March, 2010 | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

Archive | March, 2010

MERS May NOT Foreclose for Fannie Mae effective 5/1/2010

MERS May NOT Foreclose for Fannie Mae effective 5/1/2010

Double Standard here now…but they can foreclose on us using the worthless assignments!

[UPDATE]

Freddie Mac Tells Servicers NOT To Foreclose In MERS 4/1/2011

________

MERS Tells Servicers to Stop Foreclosing in Their Name

[ipaper docId=29248253 access_key=key-2nz158afqy34iblgiqm0 height=600 width=600 /]

Source: b.daviesmd6605

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., scam, securitization, servicers0 Comments

JUAN PARDO…"I wear many hats (too)" MERS/ OCWEN/ Union Capital/ Berkeley

JUAN PARDO…"I wear many hats (too)" MERS/ OCWEN/ Union Capital/ Berkeley

Livinglies blog:

Juan Pardo MERS/Ocwen cross employment. Have a dozen docs confirming this from NH/MA registries of deeds. Notarized in one place, executed in another, prepared in another.

Also, have confirmation of one Carla Tinoco, witnessing and notarizing Pardo’s MERS docs. Ms. Tinoco is also a confirmed Ocwen employee as she has appeared as Doc prep for Ocwen. Ms. Tinoco’s FL Notary registration also confirms business address of Ocwen:

http://notaries.dos.state.fl.us/notidsearch.asp?id=1264522

Commission Detail
Notary ID:1264522
Last Name:Tinoco
First Name:Carla
Middle Name:
Birth Date:07/30/75
Transaction Type:NEW
Certificate:DD 912557
Status:ACT
Issue Date:07/31/09
Expire Date:07/30/13
Bonding Agency:Atlantic Bonding Company
Mailing Address:1661 Worthington Rd.
Ste. #100
WEST PALM BEACH, FL 33409-0000

[ipaper docId=29254946 access_key=key-2hjfdefz0crtq1z4of9x height=600 width=600 /]

Source: Juan Pardo MERS/Ocwen cross employment

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in concealment, conspiracy, corruption, foreclosure fraud, juan pardo, orlans moran, robo signer0 Comments

New Obama Mortgage Plan: A Backdoor Bank Bailout

New Obama Mortgage Plan: A Backdoor Bank Bailout

  • MARCH 30, 2010, 3:38 P.M. ET WSJ
  • New Obama Mortgage Plan: A Backdoor Bank Bailout

    We are looking at tens of billions of taxpayer dollars again being funneled to the very banks behind the mortgage crisis.

    By MARK A. CALABRIA

    From the Cato Institute

    Today President Obama announced an expansion and modification of his Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). While one can debate the merits of incentives to keep unemployed families in their homes while they search for jobs — I personally believe this will more often than not keep those families tied to weak labor markets — what should be beyond debate is the various bailouts to mortgage lenders contained in the program’s fine print.

    Several of the largest mortgage lenders, including some that have already received huge bailouts, carry hundreds of billions worth of second mortgages on their books. As home prices have nationally declined by almost 30 percent, these second mortgages are worthless in the case of a foreclosure. Second mortgages are usually wiped out completely during a foreclosure if the price has decreased more than 20 percent. Yet the Obama solution is now to pay off 6 cents on the dollar for those junior liens. While 6 cents doesn’t sound like a lot, it is a whole lot more than zero, which is what the banks would receive otherwise. Given that the largest lenders are carrying over $500 billion in second mortgages that may need to be written down, we are looking at tens of billions of taxpayer dollars again being funneled to the very banks behind the mortgage crisis.

    If that bailout isn’t enough, the new plan increases payments to lenders to not foreclose, all at the expense of the taxpayer. While TARP was passed under Bush’s watch, and he rightly deserves blame for it, Obama continues these bailouts in the name of avoiding a much needed correction in our housing market.

    Posted in foreclosure fraud0 Comments

    How Bank of America’s Mortgage Write-Down Program Works: WSJ

    How Bank of America’s Mortgage Write-Down Program Works: WSJ

    March 24, 2010, 10:56 PM ET

    By Nick Timiraos WSJ Blogs

    Don’t call us, we’ll call you—that was the message on Wednesday from Bank of America executives who announced the bank’s new effort to modify mortgages by cutting loan balances.

    Under the program, Bank of America will reduce certain loans by up to 30% in order to lower monthly payments for borrowers facing foreclosure. While banks have selectively used principal write-downs to modify loans that they own, Bank of America’s approach could represent the beginning of broader efforts by banks to add write-downs as a more common tool in their loan-modification arsenal.

    Here’s how it works: only borrowers who had loans from Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America acquired in mid-2008, will be eligible. And only the riskiest loans will qualify: subprime loans, “option adjustable-rate” mortgages that have low initial monthly payments but that can adjust sharply higher, and certain prime loans that have a fixed interest rate for the first two years before starting to adjust annually.

    The program is also limited to customers who have missed at least two consecutive payments, who can demonstrate that a financial hardship prevents them from making payments at the current level, and whose loan balance is at least 120% of the estimated home value.

    Bank of America will go through its loan book to see which loans might qualify for reductions (while checking property values to see which ones are far enough under water), and then the bank will reach out to those who may be eligible. “Our customers do not need to take any actions at this time,” said Jack Schakett, a credit-loss mitigation executive.

    Why all the qualification restrictions?  For starters, banks and policy makers have long worried that they could up end the housing market if they offer principal write-downs too widely. Borrowers who are current but who owe more than their homes are worth, known as being “under water,” might stop paying to get a better deal. So it makes sense to start with a narrow pool of borrowers, particularly one that already has sky-high default rates.

    Another reason: Bank of America is offering these modifications as part of a settlement reached Wednesday with the commonwealth of Massachusetts. The settlement is fairly detailed in prescribing what kinds of modifications Bank of America has to take with its Countrywide loans. (In an interview, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said she pushed for principal reductions in the settlement because she didn’t want any bank to be “modifying a loan for the sake of modifying it, and finding two months, or six months, or a year later that it’s still going to be foreclosed on without getting to the root of the problem.”)

    Bank of America says that around 45,000 borrowers could see their loan balances reduced with an average reduction of more than $62,000.

    Bank of America’s approach has an interesting design feature in an attempt to prevent homeowners who are still paying their loans from defaulting and becoming eligible for the program. Loan balances aren’t reduced in one clean strike. Instead, Bank of America is offering what’s called “earned forgiveness.”

