News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished heist in United States history - Matt Keiser


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Mortgage Servicing Fraud
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
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Homeowners facing foreclosure have more rights available

Daily Democrat Alysa Meyer, managing attorney for Legal Services, of Yolo County, told a gathering of people the California Homeowner Bill of Rights not only spells out more clearly the options available to those facing foreclosure but also puts more pressure on lenders to work with borrowers.

No Original Notes, forged assignments, massive criminal activity known, yet...

Record High Home Foreclosures in Maryland

Epoch Times “A total of 3,962 Maryland properties had foreclosure filings during the month July, an increase of 148 percent from a year ago and one in every 598 housing units,” states the report. Scheduled auctions were up 96 percent and bank repossessions were up 101 percent, adds the report.

The surge in foreclosure has been consistent for over a year. “Including July, overall foreclosure activity in Maryland has increased annually for 13 consecutive months,” says RealtyTrac report


The Real Deal and How to Get There

Living Lies The key is to attack the Judge’s presumption whether stated or not, that a real transaction took place, whether at origination or transfer. Once you let the Court know that is what you are attacking the Judge must either rule against you as a matter of law which would be overturned easily on appeal and they know it, or they must allow penetrating discovery that will reveal the real money trail. The error made by nearly everyone is that the presumption that the paperwork tells THE story. The truth is that the paperwork tells a story but it is false.

MERS Remains Afloat in a Sea of Foreclosures

American Bar Association This article describes the various types of attacks on MERS by mortgagors and the different ways courts have dealt with them; and argues that MERS plays a legitimate role in the mortgage market.


On the edge: A family fights to keep their home

Lester Holt follows the story of a family as they attempt to avoid foreclosure. How far would you go to save your home?

Dateline In the end, the Sadowskis lost both battles – for their home and their marriage. They no longer live that American dream, but their outlook has changed.

“You know what? Things don’t buy happiness,” Krichelle Sadowski said. “We all say that, but it really is true. I’ve learned that you can be happy without money.” 


SEC’s new policy requiring admissions of wrongdoing: implications for FCPA settlements?

This settlement reflects the first implementation of the SEC’s new policy, announced in June 2013, under which the agency will require admissions of wrongdoing in connection with the settlement of certain enforcement actions.

Alston & Bird LLP On August 19, 2013, the SEC entered into a settlement agreement with Phillip Falcone and his advisory firm, Harbinger Capital Partners, based on allegations that Falcone used $113 million in Harbinger assets to his personal benefit, had favored certain investors at the expense of other investors, and had improperly manipulated bond prices. In order to settle the case, Falcone and Harbinger were required to make numerous admissions of wrongdoing. 


Zero Prosecutions of Elite Banksters is Too Many for the Wall Street Journal

Dick Bove wrote an even more hagiographic defense of JPMorgan than the WSJ column demanding an end to the (non-existent) prosecution of elite bank frauds. The WSJ claimed, contrary to all facts and history, that this must be the first Virgin crisis in modern history. Bove, however, unintentionally demonstrates why elite control frauds have become so common at the SDIs, for he is a fervent proponent even know of the global competition in regulatory laxity.

“The attack against JPMorgan brings to the forefront another key issue that I have been arguing—i.e., banking regulators are pushing U.S. business away from this country to foreigners,” he wrote in a research note.

Prof. William Black In 1997, Congress held a series of hearings where the American people saw the Internal Revenue Service almost literally on trial. They saw a parade of witness [sic] come before Congress to testify about the naked abuse of power over at the Internal Revenue Service.

We saw current and former IRS agents who had to testify in secret because they feared for their lives. We saw ordinary citizens, taxpayers, who talked about how an audit turned their entire lives upside down, with some of them suffering great financial loss that will never be recovered. We saw a government agency totally out of control, lacking accountability, an agency where one is guilty until proven innocent.


Homeowner Can Challenge Mortgage Assignment

Judge Kennelly has ruled that a homeowner can challenge a mortgage assignment under Illinois law.

Defendants argue that Elesh is not a party to the assignment and thus lacks standing to challenge it. Only one of the cases upon which defendants rely, however, is an Illinois case, and that case makes it clear that this supposed “rule” has exceptions. See Bank of America Nat’l Ass’n v. Bassman FBT, LLC, No. 2-11-0729, 2012 IL App (2d) 110729, 981 N.E.2d 1, 6-11 (2012).

ELESH v. MERS, Deutsche Bank

REFinBlog The basic requirements of standing are that the plaintiff suffered an injury to a legally cognizable interest and is asserting his own legal rights rather than those of a third party. See id. at 6. Elesh unquestionably meets the first requirement; the recorded assignment constitutes a cloud on his title, and Deutsche Bank recently relied on the assignment to prosecute a foreclosure action against him. Elesh also has a viable argument that in challenging the validity of the assignment, he is asserting his own rights and not someone else’s rights. For example, given Deutsche Bank’s apparent lack of possession of the original note, Elesh is put at risk of multiple liability as long as Deutsche Bank claims to hold the mortgage. See id. at 7-8 (citing cases indicating that an obligor has an interest in ensuring that he will not have to pay the same claim twice). In any event, Illinois law, to the extent there is much of it on this point, appears to recognize an obligor’s right to attack an assignment as void or invalid under certain circumstances.


Remember those big moving trucks being loaded with scores of WAMU loan documents down in the heart of Texas and then transported to Mexico as caught on film by a local TV news group. The saga continues.

Justice League Fearless foreclosure fighter, Dr. James Madison Kelley, has filed a sworn affidavit of WAMU borrower, Karen Armstrong, in US Bankruptcy Court in San Jose, California in support of his adversarial proceedings against JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and
Washington Mutual Bank FA. The revelations may prove to be groundbreaking relative to the locations (or absence thereof) of the true blue-ink original mortgage loan documents, (i.e. Notes, Mortgages, Deeds of Trust).

[all] Washington Mutual Bank, FA original notes, deeds of trust,
and other legal documents were destroyed.


Mortgage servicing system still riddled with problems according to financial watchdog

CFBP releases report detailing continuing failures with Mortgage Servicing System

Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the financial watchdog agency created following the 2008 financial crisis to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices in the financial products and services industry, has released a report detailing a host of continuing problems with the handling of mortgages by the country’s major mortgage servicers.

The report, based on examinations conducted by the CFPB between November 2012 and June 2013, highlight failures in fundamental activities, such as sloppy payment processing and account transfers between banks that can result in extra fees for homeowners, and significant shortcomings in handling loans on which borrowers had trouble making payments.


Did you wonder why MERS was no longer foreclosing?

OCC – Correcting Foreclosure Practices

There are currently approximately 31 million active residential mortgage loans registered on the MERS System.” 

What happened to the other 40 million?

MERS Cease & Desist (2011)

Deadly Clear The Agencies have identified certain deficiencies and unsafe or unsound practices by MERS and MERSCORP that present financial, operational, compliance, legal and reputational risks to MERSCORP and MERS, and to the participating Members.

The Consent Order verifies separate and distinct “MERS” corporations substantiating that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and MERSCORP, Inc. are NOT the same company!

OCC Link


Bank of America lays off 1,000 in Beachwood; bank closes 3 mortgage offices in Ohio

Cleveland Bank of America notified about 1,000 workers in Beachwood today that they will lose their jobs as of Oct. 31 as the company closes its mortgage and consumer banking office.

Making ‘Too Big To Fail’ Banks Help Poor Borrowers

National Memo Predatory lenders are folding fast in New York State, thanks to a savvy banking regulator who takes his duty to protect the public as seriously as his duties to the financial industry — and knows how to use the law to get quick action.

Foreclosure Defense Trial SECRETS EXPOSED! A Transcript of a Foreclosure Trial That Shows How A Homeowner Wins Foreclosure!

Matt Weidner, Esq. This is the real challenge in a foreclosure trial….getting the court to believe that a homeowner in foreclosure is entitled to the same due process protections as an accused child molester or murder. Put more plainly, most rulings by a judge are judgment calls and far too often, what we see in foreclosure is the calls falling in favor of the banks. The challenge is getting a judge to believe he owes just as much due process to my clients, as he would to those who are accused of the most heinous crimes.

Jill Kelley walks out of deposition in home foreclosure case

Kelley refused to be sworn in, a Regions Bank attorney said. Then she refused to testify, departing with her attorney.

Tampa Bay "They're actually leaving the room now and not even listening to me on the record," said Regions attorney Peter Hargitai at the deposition, according to a transcript.

Kelley and her husband, Dr. Scott Kelley, have refused to testify in the foreclosure case on their posh Bayshore Boulevard home. The couple say a Regions lawyer is threatening to question them about the Petraeus scandal and then release a transcript to the media.



Risks Aside, ARMs Gain Ground

Because the mortgage industry thinks everyone is too stupid to remember.

NY Times With mortgage rates inching up and homeowners often refinancing before the end of their loan terms, adjustable-rate mortgages are becoming more enticing to more borrowers who have forgotten that is was ARMs that created the Savings & Loan Crisis and the 2007 Crisis and caused massive homelessness.

Because adjustable-rate loans carry more risk, rates on them are lower than those on fixed-rate loans. After an initial period of fixed interest, rates may rise as they did to create the 2007 Crisis.

Regulators Repeat Exactly What They Did During the Last Housing Boom

Baseline This is the exact same argument that was made in favor of deregulation during the two decades prior to the last financial crisis, without the slightest hint of irony. It’s further proof that everyone has either forgotten that the financial crisis happened or is pretending that it didn’t happen because, well, maybe it won’t happen again?


JPMorgan Bribe Probe Said to Expand in Asia as Spreadsheet Is Found

Bloomberg A probe of JPMorgan Chase hiring practices in China has uncovered red flags across Asia, including an internal spreadsheet that linked appointments to specific deals pursued by the bank, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Justice Department has joined the Securities and Exchange Commission in examining whether JPMorgan hired people so that their family members in government and elsewhere would steer business to the firm, possibly violating bribery laws

Defendants in CNY home mortgage fraud case facing rare charge 

Second-Degree Residential Mortgage Fraud, along with Scheme to Defraud, Grand Larceny and Falsifying Business Records.

Syracuse They're accused of scamming home buyers and banks in Central New York for nine years through falsified loan applications, fake credit reports and inflated home appraisals.

They're accused of defrauding banks and home-buyers out of $1.1. million. The state attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the case, would not disclose the total number of victims.


How to Search the SEC for a Securitized Trust

The following information will assist you in searching the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the alleged trust.

Deadly Clear When a unknown bank named as a Trustee for a securitized trust (usually Deutsche Bank, Bank of NY Mellon, US Bank National, etc.) sends you a letter stating you owe them money and you are in default, the first thing you should do is contact a local title company and have them look for an Assignment of Mortgage under your address or tax key number (it won’t likely be under your name). Chances are the Assignment of Mortgage is fabricated and void; however, this is the breeder document that allows the banksters to foreclose. 


Survey: Banking industry's reputation is nearly as bad as that of Congress; BofA ranks last

LA Times In the annals of image problems, the banking industry ranks right up there .... er, down there ... in the company of Congress, with a high-profile survey ranking Bank of America Corp. at the bottom of the heap. 


Wall Street’s greatest enemy: The man who knows too much

What Michael Winston knows about corporate crimes will horrify you. That's why financial giants want to destroy him.

Winston could not ignore the rot at the heart of Countrywide’s profit-making approach.

“I keep hearing about whistle-blower protections,” he tells Salon, exasperatedly. “It certainly didn’t happen for me.”

Salon So now, a successful high-level executive for 30 years, he has been embroiled in seven years of lawsuits with Countrywide and the company that bought it, Bank of America. His determination to speak out against multiple violations of law at Countrywide earned him retaliation, and eventually, he was frozen out of corporate boardrooms, unable to find a new job. He won a jury verdict in his case, but after two and a half more years of fighting, an appellate court reversed the ruling in highly unusual circumstances.

Now, Bank of America wants to gouge Michael Winston one last time, demanding an interest payment on money awarded to him that he never received.

“Thus far, the person who did the right thing got punished, and the person who did the wrong thing got rewarded,” Winston said. The chilling case shows that the greatest enemy for Wall Street is the man or woman who actually tries to expose its secrets.


Fla 4th DCA Provides Short Lesson on Business Records Exception to Hearsay Rule

Yang v. Sebatian Lakes Condo Assoc.

Living Lies This opinion the Court gives the reader a lesson on hearsay, objections, preservation of issues for appeal, and exceptions to hearsay. As a prelude, evidence is properly admitted into the record if it is unopposed. So you must object if you don’t want it in. If you don’t object, you are cooked.

Federal Reserve Employees Afraid To Speak Put Financial System At Risk

Huff Post The shaky morale is a legacy of Alan Greenspan’s 19-year term as Fed chairman. From 1987 to 2006, the Greenspan Fed pushed for a hands-off approach by regulators, who then found themselves blamed for the financial crisis that led to the most punishing economic downturn since the Great Depression.

U.S. Plan Eases Rules for Mortgage Lenders

The new rules, the latest version of a 2011 proposal, were required under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Mortgages to borrowers who do not have to spend big chunks of their monthly income repaying the debt will be exempt from the requirement.

Reuters Six federal regulatory agencies released a reworked proposal on Wednesday that would require lenders to maintain a stake in the loans they bundle and sell as securities, part of efforts to limit the type of underwriting practices that fed the housing bubble.

But the proposal also expanded the range of mortgages that would be exempt from the requirement.


The Leveraged Buyout of America

Giant bank holding companies now own airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts. They are systematically buying up or gaining control of the essential lifelines of the economy. How have they pulled this off, and where have they gotten the money?

Ellen Brown, JD Using these excess deposits directly for their own speculative trading would be blatantly illegal, but the banks have been able to avoid the appearance of impropriety by borrowing from the repo market. (See my earlier article here.) The banks' excess deposits are first used to purchase Treasury bonds, agency securities, and other highly liquid, "safe" securities. These liquid assets are then pledged as collateral in repo transactions, allowing the banks to get "clean" cash to invest as they please. They can channel this laundered money into risky assets such as derivatives, corporate bonds, and equities (stock).

We need a banking system that focuses not on casino profiteering or feudal rent-seeking but on promoting economic and social well-being; and that is the mandate of the public banking sector globally.

False Recordings in Arizona Foreclosures

The recent Arizona appellate court decisions, Stauffer and Huff, are significant because Arizona’s federal district courts had been regularly dismissing homeowner claims for false recordings on the pleadings, claiming that the statute 33-420 did not apply.

This case would have been decided differently today because of the Stauffer case, and the Huff case. That’s the significance, and that’s why these cases matter to Arizona homeowners.

Findsen Law When reviewing issues of state law, the district court is charged with determining how the Arizona Supreme Court would interpret the state law. Now we know how the Arizona appellate court interprets 33-420, and it isn’t the way the district courts were applying it. Here’s an excerpt of a motion I wrote back in Sept. 2012, asking the district court to either reconsider dismissing my client’s 33-420 claims on the basis that the statute didn’t apply to these types of documents or this type of homeowner, or certifying the legal question to the Arizona Supreme Court.

It doesn’t mean the homeowner automatically wins, but it does mean that homeowner gets an opportunity for justice and to at least present his case.

Another Homeowner Win in Arizona! False Recordings 

Huff v. Flagstar Bank

Findsen Law Reversed and remanded back to trial court on false documents recorded in connection with a non-judicial foreclosure:

Huff argues that one may be liable under the false recording statute for filing a notice of substitution of trustee, or a notice of trustee sale which is forged, groundless, contains a material misstatement or false claim or is otherwise invalid. We agree.


U.S. Bank Legal Bills Exceed $100 Billion

The six biggest U.S. banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., have piled up $103 billion in legal costs since the financial crisis, more than all dividends paid to shareholders in the past five years.

Bloomberg That’s the amount allotted to lawyers and litigation, as well as for settling claims about shoddy mortgages and foreclosures, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The sum tops the banks’ combined profit last year.
The mounting bills have vexed bankers who are counting on expense cuts to make up for slow revenue growth and make room for higher payouts.


Affirmative Defenses in Foreclosure Litigation

The following is merely a potential guide, depending upon the facts of the case. It would be extremely helpful if you had a securitization and title report that you could attach or refer to in making these allegations. Once the matters are put in issue, the judge has no choice but to allow discovery on those points, which is why affirmative defenses are important. After you have stated your factual premises, then you must choose between a variety of affirmative defenses that are recognized by law, which is why this article is directed at attorneys. 

Living Lies I cannot overstate the importance of understanding the elements of securitization and the way it was distorted and continues to be distorted by banks who have pulled the wool over the eyes of just about everyone — including the borrowers themselves and their attorneys. Pleadings I have examined show that the lawyer or pro se litigant who drafted them are merely saying “there is something wrong here, but I don’t know what because the opposition won’t give me the information I need.” It then becomes a cat and mouse game as to what issues are relevant for discovery. In the end, even if the discovery is forthcoming neither the lawyer nor the homeowner knows what to do with it.



At a time when many other Americans were losing their homes, he was siphoning off public funds to buy a luxury vacation condo in Florida,” Dickinson said. “These federal funds were intended to help stabilize the economy during a fiscal crisis. Instead, this disgraced business leader took advantage of the situation to benefit himself and other bank executives, then lied to federal investigators in an attempt to hide his scheme.”

Under federal statutes, Woods is subject to a sentence of up to one year in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $100,000 and an order of restitution.

SIGTARP Darryl Layne Woods, 48, of Columbia, Mo., former chairman and chief financial officer (CFO) of Mainstreet Bank in Ashland, Mo., pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to misleading federal investigators about the use of $381,000 in TARP bank bailout funds to purchase a luxury condominium in Fort Myers, Fla.
“The purpose of TARP is to promote financial stability and lending in a time of national economic crisis, not to bankroll the purchase of luxury vacation properties for bank executives,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP). “When SIGTARP required Mainstreet Bank to disclose how it spent TARP funds, bank chairman and CFO Woods failed to tell the truth that within days of receiving the TARP funds, the bank spent more than a third of the funds purchasing a waterfront condo in Florida for his and other executives’ use. SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners will hold accountable and bring to justice those guilty of crimes related to TARP.”


Merrill Lynch in Big Payout for Bias Case

Merrill Lynch, one of the biggest brokerage firms on Wall Street, has agreed to pay $160 million to settle a racial bias lawsuit that wound through the federal courts for eight years, including two appeals to the United States Supreme Court.

DealBook The payout in the suit, which was filed on behalf of 700 black brokers who worked for Merrill, would be the largest sum ever distributed to plaintiffs in a racial discrimination suit against an American employer.

This is a somewhat heroic story because these plaintiffs just kept fighting and fighting,” said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School. “This is like a triple-overtime win.”


Regulators Prepare Penalties for JPMorgan

Two federal regulators are preparing a series of enforcement actions and fines against JPMorgan Chase stemming from its dealings with consumers during the recession in the latest legal woes facing the nation’s biggest bank.

DealBook The most costly cases for JPMorgan center on concerns that the bank duped its credit card customers into buying products pitched as a way to shield them from identity theft.

Even if some fines are assessed, those penalties will barely nick the bottom line of the bank, which earned record profits in recent quarters. Yet the actions represent one element of a broader federal crackdown on JPMorgan.

This is too incredible to believe!

Fannie Ranks Ocwen and PNC as Top Servicers

Some of mortgage fraud's biggest criminals receiving awards.

Mortgage Servicing News Fannie released its servicer rankings Tuesday as part of its Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards (STAR) program, which ranks servicers based on overall performance, customer service and foreclosure prevention efforts.

The top performers in Peer Group One are Green Tree Servicing LLC, Nationstar Mortgage, Ocwen, PHH Mortgage Corp., PNC, Seterus Inc. and Wells Fargo Bank NA.

Rakoff’s order clears the way for the case to proceed toward trial, which is scheduled for September 23.

BofA fails to end U.S. mortgage fraud lawsuit as trial nears

Eronews In an order made public on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said there are “genuine factual disputes” involving at least one of the government’s theories to warrant letting the case continue against the second-largest U.S. bank. He said he will explain his reasons in due course.


Bank of America hires criminals

Foreclosed Renters Left Homeless In Shadow Of Disneyland

I won’t stop until heads roll,” he says, his voice rising. “I want people fired. I want people held accountable.”

Genel, 34, agrees that the family was wronged, that Bank of America should have honored a lease that doesn't expire until the end of September. She shares Mogelberg's outrage over the loss of belongings they claim a bank contractor stole while they were locked out of their home.

Huff Post She was permitted to retrieve nothing when she was forced from her home, so she wears the same work outfit -- a striped skirt and black sweater -- nearly every day.

"All of a sudden you go home and there's no home," Mogelberg said.

He confronted the bank contractor who let them back into the home. According to public records, that contractor, Daniel Ray Slusher, has been convicted of multiple felonies, including identity theft and receiving stolen property. He has been arrested at least eight times, according to Orange County court records. 

THE KEY to Foreclosure Defense

SEND Discovery, DEMAND Answers, Put The Bank ON THE DEFENSIVE!


Discovery Package Standing

Matt Weidner, Esq. As a foreclosure lawyer who practices foreclosure defense in Tampa and St. Petersburg, I’m not in the business of foreclosure delay. I”m in the business of winning foreclosure cases for my clients!

Foreclosure defense is not about delay of the foreclosure process, foreclosure defense is about fighting the banks, at every step of the way and forcing the outcome that my clients deserve….

There really should be no need to bankruptcy or frankly even mortgage modification. The key is to fight foreclosure!


Smith v. Bank of Am. Home Loans

No consideration that BAC does NOT exist? 

  RESPA does not require a loan servicer to provide information in response to a borrower’s Qualified Written Request concerning loan validity.

(granting defendant’s motion to dismiss)


Pinching Pensions to Keep Wall Street Fat and Happy

Truth-Out The pensions for Detroit's retirees average just over $18,000 a year. That means many AIG executives got a larger bonus from their bankrupt company in 2009 than Detroit workers will collect over their whole retirement. 

Judge Rules Against JPMorgan in Suit Over Billionaire’s Losses

The ruling found the bank liable for breach of contract in mishandling an account held by the Russian-American billionaire Leonard Blavatnik.

Reuters Mr. Blavatnik also welcomed the decision. “There are a lot of people out there who, I understand, feel they have been wronged by JPMorgan but cannot afford to take on a huge bank. They shouldn’t have to,” he said in a statement. “JPMorgan should do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.


Justice Dept. Again Signals Interest to Pursue Financial Crisis Cases

The hesitancy over criminal actions, however, does not seem to be influenced by the statute of limitations. Mail and wire fraud statutes can incorporate older conduct into a broader scheme, and securities fraud can be prosecuted up to six years after the last act.

In a lawsuit filed on Aug. 6 against Bank of America related to its sale of $850 million worth of mortgage-backed securities, prosecutors charged that the bank made false statements in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1014 by not disclosing that the loans packaged for sale had not been properly evaluated. This is a much easier case because it does not require proving intent to defraud, only that the bank knew it had not made complete disclosure of material information.

DealBook “My message is, anybody who’s inflicted damage on our financial markets should not be of the belief that they are out of the woods because of the passage of time,” Mr. Holder said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week. “If any individual or if any institution is banking on waiting things out, they have to think again.

Mr. Holder will more likely pursue charges under a civil statute that has become the Justice Department’s favorite tool of late against banks: 12 U.S.C. 1833a. The statute provides for civil penalties for violations “affecting a financial institution” of up to $5.5 million or the amount the defendant gained from the misconduct.

The statute only requires that the violation affect a financial institution, a term that has been broadly construed in recent district court decisions. Last week, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan rejected a challenge by Bank of America to a lawsuit involving the sale of faulty mortgages by its Countrywide Financial subsidiary. He found that the financial institution affected by the fraud could be Bank of America itself, so that even a self-inflicted wound could be the basis for pursuing a civil penalty action.


Flood of Foreclosures Sweeps Through Several States

Maryland's foreclosure starts in July increased 275 percent from last year. Maryland isn't alone. Fifteen states saw annual increases in July foreclosure starts, with Oregon, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Arkansas joining Maryland in the top five of that statistic. The states with the top-six rates use judicial foreclosure, meaning the foreclosures are processed by the courts.



Denver public trustee overcharged homeowners in foreclosure cases

For years, Denver's public trustee intentionally overcharged hundreds of homeowners paying to clear up foreclosure cases — then sent the overages to the banks and lenders that initiated the foreclosures rather than refund the money, The Denver Post has found.

Colorado Attorney General


Denver Post Investigation

With the goal of ensuring that the public trustee's costs of processing a foreclosure were paid, the trustee tacked onto the bottom line a flat fee of $800 that homeowners were told they needed to pay if they wanted to stop a foreclosure.
If they didn't pay, the foreclosure process would continue, and the homeowner risked losing the property.
Then, once the trustee calculated the actual costs, often a quarter of what was demanded, the extra money was sent to the lawyers on behalf of the banks they represented, The Post found.
The public trustee's office said it did this because it believed the overcharges would be automatically refunded. They weren't.


Part 1 – How to Challenge an Assignment of Mortgage

This two-part post is worth the read and education – and may give you a new perspective on the intention of the documents and the necessity to defend the title at all costs.

Part 2   – How to Challenge an Assignment of Mortgage

Glenn Augentein For centuries this system worked quite well until the last decade or so. But now those with bad intentions have discovered ways around the requirements of the Statute of Frauds. Perjured testimony in court as the only proof doesn’t cut it any more. What is required is an executed writing that also lies. We’re now dealing with rampant contract perjury, and contract forgery. It is utterly insane.

The astute recorders, of which there aren’t many (John O’Brien, Kelley Monahan, Curtis Hertel, Jeff Thigpen, Phil Ting liken their recorders offices, and records, to being a crime scene, and that seems to be accurate.


Don’t Sign That Mortgage Modification…And Don’t Make Another Mortgage Payment…Until You Consult With a Foreclosure Defense Attorney

Consumers are lulled into complacency, they are often told by the banks explicitly that they do not need a foreclosure defense attorney to protect their interests, but that’s just not true. Especially when dealing with the big banks who have engaged in grossly abusive conduct, consumers need an advocate to serve their interests.

