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The biggest unpunished heist in human history - Max Keiser


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Mortgage Servicing Fraud
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
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Articles are added several times a day 




Copies of documents not good enough to get a free house

It is fundamental that “[d]ocuments that have not been sworn, certified, 
or authenticated by way of affidavit ‘have no evidentiary value.’ ” Simply attaching the note and mortgage to the 
complaint does not make them proper for consideration on summary judgment.

Bank of America v. Smith

FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT OF OHIO - Bank of America has cited no case law in support of its proposition that a photocopy of a promissory note is self-authenticating when no evidence has been presented that it is a true and accurate copy.

- But only R.C. 1301.307 addresses the authentication of entire documents, and that statute is limited to certain document types, of which a photocopied promissory note is not one.

- we must reverse the decision of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of Bank of America.

In the Supreme Court of the United States


JESINOSKI v. Countrywide et al

When Congress enacted the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), it required one simple act to exercise rescission: notice to the creditor. Over more than
four decades, as it actively reshaped and revamped many of TILA’s other requirements, Congress never changed or added to this simple requirement. By
retaining TILA’s straightforward rescission process, exercisable by a homeowner, Congress endorsed the Federal Reserve Board’s contemporaneous and longstanding interpretation that the right is exercised solely through notice.


Discusses title.


The only basis for finding that ReconTrust is a proper trustee is the ―Assignment of Successor Trustee executed by MERS. However, because MERS is not and never was the proper beneficiary, and—as Plaintiffs note—MERS has never owned any interest whatsoever in the deed of trust, ReconTrust was not directly appointed by the true beneficiary.



Recording of False or Deceptive Documents
Defendants argue that they did not record any ―false or ―deceptive documents.
The Washington Supreme Court has held that ―characterizing MERS as the beneficiary has the capacity to deceive, and such a characterization presumptively satisfies the unfair act or practice element of a CPA claim. Here, certain documents, such as the Appointment of Successor Trustee, characterize MERS as the beneficiary of the Deed of Trust. Thus, the act of recording that document presumptively satisfies the first CPA element.

Plaintiff's Winning Response to SJ

Violations under the CPA and Trustee misconduct

REMAND back to state court

Lambrecht v. Green Tree Servicing



The Complaint also seeks treble damages from NWTS under the Consumer Protection Act. 
The factual allegations assign specific instances of misconduct by the trustee, which include the following: 
Defendant Northwest Trustee Services, Inc. engaged in a deceptive act  when it executed and transmitted Notices of Default to Plaintiffs when it was not empowered to act as a Successor Trustee because no Appointment 
of Successor Trustee has ever been recorded with Snohomish County, and 
the Notices of Default was transmitted prior to the recording of an Appointment of Successor Trustee, in violation of RCW §61 .24.010(2).


Banks' Slowdown On Mortgage Aid Could Lead To Another Foreclosure Mess

dbr The report also singled out JPMorgan, CitiMortgage and Select Portfolio Servicing Inc. for processing speeds that could keep borrowers waiting for months. Homeowners are supposed to receive a response within a month of submitting their paperwork.


It only happens when 'banks' lose money...

Florida Supreme Court Punishes Rothstein Partners Rosenfeldt, Adler

Rothstein is serving a 50-year prison sentence for his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

dbr Prosecutors said Rosenfeldt was part of a general practice of check kiting at RRA, resulting in bank losses of more than $478,900. Rosenfeldt also was reimbursed for funneling money to the 2008 presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. John McCain, and for helping Rothstein threaten a prostitute who talked about going public about her relationship with Rosenfeldt.

Adam Ira Skolnik of Deerfield Beach was suspended for 15 days, effective Aug. 8. Skolnik swore under oath that a statement was true, when in fact he knew that it was not.

11th Circuit Backs $67M Verdict Against TD Bank In Rothstein Fallout

dbr In a resounding victory for an investor group fleeced by disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein, a federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed a $67 million verdict against TD Bank for helping the lawyer-turned-con-man perpetuate his Ponzi scheme.

Worth another look...

"Show Me The Note" Foreclosure Defense Works...

The UCC, at 3:309(2), says that the bank must ‘prove’ its right to enforce the Note. 

Daily Kos You ask the bank, “Where did you get that Note? Show me the endorsements”. The bank must show the ‘chain of title’ from the original Lender bank to itself, and that it cannot do. 

In other words, Mr. Banker, if you want to foreclose, or file a Proof of Claim and set aside the ‘stay’ order that stops you from foreclosing, you must “Prove” that you own “both” the mortgage (deed of trust) and the note (meaning: prove a valid “chain of title”). 

The Unlawful Notary is a Felony

JOANNA LILLY Ms. Hagan was also prosecuted
criminally by the Attorney General’s office and eventually pled guilty to a third class felony for tampering with public records.

A California notary public pled guilty to a felony violation of Penal Code Section 115, offering a forged instrument to be registered in a public office within the state, and Penal Code Section 118, for perjury.

Think Notaries, Foreclosure-Mills and judges who witness the crimes and cover them up...

Misprision can lead to prison

(Just knowing about a crime unfortunately means you are involved.)


Fraud of the Day

Knowing about a crime and not reporting it is just about as bad as actually committing one. The official term for this act is misprision, or the failure to report a known felony to authorities even though the person reporting the offense is not directly involved.

18 U.S.C. 4: Misprision of Felony

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.


Chase Mortgage And The Case of The Original Note That Isn’t Original At All 

(They Got Away With Foreclosure After All)

Weidner Law In 2010, Chase filed a document that they called an “Original Note”. Except that at trial it turns out this was only a photocopy. But it’s even worse than that…..after the foreclosure judgment was entered…we discovered that the mortgage had been assigned to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Consequently, the newly discovered evidence cannot be said to be merely cumulative or impeaching.
Therefore, the final judgment should be vacated and a new trial ordered.


HSBC Whistleblower: Banks Are Financing Terrorism

NewsMax "What I found was criminal manipulation of the wire filter and there was hundreds upon millions of dollars moving from Caribe Supermarkets, which is in Gambia, which is owned by the Tajideen brothers, which are financiers of Hezbollah," he explained. 


Pro Se Suits No Picnic for Defense Lawyers

dbr It's no secret that certain plaintiffs lawyers have a special ability to make defendants sweat.
But even more troubling than seeing a top-tier attorney on a complaint can be seeing two anxiety-producing words: pro se.


Bank Slowdown on Mortgage Aid Puts Borrowers at Risk, Audit Says

The number of borrowers waiting for a response to their requests for HAMP aid rose 65 percent between November and May, to 221,000, which the report called “an alarming trend.”

Money News “Without a timely review of their eligibility to even get into a HAMP trial modification, struggling homeowners left in limbo hoping to get help from TARP’s HAMP program may not pursue other foreclosure alternatives and, with options narrowing over time, may be at risk for foreclosure,” the report said.

Prior audits have questioned the high rate of redefaults by borrowers who’ve received mortgage modifications through HAMP.

SIGTARP has reported on many occasions that Treasury can and should do more to hold servicers accountable, and this is just one more example.”  


AG: Colorado law firm getting paid too much in foreclosure settlement

The law firm's requested fee "victimizes these homeowners once again," because the money could go to them instead, the state says in the filing.

Allen & Vellone argues that any reduction in its fee would be money in Aronowitz's pockets, not for homeowners.

Denver Post Colorado's attorney general is challenging a Denver law firm that recently landed a class-action settlement against one of the state's biggest foreclosure law practices — and wants to collect $875,000 of legal fees — saying it did little more than to ride the state's investigative coat-tails.

Allen & Vellone said its fees were only $355,000, but asked for far more because of the "significant benefits" they brought to about 32,000 homeowners affected by the overcharging practice. Also, courts routinely award class-action lawyers a multiplier of their actual costs, the law firm said.


Bank of America Raises Its Settlement Offer

DealBook The Justice Department, which has measured the success of its mortgage cases largely on the size of cash penalties, has balked at the offer. If a deal is not reached in the coming days, the Justice Department might announce a lawsuit against the bank.

Underscoring how little leverage the bank has in fighting the Justice Department, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Federal District Court in Manhattan ordered Bank of America on Wednesday to pay a nearly $1.3 billion penalty in another federal mortgage case. 


JPMorgan Has Spent $18 Billion Buying Back Its Own Stock in Four Years

If the full authorization of $6.5 billion is spent by the first quarter of next year, JPMorgan will have tapped its capital to the tune of $24.5 billion – not to lend to deserving businesses or home buyers or consumers, but to binge on its own stock buybacks.

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

Having a steady pool of billions of dollars to prop up a stock’s share price might seem like a neat trick to top corporate executives whose compensation is tied, in part, to the performance of the company’s stock, but it does little to help a nation struggling from the aftermath of the economic ravages unleashed by the big bank financial crash in 2008.

$22B in government mortgage relief still left for struggling homeowners

HAMP defaults still running high

Housing Wire There is nearly $22 billion of untapped funding available for the Treasury’s Making Home Affordable program, along with another $3.4 billion available for the Hardest Hit Funds Program.

Thousands stuck in limbo waiting to save their homes

MSNBC As part of the 2008-2009 bank bailout, Washington set aside billions to help troubled homeowners make their mortgage payments and avoid losing their homes to foreclosure. But HAMP is being administered through private mortgage companies, and a slew of problems have made it difficult for ordinary Americans to get assistance from the program. 


Bank of America’s Countrywide Ordered to Pay $1.3 Billion

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan issued the civil penalty against the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank today in the first mortgage-fraud case brought by the federal government to go to trial.

Bloomberg While Rakoff didn’t grant the government’s request for the maximum penalty of $2.1 billion, he concluded that Fannie and Freddie paid Countrywide nearly $3 billion for the HSSL loans. The judge reduced the penalty by 43 percent because experts for both sides said more than 57 percent of the loans were of “acceptable quality.


Bank of America Hit with $1.27 Billion Criminal Penalty

Civilly liable = fine

Criminally liable = fine?

Free Advice Bank of America’s position that it is not significantly liable for the misdeeds of Countrywide seems untenable after the Hustle litigation, and the Department of Justice is likely to exploit the opportunity to increase the upcoming settlement. With the cloud of civil penalties for sub-prime lending hanging heavy, Judge Rakoff’s $1.27 billion criminal penalty is just the beginning for Bank of America.

Varde Partners Completes $290 Million Note Issuance

They paid $290 million for void Notes with clouded titles. Should we tell them?

Mortgage Servicing News The securitization notes, VFC Series 2014-2, are backed by a pool of performing and nonperforming commercial and real estate owned properties. The assets were purchased from banks, special servicers and other financial institutions.


Judges: don’t be afraid of the evidence. Don’t be afraid of the law. Don’t be afraid to rule against the banks.


For the past six years, I have all too often been asked this question by Judges across the US: “But, Mr. Barnes, your client did not pay the mortgage, right?” Of course, I then have to explain that we may deal with that issue IF AND AFTER we get past the standing issue, which is the threshold issue which must be resolved before any claims of “defaults” or “amounts due” are approached. That is, “Your Honor, we first have to resolve whether these people on the other side even have the right to be here or request any relief.” It has been and continues to be a difficult hurdle. However, more and more Judges are getting it.

For some reason, some Judges just cannot rule against a bank, and others never met a bank they didn’t like.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The problem is that, as one Judge told me years ago, “Mr. Barnes, I pay my mortgage and I do not know who owns it, so why should your client get away with not paying his?” My response is that maybe, Your Honor, you should question who owns your loan and whether or not you owe what the servicer claims you owe. You may be overpaying. The Judge offered to recuse himself and hire me to find out. Naturally, I declined for obvious reasons.

The law on standing is pretty clear in the 30+ states I have worked in since 2008. The problem is that the “we have the Note, therefore we win” mantra of the “bank” attorneys too often carries the day. We actually have two cases on appeal at this time where our expert (a former Wall Street national securitization manager for one of the largest investment banks and who actually put securitizations together and had the responsibility for making sure that the securitizations complied with Federal laws and regulations) testified, without any rebuttal or any cross-examination, that pursuant to public filings and documents from the involved parties that the foreclosing “bank” does not, did not, and could not own the loan. Notwithstanding that unrebutted evidence, the Judge signs the “form” boilerplate Final Judgment of Foreclosure anyway.


Mortgage relief schemes increase foreclosure risk

The Federal Trade Commission is going after six more companies that claim to help you avoid foreclosure. This brings the total count to 48 in the crackdown against alleged phony foreclosure rescue operations. In separate actions,

KOMO Attorneys at the Northwest Consumer Law Center warn that these people are very convincing. Mahoney's attorney Katy Box says he contacted her in the nick of time. She was able to get a mediation started on his behalf, and halt the foreclosure proceedings against Mahoney's mortgage loan.

In a new version of the foreclosure relief scam, Box says the phony promoters actually fake an approved loan modification.

"They approve the borrower for a modification. They tell them, 'Okay if you make these monthly payments to us, if you make three of them, your loan will be permanently modified and you can't be foreclosed on.' So the client will make the payments to the scam company, not the mortgage company- thinking their loan is modified," Box said.


Covering up criminal activity?

Multiple interests at stake in Mass. title-clearing bill talks

Improper foreclosures have jammed up homeowners who purchased the properties from banks leading to a late-session push for legislation that opponents claim would unfairly bar those who lost their homes from winning back the titles.



Stop Foreclosure Fraud

The bill (S 1987) would create a one-year period starting the day it takes effect as law where those who lost homes because of improper foreclosures could sue to regain the title. Going forward, the House and Senate have differed on the window of time until any discrepancy in title would be cleared by another document. The legislation would not limit those who lost homes from suing banks for monetary damages. 
Reddington-Wilde said those windows are unworkable and represent a significant decrease from the current 20-year statute of limitations, which she said is a "longstanding right." 


