Daily News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished heist in human history - Max Keiser

2015

2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1990's
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

 Date

Article

Articles are added several times a day 

Source

  Comment

3/31/15

Barney Frank drops a bombshell: How a shocking anecdote explains the financial crisis


Ever wonder why we waited six years to get a decent economic recovery? This new revelation will disgust you.

David Dayen The TARP legislation included specific instructions to use a section of the funds to prevent foreclosures. Without that language, TARP would not have passed; Democratic lawmakers who helped defeat TARP on its first vote cited the foreclosure mitigation piece as key to their eventual reconsideration.

TARP was doled out in two tranches of $350 billion each. The Bush administration, still in charge during TARP’s passage in October 2008, used none of the first tranche on mortgage relief.

3/31/15

Guess What Happened When JPMorgan's CEO Visited Elizabeth Warren's Office

Warren said: “I think you guys are breaking the law.”
Suddenly Dimon got quiet. He leaned back and slowly smiled. “So hit me with a fine. We can afford it.

Huff Post As Warren noted in a 2014 Senate Banking Committee hearing, Dimon was proved correct: Though his bank was forced to pay $20 billion in fines, he still received a significant raise at the end of 2013.

Now, banks like JPMorgan are directing their anger toward Warren, threatening to withhold campaign donations to her fellow Senate Democrats in protest of her advocacy for Wall Street accountability and greater oversight and regulation of financial services institutions.

3/30/15

Foreclosure victims to demand money from settlements

People who lost homes to foreclosure will rally Tuesday to demand they get a share of Delaware's settlement money stemming from the 2008 financial meltdown.

Delaware Online Many of the 32,000 Delaware homeowners who were foreclosed on since 2008 have seen little to no money from the state's $200 million in settlements with the nation's largest banks over shoddy lending practices that contributed to the housing crisis.

"Delaware should really feel bad that all the officials here don't have a backbone," Robbin Brown said. "They are in office for the people, but they don't say anything."

3/30/15 

CalHFA Awarded $450,000 to Help Homeowners

BETTER IDEA: Use the money to hire criminal prosecutors and the problem will be solved forthwith.

National Mortgage News The federal government awarded the California Housing Finance Agency more than $450,000 to support a program that provides (grief) counseling to homeowners facing foreclosure.

3/30/15

Judgment Vacated

Supreme Court revives ING mortgage bond lawsuit


Investor class action claims hidden risks in 2007 MBS offering

Case documents

Housing Wire The Supreme Court of the United States revived a class action case accusing ING Groep NV of illegally hiding the risks of mortgage-backed securities following the high court’s decision regarding pharmacy services firm Omnicare last week. 

Justices this morning threw out a November 2013 decision by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the Dutch ING and a number of banking firms.

3/29/15

The Shell-Game fools Ohio Court of Appeals

Grund v. BONY

Bank of New York concedes that the original allonge, dated March 21, 2012, attached to the note purporting to transfer it from Novastar, the original lender, to The Bank of New York was ineffective as a negotiation because the note itself shows an endorsement by Novastar to JP Morgan Chase Bank

Ohio 11th District COA Thus, any subsequent negotiation of the note was required to be made by JP Morgan Chase Bank, not Novastar. Such a transfer was made via a revised allonge, pursuant to which JP Morgan Chase Bank transferred the note to The Bank of New York. However, as appellant correctly argues, this revised allonge is not dated. The only evidence of its date is that it was filed in the trial court on July 18, 2013, one year after the complaint was filed. This court has stated that every assignment in the chain of title of a promissory note must be proved.

3/29/15

Fla 4th DCA Reverses Based Upon Trial by Ambush

Reive v. Deutsche Bank

includes Lloyd v. Bank of New York Mellon: Because the Bank failed to provide sufficient evidence that it had standing at the time it initiated the foreclosure, we reverse and remand for involuntary dismissal of the action.

Living Lies And even if they are the Trustee, neither they nor their so-called trust (probably unfunded, so it couldn’t have purchased or originated any loans) have legal standing because they don’t own the loan. There is a huge difference between pleading and proof. AND standing means different things depending upon what you are looking at. If party files a complaint alleging the requirements of standing then the complaint will stand up to a motion to dismiss based upon standing. But if at trial they don’t prove standing, they lose.

3/29/15

Foreclosure to Home Free, as 5-Year Clock Expires

The stature of limitations expired.

A legitimate foreclosure would not last 5 years or even 2 years.

DealBook A legal quirk could bring a surreal ending to her foreclosure case and many others around the country: They may get to keep their homes without ever having to pay another dime.

The reason, lawyers for homeowners argue, is that the cases have dragged on too long.

Scheme used fake names and fraudulent deeds to steal title

The DOJ will prosecute if you are not a bank.

Department of Justice Daniel Deaibes pleaded guilty today to participating in a scheme to steal title to 10 Southern California homes, and then to “sell” the properties to unsuspecting buyers – who later learned they had actually purchased nothing.

3/27/15

***

Lawless big banks -- a fresh start at the Justice Department?

People are fed up with the big banks and cannot quite believe that no individuals are being held to account for the firms' continued illegal conduct. Meanwhile, the lawlessness continues.

Mark Everson, commissioner of the IRS 2003-07, and Republican candidate for president of the United States HSBC has entered guilty pleas to securities fraud, dumped risky products on the elderly in nursing homes, and misled customers to think that their investments were secure. It failed to follow SEC rules, defrauded Fannie Mae and the federal government, and made abusive home foreclosures. (yet judges still grant HSBC free houses.) 

The latest HSBC revelations are a chance to show that breaking the law has consequences. In coming days, Loretta Lynch will likely be confirmed as U.S. attorney general. She should take a fresh look at the government's approach to criminality by the big banks, and put felony charges for individuals back into the Department of Justice's tool kit. HSBC might be a good place to start.

3/27/15

 

Meet Citi’s Ethical Underwriters That Tried to Save It and America: Sherry Hunt

Not only has Citi’s misconduct cost the United States millions of dollars in insurance claims, with additional losses expected in the future, but also it has led to mortgage defaults and home evictions and foreclosures across the country.

 

Bill Black Now Hunt began to record her troublesome findings in a spreadsheet on her home computer: the defective mortgages she found in late 2009 that Citi had failed to report to the FHA, despite having been flagged as containing evidence of fraud two years earlier; the email in 2010 from a senior executive recommending others use “brute force” on Hunt’s team to drive down the defect rate; the day in 2011 an executive three levels above Hunt told her and a colleague that their “asses [were] on the line” if they did not change their report.

Citi’s unethical senior managers take your breath away. They are running a criminal enterprise that must maintain an appearance of respectability to make its frauds successful. 

3/27/15

Osceola County clerk alleges big-bank mortgage fraud

Sheriff’s spokesperson Twis Lizasuain said the sheer volume of evidence has made the investigation complex, but nothing illegal has been found yet. ?????

Osceola Gazette Ramirez said the investigation began when he spoke to about a dozen families who were subject to foreclosure thanks to documents produced by “robo-signers”, or automated notaries that signed off without verifying the information contained in them.

"Those banks admitted to wrongdoing back then, and their response was, ‘We’ll never do that again.’ Well, they’re still doing it,” Ramirez said. “Powerful banks have intimidated elected officials in other places and they want this to just go away. Needless to say, well-known powerful banks allegedly filed the fake documents with the courts in Osceola County.” (Allegedly?)

3/27/15

Servicers in DOJ's Crosshairs Following JPM Robo-Signing Settlement

Deutsche Bank Still Using 2009 Robo-Signed Documents in 2015 (Crystal Moore / Bryan Bly Signatures - page 24)

National Mortgage News

____

SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO COURT

Mortgage servicers were supposed to have stopped robo-signing foreclosure documents when state and federal authorities cracked down on the practice years ago, but it seems some have not learned their lesson.

Such abuses violate a 2012 settlement between law enforcement officials and the nation's largest servicers and White is putting other servicers on notice that they too will be punished if they flout bankruptcy rules.

In one case we were dealing with a scam by a bankruptcy petition preparer who took money from debtors and failed to provide document prep services as allowed by the BK Code. The preparer would file faulty bankruptcy papers and the cases would get dismissed and the debtors would be worse off.

3/27/15

Is the PSA Relevant If It Shows the Assignment is Void?

The short answer is YES.

If US Bank, for example, says it brings the foreclosure by virtue of US Bank being the Trustee for a named Trust, then right there is an item for discovery —- is US bank really the trustee? Does the trust own the loan? If the answer is no, then there should be no foreclosure. Nothing could be more relevant.

