Daily News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished heist in human history - Max 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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Articles are added several times a day 



Bank of America employs 20 full-time social media spies, watches anarchists and occupy protesters

A 2013 report on corporate espionage directed against protest movements and NGOs asserted that as many as one in four corporate accountability activists might actually be a private spy.

PrivacySOS Bank of America works with fusion centers, the FBI, state and local police, and campus security to monitor public protest in the United States, newly disclosed documents confirm.

A Washington state public records request has unearthed an email chain which includes a message from a Vice President of Global Corporate Security for Bank of America, describing efforts to combat economic justice organizing. 


Parties may not waive fair market value in deficiency judgments post-foreclosure

CSA bought the property at a trustee’s sale for a credit bid of $6.15 million. CSA then sued Loop and the guarantors for a deficiency judgment. Loop and the guarantors counterclaimed and filed a third-party claim against MidFirst for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Justia MidFirst and CSA moved to dismiss, arguing that Loop and the guarantors had waived their right to a fair market value determination. The superior court ruled that parties may not prospectively waive this provision, determined the fair market value of the property to be $12.5 million, and concluded that no deficiency existed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that parties may not prospectively waive the fair market value provision of section 33-814(A).

A Clear Win in Florida

Chase issued a Satisfaction of Mortgage 

Mario Kenny

thanks to George Gingo Esq.

This case started sometime in 2007 or so and dragged on forever, the Servicer was a scumbag, making his life a living hell, when they knew, from the face of the documents that they did not own the home.

Chase's Satisfaction of Mortgage


(Mass-joinder case

956 Homeowners Win Groundbreaking Battle Against Major US Banks & Mortgage Lenders! 

“This is a major case breakthrough for homeowners who want to move forward in their cases against major US banks and mortgage lenders.

To uphold the lower courts decision would go against California jurisprudence. This decision will allow the plaintiffs to have their voices heard as a group, not leaving any plaintiffs behind, regardless of social or economic backgrounds, and having what they always wanted, getting their day in court in front of a jury of their peers,”

Petersen v. Bank of America

CALIFORNIA Court of Appeals
And in regard to administrative tasks ahead, we must offer what we can in
the way of guidance for the trial court on remand. We say “we must” because we believe sending this 3,000-plus page third amended complaint case back to the trial court without guidance would be nothing less than oppressive. If we’re going to send Moby Dick back to the trial court, we should at least provide a harpoon or two. Countrywide’s argument
that the sheer heft of this 965-plaintiff action is unduly burdensome does carry some force. But we think the law of California procedure strikes a golden mean here. On the one hand, it is unfair to these plaintiffs to deprive them of the commonalities of proof and witnesses inherent in their basic theory against Countrywide. As noted, the same experts and whistleblowers can be anticipated to provide evidence for all these plaintiffs. On the other hand, it is unfair to Countrywide to saddle it with the amorphous, inchoate heap of allegations that currently constitutes the third amended complaint as drafted and
structured. So let us be plain: On remand the trial court will have the power to require plaintiffs’ counsel to whip the third amended complaint’s desultory and scattered allegations against Countrywide into a tightly-structured set of manageable subclaims and subclasses. Our decision does not require it to commence jury selection at Anaheim



Homeowner Wins Appeal Against Nationstar

Maybe it was a case of overlooked paperwork, but a homeowner who faced multiple default judgments despite filing responses came out on the winning side of a wrongful foreclosure case.

Morlock v. Nationstar

DBR "Without notice to Morlock or his counsel, Nationstar moved for the issuance of a default based on Morlock's alleged failure to file a responsive pleading, and the trial court granted that motion,"
"Rather than granting Morlock's motion to vacate the final default judgment, the trial court entered an order vacating its previously entered order setting aside the judicial default, and denied Morlock's motion to vacate the final default judgment of foreclosure," Rothenberg wrote, with Fernandez and Logue concurring.


The Big Five: finance nightmares of 2014

Treasury Insider Between scandals, cyber attacks and record fines, it’s been a bad year for the banking industry. $56.7bn has been paid out by financial organizations in total. Here are the most monumental five.

The Third District Weighs-in on the Application of the Statute of Limitation Defense to Mortgage Foreclosures

Deutsche Bank v. Beauvais

Neil Garfield: Keep things the way they were before this nonsense started. To lean toward the banks at this point adds insult to injury to the judicial system and the borrowers.

JDSupra Homeowners have been systematically steam-rolled on the premise that the need to get this behind us was paramount even over due process rights. So now courts are suggesting that the losing bank can still file on the same loan that was declared in default as to the entire balance due.

Hopefully the Florida Supreme Court will at least be consistent --- opting for finality rather than allowing multiple suits regarding the same subject matter.



Garmin factors: Proving Your Need to Force the Opposition to Respond to Discovery Requests

Compelling discovery is the most important part of foreclosure defense.

Living Lies The current strategy of the banks is to object to practically everything. Set down their objections for hearing and file a motion to compel. But in your motion to compel you need to establish both facts and law entitling you to the answers to interrogatories, production of documents and answers to requests for admissions. The last thing these banks want is to open up their books.

No More Regulatory Nice Guy for Banks

(A fine is a slap on the wrist. MSF)

Nasdaq Regulators and others said there was a more significant message behind that financial pain. This was the year, they said, that regulators took the most conspicuous steps to change behavior at the biggest global banks, as well as their structures, rather than just slapping them on the wrist. 

N.Y. mortgage lender settles U.S. civil fraud lawsuit

Golden First Mortgage cost taxpayers millions - but will pay only $300,000.

Reuters Bharara accused the company of emphasizing speed and volume over quality, and said its use of just three workers to close 100 to 200 loans a month made it impossible to perform adequate due diligence.

The case is part of a government crackdown on lenders it believes fueled the housing crisis by issuing risky home loans.

Consumers With Mortgage Problems Continue to be Gullible Lambs

Do people never learn or does commonsense and logic just fly out the window the minute someone shoves an official looking document in your face?

The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line and other helpful links

Huff Post Herbert conducted his fraud scheme from a strip mall office located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Herbert usually contacted his victims through unsolicited telephone calls, introducing himself as a "federal loan officer" with the "Federal Debt Commission," the "Federal Mortgage Marketplace," or the "Federal Assistance Program." Herbert used these names and titles in order to deceive the victims into believing that his fraudulent program was operated and approved by the federal government. 




The week before the hearing, the new servicer sent two letters to the homeowner, each stating that the loan had been sold. The problem is that each letter stated that the loan had been sold to a different entity.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide


Plaintiff’s witness (who was the alleged representative for the securitization “trustee” bank but who was actually an employee of the servicer) testified that the Note and Mortgage had been timely and properly transferred to the Trust in accordance with the provisions of the PSA. When questioned the Plaintiff’s witness as to the documentary proof of that transfer, the witness stated that the documents were not presented at trial.

The attorney for the current Plaintiff (Roundpoint Mortgage) told the trial Judge that “the Complaint attached a copy of the Note with the endorsement”. Upon examining the Court file in response to this statement, the trial Judge stated that there was no copy of any Note or endorsement attached to the Complaint, and in fact that the Complaint contained a count for “Lost Note.”


The Foreclosure Trial That We Won On Behalf of Our Client Last Week

Properly defended cases can… and should be dismissed.

Weidner Law The court thought long and hard about granting them a….a mulligan.

Well, I’m pleased to report that after months and months of due consideration, the court announced that it would not do such things….and dismissed this very old case.


A New Mortgage Trap

Attention state attorneys general: The mortgage industry may be about to make fools of you, and dupes homebuyers whose legal rights you are supposed to protect.

Post-financial crisis reforms, was supposed to bring some order, fairness and transparency to the foreclosure process.

Mortgage lenders, however, may have figured out a way around all of that by changing the legal paperwork involved in buying a home.

NY Times It’s easy to see why banks and other players in the mortgage chain would want to avoid the courts in foreclosure cases and simply grab homes instead. It was the banks’ widespread violation of borrowers’ legal rights, which came to light in 2010, that led to the mortgage settlement in 2012 and subsequent reforms.

So instead of having borrowers sign mortgages when they take out home loans, some lenders are now having them sign deeds of trust.

Lenders in New Mexico have insisted that using deeds of trust instead of mortgages will not affect borrowers’ rights in foreclosure, but the attorney general’s office in New Mexico disagrees.



Ocwen Settlement Could Disrupt RMBS Cash Flows: Moody's

Mortgage Servicing News The servicer may choose to halt or restart the foreclosure processes for some of the borrowers in the state, which could result in incidences of cash flow disruptions to bonds backed by those loans, according to Moody's. "Servicing costs will increase and transactions with a high New York State concentration will face longer foreclosure timelines, reducing recoveries on liquidated loans."


Ambac sues Bank of America over Countrywide mortgage bonds

Ambac Assurance Corp sued Bank of America Corp to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars of losses from insuring roughly $1.68 billion of securities backed at least in part by risky mortgages from the bank's Countrywide Home Loans unit.

Yahoo! Finance In a complaint filed on Tuesday in a New York state court in Manhattan, Ambac accused Countrywide of lying about how well it underwrote so-called "pay option adjustable-rate mortgage negative amortization" loans that backed the securities.

The securities were issued in eight transactions between 2005 and 2007, Ambac said


Whistle-Blower Awards Lure Wrongdoers Looking to Score

DealBook There is the lottery and then there is being a corporate whistle-blower. It seems both pay out a jackpot, but the latter is a quicker path to riches, even when the recipient turns out to be a wrongdoer as well.


Big Banks Conspire with Giant Oil Company to Manipulate Currency Markets

The Big Picture

The experts say that big banks will keep manipulating markets unless and until their executives are thrown in jail for fraud.

Washington's Blog Why? Because the system is rigged to allow the big banks to commit continuous and massive fraud, and then to pay small fines as the “cost of doing business”. As Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz noted years ago:

“The system is set so that even if you’re caught, the penalty is just a small number relative to what you walk home with.

The fine is just a cost of doing business. It’s like a parking fine. Sometimes you make a decision to park knowing that you might get a fine because going around the corner to the parking lot takes you too much time.”


Statute of Limitations Dooms Deutsche Bank in Foreclosure

Deutsche Bank snoozed and lost on a foreclosure suit that took about seven years to play out.

The bank argued the earlier dismissal "decelerated" the loan, but a judicial panel disagreed.

