrogatories propounded on the thousands of plaintiffs. It could be done I would have to associate about 10 other lawyers and 30 paralegals but it could be done for about $700,000.00. Then I believe the Banks would enter settlement negotiations with the victims witch I calculate to be about 6500 victims to date.

Mandelman characterized the case as follows:

The case at the core of the Kramer and Kaslow mass joinder lawsuit is: Ronald vs. Bank of America. Basically, the case accuses Countrywide (subsequent cases being filed include Citibank, One West, GMAC/Ally Bank, and perhaps others) of perpetrating a massive fraud upon homeowners by knowingly inflating appraisals, creating a bubble the bank knew would pop and leave homeowner equity devastated, violate privacy statutes, and then Civil Code sections when they refused to modify… you get the idea.

The case says that Countrywide execs knew and did it anyway in order to make zillions of dollars securitizing the loans and therefore only others would incur the future losses.

Here’s an overview of what the third amended complaint says in its Introduction section:

2. This action seeks remedies for the foregoing improper activities, including a massive fraud perpetrated upon Plaintiffs and other borrowers by the Countrywide Defendants that devastated the values of their residences, in most cases resulting in Plaintiffs’ loss of all or substantially all of their net worths.

6. Hand-in-hand with its fraudulently-obtained mortgages, Mozilo and others at Countrywide hatched a plan to “pool” the foregoing mortgages and sell the pools for inflated value. Rapidly, these two intertwined schemes grew into a brazen plan to disregard underwriting standards and fraudulently inflate property values – county-by- county, city-by-city, person-by-person – in order to take business from legitimate mortgage-providers, and moved on to massive securities fraud hand-in-hand with concealment from, and deception of, Plaintiffs and other mortgagees on an unprecedented scale.

7. From as early as 2004, Countrywide’s senior management led by Mozilo knew the scheme would cause a liquidity crisis that would devastate Plaintiffs’ home values and net worths. But, they didn’t care, because their plan was based on insider trading – pumping for as long as they could and then dumping before the truth came out and Plaintiffs’ losses were locked in.

9. It is now all too clear that this was the ultimate high-stakes fraudulent investment scheme of the last decade. Couched in banking and securities jargon, the deceptive gamble with consumers’ primary assets – their homes – was nothing more than a financial fraud perpetrated by Defendants and others on a scale never before seen. This scheme led directly to a mortgage meltdown in California that was substantially worse than any economic problems facing the rest of the United States. From 2008 to the present, Californians’ home values decreased by considerably more than most other areas in the United States as a direct and proximate result of the Defendants’ scheme set forth herein.

This massive fraudulent scheme was a disaster both foreseen by Countrywide and waiting to happen. Defendants knew it, and yet Defendants still induced the Plaintiffs into their scheme without telling them.

10. As a result, Plaintiffs lost their equity in their homes, their credit ratings and histories were damaged or destroyed, and Plaintiffs incurred material other costs and expenses, described herein. At the same time, Defendants took from Plaintiffs and other borrowers billions of dollars in interest payments and fees and generated billions of dollars in profits by selling their loans at inflated values.

14. Since the time Plaintiffs filed the initial Complaint herein, Defendants’ improper acts have continued, including, inter alia: (i) issuing Notices of Default in violation of Cal. Civil Code §2923.5; (ii) misrepresenting their intention to arrange loan modifications for Plaintiffs, while in fact creating abusive roadblocks to deprive Plaintiffs of their legal rights; and (iii) engaging in intrinsic fraud in this Court and in Kentucky by stalling in addressing Plaintiffs’ legitimate requests to cancel notices of default and for loan modifications, and by refusing to respond, in any way, to Plaintiffs’ privacy causes of action.

Now, there’s no question… this is a real lawsuit. Some attorneys believe it will be a very difficult case to win, while others think it’s quite viable and likely to settle. I can see both sides of that argument.

On one hand, it would seem difficult to prove that Countrywide caused the housing bubble; there were certainly many parties involved and numerous other contributing factors as well. On the other hand, the case has numerous aspects that are unquestionably true and certainly wrong.

Then there’s what’s known as “the banker factor.” Actually, I’m making that up, but you know what I mean. The banks aren’t going to lay down for this as it would open an enormous can of litigating worms… so they have to fight… or is there no percentage in that either? Well, now you’ve seen first hand why I chose not to go to law school.

I really haven’t the foggiest idea what’s going to happen… and neither does anyone else.

But then, Columbus couldn’t exactly stop and ask for directions either, which, it’s worth noting is why, when sailing for The New World, he landed in the Bahamas and named them San Salvador, but assumed he had found the Indies so he named the native people Indians (leading me to always wonder what he would have named them had he not gotten so hopelessly lost.)

(What if his favorite word was “Jujubees,” and he had named the natives “Jujubees?” Then I would have grown up playing Cowboys & Jujubees?)

So, since no one can know what’s going to happen in the future of this case, I thought I’d take a look at where it is today. From a review of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s online records database we find these events have transpired to-date or are set for the near future…
1. Original complaint was filed in March 2009.
2. First amended complaint was in June of 2009.
3. Second amended complaint March 2010.
4. August 2010: the banks try to remove the case to federal court, but fail.
5. Third amended complaint was filed July 7, 2010.
6. The defendant banksters have demurred again, but it doesn’t appear that the demurs filed in December have been heard.
7. Status conference set for Thursday, February 3rd, 2011.
8. There is a hearing date scheduled for March 29, 2011, but it’s not clear to me what will be happening at that hearing.

So, this is their third “amended complaint.” That means the defendants… the banks… have demurred twice. That means that the banks have come to court claiming that the mass joinder plaintiffs don’t state a cause of action… or in other words saying the plaintiffs have no case… and the court has allowed the plaintiffs to amend the complaint three times so far.

Like almost everything in the law, I guess you could read that a couple of different ways. On one hand it seems positive… the case brought by the mass joinder plaintiffs has not been tossed out by the judge yet. That’s good, right?
On the other hand… the court could “sustain the demur without leave to amend,” in which case the mass joinder suit would be over and done.

And that’s why litigating is always a gamble, and by no means a sure thing.
Here’s an oversimplified look at the mass joinder’s causes of action.

First Cause of Action… Fraudulent Concealment – This is saying that the bank was hiding things from the borrowers.

Second Cause of Action… Intentional Misrepresentation – This is lying when you knew you were lying. In other words, you knew an appraisal was wrong… it came in at $500,000, but you knew it was worth $400,000 and you passed it off anyway.

Third Cause of Action… Negligent Misrepresentation – This is like saying that you’re lying but it wasn’t intentional. Let’s say that you ordered an appraisal but never really looked at the appraisal to make sure it was done correctly. You include this cause of action in case the conduct doesn’t rise to the level of intentional misrepresentation, and perhaps because some insurance policies don’t cover intentional acts.

Fourth Cause if Action… Invasion of Constitutional Right to Privacy – This is saying that the banks disclosed personal information… perhaps when selling the loans to another investor.

Fifth Cause of Action… Violation of California Financial Information Privacy Act – See above or read the actual complaint.

Sixth Cause of Action… Civil Code 2923.5 – Defendants are prohibited by statute from recording a Notice of Default against the primary residential property of any Californian without first making contact with that person as required under § 2923.5 and then interacting with that person in the manner set forth in detail under § 2923.5. Nothing special here, but its been upheld by other courts in California.

Seventh Cause of Action… Civil Code 1798 – When they gave away your private information, they didn’t tell you they did it? Defendants failed to timely disclose to Plaintiffs the disclosure of their personal information as required under California Civil Code § 1798.82

Eighth Cause of Action… Unfair Competition Against All Defendants – Defendants’ actions in implementing and perpetrating their fraudulent scheme of inducing Plaintiffs to accept mortgages for which they were not qualified based on inflated property valuations and undisclosed disregard of their own underwriting standards and the sale of overpriced collateralized mortgage pools, all the while knowing that the plan would crash and burn, taking the Plaintiffs down and costing them the equity in their homes and other damages, violates numerous federal and state statutes and common law protections enacted for consumer protection, privacy, trade disclosure, and fair trade and commerce.

In Conclusion…

Attorney Phillip Kramer, in his own words, made it quite clear that his firm was not responsible for the mailer I received or the telemarketing about which I’ve been notified. Once again, he says…

“I know of no outbound calling. If asked, I would not approve of that. I knew that some law firms wanted to send out mailers. I have insisted that everyone comply with State Bar rules and that anything with my name must be pre-approved. As of this date, no one has submitted any proposed marketing for my review. That piece was done without my knowledge.

I am happy to pay a referral fee to other law firms. I do not split fees, pay commissions, nor do I pay referral fees to non-lawyers. I do not use cappers, and have never authorized anyone to robocall, telemarket, spam email, or undertake any mass marketing on my behalf.”

With that said I was going to apply to the Bar to take over the cases if they would relinquish the 1.6 to pay for the work to be done for the victims. Before making such a wild leap into this caos I called my State bar lawyer. He informed me that I should not even go close to these cases that all lawyers involved will be DISBARRED. I said wow but what about the merits of the cases the judge in the case had already overruled the demur as to some of the causes of action. The State Bar (by their actions in not finding a lawyer to protect the victims) is recommending that case be dismissed the Attorney General IS NOT PURSUING THE RIGHTS OF THE VICTIMS . I persisted with my lawyer. To which he exclaimed ” DON’T YOU GET IT MCCANDLESS THE AG AND THE BAR ARE WORKING FOR THE BANKS”.

Fannie Mae Foreclosure Lawyers Acted Improperly

10 Oct

Thumbnail image for Foreclosure.jpgHomeowners in Northern California have questioned the practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in foreclosure proceedings. If you are facing a foreclosure, you may be able to keep the property by filing for bankruptcy. You should consult with an attorney regarding your legal options.

After news reports in mid-2010 began to describe the dubious practices, like the routine filing of false pleadings in bankruptcy courts, Fannie Mae’s overseer started to scrutinize the conduct of its attorneys. The inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency severely criticized the FHFA’s oversight of Fannie Mae and the practices of its foreclosure attorneys in a report issued Tuesday. “American homeowners have been struggling with the effects of the housing finance crisis for several years, and they shouldn’t have to worry whether they will be victims of foreclosure abuse,” Inspector General Steve Linick told the New York Times. “Increased oversight by F.H.F.A. could help to prevent these abuses.”

According to the New York Times, the report is the second in two weeks in which the inspector general has outlined lapses at both the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the companies it oversees Federal National Mortgage Assn (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp (Freddie Mac). The agency has acted as conservator for the companies since they were taken over by the government in 2008. Its duty is to ensure that their operations do not pose additional risk to the taxpayers who now own them. The companies have tapped the taxpayers to cover mortgage losses totaling about $160 billion. The new report from the inspector general tracks Fannie Mae’s dealings with the law firms handling its foreclosures from 1997, when the company created its so-called retained attorney network. At the time, Fannie Mae was a highly profitable and powerful institution, and it devised the legal network to ensure that borrower defaults would be resolved with efficiency and speed.

The law firms in the network agreed to a flat-rate fee structure and pricing model based on the volume of foreclosures they completed. The companies that serviced the loans for Fannie Mae, were supposed to monitor the law firms’ performance and practices, the report noted

After receiving information from a shareholder in 2003 about foreclosure abuses by its law firms, Fannie Mae assigned its outside counsel to investigate, according to the report. That law firm concluded in a 2006 analysis that “foreclosure attorneys in Florida are routinely filing false pleadings and affidavits,” and that the practice could be occurring elsewhere. “It is axiomatic that the practice is improper and should be stopped,” the law firm said.

The inspector general’s report said that it could not be determined whether Fannie Mae had alerted its regulator, then the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, to the legal improprieties identified by its internal investigation.

The inspector general said that both Fannie Mae and its regulator appear to have ignored other signs of problems in their foreclosure operations. For example, the Federal Housing Finance Agency did not respond to borrower complaints about improper actions taken by law firms in foreclosures received as early as August 2009, even though foreclosure abuse poses operational and financial risks to Fannie Mae.

The report cited a media report from early 2008 detailing foreclosure abuses by law firms doing work for Fannie Mae. Nevertheless, a few months later and just before its takeover by the government, Fannie Mae began requiring the banks that serviced its loans to use only those law firms that were in its network. By then, 140 law firms in 31 jurisdictions were in the group. Fannie Mae, the mortgage finance giant, learned as early as 2003 of extensive foreclosure abuses among the law firms it had hired to remove troubled borrowers from their homes. But the company did little to correct the firms’ practices,.

Finally last fall, after an outcry over apparently forged foreclosure documents and other improprieties, the Federal Housing Finance Agency began investigating the company’s process. In a report issued early this year, it determined that Fannie Mae’s management of its network of lawyers did not meet safety and soundness standards. Among the reasons: the company’s controls to prevent or detect foreclosure abuses were inadequate, as was the company’s monitoring of the law firms. “If a law firm self-reported no issues as it processed cases,” the inspector general said, “then Fannie Mae presumed the firm was doing a good job.” The agency is still deciding how to handle the lawyer network, the inspector general said.

Officials at the housing agency have agreed with the recommendations in the inspector general’s report. Corinne Russell, a spokeswoman for F.H.F.A. said the agency was concluding its supervisory work in this area and would direct Fannie Mae to take necessary action when the work was completed.

In a response, the agency said that by Sept. 29, 2012, it would review its existing supervisory practices and act to resolve “deficiencies in the management of risks associated with default-related legal services vendors.”

If you are having problems with a loan or foreclosure, we provide free legal consultations for bankruptcy in San Francisco County, Sacramento County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Stanislaus County, San Joaquin County, Marin County, Solano County and throughout Northern California. Contact us for a free legal consultation today.925-957-9797

KISS: KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID from Garfield

28 Aug

Finality versus good and evil. In the battlefield it isn’t about good and evil. It is about winner and losers. In military battles around the world many battles have been one by the worst tyrants imaginable.