Living Lies So the theory that the borrower owes the money to SOMEONE, is not a very good precedent. It leaves the door open for anyone to demand payment on an account owned by someone else. Normal application of law would say that if the borrower paid the wrong party, then the debt is still owed. 

Thus the rulings from the bench that the borrower has no right to challenge the assignment or the foreclosure on the basis of a violation of the enabling documents (PSA and Prospectus) are wrong. 

Yvanova Opening brief

Justice Laurence Rubin perfectly stated the issue in this case:

“The only party prejudiced by an illegitimate creditor beneficiary’s enforcement of the homeowner’s debt, courts have reasoned, is the bona fide creditor-beneficiary, not the
homeowner.

Richard L. Antognini
Attorneys for Yvanova
Such reasoning troubles me. I wonder whether the law would apply the same reasoning if we were dealing with debtors
other than homeowners. I wonder how most of us would react if, for example, a third-party purporting to act for one’s
credit card company knocked on one’s door, demanding we pay our credit card’s monthly statement to the third party.
Could we insist that the third party prove it owned our credit card debt? By the reasoning of Fontenot and similar cases, we could not because, after all, we owe the debt to someone, and the only truly aggrieved party if we paid the wrong party would, according to those cases, be our credit card company.
I doubt anyone would stand for such a thing.”

3/27/15

"There are no free houses." These are the words of the bankruptcy judge who
allowed the instant home foreclosure to go forward. 

There is one constant theme in most, if not all, "wrongful foreclosure" cases:
failure to pay on the note secured by a deed of trust. 

Boyce v. T.D. Service Company

Option One endorsed the note in blank and put it in a mortgage investment pool

CALIFORNIA COA

SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT
DIVISION SIX

Appellant argues that fraud "vitiates everything." We question the breadth of
this statement. Extrinsic fraud may vitiate a judgment but that is not alleged. (Lazzarone v. Bank of America (1986) 181 Cal.App.3d 581, 595.) 

Appellant lost in the bankruptcy court. He lost in United States District Court. He
lost in the unlawful detainer court. He lost in the Appellate Department of the Superior
Court. He lost in Superior Court. He now loses here. As the late eminent federal appellate jurist Rugierro Aldisert would say, "Basta," which translates from Italian to English as, Enough!

3/25/15

FDIC Employee Quits and Goes Public With Complaint Against Chase, WAMU, Citi and two law firms

Mains' COMPLAINT alleges the note and mortgage are void from the start.

Living Lies His lawsuit, told from the prospective of a true insider, reveals in astonishing detail the worst of the practices that have resulted in millions of illegal foreclosures. Some of his allegations cast a dark shadow over claims of Chase Bank on its balance sheet, as reported to the public and the SEC and the reporting of both Chase and Citi as to their potential liability for wrongful foreclosures.
There is more....

Eric Mains: “Acceptable Casualties”

What is remarkable to me, and what is worth discussing, is not that my case has been the exception to large bank conduct in foreclosure cases, but how all too common it is. 

Living Lies Now in hindsight, I am sure corporate counsel for Chase (and Citibank) is going to sternly chastise the law firm(s) involved for not checking into my background enough to realize I worked for the FDIC, in the division that closed down WAMU (after all it is all public information, along with our grade level and salaries). However, in their defense, they did do a pretty good job of keeping hushed up that they were employed/contracted with/ Black Knight (formerly LPS).

Foreclosure probe digging deeper into title work done on cases

State investigators digging into Colorado attorneys who controlled the bulk of the business during the foreclosure crisis are taking a closer look at a title insurance company with ties to those law firms.

Denver Post It was O'Connell whom AG investigators said called the title business "the cash cow" of the foreclosure industry, where attorneys had the chance to reap windfall profits, court records show.

Castle has fought the AG investigation into his law firm's foreclosure practices since it surfaced in court hearings regarding state efforts to acquire documents and other information about the lawyers and their clients.

3/25/15

McLeod Beats Deutsche Bank AGAIN!

On February 23. 2015 Judge Talamante issued his order in the matter of the Motion to Vacate Judgment in McLeod v. Deutsche Bank. In a series of non-stop losses for Deutsche Bank, the Court ruled Deutsche Bank's arguments were meritless, denying an attempt to set aside a quiet title Judgment granted on behalf of Ken and Carol McLeod in November of 2008.

Ken McLeod The repudiation of Deutsche Bank by the state court comes on the heels of a stunning excoriation of Deutsche Bank by the Federal Court in December 2014 when US District Judge Neil Wake rebuked Deutsche Bank for their attempts to pursue a judicial foreclosure against the McLeod's after having been ordered by the state court that any foreclosure was prohibited.

Attorney Beth Findsen who authored the responses in both state and federal cases made argument which both state and federal judges specifically noted they based their decisions upon.

For eight years Deutsche Bank has pursued an illegal foreclosure against the McLeod's. And for eight years Deutsche Bank has lost every single decision in state and federal courts.

3/25/15

NOTE, ASSIGNMENT, PSA FAIL

Jelic v. LaSalle Bank

Stop Foreclosure Fraud The second assignment assigned the mortgage and note from MERS to Bank. Notably, it was executed on August 10, 2009, more than six months after Bank filed its foreclosure complaint.

3/25/15

Couple face foreclosure on home they sold in 1994

The puzzling turn comes eight years into a foreclosure crisis that has stressed banks.

Orlando Sentinel Lenders' well-documented inability to produce mortgage documents contributed to a months-long moratorium on processing foreclosures in the courts starting in the fall of 2010.

If Wells Fargo is able to foreclose on the house and take title, it could profit from the foreclosure because the mortgage debt still owed on the property is $35,797 and the property is worth an estimated $80,000 to $130,000, 
3/24/15

Ocwen faces delisting from New York Stock Exchange


Is the HLSS situation the iceberg that sinks Ocwen?

Housing Wire Ocwen’s failure to timely file its 2014 annual report places the nonbank in violation of the NYSE’s continued listing standards.

Now, because of those delays, Ocwen is facing the prospect of having its stock removed from the NYSE.

3/24/15

Ocwen to Sell Servicing Rights on $25 Billion in Mortgages to Nationstar

NY Times The transaction on Tuesday involving servicing rights isn’t the first that Ocwen has announced so far this year. The firm previously sold nearly $10 billion in rights to Nationstar last month, $9.6 billion to Green Tree Loan Servicing and a reported $45 billion to JPMorgan Chase.

3/24/15

How Wall Street Used Swaps to Get Rich at the Expense of Cities

This post by Ed Walker provides a detailed description of how badly municipalities have been fleeced when they bought interest rate swaps from Wall Street as part of financings. It isn’t simply that these borrowers were exploited, but that the degree of pilfering was so extreme that the financiers clearly knew they were dealing with rubes and took full advantage of the opportunity.

naked capitalism But what is even more troubling than the fact set here is the failure of the overwhelming majority of abused borrowers to seek to recover their losses. Walker describes that multiple legal approaches lead you to the same general conclusion: the swaps provider, as opposed to the hapless city, should bear the brunt of the losses. 

So why haven’t cities like Chicago, that have been hit hard by swaps losses, fought back? Walker does not speculate, but in the case of Rahm Emanuel, it’s not hard to imagine that his deep ties to Big Finance are the reason.

3/24/15

A Deal to Reinvent the Subprime Mortgage-Backed Security

National Mortgage News Money manager Angel Oak Capital and the U.S. unit of Japanese bank Nomura Holdings are attempting to suture old wounds that have long festered in that corner of mortgage finance.

3/24/15

Why the Supreme Court Might Actually Rule Against the Corporate Interest


Homeowners have a lot at stake in Tuesday's Bank of America case

 

Link to case documents

David Dayen

 

_____

 

SCOTUS Blog

Bank of America v. Caulkett, to be heard Tuesday, is a technical case about the bankruptcy code, but if the bank succeeds, it would make it more difficult for people to start over when debt burdens become unmanageable. “It will affect many people’s pocketbooks,” said Bob Lawless, bankruptcy law professor.

Liberals wanted the bankruptcy “cram-down” option available to prevent a flood of foreclosures, but a bill to change the law failed in the Senate in 2009. As Dick Durbin famously said, the banks "frankly own the place.”