    The program works like this: for a borrower who owes $300,000 on a home worth $200,000, the bank would reduce up to $100,000 in principal and place it in an interest-free account. For each of five years, the bank would forgive another $20,000 as long as the borrower continued to make payments and until the borrower was returned to a 100% loan-to-value ratio. If home prices have recovered by the fourth or fifth year to meet the amount owed, Bank of America would stop forgiving money in the interest-free account, which would have to be paid off when the home is sold or the loan is refinanced.

    To be sure, there are drawbacks. One big challenge in modifying loans has been the presence of second mortgages. Bank of America said it will modify first mortgages that have seconds behind them only when Bank of America owns the first mortgage in its portfolio. The government’s modification program, Home Affordable Modification Program, has faced challenges because borrowers haven’t been able to document their incomes, and those requirements don’t go away in this effort.

    But it does offer an interesting test case to see if, for the riskiest and worst performing loans, borrowers will stick with a better payment program.

     

    Posted in bank of america0 Comments

    House Flippers in U.S. Crowd Courthouse Steps in Hunt for Deals: Bloomberg

    House Flippers in U.S. Crowd Courthouse Steps in Hunt for Deals: Bloomberg

    March 31, 2010, 12:16 AM EDT

    By Prashant Gopal

    March 31 (Bloomberg) — During the U.S. housing boom, even amateur investors could buy and sell a property within a couple of months and turn a profit. Today there’s nothing amateur about house flipping.

    Homes with punctured walls and missing appliances draw multiple offers from professional investors at auctions in foreclosure-ridden states such as Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada. Competition is so stiff that experienced flippers such as Sergio Rodriguez and Brian Bogenn look back with nostalgia at last year, when they turned over 48 residences in the Phoenix area.

    “A year ago, bums outnumbered bidders at the courthouse steps,” where many foreclosure auctions take place, Rodriguez said. “Now the bums are way outnumbered.”

    Continue reading…BLOOMBERG

    © 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



    Posted in foreclosure fraud0 Comments

    How $50 Billion in TARP Money Is Being Spent on Housing: WSJ

    How $50 Billion in TARP Money Is Being Spent on Housing: WSJ

    March 30, 2010, 3:32 PM ET

    By Nick Timiraos

    The Obama administration is stressing that the revamp of its foreclosure prevention efforts won’t cost any more taxpayer money.

    That’s because the administration hasn’t come close to using the $50 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that it set aside for its loan modification program last year.

    That money helps cover the cost of lowering borrowers’ monthly payments, usually by reducing interest rates and extending loan terms to 40 years. Loan servicers that handle mortgage payments also receive incentive payments for successfully modifying mortgages under the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. Borrowers are eligible for payments after one year in the program.

    Separately, the administration said last week it would begin requiring banks to consider writing down loan balances for borrowers who owe 115% of their home value. Lenders will receive 10 to 21 cents of federal subsidies for every dollar of loan principal reduced, depending on the degree to which the borrower is underwater.

    HAMP has resulted in just 170,000 permanent modifications so far and is being revamped to reach more borrowers. That means the $50 billion outlay from TARP has essentially become a housing slush fund that doesn’t require congressional approval for every new outlay or program change.

    Here’s a look at where some of the money is going:

    • $600 million in housing aid for five more states to spend through their housing-finance agencies. This was announced Monday. Ohio, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina qualified for the aid because they have high concentrations of people living in areas with unemployment that exceeds 12%.
    • $1.5 billion awarded last month to the original five “hardest-hit” housing states: California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Michigan, which had the steepest home price declines.
    • $14 billion earmarked to cover the costs of an initiative where the Federal Housing Administration will allow underwater borrowers to refinance into government-backed loans. Under that program, investors will have to write down loan balances so that the first mortgage is worth 97.75% of the home’s current value, and second-lien holders will be required by the government to write down second-lien mortgages so that homes have a combined loan-to-value ratio of 115%. The money will cover incentive payments to second lien-holders and offset the costs to the FHA from loans that default.
    • $4.6 billion could be spent on the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, the administration estimates. This includes incentive payments to mortgage servicers, second-lien holders, and borrowers in order to encourage deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure and short sales, where a home is sold for less than the amount owed. Last Friday, the administration said it would double incentive payments to investors, lenders and homeowners under that program.
    • Up to $10 billion under a program to provide more generous incentive payments for banks and investors that agree to modify loans in areas where potential home-price declines could make it more expensive to avoid foreclosure.

    Source: WSJ

    Posted in foreclosure fraud0 Comments

    NYC Residents Facing Foreclosure to Receive Free Legal Assistance

    NYC Residents Facing Foreclosure to Receive Free Legal Assistance

    nyc

    A new initiative spearheaded by mayor Michael Bloomberg aims to provide free legal aid to New York City residents facing foreclosure.

    The so-called “NYC Service Legal Outreach” will support homeowners with free legal assistance during the mandatory settlement conference stage, which is a meeting between the bank and homeowner where foreclosure alternatives are negotiated.

    Such conferences give homeowners an opportunity to avoid foreclosure, and the presence of legal representatives will likely improve a homeowner’s chances.

    The NYC Service Legal Outreach program intends to recruit 300 volunteer attorneys over the next three months – 100 will be stationed at courthouses to screen homeowners and provide counsel.

    An additional 200 attorneys will be directly matched with individual homeowners and will advocate for the homeowners throughout the foreclosure settlement process.

    “The City’s legal community has a long, proud history of pro bono work, and we are tapping into that tradition to bolster our comprehensive effort to prevent foreclosures,” said NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in a release.

    “The City has not been hit as hard as some other areas by the foreclosure crisis, in part due to our efforts, but we are seeing a serious impact. No family facing the loss of their home should be without representation.”

    Last year, there were 20,773 foreclosure filings in New York City, up from roughly 14,000 in 2007 and 2008.

    That compares to less than 7,000 foreclosure filings in the City in 2004.

    The NYC neighborhoods most impacted by foreclosure filings include Jamaica, Bellrose/Rosedale, Flatlands/Canarsie, East New York and the North Shore of Staten Island.

    Homeowners facing foreclosure who are interested in retaining free legal services should go to www.nyc.gov or call 311.

    Source: TheTruthAboutMortgage

    <!– –>

    Posted in bloomberg0 Comments

    Florida Courts Petition for Nearly $10M to Clear Foreclosure Backlog

    Florida Courts Petition for Nearly $10M to Clear Foreclosure Backlog

    By: Carrie Bay DSNEWS.com 3/30/2010

    Florida has been aptly dubbed one of the nation’s foreclosure hotspots, regularly posting foreclosure rates among the highest four of all the states for several years now – and its courts have a wall of foreclosure cases to back up those numbers.

