Daily News related to the Foreclosure Crisis

The biggest unpunished heist in human history - Max Keiser


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



Court of Appeals VACATES two Default Judgments

National Collegiate Student Loan v. Beverly

The complaints did not allege that the  Trust held any interest in the loan whether by assignment or any other means... and the Notes make no reference to the Trusts. 

We order appellees to pay the costs of 
their respective appeals pursuant to App.R. 24. 


Bank Accused of Driving Borrowers Into Foreclosure

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is accusing Flagstar Bank of stonewalling more than 2,000 borrowers and leading them into foreclosure over the last three years

Realtor Mag The agency says that the Michigan-based bank failed to process loan modification applications in a timely manner — in some cases, taking up to nine months when a review should have only taken a few days. CFPB says the bank was understaffed, with just 25 employees and a third-party contractor in charge of handling 13,000 applications at one point in time.

Flagstar has been fined $27.5 million to go toward the 6,500 victims who faced delays, including 2,000 who underwent a foreclosure because of the bank's actions


JPMorgan to face U.S. class action in $10 billion MBS case

A federal judge on Tuesday said JPMorgan Chase must face a class action lawsuit by investors who claimed the largest U.S. bank misled them about the safety of $10 billion of mortgage-backed securities it sold before the financial crisis.

Reuters U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan certified a class action as to JPMorgan's liability but not as to damages, saying it was unclear how investors could value the certificates they bought, given how the market was "not particularly liquid." He said the plaintiffs could try again to certify a class on damages.


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

One very important concept you should know; it’s a concept that every lawyer and banker refuses to discuss, every court refuses to hear arguments about.

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

“Moreover, in the case of original mortgages and promissory notes, they are not merely exhibits but instruments which must be surrendered prior to the issuance of a judgment. The judgment takes the place of the promissory note. Surrendering the note is essential so that it cannot thereafter be negotiated." 

U.S. lawsuits related to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac profits dismissed

Reuters A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday dismissed claims seeking to stop the U.S. government from making Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pay a quarterly dividend to the U.S. Treasury.


CFPB Targets Title Company Over MSAs

The order was, the Bureau said, sending "a clear and simple message" that it intends to pursue legal action against financial institutions that pay in any manner for referrals. The administrative proceeding carried a civil money penalty of $200,000.

Mortgage News Daily In addition to the civil money penalty the company is also required to terminate immediately any existing MSAs with companies in a position to refer business to Lighthouse Title, and is prohibited from entering into new MSAs with any such companies.

"Today's action sends a clear and simple message, that quid pro quo agreements for real estate referrals are illegal," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "The Consumer Bureau will continue to take action to ensure that the mortgage market is a level playing field where everyone plays by the rules."


Group alleges bias in Bank of America’s handling of KC area foreclosures

Kansas City Star “Such neglect damages neighborhood property values, drains local tax revenues and creates health and safety risks for the community,” Smith said, adding that HUD and the Justice Department are investigating.

Arizona Supreme Court now allows citation to unpublished memorandum opinions and unpublished decisions from other jurisdictions 

This is a big blow to the banksters who have gone to great measures to keep decisions unpublished that show they are losing in many cases.

Arizona Supreme Court


Ken McLeod

The Arizona Supreme Court released a change to Rule 111 (publication of opinions). The rule similarly amends its criminal and family courts sections.

The rule allows the citation (under certain circumstances) of unpublished memorandum opinions and unpublished decisions from other jurisdictions.


MAAPL’s AG Foreclosure Forum Videos

The Mass. Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) is a coalition of over 60 housing counseling agencies, legal services groups, social service agencies, and community-based social action groups that have joined together to address the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending MAAPL collects and distributes timely information on the foreclosure crisis and its effects to the public and to its member groups, drafts and supports legislation that provides important protections to homeowners and tenants facing foreclosure and eviction, documents the impact of the foreclosure crisis on local communities, networks with related organizations throughout the Commonwealth, and provides tools and information to help people navigate the legal system and advocate on their own behalf more effectively when challenging a foreclosure or eviction in court



It is a fundamental precept of the law to expect a foreclosing party to actually be in possession of its claimed interest in the note, and to have the proper supporting documentation in hand when filing suit, showing the history of the note, so the defendant is duly apprised of the rights of the plaintiff. A defendant needs to be assured it is being sued by the person who can rightfully enforce the note.

Supreme Court of Oklahoma


The rights and obligations of the parties are established within the four corners of the contract, which is the promissory note. Plaintiff's authority to enforce the obligations and responsibilities established in the original promissory note need be determined prior to the request for relief by reason of the alleged breach of the obligation.

Absent standing, a party's claim is not justiciable, and the courts will not inquire into the merits of the claim. West v. Justice, 2008 OK CIV APP 49, ¶ 9, 185 P .3d. 412, 414. Standing may be raised at any stage of the proceeding, and when raised, the party invoking the court's jurisdiction has the burden of establishing his or her standing. Id. at ¶ 10 Because there was a substantial issue of material fact concerning standing that should have been addressed, the court, sua sponte, should not have granted summary judgment and should have vacated its judgment upon the standing issue for further determination.


What the DOJ Wants When It Comes Knocking

By the time the DOJ confronts a bank with a threat of litigation, it has already conducted months of discovery, having foraged through emails, documents, testimony and a range of other discovery goldmines.

National Mortgage News The penalties in Choke Point third-party payment processing cases have been more modest. But the fact is that the 1989 Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act gives the DOJ the broad authority to seek a $1 million penalty, which could be increased to as much as $5 million per day for continuing violations or the gains or losses actually incurred.


The Mortgage Cannot Be Enforced, Even If the Note Can Be Enforced

Cashmere Valley Bank v. The Department of Revenue

After analyzing this case, consider the possibility that there is no party in existence who has the power to foreclose. The Trust beneficiaries clearly don’t have that right. The Trust doesn’t either because they didn’t pay anything for it. The Trustee doesn’t have that right because it can only assert the rights of the Trust and Trust beneficiaries. The servicer doesn’t have that right because it derives its authority from the Pooling and Servicing Agreement which does not apply because the loan never made it into the Trust. The originator doesn’t have the right both because they never loaned the money and now disclaim any interest in the mortgage. 

Living Lies



Opinion via

Stop Foreclosure Fraud

Cashmere’s investments in REMICs are not primarily secured by mortgages or deeds of trust.

“By contrast, with REMICs, a trustee’s default may or may not coincide with an individual homeowner default. So, there may be no right of foreclosure in the event a trustee fails to make a payment.

Agency REMICs, like the Fannie Mae REMIC Trust 2000-38, guarantee payments even if mortgage borrowers default, regardless of whether the issuer expects to recover those payments. Moreover, the assets held in a REMIC trust are often MBSs, not mortgages.

While investments in pass-through securities qualify for the tax deduction, investments in REMICs do not.

Interest received from investments in REMICs is often repackaged several times and no longer resembles payments that homeowners are making on their mortgages.


After Eric Holder Resigns, A Look at His Record on Bank Prosecutions

Black: Well, he's actually going to leave without even a token conviction, or even a token effort at convicting.

If you're not going to have criminal referrals from the agencies, the only other conceivable way that you're going to learn about elite criminal misconduct of this kind is through whistleblowers. And as you mentioned, this administration, and Eric Holder in particular, are known for the viciousness of their war against whistleblowers.

Real News


Prof. Bill Black

So, in baseball terms, he struck out every time, batting 0.000, but he actually never took a swing. So he was called out on strikes looking, as we would say in baseball. And I couldn't believe that he would leave without at least having one attempted prosecution against these folks. So he hasn't done the most--he never did the most elementary things required to succeed. He never reestablished the criminal referral process, which is from the banking regulatory agencies, who are the only ones who are going to do widescale criminal referrals against bank CEOs, because, of course, banks won't make criminal referrals against their own CEOs. Holder could have reestablished that criminal referral process in a single email on the first day in office to his counterparts in the banking regulatory agencies, and he's going to leave never having attempted to do so.


A Win for Borrowers? Freddie Mac Testing Pilot Program for Speedier Alternative to Foreclosure

Instead of letting foreclosures languish as bankruptcies play out, the program would shave years off the sales process and carve out payments for unsecured lenders, supporters said.

DBR "The approach is not to take the property out of bankruptcy but to sell it there," said Kenneth Welt, a veteran trustee leading the push.

"This program prevents borrowers from staying in the house for years or second homeowners from keeping money from rent without paying their mortgage. The bottom line looks very good when you're not paying any expenses, but it's not right and to me it's offensive."


My Conversation With a Banker

This banker also confirmed my long-standing belief that all of the foreclosure sales we routinely see where the banks bid up to their judgment amount – even when the judgment amount far exceeds the value of the property – is a byproduct of the government insuring these mortgages. So if you’re not thoroughly disgusted already, take a look at www.pinellas.realforeclose.com  or whatever website conducts the foreclosure sales in your county.

Stopa Law Firm Whenever you see a bank bidding up to its judgment amount – which is what happens the vast majority of the time – that probably means the bank is getting that judgment paid in full by you, me, and “our” government. It doesn’t matter that a house is worth $100,000 and a third-party investor is willing to pay $105,000 because he really likes that house – the bank is going to bid up to its $175,000 judgment because it wants to get title, convey title to Fannie, and have the government pay the $175,000 judgment in full.

You thought foreclosure sales were to sell properties to the public? Think again. It’s “our” government foreclosing on homeowners so banks can get paid in full.

So if you’ve been unable to get a principal reduction, at least now you know why. Your bank isn’t going to reduce principal on your loan and accept payments over time when it can foreclose and get paid in full by the government. It’s quite a gig … if you’re a bank. Foreclose on Americans, then collect tax dollars from those same Americans to get paid in full. Disgusting, eh?  


The Hole in Holder’s Legacy

As for those big fines against Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, not only did they come very late, but their terms were such that it was impossible to know for sure the extent of their wrongdoing. And, of course, despite fines that went into the billions, no actual human was prosecuted for any wrongdoing.

Joe Nocera Take the claim that the Justice Department has been rigorously rooting out mortgage fraud. In fact, after a grand announcement that the department was putting together a mortgage fraud task force, U.S. attorneys around the country began aiming their fire at easy prey: small-time mortgage brokers, or homeowners who had lied on “liar loans.” None of the top executives from any of the major firms were indicted. Indeed, according to an article in The New York Times Magazine in May, only one executive of any kind — a mid-level executive with Credit Suisse — has gone to prison as a result of his actions during the financial crisis. The notion that he’s the only one who committed a crime in the mortgage-crazed run-up to the financial crisis is, quite simply, implausible.


Consumer Agency Penalizes Flagstar Bank $37.5 Million Over Mortgage Servicing

(At least $20,000,000 shall be distributed to Foreclosed Consumers)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took aim at one of the most powerful players in the housing market: the mortgage servicing firms that have great sway in deciding whether struggling homeowners lose their homes to foreclosure or win a reprieve.

Flagstar took excessive time to process borrowers’ applications, did not tell them when their applications were incomplete, denied loan modifications to qualified borrowers, and illegally delayed finalizing permanent loan modifications.”









Ken McLeod

In its first enforcement action under mortgage-servicing rules that went into effect at the start of this year, the agency reached a $37.5 million settlement with Flagstar Bank, based in Troy, Mich., over accusations that it prevented thousands of homeowners from averting foreclosure.

The action is a harbinger of others that could be brought under new mortgage servicing guidelines. Under rules dating to January 2014, mortgage servicing firms must evaluate applications from foundering homeowners within 30 days.

Particularly troubling, Mr. Cordray said, is that borrowers have few other options. “In the mortgage servicing market, they could not take their business elsewhere but were stuck with whatever treatment they received from Flagstar,” Mr. Cordray said.

Flagstar Stipulation 

Flagstar Consent Order

CFPB Launches 'New Era' of Mortgage Servicing Enforcement

National Mortgage News "Today's action signals a new era of enforcement to protect consumers against the cost of servicer runarounds," CFPB Director Richard Cordray told reporters. "We need all mortgage servicers to understand that they must step up and follow the law. We are working very hard to fulfill this objective."


Large-scale fraud in IT systems of US courts - unannounced regime change

Wide segments of the people of the United States today hold that the US Constitution was voided. The implementation of invalid fraudulent IT systems in the US courts was a key event in establishing current conditions. It is corruption, which was centrally implemented throughout the court system. The current regime engages in robbing the people in collusion with financial institutions and large corporations, conditions that are considered in criminology Organized State-Corporate Crime.