In Caulkett we’ll see if they own the Supreme Court too

REPORT

March 2015

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM: Why the Threat of Foreclosure Damage Continues


An Analysis of Over Five Years of Foreclosures in Rochester, NY
With Recommendations for Changes to State and Federal Policies

Empire Justice Center State and local policy makers have the tools to move New York past the crisis toward growth and opportunity for New York’s families, creating a happy byproduct- economic recovery and security for the state and its municipalities. This report will outline measures that can be taken here in
New York State to keep more homeowners in their homes, to encourage banks and servicers to work constructively with homeowners and municipalities and to help the neighborhoods most impacted by foreclosures regain their stability. 
3/23/15

A Small Victory In Providence's Latest Fight Against Foreclosures

RIPR The story of this home is familiar. The owner purchased the house in the mid 2000’s, in the midst of the housing bubble. When the bubble burst he got stuck with a mortgage he couldn’t afford, and the bank foreclosed. The house remained empty as it changed hands, being sold back and forth by companies buying up toxic assets.

3/23/15

Eviction notice ends in gunfire

Solano County sheriff’s deputies responding to the sound of gunfire during an eviction notice found an elderly woman dead inside.

Daily Republic Deputies who were serving the eviction notice had twice knocked on the front door and identified themselves, Snedeker said. They had a locksmith, who accompanied them, open the door and then heard a loud pop, he said.

3/23/15

Foreclosure bill would have aided homeowners

Lexington Herald Leader The court system that opposed HB 470 with the admission that it would cause the courts to lose $10 million in fees — fees currently paid by homeowners in judicial foreclosures — and attorneys for whom judicial foreclosures are a primary source of income or program funding.

Indiana AG fights for mortgage foreclosure protection

NWI Times The Indiana Attorney General says financially stressed Northwest Indiana families need all the protection they can get from mortgage companies racing to foreclose on them.

3/23/15

BANK OF AMERICA TO PAY $250,000 IN PUNITIVE DAMAGES DUE TO UNCLEAN HANDS AND FRAUD

Bank of America v. Pate

Bank of America added force-placed insurance that quadrupled the Pate's mortgage payment. 

4closure

Fraud

During four-years of litigation, the Bank’s agents entered the Pate’s home several times while the Pates resided there, attempted to remove furniture, and placed locks on the exterior doors. Following the Bank’s action, the Pates had to have the locks changed so their family could enter the residence. During two of the intrusions, the Pates were required to enlist the aid of the sheriff to force the Bank’s agent to leave their home. The trial court found as fact that, due to the Bank’s multiple intrusions into their home, the Pates were forced to obtain alternative housing for 28 months, at a cost of thousands of dollars.

Housing activist group in Detroit plans 'Stop the Foreclosures' rally Tuesday

Detroit Metro Times Local housing activists will convene prior to Detroit City Council's meeting on Tuesday for a rally and press conference where it's expected they'll call for a moratorium on property tax foreclosures in the city. 

3/22/15

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Chapter 7 Junior Mortgage “Lien Strip” Case

On March 24, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases involving whether a chapter 7 debtor may strip off a second mortgage. 

Bankruptcy Law Network In each of the two cases, the homes were worth less than the balances owed on the homes’ first mortgages. This meant that the second mortgages were completely unsecured by any value. The chapter 7 debtors argued that under bankruptcy code section 506(a), the second mortgages should be declared avoided and stripped from the homes.

Dallas whistleblower wants someone to go to jail for Citigroup’s mortgage mess

Dallas News When his warnings of internal malfeasance got him sacked, Bowen filed a complaint under Sarbanes-Oxley and later testified before Congress.

Bowen announced on Bloomberg that he’s requested a congressional investigation into possible cover-ups he says he witnessed at the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Watch Out for Unauthorized Signatures!

Laws.com While it is certainly a crime to use a forgery signature on a negotiable instrument in order to defraud the bank or other institution, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) actually is designed to ratify such unauthorized signatures. This is because the UCC is designed to protect the bank in the case of forgery, as opposed to prosecuting the forger. 

3/20/15

HSBC Accused by Credit Union Regulator of Failing as Trustee

“As with the other trustees we have sued, HSBC failed to live up to its obligations under federal and state law, and we want the bank held accountable.”

Bloomberg An HSBC Holdings Plc unit was accused of failing to look after the interests of five credit unions that collapsed during the financial crisis after investing in residential mortgage-backed securities.
The National Credit Union Administration filed a complaint in federal court in Manhattan against HSBC Bank USA, which served as the trustee for the securities. The bank didn’t perform its duty to monitor the underlying mortgage loans and to ensure that defaulted loans were repurchased or substituted by the originators.

3/20/15

California federal court holds in MERS’ favor

MERS has statutory right to notice as a beneficiary

The defendants in the case obtained their state court judgment without providing notice of the lawsuit to MERS.  

Housing WIre “California law requires a quiet title plaintiff to name as defendants those persons ‘having adverse claims to the title of the plaintiff against which a determination is sought,’” the court held. As such, “[d]efendants were required to name MERS as a defendant in the quiet title action…” since the deed of trust was recorded against their property at the time they filed their state court suit.

O’Malley steps up Wall Street critique in swing through Iowa

Washington Post O’Malley, who is aggressively positioning himself as an alternative said that his party “must not allow another Wall Street meltdown to bring down hard-working families.” He called for tougher sanctions on banks that break the law and for reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, the Depression-era measure that separated commercial and investment banking.

Bank of America must face Chicago-area predatory lending lawsuit

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank sought to dismiss the case on the grounds that Cook County lacked standing, waited too long to sue, and did not show violations of the federal Fair Housing Act.

Reuters A federal judge rejected Bank of America Corp's request to dismiss a lawsuit in which Cook County, Illinois, accused the lender of targeting black and Hispanic borrowers in the Chicago area with subprime mortgages.

In a decision dated Thursday, U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo in Chicago said Cook County could pursue allegations that the bank steered minority borrowers into an outsized number of high-cost home loans, resulting in more foreclosures, lower property taxes and greater urban blight.

"The county has asserted an adequate injury-in-fact that is plausibly connected to defendants' alleged discriminatory lending," 

Appellant's Reply Brief on the Merits: Challenge to PSA

YVANOVA v. New Century, Ocwen, Deutsche

Supreme Court of California In an action for wrongful foreclosure on a deed of trust securing a home loan, does the borrower have standing to challenge an assignment of the note and deed of trust on the basis of defects allegedly rendering the
assignment void? 

3/20/15

Freddie Mac Selling $1 Billion of Soured Debt in Largest Deal

$1 Billion of void Notes

Not only are they selling worthless garbage, but somebody is going to buy it.

National Mortgage News The offering is the government-backed mortgage company's third large sale of delinquent home loans. Freddie Mac has been accelerating auctions of soured mortgages, bought from bonds guaranteed by the McLean, Virginia-based company that went bad after the housing crash. Demand has been increasing as Wall Street firms compete to buy the loans at a discount after a real estate market rebound.

3/20/15

Defunct Mortgage Lender Can't Duck Fraud Claims

Home America Mortgage, and Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., which acted as the underwriter for Home America's mortgage loans, faced claims that they induced the United States to insure dozens of bad mortgage loans.

Courthouse News According to the complaint, Home America originated mortgage loans and immediately sold them to Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, which applied for federal mortgage insurance for the loans. The whistleblowers claimed that Hicks and Home America changed borrower and property information on loan applications, fabricated documents and overrode safeguards on rejected applications, causing the government to insure high-risk loans.

Order Denying Summary Judgments

Missing Citigroup Checks Spur Lawmaker to Call for Investigation

Citigroup Inc.’s failure to pay 24,000 people owed money as part of a settlement with the government over foreclosure abuses has prompted a U.S. lawmaker to call for an investigation into whether banks missed other borrowers.

Bloomberg Maxine Waters, the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter Friday to the inspectors general of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department seeking an examination. 

Her request pertains to a 2013 accord in which lenders agreed to pay $10 billion to resolve allegations that they improperly initiated hundreds of thousands of foreclosures following the housing bust.

Why Opposition to “Business Records” Exception to hearsay is No Gimmick

Just because “everyone is doing it” neither makes it right nor institutionalizes it; but most courts are still treating case precedent that was overturned and in violation of Federal law as though the Court has discretion. It doesn’t. Attaching the note to a complaint doesn’t make the note enforceable even if it technically gives the pleader “standing” until proven otherwise.

Living Lies It all comes down to the fact that if there wasn’t a real default, we wouldn’t be in court. That assumption is wrong. We are in court because the Banks figured out a way to eat their cake and still have it. The Banks were intermediaries selling IPO shares in REMIC entities — so the banks neither owned the securities nor did they own the loans. And the real “lenders” got screwed. The banks intentionally did the loan paperwork such that it appeared as though the banks owned or controlled the loans and the mortgage backed securities. That is an illusion — one which is perpetuated by the insistence of Judges on relying on presumptions that lead to erroneous conclusions of law and fact.

