Daily News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished heist in human history - Max Keiser

2015

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7/28/15

NYC Judge Hammers Bad-Faith Banksters For $100K+ Forfeiture Of Unpaid Interest For Its Unresponsiveness To Homeowners' Loan Mod Requests

HETR Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Peter Moulton said Bonnie and Lawrence Singer were "thwarted by unresponsive loan servicers, unprepared lawyers, boilerplate form letters, and the banks' or servicers' often-changing and repetitive demands for financial information," in their four-year quest to "climb out of default." 

Federal National Mortgage Assoc. v. Singer

7/28/15

SECOND TENNESSEE JUDGE IN ONE WEEK RULES AGAINST BANK OF NEW YORK IN SECURITIZATION CASE

The rulings on Monday and Friday of last week demonstrate that Tennessee courts are no longer blindly accepting the “we have the Note, therefore we win” position consistently taken by the “banks” and servicers.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide

The MERS issues are currently on appeal in Tennessee following the Ditto decision which, like many other appellate courts throughout the US, held that MERS has no independent interest in real property and no protected interest in real property by being named beneficiary or nominee, and cited case law that MERS is contractually prohibited from exercising any rights with respect to mortgages including foreclosure.

7/27/15

Utah Revives BofA Foreclosure Fight Tied to Corruption Case

Bloomberg The lawsuit is deja vu for U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins, who last week allowed Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to join a homeowner’s case accusing Bank of America unit ReconTrust Co. of illegally foreclosing on Utahans’ homes.
Jenkins expressed puzzlement when outgoing Attorney General Mark Shurtleff bowed out of a similar case two years ago -- just months after the judge ruled the suit could head to trial.

7/23/15

Appellate Decision Unwinds Foreclosure Purchase

NY Law Journal

h/t  Living Lies

It is well-settled that a purchaser of real property takes title subject to the outcome of a lawsuit of which that purchaser has actual knowledge. It is equally well-settled that this rule does not apply to appeals. Until now. On June 12, 2015, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, handed down a decision that, unless reversed or modified by the Court of Appeals, is likely to send shock waves throughout the real estate industry—with direct and dramatic impact on conveyances, real estate lending, mortgage foreclosures, and title insurance.

7/10/15

Osceola clerk of court hired felon to perform foreclosure audit

Orlando

Sentinel

Osceola County Clerk of Court Armando Ramirez hired a company owned by a felon — convicted in a $64 million scam in the 1990s that stole money from the U.S. government — to review county mortgage records last year.

Ramirez employed David Paul Krieger's company, DK Consultants LLC of San Antonio, in June 2014 and paid the company $34,500 to find out whether Wall Street banks had illegally foreclosed on hundreds of local homes, records show.

7/10/15

Wells Fargo ordered to pay $8 million in trust case

Dallas News Wells Fargo Bank has been ordered to pay a Dallas woman more than $8 million by a state judge who concluded the bank defrauded her in serving as a trustee for a trust established when she was orphaned at age 7.

That amount includes more than $1.5 million in losses, $1 million for mental anguish, and $3.5 million in exemplary — or punitive — damages. The total also includes various amounts for interest, costs and nearly $500,000 in attorneys’ fees.

7/9/15

JPMorgan Chase Fails Standing

Wright v. JPM Chase

Living Lies Appellate courts are starting to apply “science” to their ruling and they are rejecting the sloppy application of general concepts like “the holder.” If they had done this to begin with -- several million foreclosures would never have happened.

7/8/15

JPMorgan fined $136M for debt-collection practices

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the agreement “could be used as a template to reform the debt collection industry.

NY Post The CFPB alleged the bank illegally relied on robo-signing — signing mass quantities of documents without verifying the data in those accounts — and provided inaccurate information to third-party debt collectors when it sold the accounts. The bureau also said that Chase filed misleading lawsuits using inaccurate information to obtain debt collection judgments — on accounts that were paid off, discharged in bankruptcy, or otherwise were uncollectable.

7/7/15

Cronyism Pays: Eric Holder Triumphantly Returns To Law Firm That Lobbies For Banks


After failing to criminally prosecute any of the financial firms responsible for the market collapse in 2008, former Attorney General Eric Holder is returning to Covington & Burling, a corporate law firm known for serving Wall Street clients.

Zero Hedge The move completes one of the more troubling trips through the revolving door for a cabinet secretary. Holder worked at Covington from 2001 right up to being sworn in as attorney general in February 2009. And Covington literally kept an office empty for him, awaiting his return.

The Covington & Burling client list has included four of the largest banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Covington was also deeply involved with a company known as MERS, which was later responsible for falsifying mortgage documents on an industrial scale. “Court records show that Covington, in the late 1990s, provided legal opinion letters needed to create MERS on behalf of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and several other large banks,” according to an investigation by Reuters.

7/4/15

Bank of America hit with $100k in FDCPA punitive damages

Goodin v. Bank of America

Yet, beyond noting that the communications were received, the Bank employees did nothing to correct the servicing errors. With their home at stake, the Goodins might as well have been talking to a brick wall. 
In taking no action to prevent the errors from continuing, even after being repeatedly notified of them, the Bank employees' conduct was so wanting in care that it constituted a conscious disregard and indifference to the Goodins' rights.

Florida District Court The goal of punitive damages is to punish gross negligence and to deter such future misconduct. Thus, the award must be large enough to get Bank of America's attention, otherwise these cases become an acceptable “cost of doing business.” Bank of America is a huge company with tremendous resources, a factor that the Court may and has considered in determining an appropriate award.  Also, this is a serious FCCPA case, in which
there were a large number of violations that occurred over a long period of time, and in which the Bank ignored the Goodins' repeated attempts to fix its many errors. The Court, as fact-finder, finds that the Goodins have proven by clear and convincing evidence that a punitive damages award of
$100,000 is appropriate. 

7/2/15

Fannie, Freddie chiefs get big raises, and lawmakers aren’t happy about it

“These extraordinary pay raises fly in the face of the legislative intent.” 

Washington Post The chief executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could collect up to $4 million a year in pay as a result of new government rules that ease restrictions on the leaders’ compensation six years after the mortgage finance giants received massive bailouts to cover losses suffered during the housing bust.

New filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission detail the pay package for Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos and for Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton.

Feds play footage of the moment Sampson knew he was busted

New York Post Judge Dora Irizarry had tossed embezzlement charges against Sampson before trial, citing a statute of limitations. But the lawmaker still faces 20 years in prison if convicted of trying to cover up the alleged foreclosure scam.

7/1/15

SEC wants crooked execs to pay back ill-gotten bonuses

New York Post Wall Street’s top cops proposed a controversial new rule on Wednesday that would require companies to claw back certain compensation paid to executives caught juicing the books.
The proposal, from Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White, is aimed at stopping executives from keeping incentive-based compensation if they fudged the numbers to achieve the results that triggered the incentives.

6/30/15

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CEOs Receive Multi-Million Dollar Pay Increases

At a time when American families are still struggling to find their footing financially, it is absolutely unconscionable that regulators would allow the taxpayer-bailed out Freddie Mac to pay its CEO over $7 million dollars a year," Royce said. 

DSnews "Just last week a stress test of the GSEs showed the possibility of a future taxpayer bailout to the tune of $150 billion, yet FHFA appears to be pursuing the pre-crisis model of private gains and public losses. We can't simply put the blinders on and say the GSEs are just like other companies. We need to move towards a model that allows the private sector to compete on a level-playing field, not one where Fannie and Freddie act like the private corporations with taxpayers on the hook for losses. In the interim, I will be introducing legislation to block this potential hike in CEO pay."

Wells Fargo’s ‘inconsistent’ bankruptcy program troubles bank in court

New York Post When Mr. Weidenbenner went to sleep on March 11, 2014, every penny he had left in the world was in four Wells Fargo accounts.
When he woke up, the money was gone — seized by Wells Fargo.

6/26/15

Valbuena v. Ocwen

Plaintiffs filed suit against Ocwen after their lender's purchase of their residence at a nonjudicial foreclosure sale, alleging that Ocwen violated Civil Code section 2923.6, the prohibition on "dual tracking" contained in the Homeowners Bill of Rights, when it conducted a foreclosure sale of plaintiffs' property while their loan modification application was pending.

  The trial court sustained Ocwen’s demurrer. However, the court concluded that by alleging the submission of the loan modification application three days after receipt of the Offer Letter, and the transmittal of the additional documents requested by Ocwen on the date of request, plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that a complete loan modification application was pending at the time Ocwen foreclosed on their home in violation of section 2923.6. 

Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the trial court.

Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging and Fraud Conspiracies at Public Foreclosure Auctions.

Home Equity Theft Reporter According to court documents, these conspirators paid and received money that otherwise would have gone to pay off the mortgage and other holders of debt secured by the properties, and, in some cases, the defaulting homeowner.

6/23/15

UPDATE: Foreclosure Judge Won't Seal Documents in Witness-Coaching Case

"The fact that these documents are in the public domain and the "horse has long left the barn" prevents the Court from fashioning the relief sought in Plaintiff's motion. Accordingly, the Motion To Deem Confidentially of Court records is Denied."

dbr Ice said the judge's eight-page order against sealing the documents "goes a long way" toward supporting Ice Legal's argument against disqualification.

"The court has already ruled this is in the public domain—almost all foreclosure defense attorneys know about this," he said. 
The judge's ruling should help prevent "robo-testifying" in the future, Ice said. "It was really a win for the public more than Mr. Rolle or Ice Legal."

OCWEN's Witness-Coaching Document

6/18/15

Wells Fargo's Motion for Rehearing is DENIED

Hardy v. Wells Fargo

COURT OF APPEALS 
FIRST DISTRICT OF TEXAS
None of these arguments were asserted with respect to the Hardys’s wrongful
foreclosure claim in Wells Fargo’s motion for summary judgment or in its appellate
briefing. Because Wells Fargo did not raise these arguments in its motion for summary
judgment, the trial court could not have granted summary judgment on any of these bases. 

6/17/15

OCC Tightens Restrictions on JPM, Wells Over Mortgage Servicing

National Mortgage News Six banks including JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have been placed under further business restrictions after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency determined they had yet to fully meet regulatory orders related to the independent foreclosure review which began in 2011

California Gov. Unlawfully Diverted $331M from Mortgage Settlement: Judge

Mortgage Servicing News California Gov. Jerry Brown violated state law by diverting more than $331 million in mortgage settlement funds for uses unrelated to housing, a Superior Court judge ruled.

9/14/14

Citi, Deutsche Bank, Bank Of America Were Channels For Sending Drug Money To Colombia, Court Filing Shows

ibTimes U.S.-based accounts were used to channel tens of millions of dollars’ worth of global drug money that was sent to shady Colombian currency brokerages, an affidavit from an undercover Massachusetts detective obtained recently by 100Reporters says. The revelation comes as the U.S. Justice Department has been laying down record penalties against some of the world’s largest financial institutions for trade-sanction and money laundering violations.

6/12/15

Man sentenced to 28 years for real estate theft 

(Felon, partner forged records, resold homes that did not belong to them, prosecutors say)

Home Equity Theft Reporter Remo was charged with the theft of only one home but faced a long sentence because he had two prior felony convictions and because of evidence that he was connected to a ring that carried out dozens of similar deed scams.

Testimony in the trial, records in other criminal cases as well as a civil lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General's Office (go here for temporary restraining order) accused Remo and Solomon of being part of a larger group of Houstonians who used bogus deeds to steal dozens of properties

New York Top Court Ruling May Limit Future Mortgage Suits

Bloomberg New York’s highest court may have shut the door to many future lawsuits against sellers and sponsors of flawed mortgage bonds, ruling investors have six years from the day the deal closed to pursue remedies.

After Financial Crisis, Fates of Lender and Borrower Diverge

DealBook Timothy L. Blixseth, a 65-year-old former billionaire, now sits in his eighth week of solitary confinement in a county jail in Great Falls, Mont., one of the few people being held accountable in connection with Wall Street’s profligate behavior in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.

He is not even a banker. Rather, Mr. Blixseth was a client of a group of Credit Suisse bankers.

6/11/15

When will they go after the banks' Mod-Fraud?

Mortgage modification scammers bilked homeowners out of millions

Housing Wire Three California residents are facing between 60 and 170 years in federal prison after they were convicted of running a nationwide mortgage modification scam that defrauded thousands of distressed homeowners out of millions of dollars.

Acting United States Attorney Stephanie Yonekura said: “The impact on victim homeowners across the country was severe, and it’s gratifying to see justice served in this case.”

A Derivatives Bomb Exploded Within The Last Two Weeks

I’ve never seen so many sophisticated Wall Street’ers this scared in my entire career. – This comment comes from a very well-connected Wall Street/DC insider and is in reference to how illiquid the bond markets have become.

IRD It was the sudden firing of Deutcshe Bank’s co-CEOs this past weekend that prompted me to spend more time analyzing a sequence of events which indicate to me some sort of derivatives position, possibly at Deutsche Bank, has exploded. In addition, the stock and bond markets have been emitting some curious signals which reflect that fact that something happened in the global economic and financial system.

This is the case where JPMorgan claimed ownership of the Note for two years. Then Judge Schack learned JPM never owned the Note.

JPMorgan Chase v. Butler

NY Appellate Division, Second Department In light of the foregoing, and under the circumstances of this case, including the Supreme Court's finding of bad faith based upon an analysis of the issue of standing, which was not before it, we deem it appropriate to remit the matter to the Supreme Court, Kings County, for further proceedings before a different Justice.

****Judge Schack's previous Order 

6/10/15

Fraudulent Transfers, Liens and Lis Pendens

MIRA v. MUSE

The question presented is: Does a judgment granting a fraudulent transfer claim, as well as monetary damages, relate back to the date on which the claimants recorded a lis pendens? We conclude that it does.

h/t Home Equity Theft Reporter

California Court of Appeals

Following a bench trial on reciprocal claims for declaratory relief regarding the priority of judgment liens, the trial court determined that
the judgment lien of respondent Mira Overseas Consulting, Ltd. (Mira) had priority over appellants’ Muse Family Enterprises, Ltd. (the Muse Parties) judgment lien because it was filed first. 

We reverse, finding that the Muse Parties’ judgment lien relates back to the date they recorded a lis pendens.

Top Bank Analysts Warn Another Frannie Bailout Coming

Bank analysts warn another crisis is in store for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which potentially means another bailout.

SNL Financial warn: “Some believe the institutions are now exposed to another downturn in the housing market.”

Fox Both housing finance giants are dialing down their portfolios. “Their capital reserves are set to reduce every year until reaching zero by 2018,” at a rate of about $600 million a year, says Compass Point analyst Isaac Boltansky, who characterizes the “dwindling capital reserve” as a “sunset provision.” He adds: "Reduce their capital each year so that, hopefully, at some point in the future, another Congress will handle these issues because they'll have to. It's like a ticking time bomb."

How borrowers' IRS tax data could be compromised

The IRS said that just half of hackers' estimated 200,000 attempts to access tax transcripts were successful--- 50%

L.A. Times You might not have connected that event with a procedure encountered by most home buyers seeking a mortgage: Lenders routinely require them to sign an IRS form that allows underwriters to obtain transcripts covering multiple years of past tax returns.

6/10/15

Calif. Coalition Calls for Investigation of OneWest Foreclosures

Mortgage Servicing News The San Francisco group said that its investigation raised "serious red flags" about mortgage servicing at the $21 billion-asset OneWest. The bank has conducted more than 35,000 foreclosures in California in the last six years. Data compared with U.S. Census data and maps revealed a high concentration of the foreclosures were in "communities of color," the group said.

"OneWest's mortgage servicing has been widely criticized and these data increase our concerns that bad servicing practices may have had an outsized impact on communities of color,"

6/9/15

FINALLY! 

Homeowner Sues Texas for Stealing Mortgage Settlement Funds 

This complaint alleges that settlement proceeds were illegally and wrongfully
diverted to the detriment of the intended recipients. Indeed, without harmed homeowners, there would be no settlement.

Roman Law None of the member states would have received any settlement funds. The State of Texas unjustly enriched itself by allowing a disingenuous legislative enterprise to victimize and deprive deserving homeowners. The Texas Attorney General is charged with protecting its citizens. Texas homeowners were supposed to be "made whole" by the settlement. Instead, they were unmercifully pillaged. Through this scheme the State of Texas benefitted from an enormous profit, yet never suffered injury or harm, and was never foreclosed upon and then evicted.