Matt Weidner, Esq. “Before a consumer sends another month’s mortgage payment to a bank, they should ask two questions. First, do you trust bank lawyers? Second, do you trust the government? If you answered no to either one of those questions, then you should consult with a foreclosure defense attorney."

“The banks have attorneys and their attorneys are working to foreclose on Floridians while at the same time, consumers are being tricked into signing mortgage modification agreements.”


Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis

When a little birdie dropped the End Game memo through my window, its content was so explosive, so sick and plain evil, I just couldn't believe it.

Greg Palast The Memo confirmed every conspiracy freak's fantasy: that in the late 1990s, the top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to rip apart financial regulation across the planet. 

The year was 1997. US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin was pushing hard to de-regulate banks. That required, first, repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act to dismantle the barrier between commercial banks and investment banks. It was like replacing bank vaults with roulette wheels.

Second, the banks wanted the right to play a new high-risk game: "derivatives trading". JP Morgan alone would soon carry $88 trillion of these pseudo-securities on its books as "assets".


"Phantom" foreclosure cases in Colorado need a close look

Now The Denver Post's David Migoya has uncovered what appears to be another wrong suffered by homeowners during an extraordinarily trying time. Migoya reported recently that lawyers are charging homeowners hundreds of dollars in fees to head off "phantom" foreclosure cases that were never actually filed in court.

Colorado Attorney General


Denver Post Investigation


The latest troubling allegation about how homeowners may have been taken advantage of comes on the heels of allegations that foreclosure law firms inflated fees for posting legal notices of foreclosure on homeowners' property.

We think Suthers should investigate this suspicious sounding situation, and if it's possible, help homeowners who have paid fees for non-existent suits get refunds.

A Winning Team: Meet the Lawyers for Mr. Thomas Glaski

Start Part I

Mandelman Matters


Here is a 30 minute Mandelman Matters Podcast with the Fresno, California attorney who has represented Mr. Glaski from day one and for the last four years. 

(In fact, he was her very first client… but shhh… it’s a great story and I don’t want to ruin it.)


Struggling homeowners have new legal tool to challenge foreclosure

MPR News Sometimes a homeowner behind on a mortgage isn't offered available loan restructuring options. Sometimes they're lost in the shuffle, trying to restructure a loan with one person at a bank only to have another person at the same bank pressing ahead with a foreclosure. The new Minnesota law gives new power to borrowers caught up in those situations.

Elwood, who helped write the law, said homeowners in Minnesota who are facing foreclosure now have a legal right to challenge the action.

EverBank to pay $43 million in foreclosure settlement

Washington Post EverBank was one of 16 mortgage servicers that struck a deal with the OCC and the Federal Reserve in 2011, after homeowners accused it of using forged and shoddy paperwork to rapidly foreclose, a practice known as “robo-signing.

One Woman’s Fight against Debt Collector Harassment


Lawyers & Settlements But rather than ignore the call or cower in a corner, Mey launched a debt collector lawsuit and was recently awarded more than $10 million in damages. She has yet to collect and may never, as most less-than-legitimate debt collectors are slippery and hard to pin down. They move a lot. But no matter. Mey, who describes herself to ABC News (8/7/13) as “an accidental activist,” continues to fight against needless bill collector harassment on behalf of countless Americans caught in the web of venom.

Colorado foreclosure-mill billing mess may blow up into national issue

Because federal dollars are involved, the Obama administration or Congress may get involved.  “It gets very ugly when parties are only following the money,” Olson said.

Denver Business Journal "It turns out that many of the major law firms responsible for managing foreclosures for the GSEs also have a controlling interest in the ancillary service firms that generate the variable fees that appear as 'costs' on the lawyer's bill. Many law firms either outright own, or their partners have a significant interest in, the company that is posting and publishing notices; or they may own or have an interest in the company that manages process of service, as well," Jackson said.

A Very Profitable Part Of Banking Goes Totally To Heck

There had been a shot before the bow. During the July 12 earnings call, Wells Fargo CFO Tim Sloan warned that jumping mortgage rates would likely grind down that refi bonanza.

Wolf Richter Refinancing mortgages is a phenomenally profitable and nearly risk-free business for banks, and one of the few growth sectors that were actually spawned by the Fed’s herculean efforts to force down long-term interest rates through waves of quantitative easing. Banks went on a hiring binge to shuffle all this paper around and extract fees along the way before they’d dump most of these mortgages into the lap of government-owned and bailed-out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And then they’d run.

Has Eric Holder Found Wall Street’s Nightmare?

No he has not.  Caldwell works for Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP who represent MERSCORP/MERS!!!!  She will never go after the fraudsters because she is one of them!

Bloomberg Caldwell, a partner at the New York law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, is the former prosecutor who led the Justice Department’s Enron Task Force from 2002 to 2004, which resulted in criminal prosecutions of 36 defendants after the Houston energy-trading company collapsed. She is now the lead candidate to become chief of the department’s criminal division, succeeding the rather passive Lanny Breuer,




ORDER to Compel Discovery

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide This is the first Court Order which we know of which compels documents related to the application and receipt of funds by a foreclosing party from TARP or other programs, and also the first Court Order we are aware of which permits the homeowner to apply received third party funds (TARP or otherwise) as a setoff to the loan or in connection with a loan mod.

"In Request for Production No.4, the Defendants requested documentation as to the chain of title and money transfer between the original lender and the Plaintiff as to and for the life of the loan. The Plaintiff objected to this item as they may lack this full information. I ORDER that the Plaintiff deliver to the Defendants all documents related to the chain of title and ownership and money transfers of this Note and Mortgage which are in the Plaintiff's possession, custody, and/or control."


Why Do Subservicers Continue to Pay Investors After Borrower Stops Paying?

The first problem about this is that the actual creditor does not show a default whereas the bookkeeper Servicer is declaring the default. With the investor receiving his regular payments, how can a default exist? This appears to apply to securitized student loans as well.

Bottom line is that the subservicer is reporting to the borrower that the loan is in default but reporting to the investor (the creditor) that it isn’t in default.

Living Lies The second issue is the constant question “Why would they continue making payments to the ‘creditor’ when they are not receiving payments from the borrower?” And “Where are they getting the money to pay the creditor?”

The money comes from the investment banker. Whether the investment banker is merely using the investor’s money (allowed under prospectus) or using insurance proceeds or payments on CDS (credit default swaps) or even sale proceeds to the Federal Reserve varies. Either way it is an effort to keep money that should go to the investor and reduce the amount payable to the investor and which would reduce or eliminate the debt owed by the homeowner to the investor. It is fraud, theft and probably a bunch of other things.


'Lost' Check Cashed: Oregon Mortgage Fraud Lawsuit Exposes White Collar Abuses

The Skanner A month after the foreclosure was filed in court, Nationstar Mortgage cashed the “lost” check that triggered the foreclosure itself -- but didn’t stop the foreclosure action.

Their lawyer says the case involves clear evidence of fraud by Nationstar Mortgage, the finance company that bought the McElderys’ mortgage debt after it was resold several times.


I used to represent murderers, and I wouldn’t represent these people.

Foreclosure Fiasco

A look at the new shady dealers in Wall Street greed

David Dayen There’s a long list of documented abuse by foreclosure mills, which are often specialist law firms built to handle thousands of foreclosures at once. Because of their financial incentives, firms are rewarded for each action they take and frequently cut corners on legally mandated steps of the process. And like everyone else along the foreclosure chain, foreclosure mills have faced virtually no accountability for their misconduct. “It’s the crookedest thing I’ve ever seen in 38 years of law practice.” 

In a written statement, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said the report chronicled "problems throughout the industry."

Mortgage System Still Victimizing Homeowners, Watchdog CFPB Finds


CFPB Mortgage Fraud Report


And the Courts and sheriffs aided and abetted in bank crimes instead of protecting the victimized homeowner.

CFPB Examiners Find Mortgage Servicing Business Remains a Sewer

If anything, servicers EXPLOIT this consolidation to push borrowers into default, according to the CFPB report.




Huff Post







David Dayen

Wednesday's report does not mention the settlement or indicate that banks have violated its terms, but nevertheless illustrates that many companies continue to struggle with some of the most fundamental activities in banking, including collecting and processing payments. The report covers examinations that the agency conducted between November 2012 and June 2013.

In the years following the 2008 financial crisis, banks were castigated for forging signatures and fabricating documents in order to push through improper foreclosures. Shoddy documentation limited staff expertise at banks, which resulted in persistent consumer abuses. Banks frequently lost paperwork and botched communications with borrowers. Some homeowners complained that banks had encouraged them to miss mortgage payments in order to qualify for relief, only to foreclose on them after the loan went into default. Others complained of being foreclosed on without having missed a payment.


Former Regulator: Eric Holder Won't Pursue Mortgage Fraud Prosecutions

Nasdaq The legal culture of big-time settlements can short-circuit the law, protecting wrongdoers from punishment, trial or even an admission of guilt. That's just what the government has done for the major banks implicated in sweeping mortgage fraud.

Monitor to Review Banks’ $51B in Mortgage Settlement Relief

National Mortgage News An update sent to the monitor of the national mortgage settlement, Joseph A. Smith Jr., by the five banks that participate in the agreement showing they dispersed $51.33 billion in consumer relief assistance through June 30 is under review.

Here... It.... Comes... (Foreclosuregate)

Ratification by fiat of an untimely transfer into the trust forcibly voids the REMIC's tax pass-through status by that same judicial fiat.

Market Ticker It is manifestly unjust to impose upon the holders of the certificates such a draconian outcome when the harm, if any, that accrues from being unable to foreclose properly falls upon the originators, servicers and their agents who failed to perform their duties according to law.

Now the game is afoot.

Assured Guaranty, JPMorgan Agree to End Mortgage Litigation 

They agreed to settle lawsuits filed by the bond insurer accusing the bank’s EMC Mortgage and Bear Stearns units of making misrepresentations about mortgage-backed securities.

Bloomberg Assured still has similar suits pending against other lenders, including Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s biggest lender, and Credit Suisse AG, Switzerland’s largest bank. 

Pools of home loans securitized into bonds were a central part of the housing bubble that helped send the U.S. into the biggest recession since the 1930s. The housing market collapsed, and the crisis swept up lenders and investment banks as the market for the securities evaporated.

Protesters Call On Fannie Mae, Bank Of America To Change Lending, Foreclosure Policies 

Progress Illinois “The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac policies are letting the banks practice unjust foreclosures and evictions, because they can profit off of foreclosures, which in turn are destabilizing our neighborhoods,” he said. “It’s the banks that trashed the economy. It’s not the fault of homeowners that the value of their homes went down."


Warren Presses DOJ About Payments to FHA Under Servicer Settlement

Warren's letter to AG Holder

In her letter to Holder on Wednesday, Warren wrote that the $225 million that the five mortgage servicing companies paid in fines represented only .6 percent of the 92,735 fraudulent mortgage claims they made, the value of which totaled over $12 billion.

Mortgage Servicing News "I am concerned that this might be yet another example of the federal government's timid enforcement strategy against the nation's largest financial institutions," Warren wrote in an Aug. 21 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. "Settlements are important and play a necessary role in any enforcement regime, but it is critical that the government take steps to maximize its leverage and avoid settling on the cheap. Rushed and inadequate settlements fail to fully compensate victims and taxpayers and insufficiently deter future misconduct."

Goldman Sachs Makes Bad Trades, Wants Money Back

When things don’t go your way it is really a learning experience – life is like that sometimes.

DSWright-FDL We all have to accept that life isn’t fair and sometimes we lose despite what we think should happen – oh, unless we are Goldman Sachs.

I forgot the life is funny sometimes speech is for the lower classes when they lose their house, a job, or have some financial difficulty. If you are a bankster and something goes wrong the last thing you should do is take your lumps. You need to demand justice even if the rules are less than clearly on your side.

Less interest in buying their fraud, so

Wells Fargo is Eliminating 2,300 Mortgage Jobs

Bloomberg Wells Fargo has said mortgage lending will slow for the rest of this year as higher interest rates make refinancing less attractive. Those loans, which made up 70 percent of the mortgage market during the first half, slid to about 50 percent of applications recently and could fall further in the months ahead.


Homeowner Win in Arizona Court of Appeals 

Stauffer v First American Title 

Relating to ARS 33-420 and False Recordings in Foreclosure

Findsen Law This is the first case to go up to the Arizona Court of Appeals on the issue of whether Arizona’s false recording statute, A.R.S. 33-420 applies to the types of documents recorded in the typical non-judicial foreclosure, the Assignment of Beneficial Status in the Deed of Trust, the Notice of Trustee’s Sale, and the Substitution of Trustee. The court held that these documents are encompassed by part A of the statute, which provides damages for the recording of a document containing false statements that “purport to create an interest or lien or encumbrance” in real property.

The court also held that the homeowner has standing as an “owner or beneficial title holder of the real property” to bring the claim.

Manufactured Standing

HSBC v. Marra

Transfers could not possibly have occurred as the Plaintiff represents. Further, the Magistrate cannot conceive of any manner in which the Plaintiff could possibly create additional
documentation in an effort to manufacture standing in this action.

Many Wall St. Banks Woo Children of Chinese Leaders

DealBook For more than a decade, Wall Street’s biggest banks have hired the sons and daughters of senior Chinese government officials in the hopes that they can open doors and secure deals in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

Travis County Files Motion to Intervene in Nueces County, Texas v. MERS, Bank of America 

 County Attorney for Travis County To this day, MERSCORP Members, as a condition of membership, must agree
that they will, inter alia: 1) [falsely denominate MERS as “the beneficiary” of deeds of trust as to
which MERS admittedly has no beneficial interest.


Policy makers, law enforcement and regulators decided that it was better to maintain the illusion of business as usual in a last ditch effort to maintain the fabric of our society even if it meant that guilty people would go free and even be rewarded.

Living Lies Now as all the theft, deceit and arrogance are revealed, the original premise of the DOJ in granting the immunity from prosecution was based upon fraudulent information from the very people to whom they were granting safe passage. We have lost 5 million homes in foreclosure from their past crimes, but we remain in the midst of the commission of crimes — another 5 million illegal, wrongful foreclosures is continuing to wind its way through the courts.


Bank of New York Mellon v. Preciado

The judgments entered on March 16, 2012, are REVERSED and the trial court is instructed to entered judgments in favor of Appellants.

Superior Court of California Here, the Trustee' s Deed Upon Sale indicates the property was sold by Recontrust acting as trustee. However the Deed of Trust identifies Commonwealth Land and
Title Company
as the trustee. Bank did not provide any evidence establishing Recontrust's authority to conduct the trustee' s sale. As Bank failed to provide any evidence that Recontrust was substituted for the original trustee, Bank was not entitled to judgment. 


How long did JPMorgan (allegedly) deceive investors?

JPMorgan’s arguments for why shareholders can’t meet that burden should be required reading for every investor operating under the apparently mistaken belief that you can rely on what you read in SEC filings and what you hear from corporate officials.

Alison Frankel What about shareholder allegations that JPMorgan lied to them and the Securities and Exchange Commission back in 2010 and 2011, when the bank touted its superior internal controls and risk management procedures? Those allegations would dramatically extend the time frame for class membership, opening the case up to claims by shareholders who traded JPMorgan shares beginning in February 2010, not just those who traded the stock in the first half of 2012, before the bank issued a restatement of its earnings to reflect London Whale losses in July 2012.

J.P. Morgan Faces New Probe on Energy Trades

and then from Aug. 7: Big Banks Sued Over Hoarding Aluminum

WSJ The Justice Department is investigating whether J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. manipulated U.S. energy markets, according to people familiar with the case, marking the latest legal hurdle for a bank already facing a mountain of litigation and regulatory scrutiny.

Alex Jones discusses the out of control and unbridled mortgage fraud industry 

Alex Jones Guest Dave Krieger talks about what is going on in Travis County (Austin) Texas; the audit of judges and elected officials, and how the disturbing scheme including MERS is falling apart.  The Biggest Massive Land Grab.


Judge endorses use of fraud law against Bank of America

The (FIRREA) law has a low burden of proof, strong subpoena power and a 10-year statute of limitations, twice as long as the typical limit for fraud cases.

FIRREA Civil Money Penalties: The Government's Newfound Weapon Against Financial Fraud

Chicago Tribune The government contends the program speeded up some home loan processing by removing quality checkpoints, resulting in thousands of fraudulent and defective mortgages being sold to Fannie and Freddie.

The rulings will encourage the government to tackle "a wider range of targets in the financial services industry, and a much broader range of alleged misconduct, including potentially consumer fraud," said Schilling, a partner at law firm BuckleySandler.


Why Wall Street & Co. Will Do Anything to Stop Eliot Spitzer from Championing the Public Interest Spitzer as comptroller: 

Good for New York, good for women, terrifying for Wall Street abusers.

His stand for women’s reproductive rights and other feminist issues is actually quite strong, and his role as Wall Street watchdog protected women from predatory financial practices. As New York Attorney General, he was known as the “Sheriff of Wall Street.” He is one of the few people with not only the insight and experience to expose Wall Street corruption but the courage to go after the perpetrators.

Ellen Brown, Esq. Spitzer was the single politician standing in the way of a $200 billion windfall from the Federal Reserve, guaranteeing the toxic mortgage-backed securities of the same banking predators that were responsible for the subprime debacle. While the Federal Reserve was trying to bail them out, Spitzer was trying to regulate them, bringing suit on behalf of consumers.3 But he was quickly silenced, and any state attorneys general who might get similar ideas in the future would be blocked by the federal “oversight” then being imposed on state regulation.

Suddenly, the Masters of the Universe were staring at their worst nightmare: the prospect of a comeback by the only major politician in the U.S. whose deeds — and not simply words —prove that he does not think corporate titans are too big to jail.


Nonprofit delays home foreclosures through scheme

Sarasota Times-Herald A Sarasota nonprofit advertised as a government-sponsored foreclosure rescue is using its clients' homes for a sweeping real estate scheme — delaying defaults through recurrent bankruptcy filings while renting the houses out. 

Keeping Kids in Their Home Foundation Corp. and related entities have enticed scores of severely delinquent borrowers from Tampa to Miami to hand over their deeds for just $100, while using dubious techniques to evade mortgage lenders and skirt taxes on those transactions.


Fannie, Freddie Masking Billions In Losses, Watchdog Finds

A financial entity, government-backed or otherwise, masking the true sad state of its balance sheet? Say it isn't so.

 Alas, it is. Reuters has more:

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge

The report, written by the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency and reviewed by Reuters, said the FHFA's timeframe for mortgage finance companies Fannie and Freddie to have up to two years to recognize the cost of mortgages delinquent at least 180 days was "inordinately long."

The change in the accounting treatment of these delinquent loans potentially could require Fannie and Freddie, which have rebounded to enormous profitability in the past two years as the housing market recovered, to "charge off billions of additional dollars related to loans," the inspector general's report stated.


Obama’s FBI Channels the Tea Party – Partner with the Banks and Blame the Poor for the Crisis

Discusses why the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have failed to investigate and prosecute successfully the largest and most destructive financial fraud epidemic in history. 

Prof. Bill Black This is the latest installment of Bill Black’s forensic work into why the FBI, which had in the past been a critically important working oar in investigating banking industry frauds, was nowhere to be found before and after the global financial crisis. 

The MBA presented a definition of “mortgage fraud” under which the bank is always the innocent victim and never a perpetrator.

This post, on how the Mortgage Bankers’ Association, succeeded in getting the FBI focused solely on frauds made on banks, as opposed to by banks, is an ugly and critical bit of the story.





Why Does This Waterfront, Multi-Million Dollar, 7,000 sq. ft. Mansion Sit Abandoned … Ignored by The Federal Government?

Americans need to understand, first and foremost, that most mortgages are not owned by the bank that is the plaintiff foreclosing on them. Most of these mortgages are owned, nominally at least, by Fannie/Freddie or institutional investors or foreign governments.

Matt Weidner, Esq. When “the bank” wins a foreclosure… they don’t win at all…they just turn the property over to whomever they were lying and committing perjury in court in order to obtain the judgment. (Bank of America does not own or hold the note and mortgage that is the subject of the foreclosure.) But no one seems at all concerned with opening up this Pandora’s box. Why is this? Certainly part of the riddle lies in the fact that if Americans really understood what was happening with the foreclosure system and with the larger financial system, we’d all be in a great deal of a panic.


Foreclosure lawyers charge some homeowners for nonexistent cases

At the risk of losing their homes if they didn't, scores of Colorado homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure in the past year were each forced to pay hundreds of dollars in lawyer charges for phantom court cases against them, a Denver Post investigation has found.

Denver Post Those charges, which homeowners in the state's largest counties unnecessarily had to pay to bring their property out of the foreclosure process, totaled more than $40,000. The law firms billed the charges to be reimbursed for having filed the lawsuit and posted a legal notice about it, records show.

Although the fees were very real, the cases and the notices were not.

The Post found 126 foreclosures since January 2012 in which homeowners in 11 counties were told by county public trustees to pay the charges associated with the filings or the foreclosure would continue. But, in fact, no foreclosure lawsuit was filed.
The Post also found that the practice has been going on at least since 2006, according to random checks of prior years' District Court and county public-trustee records.


Banks Cant Prove They Own Trillions In Mortgages

Yet they are still foreclosing using false statements and forged documents, and judges are allowing it!

New Fraud Evidence Shows Trillions Of Dollars In Mortgages Have No Owner

Banks can't prove that they own trillions of dollars in mortgages, according to recently unsealed court documents relating to a lawsuit the government settled out of court for $95 million in 2012. The evidence gathered by Lynn Szymoniak, a Florida resident who fought off a wrongful foreclosure after three years of legal maneuvering, could invalidate ownership claims to the homes in question.


Perception Is Reality





Think Progress








Other evidence of widespread mortgage fraud has recently surfaced. Researchers looked at just one mortgage lender that was a major player in the subprime bubble. They found fraudulent misrepresentations of 9 percent of all loans sold off to financial firms seeking to package up loans into mortgage-backed securities, and in 93 percent of those misrepresentations, the lender knew it was lying about the nature of mortgages it was passing along. The researchers stress that the actual fraud rate is likely higher, as they only searched for two specific forms of misrepresentation.
Despite the growing mountain of evidence of fraud in both mortgage securitization and foreclosures, the federal government’s response has been feeble. The 2012 settlement has failed to stop bank abuses. A much-touted program to provide relief to homeowners failed to serve nearly as many as intended.

Your Mortgage Documents Might be Fake!

Thom Hartmann Program Thom Hartmann talks with Lynn Szymoniak, Attorney / President & Founder-The Housing Justice Foundation 

Exposing Massive Home Foreclosure Fraud

Lynn Szymoniak


Lynn tells a little about her whistleblower case before it was unsealed in August 2013.  She describes how difficult it was to get law enforcement to act; that the trusts were empty, and much more.

Home ownership: how the property dream turned into a nightmare

What is the most dangerous, toxic financial asset in the world?" This was the question put to me by the chief executive of a leading European bank.

Guardian UK Anxious to display my superior knowledge of the darkest corners of the shadow banking system, I replied: "Credit-default swaps on super-senior tranches of asset-backed, security -collateralised debt obligations." I thought I had come up with a pretty pithy answer.

"No," he gently chided me. "The most dangerous financial product in the world," he paused a moment for effect, "is the mortgage."


Is there a criminal statute they haven't violated?

U.S. Opens Bribery Inquiry of JPMorgan Hiring in China

DealBook Federal authorities have opened a bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help the bank win lucrative business in the booming nation, according to a confidential United States government document.

After the chairman’s son came on board, JPMorgan secured multiple coveted assignments from the Chinese conglomerate, including advising a subsidiary of the company on a stock offering.


Every term, scores of members, particularly freshmen, demand a seat on the panel — not because they have a burning interest in regulating banks and Wall Street, but because they know that they will be able raise much more money if one of the 61 seats has their name on it.

The Cash Committee

At a minimum, committee members should be required to disclose every time they vote on an issue that affects donors from which they have accepted campaign cash. Voters, at least, should know why their lawmakers are so eager to make friends with the banks.


  Committee members don’t seem particularly ashamed of the favors they do for those providing the cash. Andy Barr, a freshman Republican from Kentucky, promised to protect a tax break worth $500 million to credit unions. (They gave him $15,000.) And he introduced a bill that would allow banks to give mortgages to people who cannot afford them, undoing a federal rule at the request of the big banks’ lobbyists. (Banks have given him at least $47,000.)

It’s the banks’ way of saying, welcome to the committee and our culture, we hope we can continue to do business. “We make an investment, and we are hopeful that investment produces a return,” an industry lobbyist said.


New law helps homeowner facing foreclosure

A new state law will make the process easier by preventing banks from giving homeowners the run-around, said her attorney, Jonathan Hoffman. The law, An Act Concerning Homeowner Protection Rights, took effect July 15.

Stamford Advocate "That new legislation, at least the way I interpret it, allows us to hold the bank accountable," said Hoffman, who is running for a seat on the Board of Representatives in District 16. "We can say, `OK, everything we needed to do pursuant to the statute we've done. Now it's your turn.' "

Richter said she hopes the law prevents banks from abusing

homeowners who might be too scared or embarrassed to hire an attorney or ask for help.

Mortgage Fraud Needs to Be Adjudicated

The history leading up to this mortgage crisis stretches back nearly two decades.

Money News Gramm co-authored the Gramm–Leach –Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which effectively repealed the Glass-Steagall Act. This legislation permitted commercial banks to engage in more risky investment banking endeavors. The following year, Clinton deregulated the derivative market, which incentivized undercapitalized trading of high-risk mortgage-backed derivatives. These products metastasized like a cancer throughout the economy.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration perpetuated these policies, which ultimately led to the crash of 2008.

Fannie Mae Hires an Officer it Alleges Defrauded it – and Finance Cheers

The Glassner saga, standing alone, shows that a banker’s horrific reputation can be a highly sought character flaw by other disgraced financial institutions. 

This is significantly crazy on multiple levels. It is insane that DOJ has once again refused to prosecute elite bank officials it claims engaged intentionally in fraud in order to become wealthy (and did so). It is insane that DOJ refuses to even bring civil suits against such elite officials when DOJ believes that it establish the facts I have just laid out.