Just because you are right, just because the banks did bad things, just because they have no right to do what they are doing, doesn’t mean you will win. You might if you do it right, but you are up against a superior army with a dubious judge looking on thinking that this deadbeat borrower wants to get out of paying.

The court system is there to mediate disputes and bring them to a conclusion. Once a matter is decided they don’t want it to be easy to reopen a bankruptcy or issues that have already been litigated. The court presumably wants justice to prevail, but it also wants to end the dispute for better or for worse.

Otherwise NOTHING would end. Everyone who lost would come in with some excuse to have another trial. So you need to show fundamental error, gross injustice or an error that causes more problems that it solves.

These are the same issues BEFORE the matter is decided in court. Foreclosures are viewed as a clerical act or ministerial act. The outcome is generally viewed as inevitable.

And where the homeowner already admits the loan exists (a mistake), that the lien is exists and was properly filed and executed (a mistake) and admits that he didn’t make payments — he is admitting something he doesn’t even know is true — that there were payments due and he didn’t make them, which by definition puts him in default.

It’s not true that the homeowner would even know if the payment is due because the banks refuse to provide any accounting on the third party payments from bailout, insurance CDS, and credit enhancement.

That’s why you need reports on title, securitization, forensic reviews for TILA compliance and loan level accounting. If the Judges stuck to the law, they would require the proof first from the banks, but they don’t. They put the burden on the borrowers —who are the only ones who have the least information and the least access to information — to essentially make the case for the banks and then disprove it. The borrowers are litigating against themselves.

In the battlefield it isn’t about good and evil, it is about winners and losers. Name calling and vague accusations won’t cut it.

Sure you want to use the words surrogate signing, robo-signing, forgery, fabrication and misrepresentation. You also want to show that the court’s action would or did cloud title in a way that cannot be repaired without a decision on the question of whether the lien was perfected and whether the banks should be able to say they transferred bad loans to investors who don’t want them — just so they can foreclose.

But you need some proffers of real evidence — reports, exhibits and opinions from experts that will show that there is a real problem here and that this case has not been heard on the merits because of an unfair presumption: the presumption is that just because a bank’s lawyer says it in court, it must be true.

Check with the notary licensing boards, and see if the notaries on their documents have been disciplined and if not, file a grievance if you have grounds. Once you have that, maybe you have a grievance against the lawyers. After that maybe you have a lawsuit against the banks and their lawyers.

But the primary way to control the narrative or at least trip up the narrative of the banks is to object on the basis that counsel for the bank is referring to things not in the record. That is simple and the judge can understand that.

Don’t rely on name-calling, rely on the simplest legal requirements that you can find that have been violated. Was the lien perfected?

If the record shows that others were involved in the original transaction with the borrowers at the inception of the deal, then you might be able to show that there were only nominees instead of real parties in interest named on the note and mortgage.

Without disclosure of the principal, the lien is not perfected because the world doesn’t know who to go to for a satisfaction of that lien. If you know the other parties involved were part of a securitization scheme, you should say that — these parties can only be claiming an interest by virtue of a pooling and servicing agreement. And then make the point that they are only now trying to transfer what they are calling a bad loan into the pool that the investors bought — which is expressly prohibited for multiple reasons in the PSA.

This is impersonation of the investor because the investors don’t want to come forward and get countersued for the bad and illegal lending practices that were used in getting the borrower’s signature.

Point out that the auction of the property was improperly conducted where you can show that to be the case. Nearly all of the 5 million foreclosures were allowed to be conducted with a single bid from a non-creditor.

If you are not a creditor you must bid cash, put up a portion before you bid, and then pay the balance usually within 24-72 hours.

But instead they pretended to be the creditor when their own documents show they were supposed to be representing the investors who were not part of the lawsuit nor the judgment.

SO they didn’t pay cash and they didn’t tender the note. THEY PAID NOTHING. In Florida the original note must actually be filed with the court to make sure that the matter is actually concluded.

There is a whole ripe area of inquiry of inspecting the so-called original notes and bringing to the attention the fraud upon the court in submitting a false original. It invalidates the sale, by operation of law.

The Free House Myth

4 Aug

posted by Katie Porter
As challenges to whether a “bank” (usually actually a securitized
trust) has the right to foreclose because it owns the note and mortgage become more common, rumors swirl about the ability to use such tactics to get a “free house.” There are a few instances of consumer getting a free house, see here and here, for examples, but these are extreme situations not premised on ownership, but on a more fundamental flaw with the mortgage. In general, the idea that even a successful ownership challenge will create a free house to the borrower is an urban myth. I’ll explain why below, but there is a policy point here. The myth of the free house drives policymakers to complain about the moral hazard risks of holding mortgage companies to the law and tries to set up homeowners who are paying their mortgages against those who are not. It serves the banks’ political agenda to be able to point to the “free house” as an obviously unacceptable alternative of consumers winning legal challenges. It’s key then to understand that the “free house” is largely a creature of consumers’
and banks’ over-active imaginations.

In sorting out why even a successful ownership challenge does not give homeowners a free house, it is helpful to parse some key concepts. The first one is standing, which is the right of a party to ask a court for the relief it seeks. This comes in different flavors, including constitutional standing, but in the foreclosure context, usually boils down to whether the moving party is the “real party in interest.” In re Veal, the recent decision from the 9th Circuit BAP authored by Judge Bruce Markell, mentioned previously on Credit Slips , contains a discussion of standing in the foreclosure context. At least in part, the concern of the real party in interest doctrine is to make sure that the plaintiff is the right person to get legal relief in order to protect the defendant from a later action by the person truly entitled to relief. Note that standing is a concept that only applies in court; here that means in judicial foreclosures. In states that allow non-judicial foreclosure, the issue is slightly different. Does the party initiating the non-judicial foreclosure have the authority to do so under the state statute authorizing the sale? For example, cases such as In re Salazar discuss whether a recorded assignment of the mortgage is needed, as opposed to an unrecorded assignment, to initiate a foreclosure. Under either standing or statutory authority, a “win” by the homeowner leads to the same result. The foreclosure cannot proceed.

But this win is not the same as a free house. Just because a party lacked standing or statutory authority does not mean that there is not some party out there that does have the authority to foreclosure. Nor does a win on standing mean that there cannot be action taken to give the initial foreclosing party the authority that they need, which might occur by transferring possession of the note or by executing a series of assignments, to foreclose at a later date. Unless other problems exist, there is still a valid note that obligates the homeowner to pay money due and there is still a mortgage encumbering the house. The homeowner does not get a free house. Rather, the homeowner just doesn’t lose her house today to foreclosure. These are pretty different outcomes!

This doesn’t mean that I think the standing/ownership issue is inconsequential. For homeowners, a successful challenge that results in the dismissal of a foreclosure can lead to a loan modification or the delay itself can give the homeowner the time to find another solution. For investors in mortgage-backed securities, the problems with paperwork likely increase their loss severities in foreclosure, both because of increased litigation costs and because of delay in correcting problems. (And there may be even more serious problems for investors relating to whether the transfers even succeeded in putting the homes in the trust.) But we shouldn’t confuse these issues with the idea that what is at stake in sorting out this mess is giving a “free house” to some Americans, despite the lamentations of this LaSalle Bank lawyer after a judge ruled that LaSalle as trustee lacked standing to foreclose. A fruitful discussion of these issues needs to begin with a clear understanding of the consequences of the problem, as well as empirical evidence on how widespread these problems are.
The free house is political handwringing, not legal reality.

July 18, 2011 at 4:22 AM in Mortgage Debt & Home Equity Comments It’s certainly not a “free” house. I think it’ll be a nightmare for homeowners who prevail in one of these actions to try and sell their homes. Just because party X can’t foreclose doesn’t mean that there isn’t a valid mortgage still on the property. No buyer is going to want to buy (and no title insurer will want to insure) unless that mortgage is paid off. And that means determining who is the mortgagee.
Adverse possession and/or quiet title actions might help solve some of this, but they are not self-executing solutions. Homeowners will have to go to court and litigate. That’s expensive and it takes time. So, at best, these homeowners are getting not “free” houses but houses with a severely depressed value.

Posted by: Adam Levitin | July 18, 2011 at 06:46 AM

The author skims the surface of the latte and finds after skimming the surface there is no more cream. Duh.
The Banks are often appearing as trustees on behalf of NY Trusts most of which died on or about 2008. If the trusts are dead than who has the right to appear in court? Nemo est hires viventis. No one is the heir of a living person and I would suggest, no one is the a trustee able to act on behalf of a dead trust. If the paper was successfully transferred to the trust, then perhaps the thousands of suckers who bought a RMBS are the owners. But if the paper was never successfully transferred, then the trusts and the trustees are certainly not the owners with standing. The original lenders might be but after phony documents have been created assigning the note and the mortgage to dead trusts, how could they possibly have the right of ownership?
The “myth” of the free houses was created not by consumers “oy!!” but by the very Banks who are picking up “free” houses every day by pretending to be trustees acting on behalf of dead trusts or trusts that never properly held the mortgages and notes. It is very much like Ronald Reagan calling a nuclear submarine the Corpus Christie or calling armed combatants “peacekeepers.” The “free house” was the Orwellian double speak created by Bankers for Bankers and their judicial minions and hand maidens have adopted their language very well.


Jake Naumer
Resolution Advisors
3187 Morgan Ford
St Louis Missouri 63116
314 961 7600
Fax Voice Mail 314 754 9086

Ask for a 402 hearing and then dissmiss the eviction !!!

10 Jul

If the court follows the rules of evidence (and they do) if proper objections are filed. No eviction of a secuitized loan should ever prevail on an eviction; they cannot produce the foundation to authenticate the Trustees Deed it is based upon preliminary facts that they are unable and unwilling to bring to court. The Assignments Civil code 2932.5 , The Servicer, The Accounting, The Trustee, MERS, The Robo signer, The person that purportedly contacted the Borrower Trustor, The compliance documents with Civil Code 2924, all these are preliminary facts upon which the admission of the Trustees Deed depend Evidence code 400,401,402,403. Check out this motion !!

Timothy L. McCandless, Esq.  (SBN 147715)

LAW OFFICES OF TIMOTHY L. MCCANDLESS

Attorney for Defendant,

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA

IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF SOLANO

SOLANO COURT/ LIMITED JURISDICTION

FANNIE MAE et al,

Plaintiff,

v.

Defendant.

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)Case No.:

 

DEFENDANT’S IN LIMINE MOTION TO EXCLUDE ALL EVIDENCE (RE:FACIALLY INVALID DEED OF TRUST)

TRIAL DATE:  Tues., June 15, 2010 ) 

To the Court, to Plaintiff FANNIE MAE, and its attorney of record:

            PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that, on Tuesday, June 15, 2010, at 8:30 AM, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard, Defendant, MICHELLE CABESAS, will in limine judicii move the court, and hereby does move, for an order excluding from trial all evidence proffered by Plaintiff FANNIE MAE.

          The motion will be heard in Department  26, at 1:30 p.m. in front of the Honorable Judge Davis  of the Solano Court of the above-captioned court.

The motion will be brought pursuant to Evidence Code sections 353 and 400 et seq., Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10(b), and related decisional law.

The ground of the motion will be that the Unlawful Detainer Complaint, together with the publicly-filed “Deed of Trust” that is necessarily incorporated into it, is facially invalid because the  Beneficiary did not have the power of sale. Such irregularities should constitute sufficient grounds to set aside the entire non-judicial foreclosure process. Therefore, the Trustee’s Deed After Sale should not be admitted as no lawful basis exists for its execution. Additionally, the Notice of Default, and Notice of Default Declaration should be excluded.

The failure of Plaintiff and/or Plaintiff’s agent to perform a condition precedent pursuant to Civil Code Section 2923.5 is fatal. The Notice of Default Declaration fails is several regards, (1) the language of the Notice does not comply with the statute because it does not set forth facts of how the statute was performed; (2) the Declaration is not sworn under penalty of perjury; (3) the only date of the Declaration is the date of execution which is one day prior to the Notice of Default which was recorded only five days later, thus, thirty days did not pass from the date of execution of the Declaration and the date of recordation. As such, under Section 2923.5, the Notice of Default Declaration is void and could not support the recordation of the Notice of Default.  Because the non-judicial foreclosure process is subject to strict scrutiny, and given the material failure of a condition precedent by Plaintiff and/or Plaintiff’s agent, the entire non-judicial foreclosure process is invalid.  Therefore, the Trustee’s Deed After Sale cannot be admitted into evidence, as no lawful foundation can be laid.

//

DATED:  June 14, 2010.                  ________________________________________

LAW OFFICES OF TIMOTHY L. MCCANDLESS

By: Timothy P. McCandless, Esq.

Attorney for Defendant,

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

I.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The court’s records for this case will show that Plaintiff FANNIE MAE filed its Complaint on or about  August 4, 2009.   The apparent foreclosing beneficiary was plaintiff, FANNIE MAE.  [See attachment to Unlawful Detainer Complaint entitled “Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale.”]

This motion ensued in its present form, because sufficient time did not remain before trial, in order to permit Defendant CABESAS to bring a regularly-noticed general demurrer or “motion for judgment on the pleadings”.

II.

THE COURT HAS POWER TO EXCLUDE ALL EVIDENCE FROM TRIAL, ON GROUNDS ANALOGOUS TO A GENERAL DEMURRER.

            The court has power to consider and grant an objection to all evidence under Evidence Code sections 353 and 400 et seq.  If no cause of action or defense is stated by the respective pleading, then no “factual issue” any longer exists, and therefore no evidence may be admitted on grounds of “relevance” under Evidence Code sections 400 et seq.