Joseph Zernick ... a system in which only the little people have to obey the law, while the rich, and bankers especially, can cheat and defraud without consequences. - Paul Krugman, Economics Nobel prize winner

I think it's difficult to find a fraud of this size on the US court system in US history. I can't think of one where you have literally tens of thousands of fraudulent documents filed in tens of thousands of cases. - Raymond Brescia, a visiting professor at Yale Law School 

The US "has no functioning democracy" - Former US President Jimmy Carter


UBS Says Subpoenaed in U.S. Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Bloomberg UBS AG received a U.S. federal subpoena last month seeking records related to its residential mortgage-backed securities business during the boom in sub-prime lending.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York asked in August for documents and information about the RMBS business from 2005 through 2007


Powers of Attorney — New Documents Magically Appear

BONY/Mellon is among those who are attempting to use a Power of Attorney (POA) that they say proves their ownership of the note and mortgage. In No way does it prove ownership. But it almost forces the reader to assume ownership. But it is not entitled to a presumption of any kind. This is a document prepared for use in litigation and in no way is part of normal business records.

Living Lies BONY/Mellon is among those who are attempting to use a Power of Attorney (POA) that they say proves their ownership of the note and mortgage. In No way does it prove ownership. But it almost forces the reader to assume ownership. But it is not entitled to a presumption of any kind. This is a document prepared for use in litigation and in no way is part of normal business records.

If they had paid for the loan documents they would have been more than happy to show that they did and then claim holder in due course status.


Secret Recordings Inside The Federal Reserve Prompt Elizabeth Warren To Call For Investigation

Think Progress Warren said the recordings require action from Capitol Hill. “Congress must hold oversight hearings on the disturbing issues raised by today’s whistleblower report when it returns in November, because it’s our job to make sure our financial regulators are doing their jobs,” she said in a statement. “When regulators care more about protecting big banks from accountability than they do about protecting the American people from risky and illegal behavior on Wall Street, it threatens our whole economy.”

Finally, the Truth About the Bailout

As a legal matter, most experts believe the case is far-fetched — that the government has no obligation to live up to some abstract notion of fairness when it seizes assets to prevent a global crisis.

NY Times Op-Ed Morally, the claim is even weaker. A.I.G.’s stock would have been worthless absent a bailout; it is now worth about $80 billion. Or, as the government’s lawyers have put it, the shareholders’ stake after Washington took most of the company was “worth more than their 100 percent equity stake before the rescue.”


Court Casts a New Light on a Bailout

“I think by the time we get finished with this case and we have our trial, we’re going to have the full picture on everything that occurred regarding the government’s rescue of A.I.G.,” said Thomas C. Wheeler, a federal judge. “Why did they do it the way they did here?”

Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

The lawsuit contends that the United States’ bailout of the American International Group, the giant insurer that collapsed in mid-September 2008, was so punitive that it amounted to an improper taking of private property by the United States under the Fifth Amendment.

The A.I.G. deal was, fundamentally, a rescue of A.I.G.’s trading partners. Those partners included the big banks whose toxic mortgage securities had brought on the financial crisis. The insurer had guaranteed the securities against default.


Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash

A confidential report and a fired examiner’s hidden recorder penetrate the cloistered world of Wall Street’s top regulator—and its history of deference to banks.

ProPublica After interviews with dozens of New York Fed employees, Beim learned something that surprised even him. The most daunting obstacle the New York Fed faced in overseeing the nation's biggest financial institutions was its own culture. The New York Fed had become too risk-averse and deferential to the banks it supervised. Its examiners feared contradicting bosses, who too often forced their findings into an institutional consensus that watered down much of what they did.

Hear the radio version on these stations or download the episode now.


Fannie, Freddie Need Third-Party Tests of Compliance: Watchdog

Neither Fannie nor Freddie "have routine, independent verification of counterparty compliance," the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General said in a report to be released Friday.

As a result, the government-sponsored enterprises are exposed to greater risk of fraud and the misrepresentation of facts about properties, borrowers or loans, the report said.

National Mortgage News The report is the second in the past two weeks that has been highly critical of the FHFA, which oversees Fannie and Freddie while they are in conservatorship. The watchdog recently lambasted the FHFA for failing to analyze the costs to taxpayers of a new plan to reduce buybacks for banks and mortgage lenders.

The inspector general responded by stating that the GSEs "are only able to conduct detailed reviews of a limited number of counterparties." The agency also noted that past failures to monitor counterparties allowed the fraud scheme by officers and employees at Taylor, Bean & Whitaker to continue over many years.



There cannot be a valid foreclosure because there is no valid mortgage.

Living Lies Bottom line: there was no securitization, the trusts were merely empty sham nominees for the investment banks and the “assignments,” transfers, and endorsements of the fabricated paper from illegal closings were worthless, fraudulent and caused incomprehensible damage to everyone except the perpetrators of the crime. 

The main borrower defense is that (a) the originator did not loan them money and (b) all the parties that took payments from the homeowner owe that money back to the homeowner plus interest, attorney fees and perhaps punitive damages. Suing on a fictitious transaction can only be successful if the homeowner defaults (fails to defend) or the suing party is a holder in due course.


Former NFL Player Sentenced To 46 Months In Prison For His Role In A Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Defendant Received More Than $500,000 In Mortgage Fraud Proceeds

US Attorney Anne Tompkins Hitchock, 43, of Clemmons, N.C., pleaded guilty in June 2013 to one count of mortgage fraud conspiracy, one count of bank bribery conspiracy and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

Hitchcock created other false documents to support the mortgage fraud transactions and recruited a bank insider to assist in the fraud, by paying her bribes to provide bogus verifications of deposit to support the mortgage fraud transactions.


Obama Administration Again Sides With Abusive Loan Servicers, This Time on Student Loans

A corrosive development is the ease with which lenders steal extract income which is not properly theirs from borrowers through what is at best incompetence and in far too many cases is fraud. 

naked capitalism This pattern has repeats itself again and again: in mortgage servicing, with debt collection, and more and more with student loan servicing. A big part of why servicers, who are less supposedly disreputable than kneecapping debt collectors, keep getting away with misconduct is that most borrowers are too broke to fight bogus charges and the cascading damage that results, often from interest rates ratcheting into default levels. And even when borrowers go to court, judges are often unwilling to side with consumers against large, legitimate-looking loan servicers.













NPR Some of that early glow faded in part due to the politicized nature of the job and in part because of Holder's own rhetoric, such as a 2009 Black History Month speech where he said the country was "a nation of cowards" when it comes to discussions about racial tension.

Another huge controversy — over his decision to try the Sept. 11 plotters in a New York courthouse in the shadow of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center — prompted venomous reaction from lawmakers, New York City officials and some victims' families.

Eric Holder didn't send a single banker to jail for the mortgage crisis. Is that justice?

US attorney general’s tenure has proven unhelpful to the five million victims of mortgage abuses in the US.

As far back as 2004, the FBI warned of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud, which they said would have “as much impact as the Savings & Loan crisis.”

They were wrong; it was worse.

As for homeowners, they received a raw deal, in the form of little or no compensation for some of the greatest consumer abuses in American history.

Guardian “Friends and former colleagues say Holder has made no decisions about his next professional perch,” NPR writes, “but they say it would be no surprise if he returned to the law firm Covington & Burling, where he spent years representing corporate clients.”

A large chunk of Covington & Burling’s corporate clients are mega-banks like JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America and MERS. Lanny Breuer, who ran the criminal division for Holder’s Justice Department, already returned to work there. 

In March, Covington highlighted in marketing materials their award from the trade publication American Lawyer as “Litigation Department of the Year,” touting the law firm’s work in getting clients accused of financial fraud off with slap-on-the-wrist fines.


Utah Homeowner Wins Lawsuit Against Bank of America in Illegal Foreclosure Action

Utah Fifth District Judge Jeffrey Wilcox listened to Sam Adamson tell his story on the witness stand about the illegal foreclosure conducted on his home by ReconTrust Company over four years ago. After taking the case under advisement Judge Wilcox issued a ruling stating that the foreclosure sale on Adamson’s home was VOID and never happened

Distressed Asset v. Adamson

The fact that no injury or fraud in the sale has been shown, does not affect the
question. Nor is it affected by the fact. that the purchaser was an innocent party.
[The sale was made by one not authorized to make it. and cannot be upheld]. It is simply VOID, and no one gains any rights under it.
More below...

KCSG This ruling is significant because it renders ReconTrust foreclosure action invalid as if it never happened. For years Utah homeowners have battled Bank of America  and its subsidiary ReconTrust Company over the validity of the bank’s foreclosure actions in Utah, Barlow said. 

Does this ruling provide a way for people foreclosed upon by ReconTrust to evict the current home occupant and allow a foreclosed homeowner to move back into their home? Barlow thinks it may, but said: “It’s unlikely that any judge would evict an innocent third party, a judge may make ReconTrust and Bank of America pay the illegally foreclosed homeowner compensatory damages for the illegal foreclosure and subsequent injuries.” Barlow continued, “People need to be reasonable and remember that obtaining justice does not include inflicting emotional or monetary harm on innocent third parties that purchased their home after the foreclosure sale.”



Judge: Couple can’t be evicted though they haven’t paid mortgage

Which state law governs foreclosures was at issue when then-Attorney General Mark Shurtleff personally dismissed a federal court lawsuit in December of 2012 against Bank of America that attorneys in his office felt was their best case to uphold the Utah law.

Among 10 criminal charges Shurtleff now faces is one for "Accepting Employment That Would Impair Judgment," stemming from a job he received a short time after he dismissed the lawsuit from a law firm that has Bank of America as a major client.

Salt Lake Tribune The couple fought back, saying they shouldn’t be evicted because the original foreclosure sale was void. Under state law, only a Utah attorney or title company can carry out a foreclosure and ReconTrust violated that statute when it sold their home using its own personnel, Barlow argued.

Bank of America has been claiming that U.S. bank laws allow ReconTrust to operate under the laws of Texas, where it has its headquarters, even when foreclosing in Utah.

Last year, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that Utah laws and not those of another state govern foreclosures here, a decision Bank of America is attempting to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.


“The Most Remarkable Chart I’ve Seen in Some Time”: Rich Gain More Ground in Every US Expansion

naked capitalism If you had any doubt the US economy had been rearchitected to favor the haves versus the have-lesses, this chart by Pavlina Tcherneva should settle it.

A bit hat tip to Pavlina, who has put this data together in a simple but powerful way that makes it hard to ignore how the rich really have gotten richer.


Montgomery County takes mortgage fight to banks

After winning a June 30, 2014 decision against the company that maintains a national registry of mortgage transactions, the Montgomery County Record of Deeds has filed a class action suit at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the banks who allegedly bought and sold mortgages without paying the real estate recording fees.

Pennsylvania Record In June, U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner allowed Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds Nancy Becker to continue with her class action suit against Merscorps, the multi-billion dollar business that owns and maintains the MERS electronic database, which records mortgage transactions made between investors and trusts. Becker claimed that the database did not record thousands of transactions, denying Montgomery County more than $15 million in fees.

Montgomery County v. the Banks



What do bankruptcy mortgage servicing and ebola have in common?

Here is the basic analogy. Ebola has a high kill rate. Similarly, screwed up mortgage servicing can be the death knell for homeownership. Ebola is currently epidemic in West Africa, just as the foreclosure crisis made mortgage servicing a top-line policy problem. And despite the publicity, both ebola and foreclosure--as epidemiological matters--are rare. 

Prof. Katie Porter This is one of the reasons that investment and research on both problems has lagged behind more common occurrences such as, respectively, malaria and mobile banking. We have known about the risks of ebola for years, yet the global community is still struggling to find fixes. Again, in parallel, it has been twelve years since Hank Hildebrand wrote "The Sad State of Mortgage Service Providers," and six years after Tara Twomey's and my research on mortgage servicing errors in bankruptcy hit the front pages of newspapers. While improved, bankruptcy mortgage servicing is still a threat to a healthy bankruptcy system. 

A wrongful foreclosure also shakes our belief in the rule of law, and in government's role in protecting our rights.  - Porter


Dying woman's final wish to save husband, home from foreclosure

KHOU Johnny has a low-paying job where his health insurance helps with Risa's extensive medical costs, including her hospice care, but the additional bills and burdens of Risa's terminal fight now have the couple three months behind on the mortgage at their modest home, and, despite her terminal illness, their bank is threatening foreclosure.


MBA: CFPB Consumer Complaint Database A Threat To Lenders

RMD The MBA’s letter follows a letter sent from researchers from the Financial Markets Working Group at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center who say “the bureau’s plan to expand the database to include consumer complaint narratives is outside its statutory authority.” “MBA believes the CFPB’s posting unsubstantiated and frequently emotional narratives with accompanying complaints could mislead consumers and undermine the stated goal of improving consumer decision-making,” 


Is Freddie the “Government” When It’s In Conservatorship?

Prof. David Reiss Their first defense was based on the argument that, even though Freddie Mac was concededly a nongovernmental entity prior to it’s being placed into conservatorship in 2008, it had become a federal agency by virtue of the conservatorship with FHFA as conservator. As such, it was required to comply with Due Process in foreclosing, and the borrowers argued that the Michigan nonjudicial foreclosure procedure did not afford due process.

The court rejected this argument, as has every court that has considered it.


Gain Strength by Admitting Your Weakness and NEVER GIVE UP!

The judge did a bit of a double take. There was such a stark contrast between our honesty and the Plaintiff’s sole witness flip flopping just a few minutes earlier. 