County filing suit against MERS

Colleton Today The suit being prepared for Colleton County alleges “The MERS System has created massive confusion as to the true owners of beneficial interest in mortgage loans and mortgages throughout the United States, including South Carolina, and has harmed U.S. counties, including plaintiff Colleton County. In short, the MERS System has eroded the transparency and corrupts the chain of title of the public recording system in the United States and the state of South Carolina.”

Another pro se win.

New Mexico Court of Appeals: "We agree with homeowner and Reverse."

Bank of New York Mellon v. Lopes

Court of Appeals New Mexico In Deutsche Bank, we concluded that a
note with an undated indorsement in blank, which was not produced at the time the complaint was filed, but only at trial, was insufficient to establish a bank's standing to foreclose
. As in Deutsche Bank, the Bank's failure to establish that it had the right to enforce Homeowner's note as of the date the complaint for foreclosure was filed constitutes a failure to establish the Bank's standing to bring the suit and a jurisdictional defect.

Homeownership at 19 Year Low

Mortgage Daily While there have been quarterly ups and downs the homeownership rate has eroded at a fairly steady rate since then.

The real reason Fannie and Freddie don't do principal modifications

Because there is one big investor in MBS that the government is worried about – pension funds.

Principal mods for Fannie and Freddie mortgage-backed securities could be a game changer for this paper.

Housing Wire As the Acting FHFA Chairman, DeMarco’s prime directive was to protect the taxpayer, and the fear was that a mass principal refi program would trigger a wave of strategic defaults, where people who had the ability to repay their mortgage would choose to stop paying in hopes of getting a principal mod.

The left thought they had finally scored a victory by replacing Ed DeMarco with Mel Watt, a politician seen as more amenable to principal mods. So far, the left has been disappointed.


New York Fed Worried About Gambling in Casablanca, Um, Ethics Problem at Big Banks

naked capitalism This story would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. Yesterday, the Financial Times reported that the New York Fed woke up out of its usual slumber and realized that the crisis has changed nothing and that banks still are in the business of looting have unaddressed ethics issues.



Pro se wins reversal of breach of contract claim in JPMorgan's patterned loan mod scam.

Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase


Opinion cites case law for pro se litigants.

Eighth Circuit COA Missouri Topchian’s amended complaint alleges sufficient facts to state a claim for breach of contract. Our holding should not be read as imposing any sweeping duty upon district courts to devise legal theories for pro se plaintiffs. Rather, a complaint should be found to raise a claim only “if the essence of an allegation is discernable, even though it is not pleaded with legal nicety[.]” Stone, 364 F.3d at 915. Here, the essence of Topchian’s breach of contract claim was discernable because he attached the Agreement—a contract—to his pleadings and alleged that Chase had not complied with that contract.

Dodd-Frank Financial Regulations hearing

C-SPAN Witnesses testified on the effects of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on the financial services industry, consumers, and American competitiveness since its enactment in July 2010. Former Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), who co-sponsored the act, said he did not support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) call to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. Several banking and financial services representatives also testified. 


Bank deals leave public holding bag

A much stronger fight has to occur going forward.

Poughkeepsie Journal Nobody has been held criminally responsible for financial meltdown, and new rules could prove too weak to prevent another one. One key will be the implementation of a measure designed to restrict banks from engaging in proprietary trading that does not benefit their customers.


Congressman demands details behind DOJ settlements with Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase



Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday seeking “all documents and communications” involved in the settlements. That could please various critics all along the political spectrum, MoneyBeat reports, because some conservatives believe the Obama administration has wrongfully conducted a shakedown of the banks, and some liberals complain that the DOJ has been too soft as far as pursuing cases stemming from the financial crisis.

After foreclosure, trying to buy their house back

As the eviction process dragged on, the Coronels regained their financial footing and wanted to buy the house back from its new owner, Fannie Mae. “We asked, ‘Why don’t you sell it to us?’ ” Juana said.

Washington Post The Federal Housing Finance Agency won’t allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to take part in these kinds of deals. The regulator, which oversees the two government-backed mortgage giants, fears that principal reductions will entice homeowners to intentionally default on mortgages in a bid to get cheaper loans.


Still relevant today.

Who Really owns your house?

This will, also, further cloud the chain of custody for documents that prove who the rightful owner of a property is. Professor Adam Levitin said: “The problems coming out in the foreclosure process raise questions about whether, and frankly this is frightening, but whether anyone in the U.S. has clear title to their property.



Congressman Alan Grayson said, “It appears that on a widespread and probably pervasive basis they (the banks) did not take the steps necessary to own the note . . . which means that in 45 out of the 50 states they lack the legal right to foreclose...  So they have simply created a system where servicers hire foreclosure mill law firms whose business is to forge documents showing or purporting to show they have a legal right to foreclose.” 

Dodd Frank Protections: 

Keys to Stopping Foreclosures

Weidner Law The new Dodd-Frank Act regulations provide POWERFUL protection for consumers.


Wall Street’s Regulators Sell Out on Illegal Wash Sales

Pam Martens

Wall Street Parade

Wash sales – one of the most virulent forms of stock manipulation that bankrupted banks and corporate conglomerates in the Great Depression and intensified the stock market crash of 1929 to 1932 – has reached scandalous proportions in today’s markets. The response from regulators? Gut the rules that make it a crime.

Original Note Required

Fair V. Kaufman

h/t Matt Weidner Appeal of the trial court's final judgment of foreclosure. We remand this case to the circuit court because the appellees failed to introduce at trial the original note and mortgage.


Soldier's home demolished over building code violations while he was away on training

Daily Mail UK The soldier's pregnant wife and child were kicked to the curb and many of their belongings destroyed before they could retrieve them.

A federal judge has slammed Miami-Dade County for refusing to delay demolition of a soldier's home while he trained in California for deployment to the Middle East.


Financial Predators Move On From Foreclosure Rescue, Enter Student Debt, Military Lending Spaces

This act of protection for homeowners against financial predators just happens to coincide with an election year!

Here are CFPB’s filings, against Clausen & Cobb, The Mortgage Law Group and Hoffman Law Group, which was actually filed jointly with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who filed three other lawsuits against foreclosure rescue scammers.

David Dayen At one level, a crackdown on foreclosure rescue scams and not the overarching mortgage and foreclosure fraud is like letting the arsonist who set fire to the house go while busting the guy who took five bucks off the dresser before the house started to burn.

While I have nothing against a sweep of this magnitude against those who prey upon the weak, it obviously would have had a stronger impact when foreclosure starts spiked in 2008 and 2009. Not like the evidence wasn’t out there at that time.


Meet the Lawyers who Won $16 Million for CA Homeowner – A Mandelman Matters Podcast

Mandelman Matters This decision wasn’t the first that blamed and held servicers accountable for their treatment of borrowers in the loan modification process. In fact, last year the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals not only ruled in favor of the borrower in Corvello v. Wells Fargo, but in addition Judge Noonan actually chewed out Wells Fargo saying among other things: “Heads I win, tails you lose” is a fraudulent coin toss. Wells Fargo did no better.


Deutsche Bank, HSBC Accused of Silver Fix Manipulation

Bloomberg The lawsuit is the latest to be brought against banks alleging manipulation of a benchmark. Suits have been filed against Deutsche Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC and other banks in federal court in New York over allegations involving the London gold fix.


JPM Makes Small Dent in Consumer Relief: Settlement Monitor

National Mortgage News The official in charge of monitoring JPMorgan Chase's $13 billion settlement with bank regulators released his initial progress report this week.

JPMorgan has so far "earned" $6.3 million in "credit" toward its consumer relief obligations, the report by Joseph A. Smith Jr. said. More than $5 million came in the form of principal forgiveness for homeowners.

Alan C. Greenberg Is Dead at 86; Led Bear Stearns Through Its Rise and Fall

NY Times Mr. Cohan’s more detailed account portrayed Bear Stearns as relentlessly aggressive and Mr. Greenberg as its cultural godfather. Other analysts said his five-member executive committee had become so fixated on raising the firm’s book value and stock price that it lost sight of its vast exposure to subprime mortgages, leading to a collapse that became a symbol, though not a primary cause, of the recession.

Big Bank Financial Settlements: Get out of Jail Free Cards?

Huff Post In mid-July, Citigroup agreed to pay $7 billion for what the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) called "egregious misconduct" related to its handling of subprime mortgages and mortgage securities in the run up to the financial crisis. This was not a singular result. It is part of a trifecta.


Goldman Sachs Faces Record Payout in Mortgage Case



Goldman Sachs Group Inc. may soon face the largest legal payout in its 140-plus years. The New York investment bank has held settlement talks in recent months with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, a U.S. regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to people familiar with the negotiations.


Why You Need to Understand the Volcker Rule

And the relevance of that is that the investors were thus placed in the positions of direct lenders without documentation while the investment banks and their puppet corporations were left with documentation and no loans made BY THEM.

Living Lies It IS complicated. But you need to work things out in your head so you can gradually hone down your message into simple analogies and buzz words. This is one more example of how investors and borrowers, getting together, comparing notes and negotiating directly could cure the mortgage crisis and allow the housing market and the entire economy to recover.


Deutsche Bank to pay costs, Summary Judgment Reversed and Quiet Title Remanded

Opinion and Appellant's Brief:

 Vasquez v. Deutsche Bank

First Circuit Court of Appeals The Court holds that there was reversible error in the portion of the trial court’s order granting summary judgment for the appellee, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, N.A., as to the quiet-title claim of the appellant, Winona Flippon Vazquez.
Accordingly, the Court reverses this portion of the trial court’s order and remands the quiet-title claim.
The Court orders that the appellee, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, N.A., pay all appellate costs.


Full post

Ex-Broward Deputy Gets Year In Prison For Rothstein Corruption

A former Broward sheriff's deputy who fabricated a drug arrest at the bidding of Ponzi-scheming law firm chairman Scott Rothstein was sentenced Thursday to a year in prison.

Daily Business Review Jeff Poole said he was doing a favor for former sheriff's Lt. David Benjamin, head of the department's internal affairs division, to be shielded from an unwanted transfer.
Poole pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate civil rights for the false arrest of Marcy Romeo on June 29, 2009. She was the ex-wife of a Rothstein crony, Plantation attorney Douglas Bates, who helped fool investors in his $1.2 billion settlement financing scheme.
Rothstein is serving a 50-year prison sentence, while Bates and Benjamin received five-year prison sentences. Rothstein and Bates lost their law licenses.


Nationstar did not identify the owner of the loan. The MERS Assignment also purported to transfer the Note. It is well known that MERS never originates loans and does not own promissory notes, and as such it cannot transfer something it does not own.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The Complaint and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction filed by the homeowner (prepared by Mr. Barnes at the request of Mr. Higgins and the homeowner) set forth that the Court of Appeals of Tennessee had issued a decision in January of 2014 holding that MERS has no independent interest in real property or any protected interest in real property, and as a “nominee” only holds “bare legal title”. The homeowner thus alleged that the MERS Assignment was a legal nullity and Nationstar was thus precluded from foreclosing.


Morgan Stanley to Pay $275 Million in Mortgage Case

The settlement, unlike the resolution of other prominent enforcements over the role of a bank in the financial crisis, is not subject to a judicial review by a judge because it was handled by the agency through an administrative proceeding.

DealBook Morgan Stanley made “misleading public disclosures” about the level of delinquent subprime mortgages in two mortgage-backed securities the firm sold to investors in 2007 during the early days of the financial crisis. The S.E.C. said investors in the securities, which had a combined face value of $2.5 billion, lost money as many of the borrowers on the underlying mortgages could not make payments and the loans were foreclosed upon.


With Some Lenders Hurting, Could Double-Pledging Fraud Resurface?

National Mortgage News A lot of home lenders' bottom lines have been under pressure recently, and that makes it more tempting for mortgage companies to fraudulently double-pledge loans (like they have been for years), potentially increasing warehouse lending risk. Double-pledging played a notorious role in the collapses of nonbank lender Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, and Colonial Bank. All the others got away with it.


Family fears eviction after 4-year fight with bank

After hearing that advice, the Vos said they stopped making payments, and applied again for a loan modification. They said the process was overwhelming and confusing.
"It was this endless battle, it just seemed like, no matter what we couldn’t win,” Jamie Vos said. “We would send things in 30 times and when they finally did say they got it they would wait so long after that they would say the paperwork had expired and we needed to do it again.”

King5 Jamie Vos said she would be on the phone with the bank for hours, but the next time she called there would be no record of the previous conversation.

On June 3, 2010, Bank of America denied their loan modification and the next day foreclosed and took possession of the Vos’ home.

Attorney Josh Trumbull told KING 5 that he believes the foreclosure was not just unfair -- that it was unlawful and the bank needs to fix it.
Trumbull said if that doesn’t happen, “then we're willing to represent them in the court system for as long as it takes to get an answer to their claims that we think this is a void sale and they were treated wrongly by the bank and they should be paid some damages.”

NY AG files amicus brief in U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS)


NY Attorney General

"Amici states have a compelling interest in ensuring effective enforcement of TILA. ". 

"Protecting home ownership is vital state policy. ". 


CFPB, FTC file 9 lawsuits against deceptive foreclosure firms

Regulators perform giant sweep of industry

More: Feds Sue Law Firms in Foreclosure Relief Scams

Law Firms Took Money From Struggling Homeowners To Pay For Cars, Stuff: Feds

Complaint: CFPB v. Harper Law Group

Housing Wire


National Law Journal


Huff Post

The suits—six by the FTC, three by the CFPB and 32 by the state attorneys general—make similar allegations: lawyers or other scammers charged illegal advance fees for services and falsely promised to prevent foreclosures or renegotiate troubled mortgages.