Deutsche Bank v. Beauvais

DBR The case shows the "negative consequences that lenders can face if they go too far with their delay tactics in foreclosure cases."
Ironically it was this move for upfront payments that would unravel the lender's case and cost the bank the million-dollar property, because the condo association successfully argued the demand started a five-year clock for resolving the foreclosure.

Aqua can continue to rent the penthouse, but can't sell it without approval from Deutsche Bank, whose mortgage lien is valid until 2041.

Deutsche Loses Foreclosure — Cited for 7 years of delays

For many years judges have turned delays in foreclosures against borrowers usually making some comment about having lived for free without making payments. Those judges have ignored the fact that the delay was caused by the Plaintiff who initiated the foreclosure.

Living Lies The fact remains that in most cases, homeowners were urgently asking for modifications in which they would have paid for terms that were based upon economic and legal realities. Those homeowners, usually paying attorneys fees throughout the period of delays, were not getting any “free ride.” They were set to lose their down payment, cost of improvements and the costs of forensic audits and attorney fees.


Horrible decision and Huge loss for HAMP Challenges

Lorrie Thompson v. Bank of America

The court's proves how out of touch it is, as it time-travels back to an 1894 decision to try to support modern-day securitization...

"Securitizing a note does not sever the note from the deed of trust. Under
Tennessee law, the deed of trust follows the note. Whoever holds the note owns the deed. See W.C. Early Co., 186 S.W. at 103-04; Clark v. Jones, 27 S.W. 1009, 1010 (Tenn. 1894)"

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Securitization has been proven and admitted to split the Note from the security. MERS admits it never possesses the original Note, and the lender never possesses the original security instrument that goes to MERS.  The court reaffirmed the propriety of using MERS in the transfer of mortgage notes?

READ THIS!: Over the past few years, the district courts in this circuit, particularly in Tennessee, have entertained a spate of civil actions that advance legal theories similar to Thompson’s. Like Thompson’s, many of these civil actions are scattershot affairs, tossing myriad (sometimes contradictory) legal theories at the court to see what sticks. To assist the district courts in addressing this wave of creative litigation, we will address each of Thompson’s theories in detail.


"The court found that a REMIC investor has “no direct or indirect legal recourse” against the underlying mort gages."

State Supreme Court rules on scope of B&O tax mortgage interest deduction

Related: Relaxed REMIC requirements: IRS and Treasury efforts to address the subprime mortgage crisis

Lexology The court held that to satisfy the “primarily secured” by a mortgage or deed of trust requirement, the bank claiming the deduction must have “some recourse” against the collateral. The court found that a REMIC investor has “no direct or indirect legal recourse” against the underlying mortgages.

In reaching this conclusion the court appears to have accepted the testimony of an expert witness offered by the department, who “testified that REMIC investments are not secured transactions because issuers do not pledge any property as security for the investments.” 


The Justice Department is only now examining the 2004 relationship between New Century and Morgan Stanley. This was public knowledge in 2004! 

Court Filing Illuminates Morgan Stanley Role in Lending

Since the financial crisis, Wall Street firms have argued that they were victims.

A New York federal judge ruled last year that the case could go forward, and said that “these high-risk loans, as opposed to better loans or even no loan at all, caused plaintiffs a concrete injury.

DealBook Now, though, a trove of emails and confidential documents, filed in court, reveal the extent to which one of Wall Street’s leading banks, Morgan Stanley, actively influenced New Century’s push into riskier and more onerous mortgages, and brushed aside questions about the ability of homeowners to make the payments.

It isn’t ‘just a couple of typos or ‘mistakes’ as it was suggested,” Mr. Zahn wrote. “The more we dig, the more we find.

Ms. Barrow congratulated Mr. Zahn: “good find on the fraud :).” But rather than pursuing his findings, she immediately went on: “Unfortunately, I don’t think we will be able to utilize you or any other third party individual in the valuation department any longer.



Ocwen Downgraded Again, Plans to Sell Agency MSRs

Perhaps Ocwen could write a book titled: "How to Run a Criminal Enterprise for 20 Years before the Government Catches On."

Reverse Mortgage Daily “Fitch views William Erbey’s announced resignation from OCN and its related entities as a key driver for the downgrade and Negative Outlook, as his departure introduces strategic uncertainty with respect to OCN and its affiliates,” Fitch stated in a release.


Credit Suisse Ruling Helps Preserve Martin Act's Reach

In refusing to toss a multibillion-dollar fraud lawsuit against Credit Suisse AG last week, New York Supreme Court Judge Marcy Friedman didn't just disappoint the bank and its lawyers at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The judge also poured coal in the stockings of other defendants looking for vulnerabilities in New York's 93-year-old Martin Act, the state's fearsome tool for combating financial fraud.

Litigation Daily In her Dec. 24 decision, Friedman allowed New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to press forward with claims that Credit Suisse knew about flaws in loans packaged into residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and misrepresented the quality of those loans, causing about $11.2 billion in investor losses. Friedman shot down the Swiss bank's argument that suit was brought too late, handing the state a win that could make it harder for others on Wall Street to dodge state-launched investor fraud cases in New York.

If Friedman's decision is ultimately upheld, it closes off a potential escape hatch for Martin Act defendants accused of years-old misconduct.

SRMOF v. Lewis

Lewis Motion for stay of sale pending appeal and supersedeas bond info.


Ohio Supreme Court  The sheriff’s sale was held on April 23, 2013, and Plaintiff/Appellee, SRMOF Trust 2009-1, was the successful bidder. To date, SRMOF has not yet sought confirmation of the sale.
Recently, however, SRMOF’s counsel has stated that, after over 20 months of inaction in the trial court, he will be filing a motion in the trial court to confirm the sale. Confirmation of the sale
would transfer legal title to the property to SRMOF before this Court rules on the validity of the underlying judgment that led to the sale itself.

Illegal Mortgage Securitization - Did Banks Gamble Your Home & Distort Chain of Title?

During the Banker Bailout of 2008 the financial centers of power came under examination.

RedPill Reports The deceptive and illegal practice of mortgage securitization was brought to light and showed the banking industry’s willingness to distort chain of title involving property ownership and gamble with America’s most cherished possession—their homes. Groundbreaking evidence has now appeared which begs the question of just how deep the rabbit hole goes and quite frankly might make the Watergate scandal look trivial.


The Minnesota Recording Act and the importance of recording title documents

The Minnesota Recording Act, Minn. Stat. § 507.34, protects a judgment creditor's lien on real property against unrecorded prior interests if the creditor has no actual, constructive, or inquiry notice of the prior interest at the time the judgment is docketed. Additionally, nonparties to a judgment cannot attack the judgment if it is valid on its face.

In this quiet title action, vendees of real property under unrecorded deeds claimed their property interest was superior to that of the judgment lien creditors of the record owner of the property. On appeal, the vendees argue the trial court erred in finding the judgment lien creditors' interests superior, and in concluding the vendees could not collaterally attack the original judgments.

Public policy dictates that judgment creditors must be able to rely on the title shown in public records.

Crime-Fraud Exception Law & Legal Definition

The crime-fraud exception is a common rule accepted by the courts. The crime-fraud exception applies to work product privilege as well as the attorney client privilege. The crime-fraud exception states that the attorney-client and the attorney-work-product privilege may be disregarded when the client’s communication to his attorney is in furtherance of a current or a planned crime or fraud.

US Legal The crime-fraud doctrine does not apply where the services of an attorney was sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew or reasonably should have known to be a fraud. Milroy v. Hanson, 902 F. Supp. 1029, 1032 (D. Neb. 1995)

Crime-fraud exception only applies when the legal advice "gives direction for the commission of future fraud or crime.” Pallon v. Roggio, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59881 (D.N.J. Aug. 23, 2006)


What is a Beneficiary? 

Wetmore v. NTS, Bank of America Page 4: Only a proper beneficiary can appoint a trustee to nonjudicially foreclose. Bavand v. OneWestBank, FSB, 176 Wn. App. 475, 484, 488, 309 P.3d 636 (Div. I , 2013) (finding homeowner stated "sufficient facts to demonstrate a material procedural defect in [trustee's] appointment as successor trustee."). Whether a proper beneficiary has appointed a lawful trustee is an issue o f fact. See Rucker v. NovaStar Mortg., Inc., 177 Wn. App. 1, 14, 311 P.3d 31 (Div. I , 2013)

Scott Stafne

Stafne - Trumbull

(Trial necessary to determine if proper beneficiary appointed trustee); Cf. Knecht v. Fidelity Nat'l Title Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113131, 2014 W L 4057148 at **13-14 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 14, 2014). I f an entity which does not meet the statutory definition of a beneficiary appoints a faux trustee, any actions that faux trustee takes under the guise of the DT A are ultra vires and [[[[void]]]]. Rucker, 177 Wn. App. at 14. Thus, if NWTS was not appointed by a valid beneficiary, NWTS had no authority to engage in the nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings that resulted in the sale of Wetmore's home.



Foreclosures: Does Utah or Texas law govern here?

The case is another twisted skirmish in the legal battles being waged by attorneys for homeowners like Sundquist — backed in some cases by the Utah Attorney General’s Office — over whether Bank of America illegally foreclosed on thousands of Utahns after the real estate bubble began to burst in 2007.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office has intervened in several lawsuits over foreclosures in order to defend Utah laws.

Salt Lake Tribune 2½ years after the sale and more than five years after defaulting, Sundquist is still in her home — and the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from Fannie Mae.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision not to hear the appeal leaves intact a Utah Supreme Court ruling that upheld Sundquist’s argument that the bank’s foreclosure arm, ReconTrust, had illegally foreclosed on her home.

But the battles are not over, particularly in federal court in Utah where judges have split over the question of whether ReconTrust has to follow Utah laws or those of Texas where its headquarters is located.

"So if the Utah Legislature wanted to change the law regarding trustees, which is a state issue, they’d have to go to Texas to lobby the Legislature." 


Abandoned homes go from vacant to zombie

The average bank foreclosure in New York takes 902 days, or roughly 21/2 years, to complete, according to RealtyTrac. Housing advocates say lengthy legal battles between banks and homeowners have led to a significant number of abandoned homes.

Poughkeepsie Journal (BUT, homeowners involved in a legal battle tend to stay in their homes. MSF) Homeowners delinquent on their mortgages may remain in a house until foreclosure is final. Many work out a loan modification that gives them a reprieve. Or they may find a way to make good on late payments.