Prof. Bill Black We see the consequences of DOJ’s dereliction of duty. In addition to destroying the rule of law, DOJ fails to identify and hold accountable the elites it knew caused the fraud and became (and remain) wealthy through those frauds. This destroys general and specific deterrence, creates reverse role models that demonstrate to their peers that fraud pays (and it pays huge), and allows the banksters to stay in senior positions in the industry where they can cause further damage through frauds that make them even wealthier. In addition to the obvious reasons why it is insane for Fannie to hire an officer who Fannie alleges defrauded it, let me don my litigator hat and note that the defense attorneys would obviously argue to the judge that Fannie’s claims against Glassner cannot be supported by the facts or Fannie would have never have hired him.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

On January 17, 2013, the CFPB issued a final rule to amend Regulation X (78 Fed. Reg. 10696) (February 14, 2013). The final rule included substantive and technical changes to the existing

CFPB Substantive changes included modifying the servicing transfer notice requirements and implementing new procedures and notice requirements related to borrowers’ error resolution requests and information requests. The amendments also included new provisions related to escrow payments, force-placed insurance, general servicing policies, procedures, and requirements, early intervention, continuity of contact, and loss mitigation. The amendments are
effective as of January 10, 2014.



On August 8, 2013, California’s Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled in a foreclosure case, Glaski v. Bank of America et al, (Case No. F064556) that a homeowner may challenge the claim that a trust acquired the homeowner’s note and mortgage. Because of California’s high rate of foreclosures, this decision may impact more citizens of California that any other California court decision. Because most other states have not ruled on the very specific issue addressed in the Glaski case, the decision is likely to have a significant national impact as well.

Lynn Szymoniak


The Glaski court ruled that a homeowner may allege and prove in a foreclosure action by a trust, that the attempt to transfer the property to the trust failed because the transfer of the loan to the trust was defective. In Glaski’s case, the alleged defect was that the transfer to the trust did not occur prior to the closing date of the trust.
The Court found that attempted transfers after the closing date of the trust that violate the terms of the trust instrument are void under New York law - and the vast majority of trusts are governed by New York law.

According to the Glaski decision, borrowers have standing to challenge void assignments of their loans even though they are not a party to, or a third party beneficiary of, the assignment agreement.


So the homeowner is the sole owner.  Then why are we not winning every foreclosure case.

Richmond rebuffed in bid to buy loans using eminent domain threat

The mortgages aren't for sale, according to banks that service the loans or act as trustees.

L.A. Times The letter said that the San Francisco bank, "in its role as either servicer of the loans or as trustee, does not have the contractual authority to sell the loans."

What's more, it went on, the bank "is not aware of any other party having the contractual authority to sell the loans or consider your offer."



BofA may settle with FHFA

The FHFA is suing several banks for loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

UBS Americas decided to settle recently with the FHFA for $885 million.

Housing Wire Morgan Stanley analysts Betsy Grasek and Michael Cyprus speculate that Bank of America may settle with the Federal Housing Finance Agency for anywhere between $2 billion to $3.6 billion according to a note in Seeking Alpha.

More news of settlements is expected over the next few months as the FHFA goes down the list.
8/15/13 The Detroit bankruptcy case provides another example of how Wall Street wins.


Detroit’s problems are a reminder of broader challenges, identified but still unmet: protecting pensions; protecting municipalities from Wall Street; and, at long last, revoking the obscene privileges of banks that allow them to prosper on the failings of others.

NY Times Detroit is set to pay an estimated $250 million to terminate a soured derivatives transaction from 2005.

The derivatives, known as interest-rate swaps, were supposed to protect Detroit from rising interest payments on a chunk of its variable rate debt. The banks would pay Detroit if interest rates rose, and Detroit would pay the banks if rates fell. By 2009, both interest rates and the city’s credit rating were falling, forcing Detroit to pay the banks some $50 million a year and to pledge roughly $11 million a month in casino-tax revenue as additional collateral.


The FBI’s 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report Reveals Why the Banksters Love Holder

Prof. Bill Black With zero prosecutions of the massively fraudulent home lenders that drove the crisis, we are left with no information on why committing hundreds of thousands of frauds via the twin epidemics of loan origination fraud (inflating appraisals and making endemically fraudulent “liar’s” loans) is no longer a crime that the FBI investigates and DOJ prosecutes.

You Will Survive! How to Overcome the Emotional Trauma of Foreclosure

Realty Times If you find yourself in a foreclosure situation, emotions will overtake you -- so it's critical that you deal with them in order to keep a clear head and survive the trauma. Most, if not all, of your emotions will be negative in nature and none will help you get out of the hole you are in. Furthermore, none will help you find good ideas to solve your impending foreclosure.

Despite bank criminality exposed...

Baltimore Foreclosures Surge Again as Legal Logjam Breaks

Foreclosures are surging again in Baltimore, which became a symbol of the U.S. housing crash when the city’s desolate blocks of abandoned row homes served as a backdrop for the HBO TV series “The Wire.”

Bloomberg “These are not new loans going bad,” “This second wave of foreclosure activity is the unintended consequence of more aggressive prevention efforts on the parts of some states during the housing crisis, which initially slowed down activity.”

“With my income and my credit, I shouldn’t have been able to buy the house,” Hilton said. “I realize that now that I work for a housing organization. If I knew what I know now, I would’ve never bought the house.” (But since she did, the bank's swindle keeps her money and she ends up with nothing.) 



Foreclosure Defense Nationwide A California appellate court has held that Chase’s attempt to condition approval of a short sale on the homeowner’s agreement to be liable for a deficiency is illegal and will not be enforced. 

The trial court had dismissed the borrower’s action (termed “sustaining a demurrer” in CA), but the appeals court reversed, finding that the condition imposed by Chase (that the borrower agree to be liable for any deficiency) violated the public policy and purpose behind CA’s anti-deficiency statutes, which were enacted in the time of the Great Depression to prevent an already bad situation from becoming worse.

Mortgage Exec. gets four-year prison sentence in mortgage fraud case

The Morning Call Tillett and other employees of Madison Funding, falsified information about their clients' income and employment.

In many cases, the borrowers could not keep up with payments and defaulted, leaving taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of thousands in federally insured loans.

Tillett was one of several Madison Funding employees charged in the scheme.

Ownership/Assignment FAIL

Quantum Servicing v. Haugabrook

While the affidavit stated that the subject note and mortgage are attached to the document as exhibits, the copy of the affidavit attached to the complaint does not include the attachments. The recording information on the affidavit indicates that it is a 30-page document, but only the first four pages, which are comprised of the affidavit and legal description, were provided when it was included as an exhibit to the complaint.

Take my house, please!

A new strategy emerges to keep foreclosure victims in their homes: Buy their mortgages -- and write them new loans

David Dayen “The banks aren’t helping us, so we’re stepping into the void and making it happen ourselves,” said Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.

McLaughlin became the first U.S. mayor to take steps to use eminent domain authority — seizing mortgages from the lien holder and selling them back to the homeowner at an affordable rate, giving them the principal reduction that will allow them to stay in their home over the long term.


They're going after another foreclosure defense lawyer Babcock.

Pawtucket foreclosure lawyer will appeal $10,000 fine levied by judge

Question: How many foreclosure-mill lawyers were fined for willfully filing thousands of forged documents and counterfeit promissory Notes?

Providence Journal Babcock said he would appeal the fine, which he considers a violation of his due-process rights. He said the order was based on the assertions of Special Master Merrill Sherman, who was appointed by McConnell to manage the foreclosure cases and help the homeowners and lenders reach settlements.
“Certainly, I should have had the right to question my accusers,” Babcock said. But “nothing surprises me,” he added. “The ‘haves’ have no clue.”


How Hard Is It to Value Derivatives? 

Take a GUESS.

Wall Street bets worth hundreds of billions of dollars are valued using a considerable amount of guesswork.

DealBook The traders, Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout, may eventually be absolved of all the charges against them. But there is now enough material in the public domain to conclude that a cadre of JPMorgan employees embarked on a foolhardy quest to trade their way out of trouble, and left the bank with $6 billion of losses in the process.

Citimortgage accused of foreclosing on homes across the country while the homebuyers were protected from such actions by bankruptcy stays

Courthouse News Complete article: CitiMortgage foreclosed on homes across the country while the homebuyers "were protected from such actions by bankruptcy stays ordered by federal bankruptcy judges," a woman claims in a federal class action.


Judge To Those Facing (Potentially Faulty) Non-Judicial Oregon Foreclosures: 

Avoid "Presumption Of Finality" - Don't Sit On Your Rights; Time For Properly-Noticed Homeowner To File Court Challenge Is Before The Sale, Not Afterward

Home Equity Theft Reporter In Chen v. Bank of America N.A., Judge Owen M. Panner for the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon dismissed the complaint with prejudice. He found that, in accordance with the Oregon Trust Deed Act, Chen received proper notice of the sale, which barred his post-sale challenges to the foreclosure.

“Although plaintiff here had sufficient time to raise any of the current challenges before the sale, he chose instead to raise such challenges after the trustee’s sale and recording of the trustee’s deed,” 


The Real Foreclosure Scandal: Why Have Virtually No Lawyers Been Disbarred?

An army of lawyers enabled this activity. We’ve had a lot of complaints about the failure to prosecute bank employees and executives, but perhaps the better question is why have virtually no foreclosure mill attorney been disbarred?

naked capitalism So when we talk of the loss of the rule of law, the blame should be directed first and foremost at attorneys themselves, who have shown a remarkable lack of self-reflection, much the willingness to assume responsibility, for actively enabling and covering up widespread fraudulent activity. But money clearly counts for more than a moral compass or a commitment to professional standards these days.


Atty General Holder Inflated Mortgage Fraud Prosecutions by 80%

Unfortunately it seems like there’s no one to prosecute him for fraud. Or for killing a whole bunch of Mexicans.

Frontpage Mag When Holder first trotted out these figures last October, he bragged during a press conference about the results of the government’s “Distressed Homeowner Initiative,” which he called “a groundbreaking, yearlong mortgage-fraud enforcement effort” and “the first ever to focus exclusively on crimes targeting homeowners.” Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan joined him at the press conference.

What a charade. No wonder the government found it so difficult to bring a meaningful number of accounting-fraud cases against bank executives after the financial crisis. Its own books were cooked.

Lawsuit Reveals Wall Street Banks Lied Because They Couldn’t Prove Ownership

It is an amazing and tragic admission of the asymmetries of power in America that Wall Street has been able to snatch millions of homes from middle class and poor Americans despite not being able to establish legitimate ownership. The system is against them.

DSWright - FDL So much for property rights. Was not the entire point of free market capitalism to establish clear lines of ownership? In other words, if a person claimed to own something, then that person should be able go to court and prove it. Otherwise the entire system doesn’t work, right?

The truth is, this has nothing to do with the law. Wall Street is well above it. This is a struggle for power and whether Wall Street will continue to call the shots while suffocating the country into debt slavery. Power is a zero sum game, for the public to win, the banks must lose.

Ex-Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway starts prison sentence for bank fraud

Hathaway is the latest celebrity inmate at the prison in Alderson, W.Va., dubbed “Camp Cupcake” because of its mountainous setting and long list of perks, including access to washers, dryers, microwave ovens, hair dryers, curling irons and cosmetology areas where inmate-to-inmate pedicures and manicures are allowed.

Detroit News Prosecutors said Hathaway engaged in an elaborate two-year fraud scheme involving a Grosse Pointe Park home.

She pleaded guilty in January to one count of felony bank fraud, eight days after she resigned from the bench.

Prosecutors said Hathaway hid assets worth more than $1 million and misled a bank while negotiating a short sale.


North Carolina Finance Company Loan? Don’t Re-Fi; Discharge!

As of July 1, 2013, North Carolina allowed finance companies regulated under the Consumer Finance Act to charge higher interest rates and to make bigger loans than ever before. Now, the maximum loan that can be made at these “hurt me” rates has been raised.

Bankruptcy Law Network When asked about it, the consumer often says that the finance company was re-financing the loan so that I could “get current” with them. When I look at the paperwork, I will see a loan in the amount significantly greater than the previous loan with a new round of “insurance products” such as credit life and the sort all at significant cost to the borrower. Then, at the bottom, “cash t o borrower” $400 but the borrower has obligated himself for another $4-5,000 dollar loan–now at much higher rates!

S&P: Another Wave of Legacy RMBS Winds Down, with Losses

Mortgage Servicing News Another wave of pre-crisis private-label residential mortgage-backed securities is coming to the end of the line with substantial losses.

S&P said it has withdrawn ratings on 2,905 classes of RMBS from 193 transactions issued between 1999 and 2007.


WV Attorneys Providing Free Legal Services To Low-Income Consumers Continue Hammering Banksters With Predatory Lending Lawsuits 

Home Equity Theft Reporter The Wests claim after making payments for one year, they contacted Nationstar about promised refinancing, but Nationstar refused to refinance the loan.

Nationstar refused to apply payments to the Wests’ account and charged them illegal fees, according to the suit.

The Wests are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. 

FHA Plan Would Make Lenders Eat a Lot More Faulty Loans

Mortgage Servicing News The cost of doing business with the Federal Housing Administration could skyrocket if the agency adopts a new method for calculating lenders' liability for poorly underwritten loans that default.


Bank Of America Continues Deducting Fees, Even After Death

Perhaps showing its firm belief in the afterlife, Bank of America has continued to charge fees to the bank account of a man it knows died nearly half a year ago.

Consumerist Bank of America even acknowledged in writing that it had been notified of the customer’s death, but that didn’t stop it from charging $12 monthly fees to the account, which only had around $1,175 in it when the man passed away.
“Is it wrong morally? Yes,” one probate attorney explains to Lazarus. “Legally? No. The law says they can get away with it.”  (we know BofA has no morals)


NC Appeals Court Leaves Sloppy Lender Holding The Bag By Voiding Wife's Loan Guarantee Given By Hubby Acting As Her Attorney In Fact

Bank Failed To Read Recorded Instrument, Missed 'Surprise' Provision In POA Making Husband's Authority Ineffectual

On November 6, 2012, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled in a unanimous decision that several commercial guaranties were invalid when signed by an attorney in fact, pursuant to a power of attorney which contained a condition precedent that had net yet occurred. This case contains important lessons for lenders regarding transactions with attorneys in fact.

Suntrust Bank v.C & D Custom Homes

Home Equity Theft Reporter Restrictions in a Power of Attorney May Invalidate Loan Documents.

On appeal, the wife argued that the power of attorney was ineffective, and she should not be bound by the guaranty executed by her husband as her attorney in fact.

The power of attorney contained a provision titled “RESTRICTIONS ON EXERCISE OF POWERS BY ATTORNEY-IN-FACT” which stated that “the rights, powers, duties and responsibilities herein conferred upon my Attorney-in-Fact shall not be exercised by my Attorney-in-Fact until a physician has certified to my Attorney-in Fact that in his or her opinion I am no longer able…to handle my…affairs.”

The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court, holding that no power of attorney ever vested in the husband, that the wife’s guaranty was invalid.


In One Bundle of Mortgages, the Subprime Crisis Reverberates

Deals like the Goldman one leave a rich paper trail that includes many details about the loans that were contained in the bond. The numbers are jaw-dropping.

DealBook The financial crisis still reverberates for many others, in large part because of the insidious reach of the financial products that Wall Street created. Subprime securities still pose a significant legal risk to the firms that packaged them, and they use up capital that could be deployed elsewhere in the economy.

This is the story of one of those bonds, GSAMP Trust 2007 NC1.

New York Attorney General Sues High-Interest Lender

The lawsuit accuses Western Sky Financial and its affiliates of offering short-term loans at interest rates of more than 300 percent, violating New York usury laws that cap interest rates at 25 percent.

And this has been going on for how long?

DealBook New York State’s action against Western Sky comes on the heels of several other regulatory actions. In April, Western Sky was fined by Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services, which accused the lender of pitching its loans with interest rates of 342 percent “through an aggressive TV and radio advertising campaign.” Minnesota’s attorney general, Lori Swanson, also sued Western Sky for violating state interest rate caps.

In her July suit, Ms. Swanson said that lenders “used Western Sky as a front” to mislead borrowers.

That action came after Colorado’s attorney general sued Western Sky in 2011, accusing it of illegally making roughly 200 loans to state residents.



Banks stole trillions worth of houses

Lynn Szymoniak vs. the Banks 

Prepare to be outraged. Newly obtained filings from a Florida woman's lawsuit uncover horrifying scheme (Update)

It’s good that the case remains active, because the $95 million settlement was a pittance compared to the enormity of the crime. By the end of 2009, private mortgage-backed securities trusts held one-third of all residential mortgages in the U.S. That means that tens of millions of home mortgages worth trillions of dollars have no legitimate underlying owner that can establish the right to foreclose. This hasn’t stopped banks from foreclosing anyway with false documents, and they are often successful, a testament to the breakdown of law in the judicial system.

But to this day, the resulting chaos in disentangling ownership harms homeowners trying to sell these properties, as well as those trying to purchase them. And it renders some properties impossible to sell.

Salon If you know about foreclosure fraud, the mass fabrication of mortgage documents in state courts by banks attempting to foreclose on homeowners, you may have one nagging question: Why did banks have to resort to this illegal scheme? Was it just cheaper to mock up the documents than to provide the real ones? Did banks figure they simply had enough power over regulators, politicians and the courts to get away with it? (They were probably right about that one.)

A newly unsealed lawsuit, which banks settled in 2012 for $95 million, actually offers a different reason, providing a key answer to one of the persistent riddles of the financial crisis and its aftermath. The lawsuit states that banks resorted to fake documents because they could not legally establish true ownership of the loans when trying to foreclose.

This reality, which banks did not contest but instead settled out of court, means that tens of millions of mortgages in America still lack a legitimate chain of ownership, with implications far into the future. And if Congress, supported by the Obama Administration, goes back to the same housing finance system, with the same corrupt private entities who broke the nation’s private property system back in business packaging mortgages, then shame on all of us.

Maybe homeowners can now march their void judgments and certified faked property records into the court and have Robo-Judges stamp them all: "VOID FOR FRAUD


Show him the exit door

Eric Holder Misled Americans About Mortgage Fraud

Eric Holder has overstated facts about the mortgage fraud task force formed to seek out and punish wrongdoing, raising additional questions about the crisis.

Near the end of the day last Friday, the Justice Department acknowledged that statements made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the Mortgage Fraud Working Group were wildly overstated. This task force was elite and designed to finally punish the perpetrators of the widespread fraud, be they entry level clerks or big bank CEOs, threatening financial penalties and even jail time.

AG Beat Last year, Holder stated that 530 people were criminally charged as a result of the year-long investigation, but the Justice Department clarified that only 107 people were charged.
Holder had also stated that over 73,000 homeowners had been found victimized by mortgage fraud but the Justice Department states the number from the investigation never exceeded 17,185.
Holder stated that losses resulting from the fraud cost American homeowners $1 billion, which has now been revised to only $95 million.

So why are these revised numbers now public? Bloomberg investigated Holder’s claims and noticed the numbers were off, even discovering that they were counting cases in their tally that took place before Obama was even in office.



For S.E.C., Any JPMorgan Settlement Could Serve as a Template

DealBook Trades by the so-called London Whale have already cost JPMorgan Chase over $6 billion in losses. They could also result in a precedent that will make the transactions live on in the annals of notoriety, if the Securities and Exchange Commission can extract an admission of wrongdoing from the bank.

Far more than any penalty that might be levied in the case, a statement acknowledging violations of securities laws would show that the S.E.C. has responded to the clamor for greater accountability on Wall Street.

Judges Can Void Some Foreclosed Mortgages, Pa. Court Says



Home Equity Theft Reporter The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Thursday that federal law does not prevent judges from voiding mortgage agreements through counterclaims brought during foreclosure proceedings, affirming a lower court's ruling voiding the mortgage agreement for a woman whose closing agent absconded with nearly $80,000.

Moving Forward on Housing Reform

The challenge will be to promote lending without indulging irresponsible borrowers. But the real question is whether this "new plan" will continue allowing criminal banksters to steal homes from homeowners who proved they never missed a single payment, or the millions of homes the banks never had to prove they legally owned because the original Note was intentionally destroyed long ago?

Economix President Obama set forth a wide array of proposals in his housing policy speech on Tuesday. Some of what he proposed, such as expanded mortgage refinancing, in a sense merely tie a new ribbon around previous schemes that did not go forward. Other ideas, however, represent worthwhile, if modest, progress toward reforming the housing system that failed so badly in the financial crisis.


Prosecutors Investigate JPMorgan Over Trading Losses

The people briefed on the matter cautioned that the investigation by the United States attorney’s office was continuing and the bank was not in talks to settle that case.

DealBook As federal authorities prepare to charge criminally two former JPMorgan Chase employees suspected of misrepresenting a multibillion-dollar trading loss last year, prosecutors in Manhattan are separately exploring ways to penalize the bank over the trading blowup that has come to be known as the “London Whale.”

The action would come in addition to civil charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which could announce a settlement with the bank as soon as this fall.


Fannie Mae's henchmen evict Desert Storm veteran by surprise!

Occupy Our Homes Around eight o'clock this morning, US Marshalls showed up with their guns drawn and pointed them at Desert Storm veteran Mark Harris. They were there to evict Mark from his home of 18 years on behalf of Fannie Mae. Documents filed in the court were supposed to grant Mark with a stay from eviction, so the whole thing took Mark completely by surprise. 

Second wave of foreclosure scam underway.

Thousands of Marylanders are losing homes in second wave of foreclosures 

Between January and June, Maryland went from having one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the nation to the third highest as banks worked their way through a backlog of delinquent loans, created in part by the state’s long foreclosure process.

Washington Post Housing experts had been bracing for a second wave of foreclosures since 2010, when lenders were forced to halt all foreclosures while they addressed massive documentation problems. Many kept the brakes on until last year, when they reached a nationwide settlement with state attorneys general over their practices.

All the while, the backlog of troubled loans grew, mainly in states such as Maryland, where courts approve foreclosures and the process takes much longer. Lawmakers in Annapolis also passed a series of reforms to help homeowners try to save their homes, which made the foreclosure timeline even longer. 


AG: Lawyer e-mails indicate collusion to control foreclosure billing

In a stunning court filing made public Thursday, Attorney General John Suthers' office lays out a theory of conspiracy and price-fixing that investigators say the two firms allegedly engaged in to corner a lucrative piece of the state's foreclosure market.

Denver Post Colorado's two biggest foreclosure law firms, Castle Law Group and Aronowitz & Mecklenburg, appear to have manipulated and influenced the foreclosure process — in practice and at the Capitol — in a way that guaranteed themselves millions of dollars in profits at the expense of homeowners and taxpayers, according to state investigators.

The law firms allegedly leveraged their stranglehold on the foreclosure market — estimates are that they control about 90 percent of the cases filed in Colorado — and conspired to fix the price to post those notices at $125, an amount five times more than what other companies charged for the same service, investigators said in court papers that included e-mail exchanges between the two firms.
Then, when their plan proved so successful — one of the posting companies made more than $2 million in the first year — at least one of the law firms worked tirelessly to persuade legislators to change state laws in a way that doubled their profits overnight by requiring a second notice, investigators said documents indicate.



Revolving Door Regulators

There are many forms of corruption. Perhaps the most pernicious is where an elected or duly appointed representative of the citizenry leaves office to use the sloughed off position for financial gain in the private sector.

National Mortgage Professional What is an inside-outside gambit? It is the use of information obtained in the course of a former governmental position by an official for financial gain, directly or indirectly, soon or immediately after leaving government employment in that position. Such information includes contacts with decision-makers in the government; providing information about proprietary conversations leading up to the promulgating of laws, rules, and regulations; access to insiders and knowledge of their views; navigating the systemic and organizational structure; non-public facts regarding the governmental plans or condition that could provide a financial advantage.


Banks got away with it - now the HOAs want to.

Homeowner, facing foreclosure, files lawsuit over HOA late fees

Elam's family owes in excess of $10,000 in late fees and other charges. The HOA has started foreclosure proceedings. So the family has filed this lawsuit, which they're hoping will become a class-action suit.

WSOC Elam said going back as far as 2006, William Douglas Management charged his family a late fee of $20 a month for any payments made after the 10th of the month. That's despite the bylaws, which indicate payments are late after 30 days.

"Then all the sudden you could be looking a late fee," Elam said. "And if you don't know that, then the next month when you pay your dues, they deduct it out of your next month payment. Now your next month is late because it's short; then you get another late payment.

Complete article

UBS Settles Suit in Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy

NY Times UBS has agreed to pay $120 million to settle a lawsuit by investors who accused the Swiss bank of misleading them about the financial condition of Lehman Brothers in connection with the sale of structured notes. The preliminary settlement was disclosed in papers filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan and requires court approval. It is UBS’s second settlement in less than three weeks to resolve litigation in the United States tied to the global financial crisis.

Obama Mortgage Fraud Group Forced to Correct Initiative Data

President Barack Obama’s administration significantly overstated statistics from a year-long mortgage-fraud initiative, including total number of victims, their losses suffered and number of individuals criminally charged, according to an FBI memo.

BusinessWeek The FBI restated the number of people criminally charged to 107 from 530. Agencies were asked to correct victims’ total losses to $95 million from an estimated $1 billion, and the number of victims found to 17,185 from more than 73,000.

Holder said at the time that the results indicated a “historic, government-wide commitment to eradicating mortgage fraud and related offenses across the country.”  

Complete post

POW!      NJ Appeals Court Reinstates (Reopens) Lawsuit Alleging Foreclosure Mill Law Firm Violated FDCPA, State Fair Foreclosure Act

Deutsche Bank v. Mazzella

Home Equity Theft Reporter A New Jersey appeals court on Tuesday reopened a woman’s claims alleging Zucker Goldberg & Ackerman LLC violated debt collection laws in foreclosure proceedings on her property, finding the trial judge had applied the wrong standard of review.

A two-judge panel revived claims made by Windy Mazzella, who accused ZUCKER, GOLDBERG & ACKERMAN, LLC, (ZGA) of negligence and violations of the state’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act related to a foreclosure action carried out by ZGA on behalf of Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.