It is well established that a party may bring an in limine objection in order to exclude all evidence, as a sort of general demurrer or “motion for judgment on the pleadings”.  “Although not in form a motion, this method of attacking the pleading is identical in purpose to a general demurrer and motion for judgment on the pleadings and is governed by the same rules.  [Citations.]”  5 WITKIN, Cal.Proc.3rd page 386, “Pleading” at §953.  See also 6 WITKIN, Cal.Proc.3rd pages 571-573, “Proceedings Without Trial” at §§272-273.

According to 5 WITKIN, Cal.Proc.3rd page 340, “Pleading” at §899, a “general” demurrer concerns only the defense that the pleading does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action or defense.  That is precisely what defendant contends here: the Unlawful Detainer Complaint fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted.

III.

THE COURT MUST STRICTLY ENFORCE

THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A FORECLOSURE.

            The harshness of non-judicial foreclosure has been recognized. “The exercise of the power of sale is a harsh method of foreclosing the rights of the grantor.” Anderson v. Heart Federal Savings (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 202, 6 215, citing to System Inv. Corporation v. Union Bank (1971) 21 Cal.App.3d 137, 153.  The statutory requirements are intended to protect the trustor from a wrongful or unfair loss of his property Moeller v. Lien (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 822, 830; accord, Hicks v. E.T. Legg & Associates (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 496, 503; Lo Nguyen v. Calhoun (6th District 2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 428, 440, and a valid foreclosure by the private power of sale requires strict compliance with the requirements of the statute. Miller & Starr, California Real Estate (3d ed.), Deeds of Trust and Mortgages, Chapter 10 §10.179; Anderson v. Heart Federal Sav. & Loan Assn., 208 Cal. App. 3d 202, 211 (3d Dist. 1989), reh’g denied and opinion modified, (Mar. 28, 1989); Miller v. Cote (4th Dist. 1982) 127 Cal. App. 3d 888, 894; System Inv. Corp. v. Union Bank (2d Dist. 1971) 21 Cal. App. 3d 137, 152-153; Bisno v. Sax (2d Dist. 1959) 175 Cal. App. 2d 714, 720.

It has been a cornerstone of foreclosure law that the statutory requirements, intending to protect the trustor from a wrongful or unfair loss of the property, must be complied with strictly. Miller & Starr, California Real Estate (3d ed.), Deeds of Trust and Mortgages, Chapter 10 §10.182.   “Close” compliance does not count. As a result, any trustee’s sale based on a statutorily deficient Notice of Default is invalid (emphasis added). Miller & Starr, California Real Estate (3d ed.), Deeds of Trust and Mortgages, Chapter 10 §10.182; Anderson v. Heart Federal Sav. & Loan Assn. (3dDist. 1989) 208 Cal. App. 3d 202, 211, reh’g denied and opinion modified, (Mar. 28, 1989); Miller v. Cote (4th Dist. 1982) 127 Cal. App. 3d 888, 894; System Inv. Corp. v. Union Bank (2d Dist. 1971) 21 Cal. App. 3d 137, 152-153; Saterstrom v. Glick Bros. Sash, Door & Mill Co.(3d Dist. 1931) 118 Cal. App. 379.

Additionally, any trustee’s sale based on a statutorily deficient Notice of Trustee Sale is invalid.  Anderson v. Heart Federal Sav. & Loan Assn. (3d Dist. 1989) 11 208 Cal.App. 3d 202, 211, reh’g denied and opinion modified, (Mar. 28, 1989). The California Sixth District Court of Appeal observed, “Pursuing that policy [of judicial interpretation], the courts have fashioned rules to protect the debtor, one of them being that the notice of default will be strictly construed and must correctly set forth the amounts required to cure the default.” Sweatt v. The Foreclosure Co., Inc. (1985 – 6th District) 166 Cal.App.3d 273 at 278, citing to Miller v. Cote (1982) 127 Cal.App.3d 888, 894 and SystemInv. Corp. v. Union Bank (1971) 21 Cal.App.3d 137, 152-153.

The same reasoning applies even to a notice of a trustee’s sale.  Courts will set aside a foreclosure sale when there has been fraud, when the  sale has been improperly, unfairly, or unlawfully conducted, or when there has  been such a mistake that it would be inequitable to let it stand. Bank of America Nat. Trust & Savings Ass’n v. Reidy (1940) 15 Cal. 2d 243, 248; Whitman v. Transtate Title Co.(4th Dist. 1985) 165 Cal. App. 3d 312, 322-323; In re Worcester (9th Cir. 1987) 811 F.2d 1224, 1228.  See also Smith v. Williams (1961) 55 Cal. 2d 617, 621; Stirton v. Pastor (4th Dist. 1960) 177 Cal. App. 2d 232, 234; Brown v. Busch (3d Dist. 1957) 152 Cal.App. 2d 200, 203-204.

If somehow these foreclosing predecessor-in-interest can establish this standing, or right, to extrajudicially foreclose, still it should be prevented from pursuing this eviction action, because such an action, if successful, would result in a wrongful foreclosure, due to the predecessor-in-interest’s exercise of a non-existent extrajudicial power.

IV.

PLAINTIFF, OR PLAINTIFF’S PREDECESSOR-IN-INTEREST,

DID NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXTRAJUDICIALLY FORECLOSE

The foreclosing predecessor-in-interest simply did not have the right to foreclose under the subject trust deed, because the notice of default  facially invalid.

The reason why the security instrument is not valid, is because it is facially void        !  A copy of the subject trust deed – a public record!! — is attached hereto.  Further, the trueness of the copy is readily verifiable, since it is a publicly-recorded document.  Clear as daylight, contact with the trustor 30 days prior to the notice was imjpossible. The was no lender MERS is not a lender Plaintiff  did not get the assignment  till 7/8/2009  . The notice of default was recorded 7/31/2009 only 23 days after the assignment.

A trust deed adds a third party, of sorts, namely the beneficiary.  It has been observed that a trust deed naming a purely fictitious person as beneficiary may be void.  Woodward v. McAdam (1894), 101 Cal. 438.  It has been held that a trust deed might be void for uncertainty, where the deed of trust does not name or describe any of the beneficiaries, but only classified them by reference to a common attribute.  Watkins v. Bryant (1891), 91 Cal. 492.  There seems to be no common-sense reason why the same principle should not apply to the designation of the grantee/ trustee, even were the law of deeds not generally applicable to trust deeds.

Beneficiary did not have the power of sale. Such irregularities should constitute sufficient grounds to set aside the entire non-judicial foreclosure process. Therefore, the Trustee’s Deed After Sale should not be admitted as no lawful basis exists for its execution. Additionally, the Notice of Default, and Notice of Default Declaration should be excluded.

The failure of Plaintiff and/or Plaintiff’s agent to perform a condition precedent pursuant to Civil Code Section 2923.5 is fatal. The Notice of Default Declaration fails is several regards, (1) the language of the Notice does not comply with the statute because it does not set forth facts of how the statute was performed; (2) the Declaration is not sworn under penalty of perjury; (3) the only date of the Declaration is the date of execution which is one day prior to the Notice of Default which was recorded only five days later, thus, thirty days did not pass from the date of execution of the Declaration and the date of recordation. As such, under Section 2923.5, the Notice of Default Declaration is void and could not support the recordation of the Notice of Default.  Because the non-judicial foreclosure process is subject to strict scrutiny, and given the material failure of a condition precedent by Plaintiff and/or Plaintiff’s agent, the entire non-judicial foreclosure process is invalid.  Therefore, the Trustee’s Deed After Sale cannot be admitted into evidence, as no lawful foundation can be laid.

CONCLUSION

          The Plaintiff’s entire case rests upon the “facial” or “on the public record” legitimacy of the extrajudicial foreclosure by its predecessor-in-interest.  The foreclosure was facially void.  The case should be dismissed, upon the court’s determination that no factual “issue” remains.

Respectfully submitted,

DATED:  June 14, 2010             _______________________________________

LAW OFFICES OF TIMOTHY L. MCCANDLESS

By: Timothy P. McCandless

ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT

What’s an Allonge anyway ??? thanks Jake

16 Jun

Do We Have a Fraud Problem? The Case of the Mysteriously Appearing Allonge posted by Adam Levitin I have generally been willing to give mortgage servicers, servicer support shops (like LPS), and foreclosure attorneys the benefit of the doubt when it comes to documentation irregularities (to put it mildly) in foreclosures. My working assumption up to this point has been that the documentation problems have been a function of corner cutting with securitization based on the assumptions that (1) the loans would perform better than they did and (2) those that defaulted would result in default judgments in foreclosure, so no one would ever notice the problems. I’ve also assumed that lack of capacity has played a critical role in problems in the default management chain–the system is held together by Scotch tape at this point. In other words, the problems in the system weren’t caused by malice.

I got some grief about this from people down in the trenches when I posted a comment about this a couple of weeks ago. And I was tempted to write it off as a function of litigants being too close to their cases. But a document I read today is making me rethink these assumptions. Here is an order from a Florida court that makes me start to wonder if we might have a serious fraud problem going on with blank endorsements and allonges.

To be sure, one data point isn’t an epidemic, but servicing is an industry where things tend to happen en masse. As Obi-Wan Kenobi

explains:

Obi-Wan: “A fighter that size couldn’t get this deep into space on its own.”

Luke: “Yeah, he must have gotten lost, been part of a convoy or something.”

Han: “Well, he ain’t going to be around long enough to tell anyone about us.”

Luke: “Look at him. He’s headed for that small moon.”

Han: “I think I can get him before he gets there. He’s almost in range.”

Obi-Wan: “That’s no moon. It’s a space station.”

Han: “It’s too big to be a space station.”

Luke: “I have a very bad feeling about this.”

Obi-Wan: “Turn the ship around.”

Han: “Yeah, I think your right. Full reverse! Chewie, lock in the auxiliary power.”

To start with, let me explain endorsements and allonges. And endorsement (or indorsement) is a signature on an instrument for the purpose of transferring rights in the instrument. (See UCC 3-204 for more details.) They work the same with notes as with checks and are governed by the same law. There are three types of endorsements. There are endorsements in blank–just your signature, nothing more (e.g., Adam J. Levitin), and special endorsements (Adam J. Levitin to Katherine Porter), and restrictive endorsements (Adam J. Levitin, for deposit only in Safe’n’Sound Bank).

A blank endorsement (by the instrument’s payee, of course) turns the instrument into bearer paper. That means it’s like cash. Whoever physically possesses the note, including a theif, can enforce it against the maker. And as a recent 9th Circuit BAP opinion, In re Veal (about which I hope to blog more) noted (fn 25), bearer paper has long had lots of nefarious associations (I would add Godfather III to the bearer bonds movie list in that note). In contrast, a special endorsement limits who can enforce the note; only the specially noted endorsee has rights in that note and can enforce it (they could transfer it to someone else, but that’s another matter).

Now allonges.  An allonge isn’t a delicious throat-soothing lozenge from Switzerland. It’s a piece of paper that goes a-long with the note. The allonge is basically an overflow sheet for extra endorsements. Frankly, no one should ever be using an allonge if there is room for an endorsement on the original note. Yes, it’s easier to print on the allonge, but allonges create evidentiary problems, namely that it can be difficult to tell when the endorsement on the allonge was done or if the allonge is even meant to go with that particular note. And I’m not sure what the evidentiary weight of an affidavit or testimony on this point could possibly be. Unless the affiant or witness has some basis for knowing that this particular allonge goes with this particular note (“I distinctly remember the peculiar coffee stain on both pieces of paper–it looked like Karl Malden’s nose”), then there’s little probative value from the affidavit or testimony.

The law on allonges is not particularly well-developed. The 1951 version of the UCC, in force in NY and South Carolina (I think), covers them in section 3-202, but the current version does not. The old version of the UCC required that allonges be “firmly attached.”

That requirement seems to have been fulfilled via pasting or gluing and maybe stapling. Query whether paper clip or rubber band or simply in the same folder will suffice. I’m not sure why any of them would.

None of these methods answers the question of when the allonge was created. I can paste or rubberband the day of trial. There’s a smidgen of state law on this, but it hasn’t been a major issue previously.

Which brings us to BONY v. Faulk. In this case, the foreclosure filing included a 3 page note. The note lacked endorsements connecting the originator to BONY as trustee for the foreclosing securitziation trust. This set up a motion to dismiss on the grounds that BONY didn’t have any right to do anything–it had no connection with the note.

But wait!  Suddenly BONY’s attorney tells the court that she is in possession of the fourth page of the note, which includes a blank endorsement. Puhlease…  What a ridiculous deus ex machina ending.

Are we do believe that this attorney filed 3 pages of the note, but not the 4th? If so, I sure hope she’s not billing for that screw up.

But here’s what perplexes me. Suppose that an allonge is produced. How are we going to know when that allonge was created or that it even relates to the note in question? (Just so everyone’s clear–if the endorsement were created later, then BONY as trustee for CWABS 2006-13 trust had no standing at the time the action was filed because the trust didn’t own the note at that time.) How do we know that this attorney isn’t engaged in fraud on the court (and a host of other violations of state and federal law)?

And this isn’t even getting into the question of whether the PSA at issue requires specific endorsements, not endorsements in blank. As it turns out that’s a problem in this particular case. Here’s the PSA for CWABS 2006-13 trust.  Section 2.01(g)(1) provides that the Depositor deliver to the trustee:

the original Mortgage Note, endorsed by manual of facsimile signature in blank in the following form: “Pay to the order of _______ without recourse”, with all intervening endorsements that show a complete chain of endorsement from the originator to the Person endorsing the Mortgage Note…

As an aside, let me point out that “endorsement…in blank” does not mean endorsed in blank in the UCC sense. In the UCC sense, endorsed in blank simply means the endorser’s signature, just as you might put on the back of a check before depositing it. Here, it means endorsed with a blank for the endorsee’s name.  Critically, this PSA requires a complete chain of endorsement with all intervening endorsements. A single endorsement in blank ain’t gonna do it if this PSA means anything. And there were a lot of MBS investors who assumed that it was going to be followed.