In May, the National Fair Housing Alliance filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against Safeguard Properties illegally breaking into and trashing out occupied homes.


Bailout Recipients and Secret Federal Reserve Loans

ProPublica We're tracking where taxpayer money has gone in the ongoing bailout of the financial system. Our database accounts for both the broader $700 billion bill and the separate bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

For each entity, we provide a “Net Outstanding” amount, which shows how deep taxpayers are in the hole after accounting for any revenue the government has received (usually through interest or dividends).


Mortgage Servicer Privity with Borrowers

A lot of courts have misunderstood the nature of the servicing relationship vis-a-vis the borrower and assumed that because the servicer is not expressly a party to the note and security agreement that there is no privity between the borrower and servicer and hence the borrower cannot maintain a breach of contract suit. That's wrong. The servicer is not on the note or the security agreement, but the servicer is an assignee of the note, just like the securitization trust, and that provides all the privity needed for a breach of contract suit. 

Prof. Adam Levitin A lot of the mortgage servicing litigation over the past seven years has faltered on standing issues. Does the borrower have standing to sue the servicer? This has been a problem for RESPA and HAMP suits, where there are questions about whether there is a private right of action, as well as for plain old breach of contract actions. The point I make in this post is that borrowers almost always have standing to sue the servicer for a breach of contract action arising out of the mortgage loan contract itself because the servicer is an assignee of part of the mortgage note. This was an issue that lurked in the background of a case I recently testified in, and I think it's worth highlighting

Freddie Mac v. Grindall

We concluded that the affiants lacked personal knowledge as to the possession of the note. 

Ms. Grindall’s second assignment of error is overruled to the extent that she
argues broadly that Mr. Arthur’s affidavit and attached documents were inadmissible, and sustained to the extent that she argues that a genuine question of fact remained as to the status of the note. We decline to address the remainder of Ms. Grindall’s second assignment of error as to notice of default or her first assignment of error, as they pertain to issues which are not yet ripe for review.


New York's Top Cop Scores as Credit Suisse Faces $10 Billion Mortgage Fraud Suit

If the bank had won, Schneiderman would have faced a new roadblock as he considers similar multibillion-dollar claims against Wall Street firms.

Bloomberg Credit Suisse Group AG was ordered to face a $10 billion lawsuit by New York’s attorney general accusing the Swiss bank of fraud in the sales of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis.

A New York State Supreme Court justice rejected the bank’s request to dismiss the case, a move that gives leverage to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to demand internal bank documents and force a settlement. New York demonstrated the bank may have engaged in misconduct, Justice Marcy Friedman said in a Dec. 24 decision, allowing the suit to head toward trial.


Wells Fargo, HSBC Among Banks Sued Over Subprime Securities

Phoenix Light SF Ltd. accused the banks, in complaints filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court, of failing to safeguard the interests of investors as required by their contracts. The securities were sold from 2005 to 2007.

Bloomberg Wells Fargo, HSBC, Bank of New York Mellon  and Deutsche Bank AG were sued by an Irish securities firm that claims the banks failed to protect investors in their role as trustees of securities backed by home loans that defaulted after the 2008 credit crisis.

The suits are part of a move by investors to target trustees of mortgage securities over their role in the crisis. Trustees have been sued by the National Credit Union Administration and by other investors, including hedge funds.


Colorado AG charges two more foreclosure-mill law firms with fraud

Inflated fees and non-existent title insurance policies.

According to a report from Reuters, Attorney General John Suthers sued two foreclosure law firms, Robert J. Hopp & Associates and The Hopp Law Firm, and The Vaden Law Firm, stating that the firms overcharged consumers, for amongst other things, non-existent title insurance policies.

Reuters Colorado’s Attorney General has accused two of the state’s law firms of fraud, claiming that the firms inflated the costs charged to homeowners.

"For abusing the foreclosure process for their own profit, eight Colorado foreclosure law firms have now been targets of investigation by my office," Suthers said.

"It is my hope that these actions will result in greater transparency and fairness in the legal processing of foreclosures."


Ocwen CEO unveils company’s new direction

Plans to exit agency servicing; increase mortgage originations. (No word yet on whether the Forgery Department will expand to create new jobs. MSF)

Housing Wire First, Faris said that Ocwen plans to grow as a mortgage originator. “As we have said in the past, it is our aspiration to become a more profitable originator,” Faris said. “We believe that we can deliver and develop a lending operation that builds upon our core skills and capabilities.” (Fraud, racketeering, etc.) 


Ocwen Chairman to Step Down in Settlement With New York Regulator

The settlement is a stinging rebuke of a company that was supposed to service mortgages, particularly those of subprime borrowers, better than the large banks, which had often bungled the process.

The investigation, according to his office, found numerous problems, including bookkeeping errors and evidence of wrongful foreclosures.

OCWEN's 8K SEC Filing









Ken McLeod

Ocwen will also pay $100 million for foreclosure relief and community redevelopment programs and $50 million to New York residents whose mortgages have been serviced by the company. New York borrowers whose houses have been foreclosed by Ocwen since January 2009 will receive $10,000 each.

Hey, sorry we stole your home, all your equity, ruined your life, kept you in court for years, and all the multiple damages you suffered. Here's $10,000 to make us even. We would give you more, since we made a killing committing all the crimes against you, using property we didn't even own, but we do need money to pay off judges, sheriffs and other conspirators.
EASTHAMPTON SAVINGS BANK & others vs. CITY OF SPRINGFIELD Mass. SJC The Springfield, MA ordinance requiring mediation was “shot down” but the fees assessed on firms that took over foreclosed houses was allowed per certified answers from the Mass SJC to the U.S.C.A. 


Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Loan Mod Scam

"The criminal conduct involved in this case is truly despicable," Wigginton said. (Bank conduct is much worse and victimizes more people, yet they are not even investigated.)

DNS "Herbert preyed upon people who were already vulnerable due to financial hardship. By pretending that he was acting on behalf of the government and calling to help them, he stole their money and made their situations worse. The United States Attorney’s Office for Southern Illinois will aggressively prosecute individuals who commit these types of frauds." 


Couple earns court victory over mortgage debt ‘vulture’ investor

Bankrupt, broke and living with their son, a retired Westchester couple scored a precedent-setting victory last week in the harsh world of distressed mortgage debt.

New York Post Investor Craig Marx failed to show a correct chain of title, or transfer of ownership, from the original lender through to the Florida hedge fund that sold the couple’s mortgage debt to Marx.
That’s a fatal problem,” said Judge Robert Drain.
The court win for this couple — who asked that their names not be used — came after a five-year struggle to learn who owned their debt and to fight dubious claims. 

The couple’s problems aren’t over. They still owe money on both loans, and still don’t know whom to pay. They can’t sell the house, because it doesn’t have a clear title.


Robosignors Authorized to Forge Power of Attorney

SHAPIRO & MASSEY The undersigned, being the duly appointed and acting Secretary of Fidelity National Foreclosure
, Incorporated, a Delaware corporation, (the "Corporation") does hereby certify that the following employees are authorized to execute documents under the Power of Attorney granted to the Corporation by Household Finance Corporation II:


Eighth Circuit declines to certify question regarding MERS to Minnesota Supreme Court

Minnesota Counties v. MERS et al

Under the Minnesota Recording Act,

[e]very conveyance of real estate shall be recorded in the office of the county
recorder of the county where such real estate is situated; and every such
conveyance not so recorded shall be void
as against any subsequent purchaser in good faith and for a valuable consideration of the same real estate, or any part thereof, whose conveyance is first duly recorded.

Eighth Circuit COA But in the Eighth Circuit's opinion, they wrote:

The district court granted the Lenders’ motion to dismiss, finding that there was
no duty to record a mortgage assignment under Minnesota law. The court determined that the operative language “shall be recorded” in the Minnesota Recording Act does not require recordation of land transfers, but instead informs parties where they should record their instrument if they desire the benefits of recordation, namely the establishing of priority. The district court also dismissed the Counties’ claims for unjust enrichment and public nuisance because they could not survive in the absence of a duty to record. 



3rd DCA Florida Decides Statute of Limitations: Deutsch Loses

Dozens of appellate decisions across the country are reversing a long-standing pattern of rubber stamping trial courts who exceeded their discretion, authority or even jurisdiction. This case affirms the trial court’s decision that the action was barred by the statute of limitations.

The note, which is the only evidence of the debt, has been rendered unenforceable by the statute of limitations. To say that the mortgage survives as a potentially enforceable instrument on the issue of payment is illogical.

Deutsche Bank v. Beauvais


Living Lies Where a lender files a foreclosure action upon a borrower’s default, and expressly exercises its contractual right to accelerate all payments, does an involuntary dismissal of that action without prejudice in and of itself negate, invalidate or otherwise “decelerate” the lender’s acceleration of the payments, thereby permitting a new cause of action to be filed based upon a new and subsequent default? [The 3rd DCA answers this question in the negative]
…because the installment nature of the loan payments was never reinstated following the acceleration, there were no “new” payments due and thus there could be no “new” default following the dismissal without prejudice of the initial action. Smith v. F.D.I.C., 61 F.3d 1552, 1561 (11th Cir. 1995)(holding, “when the promissory note secured by a mortgage contains an optional acceleration clause, the foreclosure cause of action accrues, and the statute of limitations begins to run, on the date the acceleration clause is invoked.”).


Holder and Obama Never Miss an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity v the Banksters

Because of the deliberate destruction of effective financial regulation by Presidents Clinton and Bush and President Obama’s refusal to recreate it (yes, the Republicans want to degrade it further), our only means of bringing light to the dark places where the elites “doeth evil” is whistleblowers. This article is about a financial whistleblowers.  The Obama administration had the perfect opportunity to bring far more light – and accountability – to finance. The administration failed to do so.

Prof. Bill Black  After a full trial with some of the best criminal defense lawyers in the world backed by Bank of America’s immense wealth and resources, Bharara’s trial team convinced a jury, by the preponderance of the evidence, that Countrywide/Bank of America committed “crimes” consisting of intentionally, and massively, defrauding Fannie and Freddie. Further, if you read Judge Rakoff’s opinion closely about the nature of the fraud – deliberately gutting underwriting standards and making the incentives perverse in order to create fund enormous numbers of bad loans – you know that this was an “accounting control fraud.”

The Obama administration never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to hold accountable the senior bankers who were made wealthy by leading the three fraud epidemics that caused the financial crisis and the Great Recession.


