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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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Texas Justice and Juries are Not for Sale (Sure they are.)

The right to a trial before an impartial jury of citizens is the fundamental principle of our judiciary system under the U.S. Constitution. When a jury verdict or the actions of a court raise questions about the law, the state appellate courts provide a forum to consider, interpret and rule on those questions. Tragically, in recent years, Texans have witnessed the denigration of juries and the erosion of the judiciary by the very body entrusted to protect both—the Texas Supreme Court.

SacBee During the decade spanning 2000-2010, the members of your Texas Supreme Court found that Texas juries—made up of every day, hardworking Texans - were wrong an astonishingly 74 percent of the time, overwhelmingly favoring the position of corporate defendants over small businesses, consumers and families. This lopsided practice is further revealed in a recent edition of the Baylor Law Review, in which the author notes: "[O]f the thirty-one major causation opinions the court has issued since [1995], only four decided the causation issue in favor of the plaintiff. The remainder found a way to benefit the defendant, most overturning jury verdicts, and many overturning courts of appeals' decisions that found sufficient evidence of causation."

Renting Judges for Secret Rulings

Delawarehas long been a magnet for corporate litigation because of its welcoming tax structures and the court’s business expertise. Yet the State Legislature became concerned that Delaware was losing its “pre-eminence” in corporate litigation to a growing market in private dispute resolution.

NY Times Opinion To compete, Delaware passed a law in 2009 offering new privileges to well-heeled businesses. If litigants had at least $1 million at stake and were willing to pay $12,000 in filing fees and $6,000 a day thereafter, they could use Delaware’s chancery judges and courtrooms for what was called an “arbitration” that produced enforceable legal judgments.

Instead of open proceedings, filings would not be docketed, the courtroom would be closed to the public and the outcome would be secret.


The Judge recognized the issue of material fact where JPM is taking the position that it has the right to enforce the Note, but JPM’s own former management employee testified under oath that there is no evidence of any transfer of any mortgage loans from WaMu to JPM and no schedule of any mortgage loans purchased from the FDIC.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The homeowner also filed a excerpt from JPM’s Motion for Summary Judgment in a case filed against it and the FDIC by Deutsche Bank in the District of Columbia Federal Court, where JPM admits that it was NOT the “successor in interest” to WaMu, and that it only purchased certain defined assets and liabilities. This admission, of course, is in direct contradiction to the position taken by JPM in thousands of foreclosures nationally where it falsely asserted that it is the “successor in interest” to WaMu.


US Bank v. Nelson

Wisconsin Court of Appeals The Nelsons argue that the affidavits submitted by U.S. Bank in support of its summary judgment motion fail to aver that the affiants have personal knowledge of the procedure by which the records attached to the affidavit were created. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse the order of the circuit court.


In Debt Collection Case, FTC Sends Refund Checks to Consumers

FTC In 2013, the FTC charged both companies with violating the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for allegedly deceiving consumers by charging them an extra fee for paying by telephone, and falsely threatening to sue consumers in order to get them to pay.


JPMorgan Chase class-action settlement is approved

Class member's Settlement information

WSJ A federal judge approved a settlement Friday of a class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase for its force-placed insurance practices, an agreement that could pay more than $300 million to about 750,000 mortgage borrowers.


Citigroup Revises Earnings on Fraud in Mexico

Citigroup said on Friday that it was revising its results for the fourth quarter and 2013 after it discovered fraud at a subsidiary in Mexico.

DealBook Citigroup later discovered that Oceanografia had been suspended by the government from winning new contracts and began reviewing the financing program.

Based on that review, Citigroup estimated that only $185 million of the $585 million of accounts receivables owed to Banamex were valid at the end of the year.


Fannie and Freddie Plaintiffs Eye FDIC Share Sales

The question boils down to this: Did the FDIC trade on inside information from the Treasury Department?

The Street Few noticed when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) sold some 31 million preferred shares of Fannie Mae  and Freddie Mac on three separate dates in spring 2011, but as a legal battle heats up between the U.S. government and private shareholders of the Government Sponsored Enterprises, those transactions are taking on new significance.

Sallie Mae Student Loan Horror Stories Bring a Slap on the Wrist

The Street Even while many seem to get the shaft by being stuck in a cycle of ever-increasing student loan debt, lender Sallie Mae has been making record profits -- even as it has been found violating laws and its own contractual obligations to the federal government, according to a report released in January by the National Consumer Law Center.


Why Did This Servicer Sell Current Loans Along with Bad Ones? (Because they, like the others, have been doing it for decades and the IRS has refused to prosecute.)

SN Servicing Corp., based in Baton Rouge, La., sold an undisclosed number of loans at a loss from a real estate investment conduit created back in 2002.

Mortgage Servicing News The company says it sold some good loans along with bad ones to get a better price for the package, mitigating the loss to investors.

But selling current loans out of a REMIC is generally considered a no-no that could jeopardize the trust's tax breaks, barring certain circumstances. Moody's Investors Service recently withdrew its ratings for the deal, saying SN Servicing failed to respond to requests for data to support the company's interpretation that the sale of the performing loans was not taxable.


Civil Rights Groups Rally at Capitol for Emergency Foreclosure Moratorium

“My house is currently in foreclosure and it should not be in foreclosure,” said Cook Johnson. “I never defaulted on a loan.”

The Sentinel Cook Johnson, who initially sought a modification on her Annapolis home in 2007, has since had her mortgage sold to three different banks. Even after filing for bankruptcy to pay off the mortgage, she said her home was still foreclosed on. After years of battling the banks and never having defaulted once, Cook Johnson finally went to the NAACP last November for help.

Blind Manchester teen helps stop foreclosure auction of her house

Lindsey Vachon, 17, wrote a letter that helped her family stay in home.

WMUR Lindsey wrote a letter, which ended up with Stellionata Consulting, which provides foreclosure defense litigation support. The company connected the Vachons with attorney Stephen Martin, who said the facts showed the Vachons should not have to leave their home.

Homeowners facing foreclosure seek help

WWLP “No one is standing up for the homeowners,” said Heather Gordon, of Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending. “You go to the Attorney General’s office; you’re put on a waiting list. You tell your stories and all you do is get embarrassed and frustrated.”

Where Does This Man Go To Get 25 Years Back?

We post this to raise the question: How are the courts going to redress homeowners who wasted years fighting the felonious seizure of their home using a well-documented, corrupt, rigged and manifestly unjust justice system? 

Brennan Center for Justice The United States Supreme Court didn’t even need to hold an oral argument to know that Alabama had denied this man his constitutional rights. In a unanimous, unsigned opinion, the justices agreed that Hinton’s trial lawyer had been so manifestly incompetent that the death row inmate’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel had been violated. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it took our nation’s courts more than 25 years to bring a measure of justice to this man — and he’s still not through yet with Alabama’s manifestly unjust justice system.


Full post

FHFA Reaches $122 Million Accord With Société Générale Over MBS

Under the terms of the agreement, Société Générale will pay roughly half of the settlement monies to Fannie Mae and half to Freddie Mac and certain claims against Société Générale related to the securities involved will be released. 

National Mortgage Professional The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it has reached a settlement with Société Générale, related companies and specifically named individuals for $122 million. The settlement resolves claims in the lawsuit FHFA v. Société Générale, et al alleging violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with private-label mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during 2006.

This is the eighth settlement FHFA has announced in relation to the 18 PLS lawsuits the agency filed in 2011. FHFA remains committed to satisfactory resolution of the remaining actions.


(Illegal) Foreclosure Time Approaches 1000 Days, But There are Fewer of Them

Valid foreclosures take less than 30 days. Illegal foreclosures involving complex crimes take much longer.

Mortgage News Daily Foreclosure statistics continue to improve in the "first look" at January data provided Thursday by Black Knight Financial Services. While the time needed to complete a foreclosure increased yet again to 943 days, many of the other measures of mortgage distress hit new post-crisis lows


5 things Ocwen did to quiet critics

Housing Wire It's a distressed business. People are going to be unhappy with the liquidation of their homes. That's not Ocwen's fault, is it?

Answer: YES!  Ocwen is an established criminal enterprise that has been  stealing homes since the 1980s.


Bank of America Says NO to the $2.1 Billion Fraud Penalty

KP Insider The bank lawyers said that the government request “contradicts every pertinent legal principle” and termed this has a “dramatic departure from reality,” the filing stated. Bank of America stated in the filing that if it has to pay, it should only pay the amount it made has profits after selling the loans of which it contended to be zero.


Another Wall Street firm seems set to buy its way out of a legal jam

When is a crime not a crime? Apparently when it happens on Wall Street.

L.A. Times It appears it’s about to happen again. Morgan Stanley said this week that it has a preliminary agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to pay a $275-million fine to end an investigation of its subprime mortgage business (the SEC has yet to accept it). Oh, and it won’t have to admit that it did anything wrong. And since it didn’t do anything wrong, no one in the firm was guilty of anything.
How neat and tidy. And how obscene.


Ocwen Federal Bank and the Quadrature of the Circle
Each a Fraud

Dale Robertson


This article was sent to MSfraud in 2003, but we were asked to keep it confidential until today. It was used in part during closing arguments in the 2005 Davis trial. "The Ocwen Story", linked at the bottom, reports on the Davis trial; The $11.5 million dollar verdict on a $31,000 loan.


Mortgage Servicer’s Ties Raise Regulatory Concern

In the view of critics, these businesses are rife with potential conflicts because some aren’t entirely separate from each other.

For example, Ocwen and a spinoff, Altisource Portfolio Solutions, were employing the same chief risk officer, who was reporting directly to Mr. Erbey in both capacities

DealBook Regulators and investors, which actually own most of the loans Ocwen services, are also questioning the unusual arrangements between Ocwen — “new co” backward — and four other publicly traded companies where Mr. Erbey is chairman. The companies do things from buying up delinquent loans to renting out foreclosed houses.

Ocwen also contracts with some of Mr. Erbey’s other companies. And some of the other companies hire Ocwen.


Foreclosures Surging in New York-New Jersey Market

About a 15-minute drive south of Fisher, a court officer knocked on the door of the two-story home on Newark’s west side that Janet Hopes-Edrington shares with her elderly parents. The officer served her with foreclosure papers.

Bloomberg Hopes-Edrington, 50, said she had filed the necessary paperwork to modify the terms of payments with her lender in December and was surprised to learn it was pursuing a foreclosure. Now, she’s contemplating having to move along with her infirm parents.

Hopes-Edrington, who lives on Social Security disability benefits, fell behind on her mortgage after losing her job at the Internal Revenue Service and hasn’t made a mortgage payment since July 2012.

“That’s the thing that’s getting me, I can’t easily relocate,” she said. “I have no idea what I’m going to do.”


Credit Suisse helped wealthy Americans cheat the IRS 

Swiss banking giant Credit ­Suisse helped wealthy Americans hide billions of dollars from U.S. tax collectors for several years and federal prosecutors have done little to hold violators accountable.

Washington Post The allegations were particularly stunning in the face of the budget cuts and deficits that the United States faces, lawmakers said. The report casts the Justice Department as a hapless enforcer that has dragged its feet in getting Credit Suisse to turn over the names of some 22,000 U.S. customers.

Prosecutors have been aware of the misconduct at Credit Suisse for at least four years, in which time they have indicted seven bankers and launched a probe of the institution, according to the report. But no one has stood trial, and the bank has not been held legally accountable.


How the Fed Let the World Blow Up in 2008

Atlantic The world changed on August 9, 2007. That's when French bank BNP Paribas announced that it wouldn't let investors withdraw money from its subprime funds anymore. It couldn't value them, because nobody wanted to buy them. The effect was immediate. Banks stopped trusting, and lending to, each other. They all had their own subprime problems, but none of them knew whose was the worst—or who had insured whom.


Fannie Mae Is Surging Like Crazy, And Big Hedge Funders Are Making A Killing

But because Fannie was put under the government umbrella during the housing crash, the company has to pay its profits to the U.S. Treasury, not shareholders.

Business Insider It looks like shares of a penny stock are on fire, rocketing 40% in the last five days and 1500% over the last year, nearing that big $5 mark.

Only one problem: The stock is Fannie Mae, the government-controlled mortgage giant.
















Glaski v. Bank of America 

Banks' Request for Depublication Denied by Calif. Supreme Court

The impact of the Supreme Court's landmark decision is enormous, giving irrefutable authority to homeowners who are facing foreclosure or who've already been foreclosed on, to seek damages for wrongful foreclosure.


United Law Center

Press release


A five judge panel of the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the request of the five major banks to have the decision in Glaski v. Bank of America depublished. While the banks could have attempted to appeal the controversial Glaski decision, they feared a ruling upholding Glaski by the Supreme Court, and instead chose to seek depublication and lost.

"We're ecstatic about the Calif. Supreme Court's decision. It's yet another indication of the direction in which the law is turning directly in favor of California homeowners, - attorney Stephen Foondos of United Law Center.

The Reason the Bank Wanted Glaski Depublished

  From the Opinion: "We conclude that, although the borrower's allegations are somewhat confusing and may contain contradictions, he nonetheless has stated a wrongful foreclosure claim under the lenient standards applied to demurrers. We conclude that a borrower may challenge the securitized trust's chain of ownership by alleging the attempts to transfer the deed of trust to the securitized trust (which was formed under New York law) occurred after the trust's closing date.

Transfers that violate the terms of the trust instrument are void under New York trust law, and borrowers have standing to challenge void assignments of their loans even though they are not a party to, or a third party beneficiary of, the assignment agreement. We therefore reverse the judgment of dismissal and remand for further proceedings."


Glaski Court refuses to “depublish” decision, two judges recuse themselves

The Supreme Court of the state of California is reasserting its position that if entity ABC wants to collect on a debt in California, then that particular entity must own the debt. This is basic common sense and simply follows article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. If a court were to adopt the position of the banks, then a new industry would be born, to wit: spying on people to determine whether or not they are behind on any payment to anyone and then beating the real creditor to court, filing a complaint and getting a judgment without the real creditor even knowing about it. The Supreme Court of the state of California obviously understands this.