I think this PSA just puts the attorney in an even worse place. The only way there should be a separate blank endorsement page is if there was non-compliance with the PSA. Are we really to believe that happened? (Well, yes, but the attorney can’t really argue that BONY generally doesn’t comply with its duties as trustee, now can she?)

We’ve already seen pretty shocking evidence of documentation fraud in foreclosures.  Remember that the robosigning scandal was the by-product of depositions that aimed to show backdating of assignments to trusts. The shame of the robosigning press coverage was that it focused on some shmucks signing 10,000 assignments in a month–which didn’t necessarily produce any harm itself, just carpal tunnel syndrome–and overlooked the really quite serious criminal problem of the backdating of assignments. The depositions showed pretty clearly that there was backdating–the notarizations were by notaries who didn’t have their commissions until a couple of years subsequent or were done on Christmas Day, etc.

Document fraud in the mortgage industry is nothing new. It’s appeared in all flavors and sizes for centuries. The laws of negotiability are first and foremost evidentiary laws meant to protect against fraud.

Negotiable instruments are reified obligations–the instrument itself is the right to payment (UCC 3-203, cmt. 1).  That means that one can sue on either the instrument or on the underlying contract (but Statute of Frauds might require some writing for enforceability). I hope that courts will recognize that real serious potential for fraud that exists when one combines endorsements in blank with allonges and start demanding (1) that the complete note be filed with the original filing and (2) that anyone using an allonge prove that the allonge goes with the note in question. I think we’ve passed the point were there can be any assumptions of good faith and fair dealing.

I’d be curious to hear if any foreclosure defense attorneys have been pushing on the evidentiary status of allonges–namely what proof beyond a staple or the like is there that an allonge goes with a particular mortgage and wasn’t just photocopied from another one.

And yes, this sort of evidentiary scrutiny adds huge costs to the system. But it would be pretty easily avoided if PSAs had been followed in the first place–there was a reason that they required complete, unbroken chains of endorsement.

June 16, 2011 at 8:43 PM in Mortgage Debt & Home Equity

Adam J. Levitin

Associate Professor of Law

A.B. Harvard; A.M., M.Phil. Columbia; J.D. Harvard

Address:

600 New Jersey Avenue N.W.

Washington, DC 20001-2075

Office Location:  Hotung 6022

Office Phone:  202.662.9234

Office Fax:  202.662.4030

e-mail (preferred contact method): adam.levitin<at>law.georgetown.edu

(replace the <at> with the @ sign in the e-mail)

Assistant:  Terican Gross

Phone:  202.662.9485

Blog:  http://www.creditslips.org

*Please note that I do not provide personal legal advice, including on credit card and mortgage foreclosure issues.*

Biography

Professor Levitin specializes in bankruptcy, commercial law, and financial regulation.  His research focuses on consumer and housing finance, payments, and debt restructuring.

Before joining the Georgetown faculty, Professor Levitin practiced in the Business Finance & Restructuring Department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York and served as law clerk to the Honorable Jane Richards Roth on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  While at Georgetown, he has served as Special Counsel to the Congressional Oversight Panel and as the Robert Zinman Scholar in Residence at the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Professor Levitin holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.Phil and an A.M. from Columbia University, and an A.B. from Harvard College, all with honors.

Jake Naumer

Resolution Advisors

3187 Morgan Ford

St Louis Missouri 63116

314 961 7600

Fax Voice Mail 314 754 9086

2924 unconstitutional ???

11 Jun

2924 unconstitutional  Check out this pro per complaint they raise some interesting issues.

PJATSI+Supplemental+Complaint+March+25+2011

THE GREAT SECURITIZATION SCAM AND THE GREAT RECESSION

4 May

By Neil Garfield

 

            Both the class action lawyers and the AG offices are looking for settlements that will cure the “foreclosure” problem. This is based upon the perceived benefit of getting the foreclosures either litigated or settled, SO THE “MARKET” CAN RESUME “FORWARD” MOTION. But what if the basic transaction was so defective as to be incapable of understanding, much less enforcement?  We ignore the fact that the basic transaction was a lie, that lies are not enforceable and while they could be modified by agreement into enforceable written instruments (completely absent from the current landscape) the inescapable fact is that in order to do so, you will need the signature of borrowers on loans that are based upon fair market values, reality and set-off for the damages inflicted on the homeowners by the Great Securitization Scam.

 

            So we start with the myth that there was a valid legal contract at origination, an assumption that upon examination by a paralegal, much less a first-year law student, is patently untrue.  Thus we proceed with the following ten (10) lies that form the foundation of our impotent financial and economic policies in the Great Recession triggered by the housing crisis:

  1. 1.       VALID MORTGAGE TRANSACTION: There was a loan of money, but not by either the payee, the mortgagee, the trustee or anyone else that is mentioned in the closing papers or the foreclosure papers filed anywhere. That is why the pretenders would rather play with the word “holder” than “creditor.”
  1. 2.       LEGAL MORTGAGE TRANSACTION: Even if the right parties were at the table, the transaction was illegal because of appraisal fraud, underwriting fraud, Securities Fraud and Servicing Fraud.
  1. 3.       LEGAL LOAN: Even if the right parties were at two different tables, the transaction was illegal because of ratings fraud, securities fraud, common law fraud, predatory loan practices and servicing fraud.
  1. 4.       KNOWN CREDITOR: Neither the investor who was the source of funds, nor the investment banker who only committed SOME of those funds to loan transactions, nor the borrower (homeowner) even knew of the existence of each other. After the “reconstituted” bogus mortgage pools that never existed in the first place, payments by insurance, credit de fault swaps, and federal  bailouts, it is at the very least a question of fact to determine the identity of the creditor at any given point in time — i.e., to whom is an obligation owed and how many parties have liability to pay on that transaction either as borrower, guarantors, insurers, or anything else? The dart board approach currently used in foreclosures and mortgage modifications, prepayments and refinancing has generally been frowned upon by the Courts.
  1. 5.       KNOWN OBLIGATION AMOUNT: The amount advanced by the Lender (investor in bogus mortgage bonds) was far in excess of that amount used by intermediaries to fund mortgages — the rest was used to create synthetic derivative trading devices and charge fees every step of the way. Part of the difference between the funding of the residential loans and the amount advanced by the lender (investor) is easily computed by applying the same formula used to compute a yield spread premium that was paid to mortgage brokers under the table. By obscuring the real nature of the loans in the mix that offered (sold forward without ownership by the investment bank with the intent of acquiring he mortgages later) a 6% return promised to an investor could result in a yield spread premium of perhaps 12% if the loan was toxic waste and the nominal rate was 18%. Thus a $900,000 investment was converted into a $300,000 loan with no hope of repayment based upon a wildly inflated appraisal. Payments by servicers, counterparties, guarantors, insurers and bailout agencies were neither credited to the investor nor to the obligation owed to that investor. Since there was no obligor other than the homeowner according to the documents creating the securitization scam infrastructure, the borrower was part of a transaction where he “borrowed” $900,000 but only received $300,000. Third party payments made under expressly and carefully written waivers of subrogation were not applied to the amount owed to the investor and therefore not applied to the amount owed by the borrower. The absence of this information makes the servicer “accounting” a farce.
  1. VALID ACCOUNTING BY ALL PARTIES: Continuing with the facts illuminated in the preceding paragraph, both mortgage closing documents and foreclosure documents are devoid of any reference to the dozens of transactions carried out in the name of, or under agency of, or as constructive trustee of the investor who as lender is obliged to account for the balance due after third party payments.

Temporary injunction granted !

2 Feb

Attorney Lenore L. Albert in Huntington beach, CA, attorney for Plaintiffs and the Class Action has secured an order that is worth reading both from the standpoint of what you should be looking for as well as what should be in your pleadings. The Court has obviously been convinced that Deutsch, Aurora, Quality Loan Service et al are involved in an enterprise that if not criminal, does not meet the standards of due process or even just plain common sense and fairness.


J Selna is paving the way for a permanent injunction against them for much the same reasons as we have seen in the high Court decisions around the country including the recent Ibanez decision in Massachusetts, and the very recent New jersey decision. The Order is important not only for its content but because of its form which is why I want you to read it.

The Order 1st prohibits the Defendants from taking ANY action with respect to the properties, and second sets the stage for making that prohibition permanent. What is interesting to me about this order is the specificity of the order and the timing in which it takes effect. See if you don’t agree.