Comptroller's Truth in Lending Act Handbook

OCC The booklet provides background information and optional expanded examination procedures for the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z, which implements TILA. 


Part of the plan...

Fannie, Freddie to allow foreclosed homeowners to buy back homes (3 years too late!)

Individuals willing and likely to repurchase their old foreclosed homes this late in the recovery are nearly nil.

firsttuesday Journal Foreclosed homeowners now have the option to repurchase their old homes back from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac at today’s fair market value (FMV). Previously, the government-sponsored enterprise (GSEs) only allowed foreclosed homeowners to reacquire their properties upon paying the outstanding mortgage amounts, which were — with rare exception — well above FMV.


When Regulators Are Blind to Rules

NY Times What happens when you turn over regulatory responsibilities to people who think there is really no need for regulation?

The United States, and much of the world, tried that for a large part of the last quarter-century. Along the way, a series of crises sent out warning signals that were not heeded.


How a Memo Cost Big Banks $37 Billion

In a memo, one J.P. Morgan employee warned her bosses they were putting bad loans into securities being created before the financial crisis hit.

Nasdaq The U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento, Calif., soon started sending subpoenas to J.P. Morgan officials tied to the memo. Three months later, top Justice Department officials in Washington told investigative teams across the country to hunt for similar ammunition in tens of millions of documents from other banks, especially Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc.

In a move meant to shake money from the banks, the Justice Department decided to go after them with an unusually potent law created to clean up the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s.



The Trusts do not own the loan nor do they represent the interests of the owners. The owners of the DEBT are the investors who advanced money to the investment bank that sold mortgage bonds to the investor (pension fund). There are two main reasons why this is important:

Living Lies This issue does NOT mean there is no debt. It means, in most cases, that foreclosure is not an option because the perpetrators of the fraud and the initiators of the collection and enforcement of the alleged “loan” are one and the same. Hence the Court SHOULD be interested in not being part of a fraudulent scheme. It is a classic case of unclean hands.

Unfunded REMIC Trusts represent a potential attack against the party initiating foreclosure that can be fatal to their claim if properly presented.


Another Whistle-Blower in Bank of America Case Set to Collect $56 Million

DealBook In a confidential complaint that Mr. Madsen filed in federal court in Manhattan against Bank of America in 2011, the appraiser said the bank deliberately used “improper appraisal practices” that overstated the value of the homes backing Bank of America’s portfolio of nonperforming loans by $6.6 billion. The 220-page legal filing said the improper appraisals at the bank’s LandSafe subsidiary continued until at least 2011.


Court Affirms Sanctions Against US. Bank for Failure to Negotiate in Good Faith

U.S. Bank v. Smith

Courts are authorized to impose  sanctions for violations of CPLR 3408(f). 

NY Appellate Division, Second Department However, "CPLR 3408(f) does not set forth any specific remedy for a party's failure to negotiate in good faith". In such absence, "courts have resorted to a variety of alternatives in an effort to enforce the statutory mandate to negotiate in good faith" (id.). The sanction imposed in this case, to-wit, barring the plaintiff from collecting interest on the mortgage loan for the period between October 5, 2012, and July 5, 2013, was a provident exercise of the Supreme Court's discretion.


Bank of America fails 2 mortgage settlement tests

Charlotte Observer Bank of America has failed two of 31 tests designed to see whether it is complying with a national mortgage settlement’s rules, a report Tuesday from the settlement’s watchdog shows.

The tests involve sending pre-foreclosure letters to borrowers and notifications to people seeking mortgage modifications.

Countrywide Whistle-Blower to Receive More Than $57 Million

DealBook A former Countrywide Financial executive who became a financial crisis whistle-blower is collecting more than $57 million for his effort in helping federal prosecutors force Bank of America to pay a record $16.65 billion penalty in connection with its role in churning out shoddy mortgage securities.


Senate Passes Tax Bill That Includes Key Mortgage Deductions

National Mortgage News The Senate approved a bill late Tuesday that would retroactively extend over 50 expiring tax provisions for one year, including one that shields distressed homeowners from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale.


United States Government is the Most Corrupt Government on Earth

The only provision of Dodd-Frank that has any teeth is the provision that says if the big banks are going to be casinos and gamble on derivatives, they cannot do that in the depository institution where depositors have their accounts. They have to farm it out into subsidiaries. So, if the subsidiaries get into trouble, the subsidiaries have no access to depositor’s money. 

Former Assistant Treasury Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts This is the only real reform part of Dodd-Frank. Citigroup got put into the recent spending bill, the repeal of this, so banks can gamble on derivatives, and taxpayers and depositors are on the hook for the losses. Why would you do that unless you had a lot of derivatives trouble. It could easily be the oil derivatives. . . . The banks can gamble all they want and they are covered by the FDIC, which has no money. . . . This gives the banks access to depositor’s money. . . . This is sick, and it shows the United States government is the most corrupt government on earth, far more corrupt than Russia or China.”


Bankruptcy Court Finds Debtor Entitled to a "Free House" Because Mortgage Foreclosure Complaint Barred by New Jersey Statute of Limitations

The Bankruptcy Court rejected the lender's argument that its renewed efforts to initiate foreclosure proceedings would relate back to its original foreclosure complaint.

In Re: Williams

JDSupra Following exhaustive discussion of the relevant section of the Fair Foreclosure Act and its legislative history, the Bankruptcy Court concluded that the lenders had in fact accelerated the maturity date of the loan to the 2007 default date. Id. at *35. The Bankruptcy Court further noted that neither party had made any effort to de-accelerate the debt and that the lender had failed to file a valid foreclosure complaint within six years of the accelerated maturity date as required under the Fair Foreclosure Act.[3] Accordingly, the Bankruptcy Court held that the lender was now time-barred from filing a foreclosure complaint and from obtaining a final judgment of foreclosure. Id. at 36.


Mortgage Recording Requirements: Tiny Technical Defect Strikes Again

Rogan v. US Bank

Bankruptcy Real Estate Insights The trustee argued that the mortgages did not comply with the statute because they did not include the date of the underlying note. Consequently they should not have been recorded. The mortgagee responded that only the maturity date was required, and in any event they provided constructive notice since they were actually recorded.


Recorded documents: who loses when a document is not properly indexed?

A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a transfer of the debtor’s real property using his “strong arm” powers based on an argument that the deed conveying the property did not provide constructive notice since it was not properly indexed in the real estate records.

Bankruptcy Real Estate Insights The debtor owned property in Boston that he transferred in July 2003 by a deed that correctly identified the grantor as “William O. Hultin.” However, when the deed was recorded, it was listed in the grantor index under “William Hiltin.” The original deed from the debtor was followed by a deed from his purchaser in 2005, a foreclosure deed in 2008, another deed in 2008, and a mortgage in 2011. Agin v. Dookhan


Former GMAC and Countrywide Loan Officer Sentenced to Five Years in Prison  

for Role in Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy That Caused $7 Million in Losses to Lenders 

FBI From 2006 to 2008, Constantinou and others conspired to defraud mortgage lenders of millions of dollars of mortgage proceeds by inflating the contract price that the sellers of the properties had actually agreed to accept. The scheme involved multi-family properties in New Haven.


North Miami mayor found guilty of mortgage fraud

Jurors returned the verdict Tuesday in the two-week trial of Lucie Tondreau. She faces up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy and wire fraud convictions when she is sentenced March 20.

Local10 Federal prosecutors claimed Tondreau and another defendant conspired before she became mayor to defraud lenders using straw buyers, who obtained inflated loans for 20 properties. The scheme allegedly involved recruiting buyers through a radio program catering to Haitian-American listeners.Jurors returned the verdict Tuesday in the two-week trial of Lucie Tondreau. She faces up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy and wire fraud convictions when she is sentenced March 20.


Mortgage Monitor Launches Investigation of Ocwen

"I informed Ocwen that I did not have confidence that the internal review group was independent... so we have to have the work redone," said Joseph A. Smith, the settlement monitor.

Kate Berry Mortgage Servicing News The whistleblower alleged that an internal review group created to test Ocwen's compliance with mortgage servicing standards was not independent. The whistleblower said the group was not properly selecting random samplings of loan files to be tested, Smith said.

Smith has since created an ethics hotline to allow employees of the six servicers covered by the 2012 national mortgage settlement to anonymously report any problems.


The proposed rule and disclosures are open for public comment in the Federal Register until March 16, 2015. You can review them here: 

Proposed mortgage servicing rule expands foreclosure protections

CFPB Our proposals include changes and clarifications to several parts of the Mortgage Servicing Rules, including some of the requirements involving loss mitigation applications and periodic mortgage statements for consumers in bankruptcy. Some of the most significant proposed changes would involve new protections for certain successors in interest—surviving family members, and other homeowners who inherit or receive property—when there is still an outstanding mortgage loan on the property. Press Release here

It’s Time to Strike At the Root

Yes, it’s time to strike at the Root Cause of all the Evil that has engulfed the United States of America Our Republic and most of the World.

Preston James PhD. The City of London Banksters have used their main "Cutout the Federal Reserve System" to engulf the whole World in a sinister Web-of-Debt of US Petro Dollars that has led to numerous continuing wars accompanied by mass-death, maimings and unimaginable human sufferings.

This Web-of-Debt and its related pernicious usury now threatens the well-being and economic survival of the whole World including America and “We The People”.


Meet Your Newest Legislator: Citigroup

One more thing you should know at the outset about Citigroup: it didn’t just have a hand in bringing the country to its knees in 2008; it was a key participant in the 1929 collapse under the moniker National City Bank and cited this bank as a key culprit.

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

Citigroup is the Wall Street mega bank that forced the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999; blew itself up as a result of the repeal in 2008; was propped back up with the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world even though it was insolvent and didn’t qualify for a bailout; has now written its own legislation to de-regulate itself; got the President of the United States to lobby for its passage; and received an up vote from both houses of Congress in less than a week.


Regulator Finds Deficiencies With Mortgage Servicer Ocwen Financial

Ocwen Financial, a firm that collects the payments on millions of mortgages, has fallen afoul of another regulator.

DealBook The monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement announced on Tuesday that his office could not rely on information provided by Ocwen (Neither can the courts). That settlement, struck in 2012, requires banks and firms like Ocwen to meet standards that aim to ensure that struggling borrowers are treated properly.