Authorities Plan to Arrest 2 Former JPMorgan Employees in London Whale Case

Government authorities are planning to arrest two former JPMorgan Chase employees suspected of masking the size of a multibillion-dollar trading loss, a dramatic turn in a case that tarnished the reputation of the nation’s biggest bank and spotlighted the perils of Wall Street risk-taking.

DealBook The arrests are expected to take place in London in the coming days, according to people briefed on the matter. The action, the people said, would come on the heels of a federal grand jury voting to indict the employees on criminal fraud charges.

After more than a year of gathering evidence about the bet, a blunder that set off a cascade of scrutiny across two continents, federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. in Manhattan have concluded that the two employees lowballed losses as the trades spiraled out of control. Poring over internal e-mails and phone recordings that shine a light on how the traders valued their bets, authorities came to believe that Mr. Martin-Artajo directed Mr. Grout to falsify records and obscure more than $400 million in losses from their bosses in New York

Complying with the request for information is the best way to make sure those mortgage-servicing companies that irresponsibly damaged lives and communities by engaging in illegal acts are held accountable, and to make sure similar practices do not happen again.

Adding secrecy to scandal in mortgage crisis

Federal officials are refusing to turn over key information about process for compensating homeowners

Baltimore Sun Why would the Federal Reserve and the OCC help the mortgage servicing industry keep secret information about what Senator Warren and Representative Cummings correctly called the "systemic and widespread" practices that contributed to the near-meltdown of the financial industry in 2008? And why would they refuse to help members of Congress who are interested in preventing the same kind of abuses from happening again?

The reasons cited by the Fed and the OCC for not turning over the requested information are specious.

Quicken Loans Refuses To Cough Up  Multi-Million $ Award In Favor Of Screwed-Over Homeowner

Jefferson's attorney, Jim Bordas, said the case is an example of the importance of the contingent fee system that has allowed Jefferson and her daughter to afford representation in the case as it proceeds.

Home Equity Theft Reporter On July 17, Quicken Loans filed a notice of appeal to the state Supreme Court of a decision in Lourie Jefferson’s lawsuit against it that awarded her $3.5 million in punitive damages and more than $875,000 to attorneys at Bordas & Bordas in Wheeling.

“After a while, enough’s enough,” he said. “I wonder if the Supreme Court is gonna say the same thing.”


Quicken Loans Targeted Again In West Virginia Suit 

Suit Alleges Quicken Clipped Homeowner With Unauthorized Loan Closing Charges, Misrepresented Home's Value, Extended Credit Without Obtaining An Appraisal

WV Record

Home Equity Theft Reporter

Title Source Inc. of West Virginia, and notary Delmar Barrett were also named as defendants in the suit.

Quicken misrepresented both the existence of an appraisal and the fair market value of the property to Kemper and she materially and justifiably relied on those representations, according to the suit.

Exclusive: U.S. steps up probe of JPMorgan over Bear/EMC mortgage bonds

Reuters The U.S. Department of Justice has stepped up a probe in recent weeks into Bear Stearns/EMC Mortgage & Co's mortgage dealings in the run-up to the financial crisis, according to two sources familiar with the situation, raising the possibility that JPMorgan Chase & Co may face yet another case over mortgage bonds.

Obama Fraud Task Force Takes on the Big Banks

The criminal investigation of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s mortgage-backed securities practice is evidence a U.S. Justice Department task force set up to investigate causes of the financial crisis is finally getting some traction against banks blamed for ruining the economy.

Bloomberg The group has a broad mandate to investigate “any harm suffered by American consumers” related to misrepresentations or failures in agreements related to the securities, according to a Jan. 27, 2012, memo by Attorney General Eric Holder.
The uptick in the group’s work has mostly been on the civil side, as the department’s attorneys have begun to focus on and use a 1989 statute that allows the government to seek civil penalties for losses to federally-insured financial firms that occurred as long as a decade ago. 

Loan Modification discussed in detail


Bank contractually required to offer the plaintiffs a permanent mortgage modification after homeowner complied with terms.

Wells Fargo drafted this document, and Wells Fargo must be held responsible for it. The document promises a substantial benefit to Corvello if he meets its terms. The document then makes these benefits illusory because they depend entirely on the will of Wells Fargo. To say, "I give $100 for your watch but I will decide whether I pay you $100" is not to make a contract but to engage in a flim-flam or, in plain words, to work a fraud. You promise so that the other will perform. You reserve your promise so that the promise is empty while you have gotten what you wanted from the promisee.
No purpose was served by the document Wells Fargo prepared except the fraudulent purpose of inducing Corvello to make the payments while the bank retained the option of modifying the loan or stiffing him. "Reads I win, tails you lose" is a fraudulent coin toss. Wells Fargo did no better.

Bennett v. Deutsche Bank

In this case, the Bennetts put the validity of the signatures on both allonges at issue. In their amended answer and affirmative defenses, the Bennetts specifically allege that Elizabeth Causseaux was not an authorized agent of one or both entities. 

For similar casesm visit our Forum

Appellants rely on the inference that the signatures were not authorized because they were made by the same person on behalf of two separate entities. Construing this evidence and resolving all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, the Bennetts, this pleading was sufficient to put the authenticity of the signatures at issue, thus creating a genuine issue of material fact. Because a genuine issue of material fact exists, summary judgment was improper.


So Why is the Administration Trying to Look a Smidge More Aggressive About Going After Banks?

One has to wonder why the DoJ and the SEC would both file cases that look likely to go splat, particularly when they’ve proven to be very sensitive to losing cases.

naked capitalism Now by contrast, the news of the DoJ investigating JP Morgan criminally for MBS sounds sexy. So curb your enthusiasm. I’d hazard that this case is likely to be about Bear Stearns, particularly since Bear managed to out-do the rest of the industry in the seediness of the practices in its MBS unit. Now the DoJ may well be onto something new, but my guess would be the investigation is related to double-dipping at EMC Mortgage

Tax-Free Accounts for Homes

Tax-free savings accounts help Americans stow away money for health care and college tuition. Why not a tax-exempt account for yet another major expense: the down payment on a mortgage?

NY Times In addition to proposals to halve the $1 million cap on the mortgage interest tax deduction and beef up support for affordable rental housing, the group suggests that Congress authorize individual mortgage savings accounts to make it easier for would-be buyers to save for a down payment. The program would be limited to first-time buyers who could make pretax contributions to such an account for up to 10 years. Funds put toward the purchase of a home would not be taxed.


Is the DeKalb Foreclosure Registry working?

Program raised over $1 million dollars

Fox Atlanta In October, it will be two years since DeKalb County launched a foreclosure registry that was supposed to generate revenue for the cash-strapped county. 

All foreclosed homes were supposed to be registered with the county for a $175 fee.

How much money has the program pulled in and is it actually working? 


PNC subpoenaed on foreclosure costs

PNC received a subpoena seeking information about claims for foreclosure expenses related to federally backed mortgage loans.

Reuters The disclosure about the inquiry comes a week after PHH Corp said it had received a similar subpoena from the same US Attorney office related to foreclosure expenses.

In June, the Department of Justice authorized the filing of a civil complaint against PNC, while the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau authorized settlement negotiations with the lender.

Both the DOJ and CFPB are investigating whether mortgage loan pricing by National City and PNC "had a disparate impact on protected classes", PNC disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.



MetLife Says Bank May Face Fine in Foreclosure Probe

The bank received a request in May from the U.S. Department of Justice for information on payments the lender made to law firms tied to foreclosures, the New York-based insurer said in a filing today.

Bloomberg Expenses were submitted to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for reimbursement, according to the filing.

“It is possible that various state or federal regulatory and law enforcement authorities may seek monetary penalties from MetLife Bank relating to foreclosure practices,” the insurer said in the filing.

Rising Foreclosure Rates in Northeast States

Several Northeastern states now have a higher percentage of loans in foreclosure than California and Arizona.

Mortgage Servicing News In New Jersey, 8% of all loans are in foreclosure, second only to Florida where one-in-ten loans are in foreclosure. And New York is ranked third when it comes to loans in foreclosure.

The MBA report shows that Nevada has the sixth highest foreclosure rate (5%) in the second quarter and Connecticut is ranked seventh. 


Calling All California Lawyers (and Others Who Want to Help Abused Homeowners)! 

Please Ask California Court of Appeal to Publish an Important Pro-Borrower Chain of Title Ruling

Here is a Fill in the blanks letter (.doc) you can send to Glaski, Bank of America and the justices.

Victory over Chase

Naked Capitalism

A well-respected court provided a carefully-reasoned pro-borrower ruling. And you would think it’s even better news because courts in California have generally not been terribly receptive to the securitization fail argument.

So what’s the bad news? The opinion is unpublished. That means other litigants typically cannot cite it in briefs, and it is not good law in California.

However, interested parties have until August 20, 2013 to submit a request for publication to the court.


It doesn't matter if you have a winnable case, if you do not plead with particularity - 


Toone v. Wells Fargo N.A.

10th Circuit Court of Appeals “In alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake.” The Toones’ complaint does not “set forth the time, place, and contents of the false representation, the identity of the party making the false statements and the consequences thereof.

‘We Won't Pay’: Greek activists reconnect power to poverty-stricken homes

The movement has been gaining new support, despite being targeted by over a hundred law suits. The government warns refusal to pay fees and taxes will only starve Greece of money it needs to get out of debt. 

rt Members of the ‘We Don't Pay’ movement demand alternatives to the austerity measures that, as many argue, have deepened the recession and made unemployment unbearable. 

“The vast majority of the public is sunk into poverty, and a few families across the world have 99 percent of the wealth. That's not something we want to bear, that's something we want to overthrow here in Greece and across the world,” Ilias Papadopoulos from the ‘We Don't Pay’ movement told RT in Athens. 

BofA Put Toxic Debt in Bond as Staff Resisted, U.S. Says

Bank of America's traders fought off efforts by the firm in 2007 to include risky Alt-A mortgages in a securitization. That wasn’t enough to spare investors from being cheated, according to the U.S.

Bloomberg The Department of Justice accused the company in a lawsuit yesterday of misleading investors about the quality of loans tied to $850 million in mortgage-backed securities. The complaint chronicles friction among bank staff in 2007 and 2008 as they excluded risky Alt-A loans while leaving in wholesale debts once scorned as “toxic waste” by the firm’s then-chief. 

None of these loans are suitable for a prime jumbo A-credit securitization,” one trader wrote in an e-mail, expressing discomfort with adding the low-documentation Alt-A debts to the pool. “Like a fat kid in dodgeball, these need to stay on the sidelines,” another trader wrote, according to the Justice Department’s complaint.


Big Banks Conspiracy is destroying America

All markets manipulated, capitalism getting killed.

Market Watch Goldman Sachs’s reputation for over a century has been grown with this “madness on a heroic scale,” winning big because of its “gargantuan insanity,” constantly pushing the boundaries of ethics, integrity and morality while year after year since 1869 this “great vampire squid” keeps winning big.

JPMorgan Reveals It Faces Civil and Criminal Inquiries

JPMorgan flouted federal laws with its sale of subprime mortgage securities from 2005 to 2007. The parallel criminal inquiry, according to one person briefed on the matter, is in a more preliminary stage.

DealBook Adding to scrutiny of the bank, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia are examining whether JPMorgan duped investors into buying troubled mortgage securities that later imploded, according to people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The prosecutors are investigating whether JPMorgan/Bear Stearns churned out the mortgage-backed securities without ensuring that the investments met underwriting standards, the people said.

Pimco, BlackRock Seek to Bar California Mortgage Seizures

Bond investors are seeking a court order blocking Richmond, California, and Mortgage Resolution Partners LLC from seizing mortgages through eminent domain, saying the initiative would hurt savers and retirees.

Bloomberg The plan advanced last month with Richmond backing offers to buy 624 loans, making it the first city to push the idea so far forward. Those offers would need to be refused before the city could follow through with its mayor’s vow to invoke its potential powers to force sales of the mostly non-delinquent loans, so that homeowners could get their debt balances cut to less than the current values of their properties.

Firms Sue City Over Mortgage Plan

NY Times The city recently sent notice to the holders of more than 620 so-called underwater home mortgages in the city, asking them to sell the loans to the city. It would buy the mortgages for 80 percent of the fair value of the homes, write them down and help the homeowners refinance their loans.


The crackdown on bank misbehavior masks a troubling reality

Wall Street firms have pushed the envelope in developing newfangled ways for their customers to lose money. (Oops — I meant newfangled ways to help “markets remain efficient and liquid.”) 

Reuters  I worry that the end result of Volcker’s “wonderful obstacle course” will be a wonderful playground, chock full of badly designed buttons that banks can press to make money. The regulators will bring charges, no one will pay in any meaningful way, we’ll all get more and more cynical and distrustful, and the show will go on. That is, until all the banks press the buttons at the same time, at which point we’ll have another financial crisis. Come to think of it, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing: It might inspire us to think about a financial system that actually makes sense.

Freddie Mac Reports $5 Billion Gain

NY Times Freddie said its earnings were largely because of increased profits from investments made to hedge against rising interest rates. That helped offset losses on mortgages during the quarter.


A national bank seeking to foreclose on real property in Utah must comply with Utah law.

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF UTAH As Judge Jenkins stated in Bell v.
Countrywide Bank, N.A., “[a] state bank which seeks to foreclose on real property in Utah must comply with Utah law. A federally chartered ‘bank’ which seeks to foreclose on such property must
comply with Utah law as well.” 860 F. Supp. 2d 1290, 1297 (D. Utah 2012). We remand this matter to the district court for consideration of other arguments or defenses the parties may properly raise.


Gunfire at Board Meeting Traced to Eviction Dispute

On Monday evening, as he was being led away by the police, a television reporter with WFMZ-TV in Allentown, Pa., asked Mr. Newell why.

“They tormented me for 23 years,” he said. “I couldn’t take it.”

NY Times Though Mr. Newell’s dispute with local officials dates back many years, the animosity apparently grew in February 2012 when, the minutes of the township’s supervisors’ meeting show, the board voted to take Mr. Newell to court for failing to adhere to local zoning and sewer rules.

The long-running dispute with local government officials reached its end on Monday night, when Mr. Newell, 59, burst into the township’s monthly supervisors’ meeting in Saylorsburg, Pa., firing a rifle, and minutes later returning with a .44 Magnum revolver, killing three, the police said.


Some Arizonans upset at lack of foreclosure relief

One federally-funded program dishes out money to the states hit hardest by the housing crash.

"Some of them got their houses and property back, some of them got a large settlement to carry them through... that's all I ask is... be fair," Derton said.

KVOA Tucson Arizona received $268 million to help homeowners avoid foreclosures. The state has only spent about six percent of the allocated funds -- a stark difference to other states that have spent up to 45 percent of the money.

For now, Derton will continue to live in his friend's home but hopes that something will happen so he can move back to the place where he would like to live for the rest of his life.


The “private label” bonds are so full of legal holes that they could not hold air, much less water.
No money was given to the trustee or the trust. No assets were deposited into the trust. The trust never acquired or originated any loans because it didn’t pay for them. It didn’t pay for them because it had no money to pay for them.

Living Lies The money you gave to purchase a bond never went to the trustee or the trust. In fact the trustee failed to start a file on your “trust” and therefore never assigned it to their trust department. The trustee also never started a depository account for the trust. It would have been named “XYZ Bank in trust for ABC trust”. That never happened except when they were piloting the scheme that become the largest Economic crime in human history.

The investment bank owes the borrower all of its compensation, plus treble damages, attorney fees and costs. 

Feds: Bank of America lied about mortgages

The U.S. government has accused Bank of America Corp. of civil fraud, saying the company failed to disclose risks and mislead investors in its sale of $850 million of mortgage bonds during 2008.

CBS News "Bank of America's reckless and fraudulent origination and securitization practices in the lead-up to the financial crisis caused significant losses to investors," said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Anne M. Tompkins. "Now, Bank of America will have to face the consequences of its actions."

U.S. Accuses Bank of America of mortgage-backed securities fraud 

It appears there were "No Standards" at the ol' "Higher Standards" company.

Justice Sues Bank of America Over Mortgage Securities

USA v. Bank of America et al




The U.S. government on Tuesday filed two civil lawsuits against Bank of America for what the Justice Department and securities regulators said was a fraud on investors involving $850 million of residential mortgage-backed securities.

The Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed the parallel suits in U.S. District Court in Charlotte, according to the court filings.


Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Schwartzwald

The Unforeclosure

The problem with this case, at least for our industry right now, is that the court didn’t say, “This only applies to foreclosures from this date forward.” As a result, real estate professionals are left asking, “Wait a minute, did the court just void every foreclosure that’s ever happened in the state of Ohio where the lender didn’t have an assignment of mortgage filed in the County Recorder’s office?”

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Schwartzwald 

Also see: Title for Foreclosed Property and the “Schwartzwald Problem”

In Closing This is significant, because I’d venture to guess that, especially during the heyday of lending in the 1990s and 2000s, 50 percent of all mortgages weren’t properly assigned to the current servicer or bank. That means we could have — probably do have — many foreclosures that are currently, as of today, void. What was once true becomes complete fiction. It’s like a foreclosure of foreclosures.

But that’s not all. We also haven’t been told whether — in situations where a lack of an assignment of mortgage has voided a foreclosure — the court’s ruling voids all subsequent ownership of a foreclosed property. If a foreclosure in 1985 is deemed void, does that in turn void the ownership interest of all the people who may have bought the property afterward?



Victory on Appeal – Foreclosure Lawsuit Dismissed!!

Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal issued this written opinion today that I can only characterize as the biggest win of my career, one that will set precedent in foreclosure lawsuits throughout Florida for years to come.


Failed to reestablish Lost Note.

Mark Stopa, Esq. The case provides important precedent for the argument that when a bank does not present sufficient evidence at trial, a dismissal should result. No new trial. No second bite at the apple. When the bank can’t prove its case at trial, it’s foreclosure case dismissed, homeowner prevails.

Third, and perhaps most significantly, the opinion lends hope to all homeowners. Defenses are available in foreclosure cases, even at trial and even on appeal.

Read the opinion. In foreclosure-world, they don’t get any better than this.

Obama to urge Congress in speech to shutter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

It appears Obama has finally

discovered all the Notes are


Fox News President Obama will urge Congress to shutter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-giants bailed out by the government in 2008, as part of a strategy to buffer taxpayers from future housing market downturns.
In a speech Tuesday in Phoenix, Obama will call for transitioning the business model of Fannie and Freddie into a system where "private capital must be wiped out before the government pays on any form of catastrophic guarantee," a senior administration official said.

August 2013


Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes

Is that all we’re losing?


The New Yorker

Over the past year, I spoke with more than a hundred police officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and forfeiture plaintiffs from across the country. Many expressed concern that state laws designed to go after high-flying crime lords are routinely targeting the workaday homes, cars, cash savings, and other belongings of innocent people who are never charged with a crime.

Many police budgets depend on money from forfeiture. 

The rise of civil forfeiture has, in some areas, proved of great value. It allows the government to extract swift penalties from white-collar criminals and offer restitution to victims of fraud; since 2012, the Department of Justice has turned over more than $1.5 billion in forfeited assets to four hundred thousand crime victims, often in cases of corporate criminality.


One loan from Cash Loans Now in early 2008 carried an annual percentage rate of 1,147 percent; after borrowing $50, the customer owed nearly $600 in total payments to be paid over the course of a year.

Whack-a-Mole: How Payday Lenders Bounce Back When States Crack Down

In 2008, payday lenders suffered a major defeat when the Ohio legislature banned high-cost loans. That same year, they lost again when they dumped more than $20 million into an effort to roll back the law: The public voted against it by nearly two-to-one.

But five years later, hundreds of payday loan stores still operate in Ohio, charging annual rates that can approach 700 percent.

ProPublica The loans were unconscionable for a reason beyond the extremely high rates, the suits alleged. Employees did everything they could to keep borrowers on the hook. As one FastBucks employee testified, “We just basically don’t let anybody pay off.”

Earlier this year, the Ohio Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging the use of the mortgage law by a payday lender named Cashland. But even if the court rules the tactic illegal, the companies might simply find a new loophole. In its recent annual report, Cash America, the parent company of Cashland, addressed the consequences of losing the case: “if the Company is unable to continue making short-term loans under this law, it will have to alter its short-term loan product in Ohio.”

How One State Succeeded in Restricting Payday Loans


FBI can remotely activate microphones, cameras

AG Beat It appears that most of the surveillance is being done on desktops, laptops, and Android devices, and while many have long suspected their devices have been used as listening devices via microphone or viewing devices via built-in camera, until now, details of the actual process have remained a closely guarded secret.

Where are Bear Stearns mortgage executives now?

There’s absolutely something wrong with executive compensation that gives extraordinary rewards to executives while at the same time shareholders’ value is diminishing or destroyed,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.



Deadly Clear The demise of the 85-year-old firm was just a harbinger of what was to come. Six months later, Lehman Brothers collapsed under the weight of its own mortgage securities, sending first the financial system, and then the entire global economy, into a tailspin from which it hasn’t yet fully recovered.

Five years later, the executives that were in charge of Bear’s headlong dive into the cesspool of subprime mortgage lending hold similar jobs at the most powerful banks on Wall Street: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank.

The fact they were able to emerge unscathed from a financial crisis that wiped out $19.2 trillion of household wealth in the US and as many as 8.8 million jobs has become part of the legacy of the financial meltdown.


They're coming for the pensions now!

Grotesque Plan for Detroit: Fleece Working People to Save the Banks (who are making record profits by stealing)

Municipal workers could be robbed of pension funds to pay big banks for payments due on interest rate swaps.


Deadly Clear cross-post

Ellen Brown

Web of Debt Blog

Systemically Dangerous Institutions Are Moved to the Head of the Line

The argument for the super-priority of derivative claims is that nonpayment on these bets represents a “systemic risk” to the financial scheme. Derivative bets are cross-collateralized and are so inextricably entwined in a $600-plus trillion (wealth of planet is only $70 trillion) house of cards that the whole financial scheme could go down if the betting scheme were to collapse.

Instead of banning or regulating this very risky casino, Congress has been persuaded by the masterminds of Wall Street that it needs to be preserved at all costs.


How Citi is hedging against the foreclosure settlements

Citigroup owns the parent company of the firm that is doling out the settlement checks.

Fortune Four hundred thousand checks mailed out as part of the government's foreclosure settlement with 13 banks have been returned to Rust Consulting, the firm that mailed them.

Who's paying Rust to do this work? The 13 banks that agreed to the government settlement pay Rust, Hubbard told me. 


Mass. banks accused of violating foreclosure laws

Housing attorneys seeking to overturn foreclosures have been bolstered by a May 2012 Suffolk Superior Court decision that supported their claims. Justice Elizabeth Fahey ruled in favor of a Revere homeowner who contested her foreclosure based on a faulty right-to-cure notice.

Boston Globe Eloise Lawrence, an attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau in Cambridge, said she has helped more than two dozen homeowners overturn their foreclosures in Lynn alone based on problems with right-to-cure notices.

‘‘The bank can take your house without ever going to court, and so properly notifying homeowners of their rights is a critical safeguard against wrongful foreclosures,’’ she said.

Some homeowners who say they were not treated fairly during the foreclosure process are going to court and — increasingly — winning rulings that force lenders to reverse completed property seizures.



Florida Appeals Court To Rogue Bankster: Not Only Was Your Foreclosure Action Dismissed, But you owe $74K+ Tab For The Successful Homeowner's Legal Fees & Costs, So Pay Up!

HSBC v. Williams

Home Equity Theft Reporter The underlying foreclosure case was dismissed by the trial court based upon the Bank’s failure to comply with various discovery orders.

Given the Bank’s history in this case of disobeying court orders, we reject the Bank’s assertion that the trial court abused its discretion in sanctioning the Bank for failing to comply with the court’s scheduling order regarding attorney’s fees.


Law to Clean Up ‘Nuisances’ Costs Innocent People Their Homes

Critics argue that the power to pursue civil forfeiture has been abused by prosecutors and is creating a new class of collateral victims. Often they are minorities like Bing without the financial resources or legal know-how to protect their assets.

ProPublica On its face, Bing’s predicament might seem implausible if not unjust. How could someone who’s neither accused nor convicted of a crime be forced to give up her property because of another’s misdeeds? 

But stories like Bing’s are increasingly more common as Philadelphia and other jurisdictions have embraced the expansive power of forfeiture as a crime-fighting tool.



After Foreclosure, mysterious Eviction record surfaces

I had a mortgage with a big box lender. I lost my job and hung on as long as possible. My home was actively listed for sale, and we had a short sale contract after jumping through every hoop they said. At the last minute, the bank said forget it, did not even look at the contract, and said they were foreclosing.

Chicago Tribune I had already moved out of the home with their permission. I recently got a great job, and after living with my son and his wife for three years, attempted to lease an apartment. They said my credit was good enough, and even required no deposit, but found an eviction on another record they pulled, and refused me the apartment. This was the first I had heard of an eviction and I need to find out if I can get this off my record. I just want to begin my life again and feel this was wrongly placed there to begin with.


State starts do-over on foreclosure mediation

Oregon's foreclosure mediation program launched last July to a lot of fanfare, then promptly fizzled when it got almost no participation.

The do-over starts today.

Oregon Live The program, born out of the recession and housing crisis, was designed to force lenders to meet with homeowners to discuss alternatives before foreclosing on a mortgage. But the rules left a big loophole by not including foreclosures that lenders filed in court, as opposed to the out-of-court system that had been common since the 1950s.

Under the revision that went into effect Sunday, lenders have to sit down with struggling homeowners and discuss alternatives regardless of the method of foreclosure.
That means a program that reached just a tiny fraction of foreclosed borrowers in the past year is likely to reach many more of the thousands of Oregon homeowners in danger of falling into foreclosure. (Or at least we hope it will.)



Chandra Anand CONCLUSION
Based on the law, the terms of the Pooling and Service Agreement, the failure to show the proper chain of endorsements, and the arguments contained herein, Subject moves this Court to permanently enjoin Alleged Secured Party from foreclosing on the property at (Property Address) because they have failed to make the required showing that they are or ever were or
ever could be the holder of the mortgage promissory note.