Rosen Law Combine that with the hours and hours of professional and yet aggressive lawyering, it was as if a light went off – the arguments starting going our way. When the opportunity arises, admitting weakness is perhaps one of the most powerful and effective ways to gain credibility. I suspect most lawyers argue everything they can, thinking that’s what lawyers are supposed to do, and in exchange their credibility gets hammered. I was amazed how much the paradigm shifted during that key moment.

Mortgage fraud: it’s back!

With the rapid uptake of digital and new technology, fraudsters are finding new and more clever ways to rort the system.

(...and the mortgage industry is pushing for digitized mortgage Notes versus one original paper Note. Fraud will be just one untraceable click away.) 

The Advisor With improvements in desktop publishing and digital technology over the past decade, forged documents are now becoming difficult to tell apart from originals

While the statistics reveal identity theft as the underlying issue, fraud comes in many different forms. Organized crime is on the rise as brokers act in collusion with other parties to defraud the system, according to Mr. Warfield. 


Eric Holder Says Justice Department Has Moles on Wall Street

Pam Martens

Wall Street on Parade

Holder is nothing if not straight-forward. He came right out and acknowledged that those jaded ways of Wall Street that collapsed the financial system six years ago are back. “…we are already witnessing a troubling return to some of the very same profit-driven risk-taking that contributed to the 2008 collapse,” said Holder.


Florida: Recent Real Property Case Law

Collection of foreclosure-related cases that were mostly reversed/remanded:

Statute of Limitations to Correct Title: Purpose of section 95.231(2), Florida Statutes, is clear title to real estate of formal irregularities by limiting the time within which such defects can be asserted to 20 years, but cannot validate a conveyance made by someone who had never had an interest in the property. Hardey v Shell


h/t Stop Foreclosure Fraud

Foreclosure: final summary judgment reversed where undated endorsement, with photocopy of unendorsed note, and other affidavits failed to prove plaintiff was owner or holder of note at time complaint filed – LaFrance v. US Bank National Association, No. 4D13-102 (Fla. 4th DCA July 9, 2014) (reversed and remanded)

Foreclosure: foreclosing plaintiff’s summary judgment premature where original note not filed or provided to Court, and where certification required by Fla. Stat. § 702.015(b)(4), certifying plaintiff in possession of original note, not filed - PNC Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Orchid Grp. Invests., LLC, No. 2:13-cv-12-FtM-38CM (M.D. Fla. Feb. 13, 2014) (denying plaintiff’s summary judgment


Pro Se Wins Reversal of Dismissed Mod-Fraud Case and Court Agrees to Publish



Robert and Alina Fleet, appellants in this case, alleged just such a pattern in 
their first amended complaint against respondent Bank of America (BofA). Because they are representing themselves, their complaint is not in the form to which courts are accustomed.
Nevertheless, allegations of viable causes of action can be sufficiently 
discerned to defeat a demurrer. We therefore reverse the judgment dismissing their case against BofA and return them to the trial court for further proceedings. 

Troubleshooters Uncover Secret Foreclosure Rentals

McDonald’s hopes of escaping foreclosure have faded. Now, he just wants his story to serve as a warning to others.

NBC Our real estate expert says a business is legally required to be licensed to serve as a rental agent or negotiate with a mortgage company. Neither Realty Partners Group nor New Haven Investments holds any sort of real estate license in Connecticut, and neither one is registered as a business with the Secretary of the State.



When an assignment of a mortgage is invalid, does it require a foreclosure case to be dismissed?

Living Lies The problems that have emerged is when, if ever, any value was paid to anyone in the “chain” on either the note or the mortgage. If no value was paid then the note might be enforceable subject to borrower’s defenses but the mortgage cannot be enforced. Additional issues emerge where the “proof” (often fabricated robo-signed documents) imply through hearsay that the note was the subject of a transaction at a different time than the date on the assignment. Denial and/or discovery would reveal the fraud upon the Court here — assuming you can persuasively argue that the production of evidence is required.

German Prosecutors Charge Deutsche Bank Executives

DealBook German prosecutors filed criminal charges on Tuesday against the co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank ​and several former bank leaders, accusing them of colluding to give false testimony in a long-running lawsuit over the collapse of a bank client’s media empire​.

Kelseyville man tells story of attempted foreclosures

Critics of MERS charge that the system allowed banks sell properties to several investors, to endorse subprime securities and more by using credit default trades. Through this method, banks essentially gambled that certain loans would end up in default. Meanwhile, through the transfer of such loans, they earned more. Yet homeowners found themselves facing the threat of foreclosure with no legitimate lender to contend with.

Record Bee "It's extortion and intimidation, it's bad-faith dealing," Larry said. "They have ignored all prior agreements and has threatened foreclosure."

After conducting three securitization audits on property, it was found that Seattle Mortgage Company was paid off in full in 2006 by Ginnie Mae, Larry said.

"Bank of America and RMS don't have anything to do with loan," he added.

The county can pursue an audit to determine if fraudulent recordings have occurred.



Federal Prosecution for the 21st Century

This new report from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law proposes modernizing one key aspect of the criminal justice system: federal prosecutors. Prosecutors are in a uniquely powerful position to bring change, since they make decisions about when and whether to bring criminal charges, and make recommendations for sentencing.

Brennan Center for Justice The report proposes reorienting the way prosecutors’ “success” is measured around three core goals: Reducing violent and serious crime, reducing prison populations, and reducing recidivism. The mechanism for change would be a shift in how attorneys' performance is assessed, to give prosecutors incentives to focus on how their practices reduce crime in and improve the communities they serve, instead of making their "success" simply a measure of how many individuals they convict and send to prison. 

Bank of America Continues Fight to Overturn ‘Hustle’ Case Verdict

dsNews In a court filing made September 18, attorneys for the Justice Department said Bank of America's attempt to overturn last October's verdict—which resulted in a $1.3 billion civil penalty —"[defies] the evidence, the law, and common sense."


HOA Lien Extinguishes First Deed of Trust in Foreclosure, Nevada Supreme Court Holds

SFR Investment Pool v. US Bank

Although it was generally accepted that the HOA's foreclosure extinguished the homeowner's title and interest in the home, the question of whether such foreclosure also extinguished a first deed of trust was up in the air.

Ballard Spahr On the heels of a recent D.C. Court of Appeals ruling, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an opinion yesterday holding that a homeowners association (HOA) lien is a true super-priority lien that, if foreclosed upon, extinguishes a first deed of trust. 

This ruling will affect how residential lenders underwrite and structure their loans going forward, and it will affect the long-term servicing of residential loans.

Also see this case: D.C. Court of Appeals Extinguishes Lender’s Mortgage Lien Following Association Lien Foreclosure


Bank of America foreclosure settlement

Logan Daily “In too many cases big banks disregarded the law, they foreclosed on homeowners who were trying to pay their bills on time, and through this practice the banks generated billions in profits,” said Brown. “It’s time for them to start paying some of that back to the communities who suffered.”

US Government Plays Robin Hood Under Guise Of National Mortgage Settlements

The DoJ is allowing BofA to settle crisis-era mortgage charges at the expense of savers, public workers and others.

While the settlements promise billions in consumer relief, average consumers – and not the banks – are picking up a significant share of the tab.

Forbes For evidence of the trend, look no further than Bank of America‘s (BofA) recent $17 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ). BofA promised to pay off more than 41 percent of the fine by providing consumer relief, which includes lowering mortgage payments for certain borrowers. The catch is that BofA doesn’t have to actually own the mortgages it intends to write down.

The question at hand is, if BofA doesn’t own these mortgages, who does? And the most likely answer is, you.


The College Version of the Failed Subprime Mortgage Business-Model  

For-Profit Colleges as Factories of Debt

This is the new American lower-class version of P.T. Barnum’s “a sucker is born every minute.” These social aspirants are easy to exploit because they haven’t gotten the memo that the American Dream is dead.


CFPB v. Corinthian College

Hannah Appel and Astra Taylor Asked to explain Corinthian’s financial troubles, Trace Urdan, a market analyst for Wells Fargo Bank, Corinthian’s biggest equity investor, argued that the school attracts “subprime students” who “can be expected — as a group — to repay at levels far lower than most student loans.” And yet, as Corinthian’s financial woes mounted, the corporation stopped paying rent at its Los Angeles campuses and couldn’t pay its own substantial debts to lenders, including Bank of America, from whom it sought a debt waiver.

That Corinthian can request debt waivers from its lenders should give us pause. Who, one might ask, is the proper beneficiary of a debt waiver in this case? No such favors will be done for Nathan Hornes or other former Corinthian students, though they have effectively been led into a debt trap with an expert package of misrepresentations, emotional manipulation, and possibly fraud.


What about the bankers?

Dixon man faces 30 years in prison for mortgage fraud scheme

A federal jury on Monday found Hubert Rotteveel, 52, of Dixon, guilty of one count of mail fraud affecting a financial institution relating to his role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Daily Democrat According to evidence produced at trial, Rotteveel acted as a real estate salesman for (only) 13 properties in Dixon that were purchased by just two buyers.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Gliatta of the Sacramento FBI. "Our FBI agents are committed to working with our investigative partners, such as the IRS and others, to identify and investigate individuals who erroneously believe such schemes have no victims and have no effect on the region's economy."... (but the FBI won't touch the mortgage fraud committed by the banks that collapsed the global economy, stole wealth and ruined millions of lives.)



Court Rules Against the Robinson’s in Quiet Title Case (You can’t file for quiet title and not invite MERS to the party.)

MERS v. Robinson

 Mandelman Matters In ruling in favor of MERS, and denying the Robinson’s motion, the court recognized that MERS’ claims are ultimately based on their contention that, under California law, MERS was entitled to be named in the Robinson’s quiet title action.
The Robinsons, on the other hand continue to disagree, arguing that all claims made by MERS “must therefore necessarily fail.” The couple also argues that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, that MERS lacks standing, and that MERS may not prosecute this action in their own name as a “real party in interest.”


The Note bears an origination date of 2005, and contains a stamp “signed” by robo-signer Cynthia Riley who testified in a deposition taken in a Florida foreclosure case that she never endorsed any notes or put any endorsement stamps on notes from 2004 through 2006

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide This ruling now permits a homeowner to inquire, under oath, of those witnesses who were involved with what JPM allegedly purchased from the FDIC; what, if anything, the FDIC retained following the September 25, 2008 P&AA; and into the issues as to how a loan which JPM has told the world was part of its acquisition from the FDIC was somehow “assigned” to PennyMac Corp.’s predecessor-in-interest 5 years after the alleged JPM acquisition and then assigned to PennyMac Corp. or otherwise transferred by a claimed “endorsement” which the alleged signer thereof stated under oath she did not place on the Note and did not sign.


Using Injunctions to Battle Mortgage Fraud

It is essential that consumers have a remedy for creditors who break the law.

Attorneys should consider taking action under two federal acts which I have found to be effective in consumer cases. Action can be taken under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to enjoin the collection of these illegal loans, which are contrary to public policy.  

OEN The reporting of the uncollectible mortgage can be enjoined by a private action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which was enacted by Congress to provide fairness to the consumer in the banking system, which is dependent upon fair and accurate credit reporting and unfair credit reporting methods undermine the confidence of the public in that system. The importance of fairness to the consumer is a vital element of the legislative history of the FCRA. In cases where creditors are able to exercise non judicial remedies to recover their collateral to loans and then seek deficiencies, it is essential that consumers have a remedy for creditors who break the law.


Charles Koppa Team is Nailing It in Southern California

Charles realized that “The Title Insurance Industry”, “MERS”, and “Foreclosure Attorney-Trustees” had co-conspired with loan servicers at the expense of both home owners and investors “No paper trail, no government compliance, no knowledge of the REMIC investors, no knowledge of the borrower, etc”. 

Charles and his team are focusing in on the plain fact that none of the transactions referenced or implied by “assignment,” “indorsement” or “power of attorney” ever happened. None of the “documents” are true. The courts are mostly running on the biased and completely incorrect underlying assumption or narrative that any of the foreclosing parties had any legal role in originating, transferring or even processing loans or payments on loans. The entire scheme is a fraud with pennies being sent out to keep “investors” pacified while their wallets are being purged of any value.

Charles Koppa SEVEN Potential crimes by a pattern of dozens of unethical financial services “players”:
1. CONVERSION of Loan Obligations into “unsecured” electronic lien securitizations.
2. FALSE CLAIMS using Bond Certificates as Liens to control “secured” Land Titles at 125% value of the original promissory note and First Trust Deed.
3. FORGERY, FABRICATION, FRAUD and PERJURY in many documents filed in Public Records and Court Histories.
4. MISREPRESENTATION of Wall Street liens (soft assets) as rights to Real Property (hard assets).
5. EMBEZZLEMENT of 20% homeowner real property equity at false public auctions of virtual and phantom liens.
6. RICO violations by virtual SPE/SPV families commandeered by a dozen Wall Street Banksters’.
7. COLLUSION between ALTA, ABA, MERS, UTA and most state Bar/Judicial associations.