'Warning Shot': Sen. Warren On Fighting Banks, And Her Political Future

npr "Republicans slipped in a provision at the last minute that would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and then get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system," she told NPR.

The measure involves complex financial trades called derivatives that can be hugely profitable but also hugely risky.


Judge lets couple back in home while foreclosure case continues

They paid off the mortgage and wanted to do work on the home.

The lawsuit could take several years, she said. (No, fix it right away!)

Jax Air News Thompson and Smith never missed insurance payments, never missed tax payments, never missed utility payments. But the lender claimed the couple moved away. They and their neighbors say that’s not true. Utility bills never dipped significantly, records showed.

Still, Nationstar Mortgage foreclosed on the couple and forced them out of the house.


Foreclosure evictions halted for the holidays

CNN Money Yet again, the government-backed mortgage giants announced they will put a temporary halt to all foreclosure related evictions between December 17 and January 2, 2015.

"Today's announcement will bring some holiday relief to borrowers who went through (ILLEGAL) foreclosure and were preparing to move," said Chris Bowden, senior vice president of REO at Freddie Mac.


Is Your Foreclosure Really Behind You?

STL Today Last year, the phenomena of “zombie deeds” came to light when it was discovered that homes vacated by their owners under the belief that they had been foreclosed really weren’t foreclosed at all and the owners still owned the house.

Now the specter of deficiency judgments from foreclosed properties is haunting former homeowners.


Texas State Bill Will Nullify All Federal Unconstitutional Acts

Texas lawmaker Dan Flynn has introduced legislation that would invalidate within the sovereign borders of his state every act of the federal government that exceeds its constitutionally derived authority.

The remedy for federal tyranny is nullification, and applying it liberally will leave our states and our nation healthier and happier.

New American State Representative Dan Flynn’s bill — House Bill 98 — denies to the federal government:

This Act serves as notice from this state to the federal government to cease and desist any and all unconstitutional activities that are outside the scope of the power delegated to it by the United States Constitution, including those activities that unconstitutionally undermine, diminish, or disregard the balance of powers between the states and the federal government established by the constitution.

This state and its people retain their sovereign power to regulate the affairs of this state, subject only to the limitations prescribed by the United States Constitution.


One of the other Florida trials was continued in view of what appears to be a potential fraud on the court involving manufactured “originals” of the Note and Mortgage

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide Although the matter was complicated enough already, in the week before the hearing, the new servicer sent two letters to the homeowner, each stating that the loan had been sold. The problem is that each letter stated that the loan had been sold to a different entity. The Court thus permitted further amendment to add the two new alleged owners of the loan over vociferous objection of counsel for the existing defendants.


Court lets Pennsylvania widow keep home sold over interest on $6.30 tax bill

"I think when you read the opinion it is clear that the property should never have been sold," 

Battisti v. Beaver County Tax Claim Bureau

Home Equity Theft Reporter A widow whose western Pennsylvania home was sold by the county after she failed to pay interest accrued on $6.30 in late tax fees was overjoyed when a court ruled she can keep her home, her lawyer said on Friday.

'Friend of the Court brief filed in this case by The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC).


Michigan Senate Passes Foreclosure Reform Bill

NMP Michigan’s State Senate has passed a bill that would prohibit individuals with either a recent history of delinquency on property taxes or unpaid fines related to property blight or a nuisance ordinance from bidding in foreclosure auctions. The bill would also prevent homeowners from allowing their properties to go into foreclosure in order to buy the properties back at a lower cost in an auction.


Judge Orders One-by-One Review of 209,000 Lehman Mortgages

A bankruptcy court judge sunk investors' hopes in their latest lawsuit against Lehman Brothers, which they claim broke contracts in junk mortgage-backed securities sold during the bubble years.

National Mortgage News Chapman delivered a second blow later in the day, as well, one that may be equally as consequential. She ruled that all 209,000 mortgages spread across the trusts in question must be reviewed one by one. The method for doing so was set to be fought over on Friday.

The loan review could well take 21 years to complete, one forensics expert for the trustees testified. In stark contrast, Lehman's experts claim it would only take one year.



The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is fed up with Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and their less than honorable way of dealing with mortgage bond ratings.

Ring of Fire Radio S&P has been charged for skewing mortgage ratings in order to bring in more cash. These allegations are based on a case beginning in 2011. This is, of course, a point of contention as the companies selling investments are paying the companies who rate them. For S&P, this looks to be the end of the line in terms of their popular status of a trusted mortgage bond rating company, one that investors were doing business with based on good faith.


SEC Tells Jury: BankAtlantic's Levan Had Incentive to Lie 

(as did all the other criminals)

In one memo, Amy Engleberg, a senior vice president, called the loans "ticking time bombs" and "explosive piles of crap." "This place is all Band-Aids and blind eyes," she wrote to a colleague in July 9, 2007.

The jury found him GUILTY.

DBR "Why lie? To make the bank look stronger than it was. He owned millions of dollars of stock," said SEC attorney Russell Koonin. Levan owned hundreds of thousands of shares of BankAtlantic Bancorp stock individually and through a corporation. The SEC says, as of March 2007, Levan owned $11.6 million of stock individually and another $48 million through a BFC Corp

"You never heard a single word that the housing market in Florida crashed and burned," Levan's attorney said. (Everyone on the planet knows it did.)

Thousands of people can now buy back the homes they lost to foreclosure (but the Notes are VOID.)

Washington Post Thousands of people who lost their homes to foreclosure are now eligible to buy back those properties at current market value if their loans were backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Elizabeth Warren Headshot

Remarks by Senator Warren on Citigroup and its bailout provision

Senator Warren We were sent to Washington to work for the American people, not Citigroup.

Watch the floor speech I just gave here.


At Big Banks, a Lesson Not Learned

Gretchen Morgenson

NY times

Are the colossal regulatory fines extracted from big banks today likely to deter their officials from violating the same rules tomorrow? Or are these billion-dollar settlements viewed simply as a cost of doing business, and not a very large one at that?


Judgment VACATED

Vossbrinck v. Accredited Home Lenders, Deutsche

After losing title to his property in a state foreclosure action, Vossbrinck filed complaints against Defendants in state and federal court seeking damages and return of the property.  Vossbrinck’s amended complaint alleged that Defendants (1) violated
state and federal laws in issuing and servicing his mortgage loan and (2) engaged in fraud during the state foreclosure action.

Plaintiff-Appellant Karl Paul Vossbrinck appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Eginton, J.) dismissing his claims on the grounds that they are barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, barred by collateral estoppel, and untimely. While we agree that certain of Vossbrinck’s fraud claims are barred by Rooker-Feldman, the district court erred in dismissing those claims on the merits. Instead, those claims should be remanded to state court, where Vossbrinck filed them initially before the defendants removed them to federal court. The judgment as to those claims is VACATED.

Trial court erred in determining Bank had standing to initiate the foreclosure action.

Sosa v. US Bank

Florida 4th District Court of Appeals Because Bank failed to establish when it became the owner of the note, the trial court erred in finding Bank had standing to initiate the foreclosure action. Accordingly, we reverse the final judgment of foreclosure and remand for entry of an order of involuntary dismissal of the action. 


No Surprise: Wall Street Got Its Way in Spending Bill

There’s no avoiding the impression that the fix was in from the start on a provision in the federal spending bill—passed on Thursday by the House—that repeals a part of the Dodd Frank financial reform law.

NY Times The law required the biggest banks to conduct some of their riskiest derivatives’ transactions in subsidiaries outside the cozy confines of federally-insured institutions. The repeal of the so-called “push-out” rule will mean that banks can continue to speculate secure in the knowledge that taxpayers stand ready to cover any catastrophic losses.


Three Firms Subservicing More Than $100B in Loans Each

For the first time, there is a subservicer, Cenlar FSB, handling the servicing function for more than $200 billion in mortgage loans.

Mortgage Servicing News In fact, there are now three subservicers with portfolios over $100 billion at the end of the second quarter, up from one company previously.

Cenlar remains the industry leader, with a 67% year-over-year growth in this area and a $216 billion portfolio. But Black Knight Financial Services' LoanCare unit and PHH are also now subservicing more than $100 billion in loans. PHH recorded the third largest year-over-year increase on a percentage basis.



Petersen v. Bank of America

This appeal, after a successful demurrer for misjoinder, tests the limits of California’s permissive joinder statute, section 378 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Strictly speaking, though, this is a “mass action,” not a “class action.” Had this case been filed prior to 2005, in all probability it would have been filed as a class action. 

California Court of Appeals

4th District

The third amended complaint alleges that in the mid-2000’s, defendant Countrywide Financial Corporation developed a two-prong business strategy to increase its profits: First, Countrywide would use captive real estate appraisers to provide dishonest appraisals that would inflate home prices beyond levels that would otherwise prevail in an honest market; second, Countrywide would induce its borrowers – these plaintiffs in particular – to take loans Countrywide knew they couldn’t afford by misleading them as to their ability to pay their loans, including misrepresenting key terms of the loans themselves. Countrywide did this because it had no intention of keeping the loans on its books, but intended to bundle them into saleable tranches and sell them to investors.

Misbehaving Michigan Judges Disciplined

Also see additional links

Detroit Free Press They lied, stole, forged bank documents, padded expense accounts, drove drunk, slept with litigants and jailed innocent people.

Michigan judges have been in big trouble in recent years. The number of judges disciplined — about 35 per year — has not gone up, but the level of chicanery has soared.


Pension plans to be looted nationwide as Congress okays institutional theft of funds

All the pension benefits that have been promised government retirees, in other words, are about to be stolen back from retirees.

Natural News Just like clockwork, that looting of pension plans is now about to commence. "Congress could soon allow the benefits of current retirees to be cut as part of an agreement to address the fiscal distress confronting some of the nation's 1,400 multi-employer pension plans," writes Michael Fletcher of the Washington Post. [1] The Post continues:

"This proposal would devastate retirees and their surviving spouses," said Karen Friedman, executive vice president of the Pension Rights Center, a nonprofit group. "The proposal would also torpedo basic protections of the federal private pension law ... that states that once benefits are earned, they can't be cut back."


Couple Wins $1M Suit Against Bank of America for 'Outrageous' Robocall Harassment

"This judgment against Bank of America is an epic win for consumers across the country," Billy Howard, an attorney for the Coniglios told ABC News. "It's time to fight back against these 'robo-bullies'."

abc Bank of America is being forced to hand over more than $1 million to a Florida couple after the bank flooded them with hundreds of loan collection calls for years – the latest example of alleged behavior that has cost the bank tens of millions.