Living Lies This is not really complicated although the words used are complicated. If you find out that your neighbor is behind in payments on their credit cards, it is obvious that you can't serve your neighbor and collect. You don't own the debt because you never loaned any money and because you never purchased the debt. If you are allowed to sue and collect on the credit card debt, you and the court would be committing a fraud on the actual creditor. This is why it is absurd for lawyers or judges to say "what difference does it make who they are the debt to? They stopped making payments and they are clearly in default." Any lawyer or judge makes that statement is wrong. It lacks the foundation of the factual determinations required to establish the existence of the debt, the current balance of the debt after deductions for all payments received from all parties on this account, and the ownership of the debt.

The banks are desperate because they know they are not the owner of the debt; they are not the creditor; they have no authority to represent the creditor; and their actions are contrary to the interests of the creditor. They are pushing millions of homeowners into foreclosure, or luring them into an apparent default and foreclosure with false promises of modification and settlement.


Delegate argues for 6-month foreclosure freeze

Business groups: Let foreclosures run course so market will recover. (and we can cover-up our crimes.)

WBAL Braveboy told the committee her bill could lead to canceling many impending foreclosures.

She said some of these involve robo-signing, in which mortgage industry employees approve documents they haven't read and use fake signatures. In some cases, banks don't have legal authority to carry out foreclosures, but since the borrowers don't have attorneys, no one halts the process.

During the moratorium, the state investigates the banks' practices and considers further protections for borrowers, Braveboy said.


Republicans take on Wall Street

To call this development a sea change would be like calling the Grand Canyon a ditch.

Politico For decades, Republicans have decried the smallest tax increase on businesses, arguing it would kill jobs and hurt hard-working Americans. Congressional Republicans have protected Wall Street from the tiniest of tax increases — leaving in place narrowly tailored provisions that have enriched hedge fund managers and kept bank profits high. New taxes were unthinkable.


New York Regulator Asks Ocwen to Explain Potential Conflicts

DealBook Benjamin M. Lawsky, head of New York State’s Department of Financial Services, said he was concerned that potential conflicts between Ocwen and four other publicly traded companies led by Ocwen’s founder could “harm borrowers and push homeowners unduly into foreclosure.” 


Bank of America’s legal problems pile up

Bank says it’s facing inquiries over foreign-exchange trading and other practices.

Market Watch The country’s second-largest bank by assets said in a regulatory filing late Tuesday that it is facing investigations into its foreign-exchange trading and its involvement in a government mortgage program. It is worried that its legal expenses could shoot higher.

In some ways, Bank of America’s  problems could signal that regulators are shifting their focus from rival J.P. Morgan

Moody's warns mortgage servicers may turn to offering risky loans

Reuters Credit rating agency Moody's Corp warned that mortgage servicers such as Ocwen Financial Corp could be pushed into subprime lending as their core business comes under increased regulatory scrutiny.


Pro-Bank Judge Rules Against the Bank


The tide is actually turning my friends, and Teilborg (of all people) is riding the crest of the new wave. All the other District Court Judges should follow him. Especially exciting is his decision to follow the 11th circuit on FDCPA that foreclosure is collection of a debt, over all the bogus AZ Dist. Ct. decisions saying otherwise.

Ken McLeod Judge Teilborg, PHX Dist Court Judge notorious for his anti-homeowner rulings, has finally come across the dark side and ruled for a homeowner screwed over by BofA and Deutsche Bank. This is a huge Order coming from Judge Teilborg. His decision incorporates the latest rulings, including Steinberger V. MacVey. He further rules that a phony offer of a loan modification constitutes a cause of action for fraud and breach of contract.

The Schwartz case is the real killer on that argument and is not even cited, but this is great!


The County Recorder’s office is a crime scene, and it is a crime in progress that must be stopped.

George Mantor Citizens have lost their right to due process as 96% of all foreclosures go uncontested because of forged documents.

Across the country, other County Recorders have stood up to the bankstas and put a stop to filing forgeries. John O’Brien, Jeff Thigpen, and Curtis Hertel stopped accepting forged documents on behalf of the residents of their respective counties. It can be done. 


Bank of America Discloses 2 New Investigations

DealBook Bank of America said that it was facing two new investigations related to its activities in foreign currency exchange markets and its handling of government-backed mortgages in the United States.

The banks said in a securities filing late Tuesday that it was cooperating with both inquiries. Traders at multiple global banks are under investigation over allegations that they manipulated the price of foreign currencies.


S.&P., in Lawsuit Defense, Seeks Documents About Obama-Geithner Meetings

In its latest filing, S.&P. is seeking more than just documents about the meetings. It also wants a preview of Mr. Geithner’s forthcoming memoirs.

DealBook S.&P. has argued that the fraud lawsuit was “retaliation” for its downgrade of United States long-term debt in August 2011, when the country lost its sterling AAA rating for the first time.

The ratings firm is now seeking any documents detailing a meeting between Mr. Geithner and Mr. Obama that occurred shortly before Mr. Geithner had an angry phone call with the chairman of S.&P.’s parent company

'Single Point of Contact' Not Enough When Handling Troubled Loans

Mortgage Servicing News By now, every servicer appreciates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's single-point-of-contact expectations and the importance of using this staffing model to manage distressed borrowers. However, in order to outperform, servicers must go beyond SPOC and develop a “case ownership” perspective that more closely links all the people involved in servicing a borrower’s loan.


Morgan Stanley Reaches Agreement With S.E.C. on Mortgage Bonds

DealBook Morgan Stanley has tentatively agreed to pay $275 million to resolve a federal securities investigation related to subprime mortgage bonds the investment firm underwrote in 2007.

The firm said it would not admit any wrongdoing in the matter, which represents one of the final cases that the agency was building against a Wall Street firm over its activities leading up to the financial crisis.


SCOTUS: Why Lujan

Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife

Stop Foreclosure Fraud While the current events are not about endangered species, per se, ironically, it is time to start addressing a new endangered specie being threatened as a result of the destruction or adverse modification of habitat that has reached a critical mass over the last 5 years. For decades we have looked out for and protected, as we should, innocent species and their rights to live and survive without threats of man-made devices. Now we, as individuals and families are the ones being threatened in our habitats by the MILLIONS, yet no entity or agency is doing anything about it. We have become the new endangered species and it is time the focus is on us and our habitats.

U.S. and Britain Join Forces in Bank Misbehavior Cases

DealBook It seemed to be a thumb in the eye of the Justice Department. Britain last week criminally charged a former Barclays employee suspected of trying to manipulate global interest rates, even though the authorities in London were aware that the employee had been assisting American prosecutors in a related investigation for more than a year.

Repeat from 11/13

Tipline Investigation: Foreclosure Activists Claim Billions Stolen Using Fraudulent Records

Group alleges bogus real estate documents led to foreclosures

Comment from Renee: The county clerks office CAN do something and has to. The term for what these crooks recording these FAKE documents is, is "PAPER TERRORISM" and it is ALL county and authorities duty to STOP THE CORRUPTION! 

KEYT The problem is that it is systematic and with PROOF of findings we have connected the court clerks, recorders offices, judges, lawyers, mortgage brokers and more DOING THIS IN UNISON AND ALL COLLECTING ON THE FRAUD! The SEC, FTC, CFPB, HUD, OCC, and more ALL know this fraud is happening and it is time that the homeowners are FREED FROM THIS FRAUD! Paper Terrorism is killing our country, stealing our homes, destroying our health and systematically unjustly enriching those doing it! WHY ISN'T IT BEING STOPPED? Why else, THE AUTHORITIES AND CROOKS ARE MAKING TOO MUCH $$$$. 

Prosecute the Criminals, not the Victims

US BANK was found liable for ACTUAL fraud on Feb 7, and the jury awarded $5 million in punitive damages, because their actions were heinous and malicious.

Timothy Racicot is is possession of the forged and altered deeds, along with other federal documents that were used in this fraud. These include federally required RESPA documents, multiple altered deeds of trust and more.

Mary McCulley
Owensboro, KY
I reported this to the FBI in 2011, and they shoved me under the rug. I reported these forgeries and fraud to every state and federal agency I could find. No one would help. Instead, it took me almost 7 years to prove the fraud - which I did.

The fraud was egregious and deliberate, -it was planned, and the guy who forged the deeds with the bank? - American Land Title Company where many of the documents were copied, and changed? - He had ME arrested claiming I told him I was an FBI agent and stole his birthday card.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The federal government now has PROOF of the fraud, and they want to throw me in prison, because they would rather believe a thief and a forger than me, the victim.


Citi allowed to self-police operations

Deutsche Bank is not as lucky.

Housing Wire Other firms, such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan were also reportedly granted such freedom.

German megabank, Deutsche Bank did not get a similar accord and will significantly adjust its American businesses.


Bank Lawyers Beware!

Based upon a recent decision in New York State, I believe we’re going to see some serious prosecutions against attorneys for the pretender lenders.

Living Lies It is unfair to attribute unethical conduct to an attorney who was merely advocating on behalf of a client and taking positions with which you do not agree. False filings will also create a paper jam in which the real filings for real violations get lost. SO don’t take this article as a green light to pepper the Bar Associations with vague grievances.

The Government and the AGs SOLD US OUT!

William Wagener  Candice JONES, a retired Bank expert with 38 years experience in Banking, exposes the failure of California Atty. General Kamala HARRIS to do right, Exposes Ms. Harris deliberate aiding and Abetting the Bank Gangsters, flat out says, "you SOLD US OUT".
A rare expose' by Ms. Jones just scratches the surface. Ms. Jones also names New York State Atty. General as the only one who did NOT sell out the People.


HSBC Lays Out New Pay Plan for Top Executives

DealBook Banking giants in London, including Barclays but also Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, have been seeking new ways to compensate their senior staff after efforts by the financial services industry to lobby in Brussels against the new bonus rules failed.


# 9

Another "Successful Banker" Found Dead

Zero Hedge Former National Bank of Commerce CEO James Stuart Jr. was found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz., the morning of Feb. 19. A family spokesman did not say what caused the death. This brings the total of banker deaths in recent weeks to 9 as Stuart is sadly survived by three sons and four daughters.



This appeal concerns the parol evidence rule and its application to the
facts and circumstances surrounding the execution of a promissory note.

We hold that the trial court erred in granting plaintiff-appellee/cross appellant Chase Home Finance, LLC’s, (“Chase”) Civ.R. 12(C) motion for judgment on the pleadings with respect to counterclaims for fraud in the inducement, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and promissory estoppel filed by defendantsappellants/
cross-appellees Diane and Colin Literski (“the Literskis”). The trial court erred in converting the counterclaims for fraud in the inducement and negligent misrepresentation into affirmative defenses. And, because application of the parol evidence rule was barred by the fraudulent inducement exception at this stage of the proceedings, the court erred in dismissing the Literskis’ counterclaims on this basis.


Fed’s Aid in 2008 Crisis Stretched Worldwide

Events had been set in motion that would drive the unemployment rate to double digits and cause half a decade of economic misery.

NY Times So began what would become the biggest United States government bailout that most people do not know anything about.

The new transcripts, released Friday after a customary five-year delay, shed light on one of the most significant but least understood parts of the Fed’s expansive rescue efforts in the crisis.



Bank of America May Owe You $40 for Nagging You

Motley Fool If you were harassed by automated cell phone debt-collection calls on behalf of Bank of America over the past few years, you may be eligible for compensation -- but you need to file a claim before March 21, or you'll be out of luck.

Bank of America settled a suit back in September alleging that it illegally harassed customers with requests for debt repayment using robocalls directed to their cell phones. The $32 million settles those allegations, as well as any future claims that might have arisen from the bank's 7.7 million mortgage and credit card customers.


Another Sudden Death of JPMorgan Worker: 34-Year Old Jason Alan Salais

A family member confirmed to Wall Street On Parade that Salais died of a heart attack on the same evening the report of distress went in to the police. The incidence of heart attack or myocardial infarction among men aged 20 to 39 is one half of one percent of the population.

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

When a rash of sudden deaths occur among a most unlikely cohort of 30-year olds at a bank that has just settled felony charges and been put on notice that it will be indicted if it commits any further felonies; when it is currently under investigation on multiple continents for potentially committing criminal acts in the realm of interest rate and/or foreign exchange rigging — for the press to cavalierly call these deaths “non suspicious” before inquests have been conducted and findings released by medical examiners shows an unseemly indifference to a worker’s life and an alarming insensitivity to the grief stricken families still searching for answers.

(Robo-testifiers and the Myth of Trustworthy Bank Records)

Tom Ice

Ice Legal

The greatest threat to due process in foreclosure litigation since the days of robo-signing is at full tilt in courtrooms across the state. While the nation was appalled at the discovery that financial institutions were regularly foreclosing on homes with summary judgment affidavits that were not based on personal knowledge, it has taken little notice of the fact that this same flippant disregard of the Rules of Evidence has simply moved into the courtroom.


Private Equity and the Crapification of Rental Housing: Questions from a Newbie

Lambert Strether

with Bill Black

The FIRE guys drove the prices up through speculation, sold the houses high, crashed the market, and bought the same damn houses*** them low (extracting fees at every stage of the cycle). Sure, some individual FIRE guys got caught standing when the music stopped playing, but as a class, they did fine in the crash, just fine.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Statewide Results Of Homeowner Protection Program

NY Attorney General Watch the full press conference here. And check out some facts and figures on New York's "zombie home" epidemic, which the Attorney General's legislation would tackle head on.

Wells Fargo returns to subprime lending: Good or bad?

Star Tribune It was a cascade of defaults in this kind of junk that almost brought down the financial system. And now Wells Fargo, the nation’s top home lender and Minnesota’s biggest bank, is reaching down to subprime credit scores of 600 to grab a few more dollars of loan origination revenue, suggesting that it hasn’t learned a thing.

A New Light on Regulators in the Dark

Equally distressing, as the credit storm gathered strength after the Bear Stearns collapse, the minutes show little comprehension of the perils posed by two other teetering financial giants:

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is odd, given that the declining financial position of these mortgage finance heavyweights — they guaranteed or issued $5 trillion in mortgages — was known at the time. Yet the companies were barely mentioned at the meetings before the one that occurred on Aug. 5. Just a month later, the companies had to be taken over by taxpayers.