6/9/15

Deutsche Bank Offices Raided By Authorities

Tyler Durden Deutsche Bank confirmed its offices in Frankfurt had been searched on Tuesday and said investigators were looking for evidence related to client transactions, with no Deutsche Bank employees accused of wrong-doing.

A spokesman for Germany's largest lender said the raid had been conducted on behalf of prosecutors in the German city of Wiesbaden, who were seeking evidence of securities transactions by the bank's clients.

6/9/15

The Endless Pounding of Deutsche Bank Continues

McLeod v. Deutsche Bank

McLeod won this case in 2008, and Deutsche refuses to accept it.

SUPERIOR COURT OF ARIZONA
MARICOPA COUNTY
The attached order of dismissal showed up sua sponte by the appeals court. McLeod didn't even have to file an answer.

Also included is the Order to Show Cause the court issued, wherein DB and their two lawyers have been ordered to appear on June 26th, in person, to show why they should not be sanctioned for filing an improper lis pendens and violating a prior order of the court.

Miami Firm Ordered to Pay $2.3 Million in $21 Million Mortgage Relief Scam

dbr

(registration)

Prime Legal Plans and related companies based in Fort Lauderdale promised legal services to fight foreclosure but did little or nothing to help homeowners, according to the lawsuit filed in West Palm Beach federal court. Litvin, Torrens & Associates received legal fees as part of the alleged fraud.

6/9/15

Foreclosure and Collection Mills Violating Multiple Laws and Rules

Living Lies The lawyers, knowing that the loans and the transfers of the loan were riddled with fatal defects, use non-lawyer personnel to process the enforcement or collection. That way, they reasoned, nobody can say that they did anything wrong because they didn’t do it. But it turns out that allowing your personnel to make it appear that the contact is with a lawyer is illegal. 

Oral Arguments in CFPB v. Hanna Suggest Long Road Ahead

insideARM The stakes are high, not only for the Hanna law firm, but also any law firm that handles a high volume of consumer debt collection matters. The case should be front and center for all law firms practicing in this space.

Class Action Win Against Foreclosure-Mill

FARIASANTOS v. ROSENBERG & ASSOCIATES

What is important to note in this case is the power house team of attorneys in the state of Virginia. It is unprecedented. One short year ago they were getting beat. The tide is definitely turning.  They are winning.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division. Plaintiff will be getting damages in the next few months and are awaiting roster for others similarly situated.

The Court will not accept on summary judgment a net worth figure that neither side, in fact, purports to reflect R&A's real net worth. R&A has asserted that the figure it
provides is not actually correct and that — if Rosenberg is to be believed the true value of the business is drastically smaller than represented. Fariasantos acknowledges that the $500,000 statutory cap is significantly higher than 1.00% of R&A's net worth, but has shown that R&A's "net worth calculation has shifted" over time and that R&A may not have provided "an acceptable accounting."

6/9/15

Nevada Federal Court on FDCPA claims: DEFAULT NOTICE IS COLLECTION ACTIVITY

Living Lies The remedies under FDCPA are fairly limited, but they do have teeth. AND once a finding is made that there was a violation it will have an effect on the right or ability of the foreclosing party to continue with foreclosure, bid at the auction or convey title.
Foreclosure Notices Subject to FDCPA, Federal Court Finds

The ruling raises the specter that courts may be increasingly willing to expand the scope of conduct covered by the FDCPA to include foreclosure activities.

Mallory v. McCarthy & Holthus

Ballard Spahr The law firm moved to dismiss the FDCPA claim based on the argument that the notices were not “debt collection activity.” The law firm asserted that the letters were “simply notices provided as part of the foreclosure process, compliant with Nevada statutes, and do not constitute attempts to collection on Plaintiffs’ debt.”

The U. S. District Court for the District of Nevada rejected the argument

6/8/15

Rescission enforcement actions are the next really big thing

Its effect is to immediately un-encumber the property from any claims of lien or mortgage and any claim on the note which is void and must be returned marked “cancelled”.

Living Lies If the parties collecting or enforcing the loans really have a right to do so they may demonstrate that in court by filing a lawsuit to set aside the rescission based upon any factual grounds they wish to raise, applying the rules of the TILA statutory scheme for rescission. But if they don’t do that within 20 days they waive their defenses. AND if they don’t comply with TILA by returning the canceled note, filing a satisfaction of mortgage and returning all money paid by borrower, then they are barred from making even an unsecured claim for “damages.”

6/8/15

Clerk's office offers free service to combat property fraud

WPBF According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest growing white collar crime in the United States. Scammers (banks and bank attorneys) file fake deeds, making it appear as if they own homes that are not actually theirs.

(Will homeowners get an alert if it is a bank filing the fake deeds?)

6/7/15

We bailed you out, and now you want what!?!

Washington Post Imagine how outrageous it would be if some Wall Street sharpies went to court to argue that they didn’t benefit enough from the bailouts and that taxpayers should pay them tens of billions of dollars more.

In fact, they did. And, according to legal observers, they just might prevail.

DOJ set for second round of massive mortgage settlements

More profits for the DOJ and no redress for the victims of the crimes who supplied the evidence to the DOJ.

Housing Wire The Department of Justice and state officials are targeting up to nine banks for the next round of billion-dollar payments related to soured mortgages.

And the parade won’t stop here. The article stated that the Justice Department could pursue settlements with the large regional banks when these ones are over.

6/5/15

Assignee stands in the shoes of the assignor: IT MUST PROVE THE LOAN

One of the key points I have been making for 8 years is that the party bringing the foreclosure essentially never says that it is a holder in due course. In fact, we have had cases where opposing counsel expressly denies that the Plaintiff is a holder in due course.

Living Lies That is particularly remarkable where the Plaintiff is, for example, Citimortgage, which maintains an ambiguous status, admitting that it is a servicer but not revealing the creditor or the basis on which they rely in alleging that they are the servicer.
The importance of holder vs. holder in due course cannot be over-stated. And if the loan was alleged to have been transferred while the loan was already declared in default, there can’t be a holder or holder in due course because the UCC does not apply those terms to anything but a negotiable instrument which by definition must not be in default at the time of transfer. Otherwise it is not a negotiable instrument and the allegations and proof go the the issue of ownership of the debt.
 

6/5/15

Elderly could lose homes due to reverse mortgages

Fox The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled a study that shows elderly homeowners are being fed misleading advertising about reverse mortgages that could lead to big financial problems.

The study says that many homeowners do not realize that reverse mortgages are loans they eventually have to be paid back. They’re confused by “incomplete and inaccurate” information from lenders, partly because they cannot or did not read the fine print on the ads shown on TV and the Internet.

6/5/15

Ocwen Shares Fall After S&P Downgrade Warning

Moody's Investor Services had upgraded Ocwen's credit rating on Wednesday 

Mortgage Servicing News A possible downgrade of Ocwen's servicer ratings by S&P could affect the company's ability to fund servicing advances, to sell mortgage servicing rights in the future and to maintain its approved servicer status with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

6/5/15

Jury Acquits Abacus on Mortgage Fraud Charges

A small thrift in New York City’s Chinatown that was among the very few financial institutions to face criminal prosecution by the Obama Administration on mortgage fraud charges was found not guilty on all 240 counts brought against it.

NMP With a customer base made up primarily of Chinese-Americans and Chinese immigrants, Abacus is among New York’s smallest and least prominent financial institutions. Yet the thrift received a surplus amount of attention from the Department of Justice, which brought criminal charges in May 2012 against the company and 19 former employees, with allegations that the Abacus team conspired to provide false data on mortgages that were later sold to Fannie Mae. While 10 former Abacus employees agreed to plead guilty and some turned up as witnesses against their former employer, the jury cleared Abacus Chief Credit Officer Yiu Wah Wong and Raymond Tam, a former loan origination supervisor

6/5/15

Cordray Overrules Judge's Decision, Fines PHH $109M in Kickback Scheme

Cordray's final decision expanded the scope of the allegations, saying PHH's violations occurred more often than the judge ruled and dated back to loans that closed earlier than the 2008 date.

National Mortgage News Beyond the court's findings, "I now conclude that PHH committed a separate violation of RESPA [Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act] every time it accepted a reinsurance payment from a mortgage insurer," said Cordray in his final decision. "That means PHH is liable for each payment it accepted on or after July 21, 2008, even if the loan with which that payment was associated had closed prior to that date."

Goldman, Morgan Stanley Near Settlements With Justice Department

The Street Goldman Sachs is one of up to nine banks reportedly expected to pay billions of dollars in settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice over the sale of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the financial crisis.

6/3/15

J.P. Morgan Wins Legal Battle in WaMu Case

Ruling will aid in efforts to avoid billions of dollars in potential liabilities from WaMu purchase

WSJ J.P. Morgan and the FDIC have fought for years over who is ultimately liable for claims that arose from the failed Seattle thrift. The bank has said the FDIC receivership that liquidated Washington Mutual in 2008 should pay any claims. The FDIC has countered that J.P. Morgan is responsible. J.P. Morgan bought the business for $1.88 billion during some of the most tumultuous hours of the financial crisis. Since then, J.P. Morgan has worked to settle a wide variety of mortgage-related litigation.

6/3/15

Legal Impossibility”: REMIC Trust does not own the loan, debt, note or mortgage

For those who have given up trying to convince a judge that the securitization aspect of their case is relevant, Adams' affidavit should help.

Living Lies The Banks have successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of thousands of Judges by piling up false paperwork, including “powers of Attorney” {why would you need that if the servicing rights were really transferred? If the servicing rights were truly transferred, then there would have been a purchase and sale agreement and an assignment of the servicing rights, not a power of attorney}.

6//15

Where the Housing Crisis Continues

NYT Op-Ed For many lower-income Americans, the housing bust of 2008 was just a prelude to a new crisis. In many areas, housing prices are stuck below their inflated pre-bubble levels. Until we deal with this fact, entire communities will continue to struggle with high foreclosure rates and a lack of economic mobility.

Fannie Mae – New Shareholder Lawsuit: The Government’s Actions Are Illegal

Three shareholders in Iowa filed a lawsuit against the federal government in federal court in Iowa, claiming the Third Amendment Sweep amounts to a breach of contract and illegally taking of property.

ValueWalk The previous day, lawyers for Fairholme Funds, Inc., filed formal arguments essentially rejecting the government’s rationale for withholding relevant documents in a case being litigated in Federal Claims Court.

The suit in Iowa is the first time individual shareholders have challenged the legality of the Sweep; and the first since reports of leaked Treasury documents have raised new questions about whether relevant information was withheld in the Fairholme case and another suit related to the Sweep.

6/2/15

JPMorgan Chase mortgage banker sentenced for bribery, tax evasion

Sold mortgage loans to "preferred customers"

A Texas mortgage banker was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by six months of home confinement, for her role in a commercial bribery and tax evasion scheme.

Housing Wire Lynda Sanabria of Rockwall, Texas, admitted accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in return for selling mortgage loans to her preferred customers on the secondary mortgage market.

The defendant, a J.P. Morgan Chase banker, was also ordered to pay $40,420.50 in restitution to the IRS.

As part of her October 2014 guilty plea, Sanabria admitted that between 2004 and 2010, she used her position and influence at Chase to ensure that her preferred customers won their bids to purchase the loans.

6/2/15

HSBC must face U.S. lawsuits over $34 billion mortgage debt losses

  HSBC was on Monday ordered to face three U.S. lawsuits accusing it of breaching its duties as a trustee overseeing residential mortgage-backed securities that suffered more than $34 billion of losses in the global financial crisis.

6/2/15

Firm Wants Tom Ice Off Foreclosure Case

Opposing counsel are furious with foreclosure defense attorney Thomas Ice and want him thrown off a case based on a May 20 article printed by the Daily Business Review.

dbr "While the bank claims that these were communications with its agent, it has produced nothing to show that coaxing witnesses to commit perjury was part of its agency agreement with Ocwen," Ice wrote in a May 28 response to Sokolof's motion.
"We're taking the position that it wasn't privileged," he told the DBR. "The act of trying to disqualify Ice Legal is pointless. It's just trying to get even with us for letting the world know what they're doing. You can't protect future fraud on the court by way of attorney-client privilege."

6/1/15

Why the Big Guns Are Coming Out on Rescission

A letter telling you that you are outside the statute of limitations or that your loan was a purchase money mortgage does NOTHING — except provide proof that they received the notice. And here is another kicker: those people who sent their notice of rescission years ago but were “foreclosed” anyway have a claim that every action taken after they sent their notice of rescission was VOID by operation of law. And any title company that issued a title policy without exempting transactions involved in securitized loans is probably liable for the damages. 

Living Lies The Banks MUST attack rescission in this way. They can’t file the lawsuit within 20 days because of the problems with standing. If they don’t attack and try to weaken the “effective” (i.e., the day that by operation of law the deal was canceled) rescission they are admitting that their so-called mortgage backed securities are worthless junk — which is exactly what they are. Even in the current market, and even if they were doing it right, investors would need to be told that there is a risk that one or all of the mortgage loans in the pool are susceptible to being rescinded; and, here is the kicker: they would need to disclose that any attempt to challenge such rescissions would require a proof of standing which is at the very least “difficult.” [It is difficult because standing would need to be established WITHOUT THE NOTE AND MORTGAGE, WHICH ARE VOID].

5/31/15

Foreclosed nation: Wall Street, the dispossessed & the quality of American democracy

If those affected by foreclosure were a voting bloc, we'd treat the crisis as the ongoing emergency that it is

Salon Why has the continued crisis of dispossession not been treated as a national emergency? Given the scale of the foreclosure crisis, the policy response has been muted. Congress and the Obama administration have repeatedly rejected demands for a national moratorium on mortgage foreclosures. 

5/30/15

UPDATE: Glaski and the WAMU Trust

Affidavit of Thomas Adams

Thomas Adams I note for the Court's benefit that a transfer to the Trust on June 11, 2009 is a legal impossibility for a number of reasons.

I cannot conclude that this particular mortgage loan was ever owned by any of the parties. It is my opinion that this Trust does not own this mortgage loan.

O'Malley announces presidential run

El Paso Times "Tell me how it is, that not a single Wall Street CEO was convicted of a crime related to the 2008 economic meltdown? Not a single one," O'Malley said. "Tell me how it is, that you can get pulled over for a broken tail light, but if you wreck the nation's economy you are untouchable?"

5/28/15

Justices toss Washington law countering bad-faith lawsuits

The Supreme Court has struck down Washington's anti-SLAPP law that attempts to curtail lawsuits brought in bad faith to hinder public discussion.

Docket: Notice all the lawyers involved.

Seattle Times In a unanimous opinion Thursday the court said the law, enacted by the Legislature in 2010, violates the right to a trial by jury because it requires judges, not juries, to make determinations about the disputed facts of a case.

Judges frequently decide cases when the facts of a case are undisputed and the sides are arguing over matters of law. But the Supreme Court said that when facts are disputed — as they were in the Olympia Food Co-op case — the right to a jury applies.

5/28/15

Ocwen Closing Houston Residential Servicing Operations

MReport This decision comes after strategic review within the company in order for them to, consolidate the amount of call center sites, eliminate redundancies, and increase effectiveness within residential loan servicing operations.

5/28/15

JPMorgan $500M Bear Stearns Securities Deal Approved

Bear Stearns, acquired by JPMorgan in 2008, was accused in the lawsuit of issuing $17.6 billion in faulty mortgage-backed securities.

National Mortgage News According to the pension funds, offering documents shown to investors contained false and misleading statements about the securities, holding them out as the highest quality and with low risk.
"As a result of the untrue statements and omissions, plaintiffs and the class purchased certificates that were far riskier than represented, not of the 'best quality' and not equivalent to other investments with the same credit ratings."

Freddie Mac Sells $201M of Ocwen-Serviced Non Performing Loans

Freddie Mac auctioned off 1,052 delinquent nonperforming loans serviced by Ocwen on May 21 as part of its Standard Pool Offerings.

Mortgage Servicing News These loans have been delinquent for three years on average. Those auctioned were offered as a single pool of mortgage loans. Previously modified mortgages that later became delinquent comprise 29% of the aggregate pool balance.
Freddie began marketing the transaction on April 28 to minority- and women-owned businesses, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood advocacy funds and private investors active in the NPL market, among other potential bidders.

5/27/15

Former Short Sale Specialist Convicted of Mortgage and Tax Fraud 

The FBI investigates when a bank loses money.