    In a so-called judicial state like Florida – and a good many others across the country – a foreclosure must get a judge’s stamp of approval. But the backlog has gotten so bad in the Sunshine State, that it’s pushed the Florida State Courts Administration to ask legislators for $9.6 million to bring in additional case managers and judges to help clear the still-growing glut of case files.

    A recent study by Barclays Capital concluded that Florida has one of the most swollen pipelines of foreclosure cases in the nation, with Miami in particular having liquidated just 18 percent of its delinquent loans – the lowest percentage in the country. By comparison, Barclays said Las Vegas, which has the largest share of loans that are seriously delinquent, has pushed about 38 percent through liquidation.

    Estimates from Florida’s court administrators put the number of pending foreclosure cases at 500,000.

    According to the Palm Beach Post, it’s routine in Florida for foreclosures to take more than a year to settle, leaving properties to deteriorate, association fees to go unpaid, and families to be in limbo.

    The local newspaper says judges there fear that without additional resources to clear the cases, the bottleneck will continue to drag down home values, which aren’t expected to stabilize until the backlog of distressed properties can be moved through the system.

    “We want to be good partners in the economic recovery, not part of the problem,” Peter Blanc, chief judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit Court in Palm Beach County, told the Palm Beach Post. “We want to get properties through the courts and back onto the market. The numbers are just overwhelming.”

    The Florida Bankers Association in January succeeded in lobbying lawmakers to introduce a bill that would clear the way for non-judicial foreclosures unless the borrower requests an appearance in court. Under the legislation, foreclosures could be concluded in as little as 90 days.

    Posted in foreclosure fraud0 Comments

    Wall Street cabal seen derailing serious swap reform: REUTERS

    Wall Street cabal seen derailing serious swap reform: REUTERS

    NEW YORK
    Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:05pm EDT

    (Reuters) – A major crisis is building in the derivatives market yet a cabal on Wall Street is blocking the formation of a clearing house that could stop the next financial meltdown, a senior official with the Kauffman Foundation said on Tuesday.

    The need for disclosure in the swap markets is enormous, yet the will to act is missing because of a small cadre of special interests, said Harold Bradley, who oversees almost $2 billion in assets as chief investment officer at Kauffman.

    “There is no incentive from the moneyed interests in either Washington or New York to change it,” Bradley told the Reuters Global Exchanges and Trading Summit in New York.

    “I believe we are in a cabal. There are five or six players only who are engaged and dominant in this marketplace and apparently they own the regulatory apparatus,” he said. “Everybody is afraid to regulate them.”

    U.S. and European officials are trying to craft new rules to regulate the $450 trillion private derivatives market in broad efforts to avoid another financial crisis.

    Policy-makers generally agree that most standardized derivatives should be traded on exchanges or cleared through a clearinghouse, which would assume the risk of a default.

    Bradley said those efforts fall short. There needs to be a national market system for fixed income and credit with displayed prices and the posting of open interest and market positions, he said.

    Instead, he said regulators have found a boogeyman in high-frequency trading, which has taken the focus off the highly levered derivatives market. After falling in 2008, the nominal value of derivatives is now greater than ever at about $204.3 trillion, according to Ned Davis Research Inc.

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a broad review of equity market structure, centered on high-frequency trading, often referred to by the initials HFT.

    High-frequency traders, who account for an estimated 60 percent of trading on U.S. equity markets, use rapid-fire trading software to buy and sell stocks.

    Fears that high-frequency trading could spark the next market meltdown are unfounded, Bradley and other speakers at the summit said.

    “We’re going to talk about high-frequency trading instead of the flash points that set off nuclear bombs around our financial markets,” Bradley said, referring to the ever-expanding and loosely regulated market for derivatives.

    Complaints about electronic trade are coming from the largest U.S. asset management firms and the investment banks that have lost business to these new operations, Bradley said.

    “This is a classic Wall Street land grab. You create an acronym, you basically castigate somebody as villainous and then you regulate them because they’re taking somebody’s profits away,” he said.

    Scrutiny of high frequency trading is unwarranted because the U.S. stock market functioned “unbelievably well” during the height of investor panic in late 2008 and early 2009, he said.

    “I’d like anyone to show me what didn’t work. (The market) never seized, costs stayed really low,” Bradley said.

    “The money that the high frequency traders are taking is coming right out of the old investment banks’ dealing desks’ pockets,” he said.

    (Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Richard Chang)

    After reading this article, people also read:

    Posted in S.E.C.0 Comments

    ERIC FRIEDMAN It's your turn to wear the hats…By the way thanks for the Power Of Attorney to Stern!

    ERIC FRIEDMAN It's your turn to wear the hats…By the way thanks for the Power Of Attorney to Stern!

    Ok folks…here we have Eric & Erica.

    We all know some of the many hats Erica Johnson-Seck wears…so whats a few more. Just like her,  Eric Friedman joins her with some signings and also gives Law Offices of David J. Stern Power Of Attorney via IndyMac.

    N0tice how it may be the same person signing for all on the POA? Eric also signs documents for Florida Default Group now would this be a conflict? What makes of this POA since Eric’s signatures aren’t consistent and is an officer of other banks too?

    Oh and they didn’t want notary Mai Thao to feel left out so they let “Mai”  in on it too.

    • Notice original banks ceased operations before these were assigned.
    • They “fabricated” these assignments to back date and record months after.
    • Notice no addresses because their is none.
    • IndyMac itself was ceased by the FDIC in 7/11/2008 and sold to OneWest 3/19/2009.

    [ipaper docId=29139438 access_key=key-u0m7ieq9clym21cd31v height=600 width=600 /]

    © 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



    Posted in concealment, conspiracy, corruption, eric friedman, erica johnson seck, FDLG, florida default law group, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, indymac, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, robo signers0 Comments

    [NYSC] JUDGE SCHACK TAKES ON ROBO-SIGNER ERICA JOHNSON SECK: DEUTSCHE BANK v. HARRIS (2)

    [NYSC] JUDGE SCHACK TAKES ON ROBO-SIGNER ERICA JOHNSON SECK: DEUTSCHE BANK v. HARRIS (2)

    Excerpt:

    Plaintiffs affidavit, submitted in support of the instant application for a default judgment, was executed by Erica Johnson-Seck, who claims to be a Vice President of plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK. The affidavit was executed in the State of Texas, County of Williamson (Williamson County, Texas is located in the Austin metropolitan area, and its county seat is Georgetown, Texas). The COURT is perplexed as to why the assignment was not executed in Pasadena, California, at 46U Sierra Madre Villa, the alleged “principal place of business” for both the assign1,)r and the assignee. In my January 3 1, 2008 decision (Deutsche Bank National Trust company v Maraj, – Misc 3d – [A], 2008 NY Slip Op 50176 [U]), I noted that Erica Johnson-Seck, claimed that she was a Vice President of MERS in her July 3,2007 INDYMAC to DEUTSCHE BANK assignment, and then in her July 3 1,2007 affidavit claimed to be a DEUTSCHE BANK Vice President. Just as in Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v Maraj, at 2, the Court in the instant action, before granting itn application for an order of reference, requires an affidavit from Ms. Johnson-Seck, describing her employment history for the past three years.