Mortgage fraud is alive and well

Amerisave Mortgage has been ordered to pay $19.3 million for perpetrating a deceptive bait-and-switch scheme on would-be borrowers.

L.A.Times Ocwen has been running a "complex arrangement" that "appears designed to funnel as much as $65 million in fees annually from already distressed homeowners" to an affiliated company for minimal work in providing force-placed insurance (coverage which, for various possible reasons, the loan service buys at the homeowner's expense).


Reps and Warrants No Cure for Loan Defects

National Mortgage News What is happening today in the loan creating-process is scarcely different from what was going on prior to the housing crisis. Instead of adequately dealing with problems in the files prior to the loan closing, the industry still depends on mechanisms that make corrections after closing. That may be too late in the process.


An Accident Waiting to Happen: The $1 Trillion Leveraged Loan Market

naked capitalism But the bigger issue here is that even if this isn’t the biggest disaster in the making, it’s one the banks have no incentive to prevent, and there’s not regulator to be found who is willing to make them shape up. So the usual rule of caveat emptor goes double for this financial product.

House Committee to Examine Recent Bank Settlements

WSJ A congressional subcommittee is taking a closer look at the Justice Department’s recent multi-billion-dollar settlements with the big banks.

The regulatory subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will examine details of how the settlements required banks to offer assistance to struggling homeowners and neighborhoods,


Banks Seek Exit from Robo-Signing Enforcement Order

"The foreclosure process itself was never the problem, originating a whole bunch of loans to people who couldn't afford them was the problem, and that highlighted the fact that we hadn't changed the foreclosure law in decades." (???)

Mortgage Servicing News The nation's largest mortgage servicers are desperate to put the robo-signing scandal behind them.

At least two of the servicers say they are close to being released from consent orders dating back to 2011.

Still, the OCC has not set a schedule for its review and termination of the consent orders. Regulators also do not look kindly on banks wrangling for an early release.

"Have they beefed up their shops? Maybe — but their same problems and bad performance continue to cause great problems for homeowners seeking assistance," said Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.



Dirty Secret of $1 Trillion Loans Is When You Get Your Money Back

“The biggest banks who act as underwriters have an apparent self-interest in maintaining this archaic system,” Page said. “We are mystified by the fact they seem to have no interest in fixing it.”

Bloomberg Without pressure from regulators, Wall Street’s biggest banks haven’t yet overhauled the market. They’ve been cutting hundreds of thousands of jobs to reduce costs as they face stricter regulations intended to help prevent another crisis.

“You have to believe having an archaic system break would ultimately be more expensive for everyone, including the agent banks,” Eaton Vance’s Page said. “Many people have approached them and they have no interest” in fixing the problem.



When the Judge asked if granting the Motion would bump the November trial date, I responded that the law so provided. The Judge then said “Well, then, I am denying the Motion.” When I asked him the reason why (so that a record of error could be made for appeal), his response was: “Mr Barnes, I do not have time to do that now. I have a whole room of people here waiting.

So, in the end, the unconstitutional rewarding of property to the banks through unconstitutional court processes will give the states who engage in these actions exactly what they deserve: more bankruptcies; more dilapidated real estate; more crime; and more economic blight. Of course, the Government will blame it all on “those damned homeowners who didn’t pay their mortgage” instead of rightfully blaming the banksters for failing to be reasonable and work with a homeowner to keep them in their home and thus maintain the neighborhood. 

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide Judges are sworn to uphold the law, not to become robotic slaves to some Government which is apparently beholden to the banksters. Judges are not to ignore the law and the Constitution so that the banks can be rewarded with essentially stolen homes arising out of a fiasco which they themselves created in the first place. It is surprising that no Judge has come forward and refused to engage in what amounts to violations of civil rights.

All of the elements of a civil rights violation case are there: you have a “state actor” (Judge) who is engaging in “disparate treatment” (subjecting “foreclosure” litigants to “special” rules which do not apply to civil litigants in non-foreclosure cases and which “rules” fly in the face of due process and the enacted rules); thereby creating a “suspect class” (”foreclosure people”) who are being deprived of their civil rights with no rational relation to any legitimate state interest. Eliminating due process protections to homeowners so that foreclosure cases can be ram-rodded through the system and thus line the pockets of the banksters who created the morass from the beginning is not action “rationally related to a legitimate state interest.”


His friends called him Jimmie. As he sat down, gun in hand, his feelings were chaos. Anger, emptiness, sadness, shame. He raised his head; glanced at the sky then back to the crumpled foreclosure notice dropped beside him. 

See case below...

Scott Stafne, Esq. Even before his wife and three children held the memorial service, the servicer initiating the foreclosure cancelled the sale. Not out of any sympathy for the wife and children but to stop the family from filing any claim against the lending industry claiming the obviously illegal foreclosure proceedings were a proximate cause of Jimmie’s suicide.

In almost every other area, people and business entities are liable for the damages their negligent or intentional conduct foreseeable causes others. In the past the Courts have provided an exception for the government; now they have extended the same immunity to the wealthy. It is a sad day for Washington.


Mod-Fraud case

Deeds of Trust Act violations may be actionable under the CPA prior to Foreclosure

Frias v. Asset Foreclosure LSI Title, US Bank, MERS

Washington State Supreme Court We hold that the DTA does not create an independent cause of action for monetary damages based on alleged violations of its provisions where no foreclosure sale has been completed. The answer to the first certified question is no-at least not
pursuant to the DTA itself. We further hold that under appropriate factual
circumstances, DTA violations may be actionable under the CPA, even where no
foreclosure sale has been completed.


Call to end Treasury secrecy on Fannie and Freddie gets louder

Treasury continues to fight discovery, open records in lawsuits

Housing Wire The Third Amendment, the groups say, infringes on the rights of private shareholders who invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Third Amendment changed the 10% cash dividend paid to Treasury to a system where the GSEs pay all of their quarterly profits to Treasury. 
casino roulette wheel


Who Wins in the Financial Casino?

The producers in finance: the managing directors and heads of trading desks at major banks, the more senior managers who are along for the ride, the hedgies, guys in private equity.

The “house” is individuals, not institutions. That is how looting works.

naked capitalism Remember, the question is not merely who wins from our current hypertrophied financial system, but who is set up to be the house, as in to win no matter what. The answer in this case is intrinsically linked to looting.

When the SEC was respected and feared, back in the stone ages of the 1970s, the capital markets delivered far better value for society as a whole than they do now. But even though financial services industry looters are the big winners in the capital markets casino, many members of the 0.1% have been along for the ride. Until some of the uber-rich join the great unwashed as victims of financial services industry looting, the house has nothing to worry about.

Ron Paul Legacy Lives on as House Passes Fed Audit Bill

WSJ Known to some on Capitol Hill as the “Audit the Fed” bill, it passed the Republican-controlled House Wednesday on a 333-92 vote, with support from 106 Democrats. However it would likely face more opposition in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.


In Ruling That Favors Failed Bank, Promises Meant Little

Last week, a federal judge in North Carolina summarily dismissed a suit filed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation against nine former officers and directors of Cooperative Bank, a century-old bank in Wilmington, N.C., that pursued an ultimately disastrous growth strategy that depended on the continued soaring of local real estate prices.

DealBook “The facts show,” the judge wrote, “that the process the defendants used to make the challenged loans were expressly reviewed, addressed and graded by F.D.I.C. regulators” in the same 2006 examination that criticized its lending practices. “The regulators assigned defendants a passing grade of ‘2’ in the Camels system and to now argue that the process behind the loans is irrational is absurd. Further, each of the loans at issue was subject to substantial due diligence and an approval process that defies a finding of irrationality.”

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP Files Class Action Suit against Ocwen Financial Corporation

Elm Tree Investment v. Ocwen

Market Watch


Robbins Geller

The complaint charges Ocwen and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Ocwen, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the acquisition, servicing and resolution of sub-performing and non-performing residential and commercial mortgage loans in the United States and internationally.


Glitches FRAUD, complaints plague Ocwen, other mortgage servicers

The couple had paid the property insurance on their Inglewood home along with their mortgage, putting the money in escrow like most homeowners.

Trouble is, the couple said, their mortgage servicer — Ocwen Financial Corp. — didn't pass that money on to the insurance company for this year's premiums.

L.A. Times Ocwen, saying the couple needed to make up a deficit in the escrow account, first raised their monthly payment for loan, taxes and insurance by $200, to $2,400. Then last month, it imposed the force-placed insurance for an additional $200 each month, Hansborough said.

Some regulators and advocacy groups say their breakneck growth — Ocwen's loan servicing portfolio shot up more than eightfold to 2.9 million loans in four years — has led to frequent errors in handling loan and payment documents. (NO!, Ocwen has been a major player in mortgage servicing fraud since it began in the 1980s. MSF)


Justice Department Urges Banks to Implicate Employees

The Justice Department has a suggestion for banks hoping to avoid criminal charges: Rat out your employees.

DealBook “Corporations do not act criminally, but for the actions of individuals,” Mr. Miller said in the speech, adding, “The criminal division intends to prosecute those individuals, whether they’re sitting on a sales desk or in a corporate suite.”

Attorney General Holder Remarks on Financial Fraud Prosecutions


'Lawsuit Mill' Fights CFPB Litigation

The suit alleges that Hanna & Associates' tactics on behalf of banks, credit card companies and collection firms that buy portfolios of defaulted, unsecured credit debt has generated millions of dollars in "ill-gotten revenues," often by targeting consumers "who may not actually owe debts or may not owe debts in the amounts claimed."

Daily Report Online Hanna's lawyers also challenged the CFPB's contention that Hanna's staff routinely attached affidavits to filed suits that they knew or should have known were made by people who had no personal knowledge of the debt in question. "Numerous cases hold that a debt collector or collection law firm can rely on a creditor's representations regarding a consumer's account where the attorney has reason to believe the client is providing reliable information," they said. (Not in today's world of false statements and forged documents. MSF)


Lawsuit Targets 3 Shutts & Bowen Lawyers over Foreclosure

The 2006 loan allowed Nero to get $300,000 in equity out of his home, but within weeks he concluded the mortgage documents had been altered and contained serious errors. He maintained all the TILA disclosures were inaccurate by thousands of dollars. 

dbr He claims he offered to pay off the loan nine times before the foreclosure action. He spent thousands of dollars fighting the case with an attorney—until he couldn't afford a lawyer anymore and represented himself.
Self-employed, he spent countless hours in legal wrangling at the expense of his marketing business. And his wife of 20 years is seeking a divorce, fed up with a fight he can't seem to win.

Ohio still waiting on millions of dollars needed to deal with mortgage-mess blight, senators and advocates say

There could be additional federal settlements with other mortgage lenders accused of fraud, so if the Ohio coalition doesn't succeed now, it says it won't give up.

Plain Dealer Feeling forgotten and still in need, a coalition of Ohio housing activists, mayors and Congress members hope to tap into a national $16.65 billion mortgage fraud-and-abuse settlement so they can use some of the money to alleviate the state's widespread housing blight.

Banks made billions in profits, Brown said, and "it's time for them to return some of that to the community."


Holder to Recommend Big Rewards for Wall Street Whistleblowers

Institute for Legal Reform Mr. Holder also plans to call for ramped-up hiring of FBI agents to investigate white-collar crime, and will likely “signal publicly for the first time” that the DOJ intends to file criminal charges in financial fraud cases.


Pundits are trying to bring subprime mortgages back. Don't let them

Pundits and think tanks are trying to bring back subprime lending, spinning it as a virtuous move for the economy. Nothing could be more obviously a terrible idea.

Guardian But the facts tell a different story. The lenders basically want it both ways: they want Fannie and Freddie to take all the risk while they take all the gains. Freddie Mac’s own inspector general wrote in a 2011 report that the agency did not go after bad loans strongly enough, letting banks off the hook for passing them junk. A subsequent report from the inspector general found Fannie and Freddie negligent in failing to sanction banks over making spurious insurance claims. Fannie and Freddie are hardly tough-as-nails regulators punishing banks; the two agencies could barely review the claims they were supposed to.

A ‘Foreclosure King’ in Congress?

Dave Trott made millions in Michigan profiting off the foreclosure crisis. His foreclosure-mill foreclosed on 80,000 homes in one year. Now he may be headed to Washington.

Read Dave Dayen's article here

All In with Chris Hayes Foreclosure king Dave Trott evicted a 101 year old from her home of 65 years. Stranded in her wheelchair, she was dumped on dangerous, rainy streets; no food, no water, her life-saving medication thrown in a dumpster with her other worldly possessions. All to line the greedy pockets of Dave Trott.  