FBI Stone faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each of the wire fraud and wire-fraud conspiracy charges, 30 years in prison for the charges of false statements to a bank, 25 years in prison for the fictitious obligation charges, three years for the charge of corruptly impeding the internal revenue laws, and one year for each count of willful failure to file a tax return at her Aug. 14 sentencing.

5/27/15

Judgment of foreclosure and confirmation of sale VACATED

Bank of America v. Russell

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS Though defendants’ November 15, 2012, motion seeking vacatur of the summary judgment was not filed within 30 days of that judgment, defendants’ challenge was not untimely. The final judgment in a mortgage foreclosure action is the order confirming the sale and ordering the distribution of proceeds. EMC Mortgage Corp. v. Kemp

5/27/15

Are SEC Waivers Defanging Charges Against Big Banks?

Before the banks agreed to plead guilty last Wednesday, they made sure they had in place waivers from the SEC to keep them from being automatically disqualified from operating normally.

Corporate Counsel Since 2007, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has granted the five banks that signed criminal plea deals last week at least 19 waivers to continue normal operations despite their misconduct, with at least seven of them going to UBS AG. And the latest round of waivers last week sparked a deepening dissent at the SEC.

CASE LAW ABOUT RESCISSION

A bank is not the holder in due course upon merely crediting the depositors account. Bankers Trust v. Nagler, 23 A.D.2d 645, 257 N.Y.S.2d 298 (1965).

Unknown It is not necessary for rescission of a contract that the party making the misrepresentation should have known that it was false, but recovery is allowed even though misrepresentation is innocently made, because it would be unjust to allow one who made false representations, even innocently, to retain the fruits of a bargain induced by such representations.” Whipp v. Iverson, 43 Wis. 2d 166, 168 N.W.2d 201 (1969).

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Case Law Citations

jp Belin V. Litton Loan Serv., L.P., 2006 WL 1992410 (M.D. Fla. July 14, 2006). The employees of a debt collection agency who actually engaged in the allegedly unlawful misconduct and the collection agency itself are jointly and severally liable for the resulting FDCPA violations.

Debt Forgiveness Could Save This Woman's Home, But Nation's Housing Chief Still Says No

Huff Post Warren cited a Congressional Budget Office report from 2013 that determined a modest principal reduction plan could help 1.2 million borrowers and save Fannie and Freddie -- and by extension taxpayers -- $2.8 billion.

Pros se reversal

HAM v. NATIONSTAR

(Aurora and 123Loan involved)

We are mindful of the perception that certain delinquent borrowers might enjoy a “windfall” where a foreclosure plaintiff is required to prove standing to enforce a note at the time the initial complaint is filed, but the filing of a new suit when standing has been acquired would take place more than five years after the alleged default. Proof of entitlement to enforce a note secured by a mortgage can be problematic in “this era of securitization of mortgage debt and computerized banking.”

Florida 1st District Court of Appeals “[i]n this case and numerous other cases, the financial institutions have brought these problems upon themselves by the complex methods of securitization and their own sloppy recordkeeping.” We further note that many foreclosure actions languish due to the plaintiffs’ failure to prosecute cases in a timely manner and not from any wrongdoing by the borrower. Once a defendant contests the plaintiff’s standing as the proper party to enforce a note via foreclosure, the plaintiff’s right to bring suit on the note at the requisite time becomes a disputed issue the plaintiff must prove. Gee v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 72 So. 3d 211, 213 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011). It is not inequitable to require a plaintiff to prove its case, beginning with its standing to bring the action at the outset when that status is challenged.

5/26/15

America will die old and broke: The systematic right-wing plot to ransack the middle-class nest egg

Despite what conservatives say, the safety net works—which is why the 1 percent wants to stage a hostile takeover

David Dayen As a member of Generation X, I’ve spent my adult life riding waves of bubbles, watching housing values implode, retirement accounts halved and job prospects evaporate. With each subsequent crisis, I and my cohort are asked to “give up a little more” to help the country “recover,” even as a tiny fraction of people and corporations reach unprecedented, unimaginable levels of wealth. This disparity is unsustainable.

5/26/15

Damage Claims Against OneWest Goes to Jury, Summary Judgment reversed

The question now is: What difference does it make if the borrower is in default if the foreclosing party had no right to foreclose? 

BANAYAN v. ONE WEST BANK

The judgment is reversed with respect to Banayan's claims for promissory fraud,
negligent misrepresentation, concealment, promissory estoppel, negligence, wrongful foreclosure. 

Living Lies With the current judicial climate changing in favor of borrowers, [including findings that the mortgage was absolutely void (invalid, non-perfected) where a sham nominee like MERS was used], Judges should take note that they are better off getting in front of the new trend and allow borrowers’ claims to be heard in a fair manner, observing the requirements of due process.

I suspect that the trial judge will allow more liberal discovery after being reversed. And if that happens you might not never hear about this case again — as it joins the tens of thousands of cases that have been settled under seal of confidentiality. Essentially the strategy of the banks is that if they lose, they can always pay off the homeowner to keep the case from being publicized.

5/22/15

Banks as Felons, or Criminality Lite

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are felons, having pleaded guilty on Wednesday to criminal charges of conspiring to rig the value of the world’s currencies. According to the Justice Department, the lengthy and lucrative conspiracy enabled the banks to pad their profits without regard to fairness, the law or the public good.

NY Times Besides the criminal label, however, nothing much has changed for the banks. And that means nothing much has changed for the public. There is no meaningful accountability in the plea deals and, by extension, no meaningful deterrence from future wrongdoing. In a memo to employees this week, the chief executive of Citi, Michael Corbat, called the criminal behavior “an embarrassment” — not the word most people would use to describe a felony but an apt one in light of the fact that the plea deals are essentially a spanking, nothing more.

5/22/15

Employees of Butler & Hosch Foreclosure-Mill File WARN Act Class Action

dbr They say the firm, which represented lenders and servicers, failed to provide 60 days' written notice as required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Without the notice, Regal and Hillis said the mass layoffs deprived hundreds of workers and their families of a transition period to adjust to their new unemployed status.

5/22/15

THREE MEN CHARGED IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR SCHEME TO DECEIVE HOMEOWNERS INTO SELLING THEIR HOMES

SIGTARP Since at least 2013, they defrauded distressed homeowners throughout parts of New York. They falsely represented to these homeowners – some of whom were elderly or in poor health – that they could assist them with a loan modification or similar relief from foreclosure that would allow the homeowners to save their homes. But rather than actually assisting these homeowners, the defendants deceived  them into selling their homes to Launch Development LLC, a for-profit real estate company also affiliated with the defendants.

5/22/15

Reporter: "We now turn to the felons on Wall Street."

Banks Admit to Crimes, Pay $5 Billion, And Still No One Goes to Jail

Matt Taibbi interviewed on Democracy Now After years of pressure from some lawmakers, civic leaders and Occupy Wall Street protesters, the country’s No. 1 law enforcer said Tuesday he has instructed many of his 93 federal prosecutors to review any residential mortgage fraud case they have brought against a financial institution stemming from the 2008 financial crisis to see if any executive could be held accountable for the company’s actions.

Both civil and criminal cases will be on the table, Holder said.

5/22/15

Fraud enforcement official arrested for mortgage fraud

Feds charge he submitted false application for loan modification

Housing Wire Specifically, Patrick claimed total assets of $500 in one checking account to show that he had experienced a loss of income causing a hardship when, in fact, he had thousands of dollars spread out over multiple accounts at several institutions and his rate of pay had not diminished.

5/22/15

PETERSON v. WELLS FARGO

We reject the lender's contentions and affirm the judgment in favor of plaintiffs. Even though the surviving spouse had a right to sell the property, that right did not convert her life estate into a fee simple estate. The lender had no rights in the property upon the death of the surviving spouse.

Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Five A probate court ordered the distribution of real property to a surviving spouse who executed and recorded a deed of trust on the real property in favor of a lender to secure a loan. When the surviving spouse died, and payments were not made on the loan, the lender recorded a notice of default and election to sell the real property. Plaintiffs, who purported to have a remainder fee interest in the real property, brought an action, inter alia, to quiet title to the property. They claimed that the surviving spouse only had a life estate in the real property and had no power to encumber it. 

Prison Sentence For Attorney Who Ran Million-Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme

NY AG Defendant Theresa Sanders Sentenced To Up To 7 Years in Prison, Ordered to Pay Over $500,000 in Restitution, And Must Surrender Law License

Schneiderman: Anyone Who Seeks To Exploit New York Families Will Be Brought To Justice

“This ring preyed on hard-working New Yorkers who were merely trying to fulfill their dreams of buying a first home,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. 

5/22/15

Another Lawyer Tagged For Running Bogus Foreclosure Rescue/Loan Modification Racket

Home Equity Theft Reporter A commission hearing officer ruled that David Zak provided “substandard service to Latino clients because of their national origin” and should pay 17 families more than $220,000 in damages. Whether they will receive any compensation is uncertain as Zak has filed for bankruptcy.

FANNIE MAE v. HICKS

Ohio's Eighth District Court of Appeals The trial court committed plain error in granting summary judgment in favor of Fannie Mae and against Hicks. Fannie Mae has failed to establish its right to enforce the note and, in turn, the mortgage. Accordingly, Hicks is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

5/21/15

The Hurdles for Banks After Guilty Pleas

Exemptions sought from the Labor Dept. over restrictions on pension fund management.

NY Law Journal In the elite world of multibillion-dollar Wall Street banks, the U.S. Department of Labor rarely looms large.
That changed this week. The agency will play a key role in determining whether five megabanks that pleaded guilty to criminal charges can effectively participate in the $7 trillion pension fund market.
5/21/15

Cash-Strapped Servicers Fill Gaps by Borrowing Against Their MSRs

National Mortgage News Mortgage bankers facing new demands on their businesses are becoming increasingly interested in new sources of liquidity, particularly through mortgage servicing rights financing vehicles.

Palm Beach County Trial Win for The Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen

The Judge knew exactly what 1.130(a) stated and immediate said to the Plaintiff’s attorney, “I reviewed the pleadings just a few minutes ago and in 30 seconds I saw what you and your firm should have seen 4 years ago, and yet, you have done nothing to fix!”

Also see: Judge Has Enough, Tells Bank Lawyer She is Referring Him to The Bar in Our Latest Trial Win!

Rosen Law Plaintiff attorney keeps limping forward, trying to put in the Mortgage, POA and AOM. I’m still doing my thing, objecting and seeking to voir dire as appropriate along the way, but then the Judge erupts on the Plaintiff’s attorney,What are you doing? There is no way you can or are going to win this case! The note is not coming in to evidence! Why are you wasting our time!?!? Speak to your client or whomever and come back in here in 5 minutes and advise if you can take a different course of action then the one you are taking.” P comes back and announces they will take a Voluntary Dismissal! CASE DISMISSED!

5/21/15

NY AG Scores Default Judgment Against Bogus Foreclosure Defense Attorney 

The judgment ordered Litvin Law Firm; Litvin, Torrens & Associates, PLLC; and the firms’ principal attorney Gennady Litvin to immediately halt their illegal business practices, including preying upon financially vulnerable consumers by claiming to provide a comprehensive legal services plan that would allow consumers to avoid foreclosure.

Home Equity Theft Reporter If you believe you were a victim of the Litvin Law Firm or Litvin, Torrens & Associates – or if you believe you were a victim of another mortgage fraud – please file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. Complaint forms can be completed online here. You may also call the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-771-7755.

For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that attempt to clean up the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Directory Of Lawyers' Funds For Client Protection 

Key Cases for the Sheriff of Wall Street

Wall Street’s Nemesis, Benjamin Lawsky, to Resign in June

DealBook

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naked capitalism

Benjamin M. Lawky’s four-year tenure as New York’s overseer of banking and insurance shook up the sleepy world of financial regulation in New York.

Lawsky is not going the revolving door route but instead is starting a new firm.

California Court Pierces the Curtain of Secrecy on WAMU Deals

Plaintiffs’ claims for wrongful foreclosure, quiet title, cancelation of instruments, violation of Section 2923.5, and unjust enrichment survive to the extent that they are premised on the theory that WaMu sold its entire interest in the Loan in 2008.

BURKE v. JPM, WELLS,WAMU

Living Lies This decision finally brings the real issue to the forefront: who, if anyone, actually has the legal status of creditor or the right to claim ownership of the debt, loan, note or mortgage? In this case the Court correctly centered on the real issue: if WAMU had ALREADY sold the loan before it “sold” the loan to a trust or anyone else, then the entire chain is not just defective, or corrupted, it is void. And then you have quiet title, wrongful foreclosure and probably RICO although that does not seem to be in the pleadings for this case.

 

 

 

 

 

5/20/15

 

 

 

Banks fined $2.5 billion, to plead guilty to market rigging

The criminal behavior took place between December 2007 and January 2013, according to the agreement.

AP JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays and The Royal Bank of Scotland conspired with one another to fix rates on U.S. dollars and euros traded in the huge global market for currencies, according to a settlement announced Wednesday between the banks and U.S. Justice Department. Currency traders allegedly shared customer orders through chat rooms and used that information to profit ahead of their clients.

5 Banks To Plead Guilty To Criminal Rigging Charges, Pay $5.6 Billion For Manipulating Markets

Tyler Durden Don't be surprised if despite the guilty criminal pleas, nobody goes to prison yet again.

In any event, we now know that aside from Libor, FX, gold, stocks and treasuries, nothing else is manipulated. he-he-he

Bank of America fined $205M for foreign-exchange mispractices

Charlotte Observer Bank of America is being fined $205 million for shoddy practices in the foreign-exchange market, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in announcing civil penalties against five other major banks for similar conduct.

Bank of America was left out of the 5 banks that settled with the Justice Department, but included with the same banks in being fined by the Federal Reserve for the same activities. Why?

5 Banks to Pay Billions and Plead Guilty in Currency and Interest Rate Cases

One Barclay's employee said: “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.

"This Department of Justice intends to vigorously prosecute all those who tilt the economic system in their favor; who subvert our marketplaces; and who enrich themselves at the expense of American consumers,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said on Wednesday.

DealBook Adding another entry to Wall Street’s growing rap sheet, five big banks have agreed to pay about $5.6 billion and plead guilty to multiple crimes related to manipulating foreign currencies and interest rates.

The guilty pleas, which the banks are expected to enter in federal court in Connecticut on Wednesday, represent a first in a financial industry that has been dogged by numerous scandals and investigations since the 2008 financial crisis. Until now, banks have either had their biggest banking units or small subsidiaries plead guilty. But with the four banks charged with currency violations, the guilty pleas will come from their parent companies.

5/20/15

Bank and Title Insurer Left Holding The Bag When Borrower Died As Remaindermen Come Forward, Claiming Free & Clear Title To Collateral

Peterson v. Wells Fargo

Home Equity Theft Reporter The trial court voided Jacqueline's 2003 deed and all the subsequent instruments (ie. the $416,000 Wells Fargo mortgage, the notice of default, etc.), and quieted title to the home in the names of the two sons.
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For the reasons set forth in the appeals court ruling, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.
 

5/20/15

Another Nationstar executive stepping down

Hisey’s departure comes on the heels of Lewis’ resignation and retirement and just after Nationstar posted a surprising loss in the first quarter, driven somewhat by a loss of servicing revenue.

Housing Wire Nationstar's first-quarter servicing segment revenue of $109 million fell 49% from Q4, mostly due to higher prepayments as rates fell, the company said earlier this month.

Those results led several analysts to downgrade the company. Analysts from FBR Capital Markets, Oppenheimer and Barclays (BCS) issued significant reductions to Nationstar’s price targets, and in one case, a downgrade from “market perform” to “underperform.”

5/19/15

Thomas Ice: Ocwen Lawyer Spoon-Fed Questions and Answers to Robo-Witnesses


OCWEN's SCRIPTED ANSWERS FOR ITS WITNESSES

dbr "My conclusion is that it's pretty clear—from what she's saying and the document that she attaches—that they've been doing what I've been saying they were doing all along: telling clients want to say," Ice said. "These are listed out for the attorneys to ask the witness, and the answers that the witness needs to give are right there. I find that to be extremely telling. It's exactly what we thought was going on. When they talk about training of the witness, they're teaching them what to say at trial, and it doesn't matter whether it's true or not."