Waters wants mortgage industry to fund Fannie, Freddie guarantees

Housing Wire Waters believes her government guarantee idea on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds will be key to accomplishing this goal. Further she wants to see this happen without costing the taxpayer a dime. Instead, the mortgage industry will pay.

Credit Suisse Admits Wrongdoing in S.E.C. Case

DealBook While the $196 million penalty is significant, the admission of wrongdoing underscored the importance of the case. It is the fifth such admission since the S.E.C. — in a major reversal — modified its longstanding policy of allowing defendants to settle without “admitting or denying” wrongdoing.


Banks Fight Revised U.S. Plan to Monitor Checking Overdraft Fees

Bloomberg U.S. banks are seeking to shield from scrutiny the $30 billion they collect annually in checking-account fees, saying a proposed requirement for periodic reports is unacceptable even if it exempts small institutions.

Federal prison waits for two mortgage mod fraudsters

Bilked thousands of homeowners for millions of dollars

Housing Wire The pair even used the seal of the U.S. government in forging the false mortgage modification documents.

"Scamming homeowners by selling for $400 to $2,000 what is a free application to TARP’s housing program is a despicable crime, and for their crimes, Godfrey and Fischer will each spend the next seven years in federal prison,


Wall Street Landlords Buy Bad Loans for Cheaper Homes

The companies have dominated U.S. foreclosure auctions in the last two years by buying as many as 200,000 single-family homes. 

Bloomberg Wall Street-backed landlords are showing a greater appetite for bad mortgages as a source for cheap property as the supply of foreclosed homes declines while housing prices continue to climb. 



Example of Lost Assignment Affidavits filed by Ocwen

Anyone with time to research, could, of course, assist Congresswoman Waters and Superintendent Lawsky by proving them with copies of these Ocwen-made Affidavits, Assignments and Allonges from county records nationwide. ***

THJF If inquiry into Ocwen’s practices ever makes its way down to the nitty-gritty, the question may arise as to why Ocwen loses so many important loan documents. 

A visit (online or in person) to the Recorder of Deeds offices in almost any county in the country, to the Affidavits section in particular, reveals that most of the Lost Note Affidavits and Lost Assignment Affidavits are filed by Ocwen.


Fannie Mae Back in Black With Taxpayers

Mortgage Daily Fannie Mae reported net income of $6.5 billion for the fourth quarter and pre-tax income of $8.3 billion. Net income in the third quarter was $8.7 billion. The company's comprehensive income of $6.6 billion for the fourth quarter of 2013 contributed to Fannie Mae's positive net worth of $9.6 billion as of December 31, 2013.

Fannie and Freddie are more complicated than that

In the 1990s and early 2000s I opposed corruption in the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). I was clear about my admonition of the government subsidies they received in the form of an implicit government guarantee without meeting their obligations to advance affordable housing.


Ralph Nader

I was clear that their drive for profits could tempt them deeper into murky legal waters. My opposition to their management compensation packages and questionable accounting practices were made plain.

Now I am advocating for the GSEs’ shareholders’ rights. This is an issue separate from the previous transgressions and corruption

A Chronicle of Uncertainty, Then Bold Action, in 2008 Fed Transcripts

NY Times The 14 transcripts that the Fed published Friday — covering the eight scheduled meetings and six more emergency sessions of its Federal Open Market Committee during 2008 —– provide a fuller picture of the Fed’s efforts during the climax of the largest financial crisis in American history.

Fannie Mae Securitization

Fannie Mae Web This video describes the entire MBS manufacturing process and the important role Fannie Mae plays in the mortgage finance circle that connects borrowers, lenders, Fannie Mae, and investors.


Foreclosure As A Business Model, It’s Not Working

Weidner Law There is no disputing one fact. A bedrock of the American experience had been that we respected private property rights and the system of stable, legal title and ownership…a transparent and public system governed, regulated and supervised by our court system.

What has changed so dramatically in the context of the “foreclosure crisis” is that this nation’s political and legal leadership has turned its back on this foundation entirely. 

This article explains the Illegal Foreclosure Business Model

Federal Lawsuit Accuses For-Profit Schools of Fraud

NY Times Her charges are part of a federal lawsuit filed by seven former employees against Harris and its parent company, Premier Education Group, which owns more than two dozen trade schools and community colleges operating under several names in 10 states. The suit contends that while charging more than $10,000 for programs lasting less than a year, school officials routinely misled students about their career prospects, and falsified records to enroll them and keep them enrolled, so that government grant and loan dollars would keep flowing.

4 Killed, 2 Wounded at California Eviction Hearing

NBC News The shootings occurred during a hearing at which Rhoades was being evicted from the Rancheria along with her son.


Settlements Reached in Force-Placed Insurance Lawsuits

HSBC and Bank of America Corp. Force-placed insurance lawsuits alleged that the firms had deals with insurance companies that resulted in overcharging the borrower for insurance.

Lawyers & Settlements Both Bank of America Corp and HSBC Holdings Plc agreed to settle lawsuits filed by homeowners who alleged they were overcharged for their force-placed insurance. Included in the excess costs charged to homeowners were reportedly fees and commissions paid to the bank. The settlement is currently confidential, with both sides still required to sign the formal agreement.



Two Florida Men Sentenced for Defrauding Thousands of Homeowners

These convictions and sentences should send the message that those who prey on the most economically vulnerable among us to line their own pockets will be caught, convicted and given the long prison sentences they deserve,” said U.S. Attorney Ortiz.

eNews Park Forest “These men stole millions of dollars from struggling Americans who had achieved the dream of home ownership and sought help to refinance their mortgages and save their homes from foreclosure,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman. “Today’s sentences should serve as a warning to anyone who exploits distressed homeowners and prevents them from getting the real help they need.”


Rates Rising for Modified Loans

“From the beginning, it was very evident this was going to be a problem, HAMP was only ever designed to kick the can down the road.”

NY Times Given that household incomes have been largely stagnant since the first HAMP modifications were approved in 2009, as the payments on these loans begin rising this year, many homeowners will find that they are once again at risk of default.

HAMP was designed for a two-year crisis,” Mr. Dorpalen said, “and we had a five-year crisis.”


Deutsche Bank to Pay $1.06 Billion to Settle Long-Running Litigation

DealBook The settlement resolves more than a decade of litigation between the bank and Mr. Kirch and his family over the downfall of the Kirch Group and its subsidiaries in the largest corporate collapse in Germany since World War II.

Ken McLeod Files Complaints Against Notaries: 3 Licenses Revoked so far

Living Lies So far he is three for three and he has no plans to stop filing complaints against notaries who signed false, fabricated affidavits. Ken McLeod (Arizona) is about the best investigator for economic crimes that I have ever come across. Ken is devoted to bringing down this false system of foreclosures based upon false documents, false debts, and false testimony.


  Housing bailout a “colossal failure”?

Avison Young's Jason Meister says propping up of the market has done more harm than good.  It created more foreclosures than were prevented.

The Real Deal The housing bailout is a mismanaged program that has resulted in greater foreclosure rates and increased uncertainty among lenders.
“It’s been a colossal failure,” Meister said of the Obama administration’s home affordable modification program. By forcing banks to modify loans and lower monthly mortgage payments, the government “artificially propped up” the market, a condition that is not sustainable and in reality has led to more foreclosures. 

Many American homeowners have probably never heard of the company managing their mortgage

Quartz Over the past two years, some of the biggest banks in the US have been getting out of the mortgage servicing market, Guy Cecala, head of industry publication Inside Mortgage Finance, tells Quartz. The reason is the multi-billion dollar penalties they’ve had to pay for the wave of improper foreclosures that resulted from their mishandling of mortgage paperwork after the financial crisis.

Judge rules against AIG in Bank of America’s $8.5 billion settlement

Market Watch Bank of America Corp.’s $8.5 billion settlement with mortgage-securities investors can go through after all, a New York state judge said Wednesday. But dissenting investors like American International Group Inc. plan to keep protesting.


Lawmaker Urges U.S. Regulators to Scrutinize Mortgage Servicers

What Ms. Jacques didn’t realize at first was that her monthly payments would cover only interest or that by signing the document she was waiving her right to sue the Texas company.

Ms. Jacques, whose lawyer urged her not to sign the document, said she feels used: “Sometimes it feels like the decks are just stacked against you so that you really do fail.”


DealBook Representative Maxine Waters of California is urging federal banking regulators to scrutinize the sale of billions of dollars of mortgage-servicing rights to a fleet of specialty firms, a move that comes amid mounting concerns that some of the most vulnerable homeowners are facing fresh abuses in battles to save their homes.

For some Americans whose home values plummeted in the depths of the financial crisis, those battles, alternating between hope and despair, have lasted for years.

And now, more than five years after the financial crisis and just as some of those homeowners were getting back on track, the ground is shifting beneath them.

US regulators urged to look at rapid growth of mortgage service sector


FT When these servicing rights are transferred to an entity not covered by the settlement, the underlying loans are no longer subject to the servicing protections afforded by the settlement,” Ms Waters said in the letter. 

(That is why they transferred the MSRs.)


Top CFPB Official Vows Crack Down on Mortgage Servicers

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Mortgage Servicing News That was the message that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's No. 2 sent to mortgage servicers attending an industry conference on Wednesday. Steven Antonakes, the agency's deputy director, said that servicers have had more than a year to prepare for a reform rule that took effect last month and suggested the CFPB would move quickly and harshly against violators.

B of A, U.S. Bank Sued for Delays in Processing Mortgage Payments

Banks have been pulling this scam for at least 20 years and nobody has stopped it yet?

Mortgage Servicing News A Tampa homeowner is suing Bank of America and U.S. Bancorp, claiming that the banks delayed processing his mortgage payments in order to earn extra interest for themselves.

Contracts with both banks allowed Horneland to make prepayments without penalty, the lawsuits say.

Keen-eyed WI Court of Appeals catches Banks' shell game

Bank of America v. Minkov

Documents, Affiant, Company Name and Notice FAIL.

We were told that in WI, unpublished opinions after July 1, 2009 can be cited, but a copy of the opinion must be included in the appeal brief.


Wisconsin Court of Appeals Bank of America’s authentication argument does not address what Bank of America seeks to prove – possession of the note. Assuming without deciding that a copy of a note attached to a complaint is self-authenticating under § 909.02(9), the copy of the note is self-authenticating only as to what the document purports to be. See WIS. STAT. § 909.02. Nothing in the document demonstrates that Bank of America has possession of the original note.

the accelleration notice is from BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, not Bank of America, N.A. and specifically states: “BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP ...services the home loan described above on behalf of the holder of the promissorynote.” In her affidavit, Thiry avers that, “as an officer of Bank of America, N.A.,” she is “familiar with the type of records maintained by [Bank of America] in connection with the Loan,” and has “personal knowledge” of the procedures for creating the records. However, Thiry does not aver that she has personal knowledge as to the creation or maintenance of the records of BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP.

Group seeks to halt foreclosures in Md. temporarily

One group wants foreclosures to stop for 6 months, so homeowners can save their homes, but organizers say they need your help.

WUSA 9 Foreclosures are down across the country. In Maryland, it's just the opposite; foreclosures in the state are up 97 percent.

Carmen Johnson with the Housing Chair of the The Maryland State Conference NAACP joined us to talk about a rally to freeze foreclosures. The rally happens Monday from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the State House in Annapolis.

We want these foreclosure to be looked at. Are these legal foreclosures and should they be happening?

New Mexico Senate Democrats Aim To Prevent Improper ILLEGAL Foreclosures

“New Mexicans continue to lose their homes needlessly because of improper foreclosures." - Sen. Padilla

KRWG The New Mexico Senate has passed a memorial that calls for a creation of a task force to develop a set of recommendations to the legislature on how to avoid the issue of improper home foreclosures.

Padilla“Foreclosure activity has dislocated families, destabilized communities, increased vandalism and crime in neighborhoods with abandoned properties, increased homelessness, lowered property values and resulted in a decreased tax base leading to loss of funding for vital public services,”


What is the right return on investment for stolen capital?

What is the proper rate of return on investment when the pretender lender was a thief who used the money of other people in a manner that was completely violative of the intent of the real lenders — and also violates law? If the answer is zero, so goes the foreclosures.

Living Lies Income was kept constant by “servicer advances” which I am sure will turn out to be funded by the broker dealers, because the servicers would have no other reasonable business purpose to advance payments on defaulted loans. If the borrower had learned that the participants in this scheme were being paid at the rate of 3-5 times the principal amount of the loan they would have been alerted to the fact that this loan would blow up in the face of everyone (except the investment banks who were claiming losses because they were claiming ownership, but in the final analysis, pitched the loss over to the investor when they were done squeezing the orange for the last drop).


Banks Accused of Aiding and Abetting Predatory Internet Payday Loans

Lawyers & Settlements Victims of Internet payday loan proprietors and the predatory interest rates they charge have a friend in the US Justice Department. As various states have taken matters into their own hands and launched Internet payday loan lawsuits against Internet lenders, the feds have launched their own initiative. Dubbed “Operation Choke Point,” the investigation is not directly targeting the lenders themselves, but rather the banks that allow them to process their exorbitant fees in the first place.


Credit Suisse Waits for $11 Billion Answer in N.Y. Fraud

The bank argued that New York, by waiting so long to file the lawsuit, missed a three-year legal deadline for suing. The state countered that it had six years to file its complaint.

Credit Suisse contends New York’s highest court held that the attorney general must be able to show that investors relied on misstatements by the bank and that it knowingly committed fraud to get the longer time limit.

Bloomberg The obstacle posed by such statutes of limitation in pursuing mortgage-bond cases may be traced back to Andrew Cuomo, Schneiderman’s predecessor. Although now-Governor Cuomo didn’t file any such cases against the banks, he announced a probe into all aspects of the mortgage business in 2008.

In doing so, he may have started the clock ticking on how long a state suit could be filed, making it impossible for fellow Democrat Schneiderman to argue his office didn’t learn of the bank’s conduct until he took office in 2011.