"He build the machine that was made to feed off of human misery...I've seen terrible human tragedy, and frankly they didn't care," said the Register of Deeds 


FBI Targets Minority Communities in Mortgage Fraud Investigations

So it's a double-wackiness out of the FBI and the Justice Department. First, they're not prosecuting the lenders at all. And that includes both the institutions that made the fraudulent loans and the officers, who, of course, controlled it and became wealthy through it. And second, they're saying, don't look at the senior people that are leading these massive fraud epidemics; look at those little disfavored folks

Interview with Prof. Bill Black The FBI is engaging in ethnic profiling in their prosecution of mortgage fraud, which is extraordinarily bizarre. And this came when I testified as an expert witness for the defense in this case in Sacramento and learned that the U.S. attorney there who is the most active in bringing these prosecutions is now prosecuting almost entirely Russian Americans. And that was pretty disturbing in itself, but then I did some research, and it turns out the FBI, in its annual report on mortgage fraud, in both 2008 and 2009, says that mortgage fraud is heavily committed by particular ethnic groups, like Russians and Armenians and such and Eurasians, and also by some gangs, you know, like, biker gangs and such.


Watchdog Releases Scathing Report on Fannie, Freddie Putback Plan

National Mortgage News A watchdog agency lambasted the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for failing to assess the risks of a plan to reduce loan buybacks for banks and mortgage lenders.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency adopted the plan last year even though Fannie and Freddie did not have the technology in place to make it work.


Virginia targets banks with $1.15B toxic mortgage lawsuit

Virginia Retirement System lost $383 million

Housing Wire Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced a giant lawsuit against some of the largest commercial banks for fraud committed against Virginia taxpayers during the height of the financial crisis. 

On Tuesday, the Richmond Circuit Court announced it is seeking $1.15 billion in damages against 13 banks that are each accused of fraudulently misleading the Virginia Retirement System during the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities to the state retirement fund.


Ferguson, the foreclosure crisis and America’s hedge-fund landlords

Raw Story In some cases, residents watched their buildings fall into disrepair as their new Wall Street landlords sought to wring maximum profit. In others, tenants faced intense pressure to leave their homes as new landlords tried to gentrify neighborhoods and raise rents. Tenants’ rights groups have dubbed this style of landlordship “predatory equity.”



The case has attracted attention because of Iwarimie's persistence, she said. Even after widespread publicity about false swearing and fraudulent documentation in mortgages cases, only about 10 percent of New Jersey defendants contest the actions.

NJ Spotlight In 2006, Iwarimie said, he began receiving letters and then a call from Argent Mortgage Co. of Orange, CA, telling him his home had greatly appreciated in value. As he understood the offer, he could refinance at a lower interest rate and have money to pay other bills.

But when Iwarimie went to Argent’s local office in New Brunswick for refinancing, he did not have an attorney to help him decipher the 80 pages of documents he was told to sign or initial.


Why not do the same for unenforceable mortgage loans?

CFPB sues for-profit Corinthian college chain, seeks refunds of private loans

The bureau is seeking $569 million in loan forgiveness or restitution for students who have taken out "Genesis" loans from the California-based for-profit college chain since July 2011. 

Plain Dealer Those claims enticed students to enroll and then take out private loans after they maxed out their federal loans. Those private loans – priced at 15 percent, about double the going rate for federal loans -- had to be repaid while students were still in school.

Students who stumbled on repayment – about 60 percent did – were harassed, in violation of debt collection laws, the suit said.

At one school, a college president was known as the "Grim Reaper" for habitually calling students out of class to interrogate them about their failure to repay.


Old Debts, Fresh Pain: Weak Laws Offer Debtors Little Protection

Shortly before Thanksgiving in 2008, as the country was in the throes of the great recession, Goetzinger faced an unexpected financial crisis of his own. Every penny in his bank account, $688.43, went missing.

ProPulbica In a panic, he called his bank for an explanation, and discovered that a company he'd never heard of had garnished the account. There was nothing he could do.

The company, Midland Funding LLC, struck again five months later. Just $179.14 was in the account, but Midland took it all anyway. This time the damage extended beyond the lost cash, Goetzinger said. Not knowing the account was now at zero, he overdrew it. That triggered an overdraft fee, he said, and then another. Soon, the fees had him in a several-hundred-dollar hole. That's when Goetzinger and Rose decided they'd had enough of banks. Goetzinger closed his account.

Compliance Has Made Foreclosure Process Complicated, Experts Say

Self-inflicted problems

DSNews "Fifteen or 20 years ago, a foreclosure took 110 days to complete," said Roy Diaz of the SHD Legal Group, speaking to a standing room only crowd. "Now it takes 600 days to complete. Everything gets bigger in negotiations when services become more heavily regulated."


The “Loan Closing” Debunked in Court Decision Slapping Attorney Title Fund

This is why the servicers should be ignored and the inquiry and evidence should all relate to the actual lenders who were duped into thinking they were investing into a REMIC Trust. They got a notice of having purchased the bonds, but their money was never delivered to the Trust which issued the Bonds without consideration.

Living Lies If the banks could have asserted HDC status, they would have because it would eliminate nearly all borrower defenses. But they didn’t allege HDC status which corroborates my view that the Trust never purchased or funded the origination of any loans (nor did the Trust ever receive delivery of the loan documents, as specified in the PSA — tot he Depositor and Custodian). Hence any “authority” derived from the securitization documents is a sham since the terms of the REMIC Trust were ignored and no transaction ever occurred.


Relevant as to unlawful foreclosure and gun-toting evictions...

Fear of Police Threats Justify Delayed Lawsuit

Finnigan and other officers were arrested later that year and charged with felonies, including home invasion, armed violence, aggravated kidnapping, and drug related crimes.

Courthouse News U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman ruled last week that Chicago and the individual officers cannot dismiss Cook's civil rights claims as untimely, even though he waited four years after the incident to file suit, because he reasonably believed the officers could make good on their threats.
"Threatening a victim of police brutally to ensure he does not reveal what transpired is clearly wrongful," Gettleman wrote. "When such threats are made with the clear intent to prevent a plaintiff from seeking redress for the underlying wrong, the threats constitute active steps distinct from that underlying wrong."

The judge also found it "ridiculous" to credit the claim by the defendants that, if Cook actually believed the officers' threats, he would have moved.
"If crooked cops threaten an individual's livelihood and safety, it is not clear that changing his address would offer much protection," Gettleman said. "Even if this were the case, it would be unjust and unreasonable to require that a victim of police misconduct uproot his life or be barred from raising equitable estoppel."


Cobb man fights MERS foreclosure

Somerton claims that Bank of America has been trying to foreclose on the house since 2011, using the Mortgage Electronic Recording System, or MERS.

"Something has to be done about this," Somerton said. "It ruins lives. You can't imagine the anguish and stress something like this does to a person."

Record-Bee Somerton and his wife moved into the house in 2001, having bought the house after his father died in 1996.

"He had liens on the property from state taxes," Somerton said. "The day before the house was going to be auctioned off, he committed suicide."

Eventually, after taking out a second mortgage and filing for bankruptcy twice to save the house, Somerton's wife left.

"She's renting an apartment somewhere else now because it got to be too much for her," Somerton said.


Rockland forecloses on bank-owned properties for unpaid sewer fees

Bangor Daily News JPMorgan Chase lost it for not paying the city $284 in sewer fees. The city attorney said Chase had been notified by mail and an official had signed for the letter, which alerted the bank that the city would acquire the property if the fees weren’t paid.

Shareholders Can Inspect Credit-Rating Records

Courthouse News Retirees who say they were burned by the 2008 financial crisis may inspect documents concerning mortgage-backed securities before and during the meltdown, produced or received by McGraw Hill's board.


'Zombie' homes haunt Florida neighborhoods

Aborted foreclosures leave thousands of properties in legal limbo

Alison Fitzgerald

The Center for Public Integrity

The problem is, Bank of America never followed through. Now, four years later, Young struggles to pay her bills while across town her house sits empty, strewn with trash and rotting under a leaky roof, collecting fines for code violations and unpaid taxes and fees related to the delinquent mortgage.

Problems Pile Up for Nationstar

In the case of Nationstar, it now services (collects the monthly mortgage payments on), over $350 Billion worth of mortgages. Of course, in the extremely crooked business of mortgage servicing, with that growth come consumer complaints about the way it conducts its business. In fact, so many complaints were made about Nationstar in the State of New York that the State's top banking regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, opened an investigation into Nationstar's business practices in March of this year.

McGookey Law If Edward's case is any indication, these new non-bank loan servicers, such as Nationstar, Ocwen and Specialized Loan Servicing, are going to be in for a rude awaking as they inherit the sins of the servicing forefathers when it comes to proving their foreclosure cases in court. It might just turn out that they will be chased out of the business for the same reason their bank predecessors were—the cost of fighting the foreclosure battle, largely due to the mortgage mess they created, begin to outweigh the profits to be earned through foreclosure. One can only hope.

When a judge misbehaves on or off the bench who do you turn to for help?

WXYZ The JTC considers bad behavior to be a felony conviction, failure to perform, misconduct in office, and other violations of the code of judicial conduct, including failing to be fair and courteous.

Banks Turn Cash Into Mortgages and Back Into Cash

Bloomberg "Let's package our risky mortgages into mortgage-backed securities and bamboozle ratings agencies into giving those securities AAA ratings so that investors think they're risk-free," is more or less a thing that people thought and then did and then regretted. At least with the FHLBs, the magical transformation is conducted by a willing participant and explicitly blessed by the government.



Have you lodged your CLAIM for your fair share of the fines imposed ? 

Bank of America hit with record fine for mortgage fraud

Selling toxic loans 

Bank of America’s misdemeanors (???) involved the securitization, origination, sale and other issues in relation to residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).

MFG The bank has also conceded that it originated risky mortgages and made misrepresentations about the quality of those loans before selling them to the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a US government agency which underwrites and insures loans made by banks and other private lenders for home building.

Bank of America admitted selling billions of dollars of RMBS without disclosing to investors key facts about the quality of the securitized loans. When the RMBS collapsed, investors, including federally insured financial institutions, suffered billions of dollars in losses.


Brown and Portman Call on Bank of America to Help Rebuild Ohio Communities

The senators sent a letter to Bank of America, urging the company to direct part of the settlement’s consumer relief funds to revitalize Ohio neighborhoods.

Senator Sherrod Brown “Ohio’s communities bore the brunt of the abusive and illegal tactics used by big banks to deceive homeowners during the depths of the housing crisis,” Brown said. “It’s time that the big banks make right for these practices and reinvest in Ohio communities. By securing these funds, we can help families stay in their homes and rebuild their neighborhoods.


Homeowners steamrolled as Florida courts clear foreclosure backlog

Why are Florida's courts rushing to clear more than 700 foreclosure cases per day?

Alison Fitzgerald

The Center for Public Integrity

“They deny them their rights, have hearings in absentia and just flush them down the garbage disposal.” - Margery Golant, Florida lawyer

Whoever has a promissory note can demand payment. So if JPMorgan didn’t have Lopez’s note, maybe someone else did.

JPMorgan's lawyer claimed she had the original note, then realized it was a copy, according to the trial transcript. She then told the judge the bank had lost the note. Then she changed her mind again and announced she had found it.


Title Insurer Owes $4.9M for Failure of Mortgages

A title insurer owes $4.9 million for contributing to the failure of mortgages that caused the defunct Washington Mutual Bank to lose millions of dollars, a federal judge ruled.

FDIC v. Attorney's Title Insurance Fund

Courthouse News The Florida-based Attorneys' Title Insurance Fund (ATIF) issues title insurance policies in real estate transactions. Agents and attorneys in its network may also act as closing agents, supervising the final transactions between buyers and sellers and overseeing the transfer of money and property.
Between 2005 and 2007, ATIF provided closing agents for 14 South Florida residential loans extended by the now-failed Washington Mutual Bank. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which took over WaMu in 2008 and investigated 500 of its defaulted loans, alleged that ATIF's agents caused WaMu to lend money to unqualified borrowers under false pretenses, leading to more than $9 million in losses for the bank. 


Enron Buster Is Back at Justice and Taking Aim at Real People

Lawmakers, in what has become something of a Washington ritual, criticized the Justice Department this week for not holding individual bankers to account for the financial crisis.

“There’s no reason why any case that’s currently pending in the Criminal Division in 2014 shouldn’t be resolved by 2016,” she said. “I don’t think it should take that long to make most white-collar cases, even if they’re really complicated.

Bloomberg Leslie Caldwell, the prosecutor who led the government’s prosecution of Enron Corp., took over the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in June after a decade in private practice. Among her priorities, she says, is focusing on the individual actors behind corporate wrongdoing.

“Certainly, there are cases where you also want to prosecute the company,” Caldwell said in an interview last week. “But I think you get the best outcome -- really across the board in terms of deterrence, in terms of the message to the public -- when you prosecute individuals.”

From 2010

Former Prosecutor Mark J. Malone on MERS

MERS functions to disguise the true owners of mortgages and promissory notes around the country. If an organized crime family set up a shell company to disguise ownership of its assets in the same manner MERS does, a prosecutor would label the incorporation an overt act in furtherance of a money-laundering conspiracy.