5/19/15

Lawsky Touts Foreclosure Reforms to Ease Burden on Courts, Servicers

"This is a problem long in the making, Lawsky said.

Coinciding with his speech, Lawsky's office published an 18-page report detailing the source of delays in the state's foreclosure process and recommendations for improving its efficiency.

National Mortgage News Lawsky said: "Truly vacant and abandoned properties should not be afforded the same lengthy judicial foreclosure process in place for borrowers still living in their homes. Foreclosure fast-tracking initiatives in Suffolk, Nassau and Bronx counties have yielded positive results, and "it's time to take the best of these trial programs and employ them statewide.
Approximately 30% of all foreclosed homes are abandoned either after the first notice of foreclosure action or at some point throughout the process." 

5/19/15

REMIC Trusts: VOID means VOID — Not Voidable

The New York statute says that any act in contravention of the express terms of the Trust instrument is void.

Living Lies None of the Trusts actually come to own the debt, loan, note or mortgage anyway. The creation of “assignments” and “powers of attorney” merely create the illusion of a transaction that never occurred.

Acts of a trustee in contravention of the trust agreement are void.[1] Here the act of Plaintiff-In-Intervention which is void is its late acceptance of the loan into the trust. Although Defendant is aware of cases holding such acts are merely voidable, such cases rest upon a misunderstanding of New York law.

No Statute of Limitations on VOID Deed

Bank of America Nearly Gets NY Courts To Set Aside Over A Century Of Case Law

Faison v. Bank of America

The legal question raised in this appeal is whether plaintiff Dorothy Faison is time-barred under CPLR 213 (8) from seeking to set aside and cancel, as null and void, defendant Bank of America's mortgage interest in real property conveyed on the authority of a forged deed.

Home Equity Theft Reporter The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the statute of limitations in section 213(8) did not foreclose Plaintiff’s claim against Defendant because, under prior case law, a forged deed is void ab initio, and as such, any encumbrance upon real property based on a forged deed is null and void.

Under our prior case law it is well-settled that a forged deed is void ab initio, meaning a legal nullity at its inception. As such, any encumbrance upon real property based on a forged deed is null and void.

Therefore, the statute of limitations set forth in CPLR 213 (8) does not foreclose plaintiff's claim against defendant. As the Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's claims as time-barred, we now reverse.
 

5/18/15**

This Former Bank Regulator Quit His Job to Fight For His House 

The true ownership of millions of mortgages issued during the housing bubble was fatally corrupted, and now it's impossible to prove who actually legally controls those mortgages.

Despite a career in banking, Mains was unable to sort out a seemingly simple question: Who did he owe money to?

Banks may have flaunted the rules so aggressively they lost their right to collect mortgage payments.

MAINS' COMPLAINT

Mains lost in the trial court and the appellate court affirmed.

David Dayen If Mains or his allies succeed, they would rip open a wound that virtually everyone in power has tried to stitch up and forget. But such a long-awaited victory wouldn't make up for the years of stress and personal hardship Mains has suffered, including a failed marriage and now the end of his career in public service.

"I had to ask myself a question: Will I do this no matter if it hurts?" Mains told me. "I said yes. If I can afford to fight these suckers and bring this illegality to light, that's why I went to law school."

In a 2013 case called Phoenix Light v. JPMorgan Chase, investors surveyed the transfer history for 274 loans in a Chase trust, and found that none of the mortgages and notes were conveyed properly before the closing date. A 2012 case against Barclays Bank looked at three other securitizations, similarly finding that 99 percent of the mortgages were either unassigned to the trusts or assigned improperly.

5/18/15

Many on Wall Street Say It Remains Untamed

Virtually all the large firms said that if there was bad behavior, it is behind them.

Well, it isn’t.

DealBook A new report on financial professionals’ views of their industry paints a troubling picture. Rather than indicating that Wall Street has cleaned itself up, it suggests that many of the lessons of the crisis still haven’t been learned. And the mind-boggling settlement numbers, as well as stringent new rules, like the of Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul in 2010, appear to have had little deterrent effect.

5/18/15

WAP! WAP! WAP! WAP! WAP!


Attorney Beth Findsen uses Deutsche Bank as a speed-bag.


MCLEOD v. DEUTSCHE BANK

(Denying DB's Motion to Vacate Judgment)

Ken McLeod One of the disturbing aspects of this case is McLeod won and quieted the title in 2008. Deutsche Bank refuses to accept the fact that they lost this case against a pro se homeowner. Deutsche Bank is running out of courtrooms and attorneys, as it has repeatedly lost in Federal Court, State Court, and lost all of its appeals. This year, Deutsche claimed the 2008 judgment is void or “cannot possibly affect any rights of Defendant”. Today, the court denied Deutsche again, and is now awarding attorney fees to McLeod's new counsel, Beth Findsen.

5/18/15

HOLD THE PRESSES! 

RICO IS ALIVE AND WELL — IT IS THE DEFAULT THAT IS IRRELEVANT!!!

RICO: SLORP v. LERNER, SAMPSON & ROTHFUSS; BANK OF AMERICA, MERS

Opposition to RICO: SLORP v. Lerner, Smapson

Racketeering Lawsuit over Robo-Signing Can Proceed

 

 

Living Lies

 

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Doucet & Associates

The key element here is the Court’s determination that the lawyers were misleading the court by characterizing the homeowner’s claim as seeking damages for a false assignment. The Sixth Circuit correctly analyzed the situation and arrived at the simple conclusion: if BOA didn’t have any right to foreclose the mortgage then it doesn’t matter whether or not the homeowner defaulted.
The importance of this finding, finally, in a somewhat conservative court cannot be understated. It might well be as important as the Jesinoski decision. The reason it is so important is that this means that the primary assumption by virtually all courts in the land is turned upside down. That assumption is that if the borrower defaulted it doesn’t matter who is foreclosing. 

5/18/15

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Texas Foreclosure-Mill Closes Down

All 700 employees let go.

The firm is tied to the illegal foreclosure criminal network.

Law firm of Butler and Hosch, P.A closes its doors overnight with a memo to employees on 5/14. Their website says that the firm provides “cradle to grave” service in all aspects of real estate and mortgage serving law (eviction, foreclosures, litigation, loss mitigation, REO, Title) since 1972 all under one roof.

Housing Wire Award and recognition: LPS Attorney Performance “Best in State” award for foreclosure and bankruptcy.
Additional information sent to MSFraud: A quote from an employee on Glass door: Pros “None to speak of at this point…Can list a whole laundry list of cons, nothing more to say… the company had gone under Cons “Everything about [firm] is a con…. (posted 5/14) Posted 5/13: Pros There is a lot of dating within the company pool; Cons: “Disfunction junction. Ethics not a thing at [firm] “The problems with management are exacerbated by the problems with the off shore employees. Manilla employees speak almost zero English. Just enough to merge a pleading and fill in some blanks. There is no quality control and only one native English speaker in the entire Manilla office. And then management is “shocked” when client systems are updated incorrectly or pleadings are filled with blatant errors.”

2/21/15

Why foreclosure and securitization don't mix

It is time for judges to dust off the principle of fundamental fairness that lies at the heart of our legal system, demand a level playing field, and stand behind alternatives to foreclosure that serve the legitimate interests of homeowner and industry alike.

Cape Cod Times This raises a compelling question: Is there anyone with a present contractual connection to you or the loan who has actually suffered a default? If not, any subsequent foreclosure begins to bear an uncanny family resemblance to double-dipping.
This isn’t to suggest that you’re entitled to a free lunch. But it does mean that no one should have the legal right to take your home merely by winking and nodding their way around a significant flaw in the securitization model. 

Jury assesses $82 million verdict against debt collection firm

Two years ago, a Kansas City woman learned she was being sued for not paying a credit card debt of $1,130.14.

The debt was not hers, she said. Yet the debt collection firm kept demanding that she pay.

Kansas City Star A Kansas City law firm filed a counterclaim on the woman’s behalf, alleging malicious prosecution and violation of a federal fair debt collection act by the national debt collection firm.

This week, a Jackson County jury awarded $251,000 in damages to Maria Guadalupe Mejia Alcantara and assessed $82 million in punitive damages against the debt collection firm, Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC.

5/15/15

Bank Of America: Too Big (And Failing)

BofA will pay another $315 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from the losses that occurred during the Ocala Funding debacle.

Seeking Alpha Over the past several years, the company has paid $58 billion in litigation fees and settlements since the financial crisis.
By comparison, rival Wells Fargo currently has a dividend yield of 2.5 percent, while BofA's yield is under 1 percent.
Another alternative, little-known PNC Financial is outperforming BofA by a wide margin.
We suggest investors strongly consider other financial stocks as alternatives to BAC.

5/15/15

Breaking Laws in the Mortgage Bubble

The government’s victory in this case raises an interesting question:

NY Times If the relatively unknown housing finance agency could prevail over foreign banks, why haven’t far more powerful regulators and prosecutors at the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission done more to expose and redress wrongdoing by big Wall Street banks in the mortgage bubble?

I was physically threatened by a judge because I defend foreclosures.

I recently had one of the most disturbing experiences I’ve ever had as a lawyer; I was threatened by a judge who was coming over his desk and glaring and scowling at me in a very intimidating manner. The whole experience was grotesquely disturbing.

Weidner Law The moment the attorney said it took four hours to try a foreclosure case, the judge became even more aggressive and hostile to me…literally coming up out of his chair, huffing and grinding his jaw directly at me a comment to the effect of, how in the world was this guy allowed to waste four hours of court time trying a “simple” foreclosure case? (All the while coming out of his chair and literally looking like he would physically attack me.) 

As the travesty of the judicial system known as foreclosure funding winds down, this experience will forever be seared into my brain as the perfect expression of the system gone wrong.

5/15/15

Flagstar Denied Summary Judgment Based upon Suspicion of Filing False Documents

HUFF v. FLAGSTAR

SUPERIOR COURT OF ARIZONA The record is replete with factual questions including but certainly not limited to whether the Lender properly assigned the Note and DOT and whether MERS could act as a designated beneficiary of the DOT. While the Court has serious concerns about the accuracy of the filings, the materiality of the alleged misrepresentations provide at least one additional question of fact.

5/15/15

NY AG ANNOUNCES COURT JUDGMENT AGAINST BROOKLYN & FLORIDA LAW FIRMS FOR RUNNING FRAUDULENT MORTGAGE RESCUE SCHEME

Long Island Exchange Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today obtained a default judgment in New York County Supreme Court against two law firms and their lead attorney for participating in a fraudulent mortgage rescue scheme. The judgment ordered Litvin Law Firm; Litvin, Torrens & Associates, PLLC; and the firms’ principal attorney Gennady Litvin to immediately halt their illegal business practices, including preying upon financially vulnerable consumers by claiming to provide a comprehensive legal services plan that would allow consumers to avoid foreclosure. 

5/14/15

Bank of America's woes test 'Fixer' CEO

Market Watch Bank of America boss Brian Moynihan went to Central Congregational Church in Providence, R.I., one frigid Thursday night in February to talk about the second-largest U.S. bank’s commitment to [social responsibility]. - WSJ

5/14/15

The Legal Power of ‘Standing’

It just goes to show the importance of jurisdiction. Recently, the Supreme Court added a new case to its docket for next year, Spokeo v. Robins, which is about a technical question of jurisdiction — when a plaintiff has “standing” to sue in federal court. 

NY Times This implicates the question of standing, for the Supreme Court’s precedents have held that to bring a federal lawsuit you need to be seeking a remedy for an imminent or actual injury.

The big dispute is over what kind of injury is required. Supporters of this kind of suit say that this choice is up to Congress. If Congress creates a new legal right, it can let people sue to enforce it.

5/14/15

Five Signs of the Trouble in Servicing Transfers

National Mortgage News It's no longer acceptable to rely on trailing documents to fill in missing gaps in servicing data because they can jeopardize an MSR sale and potentially hurt borrowers. 

Regulators are concerned about the potential harm that MSR transfers can have on consumers, particularly distressed borrowers in the process of seeking loss mitigation workouts.

5/14/15

Chase to Purchase $45 Billion in Mortgage Servicing Rights from Ocwen

Seeking Alpha Buying this prime servicing book will improve the [quality]?? of our servicing portfolio and will help drive a stronger and less volatile mortgage business, said Chase Mortgage Banking CEO Kevin Watters. We expect the portfolio, in addition to lower delinquency rates overall, will help improve the value of our business. How will buying junk improve its quality of servicing? Mortgage servicing fraud was an integral part of the foreclosure crisis. 

5/13/15

5 Big Banks Expected to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges, but Punishments May Be Tempered

But no execs, natch. And the summary is straight Lanny Breuer redux:

DealBook As much as prosecutors may want to punish the banks, accused of rigging the price of currencies, they are mindful that too harsh a penalty could imperil the businesses.

Do we give other criminal enterprises a break because we might hurt their business? There are plenty of competitors in the FX market. It’s not as if trading would suffer if these players wound up reducing their footprint. - Yves Smith

Black neighborhoods in Cleveland are hurt by Fannie Mae's neglect of foreclosed homes, civil rights group says

Cleveland Another mortgage giant has been accused of discriminating against minorities in Cleveland by failing to take care of foreclosed homes it owns in black neighborhoods, while taking very good care of foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods

5/13/15

Judge Denies Group’s Whistle-Blower Standing in Suit Against U.S. Bank

A federal judge this week dismissed an innovative lawsuit that had threatened to open a new front in the legal assault on the foreclosure practices of large banks.

DealBook When a borrower defaults on such mortgages, the government makes payments to the bank that made the loan to make it whole. The F.H.A.’s rules require banks to work with defaulting borrowers to find ways to become current on their loans.

But the legal aid group claimed that U.S. Bank did not follow those rules in many cases. By not fulfilling the requirement to work with borrowers on defaulted mortgages, and by collecting money for such loans from the F.H.A., U.S. Bank made “false claims” against the government, the group contended.

5/13/15

Texas Federal Court grants declaratory judgment on Statute of Limitations defense, grants Quiet Title and other relief.

Callan v. Deutsche Bank

DISTRICT COURT OF TEXAS
HOUSTON DIVISION
Callan has satisfied her burden to demonstrate that an actual controversy exists between the parties and that she is entitled to a declaration that more than four years have expired since Deutsche’s cause of action
accrued and its lien on the Property has expired. Her claim for declaratory judgment is granted. Deutsche’s lien on the property is void. Callan’s claim for relief to quiet title is granted.

 

5/12/15

WAS YOUR ORIGINAL LENDER “NON-EXISTENT” AB INITIO?

Two of those suspected illegitimate “lenders” were America’s Wholesale Lender and America Brokers Conduit (which wasn’t registered until 2012, despite the fact that tens of thousands of mortgages and deeds of trust were issued in its name prior to its formal registration).

Note & Mortgage VOID:

Bank of America v. Nash (10/14)

Clouded Titles Bank of America, N.A. thinks that because its predecessor, Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. claims to have used AWL as a “dba” or “doing business as” assumed name, this may NOT be stated as such on your mortgage or deed of trust. Instead, you may see “America’s Wholesale Lender”, a New York corporation (which of course AWL never was). Do you see a pattern of fraud here? 

Many homeowners were foreclosed on by these two “dba’s” alleged successors, wherein the Final Judgment described above describes the lack of standing to the contrary of what was asserted by Bank of America. This is a real problem for B of A. 

5/11/15

HOW “BANK” LAWYERS HAVE PERVERTED THE CASE LAW

Granted, many courts do not have full-time law clerks to really dig into the arguments made by the “banks” and servicers, but there should be at least a minimal inquiry. A simple WestLaw search on Livonia Properties would have revealed the subsequent decisions which clarified and limited it. The fact that this is apparently not being done is a sad commentary on the system, and leads the public to question the integrity and distrust OF the judicial system.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide Whenever a homeowner seeks to challenge an assignment of mortgage (or deed of trust), “bank” attorneys chant the mantra “the borrower has no standing to challenge an assignment as he is not a party to it”, allegedly relying on the body of case law which stemmed from the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Livonia Properties Holdings, LLC v. 12840-12976 Farmington Road Holdings, LLC, 399 F. App’x 97 (6th Cir. 2010). Unfortunately, many courts across the US jumped on the bandwagon, apparently having never actually read the full opinion or the 6th Circuit’s more recent decision in Slorp v. Lerner, which clarified the erroneous application of Livonia Properties (with citation to several post-Livonia Properties decisions) and which the 6th Circuit itself stated (as to the Livonia Properties case) ”has confounded some courts and litigants”.