How Ralph Nader learned to love Fannie and Freddie

Perhaps the most surprising thing is that despite his prescient warnings and his dislike of the GSE business model, somewhere along the way Nader bought stock in Fannie and Freddie.

Nader's response to this article is HERE

Reuters Is it just a story of pure hypocrisy, the way we can all change our minds when our own money is at stake? 

For most of their existence, Fannie and Freddie have been controversial. Critics argued that their gains during good years would go to shareholders and executives, while taxpayers would be saddled with any losses, thanks to an implicit government guarantee. That’s indeed what happened during the 2008 economic crisis.




Lawmaker Wants To Eliminate Weather As A Factor In Enforcing Evictions

It’s not very humane to put somebody out on the street in bad weather and sometimes can be downright dangerous.

Chicago Sun-Times What Rep. Monique Davis didn’t mention — until I brought it up — is that she is a landlord, too, and that she put forth the legislation only after recently complaining to the Cook County sheriff’s office for moving too slowly on evicting one of her tenants.

Some of you may recall that Davis is the same state legislator who has been fighting an effort by the Chicago Board of Education to evict her from a building she has been using rent-free for 11 years as her state legislative office.

Hamilton woman dies of exposure after eviction from home

Missoulian The body of a 61-year-old Hamilton woman recently evicted from her home was found behind the Super One Foods grocery store in Hamilton

The woman had been living in Hamilton, Oster said, and had been evicted from her residence several days prior to being reported missing.


Soldier takes on bank to save foreclosed house

Imagine serving your country for years and returning home to find out the bank was foreclosing on your house.

WFSB 3 Banaszak said he got all his paperwork in to the bank explaining his orders and his deployment before he left. He is supposed to be protected by the "service member's civil relief" act that gives them protections as they enter active duty. That act clearly lists mortgage foreclosures and automobile payments.


Advocacy group goes undercover at Bank of America, alleges discrimination

Complaint in HUD CASE # 375325

Charlotte Observer The nonprofit National Fair Housing Alliance said Tuesday that it conducted an undercover investigation of Bank of America in Charleston – and claimed it found evidence that the Charlotte bank discriminated against potential Latino borrowers.

The organization filed a formal complaint with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. It says it conducted a series of tests that showed that Latinos were not given the chance to speak to loan officers or were quoted higher interest rates than whites.


Matrix Of Dead Bankers & Terror At Highest Government Levels

More headlines here

KingsWorld On the heels of another supposed JP Morgan banker ‘suicide,’ today an acclaimed money manager told King World News that we are now living in a ‘Matrix,’ where people at the highest levels of government are scared. He also said, “I’m sure this is a terrifying situation for those who are at the heart of this investigation on the banking side.”



Loan Complaints by Homeowners Rise Once More

Shoddy paperwork, erroneous fees and wrongful evictions — the same abuses that dogged the nation’s largest banks and led to a $26 billion settlement with federal authorities in 2012 — are now cropping up among the specialty firms that collect mortgage payments, according to dozens of foreclosure lawsuits and interviews with borrowers, federal and state regulators and housing lawyers.

The servicers also have relationships with companies that can benefit from foreclosures.

DealBook These companies are known as servicers, but they do far more than transfer payments from borrowers to lenders. They have great power in deciding whether homeowners can win a mortgage modification or must hand over their home in a foreclosure.

Even more troubling, some regulators say, the servicers benefit when they work through the troubled loans as quickly as possible. That has raised questions about whether the companies are pushing homeowners into foreclosure or offering mortgage modifications that will keep homeowners treading water, but ultimately cause them to fall even further behind.


Rancho Cordova Couple Turns Tables On Lender’s Foreclosure Attempt

The family nearly lost that home, but they won it back from a pending foreclosure after suing their lender.
“It was like a bad dream,” Charles said.
They’re one of a growing group of foreclosed California owners taking their lenders to court following the foreclosure crisis.

CBS Sacramento Loans from the housing bubble were repackaged as securities and sold on Wall Street. That put the true holders of the mortgage debt in question.
“The entity that’s trying to foreclose on them has no legal standing to do so,” said attorney Stephen Foondos.
“This is of course something the banks want no one to know about, because otherwise you would have everyone running to the court trying to file a claim.

Their son died in a car accident just two years ago.  (Banks have been known to target grieving families. MSF)

A Banker Jumped To His Death From The Top Of JP Morgan Headquarters In Hong Kong

Business Insider Witnesses say that police tried to stop Li from jumping from the 30 story building, 10 floors of which are used by JP Morgan, around 2:00 or 3:00 pm, but to no avail.


Should Fannie and Freddie be placed in receivership?

Investors in the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)are being robbed of their profits.

Housing Wire "Either liquidate under receivership, or conserve for debt and equity claimants under conservatorship. Treasury did half and half, skimming the earnings but keeping the liabilities off the US balance sheet."


Don't Cry for the Shareholders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

For those who have not read Morgenson’s 2011 book which she co-authored with Josh Rosner, Reckless Endangerment, the GSEs were the tail that wagged the dog of official policy on housing in Washington for years. 

Zero Hedge The whole operational basis for the GSEs was their implicit guarantee from the U.S. government. Neither of these entities ever had sufficient private capital to achieve the “AAA” credit standing that Fannie and Freddie commanded in the past and still command today. At best, the private shareholders of the GSEs were free riding on the backs of the U.S. tax payer, collecting supranormal returns for taking little or no risk – or at least we thought. 


Fannie Mae Offers Money Back, Excludes Investors

One of the biggest complaints homebuyers have had about the real estate market is they can't compete with investors who are buying up property with cash. But now, ordinary buyers have a chance to finally close the deal without the fear of investors beating them out.

KLAS Interested homebuyers can go to Fannie Mae's HomePath.com and search for Las Vegas properties. If a property is in the program, it will have a yellow logo showing that up to 3.5 percent closing cost assistance is available.

During a special 20-day period, people who are buying a house in can submit offers. Investors are not allowed to submit a bid until after the time period has passed.


•  Foreclosures Hit the Five Million Mark
• 6.4 Million Homeowners Underwater
• 180,000+ Homes Owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
• American Home Ownership Falls to 18-Year Low
• 44% of Settlement Funds Kept From Homeowners by States
• Wall Street Turns Foreclosures into Rentals into Investments
• No Solutions for Decimated County Land Records


The 2012 and 2013 settlements did not provide immunity from criminal prosecution for the settling servicers and banks or their officers or employees. JP Morgan Chase reportedly specifically sought a non-prosecution agreement.[11] In 2013, there were no criminal prosecutions of major lenders, securitizers or document producers that came from the Mortgage Task Force, formed in early 2012. The biggest parties to the biggest economic crisis continued to be “Untouchables.”[12]

The most important thing about cross examination in foreclosure cases


Living Lies Listening is something that lawyers need to do and is the reason they were hired in the first place. The homeowner is too emotionally attached to listen. They hear but they don’t listen and they don’t understand the significance of the question or the answer. Coming to court with a list of questions is a good idea. But many lawyers and pro se litigants fail because of the difference between hearing and listening.


3 Former Barclays Employees Accused in Libor Scandal

DealBook Regulators in Britain said on Monday that they had begun criminal proceedings against three former Barclays employees suspected in the manipulation of a global benchmark interest rate.

The conspiracy to defraud took place from June 2005 to August 2007, said the agency, which prosecutes financial crimes in Britain.  



As Bank Deaths Continue to Shock, Documents Reveal JPMorgan Has Been Patenting Death Derivatives

Wall Street veterans have also commented on the fact that JPMorgan may actually stand to profit from the early deaths of the two young men in their 30s.

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

That things are starting to go seriously wrong was evident in a Bloomberg News report that emerged last Friday. AIG reported that it was taking a $971 million impairment charge before taxes for 2013 on its holdings of life settlement contracts because people were living longer than expected. AIG is the company that was bailed out by the U.S. taxpayer to the tune of $182 billion during the financial crisis because of bets gone wrong


Banks Still Out Cheating Their Customers and Everyone Else

For the judicial system to assume that the Banks are telling the truth or presenting an accurate picture of the transaction activity relating to a particular loan is just plain absurd now.

They are feeding the money back into the system and laundering it through the appearance of proprietary trading. It is an old trick. 

Living Lies Then they cheat the investor again by forcing a case into a foreclosure sale when the borrower was perfectly prepared, willing and able to enter into a settlement agreement that would have paid the rest are far more than the proceeds of a foreclosure sale and final liquidation. Their object is to maximize the loss of the investor and maximize the loss of the borrower to the detriment of both and solely for the benefit of the intermediary or conduit that is pulling the strings and handling the money. And they are still doing it.

Small-firm lawyer takes on Wall Street and wins, twice

Reuters Representing whistleblowers is a lucrative business for lawyers and is hyper competitive, since few corporate insiders who come forward actually have the information that leads to big government lawsuits.

Wasinger was at the center of two of the biggest legal cases to emerge from the 2007-2009 financial crisis, against Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase respectively.

2/16/14 The Tipping Point

Foreclosure Filings Jump as Investors Eye Exits

People who are thinking about buying a house in the near future, should watch developments in the market closely and proceed with extreme caution. No one wants to get burned in another bank swindle.

CounterPunch Keep in mind, the banks are up-to-their-eyeballs in distressed inventory. Even conservative estimates of shadow backlog puts the figure of 90-day delinquent or worse, above 3 million homes. But if you review the gloomier prognostications, the sum could easily exceed 6 million homes, enough to suck the entire bleeding banking system into a black hole of insolvency.

It seems that, “bond king” Jeffrey Gundlach has been warning mortgage-backed security purchasers that they should to pay more attention to underlying collateral in MBSs (vacant homes, that is) which have been “rotting away” for “six years” or more.


The Tame Truth About the Wolves of Wall Street

As much fun as they are as fantasies, what the caricatures of Wall Street do is obscure the very real need to change the behavior of Wall Street’s bankers, traders and executives. I am not talking about drinking and drugging; people who overindulge quickly burn themselves out on Wall Street. The change Wall Street needs is about what people get rewarded to do, which is to take risks with other people’s money.

WILLIAM D. COHAN We saw how corrosive bad incentives were in the years leading up the financial crisis, when huge bonuses were paid to those who bundled up millions of faulty mortgages into securities and sold them as safe investments to people all over the world. Many of them knew better, but they did it anyway.

Speculating without any concern about being held accountable is exactly what the army of Wall Street bankers and traders will continue to do. Regardless of the fact that this very behavior was a key cause of the recent financial mess, that is what they are still being rewarded to do. 


The Untouchable Profits of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Would you buy stock in a company that barred you from sharing in its future earnings? Of course not.  

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

And yet, as of December 2010, holders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac common stock were subject to such a restriction by the United States government. They didn’t know it at the time, though, because the policy was not disclosed.

This month, an internal United States Treasury memo that outlined this restriction came up at a forum in Washington.


We are seeing a clean-up where JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank seems to appear at the epicenter of it all. 

Exposing what lies beneath the bodies of dead bankers and what lies ahead for us

The truth is that we’ve been living under a giant Ponzi scheme and we, the American citizens, are the suckers. As illustrated by the list of dead bankers however, the power elite need a bit more time before the extent of their criminality is revealed. The need a bit more time to transfer the remaining wealth from middle-class America to their private coffers. 

Homeland SecurityUS Timing is everything, and a magic act only works when all props are in place before the illusion is performed. Only when their timing is right will the slumbering Americans realize the extent of the illusion by which they’ve been entranced, at which time they will be forced into submission to accept a financial reset that will ultimately subjugate them to a global economy. I contend that this is the reason for the recent spate of deaths, for those who met their tragic and untimely end had the ability to expose this nefarious agenda by what they knew or discovered, or what they would reveal under subpoena and the damage they could cause to the globalist financial agenda.

HSBC, BofA Reach Forced-Insurance Accords 

The banks agreed to settle lawsuits brought over property insurance that borrowers were forced to accept, lawyers for the homeowners said at a federal court hearing in Miami.

The cases are Hall v. Bank of America  and Lopez v. HSBC Bank USA,  U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).

Bloomberg The lawyers told U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno today about the settlements without disclosing more details. The deals follow an earlier $300 million agreement with JPMorgan Chase  and a $110 million settlement with Citigroup on the same issue.

The homeowners alleged that the banks got a financial windfall by cutting deals with insurance companies and over-charging borrowers for the coverage.


Fannie & Freddie Ignored Red Flags From Appraisal Data

FHFA says Fannie and Freddie still take on risky mortgages

Report: FHFA’s Oversight of the Enterprises’Use of Appraisal Data Before They Buy Single-Family Mortgages 

The banks made the garbage, sold it to the GSEs, and the taxpayers paid for it.

Lexology According to a new report, the mortgage giants ignored warnings from the FHFA’s data portal about underwriting violations, such as unknown property values or unverified appraiser’s licenses, on over $107 billion in mortgage loans that they purchased between June 2012 and September 2013, years after the mortgage crisis first began. The OIG, the FHFA’s watchdog, issued its criticisms as part of its analysis of how Freddie and Fannie are utilizing appraisal data.


Usurious Returns on Phantom Money: The Credit Card Gravy Train

The credit card business is now the banking industry’s biggest cash cow, and it’s largely due to lucrative hidden fees. 
You pay off your credit card balance every month, thinking you are taking advantage of the “interest-free grace period” and getting free credit. You may even use your credit card when you could have used cash, just to get the free frequent flier or cash-back rewards. But those popular features are misleading.

Web of Debt Local governments pay hefty fees for credit card use themselves. According to the treasurer’s office, the City and County of San Francisco pay $4 million annually just for bank fees, and more than half this sum goes to merchant fees. If the government could recapture these charges through its own bank, it could use the proceeds to expand public services without raising taxes.
If we allowed government to actually make some money, it could be self-funding without taxing the citizens. When an alternative public system is in place, the private mega-bank dinosaurs will no longer be “too big to fail.” They can be allowed to fade into extinction, in a natural process of evolution toward a more efficient and sustainable system of exchange.