3/19/15

Mortgage Securitization and Lender's Ability to Foreclose

Courts in the minority position, which, in reliance upon EPTL §7-2.4, have held that, while a "third party generally lacks standing to challenge the validity of an assignment," a "borrower may…raise a defense to an assignment, if that defense renders the assignment void" from its inception. See, e.g., Saldivar, 2013 WL 2452699 (applying New York law).

NY Law Journal

Law firm handles foreclosures for banks

The foundation for this argument is New York Estates Powers & Trusts Law (EPTL) §7-2.4. EPTL §7-2.4 states: "If the trust is expressed in the instrument creating the estate of the trustee, every sale, conveyance or other act of the trustee in contravention of the trust, except as authorized by this article and by any other provision of law, is void." A minority of courts have held that non-compliance with the terms of a PSA based upon a transfer of a loan after the closing date of the securitized trust renders an assignment void.

3/19/15

Editorial: A dangerous ruling affecting adverse possession

Dallas News Tuesday’s ruling ratchets up the urgency surrounding HB 2590, a bill by Dallas state Rep. Eric Johnson to help local officials punish fraudsters who use adverse-possession deed claims to acquire and sell other people’s houses.

The judge declared in both the Nolen and Johnson cases that he was “granting possession to the plaintiff,” meaning that Fonteno’s companies had the right to issue eviction notices for houses they do not own and have no right under state law to sell.

Deutsche Bank Still Using Crystal Moore's Signature to Foreclose (page 24) as Trustee

Deutsche Bank v. Hollister

COMMON PLEAS
SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO
The banks pledged not to use robo-signed signatures to foreclose. A few years ago, the banks had Crystal's damaging deposition taken off the Internet.

Robo-signing is still going strong in Ohio.

Putting a Breakup of Bank of America to a Shareholder Vote

The idea of big American banks breaking up will finally get input from the public.

DealBook The Securities and Exchange Commission is allowing Bank of America shareholders to vote at the firm’s annual meeting on whether executives should contemplate spinning off the Merrill Lynch investment bank. The regulator had previously muzzled similar requests.

3/19/15

Over Banker Objections, CFPB Invites More Detailed Complaints

The CFPB is allowing customers to describe their banking experiences more fully on the agency's complaint portal.

National Mortgage News The industry strongly pushed back on the CFPB's July proposal to expand its online complaint system. Initially, the portal only included the name of an institution and the product targeted in the complaint, but under the new policy customers can choose to publicize the "narrative" of happened.

3/19/15

Bank of New York Mellon to Pay $714 Million in Foreign Exchange Settlement

The bank had assured clients they would get currency trades at the best possible price. The opposite was in fact true.

DealBook Bank of New York Mellon will pay $714 million to settle accusations that it cheated government pension funds and other investors for more than a decade,  part of a broader deal requiring the bank to dismiss some employees and overhaul its foreign exchange operation.

Stipulation and Order of Settlement

3/19/15

Statutory Requirements for Enforcement of Note or Mortgage

If a Bank has no financial stake in the alleged “loan” then why should THEY be allowed to enforce it? Isn’t that highly prejudicial to the real creditors? Isn’t the foreclosure judge making it harder for the real creditors to collect by entering judgment for a party who has no risk, no financial stake and no contractual right (or obligations) to represent the real creditor.

Living Lies Whether this is ultimately determined to be a table funded loan or simply not a loan contract at all with the borrower remains to be seen. If it is determined to be a table funded loan with an undisclosed third party lender who is not even the aggregator in the A&A then according to regulations Z it is “predatory per se.” If it is predatory per se then how can anyone seek enforcement in equity (i.e. foreclosure)?

The mortgage backed securities were “sold forward,” which is to say there was nothing in the Trust when they were sold — and as it turns out in most cases the Trust never got any loans. Further the notes and mortgages were also sold forward in a cloudy arrangement in which the ownership and balance due was at least in doubt if not unknown. You must remember that the banks were not in the business of loaning money — they were in the business of selling mortgage backed securities for empty trusts and then using the money any way they chose.

U.S. judge dismisses lawsuit over $13 bln JPMorgan Chase settlement

"The plaintiff has failed to meet its burden to show it has suffered an injury in fact,"

Reuters A U.S. federal judge tossed out a lawsuit brought by non-profit group Better Markets that sought to block a $13 billion settlement JPMorgan Chase reached with the U.S. Justice Department over shoddy mortgage loans sold to investors before the financial crisis.

Ocwen to sell $9.6 billion mortgage servicing rights to Walter unit

Reuters The mortgage servicing rights sold to Walter Investment's Green Tree Loan Servicing LLC comprise about 55,500 loans owned by government-controlled mortgage finance firm Freddie Mac

3/18/15

TILA Rescission is Changing Foreclosure Defense

Justice Scalia simply said that the statute is clear and no further interpretation is required. He said, for a unanimous court, that rescission was effective the date of the notice.

Living Lies This is very challenging for lawyers who are used to arguments about due process which means an action in court. TILA rescission is an action out of court. NOTHING is required from the borrower other than a notice that he or she or they are cancelling the loan papers. There is no cause of action for TILA rescission because it is already done privately.

3/18/15

The Nonprofit Behind Billions in Mortgage Aid Is a Mess

Hoping to deliver relief to Americans pounded by the financial crisis, the government has poured billions of dollars into a sort of Red Cross for homeowners - NeighborWorks America.
A close look at the group reveals a house in disorder -- with sweetheart contracts, document fudging and unexplained departures of top officials.

Bloomberg Executives at the group awarded at least two large jobs to insiders without bidding, later justifying one of the contracts with a backdated memo, according to interviews with former employees, tax filings and previously unreported company audits. In the other case, managers signed off on a multimillion-dollar technology deal to a recently formed contractor, which had board members in common with NeighborWorks and used the same law firm. The contractor overcharged by as much as 20 times, one of the audits said.

Man Pinched for Crimes Banks get away with 

HETR He filed phony records with county officials then began stealing houses. He forged sellers' signatures, as well as that of at least one North Carolina notary public. (When banks do it, it is called foreclosure.)

3/17/15

Lenders must give credit when they receive payment.

FRIDMAN v. NYCB MORTGAGE

Very good opinion from the Seventh Circuit. Fridman sued NYCB for violations of Truth in Lending Act because NYCB waited two days to credit her account when she made an electronic payment. The court had to define what is "date of receipt" and "payment instrument". The court also defined what is a "third-party payment service."

Illinois Court of Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit

-----

Comment by Alina

Using the Dodd-Frank definition of payment instrument, the court concluded that it included electronic payments. Having decided on the definition of a payment instrument, the court then looked at "date of receipt". The court concluded that at the time an electronic payment is made, it constitutes "date of receipt" much the same way as when one mails in check. The date of receipt is the date the bank receives authorization to debit the borrower's bank account. 

The court finally concluded that a "third-party payment service" is a service that is contracted by the bank to process payments. In this case, the electronic payment was made directly through the bank's website and not through a third-party payment service. 

3/17/15

SUMMARY JUDGMENT SOUGHT BY NEW YORK COMMUNITY BANK DENIED Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The “Affidavits” filed by NYCB contained no personal knowledge as to the alleged transfers of the Note from the original lender (First Florida Mortgage Network, Inc.) to either Ohio Savings Bank, or AmTrust, or the FDIC, or the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (which name appeared on one of the “allonge” documents).

Fannie, Freddie could need another bailout as risks rise -watchdog

U.S. housing finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could require more bailouts from U.S. taxpayers as risks are rising due to shrinking reserves.

Reuters The possibility of another taxpayer draw raises pressure on the U.S. Congress to overhaul housing finance laws, although a real push on legislation is not expected anytime soon.

Taxpayers pumped $116.1 billion into Fannie Mae following the U.S. housing market collapse, while Freddie Mac was propped up with $71.3 billion.

JPMorgan Said to Buy $45 Billion of Ocwen’s Servicing Rights

Bloomberg The deal would bring JPMorgan’s portfolio for overseeing billing, collections and foreclosures on U.S. mortgages to nearly $1 trillion, a threshold it last exceeded in the fourth quarter of 2013.

3/17/15

5 get prison, must repay millions in Texas mortgage fraud (no bankers)

PLANO, Texas (AP) — Five people have been sentenced to prison and must repay millions of dollars in a Texas mortgage fraud scam involving fake documents and inflated home values.
Federal prosecutors in Plano on Tuesday announced penalties for the scheme operating from mid-2006 through March 2008.