4/10/11

Bank gives man foreclosed house for free

"This is crazy," attorney David Goldman said as he looked over the files at the Times-Union's request.

"They won," he said referring to the mortgage holder. "They're standing at the goal line, and they just need to sell the house."

Florida Times Union The court file says that Laspina lost his foreclosure case in February 2009. A sale date was set, then postponed and then cancelled, all at the plaintiff's request, later that year.

But the next year, the plaintiff requested that it all be vacated - the suit, the judgment, all of it. In October, Circuit Judge Waddell Wallace signed the order.

In December, officials for MERS, which acted as the mortgage holder, signed and filed the documents saying it "has received full payment and satisfaction ... and does hereby cancel and discharge said mortgage." (MERS has no legal right to receive payments, or cancel and discharge.)

5/11/15

Appellate court holds that debt collector's use of Ohio attorney general's letterhead violated FDCPA

Gillie v. Law Office of Eric A. Jones, LLC.

Public Citizen

h/t HETR

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on Friday holding that private attorneys under contract with the Ohio attorney general’s office to collect debts owed to the state improperly used the office’s letterhead to scare debtors into paying. The court held that use of the letterhead of the Ohio attorney general’s office was a “false, deceptive or misleading” communication in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

5/11/15

RBS, Nomura Scorched in Mortgage Fraud Case

361-page Opinion & Order

Courthouse News In a devastating, 361-page ruling, a federal judge reamed RBS Securities and Nomura Holdings for offering documents on mortgage-backed securities that reached "enormous" heights in the "magnitude of falsity."
The decision comes in an action that the Federal Housing Finance Agency filed against RBS, Nomura and 15 other financial institutions in September 2011, alleging violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and other statutes.

5/11/15

RESCISSION: What will MBS Rating Agencies Do Now?

EVEN IF THE TRUST DID BUY LOANS WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE BONDS IF THE LOANS CAN BE CANCELED AT ANY MOMENT BY THE BORROWER?

We know that upon TILA Rescission, the parties in the chain must cough up the canceled promissory note, file a satisfaction of mortgage, and return all monies paid by or on behalf of the borrower. That is a huge liability.

Living Lies  Who pays that? Is it the investor because they are now the creditor? Investor appetite for that kind of liability is virtually nil because most of them are stable managed funds (e.g., pension funds that require Triple AAA rated investments). Is it the bank or servicer claiming the right to foreclose or otherwise enforce the note? Banks and servicers won’t like that since they don’t consider themselves the lenders. But under Dodd-Frank, they have trapped themselves. They foreclose and claim all the “benefits” of foreclosure, including deficiency judgments. How can they now say they are not liable for disgorgement required under TILA rescission?

5/11/15

BoA and JPMChase to clear bad debts from consumer records

The Times estimates the changes could help more than one million Americans, who labor under erroneously marred credit reports. 

Public Citizen Why the change? The two banks (and several others) were sued for ignoring bankruptcy discharges so that they could sell off consumers’ debt and enable the debt buyers to make a profit because the consumers, facing marks against their credit score, had an incentive to pay off the debts even though they no longer legally owed them.

NOTARY PUBLIC HANDBOOK

California Secretary of State The Notary Public Handbook contains California laws relating to notaries public and is designed to assist an applicant in preparing for the notary public examination. Refer to the current version of the handbook when preparing for the examination.

Oral Arguments Set in in CFPB v. Hanna Law Firm

The case has meaningful implications for law firm collection activity and beyond. The parties have taken firm positions. As of this point, it appears that any settlement is unlikely.

insideARM The lawsuit has garnered significant attention within the ARM industry and the legal community.

The suit was originally filed by the CFPB in July of last year. The CFPB alleged that the firm was a “lawsuit mill” that churned out debt collection actions and violated the FDCPA en masse.

Deutsche Bank v. Johnson

This is another case where Lynn Szymoniak submitted an Affidavit as the homeowner’s expert, but the trial court refused to allow her telephonic testimony.

Housing Justice Foundation For your consideration: an excellent New Mexico Supreme Court case involving a forged assignment by New Century Mortgage – with a stamped signature by Steve Nagy – supposedly transferring Mr. Johnson’s loan to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, Trustee for Morgan Stanley ABS Capital 1, Inc. Trust 2006-NC4.
5/8/15

A Loan Modification Program’s Limited Reach

A federal inspector is taking the Treasury Department to task for not doing enough to increase participation in the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP, which helps keep homeowners out of foreclosure.

The office of the special inspector general's latest quarterly report to Congress

NY Times Mark McArdle, the chief of the Treasury’s Homeownership Preservation Office, said officials had yet to see an increase in defaults from the roughly 60,000 loans that have reached their first rate step-up. The median payment increase is about $95 a month. 

He noted changes made last year to help mitigate the increases. Borrowers who stay current on their modified loan for six years can receive up to $10,000 in incentives toward their principal balance. And borrowers in danger of default may be evaluated for a second modification at a reduced rate.

5/8/15

No Statute of Limitations to Quiet Title Action

Salazar v. Thomas

Notices of default under a void deed of trust provided notice of a cloud on title, but did not dispute or disturb the possession of the property; the statute of limitations does not bar their action.

Because the wrong sought to be remedied- the cloud on plaintiff’s title—is ongoing, the period for limitation begins anew each day; a limitation defense can never arise to bar a typical suit to quiet title. [see Watson v. Rochmill, Tex. 565, 155 S.W.2d 783, 785 (1941)]

California Court of Appeals Statute of Limitations: at least one case has suggested that a § 33-420 (b) claim asserts a continuous wrong that is not subject to any statute of limitations as long as the cloud to title remains. State v. Mabery Ranch, Co., 165 P.3d 211, 227 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007).

Dittmar v. Alamo Nat'l Co., 132 Tex. 44, 118 S.W.2d 298, 301-302 (1938)-applying remedy to quiet title to personality]. To paraphrase an early opinion of the Texas Supreme Court, the action enables the holder of the feeblest equity to remove from his or her way to the title any unlawful hindrance having the appearance of a better right [Thomson v. Locke, 66 Tex. 383, 1 S.W. 112, 115 (1886); see Bell v. Ott, 606 S.W.2d 942, 952 (Civ. App.Waco 1980, ref. n.r.e.)-quoting from Thomson v. Locke].

5/8/15

Fraud Action Reinstated Against Goldman Sachs

New York Law Journal The Court of Appeals Thursday reinstated a fraud action against Goldman Sachs & Co. for allegedly inducing an insurer to cover a mortgage-backed security that was designed to fail.
The 5-2 majority reversed a finding by the Appellate Division, First Department, which found in 2013 that ACA Financial Guaranty Corp. failed to establish that it justifiably relied on misrepresentations by Goldman to sustain causes of action for fraud in the inducement and for fraudulent concealment.

5/7/15

Bank of America’s Relief for Mortgage Borrowers Is Questioned

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Because troubled borrowers often have many unsecured debts, such cases would typically generate far less for Bank of America, often as little as 10 percent of the outstanding value on a second lien. Still, Mr. Parker said, the bank may try to submit the entire amount for credit.

“These settlements always look better on paper,” he said.
 

5/7/15

MASSIVE FORECLOSURE FRAUD ON THE PART OF DAVID J. STERN MAY BECOME SUBJECT OF ACTIONS TO VACATE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF FORECLOSURES

Jeff Barnes, Esq. Florida law provides that a judgment can be opened or vacated if it was obtained by fraud, or if it is void, and also has a “crime/fraud” exception to the attorney/client privilege which does not protect communications between a party and its attorney if those communications were made in furtherance of the perpetration of or for the purpose of committing a crime or fraud even if the crime or fraud is not consummated. Fla.Stat. sec. 90.502 as explained in First Union National Bank v. Turney, 824 So.2d 172 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001). Obviously the fraudulent Stern foreclosures were “completed”.

5/7/15

Federal government sues Green Tree Servicing over its collection practices

The suit could have broad and long-lasting implications for all homeowners, both those whose mortgages are serviced by Green Tree and those not. 

COMPLAINT

Sandusky Register The allegations serve as a wake-up call to homeowners to be constantly vigilant of the potential for mortgage servicing fraud. That fraud may come in the form of a denial of a loan modification, a refusal to recognize an already-agreed-to modification, erroneous billings, collection harassment, false credit reporting or in countless other ways.

Whatever your situation may be, the key to mortgage success is ferreting out the fraud and turning it back on the servicer.

5/7/15

Connecticut State Official Accused Of Mortgage Modification Fraud

In an ironic twist, a Connecticut state employee who manages fraud investigations for the state's welfare department has been charged with mortgage modification fraud.

MortgageOrb

Department of Justice

This matter is being investigated by the Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force, which includes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher M. Mattei.

(We can't get one of them to look at a single Mod-Fraud case committed by the banks.)

5/7/15

The Foreclosure Crisis Caused a Great Migration in Miniature

Several commentators picked up on the relationship between the events in Baltimore and the dearth of economic opportunity that leads to a sense of hopelessness. But precious few added the component of the foreclosure crisis, a dislocating event that has few parallels in American history.

David Dayen A new paper in the American Sociological Review by Matthew Hall (Cornell), Kyle Crowder (University of Washington) and Amy Spring (Georgia State) puts numbers to this, and shows that we really had a small-scale version of the Great Migration, the shift of African-Americans from the rural south to the big cities of the north. This migration hollowed out and segregated African-American and Latino communities to an even greater degree than where they already were.

Ocwen Fails Loan Mod Compliance Test in Mortgage Settlement

Mortgage Servicing News Ocwen Financial failed a test to determine whether it had notified borrowers of missing or incomplete documents for loan modifications in a timely manner.

5/6/15

Ouch! Mortgage Fraud Costs Convicted Banker $38 Million

"The size of the judgment was meant to send a message to our community that banks must vigilantly watch out for mortgage fraud and bank employees will pay if they assist in fraudulent schemes," said attorney Andrew Moss. 

dbr "Wachovia knew or should have known that Bermudez was unfit to work as a bank employee in general and a licensed financial specialist in particular based upon his history of dishonesty and ethical lapses," the complaint said. "Wachovia negligently failed to supervise and/or terminate Bermudez, when any reasonable bank would have done so no later than Oct. 1, 2005."

5/6/15

Try a Personal Injury Lawyer

I have been advising people for quite some time to approach personal injury lawyers for representation in foreclosure defense. They have no preconceived notions about homeowners as deadbeats and they litigate for a living. The contrast with bankruptcy and real estate lawyers is that neither tends to have a lot of court experience.

Living Lies PI lawyers know how to fight. I am seeing more and more people taking my advice and having good results. And the foreclosure defense business tends to lead to referrals for personal injury work. So the lawyer makes money in foreclosure defense, makes money on the personal injury cases and can even make a ton of money on wrongful foreclosure cases --- considering the fact that most foreclosures are wrongful.

3/23/15

Harvard Law School's Amicus Brief Condemns MERS

MERS helped precipitate the foreclosure crisis and left homeowners
without recourse to protect their property rights.

MERS increased the costs of enforcing property rights and left homeowners without recourse to challenge wrongful foreclosures.

Court proceedings and federal agency investigations have further exposed the inaccuracy of records in the MERS database.

Harvard Law School MERS, as Christopher Peterson has written, “was an important cog in the machine that churned out the millions of unsuitable, poorly
underwritten, and incompletely documented mortgages that were destined for foreclosure” in the recent mortgage crisis.

The principal issue that has caused foreclosures to be set aside has been the inability of many foreclosing lenders to produce the original mortgage note when called upon to do so.

MERS and its member banks
apparently lost or mistakenly destroyed loan documents” in thousands of cases, and often confused and misrepresented which entities owned mortgage notes."

Now read the MASS. AG's "FIX" to consummate the banks' crimes, sanitize MERS damage, and cover-up title fraud...

Void Foreclosure Relief

"If the bank performed a void foreclosure on your property, it will provide assistance to you to remedy the void foreclosure and clear the title to the property." --- even though that bank never owned the property and has no legal authority to clear the title!

Massachusetts 

Attorney General

Under Massachusetts law, a bank, or other foreclosing entity, must strictly comply with the state’s foreclosure laws in order to transfer the ownership of a property through foreclosure. When a party conducting a foreclosure does not strictly follow the foreclosure laws, the foreclosure is “void.” People who purchase properties after a void foreclosure may have a title defect that could prevent them from refinancing their mortgage or selling the property.

Downstream purchasers of properties upon which one of the bank defendants conducted a void foreclosure any time after December 1, 2007 may be eligible for non-monetary assistance to clear title.

5/3/15

Homeowner Faces 5 Years for Falsifying Mortgage Documents

Home Equity Theft Reporter Apparently, banksters have de facto immunity from prosecution for the crime of "False Declaration Before Court" when engaging in similar conduct (ie. creating and submitting phony documents in court in connection with a foreclosure matter).

2/2004

Fraud on the Court as a Basis for Dismissal with Prejudice or Default: An Old Remedy Has New Teeth

That cheaters should not be allowed to prosper has long been central to the moral fabric of our society and one of the underpinnings of our legal system.

Florida Bar Journal Sanctions, in a wide variety of shapes, attempting to encompass the virtually limitless ways litigants manage to misbehave have always been part and parcel of our legal system. Dismissal with prejudice has long been available as the ultimate civil sanction against litigation misconduct, but is often bypassed in the belief that such efforts rarely succeed at the trial court level and are frequently reversed on appeal when they do. In the past this sentiment was understandable. Older appellate decisions upholding dismissals with prejudice for “fraud on the court” were decisively outnumbered by decisions reversing such dismissals as being too severe.

5/2/15

WHY QUIET TITLE ACTIONS WILL BECOME COMMONPLACE IN THE FUTURE

Clouded Titles Quiet title actions will become fundamentally commonplace because of what the MERS business model has done to contribute to the corruption of any chain of title it’s involved with. I will NOT buy a property that has MERS anywhere in the chain of title! I suggest you take my comment to heart here, especially if you’re an investor. 

5/1/15

Everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about MERS and why it cannot be a beneficiary under a deed of trust.

Erickson v. Green Tree

The rampant abuse of the MERS nominee status and purported beneficiary status by document preparation services in concert with loan servicers, allegations calling into question the authority of MERS to assign a deed of trust, are
always plausibly stated.

Homeowner Advocacy Project The word “nominee” … connotes … a representative or nominal capacity only, and does not connote the transfer or assignment to the nominee of any property in or ownership of the rights of the person nominating him. MERS cannot legally be the beneficiary. MERS may only assign any interest that it held; not more, not less. “An assignee steps into the shoes of her assignor. She ‘can stand in no better position than the assignor’ and ‘[a]n assignment cannot alter the defenses or equities of the third party.’”

The Assignment states on its face that it was prepared by “NTC” (Nationwide Title Clearing), a well-known foreclosure mill document preparation service. The FAC alleges that the signer, Ashley Braband, is not with CWHL or MERS, but rather is an employee of Nationwide Title Clearing.

5/1/15

BNP Paribas Sentenced for Conspiring to Violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act

BNPP was sentenced to a five-year term of probation, and ordered to forfeit $8,833,600,000 to the United States and to pay a $140,000,000 fine. 

Department of Justice BNP Paribas S.A. a global financial institution headquartered in Paris, was sentenced today for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA) by processing billions of dollars of transactions through the U.S. financial system on behalf of Sudanese, Iranian and Cuban entities subject to U.S. economic sanctions. Today’s sentencing is the first time a financial institution has been convicted and sentenced for violations of U.S. economic sanctions, and the total financial penalty—including the forfeiture and criminal fine—is the largest financial penalty ever imposed in a criminal case.

4/30/15

Foreclosures Approaching Time-Barred Status

Defense lawyers are paying increasing attention to the length of foreclosure proceedings on the theory that some cases have become time-barred by a six-year-statute of limitations.

The attorney added that "while defense attorneys are now looking for them, so are the servicers," who would be revoking the acceleration.

New York Law Journal There are no hard figures on how many of the state's approximately 92,000 pending foreclosures may be vulnerable to this tactic. But of cases that originated with the housing market collapse, at least one trial court in Long Island already has ruled that a foreclosure is time-barred, and other claims are being litigated.
Ivan Young, principal counsel at the Young Law Group in Bohemia, prevailed in December on a motion to dismiss with prejudice a foreclosure case against Fred and Theresa Tovar. The ruling in Beneficial Homeowner Service Corp. v. Tovar, 61092/2014, is being appealed.