This giant sweep against foreclosure relief scammers is an effort to seek compensation for victims, civil fines, and injunctions against the scammers.

On Wednesday, federal law enforcement officials unsealed a civil complaint that appears to validate the worst fears of those who trusted the firm with thousands of dollars: that instead of funding viable legal challenges, the firm's managing partner and his two non-lawyer business associates allegedly used the fees to pay for car leases and meals, and directed thousands of dollars to personal American Express credit card accounts.


Biden acts to protect Delaware homeowners from mortgage rescue scam



Mortgage rescue scammers target vulnerable homeowners, taking thousands of dollars from struggling families who ultimately receive no meaningful services, lose valuable time, and are instead left at greater risk of foreclosure,” Biden said. “We are protecting Delaware homeowners from these deceptive and harmful schemes. 


Regulators accuse firms of 'reprehensible' foreclosure scams

What took you so long? The complaints and evidence show these crimes have been going on for more than a decade.

The Hill “We are taking on schemes that prey on consumers who are struggling to pay their mortgages or facing foreclosure," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “These companies pocketed illegal fees — taking millions of hard-earned dollars from distressed consumers, and then left those consumers worse off than they began. These practices are not only illegal, they are reprehensible.”



Deutsche Bank suffers from litany of reporting problems

Systemic breakdown.

CNBC A letter sent to Deutsche Bank executives back in December, which was written by a senior official at the New York Fed, which says that reports produced by some of the bank's U.S. units are of "low quality, inaccurate and unreliable." The letter also says that the size and seriousness of the errors strongly suggests that the bank's entire U.S. regulatory reporting structure requires "wide-ranging remedial action."


Delaware Judge Faults Ocwen for Pushing Homeowners to Bankruptcy

Richard J. and Mary Ann Williams were never materially behind on their mortgage payments, the judge said, but they were pushed into bankruptcy to keep Ocwen from taking their home in foreclosure.

WSJ Judge Brendan Shannon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., on Friday ordered Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC to pay the fees and costs of a Delaware couple’s bankruptcy on the grounds that Ocwen’s “unfounded and incorrect assertion” that they had defaulted on their mortgage loan was what drove them to seek court protection.

Williams v. Ocwen


Here’s How To Defend Foreclosures in Florida!

Weidner Law Plaintiff’s complaint only alleges that it is the “owner” of the note and mortgage. 
There is absolutely no allegation that Plaintiff was the “holder” of the note and mortgage.
Since Plaintiff failed to allege this in its complaint, its pleading fails to state a cause of action and should therefore be dismissed.
There is a repugnancy between the exhibits attached to the complaint and the allegations of the pleading


A Foreclosure Trial in Florida- Demonstrating Fabricated, Forged and Altered Documents Before The Court

Weidner Law Here, in order to invoke the equity jurisdiction of this Court, Plaintiff was required to alert the Court that the very mortgages it was suing upon had been forged, alerted, and fabricated. Instead, the Plaintiff entirely ignores all of the relevant and operative facts that are the foundation upon which their own foreclosure is built. This court simply cannot ignore the fact that Plaintiff ignores and fails to disclose to the court the legally operative facts and documents upon which their own foreclosure case is built.



Nonbank Mortgage Lenders Livid Over FHFA Watchdog Report

National Mortgage News Nonbank mortgage lenders are chafing at a report from a government watchdog claiming they are less regulated than large banks and pose increased risks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The report released last week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Office of Inspector General delved into the recent rise—and risks—in direct sales of home loans to Fannie and Freddie by independent mortgage lenders.


Why you may be paying for someone else’s mortgage relief

Washington Post “If they want to settle and help consumers who need help, terrific,” said Vincent Fiorillo, president of AMI's board and global sales director at Doubleline Capital. “If you want to take the investors’ money to settle, that’s where I have a problem. The investors are not the bad actors here.”


Chase bank being sued by Ohio woman claiming violation of mortgage law

In one of the first cases of its kind in Ohio, a woman is suing JPMorgan Chase for allegedly violating a new law aimed at protecting home owners: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Cleveland She "remained current on her loan until representatives of Chase directed her to stop making payments on her loan in order to be considered for a loan modification," the complaint said.

Wasko has been setting aside money for the payments for five years, but Chase refuses to accept the money, Dann said.

Complaint in: Wasko v. JPMorgan


Judge shoots down FHFA bid to limit discovery, keep docs secret

Judge Sweeney: FHFA cannot evade judicial review

Housing Wire Judge Margaret Sweeney handed Fairholme Funds a huge victory late last week when she ruled in favor of broad access in discovery to FHFA records going back years, rather than the narrow period in 2012 that the FHFA wanted to limit discovery to.

That is significant in that it will cover more of the pre-decision deliberations Investors Unite says is crucial to its case.

7/22/14 Full post

CITI Group Plans to Buy OneWest

Market Watch CIT Group plans to purchase IMB Holdco LLC, the parent company of privately owned OneWest Bank, for $3.4 billion in cash and stock. OneWest runs 73 retail branches in southern California. CIT Bank, CIT Group's banking unit, will merge with OneWest Bank under the CIT Bank, increasing total assets to $67 billion and $28 billion in deposits. CIT said it expects the deal to add 20% to its per-share earnings in 2016.


Infamous SF "eviction" law firm abuses DMCA to censor video of protest

The offices of Bornstein and Bornstein are notorious for running "boot camps" advising San Francisco landlords on legal loopholes for evicting long-term tenants so they can rent to the high-flying tech sector.

Boing Protesters appeared at one of these events, and their actions and the firm's response were recorded and posted to Youtube by Jackson West, a volunteer for the excellent San Francisco Tenant's Union. Subsequently, Bornstein and Bornstein sent a copyright takedown to Youtube, on what can only be called spurious -- if not outright fraudulent -- grounds.


Hail-hit homeowners struggle with mortgage companies over insurance money

Insurance News The requirement to turn the check over to a mortgage holder can be surprising, though the rule is almost always buried deep in the tome of closing documents people sign when buying a home.

Homeowners speaking with The Billings Gazette last week described an array of insurance check challenges.


DOJ Trains AUSAs to Chase Mice While Lions Roam the Campsite

In researching my series of articles on the critical omissions in Attorney General Eric Holder's press release about the settlement with Citi I realized that I need to write multiple articles about the destructive role played by Benjamin Wagner

Bill Black Ph.D. Holder made Wagner DOJ's leader on mortgage fraud because Wagner was so willing to propagate the single most absurd, destructive, but so very useful (to the administration and the banksters) lie about mortgage fraud.

"Benjamin Wagner, a U.S. Attorney who is actively prosecuting mortgage fraud cases in Sacramento, Calif., points out that banks lose money when a loan turns out to be fraudulent. (Covering up fraud is expensive. MSF) 'It doesn't make any sense to me that they would be deliberately defrauding themselves,' Wagner said." (Doh!)


How “Standing” Is Causing the Longest Economic Recovery Since the Great Depression


Living Lies Each time the assumption is made that there are no valid defenses for the borrower, we are cheating investors and screwing the homeowners. And as for the windfall proposition we know who gets it — the John Jones PONZI operating banks that started all of this. Exactly how can this lead anyway other than a continued drag on our economy?

Wall Street Cut From Guest List for Jackson Hole Fed Meeting

Bloomberg The exclusion of Wall Street may reflect a dispute between some regional Fed bank presidents who are more worried by loose monetary policy than Fed governors in Washington including Yellen.

OneWest STEALING homes through Reverse Mortgage

Foreclosures that could force surviving spouses from homes

A new wave of foreclosures threatens hundreds of Central Florida families who could be kicked out of their homes after a spouse dies. 

WFTV It had been a reverse mortgage guarantee. As long as you were living in the home, you couldn't lose the house. Now Cynthia and others claim that promise was a lie.

AARP won a federal lawsuit to stop one widow's foreclosure and it's filed a class action to challenge other lenders. 

Real estate attorney Karen Wonsetler said these homeowners have been put through a risky sales process that is not fair. 

“The safeguards in this process have been overridden by these aggressive tactics, and yes, you can then lose the one and only asset the family has,” said Wonsetler.


Foreclosed on, Irregularly, After 74 Years

An elderly, disabled woman lost to an illegal foreclosure the home she has lived in for 74 years, after Texas-based Reverse Mortgage Solutions and Fannie Mae "accelerated" her loan balance, she claims in court.

Courthouse News Witte seeks declaratory judgment and actual, incidental and consequential damages for violations of the Minnesota Residential Mortgage Originator and Servicer Licensing Act and other laws, including the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and she wants the sheriff's sale declared invalid.
She is represented by Luke Grundman with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid.

Goldman Sachs Managing Director Nicholas Valtz Found Dead

Bloomberg Valtz, 39, was found in Napeague Harbor near the eastern end of Long Island, according to the East Hampton, New York, police. He was a “novice kiteboarder” and was found floating in the water secured to his kite, police said in a statement released yesterday. Other kite gear was found in a grassy area of the harbor, police said.

Investors Are Starting to Understand How They Are Being Screwed — Just Like Borrowers

Investors Have Had Enough!!
“If Citibank wants to settle with the Justice Department and [Attorney General] Eric Holder, that’s fine. Just please don’t settle with investors’ money. Because that’s whose money it is,” Fiorillo says. “It’s not Citibank’s money. I’ve said it 100 times and I will continue to say it. I am now leading a louder and louder chorus with people who have had enough of this.”

The Banks never owned the loans but they pretended to own them as long as they could make money pretending to own them. The Banks never owned the Bonds, but that hasn’t stopped them from selling $3 TRILLION in bonds to the Federal reserve.


Dan Edstrom I know this stuff isn’t easy, but managers of pension funds and hedge funds and other such mutual or discretionary funds should have realized that the Banks were “settling” claims against the Banks with investor money. And if they dig deeper they will find two things:
1. That the Trusts were unfunded, the loans were not secured and the appraisals and terms were manipulated to close rather than to assure payment as promised to the investors.
2. That underneath this mess, the banks actual profits offset their claimed losses 100:1 — THAT money belongs to the investors as well — or it is owed back to borrowers as undisclosed and fraudulent proceeds of fake transactions. (See TILA and RESPA). In this case it should be accompanied by treble damages, interest, return of all payments, and disgorgement of all undisclosed profits arising out of each “closing.” These things WILL happen, but only when investors and borrowers join hands directly and compare notes.

Protesters break in, put evicted vet back into home he was raised in after bankster foreclosed & evicted him

USA TODAY After authorities evicted a disabled Vietnam veteran from his family home, a group of protesters broke back in and placed him in his bed.


Billions In Big Bank Fines Highlight Need For Better Document And Data Tracking

It's rare that a week goes by that I don't read a headline about a big bank being fined billions of dollars for its alleged selling of shoddy mortgages.



These banks have seemingly endless funds and can hire the best law firms in the world to defend them against the accusations, and yet, bank after bank is required to pay billions in fines. So why are they losing? Why aren’t their lawyers able to back trucks of documents up to the doors in Washington, D.C., and cover the prosecutors up with discovery? In many cases, the documents that correspond to the sold mortgages aren’t available. This inability to document the underwriting instruments associated with the questioned mortgages leaves the banks with a lack of substantiated defense - forcing them to negotiate their way out and pay whatever amount is demanded.


SunTrust Resolves HAMP-Related Criminal Allegations

According to a Criminal Action Remediation Agreement released by the company’s parent bank, the company agreed to pay up to $320 million to resolve allegations that it made misrepresentations and omissions 


Sandler LLP

This criminal action comes in the wake of a DOJ Inspector General report that was critical of the Justice Department’s mortgage fraud enforcement efforts, and which numerous members of Congress used to push DOJ to more vigorously pursue alleged mortgage-related violations. In announcing the action, the U.S. Attorney acknowledged that other HAMP-related investigations are under way, and that more cases may be coming.


Follow-up: Mayor tells police to stand down in post-foreclosure West Seattle eviction case of Byron and Jean Barton


West Seattle Blog


Liberty Road Media

The Bartons have a lawsuit pending, alleging the foreclosure – which had been in the works at least since 2012, according to court documents we have found so far – was illegal. The development company that bought their house in an April auction has sued for “unlawful detainer” – seeking to have the Bartons removed. 


B of A Puts Countrywide Vet in Charge of Mortgage Lending

National Mortgage News B of A initially retreated from home lending after the housing crisis, ceding market share under Vernon. But it then charged back in with a retail-only strategy, saying it would serve wealth management and core customers.


Improper Pleading Leads to Failure

Ybarra v. Wells Fargo

The Ybarras are correct when they point out that an obligor on a loan “may defend [against an assignee’s efforts to enforce the obligation] ‘on any ground which renders the assignment void.’” 

5th Circuit Court of Appeals And the Ybarras are also correct when they note that, under Texas law, a deed that is forged is voidTheir fault, however, lies in the strength of the pleading of this claim. The Ybarras offer absolutely no factual support for their legal conclusion that the signatures are “forgeries.” All they offer are conclusory allegations.


Senate Report: Hedge Funds Used Basket Options to Save Billions in Taxes

REPORT:  ABUSE OF STRUCTURED FINANCIAL PRODUCTS: Misusing Basket Options to Avoid Taxes and Leverage Limits

naked capitalism Basket options were sold by Wall Street firms, in particular Barclays and Deutsche Bank, as a way to convert what would otherwise have been labor income into capital gains income. The bone of contention is that the IRS wrote a memo in 2010 telling players involved to cut it out, and they didn’t.


