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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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6/29/13

Former Top Regulators Tell Congress to Rein in Big Banks

Three former financial regulators testify to the House Financial Services Committee in support of reinstating Glass-Steagall legislation and addressing Too Big to Fail Banks. 

The good news is that they had witnesses who had an unusual degree of agreement on the fact that things are screwed up and need to be fixed and how to fix them.

Real News Glass-Steagall was a law adopted after the scandals of the Great Depression that said there's an inherent conflict of interest if you have both an investment bank and a commercial bank owned by the same folks. If the bank customer gets in trouble, well, you'll tend to use the investment bank to issue securities to try to bail it out and vice versa. And so Glass-Steagall said you have to have this separation; you can't do both of them.
And this worked spectacularly well for the U.S. financial system. After the Great Depression and World War II, it became the top financial system in the world.
And so, naturally, we decided to screw it up. 
6/29/13

FHA Swamped By Defaults; Congressional Report Shows FHA Could Suffer Losses as High as $115 Billion; Shut Down Fannie, Freddie, FHA

MISH'S
Global Economic
Trend Analysis 
An alleged "worst case scenario" shows the FHA could lose as much as $115 Billion. Since these worst case scenarios are always famously optimistic, the best course of action would be to shut the agency down.

Victims of Green Tree Servicing (and Bank ofAmerica)

Leonard Law Office, LLP has closed its investigation. We ask that people kindly refrain from calling us about Green Tree Servicing

Class Action complaint: GRUGNALE v. GREEN TREE

Leonard Law Office, LLP Soon after Leonard Law Office LLP filed a class action lawsuit against Green Tree Servicing for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, an anonymous insider from Bank of America mailed an untraceable packet of information in a plain manila envelope. A PDF of the file ishere.

6/28/13

Old Ameriquest case settles; widow gets home back Free & Clear

Foreclosure fight, potential class action lawsuit?

to hearing to close case

Thousands of people are thought to be potentially affected by banking practices that appear headed toward class action lawsuits in Hawaii.

KHON

 

Along and costly case for Kekauoha-Alisa against Ameriquest and JP Morgan Chase settled last week in U.S. bankruptcy court.

According to case records, a local law firm assistant who was supposed to postpone a foreclosure auction for Ameriquest did not. In the settlement last week, Ameriquest agreed to pay Kekauoha $675,000, and she gets the house back free and clear.

 

 

New Bank of America whistle-blower emerges: More customer abuse secrets

Now, another new lawsuit, featuring a separate whistle-blower, contains additional remarkable revelations and may shed light on Bank of Americas strategy in getting out from under the mountain of legal exposure and costs in which it now finds itself. Simply put, the bank seeks to pocket quick cash and evade practices set forth in major settlements by cashing out of the subprime mortgage servicing business. The result would be to leave struggling homeowners back at square one, with even fewer protections to avoid foreclosure.

David Dayen

Salon

First, some background. Over the past year, non-bank servicers like Nationstar and Ocwen have been buying up servicing rights to millions of mortgages, gradually positioning themselves to become the biggest companies in the space. These non-bank servicers, which process monthly payments and deal with foreclosures but do not originate loans, have an asset not available to their big bank colleagues: They havent yet been officially caught scamming customers. Therefore, they are not a party to the various servicer settlements brought by state and federal regulators, and they need not submit to those settlement guidelines. 

6/28/13

 

Wells Fargo and Chase Quietly Prepare to Take Over BOA and Citi as They Collapse

Follow the money trail rather than the paper trail. The paper trail is full of lies. The money trail cannot be faked. Or to put it more succinctly anyone who tries to fake the money trail will probably end up in jail. Checks, wire transfers, ACH transfers leave footprints throughout the electronic funds transfer infrastructure. In the paper trail there are documents that describe transactions as if they had occurred. It is the money trail that will tell you whether or not any transaction in fact did occur and if so, when and under what terms.

Neil Garfield

Living Lies

PRACTICE HINT:

The money trail (Canceled checks, wire transfer receipts) is the main point. The paper trail should only be used to corroborate your allegations concerning the reality of the transactions after you have shown that the money trail reveals an entirely different story or that the banks are stonewalling access to the money trail because it will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that everything they have said in the creation of the mortgage, transfers of the mortgage, defaults and the mortgage, foreclosures, auction sales, credit bids and attempts for modification is a complete lie.

6/28/13

Bank of America Said to Send Property Reviews to India

Bloomberg Workers in the new Bangalore office follow checklists to determine if appraisals are complete, said the people, who requested anonymity because they werent authorized to comment. The firm also eliminated jobs of licensed U.S. workers in its LandSafe business, the appraisal division of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company, which made $78.7 billion in loans last year, the people said.

6/27/13

Can My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Be Dismissed?

Bankruptcy Law Network In Re Piazza discusses whether pre-petition bad faith can constitute cause to dismiss a Chapter 7 filing under 11 U.S.C. 707(a). The reason it made me a bit queasy is because the bankruptcy court looked at a fifteen (15) part test to determine whether a debtor had filed the case in bad faith, and some of the factors are extremely subjective in my opinion. This case should be required reading for all Debtors counsel. If you have a client with this type of facts, you may want to decline representation.
6/27/13

FDIC Accuses Akerman Law Firm Of Failing To Protect A Failed Bank

Sun Sentinel When a real estate trust company defaulted on the loan, Peninsula "was unable to foreclose on the property" because Akerman didn't have it in writing that the bank had a claim to the land, the FDIC lawsuit says.

6/27/13

 

Reversed per Schwartzwald

Flagstar FSB v. Harvey

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS
NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT
It appears from the assignment of the mortgage from Flagstar Bank, FSB, A
Federally Chartered Savings Bank,
to Flagstar Bank, FSB, that these are two separate and distinct entities. However, the record is devoid of any proof that the note was ever endorsed to Flagstar Bank, FSB, from Flagstar Bank FSB, A Federally Charted Savings Bank. Therefore, a question arises as to whether Flagstar Bank, FSB was actually the holder of the note at the time it filed its complaint.

You must be aware of STUPID decisions too.

Fifth Circuit gives servicers green light to foreclose without note

Ever wonder why many of the Foreclosure Criminals set up camp in Texas?  This is why.

Attorneys are vigorously working to overturn this decision.

Housing Wire The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals gave servicers foreclosing in Texas the green light to proceed with a foreclosure even when the servicer lacks possession of the note.

In a case called, Martins v. Bac Home Loan Servicing, the Fifth Circuit interpreted Texas law as granting servicers a right to foreclose without the note as long as they have a viable mortgage assignment.  (Mountains of case law states "An assignment of the mortgage WITHOUT the Note is a nullity." MSF)

6/27/13

Former LPS Exec Gets Five Years For Mortgage Fraud Scheme

MortgageOrb Prosecutors accused Brown of engaging in fraudulent mortgage-signing practices, including robo-signing, in an effort to boost DocX's profits. They alleged that from 2003 to 2009, Brown engaged in a scheme that included having temporary workers robo-sign thousands of mortgage documents a day.

BUT THE "INDEPENDENT" REVIEW WAS LIMITED TO ACTS IN 2009-2010!

6/27/13

Deception by Derivative

Derivatives are not always financial weapons of mass destruction, as Warren Buffett famously called them.

But they are often weapons of mass deception.

NY Times For some derivatives, a desire for deception is the only reason they exist. That deception can allow those who own derivatives to evade taxes or accounting rules. It can allow activity that might otherwise be illegal, were it not called a derivative, or that would face regulation if it were labeled what it truly is.
2012

white paper

Attorney Feedback

Understanding Current Assignment Verification Practices

Jeremy Pomerantz

Nationwide Title Clearing

This white paper is designed to help you have a deeper understanding of current assignment verification practices. Find out how to avoid common pitfalls and learn how conduction thorough collateral documentation reviews and mortgage/assignment chain audits will improve the process. 

Big BofA Shareholder Dumps On Current Chairman, CEO, Saying It's "Deeply Concerned That This Corporate Culture Of Deceit Has Continued To Exist 

Home Equity Theft Reporter The case and, more importantly, the affidavits say volumes about the failures of senior management and the board of directors to materially change the corporate culture that has long existed at Bank of America prior to Brian Moynihans ascendance or most of this board of directors inauguration, says the letter,
6/26/13

Social Security Overpayments Still Wiped Out in Texas

Overpayments can be discharged in bankruptcy, as long as you did not get the benefits through fraud or some other misconduct.

Bankruptcy Law Network But what if you qualify for future benefits? You worked too much and were overpaid but now you cant work at all and are entitled? Social Security will want to offset your future benefits to repay itself first. Outside bankruptcy, thats allowed its part of the deal to qualify for benefits in the first place.

Inside bankruptcy, most courts have long concluded that it is not allowed.

6/26/13

Regulatory Looting, Promontory-Style:  Botched Foreclosure Reviews Alone Generate More than Double Goldmans Revenues per Employee

Congressional hearings revealed, the money spent on the reviews was a complete waste (well, except for the banks, for whom it was a cheap get out of damages card)

naked capitalism Unfortunately, its clear that the banks, the reviewers, and the OCC have done an effective job of putting a shroud over this travesty. The OCC appallingly can stymie requests for details that the banks or the consultants might claim as confidential supervisory information and prevent disclosure. The only real remedy is to inflict meaningful costs on the OCC for protecting the perps, and that is by getting the agency shut down.

California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

 

RT In addition to possibly spending years in jail, Olson will also be held liable for fines of up to $13,000 over the anti-big-bank slogans that were left using washable children's chalk on a sidewalk outside of three San Diego, California branches of Bank of America, the massive conglomerate that received $45 billion in interest-free loans from the US government (taxpayers) in 2008-2009 in a bid to keep it solvent after bad bets went south.

ResCap to Pay $230M to End Foreclosure Reviews

Residential Capital has won court permission to set aside $230 million for payments to homeowners whom the company may have foreclosed on improperly.

American Banker The ruling means that ResCap, which has operated under bankruptcy protection since last year, would join 10 mortgage servicers that agreed in January to pay a combined $8.5 billion to end similar reviews.

ResCap in February asked the court to allow the company to end its participation in the foreclosure reviews, which the company said was costing $300,000 per day with the potential to empty as much as $459 million from the bankruptcy estate.

6/26/13

Thou Shalt Not Speak Its Name: California Man Barred From Mentioned the First Amendment or Free Speech in Trial Over Protest In Front of Bank of America

Jonathan Turley There is also the question of the constitutionality of a statute that bars political statements on a sidewalk written in chalk. The greatest question for me however is the overcharging by the prosecutors. I am also surprised that Bank of America (which avoided charges of its own officials in financial scandals) did not reign in its security contractor and state that they do not ask for charges in the case.

Olson will clearly not receive anything near 13 years and may not serve any time in jail. However, this seems like a case of overkill by the prosecution. What do you think?

6/25/13

Partial settlement approved in Texas lawsuit against MERS

Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday (June 25) agreed to a landmark settlement in a lawsuit that will result in greater accuracy of county real property records.

Houston News This settlement is the first action of its kind in the United States. Although many lawsuits have been filed in other states, this is the first one to reach this agreement. It was a collaborative effort among the counties, Bank of America, MERSCORP, and MERS that will both ensure increased accuracy in real property records and cooperation with the industry to make money available for homebuyers.

 

OUTRAGEOUS OCWEN!

Ocwen has been using this same outrageous scam against paying customers for close to 20 years, and law enforcement is still ignoring it.

Daughter Fights Parent's Wrongful Foreclosure, while Mom Fights Cancer

I was once again sick to my stomach. I would fail my dying Mother as no one cared that their home was being stolen from them.

Give Me Bank My Credit My Parents did not borrow more money than they could repay, nor are they out to shirk their obligation to repay their mortgage. In fact, they hold a considerable amount of equity in their property and are current on their payments. They would however like to emerge from a nightmare that they did not create, don't deserve and should never happen in this Country.

All along, my Parents have only wanted Ocwen to correct their accounting flaws and clean up their their erroneous credit reporting. Isn't that something any reasonable mortgage servicing agent would accept as their basic obligation when meeting their duty to account for any borrower's payments?

6/25/13

Shareholder wants Bank of America to investigate ex-employees claims

An institutional investor is calling on Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and the banks board to investigate allegations from former employees that they were encouraged to deny mortgage modifications to homeowners

Charlotte Observer The case and, more importantly, the affidavits say volumes about the failures of senior management and the board of directors to materially change the corporate culture that has long existed at Bank of America prior to Brian Moynihans ascendance or most of this board of directors inauguration, says the letter, which the SEC posted on its website Monday.
6/25/13

Corker GSE Bill Puts Second Liens in Second Place

Mortgage Servicing News The first-lien holder on a single-family mortgage will be able to block the borrower from taking out a second lien under a GSE reform bill.

If a borrower enters into a credit transaction that increases the combined loan-to-value ratio of the mortgage to 80% or more, the second-lien lender must obtain the approval of the first-lien holder, according to a 154-page draft of the Corker-Warner bill.

Former DocX/LPS Executive Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Role in Mortgage-Related Document Fraud Scheme


Over 1 Million Documents Prepared and Filed with Forged and False Signatures, Fraudulent Notarizations

We will continue to pursue individuals like Brown who took advantage of consumers for personal gain and contributed to the financial crisis. Prosecuting financial crimes remains a priority for our office.

Department of Justice Lorraine Brown will spend five years in prison for her central role in a scheme to fraudulently execute thousands of mortgage-related documents while our nations housing market was at its most vulnerable point in generations, said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman. The documents that were fraudulently produced under Browns direction were relied upon in court proceedings, including a significant number of foreclosure and bankruptcy matters. Todays sentencing represents appropriate punishment for someone who sought to capitalize on the nations housing crisis.

6/25/13

Recent California Law Turns Tables on Mortgage Lenders

Californias groundbreaking Homeowner Bill of Rights took effect just six months ago, and the courts are already rescuing homeowners from situations that would have been hopeless in 2012.

Lawyers Blog He applied for a loan modification with Bank of America, but while his application was pending, he received notice that his home was scheduled for foreclosure auction.

The practice of pursuing a foreclosure against a homeowner who is negotiating a loan modification is called dual tracking, and its prohibited under the Homeowner Bill of Rights.
6/24/13

Crisis Chronicles: 300 Years of Financial Crises (16201920)

Federal Reserve Bank of New York As momentous as financial crises have been in the past century, we sometimes forget that major financial crises have occurred for centuriesand often. This new series chronicles mostly forgotten financial crises over the 300 yearsfrom 1620 to 1920just prior to the Great Depression

6/24/13

Debt Collector Harassment Class Action Lawsuit Filed

A debt collector harassment class action lawsuit has been filed, alleging that General Collection and the law firm Truell Murray & Associates misled her about the status of her debt through deliberate misuse of language.

The Plaintiff states in the lawsuit that she received letters saying, Unless the debtor disputes the debt within 30 days after receipt of the notice, it will be assumed that the debt is valid.

Big Class Action The language in the collection letter Jernigan received is not what is spelled out in the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, according to a Pennsylvania case filed in 2008 in U.S. District Court in Scranton. 

The court in that case said debt validation notices must specify that only the debt collector not others, such as courts or credit scoring companies will assume the debt is valid. An undisputed debt may only be assumed to be valid by the debt collector, the lawsuit states. 

6/24/13

E-Signature Evidence 101

To head off potential litigation when using electronic signatures and transactions especially in regulated processes it is crucial to capture e-signature evidence related to the signer(s), the document(s) and the entire signing process. 

silanis But in the event of a legal dispute, defending your case is about more than presenting an authentic signed record of an electronically signed agreement. It is about proving: 

Consent The signer consented to the use of electronic signatures; Intent The signer intended to be bound by the terms of the contract; Tamper-proof The electronic records have not been altered since being signed; Presentation How the records were presented to the signer; Compliance That the signing process complied with all applicable laws and regulations; Access That the signer had access to reliable copies of the signed document(s) after the fact.

6/24/13

"we still have no idea how many illegal foreclosures each bank committed" - Rep. Cummings

 

Failed Foreclosure Fraud/Robosigning Scandal Settlement Reignites Old Feelings Of Anger, Frustration As Victimized Homeowners Continue To Be Left To Fight Battle On Their Own

See the payout chart here: Foreclosure settlement a billion-dollar bust

Home Equity Theft Reporter

USA Today

"I am deeply concerned by the lack of transparency surrounding this settlement and by the fact that we still have no idea how many illegal foreclosures each bank committed," says Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has criticized regulators for allowing companies that allegedly broke mortgage servicing laws to assign borrowers to the various compensation categories for payment. "I just find this one amazing," Warren said at a recent Senate hearing.

The agreement the government made with the banks leaves consumers little recourse. They cannot appeal their payouts to banks or the regulators. But they can still sue their servicers.
6/23/13

Occupy Leader Bratton Held on $250,000 Bail

Living Lies My opinion is that the deed issued on foreclosure is VOID (not voidable) if there was no consideration. Check with a lawyer in your jurisdiction before you act on that. If the party submitting the credit bid has no proof that they paid for the origination and/or acquisition of the loan, then all their actions constitute the same value as a wild deed which is customarily ignored by title examiners and title agents.

Condo association beats bank in million-dollar foreclosure battle

The condo associations winning argument: The five-year statute of limitations for U.S. Bank to file for foreclosure had passed.

Miami Herald The bank disagreed. It said another affirmative step beyond the acceleration notice was required for the clock to start running, and the statute of limitations should begin when the banks first foreclosure was filed Feb. 21, 2008.

Their argument didnt make sense, said attorney Cotzen. If their argument is correct, there is no point to the statute of limitations.
6/23/13

JAILED: God-Fearing Woman Exposes Foreclosure Fraud

Ignoring well-documented cases of fraud and abuse that continue to plague the home mortgage industry, the City of Ontario Police Department has instead set its sights on Barbara Bratton, 55, who has been jailed as a domestic terrorist for challenging the validity of property records used to foreclose on her loan. 

Charles Koppa Barbara Bratton was the victim of an illegal foreclosure on her family home of 40 years. Since 2008 she has conducted a tireless and well-documented campaign to expose the land title fraud on her home. An important piece in this complex case came last year, when a Lending Processing Services (LPS) executive pled guilty to filing more than a million fraudulent property documents in county recorders offices across the country. The fraud on the Bratton home was linked to the suit. Yet the LPS scheme masked a more insidious crime: the securitization of nearly all home loans since 1996, made it impossible to determine who, if anyone, actually owns the note on a home.
6/22/13

Citigroup Settles Securities Lawsuit

Many securities fraud settlements fail to include an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the defendant, even when the defendant pays large sums of money to settle the lawsuit. These settlements include neither admit nor deny language. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has indicated, however, that certain civil settlements will require an admission of guilt on the part of the defendant.

Lawyers & Settlements In the latest news involving a mortgage-backed securities lawsuit, Citigroup will settle allegations of securities fraud for an undisclosed amount. Citigroup faced securities fraud litigation filed by the US Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which alleged the financial firm made misleading statements about its mortgage-backed securities.

Meanwhile, Citigroup and Allstate settled a separate lawsuit filed by Allstate against Citigroup, also involving mortgage-backed securities. Bloomberg (5/29/13) reports Allstate alleged in its lawsuit that it bought approximately $200 million in mortgage-backed securities from Citigroup based on fraudulent statements from Citigroup.

6/22/13

Greenville attorney faces new criminal charges


Grand jury indicts Pfeiffer in Capital Investment Funding case

Greenville Online In separate indictments returned by state grand jurors, Pfeiffer is charged with criminal conspiracy, five counts of securities fraud, forgery, perjury and false swearing for his alleged involvement in the business activities and actions of Capital Investment Funding and related entities, court records show.
6/21/13

FDIC SUES AKERMAN SENTERFITT

North Bay purchased the property in a foreclosure sale. On Oct. 3, 2007, the bank sent a copy of the executed assignment of judgment to Batchelder. However, the complaint said he never recorded the assignment of judgment.

4closureFraud North Bay obtained title to the property in April 2008 but failed to execute and deliver a mortgage to Peninsula. As a result, the bank had no security interest in the property, the suit alleges.

In February 2009, North Bay defaulted on the note when the property value was $4.6 million.
Because defendants failed to record the assignment of judgment and failed to take any other steps to secure the banks interest in the property, Peninsula was unable to enforce its rights, the lawsuit stated.

6/21/13

Force-Placed Insurance Attorney Weighs In

Lawyers & Settlements Forced-place insurance lawyer Lorenzo Cellini, with Tycko & Zavareei LLP, is currently investigating force-placed insurance claims. If you are a homeowner, read on - this bad faith insurance practice could affect you. Force-placed insurance targets all homeowners because all homeowners are required to carry property insurance. Mr. Cellinis advice could save you a lot of money and avoid a whole lot of grief.

 

HOW TO OBTAIN A TRO OR INJUNCTION TO STOP FORECLOSURE

Mike Rooney Law Did you receive a Notice of Trustees Sale in California? This article is intended to assist you with taking legal steps to force the bank to postpone or cancel the sale.

6/21/13

 

How Wall Street Fraudsters Plunder Public Finances, And How to Fight Back

This article, part of an ongoing AlterNet series, The Age of Fraud, edited by Lynn Stuart Parramore, does the difficult and important feat of unpacking a financial structure that blew up a lot of municipalities in layperson-friendly terms. It also proposes some sound reform ideas. Circulate to friends and colleagues, particularly in communities that have been on the losing end of bad Wall Street deals.

naked capitalism For cities and states to attract top financial talent, and avoid succumbing to Wall Street snake-oil salesman, they must address this disparity in financial firepower. Here, we can learn from other countries: Singapore combines a tough legal code with high pay for regulators, and gets less corruption and better regulation in return. By contrast, in the U.S., the highest-paid state employee is usually the state universitys head football or basketball coach. States may be broke, but if they can find money to pay the football coach, they should be able to pay whats necessary to hire people with sufficient financial expertise to prevent taxpayers from being ripped off.

Conclusion: Wall Street sold its municipal clients the financial equivalent of multiple bridges that collapsed. Since Congress and the Obama financial regulators are MIA on cleaning up this mess, its now up to states, cities, and municipalities to adopt some obvious fixes to make it harder for Wall Street to bamboozle them and us, the taxpayers.

6/21/13

Arizona homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure through forged documents

PHOENIX - Thousands of Arizona families have lost their homes to illegal foreclosures.

Illegal foreclosures are based on forged, faked and phony documents.

According to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, Theres been a major, really major effort to clean up that situation.

But that's not what we found.

The ABC15 Investigators spoke to victims and their attorneys who say bogus documents are still being used to put people out of their homes right here in the Valley.

We wanted to know why laws that make it a crime to submit forged documents in court dont apply to those who are using phony records to foreclose on Arizona families. 

abc15 She says she contacted Hornes office when she discovered that forged documents were being used in an effort to throw her out of her home. 

I contacted the AG to say, Look, Im a victim,' but I have not heard from anybody in the attorney generals office, Westfall said.

Westfall said she faithfully paid her mortgage every month until the bank inexplicably raised her monthly payment and told her she needed a modification.

She could only get one if she defaulted. Until then, bank records show she had never missed a payment.

But during the process the former detective says she discovered her lender was relying on a forged and fabricated document in an effort to foreclose on her home. 

Westfall says she was shocked to find the now-infamous signature of Linda Green..

from March

Bank of America most griped about bank, CEO pay rises

As Bank of America is named as the bank with the most borrower complaints, their CEO sees a 70 percent increase in his pay in the last year - what is going on here?

AGBeat Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was awarded $12 million in base salary, stock awards and other compensation for his 2012 performance, representing a 70 percent jump from the year prior when he was awarded $7 million in total compensation.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the increase is based on improved profit margins and progress toward resolving mortgage-related problems. In other words, Bank of Americas books are improving, so Moynihan is paid based on performance.

WE WERE TOLD TO LIE - Bank of America employee 

All In With Chris Hayes In an absolute bombshell filing in federal court, sworn affidavits describe an intentional strategy on the part of the Bank to systemically lie to struggling homeowners right up to the point of foreclosure. To hoodwink borrowers, stall for time and maximize the amount of money Bank of America got.  Now, we've known for years in talking to the people on the receiving end of the bank's treatment that borrowers seeking loan modifications were strung along and screwed over.

The Deliberate DefaultWhat the Bank of Ameria Declarations are Missing

That deadbeat argument is a myth. Whenever I interview a client, I am careful not to lead them. I simply ask the question, What caused you to go into default?. 

Danielle Kelley, Esq. Nine times out of ten I will hear, The bank said I had to be so many months behind to help me. Or in the alternative, My payments kept increasing and I didnt know why. I called the bank to ask and they told me that unless I was behind in payments they couldnt help. After that the homeowner is left at the mercy of bank who is pretending to consider them for a modification, but yet fraudulently thwarting that process.

The first answer is the stop payment answer, which I have discussed in a previous blog. The second answer is now what I call the bait and switch on escrow accounts

6/19/13

Complaint not based on personal knowledge FAILS

LINDGREN v. DEUTSCHE BANK

StopForeclosureFraud Complaint based on information and belief, and not personal knowledge, is insufficient. 

Here, the complaint was not
based upon personal knowledge and was insufficient to meet the
requirements of the rule.

6/19/13

AAA ratings stopped being something that had to be earned and turned into something that could be paid for.

The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis

It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it.

In incriminating e-mail after incriminating e-mail, executives and analysts from these companies are caught admitting their entire business model is crooked.

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

"This crisis could not have happened without the rating agencies," the commission concluded.

Thanks to these documents, we now know how that happened. And showing as they do the back-and-forth between the country's top ratings agencies and one of America's biggest investment banks (Morgan Stanley) in advance of two major subprime deals, they also lay out in detail the evolution of the industry-wide fraud that led to implosion of the world economy how banks, hedge funds, mortgage lenders and ratings agencies, working at an extraordinary level of cooperation, teamed up to disguise and then sell near-worthless loans as AAA securities. It's the black box in the American financial airplane.

"The meltdown of the subprime-mortgage market will increase both foreclosures and the overhang of homes for sale."

6/19/13

Homeowner Protections in Lynn, MA

Lynn Massachusetts implements strongest homeowner (and neighborhood and local bank) protections in face of foreclosures in the U.S. 

The Housing Justice Foundation Register OBrien is urging his fellow registers of deeds and recorders across the country to follow his lead, Communities need to have in place a law that will protect citizens property rights, communities neighborhoods, and equally as importantly a law that will ensure that the banks are held accountable.

Simply put, you either side with big banks and Wall Street or American families; the City of Lynn Massachusetts decided to side with its people, declared Tim Phelan, Lynn City Council President. 

6/19/13

Modifying a loan without an attorney is not unauthorized practice of law

Crawford v. Central Mortgage Company

South Carolina Supreme Court Petitioners seek to prevent foreclosure by arguing that their lenders engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by modifying the loans without an attorney. We disagree, and hold that modifying a loan without the participation of an attorney does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
6/19/13

Ambac v. EMC Mortgage

This is the second lawsuit that Ambac, a monoline insurer, has filed in this Court relating to its issuance of financial guaranty insurance for residential mortgage-backed securities transactions (RMBS) after inquiry and investigation has purportedly revealed rampant fraud on the part of Bear Stearns and its affiliate, EMC

Supreme Court, New York County
Based upon the staggeringly high
breach rate, Ambac alleges that Bear Stearns and EMC have perpetrated a massive fraud that deceived investors and financial guarantors.

rates. According to Ambac,
approximately 85% of the mortgage loans in the trusts have defaulted or are seriously delinquent.

The Court DENIES the motion to dismiss on the claim for fraudulent inducement and Successor Liability.

Wells Fargo Sold This Womans House In Foreclosure Even Though She Paid Up

A homeowner in Florida says her house was sold in foreclosure even though she was current on her Wells Fargo mortgage, ThinkProgress has learned. Her case is just one of many since the foreclosure crisis exposed improper or even potentially illegal behavior by banks.

Think Progress She sent the full instatement funds that the bank quoted $141,441.81 and the bank then reinstated her loan and told her it had vacated the final motion to foreclose. At that point she should have once again been the rightful owner of her house with no danger of a foreclosure sale.
Yet in reality the bank failed to stop the sale. Crimson Ibis, LLC, a real estate investment firm, bought the title to her house. Meanwhile, Seipp claims she got no notice about the sale.

6/19/13

Monitor Finds Lenders Failing Terms of Settlement

The servicers also submitted to the monitor almost 60,000 complaints received from elected officials on behalf of their constituents.

NY Times Banks are subject to fines of up to $5 million if they do not improve their performance on a failed metric. But they are allowed a certain number of errors, usually 5 percent, before they are considered to have failed. Critics of the settlement point out that in contrast, homeowners seeking help are required to submit virtually perfect paperwork to prevent the loss of their homes.

6/19/13

Another reversal based on failure to meet conditions precedent

DiSALVO v. SUNTRUST MORTGAGE

Alina

_______

DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
OF FLORIDA
SECOND DISTRICT

DiSalvo challenge the entry of a
summary judgment resulting in a final judgment of foreclosure. Because the
mortgagee, SunTrust Mortgage, Inc., failed to present competent evidence that it provided the DiSalvos with the requisite notice and an opportunity to cure the default before the acceleration of the mortgage debt, we reverse.