AP

full article

Investigators say Debra Rush-Santens of Plano ran three financial and development companies from her residence and her office in Frisco. Rush-Santens in 2012 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
She was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to repay more than $6.2 million.
Four other defendants who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering or to conspiracy to commit wire fraud were also sentenced. Their penalties range from two to seven years in prison and restitution between $1.2 million and $5.9 million.

3/16/15

Troops Come Home to Repossessions, Failed by Law and Courts

Deployed service members often cannot sue lenders for violating laws that protect them from repossessions and foreclosures because of legal language that forces them into arbitration.

He was on duty in Iraqi when men came to his California home to repossess the family car. Unless his wife handed over the keys, she would go to jail, they said.

NY Times The men took the car, even though federal law requires lenders to obtain court orders before seizing the vehicles of active duty service members.

Over the years, Congress has given service members a number of protections — some dating to the Civil War — from repossessions and foreclosures.

Efforts to maintain that special status for service members has run into resistance from the financial industry, including many of the same banks that promote the work they do for veterans. While using mandatory arbitration, some companies repeatedly violate the federal protections, leaving troops and their families vulnerable to predatory lending.

Try Title Action

Abate v. Fremont Inv. & Loan

Petitioner in this case filed a petition to try title in the Land Court asserting that a purported assignment of a mortgage was invalid, thereby challenging a foreclosure by a Bank as trustee. Respondents filed motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim because, at the time of filing, the Bank as the assignee of the mortgage had already foreclosed on Petitioner’s mortgage.

Justia The Land Court allowed the motion, concluding that Petitioner’s petition failed to sufficiently allege effective record title, which in turn resulted in a lack of standing, because none of the allegations established any ground on which the assignment could be found invalid. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a petitioner claiming defect in the legal title of a purported mortgagee may only meet the jurisdictional element of an “adverse claim” after that mortgagee has foreclosed; and (2) the judge correctly considered the merits of Petitioner’s claims as a necessary step in determining the absence of his record title, and therefore, dismissal with prejudice was proper.

3/16/15

Japanese bank seeks justice in subprime mortgage trial

It’s a question often asked but never answered: Who’s to blame for the subprime mortgage crisis?

NY Post The American public will get a rare window into what went wrong when government-sponsored home loan giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac square off with Japanese bank Nomura in a first-of-its-kind trial over the sale of soured mortgage-backed securities.

[INFOGRAPHIC]: How America Became a Nation of Renters

PMGuardian A foreclosure crisis occurs due to many foreclosures being carried out even without the necessary paperwork being in place, instead relying in <robo-signing> of the legal documents. Many demand that all foreclosures be halted nationwide until the systemic issues of extrajudicial practices have come under control.

The U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission concludes the crisis was avoidable.

3/14/15

S.E.C. Wants the Sinners to Own Up

Under Mary Jo White's leadership, the agency has undergone a shift in policy to require more companies and individuals to admit to misconduct as part of a settlement.

Gretchen Morgenson So far, the S.E.C.’s moves appear to enjoy broad support among its five commissioners, who approve its enforcement actions. Since the policy change went into effect, the commissioners have approved every case.

For now, because the S.E.C.’s criteria are so broad, almost any kind of case might qualify for treatment under the policy. It will be revealing to see how the S.E.C. uses its new power.

3/13/15

ROBO WITNESSES STILL HEAVILY ACTIVE IN THE JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE PROCESS!

There are still very few homeowners that actually show up at trial. This allows bank witness testimony to go unchallenged and thus, uncontroverted. It is sad to see bank witnesses (I will refer to them as robo-witnesses here because that is exactly HOW they were behaving) complicit in helping the alleged bank get away with this sort of “legalized theft”.

Clouded Titles The afternoon court session, which began shortly after 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 4A, was littered with these robo-liars. Several of them were accompanied by foreclosure mill attorneys (who were probably out of law school no more than a few years), who basically got up before the judge, who allowed each attorney to tag team these witnesses in tandem to all of their foreclosure cases (at least a dozen that I could count), where the attorney read from a list of questions AFTER the judge swore the witness in.

The trial, which included a robo-witness (Cynthia Stevens, who had testified at numerous events earlier that day, unchallenged), lasted nearly 3-1/2 hours (2:40-6 p.m.). The judge took the whole matter under advisement.

3/13/15

Bank of America lies: Distressed homeowners oppose bills narrowing liability of banks in mortgage disputes

They said if the two bills had been in effect, many Montana homeowners who sued Bank of America and other lenders for misleading them on the status of their distressed mortgage would have had no legal claim. 

IR State Bureau Bank officials and their attorneys said Montana banks now are being advised not to talk to customers about modifying a loan, because those conversations could be used in a lawsuit

The bill would narrow the liability of banks for their lending practices and forbid the award of punitive damages in consumer protection lawsuits. They said if the two bills had been in effect, many Montana homeowners who sued Bank of America and other lenders for misleading them on the status of their distressed mortgage would have had no legal claim. 

“I believe voting for these bills will take the voices and power away from common Montanans and protect these banks from their own fraudulent behavior.”

3/12/15

Commerzbank’s Settlement With Federal and State Authorities

Commerzbank agreed to pay nearly $1.5 billion to settle civil and criminal charges related to its role in enabling a huge accounting scheme and other illicit transactions.

DealBook One strand of the case focused on Commerzbank’s dealings with Iranian companies blacklisted by the United States, showing that the bank processed hundreds of millions of dollars through New York on their behalf. Prosecutors also accused the bank of enabling the Olympus Corporation, the Japanese manufacturer of medical devices and cameras, to orchestrate a huge accounting fraud.

Collectively, the investigations were a magnet for federal and state authorities. No fewer than eight regulatory and prosecutorial offices, in addition to the F.B.I. in New York, took aim at the bank, though it still avoided an indictment, the worst outcome.

Full post

3/12/15

FEMA Sets up Review Process for Sandy Flood Insurance Claims

Where is the government review of the same documented mischief in illegal foreclosures?

The Storm After The Storm

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have agreed to let Superstorm Sandy victims who think their insurance claims were not fairly paid out to undergo a review.

The review could include up to 144,000 claims and won't limit corrective action to 2,200 that are currently in litigation.

abcNews

____

PBS

 

 

 

A spokesman for FEMA says the agency is setting up a process for survivors to have claims reviewed. Every claim will not be automatically reviewed.

The announcement comes following allegations of fraud involving how some insurance companies assessed damage.

Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey and Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York met with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate on Wednesday.

FEMA also asked engineering and insurance firms to give survivors access to their engineering reports.

Insurers have denied any wrongdoing.

Attorney takes to task the "living rent-free" diversion from the crimes

 From our Law Articles page: "The In-House Legal Professional's Guide to Drafting Affidavits That Stand up To Scrutiny" written by foreclosure-mill Locke-Lord.

Attorney and former judge Richard Roman "First, contrary to what is alleged, Plaintiff was making her mortgage payments when the Defendants stole her home using robosigned documents and false affidavits in the foreclosure process.
The last portion of that statement deserves repeating: These Defendants stole Plaintiff's home.

Plaintiff's "rent-free lifestyle" is simply a poorly contrived attempt to divert attention from the problem."

3/11/15

Hammond couple sue over 'robosigning'

The couple were up to date on their payments, but their lender, Green Tree Servicing, LLC, approached them about refinancing in 1999.

Chicago Tribune The lawsuit claims OCWEN took three payments from the Ricos' bank account without their permission and modified the loan without ever speaking to them. OCWEN then threatened them with foreclosure in January, the lawsuit claims.

The Ricos are asking for their 1999 refinanced mortgage to be revoked and for compensatory and punitive damages.

3/11/15

“DEFAULT” FORECLOSURE JUDGMENT VACATED ON LACK OF EVIDENCE OF PROPER SERVICE ON FOREIGN NATIONAL Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The Judge found that the burden to show proper service shifted back to the foreclosing party after the filing of the affidavits of the homeowner and the tenant of the location where the papers were left, which affidavits consistently stated that the homeowner did not live at the property where the papers were dropped off.

3/11/15

Aurora Home Loan (Dissolved –now DLJ Mortgage) Goes Down in Flames

The trial court denied the Defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to 12(B)(8) and principles of res judicata, noting that “the issue of whether default has occurred is still a matter that can be heard, but must be pursued by a correct Plaintiff” and that “the prior matter that was dismissed was done so based on the fact that the [Aurora] could not prove that they had a right back then any more than they can prove they have a right now.” 