In a Subprime Bubble for Used Cars, Borrowers Pay Sky-High Rates

DealBook This is the face of the new subprime boom. Mr. Durham is one of millions of Americans with shoddy credit who are easily obtaining auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. The loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers. The surge in lending and the lack of caution resemble the frenzied subprime mortgage market before its implosion set off the 2008 financial crisis.


More on the Linza $16 Million case

Arrogant PHH ordered to pay homeowner $16m in fraud case

MPA Linza testified in court that he made every effort to straighten things out, but only got a substantive response when he threatened to sue the company.

Linza said PHH told him, “’We’re a multibillion-dollar company. Stand in line because we’ve got a busload of attorneys that are on retainers.’”

Mortgage Contracting Services Names one of the top Robo-signing attorneys (Stephen C. Porter) as General Counsel

Stephen Porter is one of the top robo-signing lawyers in Texas that has clouded the titles to countless homes.

Press Release Mr. Porter previously served as chief litigation counsel at the Addison, Texas, Foreclosure Mill firms Barrett Daffin Frappier Turner & Engel, LLP. In his new role, he is responsible for consulting with MCS management on all legal matters affecting the company. (Barrett has been in the illegal foreclosure business in Texas for more than 20 years.  See highlights here



If SPS, allegedly suing on behalf of the trust and its certificate holders, wins the case the trust and the certificate holders likely will get little, if anything, out of the lawsuit. SPS will have paid less than $10,000 in order to go after a once middle class American to collect over a $1,000,000 “judicial jackpot”.

 SPS’ low cost stake in pursuing this once middle class citizen, and others like him, is the process which is slowly destroying the fabric of America and causing many to appropriately question the fairness of our courts.

Scott Stafne Ever wonder why modern day judges don’t want to know more about the equities of specific foreclosures? Ever wonder why judges don’t want to hear the facts before they give citizen’s houses to the banks and/or servicers?

The SPS (aka Fairbanks Capital) witness (a lawyer) did not know SPS had purchased the “servicing rights” for my clients alleged “home loan” from a bankruptcy trustee for $0 .0077 on the dollar. That’s right the witness did not know SPS bought the servicing rights for less than a penny on the dollar or the terms regarding that purchase.

And SPS’ lawyer would not let the witness testify about who would get to keep the money from the foreclosure sale and any deficiency judgment SPS obtained on behalf of a purported trustee for certificate holders against my client.

Law Enforcement Raids Law Firm Accused Of Scamming Desperate Homeowners

It was a gut-level appeal to desperate people locked in a mortgage dispute with their bank.

For thousands of dollars upfront, plus an additional monthly fee, homeowners could piggyback onto one of more than a dozen lawsuits launched by the Hoffman Law Group, a Florida firm suing banks over alleged abuses.

Huff Post In June, an examination by The Huffington Post found that many of the cases claimed by the firm as evidence of its advocacy on behalf of homeowners had been withdrawn, or tossed out of court by irate judges who said they lacked the most basic elements of valid legal challenges. 

Many of the lawsuits, which named Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and other major financial institutions, were essentially photocopies of each other, with just the names of the plaintiffs changed.


How much is your case worth?

Jury awards $16 million in mortgage case

Linza v. PHH Mortgage

SacBee It started out as a simple loan modification for a troubled homeowner. The 3 year battle turned into a $16.2 million jury verdict against PHH Mortgage

The award included $514,000 in compensatory damages and $15.7 million in punitive damages.

Yuba Co. man awarded millions in mortgage modification fraud case

A Superior Court jury in Yuba County awarded Phillip Linza $513,902 in damages and $15.7 million in punitive damages against PHH Mortgage Corporation.

News10 Linza said he was told, "'We're a multi-billion dollar company. Stand in line because we've got a busload of attorneys that are on retainers.'"

PHH Mortgage agreed to a loan modification, taking his payment from $2,100 a month to just over $1,500 a month.

"I made the payments for months," Linza said. "Then I get a letter in the mail that says, 'oops, we made a mistake, your payments aren't $1,530, they're $2,300.'"

It tried, but even a Texas Court couldn't help US Bank

U.S. Bank v. Trimm

Having sustained all of the Trimms’ remaining issues, we reverse the trial court’s summary judgment and remand

Because Kaminski’s affidavit is internally inconsistent and there is no documentation corroborating Kaminski’s assertion that AHMSI is the successor-in-interest to Option One entitled to transfer the loan to U.S. Bank, standing alone, the affidavit fails to establish the chain of title to U.S. Bank as a matter of law.



A Modest Proposal for Eric Holder: Back Off the Banks 

This suggestion will come as a surprise to those who have followed my work over the past several years. I have described, in painstaking detail, the crimes committed by banks that led to the financial crisis, spurring one of the largest destructions of wealth in American history. I have shown that the mortgage market of 2002 to 2006 was constructed on a mountain of fraud, and that we must do everything we can to both punish the wrongdoers and ensure that such a disaster never happens again.

David Dayen But with these settlements you’ve reached, the Justice Department has massively distorted and perverted the notion of accountability until it no longer has meaning. Your recent actions, seen by many observers as reflective of a bold and aggressive new stance, amount to little more than a public relations vehicle. The actual victims of the fraudulent conduct being settled will see no relief. Homeowners will get hurt rather than helped. The perpetrators will not be forced to expose their crimes to the world. Just about the only thing these actions accomplish is a reduction in the national debt, which you can more responsibly achieve by taxing bank executives rather than subjecting their shareholders to penalties.

Call me old-fashioned, but I figure that when you commit a crime against a set of individuals, at least some of the penalty should go toward restitution for those individuals.


Government MBS Settlements Leave Private Bondholders Unsettled

National Mortgage News Citigroup and its shareholders may feel a multibillion-dollar government settlement has put the bank's bubble-era mortgage securities concerns behind it, but private investors' discontent with such deals is only growing.


According to DOJ’s Statements there should have been Numerous Indictments!

AG Holder: “The U.S. Announces the Indictment of Citigroup’s Senior Officers for Fraud

The third omission from Attorney General Eric Holder’s press conference announcing the settlement with Citigroup of civil charges was the words “criminal” and “indictment.” The
Department of Justice (DOJ) press conference had a scripted press release.

Prof. Bill Black The press release states that Citi has made admissions “as part of the settlement” of “serious misrepresentations.” “Misrepresentations” is a fancy way of saying Citi lied - and deceit is the key to proving fraud.

I began drafting an explanation of what the convoluted statement of facts includes and excludes and why and how it was drafted to be useless, but discovered that the explanation requires me to explain at length the proper analytics of the toxic mortgage frauds led by Citi’s senior officers, which is the subject of the fourth installment in this series.

Deutsche Bank's case falls to  pieces. Key witness knows nothing.

The witness admitted Ocwen had no involvement in the mortgage loan whatsoever for the first nine (9) years of the loan since 2004. She testified she had no knowledge of the prior servicer's business records as she had never worked for them.

Deutsche Bank v. Harrison

The court finds that there was a break in the chain of assignments of mortgage contained in the court file.

ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Defendants' motion to involuntarily dismiss this action is hereby GRANTED and this cause is hereby dismissed.
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the lis pendens is hereby discharged and dissolved.
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the court entitles Defendant to payment of attorney's fees and costs.

Anti-Foreclosure Protesters Block Sheriff's Eviction of Disabled Veteran in West Seattle

Stranger Ultimately, Gates acknowledges, the sheriffs gave up trying to get the protesters out of the way of the ambulance and put Barton back on the street outside the home.


Did Colorado foreclosure lawyers create artificial fees?

Went unnoticed until Fannie Mae pulls plug

[Update 1: An attorney for Aronowitz & Meklenburg clarified that the lawfirm will settle the complaint for $10 million --- after it fraudulently obtained tens of millions of dollars in unlawful proceeds.” 


Housing Wire Here’s how the AG said they did it, with intimate knowledge of the system and its loopholes:

1. Get vendors to submit grossly inflated invoices for work, such as posting foreclosure notices.

2. No homeowner could legally challenge these fees in the state of Colorado and so must pay whatever costs incurred, no matter how dire.

3. The state of Colorado is devoid of administrative or judicial oversight into the practice of foreclosures.

It’s hard to believe, with allegations now in a court document and so arresting, the state of Colorado allowed this to happen for as long as it did.


Aronowitz settles class action: Overcharges refunded to 32,000 homeowners

Denver Post Tens of thousands of Coloradans whose homes were foreclosed on since 2009 by law firm Aronowitz & Mecklenburg will share in a massive class-action lawsuit settlement over allegations the lawyers regularly inflated fees that homeowners were forced to pay to save their house.


Who Advised Cuomo on Mortgage Industry Investigation? A Mortgage Lobbyist

Howard Glaser was brought on to help then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on his mortgage industry investigation. Glaser was working for the industry at the same time.

ProPublica The friend was Howard Glaser and he had another job at the same time: consultant and lobbyist for the very industry Cuomo was investigating.

Cuomo's office ended up giving immunity to one of Glaser's clients a year into his term as attorney general.

In the end, experts say, the mortgage investigations Cuomo touted as "wide-ranging" came to little, even as he held one of the country's most powerful prosecutorial positions through the financial crisis and its aftermath.


They should be herding  foreclosure lawyers into cattle trailers.

Lawyer Indicted for Lying to a Cobb County Judge

An Atlanta lawyer has been indicted for making false statements and presenting forged documents to a Cobb County judge.

A Cobb County grand jury has indicted attorney James Alan Langlais on three counts of false statements, two counts of false writings, two counts of forgery and one count of theft by deception. The theft charge is for taking money from clients for legal services he allegedly didn't perform.  

Daily Report The indictment paint a picture of a lawyer who allegedly missed a deadline for filing a response to a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit but told the judge he had filed it and even had a stamped copy and receipts from the courier who delivered it. Then, the indictment alleges, he went back to court later and presented the document with a forged stamp from the clerk's office as well as a fake invoice from a courier.

The indictment also alleges he stole from his clients, Greg and Kimberley Euston, by taking their money for legal services he falsely claimed to have performed for them in their lawsuit, Euston v. Pierce. The indictment says the amount was "greater than $1,500."


Black Knight Woos Bank of America to Get Back on Vendor's Servicing System

National Mortgage News Black Knight Financial Services may have enough servicers using its Mortgage Servicing Package to give it a 55% market share, but the company still wants to win back the megaservicer that got away: Bank of America.


Charges tie Shurtleff job interview to Bank of America deal

Allegations • Former A.G., law firm deny he got post for his foreclosure case decision.

Salt Lake Tribune By agreeing at the end of 2012 to dismiss the federal lawsuit against Bank of America, Shurtleff scuttled what attorneys in his own office believed was the strongest case that the bank’s foreclosure arm, ReconTrust, had been illegally foreclosing on thousands of Utah homes. One estimate put the possible loss to Utah homeowners from the dismissal at tens of millions of dollars.

Among the 10 charges filed against Shurtleff was “Count 7, Accepting Employment That Would Impair Judgment,” a second-degree felony. Among the possible violations listed under that law is one for accepting employment “that he might expect would impair his independence of judgment in the performance of his public duties.”


Associate Attorney General Tony West Outlines Justice Department’s Approach to Toxic Mortgage Cases

Department of Justice “If an institution is unwilling to admit its wrongful conduct in a statement of facts; or balks at paying a substantial penalty that reflects that conduct; or refuses to do right by those affected, then we will not shrink from litigating as long as we must to fulfill our law enforcement mandate,” said Associate Attorney General West.


Is crime getting too expensive?

JP Morgan; If Foreclosures Are More Difficult Then We'll Lend Less On Mortgages

Forbes "JPMorgan Chase & Co, the second-largest U.S. mortgage lender, is backing away from making home loans to less creditworthy borrowers after losing faith in its ability to recover much money from foreclosing on homes, even with government guarantees."


While on the topic of Foreclosure-Mills...

Hanna Law Firm Faces Suit from Consumer Group Over Debt Tactics

Firm rejects claims that it engaged in 'factory' litigation against debtors.

Daily Report Saying that a Marietta law firm "operates less like a law firm than a factory," the fledgling federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is suing to permanently bar the firm and three of its attorneys from engaging in a massive debt-collection business that the agency claims regularly runs afoul of federal consumer financial laws.
The Hanna firm uses "high-volume litigation tactics" to collect millions of dollars each year, often from consumers "who may not actually owe debts or may not owe debts in the amounts claimed," bureau attorneys charged in the suit.


Did the Other Shoe Just Drop? Big Banks Hit with Monster $250 Billion Lawsuit in Housing Crisis

That is the equivalent of one million homeowners with $250,000 in damages suing at one time.

For years, homeowners have been battling Wall Street in an attempt to recover some portion of their massive losses from the housing Ponzi scheme. But progress has been slow, as they have been outgunned and out-spent by the banking titans.

Ellen Brown, JD In June, however, the banks may have met their match, as some equally powerful titans strode onto the stage. Investors led by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, and PIMCO, the world’s largest bond-fund manager, have sued some of the world’s largest banks for breach of fiduciary duty as trustees of their investment funds. The investors are seeking damages for losses surpassing $250 billion. 

Why the investors are only now suing is complicated, but it involves a recent court decision on the statute of limitations.


Hot Off The Presses:

California Court REVERSES Merritt v. Bank of America

This is the multi-year case where the bank's lawyer physically assaulted the homeowner during a deposition.

David Merritt Countrywide's Angelo Mozilo and Bank of America's Ken Lewis are named defendants.

"Once again, we address issues arising from Countrywide Financial Corporation’s residential lending business during the period shortly before novel practices by lenders resulted
in widespread distress in the housing markets."

9th Circ. Revives Truth-In-Lending Suit Against Countrywide

An allegation of tender or ability to tender isn't required to sustain a Truth in Lending Act rescission claim. 