6/19/13

Oakland Federal Judge Green-Lights Another Lawsuit Alleging Banksters Bilked Borrowers In Default With Inflated Junk Fee Racket

JPMorgan Chase must defend itself against allegations that it charged millions of dollars in improper fees to mortgage borrowers who were in default, a federal judge has ruled.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Thursday's ruling by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., means borrowers may proceed with a lawsuit that accuses JPMorgan of inflating fees for inspections, brokers' estimates and other so-called property preservation services.

The decision follows rulings in April by Rogers that allowed similar lawsuits against Wells Fargo and Citigroup to proceed.

6/18/13

Raising the Bar in Loan Servicing

Is the bar set so low that investors must dictate to servicers what the minimums are and how to manage the very basic elements of our business?  YES!

Mortgage Servicing News The government-sponsored enterprises and other regulatory bodies have now started directing servicers and establishing benchmarks for operational metrics, such as average speed of answer, contact frequency, vendor management, timeline management, abandonment rate, timing of payment application and a large assortment of other specific performance requirements.

British Commission Calls for "New" Laws to Prosecute Bankers for Fraud

Recent scandals have exposed shocking and widespread malpractice, said Andrew Tyrie, a British politician who leads the banking commission. Taxpayers and customers have lost out. The economy has suffered. Trust in banking has fallen to a new low.

DealBook Central to the overhaul are recommendations to make it a criminal offense to recklessly mismanage local financial institutions.

The fact that recklessness in carrying out professional responsibilities carries a risk of a criminal conviction and a prison sentence would give pause for thought to the senior officers of U.K. banks, the British banking commission said.

6/19/13

Banking Commission: Bankers should face threat of jail and loss of bonuses


Senior bankers should face jail and the loss of millions of pounds in bonuses if they are involved in a future banking collapse, according to a report by a cross-party group of MPs and peers.

Telegraph UK The Government has been urged to introduce a new criminal offence for senior persons who run banks in a reckless manner, as well as much more stringent clawback rules that could see managers being stripped of several years worth of pay.

Among the main recommendations of the 570-page report are:

Up to 10-year deferrals of bonuses
A criminal offence for running a bank in a reckless manner
The cancellation of all bonuses for managers if a bank requires direct taxpayer support

 White paper

BEST PRACTICES FOR MANAGING A LIEN RELEASE PROVIDER

Nationwide Title Clearing This white paper is written for mortgage servicers that manage the lien release process as a final step in processing mortgage loan payoffs. This report covers best practices for managing third party service providers for the processing of lien release
documents, with attention to new OCC, CFPB and National Mortgage Settlement requirements.

6/18/13

Deficiency Judgments: Statutes Of Limitations, Collection Period Extensions, Lien Renewals & Other Pleasant Thoughts For Now-Foreclosed Ex-Homeowners

Home Equity Theft Reporter Theres a little-known exemption for most mortgage documents that gives debt collectors 12 years to sue homeowners, plus another 12 years to collect the debt and on top of that a one-time renewal of 12 years for a total of 36 years.

6/18/13

The Buck Didnt Stop ThereWhat the Bank of America Declarations are Missing

This points to a system where the banks want to foreclose. Keep in mind that BOA allegedly bought bad loans from Countrywide. What do you do with so many bad loans on the books? Easy, you put people into default, and then devise a fraudulent modification scheme to make sure the arrears are racking up.

Danielle Kelly, Esq. Dealing with what happened to the homeowners that were in modification review is only one piece of the puzzle. Without looking at what put them there to begin with, we are missing the bigger picture. Homeowners, current on payments, rightfully in their homes, were lured into a trap, and had they not been, no modification review would be needed.

For years, attorneys have heard the last thing the bank wants is a foreclosure or the last thing the bank wants is another house. Yet, the BOA affidavits paint a different picture. Rewards and bonuses for putting potentially eligible HAMP files into foreclosure? Why would the bank want a foreclosure?

Former Employees Say Bank of America Regularly Lied to Homeowners Seeking Loan Modifications

AllGov At least half a dozen ex-BofA workers have filed statements in a Boston lawsuit against the bank saying they regularly lied to homeowners seeking assistance with their loans and denied applications for phony reasonsand that they were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure.

6/18/13

New Florida Law: Pitfalls and Possibilities

The fundamental paradigm shift that is coming, is that the banks are the deadbeats, not the borrowers. The borrowers are seeking to enforce a fair deal; the banks are seeking to steal and lie their way through the PONZI scheme we called Securitization. Neil F Garfield

Banks will have a hard road showing they can verify the plaintiff actually has the original note.

Danielle Kelly, Esq. I wont settle for anything less than a declaration that they have seen it in person not on a computer screen. The bill states, The term original note or original promissory note means the signed or executed promissory note rather than a copy thereof. I dont want to hear about a janitor who was adopted as assistant vice president through corporate resolution and is verifying they saw the original note on a screen. 

If they file a lost note count they must attach an affidavit under penalty of perjury to the Complaint that
1) details a clear chain endorsements, transfers, or assignments Note;
2) set forth facts showing the Plaintiff is entitled to enforce the lost instrument (Note); and
3) attach documents to the affidavit such as copies of the Note, allonges, audit reports, or other evidence of acquisition, ownership, and possession. 

6/18/13

Losing Your House To Foreclosure Doesnt Necessarily Mean You No Longer Owe Money To The Bank

Consumerist Theres a commonly held notion that losing ones home to foreclosure is the final act in a sad drama, that the homeowner has hit bottom and has nowhere to go but up. But thousands of foreclosed-upon homeowners are finding out, years after turning their keys over to the bank, that they may still be on the hook sometimes for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
6/18/13

Corrupted credit ratings: Standard & Poors lawsuit and the evidence

"Standard & Poors, knowingly and with the intent to defraud, devised, participated in, and executed a scheme to defraud investors in RMBS [residential mortgage-backed securities] and CDO [collateralised debt obligations] tranches ..." (US Department of Justice 2013)

VOX The accusation has its own oddities: Standard & Poors argues that it is impossible to defraud financial institutions about "the likely performance of their own products". Standard & Poors points out the irony "that two of the supposed 'victims,' Citibank and Bank of America investors allegedly misled into buying securities by Standard & Poors fraudulent ratings were the same huge financial institutions that were creating and selling the very CDOs at issue"

Deutsche Bank Settles Los Angeles Slumlord Lawsuit

Terms of the settlement of the two-year-old lawsuit, which also accused Deutsche Bank of illegally evicting tenants, werent disclosed in the filing.  

Were the tenants made whole? 

Bloomberg Deutsche Bank AG reached a settlement with the city of Los Angeles to resolve a lawsuit claiming the bank acted like a slumlord and let foreclosed homes in low-income neighborhoods fall into disrepair.
The bank and the Los Angeles city attorney filed a joint notice of settlement June 17 in California state court. The two sides reached an agreement in principle and are in the process of completing the documentation, according to the filing.

6/18/13

Order Granting Debtor's Motion for Contempt and Sanctions Against Homeward Residential

BK Court Jacksonville Florida The Motion for Contempt and Sanctions is GRANTED.

Debtor is awarded $2,140.00 for attorney fees; $1,000.00 in sanctions; and $15,000.00 in punitive damages; for a total award of $18,140.00.

6/17/13

Alleged mortgage fraud scheme finally heading to trial, after six years

Six years later, former Nashua resident Michael Prieto will get his day in court.

The Telegraph Prieto, accused of leading a mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded dozens of people and banks, will head to trial in U.S. District Court in Concord on June 24, following jury selection about a week earlier, according to court records.

Prieto, who insists he was operating a program to help struggling homeowners, has pleaded not guilty to mail fraud and money laundering charges.
6/17/13

Can Attorneys Be Award-Seeking SEC Whistleblowers?

Our hope is that with this primer close at hand, attorneys and companies will not only be equipped to spot issues and apply the law, but will also understand how limited the circumstances are that will allow a lawyer to disclose confidential information to the SEC without client consent and seek a monetary award. This is true even though the SEC has expanded the circumstances allowing disclosure beyond those recognized in many states.

Harvard Law School Forum This is a primer on attorneys as award-seeking SEC whistleblowers. It digests the relevant law and explains how it applies in real situations. That law includes the SEC attorney conduct and whistleblower award rules and each states ethics rules applicable to attorney disclosure. Fully assessing a particular situation will often require referring to the relevant rules for each state that might come into play for a particular lawyer in a particular situation. We therefore include information about choice of law and a chart summarizing the relevant rules in each of 51 US jurisdictions.

6/17/13

Bank of America Lied to Homeowners and Rewarded Foreclosures, Former Employees Say

This is certainly not the first time the bank has faced such allegations. In 2010, Arizona and Nevada sued Bank of America for mishandling modification applications. Last year, Bank of America settled a lawsuit brought by a former employee of a bank contractor who accused the bank of mishandling HAMP applications.

ProPublica Such mass denials may have occurred at other mortgage servicers. Chris Wyatt, a former employee of Goldman Sachs subsidiary Litton Loan Servicing, told ProPublica in 2012 that the company periodically conducted denial sweeps to reduce the backlog of homeowners. A spokesman for Goldman Sachs said at the time that the company disagreed with Wyatt's account but offered no specifics.

Bank of America was far slower to modify loans than other servicers, as other analyses we've cited have shown. A study last year found that about 800,000 homeowners would have qualified for HAMP if Bank of America and the other largest servicers had done an adequate job of handling homeowner applications.

6/16/13

 

Breaking Down Brandrup: A First Look At The Oregon Supreme Courts Landmark Decision on MERS

MERS Dressed in Sheeps Clothing Is Still a Wolf

 

Part II: Getting To Know Niday: A Further Look at the Oregon Supreme Courts Landmark Decisions on MERS

Housekeeping Report

Oregon Mortgage and Foreclosure News

For the past year, the name Niday has been spoken in soft whispers by anxious bankers, attorneys, homeowners, judges, and legislators, but in the days to come the name Brandrup will be heard more frequently. The Brandrups are one of four sets of plaintiffs who filed cases against MERS, Bank of America, and other entities involved in foreclosing their homes under the Oregon Trust Deed Act (OTDA). Because resolution of the cases turned on novel questions of state law, the district court certified four questions for the Oregon Supreme Court to answer.

Hurricane Niday touched ground nearly one year ago when the Oregon Court of Appeals held that lenders could not use MERS to avoid recording trust deed assignments while relying on a nonjudicial foreclosure process that required that very thing. What a difference a year makes.

6/15/13

Investigations

Lenders seek court actions against homeowners years after foreclosure

Washington Post When people take out a loan, they generally think the home is the security for the loan, said Alys Cohen, an attorney in the Washington office of the National Consumer Law Center. When they no longer have that home, people dont expect that debt to follow them, she said.
6/15/13

Why does Bankruptcy Court have the highest mortgage modification success rate?

Chip Parker, Esq. The Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Mortgage Modification Mediation Program works because, under Federal Law, if a bankruptcy judge orders parties to go to mediation, the parties are legally bound to mediate in good faith. This legal duty to act in good faith does not exist in many state courts. This means that, in state court, a mortgage company doesnt have to justify denying your modification, and it can lie about not getting proper documentation or about the results of its underwriting analysis.

6/15/13

Loopholes in mortgage settlement allow for dual-tracking foreclosures

Foreclosure defense attorneys cite dozens of cases where homeowners with pending loan modification applications are also finding themselves moving quickly toward a final judgment and foreclosure sale a procedure known as dual tracking.

Palm Beach Post West Palm Beach foreclosure defense attorney Paul Krasker said he has 143 clients who are being dual-tracked. He said lenders are outright violating the dual-tracking restrictions, but are also using the complicated rules to legally continue with a foreclosure during the modification process.

The banks know they can find loopholes in this type of detailed language, Krasker said. I assume the banks would not commit to a simple no dual-tracking provision and insisted on carving out exceptions.

6/15/13

Soon the Foreclosure Floodgates Will Open and Prices Will Plunge

Time to Buy a House? Not on Your Life!

counterpunch Its crucial to understanding whats really going on. While many people know that 13 million homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, they probably dont know that nearly half (43.6%) of the potential move up buyers (who represent the bulk of organic sales) dont have enough equity in their homes to buy another house. Think about that.

6/15/13

 

In Countrywide Case, Watchdogs Without Any Bark

FOR the last two weeks, a justice in New York State Supreme Court has heard testimony in one of the most pivotal cases of the financial crisis. The hearings will tell whether Bank of America can extinguish legal liability for more than a million Countrywide Financial loans by paying $8.5 billion in cash and agreeing to loan servicing improvements in a settlement struck with 22 investors in 2011.

Justice Kapnicks decision is not expected for months, and will affect only this settlement. But the revelations in her courtroom send a message to investors who might have expected trustees to protect their interests with more vigor.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Trustee practices are under the microscope in Justice Kapnicks courtroom because Bank of New York Mellon is the trustee overseeing all 530 Countrywide mortgage deals covered by the proposed $8.5 billion settlement. The trustee is supporting the deal between Bank of America and the 22 investors that include BlackRock, Pimco and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Losses by all investors in the securities are projected at $100 billion.
A crucial issue: the trustee didnt request individual loan files from Bank of America to help determine how many mortgages had problems and, therefore, whether $8.5 billion was a reasonable recovery. A trustee has the right to request those files for investors who cannot get them on their own.
When loan files have been examined, recoveries have been far greater. Last year, for example, Deutsche Bank agreed to reimburse Assured Guaranty, a bond insurer, for 80 percent of losses on eight residential mortgage securities it had insured.
6/14/13

SEC Honors Three Individuals With Whistleblower Award

Three whistleblowers will receive 5 percent of funds the regulator will collect from enforcement action against Locust Offshore Management LLC and its CEO Andrey C. Hicks. The hedge funds chief Andrey C. Hicks has pleaded guilty of criminal fraud charges. He has been sentenced to 40 months in prison.

ValueWalk Jordan A. Thomas, who helped the SEC develop the latest whistleblower program, says that its just the beginning. We will see a lot of whistleblower awards and enforcement actions. The SEC also said that the pace of whistleblower awards will pick up soon. The regulators Office of the Whistleblower chief Sean McKessy said that the program is gaining momentum and tips the agency is getting have led to successful actions.

6/14/13

Bank of America Gave Bonuses to Foreclose on Clients, Lawsuit Claims

Bank of America rewarded staff with cash bonuses and gift cards for meeting quotas tied to sending distressed homeowners into foreclosure, former employees said in court documents.

Bloomberg I witnessed employees and managers change and falsify information in the systems of record, and remove documents from homeowners files to make the account appear ineligible for a loan modification, said Terrelonge, a loan servicing representative. This allowed managers to meet quotas for closed cases, she said.
Bank of America instructed employees to delay applications and mislead customers as part of a deliberate practice of stringing homeowners along, lawyers said in a June 7 filing.

6/14/13

Michigan Appellate Court Dismisses Bank of America Foreclosure for Lack of Standing but for the wrong reason?

It also turns out that, straight from the receivers lips, if you are looking for an assignment, you wont find one because there isnt one.

And the merger and assumption agreement specifically does NOT include the bogus mortgage loans and other liabilities (put back) in the securitization scheme which is most of all loans originated by WAMU

Living Lies Chase didnt want to buy the loans because they correctly perceived that the liabilities on those loans and the liabilities to alleged REMIC structures that never received an interest in the loans, and the liabilities to insures, counterparties on credit default swaps and to the Federal government and Federal Reserve might vastly exceed the nominal value of mortgages originated by WAMU. Then there was also the liability for predatory or fraudulent loan practices. Altogether, Chase didnt want to be saying it owned ALL the loans. It just wanted to be able to say it some of the time when they had an uncontested foreclosure and they could get a free house.

6/14/13

Foreclosure's Harvest of Shame

Here are a few examples of homeowners who've refused to go quietly into the night:

Bob and Stacy Schmidt: If you want to witness, firsthand, what it's like to be evicted from your home watch what happens to Bob Schmidt, a middle-class Maryville, Tenn., resident, who along with his wife and two sons are brutally hustled out of their home by local sheriffs (it caps off this segment drawn from Foreclosure Diaries).

Huff Post The 2007 foreclosure, engineered by Litton Loan Servicing on behalf of a Deutsche Bank, sent the Schmidts to the mat but they didn't stay down for the count. Quite the contrary. Despite ailing health and an unsympathetic court Bob Schmidt -- who shouted "mortgage servicing fraud" well before the term became fashionable -- has relentlessly sought out documents that prove fraud perpetrated on the court was part and parcel of Deutsche Bank's foreclosure schemes. Currently, with help from a loosely organized matrix of researchers and recently surfaced information, Bob and Stacy Schmidt are prepared to take the battle into the courts once again in an effort to win their home back.

6/14/13

Problem(s) with your loan mod?  Here's why.

Powerful proof of the crimes and unfair and deceptive acts Bank of America committed. 

IN RE BANK OF AMERICA HOME AFFORDABLE MODIFICATION PROGRAM (HAMP) CONTRACT LITIGATION

The following exhibits are true and correct copies of documents produced in the Multi-District Litigation in Massachusetts.

"Bank of America employed a common strategy of delaying HAMP applications.  Delay was achieved using tactics including claiming that documents were incomplete or missing when they were not, or simply claiming the file was "under review" when it was not... 

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP We were instructed to delay and then push homeowners to accept an internal finance so that Bank of America would profit.  Once an applicant was finally rejected after a long delay, the bank would off them an in-house alternative.  Bank of America would charge a higher interest rate, ranging up to 5%, as compared to the 2% if the loan had been modified under HAMP.

The unfortunate truth is that many and possibly most of these people were entitled to a HAMP loan modification, but had little choice but to accept a more expensive and less favorable in-house modification.

Upon joining the newly formed Case Management Department, I began to experience what Bank of America termed a "blitz."  Approximately twice a month, Bank of America would order that case mangers and underwriters "clean out" the backlog of HAMP applications by denying any file in which the financial documents were more than 60 days old.  These included files in which the homeowner had provided all required financial documents and fully complied with the terms of a Trial Period Plan."

6/13/13

Sen. Warren Blasts Pro-Corporate Trend of Federal Courts

The federal bench with the backing of lots of money from corporate America is unsurprisingly increasingly favorable to corporate interests and that fact is not likely to change unless balance is brought to the courts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said at the 2013 ACS National Convention.

Sen. Warren ripped into the conservative movement that has spent 30-some years helping to craft courts that are kind to business interests at the great detriment to individual liberties.

ACS Corporate interests are spending boatloads of money to keep the federal courts on their side.

These big corporate interests are savvy, Warren continued. They fight every day on Capitol Hill and in the agencies, devoting enormous resources to the task of bending legislation to benefit themselves. But they also devote enormous resources toward influencing the courts.

Why? Because they know that influencing those who interpret 
the law is another extremely effective way to achieve their goals.

See a transcript of her entire speech here.

Shaky South Carolina Opinion Finds That Bank Owned Note in Foreclosure Action

Draper argued that Bank of America failed to prove that it was the owner or holder of the mortgage note. 

REFinBlog One does not have a sense that this case was well briefed because the Court seems to take a lot of shortcuts. For instance, the Court apparently assumed that the mortgage note was negotiable and thus subject to Article 3 of the UCC. There is a fair amount of controversy relating to this assumption, something that I will blog about soon.

6/13/13

complete post

Fed Board Couldn't Be Bothered to Vote on Multi-Billion Foreclosure Settlement

The foreclosure fraud settlements were already farcical, but it just gets worse and worse. 

Now we learn that the Fed approved the amendments to its consent orders with mortgage servicers without it actually going before the Board of Governors for a vote. 

Prof., Adam Levitin I get that Fed regulations permit delegation of this sort to the Fed's staff, but the foreclosure fraud settlement wasn't some Mickey Mouse enforcement action against a community bank's holding company for a minor know-your-customer rule infraction. As far as I'm aware, this was by far the largest settlement of any sort in the Fed's history. This settlement was a policy statement as much as an individual settlement. The fact that the Fed's Board didn't even bother formally deliberating and voting on the settlement is indicative of how seriously the Fed's Board takes the foreclosure fraud issue: the Board doesn't think that it's worth their time. Not even a single Board member requested review of the action. Yet another exhibit for why consumer protection cannot be left in the hands of prudential bank regulators. 

6/13/13

Everything is Rigged, Vol. 9,713: This Time, It's Currencies

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

This time the rates allegedly being rigged are in the foreign-exchange or "FX" markets, meaning that if this story is true, it would almost certainly trump LIBOR for scale/horribleness.

As one friend of mine who works on Wall Street put it, "It's endless! This is the biggest market in the world." Bloomberg suggested the story is just the tip of the iceberg:

6/13/13

Feds Find Someone Weak and Poor Enough to Nail for Housing Meltdown

To date, no one in the executive ranks of Citibankor any of the other Wall Street institutions that solicited and profited from loans like the one Citibank issued to Wazlawikhave been criminally targeted by the Department of Justice.

Gawker Back in 2005 Citigroup was hungrily scooping up as many mortgages as it could find without regard to the likelihood that they may be paid back. Almost as if they were, as a matter of corporate policy, soliciting people to fraudulently apply. 

Wazlawik now has a felony conviction on his record, will spend a humiliating day in jail, and will spend the next three years at risk of going to prison if he violates the terms of his release. 

You can sleep easy tonight, America, knowing that your Department of Justice is diligently going after those criminals who would do us harm.

Full post

BREAKTHROUGH: FLORIDA CIRCUIT JUDGE COMPELS JPM TO PRODUCE SECURITIZATION DISCOVERY 

INCLUDING ALL INSURANCES ON LOAN AND DOCUMENTS CONCERNING GRANT OF AUTHORITY FROM FDIC TO JPM

We have been arguing the relevance of the documents across the US for years in terms of both the standing-related issues and issues related to setoffs against the claimed amount of default and how the default was created.

Jeff Barnes, Esq. After months of consideration following full briefing, the Court compelled JPM to produce the following documents, among others: all documents relating to the securitization including all PSAs, Master Purchasing agreements, Custodial agreements, Guarantee agreements, and Release of Document agreements; all policies of insurance including but not limited to private insurance, LPMI and NIM policies, mezzanine policies, ISDA policies and credit default swaps; all documents demonstrating any payments against the loan by any source whatsoever; documents as to suspense or unapplied transactions accounts (where banks park payments in order to reflect no payment on the loan, thereby creating a default situation on paper); all documents setting forth any assignment of the loan to any SIV, SPV, CDO, CMO, or credit default swap; all documents demonstrating any grant of authority of any kind to MERS; all documents evidencing any grant of authority from the FDIC to JPM relating to the loan and documents setting forth the transfer of the loan from a WaMu securitization to JPM; and any documents evidencing the application of TARP monies including request for such funds based in part on a claimed default of the loan.

6/13/13

Jump in Home Prices spurs Banks to Steal More Homes

Bloomberg Home repossessions in the U.S. jumped 11 percent in May after declining for the previous five months as rising prices and limited inventory for sale across the country spurred banks to complete foreclosures.
Depo

6/13/13

Example of Good Lawyering at Deposition

Deposition Transcript of Angela Carter

Living Lies This is about as close as you are going to get to perfection in the questioning the witness from your opposition. But I will say that this lawyer was extremely deft at posing questions designed to elicit the answers that show a witness is simply a paid patsy instead of a custodian of records or a person with any personal knowledge of the subject of a verification, testimony or affidavit.
6/12/13

4th DCA Florida: Trustee of Asset Pool Must Join or Ratify

You might want to ask why the Trustee wants to bind the beneficiaries of the trust to ownership of a worthless loan.

Elston/Leetsdale v. CWCapital Asset Management

Living Lies This is a question raised by Judge Shack in New York 5 years ago. Nobody was listening. Now maybe some people are starting to see the wisdom of Shacks question. If securitization was on the level, then the funding, assignment, assumption and payment would have all occurred as set forth under New York Law, the Internal Revenue Code, the provisions of the Pooling and servicing Agreement, which means underwriting according to industry standards and procuring insurance and credit default swap protection FOR THE INVESTORS, NOT THE BANKS WHO HAD NO MONEY IN THE DEAL.

BOA SENIOR COLLECTOR: I lied because I was told to lie.

"We were told to lie to customers and claim that Bank of America had not received documents it had requested, and that it had not received trial payments (when in fact it had)."

"We were regularly drilled that it was out job to maximize fees for the Bank by fostering and extending delay of the HAMP modification process by any means we could - this included by lying to customers."

"Employees who were caught admitting that Bank of America had received financial documents or that the borrower was actually entitled to a permanent loan modification where discipline and often terminated without warning."

Living Lies This affidavit is an example of why the entire foreclosure process is going to unravel in the near future. Previously judges were resisting pleading, argument and discovery direct it at the credibility and truthfulness of affidavits and live testimony in court if they were submitted by a well-known bank or other institution supposedly acting on behalf of a bank. As time passed more and more judges were beginning to discern inconsistencies in the pleading and proof of the banks. But they still thought that the banks were most likely in possession of the truth and that any representation from the bank should be treated as credible whereas any representation from the borrower should be treated as dilatory at best.

(Think about the lives BA destroyed.)

DECLARATION OF SIMONE GORDON

6/12/13

Foreclosure settlement no consolation for losing your home

The banks have gotten off the foreclosure hook for illegally and fraudulently foreclosing on people's homes. In neighborhoods around the country homeowners were being run through an automated system that illegally processed foreclosures through robo-signing and fabricated documents. Often, these families were then unlawfully evicted from their homes, losing the wealth they had built in those homes.

BlueOregon We need foreclosed homes returned to families, or if that is not possible, the full wealth of those homes returned. The mortgage industry is a mess, and while some homeowners are getting checks, many are still living in their homes but underwater, owing more than the home is worth because of bloated bank-driven prices.

To keep families in their homes, we need principal reduction on the bloated mortgages, and a moratorium on evictions until the full scope of the banks' fraud can be determined.

This settlement is too little, too late to save people's homes. These banks need to pay the real cost of poaching millions of dollars out of our neighborhoods and taking it back to Wall Street.
6/12/13

JP Morgan Securities (Bear Stearns) v. Vigilant Insurance Company

Reckless trading

New York

Court of Appeals

In this insurance dispute arising from Bear Stearns' monetary settlement of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proceeding and related private litigation predicated on Bear Stearns' violations of federal securities laws, we conclude that the insurers are not entitled to a CPLR 3211 dismissal of the insured's coverage claims. We therefore reverse and reinstate
the insured's complaint.

6/12/13

WHERE'S THE MONEY?

Arizona victims of illegal foreclosures still waiting for compensation

Illegal foreclosures are based on forged or phony documents manufactured to push people out of their homes.
Banks and processing companies agreed to pay billions of dollars in settlements to the states. 

abc15 While they did not admit any wrongdoing, they pledged to stop using forged documents to foreclose.
The ABC15 Investigators found more than a year after that settlement, little has changed. 
Attorneys Dan McCauley and Beth Findsen are two of a small handful of lawyers who go to court to fight for the victims of illegal foreclosure.
Dan McCauley said, Ive seen nothing go to the victims, nothing from the state of Arizona at all.
Beth Findsen told us, I have yet to see one dollar awarded to a homeowner."
Whats worse the lawyers saythe use of fraudulent documents in foreclosure cases hasnt stopped.

6/11/13

The Conflicting Testimony That Could Sink Bank of America

When Terry Laughlin, Chief Risk Officer for Bank of America noted that negotiations between the bank and 22 investor groups back in 2011 were "tense," he wasn't kidding.

Motley Fool That talks were contentious shouldn't surprise anyone -- after all, the two parties were literally on completely different sides of the table. But, it seems Laughlin felt that the bank's adversaries deserved a jolt, so he delivered one: If the parties didn't tamp down their demands, B of A would put Countrywide into bankruptcy -- something for which, according to PIMCO executive Kent Smith 's testimony last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had given its permission.
6/11/13

Dimon Says Servicing Will Be a Good Business

Dimon said charge-offs on home loans have come way down. It is half of what it was a year ago.

Mortgage Servicing News Dimon noted that mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures have come down and servicing costs are coming down too. Servicing will be a good business. And it is a business we are good at, he added.
6/11/13

Foreclosures: Lawmaker says Michigan Senate 'avoided taking a step backwards' with revised plan

The bills were approved Tuesday by 37-0 and 36-1 votes in the Republican led Senate.

mLIVE The Senate-approved bills would continue and eventually extend a pre-foreclosure negotiation period allowing residents to seek loan modifications with their banks. Lawmakers say they want to get some sort of mortgage and foreclosure package approved this month because of expiration dates attached to current programs.
6/11/13

Former Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Servicing Company Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud in Scheme to Withhold Funds from Wells Fargo Bank 

Earl Gross, 75, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. Gross faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. 

FBI According to the indictment, from 2004 to 2009, Gross and U.S. Mortgage withheld more than $8 million in loan payoffs that were due Wells Fargo Bank by submitting to the bank reports stating that numerous borrowers were continuing to make monthly payments when, in fact, they had paid off the loans in full.
6/11/13

20 years too late.