Bank of America's Legal Quagmire Just Got a Lot Murkier

As Bank of America's stock cozies up to the $15 per share mark, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals some tidbits that threaten to send the stock reeling.

Daily Finance Reuters reports that the bank's 10-Q form reveals that both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are preparing to file civil charges against B of A regarding "one or two" MBSes that contained jumbo mortgages. The SEC has also alerted the bank that it is contemplating filing additional charges against the bank's Merrill Lynch division over some collateralized debt obligations the agency has been investigating.



The Great Eviction: The Landscape of Wall Street’s Creative Destruction

It had been vacated, sealed and winterized in June 2010, according to a notice on the wall posted by BAC Field Services Corporation, a division of Bank of America. It warned: “entry by unauthorized persons is strictly prohibited.” 

Based on Laura Gottesdiener’s new book, A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home. But Bank of America has clearly forgotten about the house and its requirement to provide the “maintenance and security” that would ensure the property could soon be reoccupied. The basement door is ajar, the plumbing has been torn out of the walls and the carpet is stained with water. The last family to live here bought the home for $175,000 in 2002; eight years later, the bank claimed an improbable $286,100 in past-due balances and repossessed it.



Widow caught in foreclosure vortex after bank's mistake

Two weeks ago, a jury in Hillsboro found that JPMorgan Chase broke state law when it foreclosed on a Washington County adult foster home. The jury believed Chase had promised the homeowners a modification, told them to stop making payments, then foreclosed on them anyway.

Oregon Live "These are huge organizations that are having record profits," said Carlos Garcia, homeownership support program manager at Hacienda CDC in Portland. "I would think they would have put better systems in place."

(The record profits come from stealing and breaking the law.)

Last month Roggow told her she needed to start the modification all over, she said, a process she initiated more than a year ago with MetLife.

"I'm not quite sure why this was all my fault," Africa-Barnes says. "It's almost like they're doing this on purpose." (Yep! For 20 years it has been on purpose.)


Transfers that violate the terms of the trust instrument are void under New York trust law, and borrowers have standing to challenge void assignments of their loans even though they are not a party to, or a third party beneficiary of, the assignment agreement.  

Glaski Decision in California Appellate Court Turns the Corner on “Getting It”

The court said that alleged transfers into the trust after the cutoff date are void under New York State law which is the law that governs the common-law trusts created by the banks as part of the fraudulent securitization scheme.

Glaski v. Bank of America et al

is now published!

Papers are being filed to cause the Opinion to become a published decision, and the Opinion relies on numerous published decisions in reaching its result.

See below for an Opinion opposite to this one.  

Living Lies What is being played out here in this case and hundreds of thousands of other cases is a representation by the foreclosing entity that the trust owns the loan when in fact it never owned the loan - nor could it - because the money that was advanced by investors was never deposited into the trust. We have the same banks representing to judges, regulatory authorities and insurers that it is the bank and not the trust that owns the loan even though the bank merely made the loan using money advanced by investors who believed that they were buying mortgage-backed bonds.

Remember that it is possible for additional documentation to be created, fabricated and forged showing that despite the apparent violation of the cutoff date, the trustee has accepted the loan into the trust. This will most likely be a lie. I don’t think there is any entity acting as trustee of a trust that doesn’t know that it is under intense scrutiny and doesn’t want to be subject to liability that could amount to trillions of dollars advanced by investors with the purchase of bogus mortgage-backed bonds that were presumably managed by the trustee but in reality not managed at all because the bonds were worthless.

Then there is this one: US Bank fools another NY judge

US Bank v. Mosquera

US Bank claimed it has standing, by
submitting a "copy" of the Note with a special endorsement (UCC § 3-204[1]) from New Century to the plaintiff, US Bank National Association, as Trustee, and the written assignment of
both the mortgage and note

You don't Assign Notes - you must negotiate it!  Read Comments in Neil's  post above.

Sup Ct, Queens County, NY Insofar as defendant contends that plaintiff should be estopped from alleging ownership of the note and mortgage inasmuch as the manner of conveyance of the subject note and
mortgage is in violation of the terms of the Pooling and Service Agreement (the documents plaintiff submitted and denominated the Trust Agreement) this too is without merit. The defendants who
are neither parties to nor third-party beneficiary of the Trust Agreement do not have standing to challenge the Trust Agreement  (see P.A. Building Co. v. City of New York)


Denver foreclosure-mill lawyer faces federal sanctions

A foreclosure lawyer whose firm is under state investigation for alleged bill-padding also faces federal discipline for misrepresenting documents she used to take someone's Colorado Springs home.

Denver Post Attorney Toni M.N. Dale of Medved Dale Decker & Deere in Lakewood was referred for discipline last month by a federal judge for wrongly certifying that copies of a bank's promissory note — required for any foreclosure in Colorado — were "true and correct" when, in fact, she had never seen the originals at all.


Rogan v. Vanderbuilt

When asked for evidence that it had a right to enforce the note, Vanderbilt argued that the assignment of the mortgage and the purchase agreement were sufficient.  Nope.

Home Equity Theft Reporter The assignment of the mortgage [] did not cure the problem. In this case the mortgage was granted to MERS as nominee for PFS. When it assigned the mortgage, it could only assign the rights granted by the mortgage, and could not transfer any right with respect to the note.

Ocwen Close to Servicing Settlement with Federal Regulators

Mortgage Servicing News Ocwen's criminal enterprise is close to reaching a settlement with federal regulators and it appears the giant servicer will agree to make cash payments to borrowers who were harmed ruined during the foreclosure process.

Former Goldman Sachs trader found liable in fraud case sparked by mortgage crises that pushed recession

Tourre, who left Goldman in 2012, faces no prison time because his trial was the result of a civil lawsuit brought by regulators — not a criminal case.

NY Daily News Tourre, meanwhile, scored a bonus that boosted his salary to $1.7 million — and called himself “the fabulous Fab” in an arrogant email to his girlfriend at the time.
“The whole building is about to collapse anytime now,” he wrote. “Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab ... Standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those  monstrosities!!!”

U.S. May Move Against Bank Over Jumbo Loan Securities

NY Times Bank of America was pummeled by a glut of bad mortgages it inherited after acquiring a troubled mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, in the financial crisis.

And like some of its Wall Street rivals, Bank of America is still grappling with mistakes it made during the housing boom.



Objectors’ Siren Song Enchants During Article 77 Proceeding

The odd thing is that BofA – the party with the most at stake – isn’t even a party to this proceeding. Instead, BONY – which derives no economic benefit from the settlement dollars themselves – is serving as BofA’s foil 

Subprime Shakeout We are 20 days into the monumental bench trial over Bank of America’s proposed $8.5 billion settlement of Countrywide MBS claims, and with the proceedings now taking a break until September 9, we have a chance to sit back and evaluate what we’ve seen thus far. When I do, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a plaintiff take such a pounding during the presentation of its own case. But, of course, this Article 77 proceeding is no ordinary case, and Bank of New York Mellon  is no ordinary plaintiff.

July 2013

Dangerous Assignments

The same appellate panel that delivered a terrifying punch to the residential lending industry a few months ago in Jolley v Chase Home Fin., LLC (2013) 213 CA4th 872, reported at 36 CEB RPLR 46 (Mar. 2013) (which is now official, since the supreme court declined to review it), has now given another branch of that industry an equally frightening setback in Heritage Pac. Fin., LLC v Monroy (2013) 215 CA4th 972.


Under this new principle of construction, the most generous language imaginable in a blanket assignment or endorsement will not necessarily transfer all other rights—and those un-transferred may be the particular ones that the transferee may find it needs most.

Roger Bernhardt

Professor of Real Estate Law

This case concerned a financial institution (Heritage) whose business model involved buying up defaulted junior mortgages that had already been rendered worthless by senior foreclosures, and then attempting to collect whatever it could from the former mortgagors, even when - as in this case - those mortgages were purchase money loans, and therefore uncollectible because of CCP §580b’s one-action rule.

After a lot of procedural skirmishing, the trial court sustained Monroy’s demurrer to Heritage’s complaint and granted summary judgment to her on her cross-complaint, awarding her $1 in damages but also $90,000 in attorney fees and costs. All of this was affirmed on appeal.

The main reason that Heritage lost, and the ground that undermined and defeated all of its other theories, was that it was not a proper holder of whatever fraud claims Monroy’s original lender (WMC) had against her, because it could not show that those claims had been truly assigned to it by WMC. Even if this were a real liar’s loan (i.e., when the borrower had truly, and voluntarily, lied in her loan application), the original lender might well have had a cause of action for fraud, but not the successor holder of the mortgage, to whom no such lies had been told. Heritage’s standing was as an assignee, not as a victim.


The Department Announces Departure of Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Executive Director Michael Bresnick

Maybe he got fed up by all the non-prosecutions.

Department of Justice Protecting Americans from the devastating effects of fraudulent schemes and reinforcing consumer education and awareness has been a primary focus of Bresnick’s tenure. In 2012 he launched the Consumer Protection Working Group to address consumer fraud, an issue that can financially cripple households and can cause extensive losses to the economy. The group has worked across federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies, and with state and local partners, to confront consumer fraud through prosecution and education.

Former Bear Stearns Executives Seemingly Unscathed By Financial Crisis They Helped Trigger

The fact they were able to emerge unscathed from a financial crisis that wiped out $19.2 trillion of household wealth in the US and as many as 8.8 million jobs has become part of the legacy of the financial meltdown.

Huff Post In 2008, its customers and creditors didn’t much care about its storied history. They were worried that the billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities on its books weren’t worth what the company claimed. En masse, they stopped doing business with Bear.

Within a few days, on Monday, March 17, Bear Stearns was gone.


Judge Rejects Fed’s Cap on Debit Card Fees

Judge Leon’s opinion was strongly worded. He said that, in working out the details of the fee cap, the Fed had run “completely afoul of the text, design and purpose” of what Congress had intended.

DealBook A district court judge in Washington, ruled that the Fed had failed to follow Congress’s wishes in setting the cap. In doing so, the Fed had, in effect, been too kind to the banks. If the ruling stands, the Fed may have to place a lower limit on the so-called interchange fees, which could further reduce the revenue that financial firms reap from debit cards.


The Hidden Credit Report That Shuts People Out of the Banking System

The New York Times has an important account of how a system created by banks to catch scam artists like check-kiters has morphed over 20 years into a shadow credit reporting system.

naked capitalism Given how hard it is to get the credit bureaus to fix errors in a system that is visible (for instance, you can get your credit report for free once a year from each bureau), imagine what it would be like to have a bank tell you they wouldn’t let you open a checking account due to reports you had no idea even existed.


Sanctions: Bankruptcy Judges Have Thick Skins – And Sharp Teeth

Isaacson v. Manty

Bankruptcy Law Network When you talk to judges or file paperwork in court, it’s a bad idea to call the judge names or insult them. Not only is it bad form and undignified but, frankly, you’re just asking for it.

This is the lesson handed down July 19, 2013 by the federal court of appeals in St. Louis. The 8th Circuit concluded that a federal bankruptcy judge has the inherent power to protect the judicial system and the court’s own dignity by issuing fines for contempt of court.

Attorneys disciplined: Marshall C. Watson among 11 in South Florida

There is no indication that any of the victims was compensated for their  irreparable loss. 

South Florida Business Journal Watson ran a so-called foreclosure mill – Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson – where it became common practice to rush thousands of foreclosures through with quick review and sign-off to attest to accuracy of documents, leading to the coining of the phrase “robo-signing” in the media.
Statewide, the court disciplined 25 attorneys, disbarring eight, suspending 15 and publicly reprimanding two.


Force-Placed Insurance Companies, Banks Face Regulators and Homeowners Over Policies

Lawyers & Settlements Doyle alleges that when her homeowners’ insurance lapsed, her premium skyrocketed from an annual rate of $384 to $2,754. Such premiums, lawsuits and regulators allege, hurt already struggling homeowners and can push them into default. Furthermore, homeowners say they are not given the option of finding cheaper insurance and the force-placed insurance companies have close ties to banks, resulting in high commissions that are not always reported to the borrower.


Is Your Homestead Exemption Bulletproof under 11 USC 522(o)

Bankruptcy Law Network In Florida, your home is truly your castle. We have Florida constitutional homestead equity protection in an unlimited amount. This means that you can file bankruptcy with a two million dollar home (or more) with no mortgage and claim it as exempt, but this doctrine is subject to exceptions when a debtor files for bankruptcy protection.

State's biggest foreclosure-mill fights subpoena for records

Denver Post The Castle Law Group filed its case late Friday in Denver District Court against Attorney General John Suthers to prevent turning over more than 700 e-mails the firm says are protected by attorney-client privilege.


BC Supremes Rebuke Provincial Director Of Civil Forfeiture For Abuse Of Power For Improperly Seizing One Man's Home

"I feel he has a duty of fairness, not to use the immense resources of the state to bludgeon an innocent person," said Blair Suffredine, Liberal MLA for the area from 2001-05.

Home Equity Theft Reporter "In this case I repeatedly asked for fairness and suggested there was a duty. There was no evidence to support any causal link between the assets my client owned and any crime having been committed. The director repeatedly offered to settle for a portion of those assets using the cost of litigating as a justification for us to choose that option."

California city's drastic foreclosure remedy: Seizure

CNN Money The California city of Richmond said Tuesday that it's ready to take an extraordinary step in its bid to stop foreclosures -- threatening to wrest mortgages from the investors who now control them.

If the (alleged) holders of the loans, who are mostly investors, refuse to sell by Aug. 14, the city said it will invoke eminent domain to seize the mortgages so it has more control over the process of making them affordable.



Nothing Compared to  the FORECLOSURE RUNAROUND

Woman Awarded $18 Million In Credit Report Case Against Equifax

A federal jury in Oregon awarded $18.6 million to a woman who spent two years unsuccessfully trying to get Equifax Information Services to fix major mistakes on her credit report.

digtriad Julie Miller of Marion County was awarded $18.4 million in punitive damages and $180,000 in compensatory damages, though Friday's award against one of the nation's major credit bureaus is likely to be appealed, The Oregonian reported.

The jury was told she contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Her lawsuit alleged the Atlanta-based company failed to correct the mistakes.

Former Vice President Of Wells Fargo Advisors And Morgan Stanley Charged In $1.8 Million Fraud Scheme

U.S. Attorney's Office The indictment alleges that Boleancu executed a fraud scheme by forging more than $1.8 million in checks written on accounts of an elderly, widowed client for his personal benefit.

Foreclosure rescue and equity skimming case

Collings v. City First Mortgage, US Bank, MERS

This consolidated case originated in a foreclosure rescue scheme. The trial court quieted title in the homeowners.

COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON One appellant, ordered to pay damages and attorney fees, contends a new trial should be granted because the homeowners did not disclose a settlement they reached pretrial with
another defendant. Because no prejudice was shown, we reject this argument.
The other appellant contends it holds a superior interest in the home. But that
appellant was not a bona fide purchaser of the note and deed of trust it
possesses. The judgments are affirmed.



represents the banks

This paper will briefly review the string of Massachusetts judicial decisions over the past several years addressing various aspects of the foreclosure standing question, and will use those cases to “issue-spot” and frame questions that practitioners in every state should consider and perhaps need to answer before moving ahead with foreclosures or to defend past foreclosures in litigation, whether in defense of borrowers’ lawsuits or in eviction proceedings. We will then also survey some notable decisions from other jurisdictions to flesh out the issues and arguments further.

Any order rendered after the death of a party and before the substitution of a legal representative is void.

HSBC v. Brunson

Supreme Court, Kings County, NY Only "under special circumstances,' such as where there has been active participation in the litigation by the personal representative who would have been substituted for decedent" is the rule waived (id.). It is also well established that the dead cannot be sued.

Appraiser, Mortgage Firm's Owner Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud

Michael Pinkney, Alan R. Price were sentenced to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to make $1.3-million restitution.

Price submitted appraisals that improvements had been made to the foreclosed properties, even though none had been made. The false appraisals inflated the value of the properties and allowed more money to be borrowed against them.

  The loans were obtained through Pinkney's mortgage company and resulted in a loss of some $1.28 million to the loan funding companies CitiMortgage and Taylor, Bean and Whitaker of Florida.

In one case cited in court papers, a nominee buyer purchased a property at 1297 Harbert Avenue in January 2009 for $65,000. Two months later Price submitted an appraisal of $400,000 for the property, though no improvements had been made.

And they didn't think they would get caught???


The busy lives of Criminals

JPMorgan Accused of Energy Market Manipulation

Business Insider To add more drama to the story, in September the Fed will decide if it will continue to allow Wall Street banks to trade physical commodities at all. JP Morgan started entering the business aggressively after the financial crisis, and last week announced that it was considering making is exit as the risks may have become too great.

In a Shift, Eminent Domain Saves Homes

The power of eminent domain has traditionally worked against homeowners, who can be forced to sell their property to make way for a new highway or shopping mall. But now the working class city of Richmond, Calif. hopes to use the same legal tool to help people stay right where they are.

NY Times In Richmond, roughly half of all homeowners with mortgages are underwater, meaning they owe more than their home is currently worth.
Scarcely touched by the nation’s housing recovery and tired of waiting for federal help, Richmond is about to become the first city in the nation to try eminent domain as a novel way to stop foreclosures.


Whistleblower: Colorado Foreclosure Mill Padded Billing Hours, Destroyed Evidence Sought By State AG In Probe Into Suspected Inflated Fee Racket

Denver Post Susan Hendrick testified at a hearing Thursday that she told the state attorney general's office about bill-padding she witnessed while a lawyer at Aronowitz & Mecklenburg in Denver, conduct that investigators say needlessly cost homeowners facing foreclosure millions of dollars. She then laid out a number of other alleged abuses she says happened.




Is your lender on the list? Read more bank stories and explore data

Herald-Tribune Investigation Almost 70 banks failed in Florida during the last five years.

Most executives say the failures were not their fault. They blame a tanking economy. Or meddling government officials. Or people who borrowed more than they could afford while the market was cooking hot.

But these bankers are wrong.

At least half of Florida’s community banks failed because their leaders were greedy, arrogant, incompetent or sometimes corrupt, a Herald-Tribune investigation found.

The newspaper obtained previously confidential state records that show how failed bankers broke the law, manipulated financial documents and gorged themselves on insider deals. These bank records had never before been collected by an American newspaper.




BAC/Bank of America v. McFarren  (includes a chart)

Bank of America used the frivolous argument that the homeowner cannot raise the issue of standing since they failed to in the lower court.  The Court explains that it is well-established that standing may be raised at any time, and the banks had to know this.  This cost the court and the homeowner time and money to defend this baseless argument.

None of the evidence in the record demonstrates that BAC had possession of the Note at the time that it filed the complaint. The copy of the Note
attached to the complaint does not show anything beyond the fact that BAC had access to a copy of the Note. The Note itself is payable to bearer by virtue of Countrywide Bank’s blank endorsement, meaning that nothing on the Note itself indicates when, or if, BAC became its owner through possession of the Note. Further, the fact that Bank of America had possession of the Note at the time it moved for summary judgment does not demonstrate that BAC had obtained possession of the Note when it filed the complaint.


Homeowner Wins Multi-Million Dollar Foreclosure Suit after Legal Misstep

Because the case is so old, homeowner attorney Roy Oppenheim said the bank may run into trouble trying to refile it. There is a 5-year statute of limitations on foreclosures.

At Thursday’s foreclosure trial, Oppenheim said the bank tried to introduce the original “wet ink” note, which had allegedly been lost previous to the 2008 foreclosure filing.

Kim Miller

Palm Beach Post

But because the bank did not amend its pleadings to include the note or notify the borrower and the court that it existed, the move violated civil procedure, Oppenheim said.

The court docket reflects that a copy of the original note was filed in the case in 2009., but the original notes existence wasn’t included in Thursday’s pleading.

The voluntary dismissal was signed by Circuit Judge Roger Colton. He also gave Kaan attorneys’ fees and costs.

“Our firm _ three lawyers _ were saddled up ready to go to trial and they sprung on us at the last minute a new set of facts,” Oppenheim said. “It was trial by ambush and judges won’t put up with that.


Florida Homeowner Facing Foreclosure Scores Big Win

St. Claire's foreclosure was old enough, explained attorney Johnson, the statute of limitations had expired for filing a new foreclosure suit against St. Claire.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Susan St. Claire faced losing her town home in The Estuary at Jupiter Dunes. She says several lawyers told her to start packing.

But St. Claire's new attorney, Mark Johnson, realized the bank suing St. Claire had filed a motion to substitute the suing party. The 4th District Court of Appeal had ruled the suing party had to really have the mortgage.

Wall Street and the Absence of Justice

Informing the 99% The bigger question is why haven't prosecutors used leverage against the Fabrice Tourres to go after the higher-level executives who were really involved in creating the scam?

Judge Rules Lawsuit, First to Link Bundling of Mortgage-Backed Securities and Racial Discrimination, Can Proceed

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP.  


You add on fees when you feel like it and refuse to fully account for them as your goal is to have the biggest phony debt owed by the homeowner when you force a foreclosure because the Federal Government's FDIC will pay 85% on the biggest balance owed [which means that ALL taxpayers will pay you on the phony, inflated balances after foreclosure sales].

Victims of One West Bank Fraud With his nominal funds, Mr. Beekman has been in litigation against One West Bank to protect his $40,000 duplex for a home for his permanently disabled wife. Thus far, One West Bank has spent MORE THAN $80,000( CAN THIS BANK DO THE MATH HERE) $80K IN COSTS FOR A $40K ASSET, THAT MAKES NO FINANCIAL SENSE UNLESS OF COURSE YOU HAVE A SPECIAL DEAL TO GET BACK 80% OF THE ORIGINAL MORTGAGE PLUS INSURANCE PLUS THE HOUSE TO RE SELL) in defense costs, even replacing local counsel with hot shot counsel from another state that has close personal relationships with the judiciary as well as a reputation of blocking litigation with tricks (One West’s current outside attorney is private practitioner, Rik Tozzi of Alabama,

Fed pledges to get tough on Wall Street as adopts Basel rules

Reuters The U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to draft tough rules for Wall Street while shielding smaller banks from some of the harshest impact of the global Basel III capital rules it adopted on Tuesday.

The central bank voted in favor of the long-awaited U.S. version of the global rules that require banks to use more equity capital to fund their business, to make them more robust after the 2007-09 credit meltdown.

GMAC Mortgage to pay $230 million as part of foreclosure review

Reuters The Federal Reserve said on Friday that GMAC Mortgage will make $230 million in cash payments to borrowers, in a move that will end an independent, case-by-case review of potentially flawed foreclosures.

Reposted from new source

Ohio Family's Home Mistaken for Foreclosed Property Across the Street

Video cycles through additional stories of banks trashing out the wrong house.

abc News "We are definitely going to bring a lawsuit," she said. "I gave them a chance and they are not willing to work with me."

Barnett's home is not the first that a bank has mistaken for a foreclosed property. Two weeks ago, a couple in Fort Worth, Texas, discovered their home was confused for a vacant home, then mistakenly demolished.

60(B) Does Not Apply to VOID Judgment

BONY v. Shaffer

Further, the fact that Shaffer was in default of an answer does not mean
she admitted New York Mellon held the note on the date it filed the complaint, thus conferring subject-matter jurisdiction on the court.

Since the trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction and its
default judgment was therefore void, Shaffer was not required to comply with the time requirements of Civ.R. 60(B) in order to be entitled to an order vacating the judgment.

The Analysis and Decision of Summary Judgment Motions in Federal Court

Federal Judicial Center Summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
has been a source of controversy and confusion. Some have viewed it as a meretricious shortcut depriving litigants of their right to trial by jury, while others have seen it as a powerful docket-clearing device essential to overburdened courts. Disparities in judicial attitudes have contributed to widely differing interpretations and applications, resulting in much confusion over proper use of the summary judgment procedure.


Cops don't think a crime occurred???

Bankster Breaks Into Wrong Home In Another Foreclosure Trash-Out Gone Wrong

First National Bank in Wellston foreclosed on her house, even though it was not her bank.

Home Equity Theft Reporter She presented him with an $18,000 estimate to replace the losses, but the president refused to pay.

“He got very firm with me and said, ‘We’re not paying you retail here, that’s just the way it is,’” Barnett said. “I did not tell them to come in my house and make me an offer. They took my stuff and I want it back.”

A Relentless Prosecutor’s Crowning Case

DealBook “When so many people from a single hedge fund have engaged in insider trading, it is not a coincidence,” Mr. Bharara said. He described the scope of illegal trading as being “deep” and “wide.” He said it spanned more than a decade and involved trading in the securities of more than 20 companies.


Awaiting Foreclosure Relief

Legislation in New York awaiting the governor’s signature would prevent lenders’ lawyers from leaving homeowners facing foreclosure in a state of legal suspense.

“We feel very strongly that the integrity of the court process is at stake,” Judge Lippman said. “It is our responsibility to ensure that these proceedings are meaningful and that everyone’s rights are protected.”

NY Times The bill is intended to put an end to the “shadow docket” of pending foreclosure cases stuck in limbo for months or even years because lawyers for the lenders haven’t filed the paperwork necessary for them to move into court. (Then dismiss them all.)

“Interest and fees are being racked up with every passing month,” said Jacob Inwald. “And there isn’t even a vehicle to try to resolve your problem, because once they’ve commenced a foreclosure action, you can’t talk to your lender because you’re in litigation.”

The whole foreclosure process has just been riddled with improprieties and unfairness to homeowners.”

From our Legal Lounge:

In Re: Mortgage Foreclosure  Cases

Babcock Law's Memorandum and Argument that Mortgage Assignments are VOID and may be challenged.

On July 5th, 2013 the Babcock Law Offices team submitted a 16 page memorandum (above) to the Federal District Court for the District of Rhode Island articulating that mortgagors do have standing and that the Defendants in the over 800 cases on the Federal docket have violated various laws including the General Laws of Rhode Island.