Living Lies

_____

Indiana Court of Appeals

The only thing I would add to this is that Aurora was never real — it was a sham corporation to continue the illusion of ownership and rights to enforce unenforceable mortgages that were fraudulently created and where ownership was fraudulently created by self-serving documents. The purpose of Aurora was the same as what Chase did — create a vehicle by which ownership of loans or rights to enforce are claimed to exist even when they don't. Aurora was a creature of the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers. It is interesting that Aurora Loan Services is now DLJ Mortgage which matches with an old name on Wall Street — Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette — another investment bank that was active in “securitization.” So we have gone from Bankrupt Lehman to DLJ who was a player all along.

AURORA v. PLUNKITT

April 2015

The Wrecking Crew

Vanity Fair Most of the C.E.O.'s who led Wall Street to the brink of collapse in 2008--the likes of Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merrill--got huge payouts as their firms went under. Talking to those who dared look back, William Coban discovers how their worlds have changed.

3/8/15

Bank ‘Breaks Into Home, Won’t Give Explanation’

The intruders then posted a notice in the front bedroom window – visible from outside the house – saying that the house was “found to be unsecure or vacant” and later told neighbors that the house was in disrepair and Tomasovich was a deadbeat in foreclosure on the house. 

News-Press His attorney said that even if the house had been in foreclosure, the bank would have needed a warrant from a judge to go into the house.

People can't quite believe a bank would just decide to break into someone's house with no good reason, Tomasovich said.

"They look at you and they don't believe that," he said, but the bank is no help in clearing it up. "They won't give me an answer, an explanation."

3/10/15

CFPB: BAN WALL STREET'S LICENSE TO STEAL!

We’re taking our fight to Washington, D.C., and the one agency that can protect us: Elizabeth Warren’s brainchild, the CFPB.

Other98 With forced arbitration, instead of going through the courts, customers must plead their cases to a private arbitrator who doesn’t even have to follow the law. The arbitrator’s decision is almost impossible to appeal, and any evidence of corporate wrongdoing remains secret.

It gets worse: unlike judges, arbitrators are chosen by your bank, and are not subject to the same rules as a court of law. That means they’re much more interested in the bank’s bottom line than in justice.

3/10/15

Motion to Vacate fails

US BANK v. METZGER

 

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS
SEVENTH DISTRICT 
As Appellant cannot use a motion to vacate a void judgment to contest standing, he alternatively seeks to utilize the procedure for vacating a voidable judgment under Civ.R. 60(B). Appellant raises the three aforementioned disputes involving the unendorsed note, the assignment said to be in violation of a pooling and servicing agreement that governs the trust, and notice of acceleration. 

 

 

 

3/10/15

Illinois Supreme Court Closes Back Door on Dina - Holds Only Absence of Jurisdiction Renders a Judgment Void

(*Locke-Lord represents banks in foreclosures.*)

Locke-Lord Following that decision, defaulting borrowers whose foreclosures have been long decided have been returning to court in droves on section 2-1401 (735 ILCS 5/2-1401) petitions claiming their mortgages, and by extension any judgment entered on their mortgages, are void. The Second District Appellate Court recently limited this practice in JPMorgan Chase, N.A. v. Ontiveros, 2015 IL App (2d) 140145, as we detailed here. But, Trice effectively eliminates this avenue once and for all.

LVNV Funding, LLC v. Trice

When an unregistered collection agency obtains a judgment against a debtor, does the lack of a license make the judgment void, or merely voidable? 

ILLINOIS OFFICIAL REPORTS The trial court here said it made the judgment merely voidable, so that the debtor’s failure to raise the issue before entry of the final judgment left him with no recourse. We disagree. We find that our legislature’s criminalization of an unregistered collection agency’s collection of a debt establishes an intent to void any judgment entered in favor of an unregistered collection agency.
Accordingly, we reverse and remand.

FLORIDA JUDGE DISMISSES FORECLOSURE FILED BY CITIBANK; MERS ISSUES TO BE ARGUED IN SUPREME COURT OF DELAWARE

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide A Florida Judge dismissed a foreclosure filed by Citibank as alleged “trustee” for a WaMu securitization. The Plaintiff had failed for eight (8) months to respond to the homeowners’ requests for admissions, and filed a Motion just 8 days before trial asking to be excused from “technical admissions.” The trial Judge did not accept Citi’s argument that there would be “no prejudice” to the homeowners by letting Citi off the hook for its failure to comply with discovery

Exclusive Tell-All Interview with 
Bank of America Robo Whistleblower

Foreclosure Hour A genuine robo whistle blower who is going to reveal that he personally worked recently (four months ago) as part of an army of robo-signers in one of four Bank of America mortgage assignment manufacturing factories throughout the country (he will name their locations and give vivid details including names), falsifying loan documents, signing under oath not before notaries who have been similarly false swearing, for MERS and for the Big Banks such as Chase and for Securitized Trusts such as Bank of New York Mellon, as their supposed Assistant Vice Presidents and supposed Assistant Secretaries, negotiated the national settlement and even AFTER Bank of America signed the AG National Settlement agreeing to stop the practice.

3/9/15

74% of responders either Rescinded or are thinking about it

The numbers keep changing but it is clear that rescission is looming on the horizon for people who (1) are or were in foreclosure after rescission was sent or (2) are currently contemplating sending the rescission notice now.

Living Lies Be aware that few judges are going to like this strategy even if it is rubber stamped by the US Supreme Court unanimously one month ago. My primary argument is that the judge has no discretion if the bank or servicer failed to file within the 20 days, regardless of how meritorious their action would have been as to the statute of limitations, the adequacy of disclosures, who was the lender etc.

3/8/15

Mortgage settlements in jeopardy

Bill killing them moves quietly

JG Local Remember back in the grim days of the mortgage foreclosure crisis? Back when consumers in trouble on their mortgages told horror stories about their inability to reach a live human being at their bank? Back when borrowers would have to fax forms to Wichita on one day and Cleveland the next?

Well, if a proposed piece of legislation working its way through the Indiana House of Representatives is passed as it stands, Hoosier borrowers might find themselves right back there

Did Bank Complaints Result in Transfer of Foreclosure Referee?

The president of the New York Foreclosure Defense Bar, described Goldstein as “working very hard” to bring the two sides together to realize the statutory goal of according relief to homeowners facing foreclosure. “She held everyone’s feet to the fire but it became painfully obvious in many cases that banks did not want to participate meaningfully.

Some homeowner’s lawyers acknowledge that Goldstein was quick to raise her voice and upbraid lawyers on either side. One judge called Goldstein “a spitfire.”

WiseLawNY The banks, on the other hand, viewed Goldstein as exacting but in one direction—toward them. An example of the banks’ dim view of Goldstein’s handling of the conferences had a clear exposition in a “position statement” submitted by Hogan Lovells, a multinational firm that has handled many key appeals arising from foreclosure conferences.

The position statement was submitted in the case of EMC Mortgage Corp. v. Green, which like many of the cases where Goldstein recommended finding the banks at fault, involved multiple adjournments and spanned lengthy time periods. There were 23 conference sessions over three years in EMC Mortgage. The position statement was submitted about a month after Goldstein had been transferred.

2/5/12

Report Says Some Fannie Mae Execs Thought MERS Foreclosure Counsel Were ‘Sacrificing Accuracy For Speed’

A report prepared more than six years ago for Fannie Mae’s Office of Corporate Justice by the law firm Baker & Hostetler LLP after allegations of widespread fraudulent practices engaged in, condoned, or ignored by Fannie Mae relating to foreclosures of home mortgages contains a number of devastating conclusions about Fannie Mae and MERS.

LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom 
Financial Fraud Law
The firm “found evidence that false statements by foreclosure attorneys are being routinely made in at least two counties in Florida and appear to be occurring elsewhere.”

It added that “[i]t is axiomatic that the practice of submitting false pleadings and affidavits is unlawful.

Then, in a striking paragraph, the report discussed false statements in foreclosures involving MERS mortgages. It pointed to “MERS' concession that false statements are routine,” adding that that “does not appear to be isolated to Florida. Other courts have questioned the accuracy of MERS' pleadings.”

The law firm stated that “[a] review of reported cases and pleadings reveal that MERS counsel are misrepresenting to courts that MERS is the owner or holder of defaulted promissory notes in at least 7 states.” 

POLL

3/6/15

RESCISSION: If no lender disclosed, then there was no consummation, no loan contract

If the lender was not disclosed at closing, then is a TILA rescission effective? My first answer is that if the rescission notice is sent, then the mortgage and note are nullified by operation of law unless the “lender” files a lawsuit within 20 days contesting the notice of rescission.