FHA Seeks Statutory Authority to Transfer Servicing

When a servicer has a high re-default rate on modified loans, Federal Housing Administration should be able to transfer the servicing to a better servicer... If there is such a thing.

Mortgage Servicing News In testifying before Senate appropriators, Galante noted that some servicers seem to be following the individual steps when it comes to modifying loans. But they are not having good outcomes for the borrowers compared to other servicers 

If they cant perform at a certain level, she said, FHA should have the power to transfer servicing to another servicer or subservicer.

6/11/13

Mortgage Crisis 101 by Prof. John Campbell

Prof. Campbell explains what has happened in the traditional sense and how Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. participated in part of the scheme. He also discusses how and why the homeowners were not intentionally at fault.

Deadly Clear It appears that the intention of mortgage-backed securitization was to make the homeowner loans static or passive instruments which would make the notes, for example, relatively non-negotiable (as noted above) because they could no longer be sold or traded if they were assigned to a REMIC (tax shelter) trust.

That makes sense but the homeowners didnt bargain for a non-negotiable instrument just like they didnt explicitly agree to electronic transfer (UETA) of their mortgage loan documents. Homeowners were still under the impression they were dealing with a traditional mortgage loan.

6/10/13

Sen. Sampsons embezzlement indictment spurs reform in foreclosure suits

State Sen. John Sampsons alleged embezzlement scheme has sparked specific reform in how city courts handle foreclosure suits.

New York Post Because of the Sampson situation, we realized we had no way to check up if the referee was complying with the law, said Lawrence Knipel, the Brooklyn Supreme Court administrative judge for civil matters.

We werent double-checking.

Under the new rule, judges must confirm that money from foreclosure auctions is properly deposited with the clerk and not pocketed by crooked lawyers.

6/10/13

More S.C. homeowners get help from fund to avoid foreclosures

Greenville Online An increasing number of homeowners have been able to avoid foreclosure in the weeks since GreenvilleOnline.com reported that a state-designated agency had distributed less than 20 percent of the $295 million in federal money it received three years ago to help people keep their homes.

Warrant out after mortgage fraud ringleader fails to show up for prison

The government feared he would flee and he did.

Duke, 45, of Fenton was sentenced in April to 13 years in prison for running a massive mortgage fraud scheme that cost lenders more than $100 million in losses 

Detroit Free Press Lenders were deceived by counterfeit purchase agreements, fake closing documents and fictitious title companies that actually were controlled by Duke and his coconspirators. The warranty deeds and mortgages associated with the majority of the loans went unrecorded, leaving the lenders unsecured.

Fifteen of Dukes coconspirators have been sentenced.
6/10/13

Milwaukee aldermen push for quick action on foreclosure crisis

Frustrated Milwaukee aldermen said Monday that something needs to be done sooner rather than later to deal with the burgeoning number of city-owned tax-foreclosed properties.

JSOnline A report released Monday showed there were 950 city-owned tax-foreclosed properties in the city. These are properties in which the city took over ownership after the owner failed to pay taxes.

City Treasurer Spencer Coggs has said his office will start the tax foreclosure process for as many as 1,300 additional properties before the year is over

6/10/13

Federal Funds Go To Those Who Lost Homes To Foreclosure

CBS Detroit Thousands of Michigan residents were affected by the recent foreclosure crisis that consumed the country, said Schuette. These funds will help victims of mortgage servicers abuses rebuild their lives, and we will work to ensure devastating practices like these never happens again through enforcing new mortgage servicing standards. Borrowers should also note the payment does not limit them from seeking relief through a separate lawsuit or other claims.

6/10/13

Marylanders To Get Money from Banks That Bungled Foreclosures

Public News Service "This slightly-under-$1500 payment is certainly a pittance in terms of what they've actually lost and what they need to rebuild their life," she charged.

The settlement also required banks to make it easier for struggling borrowers to stay in their homes, but White said they aren't always living up to their end of the bargain.
from 2011

 

J..P. Morgan Chase, aka Plymouth Park Tax Services, ADMITS rigging tax lien sales in over 30 States- $211 million settlement

If you owned a house in New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Ohio, DC or Florida and had a property tax lien foreclosure initiated by Plymouth Park Tax Services, you can fight back.

RealNEO J.P Morgan Chase and it's subsidiaries, Plymouth Park Tax Services and Xspand, recently admitted their guilt in rigging delinquent property tax liens in 33 states- including Ohio. 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $211 million after admitting one of its divisions rigged dozens of bidding competitions to win business from state and local governments.

Our local government in Cuyahoga County made the bid rigging process very simple for Plymouth Park Tax Services. 

6/10/13

COA Agrees COURT ERRED IN ALLOW[ING] WELLS FARGO's MANIPULATED
DOCUMENTS TO WIN JUDGMENT

In the caption, Wells Fargo identified itself as the successor by merger to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. fka Norwest Mortgage, Inc. However, while Wells Fargo attached several
documents to the complaint, including the note and mortgage, no documents evidencing a merger or a name change were attached

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS
NINTH DISTRICT
The note and mortgage each identify the Horns as the borrowers and Norwest Mortgage, Inc. as the lender.
It follows that Wells Fargo lacked standing to bring the foreclosure action against the Horns. While Wells Fargo later tried to demonstrate that a merger and name change had occurred in the exhibits attached to its motion for summary judgment, it was required to
demonstrate that it had standing to invoke the jurisdiction at the time the complaint was filed, and it failed to do so in the complaint and the documents attached thereto.
6/10/13

Wells Fargo Pays $42 Million in Fair Housing Case.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay $42 million to settle a complaint that it failed to maintain foreclosed properties in minority neighborhoods, turning the vacant houses into dilapidated eyesores.

The housing groups filed similar complaints against Bank of America and U.S. Bancorp, which are still pending.

6/10/13

Mary Jo White Institutionalizes Deutsche Bank Protection Racket at the SEC

You can be sure that the SEC will continue in its practice of seeing nothing amiss at Deutsche as far as Ben-Artzi and his fellow whistleblowers are concerned. Not only was Rice directly involved in the effort to, um, contend with Ben-Artzis compliant to the SEC, but it turns out another key figure involved in that incident is also a long-standing colleague of Mary Jo White

naked capitalism Mr Ben-Artzi, along with at least two other former Deutsche employees acting independently, went to the SEC with a range of allegations against the bank during the past three years. The common thread was a claim that Deutsche executives reduced their losses during the financial crisis by not properly marking derivatives positions known as leveraged super senior trades. The former employees estimated Deutsche should have recognized losses of $4bn-$12bn during the crisis.
6/10/13

Fraud Against Seniors Often Is Routed Through Banks

NY Times The documents, as well as interviews with state and federal officials, paint a troubling picture. They outline how banks profit handsomely by collecting a variety of fees while ignoring warnings of potential fraud and, in some instances, enabling dubious merchants to prey on consumers.
6/9/13

Trash-Out Subcontractor For Now-Notorious Foreclosure Property Management Outfit Pinched For Allegedly Pilfering $42K+ From Home

Home Equity Theft Reporter A Maryland man was charged Wednesday with stealing more than $42,000 worth of valuables and a handgun from a Breezy Knoll home while working for a subcontractor of Safeguard Properties, according to court documents.
6/9/13

Foreclosure bill will allow homeowners to wrongly be shown the door

Detroit Free Press Specifically, Senate Bill 383 would shorten Michigans longstanding six-month redemption period to 60 days. This drastic change to Michigan foreclosure law will eliminate crucial protections for homeowners and will seriously hamper foreclosure prevention efforts across the state during a still-fragile economic recovery.

FIGHTING THE FORECLOSURE MACHINE

SHELLGAME - MERS

Contrived Confusion

A MUST READ!

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., (MERS) is a big problem for the foreclosure machine. It's problem is your opportunity. Learn why this is so and how to use the presence of MERS to your advantage.

Robert M. Janes Whether or not you are in foreclosure these issues affect you. The foreclosure machine is a land grab much like the takeover of Hawaii. Were about to lose our rights to own properties in the most egregious and aggressive elimination of our due process protection and destruction of our Constitution.

The foreclosure machine often falls flat on its face when challenged to prove it has the right to demand money from you under the threat of taking your home. You have the power to make the machine take that test in a court of law. That may be the best thing for you to do.

6/8/13

RESULTING DOCUMENTS CAN BE TOOLS OF DECEPTION  

GET PAST SUPERFICIAL APPEARANCES OF ASSIGNMENTS, DEEDS, TRUSTEE APPOINTMENTS, ALLONGES, NOTICES OF SALE AND SIMILAR DOCUMENTS

FTFM Paper

Robert M. Janes

Court decisions often discuss the validity and meaning of a document that is involved with the ownership and control of a Note or mortgage. The discussion may focus on an assignment,
appointment of a successor trustee, deed, allonge, or paper filed in public records. The borrower, too often, doesnt know how to challenge or rebut the alleged validity and importance
assigned to those documents by the foreclosure machine. This type of document is frequently used by the foreclosure machine to gain acceptance of a conclusion that the document doesnt actually prove.

6/7/13

REMIC Armageddon on the Horizon?

Its about time somebody recognized it. David Reiss and Brad Bordon posted a dynamic review of the most recent slap down the banks cases of Saldivar and Erobobo and the potential impact on the [failed] REMIC tax shelters. 

Deadly Clear Unanticipated tax consequence of the sloppy mortgage origination practices that characterized the boom is that MBS pools may fail to qualify as REMICs. This would have massively negative tax consequences for MBS investors and should trigger lawsuits against the professionals who structured these transactions. Courts deciding upstream and downstream cases have not focused on this issue because it is typically not relevant to the dispute between the parties.

Seems that is changing.
6/7/13

Florida Rushes to Cover-Up Proven Bankster Crimes

Bills signed to speed Fla. foreclosures, evictions

The legislation would make banks prove in more detail that they own a mortgage or explain why they can't prove ownership. It also creates a process for others besides mortgage-holders to ask the court to speed up foreclosure cases.

Another key provision would reduce the statute of limitations, or amount of time, for banks to go after foreclosed homeowners on deficiency judgments - from five years to one year. 

Bradenton Herald Lawyers who represent homeowners in foreclosure cases have already said they plan to sue to challenge the new foreclosure law. Matt Weidner, a St. Petersburg attorney, said one of the provisions of the bill limits the ability of a judge to correct a simple mistake in a foreclosure order.

COVERING UP BANK CRIMES
"This finality of foreclosure provision provides that if a home is lost to foreclosure, even if the foreclosure was the product of gross fraud, complete error or total mistake, the innocent consumer can never, ever get their home back," Weidner said in a statement.

6/7/13

Cloud-Based Document Management Benefits for Servicers

Bring in the document fabricators

Mortgage Servicing News In short, the days of paper-based processes are quickly coming to an end. These business processes are time consuming, labor-intensive and prone to errors- all factors that can eat away at an organizations profits.
6/6/13

Judge eyes sanctions in Colorado foreclosure case

Denver Post The federal judge poised to decide whether Colorado foreclosure laws are unconstitutional is taking a moment to determine whether U.S. Bank lawyers still trying to take an Aurora woman's house are using a loophole to bypass the court.
6/6/13

Do Banks Create Money from Thin Air?

Yves here. This post by Kervick is LONG, but thats because he unpacks the creation of money in a step-by-step manner. Your patience will be rewarded.

Dan Kervick It is sometimes said that commercial banks in our modern monetary system create money from thin air. While there is truth in this metaphorical claim, the metaphor can also be seriously misleading, and leads some to attribute powers to commercial banks that are actually retained by the government alone under our system. It is worth trying to get clear about all this.

6/6/13

Lawsuits Against S.& P. Sent to One Court

NY Times The lawsuits generally accuse Standard & Poors of inflating ratings on structured finance securities to win more business from issuers, while proclaiming its independence and objectivity.

Many of the challenged ratings were for collateralized-debt obligations and other mortgage-backed securities that plunged in value during the housing and credit crises.

Chase & Deutsche Bank Motion to Dismiss Denied in part

Saldivar v. Chase, Deutsche Bank

Addition case documents are here

UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
BROWNSVILLE DIVISION
The Saldivars have asserted sufficient facts to support the assertion that Chases claim is overstated. They assert that the proof of claim is overstated due to forced-placed insurance. They allege that the premium on the force-placed insurance is inflated because Chase, or an affiliated insurance company, receives a portion of the premium as a kickback.
The Saldivars cite to two articles containing the allegations, and these facts are sufficient to withstand dismissal.
6/6/13

Aurora Loan Dual Tracking Case Dismissed with Prejudice

Aurora kept this matter on a dual track for the next several months. It prepared for foreclosure by ordering a title report, the security instruments and the promissory note, serving a "ninety day" letter and having its collection department call Arauz on a daily basis while concurrently sending three separate "Hope Now" letters to him.

Supreme Court, Kings County, NY ORDERED that the branch of Vaccaris's motion for Aurora to accept his payment and issue satisfactions of the underlying mortgage loans is granted to the extent that upon
Vaccaris tendering the sum of $171,964.28 to Aurora, it is directed to consider the debt of defendant Arauz satisfied in full.

6/6/13

Major Oregon Supreme Court ruling undermines MERS, but leaves registry room to challenge

The court issued two decisions Thursday that impact MERS - 

 Niday v. GMAC as well as

 Brandrup v. Reconstruct Co.

Housing Wire

 

Jeff Barnes, Esq.

The Oregon Supreme Court affirmed a big part of a lower court's decision challenging the authority of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems during the foreclosure process when the registry's construction butts up against certain aspects of Oregon law.

This is the outcome of the Niday v. GMAC decision a precedential case the mortgage industry has been waiting months for.

The Oregon Trust Deed Act does NOT allow MERS to hold and transfer legal title to a trust deed as nominee for the lender, after the note secured by the trust deed is transferred from the lender to a successor or series of successors.

6/6/13

 

Ore. high court foreclosure ruling favors lenders


Oregon high court ruling favors lenders, paves way for nonjudicial foreclosures

AP In two closely watched cases, the high court ruled that creditors using an electronic mortgage registry don't have to publicly record the ownership history of a trust deed in order to take advantage of the nonjudicial foreclosure process the Legislature created in 1959.
The justices also ruled that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. has the authority to participate in a nonjudicial foreclosure if it has appropriate agreements with lenders.
Nonjudicial foreclosures have all but stopped over the past year amid uncertainty created by an appeals court ruling over MERS' role in the financial system. 

In MERS ruling, Oregon Supreme Court clears way for out-of-court foreclosures to proceed

The Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for banks to return to their preferred out-of-court method of foreclosure.

CORRECTION by Jeff Barnes, Esq., who argued Niday: We have been advised that in an effort by the banks to dampen what is the incredible effect of the Niday decision which places numerous burdens on foreclosing parties and MERS in non-judicial foreclosures, that a bank lobbyist has caused an article to be published in the Oregonian (newspaper) that the decision is one ultimately in favor of the banks. Anyone reading the actual court opinion will quickly realize that the claim in this article is patently incorrect.

OregonLive The rulings aren't likely to affect foreclosures that have already been completed, said Harpster. 

But the ruling does leave pending and future foreclosures open to challenges, said Jeffrey Myers, a foreclosure defense attorney with the Bowles Fernndez firm. Myers argued on behalf of the Brandrup homeowners contesting their foreclosure in U.S. District Court in Portland.

In some cases, homeowners may be able to dispute foreclosures based on the trust deed assignments the supreme court maintained must be recorded. 

MERS Nonjudicial Foreclosures May Proceed in Oregon

Mortgage Servicing News A pair of decisions from the Oregon Supreme Court will allow mortgage lenders to proceed with nonjudicial foreclosures in that state on loans that were placed into the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. database. However, the foreclosure proceedings cannot be done in MERS name.

  THE PERFECT CRIME

UPDATE: The Murray family was wrongfully evicted from their home on May 14th by 3 armed deputies and 3 men sent by Bank of America to insure they were removed.

Mortgage Servicing News They asked for a modification of their adjustable-rate, high interest rate loan. The bank promised they could cut their payment in half and help them stay in their home. The only problem -- the bank lied. Instead of lowering it, they raised their payment by several hundred dollars per month, making it impossible for the Murrays to keep up. The very people who said they were helping them, were actually forcing them into foreclosure, and their house was sold on the auction block.

CFTC Sues U.S. Bank for Allowing Peregrine Founder's Fraud

Peregrine's founder, used millions of dollars of customer money to pay for personal expenses like his private airplane and his divorce settlement, and that it accepted customer money as security it made on loans to Wasendorf, his wife and his construction company.

American Banker The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has sued U.S. Bank for its role in the Peregrine Financial collapse, alleging that it failed to properly handle the failed brokerage's customer accounts.

The CFTC's complaint, filed Wednesday in an Iowa district court, says that the Minneapolis bank, a unit of U.S. Bancorp (USB), allowed Peregrine's owner to raid what should have been a segregated customer account for his own benefit. 

6/5/13

How Elite Economic Hucksters Drive Americas Biggest Fraud Epidemics

What do you get when you throw together economic fraudsters, plutocrats and opportunistic criminals? A financial crisis, thats what. If you look back over the massive frauds that have swept the country in recent decades, from the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s to the 2007-'08 financial crash, this deadly combination always appears.

Greenspan, with the rabid support of the Rubin wing of the Clinton administration, along with Republican Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Phil Gramm, crushed Borns effort to regulate credit default swaps (CDS). The plutocrats and their political allies deliberately created whats known as a regulatory black hole a place where elite criminals could commit their crimes under the cover of perpetual night.

Prof. Bill Black A dangerous cycle begins when prominent economists pander to plutocrats and bought politicians, who reward them with top posts, where they promote the perverse economic policies that cause fraud epidemics. Crises develop, and millions of people are ripped off. Those who fight for truth are ignored or ruined. The criminals get wealthier, bolder and more politically powerful, and go on to hatch even more devastating cons.

The three most recent financial crises in U.S. history were driven by a special type of fraud called control fraud cases where the officers who control what look like legitimate entities use them as weapons to commit crimes. Each time, Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, played a catastrophic role. First, his policies created the fraud-friendly (criminogenic) environment that produces epidemics of control fraud, then he failed to identify those epidemics and incipient crises, and finally, he failed to counter them.

6/5/13

Argues Section 22 of the mortgagetitled Acceleration; Remedies

Just Another Paragraph 22 Case Or Is It?

Plaintiffs like to argue that substantial compliance is all that is necessary, while defendants argue the standard is higher.

 

Kurian v. Wells Fargo

Stopa Law Firm

_________

FLORIDA COURT OF APPEAL 
FOURTH DISTRICT

Satisfying Paragraph 22 and substantially complying arent the same thing, and when the appellate courts keep using terms like satisfy, that sure sounds like the defendants are correct in their analysis of this issue.

________________________

The letter attached to the Complaint was a notice that acceleration
had already occurred and was dated only six days prior to the filing of
the Complaint. It did not advise of the default, provide an opportunity to
cure, or provide thirty days in which to do so. The letter attached to the
Complaint did not satisfy section 22s requirements.

6/5/13

Customer Advocates Protest at Chase, B of A Shareholder Meetings

Customer advocacy groups recently targeted Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase headquarters during annual shareholder board meetings to protest against mortgage lending discrimination and abusive foreclosure practices.

Mortgage Servicing News Findings form a California Reinvestment Coalition survey of housing counselors in California said CRCs associate director Kevin Stein, indicate JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America continues to unfairly foreclose on families and is failing to comply with the national mortgage settlement.

It showed that JPMorgan Chase still is failing to prevent so-called dual tracking practices when lenders discuss with borrowers loan modification options while proceeding with foreclosure filings, or is not notifying borrowers about missing or lost documents in a foreclosure file.

Event to inform consumers of their legal rights, and their options when struggling with foreclosure and financial hardship

Press Release Consumer Center for Resources will be hosting an event to inform consumers of their legal rights and their options when struggling with foreclosure and financial hardship. The seminar will be held on Saturday, June 15th 2013 at the Glendale Public Library Auditorium on 222 E. Harvard St. in Glendale, CA.

Rick Scott Approves Use Of Foreclosure Settlement To Help Florida Homeowners

Huff Post Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Tuesday a plan from a national foreclosure settlement between lenders and states that shuttles money into programs helping Florida homeowners.

"Banks will be held accountable," Scott said during a bill-signing press conference. "Florida families will be protected."

JPMorgans Alabama Debacle Set to Cost Bank $1.6 Billion

JPMorgan Chase may see as much as $1.6 billion go down an Alabama sewer.

Bloomberg The biggest U.S. bank by assets agreed to forgive $842 million of debt owed to it by Jefferson County, Alabama, where it took the lead in arranging risky securities deals that pushed the county into the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy, in November 2011.

6/5/13

Minnesota Supreme Court VOIDS Mortgage for Failure to meet signature requirement

Respondent credit union sought to foreclose on the homestead that Appellant and her husband (Husband) owned. The district court granted summary judgment to Appellant after concluding that the mortgage Appellant signed with Respondent was void under Minn. Stat. 507.02 because it was not also signed by Husband. 

Delano v. Marine Credit Union

Home Equity Theft Reporter The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the mortgage was valid because Husband had quitclaimed all of his interest in the homestead property to Appellant before the mortgage was executed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the mortgage signed by Appellant in favor of Respondent was void because (1) the mortgage at issue here did not meet any of the statutory exceptions to the signature requirement in section 507.02; and (2) Husband's quitclaim deed did not constitute an explicit waiver of his rights under the homestead statute.
6/4/13

New ruling: MBS trustees not subject to Trust Indenture Act

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl found that the Trust Indenture Act does not apply to MBS certificates. 

Alison Frankel Koeltl concluded that the TIA's exemption for notes based on an interest in multiple securities applies to MBS certificates because they're based on mortgage notes with "different obligors, payment terms, maturity dates, interest rates and collateral." Moreover, he said, the underlying mortgages "originate in different states and are subject to different laws regarding foreclosure procedures and deficiency judgments." Koeltl said he did not even have to reach the question of whether mortgage-backed securities are debt or equity.

6/4/13

HSBC to Be Sued by N.Y. for Foreclosure Law Violations

HSBC broke New York foreclosure law and put homeowners at greater risk of losing their homes, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who said he is suing the bank today.

Bloomberg Companies like HSBC are brazenly ignoring state law, leaving homeowners across New York stuck in a legal limbo where they cant even get the legally required settlement conference that could help them keep their homes, the attorney general said in a statement.

The state found that HSBC failed to file the required paperwork in hundreds of foreclosure cases in New York, in some cases putting off the document filing for more than two years. HSBC continued to charge interest and fees, increasing the amounts owed by homeowners. Those charges reduce the likelihood a person will qualify for a loan modification because their principal balance has increased, according to the state.

6/4/13

National Mortgage Settlement checks headed to 36K in Nevada

MyNews3 Although these payments will by no means fully compensate a homeowner for the loss of their home, they will help to provide some relief to Nevada homeowners for the mortgage servicing abuse they likely endured, Masto said. It is important to remember these payments do not have to be the end. Borrowers may still seek relief through a separate lawsuit or other claims. 

6/4/13

Wisconsin borrowers to get $1,480 each in mortgage settlement for wrongful foreclosure

JSOnline Wisconsin residents who have questions about the National Mortgage Settlement are encouraged to contact the Wisconsin Department of Justice at or call (800) 998-0700 or (608) 266-1852.

If you have questions about eligibility, you can contact the settlement administrator at (866) 430-8358 or email here.

Man found shot to death as eviction notice served

Chicago Tribune The man was found inside his home, Mirabelli said.

The Cook County medical examiner's office, citing preliminary information, said the man apparently suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the neck. 
6/4/13

Bill to limit association attorney fees and foreclosures becomes MD law

Home Equity Theft Reporter The new law is a partial response to recent association scandals, such as a Maryland condominium association that ran up attorney fees of $200,000 to fight a condo owner's lawsuit involving $225 or the homeowner who was asked to pay $50,000 in attorney fees and fines for not getting proper approval for a new driveway that others in the community already had in place. 

Ohio Foreclosure-Mill, Lerner Sampson Liable Under FDCPA

The Fullers' allegations are not for mere representation alone, accusing Lerner Sampson, instead, of deceptive conduct in drafting pleadings, mortgage assignments, and an affidavit containing false or misleading information. After a de novo review of the record, the Court agrees with the observation of the R&R that "[t]his manner of conduct is adequate to expose the Defendants to liability under the FDCPA."

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division. Lerner, Sampson does not dispute that the foreclosure complaint identifies Washington Mutual as the actual holder of plaintiff's mortgage, but claims that Ohio law permits Washington Mutual to anticipate that it would become the title holder after the foreclosure action was initiated but before it becomes final. We disagree that the issue of standing in Ohio, even if resolved in Lerner, Sampson's favor, has any bearing on whether misidentifying a creditor is materially misleading under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Steinberg v. Bank of America

When a creditors standing to seek relief from stay is challenged, the
bankruptcy court must require a demonstration that the movant has the right under applicable state law to enforce the Note.

Abi Volo

District Court 10th Circuit

The Tenth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel reversed the bankruptcy court's order granting relief from stay to Bank of America to foreclose on the debtor's house because the bankruptcy court failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing on whether Bank of America was in possession of the note secured by Debtor's residence.

The mortgage assignment from MERS to BOA was invalid as there was no specific written direction from Major Mortgage to MERS to execute the assignment;

6/4/13

Attorney general sues HSBC over foreclosures

HSBCs illegal business practices make it more likely that homeowners will unnecessarily lose their homes.

Buffalo News Worried about making a late payment?

The attorney generals Buffalo field office found more than 200 cases in which the bank ignored a state law to move delinquent mortgage holders into settlement talks to avoid foreclosure. In nine cases, HSBC filed required paperwork more than 900 days late.

6/4/13

The Stealth Problem of Predatory Mortgage Modifications

Modifications can serve as a way not to save borrowers, but to extract more blood from them.

And who wins in a redefault? The servicers. They get to collect even more late fees and other padded fees than they would have otherwise. For instance, the Bank of America whistleblowers (and others) have found evidence that banks inflate attorney fees during the foreclosure process.

naked capitalism Then, as things looked like they were finally going to be over, we got a letter back-dated by two weeks that said Bank of America was selling our loan to another company.

The company that now owns our loan? The lawyers weve talked to call it the worst mortgage company in the country.

The new company, Green Tree Servicing, has nothing. No documents. No idea who we are when we call.
Whistleblowers at another servicer, PNC, report that a crisis erupted during their OCC mandated foreclosure reviews when the guidelines were modified to require that they find and check the documentation of third party fees such as attorney fees. They stated that it was clear the attorney fees charged through the widely used Lender Processing Servicing platform could not be substantiated. So the evidence points to widespread abuse.
6/3/13

Foreclosures down thanks to new law, study says

BBJRE Daily A 2012 law that requires banks to notify borrowers of their rights for a loan modification before foreclosing may have contributed to the drop in seized homes during the first quarter, according to a study by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

Complete article

Noncompliance with PSA Voids Assignment of Note and Mortgage

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Erobobo reaches a pretty extraordinary result: noncompliance with the assignment provisions of a Pooling and Servicing Agreement voids the assignment of a note and mortgage.

If the Courts reasoning holds up on appeal or is adopted in other jurisdictions, it could have a big, big impact on Foreclosure litigation.

In particular, the court found that...

REFinBlog ...The assignment of the note and mortgage from Option One [the first assignee] rather than from the Depositor ABFC violates section 2.01of the PSA which requires that the Depositor deliver to and deposit the [[[original]]] note, mortgage and assignments to the Trustee. The assignment of the Defendants note and mortgage, having not been assigned from the Depositor to the Trust, is therefore void as in being in contravention of the PSA. The evidence submitted by Defendant that the note was acquired after the closing date and that assignment was not made by the Depositor, is sufficient to raise questions of fact as to whether the Plaintiff owns the note and mortgage, and precludes granting Plaintiff summary judgment. 

6/3/13

Why is the Media Ignoring the Obvious?

Why are you not investigating the representations on bank balance sheets in view of the fact that they are losing in Foreclosures suits whenever they are required to show proof of payment and proof of loss?

The trick on Wall Street has always been to take the profits and allocate losses to investors. Why is this so difficult for the media when the facts are all in the public domain?

Living Lies Now we have banks reporting profits that are stupendous. I use that word because it is plain stupid. Banks are supposed to make money by lending at a higher rate than their cost of capital. But now they are lending the money of investors with no cost and stealing around 25%-30% of the investor money right off the top (tier 2 yield spread premium). 

Is it legal? NO! But our attorney general chooses to see it another way or to look away entirely.

6/3/13

Maryland tenant awarded $800,000 over bedbug infestation, eviction by landlord 

Jurors only needed 45 minutes to decide that Faika Shaaban deserved a payout after being bitten relentlessly and then tossed to the curb. Her lawyer thinks more suits like this one are coming.

NY Daily News A Maryland tenant plagued by bedbugs has won a mega-cash payout from her landlord.

Faika Shaaban will receive $800,000 after jurors ruled she lost "practically everything" due to the infestation that left her with hundreds of bites and lesions.