Financial Stability Board to Examine Currency Markets

More than a dozen currency traders at some of the world’s largest banks, including Barclays, JPMorgan Chase and UBS, have been placed on leave over questions about whether they colluded to manipulate benchmark currency rates.

DealBook The Department of Financial Services, headed by Benjamin M. Lawsky, is the first state regulator to scrutinize currency trading. Its jurisdiction covers any bank operating with a New York State charter.

Martin Wheatley, the chief executive of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, has said that the currency manipulation allegations are “every bit as bad as they have been with Libor.” His agency is one of the regulators examining practices in the foreign exchange markets, which are lightly regulated.

Bergman & Gutierrez defeats Wells Fargo’s motion for summary judgment!

Judge Rebecca Riley of the Ventura Superior Court heard the motion and delivered Wells Fargo a stunning and swift defeat.


Bergman & Gutierrez This case involves the issuance of a trial modification plan commonly referred to by Wells Fargo as a Special Forbearance Agreement, years of living in loan modification limbo and enduring bogus delay tactics (including a demand for a subordination agreement from a second lienholder), and dual-tracking. Notably, the facts of this case are similar to many others who have contacted our firm and who feel Wells Fargo engaged in deceptive practices during the loan modification and foreclosure process.



New Mexico Supreme Court Nails It 

Bank of New York v. Romero

The New Mexico Supreme Court handed Bank of New York Mellon (and the district court’s analysis) its ass in a hand basket. This whole opinion is great. Some of the key findings or analyses:

tPosession of a note specially indorsed to another does not by itself demonstrate that the possessor is entitled to enforce the instrument. Demonstration of the “transfer” is required.

Findsen Law tBank servicer’s testimony from servicer records when the records are not even attached and the records were regarding a time frame when the servicer was not servicing do not meet evidentiary muster because hearsay, no business record exception for the testimony instead of the records themselves, and no demonstration of personal knowledge by the testifying party.
tMERS can only transfer what it has. What MERS had was a nominal agency to the original Lender in the Deed of Trust. MERS had no interest in the Note.
tThe deed follows the note. The converse is not true. The note does not follow the deed.
tThe “no one else claimed it so it must be ours” argument (so logically unsound, it kills me, but I hear it all of the time) is annihilated.




Foreclosure Defense Nationwide FDN attorneys stopped an eviction in Tennessee literally the day before it was to take place. The homeowner had been challenging the foreclosure pro se. A court order had scheduled an eviction to take place on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. 

The TRO was granted and the eviction stopped literally hours before it was to take place the next day.


MGIC Paid Off 2,400 Loans last month! 

Why Does the Borrower Still Need to Pay the Same Creditor?

Living Lies BOA filed the appropriate satisfaction of Mortgage. But then in the giant roulette we know as LPS they still had the loan active and a servicer convinced the decedent’s family to enter into a modification of the loan without telling them that the loan had been paid off. Eventually, after years of “modification” payments on a loan that did not exist, the servicer has filed a judicial foreclosure.  And after being informed we have the recorded satisfaction, they had yet another entity file a document that was signed by still another entity and they recorded it in the county records — stating that the BOA satisfaction was a mistake!

FHFA Needs to Exercise More Oversight of Servicers, Watchdog Says

Mortgage Servicing News The Federal Housing Finance Agency and its inspector general are at odds over the way Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicers should be monitored to ensure they are properly assisting distressed borrowers.


Ocwen to sell mortgage servicing rights in capital markets

Bond deal will be called OASIS

Ocwen is also facing a few challenges recently.

Housing Wire According to Reuters, investors "want greater transparency on how Ocwen, the country's largest nonbank mortgage servicer, manages its mortgages, particularly loan modifications."

The article states these investors may be willing to go to court to try to get their wish.

Last week, the superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services put an indefinite freeze on the $2.7 billion MSR deal between Ocwen and Wells Fargo.

Ocwen Said to Seek $136 Million Sale of Servicing-Backed Debt

Bloomberg Ocwen Financial Corp. is seeking to raise about $136 million by selling notes tied to fees from managing a pool of government-backed loans.

“Foreclosure Rebound Pattern”: Foreclosures SUDDENLY Jump 57% In California (And Soar In Much Of The Country)

Testosterone Pit “The sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,” said RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist. “The foreclosure rebound pattern is not only showing up in judicial states like New Jersey, where foreclosure activity reached a 40-month high in January, but also some non-judicial states like California..


HUD Looks to the Courts for Guidance on Eminent Domain

Mortgage Servicing News Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan kept his carefully neutral stance this week on the potential use of eminent domain to restructure underwater mortgages.


Since 1988 - OCWEN Fraud continues

Did those recent mortgage relief settlements indicate that Ocwen truly recognized the error of its ways, and was taking the proper measures to correct the situation?” The Dwight’s Story would certainly seem to suggest that it hasn’t; and the Dwight case exposes it.

Sandusky Register The Dwights have been struggling with Ocwen for years to get their mortgage issues resolved. According to the Dwights, Ocwen demonstrated a pattern of holding onto their monthly mortgage payment, made on time, until after their grace period expired, resulting in unwarranted late fees being assessed. Over the years, this form of misconduct, which we generally label “Servicing Fraud”, caused the Dwights to have thousands of dollars of unjustified charges being tacked onto their loan balance. Being unable to get this situation straightened out, the Dwight’s eventually stopped paying on their mortgage, waiting for the eventual foreclosure shoe to drop. 

That happened just last week.










New Mexico Supreme Court Ends BONY's 5-year Winning Streak


Very informative decision.

New Mexico Supreme Court LOAN Fail, REFI Fail, DOC Fail, AFFIDAVIT Fail, etc., but for 5-years BONY kept winning... until it got to the Supreme Court.

We reverse the Court of Appeals and district court and remand to the district court with instructions to vacate its foreclosure judgment and to dismiss the Bank of New York’s foreclosure action for lack of standing.

New Mexico Supreme Court Issues Important Pro-Homeowner Ruling Based on Standing, State Home Loan Protection Act


naked capitalism It’s gratifying to see that some jurists are still able to be offended by banks who come to court assuming they can foreclose on borrowers based on their say-so. And this New Mexico Supreme Court ruling is also a reminder that even though the servicer versus homeowner war seems to have been settled in favor of servicers, there are still important fronts being contested.

New Foreclosure Case Analyses Standing and Tangible Net Benefit

The opinion spelled out the tough standards banks must meet to have standing to initiate foreclosures, reviewed a whole bunch of alleged “evidence” produced by Bank of NY to establish standing, including plenty of affidavits and testimony from people with no personal knowledge of what was going on. 

Credit Slips The opinion debunks the use of the business records exception to get in documents no one knows anything about and has some good MERS language too.

The opinion on these facts should help homeowners with funky documentation in other states as the principles discussed are universal. As such, the case established strong principles for homeowner protection from unscrupulous lenders.

In some ways the second half of the opinion is even a better read as it establishes that a lender must consider a borrower’s ability to repay a home mortgage loan.


Home loan servicer Ocwen builds an empire

When distressed US homeowners call their lender to ask for a reduction on their mortgage payments, the voice on the other end of the phone may no longer be an employee from a bank.
Instead, troubled borrowers are increasingly likely to be dealing with a little-known “mortgage servicer” called Ocwen Financial -  a known predator.

For more, read  The Ocwen Story

FT New rules that force banks to hold more capital against so-called “mortgage servicing rights” – assets which give companies the right to collect payments on home loans in return for a small cut of the income – have proved a bonanza for Ocwen and other specialist servicers which are less constrained by the regulation.
By snapping up big portfolios of “MSRs” – especially the rights to troubled subprime loans – Ocwen has increased the amount of outstanding mortgages it services from $43bn in 2005 to more than $500bn.


Banks in London Devise Way Around Europe’s Bonus Rules

DealBook Bank giants operating in London — including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Barclays — are seeking to outflank the new restrictions. Responding to the law, they are structuring new pay packages that try to satisfy both their emboldened regulators and their very expensive employees.

So goodbye, big bonus.

Hello, role-based pay.


Basic Errors and Misconceptions in Foreclosure Cases

The misconception in the minds of nearly all judges, litigators, homeowners, legislators and regulators focuses on whether the borrower made any payments, and if so, whether they stopped making payments. It doesn’t occur to anyone to immediately focus on whether there was a loan or the particular reason why payments stopped.

Living Lies The pattern of conduct that is virtually 100% is that once a loan becomes delinquent and the decision is made that this loan has been chosen for forced sale (foreclosure) the first thing “they” do is change the Trustee on the Deed of trust. Why? Because a real trustee would not take orders from a beneficiary who appears out of nowhere and can produce no proof that they entered into any transaction in which they acquired the Deed of Trust, the note, or the debt.

Wall Street intentionally created more complexity than necessary and more layers than necessary in order to obscure the fact that they were committing fraud on the investors, the insurers, the government, and other third party co-obligors.


Banks benefited from Tampa man’s extra mortgage payments, suit claims

A Tampa homeowner claims he tried to pay down his mortgage principal by making extra payments, but Bank of America and US Bank delayed processing his extra payments to earn extra interest for themselves

TBO Instead of immediately applying his extra payment toward his loan balance, both banks waited a few weeks until his next regular mortgage payment was due.

The lawsuits against each bank claim that they routinely delay people’s extra payments. Ultimately, homeowners have to pay more interest on their loans, his lawsuits say. 

He and his lawyers are hoping a judge will make the cases class-action suits and allow them to represent other homeowners in the same situation.

The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet

Banks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

Banks aren't just buying stuff, they're buying whole industrial processes. They're buying oil that's still in the ground, the tankers that move it across the sea, the refineries that turn it into fuel, and the pipelines that bring it to your home. Then, just for kicks, they're also betting on the timing and efficiency of these same industrial processes in the financial markets – buying and selling oil stocks on the stock exchange, oil futures on the futures market, swaps on the swaps market, etc.


Another JPMorgan Banker Dies

37 Year Old Executive Director Of Program Trading

Tyler Durden The circumstances surrounding his death are scarce, but what is most notable is that not only is Crane the second very young JPMorgan banker to pass in recent days, but is also the fourth banker death in under a month. We can only hope this disturbing chain of deaths within the financial industry - one of which involved a nail-gun induced suicide - is purely accidental.

4th DCA Reverses Lake Worth Woman's Foreclosure

In more fallout from the robo-signing scandal, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed a foreclosure Wednesday for a Lake Worth pro se appellant challenging JPMorgan Chase Bank for lack of standing.

Zimmerman v. JPMorgan Chase

dbr "This woman will now have the opportunity to get a trial," Tom Ice of Ice Legal said. "It's impressive that a pro se appellant can get a favorable opinion. I think it's good that the appellate courts are continuing to emphasize that you have to prove standing at the time you file. You can't just walk in with a note that's endorsed in blank. You would think after being told this several times that the banks would stop going forward on summary judgment with this argument ... and recognize they are leading the trial courts to errors."


How Wall Street sabotaged mortgage relief and screwed ordinary Americans

In 2009, the government trusted big banks to help distressed homeowners weather the financial crisis. Big mistake

Salon The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) offered banks government incentives — cash bonuses — to lower the principal or interest on underwater mortgages. 

An investigative article at Bloomberg News has since revealed how Urban Lending employees sent modification applicants requests for unneeded documents at regular 30- or 60-day intervals, how they falsified or destroyed records — sometimes merely to meet work quotas — and how they responded with “inaccurate statements” to congressional representatives or banking oversight officials who inquired on behalf of individual homeowners.


Rocket Docket? Is it Time to Sue the System?


A Federal lawsuit against the State for systemic violations of due process is long over due.

We know there was fraud on Wall Street, we know there was corruption, and we know it is continuing. Why should we not start off with the presumption that the foreclosures are simply wrong and illegal?


Living Lies The current thinking amongst court administrators and the judges who preside is the presumption that the truth lies in the assertions of the party initiating foreclosures in both nonjudicial and judicial states and dilatory tactics amount to lies of the borrower. The opposite is true and if challenged, it could easily be proven that the rocket docket has resulted in millions of wrongful foreclosures by parties who were simply greedy intermediaries using foreclosures to get more and give less to the investors who thought they were buying mortgage bonds.

Weidner correctly summarizes the problem in his morning blog. I suggest that each of the leaders in foreclosure defense file joint or separate actions challenging the current systemic denial of due process. The excuse of expediency is just plain wrong. If it wasn’t for a presumption that the forecloser was and is generally right and the borrower is generally wrong, the push for expediency would have first challenged whether the foreclosers had their case in order.


Pa. Deed Recorders Win Class Cert In MERS Mortgage Row

A Pennsylvania federal judge Tuesday granted class certification to deed recorders in Pennsylvania who allege Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. violated state law by failing to properly record mortgage assignments and pay recording fees.



U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner granted lead plaintiff Nancy J. Becker's motion for certification, finding that the deed recorders for 67 Pennsylvania counties allege MERS compromised public records by creating a separate system for members to record mortgage assignments. As a result, they did not record the mortgages in the public land records.


John Mack Whines About How Badly Wall Street CEOs are Treated

Until someone finds a way to cut their grandiosity and their privileges down to size to discipline them or the bank CEOs manage to break the global economy beyond repair, they will have the bad taste to not only continue looting.

naked capitalism These banks have thumbed their noses at the public, when they’d be dead without taxpayer bailouts and the continued taxes on savers known as ZIRP and QE, by paying themselves supersized bonuses rather than building capital levels, or even better, curbing the worst conduct. But having the Obama administration firmly in their camp, despite the occasional wet-noodle lashing, means they can tell themselves since no one has seen fit to punish them, clearly they did nothing wrong.

2 Lawmakers Urge Fed to Change Its Enforcement Procedures

Ms. Warren and Mr. Cummings cited the foreclosure review in their letter to Ms. Yellen. “The board’s lack of direct involvement in the mortgage servicer enforcement action is particularly noteworthy given certain troubling aspects of the settlement,” they wrote.

DealBook Last year, substantial flaws emerged in a $9.3 billion settlement that the Fed and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency struck with 13 financial firms over allegations that they mishandled foreclosures during the housing bust. A government report later criticized the way that regulators had designed the foreclosure review and the consultants who carried it out.