    Down Load PDF of This Case

    © 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



    Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD0 Comments

    Foreclosure Fraud Fighters Weapon- Motion to Disqualify Counsel!

    Foreclosure Fraud Fighters Weapon- Motion to Disqualify Counsel!

    From Matt Weidner Blog

    Foreclosure Fraud Fighters Weapon- Motion to Disqualify Counsel!

    March 29th, 2010 ·

    As more and more depositions are being taken of robo signers and other witnesses who appear in foreclosure cases by signing documents, a troubling issue has emerged….conflict of interest by the foreclosure mills that are staying up day and night to push their garbage foreclosure cases through.

    There are only two or three documents that must be filed by the Plaintiff in order to be granted foreclosure. These documents must be trustworthy if a court is to rely upon them to grant foreclosure and deprive a homeowner of possession of the home.  What we’ve found through deposition and discovery is that attorneys who work in the foreclosure mills are signing the key documents that allow their firms to prevail in their cases. This is a staggering violation of the rules of professional ethics, but this practice is apparently quite widespread with groups of attorneys in the mills routinely signing documents, especially assignments of mortgages, allegedly on behalf of MERS in particular.  Any document signed by an attorney working for the Plaintiff is ethically improper, but very serious conflict of interest questions are raised when an assignment transfers the first mortgage to the Plaintiff while at the same time, there is any sort of second mortgage and certainly when the Plaintiff lists MERS as a Defendant.

    An Absolute Conflict of Interest Anytime A Second Mortgage Exists

    MERS is listed as the “mortgagee” or “nominee” on virtually every mortgage that is currently subject to foreclosure.  As we know from depositions, whenever the Plaintiff’s law firm needs to show evidence that the named plaintiff has the right to foreclose a mortgage, either an attorney in the office creates this false assignment or they send instructions to a document mill where the false assignment is signed by a robo signer.  Title attorneys and attorneys with a real estate background dispute the validity of any assignment from MERS (see Kessler v. Landmark) because MERS simply does not have the authority to issue assignments.  Setting this argument aside for just a moment however, the problem with any party acting on instructions from the Plaintiff’s firm is that this party is an agent of the Plaintiff law firm…I cannot conceive of any litigation where it would be permissible for a law firm to instruct his client, “Here’s the evidence I need”, and that client would produce the “evidence” according to instruction and return to the attorney who submits this “evidence” to the court. And yet this happens in virtually every foreclosure across the country….but wait, I got sidetracked down one ethical minefield, when I started in another direction.

    When MERS executes one questionable assignment of mortgage (all MERS assignments are questionable) for the first mortgage and there is also a second mortgage that must be foreclosed, Plaintiff’s firms are often not bothering to serve the holder of the second mortgage…all they’re bothering to do is get “service” for that second mortgage on MERS…problematic in any case, but especially problematic when the agent for MERs on either the first or the second mortgage are either an attorney working for the Plaintiff or an agent of the attorney.  What follows here is a discussion of some of the ethical issues posed by such practices, and then posted here is a Motion to Disqualify Counsel which Foreclosure Fraud Fighter Mark Stopa has recently been using with great results…bottom line is the Motion to Disqualify must be heard before any substantive issues are addressed, and the foreclosure mills never want these Motions to Disqualify to be heard by a judge…..if judges started hearing these arguments on a regular basis they may never get around to granting foreclosure…and now, directly from the Florida Bar Journal:

    Under the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct,  an attorney generally must not act as advocate at a trial in which the  attorney is likely to be a necessary witness on behalf of the  client. 1 The purpose of the  rule is to prevent evils that arise when a lawyer dons the hat of both  advocate and witness for his own client, as such dual role can  prejudice the opposing side or create a conflict of interest. 2
    “At  a trial,” as used in the rule, does not encompass pre-trial or   post-trial proceedings, and thus, does not preclude the attorney from  conducting a pre-trial deposition, even if it were likely that the  attorney would be called as a witness at a trial. 3 Generally, where an attorney is a necessary  witness for a client, the trial of the case should be left to other  counsel; the dual capacity of counsel
    and witness in the trial of a  cause should be avoided if possible. 4 If, from the outset, an attorney knows or can  reasonably anticipate that his or her testimony will be essential to  the prosecution of his or her client’s case, the attorney should  decline the representation altogether. 5 To avoid jeopardizing a client’s cause of action,  the better practice is for counsel who must decline or withdraw from  representation to arrange to have other counsel conduct the trial when  it is apparent that either he or a member of his firm will be required  to testify on behalf of his client. 6

    The  mere possibility that the attorney would or might be a necessary   witness is insufficient. 7  Furthermore, unsubstantiated claims that plaintiff’s attorney is a  material witness will not disqualify the attorney from representing  his client. 8 Likewise, a  defendant’s motion for disqualification of a plaintiff’s attorney will  not be granted on the ground that the attorney “should be” a witness  for the plaintiffs where the plaintiffs testify that they prefer to  have their attorney act as their counsel rather than have him testify  in their behalf, and where it appears that any information the attorney possess is not crucial and could be presented through the   testimony of others. 9The  rule requiring a lawyer to withdraw when he expects to be a necessary   witness in a case is not designed to permit a lawyer to call opposing   counsel as a witness and thereby disqualify him as counsel. 10 Indeed, the District Court of Appeal  views with some skepticism motions to disqualify an attorney on the  grounds that the attorney will be a material witness in the case,  since such motions are sometimes filed for tactical or harassing   reasons, rather than the proper reason. 11 Opposing counsel should not be permitted to force  disassociation between counsel and client just by calling counsel as  an adverse witness, and a lawyer need not withdraw from a case where   the mere possibility exists that he or she might be called to testify  by the adversary party, as this would create the situation in which  the adversary could disassociate the client’s chosen  counsel. 12