6/3/13

Bedfordshire inquest hears eviction threat led to death


A man jumped in front of a train on the day he was due to be evicted from his Bedfordshire home, an inquest has heard.

BBC Dunstable Coroner's Court previously heard claims the council "hounded this man to his death" but the council said it "spent years" trying to help him.

Police attended Mr Williams home after receiving a call from a concerned friend on 8 February, coroner's officer Peter Wright told the inquest.

There they found two suicide notes.

6/3/13

The Eviction of Occupy Portland, Ore.: A Supremely Political Affair

Paramus Post The latest trove of documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) from the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Protective Service adds new detail to the spying work of federal law enforcement agencies coordinating with local law enforcement and city governments to act against Occupy encampments.

These documents make clear that the shutdown of Occupy was not based on the supposed health and safety concerns that law enforcement used as a public rationale, but rather that the decisions were profoundly political including a prioritization of business interests demands over First Amendment rights, stated attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the PCJF.

6/3/13

Was this a conspiracy? Was this to protect the pension fund investors at the expense of the homeowners? And why were these assignments not made at the time the Trusts were formed? Shadow banking, maybe? Hiding the recordation so the banks could create more derivatives without being caught in public records?

FDIC Hide & Sneak and Seal

The fabrication of documents continues beyond the expiration date of June 19, 2011. A FDIC assignment was recently made in March 2013. Yes, an assignment of mortgage made 8 years AFTER the 2005 securitized trust closed; and 4 years after the assets and files were sold to OneWest Bank not to mention 2 years after the LPOA expired. 

Deadly Clear Thorne claimed there was a longer document that had never been made public and its provision governing assumption of liability was different. Thorne declared under penalty of perjury:

Pursuant to the public part of the agreement with the FDIC, of which were approximately 36 pages, the balance of the contract and the complete agreement with the FDIC and Chase bank is 118 pages long which has not been made public. I am familiar with this agreement, I read it.

And who were these attorneys-in-fact listed in the LPOA? None other than some of our most famous RoboStars! Erica Johnson-Seck, Bryan Bly, Crystal Moorejust to name a few. Smart judges are catching on. New York Judge Shack certainly gets the fact that this fabricated paperwork is fraudulent.

(Story contains many links.)

6/3/13

Cohen Milstein Role Under Fire in Robo-Signing Case

The Nevada Supreme Court is expected to take up arguments in a high-profile robo-signing case in which a mortgage processing services firm (LPS) is challenging the legal authority of the state's attorney general to hire Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll on a contingent fee basis.

American Banker The contingent fee issue isn't the first challenge to the Nevada attorney general's pursuit over lending practices at Lender. On February 25, Clark County, Nev., District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth threw out more than 300 counts of a criminal indictment against two of its former executives, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, after finding that the attorney general's office had committed prosecutorial misconduct before a Nevada grand jury. Specifically, the court found that the office's attorneys had given jurors an improper definition of what constituted a forgery and threatened a witness into pleading guilty.
6/2/13

Foreclosure struggles escalate in U.S. cities

In Detroit, homeowners, foreclosure fighters and unionists rallied against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government agencies which now do most of the foreclosures and evictions in the Motor City and around the U.S.

Workers World By Tuesday, more than two dozen protesters had been arrested. Activists noted that in contrast, not one banker has ever been arrested for the massive fraud and racist criminal acts that have caused millions of families throughout the U.S. to lose their homes.

They can run, but they cant hide, said Steve Babson, an organizer with Detroit Eviction Defense. Actions by anti-foreclosure protesters in Washington and San Francisco have proved this point.

6/2/13

 

Lenders accused of 'systemic fraud' in Australia

Veteran consumer rights campaigner Denise Brailey is to make public 2500 private emails and bank documents from Monday to expose what she describes as ''Australia's subprime crisis''.
Ms Brailey claims that lenders and mortgage brokers tampered with documents to provide more credit for borrowers with ''low-doc'' loans.
She says she is making private documents public after years of trying to get corporate regulators to investigate the banks and other lenders over what she alleges is ''systemic fraud'' in the ''low-doc'' market.

Sydney Morning Herald The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which oversees lending in Australia, said there is no evidence of fraud.
"ASIC has not received any documents from her in the form of LAFs which show any evidence of fraud," ASIC Victorian regional commissioner Warren Day said.
However, Ms Brailey says ASIC is being ''tricky''. "More than 100 of my members sent their LAFs and their discrepancies [on the LAFs] to ASIC last year," she says. "They all got 'bugger off' letters telling them to get a lawyer.''
Ms Brailey says the release of her data proves the banks were pulling the strings, using mortgage brokers as ''agents'' to push credit on those who could not afford it.

6/2/13

When Can Bankruptcy Help You Pay Taxes?

One of the things that most people think they know about bankruptcy is that bankruptcy wont get you out of paying taxes. 

Bankruptcy Law Network Like most things most people think they know about bankruptcy, thats not entirely true.  While there are some taxes that are never wiped out in bankruptcy, most people dont owe those types of taxes. Most people owe income taxes, which can sometimes be discharged in bankruptcy. In addition to the discharge of some taxes, bankruptcy can also offer options to getting taxes paid.
6/1/13

Feds crack down on foreclosure auction scams

The auctions were generally short affairs often because real estate speculators were illegally fixing the bidding process.

Guilty parties are receiving jail time and being ordered to pay restitution

USA Today Federal prosecutors say such schemes have operated for decades, once earning a few thousand dollars per property. But the explosion of foreclosures amid the country's financial meltdown a few years ago upped illicit gains to millions of dollars. 

Why are prosecutors focusing on this area? 

The scammers took money that otherwise would have gone to banks selling the foreclosed properties or beleaguered homeowners who should have been compensated.

6/1/13

Concord foreclosures still curse homeowners

She also said a Beazer employee advised them to omit a monthly $350 car payment.

Charlotte Observer The Tingleyss mortgage started out at an introductory rate of $675 a month but over time it soared to more than $1,000 a month, and they couldnt afford the payments. Other homebuyers faced similar circumstances, and soon 21 percent of homes were in foreclosure more than six times the national rate.
6/1/13

Rapid fire foreclosure trials clear cases, concern attorneys

Kim Miller 

Palm Beach Post

Attorneys who say they have legitimate defenses to save a home complain theyre too often limited to 15-minute trials, have hearings set simultaneously so they cant attend both, see lopsided rulings and are forced to trial when foreclosure alternatives are in negotiations with the bank.

Royal Palm Beach-based foreclosure defense firm Ice Legal has eight trials set for June 26 in two courtrooms. Four trials are set for 15 to 20 minutes. The longest trial is three hours. The firm also has a trial in Miami that day.
6/1/13

Alternative Financial Services Industry: Never Heard Of It?

Mortgage Law Network Fortunately for this client, they were able to redeem the item they pawned while paying 240% interest to borrow the money. Those not so lucky lose their items forever when they are sold because they were not redeemed.

If you are having financial problems, seek advise from someone such as a family member, friends or an attorney before you take the drastic actions of pawning your possessions.

6/1/13

Judge Slams Lawyers For Milking Dead, Big-Time Real Estate Operator's Estate For $40+ Million In Unconscionable Legal Fees, $5M In 'Secret, Extraordinary Gifts' From Widow

Home Equity Theft Reporter In his final report, [Referee Howard] Levine said the contingency fee the firm stood to earn, which would be the equivalent of $11,000 an hour, was "astounding" and should be reduced.

Three individual Graubard partnersDaniel Chill, Steven Mallis and Elaine Reichmust return more than $5 million in cash gifts they received from Ms. Lawrence.

6/1/13

Judges blame banks for foreclosure slowdowns, but some see good in delay

That's right: The same industry facing billions of dollars in punishment for hastily whizzing foreclosures through court a few years ago now isn't moving fast enough, court leaders say.

Tampa Bay Times  They allow homeowners to work on short sales or loan modifications that save the banks money and keep people in their homes. And they keep repossessed homes from flooding the market, preserving local home prices and helping neighborhoods.

But with a "faster foreclosures" bill approved by lawmakers and now awaiting Gov. Rick Scott's response, lawyers worry the cases will be squeezed through court, hurting both homeowners and banks.
6/1/13

Foreclosure Auction Scams Face Federal Crackdown

Huff Post Working in concert, the would-be buyers would appoint just one person to bid on each property on the auction block, thus securing the "winning" bid. Minutes after the official proceeding was over, they would then conduct an auction among themselves, often on the same courthouse steps.

New program to help prevent foreclosure

Wood TV The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Step Forward Michigan Faith Partnership campaign is designed to engage clergy, congregants and leaders of all religions in the fight against home foreclosure. It also promotes awareness that free help for homeowners, who are at risk of foreclosure, is available. 
May 2013

Wasted Wealth

How the Wall Street Crash Continues to Stall Economic Recovery and Deepen Racial Inequity in America.

Alliance for a Just Society If action is not taken to prevent underwater mortgages from going into foreclosure, Americans stand
to lose nearly $221 billion in additional wealth from these mortgages alone.
5/31/13

 

More Market State In Action: Consumers Treated Differently Under the Law Than Businesses

I here am only trying to inform you about this decision, in the event that you are not aware of it. It does not yet seem to be receiving the attention that it deserves.

YOU et al v. JP MORGAN CHASE

 

naked capitalism I ran this message by Georgetown law professor Adam Levitin, who is arguably the top US expert on mortgage securitizations. He gave the ruling a quick read and said it did appear that there appeared to be an inconsistency, that the Georgia court found that the note follows the mortgage, rather than the mortgage follows the note. They failed to reconcile the statute that says note follows the mortgage with the UCC Article 9 provision that says the opposite. Oops.

But this is where it gets interesting, and ugly. Its clear that the conclusion the court reached in the consumer case would be untenable if you had two banks dealing with each other. Levitin speculated that what would happen in Georgia was not that some later court would come down one way or the other on this rather basic question. Instead, he anticipated that the law would be applied one way for consumers when banks want to foreclose and the opposite way for warehouse lending.

5/31/13

12 QUESTIONS THAT COULD END THE CASE

(1) If we accept the proffer from opposing counsel that the transaction (i.e, the loan) was done for the express purpose of fulfilling an obligation to investors for backing mortgage bonds through a REMIC asset pool, then why was MERS necessary?

Living Lies (12) What is the identity of the party who was injured by the refusal of the borrower to make any further payments? To what extent were they injured? Are they qualified to submit a credit bid or must they pay cash for the property at auction? If they are not qualified to submit a credit bid then (see below) then under what legal theory should they be permitted to foreclose or for that matter seek any collection? Are these intermediary parties violating the FDCPA because they are neither the creditor nor the agent of the creditor and yet demanding payment for themselves?
5/31/13

2 years and counting: How our underwater mortgage continues to cause pain

BizJournal We are one month shy of the two-year anniversary of what has been the most frustrating, infuriating and depressing experience either of us has ever had.

5/31/13

Court Skewers Wells Fargo's Modification Mary-go-round

Accordingly, the court finds that the imposition of an alternative remedy to address the WELLS FARGO's wanton and flagrant violation of the dictates of CPLR 3408 (f) is in order. While it is apparent that the court cannot compel a party's good faith behavior, it can certainly impose sanctions for the deliberate disregard of legal mandates, particularly here where it is painfully obvious to the court that the plaintiff has acted willfully and with express intent to subvert a statutory scheme established for the beneficial purpose of helping mortgagors avoid the loss of their homes.

Wells Fargo v. Ruggiero

Supreme Court, Kings County In that vein, to simply impose a monetary penalty on the foreclosing plaintiff mortgagee without ever requiring a sincere effort on its part to abide by the statutory scheme would be to merely let the plaintiff mortgagee pay to avoid compliance; i.e., treat the imposition of a primary sanction as simply the "cost of doing business." This would be a disservice not only to the legislature that saw fit to enact this legislation, but also a disservice to the countless mortgagors who find themselves on the precipice of losing their homes under circumstances not entirely of their making. This court cannot in equity permit such a result without at least affording the defendants an authentic opportunity to avail themselves of the protective measures of CPLR R3408. WELLS FARGO, in turn, must know that if it continues its deliberate, convoluted acts of subversion that it may eventually face even more serious sanctions that would not be in their pecuniary interest.
5/31/13

FHA Expands Pilot Program to Expedite REO Sales

These servicers are selling the single-family properties once they complete the foreclosure process. These REO sales may be on the courthouse steps depending on state laws.

Since the 1990s, FHA servicers have conveyed (clouded) title to the agency and handed the REO properties over to FHA-approved contractors that manage and sell the REO.

Mortgage Servicing News This method of disposing of these properties is expected to yield lower losses for the Mortgage Insurance Fund than selling them through FHAs normal REO disposition processas carrying costs associated with preserving, managing, and marketing an REO property were eliminated, FHA commissioner Carol Galante told a congressional panel earlier this this year.

5/31/13

Mortgage robo-signing lawsuit brought by Guilford County official dismissed

Thigpen had also alleged that the defendants were unjustly enriched by the practices at the center of the lawsuit, a contention Jolly dismissed.

Guilford County v. LPS

Business Journal A lawsuit filed last year by Guilford County alleging that the use of an electronic mortgage registrations system and a practice known as robo-signing had made a "mess" of the county's property records registry has been dismissed.

Thigpen alleged that the use of MERS and robo-signing created legal uncertainty concerning property titles, made it difficult to discover and remedy title defects, caused the loss of homes due to illegal foreclosures and led to decreases in property values, among other damages. 

5/31/13

BREAKING NEWS Mortgage securitisation finally sent for full trial

So critical is this case that the Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Scotland had been required to fly from Scotland to be present in Court.

Direct Democracy Ireland This morning in the High Court in Dublin, after Miriam Freeman had spoken for 4 days on her motion against Bank of Scotland (Ireland), she has finally been vindicated in her long running case. She has been ably supported by two of the founder members of DDI Ben Gilroy and John Squires, and by Awaken Longford and others (unnamed) who have all collaborated with the Freeman family to defeat all motions of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) in case of P FREEMAN & ANOR V BANK OF SCOTLAND (IRELAND) LTD & ORS.

5/31/13

MERSCORP Dismissed in Conspiracy and Fraud Suits

National Mortgage Professional Judge William F. Kuntz, II, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled in favor of MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. and dozens of MERS member institutions in a suit asserting a litany of allegations surrounding conspiracy and fraud. In Abraham v. American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc., et al., Judge Kuntz rejected a "mass action" attempt by hundreds of borrowers, finding that they were joined improperly and that, more importantly, the bases for their complaint were "threadbare recitals" and "conclusory statements" unsupported by specific facts. 
5/31/13

So Who is the Dumb Money Ruining the Rental Housing Market?

naked capitalism Many of these players have a had a great ride being long real estate in many forms over the last few year. How well the market fares when they choose to cash in their chips is very much an open question. I would not want to be on the other side of their trade.
5/31/13

Advocates demand prosecution

Californians put AG Kamala Harris on the defense

Housing Wire Homeowner advocacy groups California, Occupy Fights Foreclosure sent a pretty aggressive open letter to Harris demanding to know why no prosecutions against banks were being taken... ..."We do not understand why the crimes behind the tanking of our entire states economy, the consequences of which have devastated entire neighborhoods and created extreme hardship for millions of Californians, are not important enough to prosecute and bring to trial," the letter demanded.
5/30/13

Whats Inside the Governments Deal With Citigroup?

Bloomberg The conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was eager for publicity in September 2011 when it sued 17 financial institutions, accusing them of ripping off the two government-backed housing financiers. It isnt so enthusiastic anymore.
5/30/13

OCC Probe of JP Morgan Debt Collection Abuses Will Show if Agency Can Be Reformed

naked capitalism Josh Rosners analysis of the extent of JP Morgans regulatory violations has apparently raised eyebrows in DC. Im told there is growing recognition that Something Needs to be Done, and the debt collection abuses are a narrow enough matter to be a place to start.
5/30/13

Obama Administration Extends Making Home Affordable Program

 

Treasury Extends Foreclosure Program Despite Lack of Success

Who is really profiting?

DSNews U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew announced Thursday that Treasury is extending the Making Home Affordable Program for another two years. The new expiration date is now set for December 31, 2015.
The program offers help to homeowners through solutions including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA), and the Second Lien Modification Program.

5/30/13

 

Constitutionality question in Colorado foreclosures remains open

Amid confusion over whether a federal judge can still decide if an Aurora woman's constitutional rights are violated by Colorado foreclosure laws, U.S. Bank has filed a lawsuit in state court to take the house.

BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE
COLORADO CENTER ON LAW AND POLICY, INC. AND COLORADO PROGRESSIVE COALITION

Banksters' Response

 

Home Equity Theft Reporter From the Amicus brief:

Provisions of Colorados foreclosure statutes that deem non-existent evidence of indorsements or assignments to exist, and allow a foreclosure to proceed without original documentary evidence based solely on an unsworn certification by the foreclosing party or an unsworn statement by the foreclosing partys counsel, are Constitutionally defective under Connecticut v. Doehr.

The statutes allow Colorado foreclosures to proceed based on bare conclusory claims of right to enforce a valid lien without documentary proof of same, place homeowners at the unsupervised mercy of the creditor and administrative functionaries rather than in a meaningful evidentiary hearing, create great risk of erroneous deprivations of property without due process of law, and bar adequate remedies to redress erroneous deprivations.

Guilford lawsuit on mortgage 'robo-signing' dismissed

News-Record Jolly agreed that the use of robo-signing is deceptive, but said theres no commercial action taken when recording a deed, so robo-signing doesnt break North Carolina law.
5/29/13

Why Citi blinked in FHFA MBS cases - and what it means for other banks

Alison Frankel To understand why Citigroup and its lawyers at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison decided to settle the Federal Housing Finance Agency's $3.5 billion mortgage-backed securities suit, you have to look back nine years to the shareholder class action stemming from securities and accounting fraud at WorldCom.

5/29/13

STRATEGY: FORECLOSURE BY PRETENDER LENDER FOLLOWED BY BORROWERS ACTION FOR DAMAGES

Living Lies In my opinion there is big money in these lawsuits for damages and lawyers are encouraged to do the research and analysis. My firm is taking these cases on contingency where the right elements are present. So far everyone who has done their own research and analysis has arrived at the same conclusion expressed in this article. But there is a huge trapdoor that litigators must avoid.
5/29/13

US taking harder look at debt collection practices

Boston Globe Federal regulators are widening a probe into whether the nations biggest banks used flawed documents and incomplete records to collect on delinquent credit card debts, according to four people familiar with the investigation.

The scope of the inquiry is unclear, but those familiar with it say the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is expanding an ongoing probe that began in 2011 with allegations that JPMorgan Chase was using error-filled documents in lawsuits against debtors.
 

5/29/13

Cash And Tarry: Mortgage Applications Plunge At Fastest Rate Since 2009

Tyler Durdin Clearly not predicated on anything but an easy money grab for a fast buck. It seems the argument that if the fast-money buys it, the slow-money will follow is not working out - instead it is just making it less and less affordable for the average person (again).

5/29/13

A.G. Schneiderman Details Initiatives to Promote Housing Recovery in Speech to Long Island Business Leaders

The bill will create a legal definition for residential mortgage foreclosure fraud, which will apply to mortgage lenders and servicers, and extend both to their lower level employees and high managerial agents. This aspect of the bill is particularly significant because it carries the potential to bring criminal charges against law firms and servicers that specialize in high-volume residential foreclosure cases and knowingly engage in fraud.

NewsLI Attorney General Schneiderman has made protecting homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure a top priority.

When I took office, half of New Yorkers facing foreclosure had no access to a lawyer at any point in the process. So last year, we set up the attorney generals Homeowner Protection Program, or HOPP. This is a three year, $60 million dollar commitment to fund housing counselors and legal services providers all over the state to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

5/29/13

Bold Beneficiaries of a Dysfunctional Financial System

No group has skated free of severe (and deserved) criticism in the wake of the financial crisis: financial firms, regulators, credit rating agencies, borrowers and the news media. That is, except one, which happens to be among the most culpable: institutional investors. Yet today, the structure of institutional investing is the same. And so is shareholders view of their responsibilities.

DealBook Big-bank critics, like the freethinking analyst Mike Mayo, analysts at Wells Fargo, and Sheila Bair, the former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and others, including me have raised the possibility that shareholders might revolt over banks depressed stock valuations and seek breakups. Broken-up banks would be smaller and safer.

No, its not going to happen. Shareholders are part of the problem, not the solution.
5/29/13

BREAKING NEWS: Article 77 Hearing Postponed, Bill Frey Subpoenaed by AIG

Bill Frey has been subpoenaed by AIG. I can only speculate that he will be asked about the circumstances that led Kathy Patrick to split off from the Investor Syndicate and encourage her clients to take a less confrontational approach to Bank of New York Mellon  and BofA.

Subprime Shakeout It has long been rumored that Frey developed specific evidence for the Investor Syndicate, which had been verified by Fannie Mae, of thousands of loan defaults in hundreds of Countrywide trusts. If true, this would severely undermine one of the Institutional Investors main arguments supporting the settlement: that they were the only group that was taking action against Countrywide and that they were serious about recouping their constituents losses.

Since many of Kathy Patricks group of institutional investors were previously part of Tal Franklins larger Investor Syndicate, why did they fail to cite any of the specific evidence of default, which they must have known existed, in their letter to BNYM?

Lack of Second Signature on Security Deed Avoids Lien   

COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT

h/t Alina

The deed was recorded with the Clerk of the Superior Court of Henry County on October 15, 2001, but while the attestation page of the security deed contained the signature of an officer, it did not contain the signature of one additional witness, as required by Georgia Code 44-14-33.

5/29/13

For Real Economic Recovery, Government Must Stop Favoring Banks Over Homeowners

In total, the Federal Reserve estimates that $7 trillion in home equity was lost from American households between 2006 and 2011 due to the housing crisis.

Steve Bailey, who also appeared on "Clearing the FOG," is a homeowner who never missed a payment but still lost his home to foreclosure.

The crisis of foreclosure and lost wealth is not over. Every three months, 250,000 new families enter the foreclosure process.

Each foreclosure results in an average of $131,200 in lost wealth for the homeowner.

Truth-Out The homeowner should demand that the loan servicer make available the original mortgage loan documents. This should not be a copy, but the version with the actual ink of the signed promissory note, and the homeowner should verify any subsequent endorsements and assignments. 

This is important because Petrovich reports that an estimated 50 percent of mortgage loans may be deemed unenforceable as mortgage loans because they are in fact unsecured loans which are dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Homeowners should be on the lookout for robo-signed documents, which means forged signatures on backdated documents. Homeowners should be careful not to allow the lender to "fix" the deficient loan because they will attempt to seduce borrowers into executing NEW loan documents which are legitimate mortgage loans ... replacing the bad with good.

5/28/13

Supreme Court: Foreclosure Action May Not Be Dismissed Under Civil Rule After Court Enters Judgment Granting Foreclosure, Order of Sale

Countrywide v. Nichpor

CNO

Ohio Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled today that, after a court has entered judgment granting a decree of foreclosure and ordering the sale of the foreclosed property, the foreclosure action cannot be dismissed under Ohio Civil Rule 41, a procedural rule that allows the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit to voluntarily dismiss a complaint that is still pending.

Voluntary dismissal is unavailable to lenders after entry of default judgment of foreclosure

Dykema Gossett PLLC
Robert B. Groholski
The Supreme Court of Ohio did not discuss the circumstances that caused the lender in Nichpor to voluntarily dismiss its original foreclosure action. However, after Nichpor, lenders foreclosing in Ohio should review their files prior to obtaining a default judgment of foreclosure because the lender will not have the ability to voluntarily dismiss the action after that point if an irregularity in the foreclosure is later discovered.
5/28/13

Justice for All or Justice for Sale?

A settlement with Swiss banks right now would fly in the face of the dramatic progress that the world is finally making toward cracking down on secrecy havens. It would also risk dividing the US from the EU and the rest of the OECD on haven reform.

The American Interest Even on the basis of the handful of prosecutions that have already been made public, it is clear that this den of bankster thieves has already facilitated tens of billions of dollars of tax evasion by very rich Americans, at a time when most Americans are still struggling to make ends meet.
5/28/13

Regulators probing banks debt collection practices

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is expanding a probe that began in 2011 with allegations that JPMorgan Chase was using error-filled documents in lawsuits against debtors.

Washington Post Federal regulators are widening an investigation into whether the nations biggest banks used flawed documents and incomplete records to collect on delinquent credit card debts, according to four people familiar with the probe.

The concerns about credit card debt collection echo the wave of shoddy foreclosures after the housing market collapsed. In those cases, as homeowners defaulted on their loans in droves, mortgage servicers were accused of falsifying records and robo-signing hundreds of documents without reviewing them.

Texas adds reverse mortgage constitutional amendment to November ballots

On May 22, the Texas legislature adopted a joint resolution, SJR 18, to propose an amendment to the Texas Constitution to allow a reverse mortgage for the purchase of a homestead property.

Lexology Under the amendment, a borrower would need to (i) occupy the homestead property as a principal residence within a specified time after the reverse mortgage closing and (ii) complete financial counseling before the reverse mortgage closing. The amendment would require a lender to provide to a prospective borrower a detailed disclosure of conduct that could lead to foreclosure, including among other things, the failure to pay property taxes. The proposed amendment will be decided by the voters on November 5, 2013.
5/28/13

Citi settles U.S. suit over $3.5 billion in mortgage securities

Reuters Citigroup Inc has reached a settlement with a federal agency that had accused the bank of misleading Fannie Mae  and Freddie Mac into buying $3.5 billion of mortgage-backed securities.

SALE STOPPED BY TRO IN TENNESSEE ON CASE WITH LACK OF ASSIGNMENTS, MULTIPLE ALLEGED OWNERS OF THE NOTE

Tennessee Circuit Judge has ordered that a threatened non-judicial Trustees Sale instituted by Bank of America is to be stopped.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide This case illustrates a general pattern we are seeing in current foreclosure cases: multiple alleged transfers of mortgage loans and/or servicing rights with no or conflicting information; allegations in documents which are unsupported; and attempts by downline purported successors to enforce Notes which they have not proven they have any rights to. 

Thankfully, more and more courts are starting to recognize this problem, and certain states have enacted procedural rules which require sworn affidavits from a foreclosing party as to proof of ownership or the right to enforce the Note before a foreclosure has been filed. We have been made aware that more such changes are coming in other states and courts as well.  About time.

5/28/13

Banks Traded on Inside Information on Mortgages

The creation of the REMIC trust was a sham. It was never formalized, never funded and never acquired any mortgages. hence any exempt securities issued by it were not the kind intended by the Act signed into law in 1998. It was not a mortgage-backed security, or credit backed security, it was an illusion designed to defraud anyone who invested in them. The purpose of issuing the mortgage bonds was not to fund and acquire mortgages but rather to steal as much money out of the flow as possible while covering their tracks with some of the money ending up on the closing table for newly originated or previously originated bundles of mortgages that were to be acquired. That isnt what happened either.

Living Lies Wall Street bankers put the money from investors into their own private piggy bank and then funded and acquired mortgages with only part of the money while they made false proprietary trades in the mortgage bonds that made it look like they were trading geniuses making money hand over fist while the rest of the world saw their wealth decline by as much as 60%-70%. The funding for debt came not from the unfunded REMIC trusts but from the investment banker who was merely an intermediary depository institution which unlawfully was playing with investor money. The actual instruments upon which Wall Street relies to justify its actions is the prospectus, the PSA, and the Master Servicing agreement each of which was used to sell the investors on letting go of their money in exchange for the promises and conditions contained in the exotic agreements containing numerous conflicting clauses.
Thus the conclusion is that since the mortgage bonds were issued by an unfunded and probably nonexistent entity, the investors had bought an interest in an incoherent series of agreements that together constituted a security or, in the alternative, that there was no security and the investors were simply duped into parting with their money which is fraud, pure and simple.
5/28/13

Michigan: Former Justice Gets Prison Term for Fraud

Disgraced ex-Michigan judge gets 1 year in jail

NY Times

USA Today

Declaring herself broken and disgraced, Diane Hathaway, a former Michigan Supreme Court justice, tearfully took responsibility for fraud on Tuesday before a judge sentenced her to a year and a day in prison for concealing assets and fooling a bank in the short sale of a Detroit-area home. 
May 2013

Report

Modifying Mortgages Involving
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
:
Options for Principal Forgiveness

Congressional Budget Office This report examines three options for the GSEs to use principal forgiveness for borrowers who are eligible or could become eligible for assistance through HAMP. CBO finds that implementing those options would probably do the following:
5/28/13

Constitutionality question in Colorado foreclosures remains open

Denver Post Amid confusion over whether a federal judge can still decide if an Aurora woman's constitutional rights are violated by Colorado foreclosure laws, U.S. Bank has filed a lawsuit in state court to take the house.

The groups filed the 19-page brief May 20 outlining how the state's public-trustee process is fraught with constitutional pitfalls.

5/28/13

96 Year Old Dance Teacher Fights Eviction From Studio City Landmark

myFoxLA They say they need a miracle or an angel investor: actors and dancers who told us Dorothy Barrett changed their lives. They are now working against time to save the home and school of this legendary dance teacher. 