Law360 The appeals court said in a split decision that a lower court in California wrongly dismissed homeowners David and Salma Merritt's complaint at the pleading stage before considering a range of evidence over whether to condition rescission on tender.

AIG to Get at Least $650 Million in BofA Settlement

American homeowners who made it all happen get NOTHING from any of these settlements!

Bloomberg American International Group Inc. (AIG), the largest commercial insurer in the U.S. and Canada, will get at least $650 million in a settlement with Bank of America Corp. as the second-biggest U.S. bank seeks to end liability for faulty mortgages.


Comment on last month's Kalicki v. JPMorgan case

Chase Slammed By CA Appellate Panel: Bank committed fraud in order to show ownership

Living Lies We are entering the 6th inning of the game started by Wall Street when it created the smoke and mirrors game based upon false claims of successors and securitization. As lawyers actually do the work investigating and researching, they are getting results that come closer and closer to the reality that the whole thing was a sham.

DOJ/FBI Pour Hot Acid in America’s Wall St. Wound . . . . . WOW, JUST WOW

If the American public thought that it had borne all the excruciating pain of every insult and injury that Wall Street and Washington could deliver . . . think again.

Sense on Cents In what has to be a new low in terms of kicking the hard working, God-fearing, taxpaying investors of this land in the proverbial balls, check this WSJ story out about the motivations of the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation in meting out large fines on Wall Street (Caution: prior to reading this, I recommend you remove any projectiles or sharp objects from your vicinity)

The power of the pen may be mightier than the sword but it is hard to downplay how incensed I am by reading this pathetic statement put forth by departments that are supposed to stand for “liberty and justice for all.”


Blackrock Doesn’t Need A Scarlet Letter

ProPublica Such Washington spectacles are made all the worse when the head regulator of Mr. Fink's firm echoes industry talking points. Mary Jo White, the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, BlackRock's main regulator, has been on a genuflecting tour to reassure asset managers that they have a sympathetic ear in the nation's capital. 


Oversight Group Did Not Refer Housing Complaints

Steve A. Linick, the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said housing complaints deserve timely action. (But Linick did nothing, and we have proof he is part of the cover-up!)

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

The federal agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage finance giants, failed to refer to criminal investigators and other authorities almost 100 complaints about possible foreclosure abuse and mortgage fraud at the companies over a recent two-year period, according to a report issued late Tuesday by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Failure to recognize and quickly provide law enforcement authorities with information about allegations of fraud and other potential criminal conduct presents a significant risk for the agency,” the report said.

TARGET: Foreclosure-Mills


Lawyers operated a multi-million-dollar scheme that defrauded tens of thousands of homeowners.

It appears the law firms manipulated and influenced the foreclosure process — in practice and at the state Capitol — in a way that guaranteed themselves a way to profit.

COMPLAINT in: Colorado v. Foreclosure-Mills

Denver Post







David Migoya

Colorado's largest foreclosure law firms — The Castle Law Group and Aronowitz & Mecklenburg — were slapped with massive civil lawsuits Tuesday by attorney general investigators. The Aronowitz firm, which is second to Castle in the number of foreclosures handled in Colorado, immediately agreed to pay $10 million to settle the case, and will either sell or close its Denver-based law practice in the next six months.

It's unclear how far the reverberations from the Colorado cases will be felt, but several of the illegal practices alleged in the lawsuits are widespread across the foreclosure industry nationwide.

Foreclosure Judgment and Sale VACATED

First Mortgage Co. v. Dina

Illinois Court of Appeals The summary judgment for foreclosure entered for plaintiff mortgagee and the order confirming the sale of defendants’ property were vacated where plaintiff was not a licensed lender under the Residential Mortgage License Act, and the mortgage was therefore unenforceable and void as a matter of public policy.



Courts Finally Waking Up to Bogus Allonges and “Ta Dah” Foreclosure Documents

Here, the amusing but depressingly common issue was not only did US Bank submit new documents (in this case, the usual “ta dah” allonge) but they didn’t do it correctly, as in the doctored documents were undated and thus failed to establish that US Bank had the right to foreclose when it started foreclosure proceedings. 

US Bank v. LaFrance

naked capitalism Of course, it might well be that faking the documents correctly would clearly be a fraud on the court, and it would likely be possible to establish that via forensics. In other words, the foreclosure attorneys may have been incompetent, or they may have been willing to go only so far in how much sanctions risk they were willing to take.

Now this ruling does not mean the LaFrances win, since the case has been sent back to lower court. But US Bank has painted itself in a real corner by twice having presented documents that failed to establish its right to foreclose. If they try submitting new “originals” again, that would almost certainly open the case up for appeal, and this appeals court seems to be on to bank tricks.


The Evidence Is Clear: Housing Market Headed Back Downward

Mortgage Servicing News With mounting indicators clearly showing that the so-called housing recovery was just an illusion, and many housing industry pundits who formerly touted the validity of said recovery now recanting their views, there should be no doubt that we are headed for another/further housing downturn.


Freddie and Fannie: Plaintiffs? Standing? Modification?

I recently had a case in which the issue of standing, ownership and modification of the loan were all at issue.

Living Lies The case is an example of what happens when the parties purportedly representing the GSE’s bring a foreclosure action in the name of Fannie or Freddie, and then offer through a servicer (authorized or unauthorized). This is why Fannie and Freddie have said publicly that no servicer should use its name in a foreclosure action — and tangentially this could be extended to cases where in the testimony of the corporate representative, Fannie was the “investor” from the start.


High Court Rules that Bank Execs Can Face Suits Over Failures

State Justices say 'business judgment rule' doesn't bar all suits

Daily Report In a case closely watched by banking lawyers across the state, the Supreme Court of Georgia has opened the door for bank directors and executives in the state to be held personally liable for a failed bank's losses if they are found to have neglected their corporate duties.
The ruling gives new life to a federal suit filed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which has sought to claw back millions of dollars from the directors and corporate officers.
Pro se

"I am not guilty of anything. Never missed any payment in 20+ years." 


Michigan homeowner KathyJo Torrenga faced eviction from her family home by the “foreclosure Death Star” of Republican Congressional candidate Dave Trott.

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

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

Justice Department official says expects more mortgage case activity soon

Chicago Tribune U.S. Associate Attorney General Tony West said on Monday that the American public can expect to hear more from the Justice Department's residential mortgage-backed securities working group in the "very near future."

West made the comment during a news conference in which authorities announced a $7 billion settlement against Citigroup Inc to settle charges the bank sold shoddy mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.



Federal Judge Kicks DeKalb Housing Suit Back to Superior Court

Daily Report U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg on July 9 determined that the housing authority waived its right to remove the case to federal court because it had taken actions in the superior court that showed intent to litigate on the merits of the case. Over the housing authorities claims to the contrary, Totenberg determined that the housing authority's quest to remove the case was an attempt to evade an adverse judgment from the state level court.



How many times are we going to hear stories like this before someone is hauled off to jail?

Jackson woman endures nightmare of mistaken foreclosure

“It’s really one of the most outrageous, over-the-top, unbelievable things I’ve seen,” said Jeff Lookabaugh, one of Novelli’s four attorneys. “Her computer was on. They even went through her underwear drawer.”

CantonRep She said she phoned her mortgage company, Ocwen. She said they told her it was a mistake, that there was no active foreclosure case.

By the end of the night, after many phone calls, Novelli said she believed the problem may be on its way to being resolved.

Then, she said, it got worse again.

According to her and the complaint, Altisource and Jackson Township police showed up the next morning, pounding on her window. She had to get out, they told her. Altisource was back to finish emptying the house.

“At this point, she’s standing on her porch crying,” Lookabaugh said.


Citigroup to pay $7 billion for ‘egregious misconduct’ leading up to financial crisis

Justice Department = $4 Billion

Consumer relief = $2.5 Billion

PBS NEWSHOUR  We should start praying. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of these loans went down” — that’s what a trader at Citigroup wrote in an e-mail in 2007, after reviewing thousands of mortgages bought and sold by the bank.

Are You a False HAMP Denial Victim? 

Without a doubt, the federal government program know as HAMP is the most valuable, yet most overlooked, weapon homeowners fighting for mortgage relief have in their arsenals as they battle to save their homes from foreclosure. The reason for this is simple: loan servicers are paid a percentage of the mortgage loan balance; the higher the balance, the higher their compensation.

McGookey Law This being the case, there is more money in falsely denying a homeowner HAMP loan relief than there is in granting it for the servicer. And this is exactly why over half of our clients are what we call false HAMP denial victims. Making this sort of fraud so pervasive is the fact that the servicer is in almost total control of the loan modification process. The government, to its great shame, has opted out of regulating these crooked loan servicers altogether, leaving the poor homeowner as easy game for false HAMP denial victimization, in most cases not even realizing that he or she has been hoodwinked.

No MERS-Y for Maine Lenders

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court seems to be on a roll against the mortgage industry, having recently issued an opinion that effectively wiped out a mortgage because of the lenders bad faith negotiations during a foreclosure proceeding.

David Reiss And now, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an opinion in Bank of America, N.A. v. Greenleaf et al., 2014 ME 89 (July 3, 2014), that casts into doubt whether MERS has any life left in it in Maine. The case’s reasoning is, however, somewhat suspect. The Greenleaf court held that the bank did not have standing to seek foreclosure even though it was the holder of the mortgage note. The court stated that

The interest in the note is only part of the standing analysis, however; to be able to foreclose, a plaintiff must also show the requisite interest in the mortgage.

Tell the CFPB: Stand Up for American Families!

National People's Action The industry depends on cheating and deception. They will fight hard against the CFPB and try to evade any new rules. And the CFPB is already under attack by legislators who balk at any and all regulations.

That why it’s vital that the CFPB hears from you and thousands of other Americans who support rules that can protect our communities. Join us and tell the CFPB to stand up to the loan sharks and bottom feeders.


More on the Dow Family case:

MERS: Banks Legislating by Fiat — How Long DO We Permit Banks to Run the Country?

Dow Family v. PHH Mortgage, US Bank


Living Lies The concurring opinion in Dow displays the inherent defects in the chain of title of anyone who thinks they own property or own a mortgage encumbrance on any property in which MERS is in the title chain. The principal point is that public records are intended to provide certainty in the marketplace. MERS does the opposite. If you see MERS in the title chain, it means automatically that the loan is subject to claims of securitization. And we now know that most such claims are false. Hence satisfactions of mortgage, the filings of lis pendens, notices of sale, notices of default, substitutions of trustees, and all those robo-signed, forged, fabricated assignments, allonges etc. are all clouds on title.

The MERS Securitized Trust Case Continues

This case was featured in the Stafne Trumbull News last week, subtitled: Is adding an allonge to a note after a nonjudicial foreclosure has begun, a forgery? 

Use the links to see the newest developments in this ongoing case.

Stafne Trumbull When the plaintiff first requested the allonge, it was not given. When Stafne Trumbull asked for it, it was not given. Three-ring indexing marks and copy watermarks between the Note, the allonge and other documents are clearly dissimilar. It has never been clear if the documents were ever together until the filing of motion for summary judgment.

The Court has denied the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment while Northwest Trustee Services holds down a black veil on the Plaintiff’s right to discovery


A High Price to Pay

How property tax lenders prey on the state’s most vulnerable homeowners.

Property tax lending began to flourish in Texas in the late ’90s, taking advantage of a Depression-era provision in state law that allows a third party to pay off a homeowner’s property taxes with the homeowner’s consent. The law was never intended to create a business opportunity.

Texas Observer These high-interest loans are part of a multibillion-dollar industry native only to Texas and Nevada. The thriving business involves some of Texas’ most reputable entrepreneurs and large institutional investors. Propel Financial Services, the parent company of Rio Tax, controls about half of the Texas market. Backed by San Antonio billionaire Red McCombs, Propel claims in its financial disclosures to have never lost money on a loan. But there’s growing concern that homeowners take on unnecessary risk with property tax loans. And while demand is apparently high, their usefulness may be limited, especially after a recent change in the law that requires counties to offer payment plans to homeowners with delinquent taxes.
Full post

Homeowners SuperPAC Has Launched Facebook & Twitter

  We need to reach and every homeowner in the nation to help us become the powerful lobby needed to make the necessary changes in the mortgage lending industry. Now is the time to “Friend” Homeowners SuperPAC on Facebook and Tweet all of your friends to follow at: https://twitter.com/HSuperPAC 


Three New JPMorgan IT Deaths Include Alleged Murder-Suicide

Ohio is home to the headquarters of JPMorgan’s largest commercial bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. As of March 31, 2014, that bank held $1.3 trillion (with a “t”) in deposits, representing the life savings of average folks across America who wander into the bank’s 5900 branches spread across the country, unaware that part of the bank’s profits are derived from the untimely deaths of workers.

Wall Street on Parade

Pam Martens

JPMorgan’s corporate profit center that revolves around taking life insurance policies on the lives of tens of thousands of its workers (which pay to the corporation, not the family, upon death) naturally draws speculation about these unusual workers deaths at such young ages. When young workers die, it can shorten by decades the amount of premiums the corporation has to pay out before collecting the death benefit. Both the death benefit and the build up in the cash value of the policies are reported as tax free income to JPMorgan to fatten its profits.


Citigroup and U.S. Reach $7 Billion Mortgage Settlement

The bank’s misconduct was egregious,’’ Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said.

“Despite the fact that Citigroup learned of serious and widespread defects among the increasingly risky loans they were securitizing, the bank and its employees concealed these defects, ’’ Mr. Holder said.

He said the settlement on Monday did not absolve “Citigroup or its individual employees” from facing future criminal charges.

DealBook $2.5 billion in so-called soft dollars is earmarked for aiding struggling consumers and $500 million to state attorneys general and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. (for what?) 