    However, although disqualification of an attorney  is an extraordinary remedy to be resorted to only sparingly, 13 when it is shown that the attorney will  be an indispensable witness or when the attorney becomes a “central   figure” in the case, disqualification is appropriate. Thus,  disqualification of an attorney from representation of defendants at  the trial was warranted in a defamation action where the attorney was  likely to be the featured witness at the trial, adducing evidence as  to plaintiff’s activities. 14  Likewise, an attorney was properly disqualified from representing the  personal
    representative in a will contest, where the attorney had  prepared and witnessed the contested will, and, therefore, would be a  witness on matters of substance at the trial. 15 Also, both an attorney and the attorney’s firm   should have been disqualified from representation, where an attorney  brought an action against a partnership for his wife in a  slip-and-fall case and for himself on a claim for loss of consortium,  and the attorney’s partner had represented the partnership and still  served as its resident agent for service of process, because the  attorney could well be called to testify, resulting in a violation of  a rule of professional conduct, and the firm, through its  representation, may have had access to privileged information of the  partnership. 16

    ¨ Observation: A  litigant’s action in causing the disqualification of its opponent’s  trial counsel enjoyed absolute immunity from a later claim of tortious  interference with a business relationship, where the litigant   certified to the trial court an intent to call opposing counsel as a  witness at trial, thereby causing opposing counsel to be disqualified,  but later failed to subpoena and call counsel as a witness at trial,  and when a judgment was entered against the litigant, disqualified  counsel brought an action against the litigant for tortious  interference with a business relationship. 17

    FOOTNOTE 1. Rules  Regulating the Florida Bar, Rule 4-3.7(a).

    Annotation References

    Attorney as witness for client in civil  proceedings—modern state cases, 35
    A.L.R. 4th 810.

    Trial Strategy References

    Attorney Malpractice in Real Estate Transactions,  27 Am. Jur. Proof of
    Facts 3d 353.

    Existence of attorney–client Relationship, 48 Am.  Jur. Proof of Facts 2d
    525.

    FOOTNOTE 2. Scott v.  State, 717 So. 2d 908, 23 Fla. L. Weekly S175 (Fla.
    1998), reh’g  denied, (June 15, 1998).

    FOOTNOTE 3. Columbo v.  Puig, 745 So. 2d 1106, 24 Fla. L. Weekly D2705
    (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d  Dist. 1999).

    FOOTNOTE 4. Dudley v.  Wilson, 152 Fla. 752, 13 So. 2d 145 (1943).

    FOOTNOTE 5. Hubbard v.  Hubbard, 233 So. 2d 150 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th
    Dist. 1970) (decided  under predecessor law governing the Bar).

    FOOTNOTE 6. Beavers v.  Conner, 258 So. 2d 330 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d
    Dist. 1972), appeal  after remand, 289 So. 2d 462 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist.
    1974)  (decided under predecessor law governing the Bar).

    FOOTNOTE 7. Srour v.  Srour, 733 So. 2d 593, 24 Fla. L. Weekly D1329 (Fla.
    Dist. Ct. App.  5th Dist. 1999).

    Singer Island Ltd., Inc. v. Budget Const. Co.,  Inc., 714 So. 2d 651, 23
    Fla. L. Weekly D1773 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th  Dist. 1998).

    A franchiser’s attorney was not required to be  disqualified for conflict
    of interest based on the attorney’s previous  representation of a franchisee,
    where the attorney previously had  written two letters and had sat in on
    meetings with the franchisee in  connection with the franchisee’s claim that
    its assignor was in breach  of its noncompetition agreement and, when the
    franchisee brought an  action against the franchiser alleging a breach of the
    franchise  agreement, contended that the attorney should be disqualified,
    even  though there was no evidence that the attorney’s testimony would be
    necessary or that his testimony would be averse to the franchiser’s  position.

    Swensen’s Ice Cream Co. v. Voto, Inc., 652 So. 2d  961, 20 Fla. L. Weekly
    D811 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist.  1995).

    FOOTNOTE 8. Pascucci v.  Pascucci, 679 So. 2d 1311, 21 Fla. L. Weekly D2142
    (Fla. Dist. Ct.  App. 4th Dist. 1996).

    FOOTNOTE 9. Cazares v.  Church of Scientology of California, Inc., 429 So.
    2d 348 (Fla. Dist.  Ct. App. 5th Dist. 1983), petition for review denied,
    438 So. 2d 831  (Fla. 1983) and related reference, 444 So. 2d 442 (Fla. Dist.
    Ct. App.  5th Dist. 1983).

    FOOTNOTE 10. Allstate Ins.  Co. v. English, 588 So. 2d 294, 16 Fla. L.
    Weekly D2774 (Fla. Dist.  Ct. App. 2d Dist. 1991).

    Arcara v. Philip M. Warren, P.A., 574 So. 2d 325,  16 Fla. L. Weekly 530
    (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 1991).

    Ray v. Stuckey, 491 So. 2d 1211, 11 Fla. L.  Weekly 1569 (Fla. Dist. Ct.
    App. 1st Dist. 1986).

    FOOTNOTE 11. Singer Island  Ltd., Inc. v. Budget Const. Co., Inc., 714 So.
    2d 651, 23 Fla. L.  Weekly D1773 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 1998).

    FOOTNOTE 12. Allstate Ins.  Co. v. English, 588 So. 2d 294, 16 Fla. L.
    Weekly D2774 (Fla. Dist.  Ct. App. 2d Dist. 1991).

    FOOTNOTE 13. § 329.

    FOOTNOTE 14. Fleitman v.  McPherson, 691 So. 2d 37, 22 Fla. L. Weekly D884
    (Fla. Dist. Ct. App.  1st Dist. 1997), related reference, 704 So. 2d 587, 22
    Fla. L. Weekly  D2091 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 1997).

    FOOTNOTE 15. Larkin v.  Pirthauer, 700 So. 2d 182, 22 Fla. L. Weekly D2387
    (Fla. Dist. Ct.  App. 4th Dist. 1997).

    FOOTNOTE 16. Springtree  Country Club Plaza, Ltd. v. Blaut, 642 So. 2d 27,
    19 Fla. L. Weekly  D1704 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 1994).

    FOOTNOTE 17. Levin,  Middlebrooks, Mabie, Thomas, Mayes & Mitchell, P.A. v.
    U.S. Fire  Ins. Co., 639 So. 2d 606, 19 Fla. L. Weekly S347 (Fla. 1994).