Dorothy co-founded The American National Academy of Performing Arts with Frances Lederer in Studio City in 1957. By the time she started teaching, Dorothy had performed in Vaudeville, and appeared in classic moves including The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Blue Skies, and Mildred Pierce.
5/28/13

Banks Outsource Mortgage, Foreclosure Work to India

"The lack of oversight so far away may be too much for these banks to handle, considering how badly they've handled overseeing their own staff," said Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

NewsMax According to The Wall Street Journal, this move increased revenues for Indian outsourcing firms to $316 million in mortgage work for this year double the revenue from similar work in 2009.

While some argue that outsourcing may help banks maintain their bottom line, there is concern that customer service will suffer.
5/28/13

Homeowners Take Foreclosure Fight to the DOJ

Bill Moyers Banks are doing extreme things to get people out of their homes, so it requires extreme action, Mata told me. I wouldnt be here except the banks are not being monitored so we have to stand up as citizens. They are getting away with acts of inhuman behavior and the Justice Department is not reacting.

5/28/13

Make Sure the Bank Takes Your Foreclosed Home

What happens to a house when the beleaguered owner moves out, and the lender never finishes the foreclosure paperwork?
It becomes a zombie house.

Fox Business Don't ignore a house in the foreclosure process Lenders typically aren't required to notify the homeowner when a foreclosure isn't completed. That's problematic for the homeowner, who might not realize that he is still responsible for a foreclosed home that was vacated long ago.
5/28/13

Foreclosure Fraudsters

Unfortunately, the sad reality is that these scammers have no better likelihood of helping a homeowner gain mortgage relief than the homeowner had in doing it for him or herself.

Dan McGookey, Esq. Human nature seems to be that every successful scam will beget smaller, cottage industry scams. With regard to the biggest scam of all time, that of mortgage securitization and predatory lending, evidence of the Tin Man Phenomena can be found in the hundreds, if not thousands, of mortgage relief fraudsters. hanging out their shingles since the housing market crash of 2008. 

Securitized mortgage loan defense is an area of law which is brand new and thus little understood.

5/28/13

Lawyers' Committee Files Fifth California Lawsuit Against Loan Modification Scam Network

The Lawyers Committee and our pro bono co-counsel continue our private enforcement efforts to put a stop to scamming operations preying upon distressed homeowners.

Home Equity Theft Reporter The suit alleges that defendants defrauded vulnerable homeowners out of tens of thousands of dollars by falsely promising to obtainfor substantial upfront feesmuch-needed mortgage modifications on the homeowners behalf, but consistently failing to deliver results.
5/28/13

Magistrates May Euthanize Senior Judges in Foreclosure Court

Chip Parker, Esq. Being a judge is like being in a fraternity, and they like to protect their own even those judges they do not like. So, there is a strong possibility that Chief Judges of the individual judicial circuits will reject the use of magistrates because they are not in the frat.

How lucrative is it to be a senior judge hearing foreclosure cases in Floridas courts? So lucrative, that these retired judges will do just about anything to keep the money flowing.
5/28/13**

The New Deal Origins of Fannie Mae and the Government-Housing Complex

Fannie Mae is a classic crony capitalist progeny of the New Deal that began life in 1938, quite innocently, as still another ad hoc New Deal program to boost the depression-weakened housing market. It grew into something quite different: a monster that deeply deformed and corrupted the nations entire financial system seventy years later.

So fiddling with an arbitrary goal of higher housing starts, the New Dealers gave birth to what eventually became a crony capitalist monster, and that was all.

Mises Daily Fannie Mae would thus override the markets veto by turning local banks and thrifts into government contractors or agents, rather than mortgage debt underwriters. Accordingly, they would be relieved of their aversion to the risk of default loss by means of a Washington-funded secondary market. The latter would purchase these commercially unappealing mortgage loans for cash, enabling local bankers to reloan this cash again and again in a government-supported rinse and repeat cycle.

Meanwhile, the default losses that the market refused to underwrite would be shifted to taxpayers, since Fannie Maes funding would implicitly depend on the public credit of the United States. The slowly recovering residential housing sector would thus receive the kind of booster shot much favored by the New Dealers.

What Fannie Mae also did, unfortunately, was to start the home mortgage market down a slippery slope. This included separating the loan origination process from the long-term servicing and ownership of the resulting mortgage, in an alleged financing innovation that would give rise to predatory mortgage-broker boiler rooms a few generations down the road.
5/27/13

Real Estate Lawyers Divided Over Foreclosure Speed-Up Bill

WGCU St Petersburg real estate lawyer Matthew Weidner says it could be a nightmare for conscientious mortgage payers. Weidner says it will, "result in homes being taken and the inability of the court to return the home."
5/27/13

Regulating Bank Governance: Mandating CEO-Chairman Division at Too-Big-to-Fail Banks

Prof. Adam Levitin

Credit Slips

There is a strong federal regulatory interest in having good governance at too-big-to-fail banks because of our explicit (FDIC) and implicit (bailout) insurance of too-big-to-fail banks. This suggests that federal bank regulators and Congress should be pushing to ensure that too-big-to-fail banks conform with best practices in corporate governance. 

5/27/13

Kickbacks as 'a natural part of business' at Fannie Mae alleged

Granillo, a foreclosure specialist at mortgage giant Fannie Mae, expected to drive off with $11,200 an illegal kickback for steering foreclosure listings to brokers, authorities allege in court records.

L.A. Times Granillo would leave in handcuffs. And investigators are now looking into assertions by Granillo and another former Fannie Mae foreclosure specialist that such kickbacks were "a natural part of business" at the government-sponsored housing finance company, as Granillo allegedly told the broker in a wiretapped conversation.

Granillo worked near John Wayne Airport in a high-rise whose lobby has no listing for Fannie's eighth-floor office a safeguard to prevent *disruptions from foreclosed borrowers and other disgruntled members of the public, Carter said.

5/27/13

The Bell Tolls for BofA

Subprime Shakeout Though there has been some speculation that a recent win for settlement objectors would delay the merits hearing in BofAs legacy mortgage D-Day, the lawyers on both sides must prepare as if theyre going to war on Thursday.
5/27/13

Court: 'Absence Of Contractual Breach No Bar To Liability'

First Circuit Revives Claim for Faulty Foreclosure

Young v. Wells Fargo

Home Equity Theft Reporter A federal appellate court ruled that Wells Fargo Bank must face a Massachusetts consumer protection law claim that entails possible triple damages, plus additional claims, for its conduct toward a homeowner under a federal loan modification program.
5/25/13

Re-Victimizing the Victims

Foreclosure payouts pennies on the dollar

TribLive The payments are an embarrassment, Reid said. They don't really help people affected by the foreclosures regain any footing, financially or credit-wise. If others are like me, far more money was spent trying to responsibly get help with modifications, make trial payments, etc. I estimate that I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 trying to save the house.
5/25/13

Internal Wall Street pitchbook shows that you, the clients, are suckers

Nothing about Wall Street exists to help the little guy. Nothing. It's all just a mechanism for extracting money from the less wealthy, from cities and states, and from entire industries to put into the hands of the very rich.

Daily Kos A part of the pitch book known colloquially at the firm as "Don't Pitch the Bitch" demonstrates how to push a client to hurry up and buy some stock without getting his wife involved:
(Prospect) if you want to call me back so you can ask your wife if you can buy the stock, I will call my wife and see if I can sell you the stock, come on! You make business decisions daily without your wife.
5/24/13

 

Law provides more protection in foreclosures

Minnesota homeowners facing foreclosure would have additional protection under a bill Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign.

The legislation requires banks and servicers to make loan modifications to everyone who's eligible. Also, loan servicers can't sell off a home until there's a clear yes or no on the loan modification.

KTTC Complete article:

University of Minnesota consumer law expert Prentiss Cox tells the Star Tribune a key element of the new law gives homeowners more time to modify their loan, thereby holding off a foreclosure sale. Property owners would have an additional 30 days under the state law.

Foreclosures have dropped in Minnesota in recent years, but remain high. Last year there were nearly 18,000 foreclosures, down about 16 percent from the previous year, but nearly triple the 2005 level.

5/24/13

Fannie Mae Profiting as Market Middleman Angers Lenders

Fannie Mae (FNMA) is snatching potential profits away from mortgage lenders as it posts record earnings that are fueling industry concern the government-backed company is regaining its swagger even as lawmakers plot its demise.

Bloomberg The company has ramped up its purchases of home loans from lenders for cash, in the process cutting out originators from the more profitable business of creating and selling bonds backed by the debt. About 31 percent of the $305 billion in new Fannie Mae-guaranteed securities in the first four months of this year were tied to so-called cash window purchases, almost triple the share in early 2011.

YES! IT'S TRUE! 

I GOT MY HOME BACK!

'Don't Evict Me from My Home of 20 Years' 

OCCUPY

Almost one year from the date of the Sheriff Sale of my home and countless restless days and nights facing eviction, I am very pleased to say, YES! IT'S TRUE! I GOT MY HOME BACK! 

5/24/13

Lyttle v. BankUnited

A plaintiff must tender the original promissory note to the trial court or seek to reestablish the note under section 673.3091, Florida Statutes
(2010). 

If the note does not name the plaintiff as the payee, the note must bear an endorsement in favor of the plaintiff or a blank endorsement. [Gee v. U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n, 72 So. 3d 211, 213 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011)].

Florida Court of Appeal 5th District Alternatively, the plaintiff may submit evidence of an assignment from the payee to the plaintiff or an affidavit of ownership to prove its status as a holder of the note. Id. at 234 (citation omitted). Because the original promissory note was not payable to
Appellee or endorsed in blank and because Appellee did not comply with the alternative requirements as stated in Richards, issues of fact remain to be resolved precluding entry of summary judgment in Appellees favor.
5/24/13

A Freddie Mac Rule Change May Help Some Borrowers

NY Times A change in Freddie Macs rules could help retiring baby boomers, and other home buyers with limited incomes but substantial financial assets, qualify for low-rate conventional mortgages.

Freddie Mac, the giant mortgage finance company, actually changed the rule two years ago. But many borrowers and loan underwriters are apparently unaware of it.

Exclusive: New York claims more proof of bank mortgage abuses

"Several other states have identified similar recurring deficiencies by the participating servicers," Schneiderman said.

Reuters New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said there is mounting evidence that Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo and Co and other banks violated the terms of a settlement designed to end mortgage servicing abuses.
Schneiderman - who has said he plans to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo for failing to live up to their obligations under the deal - said other states had found similar problems.

5/24/13

Banks Hedging Their Bets on Wrongful Foreclosures

The fact that they were not a creditor obviously also brings in the issues of jurisdictional standing and whether they have any potential rights to initiate foreclosure. 

The confusion here is closed by rulings in many states which seem to indicate that almost anyone can initiate a foreclosure proceeding. The mistake made by both pro se litigants and attorneys for homeowners is that they concede the rest of the case once a decision is made that a non-creditor can initiate foreclosure proceedings.

Living Lies In the initial phase of litigation those early motions will obviously have an effect on the momentum of the case in favor of either the banks or the borrowers. But the fact remains that if the party initiating the foreclosure was doing so in a representative capacity, or if they were doing so in their own name lacking any history or facts supporting their assertions of being a holder then the point needs to be made to the court that there is no creditor based upon any evidence in the court record who can submit a credit bid.
The court is presented then with the choice of either dismissing the case because of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter and potentially lack of jurisdiction over the parties or entering a final order or judgment allowing the foreclosure to proceed but stipulating that the party conducting the auction may not accept a credit bid in the absence of uncontested proof of payment, proof of loss and proof of ownership of the loan receivable. This step has thus far been ignored in nearly all cases of foreclosure litigation throughout the country. It is time to invoke it.

GSE Reform Bill Quietly in Works Under Sen. Corker

American Banker A bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is drafting legislation designed to reform the housing finance system, including a plan to wind down the government-sponsored enterprises.
5/24/13

Critics say Michigan foreclosure bills seek to 'get people out of their homes quicker'

Michigan homeowners could have more time to avoid foreclosure but less time to reverse it under legislation moving quickly through the state legislature.

mLive Supporters say a quick fix is needed because the state's mandated negotiation period is set to expire at the end of June, but critics believe reducing the redemption period could result in more Michigan residents losing their homes and damaging their credit as the state continues to emerge from a prolonged foreclosure crisis.

"This is so inconsistent and going in the wrong direction of federal policies, where the concern is to do everything you can to keep homeowners in their homes," Lorray Brown, a statewide foreclosure specialist with the Michigan Advocacy Project, said in testimony before the committee on Thursday. "And here we are in Michigan, trying to get people out of their homes quicker."

Untouchables Touches Nerves

I am a private investigator and too, battling Wall Street. However, in my case, I treated my investigation less like a search for civil documents and instead a criminal investigation. I tracked down the perpetrators of the actual fraud in companies such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays Capital, HomeQ and others. I interviewed these individuals and digitally recorded their conversations.

Interviewees were instructed by their senior managers to knowingly break the law.

Ken McLeod The recordings tell a chilling first person story of fraud and deceit by organizations worth trillions of dollars. Corporate signers and notaries admitting that the documents will never see the inside of a courtroom because they look like right, they have stamps and signatures and, when I got your phone call for an interview, the first thing I thought about doing was creating a dummy log

Despite pointing out hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud, and an even higher amount in the value of homes taken improperly, the most common response was, as you found out, This is too big. Too big to prosecute tell that to the families who have been removed at gun point from their homes at the behest of the banks and their lawyers.

5/24/13

JPMorgan exposed: Company found guilty of masterminding 'manipulative schemes'

The taxpayer bailout of the financial giant JPMorgan did not "teach" it's arrogant executives anything, so it should come as no surprise that the company's cycle of corruption has continued.

Nature News The financial institution that came to epitomize the "too big to fail" concept should have been left to its own economic destruction during the days of the Great Recession it helped to cause back in 2008-09, because had it been allowed to go under, its criminal behavior would have ended then.

But money talks, regardless of how it is made. Analysts say that despite JPMorgan's current regulatory scrutiny, investors aren't likely to pull out - because "record profits" speak louder than regulations.

 

Banks Lobbyists Help in Drafting Financial Bills

Bank lobbyists are not leaving it to lawmakers to draft legislation that softens financial regulations. Instead, the lobbyists are helping to write it themselves.

DealBook In a sign of Wall Streets resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroups recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committees 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural. (((APPLAUSE))) 

The lawmakers who this month supported the bills championed by Wall Street received twice as much in contributions from financial institutions compared with those who opposed them.

5/23/13

West Sacramento homeowner uses new state law to stop foreclosure

Consumer advocates said cases such as Singh's signal a changing power balance between banks and borrowers.

SacBee A West Sacramento man is among the first in the state to use California's new Homeowner Bill of Rights to stop a bank from foreclosing on his home, and experts say the case marks a shift in a legal system that has traditionally favored lenders.

Buyer receives wrong mortgage, sues bank, title co.

2014 UPDATE: Jury awards $5 Million

Mary McCulley v. American Land Title Co. and U.S. Bank of Montana

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

5/23/13

How Did Major Hedge Fund Earn 30% Returns for 20 Years Straight? Lots of Cheating


There are 8,000 hedge funds, and they are up to their eyeballs in unethical behavior.

All of us should be grateful that our Wall Street-riddled government still has honest prosecutors like Preet Bharara who are not afraid to ferret out the cheats and put them away. So far his Manhattan office has secured 81 indictments against hedge fund managers and traders, 74 of whom have either have pled guilty or have been convicted.

Only another 10,000 or so to go.

AlterNet At the height of the housing bubble, large banks colluded with hedge funds to sell mortgage-related securities that were designed to fail so that the hedge funds could collect insurance on that failure. (This is exactly like building a home that will burn down in three months so that you, the seller and builder, can collect the insurance.)

To provide even more incentive for hedge fund managers to cheat their way to riches, the federal tax code rewards them with a special tax loophole called "carried interest." As a result, billionaire hedge fund managers pay a lower tax rate than the rest of us, and neither political party has the nerve to remedy this blatant injustice.

5/23/13

Ally to pay $2.1 billion to settle claims tied to ResCap

Reuters Ally Financial Inc agreed on Thursday to pay $2.1 billion to settle legal claims tied to its bankrupt Residential Capital LLC unit, nearly triple the amount it initially offered to creditors of the subprime mortgage business.

5/23/13

America's Corrupt Justice System: Federal Private Prison Populations Grew by 784% in 10 Year Span

What's at issue here is the corrupt, immoral dynamic that fuels such contracts: the concept of treating inmates as commodities that must be grown for profit.

AlterNet Take, for example, the offer CCA made in 2012 to 48 states:

We'll purchase and manage your jails, and in return you [the state] must promise to keep the jails at least 90 percent full.

Such contracts provide incentives for local law enforcement to increase incarceration rates, rather than decrease them. In some instances, private prisons are grown not because crime increases, but because police harvest criminals as though they are a crop that must be stocked on the local shelves.
5/23/13

Denver judge closes foreclosure; law's fate rests in federal court

The legal maneuver to end a specific type of foreclosure against Brumfiel gives strength to U.S. Bank's pending request to toss out her federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Colorado's foreclosure laws.

Denver Post That's because the bank contends in papers filed in U.S. District Court that Brumfiel no longer faces any harm since U.S. Bank won't foreclose via the county public trustee.

Instead, lawyers for U.S. Bank, which is the trustee to the investor-owned trust that (allegedly) owns the note on Brumfiel's home, said they will file their own lawsuit to foreclose.

5/23/13

Freddie Mac Tests Securitizations of Modified Loans

Mortgage Servicing News And depending on the performance of the pools, the GSE might sell the new modified Participation Certificates at a later date.

5/22/13

Foreclosures directly affect 1 in 10 children

First Coast News If you are in danger of losing your home, how do you tell your children?

Dr. Kenneth Manges with the American Psychological Association said a child's reaction is to believe his world is ending. Manges said it is even more difficult if they have to move away from their school district and friends.

5/22/13

A.G. Schneiderman Commends Assembly For Passing Foreclosure Relief Bills

Bills Will Help Prevent New York Homeowners From Getting Trapped In The Growing Shadow Docket Of Frozen Foreclosure Cases

Schneiderman: These Bills Will Help Protect Homeowners From Wrongful Foreclosures And Keep More New Yorkers In Their Homes

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman The Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act (A.7395) is a program bill proposed by Attorney General Schneiderman that would impose CRIMINAL PENALTIES on residential mortgage lenders, servicers and their agents who intentionally engage in fraudulent or deceptive conduct in the preparation, execution or filing of false foreclosure documents.

"With these new laws, we will hold criminals accountable for their abusive foreclosure practices and deter them from unlawfully removing New Yorkers from their homes, and eliminate the shadow docket" in the courts

5/22/13

Legal aid lawyer fired amid turmoil at agency

Elizabeth Boyle, the longtime head of Gulfcoast Legal Services' Sarasota office, has been fired, four months after she filed a federal age discrimination complaint against the new executive director of the St. Petersburg-based nonprofit.

Herald-Tribune Elizabeth was only trying to help me, Ruiz said. She gave me good info. She helped me and they fired her for it. That is not right.

If this is how Gulfcoast Legal Services is going to provide legal aid to our disabled, then I believe that Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee counties should not fund this organization, he said.

5/22/13

Get the answers and dont assume that because the borrower stopped making payments that any default occurred or that it wasnt cured. 

OCC: 13 Questions to Answer Before Foreclosure and Eviction

These 13 questions published by OCC should be used defensively if you suspect violation and they are rightfully the subject of discovery. Use the wording from the letter rather than your own since the attorneys for the banks will pounce on any nuance that appears to be different than this guidance issued to the banks.

Living Lies The first question relates to whether there is a real default and what steps the foreclosing party has taken to assure itself and the court that the default is real. Remember that the fact that the borrower stopped paying is not a default if no payment was due. And there is no default if it is cured by payment from ANYONE after the declaration of default. Thus when the subservicer continues making payments to the Creditor the borrowers default is cured although a new liability could arise (unsecured) as a result of the sub servicer making those payments without receiving payment from the borrower.

The point here is the money. Either there is a balance or there is not. Either the balance is as stated by the forecloser or it is not. Either there is money due from the borrower to the servicer and the real creditor or there is not. This takes an accounting that goes much further than merely a printout of the borrowers payment history.

5/22/13

22 Firms Form International Network To Fight Financial Fraud

"Fraud is a negative for everyone and it should be eliminated from the ground up," he said.

Law360 Twenty-two plaintiffs' and defense law firms in the U.S., Europe and Asia have launched a worldwide alliance to share international resources and potentially collaborate on litigation strategies to fight financial fraud.
5/22/13

Wasted wealth The ongoing foreclosure crisis that never had to happen

If I am thrown out of my house, it will be because my bank refused to work with me for a loan modification. The power is in their hands to stop the crisis. Instead, they continue to profit off of our communities. Even though the stress is affecting my health, Im not going down without a fight.

The Hill In 2008, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which provided $700 billion to the Treasury to address the subprime mortgage crisis and to maximize assistance for homeowners. As we know, the majority of that money went to the banks that created the mortgage crisis with high-risk products, and only about 3 percent was designated for homeowners many of whom are still waiting for their checks.

5/22/13

Its 2013 and we are still dealing with this nonsense.

 

Wells Fargo Forecloses On Homeowner For Making Early Mortgage Payments

The explanation for initiating the foreclosure proceedings by Wells Fargo is nothing short of amazing and offers a sad commentary on how little has changed.

Wells Fargos statement to the news station is one for the ages.

 

 

DSWright / FDL Wells Fargo, bank representative Veronica Clemons sent a statement:

For some loans, completing trial payments is a significant step toward a permanent modification; however, in this instance, the loan was part of a mortgage-backed security and in a protected pool, with specific payment guidelines. We are working with Mr. Syldor to explain the guidelines and explore options that may help.

The bank told Eyewitness News Syldor didnt follow the modification guidelines because he paid early and sometimes his payments were sent one on top of the other.

Oh the absurdist world of MBS. Because Wells Fargo sold Mr. Syldor one of these chopped up and reassembled frankenloans it didnt matter that the bank was getting paid usually the goal of loaning money what mattered was that the arcane calculus of the derivative was not being complied with. And since Syldor was so happy to have a home for his family and was able to cobble together the cash from working multiple jobs he rushed to pay his mortgage to keep his home. His reward? Foreclosure proceedings that would have put him and his family on the street.

Sovereign Citizen Gets 34 Years For Creating, Using Bogus Land Documents To Swindle Unwitting Potential Homebuyers

Home Equity Theft Reporter Secretary of State Connie Lawson is warning potential homebuyers about scam artists who use authentications from the Secretary of States office to swindle Hoosiers into fraudulent real estate transactions. The scam artists are domestic terrorists who refer to themselves as sovereign citizens and believe the government is illegitimate. They are using authentications from the Secretary of States office to create the illusion they own vacant property to trick Hoosiers into illegitimate home sales.
5/22/13

 

***Signature Fail***

Anyone practicing in Georgia, check to see if all signatures are present on the security deed. If not, then the deed was not duly filed.

Wells Fargo v. Gordon

In this case, a Chapter 7 Trustee (Gordon) attempted to avoid Wells Fargo's interest in a property because the signature line for "Unofficial Witness" on the security deed was left blank and therefore the security deed was not duly recorded. 

CERTIFICATION FROM THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS  August 2012

11th Circuit 

Court of Appeals

Georgia

h/t Alina

Contemporary with the execution of the security deed, the debtors had signed a waiver. The waiver was also signed by the "Unofficial Witness". The 11th CoA certified 2 questions to the Georgia Supreme Court: "(1) whether a security deed that lacks the signature of an unofficial witness should be considered "duly filed, recorded, and indexed" as required and (2) if no, whether such a situation would nonetheless put a subsequent hypothetical bona fide purchaser on inquiry notice." See Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Gordon, 292 Ga. 474, ___ S.E.2d ___ (Ga. Feb. 18, 2013). The Georgia Supreme Court answered both of the questions in the negative. Id.

As a result, the 11th CoA affirmed the judgment of the District Court.  

5/22/13

*MERGER DOCUMENT FAIL*

Chase Home Finance v. Byrd

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS
NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT
However, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. did not provide documentation of the original merger between Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation and Chase Home Finance, LLC, as referenced in the assignment from Federal National Mortgage Corporation to Chase Home Finance, LLC. As stated above, the assignment between Federal National Mortgage Corporation and Chase Home Finance, LLC, indicates that Chase Home Finance, LLC assigned the Byrds mortgage to itself as both (1) successor by merger to Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, and (2) Attorney-In-Fact to Federal National Mortgage Corporation.

5/22/13

Foreclosure Affirmed

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF JURISDICTION OF APPELLANTS and ORDER

Supreme Court of Ohio Not only is it inconceivable that the Boroshes were unaware of the judgment
against them such that they could have sought relief in a more timely manner,
their motion makes no argument justifying the three-year delay in filing the motion. They thus failed to establish an essential element of a motion for relief from judgment.
5/21/13

Mortgage Settlement Monitor Reports Consumer Relief Data

This information is self-reported by the banks and will not be credited under the Settlement until each bank requests a review from the Monitor; to date, only the ResCap parties (formerly GMAC) have received credit.

Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight My professional firms and I are currently reviewing the banks compliance with the servicing standards, said Smith. Based on my conversations with consumer professionals, elected officials and distressed borrowers, I know there are areas in which the banks still have work to do, and I am using that insight to determine if there are gaps that require future testing. It is important to the integrity of this process that these compliance reports are thorough and accurate, and I will release them when I am confident they are complete.
5/21/13

Nothing has changed

Monitor Checking Into Violations of Mortgage Settlement

The announcement that Smith is looking into potential violations comes a week after New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he would sue BofA and Wells over complaints they did not provide fair and timely service to homeowners seeking relief.

WSJ Smith and others attorneys general have been looking into the same issues. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Tuesday her office found an alarming pattern of potential violations of servicing standards. For example, she said that in 60% of files surveyed, banks failed to notify borrowers within five days of missing documents in their applications.

The new servicing standards were supposed to eliminate headaches for homeowners, said Madigan. Homeowners are getting the runaround, receiving multiple requests for the same information and experiencing continued delays that put them closer to foreclosure.

3/2012

Big Win for Homeowner 

HOW TO USE SECURITIZATION IN YOUR COURT CASE.

Gregory Johnson v HSBC Bank

Here, Plaintiff does not dispute the right to securitize the mortgage, but alleges that as a result of improper procedures,
the true owner of his mortgage is unclear. As a result, he has allegedly been paying improper entities an excess amount.

United States District Court, S.D. California. Similarly, in Vogan, the court denied defendants' motion to dismiss a 17200 claim because, as here, the plaintiff pleaded that Wells Fargo recorded a fabricated assignment of the loan because the assignment was executed after the closing date of the mortgage-backed security pool, "giving rise to a plausible inference" of fabrication.

As a result of the "reckless negligence, utter carelessness, and blatant fraud of the Defendants," Plaintiff's chain of title has been "rendered unmarketable and fatally defective."

More generally, Plaintiff alleges that BOA did not have the legal authority to demand payments from Plaintiff because of the assignment's invalidity. If BOA was not a lender legally authorized to collect payments from Plaintiff, the general rule shielding actual lenders from liability would not apply.

As Housing Markets Recover, Wall Street Beats Families To Homes

Huff Post Despite the headlines suggesting that housing is returning to normal, the Gilbertsons have discovered that homes are scarce, competition is fierce and much of the buying is dominated by funds financed by Wall Street and other out-of-town investors.

Mortgage servicer isnt held by consumer law, justices rule.

Murray said the problems Anderson has been facing are industry-wide. Its unfortunate for consumers to not have this protection, he said. Murray said the ruling will not stop the lawsuit that he expects ultimately will include tens of thousands of homeowners.

Anderson v. Barclays Capital Real Estate, Inc.

Home Equity Theft Reporter

 

___________

 

Ohio Supreme Court

The homeowner, Sondra Anderson, alleged that Barclays, which operated the mortgage-servicing business under the name HomEq before selling it three years ago, had not applied her mortgage payments correctly. As a result, she was stuck with hundreds of dollars worth of fees that it has yet to account for, despite her attempts to obtain more information, said her attorney, John Murray of Sandusky. He said Anderson is up to date with her mortgage payments.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that servicing a residential mortgage does not constitute a consumer transaction as defined by state law, a ruling that consumer groups and attorneys say eliminates a protection for homeowners trying to save their homes amid the housing collapse.

Loan Mod Scam, Summary Judgment Denied

Matsumura v. Bank of America 

J. Michael Seabright
United States District Judge
Plaintiffs stopped making payments
altogether because they were led to believe, if not promised by Defendant, that they needed to be four to six months in arrears, and that making payments would prevent them from qualifying for eligibility for a loan modification.
5/20/13

Pitfalls in the Redemption of Property by Lenders.