Babcock Law Office In the cases presently before this Court this question cannot be answered without looking to the void assignments of mortgages. These assignments are void because the alleged parties to the assignment had no authority to assign. Since deciding Culhane v. Aurora Loan Servs. of Neb.,708 F.3d 282, 291 (1st Cir. 2013), where the Court specifically held that "mortgagor has standing to challenge the assignment of a mortgage on her home to the extent that such a challenge is necessary to contest a foreclosing entity's status qua mortgagee," the ability of Plaintiff to challenge the validity of an assignment of mortgage has been established beyond contest.


Colorado's 2nd-largest Foreclosure-Mill sued in over-billing probe

By charging up to six times the market rate for serving foreclosure notices on property owners, Colorado's second-largest foreclosure law firm generated millions of dollars in profits on the backs of homeowners and taxpayers, according to a state attorney-general lawsuit.

Denver Post Attorney General John Suthers said his office is investigating whether Aronowitz & Mecklenburg in Denver "misrepresents its posting costs" when it bills homeowners for its foreclosure expenses — charges that hit $150 while the person who does the posting is paid $7 plus mileage, according to the lawsuit.

The attorney general's subpoena lawsuit is the latest in about four other cases in which AG Suthers' office has recently sued a law firm or process-service company to comply with its investigation seeking information about their charges to homeowners.


SAC Capital Is Indicted

DealBook The indictment also takes aim at SAC for “an institutional indifference” to wrongdoing that “resulted in insider trading that was substantial, pervasive and on a scale without known precedent in the hedge fund industry.”

FHA Clarifies Its Approach to Servicing Transfers

The bill gives the Federal Housing Administration more authority to police lenders and manage risk to the FHA single-family program.

“Our discussion draft would better equip the FHA to hold lenders accountable for fraud or inappropriate loans."

Mortgage Servicing News FHA commissioner Carol Galante testified in support of the Johnson-Crapo bill. But she noted that the bill does not give her agency the authority to transfer servicing to another servicer. Industry groups have opposed the transfer of servicing assets, because it could cause financial harm to the servicer.

“Let me be clear, we are not talking about transferring the actual servicing rights,” Galante said, when a servicer is doing a poor job of loss mitigation.

400,000 Foreclosure Settlement Checks Sent To Wrong Address

Huff Post "An error rate of 10 percent in the simple task of mailing checks to homeowners is shocking," said Elizabeth Lynch, a foreclosure lawyer at MFY Legal Services in New York. "But unfortunately this has come to symbolize the farce that is many of these settlements where regulators [opt] for a quick flurry in the press instead of the long-term systemic reform that is actually needed to help homeowners."

The downside of taking a holiday in America

Ohio Bank Forecloses On Wrong Home, Sells Owner Katie Barnett's Belongings

Huff Post She says all her possessions in Vinton County, Ohio, disappeared when Wellston First National Bank confused her home with the house across the street, foreclosed on it, changed the locks, and then sold or trashed everything -- all while she was out of town for two weeks.

Notorious National Foreclosure 'Trash-Out' Contractor Safeguard Properties Tied To Another Allegedly Illegal Lockout

For video, click here

"The woman told me -- this is something that I will never forget, honestly -- she told me that they were the mortgage company, and if they wanted to change your locks, they could," Davis said.

Home Equity Theft Reporter The home's owner decided to move to a bigger home and rent out their townhouse.

Michael found a tenant, but he was forced to refund the money when their townhouse was locked and the utilities were turned off. "Our lender changed the locks on us," Michael said.

Michael was locked out, even though his bank statements show he is current with his mortgage.

Green Tree Financial is also involved.

Testimony resumes in NH mortgage fraud case

Ng testified she confronted Prieto about the misrepresentations on the loan applications. "He said nobody's going to get in trouble," she said.

Now they are both going to prison.

Sacramento Bee A former partner of Michael Prieto, a Manchester businessman charged with bilking $13 million from banks in a mortgage rescue scheme, testified Wednesday that the mortgage applications she signed were full of falsehoods.

Prieto's lawyers told jurors in opening statements Tuesday that he was a bad businessman, not a criminal. Nah, he's a criminal.


Sadness may have gripped in-house & out-house counsel - and the Document Fabrication Department - of foreclosure-factory EMC Mortgage.

Today, the Ohio Supreme Court declined jurisdiction, or a tissue, to the sobbing EMC Mortgage or its


despite EMC’s “Explanation of Why This Case is a Case of Public or Great General Interest and Includes a Substantial Constitutional Question”.

Ohio Supreme Court EMC also whined: “The implications of the decision of the Court of Appeals affect nearly every foreclosure action that ends up in the court of appeals and therefore touch the lives of tens of thousands of citizens (we robbed) in the state.”

The Ohio courts gave EMC 10-years + 10-days to counterfeit enough documents to support its faked claims of ownership of both the Note and Mortgage. EMC missed the deadline; then blamed the Court’s additional time was an “incredibly narrow 10 day window” and they were “not given an opportunity to produce all the evidence”.

The same year EMC filed this action (2003), EMC signed a Cease & Desist Order with the DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AND BUSINESS SERVICES, DIVISION OF FINANCE AND CORPORATE SECURITIES 
admitting "EMC Mortgage Corporation is a mortgage servicer ONLY."



Wachovia v. Coffey

CHIEF JUSTICE TOAL: We granted certiorari in this case to review a court of appeals' decision finding that Wachovia Bank committed the unauthorized practice of law in closing a home equity loan in 2001, and that Petitioner's unclean hands barred it from any equitable relief. We affirm as modified.

Supreme Court of South Carolina Petitioner is the architect of its own problem. Petitioner prepared the loan documents and closed the loan with Husband without an attorney. Had Petitioner retained an attorney to prepare the loan documents and performed a title search, which should have been done, it would have known Husband did not own the subject [p]roperty to be mortgaged. This case would not have been filed and Petitioner's mistake would have been caught. It now attempts to seek equitable relief for its own mistake. Its own mistake arose by its own acts.

DOJ expects to charge SAC Capital on Thursday

Reuters The charges against Cohen's $15 billion SAC Capital Advisors come after nearly seven years of investigations of his firm on allegations of insider trading.

The filing of a criminal charge against SAC Capital could be a death-knell for the firm as Wall Street firms that lend money and trade with SAC Capital would stop doing so after a criminal charge is filed. 

The fifth cause of action is for unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs seek restitution of the mortgage payments they have made for eight years to Wells Fargo.

Honig v US Bank N.A.

Supreme Court, Nassau County, NY Although plaintiffs identify Wells Fargo as the loan "servicer", it is unclear how plaintiffs came to know this, and to make payments to Wells Fargo for eight years. The original Note identifies First Central as the lender and the original mortgage lists MERS as the nominee. The Loan Modification Agreement ("LMA") dated October 29, 2010, identifies Wells Fargo as "Lender" and MERS as "Mortgagee" (as nominee). While the Pooling and Servicing Agreement ("PSA"), dated "as of February 1, 2005" and annexed to the complaint herein as Exhibit E, does mention Wells Fargo, the Court has not discerned where in this voluminous document Wells Fargo is named the servicer of these plaintiffs' loan.

CFPB Takes Action Against Castle & Cooke for Paying Employees to Steer Consumers into Expensive Mortgages

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Castle & Cooke Mortgage

CFPB The CFPB alleges that Castle & Cooke Mortgage, through the actions taken by its president, Matthew A. Pineda, and senior vice-president of capital markets, Buck L. Hawkins, violated the Federal Reserve Board’s Loan Originator Compensation Rule that had a mandatory compliance date of April 6, 2011. That rule banned compensation based on loan terms such as the interest rate of the loan.

Who Owns the Loan??? Pro Se Homeowner Newman Raises Significant Issues

Pro Se Homeowner Newman raises issues as to whether Freddie Mac or PNC actually own the loan. The Judge appears to be quite astute and asks significant questions as to how PNC could be the real party in interest if PNC or National City had already sold the loan to Freddie Mac.

Deadly Clear The foreclosure attorney almost sounded like she wanted to tell the judge that Freddie Mac merely “leased” the revenue stream… but she doesn’t quite go that far… besides the homeowner never agreed to allow a “lease,” did they?

Alternative link to full screen video of hearing.

60(B) Not required to vacate a VOID judgment.

Bank of New York Mellon v. Shaffer

Opinion and dissent address late filing, void vs. voidable, standing and jurisdiction.

Further, the fact that Shaffer was in default of an answer does not mean
she admitted New York Mellon held the note on the date it filed the complaint, thus conferring subject-matter jurisdiction on the court.

Since the trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction and its
default judgment was therefore void, Shaffer was not required to comply with the time requirements of Civ.R. 60(B) in order to be entitled to an order vacating the judgment.


Franklin County recorder blames economy for foreclosure on his home

Combined income = $126,000.

Monthly payment = $838.89.

Columbus Dispatch He said the two are able to make their payments, and are asking the bank to allow them to pay the past-due payments over time. Their attorney told them that the Wells Fargo wouldn’t work with them until after a foreclosure action was started, however.
A Call To Anonymous, E. Snowden, J. Assange, and Their Likes
To Use Their Expertise Legally
, Following ICIJ’s Example,
To Expose Judges’ Financial Wrongdoing Enough to Set Rolling
an Investigative Bandwagon Leading to Profound Government Reform that
Subjects Public Servants to Increased Accountability to We the People
Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq. Judges’ unaccountability and their consequent riskless wrongdoing
Federal judges, who hold life appointments de jure or de facto, are in effect unimpeachable and irremovable; and have power to dispose of our property, liberty, life, and rights. If your boss could keep his or her job for life no matter what they did or did not do to you, would you fear their abusing such absolute, corruptive power, for their benefit at your expense?


white paper

Dirty REMICs, Revisited

Stein argues that we should sweep away a lot of the technical requirements relating to mortgages and adds that we “might even go a few steps further and establish a central registrar to keep track of who owns mortgage loans and who has the right to foreclose.” As Stein acknowledges, this is a lot like the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS). 

Professors at Brooklyn Law School, Bradley T. Borden and David J. Reiss. But Stein does not acknowledge any of the controversy surrounding MERS.

MERS was created by private interests such as Fannie, Freddie and the Mortgage Bankers Association. They did not believe that they needed the approval of federal, state or local governments, or anyone else for that matter, to dramatically change the recording system for mortgages. Things appeared to go swimmingly for a few years, but the shortcuts that MERS took had a toll on it. Stein’s takeaway: do it again.


U.S. Weighs Inquiry Into Big Banks’ Storage of Commodities

A tactic devised by Goldman Sachs and other financial players that has inflated the price of aluminum — and ultimately cost consumers billions of dollars — is coming under federal scrutiny.

NY Times The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has taken the first step in an examination of warehouse operations that are controlled by Goldman Sachs, Glencore Xstrata, the Noble Group and others and used to store vast amounts of aluminum. 

Judge blocks Olivehurst foreclosure

A Yuba County judge has temporarily blocked the foreclosure sale of an Olivehurst home after the property owner accused Wells Fargo of breaching a loan modification agreement.

After making payments, Wells Fargo "refused to permanently modify the loan," Dudensing alleged.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Lopez "was told to start the whole loan modification process over," Dudensing wrote. Lopez was confused because the bank simultaneously started foreclosure proceedings.

Lopez alleged in his lawsuit that Wells Fargo violated the state's Homeowner Bill of Rights by offering to modify the loan while also starting foreclosure proceedings, what Dudensing called "dual tracking."

Wells Fargo, Citigroup Slash Mortgage Jobs as Refis Tank

Mortgage Servicing News Wells Fargo and Citigroup are laying off hundreds of employees at their mortgage units, one of the most tangible signs yet of the falloff in refinancings and the painful shift underway in the mortgage market.

Guy Walks Into Citigroup Branch, Loses $40,000

Bloomberg The broker assured him the money would be invested in “guaranteed” funds and that he could have access to them whenever the need arose, the complaint said. Ramatlhware gave him $150,000 to invest. The broker put $5,000 into a bank certificate of deposit, bought a $133,000 variable annuity and invested the rest in a series of mutual funds.
Less than six months later, Ramatlhware had lost $40,000. 


Sign the petition ►

Help Elizabeth Warren rein in Wall Street

For over half a century, the Glass-Steagall Act protected our banking system by keeping traditional commercial banks (where we have our checking accounts, saving accounts and the like) separate from high-risk investment banks.

Credo The government agreed to insure the deposits we make in commercial banks through the FDIC, with the understanding that these same banks couldn't legally use these deposits as stakes in the Wall Street casino.

But the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 shattered the firewall between commercial and investment banks, jeopardizing insured funds and paving the way for the irresponsibly risky behavior that caused the financial crisis.


Standing may not be established by virtue of the MERS assignment alone

Citimortgage, Inc. v Sirota


Supreme Court, Queens County, NY Plaintiff presumably does not do so because the subject mortgage does not specifically give Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), as nominee for Metropolitan, the authority
to assign the note and plaintiff lacks any evidence that MERS was actually in possession of the note at the time of that assignment (see Bank of New York v Silverberg, 86 AD3d 274, 281-283 [2d Dept 2011]; Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Weisblum, 85 AD3d 95, 109 [2d Dept 2011]). Under such circumstances, the assignment, at the most, effected an assignment of the mortgage without the
underlying note. An assignment of a mortgage without the underlying debt is a nullity (see Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Barnett, 88 AD3d 636, 637 [2d Dept 2009]; Bank of New York v Silverberg, 86 AD3d at 280), and thus, plaintiff’s standing may not be established by virtue of the MERS
assignment alone.


America No Longer Has a Functioning Judicial System

Bush destroyed much of the separation of powers which made our country great. But under Obama, it’s gotten worse.

Washington's Blog Two former U.S. Supreme Court Justices have warned that America is sliding into tyranny. A former U.S. President, and many other high-level American officials agree.

The Department of Justice has also tapped Congressional phones, and a high-level NSA whistleblower says that the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top government officials and military officers including all 9 Supreme Court justices.


Dirty paperwork

NY AG eyeing Bank of America, Wells Fargo loan-mod suit

The lawsuit would be the first legal-enforcement claim under the settlement deal by a state AG, and it may serve as a template for other states.

New York Post “Time and time again, banks violate the rules of the road, putting homeowners at greater risk of foreclosure,” said Schneiderman, who declined to comment on upcoming lawsuits.

The suit will follow last month’s bombshell allegations by six former Bank of America employees and one ex-contractor in affidavits in Massachusetts federal court supporting a homeowner lawsuit against the bank.


No foreclosure is ‘perfected’ and/or ‘complete’ until the Original Promissory Note is either returned to the signor or cancelled by the court.

Mario Kenny That is the law; that has always been the law; and that law has never been abrogated. This single unarguable fact proves that what is happening in this country is nothing more than a coup d’état by the bankers with the assistance of our elected officials.
For attorneys and/or legal researchers out there; start with Perry v. Fairbanks Capital Corp., 888 So. 2d 725, 726 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) and you will find a plethora of cases, especially in Florida, establishing this fact as a matter of law.


Jury finds against JPMorgan Chase in Washington County foreclosure trial

offers a glimpse into how juries may deal with fallout from the mortgage crisis and the way the nation's leading banks reacted. 

"If I were a transnational bank, I would be very concerned about facing juries in this state," said attorney Terry Scannell, who represented the couple. 

OregonLive The jury awarded $10,850 in damages, and presiding Judge Don Letourneau will rule later on whether the Lengyels may remain in the home. 

"Why would you be asking people to pay money at the same time you're trying to foreclose?" he said in closing arguments. "That's circumstantial evidence that they had no intention to give my client a loan modification." 

"There is one side here that's taken responsibility for anything," he said, referring to Lengyel. "It is time in this nation, in this state, right now, to hold JPMorgan Chase responsible."


Another Corrupt Title Closer Goes Down

Beginning in 2008, Scott agreed to participate in several fraudulent real estate transactions that settled at M&R Title, Inc., and Sanford Title Services LLC. 

Home Equity Theft Reporter The fraudulent transactions at each title company were part of different conspiracies, both of which Scott joined. In both schemes, Scott facilitated deals between her co-conspirators, identified and recruited individuals that could be parties to the real estate transactions generating proceeds for the co-conspirators, received proceeds of the fraudulent transactions through a shell company designed to disguise her receipt of the funds, sent money to co-conspirators and identified mortgage transactions that the co-conspirators could use to enrich themselves.


A Reverse Mortgage Nightmare

and OneWest, for its part, isn't talking. 

Call it the estate-devouring, nightmare home loan you hope to never encounter: A reverse mortgage with a base interest rate of 9.95 percent, plus a 50 percent share for the lender of increases in value of the house following closing, plus another 2 percent "maturity fee" to sweeten the payout even more.

Courant On top of that, there's a $33,000 mandatory purchase of an annuity by the homeowner that is added to the principal balance and incurs compounding interest while lessening the lender's future payments to the homeowner.

Is this for real? Do mortgages with terms like this actually exist in this country today? They do. 

Talk to Sarah Havemeyer of  N.Y., who's been fighting a California bank in court for two years over her late mother's reverse mortgage that dates back to 1997

City of Forth Worth demolishes the wrong house

The City of Fort Worth and one homeowner are reeling from the recent demolition of the wrong home.

AG Beat Mistakes are typically either human or digital (duh), as has been the case during the robosigning debacle wherein homes were wrongfully (illegally) foreclosed upon or when bureaucracies either private or public insist they are not making a mistake as we saw in several cases of Bank of America foreclosing on the wrong address. Either way, the City of Fort Worth is reeling from being in the spotlight and has expressed they intend on doing everything possible to insure this never happens again.













There will be on this case in the coming weeks.

5th Circuit Rejects Homeowner Attempt To Challenge Bankster's Foreclosure Based On Robo-Signed Assignments Allegations

Homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure lost an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit against the Deutsche Bank National Trust Company.

Reinagel v. Deutsche Bank

Home Equity Theft Reporter



Dia and Joseph Reinagel, the appellants, attempted to prevent the bank from foreclosing on their property, claiming that the assignments issued by the bank to the appellants were “robo- signed” and therefore invalid.

The court found that the Reinagels had no right to challenge the assignments nor be considered on merits.

Nevertheless, given the lack of evidence that the Reinagels may be subject to double-collection, I concur in the judgment.
In April, another Court held in Erobobo:

Noncompliance with PSA Voids Assignment of Note and Mortgage

Supreme Court, Kings County, NY In particular, the court found that [T]he assignment of the note and mortgage from Option One [the first assignee] rather than from the Depositor ABFC violates Section 2.01 of the PSA which requires that the Depositor deliver to and deposit the [[[original]]] note, mortgage and assignments to the Trustee. 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. The evidence submitted by Defendant that the note was acquired after the closing date and that assignment was not made by the Depositor, is sufficient to raise questions of fact as to whether the Plaintiff owns the note and mortgage, and precludes granting Plaintiff summary judgment.
Erobobo was a NY case. 

Last month, a Texas court cited Erobobo:

Saldivar v. JPMorgan Chase

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1652, this Court has the duty to apply New York law in accordance with the controlling decision of the highest state court. Royal Bank of Canada v. Trentham Corp., 665 F.2d 515, 516 (5th Cir. 1981). 


While the Court finds no applicable New York Court of Appeals decision, a recent New York Supreme Court decision is factually similar to the case before the Court. See Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Erobobo. In Erobobo, defendants argued that plaintiff (a REMIC trust) was not the owner of the note because plaintiff obtained the note and mortgage after the trust had closed in violation of the terms of the PSA governing the trust, rendering plaintiff’s acquisition of the note void.  The Erobobo court held that under § 7-2.4, any conveyance in contravention of the PSA is void; this meant that acceptance of the note and mortgage by the trustee after the date the trust closed rendered the transfer void.

PATH Act receives mixed reviews from mortgage experts

"If fully implemented, the PATH would lead to significantly higher mortgage rates, particularly in tough economic times, and would put 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans out of reach for most Americans," Zandi explained.

Housing Wire "MBA has serious concerns with the implications of such a significant policy change for the price availability of mortgage credit through the FHA program," Stevens warned.

Tom Deutsch, executive director of the American Securitization Forum, firmly believes that many aspects of the PATH Act work toward the goal of introducing private-label residential mortgage backed securities back into the market. 

7/18/13 As the rest of the country continues to suffer from bankster crimes...

Big Banks, Flooded in Profits, Fear Flurry of New Safeguards

The nation’s six largest banks reported $23 billion in profits in the second quarter, but they could end up victims of their own success.

DealBook “If we get to the end of this year, and cannot, with an honest, straight face, say that we’ve ended ‘too big to fail,’ we’re going to have to look at other options because the policy of Dodd-Frank and the policy of the administration is to end ‘too big to fail,’ ” Mr. Lew said.

“This is maybe the strongest admission I’ve heard from the administration that we must act further to end ‘too big to fail,’ ” Senator David Vitter said.

JPMorgan Executive May Escape Penalty

DealBook Even as the nation’s top energy regulator is poised to extract a record settlement from JPMorgan Chase over accusations that it manipulated power markets, the agency is expected to spare a top bank lieutenant who federal investigators initially contended made “false and misleading statements under oath,” according to people briefed on the matter.

Bank in Madoff Case Settles With Some Plaintiffs and Gets Favorable Jury Ruling

DealBook Westport National Bank and its parent company, Connecticut Community Bank, were not liable for the losses of investors in Bernard Madoff’s vast Ponzi scheme in its role as a custodial bank, a jury found on Wednesday. Separately, the bank agreed to pay $7.5 million to 240 investors in a related case, a lawyer for the bank said.


The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part the dismissal of an action seeking relief under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which makes it illegal for a creditor to discriminate against a credit applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex or marital status, or age.

While sending a mistaken default notice would not necessarily constitute an adverse action, the Schlegels’ complaint describes egregious conduct that goes far beyond clerical error. In fact, despite the Schlegels’ repeated inquiries, Wells Fargo did not inform the Schlegels that its acceleration of their loan was a mistake until after the Schlegels filed a complaint. While Wells Fargo now claims that its acceleration of the loan was an unintentional error, and that the prior loan modification agreement remains in effect, such assertions do not erase its prior revocation of credit for purposes of ECOA.

S&P can't dismiss MBS fraud suit


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The government won permission to pursue a $5 billion fraud suit over Standard & Poor's Financial Services' alleged role in the financial crisis, as a judge rejected the firm's argument that its statements about objective mortgage-backed securities ratings were "mere puffery," 

New House Bill Wipes Mortgage Fraud Clean For Banksters

One of the biggest advantages of PATH would be for the technocrats to reopen foreclosure litigation that was ruled on in favor of the homeowner.

Occupy Corporatism It is a three-fold win for the technocrats thanks to Henserling and the HFSC.

• Future foreclosure litigation is halted because of lack of legal standing for the homeowner
• Current foreclosure litigation would be halted because of lack of legal standing for the homeowner
• Past litigation could be reopened and tried in court for the purpose of taking the property from the homeowner and possibly suing for damages and interests incurred by the original suit.

Irvington foreclosure hearing breaks isolation of distressed homeowner

The main emphasis was placed where it belongs: on the testimony of distressed homeowners themselves. The council chambers were packed.

Irvington Township Councilman David Lyons replied, “When a banker, a respected member of the community, tells you that you can afford a home you believe him. But he’s no more than a thug. If a thug on the street took your money he’d be in jail.


Fight Back! News Linda E. Fisher of Seton Hall Law School had earlier told the assembly of the “mind-boggling level of fraud” by mortgage bubble lenders. They made loans they knew borrowers could never repay. Brokers falsified mortgage applications; falsified documents were submitted in closings: mortgage security trustees cannot verify that they own mortgage notes. Court rulings favorable to homeowners have shown fraud.

Mortgage securities investigator Laura Walsh went even further. She charged that trustees never verified that mortgages allegedly belonging to securities issues were actually held by them. She charged that many mortgage based securities contain no mortgages at all. Many are held by retirement funds. Retirees might think there is $100 million in a mortgage fund for their pensions but there is nothing there. “We want people to be held accountable,” she said, calling for enforcement of securities laws.



Will it work?

Federal Prosecutors May Charge Wall Street Bankers Who Sold Bad Loans Under An Obscure 1984 Law

The strategy involves a shift away from the more widely used securities fraud charge to a less common offense: bank fraud. The advantage is that perpetrators of bank fraud can be charged up to 10 years after their crimes, compared with the five-year statute of limitations on securities fraud, which has already run out on most events leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. A bank fraud conviction carries up to $1 million in fines and a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.

As part of the attempt to breathe new life into criminal cases, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are monitoring civil fraud suits against major banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, which acquired two of the largest players in the mortgage securitization world - Bear Stearns and Countrywide.

Business Insider Rita Glavin, a partner at Seward & Kissel in New York who specializes in white-collar, criminal defense, said she thought the statute's broad scope gave prosecutors an opportunity to use it, and adding a conspiracy charge could help.

"When you charge conspiracies or schemes to defraud it gives you a lot of leeway in terms of the types of evidence you're allowed to get in, because it speaks to the defendant's state of mind," she said.

But using the bank fraud statute could inject new life into the U.S. government's effort to hold accountable the people on Wall Street whose overzealous approach to mortgage lending and securitization is what many economists say resulted in the crippling wave of home foreclosures, the financial crisis and the resulting deep recession.

"The RMBS Working Group members are aggressively investigating both civil and criminal matters across the country. RMBS Working Group members expect to announce more law enforcement actions in the future," said Adora Jenkins, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department.


Finally, Bank Regulators Have Had Enough

ProPublica The postcrisis bad behavior — reckless trading at a JPMorgan Chase unit in London, the rampant mortgage modification and foreclosure abuses, manipulation of the key global interest rate benchmark — went just a tad too far. For the first time since the financial crisis, the banks are losing some battles on tougher regulation.


This is the first wrongful foreclosure case in Oregon to go before a jury,

Foreclosure trial pits Washington County couple against JPMorgan Chase

Bela and Eva Lengyel were current on their adult foster home's mortgage when, at the height of the financial crisis, they called JPMorgan Chase for help making payments.

OregonLive The Lengyels contend that Chase told them to stop paying the mortgage on their Bethany area home, enrolled them in a trial modification program and then foreclosed anyway, even though they were making their payments and their home was bringing in enough cash.

Of course Chase denies it told the Lengyels to default, contends they simply couldn't afford their modified payments of $1,550 and suggests the Lengyels weren't responsible with their finances.