    Posted in concealment, conspiracy, corruption, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, matt weidner blog, MERS0 Comments

    America’s Women to Dodd — Size Matters

    America’s Women to Dodd — Size Matters

    America’s Women to Dodd — Size Matters

    Submitted by Mary Bottari on March 19, 2010 – 06:20

    To: U.S. Senator Chris Dodd
    Chairman Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

    Dear Senator Dodd,

    As women and as taxpayers, we are writing to you today to tell you that size matters.

    Usually we love big. Big boxes of chocolate, big boxes of wine, big — well you know. But when it comes to big banks and big bank bailouts, it’s a whole different story.

    As you get ready to take up bank reform in your committee next week, we need to talk.

    When Congress voted to repeal depression-era Glass-Steagall protections, it put the big banks on Viagra. Since then they have had a big problem and it has lasted a lot longer than four hours.

    The top five banks hold 50% of all bank assets. That hurts. They are simply too big for their britches. They have been ramping up those big bank fees, paying out big bank bonuses and spending big bucks on bank lobbyists to defeat reform.

    We know what those big banks are telling you — “size doesn’t matter.” JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon may be cute, but he is just a player. Big bank bravado only leads to big bank bailouts. After spending $4 trillion on the latest one, we simply can’t afford to get knocked up for another.

    It’s better to be safe than sorry. Now is the time to take the prophylactic approach. Your bill needs a hard cap the size of the biggest banks. That right, cap ‘em, shrink ‘em, slice ‘em, dice ‘em. Economist Simon Johnson tells us that no bank’s liabilities should be greater than 2% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Did you know Bank of America’s liabilities are 14% of GDP? Your teeny, tiny $50 billion bailout fund could leave taxpayers on the hook for trillions if that big boy went belly up.

    So be a big man and do the right thing. You can prevent the next crisis and by doing so you will give yourself (and us) a great deal of satisfaction.

    Put a real size cap in the bill — the one you have now does absolutely nothing — and put stronger Glass-Steagall protections in place so we are no longer taking chances that are too big and will fail.

    Source: BanksterUsa.org

    Posted in foreclosure fraud0 Comments

    Could Bloomberg Lawsuit Mean Death to Zombie Banks?

    Could Bloomberg Lawsuit Mean Death to Zombie Banks?

    Center for Media and Democracy and www.BanksterUSA.org

    Posted: March 28, 2010 09:43 AM
    My recollection is a bit hazy. How does one kill a zombie exactly? Do you stake it? Cut off its head? Nationalize it? Perhaps it’s time to ask the experts at Bloomberg News.

    Lost in the haze of the hoopla surrounding the insurance reform bill was some big news on the financial reform front. On March 19, Bloomberg won its lawsuit against the Federal Reserve for information that could expose which “too big to fail” banks in the United States are walking zombies and which banks were merely rotting.

    Bloomberg, which has done some of the best reporting on the financial crisis, is also leading the charge on the fight for transparency at the Federal Reserve and in the financial sector. While many policymakers and reporters were focusing their attention on the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout bill passed by Congress, Bloomberg was one of the first to notice that the TARP program was small change compared to the estimated $2-3 trillion flowing out the back door of the Federal Reserve to prop up the financial system in the early months of the crisis.

    Way back in November 2008, Bloomberg filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking the Fed what institutions were receiving the money, how much, and what collateral was being posted for these loans. Their basic argument: when trillions in taxpayer money is being loaned out to shaky institutions, don’t the taxpayers deserve to know their chances of being paid back?

    Not according to the Fed. The Fed declined to respond, forcing Bloomberg to sue in Federal Court. In August of 2009, Bloomberg won the suit. With the backing of the big banks, the Fed appealed , and this month, Bloomberg won again. A three judge appellate panel dismissed the Fed’s arguments that the information was protect “confidential business information” and told the Fed that the public deserved answers.

    The Fed is the only institution in the United States that can print money. It can drag this case out as long as it wants, but isn’t it a bid odd that taxpayer dollars are being used to keep information from the taxpayers?

    After an unexpectedly rocky confirmation battle, Ben Bernanke kicked off his new term as Fed Chair in February with pledges of openness and transparency. “It is essential that the public have the information it needs to understand and be assured of the integrity of all our operations, including all aspects of our balance sheet and our financial controls,” said Bernanke. President Obama also pledged a new era of transparency when he entered office. What is going on here?

    One theory is that Fed is hiding the secret assistance it provided to the financial sector, because it would expose how many Wall Street institutions are truly walking zombies, kept alive by accounting tricks like deferred-tax assets, “a fancy term for pent-up losses that the bank hopes to use later to cut its tax bills,” according to Bloomberg’s Jonathan Wiel. If this is the case, it raises doubts about the wisdom of Congress’ only plan to take care of the “too big to fail” problem by trusting regulators to “resolve” failing banks. If there is no will to resolve them now, why should we think regulators will resolve them in the future?

    Another theory is that the Fed is hiding the fact that it broke the law by accepting a boatload of toxic assets as collateral. The law says the Fed is only supposed to take “investment grade” assets as collateral.

    In either case, the public deserves answers. “This money does not belong to the Federal Reserve,” Senator Bernie Sanders. “It belongs to the American people, and the American people have a right to know where more than $2 trillion of their money has gone.”

    The President and the Fed Chairman must live up to their pledges of transparency. They can start by abandoning this lawsuit and opening the doors on the Secrets of the Temple.

    Posted in bernanke, bloomberg, federal reserve board, FOIA, G. Edward Griffin0 Comments

    Bank of America, Wells Fargo probably won't pay income tax for 2009: THANKS TO TRAP…I MEAN TARP!

    Bank of America, Wells Fargo probably won't pay income tax for 2009: THANKS TO TRAP…I MEAN TARP!

    Bank of America, Wells Fargo probably won’t pay income tax for 2009

    Annual reports suggest BofA and Wells Fargo won’t have to pay federal income taxes for 2009.
    By Christina Rexrode
    crexrode@charlotteobserver.com
    Posted: Friday, Mar. 26, 2010

    This tax season will be kind to Bank of America and Wells Fargo: It appears that neither bank will have to pay federal income taxes for 2009.

    Bank of America probably won’t pay federal taxes because it lost money in the U.S. for the year. Wells Fargo was profitable, but can write down its tax bill because of losses at Wachovia, which it rescued from a near collapse.

    The idea of the country’s No. 1 and No. 4 banks not paying federal income taxes may be anathema to millions of Americans who are grumbling as they fill out their own tax forms this month. But tax experts say the banks’ situation is hardly unique.