First United Security Bank v. McCollum

Home Equity Theft Reporter The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals recently addressed the rights of redemption by various parties and reached a decision that not only penalizes a lender for redeeming property in order to protect its interest but also provides a windfall to a property owner who failed to pay his property taxes and allowed his property to be sold at a tax sale.

5/20/13

Homeowners Protest At Justice Department: Hold Banks Accountable

PROTESTERS DEMANDING PROSECUTIONS OF WALL STREET ARRESTED OUTSIDE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Deadly Clear Between 400 and 500 protesters rallied at the Department of Justice (DOJ), closing Constitution Avenue and the three main entrances to DOJ. Folks demanded that Attorney General Eric Holder Jail the Banksters and Not to Big to Jail.

Protesters from San Francisco risked arrest in Washington D.C. Monday they want bankers jailed over what happened with the foreclosure crisis. 

The Court is legalizing it all...

The outright theft of homes will not stop until we find a cure for this judicial stupidity:

YOU et al v. JP MORGAN CHASE

Before you read the opinion, read this:

TARP INSPECTOR GENERAL FOOTNOTE 35: Without the NOTE, a mortgage is UNENFORCEABLE, while without the MORTGAGE, a NOTE is simply an UNSECURED DEBT OBLIGATION, no different from credit card debt.

Article: High court rules in favor of bank in Suwanee foreclosure case

Georgia Supreme Court Mortgage lenders breathed a sigh of relief on Monday as the Georgia Supreme Court issued a ruling that unties the hands of banks seeking to foreclose on borrowers in default. David Ates, who represented homeowner plaintiffs in foreclosure cases at high court, said "there is absolutely no check on this process anymore."

(1) Can the holder of a security deed be considered a secured
creditor, such that the deed holder can initiate foreclosure
proceedings on residential property even if it does not also hold the
note or otherwise have any beneficial interest in the debt obligation
underlying the deed?
The court answered YES!

Now read this one...

Massachusetts Appeals Court Rules That Lost Promissory Note Renders Mortgage Unenforceable

Mass Real Estate Blog Here, the Appeals Court held that a mortgage is unenforceable and must be discharged where the underlying promissory note securing the mortgage could not be found.
5/20/13

Foreclosure Fraud Failures Come To A Head In Justice Department Protest

Frustration with the failed execution of various weakly-constructed legal settlements stemming from widespread foreclosure fraud bubbled over today into a protest at Justice Department headquarters that culminated in homeowners being arrested.

Think Progress Critics point to the 2011 agreement the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Fed struck with more than a dozen mortgage servicers as a prime example of the dysfunction. []
After 12 months, no homeowners had received a dime. But the eight consultants managing the process on behalf of the banks were paid nearly $2 billion. []
Problems are also emerging in the largest mortgage settlement a $25 billion deal between state and federal authorities and five banks accused of using forged paperwork to quickly foreclose on struggling homeowners.
The banks agreed to pay $1.5 billion directly to borrowers. No checks have been sent, though the first are likely to go out later this month.

7/1/12

2012 REPLAY 

'Robin Hood' lawyer fights foreclosures

For 34 years, Robert Thompson Jr. had been a business and labor lawyer as was his father before him defending corporations and financial institutions and even serving on several banks boards of directors.

But something happened to him two and half years ago that changed his entire practice.

Now, he challenges banks and financial institutions in court, accusing them of wrongful foreclosure and outright fraud on behalf of individuals who are a step away from losing their homes.

Disbelief, said Thompson, is the biggest challenge he faces in fighting foreclosure fraud. People who have never suffered through it cannot believe it. It challenges the fundamentals of everything you want to believe about the banks being honest and the government protecting you.

Online Athens His mortgage servicer with whom he had been embroiled in disputes over what he said were misapplied or lost checks, late fees for payments that had been made on time, unnecessary insurance costs and double billings for taxes moved to foreclose on his home.

Out of hundreds of cases hes reviewed in the past two and a half years, he said, there wasnt a single one where he didnt find fraud, or at least errors in the records. So far, he said, he has not yet been able to say to a homeowner, I cant help you because the bank did everything right.

I have to make it affordable or they cant do it, he said. But I cant do it for free.

Do you really think the lender wants that house back? asked Mo Thrash, a lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia and McCalla Raymer, a law firm with offices in Georgia that represents lenders. It is absolutely ridiculous to think the lender would want the home back.

The majority of mortgage banks 99 percent are ethical and honest, Thrash added. To suggest otherwise, he said, is absolutely crazy.

(No sir; your false statements are "absolutely crazy".)

Like Thrash, Crowe said its ridiculous to suggest that a lender would want to foreclose if there were an alternative. Lenders want to work with borrowers. They dont want to foreclose, he said.

5/20/13

Oakland County to Appeal Fannie/Freddie Decision to Supremes

Oakland County News "We always thought this case would end up in the Supreme Court," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "We'll continue the fight on behalf of our taxpayers because Fannie and Freddie owe county and Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars."

5/20/13

The Damage Done by MERS

The banks participating in loan securitization became so enamored with this means of electronic data storage and retention that they forgot a long-standing, fundamental rule of commercial paper law. That is, generally, in order to enforce a negotiable instrument, you must have possession of the original instrument.

The doubly-cruel reality for Americans regarding MERS however, is that the damage done by it is continuing to this day. 

Dan McGookey, Esq. As early as 2008, one economist had this to say about MERS role in the entire loan securitization mess:

At the root of the crisis we find the largest financial swindle in world history, where counterfeit mortgages were laundered by the banks.

One simple way to begin the process of defending your home against foreclosure is to take a careful look at your mortgage to see if Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, MERS, is named as a nominee in the mortgage. Sixty-five million of the one hundred million securitized mortgages are registered in the MERS system. If your mortgage mentions MERS, then you know it is, or at least once was, securitized. This is the first step in determining who may hold your mortgage, an important piece of information in the mortgage battle.

5/20/13

Mortgage fraud settlement money not getting to consumers

Banks have paid less than half the $5.7 billion in cash owed to troubled homeowners under nearly 30 settlements brokered by the government since 2008, delaying help to the millions of victims of discrimination and shoddy lending that epitomized the housing crisis

Public Citizen

h/t HETR

In 2011, Wells Fargo agreed to compensate up to 10,000 borrowers after the Federal Reserve found the bank was steering them into subprime loans even though they qualified for better mortgages. But no borrowers have received money yet. Last year, Bank of America agreed to pay some borrowers between $1,000 and $5,000 for what the Justice Department called lending discrimination. The agency said the bank illegally asked some would-be home buyers who relied on disability income to provide a doctors letter verifying the severity of their ailment. But its still unclear how many people will ultimately be paid. There isnt a full list of the victims.

Pro se reverses summary judgment

CHASE v. DUNLAP

COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO
FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT
ROSS COUNTY
Because these admissions contradict each other on central issues such as whether JPMorgan is the holder of the note at issue and whether the Dunlaps defaulted on the note secured by the mortgage JPMorgan seeks to foreclose, genuine issues of material fact exist that preclude summary judgment.
5/19/13

Woman fights to keep house

Home Equity Theft Reporter Attorneys and judges around the state are waiting for the Indiana Supreme Court to rule on a case they heard earlier this year, which could determine how constitutional the state's tax sale process is.
5/19/13

A Deduction Unevenly Used

DealBook A new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts reinforces what many economists have been saying for some time: the mortgage interest deduction primarily benefits high-income homeowners.

5/17/13

 

 

LAWYER BONANZA!: 

Wells Fargo Foreclosing on Homeowner Who Made all Payments and Paid Extra

Wells Fargo is foreclosing on a man who has made his payments early and made extra payments to pay down the principal allegedly due on his mortgage. In response to media questions as to their authority to foreclose, the response was curious and very revealing. Wells Fargo said that the reason was that the securitization documents contain restrictions and prohibitions that prevent modifications of mortgage.

Living Lies The simple truth is that the banks are not nearly as interested in the property as they are in the foreclosure. It is the foreclosure sale that creates the illusion of a stamp of approval from the state government that the entire securitization scheme was valid and it creates the reality of a presumption of the validity of the deed issued at the so-called auction of the property upon submission of false credit bid from a non-creditor who is a stranger (not in privity) to the transaction alleged.

CONVERSION OF PROMISSORY NOTE TO MORTGAGE BOND WITHOUT NOTICE

5/17/13

N.Y. AG Revising Foreclosure Settlement Complaint Against B of A, Wells

American Banker New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is revising his allegations of foreclosure settlement violations by Wells Fargo and Bank of America, resetting the clock on his plans to sue the banks over 339 alleged servicing violations.
5/17/13

Lawsuit to take Aurora woman's house is guaranteed, U.S. Bank says

U.S. Bank previously consented to a permanent injunction against pursuing Brumfiel's house via the public trustee foreclosure process.

Denver Post In a request to dismiss a federal lawsuit against them, lawyers for U.S. Bank on Thursday said they'll pursue a foreclosure against Lisa Kay Brumfiel in Arapahoe County District Court "to remove any due process concerns" that come from a public trustee foreclosure.

Lawyers for the alleged trust have petitioned the judge who signed the Rule 120 order to auction Brumfiel's house to rescind it and dismiss the matter.

5/17/13

Sheriff's Department Takes Family's Home and Contents Using a Fake Eviction


It started two and a half years ago, when the family fell victim to an apparent real estate scam by a local sheriff's department employee.

Ted Visner says they bought their former home on a land contract, only to learn seven months later, that the seller, Isabella County Sheriff's Dept. employee Shelly Sweet, was not making monthly payments on the house. A bank foreclosed on the property, all unbeknownst to the Visner/Smith family.

Salem News Ted Visner, who builds custom homes for a living, said, "Although we were paying Sweet every month on the purchase of the property, she had not been paying the underlying mortgage and the home fell into foreclosure." I asked Visner if he had records of those payments, he said he does, including canceled checks. You won't believe what happened next.

"On a weekend Sweet knew that we would be out of town, she offered the contents of our home to her friends and coworkers at the Isabella County Sheriffs Department, claiming we had abandoned the home. Many took her up on her free offer deal and took over $55,000 dollars worth of our personal property."

5/17/13

It's alive! Dexia's $775 mln MBS case vs JPMorgan back from the dead

Even worse for JPMorgan, Rakoff said that because he never really had jurisdiction, his summary judgment ruling was VOID

Dexia v. Bear Stearns, EMC Mortgage

Thomson Reuters Here is how U.S. Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff led off his blockbuster ruling Friday in Dexia's mortgage-backed securities case against Bear Stearns successor JPMorgan Chase: "Those who don't believe in ghosts have never been in court, where legal claims are regularly seen rising from the grave. This is a case in point." Is it ever! Rakoff's resurrection and remand of Dexia's $775 million suit merits its own chapter in the annals of zombie litigation.

Wells, Citi Halt Most Foreclosure Sales as OCC Ratchets Up Scrutiny

OCC: Minimum Standards for Prioritization and Handling Borrower Files Subject to Imminent Foreclosure Sale 

Failure to comply with this guidance may result in unsafe and unsound banking practices, non-compliance with foreclosure related consent orders, as applicable, and/or require rescission of completed foreclosures.

American Banker

OCC

The abrupt slowdown came in response to the OCC's April release of minimum standards for foreclosure sales, which are usually the final act in the foreclosure process. The Federal Reserve issued identical guidance to the banks it oversees, making the guidelines universal for the industry.

Within two weeks of the release of the guidance, Wells Fargo, Citi and JPMorgan Chase all but stopped foreclosure sales, which are usually the point of no return in the foreclosure process. JPMorgan has since resumed its normal volume.

Ohio Supreme Court decision affects Ownership of Foreclosed properties

Ohio Bar In the post-Schwartzwald world, lenders will be very cautious to make sure that they have the right to bring the foreclosure in the first place. As the law currently stands, the plaintiff can bring the foreclosure if the plaintiff either holds the note or was assigned the mortgage. However, a case is now being appealed to the Supreme Court of Ohio to determine whether the plaintiff must hold both the note and the mortgage of record in order to bring the foreclosure case.
5/17/13

 

SAS v. FANNIE MAE

As a litigation specialist for Seterus, Greenlee handled contested foreclosure matters and reviewed business records in preparation for trial.
However, he had no personal knowledge of the amount of the debt in this case and testified about the amount based only on his review of Seterus's business records related to the loan.

DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
OF FLORIDA
SECOND DISTRICT
Sas argues that Fannie Mae representative Jon Greenlee's oral testimony about the amount of the
debt owed by Sas to Fannie Mae was hearsay and, therefore, legally insufficient to establish the amount of the debt because Fannie Mae never admitted into evidence any business records supporting Greenlee's testimony. We agree with this argument.
Therefore, while we affirm the final judgment of foreclosure, we reverse and remand for further proceedings to determine the amount of the debt owed.
5/17/13

HAGOOD v. WELLS FARGO

In this mortgage foreclosure case, the trial court entered summary final judgment in favor of Appellee after Appellants counsel failed to appear at the hearing. The failure to appear was due to an error on the part of Appellants counsels law firm to properly calendar the hearing. 

DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
FIFTH DISTRICT
The law firm attempted to rectify the error by seeking relief from the judgment based on excusable neglect with supporting affidavits. The trial court denied the request. Because we determine that Appellants counsel waived any viable issue on appeal by failing to assert the issue in the initial brief, we affirm.

Short sales routinely show up in credit reports as foreclosures

L.A. Times Because of this glitch, borrowers who might be able to qualify for a new mortgage two or three years after a short sale find themselves shut out of the market.
5/17/13

The Problem With the Feds Easy Money Policies

DealBook What was my main point? We are four years into the One Percents recovery. Now, we are in Round 3 of quantitative easing, the formal term for the Fed injecting hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy by purchasing longer-term assets like Treasury bonds and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac paper. Whats that giving us? Overvalued stocks. 

Private equity firms racing to buy up Arizona real estate. Junk bond yields at record lows. Ratings shopping on structured financial products.

These are dangerous signs of prebubble activity.

5/17/13

Obituary: A Ridiculous End Of The Too-Big-To-Fail Mantra

Those who oppose the TBTF mantra believe that one of the big issues that arises is moral hazard. This is especially the case when a company benefits from these financial and/or government policies, and then subsequently profits from them. These opponents believe that knowing that financial institutions have such a "cushion," they are more apt to take higher risk in higher-return types of investments, given the leverage they are provided.

Seeking Alpha Factoring in Uncle Sam's Guarantee

In addition to the other benefits being attained by the aforementioned banks, these large institutions are also gaining a substantial competitive advantage by pricing their loan at a substantially lower yields -- yet still maintaining interest margins. This, too, helps these banks to increase their profits, while also boosting return on invested equity and on assets.

This may lead one to think that the markets have been pricing the bigger banks and financial institutions at levels that are close to that of "risk free" U.S. Treasuries. And, this would make perfect sense, as the government is essentially standing behind these financial giants.

Lynn City Council Meeting on Foreclosures

Lynn City Council John O'Brien and others speak about the foreclosure problems and the forged documents used by the banks.

5/17/13

Man fights to save foreclosing home

WFTV A man who made loan modification payments on time and early said Wells Fargo stopped taking payments and started foreclosing on his house.

Unsealed Gregory Mackler v Bank of America | Qui Tam Whistle Blower Fraudulent handling of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

Justice League

They never intended to modify the loans.

Note the following quote: these mechanisms of fraud were and are interconnected and directly observed by Relator Mackler, who worked with various BOA executives while at Urban Lending Solutions beginning in April 2010. BOA outsources various HAMP obligations to Urban. Upon witnessing the unlawful, fraudulent practices listed above, among others, Mackler brought his concerns to the highest levels of Urban and to executives at Bank of America. Eventually, his objections to these practices led to his termination on March 17, 2011.

5/16/13

Wells Fargo Ordered to Pay $203M in Overdraft Fees Class Action Settlement

Big Class Action The case before Judge Alsup was brought on behalf of California Wells Fargo customers who, from November 15, 2004 to June 30, 2008, incurred overdraft fees on debit card transactions as a result of the bank's practice of sequencing transactions from highest to lowest. 

On August 10, 2010, Judge Alsup issued a 90-page opinion finding that Wells Fargo manipulated its processing of customer debit card purchases by its California customers, and made misleading statements to consumers regarding is resequencing practice, to maximize overdraft fees in violation of California's Unfair Competition Law. 

5/16/13

Estoppel: When the Bank Tells You to Stop Making Payments

Living Lies If you are making that allegation you obviously want to say that the party who made that representation fraudulently induced you to believe that they have the authority to do it, but in fact lacked that authority inasmuch as the sub servicer is almost certainly going to deny that they had the authority to make such representations. In discovery the truth will come out the representative had been instructed to make those representations to homeowners by a sub servicer who lacked actual authority to make collections or decisions concerning the disposition of the loan because the entire paper trail of the securitization chain was false. This will enable you to sue both the representative and the sub servicer who gave the instruction.

5/16/13

 

Kathleen Furey v. SEC: Wow, Just Wow . . .

Furey believed that name redacted had violated both the Investment Company Act of 1940, and the Investment Advisors Act of 1940.

Larry Doyle, 

SENSE ON CENTS

Stepaniuk responded that his group approximately twenty lawyers in the SECs Division of Enforcement does not do IM (investment management) cases. In essence, Stepaniuk had arrogantly admitted that he was flouting two of the four major securities acts that Congress and the Code of Federal Regulations had mandated the SEC and its staff enforce.

Wow. Talk about a bombshell allegation regarding a total abdication of duty within the SEC. If this is not a smoking hot gun of enormous proportions, I do not know what is. 
Rendered

6/4/10

Mortgagee must name a personal representative for a deceased mortgagor.

ABN AMRO v. McGAHAN

SUPREME COURT
OF ILLINOIS
The question at issue here is whether a mortgagee must name a personal representative for a deceased mortgagor in a mortgage foreclosure proceeding in order for the circuit court to acquire subject matter jurisdiction. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that it must.

5/16/13

Voices of the Harmed Borrowers on Rust Consulting

Youd have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by these stories. Surely theres at least one Rust rep whos willing to contact Naked Capitalism (in strict confidence) and make amends by telling us what was going on? Especially since this wicked system was created by the suits laying snares secretly to capture and cripple caller and rep alike, and all for immense profits neither will share?

NOTE * Readers, you might consider forwarding this post to your Congress critter, and ask them what they plan to do about these gross injustices. If anything.

naked capitalism Dgtal:
I am sick over this. I didnt miss a single trial payment, and in fact came home to a post it note on the garage saying Youre foreclosed 4 days after my last payment was cashed. I thought the taped on note was junk mail to tell you the truth. But according to the loan provider I was foreclosed. How could it be possible? After calling around and getting the run around, I got a hold of someone at Aurora who finally listened to me saying over and over I never missed a payment how can you do this if I didnt miss a payment. She asked me to hold on to review my file, then as nice as can be, said I will get this looked into ASAP and call you tomorrow. So I get a call and she tells me not to worry a perm mod deal will be sent the next day. The next day there was a fed-ex deal on my door step. I called the lady back and asked about all the added fees and extras on the perm mod deal? She said You can keep your house or not. After living through all that and to be told (via the BS check) that my paperwork was over looked again. Sicking

Sandy

we are going to talk to our lawyer and see if we can take legal action against them. We lost everything, and they only want to pay out $300.00? What happened to the $125,000?

Sen. Warren demands to know why criminal bankers arent being locked up

The Raw Story In a letter (PDF) sent to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Attorney General Eric Holder and SEC Chair Mary Jo White on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) demanded to know why the government keeps accepting financial settlements from criminal bankers when they could instead be taken to trial, convicted and locked up.

5/15/13

Pension Predators

By insisting that they are making advances, not loans, these firms elude state supervision, including usury laws, licensing regulations and the federal Truth in Lending Act, which requires lenders to disclose borrowing costs. These and other subterfuges have enabled the companies to ambush pensioners with advance loans that carry interest charges ranging, according to a review by The Times, from 27 percent to 106 percent.

NY Times Opinion Gov. Andrew Cuomo has done retirees and military veterans a great service by ordering New Yorks top banking regulator to investigate pension advance firms that persuade customers to sign over all or part of their monthly pensions in exchange for immediate cash payments. The payments, advertised as advances, are, in fact, cleverly disguised loans that can carry ruinously high interest rates and eventually strip older citizens of their meager assets.
5/15/13

Wells Fargo Wrongful Foreclosure Kills Elderly Homeowner?

If you start with the premise that the Wall Street banks want and need as many foreclosures as possible to complete transactions in which they received the benefit of insurance proceeds and proceeds of head products like credit default swaps, then you can see that these mistakes are in actuality intentional acts intended to drive out legitimate homeowners from their homes. 

Living Lies Each individual is both relevant and important regardless of their economic status or their political status. In my opinion that is the premise of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. The wrongful foreclosure by strangers to the transaction is not only illegal and probably unconstitutional, it is fundamentally wrong in that it is founded on the arrogance of the ruling class. Our country is supposed to be a nation of laws not a nation of a ruling class.

 

The simple typo that caused Wells Fargo to misidentify him for his neighbor seemed to be an error that the fourth-largest bank in the United States simply would not rectify.

Wells Fargo sued on claims it wrongfully litigated California man to death 

RT In a scathing legal complaint filed by the two, Wells Fargo is accused of nothing less than litigating Delassus to death.

According to an investigation conducted by LA Weekly, even after admitting that a mis-entered number had dragged Delassus into the ordeal, the WELLS FARGO eventually foreclosed upon and sold his condominium apartment. This was after increasing his mortgage payments from $1,237.69 to $2,429.13 in order to recover the $13,361 in taxes he never owed.

5/15/13

Big Banks Get Break in Rules to Limit Derivatives Risks

Under pressure from Wall Street lobbyists, federal regulators will soften a rule intended to rein in banks domination of a shadowy but lucrative market.

DealBook The banks have all these ways to reverse the rules behind the scenes, Mr. Stanley said.

Its important to remember that the Wall Street oligopoly brought us the financial crisis, said Dennis Kelleher, a former Senate aide that now runs Better Markets, an advocacy group critical of Wall Street.

4/7/13

States Fight Back Against MERS Foreclosure Fraud

MERS: The Center of the Mortgage Scam

A prominent economist said about the 2008 financial crisis:
At the root of the crisis we find the largest financial swindle in world history, where counterfeit mortgages were laundered by the banks."

Washingtonsblog The Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems MERS was one of the main ways the swindle was done, and the main way in which counterfeit mortgages were laundered by the banks.
MERS is a shell company with no employees, owned by the giant banks.
MERS threw out centuries of well-established law about how real estate is transferred and cheated governments out of many tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in recording fees.

Wells Fargo, QBE to Pay $19M to Settle Force-Placed Lawsuit

Wells Fargo had an exclusive arrangement with QBE, the second-largest provider of force-placed insurance services to banks, the lawsuit charged. Under the terms of the arrangement, QBE searched Wells Fargo's records to find homeowners whose policies had lapsed.

National Mortgage News After verifying the gap in coverage, QBE instituted polices that allegedly bore little relation to the premises and instead reflected Wells Fargo's entire portfolio of mortgages in the state.

The arrangement allegedly resulted in homeowners being charged five to six times what they would pay had the policies been priced competitively, according to the lawsuit.

PRO SE

SAVER v. JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS ACQUIRER OF CERTAIN ASSETS AND LIABILITIES OF WASHINGTON MUTUAL
BANK FROM THE FEDERAL RECEIVER
,

COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
FOURTH DISTRICT
Here, J P Morgans affidavits were executed after it filed suit.
Additionally, they did not state when JP Morgan became the owner of the
note nor did they indicate that JP Morgan was the owner of the note
before it filed suit. Thus, JP Morgan failed to submit evidence that it
held the mortgage at the time it filed suit, and the trial court erred in
granting summary judgment in its favor.

5/15/13

Family Struggles As Foreclosures In Maryland Surge 154 Percent and 6800% (sixty-eight hundred percent)

WUSA 9 Maryland foreclosure activity surged 154 percent last month compared to this time last year. Scheduled auctions were up 199 percent. Where the Hoovers live in Frederick County, foreclosures surged almost 100 percent. One of the worst increases in the state came in Cecil County, with foreclosures up 6,800 percent.

5/15/13

Two plead guilty in massive foreclosure rescue scheme

The suspects used websites to reach hundreds of vulnerable homeowners, offering them a chance to save their credit profiles.

They operated went by several different names First Equity Trustees, Home Security Consultants, Sell Fast USA, Short Sale Buyer, USA Sell House and USA Rental HousingHome Advocate Trustees and Walk Away Today.

Housing Wire But after taking the homes, the defendants rented them out and never actually acquired the mortgage.

When the homes eventually fell into foreclosure, the pair filed fraudulent Home Affordable Modification Program applications to halt the proceedings.

The idea was to promise homeowners a chance to save their credit profiles when, in fact, all they wanted was short-term cash flow from renters. 

5/15/13

Suspect in Cleveland foreclosure schemes backs out of plea deal; what's next for Marc Tow?

A California man, accused of operating one of Cleveland's largest foreclosure scams, refused Wednesday to accept a plea deal on corruption charges following an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation.

NewsNet 5 EZ Access lured investors with promises of rehabilitating foreclosed homes and selling them for substantial profit.
Instead, investors told NewsChanne5 that Tow and Alexander simply disappeared, along with their cash, leaving more than 130 foreclosed homes abandoned across Cuyahoga County.

Six months after our reports aired, Tow was indicted and later fled to Mexico where he was held by U.S. immigration officials until he was extradited to Ohio in January to face criminal charges.

5/15/13

91-Year-Old Man Raises Money to Prevent Eviction by Daughter

ABC News Potter won in Vinton County Court, but an appeals court ruled last year that the statute of limitations of four years had passed on the accusation of fraud and thus the deed could not be handed back to Potter.

Early this year, his daughter and her husband sent Potter an eviction notice, saying they had terminated his "existing lease." An eviction hearing will take place on June 12, during which the judge will have no choice but to evict Potter, Fraley told ABC News.
5/15/13

He wont go: Group hopes to block eviction for Seattle homeowner

A group of local residents are standing vigil outside a south Seattle home in an effort to prevent the homeowner from being evicted from the foreclosed property.

Q13Fox Griffin fell behind on his mortgage during the recession when he lost work as an iron worker. He said jobs picked up and he attempted to work with his bank, Wells Fargo, to catch up on his back payments. Griffin said Wells Fargo refused to negotiate with him and continued foreclosure proceedings.

SAFE is calling for a moratorium on all bank evictions, saying there are numerous lawsuits pending against the big banks for illegal evictions and their refusal to negotiate with homeowners.

5/15/13

Aurora foreclosure halted, leaving constitutionality issue unresolved

A federal judge Tuesday formally stopped the foreclosure auction of an Aurora woman's house, leaving unanswered whether he can determine whether a part of Colorado's foreclosure laws is unconstitutional.

Denver Post Although U.S. Bank said it would never again seek a public-trustee foreclosure against Brumfiel's house essentially rendering her federal lawsuit moot Martnez did not dismiss her complaint outright, because the state judge hasn't ruled yet.
That means the question of whether Brumfiel's constitutional right to due process guaranteed by the 14th Amendment is violated remains on the table for now. But that can change.

Although Martnez's order prevents U.S. Bank from foreclosing on Brumfiel's house via the public trustee, it doesn't stop a county-level lawsuit to do the same thing, known as a judicial foreclosure.

5/14/13

Prosecute the Banksters:

Warren's letter to FED, DOJ, SEC

I am interested in learning more about how your institution has evaluated the cost to the public of settling cases without requiring an admission of guilt rather than pursuing more aggressive actions.

Senator Warren I believe strongly that if a regulator reveals itself to be unwilling to take large financial institutions all the way to trial -- either because it is too
timid or because it lacks resources -- the regulator has a lot less leverage in settlement negotiation s and will be forced to settle on terms that are much more favorable to the wrongdoer. The consequence can be insufficient compensation to those who are harmed by illegal activity and inadequate deterrence of future violations . If large financial institutions can break the law and accumulate millions in profits and, if they get caught, settle by paying out of
those profits, they do not have much incentive to follow the law.

5/14/13

GRAND THEFT

Some homeowners in foreclosure lose belongings after company clears out their houses too soon

Imagine coming home from work only to find everything in your house gone and the locks changed. Even more startling, it wasn't a thief who removed everything you own, but a legitimate company. 

Imagine having your family heirlooms.. something you want to hand down to your children or whatever.. and all of a sudden one day all of that is snatched from you," said attorney Tony Stein.

Stein represents three separate families who have all had their homes cleaned out by Safeguard Properties - he says by mistake.

Also read the Comments.

wxyz "We have seen this happen in 2010, 2011, 2012. This behavior continues to repeat itself. And we really have to ask ourselves why is this happening, said Stein.

Memos from 2003, 2005, 2007 and as recently as 2011 reminds contractors to look for signs the property is occupied before entering.
One memo from 2005 even states the company will have to make costly settlements because, "the simple fact that unauthorized entry into an occupied property makes Safeguard's position difficult to defend."


In several cases like Corum's, neighbors called police, but officers refused to get involved calling it a civil matter.
"The police are being called and they're not taking out criminal reports. The prosecutors are not getting involved, said Stein.