Subprime Borrowers With Best Credit Score Denied Help

Bloomberg A long-haul trucker, has made his mortgage payments for six years and has a credit score of about 800 that would entice most lenders. Because he owes more than his home is worth and his debt lacks federal backing, he’s stuck paying 7.5 percent interest, almost twice the rate of new loans.


Seven Defendants in Mortgage Origination Fraud Scheme Indicted for Bank Fraud Conspiracy Along with Other Charges

(What about all the people who committed Origination Fraud for Ameriquest, Countrywide and New Century, etc.?)

Yuma News THE PENALTIES: If convicted of the conspiracy charge, the defendants face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Each count of bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and $1 million fine. Assisting in the filing of a false return is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The bankruptcy fraud charge has a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

San Bernardino County deputy shot serving eviction notice

L.A. Times The deputy was serving an eviction notice when an unknown shooter opened fire on the officer, said Cindy Bachman, a sheriff's spokeswoman. The deputy was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. Bachman said initial reports indicated that he should survive.


Here, Fannie Mae filed two copies of the promissory note, each containing
different indorsements. The first note, attached to the original complaint, was indorsed by Sirva to blank. Therefore, Fannie Mae could have established that it was the real party in interest by
proving that it had possession of the note. 

However, a second copy of the promissory note, attached to the amended complaint, reflects that Sirva indorsed the note to CitiMortgage, and CitiMortgage indorsed the note to blank. Neither copy indicates when the various indorsements were made.

The inconsistencies between the indorsements contained in the two copies of the promissory notes raises a genuine issue of material fact.



Errant bankers = criminals?

After the bursting of the US housing bubble, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and multitrillion US dollar bank bailouts, public attitudes towards bankers are at an all time low. Buttressing this public disapproval are the numerous scandals involving banks relating to, amongst others, the manipulation of LIBOR (and other rates) and the laundering of Mexican drug cartel money last year. The banks have faced a backlash in terms of fines and public vitriol; but what about the bankers themselves? And what of the lawyers who are now tasked with assessing the situation?

Stamford Law Corporation A recent development in many countries is to look behind the banking corporations themselves and the corporate veils that they provide to their employees. The question that is now being asked is, "Can and should we go after the individuals running the banks?"

This change in approach to targeting individual bankers has been seen in other parts of the world as well. Even though in the US full scale prosecution of individuals is yet to occur in light of settlement agreements entered into between banks and the US Department of Justice, US political opinion may be shifting. During a US Senate banking committee hearing in February 2013, committee member US Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned the prevailing policy to not prosecute individual bankers for what would otherwise attract criminal sanctions. Fining the banks alone, she argued, would not provide any incentives to bankers to carry out their professional duties responsibly.


Why Spitzer’s Return Terrifies Big Finance

The Masters of the Universe were staring at their worst nightmare: the prospect of a comeback by the only major politician in the U.S. whose deeds — and not simply words —prove that he does not think corporate titans are too big to jail.

Prof. Thomas Ferguson Recent polls suggest that many citizens sense that the public’s watchdogs have been behaving like pampered pussycats and that they are sick and tired of it. Despite the propaganda onslaught, surveys suggest that a plurality of New Yorkers — including women voters who understand losses unregulated finance inflicts on women and ways pension systems often shortchange them — are favorable to Spitzer’s bid. But make no mistake, his presence in the New York City Comptroller’s Office would be a direct threat to the interests that have consistently blocked financial reform while mulcting the public. The Comptroller’s Office has subpoena power.


“Height of Hypocrisy” – Legalize MERS with a National Mortgage Data Repository aka Foreclosure Fraud-Away

The poster boy for the Republican “Height of Hypocrisy” is Texas 5th District Congressional Representative Jeb Hensarling. The Republicans claim to be for state’s rights, tight borders, and Texas wants to secede from the Union… Yet this whopping idiot wants a national land registry…blur the lines between the states and allows foreign ownership and control!

Deadly Clear It appears Congressman Hensarling let the altitude swell his brain because he came back and carved out a bill for a National Mortgage Data Repository that most people who realize how utterly outrageous and deceitful Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc. has been to the mortgage and land recordation would call treason.

The states should control their own land. Creating this piece of legislation could eliminate all rights to eminent domain. And there goes that threat of secession… Let’s face it – this is just another avenue the banks are using to get around the deceit and fraud they’ve caused in their latest land grab escapade. Or maybe it’s the fear that the next President might not be so wimpy.


On Wall Street, a Culture of Greed Won’t Let Go

A new report on industry insiders about ethical conduct, to be released on Tuesday, disturbingly suggests that Wall Street’s high-minded words may largely still be lip service.

DealBook Of 250 industry insiders from dozens of financial companies who responded to questions — traders, portfolio managers, investment bankers, hedge fund professionals, financial analysts, investment advisers, among others — 23 percent said that “they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.”

If that’s not attention-grabbing enough, consider this: 24 percent said they would “engage in insider trading to make $10 million if they could get away with it.”


Bank of N.Y. Mellon v Deane

"In order to establish prima facie entitlement to summary judgment in a foreclosure action, a plaintiff must submit the mortgage and unpaid note, along with evidence of default.

As to the identification of Plaintiff, counsel explains that The Bank of New York Mellon "is the proper plaintiff in its capacity as Trustee for the Trust, which . . . is the holder of the Deanes' loan"

Supreme Court, Kings County, NY  But the affidavit of Angela Frye states, "Wells Fargo, as custodian for and on behalf of the Trust, is the current holder of the Mortgage loan, pursuant to the PSA".  Since a person cannot be a "holder" of a negotiable instrument without possession, both statements cannot be literally accurate. It may be that Plaintiff does not use "holder" as it is understood in the law of negotiable instruments, but the term and concept "holder" is too important to "standing" and a plaintiff's ability to maintain this action for there to be risk of further confusion.

Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Gaines

"Traverse is sustained and the proceeding is dismissed for lack of proper service.

The process server may have left some papers for Ms. Gaines, but he did not establish that all of the necessary papers, including a verified complaint and the RPAPL Sec. 1303 notice were properly served at that address.

Supreme Court, Kings County, NY The Court notes that no affidavit of service or attempted service was submitted showing any effort to serve Ms. Gaines. The only affidavit of service submitted for that address sets forth that Marjorie Colwell was served on July 12, 2008 at 1293 Park Place and Philip Towns was served on July 12, 2008 by service on Ms. Colwell as a person of suitable age and discretion. However, the Court takes judicial notice of the fact that Ms. Marjorie Colwell died on November 8, 2004, almost four years before she was "served".


Independent Foreclosure Review Payments Exceed $2.5 Billion

Rust Consulting Inc. is almost done delivering compensation checks to borrowers whose homes were illegally foreclosed upon in 2009 and 2010 by 13 of the country’s largest servicers.

Mortgage Servicing News As part of the agreement made by 13 servicers and the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Rust was hired to give out $3.6 billion in cash payments to homeowners whose property were in any stage of the foreclosure process during the two-year span.

(Let's see the accounting.)


House Republican GSE Bill Would Codify MERS, Pre-Empt Private Property Rights

Jeb Hensarling, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced the bill last Thursday. Hensarling has already gotten into trouble this year for taking a ski vacation/fundraiser with Wall Street lobbyists, including an official from the American Securitization Forum, just six weeks after getting the Financial Services Committee gavel. Financial interests donated over $1 million to Hensarling in the last election cycle. It’s not a stretch to suggest that legislation offered by Hensarling at least has the stamp of approval from Wall Street, if it’s not directly written by their lobbyists.

David Dayen What you have here is the total pre-emption of every state or federal law regarding the right to foreclose and ownership of the note. All of that gets shoved aside in favor of the doctrine that every document in the National Mortgage Data Repository is presumptively legal. Period. 

This would wipe away in an instant all the challenges to the failures in securitization. Under this new process, all property and due process rights that we currently hold would be subservient to the ability for a note holder to get its documents blessed by the repository. Judges would have to follow the statute, and regardless of robo-signing, backdating, forgery, lost notes that magically reappear, or the failure to properly convey notes to the trusts, they would have to treat any registrant from the repository as having an enforceable right to foreclose.  Take all the questions arising from whether MERS has the legal right to foreclose, and all the myriad problems mortgage documentation, and just will it away with a brand-new private database that pre-empts all those questions and concerns. All those losses MERS has suffered in state courts? Gone. All those problems servicers are having foreclosing in states like Nevada and California and elsewhere? Poof! States have always controlled property law, and this Republican bill would wrest away that state control, putting it not in the hands of the federal government, but a private entity. The banks would be able to foreclose because a repository, in all likelihood owned by the banks, said they had that legal right. People thought the IRON Act would clean up the banks’ problems; this does all of that and much, much more. The provision is best described as Foreclosure Fraud-Away.

Jail Time Expected For Pair In Recent Unrelated Cases Involving Use Of Bogus Recorded Documents To Dodge, Delay Foreclosure

Also see: Homeowner Facing Foreclosure Now Also Faces Two Forgery Counts For Allegedly Manufacturing Phony Court Orders

Home Equity Theft Reporter Most will produce jail or prison sentences, rare for white collar crime in this area.

"There is an emphasis on real estate professionals because of higher standards and the trust people place in them," said Jeff Mangar, a prosecutor with the Stanislaus County district attorney's real estate fraud unit.


7th Circuit Splashes Cold Water on Chapter 7 “Lien Stripping” Hopes

Bankruptcy Law Network A three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision issued in 2012, approved of a chapter 7 debtor’s ability to lien strip. However, because this decision was not approved for publication, and because the case is on appeal to the full panel of Eleventh Circuit appeals court judges, this decision has limited precedential value.

Please sign petition   


After promising to get back to Sergio Ceballos' family each of the last two Fridays with an answer about a loan modification, Chase Bank is still proceeding with an eviction--without providing an answer. This is illegal dual tracking--but Chase Bank doesn't care. They've now posted the eviction notice on the door, meaning the sheriff could come at any time. 

Occupy Our Homes Meanwhile, Sergio's neighbor, Jaymie Kelly, who has lived in her home for 30 years and paid for it five times over, has received a summons to eviction court from Freddie Mac and Chase Bank. Her court date is July 22--and after that Freddie Mac will try to evict her immediately.

Nafeesah McReynolds-El lives just a few blocks from Jaymie. Her mortgage company told her they had delayed any foreclosure proceedings until January, so she believed she wasn't at risk of eviction. But her contract-for-deed was sold, and the private company that bought it wants to evict her over a delinquent $83/month payment. When Nafeesah offered to catch up, they refused to accept her payments. She faces housing court Tuesday afternoon--and then could be evicted in as little as 24 hours. 

Former Attorney Pleads Guilty Mid-Trial to Mortgage Fraud-Related Charges

At sentencing, Mallard faces a maximum prison term of 70 years.

Imperial Valley News A former Charlotte lawyer pleaded guilty mid-trial on Wednesday to mortgage fraud-related charges.  The former lawyer’s plea of guilty is the latest conviction in Operation Wax House, a mortgage fraud investigation that began in 2007 and has netted 91 defendants to date, 72 of which have pleaded guilty.

KEL lawyers fined in foreclosure case

When Emmett B. Hagood III's foreclosure case came before a judge last year, his Orlando lawyers were nowhere to be found. The judge promptly ruled against Hagood, and his home was eventually auctioned off by Wells Fargo & Co.

Orlando Sentinel Now an appeals court has fined KEL law firm partner Craig Lynd and staff lawyers Richard W. Withers and Angela Domenech, citing them for "multiple acts of professional negligence," according to a recent ruling from the Fifth District Court of Appeal.

They were fined a combined $1,000.


Tulare County man arrested in foreclosure scam

Tulare County man arrested in foreclosure scam Ricardo Melgoza to face 15 counts related to defrauding people in Tulare, Kern and Fresno counties.

Visalia Times

h/t/ HETR

Five years after Ricardo Melgoza began a scheme to defraud homeowners in default of their mortgage loan, according to police, he was charged with more than 15 counts of grand theft and burglary.

“There is probable cause to believe that from July 2008 to July 2010, Melgoza and additional agents, associates, affiliates and/or co-conspirators, engaged in a scheme to defraud homeowners for financial gain, and that the loss was in excess of $35,000,” stated Special Agent Cesar Sanchez in an arrest warrant.

Judge prohibits Fresno foreclosure consultants from committing unlawful acts.

"We applaud Mr. Salazar for standing up to defend his family and in doing so won protection for countless other families who otherwise could fall victim to these defendants," Pleban said.

Home Equity Theft Reporter The court order stems from a March 2011 civil lawsuit filed in Fresno County Superior Court by farmworker Florentino Salazar who nearly lost his Firebaugh home to foreclosure after he hired the consulting business Legal Foreclosure Services, Inc

In 2010, Salazar hired the defendants and paid them $2,400, Pleban said. In return, they promised to modify his home loan. But instead of refinancing the loan, the defendants advised Salazar to quit making payments, which put his home on the brink of foreclosure.


Banks Win Again: CFTC Caves, SEC Opens Door Wide Open to Fraud

naked capitalism I’m going to be brief, in part because the CFTC’s probable demonstration of lack of gumption is still in play, while the SEC’s was expected but nevertheless appalling. But the bottom line is that even though we seem some intermittent signs of the officialdom recognizing that big banks remain a menace to the health and well-being to the general public*, the measures to constrain them continue to be inadequate.

Two Sentences that Explain the Crisis and How Easy it Was to Avoid

Everyone should read and understand the implications of these two sentences from the 2011 report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

FedUpUSA “From 2000 to 2007, [appraisers] ultimately delivered to Washington officials a petition; signed by 11,000 appraisers…it charged that lenders were pressuring appraisers to place artificially high prices on properties. According to the petition, lenders were ‘blacklisting honest appraisers’ and instead assigning business only to appraisers who would hit the desired price targets” (FCIC 2011: 18).

How the Sequester Is Holding Up Our Legal System

Budget cuts caused by the sequester are already hindering the timely administration of justice -- and federal judges say a constitutional crisis may be on the horizon.

The Atlantic "For every one thousand dollars ($1000) of federal spending, the Judicial Branch uses one dollar and eighty-nine cents ($1.89)," U.S. District Judge Fred Biery wrote last week in an open letter to members of the Texas delegation to Congress. "Of that amount," the judge added, "the Western District of Texas uses three pennies." The sequester, in West Texas and everywhere else in the United States, is about the willingness of Congress and the White House to hinder justice by squeezing pennies out of the nation's already-underfunded courts.








Worthy of another post.

Complete post

Judge Schack Refuses to be Silenced!

"Once again the ultimate defender of home owner rights steps up and gives the banks the beat down they deserve. The Judge is really vocal on this one! We have heard banks argue many times that JP Morgan Chase OWNS all of the old Washington Mutual loans that went through the FDIC. We never bought it. 

JP Morgan Chase v. Butler

John Brancato, 

Loss Mitigator

Leave it to Judge Schack to unearth the fact that Chase never owned the notes – it only owned the servicing rights. However, for almost two (2) years Chase's attorney(s) stood tall and said YES, we own the note and the mortgage. Then, in late 2011 Chase's attorney finally admitted they DID NOT OWN THE NOTE OR THE MORTGAGE -they only had servicing rights! How about that! Not only a waste of the court's time (and that of the borrower) but also a clear violation of CPLR Rule 3408 (F) BAD FAITH. Imagine that, a bank negotiating in bad faith. Bottom line - Don't mess with Judge Schack. Oh, did I fail to mention that the initial deposit by the borrower of $490,000, Judge Schack released $55,617.11 back to the borrower and declared the mortgage satisfied. How about that for justice???"

What did we expect them to say?

BofA Says Ex-Workers Made Impossible Loan-Program Claims

Bloomberg The ex-employees, whose sworn statements were filed last month in a lawsuit against the bank, had limited roles that didn’t allow them to understand the full scope of efforts to assist distressed borrowers.

Are they saying Bank of America's loan mod scam failed because they forgot to explain the full scope of the scam to their employees? 


Bank of America accused of racketeering in lawsuit

A lawsuit in federal court in Colorado accuses Charlotte-based Bank of America of racketeering, in what amounts to more fallout for the bank stemming from a federal mortgage-modification program.

“To accomplish its objectives, BOA created a widespread RICO enterprise to defraud homeowners who sought modifications and then acted as the kingpin of that enterprise,” the suit says.

Charlotte Observer Bank of America enlisted Urban Lending Solutions “to act as a member of the RICO enterprise,” the suit says.

The suit also says that homeowners seeking HAMP trial plans were told by Bank of America to send financial information to Urban.

“Consumers were led to believe that they were dealing with BOA, when secretly they were communicating with Urban,” the lawsuit says. “As part of the loan-modification scheme and enterprise, Urban became a ‘black hole’ for documents sent by homeowners.”

As a result of the bank and Urban’s scheme, hundreds of thousands of homeowners were wrongfully denied a modification, the suit says.


Fannie Mae’s role in debt reduction is merely creative accounting

Washington Post You gotta love it. Fannie, which has been in federal conservatorship since 2008, created a paper profit of 
$50.6 billion during the second quarter of this year. Then it borrowed $50.6 billion in the financial markets and sent that borrowed money to the Treasury on June 28. This ended up reducing the federal budget deficit, as calculated by most people in Washington, despite the fact that the government is on the hook for every penny of the $50.6 billion that Fannie borrowed. What’s more, this money doesn’t show up as part of the national debt. Pretty slick, isn’t it?


Elizabeth Warren Introduces 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act

At today’s Senate Banking Committee hearing, Elizabeth Warren introduced the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2013, co-sponsored by Senators McCain, Cantwell, and King. This new bill mirrors the original 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which separated traditional banking activity (like checking and lending) from the riskier activity investment banking (like derivatives).

Too Big Has Failed The original law was repealed in 1999 by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, though Glass-Steagall had been eroding for years leading up to that point. 

To illustrate, the chart below shows that from 1935 to 1990 the three biggest banks averaged around 10% of total bank assets, but by 2009 they suddenly had over 40%.

This new bill from Senator Warren will reverse this trend and make the banks smaller.

It’s a mere 30 pages (compare that to the 30,000 pages of rules that will come out of Dodd-Frank).


Executive of Fort Lauderdale mortgage company charged with fraud

If convicted, Mansell could face up to five years in prison.

South Florida BizJournal The former VP of Fort Lauderdale- based Coastal States Mortgage Corp. was charged with defrauding government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddic Mac out of millions of dollars.

The Curious Case Of Bankruptcy, The Mortgage Company And Reaffirmation.

Bankruptcy Law Network In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debts can go away but the liens often remain. The debtor either pays the mortgage or loses the property.


TILA Recission

Third Circuit's Brilliant Opinion on TILA's Rescission teaches Fourth Circuit how to enforce laws as written

SHERZER v. HOMESTAR MORTGAGE SERVICES; HSBC Bank USA; Dana Capital Group, Inc.; The CIT Group Consumer Finance, Inc.; Mercury Mortgage Partners.

Bryl Law If the lender does not comply with § 1635(b)—because, for example, it contends that all relevant disclosures have been made such that the obligor had no right to rescind the agreement—the obligor may file an action to recover the money and property owed and to quiet title. Under this view, rescission of the loan agreement occurs when a valid notice of rescission is sent, not when a court enters an order enforcing the obligor's rights. The subsequent legal action would simply determine whether a valid rescission had occurred, and, if so, the court would enforce the respective obligations of the parties. 


Colorado foreclosure lawyers target of probe into billing practices

In the worst-case scenario, the amount law firms overcharged taxpayers and homeowners statewide in the past decade would reach into the tens of millions of dollars. Potential penalties are unclear because no charges have been filed.

Denver Post Law firms pay as little as $25 for someone to post official notices on a property advising homeowners of their rights, but some then charge as much as $150 in the bills they file with the public trustee overseeing the foreclosure case, according to details contained in four lawsuits the attorney general's office filed against the law firms.

In another, investigators said the law firm "performed postings in-house and then represented that its actual costs were $150 each to post two notices to a homeowner's door during the foreclosure, even though the market rate for such postings is $25."


Exasperated courts order investigation into foreclosure attorney William Butler

The chief federal judge in Minnesota has taken the rare step of ordering an investigation of a Minneapolis foreclosure lawyer who has been slapped with sanctions at least nine times since 2011.

In 2011, Mr. Butler wrote:

How Average Joe's Home was STOLEN

Star Tribune The judges say Butler generally contends that mortgage companies do not have clear title to the original notes, making foreclosures illegal.

Historically, the lender held both note and mortgage. But since the 1990s, it has become common for them to be held by different entities. Often, the note is held by the lender, or someone who bought the note from the lender, while the mortgage is held and recorded in the name of a nominal mortgagee such as Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS).

Judge hears arguments on 800 RI foreclosures

U.S. District Judge Jack McConnell heard arguments Wednesday in a courtroom filled nearly to capacity with lawyers for financial institutions and borrowers. He said he would issue a ruling later.

AP Among the issues McConnell must consider are whether the homeowners taken together are likely to succeed in the lawsuits they have brought to challenge their foreclosures and whether the homeowners have standing to sue to stop the foreclosures of their properties.


CFPB Tackles Debt Collection: Issues Bulletins for Collectors, Form Letters for Consumers, Warning for Banks

The surprise of the day came in the form of five form letter templates the CFPB made available to consumers to use in their communications with debt collectors. The Bureau also asserted that it has the power to regulate creditor debt collection in addition to third party companies.

 View the “stop contact” letter.

inside ARM The first bulletin makes clear that any entity subject to the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, whether a third-party collector or a creditor collecting its own debts, can be held accountable for any unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices in collecting a consumer’s debts

The second bulletin drills down on a specific issue by warning companies to avoid deceptive statements concerning the impact of paying a debt on a consumer’s credit score, credit report, or creditworthiness.

Debt Collection Complaints Now Being Accepted by CFPB

inside ARM The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced today that it is taking complaints about debt collection as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 10. The CFPB can accept complaints from consumers experiencing debt collection problems related to any consumer debt, including credit card debt, mortgages, auto loans, medical bills, and student loans.

AG Martha Coakley gets OK to examine Foreclosure-Mill law firm

10-years too late, but we'll take it.

Harmon Law Offices v. Attorney General

An investigation into Harman Law has been ripe since the beginning of the 2002-2003 investigation of Fairbanks Capital.

Boston Globe


Home Equity Theft Reporter







Boston Globe

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on Monday applauded a state Appeals Court decision that gave her permission — once again — to investigate a Newton law firm specializing in home foreclosures.

The recent unanimous court ruling affirmed a 2011 Suffolk Superior Court decision allowing Coakley’s office to continue examining Harmon Law Offices for alleged “unfair and deceptive acts” related to the firm’s foreclosure and eviction work.

Related to above

Building an Empire by Taking Other's Homes

He operates the largest foreclosure law firm in the state, and these hard times have made Mark P. Harmon a very busy man. Some critics assail his tactics, but Harmon is unapologetic: Lenders, after all, need zealous lawyers, too.

Critics - including consumer advocates, attorneys, and foreclosure law specialists - say the firm’s size and scope allow it to sometimes act like a bully, steamrolling over people’s rights to maximize profits. Among their allegations: Harmon Law has unfairly foreclosed upon homeowners who were in the process of renegotiating their loans, charged exorbitant fees, and used inaccurate or falsified paperwork.

What Is Bank Capital, Anyway?

DealBook The question gets at the heart of finance today. In the crisis, a lack of capital brought some banks to the brink. Now, by requiring banks to bolster their capital, the government is trying to eliminate the need for taxpayer bailouts in the future.


Feds pursue mortgage fraud in NC

Federal authorities disclosed Wednesday criminal charges against a number of Triangle-area real estate professionals, attorneys and mortgage brokers in connection with various mortgage fraud investigations.

WRAL "The American people need to be assured that their government is working to ensure integrity in the financial services and housing industries and that those involved in criminal activities that undermine that integrity will be held accountable,” Jon Rymer, inspector general for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said in a statement.


World's Largest Debt Collection Operation Settles FTC Charges 

EXPERT GLOBAL SOLUTIONS Will Pay $3.2 Million Penalty
Largest Civil Penalty Ever Obtained by the FTC Against a Third-party Debt Collector

- Complaint for Civil Penalties, Injunctive Relief, and Other Relief [PDF-16 pages]
- Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment [Filed] [PDF-30 pages]

Federal Trade Commission

h/t HETR

In its complaint, the FTC charged that the companies violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the FTC Act by using tactics such as calling consumers multiple times per day, calling even after being asked to stop, calling early in the morning or late at night, calling consumers’ workplaces despite knowing that the employers prohibited such calls, and leaving phone messages that disclosed the debtor’s name, and the existence of the debt, to third parties. According to the FTC’s complaint, the companies also continued collection efforts without verifying the debt, even after consumers said they did not owe it.

Foreclosure Squeeze Crimps Las Vegas Real-Estate Market

"It has been a nightmare," says the 37-year-old U.S. Air Force officer. "There are plenty of empty houses, but they're just not for sale."

WSJ "If you're an honest working person, you pretty much don't have a chance," says Mr. Lebo of current market conditions. All cash transactions accounted for nearly 60% of sales in May, according to DataQuick. Nationally, all cash transactions accounted for roughly a third of sales in the month


S.E.C. Hopes for Validation in Goldman Sachs Trader Case

For the S.E.C., the trial is a defining moment that follows one courtroom disappointment after another.

DealBook In a federal courtroom in Lower Manhattan next week, the former midlevel Goldman employee will fight the Securities and Exchange Commission’s claim that he was part of a conspiracy to mislead investors when selling a mortgage security that ultimately failed. Mr. Tourre, a trader stationed in the bowels of Goldman’s mortgage machine when the S.E.C. thrust him into the spotlight, is one of only a handful of employees at big Wall Street firms to land in court over the crisis.


BAC Home Loans Servicing v. Mapp

The trial court's decision does not address Mapp's allegation that Countrywide no longer existed when MERS, "acting solely as nominee for Countrywide," assigned the mortgage to BAC.

"a common pleas court cannot substitute a real party in interest for another party if no party with standing has invoked its jurisdiction in the first instance."