1994 decision:

FANNIE MAE v MEBANE

"The prior foreclosure action was never withdrawn by the lender, but rather, dismissed sua sponte by the court. It cannot be said that a dismissal by the court constituted an affirmative act by the lender to revoke its election to accelerate...

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York ...Indeed, rather than seeking to revoke the prior election to accelerate, the plaintiff made a failed attempt in 1991 to revive the prior foreclosure action, and, in fact, in its complaint in the instant action commenced in 1992, the plaintiff continues to seek recovery of the entire mortgage debt pursuant to the acceleration clause. Once the mortgage debt was accelerated, the borrowers' right and obligation to make monthly installments ceased and all sums became immediately due and payable. Therefore, the six-year Statute of Limitations began to run at that time. Consequently, this foreclosure action is time-barred."

4/30/15

Foreclosure rescue scam shut down by FTC

In reality, these people were falling further and further behind on their mortgage payments. Some lost their homes, the FTC said.

CBS News Calling it a "massive fraud," the Federal Trade Commission won a court order to shut down an operation that allegedly duped homeowners facing foreclosure into paying money while getting nothing in return, the agency said on Thursday.

Essentially, the supposed foreclosure rescue group, known as both HOPE Services and HAMP Services, "stole their mortgage payments," the FTC said.

4/30/15

N.Y. top court considers banks' duel over mortgage-backed securities

Reuters HSBC's attorney Paul Clement told the Court of Appeals in White Plains that New York's six-year statute of limitations on these types of lawsuits should begin to run when issuers of securities refuse to buy back or replace shoddy mortgages and not when investors first purchase them.

Clement said that would allow investors to recoup losses that resulted from pervasive mortgage fraud in the years leading up to the crisis.

"This contract extends for 30 years ... and it would be very odd for investors to leave themselves unprotected for the last 24," he said.

4/30/15

Ocwen, Assurant Near $150M Settlement in Class Action Lawsuit

Mortgage Servicing News Ocwen Financial and Assurant have reached an agreement to settle charges that the embattled mortgage servicer profited from kickbacks on force-placed insurance policies with struggling homeowners.

The settlement, filed in federal court earlier this week, would provide $140 million in monetary relief to nearly 400,000 borrowers. It would also provide an additional $10 million for legal fees and expenses.

4/30/15

Ocwen Auditor May Issue 'Going Concern' Warning

Mortgage Servicing News Ocwen's independent auditor has again delayed its 2014 financial results and has raised questions about the firm's ability to operate as a going concern because of liquidity problems and the strict regulatory environment.  

Ocwen will sell a significant portion of nonperforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (taxpayer guarantee) at a loss of between $75 million to $90 million.

4/29/15

Erobobo case Reversed?

This reversal does not validate the VOID assignment.

Earlier decision in Wells Fargo v. Erobobo, published 2 years ago today  held: "The assignment of the Defendant's note and mortgage, having not been assigned from
the Depositor to the Trust, is therefore VOID as in being in contravention of the PSA."

If you cannot save the Home, at least get the banksters under violations of FDCPA because it is STRICT LIABILITY if a violation occurs. This means no negligence or malicious intent is necessary to ground liability; ie. all you need is a finding of a "violation"...

NY Court of Appeals ... It has been said that, in New York, the failure to challenge standing in an answer or pre-answer motion to dismiss is “the kiss of death." HOWEVER, federal courts are now ruling that, if an FDCPA challenged is raised: In Kaymark v. Bank of America, N.A.; Udren Law Offices, P.C., filed on April 7, 2015, the Third Circuit held, “We conclude that a communication cannot be uniquely exempted from the FDCPA because it is a formal pleading or, in particular, a complaint.” Further, the communication must be viewed “through the lens of the least-sophisticated consumer.” Ibid. That is the only hope I see in all of this. Don’t concentrate on saving the house or winning the foreclosure, concentrate on the deceptive conduct and behavior which are discrete violations within the one-year SOL of FDCPA. FDCPA is a remedial strict liability statute. - Chuck Penn

Real Estate Investors Agree to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging and Fraud Conspiracies at Public Foreclosure Auctions

To date, 54 individuals have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public foreclosure auctions in Northern California. In addition, 20 other real estate investors have been charged in five multi-count indictments for their roles in bid rigging and fraud schemes at foreclosure auctions.

Department of Justice “Cynical investors who rig real estate foreclosure auctions will be held accountable for their crimes. Winning auctions through fraud injures consumers and mortgage lenders by circumventing the competitive process that the antitrust laws are intended to protect.”

“These charges demonstrate our continued commitment to investigate and prosecute individuals and organizations responsible for the corruption of the public foreclosure auction process,” said Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office. “The FBI is committed to working these important cases and remains unwavering in our dedication to bringing the members of these illegal conspiracies to justice.” 

4/29/15

Bank of America settles foreign exchange lawsuit for $180M

Bank of America said it has paid $180 million in a settlement to resolve claims it helped rig the foreign exchange market.

Charlotte Observer The investors – several pension and hedge funds – accused Bank of America and some other financial institutions of conspiring to manipulate benchmark trading rates in the foreign exchange market.

JPMorgan and UBS AG settled the same lawsuit earlier this year, agreeing to pay $99.5 million and $135 million, respectively.

The settlement adds to the billions of dollars Bank of America has paid to resolve litigation since the financial crisis.

CFPB Sues Individuals in Large Mortgage Kickback Scheme

NMN Genuine Title and a handful of individuals are being sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Maryland Attorney General related to an alleged mortgage kickback scheme with banks such as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.

4/29/15

House Republicans Want To Block Predatory Lending Protections For American Troops under pressure from the banking lobby.

Huff Post If the banking item is enacted, it would impose a one-year delay on new Department of Defense rules meant to shield military families from abusive terms on payday loans and other forms of high-interest credit. The bill is being considered Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee.

The military has been struggling with the financial impact of predatory lending on service members for years. A 2014 report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau documents a host of abuses targeting troops.

 

Banks Get Caught up in their own Confusion

LOANCARE v. COLEMAN

Lend America did not deliver the subject note to MERS.

The subject mortgage did not give MERS the authority to assign the subject note.

FRANCOIS A. RIVERA, J.

Kings County, NY

Neither Beilby nor Elbert had knowledge of any facts regarding the delivery of the subject note by Lend America to any other entity.

Neither Beilby nor Elbert had ever seen the subject note before July 15, 2014.

Neither Beilby nor Elbert had any knowledge as to when the undated allonge was affixed to the subject note.

Neither Loancare LLC's computer system nor USBNA's computer system contain a scan of the subject note.

Neither Loancare LLC's computer system nor USBNA's computer system contains any mention of the allonge to the subject note.

4/28/15

Lawyer Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Defrauding Thousands of Distressed Homeowners

Banks are Loan Modification Schemers too.

Department of Justice

h/t Home Equity theft Reporter

Federal Law Enforcement Condemns Loan Modification Schemers
United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy commented, “The real tragedy of this case is that the defendants chose to profit from the suffering of others. In difficult economic times, they exploited a particularly vulnerable segment of our population; homeowners who were desperately trying to make ends meet and stay in their homes.”

4/28/15

Statute of Limitations Running on Bank Officers Who Perpetrated Mortgage Crisis

People keep asking me what the essential elements of the fraud were and how homeowners can use it. That question involves a degree of complexity that is not easily addressed here but I will try to do so in a few articles.

Living Lies It appears that the statute of limitations might be running out this year on any claim against the officers of the banks that created the fraudulent securitization process. Eric Holder, outgoing Attorney general, made an unusual comment a few months back where he said that private suits should be brought against such officers. The obvious question is why didn’t he bring further action against these individuals and the only possible answer I can think of is that it was because of an agreement not to prosecute while these officers and their banks “cooperated” in resolving the mortgage crisis and the downturn of the US economy.

4/28/15

SEC investigating Bank of America for putting customers funds at risk – report

RT Bank of America may have put retail brokerage funds at risk in order to increase profits thus breaking a 40-year-old rule. Under the 1972 mandate, the bank would have been required to have enough assets on hand to repay customers easily if a crisis unfolded.

4/23/15

COURT DENIES BANK OF AMERICA’S MOTION TO DISMISS CLAIMS FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF, QUIET TITLE, ACCOUNTING, CONVERSION, AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

The Court held that the homeowner is entitled to a determination that the party to whom she pays is the party to who she owes the money.

FDN This is a very significant ruling

It distinguishes the bank and servicer mantra that borrowers do not have standing to challenge assignments (which, by the way, they do pursuant to the recent Slorp decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit which clarified their prior opinion in Livonia Properties which the 6th Circuit held “confounded courts and litigants” across the country).

 

4/27/15

NASDAQ Delisting Home Loan Servicing Solutions

Mortgage Servicing News NASDAQ delisted the company under its Listing Rule 5101 discretionary authority, under which it can deny or delist companies with executives connected to fraud, or, as in Home Loan Servicing Solution's case, plans to merge with another company.

HLSS had plans to merge with Ocwen before the mortgage giant's recent legal problems and resulting major losses, and announced on April 10 that it planned to sell itself to New Residential Investment Corp. for about $1.2 billion.

4/27/15

Unintended Effects and Inadequate Consumer Benefit: Analyzing Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Schwartzwald.

Legally Speaking Ohio Innocent third party purchasers are the group most negatively affected by the Schwartzwald decision. Where a foreclosure judgment is later found to be void, arguably the subsequent sales of the property are as well. The purchaser at sale did not take good title and cannot convey good title to a future purchaser. Although Ohio has a statute that appears to protect innocent third party purchases, the provision is silent as to void judgments.

The Secret of Oz

"Let us make use of the courts.... When, through the law's intervention, the common people shall have lost their homes, they will be more easy to control and more easy to govern, and they shall not be able to resist the strong hand of the Government acting in accordance with ... the control of the leaders of finance."   

United States Bankers magazine, 1892

To seize the belongings of all nations and individuals. This is the real reason for poverty in the world.

Bill Still

"In 1996, in a documentary called "The MoneyMasters", we asked the question why is America going broke. It wasn't clear then that we were, but it is today. Now the question is how can we get out of this mess. Foreclosures are everywhere, unemployment is skyrocketing -- and this is only the beginning. America's economy is on a long, slippery slope from here on. The bubble ride of debt has come to an end.

"What can government do? The sad answer is -- under the current monetary system -- nothing. It's not going to get better until the root of the problem is understood and addressed. There isn't enough stimulus money in the entire world to get us out of this hole.

4/27/15

Bankruptcy and the Secured Creditor

Have you truly identified the "secured creditor" with Power to Enforce the Note (PETE doctrine) ?
Didn't the "secured creditor' have to exchange Valuable Consideration for a Valid Contract to occur ? 

Timothy McCandless, Esq. This manuscript will discuss the effect of bankruptcy on secured claims. Addressed will be the impact of the automatic stay, the need for adequate protection, the debtor’s valuation of secured claims, the Chapter 11 confirmation process, the trustee’s avoidance powers, the rights of lessors and lessees, the debtor’s use of cash collateral and the debtor’s use, sale or lease of property.

4/15

UNINTENDED EFFECTS AND INADEQUATE CONSUMER BENEFIT:

ANALYZING FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORP. V. SCHWARTZWALD

Jennifer Dollard

Associate member University of Cincinnati Law Review

It has been estimated that nearly 50% of
foreclosures in the 1990’s and 2000’s were not properly assigned, and thus, after Schwartzwald, could now be determined VOID. This is not simply speculation; hours after the Schwartzwald decision, there were
lawsuits filed all over the state of Ohio challenging old foreclosures alleging a lack of standing.

Innocent third party purchasers are the group most negatively affected by the Schwartzwald decision. Where a foreclosure judgment is later found to be VOID, arguably the subsequent sales of the property are as well. The purchaser at sale did not take good title and cannot convey good title to a future purchaser. Although Ohio has a statute that appears to protect innocent third party purchases, the provision is silent as to VOID JUDGMENTS.

from 2010

Why Mortgage Fraud Matters

The good news about tracking down and proving mortgage fraud is that, in spite of its often seemingly overwhelming nature, fraud is fraud. Mortgage fraud is no different from any other scheme to defraud; it is about lying or hiding the truth for money. The fact that mortgage fraud occurs in the business environment is actually a huge plus for the investigation and your prosecution.

U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner The business environment requires documentation, and documentation means the fraud has left tracks. The boxes upon boxes of documents that you will be reviewing are the key to successful prosecution. If you were good in a prior life, you will find a single, dispositive smoking gun. 

The more common result of a thorough investigation is finding an unending series of smoking BB guns. While small, even smoking BB guns, when tied together with your excellent analytical skills, can equal a smoking bazooka.

The purpose of this article is to serve as a primer on where to find the boxes upon boxes of documents and other evidence you will need to prove your case and, once you have the documents, what smoking guns are hidden therein.

4/22/15

Milwaukee group targeting Nationstar demands meeting over foreclosures

Nationstar has said it is only the servicer of those 298 mortgages NOT the owner.

The group already is on record in opposition to the use of public money to finance a downtown Milwaukee arena.

JSOnline "Our conversations have failed to move us toward a solution that addressed the magnitude of the current Nationstar blight and looming wave of foreclosures that could be created by Nationstar's current delinquent and underwater mortgages," Krumm writes.

Common Ground has targeted Nationstar because it is the second largest mortgage holder in the city and because Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens' Fortress Investment Group is a majority shareholder. Edens also is chairman of Nationstar's board of directors.

4/26/15

Q&A Homestead exemption won't protect owner from nonjudicial foreclosure

California homeowners receive an automatic homestead exemption to protect equity when a court forces the sale of a house to pay for a judgment. 

L.A. Times Until California's Legislature changes laws to protect titleholders subject to common interest developments, it appears likely that homeowner association liens have priority over the exemption. That means the homestead declaration will not protect a titleholder from an association's nonjudicial foreclosure. Even a great disparity between the sales price and the value of the foreclosed property will not be sufficient ground for setting aside the sale.

4/26/15

Deutsche Bank Profit Falls on Legal Costs

The cost of committing and concealing crimes is getting expensive.

DealBook Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, said on Sunday that net profit fell by half in the first quarter as it absorbed the legal costs of past wrongdoing by bank employees.

Deutsche Bank agreed to pay penalties totaling $2.5 billion to settle charges it had colluded with other banks to manipulate benchmark interest rates used to set the rates on credit cards, mortgages, student loans and trillions of dollars in other debt.

Grant v. Bank of New York Mellon

Was dismissal of the Bank’s second foreclosure action against the Grants required where the first action was dismissed under Indiana Trial Rule 41(E)?

COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA The Bank took no action on the complaint for over a year and a half, so Judge S.K. Reid of the Superior Court of Marion County set the
cause for call of the docket on July 29, 2009. Demetrius Grant appeared for the hearing, but the Bank did not. Accordingly, Judge Reid dismissed the cause pursuant to T.R. 41(E) for failure to prosecute.
Eight months later, on March 29, 2010, the Bank filed a motion to reinstate the First Foreclosure Action, which the court initially granted.

4/25/15

Why are foreclosures not making it to the market?

Housing Wire Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga explained four reasons for why there are fewer foreclosures making it to the market:

1. Lenders are still doing thousands of loan modifications, and in markets where home prices have appreciated over the past few years, like Dallas, those modifications are a little easier to work through, and are often more successful.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT A LIS PENDENS:

FDRC When a person is filing a lawsuit affecting (or should we say challenging) legal title or possession to real property, it is usually proper to file a “lis pendens” which generally just means “litigation is pending.”

Sample letter “failure to honor TILA rescission”

Steve Vondran, Esq. What do you do when you have sent in a letter to rescind your mortgage a few years back, and the lender, loan servicer, creditor, securitized loan trust, and others refused to honor your rescission request, and figured that since you did not sue them you have no remaining legal rights? Here is one sample letter that is similar to letters we used to use for independent foreclosure reviews. This may give you an idea of what a TILA damages letter might look like.
 

4/24/15

Impac Mortgage Holdings That Crashed to Pennies During The Crisis Has Come Back From the Dead

Bloomberg Only seven years ago Impac Mortgage Holdings stock was worth mere pennies as the company, along with the entire US mortgage industry, reeled from the effects of a bursting housing bubble. Before the 2008 crash, Impac specialised in Alt-A mortgages - a category of home loans featuring limited documentation or other risks but that aren't considered as bad as the subprime stuff.