Hultman Full Deposition

Federal Prosecutor

Mark Malone

To appoint attorneys around the country as MERS assistant secretaries and vice presidents, Hultman falsely prepares a document in which he certifies that the document is a “true copy of a Resolution duly adopted” by the MERS Board of Directors. His certification is false because there is never an original resolution.

Mr. Hultman does not even have a colorable claim to authority to appoint foreclosure mill lawyers as MERS officers. The MERS Board never authorized Hultman to appoint foreclosure-mill lawyers as MERS officers. Instead Hultman relies upon a resolution passed by a defunct corporation that gave Hultman limited authority to appoint employees of MERS members as certifying officers. The present MERS Corporation never adopted the resolution of the dead corporation. Law firms are not MERS members, so Hultman’s effort to grasp this straw must fail.

Losing Your House When the Bank Already Lost Your Paperwork

Many homeowners struggling to save their homes have lost faith in Florida’s legal system.

Alison Fitzgerald

The Center for Public Integrity

Judge Raul Zambrano has never ruled in favor of a homeowner.

Even though it was the banks that came to the courts with forged documents, it’s almost impossible to find an example of a Florida judge ruling against a bank.


HSBC to Pay $550 Million to End Mortgage-Related Suit

DealBook The lawsuit was filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency over mortgage-backed securities it sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the financial crisis.

HSBC sold mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 2005 to 2007. Those securities declined in value after homeowners defaulted on their loans.


Investigating Florida's parallel legal system for foreclosures

Defense motions that disappear after 60 days, unelected judges meant to rule on a quarter of a million cases a year, original documents gone missing — these are the realities facing families caught in a year-old initiative intended to accelerate Florida's foreclosure process.

Now the courts are giving the banks a series of shortcuts to allow them to go ahead and foreclose without that paper trail.

Alison Fitzgerald

The Center for Public Integrity

Providing the proper documentation became problematic because the banks kept buying and selling the loans, and they didn’t keep the paperwork in order. So now the courts are giving the banks a series of shortcuts to allow them to go ahead and foreclose without that paper trail.

What I learned was how many people were driven into foreclosure by their lenders, people like the Abdos who were unjustly charged thousands of dollars for insurance they didn’t need. I heard stories of people who hit hard times and asked their banks for modified payment plans, and were told they had to go into default to get help. When they followed those instructions, the banks foreclosed. There were so many crazy and sad stories.



Aurora woman's two-year battle to stop foreclosure ends sheriff's sale

True to her word, Brumfiel says she's fighting on.

Denver Post Now, she says she wants to know how the holder of her mortgage — investors who purchased it as part of a mortgage-backed security sold years ago with hundreds of others — can buy it back for more than twice its value and not owe her anything.

"Homeowners have to pay whatever the bank submits for a cure statement, no matter how ridiculous," Brumfiel said. "Keep in mind U.S. Bank won zero attorney fees in either the state or federal case. Suddenly there are $250,000 in attorney fees due to them?"


Hammer v. Residential Credit Solutions

Justia Hammer has pled sufficient factual allegations to survive RCS’s motion to
dismiss her claims for breach of contract and violation of RESPA. The Court grants RCS’s motion to dismiss Hammer’s FDCPA claims with prejudice and grants the motion to dismiss Hammer’s ICFA claim without prejudice and with leave to replead. 


Loan dispute: East West Bank socked with $39-million jury verdict

East West, saying the Yiks weren't paying their debts as agreed, declared them in default and sold the loan for $22 million to an investor who foreclosed on the couple.

L.A. Times “Given that East West allowed the case to go to trial, its outcome was certainly at odds with management’s expectations,” Deer wrote in a note to investors, “and we are not aware of any litigation reserves the company may have set aside for such a verdict.”

Yiks attorney, Justin Karczag said. "We think the verdict will be hard to challenge on appeal."


Michigan's 'Foreclosure King' Is Trying to Win a Seat in Congress

Trott used to own the largest “foreclosure mill” law firm in Michigan, one that churned out hundreds of thousands of evictions after the housing bust. His firm made money off virtually every aspect of the foreclosure process. And the company used what adversaries describe as unscrupulous and potentially illegal tactics to ensure evictions, even when foreclosures were preventable.

Trott’s firm also successfully lobbied the Michigan legislature for changes that make it easier to foreclose, which would boost the company’s profits. 

Dave Dayen Several homeowners and attorneys complained that Trott’s lawyers refused to show up to state-mandated mediation sessions designed to prevent foreclosures, and did not offer any leeway to those struggling to save their homes, even when they had the ability to pay. “Trott & Trott has been extremely nasty to us,” said Nikki Curl in 2008, after the law firm refused to extend a deadline. “A Trott & Trott attorney told me, ‘You better stop filing stuff or you will be paying my attorney fees.’” Another homeowner, Martin Powelson, sued Trott & Trott in 2010 for clearing out a home he owned that had not been foreclosed upon. 

Trott & Trott attorneys Ellen Coon and Kenneth Kurel also “robo-signed” fraudulent mortgage documents, often with forged signatures, and filed them with county recording offices.


Outgoing Justice Department official says more to come in bank probes

Virginia Gazette "We are not done, we are not finished," said West, who was responsible for crafting a series of multi-billion dollar civil settlements with top banks JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America over shoddy mortgage bonds they sold in the run up to the 2008 crisis.


The Biggest Lie of the New Century

They dumped the cost of their criminal activities on you, the shareholder (never mind the taxpayer).

Many of these executives committed crimes; got big bonuses for doing so; and paid huge fines using shareholder assets (i.e., company cash), helping them avoid prosecution.

Bloomberg Foreclosure fraud: Of all the crimes committed during the financial crisis and in its aftermath, this is one that should have been the easiest to identify and prosecute.

After creating phony dossiers on borrowers, the banks signed and notarized affidavits stating they had taken all of the legal steps. In many cases, even the notarizations were fakes. Submitting a falsified notarized affidavit to a court is perjury and fraud.

(With all this criminal activity, it is stunning that there is a judge in the entire country that would rule against a homeowner and in favor of a bank. MSF)

Five Years After the Crash

What Americans Think about Wall Street, Banks, Business, and Free Enterprise

“In 1996, 64 percent agreed that “most people on Wall Street would be willing to break the law if they believed they could make a lot of money and get away with it.””

AEI Public Opinion Studies Bowman noted that the Harris pollster has consistently followed American’s opinion of Wall Street and found in 1989 (just before the latest trend of non-traditional mortgages were crafted) that only 8% polled had any confidence in Wall Street. Bowman’s report states, “Large majorities have long told pollsters that Wall Street is greedy, selfish, and unethical. But negative sentiments were magnified by the events of the fall of 2008.” 


Foreclosure Secret Weapon: Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Loan Lookup Tools!

The reality that loans are not owned by “The Bank” that is taking money from you each month and demanding things from you like proof of insurance or demanding that you comply with loss mitigation activities has implications that extend far beyond the crisis of foreclosure for individual Americans.

Weidner Law And going even deeper than the problem of “The Banks” not owning the mortgages…the reality is Fannie and Freddie probably don’t own these debts either


(like foreign governments)


Pro Se Homeowner Wins Rehearing and Reversal

Muhammad v. BACHLS

Not only was there no evidence of standing, but the trial court treated the matter as though it were ruling on a motion for summary judgment. It never took testimony and merely interrogated the parties as to their respective positions, then ruled in favor of foreclosure. As no trial was ever conducted, a final judgment should not have been entered. We remand for a new trial, in which both parties may submit evidence necessary to sustain their respective positions.


Time to End Ethnic Profiling in Prosecuting Mortgage Fraud

I was preparing to excoriate Wagner for his selective prosecutions of a disfavored minority when, to my horror, I found that the FBI is also promoting mortgage fraud as an ethnic crime.

The FBI’s 2008 report to the nation on mortgage fraud prominently features this claim.

Mortgage fraud perpetrators are industry insiders, including mortgage brokers, lenders, appraisers, underwriters, accountants, real estate agents, settlement attorneys, land developers, investors, builders, and bank and trust account representatives

Prof. Bill Black U.S. Attorney Wagner’s mortgage fraud prosecutions now target dozens of Russian-Americans. This should be immediately suspicious, for mortgage fraud was, according to Wagner’s theories, committed by over three million Americans in 2006 alone. The incidence of fraud in “liar’s” loans, in the study relied upon by the federal government, including key members of DOJ’s task forces against mortgage fraud, was 90 percent. By 2006, roughly 40 percent of all home mortgage loans originated – well over two million – were liar’s loans. That means that there were over two million fraudulent mortgage loans, and over three million borrowers signing the notes on those loans. Far from being an “ethnic” crime, mortgage fraud was ubiquitous in the United States and the United Kingdom (where 45% of all the loans made in 2006 were liar’s loans).


The Reasons Bankers Weren't Busted

"The executives running companies like Bank of America, Citigroup and JP Morgan were not engaged in criminal acts." said a lawyer who spent much of his career representing financial institutions and their executives.

Bloomberg I have been following the absence of legal prosecutions since 2008, and have posted on that subject more than 500 times. But this isn’t the obsession of one lone crank (i.e., me). Many others in banking, law enforcement and government who aren't on the payroll of banks have reviewed the events of the financial crisis and have reached the same conclusion -- that the law was broken repeatedly by bankers.



The Judge stated “I wish this Note could talk to us”, to explain how it went from the original lender to Wells Fargo. Unfortunately, the Note cannot, and Wells Fargo presented no evidence as to how the Note and Mortgage physically traveled from the original lender to Wells Fargo.

The Court also made note of a loan modification to the borrower which was signed by MERS, which was curious as MERS is not a lender and does not have the authority to modify a loan.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide The first assignment was by MERS from the original lender to EMC Mortgage, which was a subsidiary of the long-defunct Bear Stearns. Wells Fargo likes this and the 4th Assignment, which is from EMC to Wells Fargo. However, EMC was long out of business as of the time of the 4th Assignment, and there is no evidence as to how the Note and Mortgage traveled the five different paths per the five different Assignments. 

Wells Fargo also presented no law which permits a court to disregard any assignment in favor of another, so that the “chosen” assignments fit the theory of transfer of the foreclosing party.


Why aren't any bankers in jail, Elizabeth Warren asks

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other senators confronted regulators Tuesday over the fact that no top bankers are in jail. 

"The Justice Department seems bent on money rather than justice. That's a mistake, and the American people pick up on it." Sen. Shelby


Washington Examiner





Senate Hearing

“The main reason we publish illegal behavior is for deterrence to make sure that the next banker who’s thinking about breaking the law remembers that the guy down the hall was hauled out in handcuffs when he did that,” she said. Civil cases against companies, Warren said, don’t provide the same message.

“The message to every Wall Street banker is loud and clear: If you break the law, you are not going to jail, but you might end up with a bigger paycheck,” Warren added, referring to the bonus JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon received after negotiating a settlement with the government over crisis-related mortgages.

From 2010

10 Headaches for MERS

The courts have split regarding the validity of foreclosures where MERS has held the mortgage note. Listed here are 10 different legal issues with which the courts are either wrestling or which the courts will have to address in due course. 

Richard Kessler, Esq. For instance, MERS allows any employee of a bank using the MERS system to become a duly authorized agent and officer of MERS so that this person can execute valid assignments of the mortgage note held by MERS. There are thousands of MERS vice-presidents and assistant corporate secretaries. Did you know that MERS has gone through three corporate formations, each entity being a separate corporation from its predecessor. Accordingly, how many assignments were executed by a functionary under a delegation of authority from a corporation which was defunct on the date the assignment was executed? Read on! The fun is just beginning.


Giunta Prevails on Wells Fargo Motion to Dismiss — Federal Court

Patrick Giunta, Esq. the lead litigator for the livinglies team has done it again. He filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo while the trial on a foreclosure was underway. Wells Fargo now faces a loss in the foreclosure where their witness admitted to being unable to explain the chain of ownership, the balance and the reason why Wells Fargo refused to cooperate in the sale of the property that would have paid them in full.



Living Lies The fact pattern of this case clearly corroborates the fact that “servicers” are claiming ownership or rights to enforce debts that they don’t own and don’t have any authority to represent the creditor because they are making false claims of securitization. Thus the banks cannot say they actually represent the investors who THOUGHT they were buying mortgage backed securities from a funded trust that was originating and acquiring loans. If they admit the facts in reality they are admitting to committing fraud on the investors, the insurers, the guarantors, and of course the borrowers.

The Southern District of Florida, ruled that the Homeowner has rights of action for money damages against dubious claims from “holders”, “servicers” and even “trustees.” Along with other claims, Giunta survived a motion to dismiss the homeowner’s claim for fraudulent misrepresentation — as to the status of the loan, the ownership and the balance.

Ohio Court of Appeals Reverses Dismissal of FDCPA Claim

US Bank, Ocwen v. Schubert

The Schuberts argue that the trial court erred by dismissing their counterclaim
alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. This Court agrees.

Specifically, they alleged that they paid off an identified arrearage amount in full one month, only to be told the following month that they maintained an arrearage amount of ten times the previous month’s amount.