The consumer relief will involve financing for the construction and preservation of affordable multifamily rental housing, principal reduction and forbearance for residential mortgages and other direct consumer benefits from various relief programs, the bank said.

(None of the homeowners will get their home back or be made WHOLE.)


Why Did Freddie Mac and Their Bank Servicer Conspire to Destroy a Home?

(with no notice at all to the homeowner)

I’m going to show you a story about a family’s home right here in the Tampa Bay area that was absolutely destroyed by the banks…with no notice at all given to the homeowners.

Comment by Jenniffer Quinn:
As a Broker/ Realtor since 1989 I have watched and fought with these servicing companies playing God by foreclosing and stealing home owners homes using every trick in the book

Weidner Law The banks and the servicers employ one another and invest with one another to buy back these homes cash for pennies on the dollar that is and has been what they have been doing now for the past few years. I have seen the servicers/banks /so called investors, place home owners in a position to corner them into a foreclosure status, by saying one thing and doing another & lie to your face only to slam the home owner into a position of foreclosure to then steal the home . Big problem is those that think they know what the problem is and write into new laws and reg's are working with the crooks and either realize it or just to blind to see it or care & just making to much money off these free stolen assets to care for anyone's family who has worked all their lives only to have some hot shot servicer hide behind freddy and fannie's skirt and steal. Its just the way America is now folks, So do good and use those ethics for the good and recognize this and help families and stand up to the crooks. It will make you a better person to help not hurt.

Are Washington Homeowners Being Tricked Into a Waiver?



1. Did the trial court err in holding that Ellis waived his causes of action pursuant to the DTA when the complaint alleged, and there was evidence before the Court tending to prove, that “requisite”s provisions of the DTA had not been complied with and the trustee’s sale is void? (Short Answer: YES)


Why Does Chase Insist on Continuing With This Out of Control Foreclosure?


Which of course leads to the only conclusion….the banks could care less about all the new regulations and requirements…it remains business as usual for them!

Weidner Law We discovered after trial several very disturbing things. Not only was the document they identified as not an original….we discovered an Assignment of Mortgage transferring the mortgage to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development a month before the trial!

Just so this point is clear….after the trial, we discover that the mortgage Chase foreclosed on the month prior had been Assigned to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development….(we didn’t discover this because Chase waited until after the trial was over to record the assignment.)

Join the Protest Against Home Theft

The advantage of shredding the paperwork and moving to an electronic registry system is that you can copy and paste the data as many times as you want. If you have a computer and a mouse, you’ve got all the equipment you need for replication–suddenly that single mortgage can be sold as many times as you want.

Professor Randal Wray It has been a while since I blogged about MERS–the banking industry’s creation to streamline the theft of homes. MERS is the “electronic registry” system that was created to subvert 500 years of Western property law. The bankers would destroy the written records of who owned what and who owed what to whom. That way they could claim that you owed them, and that they really owned your home–no matter whether you’ve paid off your mortgage. They could sell, and resell your home out from under you. 

The Costs of Obama’s Housing Mistakes Keep Piling Up

(The government must take out the fraud and corruption, jail the fraudsters and their enablers before you will see any sense of trust or improvement again)

David Dayen But these remaining homeowners appear to have no interest in the program, and Watt explained why in Chicago. “We have written to them. We have called them, and they're saying this is too good to be true,” he said.

Why would homeowners exhibit so much skepticism in a government program that they feel inclined to turn down thousands of dollars in free money? You can track it back to all the promises made over the past five years to help homeowners, and the unfortunately sorry results.

Foreclosure Summary Judgment REVERSED!

BOA failed to introduce admissible evidence to refute Ms. Plaja’s affirmative defense about compliance with a condition precedent.

Olivera v. Bank of America 

Weidner Law Nothing in the record establishes any relationship between BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P., f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, L.P. and the entities identified in the indorsements, Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., or Countrywide Bank, N.A., as agent for Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC. More important, the undated indorsements, which were not attached to the complaint, do not establish that any of the foregoing entities owned or held the note when BAC filed the complaint.



Do Homeowners Stand a Chance Against the MLK Judicial Express?

Documents included*

Plaintiff/Petitioner Jason Lemelson ("Homeowner") is a homeowner who sought to determine the owner and holder of his note and deed of trust so that he could either refinance or pay off his mortgage. (Nothing about a default or hardship.)



Alexander Hamilton observed the judicial branch is not supposed to take its direction from “either the strength or the wealth of society,” The Federalist No. 78 (Alexander Hamilton), but in all cases apply the rule of law equally. Citizens must trust the courts to fairly apply the law to the facts before them in deciding cases. This expectation cannot be met when the system is rigged to prevent borrowers access to discovery.”

In his amended and supplemented complaint, Plaintiff alleged ” MERS, MERSCORP and MERS Members, acting as parties to a MERS Nonjudicial Foreclosure System proceeding, routinely record false and fraudulent documents in Washington’s public record and courts.” Plaintiff identified several of the false documents which had been filed with regard to his own note and deed of trust. Included among those identified was BANA’s alleged assignment of the deed of trust based on MERS ownership of the note. 

JPMorgan Employee Shot And Killed His Wife Before Taking His Own Life

In the last year, there has been a spate of suicides among financial services employees all around the world.

Business Insider According to his LinkedIn profile, Julian Knott worked as an executive director in the Global Network Operations Center at JPMorgan Chase. Alita Knott worked as an agent for Coldwell Banker. 
Knott worked in the City for almost 20 years before moving to the US after being made executive director of the bank’s global network centre in December 2012. 


A Deluge of Fair Debt Collection Cases In Bankruptcy Court

Crawford v. LVNV Funding

Weidner Law Consumer debt buyers—armed with hundreds of delinquent accounts purchased from creditors—are filing proofs of claim on debts deemed unenforceable under state statutes of limitations. This appeal considers whether a proof of claim to collect a stale debt in Chapter 13 bankruptcy violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA” or “Act”). 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692−1692p (2006).

We answer this question affirmatively. The FDCPA’s broad language, our precedent, and the record compel the conclusion that defendants’ conduct violated a number of the Act’s protective provisions.

He's the Top U.S. Mortgage Salesman. His Daughter Isn't Buying It

Bloomberg “I watched cousins and other family members go through pretty tough situations in 2008 and 2009,” Sara said. “I can’t tell you how many of them he tried to help get out of bad mortgages.”

Lawyers in Nonjudicial States Should File Constitutional Challenge

Your case is really against the whole state where your property is located for violations of equal protection.

Living Lies I have been receiving increasingly urgent and frustrated messages from lawyers in nonjudicial cases. They are dismayed that the most basic components of proof are not required from “new” trustees on deeds of trust and “new” beneficiaries on the deed of trust, all self-proclaimed and presumed valid even if the borrower denies it. Here is my answer:


San Francisco landlord uses loophole to evict 98-year-old who paid rent on time for 50 years

Raw Story Phillips, who is one of many the low-income families and seniors being evicted, has vowed to fight the eviction because she has nowhere else to go.

“I didn’t sit down and cry, I just refused to believe it,” she said. “They’re going to have to take me out of here feet first.”

“Just because of your age, don’t let people push you around,” she said.


Wis. Supreme Court rules on Equitable Assignment

All the way to the Supreme Court, and they have yet to determine if PHH has the necessary documents

Dow Family v. PHH Mortgage, US Bank

Concurring Opinion: The majority opinion ignores the characteristics of the modern real estate mortgage to find a simple solution to the instant case -- a solution that creates its own set of problems. 

Supreme Court of Wisconsin Modern mortgage transactions differ from traditional mortgage transactions. In the traditional, non-MERS mortgage, 
the homeowner borrows money from a lender-mortgagee. The lender-mortgagee keeps the note and records the mortgage. The lender-mortgagee may transfer both the note and mortgage but generally keeps them together, and the assignment of the mortgage is ordinarily recorded. 
In a MERS transaction, MERS is neither the lender nor is it the payee on the promissory note. The borrower executes a note to the lender. The borrower executes the mortgage, however, to MERS. MERS is the holder of the mortgage but not of the promissory note. The mortgage is recorded, with MERS as the mortgagee. Under the traditional view of equitable assignment, naming MERS as the mortgagee separates the mortgage from the promissory note and may cause the note to become unsecured.

Miami's mortgage discrimination suits against Citi, Wells Fargo dismissed

Chicago Tribune On Wednesday U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas dismissed the city's claims against Citi and Wells under the U.S. Fair Housing Act. He referred to his reasoning in the Bank of America case, where he said Miami lacked standing to sue.


Obama Draws Illegals With Money Transfers, Mortgages

Investors These little-known federal policies create a powerful incentive for poor young workers from Latin America to flood across the border illegally. The CFPB has made it easier for poor Latino migrants to send money back home and qualify for credit cards and even mortgages here in the U.S.

Scant Interest in F.H.A. Program

The F.H.A. Short Refi Program Has Helped Few

NY Times Lender participation is voluntary. And only about 4,600 F.H.A. loans have been originated under the program, a far cry from the 500,000 to 1.5 million borrowers the Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated could be helped when it announced the program in 2010.

NM Court of Appeals VACATES Judgment of Foreclosure 

Deutsche Bank v. Johnson

New Mexico Court of Appeals At trial, twenty months after the complaint for foreclosure was filed, the Bank produced a note that was significantly different from the one attached to its complaint. The Bank argued that its production of the note bearing an undated indorsement in blank at trial was sufficient to establish its right to enforce the note. Court disagreed.


Holder won't meet with BofA CEO as mortgage talks stall

Reuters Bank of America has discussed paying about $12 billion to settle the probes, including a portion to help struggling homeowners, while the Justice Department had suggested a $17 billion settlement, sources said. The talks are being driven by an investigation into the bank's Merrill Lynch unit but also include the bank itself and its Countrywide unit.


Home in foreclosure dispute taken off market

Shortly after the Thomases returned from Washington, Meadows said he'd requested from Fannie Mae that the sale of the house be put on hold while the family's case is evaluated.



“I'm pleased that Fannie Mae agreed to take the Thomas family's house of the market while an investigation is under way,” Meadows said in a statement Wednesday. “I imagine there are few things more heart-wrenching to go through as a family than losing their home. I hope to see this case get resolved quickly so the parties involved are able to move forward. I appreciate Fannie Mae's willingness to cooperate.”


EXPOSED Federal Reserve Doc: Go from paper homeowner instruments to electronic. Foreclosure fraud what fraud?

Courts across the country authorize and even authenticate the banks’ ‘altered’ copies. In a recent Oklahoma case, the servicer for an unnamed party in interest did not have the original note. In its attempt to prove standing, the servicer eventually submitted three markedly different versions of the missing original. Judge Carlos Chapelle ignored the defendant’s motion to strike and authenticated all three. So the servicer went from having no note – to having three notes on the same property; all done unlawfully with a computer and a printer.

Marinka Peshman In an exclusively obtained letter from Thomas C. Baxter, Jr., General Counsel and Executive Vice President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, to William R. Breetz, the Chair of the ULC’S HFPA Drafting Committee, Baxter wrote: “In contemplating a companion Federal law that would authorize and institute an electronic registry and transfer system for mortgage notes and mortgages, I envision legislation that supports the creation of a national system that moves the industry away from paper but remained information rich, is transparent and accessible to all stakeholders … is credibly governed (suggesting under the supervision of Federal Reserve or FHFA –Federal Housing Finance Agency, HUD etc.) and, where appropriate, freed from state law variations.”


Tampa Trial Judge Rules for Borrower Where Correct Objections Were Made

Forcing the Plaintiff to actually prove their case frequently results in judgment for the borrower. 

2011 Court proceedings in: 

PHH Mortgage v. Parish 

Living Lies Note that the Plaintiff failed to introduce proof of the right to enforce, even if they had THE note or any note. This has been the subject of numerous articles on this website. Being a holder means you can file suit, but without proving you are a holder with rights to enforce, you lose. And the way to prove that you have the rights to enforce is to provide some sort of written instrument that specifically says you have the right to enforce. It is the only logical ruling. Otherwise anyone could steal a note and enforce it without ever committing perjury.


One percent’s rental nightmare: How Wall Street scheme blew up in its face

Big Money investors thought they had the perfect plan to buy up rental properties. There was just one huge problem.

Under the contracts of the rental-backed securities, if performance falls below a certain level, the entire portfolio goes into default, which may lead to evictions for thousands of renters.

David Dayen I’ve followed the Wall Street rental scheme for some time. You know the basics by now: Big Money investors decided to buy up all the foreclosed properties their pals at the banks created during the financial crisis, and rent them out to many of the same people who lost their homes. Then, they started selling securities backed by the rental revenue, just like the mortgage-backed securities from the crisis. Profiting off their own failure: It was Wall Street’s perfect plan.

There was just one problem: turns out that institutional investors have no idea how to manage rental properties.


Size and Face of Homeownership, Changed and Changing

Mortgage Daily News Part 4 of the recent edition of the Harvard Joint Center on Housing Studies' report on the State of the Nation's Housing looks at the declining rate of homeownership in the U.S. which has now fallen for the seventh straight year. 

Has Anyone Heard of the Uniform Law Commission?

They are meeting on July 11behind closed doors.

Joe Sucher

Huff Post

The devil is in the details and when it comes to evicting homeowners arguments abound about who has "standing" to foreclose, broken chains of title, improper assignments, "holder in due course"; all the verbiage and phraseology that surfaced in the wake of the 2010 revelations surrounding so-called robo-signing improprieties. In the past few years courts around the country -- federal and state -- have offered widely varying decisions on what this all means for struggling homeowners. For Geoff Walsh this is a bad omen for a one-size-fits-all foreclosure law so why put in the time and effort. 