4/24/15

Brace Yourself for Flood of Foreclosures When Boom-Era HELOCs Turn 10

Main St. Millions of Americans will soon see monthly bills shoot up on home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) taken out during the housing boom, because HELOCs are going to start making homeowners pay both interest and principal, not just interest. That's bad news because many consumers are already underwater, meaning they owe more than their places are worth

4/24/15

Prudential Settles Lawsuits with Bank of America over Mortgage-Backed Securities

MReport The suits, which were first filed in March 2013, alleged Bank of America and others knowingly sold Prudential $2.1 billion in low-quality mortgage-backed securities—and made false statements about them. Prudential claimed this left the company with more than 10,000 defective home loans, many that eventually went into default or foreclosure.

4/24/15

$2 Million Unanimous Jury Verdict

Hammer had complained of improper fees and costs assessed to her loan account, the attorney's fees and costs she incurred to defend two improper foreclosure proceedings, damages for mental anguish and emotional distress, and other damages that were incurred during the nearly three and a half year ordeal.

Press release Sulaiman Law

h/t Home Equity Theft Reporter

In September 2010, Residential Credit Solutions began rejecting Hammer's monthly payments and refused to acknowledge the existence of the loan modification. RCS then proceeded to prosecute two separate foreclosure actions against Hammer, despite the fact that Hammer, still to this day, has tendered all of her monthly payments as required under the loan modification agreement. The first foreclosure case was dismissed in favor of Hammer and against RCS in March 2011.

Hammer v. Residential Credit

4/24/15

STANDING: Banks Swimming Upstream as Shell Game Continues in SALMON CASE

Salmon v. Foreclosed Assets/US Bank (Short & Simple Opinion)

U.S. Bank sold the note twenty days before it filed suit, without any record explanation of its authority to file suit on behalf of FASTP

Living Lies The shell game of changing entities combined with inexplicable acronyms in the names of new entities entering the picture is alerting courts across the country that we might just be dealing with organized crime. It is at least true that these strategies are typically used by criminal organizations to avoid detection and prosecution by creating an endless series of layers, transfers and roadblocks through the process of incorporation, trade names, and powers of attorney.

4/24/15

Shareholders should hold Bank of America accountable: Analyst

CNBC "Bank of America said they missed their targets last year, and what happens to the CEO? He gets promoted to also have the chairman position," Mayo told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "Is that the way things work for the over 200,000 employees at Bank of America? Miss your targets, get promoted?"

Bank Of America: The Turmoil Mounts

Seeking Alpha By the numbers, BAC is the worst-performing financial institution in its peer group. The company has underperformed during multiple time periods.

4/23/15

UPDATE: Goldman Sachs and Litton Loan Servicing: A Very Uncomfortable Divorce

A lot of water under the servicing bridge has flowed since I first published this in November, 2012. 

Joel Sucher The so-called independent foreclosure reviews ("IFR") were brought to an ingnominious halt in January, 2013, under very suspect circumstances (most foreclosed homeowners received paltry restitution averaging $300.)

Despite entreaties from Congress, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, both the Fed and the OCC refused to divulge any information surrounding decisions made to terminate the IFR's. It's a Gordian knot style mystery -- much like who built Stonehenge and why -- that remains to be untied if millions of homeowners who suffered grievous wrongs at the hands of the financial services industry are to finally receive the measure of justice I referred to in this piece.

4/23/15

Quicken Accused Of Bilking FHA By Approving Lousy Loans 

Complaint and Jury Demand in: 

U.S. v. Quicken Loans

Washington Examiner The suit also alleges Quicken asked for inflated appraisals and pressured underwriters to approve loans faster in order to meet FHA requirements. Additionally, Quicken paid illegal commissions to underwriters who approved the loans, the suit says.

Quicken established a culture that valued getting a loan approved and endorsed for FHA insurance over complying with FHA’s rules,”
the suit said.

Quicken Loans approved bad mortgages just to make money, government says in suit

Cleveland The U.S. government sued Quicken Loans, alleging the Detroit-based company knowingly violated mortgage underwriting practices just to close bad loans insured by FHA -- a practice it says has cost taxpayers millions of dollars and hurt neighborhoods when the houses went into foreclosure.

4/23/15

When Rescission Was Ignored and Final Order/Judgment Entered: What now?

To the extent it rendered judgment on property and instruments that did not exist at the time of the order or judgment, the judgment or order is VOID.

Living Lies Jurisdiction can be brought up at any time. If your rescission was effective, which it was, then by operation of law the note and mortgage did not exist at the time of the decision by the trial court. The Jesinowski decision was not a change in the law. The law remained unchanged. The prior decisions under which the Court rendered judgment were all based on a misconception which this court continues to accept despite the explicit instruction from Justice Scalia, whom this court cannot overrule.

4/23/15

Bank of America asks court to toss $1.27B fine, reject judge Rakoff?

The bank said in papers filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that the case against it was unfair and "utterly unprecedented." (Well, the crimes Bank of America committed were unprecedented!)

NJ Herald It said the trial judge - Jed Rakoff - should be removed from the case if it is returned to the lower court. The bank said Rakoff might be perceived as biased based on comments he made, including criticizing the Justice Department for failing to prosecute bank executives for their roles in the crisis.

The bank said in its filing Wednesday that Rakoff, while presiding over the case, made many public statements in multiple forums urging prosecution of bank executives. It said he pressed the government to seek greater penalties and awarded an amount greater than the government had initially requested or the law permits. 

4/23/15

Deutsche Bank to Pay $2.5 Billion Fine to Settle Rate-Rigging Case

Deutsche Bank to Pay $800 Million Penalty to Settle CFTC Charges of Manipulation, Attempted Manipulation, and False Reporting of LIBOR and Euribor

Deutsche Bank's London Subsidiary Agrees to Plead Guilty in Connection with Long-Running Manipulation of LIBOR

DealBook

___

Commodity Future Trading

____

Department of Justice

Deutsche Bank will pay a $2.5 billion penalty to United States and British authorities to settle accusations that it helped manipulate the benchmarks used to set interest rates on trillions of dollars in mortgages, student loans, credit cards and other debt. The penalty is by far the largest in a yearslong investigation into whether large banks conspired to set the price of debt in ways that would be profitable for them. 

Deutsche Bank entered into a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve wire fraud and antitrust charges in connection with its role in both manipulating U.S. Dollar LIBOR and engaging in a price-fixing conspiracy to rig Yen LIBOR. Together, Deutsche Bank and its subsidiary will pay $775 million in criminal penalties to the Justice Department.

4/22/15

California AG files brief in support of Yvanova

AMICUS BRIEF OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN SUPPORT

NCLC Brief in Support

CAOC Brief in Support

California Attorney General

NCLC

CAOC

This is impressive, and confirms what homeowners have been screaming about for two decades. The key word here is "wrongful" foreclosure.

A. The Foreclosing Party's Lack of Authority Is a Proper Basis on which the Homeowner May Challenge a Foreclosure 
B. Because a Void Assignment Deprives a
Foreclosing Party of the Authority to Foreclose, a Homeowner May Bring a Wrongful Foreclosure Action on That Basis 
C. A Homeowner Is Harmed When an Entity
Without The Authority To Do So Forecloses on Her Home

Detroit Just Had the Single Largest Tax Foreclosure in American History

Mother Jones As many as 100,000 of the city's residents, about a seventh of the total number—are now on track for what many are calling an eviction "conveyor belt."

4/21/15

Green Tree Servicing Will Pay $63 Million to Settle FTC, CFPB Charges

Green Tree Servicing Allegedly Deceived Homeowners, Many of Whom Were Already in Financial Distress

FTC The FTC and CFPB allege that Green Tree Servicing LLC made illegal and abusive debt collection calls to consumers, misrepresented the amounts people owed, and failed to honor loan modification agreements between consumers and their prior servicers, among other charges.

Under the proposed settlement, Green Tree will pay $48 million to affected consumers and a $15 million civil penalty. The company also will stop its alleged illegal practices, create a home preservation plan for some distressed homeowners, and take rigorous steps to ensure that it collects the correct amounts from consumers.

4/21/15

Green Tree accused of abusing customers with profanity, name-calling, inflated payments, lies

Cleveland Green Tree abused homeowners who are behind on their mortgages by swearing at them, calling them names, mocking their illnesses and threatening them with prison will pay out more than $60 million.

The Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allege Green Tree has spent the years since the financial crisis terrorizing homeowners.

4/21/15

Man facing eviction pulls gun

Burlington Free Press A Colchester man is facing a charge of aggravated assault on police after he pointed a firearm at a sheriff's deputy trying to serve eviction papers.
4/21/15

Should Fannie and Freddie Really Be AAA Rated?

24/7 Wall St. What is interesting here, despite all the calls to break up Fannie and Freddie from regulators and politicians, Fitch also assigned a Stable Rating Outlook.

4/21/15

Ninth Circuit Orders New Hearing in Huge Nevada Mortgage Fraud

Panel Says Prosecutors Violated Brady in Prosecution of Daughter of Prominent San Diego Lawyer

Metropolitan News Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt sentenced Grimm to 25 years in prison, and Mazzarella to 14 years. An agent who worked for them, Melissa Beecroft, was sentenced to three years.

Ninth Circuit's take on Mortgage Fraud:

United States v. Mazzarella 

4/20/15

Few who lost homes in US will buy again soon amid tight credit

Only about one in four former homeowners who lost property during the housing crash will soon become buyers again.

North Jersey The 9.3 million homeowners the Realtors group studied gave up their homes through more than 5 million foreclosures and 4 million other distressed transactions since early 2007, including short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure, Yun said.

4/20/15

Quicken Files Preemptive Suit Against DOJ, HUD

NMN The preemptive move is a new approach for mortgage companies, who have been scrutinized heavily since the subprime failures that led to the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession. Quicken's statement also said that the government has interviewed "numerous" employees for "hundreds of hours of depositions" over the course of three years.

4/18/15

Regulatory Relief for Banks That Rarely Fail

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Rolling back regulations created after the 2008 crisis has been Job 1 for leaders of many of the nation’s large and powerful banking institutions. So it’s no surprise that recent proposals for regulatory reform in the financial industry have overwhelmingly been the work of big banks or their supporters. The bankers want to return to the days when they could roll the dice, pocket their winnings and rely on the taxpayer if something went wrong.

7/11/14

HOMEOWNER VICTORY IN MICHIGAN

LRM: The judge granted you a cease and desist against the entity who wanted to evict you, correct?

Torrenga: Yes.

LRM: On what grounds?

Torrenga: I asked for a copy of retainer between him and the purported plaintiff. His jaw dropped.

Liberty Road Media Along with the affidavits showing the 5 forged purported AOMs (assignments of mortgage), backed with the affidavits from Register John O’Brien’s office, placing a cloud over the title. I told her we hadn’t missed a payment in 20 yrs. when this began.

I believe the judge began to sympathize a little bit when I told her that my own daughter moved out due to the constant harassment and one physical assault. 

I am not guilty of anything. Never missed any payment in 20+ years and actually had one sent back by the purported servicer who we assume was the purported original lender!

4/17/15

Fraud Fed the Mortgage Crisis

"80 percent of all fraud involves an industry professional."

NY Times A related question that Mr. Sufi and Mr. Mian’s paper does not attempt to answer is: Who was responsible for the fraud? In an interview last year, Tim Coyle, the senior director of financial services for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which tracks mortgage fraud, estimated 80 percent of all fraud involves an industry professional.

4/17/15

As His Young Daughters Slowly Die, Bank Of America Threatens Foreclosure On A Kansas Dad’s Home

Kake The Shepherds fear if they lose their house, they won't be able to afford a place that can accommodate all of the girls medical equipment and special set-up.

"We've got applications out there for Section 8 but we're coming into roadblocks. Because they're wanting photo IDs of the girls. Well, they can't go get a photo ID because they can't go to the DMV," James said.

4/16/15

How many don't know their home is/was insured?

Bank of America and Select Portfolio moved to seize a widow’s home. 

But didn’t tell her the loan was insured.

Bank of America and Select Portfolio Servicing “ had several opportunities to tell me that there was a life insurance policy, and they just didn’t.”

Charlotte Observer For more than a decade after her husband died, Laura Coleman Biggs paid her mortgage to a Bank of America subsidiary. She was never told, even as she was weeks from losing her home, that her husband had actually protected her against foreclosure.

Mitchell had taken out a special lender-pushed insurance policy to pay off most of his loan if he died.

But when he passed away on April 26, 2003, the subsidiary of Charlotte-based Bank of America did not arrange a payoff of the $100,000 policy and continued to charge his widow an insurance premium every month along with her mortgage payment.

TRADING ALERT: The Rosen Law Firm Reminds Altisource Residential Corporation Investors of the Important Deadline in the Class Action Filed by the Firm

Reuters Purchasers of Altisource Residential Corporation (NYSE:RESI) securities from February 7, 2013 through January 23, 2015 of the important May 26, 2015 lead plaintiff deadline in the class action filed by the firm. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Altisource Residential Corporation investors under the federal securities laws.

4/14/15

Ohio Supreme Court Task Force on Access to Justice Delivers Report

 

Report and Recommendations of
The Supreme Court of Ohio
Task Force
on Access to Justice

Court News Ohio The Task Force on Access to Justice has worked since Aug. 1, 2014, after it was established by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. As stated in the executive summary, the task force, chaired by former Justice Yvette McGee Brown, found that “gaps in and obstacles to accessing the civil justice system can be classified as funding, structural, and cultural.” Specifically, the decrease in legal-aid funding at a time of increased demand; a need for standardized forms; and a lack of understanding among Ohioans about the role of attorneys, the judiciary, and organizations that may be available to provide assistance.

4/14/15

Former Freddie Mac Executives Resolve Subprime Disclosure Case with SEC

SEC For staggered periods of time (24 months for Syron, 18 months for Cook, and 12 months for Bisenius), is required to refrain from signing certain periodic reports required to be filed with the Commission, is prohibited from signing any certification required by Sections 302 and 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and is prohibited from violating the antifraud and reporting provisions of the federal securities laws, subject to reinstitution of the action for noncompliance.

4/7/15

MORE BID-RIGGING

TWO MEN CHARGED WITH “THEFT” OF QUEENS HOME AFTER FORECLOSURE AUCTION

Allegedly Forced Homeowner To Illegally Vacate Property

The two are facing up to 15 years in prison.

District Attorney Queens County, NY

____

h/t

Home Equity Theft Reporter

“More and more we are seeing individuals who are dealing with distressed properties
unscrupulously taking advantage of the situation to benefit themselves,” said District Attorney Brown. “The defendants in this case are accused of taking the law into their own hands and bullying a homeowner into vacating his residence so that they would not have to deal with a housing court
eviction proceeding
.”
Sheriff Fucito said, “We are not going to stand for anyone circumventing the law. Our office is working diligently to protect homeowners and tenants who may fall victim to the various unscrupulous and predatory behavior in real estate transactions. People have the right to live undisturbed in their homes and these two individuals are accused of violating the due process rights of the tenant at the address. The Sheriff’s Office stands ready to arrest individuals who violate this basic principle.” (Start with the banks.)

4/15/15

CONGRATULATIONS YOU NOW OWN THE LOAN! – CAN YOU ENFORCE IT?

A Recent Florida Court’s Potentially Huge Impact on Buyers of Commercial Loans

Bank of New York Mellon v. Calloway

JDSupra The business record exception requires that the party offering the business record establish, among other things, that the business record is “trustworthy.” If the person who prepared the business record at the time the loan closed was employed by the seller or assignor of the troubled loan and cannot be located or refuses to testify, how can the buyer or assignee of the loan provide this critical evidence in court to enforce the loan?

3/2/15

COURT: "Our decision in this case, and on this record, should not be construed as a “green light” for lenders to present a “robo” witness"

Weidner Law There very much is a problem in courts where witnesses lack their proper basis for testimony…but fill in the gaps nonetheless. We have come to call this phenomena, “Robo Testifying” and when it’s real bad I call it, “Robo Perjury

And now, the appellate courts are adopting that very same language in their own opinions.

4/14/15

$6 Million Award Upheld by Montana Supreme Court!