selna-ca-tro-deutsch-aurora-quality

insider mers memo foreclosure procedures all states

18 Oct

State-by-State
MERS Recommended
Foreclosure Procedures
Updated 2002
Corporate Offices
1818 Library Street, Suite 300
Reston, VA 20190
tel (800) 646-6377
fax (703) 748-0183
http://www.mersinc.org
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION__________________________________________________________3
RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURES:
Alabama___________________________________________________________________________8
Alaska____________________________________________________________________________10
Arizona___________________________________________________________________________12
Arkansas__________________________________________________________________________14
California__________________________________________________________________________16
Colorado__________________________________________________________________________18
Connecticut________________________________________________________________________20
Delaware__________________________________________________________________________22
District of Columbia_________________________________________________________________24
Florida____________________________________________________________________________26
Georgia___________________________________________________________________________28
Hawaii____________________________________________________________________________30
Idaho_____________________________________________________________________________32
Illinois____________________________________________________________________________34
Indiana____________________________________________________________________________36
Iowa______________________________________________________________________________38
Kansas____________________________________________________________________________40
Kentucky__________________________________________________________________________42
Louisiana__________________________________________________________________________44
Maine_____________________________________________________________________________46
Maryland__________________________________________________________________________48
Massachusetts______________________________________________________________________50
Michigan__________________________________________________________________________52
Minnesota_________________________________________________________________________54
Mississippi_________________________________________________________________________56
Missouri___________________________________________________________________________58
Montana___________________________________________________________________________60
Nebraska__________________________________________________________________________62
Nevada___________________________________________________________________________64
New Hampshire_____________________________________________________________________66
New Jersey________________________________________________________________________68
New Mexico_______________________________________________________________________70
New York_________________________________________________________________________72
North Carolina______________________________________________________________________74
North Dakota_______________________________________________________________________76
Ohio______________________________________________________________________________78
Oklahoma_________________________________________________________________________80
Oregon____________________________________________________________________________83
Pennsylvania_______________________________________________________________________85
Rhode Island_______________________________________________________________________87
South Carolina______________________________________________________________________89
South Dakota_______________________________________________________________________91
Tennessee_________________________________________________________________________93
Texas_____________________________________________________________________________95
Utah______________________________________________________________________________97
Vermont___________________________________________________________________________99
Virginia__________________________________________________________________________102
Washington_______________________________________________________________________104
West Virginia_____________________________________________________________________106
Wisconsin________________________________________________________________________108
Wyoming_________________________________________________________________________110
Introduction
MERS has put together this Foreclosure Manual to provide a state by state guideline for our Members to follow when foreclosing a mortgage loan in the name of MERS. Each state’s procedure was developed jointly with local counsel in that respective state. There may be future versions of this Manual if needed. If you have any questions about this Foreclosure Manual, please contact MERS.
Sharon McGann Horstkamp
Corporate Counsel
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What is MERS?
MERS serves two purposes. First, it is a national electronic registry for tracking servicing rights and beneficial ownership interests in mortgage loans. Second, MERS acts as nominee (a form of agent) for the servicer and beneficial owner of a mortgage loan in the public land records. MERS is designed to operate within the existing legal framework in all U.S. jurisdictions and did not require any changes to existing laws.
How is this made possible? Its members appoint MERS as the mortgagee of record on all loans that they register on the MERS System. This appointment eliminates the need for any future assignments when servicing rights are sold from one MERS Member to another. Instead of preparing a paper assignment to track the change in the county land records, all subsequent transfers are tracked electronically on the MERS System.
MERS does not create or transfer beneficial interests in mortgage loans or create electronic assignments of the mortgage. What MERS does do is eliminate the need for subsequent recorded assignments altogether. The transfer process of the beneficial ownership of mortgage loans does not change with the arrival of MERS. Promissory notes still require an endorsement and delivery from the current owner to the next owner in order to change the beneficial ownership of a mortgage loan.
MERS is a Delaware corporation with a broad base of ownership from the mortgage industry. American Land Title Association is among our owners and has a seat on the MERS Board of Directors. Other owners with substantial investments in MERS include the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. These parties, along with Ginnie Mae, decided several years ago that MERS would be a major benefit to the mortgage industry and worked together to create the MERS of today.
How does MERS become the Mortgagee of Record?
MERS is put in this position in one of two ways: the first is by an assignment from a lender or servicer to MERS. This method is usually associated with bulk transfers of servicing. The second way is with the lender naming MERS as the mortgagee of record as nominee for itself (and its successors and assigns) in the original security instrument at the time the loan is closed. We call this second option “MOM”, which stands for MERS as Original Mortgagee.
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“MOM” was a significant milestone for MERS and the mortgage industry. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae have each approved the use of MERS as original mortgagee as nominee for a lender on the security instrument for loans sold to them and registered on the MERS System.
In order to make MOM work, changes were made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to their uniform security instruments allowing MERS to be named as the mortgagee in a nominee capacity for the lender. First, to reflect the interrelationship of the promissory note and mortgage and to ensure these two instruments are tied together properly, the recital paragraph names MERS, solely as nominee for Lender, as beneficiary. Second, it is made clear that the originating lender rather than MERS is defined as the “Lender”. This change was made so that everyone understands that MERS is not involved in the loan administration process. Third, as mortgagee of record, MERS needs to have the authority to release the lien of security instrument, or if necessary, foreclose on the collateral on behalf of the lender. Such authority is provided by adding a paragraph to the security instrument informing the borrower that MERS holds only legal title to the interests granted by the borrower. It also informs the borrower that, if necessary to comply with law or custom, MERS may exercise the right to foreclose and sell the property and may take any action required of the Lender to release or cancel the security instrument.
Once MERS is named in the original security instrument or by way of an assignment, the document is then recorded in the appropriate public land records. From this point on, no subsequent assignments of the mortgage to a MERS member needs to be recorded. MERS remains in the land records, as mortgagee, throughout the life of the loan so long as servicing is not sold to a non-MERS member. All subsequent transfers of ownership in mortgage loans and servicing rights for that loan are tracked electronically between MERS members through the MERS System. This process eliminates the opportunity for a break in the chain of title.
Moreover, unless a MERS member transfers servicing rights to a loan registered on the MERS System to a non-MERS member, the loan stays on the system until it is paid off. The process to transfer servicing rights between MERS members requires an electronic confirmation from the buyer. It begins with the seller entering loan transfer information into the system, including the Mortgage Identification Number (explained below), the new servicer organizational identification number, the sale date, and the transfer effective date. The buyer then must submit a confirmation acknowledgment to the system. The old servicer and the new servicer are still required to notify the homeowner in writing when loan servicing is traded as required under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. A loan is de-registered from the system only if its servicing rights to a loan are transferred to a non-MERS member.
With every new loan that is registered on the MERS System, it becomes more likely that you will come in contact with a mortgage loan having MERS as the mortgage holder in the chain of title. MERS is put in this position in one of two ways: the first is by an assignment from a lender or servicer to MERS. This method is usually associated with bulk transfers of servicing. The second way is with the lender naming MERS as the mortgagee of record as
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nominee for itself (and its successors and assigns) in the original security instrument at the time the loan is closed. We call this second option “MOM”, which stands for MERS as Original Mortgagee.
“MOM” was a significant milestone for MERS and the mortgage industry. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae have each approved the use of MERS as original mortgagee as nominee for a lender on the security instrument for loans sold to them and registered on the MERS System.
In order to make MOM work, changes were made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to their uniform security instruments allowing MERS to be named as the mortgagee in a nominee capacity for the lender. First, to reflect the interrelationship of the promissory note and mortgage and to ensure these two instruments are tied together properly, the recital paragraph names MERS, solely as nominee for Lender, as beneficiary. Second, it is made clear that the originating lender rather than MERS is defined as the “Lender”. This change was made so that everyone understands that MERS is not involved in the loan administration process. Third, as mortgagee of record, MERS needs to have the authority to release the lien of security instrument, or if necessary, foreclose on the collateral on behalf of the lender. Such authority is provided by adding a paragraph to the security instrument informing the borrower that MERS holds only legal title to the interests granted by the borrower. It also informs the borrower that, if necessary to comply with law or custom, MERS may exercise the right to foreclose and sell the property and may take any action required of the Lender to release or cancel the security instrument.
Once MERS is named in the original security instrument or by way of an assignment, the document is then recorded in the appropriate public land records. From this point on, no subsequent assignments of the mortgage to a MERS member needs to be recorded. MERS remains in the land records, as mortgagee, throughout the life of the loan so long as servicing is not sold to a non-MERS member. All subsequent transfers of ownership in mortgage loans and servicing rights for that loan are tracked electronically between MERS members through the MERS System. This process eliminates the opportunity for a break in the chain of title.
Moreover, unless a MERS member transfers servicing rights to a loan registered on the MERS System to a non-MERS member, the loan stays on the system until it is paid off. The process to transfer servicing rights between MERS members requires an electronic confirmation from the buyer. It begins with the seller entering loan transfer information into the system, including the Mortgage Identification Number (explained below), the new servicer organizational identification number, the sale date, and the transfer effective date. The buyer then must submit a confirmation acknowledgment to the system. The old servicer and the new servicer are still required to notify the homeowner in writing when loan servicing is traded as required under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. A loan is de-registered from the system only if its servicing rights to a loan are transferred to a non-MERS member.
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Why Foreclose in the Name of MERS
The mortgage establishes the remedy to foreclose and sell the property if the borrower does not pay back the amount loaned to the borrower according to schedule. Typically, the loan servicer, as the mortgagee of record, is the party that initiates the foreclosure proceedings on behalf of the investor. When MERS is the mortgagee of record, the foreclosure can be commenced in the name of MERS in place of the loan servicer. For another entity to foreclose, an assignment is required from MERS to the other entity.
Establishing MERS as mortgagee of record will not cause any significant changes to current foreclosure practices in any state when the beneficial owner wants to proceed with foreclosures in the name of MERS. Just take a look at the recommended procedures.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR ALABAMA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are foreclosed non-judicially under power of sale. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. Notice of the foreclosure sale is published with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require the promissory note be endorsed in blank when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. However, we have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the promissory note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. We recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
At the foreclosure sale, the certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then the auctioneer will be instructed to deed the property directly to the investor. We have been advised that this is the same procedure followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
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Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the auctioneer deed can be issued to the servicer. This way, the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer. Once the eviction is completed, then the servicer can issue a deed to HUD. Again, you should follow the same procedures you follow when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR ALASKA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are typically used and are foreclosed non-judicially by the power of sale contained therein. MERS local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be done in the name of MERS. Local counsel confirmed with First American Title Insurance Company that with a few minor caveats, foreclosing in the name of MERS should not present any problems.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the substitution of trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies’ policy is that the promissory note is endorsed in blank when the seller/servicer sells the loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes the Note is endorsed to the servicer prior to the foreclosure, but unless it is legally required, the Note should remain endorsed in blank. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
The trustee, who is typically a title company, commences the foreclosure by executing and recording the Notice of Default. The Notice of Default is filed and published the same way with the same required information except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing
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entity. At the foreclosure sale, an “offset bid” is entered on behalf of MERS who is acting in the capacity as “agent” for the servicer. Local counsel advises that the Beneficiary’s Declaration of Default can be modified to describe the relationship of MERS and the Servicer. This should enable the servicer, instead of MERS, to be the named grantee of the Trustee’s Deed. The servicer can then issue a deed to the investor. This procedure is consistent with the current two-deed foreclosure practice.
While initially there may be some hesitation to accept an “offset bid” by the servicer, MERS local counsel states that usually a title company is willing to recognize the substance of who actually owns the loan rather than the form of the record ownership.1 In that instance, if the servicer is successful at the foreclosure sale, the trustee’s deed will be issued directly to the servicer.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer, by being the grantee of the trustee’s deed, is able to commence the eviction. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
1 If the “offset bid” is not accepted, then the trustee’s deed may need to be granted to MERS. If MERS takes title to the property, a subsequent deed should be executed to the investor as soon as possible.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR ARIZONA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the deed of trust that gives the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are used and are generally foreclosed non-judicially under a power of sale in the security instrument. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The Notice of Trustee’s Sale is filed and published the same way it is when foreclosing in the name of the servicer except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity. It is important to note that the same procedures and state requirements that are required when foreclosing in the servicer’s name still must be followed when foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS. The substituted trustee is typically the foreclosing attorney.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mae and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells the loan to them. The note is to remain endorsed in the blank when a servicer commences foreclosure. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS for the investor. This is the same process that is used today when foreclosing in the servicer’s name. We have been advised that the
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current foreclosure procedure is a one-deed process with the investor directly taking title from the Trustee’s Deed. Therefore, the MERS recommended procedure is the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. The bid is made on behalf of the investor so that the Trustee’s deed will be issued directly to the investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional recording or taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan, then the trustee’s deed is not recorded to the investor until after the eviction is completed. The eviction is conducted the same way it would be conducted if the servicer foreclosures.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR ARKANSAS
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like a servicer , will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are used and are generally foreclosed non-judicially under a power of sale in the security instrument. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The Notice of Default is filed and published the same way it is when foreclosing in the name of the servicer except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS. The substituted trustee is typically the foreclosing attorney.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. The Trustee’s deed will be issued directly to the assignee of the bid. We have been advised that the current foreclosure procedure is a two-deed process with the servicer taking title and then executing a subsequent deed to the investor. Therefore, the MERS recommended procedure is the same as the current practice of assigning the bid to the servicer. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer
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forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer, by being the grantee of the trustee’s deed, can commence the eviction. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR CALIFORNIA
A deed of trust in which the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) is named as beneficiary requires special non-judicial foreclosure procedures. MERS was created to avoid the cost and delays caused by assignments of mortgages and deeds of trust. To avoid the need to prepare and record an assignment with the County Recorder’s office, MERS holds title as nominee for the true mortgagee/beneficiary of the mortgage/deed of trust and as transfers occur, they are recorded on the MERS computer in a book entry systems similar to the transfer of stocks.
The MERS procedure for tracking the ownership of mortgages has a direct effect on the foreclosure process. On MERS loans, MERS is shown as the record beneficiary and therefore a MERS foreclosure is brought in the name of MERS. However, at the time of sale the true beneficiary is determined by MERS and the Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale is recorded in the name of that true beneficiary. There are no assignments, additional taxes or costs when foreclosing under the MERS’ foreclosure procedures.
To achieve this result, the following non-judicial foreclosure guidelines are recommended:
On MERS loans, MERS will show as the beneficiary of record. Foreclosures should be commenced in the name of MERS. To effectuate this process, MERS has allowed each servicer to choose a select number of its own employees to act as officers for MERS. Through this process, appropriate documents may be executed at the servicer’s site on behalf of MERS by the same servicing employee that signs foreclosure documents for non-MERS loans.
Until the time of sale, the foreclosure is handled in same manner as non-MERS foreclosures. At the time of sale, if the property reverts, the Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale will follow a different procedure. Since MERS acts as nominee for the true beneficiary, it is important that the Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale be made in the name of the true beneficiary and not MERS. Your title company or MERS officer can easily determine the true beneficiary. Title companies have indicated that they will insure subsequent title when these procedures are followed.
Normally, where the name of the grantee under the Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale is different than the name of the foreclosing entity, the Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale states that the “Grantee was not the foreclosing beneficiary.” This designation triggers the imposition of transfer taxes on the sale. It is important to note that in a MERS foreclosure sale, even where the property reverts, the name of the grantee will be different than the name of the entity foreclosing. Nonetheless, the Trustee’s
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Deed Upon Sale should state that “The Grantee was the foreclosing beneficiary.” This is because MERS merely holds title as nominee for the true beneficiary; it is the true beneficiary that has actually foreclosed and acquired title.
Finally, should a bankruptcy be filed, servicers should use the same procedures they use for other investor loans. Motions for Relief from Stay should be brought by the real party in interest, namely “Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as record holder and nominee for the true beneficiary _________.” On Proofs of Claim, both the servicer and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. should be jointly named. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR COLORADO
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.
(MERS) has been around since 1998. The reason why it works is because when the role
of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to
foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It
is the Deed of Trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose. However, because
Colorado differs from other states in that the Promissory Note controls, and MERS is not
the beneficial note holder, we recommend foreclosing in the servicer’s name by
endorsing the Note to the servicer.
We are amending our prior recommended Procedure to foreclose in MERS name due to
recent changes in the Colorado Foreclosure Statute. This revision was developed in
conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel. The goal of the recommended
procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions.
The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are used and are generally foreclosed non-judicially pursuant to a power