    “Oh, yeah, this happens all the time,” said Robert Willens, an expert on tax accounting who runs a New York firm with the same name. “Especially now, with companies suffering such severe losses.”

    Bob McIntyre, at Citizens for Tax Justice, said he opposes the government giving corporations such a break.

    “If you go out and try to make money and you don’t do it, why should the government pay you for your losses?” McIntyre said. “It’s as simple as that.”

    For 2009, Bank of America netted a $2.3 billion benefit related to income taxes, according to its annual report: It had a benefit of $3.6 billion from the federal government, and an expense of $1.3 billion that it paid to different state and foreign governments.

    It’s not unusual for a company’s debt to the federal government to vary widely from its debt to state governments, as appears to be the case with Bank of America, said Douglas Shackelford, a tax professor at UNC Chapel Hill.

    The federal government often offers more tax deductions than the states; for example, Bank of America wrote down its federal taxable income with credits from low-income housing and losses on foreign subsidiary stock.

    Company tax returns aren’t public, so it’s difficult to say for certain how much a company pays to, or receives from, tax coffers in any year .

    The bank’s $3.6 billion current federal tax benefit for 2009 came in a year when it lost $1 billion in the U.S., according to its latest annual report. For the previous year, when the bank had profits of $3.3 billion in the U.S., it listed a current federal tax expense of $5.1 billion.

    Wells Fargo was profitable in 2009, with $8 billion in earnings applicable to common shareholders. But its tax payments were reduced because of Wachovia’s losses.

    Wells netted an overall tax benefit of $4.1 billion in 2009. It got a benefit worth nearly $4 billion from the federal government, and another worth $334 million from state governments. It had an expense of $164 million in foreign taxes. Wells did record an overall income tax expense of $5.3 billion, but that was offset by the tax benefits of the Wachovia losses.

    Tax breaks and stimulus

    The topic of corporate tax breaks has gained buzz recently because of a provision in the 2009 stimulus bill, which allows companies to “carry back” their losses for 2008 and 2009 to the previous five years, instead of just the previous two years. Homebuilders and other industries that suffered big losses in 2008 and 2009, but made a lot of money in the years before that, stand to gain billions in refunds. However, the stimulus bill provision does not apply for Bank of America and Wells Fargo, because companies that received TARP loans are ineligible.

    UNC’s Shackelford said the argument for carrybacks stems from the belief that it’s “arbitrary” that taxes are collected on an annual basis.

    “There’s no reason we couldn’t collect them on a monthly basis or a two-year basis. Then your losses and gains would be offset over the period,” he said. “The carryback enables you to not be penalized because your losses got bunched in a different year from your gains.”

    The stimulus bill provision, he said, was helped by business lobbying. “There’s an awful lot of companies that paid a lot of taxes in the 2004 period, then they lost a lot of money, and they went to their legislators and said, ‘Please help us,'” Shackelford said.

    McIntyre, at Citizens for Tax Justice, co-authored a report in 2004 related to carrybacks, after the Bush administration expanded many corporate tax breaks. The report examined 275 of the country’s largest companies and found that nearly one-third paid no federal income taxes in at least one year from 2001 to 2003. The companies overall were profitable in those years, but took advantage of tax breaks.

    “If you or I lose money in the stock market, we don’t get to carry back our losses to any significant degree,” said McIntyre. His group works on closing tax breaks for corporations.

    “Getting a refund from the past, that’s just weird,” he added.

    Read more: www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/03/26/1337021/billions-in-tax-benefits-for-banks.html#ixzz0jUTUfF0A

    Posted in bank of america, wells fargo0 Comments

    Neil Garfield- Steps to Securitization

    Neil Garfield- Steps to Securitization

    Mr. Garfield is a GENIUS
    CameronBaxterFilms09
    March 26, 2010
    A casual conversation about the mechanics of securitization with Neil Garfield MBA JD, Wall Street insider and former trial attorney. Neil is the editor of http://www.LivingLies.Wordpress.com, the leading internet resource on foreclosure defense. He explains how the major banks and Wall Street used securitization to bypass traditional regulatory guidelines, and why it is so difficult for judges, lawyers and borrowers to understand what happened. Neil has just released a 2-disk, 4-hour foreclosure defense DVD set – The Garfield Continuum: Seminar for Laymen. A version for attorneys follows shortly. The DVD and the accompanying Workbook can be purchased at http://www.LivingLies-store.com
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_02YPLYzMs]
    Wells Fargo’s Attorney– “We are the HOLDER of THE NOTE!
    Later the attorney stated “Excuse me, I MISSTATED…We are ONLY the SERVICER”
    Mr. Garfield “At which point I gave the lawyer an elbow, and I said “That means WE DON’T HAVE A HOLDER OF THE NOTE in this court room.” 

    Posted in livinglies, neil garfield0 Comments

    Too BIG to Fail, Too BIG for Jail? Bid-Rigging Conspiracy

    Too BIG to Fail, Too BIG for Jail? Bid-Rigging Conspiracy

    March 26 (Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and UBS AG were among more than a dozen Wall Street firms involved in a conspiracy to pay below-market interest rates to U.S. state and local governments on investments, according to documents filed in a U.S. Justice Department criminal antitrust case.

    A government list of previously unidentified “co- conspirators” contains more than two dozen bankers at firms also including Bank of America Corp., Bear Stearns Cos., Societe Generale, two of General Electric Co.’s financial businesses and Salomon Smith Barney, the former unit of Citigroup Inc., according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on March 24.

    The papers were filed by attorneys for a former employee of CDR Financial Products Inc., an advisory firm indicted in October. The attorneys, as part of their legal filing, identified the roster as being provided by the government. The document is labeled “list of co-conspirators.”

    None of the firms or individuals named on the list has been charged with wrongdoing. The court records mark the first time these companies have been identified as co-conspirators. They provide the broadest look yet at alleged collusion in the $2.8 trillion municipal securities market that the government says delivered profits to Wall Street at taxpayers’ expense.

    ‘Sufficient Evidence’

    “If the government is saying they are co-conspirators, the government believes they have sufficient evidence that they can show they were part of the conspiracy,” said Richard Donovan, a partner at New York-based law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP and co-chair of its antitrust practice. Donovan isn’t involved in the case.

    The government’s case centers on investments known as guaranteed investment contracts that cities, states and school districts buy with the money they receive through municipal bond sales. Some $400 billion of municipal bonds are issued each year, and localities use the contracts to earn a return on some of the money until they need it for construction or other projects.

    The Internal Revenue Service sometimes collects earnings on those investments and requires that they be awarded by competitive bidding to ensure that governments receive a fair return. The government charges that CDR ran sham auctions that allowed the banks to pay below-market interest rates to local governments.