McCulley v. U.S. Bank of Montana

Supreme Court of Montana The jury found that the Bank defrauded McCulley and awarded her $1,000,000 in compensatory damages and $5,000,000 in punitive damages, which the District Court approved. The Supreme Court affirmed the damages judgment, and reversed the calculation of interest on the judgment

4/14/15

TILA RESCISSION: Homeowners — Take Yes for An Answer!

The rescission remedy is exactly what I said it was — a nuclear bomb in finance that the banks cannot do anything about except try to scare people into not using it.

Living Lies Lawyers and homeowners refuse to take yes for an answer, even when it comes from a unanimous Supreme Court, the highest court in the land the final word on any subject.
Instead of the Banks bringing the required lawsuit to challenge the rescission within 20 days which in nearly all cases expired long ago, homeowners and lawyers are letting themselves get ensnared with interpretations of TILA that might prevent a homeowner from thinking he or she can send of enforce a notice of rescission that would have been enforced — if they had only asked.

4/13/15

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Redistributing Wealth

Many Americans are aware of Congress’s long history of using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), to increase homeownership among low-income and minority Americans at taxpayers’ expense.

The Daily Signal Yet a recent study published by the University of Chicago provides new evidence of how government control of the home mortgage market distorts interest rates throughout the country, giving some homebuyers subsidized financing advantages over others.

Fannie and Freddie charge buyers with the same personal characteristics identical interest rates no matter where in the country they live, even though local economic conditions heavily influence the odds that a new borrower will default on a loan.

4/13/15

TILA Rescission: Three Years from When? Three Days from When?

REVIEWING THE CASE LAW, IT SEEMS TO OFFER SOME HOPE TO 4,5 OR EVEN 10 YEAR-OLD LOANS. 

Living Lies THIS MEANS, IF YOU STILL DO NOT KNOW WHO YOUR LENDER IS AFTER DUE DILIGENCE (AND BELIEVE ME WE TRY WITH DEBT VALIDATION LETTERS, CHAIN OF TITLE REVIEWS, FANNIE AND FREDDIE LOAN LOOKUPS, QUALIFIED WRITTEN REQUESTS, 15 U.S.C. 1641 LETTERS, UCC PRESENTMENT LETTERS, ETC.) AND IF THE ORIGINATING “LENDER” TRULY NEVER LENT YOU A SINGLE PENNY, PERHAPS THERE IS AN ARGUMENT TO BE MADE, USING THE LAW CITED ABOVE, THAT THE THREE YEARS HAS NOT YET BEGUN TO RUN. NOW, THIS IS A NOVEL THEORY OF LAW THAT I HAVE NOT SEEN ANYONE PUT FORTH AS OF YET. 

4/13/15

VERY IMPORTANT DEBT COLLECTION CASE!  

Kaymark v. Bank of America; Udren Law Offices

STRICT LIABILITY on debt collectors who use "false, deceptive, or misleading representation".

Cite this case. File summary judgment on strict liability issue; submit affidavits of "false, misleading, deceptive" representations, attaching those docs to your affidavit and "authenticating" them by testifying that you "received them" by mail on ____date.

Precedential

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Kaymark defaulted on a mortgage held by Bank of America. On behalf of BOA, Udren Law Offices initiated foreclosure proceedings against Kaymark in state court. The body of the Foreclosure Complaint listed certain not-yet-incurred fees as due and owing, which Kaymark alleges violated several state and federal fair debt collection laws and breached the mortgage contract. Because we conclude that Kaymark has sufficiently pled that the disputed fees constituted actionable misrepresentation under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., we will reverse the District Court’s order dismissing certain FDCPA claims against Udren but affirm its dismissal of all other claims.

4/10/15

CLUELESS KANGAROO – When the Court Jumps Over the Facts and Awards Foreclosure to the Banks

Like millions of other American families, the Wrights did not want to miss payments – but they were told by America’s Servicing Company, another front for Wells Fargo, that in order to qualify they had to miss 3-4 payments… and that’s where it all started.

Deadly Clear "Because even with the robo-signers, even the affidavit that is now in evidence, the case that just came down talks about, people make this claim all the time about robo-signers, and they go off onto the Internet and they get all these documents. And what does that do? It does nothing.

Because you have to prove, and the burden is yours, that that particular issue of robo-signing applied to your particular document. In the absence of that, you have proven nothing other than to say, well, they’re a robo-signer. They may be a child molester but what does that have to do? You have to prove that that particular issue applies to this particular circumstance.”

4/10/15

Gripes Will Have Some Bite

Consumer complaints about financial products and services such as home loans are more than just statistics. They indicate the real and difficult challenges people face as they try to navigate the financial seas.

National Mortgage News

 

So, as of last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began allowing aggrieved customers to share their stories with the public, not just the bureau, which is the federal watchdog agency established as a result of the mortgage meltdown.
Worth noting: Over the last few years, gripes about mortgages have steadily declined, which means either one of two things: Lenders and servicers have cleaned up their acts, rather than risk being outed in a high-profile database; or consumers have simply given up in their quests for justice.

Deutsche Bank Nears Plea Deal Over Libor Manipulation

DealBook Still, the new cases may not mollify critics who question why no top Wall Street executive went to prison over the 2008 financial crisis. And now, although the Justice Department has criminally charged 12 people for manipulating Libor, three of whom pleaded guilty, it is unclear whether any Deutsche Bank employee will face charges in the case.

4/9/15

Foreclosure Victims Can Try Again

With mountains of evidence demonstrating how easy it is for a bank to steal a home, is it worth the gamble?

WILX Those who lost their homes during the Great Recession may be eligible to buy again.

"Conforming loans have a time frame of seven years where you basically can't get a conforming loan during that period of time if you've gone through a foreclosure,"

DEUTSCHE BANK NATL. TRUST CO. v. TORRES

Supreme Court, Suffolk County The mere assignment by writing of a mortgage does not effect an assignment of the note and it leaves the assignee of the mortgage alone without standing to prosecute a claim for foreclosure and sale.

SEC RULES AND THE “PARTIALLY UNSEALED” QUI TAM COMPLAINT: CONFLICTING OBLIGATIONS OF
CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE? 
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP Cases under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) proceed from complaint to resolution along a path much different than other types of litigation. A whistleblower (also known as a “relator”) is required by the FCA to file his or her complaint under seal, without
service on the defendant. The relator must also deliver to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) a copy of the complaint, together with a “disclosure statement” that contains all facts material to the action.
During the initial phase of the case, DOJ investigates and analyzes the allegations in
the sealed complaint

4/9/15

 

FINAL JUDGMENT ENTERED FOR HOMEOWNERS

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The homeowners’ expert witness Richard Kahn (www.fpg-usa.com), who was the former national product manager for Merrill Lynch’s mortgage-backed securities division on Wall Street whose responsibilities included insuring that all mortgage loans transferred to securitization trusts complied with the trust documents and applicable laws, testified that the Plaintiff did not and never came into any interest in the Note or Mortgage. Citibank offered no countervailing expert and presented no evidence to rebut the expert’s testimony.

4/8/15

CANCER SURVIVOR LOSES HER HOME DUE TO EMC MORTGAGE SWINDLE

"I wish I had died of cancer, it would have been easier," said Hartman.

abc11 Through no fault of her own, the mortgage went into foreclosure and now she has just days to find a new place to live. The trouble started 10 years ago when her mortgage was sold from one company to another. That small change led to huge problems.

Mallory Hartman is just days away from being homeless. At 67, the one-time cancer survivor says the experience is more than she can bear.

10/25/10

Under a New Court Rule, Foreclosure Attorneys Can Be Disbarred and Prosecuted for Filing False Documents

In a statement, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said he was convinced the courts were seeing “systemic structural failings” in the foreclosure process, and he said judges and lawyers have a responsibility not to close their eyes to paperwork errors — even if they seem minor.

LENOIR LAW FIRM The new rule is effective immediately and applies to both new cases and foreclosure actions currently pending in New York courts. It is the first rule of its kind in the nation.

“You are talking about tremendous consequences. You are talking about taking people’s homes,” Judge Lippman said. “Those papers have to be accurate. They have to be credible.”

“This new filing requirement will play a vital role in ensuring that the documents judges rely on will be thoroughly examined, accurate, and error-free before any judge is asked to take the drastic step of foreclosure."

 

4/6/15

Grant v. The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co.

COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA The Bank improperly attempted to circumvent Judge Reid’s T.R. 41 ruling by filing an entirely new complaint raising identical legal and factual issues. This violated both T.R. 41 and principles of res judicata. Accordingly, the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the Bank. The trial court
is directed on remand to vacate the grant of summary judgment and dismiss the Bank’s complaint. 

4/6/15

Rescission: Window of Opportunity for Borrowers

The basic premise, legally, is that a rescission letter is defined as effective when it is dropped in the mail. Of course if the defense is that there is no loan contract to rescind, then the rescission is ineffective but you get to the same result because they note and mortgage arose out of a nonexistent contract.

The right to rescind may get more narrow as time goes by rather than broadening. I don’t think we will see the door open this wide ever again.

Living Lies After the 20 day period has expired, the ONLY thing that a Judge can consider is the borrower’s petition to ENFORCE THE RESCISSION.
Hence the “Bank” cannot bring up a defense about whether the rescission was effective when the borrower’s enforcement action is filed. Their only defense would be that they are (a) not the lender and never received any money from the borrower or the borrower’s “closing” or (b) that they performed already as required by statute — return of canceled note, filing of satisfaction of mortgage and return of all money paid by borrower and disgorgement of of all fees and costs at closing (including undisclosed compensation).

4/6/15

Bad News for Property Owners? South Florida Courts Slash Through Foreclosure Backlog

"The sale should have never gone through," Fleysher said. "The judge is so obsessed with pushing this rocket docket."

dbr Court documents show Guillermo got approval on Nov. 5 from Deutsche Bank for a trial loan modification agreement. He made payments from December to January, and got approval for a final modification Feb. 6.
But it was already too late.
Deutsche Bank won a final judgment the previous September that paved the way for a foreclosure sale.

"The court is not helping. It's making the problem worse." 

4/6/15

Founder of fake 'faith-based' mortgage company sentenced for fraud

Christian Examiner A Michigan man who used a fake faith-based mortgage program to scam about 100 individuals out of more than $300,000 was sentenced to prison and faces 30 to 99 years of jail time for defrauding homeowners who were trying to avoid foreclosure from 2009 to 2013, according to The Detroit News.
Carta instead pocketed money while some victims lost their homes.
4/5/15

Revisiting ‘Subprime’ Mortgages

“Subprime” has been a dirty word since the freewheeling mortgage lending spree that ultimately brought down the economy and propelled millions of homeowners into foreclosure.

NY Times The kinds of nonqualified loans Angel Oak and many other nonbank lenders are now offering look more like the subprime products of the late 1990s.

The biggest category being targeted consists of borrowers who do not qualify for a prime loan because of a single foreclosure or bankruptcy related to the recession. “They’re not bad people — they had a life event,” 

4/2/15

Crimes continue after an illegal foreclosure

Real Estate Investor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging and Fraud Conspiracies at Public Foreclosure Auctions

"The sheer number of individuals involved in these conspiracies only emphasizes how critical it is that we remain committed to investigating and prosecuting those who have corrupted the public foreclosure auction process.”

Department of Justice

h/t Home Equity Theft Reporter

To date, 52 individuals have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public foreclosure auctions in Northern California. In addition, 20 other real estate investors have been charged in five multi-count indictments for their roles in bid rigging and fraud schemes at foreclosure auctions in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and San Francisco counties. 

Bid-Rigging Complaint

4/4/15

Victims of Financial Wrongdoing Need a More Muscular S.E.C.

Given the many billions of dollars financial companies have paid in regulatory and legal settlements related to the mortgage crisis, how much money has actually found its way into the pockets of investors harmed by their actions? Less than you may think.

NY Times Then there is the case against Angelo R. Mozilo and other top executives of Countrywide Financial. The private lawsuit generated $516.4 million for investors; the S.E.C.’s recovery for investors was just over $48 million.

Finally, private litigation against New Century Financial, a defunct mortgage lender, recovered $107.6 million, while the S.E.C.’s lawsuit recovered $1.5 million for investors.

Bill would loosen restrictions on banks regarding foreclosures

Opponents say the bill would remove the ability for the state to sanction banks for committing fraud, such as foreclosing on homes when they don't need to be foreclosed on.

8 News Now Opponents of the bill say it will lead to more foreclosures and weaken Nevada's Homeowner's Bill of Rights – which put restrictions on banks regarding homes in foreclosure. 

"It essentially takes away all the teeth that makes the lenders play good," said attorney Robert Kern.

 

4/2/15

FLORIDA APPELLATE COURT FINALLY ADDRESSES ISSUE OF NECESSITY OF PROOF THAT UNDATED “ENDORSEMENTS” WERE PLACED ON NOTE PRIOR TO FILING OF COMPLAINT; 

FINAL JUDGMENTS REVERSED WITH DIRECTIONS TO ENTER JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF HOMEOWNER

Jeff Barnes, Esq.  

4/2/15

HSBC Violates its Sweetheart Deal and Lynch Praises It

HSBC got a sweetheart deal from the Obama administration. It laundered vast amounts of money for Mexico’s murderous Sinaloa cartel, helped bust sanctions for terrorists and mass murderers, and did not cooperate with the investigation. The U.S. Attorney in charge of the case, Loretta Lynch, refused to prosecute any of the HSBC bankers or even sue them individually.

Professor Bill Black Holder’s refusal to prosecute the bankers has led to “repeat offenses on Wall Street.” If fraudulent bankers find they grow wealthy from the “sure thing” of fraud with no risk of prosecution or even being sued, why wouldn’t they respond with “repeat offenses” that would create a “pattern of corporate recidivism?” Senior bankers realize that under Holder and Lynch they can grow wealthy and powerful by leading “repeat offenses” they will do so even though they promise “dad” (Holder) or “mom” (Lynch) that they’ll never do it again.

Neil Garfield Show on Foreclosure Defense (3/26/15)

Do you have the same power as a judge to declare your note and mortgage void.

Living Lies Do you have the same powers of a judge to order your creditors to return all the money they got from you and all the money earned from originating your loan? Yes! Your letter giving notice of rescission has the same effect as a judge ordering it by operation of law. It has the same power as though your creditors had appealed and lost, unless they file an action in court contesting your notice, and if they do it within 20 days of the Notice. Can I give notice of rescission today? The answer will be discussed.

Bank of America at center stage in U.S. top court bankruptcy case

Briefs: Bullard v. Hyde Park Savings Bank

Reuters As the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday considered the case of a Massachusetts homeowner battling his mortgage lender over a bankruptcy plan, several justices focused their attention on his unlikely ally: Bank of America Corp. A ruling is due by the end of June.
4/2/15

Fannie Mae to Begin Auctioning Defaulted Home Loans to Investors

Bloomberg Demand for soured mortgages has been increasing as Wall Street firms compete to buy loans at a discount after a real-estate market rebound. Investment firms including Lone Star Funds, Bayview Asset Management LLC and Selene Finance LP have been some of the biggest buyers of delinquent home loans.

4/1/15

Settlement Agent Found Guilty of Federal Charges

In Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Department of Justice Mortgage fraud victimizes innocent homeowners and weakens our economic future,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen. “This settlement agent was supposed to be a check on mortgage fraud, but he instead joined this multi-million dollar rip-off scheme. This guilty verdict demonstrates our commitment to bringing justice to the fraudsters who fall lure to the promise of easy money and in the process harm innocent people and businesses.” 

Arizona Federal Judge has Questions about MERS

Erickson v. Green Tree Servicing

Ken McLeod If Beneficiary status can be held and transferred independent of Holder
status, does that separate the Note from the Deed of Trust? Does that void the Deed of
Trust, leave it enforceable as a mortgage, or void the Note? 

4/1/15

Has This Happened To You? - The Stories of Thousands of Homeowners

A year ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal government agency, came out with new rules meant to protect consumers from rampant bank and servicing fraud in the mortgage payments collection area. Not surprisingly, the CFPB has done nothing to enforce these rules. 

McGookey Law The CFPB itself admits the rules were needed to curb commonplace fraudulent collection activities by mortgage servicers. Because the rules address widespread forms of fraud and because they aren’t enforced, in a departure from normal practice this article, rather than focus on single homeowner victimization, will discuss the new rules themselves in an attempt to increase homeowner awareness of them. By doing so, hopefully thousands of homeowners suffering the treatment outlawed by the rules will be empowered in their fight for mortgage fairness.
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