CFPB Issues Updated Guidance for Mortgage Servicing Transfers and Alerts Servicers of CFPB Review of Servicing 

Hunton & Williams The CFPB has previously publicized its concerns regarding risks to consumers resulting from poorly executed servicing transfers and has taken enforcement actions in cases in which servicers were found not to have complied with applicable law. 

HECM protects non-borrowing spouses

If there was a plan behind HUD’s initial response to the non-borrowing spouses’ (NBS) lawsuit in March 2011, it could be described as contain and dismiss. In other words, contain aspects of the case that can be contained and move to dismiss uncontainable parts.

Think Reverse Among other points in court papers, HUD said plaintiffs were not in danger of foreclosure because it had asked for (and had received) assurances from lenders (or mortgagees) that they would not foreclose on plaintiffs during the life of the lawsuit. So there was no immediate risk of harm to plaintiffs as they had claimed.

Although the recall of the mortgagee letter was an admission by HUD that its non-recourse policy “clarification” was a disaster for borrowers and lenders, it did not address count four, the failure-to-protect aspect of the case.


Foreclosure Scam Leads to 35-Year Prison Sentence

One of two brothers convicted of leading a nationwide foreclosure scam was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in federal prison for stealing titles to more than 300 homes. (Banks steal millions of titles and get no jail time.)

The perpetrators were "literally stealing the American Dream out from under them," said José Martinez, special agent in charge of the Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigation division.

abc News The pair operated Orange County-based Head Financial Services, which promised to help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure. But prosecutors said they instead used misrepresentations, fraud and forgery to trick the owners into signing over the titles of their homes to straw buyers who were friends of or related to the defendants or were solicited on the Internet.

Once they had the title, prosecutors said the defendants applied for additional mortgages to drain the remaining equity in the homes. The original owners were left homeless, without equity and with damaged credit ratings.


California Foreclosure Sale Reversed

Fonteno v. Wells Fargo

Plaintiffs pled viable causes of action for equitable cancellation of the trustee’s deed obtained by Wells Fargo based on their allegation that Wells Fargo did not comply with the NHA requirements incorporated into the deed of trust. Because compliance was a condition precedent to the accrual of Wells Fargo’s contractual authority to foreclose on the property, if, as plaintiffs allege, the sale was conducted without such authority, it is either void or voidable by a court sitting in equity. Whether void or voidable, plaintiffs were not required to allege tender of the delinquent amount owed.

Living Lies So then the truth starts to come out first in trickles and then in a flood. The flood is coming. This case stands out because it analyzes each component of the alleged loan documents instead of justifying a predetermined result. The Courts are expressing their frustration and their understanding that there is something very very wrong with these foreclosures.

The banks told a bigger lie to get even more money from TARP and the Federal Reserve under the wrong assumption that this was necessary to save our economic system. We negotiated with terrorists based upon information from the terrorists. And because nobody wants to admit how wrong we got it when dealing with the banks, nobody except here and a few other places is saying what the rest of the population already knows. We got screwed by the banks. Even if we didn’t have a mortgage, we lost things because of the foreclosure crisis.


Court Rules on Additional Non-Borrowing Spouse HUD Case

The Court agreed, holding that the only plausible construction of the subsection was that the loan obligation should be deferred until the homeowner’s and the spouse’s death.

Reverse Mortgage Daily To be eligible for the MOE, five criteria must be met among the surviving non-borrowing spouse plaintiffs, including having been married to the borrower at the time of loan origination and until the borrower’s death; the plaintiff must have title to property or a legal right to remain on the property at the date of the election; the loan cannot be in default for any reason other than the death of the borrower at the date of election.


At Goldman Sachs, Even the Legal Fees Are Different

The vagueness in Goldman’s bylaws surfaced last week in a dissenting opinion written by Judge Julio M. Fuentes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

Gretchen Morgenson NY Times The flexible nature of Goldman’s policy could easily discourage those involved in such proceedings from implicating superiors who may have been involved in wrongdoing. Who would take such a chance, knowing that Goldman could cut off the legal fee spigot at any time?

The details of this byzantine case reinforce that venerable notion on Wall Street: No firm manages its employees’ incentives more shrewdly than Goldman.


Finally, Wall Street gets put on trial: We can still hold the 0.1 percent responsible for tanking the economy

Too Big To Fail bailouts let them get away with it. The amazing result of California fraud trial could change that.

Maybe one day the courts of this land will acknowledge what the public has known for years: That the fraud that wrecked the world actually happened in the offices of the shadow banks and the Wall Street investment firms.

Salon A trial just ended in Sacramento in which a jury was convinced that “executives intended to make fraudulent loans.” Here’s the thing, though: It wasn’t the government that made the case against the financiers; it was the defendants.

The defense team in Sacramento came up with a novel strategy: How can the borrower have committed fraud on a mortgage application if the lender didn’t care whether their answers were truthful?

The reason bankers did it was because liar’s loans were making bankers rich.


5th Circuit Opinion Indicates Bank of America Manufactured Default and Forced-Placed Insurance


Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals From the opinion: "We are stymied in our effort to understand the cause of the Tielkes’ alleged default, if indeed they ever were in default."

... " These checks were either returned to the Tielkes or placed in a suspense account because the bank viewed them as insufficient to cure the default, but the propriety of that view depends on whether there was a valid default in the first place."














May v. PHH Mortgage

May argues that the bank failed to demonstrate that it possessed the note at the time it filed the complaint. We agree.

Florida COA 2nd District On April 11, 2008, the bank filed a two count complaint against May for 
foreclosure and an action to recover or reestablish a lost note. Attached to the 
complaint was a copy of the note and mortgage. The note and mortgage had the name of the first mortgagor, Bank Atlantic, on the documents and did not contain an endorsement in blank or any indicia of legal transfer to the bank. 
Comments on the PHH v. May case.

The courts have turned the corner. Decisions like this are coming out across the country from the trial and appellate benches as Judges and Justices are expressing their frustration and anger over the false submissions by banks pursuing foreclosures. Here the court had the option of remanding for further proceeding, allowing the Plaintiff in foreclosure to refile its claim. But instead, the Appellate court decided that the Defendant Borrowers should simply win the case.

Judges are asking: "why are banks choosing to hire people to testify who have no basis of knowledge of any facts relevant to the case? If that is their strategy, what are they trying to hide?"

Neil Garfield 

Living Lies

There are other issues that are potentially present here as this case goes forward. Title is not cleared and there are other tactics that can be tried by other claimants who are relying upon the false documentation produced at "closings." But one thing is clear --- the Judges are starting to pay attention and they are highly frustrated by the shell game of changing servicers, trustees and even Plaintiffs without amendment explaining the change. Several Judges have ruled for borrowers and expressed deep questions of credibility regarding a "foreclosure" case where the only witness is someone who knows nothing and is the corporate representative of an entity that never had any relationship with the loan documents or the collection process and obviously no connection with the original loan "closing."


[WATCH ALERT] Jesinoski v. Countrywide - SCOTUS

Briefs included

Issue: Whether a borrower exercises his right to rescind a transaction in satisfaction of the requirements of the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1635, by “notifying the creditor” in writing within three years of the consummation of the transaction, as the Third, Fourth, and Eleventh Circuits have held, or must instead file a lawsuit within three years of the consummation of the transaction, as the First, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits have held.


h/t Alina

The defendants are scheduled to file their briefs on September 16, 2014. The Plaintiffs' briefs along with amici briefs from Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, AG Eric Schneiderman, National Consumer Law Center, Center for Responsible Lending and the ACLU were filed in July 2014. 

This is an extremely important case for consumers. TILA was created in order to level the playing field and as a leverage of sorts for consumers. Unfortunately, TILA has been slowly eroded over the past few years as more and more courts favor the banks' interpretation over the plain language of the statute. 


Landmark civil rights legal records deleted from Pacer

Records of landmark US civil rights cases presided over by one of the country's most senior judges have been removed from the internet.

BBC In an announcement two weeks ago, Pacer said the archaic "management systems" of the following five courts meant their files would no longer be available online.

Hard copies will still be available from the courts in question, but for a fee of $30 (£18) - significantly higher than the $0.10 per page the service charges to access copies on the web.

One Bank Witness Cannot Lay the Foundation for Records of Another Business

The business records which the Plaintiff sought to admit through their witness, were primarily business records of other separate entities who were neither parties to the action nor called as witnesses at trial; to wit: EMS, Chase & Aegis. The witness did not even qualify to admit the records of her own employer, SPS.

Evan Rosen Law “A witness may not testify to a matter unless evidence is introduced which is sufficient to support a finding that the witness has personal knowledge of the matter.” FLA. STAT. §90.604 (emphasis added). “Testimony must be based on matters perceived by the senses of the witness.” C. Ehrhardt, Florida Evidence §604.1 (2014 Edition). Additionally, when introducing the business records of a company, which are hearsay, Plaintiff must meet the requirements of the business records exception in Florida Statute §90.803(6). Business records may be admitted, by a records custodian or other qualified witness, if the proponent of the evidence demonstrates the following:


Ex-Virginia Governor McDonnell Convicted of Corruption

Robert F. McDonnell, the former governor of Virginia, was convicted along with his wife of trading political influence for loans and gifts, prompting the state attorney general to call for ethics reform.

Both Robert and Maureen McDonnell began sobbing as the guilty verdicts were read, as did their daughter and some supporters in the courtroom. The McDonnells face as long as 30 years in prison. They’re scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 6.

Bloomberg Robert and Maureen McDonnell were both convicted of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud, honest-services wire fraud, conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right and obtaining the property under color of official right. Maureen was also convicted of obstruction, while Robert was cleared of charges that he gave false statements.

“We have a long way to go to restore the public’s trust after this embarrassing and difficult period for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” state Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, said in a statement issued after the verdicts were read. “If there was somehow still any doubt, it should be crystal clear that the people of Virginia deserve real ethics reform.”


Mortgage Foreclosures, Missing Promissory Notes, and the Uniform Commercial Code: A New Article

For the last few years I have been crossing the country giving lectures on what I now call the "Golden Rule of Mortgage Foreclosures," which is that such foreclosures cannot proceed without production of the original promissory note signed at the closing

Prof. Waley  As is true of many things in life the Uniform Commercial Code’s statutes concerning the role of promissory notes in a mortgage foreclosure are both simple and at the same time complicated. The purpose of this article is to draw out the matter in detail, but let’s begin with the simple (and basic) rule first. Indeed let’s call it the Golden Rule of Mortgage Foreclosure: the Uniform Commercial Code forbids foreclosure of the mortgage unless the creditor possesses the properly-negotiated original promissory note. If this can’t be done the foreclosure must stop. 


PEB Commentary: Highland Capital Case 

Permanent Editorial Board for the Uniform Commercial Code acts under the authority of the American Law Institute and the Uniform Law Commission (also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws).

Permanent Editorial Board for the Uniform Commercial Code In March 1987, the Permanent Editorial Board resolved to issue from time to time supplementary commentary on the Uniform Commercial Code to be known as PEB Commentary. These PEB Commentaries seek to further the underlying policies of the Uniform Commercial Code by affording guidance in interpreting and resolving issues raised by the Uniform Commercial Code and/or the Official Comments



Dr. Gary Lacefield Most victims are unaware they have been discriminated against on the basis of their race, skin color, religion, gender, national origin, handicap or familial status, and unaware that HUD can protect them from ongoing discrimination as well as potentially yield them justice without going to court.


Maine Supreme Court Addresses MERS Assignments And Payoff Amounts During Cure Periods

The court focused on one sentence in the 2006 mortgage that specifically provided that MERS was the mortgagee of record for purposes of recording the mortgage. The court held that this provision of the mortgage only granted MERS the right to record the mortgage as the lender's nominee. 

Bank of America v. Greenlief

Elena A. Lovoy and D. Brian O’Dell
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
When MERS then assigned its interest to BAC, the court held that it granted BAC only the right that it possessed, the right to record the mortgage as nominee for the lender. When BAC then merged with BofA, BofA only obtained the right that BAC had possessed, the right to record the mortgage as nominee. The court also noted that there was no separate and independent assignment of the mortgage from RMS to MERS, BAC, or BofA. As such, the court held that the record only demonstrated a series of assignments of the right to record the mortgage as nominee. In the absence of evidence that BofA owned the Greenleaf mortgage, the Maine Supreme Court held that BofA lacked standing to seek foreclosure and vacated the lower court's judgment of foreclosure.


MERS discussion prompts residents to come forward

Numerous Lake County residents have come forward with their own stories regarding Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) in light of the Lake County Board of Supervisors (BOS) discussion on the system. 

Record Bee County Counsel Anita Grant informed the board that they do not have the authority to write legislation against MERS, but can encourage state legislators to look into the issue. Additionally, the county can conduct an forensic audit to determine if any fraudulent recordings have occurred. Individual property owners can file lawsuits.

The Original 13th Amendment (in Depth)

The Big Picture Restoring Common Law will immediately invalidate such things as Common Core, ObamaCare, and Agenda 21. 