of sale. In Colorado, the deed of trust names a Colorado public trustee rather than a
private trustee. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of
MERS. However, because the endorsement on the Note controls, and MERS holds the
mortgage lien on behalf of the Note Holder, it is a better practice to foreclose in the Note
Holder’s name. That may be the servicer of the loan.. This does not impact MERS
position as the mortgagee and no assignment from MERS to the servicer is necessary to initiate the foreclosure and the mortgage loan should remain registered on the MERS® System.
Keep in mind that the agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a
blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage
loan to them. However, in Colorado, the requirement is that the promissory note
needs to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity, which is usually the servicer. Therefore, the note should be endorsed to servicer.
This switch in our recommendation is also predicated on the change in the Colorado Foreclosure Statute that now allows for a copy of the Note rather than the original
Note to be produced together with a Certificate that can be filed by certain entities of which MERS does not fit into in its current corporate structure. The certificate states
that the foreclosing entity is the owner of the Note/debt and is a qualified entity
under the Statute to use a copy of the Note. Please consult with your own counselon
how this change impacts your current foreclose procedure.
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If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the
name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of
MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all
trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief
from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the
servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
MERS Local Counsel:
Caren Castle, Esq.
Castle & Castle, P.C.
Denver Place Plaza Tower
1099 18th Street, Suite 2300
Denver, CO 80202
Tel: (303) 299-1800
Fax: (303) 299-1808
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR CONNECTICUT
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. When the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that the authority is given to MERS to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially either by strict foreclosure or by a power of sale. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. It up to the judge to decide which method will be used. The caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS unless it is legally required to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity, and not just the preferred method.3 If it is required to endorse the promissory note to the foreclosing entity, then the note may need to be endorsed to MERS.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the
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3 Local Counsel advises us that certain judges take the position that the note and mortgage must be held by the same entity. This is typically considered to be the servicer because if the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
same individual that signs the documents today for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
In a strict foreclosure, once the Judgement of Strict Foreclosure is entered, and the applicable redemption period has expired, a certificate of Foreclosure is filed on the land records that will reflect MERS as the property owner. MERS should remain in the land records for as short a time as possible. A subsequent deed should be prepared from MERS to the investor.4 Alternatively, at the time of the entering of the judgment, if an assignment of judgment is executed by MERS, judgment could automatically be entered into the investor’s name.
In a foreclosure by sale, a motion should be submitted to the judge requesting the judge that the servicer be allowed to bid at the auction. If it is the highest bid, then after approval of the sale by the Court, a closing will be scheduled whereby title should vest in the servicer.5
Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name for the investor, no additional taxes or recording fees are incurred.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the title holder. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the name of the title holder. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
4 Some Connecticut Revenue Officers have taken the position that a state conveyance tax is due on the subsequent deed from the servicer to the investor. MERS local counsel is currently appealing this issue.
5 If a judge will not allow the servicer to “credit” bid, then a bid may be entered on behalf of MERS. Title will then vest with MERS momentarily until the deed to the investor is executed and recorded.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR DELAWARE
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. The same procedures and requirements that are followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer are still followed when foreclosing in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. The major difference is that the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.6
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS unless it is legally required to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity and not just the preferred method.7
6 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights to the promissory note.
7 If the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered, a sheriff’s sale is held. The certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If it is the successful bid, the sheriff will be instructed to execute a deed directly to the investor. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. The sheriff then issues a sheriff’s deed directly to the investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional recording or taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The Notice of Sale is sent, filed and published the same way it is when foreclosing in the name of the servicer with the same required information except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. This is the same requirement when foreclosing a loan in the name of the servicer. We have found that it is not legally required to have the note endorsed to MERS prior to the foreclosure.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then an unrecorded assignment of the deed of trust to the investor is given to the trustee prior to the sale. This assignment allows the Trustee’s Deed to be issued directly to the investor. We have been advised that this is the procedure used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same Version 1.1
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procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the eviction can be brought in the name of MERS. At this point, MERS holds only equitable title. Once the eviction is completed, then the investor can be substituted in as the party to receive the Trustee’s Deed. Again, the same procedures should be followed as you do when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR FLORIDA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the mortgagee of record. It is the mortgage that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how MERS is named as the mortgagee of record.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will be the ultimate owner of the note.8
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced unless it is legally required to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity and not just the preferred method. If it is required to endorse the promissory note to the foreclosing entity, then the note may need to be endorsed to MERS. However, we have not found it a requirement in Florida that the Note needs to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity.9
8 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights to the promissory note.
9 If the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of Version 1.1
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Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution from MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a foreclosure judgment to MERS is entered, a public sale is held. The Plaintiff (MERS) has the option of assigning the foreclosure bid either prior to the foreclosure sale or in the ten (10) day period between the sale and the issuance of the Certificate of Title. The assignment is done with a motion filed with the court, and a court order is entered. If the bid is assigned, the certificate of title is issued directly to the assignee. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its own name. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer foreclosures in its name, no additional recording or transfer taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, then proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR GEORGIA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Security Deeds are used and are generally foreclosed non-judicially pursuant to a power of sale. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. It is important to note that the same procedures and state requirements that are required to be followed when foreclosing in the servicer’s name still must be followed when foreclosing in the name of MERS. The foreclosure proceeding is commenced by advertising the foreclosure in the official county newspaper once a week for four consecutive weeks prior to the date of the foreclosure sale. A notice is mailed to the debtor’s residence at least 15 days prior to the sale date. You will continue to do everything that you normally do when foreclosing a mortgage in the servicer’s name. The only difference is that the foreclosing entity is Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution from MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents today for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the sale, the certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney to enter a bid on behalf of the servicer. This is the same process that is used today when
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foreclosing in the servicer’s name. If it is the successful bid, then the attorney will be instructed to execute the deed under power directly to the servicer. We have been advised that the current foreclosure procedure is a two-deed process with the servicer taking title and then executing a special warranty deed to the investor. Therefore, the MERS recommended procedure would conform to the current practice. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional recording or transfer taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. The servicer is issued the deed under power and therefore commences the eviction in the servicer’s name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR HAWAII
Foreclosing a loan in the name of MERS is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially10. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. The same procedures and state requirements that are followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer are still followed when foreclosing in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. The major difference is that the caption of the complaint will state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. in place of the servicer’s name.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. A secondary market investor will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution from MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
10 Freddie Mac has initiated a non-judicial program in Hawaii effective January 1, 1998.
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After a foreclosure judgment to MERS is entered, a public auction is held. A bid is entered on behalf of MERS, and if the successful bid, then the Commissioner will be instructed that MERS has selected a nominee to be the ultimate purchaser of the property. (The nominee can be the servicer or the investor).
After the hearing to confirm the sale and the confirmation order, a deed is executed directly to the nominee. This is the same method that is used today when the servicer forecloses in its name. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional recording fees or taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS. A conveyance tax and recording fee is paid on the transfer of the property from the commissioner to the nominee of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure had been filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR IDAHO
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Trust Deeds are used and are generally foreclosed non-judicially pursuant to a power of sale. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. It is important to note that the same procedures and requirements that are followed when foreclosing in the servicer’s name must still be followed when foreclosing in the name of MERS. The Trustee must still file and record the Notice of Default and provide the grantor with a Notice of Sale. The Notice of Sale is published the same way is it when foreclosing in the name of the servicer except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. The note should remain endorsed in blank when the servicer commences foreclosure. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have not found that it is legally required that the note be endorsed to the foreclosing entity.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If it is the highest bid, then the trustee will be instructed by an instruction letter to execute the Trustee’s Deed directly to the
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investor. We have been advised that the current foreclosure procedure is a one-deed process with the trustee executing the Trustee’s Deed directly to the investor. The MERS recommended procedure is the same procedure followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Therefore, no additional recording or transfer taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan, then the Trustee’s Deed may be issued to the servicer in order for the servicer to commence the eviction. Another option may be that the trustee’s deed is not recorded to the investor until after the eviction is completed. The eviction should be conducted the same way it would be conducted if the servicer commenced the foreclosure.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR ILLINOIS
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. The caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.11
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS unless it is legally required to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity and not just the preferred method. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend the agencies’ policies be followed.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying
11 If the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having its employees become certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered and the applicable redemption period expires, a foreclosure sale is held. A bid is entered on behalf of MERS, and if the successful bid, then the Certificate of Sale would be assigned to the investor. This assignment is not normally recorded. A confirmation hearing will be held confirming the sale. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name for the investor. After the entry of the Order of Confirmation, the holder of the Certificate of Sale is entitled to a deed. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the deed is not recorded until after the eviction is completed. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR INDIANA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how MERS is named as the mortgagee of record.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note.12 An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
12 If the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having its employees become certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution from MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a foreclosure judgment to MERS is entered, MERS will assign the judgment and the right to bid to the servicer. This assignment of the judgment is filed with the Clerk of the Court in which the judgment is pending. A sheriff’s sale is scheduled as a result of the filing of a praecipe for sale. The servicer will enter a bid as the bid assignee and if the highest bidder, the Return of Sale will reflect this. The assignment of the judgment allows the servicer to bid so that title can be taken directly by the servicer. The servicer can then convey a subsequent deed to the investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure closely follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional transfer taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. Because the foreclosure judgment is assigned to the servicer, the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR IOWA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Generally, mortgages are used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. The caption of the petition of foreclosure should name Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) as the plaintiff. The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement when a seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the substitution of trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After the foreclosure judgment to MERS is entered, there is a sheriff’s foreclosure sale. At the sale, a bid would be entered on behalf of MERS, and if the bid is successful, MERS will receive a certificate of purchase which it will assign to the
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servicer or the investor.13 The sheriff’s deed is then issued directly to the servicer or investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the procedures used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer, no additional transfer taxes are incurred.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
13 On a foreclosure without the right of redemption, there is no Certificate of Purchase issued. Instead, the foreclosure judgment should be assigned to the servicer or investor. To whom the judgment is issued will depend upon the instructions given from the servicer or investor. If the judgment is not assigned from MERS, this may cause title to be issued directly to MERS if a bid is entered on the behalf of MERS at the sheriff’s sale. If title is then subsequently passed to a private investor, revenue stamps may be incurred.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR KANSAS
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. The caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require that the promissory note be endorsed in blank when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS unless it is legally required to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity and not just the preferred method. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to the foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ requirements be followed.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
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If the successful bid, the sheriff will issue a certificate of purchase to MERS. This certificate will then be assigned from MERS to the investor. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. After the applicable redemption period, a deed will be issued directly to the investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR KENTUCKY
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. The caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered, a foreclosure sale is held. The certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If it is the successful bid, it will be assigned to the investor by simple documentation that is signed by the foreclosing attorney. The bid assignment does
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not need to be recorded. This is the same method that is used today when the servicer forecloses in its name.
The Motion to Confirm the sale is filed, and after the sale is confirmed, a deed will be prepared by the Master Commissioner to the investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional recording fees or transfer taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR LOUISIANA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are employed in Louisiana in real estate transactions and must be foreclosed judicially, usually by a proceeding known as “Executory Process.” MERS local counsel advises that Louisiana law does not prohibit a loan from being foreclosed in the name of MERS.14 When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender, its successors and assigns. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how MERS becomes the mortgage holder.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.15
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them.16 Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. However, it seems to be the standard practice that the blank endorsement is cancelled and the note is endorsed to the servicer to
14 Please Note: Fannie Mae’s foreclosure regulations require an assignment from MERS to Fannie Mae in the Parish of Orleans. This means that Fannie Mae will be the foreclosing entity. This is the same requirement that exists when the servicer is the record mortgage holder.
15 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights to the promissory note.
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possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
foreclose. If it is required to endorse the promissory note to the foreclosing entity, then the note may need to be endorsed to MERS.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After the Petition is filed and the judge signs an order of executory process, the writ of seizure and sale is issued by the clerk and is served by the sheriff upon the mortgagor. After the foreclosure is published for the required amount of time, a sheriff’s sale is held. The certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney as to the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If it is the successful bid, then the sheriff will issue a deed to MERS. MERS will then issue a subsequent deed to the investor.17 This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
17 If the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of
17 MERS should remain as the titleholder for as short of time as possible.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR MAINE
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS.18 The caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.19
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to the foreclosure. However, we recommend adhering to the agencies’ policies.
18 We have been advised that the named plaintiff in the foreclosure action should be both the record holder of the mortgage and the holder of the promissory note. This is typically considered to be the servicer because if the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
19 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights to the promissory note.
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Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered and the redemption period has expired, a public auction is held. The certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney as to the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the successful bid, then MERS will assign its bid and any deficiency judgment to the investor. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. The foreclosure deed will issue directly to the investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR MARYLAND
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the mortgagee of record. It is through the deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The foreclosure is filed and placed on the docket of the applicable circuit court with the same required information except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be the named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. However, we have been advised that there is sometimes an endorsement to the servicer in order to foreclose. We have not found this to be a legal requirement, and therefore, the agencies’ policies should be followed.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then before ratification, a motion to substitute interests will be filed so that the deed is issued directly to the investor. We have been advised that this is the procedure used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the
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same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer can be substituted as the interested party. This way, the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer. Once the eviction is completed, then the servicer can issue a deed to HUD. Again, you should follow the same procedures you follow when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR MASSACHUSETTS
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are used and are foreclosed using the mortgage power of sale together with a Land Court Judgment. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents on behalf of the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes the Note is endorsed to the servicer prior to the foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
MERS stands in the same position as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.20
At the foreclosure auction, MERS can waive the requirement of a deposit as to the investor. This way, the servicer can enter a bid on behalf of the investor without the
20 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights of the promissory note.
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investor needing to produce any funds. If it is the highest bid, the foreclosure deed can be issued directly to the investor. We have been advised that this procedure is the same procedure used when Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae are the investors. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR MICHIGAN
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are foreclosed non-judicially usually by a power of sale contained in the mortgage. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The foreclosure is advertised by publishing the notice for four (4) consecutive weeks. The attorney should follow the same procedure followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer except that the foreclosing entity is Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS).