Specifically, the two members of Congress recommended that the board vote on regulatory actions that result in penalties of $1 million or more, or when crackdowns require the removal of a bank officer or the introduction of a new management team at a bank.


Pimco, Blackrock Mulling Suing Ocwen Over Abusive Servicing

The fact is that the mortgage industry servicing model is broken. Servicing fees don’t compensate them enough to service defaulted mortgages properly, while they do pay them to foreclose. So what do you think they do when a borrower starts to get into arrears? And banks have chosen to ignore, skirt, or claim strained interpretations of requirements in mortgage settlements to end some of the worst practices (the banks are admittedly aided and abetted by weak supervision and provisions in the 49 state/Federal settlement that permit astonishingly large rates of error, as in non-compliance).

naked capitalism Lawsky blocking the Ocwen transfer has bigger implications: the banks were hoping to dump their servicing headache on smaller non-banks who supposedly could do a better job. But as we’ve written repeatedly, mortgage servicing does not scale, and really large servicers tend to be good only at taking and crediting payments and remitting money to investors, and then not even very good at that (previous exams of Ocwen found it often failed to verify the accuracy of information before “boarding” the loans onto its system).

Investors have refused to mobilize to go after rampant servicing abuses (the padded costs, servicer-induced foreclosures and failure to maintain properties ultimately come out of investors’ hides), largely because the investors had incentive problems of their own. They aren’t “investors” in the sense that they are putting their own funds at risk; they are in the other people’s money business


Lawsky Bashes Ocwen, Says Servicer's Growth 'Raises Red Flags'

Lawsky said Ocwen's public documents make "for startling reading." He sees "corners being cut," by nonbank servicers that have touted their ability to help distressed borrowers.

Mortgage Servicing News "We have serious concerns that some of these nonbank mortgage servicers are getting too big, too fast," Lawsky told New York bankers who were meeting at the Waldorf Astoria. "We see far too many struggling homeowners getting caught in a vortex of lost paperwork, unexplained feed and avoidable foreclosures."
Full Post

Report: BofA, Goldman could pay $16 billion over MBS claims

Another two big banks up next to settle with the FHFA?

Housing Wire The settlement amounts equate to roughly 12% to 13% of original principal balance of securities sold to the GSEs.

Expect the majority of financial firms to settle this year on billions of dollars from outstanding lawsuits with the government, related to the sale of mortgage-backed securities.

Foreclosure Jury Returns $5 Million Dollar Verdict

McCulley v. US Bank of Montana

Previous article about the case:

Buyer receives wrong mortgage, sues bank, title co.

After discovering she received an 18-month commercial loan instead of a 30-year residential mortgage, a Montana woman sued the bank and the title company that conducted the closing for fraud, breach of contract, negligence and slander of title. Among other things, she alleged the title company committed fraud when it revised the legal description to describe a commercial condominium rather than a residential one.

Arizona Supreme Court 

US Bank Petition for Review DENIED (see page 9)

Original decision in Stauffer is now the law of the state of Arizona.

Arizona Supreme Court

h/t Ken McLeod

ORDERED: Petition for Review = DENIED.
FURTHER ORDERED: Request for Attorneys' Fees (Appellee US Bank) =
FURTHER ORDERED: Request for Attorneys' Fees (Appellants Stauffer) =

Man Sues Wells Fargo Over Robocalls Intended For Other Person

Charlotte Observer This is not the first time Wells Fargo has been accused of repeated illegal phone calls. Wells agreed to pay $17 million in 2012 to resolve a class-action lawsuit claiming people received unwanted calls on their cellphones, causing them to incur charges.


Save the American Dream: Stop Mortgage & Foreclosure Fraud in Maryland

Homeowners at risk need more voices fighting to protect their interests. Regrettably, one of the biggest obstacles they face is the persistent myth that foreclosures are primarily the result of deadbeat homeowners who purchased homes they could not afford. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Rev. Delman Coates, Ph.D., Senior Pastor at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, Clinton, MD Since the late 1990s, banks have been designing ways to securitize mortgages into risky financial instruments, and that combined with the way in which the banks assigned notes and avoided recordation of deeds put vulnerable home buyers at immense personal financial risk. At the same time, federal and state governments failed to properly protect homeowners and enforce laws regarding fraud and predatory lending. The end result: millions of Americans lost their homes and home equity over the past 6 years, even though the same banks that created the global financial crisis were saved by the federal government and tripled in size. If the banks are too big to fail, then the American family should be too big to fail as well.







Big Bank FAIL: Judge Rules Foreclosure Unconstitutional

Bowden acknowledged that this case was like most; “convoluted in the minefield” that is the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) system. 

The evidence presented by the homeowner showed that “MERS was never the owner or holder of the note.” 

In this case defended by StafneTrumbull law firm in Washington State, the homeowner won his house from BoA which is another major victory against the unethical and illegal foreclosures industry that has left millions of Americans homeless.

In 2013, Bain v. MERS held that this system “is not and cannot be a legal beneficiary under Washington State law. Only the legal holder of the note, the real creditor, has the power to appoint the substitute trustee in order to transact such legal actions as a foreclosure.”

Bradburn v. ReconTrust

Susanne Posel Neil Garfield, property rights attorney commented that MERS “is the electronic smokescreen that allowed banks to build their securitization Ponzi scheme without worrying about details like ownership and chain of title.” Garfield said: “Properties were sold to multiple investors or conveyed to empty trusts, subprime securities were endorsed as triple A, and banks earned up to 40 times what they could earn on a paying loan, using credit default swaps in which they bet the loan would go into default. As the dust settles from collapse of the scheme, homeowners are left with underwater mortgages with no legitimate owners to negotiate with. 

This shows the scheme enacted by BoA to sanction this illegal and unconstitutional foreclosure which was proven because the DTA was not adhered to; as well as “failure to materially comply with that statute renders a foreclosure sale pursuant to it invalid.” 

Therefore the foreclosure implemented against the homeowner was illegal because there was a failure to appoint “a trustee that was independent.”

Judge Overturns Bank of America Foreclosure FOUR YEARS LATER!

The homeowner won a pre-trial summary judgment against Bank of America last week overturning his 2009 foreclosure. Superior Court judge George Bowden ruled that Bank of America's actions had been "unfair and deceptive" and voided the foreclosure.

SLOG Attorney Stafne says it's "one of the first cases that I know of where a Superior Court has held a sale which took place four years ago to be void."

It's also a strike against the widespread practice of having companies that have an incentive to foreclose act as the "trustee" on the home—in this case it was ReconTrust, which itself is a subsidiary of Bank of America. They're supposed to be neutral under state law; I'll have more on that in a future post.

Lawsuit Calls Government’s Sweetheart Deal With JP Morgan ‘Unlawful’

The Justice Department (DOJ) broke the law when it settled mortgage finance market fraud allegations against JP Morgan in a headline-grabbing legal settlement last year, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the Wall Street reform advocacy group Better Markets.


Think Progress By granting the bank immunity from further civil suits, Better Markets President Dennis Kelleher said, the DOJ acted “as prosecutor, jury and judge…to the largest, richest, most politically connected bank on Wall Street.” Kelleher’s group wants judicial review of the facts underlying the settlement to ensure that JP Morgan pays a penalty that is proportional to the bank’s misdeeds, and says that the DOJ’s failure to seek a judge’s independent approval violates the separation of powers required by the Constitution.

If it is derailed, the financial industry will lose its best escape route from real accountability for the multi-trillion dollar financial crisis.


Mortgage Industry Skates on Racketeering Claims

Dozens of people whose homes were foreclosed upon between December 2006 and November 2010 lack standing to accuse the "entire mortgage industry" of a racketeering conspiracy, a federal judge ruled Monday.

ANCTIL v. the Banks et al

Courthouse News With Judge Seibel's dismissal of the class action Monday for lack of standing, the merits of the racketeering remain unexamined.
Seibel said the case fails under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, a rule that precludes relitigation in federal court of state court cases.

Scott Kamber, who is representing the plaintiffs from the Wall Street-based firm Kamber Law LLP, indicated that the fight may not be over.


2013 Year-End Securities Litigation and Enforcement Highlights

BakerLaw This Report highlights recent significant developments in: 
• Securities law cases, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s reconsideration of the “fraud on the market” theory in Halliburton and its review of a circuit split in interpreting the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 in the consolidated Troice 
• Insider trading cases
• Civil and regulatory settlements, 
• Investment advisor and hedge fund cases, and others.

Public interest group sues Justice Dept. over JPMorgan settlement

L.A. Times The nonprofit group said that Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder and other top Justice officials should not have been allowed to give JPMorganblanket civil immunity for years of alleged pervasive, egregious and knowing fraudulent and illegal conduct that contributed to the 2008 financial crash and the worst economy since the Great Depression."

UCC: Remedy and Recourse

Daily Truth Every system of civilized law must have two characteristics: Remedy and Recourse. Remedy is a way to get out from under the law. The Recourse provides that if you have been damaged under the law, you can recover your loss. The Common Law, the Law of Merchants, and even the Uniform Commercial Code all have remedy and recourse

Reverse mortgages: Safer, but far from risk-free

CNN For years, many older Americans who were short on cash turned to reverse mortgages to solve their money troubles -- only to find themselves deeper in debt or, worse, losing their homes.

Fourth Circuit lets consumers orally dispute validity of debts

 In Clark v. Absolute Collection Service, Incorporated, No. 13-1151, ___ F.3d ___ (4th Cir., Jan. 31, 2014), the court held that section 1692g(a)(3) of the FDCPA does not explicitly or implicitly require consumer’s disputes to be in writing.

Lexology In a per curiam decision which vacated the lower court’s dismissal of a consumer class action under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in a case of first impression in that circuit, found that debt collection notices violate the FDCPA if they require consumers’ disputes of the validity of debts to be in writing.


Casablanca Deja Vu: Shocked and Total Disbelief

[Maybe] it is true that some of the earlier attorneys for the banks were caught by surprise when they learned of fabrication of documents, unauthorized signatures and of course Robo signing. In this case lawyers from the state of Maine face possible discipline for their failure to take appropriate action in over 100 cases.

More here

Living Lies Most people on the foreclosure defense side of these issues believe that lawyers should be disbarred for not only failing to notify the court of the potential problem, but also failing to perform due diligence intentionally to avoid knowing that they were submitting false testimony.

They might face liability for their part in submitting false testimony to the courts of various states. Their insurance company will probably take the position that they were committing an intentional act for the benefit of preserving an extraordinarily large channel of fee revenue. I think the insurance company would be right. And I think that those attorneys should face harsh discipline.


Mortgage servicer shenanigans keep consumer watchdog busy

Many of the complaints filed with the federal Consumer Financial* Protection Bureau involved servicing, loan modification and foreclosure activities by home-loan servicers.

L.A. Times But sometimes the problems go beyond run-of-the-mill ineptitude. As part of its statutory functions, the CFPB sends investigators into the offices of mortgage servicing firms to check their accounts for evidence of what it calls "unfair and deceptive practices." In their latest series of visits and supervisory audits, bureau auditors found shenanigans that might horrify unsuspecting homeowners.


Barclays and Regulators Look at Possible Theft of Customer Data

DealBook Barclays is investigating the possible theft and sale of personal data concerning at least 2,000 customers. British regulators also are looking into the case.

Barclays said an initial investigation suggested that the breach was limited to customers from its financial planning business, which was closed in 2011. The personal data appears to have been collected from 2008 and earlier.

A New Effort in Albany to Put Lenders in Charge of Abandoned Properties

NY Times AG Eric T. Schneiderman is expected to outline legislation that he hopes will force banks to take responsibility for zombie properties, providing some help to cities like Newburgh, where officials estimate 10 percent of all homes are in some stage of abandonment.

Who Owns The Federal Reserve?

Market Oracle "Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.”


Chinese Official Made Job Plea to JPMorgan Chase Chief

A confidential email has emerged that shows a top Chinese regulator directly asked Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chief executive, for a “favor” to hire a young job applicant. 

DealBook The applicant, a family friend of the regulator, now works at JPMorgan.

Federal authorities are now investigating whether the hiring at JPMorgan — and at least six other big banks — was done explicitly to win business from Chinese companies. The authorities could decide to bring charges against individuals or a bank if they find such activity to be in violation of anti-bribery laws.


Suspicious Death of JPMorgan Vice President, Gabriel Magee, Under Investigation in London

According to numerous sources close to the investigation of Gabriel Magee’s death, almost nothing thus far reported about his death has been accurate. This appears to stem from an initial poorly worded press release issued by the Metropolitan Police in London which may have been a result of bad communications between it and JPMorgan or something more deliberate on someone’s part.

Magee may have been involved in providing subpoenaed material for the London Whale investigation and the myriad other investigations that JPMorgan has been sanctioned and fined for over the last year. 

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

The news reports at the time of the incident of Gabriel (Gabe) Magee’s “non suspicious” death by “suicide” resulting from his reported leap from the 33rd level rooftop of JPMorgan’s European headquarters building in London have turned out to be every bit as reliable as CEO Jamie Dimon’s initial response to press reports on the London Whale trading scandal in 2012 as a “tempest in a teapot.”

No solid evidence exists currently to suggest that the death was a suicide. In fact, there is a strong piece of evidence pointing in the opposite direction. Magee had emailed his girlfriend, Veronica, on the evening of January 27 to say that he was about to leave the office and would see her shortly. She received no further emails from him, suggesting that whatever happened to Magee happened shortly thereafter, not the next morning.


Citigroup To Pay $110 Million After Lawsuit On Force-Placed Insurance

International Business Times Following JPMorgan Chase  and Assurant Inc.’s $300 million settlement last year, now Citigroup has been told to pay $110 million in a lawsuit to homeowners who were forced to pay expensive property premiums by the bank. The bank also has agreed to refund 8 percent each of force-placed flood or wind insurance premiums even though the bank or its affiliates got no commissions on it.

Single Mom Takes on Banking Giant in Force-Placed Insurance Bank Lawsuit

The plaintiff also alleges that as a result of US Bank purchasing the force-placed hazard insurance from provider American Security Insurance Company (ASIC, and a subsidiary of Assurant Inc.), the latter paid a kickback fee.