5/14/13

Court Grants Three paragraph Emergency Motion to Stay Sheriff's Sale

MOTION: Due to recent information obtained by Plaintiff(s) regarding the deficiencies, mishandling and possible misconduct by Aurora Loan Services during the foreclosure action taken against Plaintiffs.
There has also been a recent notice of a Class Action Lawsuit against the law firm that processed the foreclosure on above mentioned property.

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO
Plaintiff(s) are requesting a postponement of the Sheriff Sale, set for May 10, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the West door of the Summit County Courthouse, in Akron, of the property located at  Akron, OH, 44250. until there can be a thorough investigation into the mishandling of Plaintiff(s) mortgage servicing by Aurora Loan Services and Reisenfeld & Associates.

ORDER: After review, the Court finds the motion well taken.

5/13/13

OUTRAGEOUS! 

LOCK 'EM UP!

Mortgage Lender Accused of Foreclosing on Deceased

Home Equity Theft Reporter AG King alleges that in at least twenty-five (25) cases in New Mexico, Green Tree became the personal representative of a deceased homeowners estate in order to quickly complete a foreclosure against the home of the deceased consumer. As part of the settlement, Green Tree agreed to never again be appointed as the personal representative of a homeowners estate in New Mexico.

5/13/13

 

Freddie Mac Announces Immediate Availability of Streamlined Modification for Delinquent Borrowers

Create a new Note and loan because the original Note was destroyed.

Freddie Mac "Today, Freddie Mac is giving a green light to its mortgage servicers to speed up financial relief for potentially thousands of families with delinquent mortgages across the nation. Now mortgage servicers can send eligible borrowers their Streamlined Modification trial period terms as soon as they are ready and borrowers can modify their loans by making the three trial period payments on time. No borrower documentation is needed. Freddie Mac is focused on adding momentum to the housing recovery by giving distressed borrowers more options to avoid foreclosure."

5/13/13

 

Debt Sold by Bank Of America and Citigroup Would Be JUNK Without Government Guarantees

Washington Blog But top banking analyst Chris Whalen estimates that the big banks receive a subsidy of $780 billion dollars every year.

And everyone knows that virtually all of the giant banks profits come from various government subsidies.

Indeed, the big banks have repeatedly gone bust due to stupid and risky bets but the government keeps choosing the big banks over the little guy.

5/13/13

When the Politicians Who Should Be Helping Are Only Out to Help Themselves

She could use a little guidance, though. She asks if she should talk to a politician; its a tough question.

On Monday her assemblyman, William F. Boyland Jr., another politician with the wheels coming off, pleaded not guilty to yet another indictment.

A hard-working woman struggling to save her home deserves much better.

NY Times Italian, Irish, Jewish, black, Latino, Chinese, Arab: its a gorgeous mosaic of corruption.

The legal divisions of the party machines are particularly clever. Years back, Mr. Sampson needed extra money. He turned to his Democratic friends on the Brooklyn Supreme Court bench. The judges tossed him four postings as a foreclosure referee. Two of those judges, Michael J. Garson and Reynold N. Mason, would be forcibly ejected from the bench. Mr. Garson pillaged the estate of his aunt and Mr. Mason dipped into an escrow account.
5/13/13

Occupy The Farm Activists Vow Return After Lastest Eviction From Albany Land Tract

CBS Local Occupy The Farm plans on returning to the tract of land in Albany owned by the University of California at Berkeley Monday night to discuss the groups next move after it was removed and thousands of plants that were planted by the group were plowed Monday morning, a group organizer said.

5/13/13

Will large national mortgage servicers get a free pass on Oregons foreclosure mediation law?

This announcement and the increasing number of those like it represent what's very likely the front end of a massive unloading of home loans from big banks like Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo to a new wave of non-bank investment firms focused on servicing "distressed" accounts.

Blue Oregon Banking industry articles about mortgage industry transactions make for pretty boring reads. But scratch below the surface even just a little and some striking evidence of an impending paradigm shift in how home loans are serviced quickly emerges.

The nature of the changes currently taking place point the way to how large national loan servicers could exploit an exemption in the foreclosure mediation law Oregon lawmakers are currently debating intended for local banks and credit unions.

5/13/13

HAMP Class Action

Saxon's attempt to dismiss class action Denied.

Cave v. Saxon Mortgage and Ocwen Loan Servicing

DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
In this putative class action, Plaintiffs assert breach of contract and other claims against Defendants Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc. (Saxon) and Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (Ocwen) based on Defendants failure to permanently modify home mortgage loans after providing homeowners with temporary modifications. Presently before the Court is Saxons Motion to Dismiss. For the reasons that follow, we deny the Motion.

CFA: Confusion over foreclosure checks


RI's office of the AG receiving many complaints

WPRI The Rhode Island Attorney General's office tells Eyewitness News, it has been hearing from many people wondering where these checks are from, and why they are so small.
Some people are getting two checks, others just one. And for some people, the checks just aren't enough to make a difference.
5/13/13

Second federal suit challenging Colorado foreclosure law emerges

U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer determined there was a constitutional issue, though Mbaku didn't bring it up specifically.

Because Mbaku, a law-school graduate who doesn't practice law, is representing himself, the judge is given wider latitude to read between the lines of a complaint since plaintiffs might not be as sophisticated or well-versed in the complexities of law.

Denver Post In the introduction to his lawsuit filed last year, Mbaku noted how Colorado law allows a bank or lender to foreclose without showing how it obtained ownership of the loan.
More important, because loan ownership is determined by who has possession of the document known as indorsement in blank Mbaku said anyone could come by that right, even a thief.
"Plaintiffs could illegally obtain or otherwise steal a promissory note ... from any bank ... and present themselves at a ... hearing and be deemed ... to be the proper party to foreclose," Mbaku wrote.
Brimmer thought that was enough to keep the lawsuit alive.

5/13/13

"I know too much, and I don't want the blood of it on my hands."

US Bank walks away from foreclosure on Aurora woman

Just days after lawyers for the bank told a federal judge they've always had the original documents necessary to foreclose legally and U.S. District Judge William J. Martnez said to produce them the bank rescinded the whole thing.

Denver Post In Colorado, signatures showing transfer of ownership in a loan and deed of trust are not required. Known as "indorsed in blank," it is normally signed by the loan originator and left blank where the name of the bank to which ownership is transferred should be.


"The Rule 120 is harming Coloradans by eliminating almost any chance of due process, and relying on foreclosure attorneys to be ethical in the process of acquiring your home," Brumfiel said Friday.

5/13/13

Ex- Homeowner Who Lost Home To Foreclosure Nearly 20 Years Ago Discovers He May Be Victim Of Recently-Revealed NYC Surplus-Snatching Scam

He also didnt know that years ago he may have had a right to claim some of the $80,000 Sampson reported from the sale

Home Equity Theft Reporter Sampson is accused of embezzling $440,000 from the foreclosure sales of four properties. In each case, he was appointed by the courts to serve as the referee. In that role, he was overseeing the foreclosure auction and making sure that any surplus funds were returned to the Kings County clerk for disbursement. Sampson is accused of keeping that money for himself. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
 

5/13/13

Reliance on the Consent Order entered into by EMC and JP Morgan with the Federal Reserve is misplaced because in the consent order EMC and JP Morgan did not admit to any wrongdoing

Williams v. EMC Mortgage

EMC wrongfully declared that the plaintiff was in default because he did not have hazard insurance on the
property. EMC placed insurance on the property at a very high premium and added that premium to the plaintiffs
principal balance. Although the plaintiff provided a proof of insurance, EMC brought a foreclosure action.

Eastern District of PA The plaintiff tried to make payments under the terms of the previous mortgage, but those payments were not accepted by EMC. EMC then declared the mortgage in default and filed a foreclosure action.

At this point, the plaintiff has not adequately alleged any breach of contract claim. However, this dispute at its heart turns on plaintiffs assertion that the defendants violated the terms of the mortgage agreement by improperly increasing his balance and refusing to accept his payments. Those claims sound in breach of contract and may be colorable if the plaintiff repleads them in a more viable manner.

US Bank walks away from foreclosure on Aurora woman

US Bank on Friday backed down from its efforts to foreclose on an Aurora woman whose federal court battle against it has taken on the constitutionality of Colorado's foreclosure laws.

Denver Post Just days after lawyers for the bank told a federal judge they've always had the original documents necessary to foreclose on Lisa Kay Brumfiel's tri-level house legally and U.S. District Judge William J. Martnez said to produce them the bank rescinded the whole thing.
5/11/13

Fannie, Freddie, Zombie

The two profitable mortgage outfits will be the walking dead if the government takes their profits for another 10 years. An IPO?

Barrons Here's the financial equivalent of the popular Twilight vampire franchise: Politicians are sucking the blood out of resurgent mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rather than returning them in good health to the private sector, where they belong. Washington is using their money in its budget-cap games, leaving the duo in a state of perpetual weakness, like the living dead, imprisoned in the government's ill-named "conservatorship" program.
5/10/13

Bloomberg accused of terminal spying for news leads

Huff Post According to news reports on Friday, journalists at Bloomberg News have been spying on some of the 315,000 customers that use the market-data terminals, sold by a separate unit of Bloomberg and the primary revenue source for the company. 

5/10/13

BofA: Schneiderman Has No Rights to Sue

The bank said the attorney general cant sue until the bank has been given time to cure any of the alleged violations.

WSJ Under the terms of the settlement, Schneiderman must notify the settlements monitor, Joseph A. Smith, Jr., and then wait 42 days before suing.

Schneiderman acknowledged Monday that he cannot immediately proceed with a lawsuit. But both sides disagree about when the clock starts ticking on those 42 days.

Schneidermans office argues the countdown began Monday, when he sued. But Bank of Americas lawyers argue that it cant begin until after the time has passed to address uncured violations.

5/10/13

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO FLORIDA FORECLOSURE 

STATUTE RIFE WITH UNCONSTITUTIONALITY:

Amendments require owner of non-owner occupied property to make payments to Plaintiff during foreclosure without any requirement that Plaintiff has standing to foreclose, and force early probable cause hearing at which time summary judgment could be entered.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide This smacks of unconstitutionality on several levels, and is an attempt by the Florida legislature to eviscerate decades of Florida case law and the Rules of Civil Procedure so that the banksters can foreclose at one hearing, and with the burden being on the homeowner to prove its defenses at a show cause hearing, totally reversing Florida law that the Plaintiff bears the burden of proving its case at trial or summary judgment.

It gets much worse. The proposed amendments also require that during the foreclosure of non-owner occupied property, and without the Plaintiff proving anything at all (including standing)
5/10/13

Why are the Rich So Rich, while Everyone Else Struggles?

Park Avenue: money, power and the American dream - Why Poverty?

Consumer Warning Network Ordinary working Americans dont seem to have as much of a chance anymore at striking it rich. Over the past three decades, income disparity between the wealthy and middle class has exploded.

That makes it much harder for average people to pursue the American dream and nearly impossible for the poor. Upward mobility in the United States is lagging far behind upward mobility in other industrialized countries. If youre feeling it, its not your imagination.  

5/10/13

Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Have Raked In $102 Billion In Subsidies Since 2009: Report

America's biggest banks want you to believe that they get no special advantage, no subsidies, from being too big to fail. And yet people keep finding evidence of those subsidies.

Huff Post Some observers argue that the subsidy might not exist at all. That argument is the one the big banks prefer, predictably, because they would like not to be made smaller, if it's all the same to everybody. In fact, they have paid for their own research arguing they have no subsidy.

U.S. policy makers believe there is a subsidy, though they are loath to quantify it. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in February confessed to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that the subsidy exists, although he disagreed with the $83 billion per year estimate. And Fed Governor Jeremy Stein last month agreed that a subsidy exists and is a problem.
5/10/13

New round of Tucson foreclosures looks likely

EXPERTS: STRAPPED HOMEOWNERS NOW ARE RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS

AP A new type of distressed homeowner is showing up at foreclosure prevention clinics - those who have held on for the past couple of years but reduced work hours or loss of benefits has caught up with them.
CASE TO WATCH

5/9/13

Lawyers offer help in challenge of Colorado foreclosure law

More than a dozen lawyers have surfaced with offers to help an Aurora woman in her constitutional challenge of Colorado's foreclosure laws, a case she has battled on her own for about two years.

Denver Post After a federal judge's temporary injunction Monday that looks to take on whether homeowners facing foreclosure are treated unfairly, Lisa Kay Brumfiel said her solo plight is finding new followers.
"There's just been a steady stream of them," the 43-year-old part-time saleswoman said of the attorneys offering to take on her case for free.

U.S. District Judge William Martinez issued an interim preliminary injunction stopping the foreclosure auction of Brumfiel's four-bedroom house, saying she had prevailed enough to challenge the constitutionality of state law

Brumfiel said that lawyer's signature, called a statement of qualified holder, violates her constitutional rights to due process under the 14th Amendment. The bank should be required to provide proof that it owns the note and the right to foreclose, she said, not just possess a copy..

5/9/13

Hawaii Federal District Court Applies Rules of Evidence: BONY/Mellon, US Bank, JP Morgan Chase Failed to Prove Sale of Note

This quiet title claim against U.S. Bank and BONY (collectively, Defendants) is based on the assertion that Defendants have no interest in the Plaintiffs mortgage loan, yet have nonetheless sought to foreclose on the subject property.

Living Lies Currently before the court is Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment, arguing that Plaintiffs quiet title claim fails because there is no genuine issue of material fact that Plaintiffs loan was sold into a public security managed by BONY, and Plaintiffs cannot tender the loan proceeds. Based on the following, the court finds that because Defendants have not established that the mortgage loans were sold into a public security involving Defendants, the court DENIES Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment.

Amina v. Bank of New York, et al

5/9/13

U.S. flops at collecting fines and paying them out

Agency officials argue that merely announcing big monetary penalties deters wrongdoing more effectively than collecting them would.

U.S. federal agencies corral only a small fraction of the penalties they levy. Foreclosure-abuse settlements with domestic banks show they're just as bad at doling out lawsuit proceeds to victims.

Thomson Reuters Perhaps, though deterrence can be a problem even when the amounts are paid. Consider the New York state attorney general's recent allegations that Wells Fargo and Bank of America have failed to comply with their obligations under a separate, $25 billion mortgage-servicing settlement with five banks last year.

The issue under the most recent settlements, however, isn't deterrence, but compensation for borrowers whose homes were, in some cases, wrongly repossessed. Having won such compensation, the feds should at least make sure it gets properly paid. The failure to do so risks giving miscreants - as well as their victims - yet another reason not to take law enforcement seriously.
5/9/13

FL Supreme Court Signs Off On Plan To Eliminate Judges In Foreclosure Cases

All seven justices signed off on a plan to use lawyers, not judges, to handle the tens of thousands of pending cases.

CBS Miami Matt Weidner, a St. Petersburg attorney, called it an attack on consumers. He said people dealing with the possible loss of their homes deserve to have their cases heard by judges who are responsible to voters.

Soto, however, is not as skeptical of the courts decision as Weidner. He said too many homeowners currently get only a few minutes with a judge before their case is decided.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Suit Against JPMorgan Chase for Fraudulent and Unlawful Debt-Collection Practices

California v. JP Morgan Chase

Office of the Attorney General The suit alleges that Chase engaged in widespread, illegal robo-signing, among other unlawful practices, to commit debt-collection abuses.

Chase used Californias judicial system as a mill to obtain default judgments, the suit alleges, using illegal tactics to flood the states court system in order to secure default judgments and garnish wages from Californians.

For years, Defendants have flooded Californias courts with collection lawsuits against defaulted credit card borrowers based on patently insufficient evidencebetting that borrowers would lack the resources or legal sophistication to call Defendants bluff.

5/9/13

No Lehman Moments as Biggest Banks Deemed Too Big to Fail

Bloomberg Because of this reform, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Streets mistakes, Obama said on July 15, 2010. There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts -- period.
Investors, it turns out, dont believe that, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its June issue. The people who lend money to the largest banks are betting that Uncle Sam will toss a lifeline to a giant should it stumble

5/9/13

Banks Whining About Cost of Breaking New California Homeowner Bill of Rights

The California bill, however, gives homeowners a potent weapon: if the bank loses on an injunction, he pays the borrowers legal fees. And banks (well, in this case, a bank-friendly attorney) are howling like stuck pigs that they might have to pay when homeowners catch them breaking the law.

naked capitalism So the judges view is the borrower is likely to win. Ahem, so that means it is probable that BofA did indeed dual track, which is hardly surprising given the independent reports of continuing abuses. Yet the amusing part of this article is the misplaced righteous indignation of the only commentator this case, attorney Robert Jackson of Jackson and Associates. The nerve of borrowers using their rights under the law!

This is a classic example of the Upton Sinclair saying, It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

5/9/13

More Foreclosure Settlement Fiascoes: Rust Consulting Underpays Some Harmed Borrowers

Rust Consulting, which handled the borrower mailings during the Independent Foreclosure Review and is now acting as paying agent, continues to screw up in every way imaginable.

naked capitalism The only upside to this seemingly unending saga of stuff-ups is that it keeps the IFR fiasco in the press, which in turn reminds Congressmen and the public of how dreadful the OCC is. The best outcome would be to eliminate the agency or have its role curtailed severely. To help that along, if youve been shortchanged by the IFR process, let your Congressmen and local media know. The more heat, the better.

UPDATE 2-U.S. can pursue case against Bank of America over mortgages

Reuters The United States can pursue parts of a
civil lawsuit against Bank of America Corp over its sale of toxic mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, boosting a largely untested legal theory the
government used in the case, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

5/9/13

Fannie Mae to Pay Treasury $59.4 Billion After Record Profit

Even the jaded cant blink at Fannies upcoming payment, Jim Vogel, a debt strategist at FTN Financial

Bloomberg Hedge funds including Paulson & Co. have been pushing Congress to abandon plans to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as investors buy up preferred stock that has been soaring after being considered probably worthless.

Theres a risk that policy makers look at our profitability and conclude they dont need to take action with respect to housing finance reform, he said. That would be a mistake.

5/9/13

The Civil-izing of White-Collar
Criminal Enforcement

Much of white-collar criminal
enforcement is unchanged. Individuals
are investigated and prosecuted
as before. Companies are investigated
and are sometimes required to
plead guilty to criminal offenses.

New York Law Journal The risk of indictment continues to limit a companys options in the context of a
criminal investigation. But alongside
this continuity exists the civil-izing
trend described here. It may reflect a
growing realization by prosecutors that
the prosecution of organizations, often
having severe effects on employees and
others, should be reserved for only the
most exceptional situations. Whatever
the cause, the trend warrants close
attention by white-collar practitioners.
5/9/13

Foreclosure Crisis Still Has Millions in Its Grip

The scope of the systemic failure has been widely known for much longer, following widespread reports of lax procedures; flawed, inaccurate or missing documentation; and poor communication with borrowers.

CNBC More than two years after regulators confirmed widespread reports of abusive mortgage practices, the government is making only halting progress in fixing the problem, according to homeowners, their attorneys, housing counselors and public officials. It's not only a dilemma for the people caught in the foreclosure noose; it's also holding back a broader housing recovery and slowing the nation's economic recovery.

5/9/13

Buying Stolen Properties with Clouded Titles

REIT to snap up more local foreclosures with IPO cash

The real estate investment trust has said proceeds from the offering will be used to grow its business in the single-family home rental market.

Chicago Tribune An Arizona-based firm keen on owning foreclosed homes in the Chicago area and elsewhere as rental properties began trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

American Residential Properties Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz., raised $287.7 million in an initial public offering Wednesday, selling 13.7 million shares at $21 each. Shares were trading at near $20.50 Thursday morning.
5/9/13

The Mad Rush to Steal Homes

Ohio foreclosures in April up 23% from a year earlier

Property auctions will likely skyrocket in NJ as foreclosures climb

Hawaii sees 14 percent increase in properties facing foreclosure

Foreclosures surge in Orlando, Ocala

Queens sees massive spike in foreclosures in April 

Nevada remains No. 1 in foreclosures

Various sources While the number of foreclosure filings continues to drop in Ohio, sheriff auctions surged 33 percent during April and are up 73 percent from a year ago to the highest level in more than five years.

Scheduled foreclosure auctions in New Jersey soared 91 percent last month.

The number of foreclosure starts in Hawaii rose by 9.39 percent last month.

The Ocala area had the second-highest rate of home foreclosures in the nation during April.

5/9/13

Fed Admits Mistakes In Mortgage Settlement

Some 96,000 borrowers who received checks to compensate them for wrongful foreclosures on their mortgages will be getting an additional check to correct for errors in the initial payment.

Huff Post The new checks will make up the difference between the amounts that should have been paid and the lower amount paid by Rust. Borrowers are being told to cash both the original check and the new checks, which will be mailed around May 17. The borrowers affected had loans serviced by former subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. (Litton Loan and Saxon Mortgage)
5/8/13

Fannie Mae Settles Securities Fraud Class Action

Fannie Mae and KPMG agreed to pay $153 million to class membersformer Fannie Mae shareholders from 2001 to 2004according to a motion filed yesterday for preliminary court approval of the deal.

Fannie was accused of violating established accounting principles and publishing misleading financial reports and statements.

BLT The settlement comes on the heels of a string of losses for the plaintiffs, in which the judge dismissed several former Fannie executives as individual defendants in the case. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon had yet to rule on the defendants' joint motion for summary judgment.

"The Settlement is the culmination of more than eight years of litigation.

"The settlement brings closure to this matter and recovery for our Ohio pension funds and class members,"

5/8/13

Banks Still Behaving Badly

a concerted government effort to hold banks accountable has never materialized.

NY Times The lawsuits are another sign that more than a year after the mortgage settlement between five big banks and state and federal officials banks are still mishandling foreclosures in ways to benefit themselves while harming borrowers.
5/8/13

Seniors face eviction in Detroit gentrification plan

The retirees are being tossed out on the street and told to rely on HUD vouchers to find a place to live. This time next year, I'll be homeless, 

WSWS Retired workers living in a rent-subsidized senior housing building are facing eviction in downtown Detroit. New owners who recently took over their apartment building have given the elderly residents on fixed income a year to clear out so they can raise rents to market rates.

5/8/13

The California judges finding may be bad news for other banks that sold troubled mortgage securities to A.I.G.

Ruling Clears Way for $7 Billion A.I.G. Suit Against Bank of America

A California judge has opened the door for the American International Group to pursue a fraud claim of more than $7 billion against Bank of America for losses it suffered on mortgage securities sold under duress after the federal government rescued A.I.G. in 2008.

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

Bank of America argued that A.I.G. had no standing to sue because it had transferred that right when it sold the instruments to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the fall of 2008. 

Mariana R. Pfaelzer, a federal judge in the central district of California, disagreed. She sided with A.I.G. in a ruling that also raised questions about the role of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the wake of its efforts to contain the huge damage from the financial crisis that erupted when Lehman Brothers was forced into bankruptcy in September 2008.

5/8/13

An Allonge is Not an Assignment: Do the research!

Such must be so firmly affixed thereto as to become a part thereof. Blacks Law Dictionary 76 (6th ed.1990). Floridas Uniform Commercial Code does not specifically mention an allonge, but notes that [f]or the purpose of determining whether a signature is made on an instrument, a paper affixed to the instrument is part of the instrument.

Danielle Kelley, Esq. I moved to dismiss two cases on several grounds one that the allonge was not firmly affixed. This will become an issue as the banks scramble to file pleadings under HB87 that show they have the Note. The 1st DCA has now admitted there is a lack of caselaw in Florida on this issue Im hoping that one of these Judges (the one in Marianna who has already dismissed twice on one case) will issue an order agreeing.
5/8/13

 

EMBEZZLEMENT

State Sen. John Sampson's embezzlement case exposes flaw in oversight of foreclosed property sales

Lawyers appointed by judges to oversee foreclosure cases are handling millions of dollars, with no oversight. The state Office of Court Administration has launched a review of how funds from foreclosure sales are handled.

 

NY Daily News Prosecutors say Sampson, an attorney, was appointed by Brooklyn judges to serve as a referee in several foreclosures.

His job was simple: to receive the proceeds from sales of foreclosed properties, and then pay off the mortgage, lawyers and any other creditors. Any remaining money was supposed to be turned over to the homeowner.

But beginning in 1998, prosecutors say, he kept surplus funds from four foreclosure sales $440,000 in all and used some of it to bankroll a failed campaign for Brooklyn district attorney in 2005.

5/8/13

California Homeowner Bill of Rights blocks BofA foreclosure

This is one of the first legal disputes to show the real strength of HBOR and its effectiveness in stalling proceedings and increasing expenses for servicers that are accused of violating one of the provisions of HBOR.

"The biggest problem with the HBOR from the investor standpoint is the litigation risk of having to pay legal fees," Jackson said. "The way the thing breaks down is when you get an injunction, the prevailing borrower gets all of their legal fees paid by the servicer and the investor."

Housing Wire A California man successfully halted a foreclosure sale on his property using the newly minted California Homeowner Bill of Rights to obtain a court injunction against two foreclosing parties: Bank of America and its ReconTrust Co. subsidiary.

For simply obtaining the HBOR injunction, the homeowners attorney is requesting $20,255 in legal fees and costs a compensation request that is permissible under HBOR since the legislation allots borrowers reasonable attorneys fees and expenses for successfully obtaining an injunction.

The new case in question Singh v. Bank of America (Recontrust Co.) was filed by a borrower who accused BofA and Recontrust of violating HBORs ban on dual-tracking.

5/8/13

In Latest Foreclosure Glitch, Some Checks Come Up Short

The continued problems at Rust raise questions about the governments oversight of the firm and the wisdom of hiring it in the first place.

DealBook When homeowners discovered that an account that was supposed to compensate them for foreclosure abuses lacked sufficient money to cash their checks, the consulting firm at the center of the mishap promised that the problem was fixed and that the checks were valid.

But three weeks later, that promise fell short.

Rust, issued a raft of checks with wrong amounts. The mistake, officials said, cheated struggling homeowners out of thousands of dollars.
5/7/13

Nardi Deposition Reveals All about JPM-WAMU Slick Transactions

NO PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF EXISTENCE OF THE PHYSICAL FILES. HEARSAY ON HEARSAY

Nardi Deposition

Living Lies EXISTENCE OF PRIVATE INVESTOR KEPT HIDDEN FROM EMPLOYEES GIVEN THAT 96% OF ALL LOANS WERE SUBJECT TO CLAIMS OF SECURITIZATION. THIS SHOWS HOW THE BANKS TEMPORARILY CLAIMED OWNERSHIP OF THE LOANS FOR PURPOSES OF TRADING, HEDGING AND COLLECTING INSURANCE, FEDERAL BAILOUTS AND PROCEEDS OF CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS LEAVING THE PRIVATE INVESTORS OUT IN THE COLD AND THEREFORE PREVENTING OR INTERFERING WITH THE PROCESS OF ALLOCATING SUCH PAYMENTS TO THE ACCOUNT RECEIVABLE FO THE INVESTOR AND DECREASING THE ACCOUNT PAYABLE OF THE BORROWER. LINE 11 PAGE 42:
5/7/13

New York State Investigating Pension-Advance Firms

New Yorks top banking regulator has begun an investigation into pension advance firms, the lenders that woo retirees to sign over their monthly pension checks in return for cash.

DealBook Much like payday loans, which typically are aimed at lower-income borrowers, pension loans can aggravate the distress of the vulnerable elderly who already are grappling with dwindling savings.

Using deceptive practices to cheat people out of their pensions by enrolling them in backdoor high-interest loans will not be tolerated in our state, Mr. Cuomo said in a statement.

5/7/13

Bank of America settles $1.7bn over faulty mortgage disputes

MBIA will get a 5% stake in BoA, as well as receive a $500 million credit line. MBIA will also have no further payment obligations on any of its insurance policies held by Bank of America.

 

RT In exchange, the bond insurer will drop its litigation brought against Countrywide Financial, a BoA mortgage subsidiary. Countrywides out of control lending of shoddy mortgages all but destroyed MBIA when the housing bubble burst. The company has already paid out $3 billion to policyholders on bad BoA loans on some $20 billion in securities it insured and BoA allegedly misrepresented to clients.

Last year the banks agreed to provide $25 billion in relief to homeowners to make reparations for foreclosure misconduct during the housing mortgage bubble which triggered the 2008 financial crisis.  

5/7/13

Grants offered for veterans going into foreclosure

Holland Sentinel Michigan military service members and veterans struggling to keep their homes because of the mortgage foreclosure crisis could be eligible for financial assistance from the state.
5/7/13

U.S. brings charges in first criminal case for consumer agency

CFPB said there are other instances of the CFPB referring cases to federal prosecutors "and there will be more."

Reuters A newly unsealed indictment filed in District Court in Manhattan charged Mission Settlement Agency and four individuals with mail and wire fraud over a scheme that prosecutors said victimized more than 1,200 people across the United States.

5/3/13

The foreclosure crisis the crime of the century.