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. The endorsement is to remain in blank even if the servicer commences foreclosure. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. However, we have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the promissory notes to the servicer to foreclose. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed. We have not found an endorsement to the foreclosure entity to be a legal requirement, and therefore, the note should not be endorsed to MERS prior to the foreclosure.
At the auction, the certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then a deed may be issued to MERS. However, when the role of MERS, the servicer and the
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investor is explained and understood, the servicer may be allowed to bid on its own behalf without having to produce any funds at the sale. This would be the preferred method to use if at all possible. This way, the deed is executed directly to the servicer. If this is not possible, and MERS must take title, then title should be held by MERS for as short of time as possible. A subsequent deed from MERS to the investor should be executed immediately so that MERS remains in the chain of title only for an instant. We have been advised that the current practice used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer, is for the servicer to take title and then execute a subsequent deed to the investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR MINNESOTA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are used and are typically foreclosed non-judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the power of attorney to foreclose the mortgage, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that currently sign the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
At the foreclosure sale, the certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney to enter a bid on behalf of MERS. A sheriff’s certificate is issued to the highest bidder. If MERS is the highest bidder, then the Sheriff’s certificate will be issued to MERS. The sheriff’s certificate operates as the conveyance of title. The certificate is executed and recorded during the redemption period. At the end of the redemption period, a deed will be issued from MERS to the investor.21 However, not every
21 During the redemption period, MERS will be considered to be titleholder. However, at the end of the redemption period, a deed to the investor should be executed as soon as possible so that MERS remains in the chain of title for as short a time as possible.
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foreclosure counsel follows this procedure currently when foreclosing mortgage loans in the name of the servicer. If your current practice is to assign the sheriff’s certificate to the investor, then this is also an acceptable option.22
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the eviction can be brought in the name of MERS if MERS is the sheriff’s certificate holder. However, if you use the option of assigning the sheriff’s certificate, then the certificate is assigned to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
22 The difference between the two options is that some counsels prefer a one-deed process implementing an assignment of the sheriff’s certificate to the investor. Other counsels use a two-deed process with the servicer first taking title, and then executing a subsequent deed to the investor. Counsel should continue to follow the instructions given to them by the servicer of the mortgage loan.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR MISSISSIPPI
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The foreclosure is advertised with the same required information except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Deed of Appointment substituting Trustees, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents on behalf of the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is a blank note endorsement to the servicer prior to foreclosure. We have not found this to be a legal requirement, and therefore, the note should not be endorsed to MERS prior to the foreclosure.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then MERS can assign the bid to the investor. This assignment is simply a paragraph incorporated in the substitution of trustee document authorizing the substituted trustee to convey the property directly to the investor in the Substituted Trustee’s Deed. We have been
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advised that this procedure is the same procedure used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer can be assigned the bid. This way, the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer. Once the eviction is completed, then the servicer can issue a deed to HUD. Again, you should follow the same procedures you follow when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR MISSOURI
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially under a power of sale. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. A notice of sale is published and the borrower is notified along with all parties entitled to notice under state laws. A sale is then held. The same requirements continue to be followed except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require that the promissory note be endorsed in blank when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to the foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ requirements be followed.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee by a written bid letter that the bid is being assigned to the investor and that title should vest with the investor. We have been advised that this procedure is the same procedure used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Therefore, no additional fees are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
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Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer can be the assignee of the bid. This way, the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer. Once the eviction is completed, then the servicer can issue a deed to HUD. Again, you should follow the same procedures you follow when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR MONTANA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The Notice of Sale includes the same required information as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer. The Notice of Sale is recorded in the county where the property is located and is published in a newspaper of general circulation.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents on behalf of the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells the loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then a trustee’s deed will be issued to MERS. Title should only remain with MERS for as short of time as possible. A certifying officer of MERS will subsequently execute a Grant Deed to the investor. We have been advised that this procedure is the same procedure used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Because the MERS recommended
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procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR NEBRASKA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
If a mortgage is used, it is foreclosed judicially. If a deed of trust is used, it can be foreclosed non-judicially under power of sale. Regardless of the type of security instrument used, MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS.
In a judicial foreclosure, when MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer].23 The key is how MERS is named as the mortgagee of record.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. However, it is advised that a paragraph be inserted that explains that the servicer is the entity that is servicing the loan. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
In a non-judicial foreclosure, a notice of default is filed and recorded with the register of deeds in the county in which the property is located. The same procedures that are followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer should continue to be followed except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. will be named as the foreclosing entity.
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23 We have been advised that the named plaintiff in the foreclosure action should be both the record holder of the mortgage and the owner and holder of the promissory note. This is typically considered to be the servicer because if the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having its employees become certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan. Therefore, MERS is both the mortgage holder and the note holder as nominee for the current servicer.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS unless it is legally required to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity and not just the preferred method.24
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents today on behalf of the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered in a judicial foreclosure, a foreclosure sale is held. The certifying officer enters a bid on behalf of MERS. If it is the successful bid, then the bid will be assigned to the investor. The sheriff’s deed will be issued directly to the investor. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. Because the MERS recommended procedure is the same as when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commenced the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship between MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
24 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights to the promissory note.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR NEVADA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are used and are generally foreclosed non-judicially pursuant to a power of sale. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. It is important to note that the same procedures and state requirements that are required to be followed when foreclosing in the servicer’s name must still be followed when foreclosing in the name of MERS. The Trustee must still record the Notice of Default and Election to Sell the Property. After the expiration of the three-month period, the Notice of Trustee’s Sale is filed and published the same way it is when foreclosing in the name of the servicer except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS. The substituted trustee is typically the foreclosing attorney.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. The note should remain endorsed in blank when the servicer commences the foreclosure. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS for the investor. This is the same process that is used
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when foreclosing in the servicer’s name. If it is the successful bid, then the trustee will be instructed to execute the Trustee’s Deed directly to the investor. Therefore, the MERS recommended procedure is the same as the current practice of bidding on behalf of the investor so that the Trustee’s Deed is issued directly to the investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional recording or transfer taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS. Furthermore, there will not be a transfer tax when the trustee’s deed is issued directly to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA or HUD.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan, then the deed is not recorded to the investor until after the eviction is completed. The eviction is conducted the same way it is conducted when the foreclosure is brought in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are used and are generally foreclosed non-judicially under a power of sale in the security instrument. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS.25 The Notice of Sales must be published with all required information except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies’ (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the foreclosure auction, the certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, MERS will assign the bid to the investor so that the foreclosure deed is issued directly to the investor. We have been advised that the current foreclosure procedure is a one-deed process with the investor taking title. Therefore, the MERS
25 Please Note: Fannie Mae’s foreclosure regulations require an assignment from MERS to Fannie Mae in New Hampshire. This means that Fannie Mae will be the foreclosing entity. This is the same requirement that exists when the servicer is the record mortgage holder.
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recommended procedure is same the as the current practice with an assignment of the bid to the investor. Therefore, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS in place of the servicer.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer may be assigned the bid so that the servicer is the grantee of the foreclosure deed. This way, the servicer is able to commence the eviction. The servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name. After the eviction is completed, the servicer will then issue a deed to HUD.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR NEW JERSEY
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how MERS become the mortgage holder.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.26
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to the foreclosure. However, we recommend following the agencies’ policies.
26 If the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered, a sheriff’s sale is held. The certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney as to the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If it is the highest bid, then the sheriff would be instructed that MERS has assigned its bid to the investor. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. The sheriff would issue a sheriff’s deed directly to the investor. Local counsel advises that only VA and HUD are exempt from transfer taxes on the sheriff’s deed. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR NEW MEXICO
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how MERS is named as the mortgagee of record.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same position as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.27
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.28 We have not found it to be a requirement in New Mexico that the Note be endorsed to the foreclosing entity.
27 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights of the promissory note.
28 If the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution from MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a foreclosure judgment to MERS is entered, a Notice of Sale is published. The certifying officer will instruct the attorney regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. After the sale, a Report of Special Master is filed and an Order approving Sale and Special Master’s Report is filed. If MERS bid is the highest bid, then the Special Master’s Deed is recorded conveying the title to MERS. The title should only be held by MERS momentarily. A second deed should be prepared as soon as possible conveying the property from MERS to the investor. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its own name. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional recording or transfer taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR NEW YORK
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender, its successors and assigns. In that case, the caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how did MERS become the mortgagee of record.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
Employees of the servicer will be authorized to sign any necessary documents as a certifying officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. This typically will be the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer, but now will be signing as an officer of MERS.
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A foreclosure judgment to MERS would be entered. At the foreclosure sale the certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If it is the successful bid, MERS will assign the bid to the investor. The assignment of the bid is a simple one-sentence reference that is submitted to the referee that states MERS assigns the bid to investor. The referee’s deed would be directly issued to the investor. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is for the servicer so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR NORTH CAROLINA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially under power of sale. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. Notices are sent to all interested parties, and a hearing is scheduled with the Clerk of Superior Court. The same process followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer continues to be followed except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents on behalf of the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. However, we have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to the commencement of the foreclosure. We have not found this to be a legal requirement, and therefore, the agencies’ requirements should be followed.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then MERS will assign its bid to the investor. We have been advised that this procedure is the same Version 1.1
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procedure followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Because it is the same procedure, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid can be assigned to the servicer. This way, the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer. Once the eviction is completed, then the servicer can issue a deed to HUD. Again, you should follow the same procedures you follow when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship between MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR NORTH DAKOTA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through this instrument that the authority is given to MERS to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS.29 When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how MERS is named as the mortgagee of record.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. However, it is advised that a paragraph be inserted that explains that the servicer is the entity that is servicing the loan. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.30
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to
29 We have been advised that the named plaintiff in the foreclosure action should be both the record holder of the mortgage and the holder of the promissory note. This is typically considered to be the servicer because if the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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30 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights to the promissory note.
them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS unless it is legally required to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity and not just the preferred method. If it is required to endorse the promissory note to the foreclosing entity, then the note may need to be endorsed to MERS. However, we have not found it a requirement in North Dakota that the Note be endorsed to the foreclosing entity.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents today on behalf of the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered, a sheriff’s sale is held. A bid is entered on behalf of MERS, and if the successful bid, then the certificate of sale can be issued to MERS. At the sale, only the party who conducted the foreclosure is entitled to “credit.” At this point, one of two options can be followed. One is to assign the certificate of sale to the servicer or the investor. This way, the sheriff’s deed will be issued directly to the assignee. The other is the sheriff’s deed can be issued to MERS, and a Grant Deed will be subsequently issued to the investor. The latter option is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is for the servicer so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR OHIO
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. The caption should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered, a sheriff’s sale is held. The certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney as to the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If it is the successful bid, then MERS will assign its bid to the investor. The deed will then be issued directly to the investor. This is the same method that is used
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when the servicer forecloses in its name. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer foreclosures in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR OKLAHOMA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS, so long as MERS is the record mortgage holder and the holder of the promissory note (even if not the beneficial owner of the promissory note). The caption should reflect Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note.31 An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the beneficial owner of the promissory note.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them.32 Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. However, we have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
31 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights to the promissory note.
32 If the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered, a Special Execution and Order of Sale is issued. The party instituting a foreclosure action must send a notice of the sheriff’s sale date to the borrower and all other persons that have a recorded interest or other known interest in the property that will be extinguished by the sale. This would include any junior lienholders, current owners or tenants and the holders of any other encumbrances on the property. The notice must be executed by the county sheriff and must contain a legal description of the property, as well as the date, time and place of sale. This notice must be sent at least 10 days prior to the date of sale. The attorney for the foreclosing party must execute and file an affidavit of compliance with these notice rules.
In addition, the party instituting a foreclosure action must publish notice of public sale for two successive weeks in the newspaper of the county in which the property is situated. The notice must also be executed by the sheriff and must state the names of persons having an interest in the property that will be extinguished by the sale. If the county does not have a newspaper, then a notice must be published on the court house, in 5 other public places in the county, as well as in any general circulation paper distributed in the county. If the county has a population of 110,000 as of the latest federal census, then the notice of sale must be published in a newspaper in the city or township in which the property is situated, or if no such paper exists, then the notice must be published in some newspaper published in the county. Okla. Stat. Tit. 12, section 764 (1995).
The sale is conducted by the county sheriff and must be held not less than 30 days after the date of the first publication or posting of the sale notice. Okla. Stat. Tit. 12, section 764 (1995). The sale is conducted through a public auction and the property is awarded to the highest bidder.
The certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney to enter a bid on behalf of MERS. If it is the highest bid, then in the motion to confirm sale, MERS will request that the sheriff’s deed be issued to the investor. Upon the entering of the order confirming sale, the sheriff’s deed will be executed in favor of the investor. The MERS recommended procedures do not cause any additional taxes to be incurred.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to
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disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR OREGON
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are used and are foreclosed non-judicially by conferring a power of sale on the trustee in the event of default by the borrower. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the substitution of trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The only change to the foreclosure procedure is to name Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. in the foreclosure notices as the beneficiary instead of to name the servicer. At the trustee’s sale, a bid will be entered on behalf of MERS. The bid is entered the same way it is entered for the servicer when foreclosing in the servicer’s name. If the bid is the highest bid, then the trustee’s deed can be issued directly to the investor. The Trustee’s deed will identify the investor as the grantee under the trustee’s deed and will recite that MERS, as nominee, successfully bid for the property at the trustee’s sale. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
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Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR PENNSYLVANIA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer or the investor to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. The caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer or investor. A paragraph should be added that MERS, is or will be, the owner of legal title to the mortgage that is the subject of this action, and nominee for the [insert name of investor, or name of current servicer, if investor is Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac], which is the owner of the entire beneficial interest in the mortgage.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
After the foreclosure judgment is entered in favor of MERS, the sheriff’s sale is scheduled. The servicer provides bidding instructions to the foreclosure attorney. After the sale, assuming that the foreclosure attorney was the successful bidder, the
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attorney instructs the sheriff, in writing, to assign the bid to the investor and to name the investor as grantee on the sheriff’s deed.33