Lawyers & Settlements According to Barnard’s Force-Placed Insurance Bank lawsuit, the plaintiff received a letter from US Bank on or about September 17, 2012 informing Barnard that she had insufficient hazard insurance on the property, and thus the Force-Placed Insurance Bank had purchased hazard insurance on her behalf at a value of $132,700, when the property was only appraised at $77,616.97.


Ocwen Gets Origination Pipeline

Ocwen Financial Corp. is developing an origination channel through a strategic alliance with Lenders One, a mortgage cooperative with close ties to the servicer.

This week, Ocwen halted a deal to buy a large servicing portfolio from Wells Fargo at the request of New York State regulator Benjamin Lawsky, who is concerned that the nonbank is growing too fast.

Mortgage Servicing News "We can provide competitive pricing for their mortgages, retain the servicing and distribute the prepayment risk to other investors," Erbey said. "It is not our intention to hold this exposure long-term on our balance sheet."

Four years ago, Lenders One was acquired by Altisource Portfolio Solutions, a publicly-traded company that was spun off from Ocwen in 2009. In 2012, former Ocwen and Lenders One executives launched Correspondent One to acquire closed mortgages from nonbank lenders. The company was initially said to be privately held, with Ocwen as an investor, but the Correspondent One website now says it has been integrated into Ocwen's Homeward Residential Solutions business.


Court denies Ocwen's motion to dismiss on RESPA and Breach of Contract

Justice v. Ocwen 

Ohio Federal District Court Ocwen did not fulfill theirs when they refused to accept their payments according to the terms of the contracts. and when they unilaterally changed the terms of the contracts; and that this caused Plaintiffs damages. And Plaintiffs allege as much in a manner sufficient for this stage of pleadings, without the benefit of discovery. In short, Plaintiffs plead their claims for breach of contract with enough detail to survive Defendants' motion to dismiss, and Defendants' motion to dismiss is thus denied on this count.


The Prosecution That Isn’t Happening

People keep asking why no senior executive has gone to jail for the misdeeds that produced the financial crisis—and cost the United States more than $6 trillion, or $50,000 per household, in lost economic output. 

Baseline Scenario We know that in a world of scarce resources it’s not possible to hold every wrongdoer accountable. Failing that, however, we should punish the people who do the most harm and deter the kinds of misbehavior that will cause the most harm in the future. It’s hard to think of something that caused more harm than the financial crisis. But the heavy artillery of our legal system are looking elsewhere.


How an ordinary town became one of the home foreclosure capitals of America

Banks that cheat people pay fines - but people who cheat banks do time.  

FT “There was a 100 per cent chance you would get a loan,” Cole says, adding that when his colleagues called lenders to discuss financing terms, they were told: “You know what, we can get your frickin’ dog a loan if you have a Social Security number.”

If bankers wanted more mortgages, the folks at Crisp & Cole could make them. If there were no more qualified buyers, they could make them up. Working in lightly regulated corners of the business, these real estate pros knew how to massage information, call the right people and spread enough cash around to get the mortgages approved.




This decision is further evidence of the evolution of the recent body of case law nationally which is consistently permitting homeowners to challenge assignments.  The decisions in Horace (Alabama), Hendricks (Michigan), Williams (Hawaii), Johnson, Naranjo, and Glaski (California), Erobobo (New York), Saldivar (Texas), and the recent Cosajay decision from the Rhode Island Federal court demonstrate where the law is heading on this issue. Further, the Drouin case from the New Hampshire Federal court distinguishes “attacks” on assignments from no assignment having occurred as a matter of fact in situations where the original lender was out of business long before the assignment.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The reason for this 9th dismissal was the same as the others which preceded it: the Plaintiff’s steadfast refusal to comply with discovery. 

The foreclosure-mill Zucker Goldberg and Ackerman has a long history of intentionally refusing to comply with discovery. In fact, in one case in Morris County where Mr. Barnes represented the homeowners, the Judge, during a Case Management Conference, specifically directed the attorney for Zucker to comply with the homeowner’s discovery by producing documents responsive to Mr. Barnes’ Request for Production and producing a representative for deposition. The Zucker attorney stated to the Judge “We’re not going to do that. We object to the discovery, so we are not going to produce it and are not going to produce a representative for deposition.” The Judge stated that she would dismiss the case if the discovery and representative were not produced. Zucker did not produce the discovery or a representative, and the case was dismissed.


Under investigation, American Title CEO dead in grisly suicide

Richard Talley, 57, is the founder of American Title Services in Colorado. 


CEO commits suicide by shooting himself with a nail gun while his company is under investigation

Denver Post


Daily Mail UK

A coroner's spokeswoman Thursday said Talley was found in his garage by a family member who called authorities. They said Talley died from seven or eight self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun fired into his torso and head.

Talley had formed a number of companies, some of which closed down, including American Escrow, Clear Title, Clear Creek Financial Holdings, Swift Basin, Sumar, American Real Estate Services, and the American Alliance of Real Estate Professionals.


More details emerge about three bankers who died in six days

Some speculate missing WSJ reporter case shares circumstances

Details emerged about the work of the three that suggests at least a passing commonality – that is, the institutions they worked for were all connected to investigations in the United States or the United Kingdom for various types of fraud or misconduct.

Housing Wire Global regulators are currently investigating Deutsche Bank for allegedly rigging foreign exchange markets. It settled similar charges in 2013 over involvement in the manipulation of the Libor interest rate benchmark.

Two days after Broeksmit’s death, former Deutsche Bank risk analyst Eric Ben-Artzi spoke at Auburn University in Alabama, alleging that Deutsche hid $10 billion in losses during the financial crisis. Other whistleblowers have come forward with similar allegations.

Why aren't more Fannie Mae borrowers refinancing?

The sideline psychology

"Findings suggest that a better awareness of one’s financial situation could encourage consumers to consider refinancing and to take action," Huang wrote. "In addition, resources and tools that help build financial literacy and awareness could lead to higher rates of refinancing."

Housing Wire In the conclusion, Huang admits there could be other, unmeasured factors associated with the basket of homeowners who shun refinancing, despite savings potential, such as a lack of savings and a perception of higher closing costs.

Huang also stops short of effective means of educating borrowers, indicating that as a securitizer of mortgages, Fannie Mae can only comment on what's happening but cannot speculate on how to change that.















Rhode Island Supreme Court Steps Forward for Borrowers

Living Lies Slowly but surely it seems that the court system are now taking notice of the fact that there is something intrinsically wrong with both the mortgages and the foreclosure process. 

In this case the court affirmatively stated that defects in the assignment process would void the assignment and thus defeat the foreclosure.

RI Supreme Court Vacates MERS' Judgment

CHHUN v. MERS et al

For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we vacate the judgment of the Superior Court and remand the case for further proceedings.

Ken McLeod


RI Supreme Court

These allegations, if proven, could establish that the mortgage was not validly assigned, and, therefore, Aurora did not have the authority to foreclose on the property. Accordingly, the complaint states a plausible claim upon which relief can be granted, and it is not “clear beyond a reasonable doubt that the plaintiff would not be entitled to relief from the defendant under any set of facts that could be proven in support of the plaintiff’s claim.”

Supreme Court Ruling Provides Foreclosure Clients with Hope

“This can be seen as a major victory in the State of Rhode Island that will allow the majority of homeowners to hold the banks and servicers accountable for practicing illegal foreclosure activities.” 

Babcock Law Stated Attorney Corey Allard. This ruling provides hope and demonstrates that the Rhode Island Supreme Court is on the side of the homeowners when combating illegal home foreclosure.

The public should be reminded that each ruling issued changes the landscape of foreclosure law and should be looked to nationally as an example. In each decision, the Rhode Island Supreme Court is redefining Rhode Island mortgage and foreclosure law. All of the professionals who have tackled this issue should be seen as crusaders for the homeowner’s rights.

'Toxic' Mortgage Bonds Now Profitable for Some Investors

National Mortgage News Housing boom-era mortgage securitizations, written off as "toxic waste" during the financial crisis, are performing better than investors once expected, thanks to the rebound in home prices. (It is still toxic waste.)

Homeless: The New Normal

Homelessness is growing rapidly in America. Numerous studies on the rise in homelessness have shown it to be an economic phenomenon. In each of the last ten years, the three leading causes of homelessness were the loss of a job, the high cost of housing, and family breakup. 

FDL A great many homeless people, perhaps most of us, do not fit the stereotype. We are not alcoholics or drug addicts. We are not mentally ill. We have spent our lives working hard, raising families, paying bills―doing all the things responsible citizens do. Some of us are college educated, and a lot of us still have jobs. But we don’t have a roof over our heads―no place to live, keep our things, and go back to at the end of the day.


The Florida Supreme Court on Foreclosures in Florida: The Only Thing That Matters is CLEARING CASES (giving banks judgments)


Weidner Law Right now, consumers and citizens of this state are right in the middle of one of the ugliest periods of modern times. They are being grossly abused and attacked by government and corporations at all levels. The notions of a government that sat between and moderated the overreaches of out of control corporations are a delusion. The Banks and corporations own government and they purchase whatever they need to more efficiently take everything they can from citizens.


The PERFECT CRIME: Bank of America and Dual Tracking

Play this to a jury.

Fraud Stoppers "Dual Tracking" and other mortgage and foreclosure crimes. Its time We The People learn how to stand up and fight Fraud-Closures using the Rule of Law and the American Judicial System.


Repaying Home Equity Loans

If you opened a home-equity line of credit during the housing bubble, you should brace for stiff increases in monthly payments.

NY Times Helocs, as they’re known, were aggressively marketed from 2004 to 2007, and now the bills are coming due. These equity lines typically have a 10-year period during which the borrower can use the line of credit and pay only interest. At the end of 10 years, the borrower must begin paying both interest and principal on the outstanding balance, which could add up to hundreds of dollars more a month.

The bulk of the resets are expected from 2015 to 2017, but about $30 billion in outstanding Helocs will reach the end of the interest-only period this year.


Ex Aldus Partner Scorches Deutsche Bank

Courthouse News A former partner with defunct private equity firm Aldus Capital accuses Deutsche Bank of helping Aldus founder Saul Meyer in a massive "pay-to-play" kickback scheme involving politically connected people and public pension funds.

Former SAC Trader Found Guilty of Insider Trading

The 39-year-old former trader, who is married and has three young children, is expected to face a prison sentence of seven to 10 years.

DealBook The inside information — provided mainly by a doctor familiar with the results of the clinical trial who was the government’s main witness — helped SAC avoid losses and generate profits totaling $275 million in July 2008.

Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said after the conviction that “cheating may have been profitable for Martoma, but in the end, it made him a convicted felon, and likely will result in the forfeiture of his illegal windfall and the loss of his liberty.”


New York Regulator Halts Mortgage Servicing Rights Deal

A New York State regulator has dealt a serious blow to Ocwen Financial by halting the transfer of about $39 billion in servicing rights to the company from Wells Fargo.

DealBook Specialty servicers like Ocwen have been purchasing tens of billions of dollars of mortgage servicing rights from large global banks and vowing to improve service for borrowers. But as these companies grow, regulators and investors have become concerned with their capacity to handle the flood of new mortgages, especially troubled loans that require additional attention.

A New Risk Surfaces: Modification Reset

National Mortgage News Many people hit hard by the financial crisis who received a loan modification still may be struggling to regain their economic footing and lack the resources to quickly recover from financial setbacks. The additional payment shock possibly created by mortgage interest rate resets has the potential to send a large portion of distressed borrowers into redefault.

How Eviction Resisters Are Using Stand-Your-Ground Laws To Challenge Fannie Mae

In motions filed Monday in Dekalb County Magistrate Court, the group argues that when Mark Harris refused to leave his home as police attempted to evict him at gunpoint, he wasn't criminally trespassing - he was standing his ground.

TruthOut The four defendants had a chance to take plea bargains that offered lesser punishments such as community service, probation and paying a fine. But they unanimously rejected the deals to take the case to trial. They want to use the opportunity to force transparency from the company that strung Harris along for years, leading him to believe he could save his house, then suddenly slammed the door on negotiations.

"Our objective is to subpoena some of the folks that are hiding their hand as they evict people," Davis says. "Our hope is that, by having the trial, we will expose the lengths that banks and lenders will go to and how it impacts the everyman and -woman who are just trying to survive."


Arizona’s “Unholy” Foreclosure Mess

A defaulting borrower may defend against foreclosure on ground that the chain of assignments of the deed of trust is defective, and also on a variety of other theories.


Prof. David Reiss 1. Lack of a proper chain of title to the deed of trust. The Court of Appeals seems to have assumed that no foreclosure would be permissible without the foreclosing party having a chain of assignments from the originator of the loan. If one accepts this assumption, IndyMac was in trouble. The first assignment, made in 2009, was from MERS, acting as nominee of IndyMac Bank, to IndyMac Federal FSB, but it was made before IndyMac Federal FSB even existed!


A.I.G. Seeks to Delay Bank of America Mortgage Settlement

DealBook A.I.G., refused to sign the pact, arguing that the settlement was a fraction of the overall losses. A.I.G. also argued that the trustee for the bonds, Bank of New York Mellon, shirked its responsibility in pushing for more money in the settlement.

Connecticut Man Sentenced for Defrauding TARP in Multimillion Dollar Mortgage Scheme

Victim financial institutions, which include TARP banks, suffered losses of between $2.5 million and $7 million as a result of this scheme.

National Mortgage Professional Robert Ilunga, of Naugatuck, Conn., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford, Conn. to 18 months in federal prison for operating a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme that involved more than 40 properties in Bridgeport, Conn. from 2001 to 2011.

Banks, Mortgage Companies Defrauded HUD, Veteran Whistleblower Says

A whistleblower with a track record of wresting large settlements from banks is suing 22 companies for allegedly filing fraudulent mortgage documents with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

National Mortgage News The plaintiff’s lawyer alleges the 22 banks, mortgage servicers, trustees, custodians and default management companies created fraudulent mortgage assignments and submitted tens of thousands of false claims to HUD.