In a complaint filed in July, attorneys for Nelson and Joyce Coniglio said that the couple had been on the receiving end of “patterns of outrageous, abusive and harassing conduct” by a subsidiary of Bank of America that included 700 calls in four years, after the bank said the couple fell behind on mortgage loan payments in 2009. The Coniglios also received "threatening collection letters asserting false and misleading information,” the complaint said.



Bank Of America’s Laughable Defense For 5 Years Of Unwanted Robocalls

BofA has reached out to Consumerist with an explanation that is too funny to just post as an update within that story.
Here’s the statement from a Sr. VP of Communications at Bank of America:

Consumerist Bank of America has helped 2 million homeowners avoid foreclosure. Our calls to the [plaintiffs] were not to collect a debt, but rather to help them avoid foreclosure after they fell behind on their mortgage payments in 2009. Because our calls were not answered and our efforts to help the [plaintiffs] avoid foreclosure were urgent, these calls continued. We are committed to help homeowners in need of assistance avoid foreclosure.”
For fun, let’s dissect the risible points of this statement.

Advisory Panel Backs Attorney's Challenge to Foreclosure Order

The Palm Beach administrative order—which has a similar counterpart in the Miami-Dade Circuit that has only been challenged through individual cases - was challenged by Tom Ice of Ice Legal.

DBR An advisory committee to the Florida Supreme Court informed the Palm Beach Circuit chief judge that an administrative order that throws out certain motions in foreclosure cases as "abandoned" is a local rule.

These abandonment rules have been watched closely by foreclosure defense attorneys and law firms representing the plaintiff mortgage lenders.


Rancho Cucamonga Pair Arrested for Stealing Title on Home and Selling it for Profit

... just like the banks have done millions of times

Felony Complaint for forgery, title fraud, grand theft, identity theft, conspiracy, etc.

District Attorney Press release According to Vega, shortly after recording the false grant deed with the County Recorder, the pair deceived the escrow and title companies and sold the house to an unsuspecting buyer for over $440,000. 

Adel and Fazah were booked on 22 felony charges with more charges pending in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Deputy District Attorney Vance Welch will prosecute this case. 

What Is the Rico Statute?

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

The statute was also designed for civil cases, with the intent to function as a restorative tool for victims of racketeering. The law stipulates that individuals who have sustained injury to property or business due to racketeering activity may sue and are entitled to three times the amount of their losses. 

Wise Geek



Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity." 

RICO also permits a private individual harmed by the actions of such racketeers to file a civil suit; if successful, the individual can collect treble damages (damages in triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages). 18 U.S.C. 


Homeowner gets all their payments back!

Wisconsin BKR Judge Orders Wells Fargo to Disgorge Payments It Received

Note will not be returned to Debtor, as even though note is not enforceable by Wells or its servicers, real party in interest may show up at some point. Debtor also did not point to any prior case law that would require return of note.

Thompson v. Wells Fargo 

Living Lies These proceedings eventually culminated in this Court’s disallowance of the proof of claim filed on behalf of Wells Fargo Bank after it was established that Wells Fargo was not the holder of the mortgage note underlying the claim. As a result, the pro se debtors filed a flurry of motions to effectuate the claim disallowance decision. This memorandum decision will hopefully end the litigation concerning the mortgage note, at least in the bankruptcy court.

The Debtors’ motion for reimbursement of the payments made on Wells Fargo’s disallowed Claim is granted, subject to offset for real estate taxes paid by Wells Fargo. Within 30 days of the date of this Order, Wells Fargo must pay $73,041.49 to the Debtors and $11,716.90 to the Chapter 13 trustee. The Debtors’ motions for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and turnover of the original note are denied. 




Loan Modification Fraud Ringleader Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison

Appraisal Buzz According to the indictment and other documents filed in the case, between September 2008 and August 2009, the defendants operated boiler rooms that collected advance fees from distressed homeowners purportedly in exchange for obtaining loan modifications for the homeowners which were, with few exceptions, never provided. All ten defendants charged in this case have pled guilty to the charges, which involved a scheme to bilk thousands of homeowners who were struggling to make their mortgage payments. 

Court overturns 2 insider trading convictions

USA Today A federal appeals court Wednesday reversed the insider trading convictions of two former hedge fund portfolio managers, dealing a major legal blow to the U.S. Justice Department.



There are numerous ways to reverse or cure the foreclosure process. We have outlined legal procedures to vacate judgements, set aside the sale etc. in other articles. One way that we have not explored in depth is the right of redemption. 

There are common law actions that might be present to allow the homeowner to redeem or reacquire the title to the home. 

My point is that even after the foreclosure judgment or foreclosure sale, don’t give up.

Related article: Get your house back after foreclosure?

Living Lies The government sponsored entities (GSEs) have long had a policy of not allowing the borrower to bid on the property at auction or even allowing the borrower to buy the house after it is foreclosed. This policy has been followed industry wide. Martha Coakley Attorney General in Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit to prohibit this practice and allow borrowers or charitable organizations to front the money to get the house back for the homeowner.

The banks are fighting this tooth and nail because of their fear of liability from insurers, investors, guarantors and counterparts on hedges like credit default swaps — all vehicles for the effective sale of the same loan over and over again. This means they could have a liability for as much as 5-10 times the stated amount on the note. So they want the foreclosure sale even if it nets nothing and the property is abandoned.


Foreclosure evictions halted for the holidays

CNN Money Yet again, the government-backed mortgage giants announced they will put a temporary halt to all foreclosure related evictions between December 17 and January 2, 2015.

"Today's announcement will bring some holiday relief to borrowers who went through (ILLEGAL) foreclosure and were preparing to move," said Chris Bowden, senior vice president of REO at Freddie Mac.


Bank of Scotland accused of ‘criminal fraud’

BANK of Scotland has been accused of “criminal fraud” by Northern Ireland’s attorney general over the way it dealt with customers who fell behind on their mortgages.

Scotsman The bank yesterday dropped its appeal against a court ruling from August that it had unfairly double-billed customers whose mortgages were in arrears. 

During the original case the High Court in Belfast heard how the bank had tackled arrears with capitalisation, a standard practice which has the effect of increasing borrowers’ monthly repayments.

The judge, Master Ellison, ruled that once capitalisation had taken place, the mortgage should no longer be considered in arrears.


With Bank of America Order, S.E.C. Breaks the Mold

The Securities and Exchange Commission has recently taken a small step toward making the cost of a violation a bit steeper by refusing to give companies a free pass.

DealBook The S.E.C. is likely to take a tougher stance in agreeing to waivers of the bad actor prohibition, which means defense lawyers will have to consider the waiver issue right from the start rather than assuming the agency will rubber-stamp requests.


Bar Examiners Abandoning Commercial Law

Credit Slips Earlier this year, the National Conference of Bar Examiners announced that Negotiable Instruments/ Commercial Paper (UCC Articles 3 and 4) will no longer be tested in the essays they draft for about 30 states. And just before Thanksgiving (ironically?), the Louisiana Sup. Ct. Committee on Bar Admissions abruptly announced that Secured Transactions (UCC Article 9) would no longer be tested on the Louisiana exam at all--this after years of very heavy testing of that material twice a year since Louisiana adopted the UCC in 1990.


Homeowners, Wells Fargo head to trial over mortgage fees

Wells Fargo is set to go to trial on Monday as homeowners seek to recoup about $629 million for alleged overcharges by a company once owned by Wachovia Corp.

Reuters Jury selection is scheduled to begin in federal court in Manhattan in a long-running class-action lawsuit concerning HomEq Servicing, a subprime mortgage servicer.

The lawsuit was filed in 2001 on behalf of borrowers whose mortgages were owned or serviced by HomEq or the lender whose loans it was established to manage, Money Store.

HomEq violated its contracts by charging attorneys' fees in foreclosure and bankruptcy and splitting them with a nonlawyer, specifically a unit of Fidelity National Information Services Inc. Sharing fees in this manner is illegal throughout the country, the lawsuit said.


U.S. Accuses Deutsche Bank of Skirting Millions in Back Taxes

DealBook Federal prosecutors in Manhattan on Monday sued Deutsche Bank, claiming that it owes the United States government about $190 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. Prosecutors contend the tax liability stems from a transaction that Deutsche Bank undertook 14 years ago.


OneWest Bank— One Step Up from Donald Duck

Well at least OneWest legally exists and it didn’t originate any loans even though it sometimes tries to give that appearance. But it is clear that this company was literally formed over a weekend to takeover IndyMac business.

Living Lies In so doing it made a number of dubious deals in which it was not to be liable for the shoddy, fabricated documents, and unlawful practices of IndyMac which claimed ownership of loans that were already sold into the secondary market and then subjected to conflicting claims of ownership. It looks like the return on investment was infinite.


Florida’s Third Species of Jurisdiction

The most common1 use of the word “jurisdiction” in Florida practice is curiously lacking in definition. Trial courts “lack jurisdiction” until proper pleadings are filed.2 They exceed “jurisdictional” limits if they order relief outside the scope of the pleadings.3 They lose (“are divested of”) jurisdiction if a voluntary dismissal is taken or when a judgment is entered, unless “jurisdiction” is specifically reserved.4 These notions of “jurisdiction” depend on a case’s procedural posture, and thus cannot be subject matter jurisdiction (SMJ) or jurisdiction in personam.

Florida Bar Subject matter jurisdiction is the power allocated to a court by constitution or statute,5 a fixture of the legal landscape that procedural events in a specific case are unlikely to change. Personal jurisdiction depends on a person’s contacts with the forum state, typically not on the pleadings.6 The concept of “jurisdiction” that is dependent on pleadings or other procedural events, therefore, must constitute a distinct third species of jurisdiction, which could be called procedural jurisdiction, or more colorfully, “greenlight jurisdiction.” Despite its importance as a principle of procedural law, its actual meaning and legal significance have yet to be confronted conclusively. Understanding the different types of jurisdiction is crucial to the practitioner because each has “its own legal significance.”7


Bank of Scotland may have committed fraud over handling of customer's mortgage payments, Attorney General claims

Telegraph UK Bank of Scotland may have committed criminal fraud in how it dealt with some customers who fell into mortgage arrears. Earlier this year a judge held that its practice of restructuring and increasing monthly installments plunged borrowers into depression.