Living Lies So whether you were right or wrong, it would be my opinion that if the “lender” does not respond, the matter is closed and that is the end of the note and mortgage. And if there is no note and mortgage then anything that happens afterwards is void because you can’t get a foreclosure on a mortgage that legally does not exist even if a copy of the mortgage is sitting in county records. And a sale would also be void. 

But the interesting direct answer already found in the court system is that if the lender is not disclosed there can be no consummation because there is no loan contract unless you have at least two identified parties.

3/6/15

From homeowner to homeless, meet a victim of Florida’s ongoing foreclosure crisis

He got a loan modification from mortgage-servicing company Litton in January 2011 that reduced the interest rate he paid. Several months later, he told us, a company called Green Tree took over the mortgage and started raising his payments.

PBS Last week, Making Sen$e watched David hand over the keys to his house for a $1,500 check in a “Cash for Keys” transaction. He was told that if he returned, he’d be trespassing. His belongings curbside, the house, which is now worth a third of what he bought it for, belongs to the bank. He was told he could take the refrigerator. But it barely works, and besides, where would it fit in the Explorer?

The $1,500 is supposed to give the newly displaced a fresh start, but for David, his new start is a truck stop parking lot where the best he can hope for is some shade for his dogs and access to the bathroom.

3/6/15

Mortgage scammer commits fraud from inside jail cell

Great news for the mortgage industry and its lawyers!: You will still be able to satisfy your perverted addiction to mortgage fraud after we put you in prison for 24+ years.

This guy was convicted of only 11 counts of mail fraud. What will the industry's daily 'bulk' mail fraud bring?

Housing Wire A California man will spend the next 24 years in prison for leading a mortgage fraud scheme through which he stole $5.8 million in fees and monthly payments from struggling homeowners. He was convicted of 11 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering

“Alan Tikal’s actions were illegal and will not be tolerated in California (unless a bank does it.). He and his partners defrauded hundreds of hard-working Californians who were fighting to keep their homes during our state’s foreclosure crisis,” AG Harris said.

JP Morgan Chase Settles Robo-Signing Charges For $50 Million, Tax Deductible

Forbes The U.S. Trustee struck a $50 million deal over charges JPMorgan Chase ‘robo-signed’ mortgage documents to numerous bankruptcy courts. The bank must pay more than 25,000 homeowners in the remedial deal. As a result, there appears to be no restriction on the bank’s ability to write off the entire amount on its taxes.

3/5/15

Chase Admits Violations of Consent Order

Living Lies The answer lies in the lies. The plain truth is, based upon my direct knowledge in several cases, that Chase did not own the loans, the Trusts therefore could not have purchased the loans and that not only Chase was lying but so was US Bank when it was named in foreclosure actions as Trustee for a Trust that plainly did not purchase the loans nor was any of the paperwork showing a transfer authentic. The underlying transaction simply isn’t there and Chase (and other banks) successfully hoodwinked courts into applying legal presumptions that were plainly contrary to the facts.

3/5/15

Senate hearing faults FBI system meant to protect whistleblowers

Something is backward when the nation’s premier law enforcement agency makes it difficult for people to report wrongdoing.

“Whistleblowers should not have to fear retaliation for speaking up, and they should not have to wait a decade for relief. And, they should not have to rely on Congress to see justice done.” said Grassley.

Washington Post The agency in this case is the FBI. The people, its employee whistleblowers. The wrongdoing is waste, fraud and abuse within the bureau.

Another troublesome point is the long delay — it can take a decade — by the Justice Department in resolving some whistleblower cases.

Then, even after whistleblowers are vindicated, “was anyone ever held accountable for the retaliation against these whistleblowers?” Grassley asked. “Not that I’m aware of. If no one pays a price, then it will happen again.”

3/5/15

Standing in Foreclosure Cases, Again. Note and Mortgage or Note or Mortgage at Time of Filing? 

Legally Speaking Ohio What troubled me most about this argument was a seeming shrug off by the justices of the key holding in Schwartzwald. Several took a “what’s the big deal, so the case has to be dismissed and refiled” attitude here, when Schwartzwald was a big deal, about standing and jurisdiction. Not being able to show an injury at the time suit is filed is a big deal, but the court was suddenly acting as if it wasn’t.
White paper

THE PRO SE LITIGANT'S STRUGGLE FOR ACCESS TO JUSTICE

Meeting the Challenge of Bench and Bar Resistance 

Just as the growth of pro se litigation is a challenge for the courts, so, too, is the bench and bar's resistance to pro se assistance programs and policies a challenge to court reformers seeking to improve access to justice.

Jona Goldschmidt  Even where progressive courts have been able to implement court-annexed pro se assistance programs, judicial and bar resistance to pro se assistance in the courtroom remains. 

This paper explores the reasons for such resistance, and argues that pro se litigants have a right to receive - and judges have an obligation to provide - reasonable judicial assistance, particularly in cases involving a represented and an unrepresented party. A set of recommendations is offered which will result in pro se litigants being given more basic legal information than previously provided, better preparation of pro se cases, and a more active judge to ensure that all parties have equal access to justice. 

Judge approves $8.5B deal over Bank of America mortgages

Charlotte Bizjournal The judge's approval today will likely close the book on one of the final outstanding claims against the bank. Since buying mortgage lender Countrywide Financial in 2008, BofA has paid tens of billions of dollars to private investors, government regulators and individual borrowers to settle claims of bad lending, misrepresentation and sour loan servicing in the aftermath of the recession and subprime mortgage crisis.

No Default Notice Means No Foreclosure, 4th DCA Rules
Blum v. Deutsche Bank

The decision did not address Blum's other defenses, including an argument that the bank presented a backdated mortgage assignment and did not prove standing to foreclose on the property.
"There were compound errors by the lender, servicer and the law firm."

Florida 4th DCA The bank violated the terms of the mortgage by sending the notice of default to a post office box rather than the property address, which was the official notice address listed in the mortgage.

Even though the house was vacant at the time, the appeals court agreed and remanded the case to the trial court for dismissal for noncompliance with the mortgage's acceleration requirement.

3/5/15

Don’t Let Them Fool You: Banks and Investors Are Very Nervous About Rescission

The plain truth now that is FINAL by judgment of the US Supreme Court is that Aurora's attorney was dead wrong. And there is nothing he can do to make it right.

Living Lies The validity of the rescission notice could only have been raised if the “lender” had filed a complaint within 20 days from the date of the notice of rescission. Failure of the lender to do that waives the defenses and trying to collaterally attack it when the homeowner claims the mortgage and note are void won’t work — unless a judge wants to be reversed by the US Supreme Court. Most judges will want to side with the bank but the law is Federal law and it is the law of the land — so says the US Supreme Court.

3/5/15

We Tried to Re-Create JPMorgan’s Mutual Fund Returns and Gave Up

Do other money managers run into these statistical thickets? An unscientific sampling of 10 financial companies’ annual reports found nothing like JPMorgan’s pie charts. Several companies offered no fund-performance claims in their reports.

Bloomberg According to the bank’s 2014 presentation, 97 percent of alternative assets beat their benchmarks for the previous 10 years. In 2015 that figure rose to 100 percent. Working from their own, more limited data on JPMorgan’s alternative assets, Morningstar and Lipper got different numbers. Morningstar said 33 percent of JPMorgan’s alternative assets beat their benchmarks over the previous 10 years. Lipper’s figures show that only 14 percent did.

3/4/15

Housing Department 'Tries' to Remedy Past Errors, Prevent Wrongful Foreclosures

Bennett v. HUD

RegBlog A federal court found that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) – the HUD agency that provides insurance on loans made by government-approved lenders – insured certain reverse mortgages in violation of a federal statute.

3/4/15

Florida Supreme Court Considers Clearing up Conflicts on Statute of Limitations

Due process has been shattered for homeowners while complete strangers take their homes with the cooperation of Judges who are struggling with the caseload and their own bias about how damaging it would be if debts were not paid. What they are missing is that none of the people foreclosing own any debt 

Living Lies Banks get one chance to foreclose and if the case goes against them, they get nothing in foreclosure and if the statute of limitations has run they can’t collect on the note either. They can’t come back over and over again until they a get a judge who thinks they got it right. 

If the borrower wants to file claims against the lender and he is barred by the statute of limitations, he is done regardless of the merits. What is good for the goose was good for the gander until the courts starting bending the rules to the breaking point. They should be corrected by the Florida Supreme Court.