PHH Rescinds Sale and Vacates Foreclosure Judgment

The Court will grant Plaintiff’s motions to rescind the public sale and vacate the 
judgment of foreclosure. 

Vermont Superior Court Assuming Plaintiff can prove mutual mistake, it is entitled to reopen the foreclosure. Plaintiff will have the burden of proving mutual mistake once Plaintiff amends its complaint. Reopening the foreclosure is also appropriate because Plaintiff asserts it will not prejudice Defendants and neither Defendants nor Fannie Mae  objected to Plaintiff’s requests.


Rolling Rebellion, Lawyers and Citizens Protest Seattle Bankster UCC Uniform Law Conference

Whether or not you are in foreclosure, if you own a home and have a mortgage or intend some day to own a home, this national ULC conference affects you. For hundreds of years states have owned and recorded their own lands – and now it appears the United States federal government would like that to change.

Deadly Clear Why is the ULC conference so important? The hand selected chums on the ULC committee are trying to decide how they can best push through a national (federalized) mortgage loan registry system, like MERS – that hasn’t worked so well over the past 15 years. What they’d like to do is white-wash all of the fraudulent land records – and forgive the crooks for their bad acts. And by doing so, the national land registry becomes just that – a federally owned system making it easier to grab land and take away state’s rights.

Citi near $7 billion deal to resolve mortgage probe



The potential settlement marks a sharp reversal from mid-June, when the Justice Department had warned that it planned to file a lawsuit unless Citigroup significantly raised its settlement offer.


It Was the Banks That Falsified Loan Documents

If lawyers did their homeowner right and litigated these cases aggressively, the bank’s illusion of securitization would end. And THAT means most foreclosures would end or never be started.

Living Lies The Federal Reserve cited Wells Fargo for such behavior --- and then the Federal Reserve started buying the toxic waste mortgage bonds at the rate of some $60 billion PER MONTH, which is to say that approximately $3 Trillion of toxic waste mortgage bonds have been purchased by the Federal Reserve from the Banks. The Banks settled with investors, insurers, guarantors, loss sharing agencies, and hedge counterparties for pennies on the dollar, but so far those settlements total nearly $1 Trillion, which is a lot of pennies.


Maine Supreme Court Hands Major Defeat to MERS Mortgage Registry

As the justices explain, the initial filing in Bank of America v. Greenleaf was a mess, leading the court to sanction the attorney.

Bank of America v. Greenleaf

Tom Cox explained what this means for MERS via e-mail:

The Maine Supreme Court has held that a MERS mortgage assignment, by itself, is not sufficient to prove an assignment of a mortgage. 


naked capitalism There are two solutions: one is for the foreclosing party to obtain an assignment from the originating lender, but many of them are long out of business so this may not be a viable solution. The alternative is for the servicer for the foreclosing party to prove up the MERS membership agreement of the foreclosing party, the MERS Membership Rules, the MERS Procedures Manual and related documents to prove that the MERS really does have the capacity to assign a mortgage. I don’t think that the evidence rules will allow the servicers to do this. Thus, this decision starts to raise a serious question as to whether MERS continues to be a viable operation in Maine. Maine is the first state supreme court with such a decision. If other states go this way, MERS is in trouble.

“Losing a loved one should not mean also losing your home."

CFPB Clarifies Mortgage Lending Rules to Assist Surviving Family Members

CFPB The CFPB is issuing an interpretive rule to clarify that when a borrower dies, the name of the borrower’s heir generally may be added to the mortgage without triggering the Bureau’s Ability-to-Repay rule. This clarification will help surviving family members who acquire title to a property to take over their loved one’s mortgage, and to be considered for a loan workout, if necessary, to keep their home.


7 Years of Begging and Finally They See the Light

All this happened because the decision was made to force borrowers to shoulder the entire burden of the mortgage meltdown.

Just because you get a borrower to sign some papers that make no sense whatsoever, doesn’t mean the papers ought to be enforced.

Living Lies The whole point of the public records system is to provide confidence in the system of title and giving buyers or lenders the comfort of knowing that they had what they thought they were getting. The whole purpose of MERS and similar schemes was to avoid the public records system — until it comes time to use them to foreclose on previously unrecorded transactions involving the mortgage. Judges around the country have expressed fear that our entire title system has been compromised. 

Appellate Court Finds Citimortgage May Be Liable For Denying Loan Modification With Bogus Excuse

This is yet another example of how California appellate courts are not letting bank servicers get away with loan modification misrepresentations and deceptive practices.

Rufini v. CitiMortgage




Rufini contacted Citimortgage and was assigned to a loan modification representative who did not return his calls for 3 weeks. When he finally reached the representative, he was told the foreclosure sale would not take place for another few weeks and the representative asked for additional information about this income. In the meantime, Citimortgage transferred the loan to PennyMac who foreclosed on the home without further notice to Rufini.

Supreme Court NLRB Decision Has Ripple Effects for Lenders

Whatever the outcome, the Supreme Court’s decision could literally re-write the law and for litigants involved in cases directly and/or indirectly affected by these now invalid decisions. Their legal position may have fundamentally changed.

National Mortgage News Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Obama administration's recess appointments of three National Labor Relations Board judges were invalid and unconstitutional. As a result, all of the decisions of the NLRB in which any of these judges participated are void. Including all published and unpublished decisions, some 1,058 rulings are effectively invalid.

Fed Defends Its Approach to Punishing Banks for Improper Foreclosures

WSJ The Federal Reserve defended its approach to punishing banks for misconduct in home foreclosures and said in a report issued Monday that about 83% of borrowers have cashed checks reimbursing them for financial injury.


How a Trust Lost Over $10 Million on Just One Loan

Here is yet another case with a Lost Note count, DocX Assignments showing the trust acquired the loan after it filed for foreclosure and years after the trust closed. The Lost Note was found (of course) and the found version was endorsed (of course) but the case is still noteworthy because of the amount of loss to the trust – over $10 million and still growing.

THJF This foreclosure was filed with a Lost Note Count. Two assignments were also filed, but these were prepared by DocX and showed that the mortgage was not assigned to the trust until April, 2009 – after the foreclosure was filed and after the trust closing date.
This delayed the foreclosure which took over 5 years to complete.

Final judgment entered for U.S. Bank on 9-26-2013 for $17,833,673
Listed for sale 7-4-2014 for $8,500,000


More on: MERS Loses Major Case in Pennsylvania

As Georgetown law professor, Adam Levitin, said succinctly by e-mail, “MERS hasn’t lost a case like this before.” Damages are to be awarded in a jury trial. Note that this case did not decide the validity of mortgages in the MERS system, but you can be sure that borrower attorneys are planning to file a boatload of cases on the back of this decision.

naked capitalism The judge also found MERS could be held responsible for damages:

We likewise reject the proposition that MERS is not subject to liability because it is only an agent for its member-lenders. Indeed, as a general matter, an “agent” is a “person authorized by another (principal) to act for or in place of him; one intrusted with another’s business.

This case is certain to be appealed. Not only is MERS facing a possibility of a very costly award, but this also increases the odds of suits in state where title does not pass to the borrower until the mortgage is paid off in full (aka “title theory states“) and state law requires that property transfers be recorded.


Quiet Title and Statute of Limitations

Living Lies Lawyers are coming around to the idea that in order to be truly successful in an action to remove the mortgage encumbrance, you need to have an allege facts to support the claim that the mortgage deed (or Deed of Trust) was invalid in the first instance or that it could not be enforced even if the statute of limitations was not applicable. THEN alleging the statute of limitations is a good idea as corroboration for your logic that the mortgage is invalid because it is unenforceable and without merit in all instances.
There are two such attacks that are promising:


Shades of 1930 in Wall Street Banks’ Dark Pools?

The bombshell, that mainstream business media has yet to comprehend, was that the same mega Wall Street banks whose share prices crashed in the 2008 financial crisis are today not only running dark pools for stock trading but they’re trading the stock of their own corporate parents – to the tune of tens of millions of shares a week. Those Wall Street banks include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.

The stock market, under the repeal of Glass-Steagall, was insanely mispricing the value of the shares of stock of Wall Street’s trading houses.

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

From Nov. 2008: “Altogether, the stock lost 60 per cent last week and 87 percent this year. The company’s market value has now fallen from more than $250 billion in 2006 to $20.5 billion on Friday, November 21, 2008. That’s $4.5 billion less than Citigroup owes taxpayers from the U.S. Treasury’s bailout program.”

Was Citigroup allowed to fail? Was Citigroup closed by regulators? Did anyone go to jail at Citigroup as was the case at the Bank of United States? None of those things occurred. Instead, after losing 60 percent of its market value in one week, the U.S. government chipped in another $20 billion in equity into Citigroup, bringing the total to $45 billion, and then provided an asset guarantee of over $300 billion. The New York Fed did its part with over $2 trillion in below-market rate loans to Citigroup.


Neighboring counties join Beaufort County in suing MERS

SC counties say Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, owned by nearly two dozen large banks and mortgage services, operates an electronic record-keeping system that parallels the counties’ deed records.

Beaufort County v. MERSCORP

Myrtle Beach The counties contend the system hides who owns loans, often by listing only MERS as the owner, not a specific member bank or service. That constitutes fraud and undermines the county’s property-ownership records, which state law requires to list the exact owner of a property’s title, county attorney Josh Gruber said.

In extreme circumstances, that could mean homeowners are left in the dark about who owns their loans and would have no public records to turn to try to defend their homes against foreclosure, Gruber said.


Bank had the Note, but the Opinion counts the many reasons the Judgment of Foreclosure is Vacated.

Bank of America v. Greenleaf

Quoting Saunders: MERS as the “mortgagee of record,” the mortgage in fact granted to MERSonly the right to record the mortgage” as the lender’s nominee, and “having only that
right, MERS [did] not qualify as a mortgagee pursuant to our foreclosure statute.”

Maine Supreme Judicial Court In short, the record demonstrates a series of assignments of the right to record the mortgage as nominee, but no more. In the absence of any evidence that the Bank owned Greenleaf’s mortgage, we conclude that the Bank lacked standing to seek foreclosure on the mortgage and accompanying note. We vacate the foreclosure judgment on this basis.

The interest in the note is only part of the standing analysis, however; to be able to foreclose, a plaintiff must also show the requisite interest in the mortgage.

Judgment of foreclosure vacated. Order of sanctions for failure to comply with M.R. Civ. P. 56 affirmed.




SunTrust Fraud Claims Settled for $320 Million

The DoJ states: "As a result of SunTrust's mismanagement of HAMP, thousands of homeowners who applied for a HAMP modification with SunTrust suffered serious financial harms."

(Will any homeowner's be made whole?)

Of the $320 million settlement, $179 million will go compensate borrowers for damage caused by Suntrust's mismanagement of HAMP.

Courthouse News The Justice Department noted that borrowers eligible for such restitution must fall into one of eight predetermined categories of harm.
Suntrust could need to put another $95 million toward restitution if the $179 million fund runs out, according to the settlement.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will SunTrust will also recover $10 million in restitution, and SunTrust faces $16 million in forfeiture to law-enforcement agencies working on mortgage fraud and other matters related to the misuse of funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
The final $20 million in the settlement will fund organizations that provide counseling??? and other services to distressed homeowners.


List of SUNTRUST Documents Recorded just in Fresno County 

Gene Johnson I'll bet that at least 50% were scammed by SUNTRUST. Each homeowner should be notified so they can apply for restitution that the DOJ is imposing.

It's also possible that the county could get filing fees from SUNTRUST for breaking the chain of title.






It's the Wild West! Instead of being shut down and put in prison, SunTrust is allowed to expand. 

SunTrust Buys $3 Billion in Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSR)

Mortgage Servicing News The sale of the HomeStreet portfolio to SunTrust comes as the Atlanta bank just struck a $968 million deal last month with federal and state regulators over mortgage servicing violations. SunTrust allegedly robo-signed mortgage documents and illegally foreclosed on some customers. It has agreed to allocate $500 million to borrowers over the next three years by reducing principal or lowering mortgage rates (on worthless loans SunTrust has no legal right to collect on).
Then there is this....

SunTrust Resolves HAMP-Related Criminal Allegations

According to a Criminal Action Remediation Agreement released by the company’s parent bank, the company agreed to pay up to $320 million to resolve allegations that it made misrepresentations and omissions .


Sandler LLP

This criminal action comes in the wake of a DOJ Inspector General report that was critical of the Justice Department’s mortgage fraud enforcement efforts, and which numerous members of Congress used to push DOJ to more vigorously pursue alleged mortgage-related violations. 

In announcing the action, the U.S. Attorney acknowledged that other HAMP-related investigations are under way, and that more cases may be coming.

  Then there is this...













Federal judge finds mortgage registry company violated Pa. statute in Montgomery County lawsuit

“It’s the integrity of the public record that we really want to protect,” Becker said. “To make sure that at any given time, that a person can look at a property and find out not only who owns it but who is holding the paper on it. If they have paid their mortgage or have attempted to pay their mortgage they should not be foreclosed on. It’s about preserving our residents’ right to maintain their homes.”

The Times Herald A federal district judge in Philadelphia ruled June 30 that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. and MERSCORP Holdings Inc., together referred to as MERS, violated a Pennsylvania statute by not recording mortgage assignments.

Nancy Becker, the county’s recorder of deeds, who is the lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit, said the ruling give the county the momentum to go forward with the lawsuit in trial, which is not scheduled yet.

“The next steps are to send an official court notice to the other recorders in the commonwealth explaining the lawsuit and then a trial,” Becker said.

Becker said the recorder of deeds office has been able to work on the lawsuit without spending any taxpayer money. The accountants, attorneys, consultants and researchers involved in the case are working on a contingency, she said.