“It’s been very difficult to uncover how fraudulent documents were created and spread through the system,” says Reuben Guttman, Szymoniak’s attorney.

Szymoniak v. the Banks et al


Consumers Lodge Thousands of Complaints About Firms That Service Mortgages

As part of its statutory functions, the CFPB sends investigators into the offices of mortgage servicing firms to check their accounts for evidence of what it calls “unfair and deceptive practices.” In their latest series of visits and supervisory audits, bureau auditors found shenanigans that might horrify unsuspecting homeowners:

Washington Post According to Stein, botched transfers of servicing appear to be an increasing source of pain for consumers, as are lost documents and so-called “dual tracking,” where servicers pursue foreclosures at the same time they are considering borrowers for a possible loan modification.

What should you do if your mortgage servicer gives you the runaround despite having seriously messed up your mortgage account? Consider joining the thousands of fellow owners who have filed complaints with the CFPB (www.consumerfinance.gov). Unlike other federal agencies, the bureau follows up on your complaint, contacts the servicer promptly and tries to mediate your dispute.

JPMorgan Agrees To $614 Million Mortgage Lending Settlement

Settles claims it approved thousands of unqualified home mortgage loans for government insurance and refinancing since 2002, costing the government millions of dollars when the loans defaulted.


Huff Post Associate Attorney General Tony West said the deal "recovers wrongfully claimed funds for vital government programs that give millions of Americans the opportunity to own a home and sends a clear message that we will take appropriately aggressive action against financial institutions that knowingly engage in improper mortgage lending practices."

In November, JPMorgan agreed to pay $13 billion to settle a civil inquiry into its sales of low-quality mortgage-backed securities that collapsed in value in the 2008 financial crisis. It also announced it had reached a $4.5 billion settlement with 21 major institutional investors over mortgage-backed securities issued by it and Bear Stearns between 2005 and 2008.

Financial world shaken by 4 bankers' apparent suicides in a week

RT The apparent suicide death of the chief economist of a US investment house brings the number of financial workers who have died allegedly by their own hand to four in the last week.

Morgan Stanley Reaches $1.25 Billion Mortgage Settlement

The latest agreement shows how the costs of the financial crisis are far from over for Wall Street.

DealBook Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay $1.25 billion to the Federal Housing Finance Agency to settle claims that it sold shoddy mortgage securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that resulted in big losses for the government-backed entities.

Welcome Relief for Homeowners, Then the Tax Bill

NY Times Mr. Heil owes $250,000 on his mortgage, and has found a buyer willing to take the house for $150,000. The bank has agreed. But if Congress does not extend the exemption, he will be forced to count the $100,000 difference as income. That would mean a $28,000 tax bill, and Mr. Heil has no idea how he would afford it.

State chasing down loan-foreclosure scams 

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is taking a tough stance against scam artists who prey on people who have fallen behind on mortgage payments and are facing foreclosure.

  Zoeller said. “We are very aggressive about finding the companies who are taking advantage of struggling and desperate homeowners.” Then why doesn't he start with the major banks.  If the AG would stop banks from illegally foreclosing, the bottom-feeders would have nothing to feed on.

Your House is in Foreclosure: What Should You Do?

Bankruptcy Law Network Your house is in foreclosure, the mortgage company is calling you every day. They make it sound like they’re going to come and put your stuff out on the street any minute. 

Correcting Foreclosure Practices

OCC Expired IFR Check?
Checks issued as part of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement expire 90 days after they are issued as a means to limit fraud. If your check has expired and you would like to have the check reissued, please contact the paying agent, Rust Consulting, at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET.

Foreclosure Prevention: The Real McCoy

Pat McCoy was one of the first legal scholars to identify predatory behaviors in the secondary mortgage market. These behaviors resulted in homeowners being saddled with expensive loans that they had trouble paying off. As many unaffordable mortgages work themselves through the system, Pat has now turned her attention to the other end of the life cycle of many an abusive mortgage — foreclosure.


Prof. David Reiss


Prof. Patricia A. McCoy

It seems to me that the federal government dealt with foreclosures much more effectively in the Great Depression, with the creation of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation. In our crisis, we have muddled through and have failed to systematically deal with the foreclosure crisis. McCoy’s article does a real service in identifying what we have done wrong this time around. 

However the housing finance system is reformed, it is crucial for regulators, investors, the servicing and securitization industries, and the public at large to take this opportunity to institutionalize the changes needed to improve foreclosure prevention for once and for good. 


CFPB Report Sheds Light on Mortgage Servicing Problems

A recent regulatory report sheds light on “shoddy” mortgage servicing practices and calls for better supervision

The report, released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, highlighted problems of “unfair and deceptive” practices in the mortgage servicing market that the bureau uncovered in 2013 through its supervision program. 

Reverse Mortgage Daily “To address the shoddy mortgage servicing problems, the CFPB put in place new, common-sense rules designed to eliminate surprises and runarounds for homeowners,” the bureau said. The rules went into effect on January 10, 2014 and require services to maintain accurate records, give troubled borrowers direct and ongoing access to servicing personnel, credit payments made in a prompt manner, and correct errors on request. 

Relief Or No Relief For Bank Of America Corp

US Trade V The judge’s decision approved the settlement majorly, but has placed a caveat relating to one part of the settlement which relates to modified loans by Countrywide. Justice Barbara Kapnick noted in her decision that the withheld portion pertains to those claims, which should not have been settled by the Bank of New York Mellon without investigation.






MERS gets partial boot as it tries to muscle in on million-dollar property. 


The Court therefore begins its analysis with Plaintiffs' first claim to set aside Defendants' purportedly void judgment in the quiet title action. The Court then considers Plaintiffs remaining state law claims, to wit, Plaintiffs' slander of title claim and cancellation of void instruments claim. The Court concludes with Plaintiffs' claim for declaratory relief.  The Court GRANTS Defendant Robinsons' Motion to Dismiss. If Plaintiffs wish to file an amended complaint, they must do so by March 3, 2014.

CENTRAL DISTRICT COURT OF CALIFORNIA Another source of confusion is the fact that entities such as MERS are often not only named as a nominee, but as a "beneficiary" on deeds of trust. This unorthodox usage of the word "beneficiary" causes all manner of havoc ... Often, the true beneficiary (the lender/nominator) will obfuscate this distinction on the deed of trust by referring to MERS as the "beneficiary of record." This is a fiction. MERS is not a beneficiary in any ordinary sense of the word. Calling MERS a beneficiary is what causes much of the confusion. To a large extent, defendants in these actions have brought this mass of litigation upon themselves by this confusing, unorthodox, and usually unnecessary word "beneficiary" to describe MERS' role . . . Calling MERS a beneficiary is both incorrect and unnecessary.

Quasi In Rem Quiet Title Actions: NO MERS!


MERS v. Robinson

MERS Amended Complaint

Robinson's Motion to Dismiss

Clouded Titles



This case got its start from a warning shot fired by MERS’ counsel in a letter to attorney Al West of Redondo Beach, California, who has managed to get numerous deeds of trust expunged from the real property records up and down the State of California since the beginning of 2013 in conjunction with orders quieting title to the properties involved. When MERS counsel discovered what happened, it launched a rather terse letter to West, telling him to file a stipulated agreement to reverse his own quiet title actions and expungement orders … like that’s going to happen? The pomposity of it all, right?


A Rash of Deaths and a Missing Reporter – With Ties to Wall Street Investigations

One of their key issues, which should also trouble the police, is how an employee obtains access to the rooftop of one of the mostly highly secure buildings in London.

Wall Street on Parade In a span of four days last week, two current executives and one recently retired top ranking executive of major financial firms were found dead. Both media and police have been quick to label the deaths as likely suicides. Missing from the reports is the salient fact that all three of the financial firms the executives worked for are under investigation for potentially serious financial fraud.


Maine lawyers nabbed for failing to disclose robo-signing

Maine lawyer: ‘We were shocked’ to learn of robo-signing.

Three lawyers with a Portland firm could be disciplined for failing to take ‘reasonable’ actions.

Depending on what the panel finds, it could dismiss the petition, dismiss it with a warning, discipline them with a written reprimand or refer the case to a justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court with a recommendation for discipline ranging from suspension to disbarment.

Portland Press Herald The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar said in closing arguments that Drummond and Drummond needed to file formal motions in each of the cases to make sure judges were notified of the robo-signing problem and not just the clerks.

“They failed to appreciate, and should have appreciated, the evidentiary bomb that was presented to them,” Eee said. “They did not take the problem seriously.

Attorneys for the three men argued that they did what was required under Maine’s ethics rules for lawyers, balancing proper representation of their clients and making full disclosure of the problem to the courts.

Arizona Appellate Court Clears Up Confusion in Foreclosure Cases: Steinberger v. OneWest

Basic fairness prevails in the Arizona Appellate Court’s new decision in Steinberger v. OneWest Bank, et. al. Attorney Barbara Forde brought this action for her client Steinberger as a special action after the bulk of her case was dismissed by the trial court. 

The court understood the problem of an assignment of an interest years after the interest has already been transferred. If there is no interest to transfer, nothing transfers. It’s as simple as that.


Findsen Law A special action can be brought when speediness is essential, and there is no other adequate form of relief. Because she still had a few existing claims against certain defendants in her underlying case, she could not appeal by ordinary route, without waiting until the end of that case, which would be too late. So she brought this special action. And it sat and sat, much longer than the ordinary special action. But the opinion was worth the wait.

"The Steinberger court also recognized that the point of listing securitization facts is to establish a timeline that may show that the transfers in a purported chain of title cannot be true, if the note was in fact transferred to a securitization trust by a set closing date. This is relevant to the beneficiary’s claimed authority, not an attempt for the homeowner to be claiming rights or enforcement under the third party securitization documents.



JP Morgan Corners Gold Market — where did they get the money?

While most judges consider the 3 year statute of limitations to run absolutely, it will eventually be recognized by the courts that the statute doesn't start to run until discovery of the undisclosed compensation by an undisclosed party who was a principal player in permeating the loan.

Now it is time for the borrowers to do their part. This could lead to global settlements in which borrowers and investors are able to mitigate (or even eliminate) their losses.

Living Lies All of this is relevant to foreclosure litigation. The question is directed at the source of funds for JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and the other main players on Wall Street. And the answer is that they stole it. 

The reason it is relevant is that by tracing the funds, it can be determined that the actual “lender” was a group of investors who thought they were buying mortgage bonds and who did not know their money had been diverted into the pockets of the broker dealers, and then used to create fictitious transactions that the banks falsely reported as trading profits. In order to do this the broker dealers had to create the illusion of mortgage loans that were industry standard loans and they had to divert the apparent ownership of those loans from the investors through fraudulent paper trails based on the appearance of transactions that in fact never happened.


Mortgage-Deal Spoils Divide Winners From Losers in U.S. Capitols

Bloomberg New York got $613 million to settle a 2012 case Schneiderman mounted against the bank and its Bear Stearns unit. As the most active in pursuing -- and suing -- the bank, he won the biggest pot. That was enough to aggravate natural tensions with the state’s top political figure.


Analyzing the EROBOBO case:


Despite the fact that foreclosure of real property is by nature an action in equity - and it has long been held that equity abhors injustice' - the process being implemented against homeowners by the banks and courts has been far from equitable.


  Foreclosure defense attorneys have been fighting back, but battling the Wall Street banks (who have been playing fast and loose with long-standing laws and procedural rules governing foreclosure actions) feels a bit like David slinging shots at Goliath.

Trying to figure out, let alone properly document, the chain of assignments from the original lender to a plaintiff in a foreclosure action has generated an enormous amount of confusion among the banks themselves, homeowners, their attorneys and the courts regarding whether a particular plaintiff has the legal right to foreclose on a home. The confusion is multiplied by the fact the plaintiff-bank in an action foreclosing a securitized mortgage is often the trustee of a special purpose entity, which is usually a securitized trust created under New York or Delaware law, that purchased the mortgage being foreclosed. The trustee is never the institution that originally granted the loan to the homeowner and it is often a challenge for the trustee to explain exactly how it legally obtained the right to foreclose.


Dishonest Notaries Can Escape "Civil" Liability After 6 Years

A dishonest notary can corrupt the chain of title of real property with a void deed by falsely notarizing the forged signature of the grantor.

California Litigation Attorney If the forged deed goes undetected for 6 years or more from the date of the forgery, then the statute of limitations bars any civil claims against that dishonest notary. Since the void deed conveys no title, the post 6 year grantee not only acquires no title to the property, but he or she has no legal recourse against the crooked notary. However, title insurance will usually cover the grantee’s loss.


Sidestepper of the National Mortgage Settlement, Servicer Ocwen grows as borrowers groan

Mortgage servicer Ocwen is growing into a $500 billion behemoth — on the backs of bondholders and troubled borrowers. The nation’s fourth-largest mortgage servicer has ridden roughshod over homeowners, who cannot switch servicers if they don’t like working with Ocwen.

NY Post We believe Ocwen violated federal consumer financial laws at every stage of the mortgage servicing process,” said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
”After examining the potential violations, we have concluded that Ocwen made troubled borrowers more vulnerable to foreclosure,” Cordray added in December when announcing a $2.2 billion settlement of accusations against the company.

Ocwen will pay just $67 million in cash to victims of wrongful foreclosure. The company got off without admitting wrongdoing, and no executives were slapped with criminal charges.
It’s a raw deal, experts said.
“Bondholders are essentially taking a more direct hit as a result of those principal reductions,” said Fitch Ratings.

Ocwen said the deal provides “clarity” and releases it from liability for servicing, modification and foreclosure practices.



4closureFraud The Florida Bar, the state’s guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 21 attorneys; disbarring one, suspending 17 and publicly reprimanding three. Three attorneys received more than one form of discipline. They were also placed on probation.


Nightmarish mortgage debacle alleged against bank by homeowner

Louisiana Record A homeowner who restructured his mortgage claims Bank of America repeatedly sent important mail to the wrong address that led to the repeated underpayment of the mortgage and eventually to the bank hiring Seterus, a collection company

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