His verdict came in three cases brought by the bank involving claims for house repossessions.


Slain MassMutual Executive Held Wall Street “Trade Secrets”

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

Information has now emerged that Millan had access to highly sensitive data on bank profits resulting from the collection of life insurance proceeds from her insurance company employer on the death of bank workers – data that a Federal regulator of banks has characterized as “trade secrets.”


A Comparison Study of Prosecution of Bank Fraud vs. Prosecution of Unarmed “Suspects” in America

The fraud epidemics cost that drove the financial crisis and the Great Recession cost our Nation $21 trillion – and no senior banker who led the frauds in even arrested. 

Findsen Law Almost no financial executive has been indicted. Instead, our “mortgage task forces” have turned to the “street level pushers,” prosecuting borrowers for so-called liar’s loan, despite scads of evidence that the Countrywides and EMCs of the era were filling in income FOR the borrower after phone interviews, bank-owned brokers were inflating income figures to originate any loan that could help fill the securitization machine, and badly underwritten loans were knowingly put into mortgage-backed-securities, often with the issuing bank taking the opposite side of the trade on the side, via credit default swaps, or shorting CDOs. 

"Riddles" Surround 36th Dead Banker Of The Year

Zero Hedge Geert Tack worked as a private banker for ING and managed portfolios of wealthy clients. The Belgian had a lot of respect in the financial world and was known as an up and top professional. His sudden disappearance was also smashed like a bomb. "If Tack himself was having trouble he has managed to keep it well hidden", say colleagues.


Horrible decision and Huge loss for HAMP Challenges

Lorrie Thompson v. Bank of America

The court's proves how out of touch it is, as it time-travels back to an 1894 decision and applies it to support modern-day securitization...

"Securitizing a note does not sever the note from the deed of trust. Under
Tennessee law, the deed of trust follows the note. Whoever holds the note owns the deed. See W.C. Early Co., 186 S.W. at 103-04; Clark v. Jones, 27 S.W. 1009, 1010 (Tenn. 1894)"

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Securitization has been proven and admitted to split the Note from the security. MERS admits it never possesses the original Note, and the lender never possesses the original security instrument that goes to MERS.  The court reaffirmed the propriety of using MERS in the transfer of mortgage notes?

READ THIS!: Over the past few years, the district courts in this circuit, particularly in Tennessee, have entertained a spate of civil actions that advance legal theories similar to Thompson’s. Like Thompson’s, many of these civil actions are scattershot affairs, tossing myriad (sometimes contradictory) legal theories at the court to see what sticks. To assist the district courts in addressing this wave of creative litigation, we will address each of Thompson’s theories in detail.


Huge loss in HAMP Challenges

Lorrie Thompson v. Bank of America

The court's gets its out of reach support for its nappy-headed decision from an 1894 decision...

"Securitizing a note does not sever the note from the deed of trust. Under
Tennessee law, the deed of trust follows the note. Whoever holds the note owns the deed. See W.C. Early Co., 186 S.W. at 103-04; Clark v. Jones, 27 S.W. 1009, 1010 (Tenn. 1894)"

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Securitization has been proven and admitted to split the Note from the security. MERS admits it never possesses the original Note, and the lender never possesses the original security instrument that goes to MERS.

READ THIS!: Over the past few years, the district courts in this circuit, particularly in Tennessee, have entertained a spate of civil actions that advance legal theories similar to Thompson’s. Like Thompson’s, many of these civil actions are scattershot affairs, tossing myriad (sometimes contradictory) legal theories at the court to see what sticks. To assist the district courts in addressing this wave of creative litigation, we will address each of Thompson’s theories in detail.


Attorney Mark Stopa Removed from Court, Threatened With Arrest

Stopa Law I recently had a trial in Sarasota where I was removed from the courtroom and threatened with arrest. This episode has been all the gossip in foreclosure-land.

Trial Transcript


Tampa couple wins $1M from Bank of America in robocall suit

The judgment amount is based on $1,500 per computer call. "If the court finds the calls were willfully and knowingly placed, it provides for trebling the damages."

The bank argued that the plaintiffs committed fraud by alleging such a large volume of calls. Further, BoA claimed it did not use an automatic telephone dialing system; that it is not a debt collector under Fair Debt Collections Practices Act; that the plaintiffs had surpassed the four-year statue of limitations; that Nelson Coniglio consented to the calls.

Tampa Bay Business Journal A federal judge in Tampa sent a clear message to Bank of America Thursday by ordering it to pay a local couple $1,051,000 for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

Plaintiffs Nelson and Joyce Coniglio of Tampa sued the nation's second largest bank in July after enduring four years of multiple robocalls per day attempting to collect mortgage debt.

BoA failed to respond to the complaint and in October the court granted a default judgment, thus awarding the Coniglios the seven-figure sum. The bank then asked the court in November to vacate the default, but on Thursday U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A Kovachevich denied that motion.

Anthony showed the court that BoA had defaulted on similar judgments 10 prior times.


“An ongoing criminal enterprise”: Why America’s housing disaster is back and wreaking terror

The crooks are back and here's what they're secretly up to.

New evidence over the last month shows that servicers employ virtually the same improper techniques when foreclosing. Instead of robo-signers, they use robo-witnesses, or robo-verifiers; more on them in a moment. Regardless, they are breaking laws and degrading the integrity of the courts to kick people out of their homes, a sad and enduring legacy of the destruction of the nation’s property system during the housing bubble years.

David Dayen


If lenders have finally begun to finish their oldest foreclosure cases, you might assume that they have moved past their problems with processing foreclosures. After all, for years, mortgage servicing companies, who file foreclosures on behalf of the owners of the loans, presented millions of false documents to courts. They also engaged in “robo-signing,” where employees signed affidavits attesting to the validity of foreclosure actions, despite having no knowledge about the underlying cases. The five leading servicers agreed to a $25 billion settlement over these problems, vowing to reform their ways.

But you would be wrong to assume that anything has changed in our foreclosure courts.

Here’s the truth. False documents and mass perjury, both criminal violations, make a mockery of the judicial system.


Wall Street Launches Assault On Your Money

Also: New Law Would Make Taxpayers Potentially Liable For TRILLIONS In Derivatives Losses

Huff Post


Economic Collapse

Taxpayer insurance helps banks secure higher credit ratings for their derivatives, since taxpayers assume some of the risk, which in turn makes the banks more profitable.


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

To date, 50 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty, as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California.



According to court documents, beginning as early as May 2008 until January 2011, Wan conspired with others not to bid against one another, and instead designate a winning bidder to obtain selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Alameda County. Wan was also charged with conspiring to use the mail to carry out a scheme to fraudulently acquire title to selected Alameda County properties sold at public auctions, to make and receive payoffs, and to divert money to co-conspirators that would have otherwise gone to mortgage holder

Eleven more California real estate investors indicted in bid rigging, mail fraud investigation

Daily Reporting Suite “Collusion at the foreclosure auctions created an unfair playing field where conspirators pocketed illegal payoffs at the expense of lenders and distressed homeowners,” said Brent Snyder, Deputy Assistant Attorney for the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program. “The division will continue to investigate and prosecute local cartels that harm the competitive process.”

2 more plead guilty in real estate auction bid-rigging case

SFGate In court papers, prosecutors accused them of conspiring with other investors to designate a winning bidder for each property rather than bidding competitively against one another, thus lowering the sale price. The conspirators often held their own auctions out of public view and made payoffs to limit the number of bidders, prosecutors said.

Get Ready for Big Increase in Mortgage Payments



h/t Max Gardner

A decade ago, the housing market was heading into the busiest years of the bubble. Ten years later, hundreds of thousands of homeowners are about to get a nasty surprise. As their loans turn 10 years old, they will see their monthly loan payments reset higher—in some cases more than double.


New York Regulator Poses Formidable Threat To Mortgage Servicers

Benjamin Lawsky, a relatively unknown New York State regulator, has put the fast-growing non-bank mortgage servicing industry’s business model in jeopardy. Look no further than Ocwen Financial for proof of a servicing segment that remains marred in uncertainty.

Forbes Ocwen is reeling following a dispute with Lawsky that killed a promising a $39 billion acquisition of Wells Fargo’s servicing rights. News of the cancelled deal in mid-November sent the company’s shares down as much as 67 percent.

Ocwen’s Wells deal was nixed in the midst of ongoing investigation by the state Department of Financial Services that seems to have seized the company’s progress.

Investors are left wondering whether Ocwen likened to a shark – will be allowed to continue feeding on new mortgages.



Bernie Madoff committed the biggest financial crime in history. He stole $64.8 billion from tens of thousands of innocent people from countries all over the world. But he did not do this alone. In fact, he could not have done this alone. He needed the assistance of a major financial institution and he needed a bank that would conceal his criminal activities. - See more at: 

Credo We the people demand that President Obama enforce the laws of the United States against financial institutions. JPMorgan Chase is an institution which is infiltrated with people who violate the law in order to generate profits. We demand that officers of JPMorgan Chase be prosecuted under RICO so that Wall Street banksters learn that crime does not pay. Clearly, the Administration’s policy of exacting penalties for criminal violations, using shareholder dollars, has done nothing to deter the rampant crime in Wall Street firms.

American needs fair banking. Banking that people can trust. We understand banking is a business and people need to earn money for services they deliver. Americans deserve honest bankers. We have been victimized enough by Wall Street crooks.


Is there any price in this economy that isn’t completely rigged?

Housing Fraud is Back – Real Estate Industry Intentionally Inflating Home Appraisals

Inflated home appraisals have become such a concern that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is looking into it. Which means precisely nothing will be done to stop it. After all, it is official government policy to encourage risky loans to keep housing bubble 2.0 inflated. Recall: Mel Watt, Federal Housing Finance Agency Head, is Pushing Banks to Make Extremely Risky Home Loans.

Zero Hedge “If you thought what was happening before was an embarrassment, wait until the second time around,” said Joan Trice, Allterra’s chief executive and founder of the Collateral Risk Network, which represents appraisers employed by lenders and other companies and has been meeting with regulators to discuss concerns about appraisers being pressured into inflating values.

Freddie Mac has found cases of appraisers submitting a suspiciously high number of reports in one day, as well as reports for properties in places where they aren’t certified or licensed to operate, according to a spokesman. It has also received tips from employees at lenders and other insiders warning of inflated valuations, he said.