The Court also noted the Recorder’s testimony that over the past several years, a number of residents who were facing foreclosure didn’t know who owned their mortgage or to whom they should be making their mortgage payments, and the Recorder attributed this to the fact that MERS is not recording all of the note assignments with the results of both a loss of revenue and land title records being incomplete.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The second expert stated in his Declaration that licensed title agents have no access to information in MERS bar codes, which means that title searchers and consumers are denied the ability to ascertain who currently owns the note secured by a MERS mortgage and that neither the borrower nor the courts can ascertain the chain of events OR EVEN THE VALIDITY OF A TRANSACTION. The result is an “erosion of Pennsylvania’s land records and THE INABILITY TO EVALUATE THE MARKETABILITY OF TITLE AND CREDIT WORTHINESS OF THE CONSUMER. 

More comments on: Kalicki v. JPMorgan Chase

Chase’s fraudulent foreclosure: Court finds for plaintiffs

Bank committed fraud in order to show ownership

Housing Wire JPMorgan Chase created and recorded false documentation that showed the bank owned the mortgage of two California residents in order to foreclose on their home, the California Court of Appeals stated in a ruling Monday.

The court also ruled that a Chase executive created a document that “fraudulently represented that a prior assignment had been lost and that Chase owned the Kalickis' mortgage.” 

The lower court ruling voided all of the fraudulent documents and prohibited Chase from recording any false or misleading documents representing that it owned the Kalickis' mortgage.

Chase And The Case(s) Of Fraudulent Foreclosures 

(Just How Many Fraudulent Foreclosures Are There?) MILLIONS.

Weidner Law The press services are blowing up today with reports of the Chase Foreclosure case that was dismissed with a finding of fraudulent documents. The case is great for consumers, but the larger question is just why there are not more reported cases out there? The reason of course is that courts are reluctant to call the kind of widespread document fabrication what it really is…..it’s fraud.


The way for regulators to hit a bank where it hurts: a ban from markets

Imagine if a bank that wrongfully foreclosed on hundreds of homeowners couldn't issue mortgages for a year. Or an institution that sold billions of dollars worth of bonds full of toxic loans couldn't sell securities for six months. And dozens of employees, including senior managers, involved in either case were fired.

Washington Post This is the sort punishment that New York's Department of Financial Services chief Benjamin Lawsky doled out to France's BNP Paribas on Monday for processing transactions in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran, Cuba and Sudan.

The state regulator banned the bank from converting foreign currency into U.S. dollars through its New York office for a year and forced it to can 13 employees, including the chief operating officer. The Justice Department also exacted a guilty plea from the bank and helped orchestrate a $8.9 billion settlement with several U.S. agencies.


Seize the loans of belly-up homes 

Why New York City should use eminent domain to rescue underwater mortgages

The answer is simpler than you might think.

Daily News A return to 1920s-style private finance in the early 2000s pushed these agencies aside and brought back ’20s-style bubble and bust. This they accomplished by pushing new Rube Goldberg loan products. As in the ’20s, these products brought ruin. And as in the ’20s, creditors now can’t write them down. In New York City, as many as 60,000 homes and literally billions of dollars are therefore sunk, lost.


Who’s Watching the Watchmen?  RMBS Trustees Come Under Fire as Investors Launch Next Wave of Lawsuits

Subprime Shakeout The fallout zone from the Mortgage Crisis has officially expanded, leaving very few players untouched. However, this development was not surprising – at least to this humble long-time observer of and participant in residential mortgage backed securities (“RMBS”) litigation. I have been predicting since as far back as 2010 that the Trustees who ignored or stood in the way of investor efforts to mitigate their losses would eventually face a day of reckoning. 


“The Bank” Does NOT Own Your Mortgage, They Have No Independent Right to Foreclosure (Notes from foreclosure trials)

Here’s what’s undisputed. “The Banks” have no real interest in the mortgages of most Americans. “The Banks” used federal dollars to write those loans and were paid quite handsomely to blast billions of dollars in federal dollars (in the form of originated mortgages). We know from the OIG Office of Inspector General Reports and the National Mortgage Settlement that “The Banks” were far more interested in stealing billions of dollars in taxpayer funds than they ever were with fulfilling their contractual and legal obligations.

Weidner Law Plaintiff’s use of the conjunctive and disjunctive “and/or” renders Plaintiff’s pleading a legal nullity and therefore the complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action. This paragraph is the very foundation upon which the entirety of Plaintiff’s cause of action is based and, as is detailed in case law which is directly on point, this allegation is fatal because it contains mutually exclusive allegations within the same statement. Put plainly, which allegation is Plaintiff traveling under?

Is The Bank the holder of the Mortgage Note and Mortgage and entitled to enforce the Mortgage Note and Mortgage
Is The Bank entitled to enforce the Mortgage Note and Mortgage?
(but not the “holder” of the note)


SEC Investigating Group Purchasing Kickbacks by Private Equity Firms

naked capitalism The Wall Street Journal exposes the latest ruse tonight. While the dollar amounts aren’t earthshaking, the behavior is particularly shameless, and involves some of the biggest names in the industry: KKR, Blackstone, and TPG. It shows that these players are unafraid of engaging in out-and-out skimming as long as they dress it up in a way that is hard to ferret out.


Another Failure to Regulate Derivatives

Both the S.E.C. and the C.F.T.C. need to greatly expand the reach of their derivatives rules and curb the rush to “de-guarantee.” Until they do, American taxpayers and the financial system in general will remain exposed to the ravages of unregulated derivatives trading.

NY Times By the time the Securities and Exchange Commission finalized a rule last month to regulate derivatives under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the big banks that dominate the multitrillion-dollar market had already figured out how to game it.

This is not a tale, however, of how wily banks always find a way around the rules. In this case, the S.E.C. has written and passed a rule that is custom built for evasion, all the while insisting, unconvincingly, that it does not have the legal authority to be any tougher.

Ginnie Mae Gets Proactive Amid Concerns About Nonbank Servicers

Mortgage Servicing News Ginnie Mae is paying particular attention to nonbank servicers due to the same concerns an inspector general has raised about servicing transfers involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.


'Middle Ground' GSE Reform Proposal Would Keep Fannie, Freddie Alive

The government guarantee, with the taxpayer always paying for the party, is what created this transference of wealth mess.

To learn more about the original draft proposal, click here.

MortgageOrb "Effectively what we're doing is we're providing a government guarantee - but we're doing it through a new agency," Delaney emphasized. "It's a fairly simple process to look at pools of mortgages, decide if they're eligible and then write a government guarantee. The complex part of it is creating the mechanism for the government to offload a piece of its exposure onto the private market. What we're looking at there is effectively the reinsurance model - which is effectively what the government is doing today: providing insurance against defaults."


Lenders Lose Right To Sue To Recover On This

dbr A deadline for lenders to collect balances on distressed mortgages was a "big win" for thousands of homeowners.
Florida's Fair Foreclosure Act, which took effect July 1, 2013, gave lenders one year from the date of foreclosure to sue homeowners for deficiencies or balances owed on mortgages.



One of our oldest dogmas is that if a court has no jurisdiction of the
subject matter of an action its pretended judgment or decree is a nullity



Thus a question of jurisdiction of the subject matter can be raised at any
time during the proceedings and even for the first time on appeal. It can
be raised in collateral proceedings, which means, in other words, that the
judgment or decree, being a nullity, is not res judicata as to a subsequent
legal action.


Manhattan U.S. Attorney Settles Civil Fraud Claims Against HSBC Bank For Failure To Monitor Fees Submitted For Foreclosure-Related Services

How much money did HSBC steal?

Preet Bharara

US Attorney

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “HSBC failed to live up to its legal obligation to monitor and review fees and expenses it was submitting to FHA and Fannie Mae for reimbursement, and in the process, cost the public millions of dollars. With today’s settlement, HSBC publicly admits to its failures and agrees to pay the Government $10 million. 


BI The horrible things that happen to your body when you're stressed.

JPMorgan Chase Caught Falsifying Ownership Documents

Homeowner Award of $255,000 in Attorney Fees Upheld on Appeal

Kalicki v. JPMorgan Chase

The judgment stated that the Kalickis owned the property and quieted title in their favor.

The judgment stated that the Kalickis owned the property and quieted title in
their favor. It also found that Chase had executed and recorded false documentation purporting to transfer ownership of the Kalickis' mortgage to Chase and that a Chase executive created a document in which Chase fraudulently represented that a prior assignment had been lost and that Chase owned the Kalickis' mortgage. The judgment voided the fraudulent documents and enjoined Chase from recording any false or misleading documents representing that it owned the Kalickis' mortgage.




Throughout the process, Ms. McDonnell found that there were five missing assignments that should have been recorded with the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds; that the MERS Milestones data was incomplete and in contradiction to the securitization deal documents, and that title to the property had been corrupted by MERS’ failure to record a complete chain of title.



It is hereby ORDERED that Defendants’ (MERS) Motion is DENIED in its
entirety and Plaintiff’s Motion is GRANTED IN PART as outlined in
the preceding Memorandum Opinion. 
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Declaratory Judgment is hereby entered in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendants such that Defendants’ are declared to be obligated to create and record written documents memorializing the transfers of debt/promissory notes which are secured by real estate mortgages in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for all such debt transfers past, present and future in the Office for the Recording of Deeds in the County where such property is situate.

US Bank to pay $200m, admit deficiencies in mortgage settlement

While the settlement resolves allegations that US Bank violated federal law by originating deficient FHA loans, it doesn’t prevent further legal action by state and federal authorities for other potential origination, servicing or foreclosure violations, according to the Justice Department.

MPA “By misusing government programs designed to maintain and expand homeownership, US Bank not only wasted taxpayer funds, but inflicted harm on homeowners and the housing market that lasts to this day,” said Stuart F. Delery, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “As this settlement shows, we will continue to hold accountable financial institutions that violate the law by pursuing their own financial interests at the expense of hardworking Americans.”

BNP Paribas Guilty Plea Is Latest Big Settlement to Bolster New York State’s Fiscal Position

NY Times The financial crisis came at a huge cost to New York State. Thousands of jobs were lost, billions of dollars in revenue evaporated and the state’s reputation suffered a body blow. Now it seems the state is getting pretty good at recouping money from big financial institutions.


In Banking World, Fraud Is an Epidemic

Systemic corruption and a fundamental conflict of interest are driving us toward the precipice of new economic crises.

Beatrice Edwards Every source said that anyone who tried to notify the AIG corporate board about compliance problems before 2008 found him - or herself on the post–September 2008 redundancy list.

Everyone I talked to mentioned James Cole, who worked in the office as an independent consultant for the SEC. He was positioned in the compliance office, went to AIG board meetings, wrote reports, interviewed people, and generally hung around. The Wall Street Journal reported that this assignment earned his foreclosure-mill law firm, Bryan Cave, around $20 million, for about five years work.


Penalties for Companies, but Executives Often Emerge Unscathed

Dealbook Before BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to violating United States economic sanctions laws, the bank’s chief executive, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, said in a message to employees that “malfunctions have occurred and mistakes were made.” It was much more than that, costing to the bank nearly $9 billion. But even then, the misconduct leading to that kind of penalty did not result in criminal charges against any individuals.

Moving to Strike The “Witness” and Their “Business Records”

The general practice of the servicers and trustees is to disclose a list of as many as 35 possible witnesses so that the Defendant homeowner cannot possibly perform due diligence investigation, deposition etc.

Living Lies The Judges got wise to this and agreed that disclosing 35 witnesses, 34 of whom you do not intend to call, is the same as no disclosure at all. So now the banks are filing a disclosure of one witness a couple of days before trial. In my opinion the attorney should move to strike the disclosure both as late (ordinarily the trial order requires such disclosure at least 45 days before trial), and as admission that they were playing games when they previously disclosed 35 witnesses. 

The bullet point here is that the “records” the witness will seek to introduce are not a printout of the records at all. They are a REPORT in which data populates the report. She doesn’t know where the raw data is. The report was produced by the witness by simply pushing buttons on her computer.

HSBC settles U.S. fraud charges over foreclosure fees

At least $6 trillion of loans overseen by large servicers in the United States from 2009 to 2012 were delinquent or in foreclosure, the trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance said.

Reuters The civil settlement announced Tuesday is the first to result from an investigation by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan into whether mortgage servicers overcharged the government on foreclosures on federally-backed home loans.

According to settlement papers, HSBC admitted and accepted responsibility for having failed in 2009 and 2010 to properly police foreclosure-related fees charged by outside lawyers and other service providers.


Servicers' Rapid Growth Poses Danger to GSEs, Watchdog Warns

The example is indicative of broader problems in mortgage servicing, according to the report due for release Tuesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Office of Inspector General.

Mortgage Servicing News The servicer, which the report does not identify by name, used short-term financing to acquire a large portfolio of delinquent loans backed by one or both of the government-sponsored enterprises. This company lacked the infrastructure to handle so many loans, leading to consumer complaints and the payment delays, and limited credit availability threatened the servicer's ability to fund its operations.


Keeping it in the news.

Federal judge asks: Why haven’t any top executives been prosecuted for financial crisis?

As the five-year statute of limitations nears for crimes that led to the Great Recession, a federal judge wants to know why no high-level executives have been prosecuted.

The Raw Story “The stated opinion of those government entities asked to examine the financial crisis overall is not that no fraud was committed. Quite the contrary,” Rakoff writes in the New York Review of Books. “For example, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, in its final report, uses variants of the word ‘fraud’ no fewer than 157 times in describing what led to the crisis, concluding that there was a ‘systemic breakdown,’ not just in accountability, but also in ethical behavior.”
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