LA Occupy Group Briefly Shuts Down Wells Fargo Branch

Too many families are being thrown out into the streets, said Carlos Marroquin, an organizer for Occupy Fights Foreclosures. Wells Fargo has already paid over a billion dollars in settlements because of their predatory lending practices. It goes to show you that they are not ashamed of what they do.

The Contributor Wells Fargos foreclosure practices continue to generate criticism. Last month, ABC News reported that Delores Dingman, an 80-year-old resident of Tualatin, Oregon, fought Wells Fargo for three years to save her home from repossession. The bank failed to prove Dingman ever missed a payment.

In March, LA Weekly reported that Wells Fargo wrongly foreclosed on Hermosa Beach resident Larry Delassus. The bank was supposed to foreclose on his neighbor, but due to a simple typo, Delassus became involved in an over-two-year battle to save his home from the bank. Despite the error, Wells Fargo continued its foreclosure, eventually gaining possession of Delassus home, primarily because he was unable to afford the banks fees. On December 19, 2012, Delassus died from heart failure in a Torrence courtroom while listening to his attorney argue his case.

5/6/13

Judge halts Aurora foreclosure due to Colo. law

A federal judge has halted the auction of an Aurora woman's home as he weighs whether Colorado's foreclosure law is constitutional.

U.S. District Judge William Martinez took the rare step Monday in the case of Lisa Kay Brumfiel. The part-time saleswoman is representing herself against U.S. Bank and one of Colorado's top foreclosure lawyers.

9News CRAZY: The law allows banks to assert their right to follow through on a foreclosure even if they don't have the paperwork to prove they hold the mortgage. Judge Martinez gave Brumfiel until May 15 to submit arguments about whether that violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

Martinez said Colorado is the only state that allows lawyers to submit unsworn statements attesting that a particular bank has the right to foreclose.

Lines drawn in battle over foreclosure law's constitutionality

Banksters say the judge was mistaken.

In question is a law that allows a lawyer to sign a document known as a qualified-holder statement attesting the right of his client, usually a bank or other lender, to foreclose without the need to prove it owns the underlying mortgage.

Denver Post The statement simply says the lawyer's client is the holder of the original evidence of debt, or the mortgage on the house. And there's no penalty if the lawyer is wrong.


"The ruling yesterday ... is at the heart of the argument we have been trying to make to our legislators for the past two years," said Corrine Fowler, economic-justice director at the Colorado Progressive Coalition. "We have asked our legislators to ensure that Colorado homeowners are protected under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and our pleas have fallen on deaf ears at the Capitol."

The Court questioned EMC's standing and found it had none.

EMC Mortgage v. Atkinson

Mr. Atkinson asserts in his sole assignment of error that the trial court erred in denying his Civ.R. 60(B) motion to vacate the agreed judgment decree. We agree that Mr. Atkinson is entitled to relief from judgment.

OHIO COURT OF APPEALS
NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT
Upon review of the record on appeal, this Court questioned whether EMC had
standing to file an action in foreclosure at the time it filed its complaint. Thus, this Court issued an order requiring EMC to respond and demonstrate its standing. EMC failed to do so.

As EMC has not established it had standing to bring this action at the time it filed its complaint in foreclosure, the judgment against Mr. Atkinson cannot stand.  In light of the foregoing, we can only conclude that Mr. Atkinson is entitled to have the agreed judgment entry of foreclosure vacated. Further, the matter is remanded so that the trial court can apply Schwartzwald.

5/6/13

Summarizing Floridas New Legislation and a Plea to the People

You probably know by now that HB87 passed in the House and the Senate and will become law unless Governor Rick Scott vetoes it, which is not expected. This legislation changes the landscape of foreclosure defense in some significant ways.

Stay in My Home 1. Finality of Judgment: Once a final judgment is entered in a mortgage foreclosure case, the property is sold to a third-party, and the appeal time has run, the mortgagor is precluded from getting title to the property back, even if the foreclosure was wrongful. Instead of being able to ask for the judgment to be vacated under Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.540 up to a year after the judgment was entered or, in some circumstances, many years post-judgment - the homeowners remedy is now limited to claims for money damages.

For obvious reasons, the title insurance industry was the driving force behind this aspect of the bill. After all, if homeowners cant make claims to get their foreclosed properties back, thats a green light for title insurance companies to issue title insurance policies without fear of paying out claims.
5/6/13

NY Appeals Court To Foreclosing Banksters: Little Downside To Screwing Over Homeowners Since State Lawmakers Failed To Specify Sanctions, Remedies

Wells Fargo v. Meyers

Home Equity Theft Reporter A lawyer for the defendants, Diana Ruiz, said that the decision made it clear that the ball was in the legislature's court to hold banks accountable for their actions during foreclosure settlement conferences.

"The court makes it clear there was bad faith, the question is what we're going to do about it," Ruiz said.

White paper

ROBO-LITIGATION Re: Attorney Misconduct at Foreclosure Mills

The scale of attorney malfeasance in connection with the foreclosure crisis is enormous.

Dustin Zaks Whether attorneys knowingly filed false documents or simply failed to question documents they had reason to suspect, a large numbers of attorneys were complicit in the filing of tainted documentation throughout the nation.

Nonetheless, as with state attorneys general, legislatures have largely ignored the problem of attorney misconduct in foreclosure litigation.

5/6/13

Guide

Fannie Mae Servicing Guide Announcement SVC-2013-09

Execution of Legal Documents

The following clause must be inserted in the body of the quitclaim deed:

"This property was inadvertently conveyed to the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal National Mortgage Association did not accept the deed."

Fannie Mae An instrument of conveyance of real property that passes whatever title, claim, or interest that the grantor has in the property, but does not make any representations as to the validity of such title. A quitclaim deed is not a guarantee that the grantor has clear title to the property; rather it is a relinquishment of the grantor's rights, if any, in the property. The holder of a quitclaim deed receives only the interest owned by the person conveying the deed.
5/6/13

 

2000 Conversation with Freddie Mac

"Despite the fact that we contemplate that most documents that begin on paper might eventually end up being electronic, that we dont mean it with respect to the written promissory note." 

MSFraud 2006 archives "If there is anything in the world clear under the UETA and ESIGN is that once a promissory note is executed on paper it stays on paper.  And if you were to digitize it and then shred it theres a very good chance youve forgiven the debt. So for heavens sakes whatever else we might do lets not start talking about shredding paper promissory notes."

BUT THE INDUSTRY SHREDDED THEM ANYWAY.

5/6/13

Texas Court Approves Class Action against Wells Fargo:

Court Order and Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law 

McDonnell Analytics The questions of law and fact common to the class are whether or NOT:

1. the Note and Deed were properly conveyed;

2. the lien is valid;

3. Wells Fargo has standing to foreclose; 

4. Wells Fargo is the legal owner and holder;

5. Wells Fargo violated Texas law.

A Disappointing Debut at the S.E.C.

NY Times Mary Jo White, the new chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has gotten off on the wrong foot. 

Last week, in her first commission vote, Ms. White led the commissioners in approving a proposal that, if finalized, could leave investors and taxpayers exposed to the ravages of reckless bank trading.

5/6/13

Appeals court reinstates David Stern foreclosure case

A Central Florida judge overreacted when he dismissed one of the foreclosure cases in the robo-signing scandal involving Plantation attorney David Stern, an appeals court ruled this week.

Home Equity Theft Reporter Stern ran the largest foreclosure practice in Florida, handling more than 100,000 cases statewide. But it was accused in 2010 of engaging in robo-signing.

An Okeechobee judge dismissed the White foreclosure in early 2012 to penalize the bank for failing to keep its counsel-of-record documents up-to-date. The appeals court reversed

National City Bank v. White

5/6/13

Eric Schneiderman, New Yorks attorney general, cited 339 violations by the two big banks.

New York AG: Wells Fargo, BofA Violated National Foreclosure Settlement

Bank of America said it will "work quickly" to address the 129 "customer servicing problems" that Schneiderman identified. The bank added that it has provided more than 10,000 New York homeowners with more than $1 billion in aid.  IT IS NOT AID; IT IS A PITTANCE OF THE MONEY YOU HAVE STOLEN!

Huff Post Schneiderman said the agreement allows him to enforce the settlement unilaterally. He said he warned his fellow regulators of his intent to sue on Friday, though some officials in the offices of other state attorneys general said they only learned of his plans in a Monday morning email from his office.

Wells Fargo and Bank of America have flagrantly violated those obligations, putting hundreds of homeowners across New York at greater risk of foreclosure," Schneiderman said. "I intend to use every tool available to my office to hold these companies accountable."

5/6/13

New York AG to sue BofA, Wells Fargo over mortgage practices

Reuters Schneiderman alleges the banks have repeatedly violated the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement brokered last year between the country's biggest banks and 49 state attorneys general over mortgage foreclosure abuses.

Schneiderman said that since last October he has documented 339 violations of standards that BofA and Wells Fargo had agreed to follow.

5/6/13

NY Court Reinstates Foreclosure, Chides Judge For `Robosigning' Sanctions

The judge also criticized HSBC for allowing Ocwen, the mortgage servicer, to handle the foreclosure, and ordered $15,000 in sanctions against the bank and its lawyers for that and various other transgressions.

Home Equity Theft Reporter But the appeals court threw out the sanctions and ordered the foreclosure proceedings reinstated, strongly criticizing Schack in the process. First, the appeals court noted, Schack had no power to use lack of standing as a reason for dismissing the foreclosure since the borrower had waived that argument by failing to show up in court. The judge also abused his discretion by holding a hearing on sanctions.
5/5/13

The stigma of foreclosure lifts as lenders alienate borrowers

I spoke to an attorney who told me I probably wouldnt get any response until I was behind on my loan, Matt said. That seemed crazy. Other people were getting bailed out, but I just wanted a lower rate. Seriously, I didnt want to hurt my credit by getting behind, but there were larger homes in our neighborhood we could rent for half of what we were paying on a mortgage.

Matt decided to stop paying the mortgage and become a strategic defaulter a borrower who could make payments but decided against doing so.

Spokesman Meanwhile, the Office of the Inspector General at the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it is trying to find strategic defaulters and collect on what they still owe. The OIG says such walkaways have constituted mortgage fraud, and the OIG plans to refer them for criminal prosecution

Experian, one of the three large credit bureaus, has estimated that 20 percent of all foreclosures are from strategic defaulters. The OIG estimates that strategic defaulters owe more than $1 billion to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and theyre ready to start collecting. 

Were not just going to demand repayment, Heather Wolfe, OIG assistant inspector general for audits, was quoted as saying. Were going to lock (people) up.

Perhaps the OIGs efforts to prosecute should be in direct proportion to the lenders efforts to reach an earlier compromise with the borrower. After all, didnt the country recently bail out the banking industry?
5/5/13

N.Y. Plans Homeowner Enforcement Against Financial Firms

The resulting settlement is a pennies-on-the-dollar bargain for BofA that woefully under-compensates investors, AIG and other investors said in the filing.

Bloomberg New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he will announce new enforcement actions against major financial institutions as part of his effort to protect New York homeowners after calling the first such lawsuit last year a template for future litigation.

Capacity and/or Standing to Sue; and REMICS require ORIGINALS

Wells Fargo v. Erobobo

There is a difference between the capacity to sue which gives the right to come into court, and possession of a cause of action which gives the right to relief. 

Incapacity to sue is not the same as insufficiency of facts to sue upon.

In Article II, section 2.01 Conveyance of Mortgage Loans, the PSA requires that the Depositor deliver and deposit with the Trustee the original note, the original mortgage and an original assignment.

Judge Saitti The identity of the owner of the note and mortgage is information that is often in the exclusive possession of the party seeking to foreclose. Mortgages are routinely transferred through MERS, without being recorded. The notes underlying the mortgages, as negotiable instruments, are negotiated by mere delivery without a recorded assignment or notice to the borrower. A defendant has no method to reliably ascertain who in fact owns the note, within the narrow time frame allotted to file an answer. In light of these facts and the fact that Defendant contested the factual allegations asserted in Plaintiff's pleading, Defendant's general denial is sufficient to contest whether Plaintiff owns the note and mortgage.

Former justice alleges Michigan Supreme Court misconduct in forthcoming book 

Detroit News Weaver and co-author David Schock claim in "Judicial Deceit: Tyranny and Unnecessary Secrecy at the Michigan Supreme Court," there were countless instances of unethical behavior among justices during her 16-year career on the high court.

Court(s) Reject Bank's Inflated Appraisal to Score Deficiency Judgment

The appraiser did not describe the subject premises or the results of his inspection and failed to append any of the evidence of comparable sales and market data upon which he relied in arriving at his opinion. Nor did the plaintiff submit an actual appraisal report. 

New York Appellate Division, Second Department The Supreme Court was entitled to reject the opinion of the plaintiff's appraiser as without probative value in light of the lack of evidentiary foundation set forth in his affidavit. Especially here, in light of the large discrepancy between the appraised value and the relatively low sale price at the foreclosure sale, the Supreme Court properly declined to accept the appraiser's opinion on its face without evidentiary support.

The plaintiff's remaining contentions are without merit.

Pro se wins

Judge Vacates 2009 Order and  Dismisses Foreclosure Case for Defective Assignments

Bank of New York v. Cepeda

The Court finds that plaintiff BNY cannot prove that it owns the subject mortgage and note. Therefore, plaintiff BNY has no right to foreclose.

Judge Schack

Supreme Court, Kings County, NY

The Court agrees with plaintiff BNY to vacate the other Supreme Court Justice's original 2009 order of reference. However, with respect to that branch of the instant motion to
issue a new order of reference, plaintiff has several problems.
First, plaintiff BNY fails to demonstrate how the assignment of the subject mortgage and note from MERS to BNY is valid.

Therefore, MERS lacked authority to assign the CEPEDA mortgage and note, making the assignment to
plaintiff BNY defective
.

5/3/13

Mirabile Dictu! JP Morgan Finally on Regulatory Hot Seat for Widespread Control Failures and Alleged Lying by Blythe Masters Under Oath

naked capitalism Dimon repeatedly made statements to the media and in Congressional testimony about the London Whale trades that were flagrantly false. He wasnt sworn in and apparently thinks hes not obligated to be honest with investors, lawmakers, or the public. That sort of arrogance is mirrored in the banks pervasive rule-breaking. The upside of JP Morgans continued defiance of the law in the interest of its profits is that this latest round of scandals might finally engulf the perp-in-chief.
5/3/13

DocX executive gets up to 20 years

Lorraine Brown operated a company that robo-signed illegal documents for  the mortgage industry to use to steal homes, equity and wealth from homeowners and investors.  Banks and their lawyers would use those documents to dupe judges and others into falsely believing the banks owned the property -- when they did not. 

AP Lorraine Brown was sentenced to 40 months to 20 years in a Michigan state prison. That will be served concurrently with any sentence received for federal crimes. 

She orchestrated a robo-signing scheme in which employees fraudulently signed another authorized person's name on mortgage documents to expedite illegal foreclosures. 

She also faced federal charges in Florida and state charges in Missouri.

U.S. Mortgage Fraud Rings Still Stealing Homes

Two Years Later, Fla. Homeowners Face Problems

myAJC Bryan and Ileana Russell received eviction notices from a law firm last year, even though they had never missed a mortgage payment. The Russells' attorney discovered that a mistake had been made and that the bank was pursuing foreclosure. 

5/3/13

BofA $8.5 Billion Deal Wont Face New York Objection

Bloomberg The move comes almost two years after the settlement was filed in New York state court for approval with backing from an investor group that includes Pacific Investment Management Co. The deal, which would resolve claims from investors in Countrywide Financial mortgage bonds, is set to be considered by a judge at a hearing starting May 30.
5/3/13

Why Are People with Health Insurance Going Bankrupt?

"[i]t sounds like the health insurance companies are acting just like the mortgage servicers who lose your paperwork, or even your check, and then foreclose on you."

FLOWERS: [B]efore 2005, I think, looking at our Blue Cross program here. And what they found was that about one out of every five claims was denied just randomly. Like, if five claims come in, they just pull one out and say, were not paying this one.

Real News And we have evidence of this in New York from people that worked in these claims offices that if there was a certain level area of the city, lower-income area, they would deny those claims because they knew people didnt have the resources to fight back.

Now, Id like to see the study. However, Yves has written about her battles with her health insurance company, which loses her claims and then denies care, which fits into this picture. (Readers, have any of you had this experience?) 

5/2/13

Wells Fargo Denies Widow access to deceased husband's savings

First Coast News So is there a way for her to get access to her husband's savings?

Harrison said Bolena needs a "power or attorney" or "executor" papers that give her authority over the accounts.

"If she provides either one, the bank will release the funds as well as any fees incurred," writes Harrison. 

U.S. Mortgage Fraud Rings Still Stealing Homes

Two years later, Fla. homeowners face problems

USA Today Bryan and Ileana Russell received eviction notices from a law firm last year, even though they had never missed a mortgage payment. The Russells' attorney discovered that a mistake had been made and that the bank was pursuing foreclosure.

5/2/13

Foreclosure compensation checks arrive, but anger some homeowners

It was more than pathetic. It was insulting, Pooley told NBC News. I spent more in money on postage providing government agencies with detailed descriptions of what had happened in my case. 

The largest payouts $125,000 are going to 1,082 members of the military wrongly foreclosed upon, and to just 53 homeowners across the country foreclosed upon even though they never missed a mortgage payment

NBC News At a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing, Warren criticized the plan over the compensation payments.
Families get pennies on the dollar in this settlement, she said, for having been the victims of illegal activities or mistakes in the banks' activities.


Karen Pooley believes she is a victim, but told NBC News she is concerned that, without the governments review of her case, she may not obtain sufficient legal proof of that. 
The servicer of the loan was provided an out, Pooley said, and I was given a pittance of $300, which doesn't even compensate me to file (a) lawsuit.

5/2/13

 

Turns out much-hyped settlement still allows banks to steal homes

New data reveals mega-banks still illegally foreclosing on thousands. Get this: The housing settlement allows it.

It does not appear that any of those abusive practices have ended. And the government, at all levels, has basically walked away from its responsibility to protect homeowners.

David Dayen New evidence reveals the nations largest banks have apparently continued to fabricate documents, rip off customers and illegally kick people out of their homes, even after inking a series of settlements over the same abuses. And the worst part of it all is that the main settlement over foreclosure fraud was so weakly written that it actually allows such criminal conduct to occur, at least up to a certain threshold. Potentially hundreds of thousands of homes could be effectively stolen by the big banks without any sanctions.
5/2/13

 

Ohio Supreme Court takes a pass and thats good news

Sometimes what an appellate court doesnt do is just as important as what it does. The Ohio Supreme Court recently declined to review the case of CitiMortgage, Inc. v. Patterson. And in doing so, it may have a clarified a critical issue in Ohio foreclosure law.

 

Also see Related USA articles.

Lexology Would a lender in that situation have standing? In the Patterson case, CitiMortgage proved it had an interest in the note at the time it filed the complaint, even though it did not receive an assignment of the mortgage until after it filed the lawsuit. Patterson argued that the Schwartzwald holding meant CitiMortgage lacked standing to bring the suit because it had an interest in only the promissory note, not the mortgage. Patterson was the first case to raise this question after the Schwartzwald decision.

The Patterson case clarifies a lingering question from Schwartzwald in a way that doesnt unnecessarily penalize lenders. The Ohio Supreme Courts decision to let the decision stand by declining jurisdiction -- is big news for Ohios creditors.

5/2/13

 

 

Some ALL Foreclosure Wrongdoers Going Unpunished

In one complaint filed with both Bondi's office and the Bar, Bryan and Ileana Russell said they received eviction notices last year from the law firm Shapiro, Fishman & Gache, even though they have bank records proving they have never missed a mortgage payment. Without their knowledge, two firms were hired to put their house on the market and notify utilities to turn off their electricity and water. The firms also posted notices demanding that the Russells leave their suburban Tampa home.

The Ledger More than two years after wrongdoing by lawyers caused banks to stop foreclosures temporarily, these lawyers and their firms, which handled hundreds of thousands of foreclosures, have been accused of falsifying documents through fake signatures and backdating records and not giving homeowners proper notice that they faced foreclosure. Yet they continue to practice without facing any type of discipline, from either the criminal justice system or the Bar.

Attorneys for homeowners say there are ways Bondi could go after firms that engaged in fraudulent practices other than using the unfair trade practices act. State prosecutors could have gone after subsidiaries of the law firms or pursued criminal investigative subpoenas.

5/2/13

Foreclosure Review Payouts Coming Under Congressional, Media Scrutiny

"Mortgage servicers have now admitted that they broke the law by illegally foreclosing on American families and committing numerous other abuses, but regulators refuse to provide even the most basic information about the extent of the abuses that were uncovered," said Cummings.

Mortgage News Daily Congressman Elijah E. Cummings recently introduced a bill that would create an independent monitor to oversee the distribution of funds paid by mortgage services to borrowers to compensate for illegal foreclosures and other abuses. 

The bill, HR 1706, The Mortgage Settlement Monitoring Act of 2013, was crafted by Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, because of what he views as a lack of transparency and accountability on the part of federal regulators, banks and their servicing subsidiaries.
5/2/13

JPMorgan Caught in Swirl of Regulatory Woes

Government investigators have found that JPMorgan Chase devised manipulative schemes that transformed money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers, and that one of its most senior executives gave false and misleading statements under oath.

DealBook The regulatory document cites her supposed knowledge and approval of schemes carried out by a group of energy traders in Houston. The agencys investigators claimed that Ms. Masters had falsely denied under oath her awareness of the problems and said that JPMorgan had made scores of false and misleading statements and material omissions to authorities, the document shows.

5/2/13

It's Business As Usual When It Comes to Foreclosure

Five years after the near complete financial meltdown of the economy in this country, resulting in millions of people losing their homes, nothing has really changed. Despite the billions of dollars in settlement fees the banks have shelled out, bad press, and loss of trust, it's pretty much business as usual.

Actually, it's more blatant and brazen than ever.

Richard Zombeck

Huff Post

A neighbor of mine told me last week that her servicer changed from Chase to Ocwen a few months ago. Chase had given her a permanent modification in 2009, which she's been paying faithfully. Last year, Ocwen Financial Corporation took over the loan. Not only did they refuse to honor the modification Chase had granted her, they also raised her monthly payments and are demanding back-payments of the "lost income" resulting from the lowered payments.

And this one:

Chase continued to take money from Carrillo for five years and even put her through the painful and frustrating process of a loan modification, when the property had already been sold by Wells Fargo, and in the meantime, Carrillo's clothes, furniture, and personal belongings remain locked in the house. What happened to the $20,000 is anybody's guess.

5/1/13

Preying on Pensioners

During the run-up to the mortgage crisis, elderly people were often duped into taking out subprime loans that earned a fortune for the lenders while leaving the borrowers with little or no home equity and headed for foreclosure. A similar brand of wealth stripping is alive and well in a new crop of companies that specialize in separating retirees from their pensions. Unless state and federal regulators get a handle on this problem, ever larger numbers of elderly people who are already battered by the recession will end up even worse off.

NY Times As Jessica Silver-Greenberg reported recently in The Times, pension advance companies profit by convincing retirees to sign over all or part of their monthly pension checks in exchange for an upfront payment. These advances are disguised loans (though not described as such in the contracts) that can carry interest charges that can reach 100 percent or more. To qualify, borrowers are sometimes required to pay for life insurance policies that name the lender as sole beneficiary.

The companies insist that they are not lenders. Therefore, they do not need to comply with circumvent usury laws, licensing regulations as well as the federal Truth in Lending Act, which requires detailed disclosure of costs to borrowers. Without disclosure, it is virtually impossible for the borrowers to know what the actual costs will be.
5/1/13

Foreclosed Homeowners Sue 32 Hawaii Judges

Agbannaoag v.  Circuit Judges 

Courthouse News A Hawaii family and a developer filed a federal class action against every Circuit Court judge in Hawaii, accusing them of using "ancient judge-made procedures" to enforce foreclosure judgments.
Jerry Agbannaoag, Ke Kailani Development et al. claim the judges' practice fostered the "flipping" of properties and unjustly enriched lenders.
Michael J. Fuchs, the founder of Home Box Office, is also a plaintiff.
5/1/13

Omega v. Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo

Alina In this Truth in Lending case, the Omegas filed suit in state court against Deutsche Bank (owner of the note and mortgage) and Wells Fargo (servicer). The Defendants removed the case to federal court and moved to strike the jury demand. Plaintiffs opposed the motion to strike as to Wells Fargo only because they argued that Wells Fargo was not a party to the contract (mortgage) and could not enforce the jury waiver clause. The court agreed. The Plaintiffs also asked for an advisory jury with regard to Deutsche Bank which the court granted.

5/1/13

Countrywide never had a mortgage

  Buyer beware: problem foreclosure purchase

You pay for it, you get the title. And you would think that property's yours, right? Not so fast.

Fox4

h/t Home Equity Theft Reporter

"Countrywide never had a mortgage on that lot. They had a mortgage on this lot the one that the house is on. But somehow in the foreclosure process, they included lot #9 as part of the foreclosure proceeding," says Allen.

Reps for the law firm that handled the transaction and the company the Powers bought from -- Freddie Mac say they're looking into it. The title company that insured the transaction hung up when we explained the problem.

5/1/13

Foreclosure Settlement Checks Significantly Smaller Than Regulators Forecasted: Homeowners

Adam Crain reckoned he was due $125,000. That amount would come as compensation for losing his Oak Harbor, Wash., home to foreclosure while he was serving aboard a naval vessel in the Middle East. He calculated that sum using a table distributed by federal regulators as part of a $9.2 billion settlement with mortgage companies over a wave of improper foreclosures.

Huff Post Federal law offers special protections from foreclosure to military personnel, especially those receiving hazard pay, as Crain was at the time.

But last week, when Crain opened the envelope and removed his check, he was horrified by the amount his bank, Wells Fargo, had determined he was due: $800.00 was all he received.

"This is what happens when there is no oversight," Crain said.

Now, many borrowers are saying that they've gotten less than what they should have received -- based not simply on their own sense of injustice, but on their understanding of the payment chart. They said they were especially frustrated that their check came with no explanation of how their payout was calculated.

5/1/13

MORTGAGE ERRORS: HOW NOT TO CORRECT A BOO-BOO

Whether one is baking a cake, building a house, or recording a mortgage, sometimes even the slightest deviation from the directions can lead to catastrophe. Cakes dont rise, buildings fall down, and mortgages arent perfected. So starts the opinion in Couillard.

Seelen v. Couillard 

This is one more example that details really matter. In a bankruptcy even minor mistakes can result in a mortgage being avoided.

Bankruptcy Real Estate Insights So, this case turned on whether the Section 544(a) hypothetical purchaser would have had constructive notice of the refinancing mortgage based on a combination of the defective mortgage and the corrective affidavit. As an initial point, the court noted that a document must be (1) properly filed and (2) within the chain of title in order to provide constructive notice.

Since the recorded mortgage was not in the chain of title for the two parcels, the court concluded that it was not properly recorded. Thus, it was clear that the mortgage by itself could be avoided since it did not provide constructive notice to a bona fide purchaser.

5/1/13

Too-Big-to-Fail Takes Another Body Blow

Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

The S&P report, entitled "Brown-Vitter Bill: Game-Changing Regulation For U.S. Banks", is so incredibly hysterical in its tone that, reading it, one cannot help but deduce that people on Wall Street are genuinely afraid of this bill. The paper essentially hints that forcing banks to retain more capital could lead to world financial collapse, the onset of a new Ice Age, mammoths roaming Nebraska, etc.
5/1/13

Big Banks are Victims of Their Own Success

The biggest banks have done an excellent job of delaying and undermining the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law and staving off criminal investigations into wrongdoing.

Maybe, just maybe, theyve been too successful.

ProPublica If the bankers who blew up the financial world had been held accountable, the popular fury that fuels this bill would have dissipated by now. And if Dodd-Frank were fully in place today, instead of being bogged down in the courts and in the halls of Washington regulatory offices, there would be no political momentum behind such an effort.

Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals re: Summary Judgment Reversed for Appraisal Fraud

Opinion in Wallace v. MIDWEST FINANCIAL & MORTGAGE SERVICES; MORTGAGEIT, DAVID SCHLUETER; BRYAN BATES; FIRST FINANCIAL HOME LENDING 

JDSupra A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 23 reversed an award of summary judgment to a mortgage lender, a mortgage brokerage firm and its principals after finding that an appraisal that inflated the value of a man's home as part of the formation of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan was the proximate cause of his alleged financial injury.

On appeal, Wallace argues that the district court erred in concluding he did not sufficiently demonstrate that the allegedly fraudulent appraisal proximately caused his financial injuries. We agree. 

4/30/13

You want scary? We've got an eviction map

Each little red flag is a human tragedy. Each one represents a transforming city that no longer has room for the middle class, much less poor people.

SFBG It's stunning: Between 1997 and 2013, it seems as if most of the Mission, Noe Valley, North Beach, the Marina, and Potrero Hill was evicted. Hundreds and hundreds of apartments turned into TICs, which now want to convert to condos. Hundreds and hundreds of tenants, who once had rent-controlled apartments, losing their homes -- and given the price of housing, losing their ability to live in San Francisco.
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