We therefore reverse the trial court's finding that "BAC's alleged lack of
standing does not constitute a meritorious defense" and remand the case to the trial court for a hearing to determine BAC's standing to sue, and correspondingly whether the trial court
had jurisdiction over the foreclosure proceedings.
On remand, the trial court must determine whether MERS had the authority to assign the mortgage and/or the note as the nominee for Countrywide in light of the claim that Countrywide was no longer in existence when the mortgage was assigned to BAC.


Court rules Fannie, Freddie exempt from transfer taxes

This will ultimately affect home buyers as they will be solely responsible for payment of the required real estate transfer taxes that come with the purchase of a home. This increase in costs could bar some from closing on a home if they weren’t prepared to fully assume those tax costs.

AG Beat A U.S. appeals court has ruled that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are exempt from paying Michigan real estate transfer taxes, overturning the previous ruling of a lower court that stated that the government owned real estate organizations would indeed be responsible for these taxes.

Normal procedure during the sale of a property is that the seller shares in some or all of the real estate transfer taxes, however, even though these companies guarantee more than $5 trillion in mortgage loans, U.S. Circuit Judge David McKeague cited a congressional statute stating that they were exempt from ‘all taxation.’

5th Circuit Affirms Texas Bankruptcy Court Ruling Slamming Bankster's Attempt To Squeeze Loan Guarantors By Recovering More Than Amount Due On Foreclosed Mortgage

Court: "“This is not rocket science. The Senior Loan has been PAID!!!!"

Home Equity Theft Reporter It would be absurd to allow Fire Eagle to collect again from the guarantors. Otherwise it could recover more than the face value of the senior debt notwithstanding that the guaranties explicitly provide for termination upon payment in full.

It is surprising that people often don’t “get it.” As the bankruptcy court said, this isn’t rocket science.

from 2011



In August 2009, by AWC No. 2008013339901, FINRA found that Credit Suisse had failed to fully comply with a requirement of the 2003 Global Research Analyst Settlement that the Firm make independent research available to its customers. 

FINRA As early as 2004, Credit Suisse failed on a number of occasions to post all of the required, current independent research to its Web site. The Firm's lack of adequate safeguards, controls and oversight caused Credit Suisse, between December 2004 through July 2008, to experience three significant failures to make independent research available to its customers. 

The sanction imposed was a censure and a fine of $275,000.


Our bank wants us homeless

Bank of America is doing everything it can to kick this family out of its home. Here’s why you could be next.

Warning: While completely horrifying, the story of how the Mata family had its lives turned upside down is not harrowing just because of what happened to them — but also for how it represents the quiet story of so many other Americans, as well.

Salon What follows is a story of how seemingly illegal, but very common, bank machinations affect ordinary homeowners — who, after bad luck or an accident of timing, turn to their bank for help, only to get caught up in a nightmare. There’s a tremendous amount of shame put upon homeowners, who are unaware of the institutional forces working against them, and who think they somehow deserve this treatment. And there’s a risk that others will fall prey to the same scheme.

Britain Backs New Rules to Jail Bankers Over ‘Reckless Misconduct’

The government plans to make “reckless misconduct for senior bankers” a criminal offense, but it did not define specifically what would be a prosecutable action. Those found guilty could face a jail sentence.

DealBook “If we’re to get our economy back on track, we need to get the banking system back on track first,” Vince Cable, the secretary of state for business.

“It is important to ensure that those who run banks are fully accountable for their actions,” the government said in its response to the commission’s recommendations. The financial crisis highlighted a lack of effective means to hold individuals to account for bad decisions.



I have witnessed countless foreclosure trials in South Florida in which defense attorneys either consent to judgment or agree not to contest the trial, in exchange for a 90 day sale date. However, this “extended” sale date is something they very well could have gotten if they tried the case and lost!

 Live Presentation July 20, & July 21, 2013


I’ve seen hundreds more in which the homeowner was not even represented or his attorney was a no-show. Out of the hundreds of foreclosure trials I have witnessed so far, only one other was properly defended by a competent attorney. I get calls all the time from people who tell me their lawyer didn’t show up at trial or that they took a consent judgment, only the client never knew about the trial, much less consented! This is outrageous and I’m determined to do something about it.


Modification Mess…and the Government’s Inaction

One would think this is so horrific – “homeowners told to stop payment for a modification?” that even given the legislative and executive stance (or lack thereof) on the issue, that the judiciary would right this wrong.

Danielle Kelley, Esq. When HAMP, once sold to homeowners as a promise of help was revamped, they had procedures in place to deal with homeowners who were told to stop making mortgage payments by the banks in order to qualify for a modification. Combine that with the BOA affidavits which say there was never an intent to modify and the end result is thousands of foreclosure cases pending, with homeowners willing to pay their mortgages, who were prevented from doing so by the banks. And to make it worse, they have been drug through years and years of modification attempts where their payments were not accepted, and the bank now has the audacity to come to court and ask for all the back payments they would not accept and attorney’s fees for the bank bringing a foreclosure. That is the judgment the bank is asking for. It is extortion at an extreme that is incredible.


Living in Foreclosure: From the Inside Out

“Why isn’t the partial payment being applied?”. The Answer: “To qualify for a modification, you can’t pay at all. It doesn’t make sense to ask for help if you are current on your payments and showing us you can afford them.”

Danielle Kelley, Esq. The completely paralyzing world of foreclosure. Memories are made and tainted by what the bank has done. The creation of memories avoided for fear of remembering them and realizing what happened. Time slipping by that will never be returned. Lessons in honesty. Lessons in forgiveness. Not wanting to do anything because you are a stranger to your own home.

For all the foreclosure drama that goes on outside of these house walls in Courtrooms everywhere, I wish they could see the inside.

REPOST from our Law Articles page:


Alex Long

Associate Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law

Unbeknownst to many lawyers, at least twelve jurisdictions — including New York and California — have statutes on the books that single out lawyers who engage in deceit or collusion. In nearly all of these jurisdictions, a lawyer found to have engaged in deceit or collusion faces criminal penalties and/or civil liability in the form of treble damages

The evidence against Foreclosure-Mill attorneys is permanently part of court and land records! - MSF

This case is troubling because various counsel for CHASE falsely claimed for almost two years that Chase was the owner when it was not.

JP Morgan Chase v. Butler

CHASE ultimately acknowledged that FANNIE MAE is the "Wizard of Oz," operating behind the curtain, and the real owner of the subject BUTLER note and mortgage...

Arthur Schack

Supreme Court, Kings County NY

Chase attorney, Castro, makes the ludicrous claim, in violation of New York law, that "[a]s Fannie Mae's
servicer, CHASE has authority to commence a foreclosure action on the Loan and to receive and/or collect the proceeds from the sale of the Property."

CHASE, in the instant action, committed a fraud upon the Court by claiming to be the plaintiff.



Since the beginning of the mortgage meltdown one judge has understood the scam. 

JP Morgan Chase v. Butler

America Lost For reasons that are probably not difficult to figure out, Judge Schack's opinions and rulings have been largely ignored across the country, despite the fact that he is supported by virtually every academic source that has reviewed his decisions. The academic legal community clearly finds that Judge Schack knows what he's talking about. And what he's talking about is fraud. And the fraud he is talking about has nothing to do with mortgage brokers and originators and everything to do with the megabanks.

4th Circuit Excludes Social Security from Disposable Income In Chapter 13

Bankruptcy Law Network In the case of In re Mort Ranta, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Social Security income should be excluded when calculating disposable monthly income in Chapter 13 cases. This means debtors are not required to pay Social Security income into their Chapter 13 plan, even if not paying it results in a surplus in their budget.

Babcock team files Memo in Support of Stay in Rhode Island Federal District Court

This Independence Day holiday, as many of us head to the beach or fire up the grill for a backyard BBQ, there are powerful forces at work that seek to deprive us of our fundamental right to independence and enjoyment of our homes.

Babcock Law Offices The basis for supporting the right to be protected in the individual ownership of property has historical roots dating as far back as the Declaration of Independence and has been supported by many prominent American statesmen such as John Adams :

One’s right to own private property is so deeply rooted in our history that it was considered one of the basic rights to be protected. John Adams, one of the original drafters of the Declaration of Independence stated, “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the Law of God anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist”


Attorney fighting against big banks for islanders to stay in their homes

“I’ve never seen a single foreclosure 
done in accordance with the law.”

I&M “I’m suing them for being willfully blind to the nature of the process they’re engaged in,” Ranney said. “If they’re on the firing line, as my clients are, they might be more thoughtful about the types of cases that they bring and not just pile unsupported documents into court and assume the judge is going to grant them judgment, because if that’s one of my cases, I’m coming for them.”


The Buck Stops Here: 

Toxic Titles and Title Insurance

In this article, I will discuss how title insurers have exposed themselves to liability for toxic titles.

Molly Goodman, J.D. Candidate, 2013, Suffolk University Law

h/t Gene

By failing to properly transfer ownership of loans and mortgages, recording fraudulent documents, and
performing unlawful foreclosures, financial institutions and law firms have generated property titles that range from defective to toxic. Those actions evince a systemic failure to
comply with longstanding principles of real property law and regulations governing financial transactions. 

Title companies participated in title services and issued title insurance policies throughout the housing boom and although they did not directly cause toxic titles, many title insurers have ultimately assumed the risk for the bad practices that became the
industry norms in the last decade. 

Bank of America Ordered to Face Texas County’s Suit Over MERS

Bloomberg U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi said the case should go to trial over most of Nueces County’s claims that the bank and other members of MERS, the electronic mortgage tracking system, have created “chaos” in the local property records system by naming MERS as the beneficiary in thousands of mortgage transactions.






Defendants argue that the promissory notes and the deeds of trust constitute
two different instruments, that MERS serves as the legal title holder of the deed of trust, and that, under the MERS system, MERS members can freely trade the promissory notes between themselves without there ever being any transfer or assignment of the deeds of trust. (Id.) The Court disagrees.

It is well established under Texas and federal law that a promissory note and the deed of trust securing that note are inseparable,

This lawsuit was brought by Nueces County, Texas (County) and seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief against Defendants in order to “clean up the mess” Defendants have created in the County’s real property records.

(“This Court does not accept the argument that because MERS may be involved with 50% of all
residential mortgages in the country, that is reason enough for this Court to turn a blind eye to the fact that this process does not comply with the law.”).

The Court concludes that the FAC sets forth sufficient facts to give rise to a plausible inference that Defendants acted with the intent and purpose to
induce the County Clerk to rely on Defendants’ false statements regarding MERS’ status with respect to the security instruments so that MERS would be recorded as the grantee in the County’s property records, and Defendants could avoid recording subsequent mortgage assignments and transfers with the County. Consequently, Defendants’ motion to dismiss is denied with regard to Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentation cause of action.


Bank of America Faces Debt Collection Harassment Class Action Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Bank of America (BofA) by a Florida resident, over allegations America’s biggest bank is in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act

 Big Class Action The suit alleges BofA uses automated dialers to call the cell phones of people who have debt with the bank. In the putative class action, Katz claims that in 2010 BofA launched a mortgage foreclosure action against him in Florida state court. The bank then continued to call his cell phone using automated dialing systems in an effort to try and collect the purported debt. This occurred even after the bank was told to contact Katz’s attorney for anything related to the foreclosure action, according to the lawsuit. 




PART I: Breaking Down Brandrup: A First Look At The Oregon Supreme Court’s Landmark Decision on MERS

MERS Dressed in Sheep’s Clothing Is Still a Wolf


Part II: Getting To Know Niday: A Further Look at the Oregon Supreme Court’s Landmark Decisions on MERS

Housekeeping Report

Oregon Mortgage and Foreclosure News

For the past year, the name “Niday” has been spoken in soft whispers by anxious bankers, attorneys, homeowners, judges, and legislators, but in the days to come the name “Brandrup” will be heard more frequently. The Brandrups are one of four sets of plaintiffs who filed cases against MERS, Bank of America, and other entities involved in foreclosing their homes under the Oregon Trust Deed Act (OTDA). Because resolution of the cases turned on novel questions of state law, the district court certified four questions for the Oregon Supreme Court to answer.


Hurricane Niday touched ground nearly one year ago when the Oregon Court of Appeals held that lenders could not use MERS to avoid recording trust deed assignments while relying on a nonjudicial foreclosure process that required that very thing. What a difference a year makes.


The Latest Assault on Bank Reform

Without strong cross-border rules, derivatives regulation will be meaningless because big American banks that dominate the global market in derivatives will simply engage in risky trades and rank speculation abroad. When those risks and wagers go wrong, American institutions and American taxpayers will be on the hook — again.

NY Times In the letter to Mr. Lew, the senators say that to avoid confusing the banks, the C.F.T.C. cross-border guidelines should not take effect until the Securities and Exchange Commission completes a separate set of derivatives rules. That is ridiculous.

When failed derivatives bets rocked the global financial system in the crisis, the United States bailed out American and European banks alike. Banks recovered, but the economic damage persists. The United States should lead in reform, as the C.F.T.C. is trying to do. It should neither wait for the S.E.C. nor outsource the job to regulators in other countries, where derivative rules are weak or nonexistent.


Bank Induced Defaults….and What the Government Knew

If you think you have your mortgage modification under control – STAY ALERT.

(It is still hard to imagine that the government rolled out the red carpet for Ocwen, one of the most vicious criminals of the forecclosure enterprise. MSF)

Deadly Clear Discussions with attorneys have indicated the banks are reneging on their modification agreements and settlements – even after judicial order. Servicers like Ocwen Loan Servicing are refusing Western Union payments and some servicers are peddling properties they have agreed by court order to reinstate to real estate brokers whose agents are spreading false rumors that homes are back in foreclosure. It is hard to understand how anyone in the real estate industry would ever touch a foreclosure – let alone set themselves up for a lawsuit by blatantly trying to sell a home not listed for sale by its legal owner.


Judge’s loan modification order sends bank scrambling



PDF includes bank's Motion for Reconsideration

Matt Weidner, Esq. A Palm Beach County judge’s order requiring a bank to modify a homeowner’s mortgage instead of foreclosing has lender lawyers scrambling for a do-over and defense attorneys at attention.

The order, signed by Judge Howard Harrison last month in a Royal Palm Beach foreclosure case, specifies payment amounts, a fixed 3.15 percent interest rate for 40 years, and requires the bank to mitigate damage done to the homeowner’s credit -- details foreclosure defense attorneys said they have never before seen in a ruling.

  Occupy Oakland protesters awarded $1m over police violence during arrests

12 activists to split compensation, including $500,000 for one woman who suffered permanent hearing loss during protests

Guardian UK "It is my hope that there will never be cause for this type of lawsuit again, and the city can instead focus its resources on supporting the marginalized and those most in need of resources, which is what we were protesting for."

Fed delays swaps rule for Goldman Sachs

Market Watch In a major concession, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday gave Goldman Sachs Group Inc. two more years to comply with a requirement that it divest part of its derivatives business to a separately capitalized unit. The Fed said Goldman Sachs would have until July, 2015 to comply. Known as the Lincoln Rule,the measure was set up to have riskier credit derivatives trades take place in a separately capitalized unit so that any trading failure there would not have access to the institution's commercial bank division, which is backed by insured deposits and taxpayers through the Federal Reserve's discount window.

FHFA Offers New Streamlined Loan Modification

The new program is titled Streamlined Modification Initiative subtitled: Borrowers and "Servicers to Benefit" From Simplified Program.


It appears the mortgage industry has too many homeowners discovering the banks destroyed the Notes (debt), so the FHFA is trying this new program to swindle homeowners into signing a new replacement contract to cover-up the fraud.

Bankruptcy Law Network This one is brought to you by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the agency that was created to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when those two mortgage giants imploded at the government’s expense. 

Starting July 1, mortgage servicers will be “required” to offer eligible borrowers who are at least 90 days delinquent on their mortgage a way to lower monthly payments without requiring financial or hardship documentation... (... while they are now fighting a "costly" foreclosure.)

A new way to funnel more taxpayer money to the servicer/banksters.


Bank Induced Defaults….and What the Government Knew

How dare they? ”If servicer denies allegation communicate misunderstanding to homeowner…”? Are you kidding? Forcing a homeowner into default by misrepresenting the HAMP requirements and then dragging them through a fraudulent modification scheme to collect government funds and foreclose instead of modifying (as seen in the BOA affidavits) to profit.

  Hamp Resolution Matrix

Danielle Kelly, Esq. Bank of America contracted out a lot of their HAMP work to third party vendors such as Urban Lending Solutions. The problem? They instructed the third party vendors on what to do to violate what they took government money to do. Those vendors, along with Bank of America induced defaults, and then thwarted the modification process in a fraudulent scheme. The employee affidavits show just as much. Other banks did just the same, and the defaults were their own doing.

Let’s get real clear. What this document labels a “misunderstanding” is no misunderstanding at all. In law, we call it fraud.


Loan Modification Racket Continues Unabated For Years, Jumping From State To State Ripping Off Homeowners While Flying Under Criminal Law Enforcement Radar

Customers say a Houston company that promised to help save their homes from foreclosure, really did little more than drain their bank accounts.

Home Equity Theft Reporter He says Sunbelt Fidelity also told him not to send his lender the monthly mortgage payment. Instead, Tanksley says he was instructed to send Sunbelt Fidelity nearly $500 a month. “I just thought that money that I sent them was going to make my life alright again,” Tanksley explained. But a few months later, Wells Fargo contacted him: He’d lost the house to foreclosure.

“I was in absolute disbelief,” recalled Tanksley. “I was like, ‘well, wait a minute. What's going on here?” Tanksley called his lender. “They said they had never been contacted by Sunbelt Fidelity,” Tanksley said.

Mortgage Apps Plunge At Fastest Rate In Over 3 Years

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge

We were promised by the cognoscenti of PhD economists that higher mortgage rates would not affect the so-called housing recovery. They devoutly prayed to the god of momentum that "rates were still low historically" and "housing is on a self-sustaining path" and numerous other truisms that always fail at the turning points. Well, it appears from mortgage application data that things are not looking so hot.

US Banks use TAXPAYER MONEY to pay Lawyers who steal homes

Some homeowners exiting the program are finding themselves still in debt and on the same path to foreclosure after their lender subtracted legal costs from the Hardest Hit stipend.

Yahoo! US banks are getting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars through a key foreclosure prevention program to pay down borrower debt, but are also using the money to pay off their own lawyer's fees and other costs associated with taking back people's homes.

The Banks and their lawyers may be pros at duping judges and stealing property and money, but when it comes to calculating losses, once they run out of fingers and toes, they simply don't have a clue.

Mortgage modification forbearance losses could widen: Moody's

Attorney Matt Weidner said: Just wait till all the investors in Mortgage Backed Securities realize they have Nothing Backed Securities Just wait until the investors realize the homes they have been told are worth $500,000 are worth $50,000. Just wait until they realize the Emperor Has No Clothes.

Housing Wire Nationstar may not be the only servicer facing surprise losses due to erroneous accounting practices.

Fitch Ratings recently claimed that confusion over how to account for principal forbearance resulted in $1 billion in surprise losses on mortgage bonds backed by Nationstar-serviced loans.

Now Moody's Investors Service is sounding the alarm as well, claiming Nationstar isn't the only servicer at risk. Indeed, the bad accounting may spread much, much further.

And we are sure it will.


It is Not the Home the Banks Want It is the Foreclosure Judgment or Sale

Lawyers: The reason you are there in court is not because you were paid but because you think the borrower has a case in which the borrower can and should prevail. Your primary point should be that if this was merely about fabrication of documents for an otherwise legitimate debt that was unpaid, you wouldn’t be there. 

Living Lies Your secondary point should be that there is a very good reason why the borrower can and will deny the debt, deny the note, deny the mortgage, deny the default, and deny the existence of a creditor who would qualify under state statute to submit a credit bid at any foreclosure auction. And your third point should drive that point home, to wit: the reason is that nobody in this courtroom nor any of their predecessors or successors have any interest in this loan. Instead they are participants in a scheme to prevent the borrower and this court from knowing the identity of the creditor at the time of the loan and the identity of the creditor at this time.

EU Antitrust Authorities Sue 13 MegaBanks Over Credit Default Swaps Collusion to Stymie Exchanges

naked capitalism From a regulatory standpoint, CDS are one of the most important products to shrink or eliminate. As long as banks can keep writing them without having to put up adequate capital or margin, they have economic incentives to pile up more risky exposures than they can handle. The fear of setting off cascading failures was the big reason Bear Stearns, an otherwise not systemically important player, was rescued (Bear was one of the three biggest prime brokers and hence writing a lot of CDS to hedge funds). 


It is FACT not THEORY: Money Trail is a Trail of Facts; Paper Trail is a Trail of Lies

Modification “experts” are criticizing what they see on the Living Lies site. It gives them the willies to think that they are participating in a fraud or enabling a fraud when they modify a loan with someone who doesn’t own it

Living Lies It is often true that the borrower admitted the debt, the note, the mortgage and the default. The trial judge had no choice and neither did the appellate court. These cases come from the inexperience of the pro se litigant or the lawyer who has not researched all of the material.
Don’t get caught in a spitting match about my “theories” versus the rulings of some courts. This is all a work in progress and there are going to be conflict in rulings. One state may appear to give one set of rulings another state may seem just the opposite. the point is that if you are doing good lawyering you are following the facts wherever they take you. And what we are saying is that the money trail does not support the paper trail that the banks have fabricated forged or proffered.


San Diego Jury Acquits on All Counts Occupy Chalk Protestor Targeted by Bank of America

San Diego Jury Erases 'Stupid' Chalk Charges

Prosecutor said markings outside banks were graffiti, but a jury did not agree

Bank of America "Chalk Vandal" Found Not Guilty


abc News

U-T San Diego


The mayor called the case "stupid" and a jury swiftly said it shouldn't stick, taking the eraser to vandalism charges for a man who wrote anti-bank slogans on San Diego sidewalks.

The trial was the latest in a series of dustups between City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who prosecuted the case, and Mayor Bob Filner, who called it a "nonsense prosecution" that came in response to complaints from Bank of America.

"It's washable chalk, it's political slogans," Filner said last week. "I think it's a stupid case. It's costing us money."

The city could have gained a "positive public image" if they had used a "portion" of those resources to prosecute a single foreclosure-mill attorney for Possession of Counterfeit Notes and Uttering Forged Documents. MSF

WV Judge grants homeowner damages in Quicken Loans case

After earlier review by state Supremes, trial judge responds by banging Bankster for:

$3.5 Million in Punitive Damages,

$116K in Compensatory Damages,

 $875K In Attorney Fees for screwing Homeowner in violation of state UDAP Statute.

Worth the read: Quicken Loans 2011 press release

"Based on the incredible unconscionable facts and events you will read below, Quicken Loans will certainly appeal this gross miscarriage of justice as well as ask federal authorities to conduct an investigation into all of the persons and parties in the state of West Virginia whose inexplicable actions have resulted in the irrational and incomprehensible result that will most assuredly be overturned."  - Quicken Loans

Home Equity Theft Reporter In a strongly-worded judgment, an Ohio County circuit judge granted a Wheeling homeowner $3,500,000 in punitive damages against Quicken Loans after the state Supreme Court determined the company fraudulently promised the homeowner could refinance her loan and fraudulently concealed an "enormous" balloon payment.

The mere terms of the loan made to the plaintiffs boggles the mind," the state court judgment states, citing the $144,800 loan on the $46,000 home.

From 2011: Predatory Lending Practice Hits Home: Wheeling Family Fights Back in Court

Ohio County Circuit Court Judge Arthur Recht deemed it to be a textbook example of predatory lending practices.


Add One More Bankster Left Holding The Bag With Underwater 2nd Mortgage In Another Chapter 13 'Strip-Off'

In re Smith

Home Equity Theft Reporter This decision shows the importance of considering a property's value and potential real property value fluctuations prior to a creditor taking a second mortgage on non-homestead property owned by an individual. Failure to have at least $1.00 of equity at the time of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing could result in a creditor's entire lien being voided.



Those in the foreclosure industry know I’ve been able to get a lot of foreclosure cases dismissed where the bank did not comply with the conditions precedent in paragraph 22. Not all, of course, but a lot.

For a long time, the banks have been unwilling, unable, or just plain scared to appeal any of the cases where I prevailed. Recently, however, they appealed one.

Here is the Order Granting Summary Judgment entered by a circuit judge in Tampa.

Here is the bank’s Initial Brief

Here is my Answer Brief.

Mark Stopa, Esq. Banks want courts to believe there’s a difference so they can win foreclosure cases easier. But when it comes time to writing a brief and defining “substantial compliance” or citing cases that explain what it means, they can’t. Tellingly, the bank doesn’t cite a single case which articulates any difference between “compliance” and “substantial compliance.” And they can’t cite a single appellate decision in Florida which employs a “substantial compliance” standard in the paragraph 22 context.

I’m very confident the Second District won’t employ some nebulous concept of “that’s close enough.” That’s what the banks want judges to do – look at a defective paragraph 22 letter and conclude “yeah, that’s defective, but it’s close enough.”


Citi to pay Fannie $968 million to settle mortgage claims

The settlement is the latest between a major bank and Fannie Mae, which like its smaller rival Freddie Mac is trying to recover money that it lost after the housing bust. Fannie Mae agreed to an $11.6 billion agreement with Bank of America in January.

Reuters Most residential mortgages in the United States are made by banks, packaged into bonds, and sold off to investors, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranteeing that investors will get repaid their principal and interest. The two agencies, however, guarantee only loans that meet their specifications.

Federal Judge Preliminarily Approves $100 Million Settlement in RALI MBS Class Action Led by New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund

WSJ Among Securities Act violations, the plaintiffs charged that the Prospectuses issued in connection with the RALI MBS that described the guidelines used to originate the mortgages supporting the MBS contained material misstatements and omissions since, in fact, those guidelines had been systematically disregarded.

Securitization is NOT a “Traditional Mortgage Loan” Operation

Judges with integrity are beginning to realize the scam but in order for them to sink their teeth into the crux of the problem – the source or the root of the issues must be raised. 

Deadly Clear The loans that were sold at the turn of the century through present day are NOT traditional mortgage loans. This fact is further complicated because there was no meeting of the minds when the contracts were formed. Additionally, there are multiple defects that should literally void documents or cause defective products to be recalled.
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