Homeowners challenging lenders' right to collect

Seven years after the meltdown of the subprime mortgage market, New Jersey continues to be a hotbed of home repossessions by lenders, resulting in reams of foreclosure-fraud and improper-debt-collection complaints that mainly target intermediaries known as mortgage servicers.

In West Milford, homeowner Paul Onder has been in a stand-off with the Utah-based debt collector Select Portfolio Services for four years over the same question: Who owns the mortgage?  

"They want me to pay money? Where is that money going?" he said Wednesday in an interview.

Insurance News Fort Lee homeowner Eun Ju Song, who was notified last year that he was in default on his loan and is facing foreclosure, claims mortgage companies botched transfers of ownership rights to the mortgage he signed in 2006 and forged documents to try to fix the problem. In a federal lawsuit filed in Newark in May against Bank of America and the mortgage servicer Green Tree Servicing, he claimed that they haven't shown they have any legal right to collect.

"With no properly recorded owner of the plaintiff's mortgage, there is no one or entity entitled to enforce the conditions of the mortgage obligation," the complaint says.


Spiderman actor stars in foreclosure drama researched in Palm Beach County

Palm Beach Post Bahrani describes watching as homeowners faced Palm Beach County foreclosure judges during “rocket docket” hearings.
“After a while, the people started winning, and I turned to Lynn and asked, ‘What is going on?’ and she said, ‘The judge is seeing you with a yellow legal pad taking notes, and he thinks that because you are with me you are a reporter for the New York Times, so as long as you sit here people will win,’” Bahrani said.


Conway v. CitiMortgage, Fannie Mae

Here, the homeowners allege that the defendants committed fraud and deception in the course of performing some of the services that were agreed to at the outset of the loan. Because the sale of a loan lasts as long as the agreed upon services are being (or could be) performed, the homeowners’ allegations of fraud and deception must have occurred “in connection with” the “sale” of their loan. Other questions relating to 
whether loan modification negotiations are done “in connection with” the initial 
extension of credit in a loan are considered in a second case decided today, Watson v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc., --- S.W.3d --- (Mo. banc 2014) (No. SC93769).

Supreme Court of Missouri Homeowners appeal from the trial court’s judgment dismissing their claim against Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and CitiMortgage under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), section 407.020,1 for an alleged 
wrongful foreclosure of a deed of trust. The trial court held the MMPA did not apply because Fannie Mae and CitiMortgage were not parties to the original loan transaction. It further held that the MMPA did not apply to post-sale activities that were unrelated to claims or representations made before or at the time of the transaction. Homeowners 
contend the trial court erred in construing the phrase “in connection with” too narrowly to exclude post-transaction activities from MMPA coverage. 

 The trial court’s judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded. 


FHFA Plans to Kick REITs Out of Home Loan System with New Rules

National Mortgage News The overseer of the Federal Home Loan Banks is planning changes to membership rules that would keep investment firms and lenders lacking customer deposits out of the U.S. government-chartered system.

FHFA Director Mel Watt said in a May speech that the new members could raise "issues" for the safety of a system with $815 billion of debt that's seen by investors and credit raters as being backed by taxpayers.


Bank Seizure Leaves Bulgarians Stranded

As a result, some businesses are having trouble making payroll, and many families are having to scrape by without access to cash.

“Not only did we not hire 250 new people as we had planned — we had to fire 140,” said Rauf Akhundov, managing director of Rila Style. 

NY Times Mr. Akhundov showed a visitor around the deserted third floor of the building, which was gutted to make way for a new showroom before Rila Style’s deposits were frozen. With the renovation suspended, all that remains is rubble, broken glass and cables hanging from the ceiling.

“Now we are struggling with the salaries for those who are left,” Mr. Akhundov said. “We can hold on for another two or three months, but not much longer.”


2.5 million borrowers face imminent payment shock

Resets to happen over next few years

Housing Wire At least 2.5 million borrowers will face an average increase of $250 per month on their monthly mortgage payment due to the imminent reset in home equity lines of credit over the next three years.

If these borrowers utilize more of their credit, they could face even more payment shock as the monthly increase would rise above the $250.

Still no criminal charges for sellers of toxic mortgages?

Over the past decade or so, it seems we have given banking executives who knowingly sold toxic mortgage-backed securities an even better card – a "Don't Ever Go To Jail" card. How else do you explain the headlines in the financial pages over the past few months? Put them together, and it looks like a crime wave on Wall Street – but amazingly one without any criminals being held responsible.

I really wonder why there hasn't been more popular outrage over the fact that bank executives have admitted they committed fraud. They have admitted they failed to comply with federal, state, and local laws. And yet not one of them has been criminally charged. Not one of them has had to return a penny of the bonuses paid from the profits of fraudulent activity.

You can bet there will be future meetings where someone raises objections to illegal behavior and his or her argument is dismissed as something not to worry about.

Former Senator Ted Kaufman "Bank of America pays record $16.65 billion penalty," said the headline last week in USA Today, which went on to report that Attorney General Holder said, "Bank of America has acknowledged that, in the years leading up to the financial crisis that devastated our economy in 2008, it, Merrill Lynch, and Countrywide sold billions of dollars of RMBS [residential mortgage-backed securities] backed by toxic loans whose quality, and level of risk, they knowingly misrepresented to investors and the U.S. government. These loans contained material underwriting defects; they were secured by properties with inflated appraisals; they failed to comply with federal, state, and local laws; and they were insufficiently collateralized. Yet these financial institutions knowingly, routinely, falsely, and fraudulently marked and sold these loans as sound and reliable investments."

Can we really talk about equal justice under the law when someone who steals from a convenience story goes to jail for five years and powerful people who made millions committing admitted fraud get away scott-free?

Bank of America Requests Dismissal of ‘Hustle’ Case Verdict

dsnews Lawyers for Bank of America have filed to overturn a jury verdict last year that held the bank liable for faulty mortgage-backed securities sold by its Countrywide unit.
In a motion filed August 28, attorneys for the bank asked U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff to either grant a new trial or overrule the verdict made last by a 10-person jury last October.

Federal Program Helps Keep Some Delinquent Borrowers in Their Homes

DealBook A HUD program to sell its most delinquent mortgages to private investors has resulted in about 2,000 borrowers being able to stay in their homes, though an overwhelming majority have been foreclosed upon or have forfeited any rights to the properties.


Mortgage-Heavy Banks Fight for Higher Stock Valuations

Origination News Banks with large home-loan operations are struggling with narrower profit margins, a bevy of regulations and accounting rules, and other problems that make the current mortgage downturn feel worse. 

"It will be a long time before anyone is proud to say they have a lot of mortgages."


CFPB complaint against Hoffman Law Group

Since at least early 2012, an enterprise operating in the name of the Hoffman Law Group (the "RLG Enterprise") has generated millions of dollars in illegal
upfront fees by convincing consumers to pay for the opportunity to be included as a plaintiff in so-called "mass-joinder" lawsuits against their mortgage lenders. This enterprise induces consumers to enroll by falsely promising that the lawsuits will induce banks to give the consumers mortgage modifications or foreclosure relief.

King & Spalding In the midst of America's foreclosure crisis, an illicit industry of mortgage
modification scams began making money by charging distressed homeowners upfront fees on the promise that they could obtain mortgage modifications for those homeowners, often doing little to nothing to actually assist the homeowners. To combat this practice, many states, including Florida, enacted laws to prohibit these schemes, and federal regulators further enhanced these laws by making it illegal in every state for mortgage assistance relief providers to charge homeowners a fee for mortgage
modification services before actually obtaining mortgage modifications for those homeowners.


A Judge’s Status, Robed in Silence

Barry Kamins, a senior New York judge under investigation for ethical misconduct, is back on the bench while his case is handled in secret.

ProPublica A recent New York City Department of Investigation report that examined Charles J. Hynes's campaign spending and other conduct during his failed bid for a seventh term as Brooklyn District Attorney found that Kamins had been providing legal and political advice to Hynes over many months. The report revealed that Kamins, then the supervising judge for all of Brooklyn, recommended staff, prepped Hynes for debates and even provided extra legal advice dealing with active cases being handled by Hynes' office.

"Right now there is no mechanism to keep him from the bench. This isn't subjective, it's the constitution," Bookstaver said. "There is a process."

Please Help and Support The Torrenga Family Fighting Foreclosure

Her case is doubly sad because the Torrenga’s are not deadbeat homeowners – they made their payments on time. 

Deadly Clear “Under New York Trust Law, every sale, conveyance or other act of the trustee in contravention of the trust is void. EPTL §7-2.4. Therefore, the acceptance of the note and mortgage by the trustee after the date the trust closed, would be void.”

In cases like the Torrenga’s judges need to realize that Wall Street is winding down these trusts and selling off properties that were never properly assigned to the trusts – CHEAP…pennies on the dollar.



BACHLS: Out of Business and still Stealing Homes

BACHLS, LP ceased to exist in July 2011, yet it is still maintaining legal actions across the country, and judges are allowing it. 

MSFraud BACHLS wanted to know what was owed on the mortgage, and what the Torrenga's monthly payment amount was. Kathy was confused. Why didn't they know these things already? Hadn't someone been keeping an accounting of what they had been paying for years? It was at this time that they were told they were in FORECLOSURE! They were in a PANIC. They were not behind! Their payment to the old company wasn't even due yet. That was when the nightmare started.



In the course of defending numerous foreclosure actions around the United States, we have come across some fairly horrendous fact patterns, but to date, the story  described here (a true story, by the way) is unprecedented.

The brokers confirmed that a closing did not take place, and that there were no loan closing documents executed in favor of Wells Fargo by the victim.

Foreclosure Defense Nationwide In the days that followed and within the legally prescribed period to decline the transaction, she decided for her own reasons not to pursue the purchase. She notified the broker and signed a Release of Purchase Agreement. These events occurred in late September, 2007.

Six months later on March 21, 2008, she received a call from a representative of Wells Fargo advising her that she was being placed in foreclosure, as Wells Fargo claimed that she was in default on a mortgage which Wells Fargo had placed in her name on the property which she had decided not to purchase in the fall of 2007. She advised Wells Fargo that she had properly declined to go through with the purchase and had signed a release of the purchase agreement. However, Wells Fargo stated that they were in possession of a mortgage in her name for the subject property, were proceeding with the foreclosure, and that Wells Fargo had placed the loan and foreclosure on her credit report.


Financial Fraud Prosecutor to Join Simpson Thacher Bartlett

Jeffrey H. Knox, a senior federal prosecutor who butted heads with a number of Wall Street banks, is switching sides.

DealBook The move by Mr. Knox, which caps more than a decade-long prosecutorial career, comes just as one of his biggest Wall Street cases nears a turning point. The Justice Department, along with regulators in Washington and London, is closing in on actions against some of the world’s biggest banks for suspected manipulation of foreign currencies.


U.S. judge dismisses FDIC lawsuit against banks over mortgage bonds

The issue of whether U.S. regulators suing banks over mortgage securities issued before the financial crisis can pursue cases under such so-called extender statutes has divided courts following the Supreme Court ruling.

Reuters U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in New York found the FDIC's case, brought in its capacity as receiver for an Alabama bank, was filed too late, citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

A statute relied on by the banking regulator to bring this and similar cases on behalf of banks it seized "did not give the FDIC more time to bring claims that would otherwise have been lost," Stanton wrote.


New York Set to Accuse Evans Bank of Redlining

DealBook The case, expected to accuse Evans Bank of violating the Fair Housing Act — a federal law intended to ensure equal access to credit — is a harbinger of other lawsuits that could be brought against some of the nation’s largest banks.

Angelo Mozilo Speaks: No Regrets at Countrywide

Bloomberg Still, with no major executives imprisoned for roles in the crisis, the U.S. Justice Department created a team to probe mortgage-security fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles is preparing to bring a civil case against Mozilo over the excesses of the subprime-mortgage boom.


A Proximate Cause of the Current Foreclosure Crisis

It is difficult for most of us (lawyer and lay person alike) to understand why the rest of the world knows of lender/servicer illegal misconduct (by way of Congressional Investigations, case settlements, and anecdotal reports) and yet federal judges still do not believe complaints by borrowers and homeowners alleging this same documented conduct are plausible.

Scott Stafne Esq. In 2011 the Federal Judicial Center commissioned a report to determine the effect of Iqbal/Twombley on dismissals. With regard to borrowers and homeowners the effects of these decisions appeared devastating. Over 91% of complaints dealing with financial instruments were dismissed based on the “plausibility” standard. Significantly, this percentage includes only those complaints filed by lawyers. If pro se complaints are factored in (and there would have been a lot of them) federal judges likely would have dismissed close to 100% of borrowers / homeowners’ complaints against the lending industry based on Iqbal’s “plausibility” standard. Such a high dismissal rate seems implausible itself given the plethora of studies and settlements, which substantiate that most county land filings are wrong and, in many cases, illegal. See e.g. Foreclosure in California: A Crisis in Compliance
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