3/3/15

Report ties Property Taxes to more than Home Value

Localities use different methods for assessing valuations which results in difficulty comparing taxes among localities and sometimes even with the house next door. 

Mortgage Daily RealtyTrac cut the data in several ways and came up with some interesting findings. First, it found that owners of very high end and very low end homes pay the highest property tax rates. The average effective property tax rate (average taxes on a single family home in 2014 divided by the average estimated value of the home) was 1.29 percent. Where a home had a market value of $50,000 or less, the rate was 1.68 percent and for those valued between $50,000 and $100,000 it was 1.40. As seen in the chart below, when property values rose above $100,000 the rate dropped below 1.30 percent and stayed there until values hit $1 million. Then the rate climbed, reaching 1.77 percent for properties over $2 million in value.

3/3/15

Servicing Matters

Comment: BAC as lender made commitments as mortgagee in the contract with the borrower to which BAC as "servicer" is actually a contractor responsible to FNMA-----not to the borrower. You have to refocus on the fact that you (borrower) are the mortgagor who has a contract with the mortgagee (FNMA) under the terms and conditions of your contract. In other words, let the GSE worry about their contractors for which they are responsible. 

Katie Porter  

Does it really matter who services your loan? To date, research has very little to say about this, though ask any housing counselor who has tried to shepherd a distressed loan through the modification process and the answer will be “most definitely.” Unfortunately, most data on loan performance don’t allow researchers to identify the institution that services the loan, which makes analysis of servicer performance challenging. So other than headlines about robo-signing or dual tracking, we have few studies that systematically study servicers and the ways in which they assist distressed borrowers. 

 

3/3/15

Ocwen: Investors and Borrowers Move toward Unity of Purpose!

The investors, who are the actual creditors (albeit unsecured) are getting close to the point where they state outright what everyone already knows:

Living Lies ...there is no collateral for these loans and every disclosure statement involving nearly all the loans violated disclosure requirements under TILA, RESPA, and Federal and state regulations.
The fact that (1) the loan was not funded by the payee on the note and mortgagee on the mortgage and (2) that the money from creditors were never properly channeled through the REMIC trusts because the trusts never received the proceeds of sale of mortgage backed securities is getting closer and closer to the surface.

3/3/15

JPMorgan to Pay $50M Settlement for 'Robo-Signing Scandal', Other Bankruptcy Fouls

JPMorgan Chase Admits Failure to Comply with April 13, 2011 Independent Foreclosure Review Consent Order

Although the notices were signed “under penalty of perjury,” no JPMorgan employees are named in the DOJ announcement, nor have any company executives faced federal charges for the alleged wrongdoing.

Department of Justice release

ibTimes

 

_____

 

DOJ

In a statement, Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery said it was “shocking” that the practice at JPMorgancontinued as long as it did.” He went on: “Such unlawful and abusive banking practices can deprive American homeowners of a fair chance in the bankruptcy system, and we will not tolerate them.

What does he mean "we will not tolerate them"? Unless he makes the borrower whole by giving them their house back with full damages, then he [is] tolerating them!

Almost all of the restitution will be in refunds and credits. What does a 'refund' or 'credit' mean or look like when you have ruined someone's life? 

Forgiven mortgages would not count as NC income under House bill

Charlotte Observer Analysts say the proposal could affect as many as 4,000 North Carolina homeowners caught up in the mortgage crisis.

3/3/15

Mummified' body in foreclosed home ID'd as owner

WKYZ She worked for a technology company in Little Rock, Ark., programming banking software for loan applications. In May 2008, Farrenkopf resigned from her job in Michigan with Fidelity National Information Services — previously known as ALLTEL Information Services — after 23 years with the company. 

3/3/15

JPMorgan Chase Admits Failure to Comply with Independent Foreclosure Review Consent Order

DTC Chase acknowledges that it filed in bankruptcy courts around the country more than 50,000 payment change notices that were improperly signed, under penalty of perjury, by persons who had not reviewed the accuracy of the notices. More than 25,000 notices were signed in the names of former employees or of employees who had nothing to do with reviewing the accuracy of the filings. The rest of the notices were signed by individuals employed by a third party vendor on matters unrelated to checking the accuracy of the filings.
 

3/3/15

Citigroup to Benefit From Losing Its Most Profitable Unit

NY Times The sale price should also give the bank an opportunity to tap into its $50 billion or so of deferred tax assets accumulated from losses during and after the financial crisis that can be used as long as its United States-based businesses turn a profit.

Superstorm Sandy Fraud

Consider the similarities with mortgage fraud.

60 Minutes Sharyn Alfonsi investigates allegations that thousands of homeowners were denied their flood insurance claims after Hurricane Sandy because of fraudulent engineers' reports.

3/2/15

Banks Struggling with Notices of Rescission

We are starting to get a peek at the strategy the banks will employ in dealing with notices of rescission. In one case the homeowner sent the notice of BOA, who answered that they received it (one problem solved) and that the new servicer is Ocwen (whose business practices have been the subject of a cease and desist order for failing to comply with prior “settlements” and “consent judgments.”)

When the bank tells you there is another servicer, they are trying to re-start the 20 days to file a lawsuit they don’t want to file, containing allegations they don’t want to allege, and requiring proof they cannot satisfy. It won’t work. So far, so good. They will probably try to say you sent it to the wrong “servicer” and that therefore your notice of rescission was invalid.

Living Lies The foreclosure judge will be inclined to accept any argument against the effect of rescission. But TILA is very specific, it is Federal law, and the CFPB regulations under Dodd-Frank make it pretty clear that the shell game won’t work with respect to the notice of rescission.

Either way you are:

(a) going to get rid of the mortgage and note and you will receive a ton of money just for what you paid the pretender lender at closing or the transferees of the bogus paper — which means that you cancel the note, void the mortgage so it is no longer in your chain of title — AND receive a ton of money for the payments you made for interest and principal on a monthly basis going back to the inception of the fake loan closing, AND/OR
(b) going to get a ton of information that the foreclosure court might not otherwise allow you to reach in discovery (request for admissions, interrogatories, request to produce, depositions)
.

3/2/15

Penalty of Perjury”: More 702.015 Fun

What does it mean to be “under penalty of perjury?”

Stopa Law Last week, I posted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari addressing other requirements of Fla. Stat. 702.015. Today, I’m discussing what the banksters have to do to file a certification “under penalty of perjury” consistent with the statute.

The Petition is being filed in a case called Hummer.
 

3/2/15

New York’s Benjamin Lawksy and the SEC’s Kara Stein and Luis Aguilar Push for Tougher Sanctions Against Bank Executives

naked capitalism While the long-suffering American public is still waiting for prosecutions of bank executives for blowing up the global financial system, reform-minded regulators are taking steps to inflict other types of pain on them if they engage in misconduct.

Morgan Stanley: NY AG is Planning to Sue Us

NMP Morgan Stanley has announced that the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is planning to file a lawsuit against the company in regard to its securitization of sub-prime mortgages in the period leading up to the 2008 economic crash.

3/1/15

Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged

America is particularly bound up in the idea of career and financial success, seeing those who take a tumble as losers rather than victims.

The caller often fits a certain profile: male, age 35 to 60 and financially ruined. “He has also lost his core identity as a husband and provider, and he cannot be a man any more according to our cultural standards.” 

naked capitalism I’m surprised, but perhaps I shouldn’t be, that a recent study hasn’t gotten the attention it warrants. It points to a direct connection between the impact of the crisis and a marked increase in suicide rates among the middle aged. This link seems entirely logical, given how many citizens found themselves whacked by a one-two punch of job loss or hours cutbacks combined with the sudden plunge in home prices. Normally, a last ditch course of action for most middle and upper middle class income members in the pre-crisis days, when things got desperate, was to sell you house and cut costs radically by moving into a much more modest rental. But that option vanished.

"Ordered, that the note of issue is stricken."

JPMorgan v. Fashakin

Supreme Court 

Queens NY

In the instant case, plaintiff identified itself as the creditor, maintained the action in its own name and has failed to offer any evidence that the owner of the note and mortgage has delegated authority to commence and maintain this action. Thus, there is an issue of fact regarding standing and the cross-motion for summary judgment is denied.

Texas Supreme Court DENIES Wells Fargo's Petition for Review to overturn COA decision in:

Wells Fargo v. Leath

Texas

Supreme Court

Wells Fargo has failed to overturn "the judgment voiding the deed of trust lien on Leath’s homestead and ordering forfeiture of the principal and interest on the related home equity adjustable rate note."
 
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

copyright MSFraud.org