The name of MERS must not appear on any post-sale documents, including sheriff’s deeds and complaints in ejectment. For FHA-insured loans that require evictions, the attorney must instruct the sheriff, in writing, to assign the bid to the investor, instead of to HUD, and to name the investor as grantee on the sheriff’s deed. The servicer, on behalf of the investor, proceeds with the eviction and deeds the property to HUD once the eviction is completed.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
33 MERS local counsel has contacted and received a letter from the Department of Revenue of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that indicates the investor can use the foreclosing mortgagee transfer tax exemption by showing that MERS participated in the sheriff’s sale merely as an agent of the investor.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR RHODE ISLAND
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are used and are foreclosed non-judicially. MERS local counsel advises a loan can be foreclosed in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.34 The foreclosure is advertised with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the named foreclosing entity.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents on behalf of the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the Note to the servicer prior to foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ policies be followed.
34 Please Note: Fannie Mae’s foreclosure regulations require an assignment from MERS to Fannie Mae in Rhode Island. This means that Fannie Mae will be the foreclosing entity. This is the same requirement that exists when the servicer is the record mortgage holder.
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MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.35
At the foreclosure auction, MERS can waive the requirement of a deposit as to the investor. This way, the servicer can enter a bid on behalf of the investor without the investor needing to produce any funds. If it is the highest bid, the foreclosure deed can be issued directly to the investor. We have been advised that this procedure is the same procedure used when Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae are the investors. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer foreclosures in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
35 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial right to the promissory note.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR SOUTH CAROLINA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS.36 When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender, its successors and assigns. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how MERS is named as the mortgagee of record.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. However, it is advised that a paragraph be inserted that explains that the servicer is the entity that is servicing the loan. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note. 37
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require that the promissory note be endorsed in blank when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure
36 We have been advised that the named plaintiff in the foreclosure action should be both the record holder of the mortgage and the holder of the promissory note. This is typically considered to be the servicer because if the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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37 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights to the promissory note.
is commenced in the name of MERS unless it is legally required to be endorsed to the foreclosing entity and not just the preferred method. We have been advised that sometimes there is an endorsement of the note to the servicer prior to the foreclosure. However, we recommend that the agencies’ requirements be followed.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered, a foreclosure sale is held. A bid is entered on behalf of MERS, and if the successful bid, then the bid will be assigned to the investor by using a one-page form instructing the sheriff of the assignment of bid. This is the same method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. The master in equity or the special referee would issue a deed directly to the investor. Local counsel advises that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA and HUD are exempt from transfer taxes on the sheriff’s deed. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR SOUTH DAKOTA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how MERS become the mortgage holder.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer in relation to not being the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.38
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the
38 Even though the servicer has physical custody of the note, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial right to the promissory note.
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same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a judgment to MERS is entered, a sheriff’s sale is held. The certifying officer will instruct the foreclosing attorney as to the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If it is the successful bid, then one of two options can be followed39. The first is that the Certificate of Sale may be assigned from MERS to the investor. This way, upon expiration of the redemption period, the sheriff’s deed will issue directly to the investor. There is a recording cost for the Certificate of Sale. The second option is that upon the expiration of the redemption period, MERS is issued the sheriff’s deed by virtue of being the holder of the Certificate of Sale. If this option is followed, MERS should only remain in the chain of title for as short of time as possible. A subsequent deed will then be executed from MERS to the investor. We have been advised that this latter option is the method that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name. Typically the servicer is issued the sheriff’s deed, and then issues a subsequent deed to the investor. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
39 MERS prefers to not take title to the property, so the Certificate of Sale should be assigned if possible. However, either option is acceptable.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR TENNESSEE
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, in place of the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is the mortgage or deed of trust that gives MERS the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are used and are generally foreclosed non-judicially under a power of sale in the security instrument. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The Notice of Default is filed and published the same way it is when foreclosing in the name of the servicer except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Appointment of Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. In the Trustee’s Deed, the bid will be assigned to the investor, unless the certifying officer instructs the trustee to assign the bid to the servicer. We have been advised that the current foreclosure procedure is a one-deed process with the investor directly taking title upon the conclusion of the trustee’s sale. Therefore, the MERS recommended procedure is the same as the current practice of assigning the bid to the investor. Because the MERS recommended
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procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan, the eviction may need to be brought in the name of MERS. Therefore, MERS may need to be the grantee of the trustee’s deed. After the eviction is completed, MERS will then issue a deed to HUD.40
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
40 MERS should only be in the chain of title for as short of a time as possible. As soon as the eviction is completed, the deed to HUD should be recorded.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR TEXAS
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the mortgagee or beneficiary of record in the chain of title. It is through the power of sale in the deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The foreclosure is commenced the same way as if it were being brought in the servicer’s name except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named the foreclosing entity as the mortgagee or beneficiary of record as the nominee for the current servicer.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Appointment of Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS as the mortgagee of record. If the bid is the highest bid, then the trustee’s deed is issued to MERS as the mortgagee of record and as the nominee for the current servicer. The servicer, as a duly appointed officer of MERS, can then convey the property by deed to the investor which is the same as the current practice that is used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer as mortgagee or
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beneficiary of record. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of MERS and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR UTAH
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The Notice of Default and Election to Sell is filed with the county recorder. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
After the reinstatement period expires, the Notice of Sale is published for the required length of time. Once this is completed, the foreclosure sale is held. The certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee to deed the property directly to the investor. We have been advised that this procedure is the same procedure used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Therefore, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS in place of the servicer.
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Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer can be substituted as the interested party.41 This way, the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer. Once the eviction is completed, then the servicer can issue a deed to HUD. Again, you should follow the same procedures you follow when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
41 MERS local counsel advises that an eviction is brought in the name of the party that takes title to the property following the foreclosure sale.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR VERMONT
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. When the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS. Over 90% of the foreclosures are by strict foreclosures. When MERS has been assigned the mortgage, the caption of the complaint should state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the plaintiff. However, this changes slightly if MERS is the original mortgagee of record, meaning that MERS is named on the mortgage in a nominee capacity for the originating lender, its successors and assigns. The caption should then state Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for [insert name of the current servicer]. The key is how MERS is named as the mortgagee of record.
The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. An investor, typically a secondary market investor, will still be the ultimate owner of the promissory note.42
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS unless it is legally required to be endorsed to the
42 The servicer usually has physical custody of the note at the time of the foreclosure with a blank endorsement. This makes the servicer the noteholder for the purposes of foreclosing. However, custom in the mortgage industry is that the investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or a private investor) owns the beneficial rights to the promissory note.
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foreclosing entity. If it is required to endorse the promissory note to the foreclosing entity, then the note may need to be endorsed to MERS. Local counsel has advised that it is essential that the Promissory Note be held in the name of the mortgage holder.43
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
Because the majority of the foreclosures are by strict foreclosure, title will vest in MERS momentarily.44 The certifying officer will submit an affidavit of amounts due to the Clerk of Court, after which a default or summary judgment will be issued by the Court. The Clerk will prepare an accounting. Once the accounting is received, a judgment is prepared and served. The judgment is then signed by the Court. After the redemption period expires, a Certificate of Non-Redemption and Writ of Possession will be issued by the Court to MERS. The property will then be deeded from MERS to the investor. This is the same process that occurs when the servicer of the mortgage loan forecloses in its name. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
An alternative option is to file a Motion for Substitution of Parties after the judgment to MERS is entered. At this time, an unrecorded assignment of the mortgage needs to be shown to the judge. It should be noted that certain courts are not staffed with full time judges and there may be a slight increase in time before this Motion can be decided. It is recommended that this Motion be filed as soon as possible after the judgment is entered so that it is completed prior to the expiration of the redemption period. At the end of the redemption period, a Certificate of Non-Redemption is recorded which transfers the title. Prior to the Certificate being issued, the assignment of the mortgage is recorded.
Local counsel advises that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA and HUD are exempt from transfer taxes on the sheriff’s deed.
43 We have been advised that the named plaintiff in the foreclosure action should be both the record holder of the mortgage and the holder of the promissory note. This is typically considered to be the servicer because if the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having the servicer’s employees be certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan.
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Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR VIRGINIA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially by a power of sale given to the Trustee upon default. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS.45 The same procedure that is followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer is followed when foreclosing in the name of MERS except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Because the original note is required to be shown to the Commissioner at the time of the final accounting, the note is usually endorsed to the servicer when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Therefore, local counsel advises that the note may need to be endorsed to MERS as the foreclosing entity. The endorsement of the note to the servicer is the same procedure that is followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
45 Local Counsel advises that the promissory note is endorsed to the servicer prior to commencing a foreclosure so that the servicer becomes the noteholder. In order for a foreclosure to be brought in the name of MERS, the note should be endorsed to MERS so that MERS is the noteholder.
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At the trustee sale, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then the trustee will be instructed to deed the property directly to the investor. We have been advised that this procedure is the same used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Therefore, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer can be deeded the property so that the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer. Once the eviction is completed, then the servicer can issue a deed to HUD. Again, you should follow the same procedures you follow when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR WASHINGTON
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are used and are foreclosed non-judicially by conferring a power of sale on the trustee in the event of default by the borrower. MERS local counsel advises that a loan can be foreclosed in the name of MERS.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the substitution of trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
The only change to the foreclosure procedure is to name Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the foreclosing entity. The Notice of Default and Notice of Trustee’s Sale is still required to be sent and published and all requirements related to these Notices must be followed. At the trustee’s sale, a bid will be entered on behalf of MERS. The bid is entered the same way it is entered for the servicer when foreclosing in the servicer’s name. If the bid is the highest bid, then the trustee’s deed can be issued directly to the investor. This is the same procedure that is followed when commencing a foreclosure in the name of the servicer. The Trustee’s deed will identify the investor as the grantee under the trustee’s deed and will recite that MERS, as nominee, successfully bid for the
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property at the trustee’s sale. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional recording or transfer taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to HUD. This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR WEST VIRGINIA
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Deeds of Trust are foreclosed non-judicially. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. The notice of sale is served on the grantor of the Deed of Trust by certified mail. The foreclosure sale is published according to the same requirements followed when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents, such as the Substitution of Trustee, as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the trustee auction, the certifying officer will instruct the trustee regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then the certifying officer will instruct the trustee on how to deed the property. A three-party deed can be used with the trustee transferring the property to the investor. MERS simply signs the deed and states that it has assigned its right in its bid to the investor. We have been advised that this procedure is the same procedure used when foreclosing
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in the name of the servicer. Therefore, no additional taxes are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the property can be deeded to the servicer. This way, the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer. Once the eviction is completed, the servicer can issue a deed to HUD. Again, you should follow the same procedures you follow when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR WISCONSIN
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like a servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are typically used and are foreclosed judicially. The caption of the complaint should name Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) as the plaintiff. The body of the complaint should be the same as when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. MERS stands in the same shoes as the servicer to the extent that it is not the beneficial owner of the promissory note. A secondary market investor will still be the owner of the promissory note. A paragraph can be added to the complaint to explain the role of MERS as being the mortgagee of record with the authority to foreclose.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when a seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
After a foreclosure judgment in favor of MERS is entered and after expiration of the redemption period, a foreclosure sale is held. The certifying officer will provide local counsel with bid instructions. A bid will be entered on behalf of MERS, and if it is the highest bid, MERS will assign its bid to the investor and the investor can appear as the grantee on the Sheriff’s Deed. The Sheriff’s deed is then issued
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directly to the investor. The assignment of the bid is the method that is being used when the servicer forecloses in its name. The sheriff’s deed is exempt from transfer tax as are sheriff’s deeds following an assignment of bid. Certain other transfers, as between “principal and agent for no consideration may also be exempt from transfer tax. Because the MERS recommended procedure follows the procedure used when foreclosing in the servicer’s name, no additional taxes are incurred.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the bid assignment is given to the servicer instead of to the investor (HUD). This way, the servicer will proceed with the eviction the same way it would if the foreclosure were filed in its own name.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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MERS RECOMMENDED FORECLOSURE PROCEDURE
FOR WYOMING
Foreclosing a loan in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is something new in the foreclosure arena. However, when the role of MERS is examined, it becomes clear that MERS stands in the same position to foreclose as the servicer. MERS, like the servicer, will be the record mortgage holder. It is through the mortgage or deed of trust that MERS is given the authority to foreclose.
To help make a smooth transition from foreclosing loans in the name of the servicer to foreclosing loans in the name of MERS, we have developed state by state recommended guidelines to follow. These guidelines were developed with experienced foreclosure counsel in your state. We have been able to keep the MERS recommended procedures consistent with the existing foreclosure procedures. The goal of the recommended procedures is to avoid adding any extra steps or incurring any additional taxes or costs by foreclosing in the name of MERS instead of the servicer.
MERS will continually review the guidelines and, if necessary, will issue revisions. The recommended guidelines to follow in your state are as follows:
Mortgages are foreclosed non-judicially by a power of sale contained in the mortgage. Local counsel advises that a foreclosure can be brought in the name of MERS. Notice of the sale is recorded in the real estate records and mailed by certified mail to all interested parties. The same procedures followed when foreclosing a mortgage loan in the name of the servicer is followed when foreclosing in the name of MERS except that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) will be named as the foreclosing entity instead of the servicer. Publication of the sale occurs ten (10) days after the recording and mailing of the Notice.
Employees of the servicer will be certifying officers of MERS. This means they are authorized to sign any necessary documents as an officer of MERS. The certifying officer is granted this power by a corporate resolution of MERS. In other words, the same individual that signs the documents for the servicer will continue to sign the documents, but now as an officer of MERS.
The agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae) require a blank endorsement of the promissory note when the seller/servicer sells a mortgage loan to them. Therefore, the note should remain endorsed in blank when the foreclosure is commenced in the name of MERS.
At the sheriff’s sale, the certifying officer will instruct the sheriff regarding the bid to be entered on behalf of MERS. If the bid is the highest bid, then MERS will be issued a Certificate of Purchase. The Certificate of Purchase will be assigned to the investor. We have been advised that this is the same procedure used when foreclosing in the name of the servicer. Because the MERS recommended procedure
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follows the same procedure that is used when the servicer forecloses in its name, no additional recording costs are incurred by foreclosing in the name of MERS. Wyoming does not have transfer taxes.
Evictions are handled the same way they are handled when the servicer commences the foreclosure as the foreclosing entity. If it is an FHA-insured loan and an eviction is necessary, then the servicer can be assigned the Certificate. This way, the eviction can be brought in the name of the servicer. Once the eviction is completed, then the servicer can issue a deed to HUD. Again, you should follow the same procedures you follow when foreclosing in the name of the servicer.
If the debtor declares bankruptcy, the proof of claim should be filed jointly in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and the servicer. It is advised to file in both names in order to disclose to the court the relationship of MERS and the servicer. The address to be used is the servicer’s address so that all trustee payments go directly to the servicer, not to MERS. The Motion for Relief from Stay may be filed either solely in the name of MERS or jointly with the servicer. If MERS is the foreclosing entity, then it is MERS that needs the relief from the bankruptcy.
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Plan of engagement: what to do “let them foreclose” or “Do something about it” what to do

20 Aug

UPDATE: This is THE OUTLINE of a plan that is current in its evolution but by no means complete or the last word. It replaces the entry I made in February of this year. The assumption here is that even without taking mortgage foreclosure cases into consideration, the percentage of cases that actually go to trial is between 5%-15% depending upon how you categorize “cases.” On the other hand, if you are not prepared for trial and counting on settlement, your opposition will generally know it and have the upper hand in negotiating a settlement. They are going to play for keeps. You should too. Don’t assume that the note in front of you is the actual original. Close inspection often reveals it is a color copy.

And for heaven sake don’t stand there with your mouth hanging open when someone says you are looking for a free house. You are looking for justice. You had your purse snatched in this transaction, you know there is an obligation, but you also know that they didn’t perfect the security interest (not your fault) and they received multiple payments from multiple parties on these securitized loans. You want a FULL accounting of all such transactions to determine what balance is due after insurance payments, who is subrogated or substituted on claims, and an opportunity to negotiate a settlement or modification with someone who actually has advanced money on THIS tran