How JPMorgan Rushed To Hire Trader Because He Knew How To Rig The Electricity-Market

The email read: “Please get him in ASAP.”

The voluminous report that was released simultaneously with the Senate hearings, explains the method JPMorgan used to rig the market.

Zero Hedge JPMorgan not only hired Bartholomew, according to the Senate’s findings, but within three months from the date of the email to Dunleavy, “Bartholomew began to develop manipulative bidding strategies focused on CAISO’s make-whole mechanism, called Bid Cost Recovery or BCR payments.” By early September, the strategy to game the system was put into play. By October, the JPMorgan unit was estimating that the strategy “could produce profits of between $1.5 and $2 billion through 2018.”


$178 Billion In Government Kickbacks: Meet The World's Biggest Organized Crime Syndicate

Sure enough: when one is a criminal syndicate, the largest in world history, paying litigation kickbacks in the hundreds of billions to the government is just the cost of "doing business."

Zero Hedge And here is the absolute punchline: the Sicilian, or Russian, or Japanese, or Chinese, or any other mob, they all had one or more members thrown in jail for good measure.

Just how many bankers have ended up in prison in the past 6 years?

This may be a trick question.


"We Are All In A Ponzi-World Right Now, Hoping To Get Bailed-Out By The Next Person"

The Minsky moment is the crash. Like all crashes it is easier to explain it afterwards than to time it before. But I think it is obvious that the endgame is near.

Zero Hedge The late economist Hyman Minsky defined three ways of borrowing: hedge borrowing where borrowers were able to pay interest and principal out of income, speculative borrowing were the borrower could pay the interest but not the principal and relied on someone paying the same price for the asset like he did and Ponzi borrowing were the borrower could not pay the principal nor the interest and hoped that he be bailed out by the next buyer. We all are in a Ponzi world right now. Hoping to be bailed out by the next person. The problem is that demographics alone have to tell us, that there are fewer people entering the scheme then leaving. More people get out than in. Which means, by definition, that the scheme is at an end. 


No. Carolina Appeals Court Approves Dismissal of Foreclosure With Prejudice

First Federal Bank v. Aldridge

"we hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice."

Living Lies There are several interesting features to this appellate case, not the least of which is that it comes from North Carolina which has not been particularly friendly to borrowers. What is interesting is that the court was looking at the substance of the transaction and finding that the the bank was playing games and now wanted to play more. The trial court said no, and then the appellate court said no. The decision is one year old but was recently brought to my attention of a litigant who is confronting the “bank” that claims rights to collect, enforce and foreclose.


Former Foreclosure-Mill attorney hit with wrongful foreclosure

When she answered her door, she found Curt Whitlock, an agent with a Lee's Summit company called Scoian Properties LLC, flanked by two Kansas City police officers. Whitlock told her that her home had been foreclosed on, and he would return in a week to change the locks and throw out any possessions that Pruett left in the condo.

That was news to Pruett, who claims that she had neither defaulted on her loan nor received notice of a foreclosure sale. She may turn out to be a tougher foreclosure than most; she once worked as a loan-enforcement lawyer at Polsinelli, a law firm that made a bundle during the foreclosure crisis.

  In fact, Pruett's case features a cast of usual suspects involved in the housing downturn that sparked the Great Recession, in which thousands of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure, many due to a loan-approval process that didn't verify information or intentionally misstated a borrower's ability to repay. But the glut of default paperwork also resulted in scores of bogus foreclosures. Pruett's case may be one of them.

Pruett filed a federal lawsuit in the Western District of Missouri claiming that Wells Fargo, little-known housing business MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc.), and St. Louis law firm Kozeny & McCubbin (which has offices in Fairway) carried out a racketeering operation. If Pruett's claims are true, then they are emblematic of the sloppy foreclosure process that lingers after a glut of mortgage defaults, one that more Missourians are fighting in court.


Mortgage Servicers Face Further Scrutiny from Fannie, Freddie: Report

Nonbank mortgage servicers are already in the crosshairs of regulators. Now they will face even more scrutiny from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

National Mortgage News The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the government-sponsored enterprises, issued an advisory bulletin on Monday requiring Fannie and Freddie to develop a risk management framework with ongoing monitoring of mortgage servicers that service loans insured by Fannie and Freddie. 


Bank of America foreclosure dismissal moves forward $70M jury trial against bank

The salacious scandal over convoluted Bank of America 2006 transactions between the bank and Fisher’s husband embroiled the author after the bank opened an unverified limited liability company account and took in deposit monies that permeated Fisher’s marital life.

Amended Complaint

Order Granting Dismissal

Several more links included.

PR News Channel The bank’s account opening triggered a seven-year nightmare and legal-quagmire odyssey through 14 civil courts for Fisher. Her life in shambles with debt and an impossible-to-pay $33.3 million judgment, Fisher fought back but could not get out from behind-the-eight-ball untenable situation she was thrust into. She sued Bank of America in 2011 for negligence and responsibility.

Bank of America dropped their foreclosure case against author TJ Fisher at a recent bench trial after bank attorneys missed a court deadline and Motion-in-limine hearing and were barred from presenting documents or witnesses.



Caught in a mortgage scam? There's an app for that

Lohud Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today announced a new web-based app called AGScamHelp to link homeowners at risk of foreclosure with a qualified agency within the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program, free of cost.


Innovative Lawsuits Test the Credibility of Securitized Loans

The lesson for the perpetrators of crimes, predatory loans and so forth is that they can’t cover everything. There are too many ways that they faked the deals from top to bottom. Mail fraud might be one of them. And as you will see, talking to the borrower might be another. One lawsuit against US Bank shows that anyone who really does their homework might be able to take down Goliath with just such an innocuous provision.

Living Lies The more you drill down on the existing laws, rules and regulations the more violations you will find. And when it comes to foreclosing, anyone watching this nightmare unfold must get to to wondering about why all of these deals went to foreclosure instead of workouts. The answer is that the foreclosure judgment and the foreclosure sale is part of a massive cover-up of massive fraud. And for the most part, the government has decided to (a) not prosecute real claims for real damages and real crimes and (b) not provide individual homeowners with information already obtained about their homes, their mortgages and their foreclosures that would shut the process down if known. The latter is what most irks Elizabeth Warren who now officially speaks for the average American and who seeks a level playing field in the Senate of the U.S. Congress.


WAMU v. Wallace

The trial court's finding that it did not have jurisdiction over the instant case and its dismissal of WaMu's foreclosure action is reversed,
and the matter is remanded for consideration of Wallace's motion to vacate a void judgment. 

TWELFTH APPELLATE DISTRICT OF OHIO Wallace asserted the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the action as a result of WaMu's lack of standing, and therefore the judgment in favor of WaMu was void. Wallace also filed a motion to vacate the sheriff sale
set for June 1, 2009. The trial court granted the motion and cancelled the sheriff's sale.


Cook County Sues Wells Fargo on Predatory Lending Charges

Mortgage Professional The lawsuit, which was filed on the day after Thanksgiving, claimed that Wells Fargo’s lending activities resulted in increased profits based on the value of the underlying assets and loan terms of approximately 26,000 loans. Cook County argued that such lending practices were responsible for an increase in local foreclosures following the 2008 economic crash, and is seeking damages totaling $300 million.


New Lawsuit Creates New Danger for HUD Foreclosures

While the current Ohio-based case is on weak footing based on the U.S. Justice Department’s refusal to intervene in that action (usually a fatal blow to most False Claims Act cases), it is unclear what the Justice Department would do in the event multiple copy-cat claims were filed in other jurisdictions. Indeed, one can see why the Justice Department would be reluctant at this particular time to bring another wave of mortgage related lawsuits against lenders. 

Mortgage Servicing News A lawsuit alleges that lenders that fail to take required loss mitigation steps prior to foreclosing on Department of Housing and Urban Development loans have violated the False Claims Act. The gist of the complaint, which a legal aid group recently filed, is related to the fact that HUD makes payments to the lenders on these guaranteed mortgages. However, a condition of every HUD loan (and thus a condition supporting these payments) is that the lender must undertake certain loss mitigation measures before foreclosing on the loan. If the lender fails to take these steps and still receives the money from HUD based on the representation it would/did take such actions, it allegedly creates the basis for a False Claims Act action.
White Paper


W. Dean Wagner

Duke University

When it can be proved that a judgment of a court was obtained by fraud, the question -arises whether or not it can be set aside and a new trial had. The problem to be discussed here is when can relief be obtained. Two different procedures are to be distinguished:


Deutsche Bank Fails Again

A prior state court judgment bars the relief Deutsche Bank seeks, so the Bank cannot state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Deutsche Bank refused, in five years of further proceedings following entry of that judgment, to ask the state court to fix the supposed error, and it refuses even now to make that request in post-judgment proceedings.

Ken McLeod This Court lacks jurisdiction to change the state court judgment by fixing the error Deutsche Bank contends underlies it. Whichever way one comes at it, the McLeods’ Motion to Dismiss must be granted. This dismissal will leave Deutsche Bank free to seek correction in the state court, if it can justify its five-year delay, or to reacquire the note and deed of trust from the current holder. It can then seek amendment of the state court judgment based on changed circumstances to allow foreclosure based on the new endorsement. 


Bronx Man Seizes Home from Bank

A Bronx man says he has used New York’s “adverse possession” law to reclaim his home in, six months after Wells Fargo foreclosed on the property and evicted him.

Despite the “unlawful foreclosure,” Gordon said Judge Friedlander approved the action without any documents in the record establishing standing for Wells Fargo.

Gordon said that with “limited legal assistance,” he researched his rights under the “claim of right” statute and re-took physical possession of his property because “there is no valid document that Wells Fargo lawyers can present to challenge my claim.

Street Hype “That is to say, there was no assignment of mortgage in the case file and one was not filed in the City Register until six months after a judgment of foreclosure was signed by the judge,” Gordon explained. “The foreclosure was filed and executed with no assignment in the exhibits.

After a ten-year battle, Gordon said he got his deed restored from the Referee’s Deed to a Corrected Index Deed and a Nullification of the Assignment of Mortgage, by invoking NY PL175.35 offering a false instrument for filing.

Joseph Fucito of the New York City Sheriff evicted him from his home without notice and with the threat of bodily harm, accompanied by offensive racial epithets. “In addition to this reckless action, the Sheriffs seized an adjacent lot/garage that was not a part of the foreclosure action,” 

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