    CDR Fights Case

    CDR, a Los Angeles-based local-government adviser, was indicted in October along with David Rubin, Zevi Wolmark and Evan Zarefsky, three current or former executives. The company and the three men have denied wrongdoing. Since last month, three former CDR employees who weren’t charged in the initial indictment have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department.

    More than a dozen financial firms are also facing civil suits filed by municipalities over the alleged conspiracy. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan refused to toss out a lawsuit brought by Mississippi and other bond issuers.

    Brian Marchiony, a spokesman for JPMorgan in New York; Doug Morris, a spokesman for UBS in New York; and Danielle Romero- Apsilos, a spokeswoman for Citigroup in New York, all declined to comment. A Societe Generale spokesman, Jim Galvin; Lehman spokeswoman Kimberly MacLeod, and GE Capital spokesman Ned Reynolds in Stamford, Connecticut, also declined to comment. Bank of America spokeswoman Shirley Norton in San Francisco declined to comment. Bear Stearns was bought by JPMorgan in 2008, the same year Lehman Brothers collapsed.

    ‘Absolute Disaster’

    Laura Sweeney, a Justice Department spokeswoman in Washington, declined to comment.

    Banks may choose to cooperate with prosecutors because in light of the government bailout funds they’ve received “a guilty plea would just be an absolute disaster for some of these companies,” said Nathan Muyskens, a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Washington and former trial attorney with the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition.

    “There have been antitrust investigations where there have been companies involved that were just never indicted,” he said in a phone interview.

    At the same time, the government will probably focus on seeking to convict individual bankers, he said.

    “When someone goes to jail for five years, that resonates,” he said. “When a company pays $200 million, it’s simply a balance sheet issue. Jail time is what captures corporate America’s attention.”

    Lawyers’ Filing

    In a court filing yesterday, defense lawyers said they “inadvertently” included the names of individual and company co-conspirators in a motion asking the court to compel the government to provide more specific evidence of the alleged misconduct. They asked the court to strike the entire exhibit in which the list appears. Judge Marrero granted the request.

    The government’s probe became public in 2006 when federal investigators raided CDR and two competitors and issued subpoenas to more than a dozen firms. The “co-conspirators” on the list released in court this week also included Wachovia Corp., which was purchased by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. in 2008. Elise Wilkinson, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman in Charlotte, North Carolina, didn’t return a call today seeking comment.

    October Indictments

    The indictments released in October didn’t identify any of the sellers of the investment contracts involved in the alleged conspiracy. They were identified only as Provider A and Provider B. They paid kickbacks to CDR after winning investment deals brokered by the firm, according to the indictments.

    The firms did this by paying sham fees tied to financial transactions entered into with other companies, prosecutors said. Kickbacks were paid from 2001 to 2005, ranging from $4,500 to $475,000 each, according to the Justice Department.

    According to the list contained in the court filing this week, the investment contracts involved were created by units of GE and divisions of Financial Security Assurance Holdings Ltd., a bond insurer formerly part of Brussels-based lender Dexia SA.

    The kickbacks were paid out of fees generated by transactions entered into with two financial institutions that weren’t identified in the October court filing. The March 24 list filed by the defense named the two firms as UBS and Royal Bank of Canada.

    Dexia Sale

    Dexia completed the sale of FSA’s bond-insurance business in July to Assured Guaranty Ltd. of Hamilton, Bermuda, while retaining its outstanding investment contracts.

    Thierry Martiny, a spokesman for Dexia in Brussels, declined to comment. FSA, based in New York, was the biggest insurer of U.S. municipal bonds in 2007 and 2008.

    “We have no comment,” said Betsy Castenir, a spokeswoman for Assured Guaranty in New York, in an e-mail response. “Dexia has responsibility for the liabilities of the Financial Products business.”

    Royal Bank of Canada “has been fully cooperating with the government,” Kevin Foster, a spokesman for the bank in New York, said in an e-mailed statement. “We have no knowledge or evidence of wrongdoing by any of our employees.”

    The case is U.S. v. Rubin/Chambers, Dunhill Insurance Services Inc., 09-CR-01058, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

    To contact the reporters on this story: William Selway in San Francisco at wselway@bloomberg.net; Martin Z. Braun in New York at mbraun6@bloomberg.net

    Last Updated: March 26, 2010 13:09 EDT

    Posted in bank of america, bloomberg, chase, citi, concealment, conspiracy, corruption, jpmorgan chase, wachovia0 Comments

    Loan Modifications: The Good And The Bad

    Loan Modifications: The Good And The Bad

    LETS NOT FORGET YOU WAIVE “CERTAIN RIGHTS”

    Loan Modifications: The Good And The Bad

    Francesca Levy, 03.25.10, 04:20 PM EDT

    Just because you can restructure your mortgage doesn’t mean you should.

    image

    Foreclosures and problem loans have thrown millions of American households into crisis. Over 7.5 million mortgages are delinquent, and an estimated 1 million have been taken back by the banks, according to Lender Processing Services, a Jacksonville-Fla.- based mortgage-industry service provider.

    In response, the government founded the Making Home Affordable program, with $75 billion in federal funds, to offer services–including loan modification–to certain homeowners. But navigating the thicket of paperwork and separating good from bad advice can prove downright daunting. And for some struggling homeowners loan modification may not even be the right option.

    As of February the Home Affordable Modification Program had modified the loans of over 1 million homeowners, either on a trial or permanent basis, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. But some argue that the government’s attempts at modifying loans has been unsuccessful, noting that the Treasury Department estimates that the program may reach only half of the 4 million struggling borrowers it was intended to help.

    Still, loan modification can be the right choice if it makes monthly payments more realistic after a cold, hard look at one’s finances. Yet not all modifications are created equal, and borrowers can take a few steps to ensure that they’ve sought help from someone with their interests in mind.

    Modification’s Different Meanings

    “Loan modification” is a broad label for any change to the original terms of a mortgage; but it typically involves altering a loan’s interest rate or extending the loan period. Lenders will often consent to this process because it’s cheaper than the cost of a homeowner defaulting.

    The trouble is that not all loan modifications have a happy ending. More than half the time, according to LPS, when delinquent loans are restructured, borrowers end up in foreclosure a year later anyway. Delaying foreclosures that are all but inevitable doesn’t just harm individual families – it can drag the housing recession out longer.

    “Unless property values skyrocket by 20 to 30% in the short term, these distressed properties will ultimately go to foreclosure. The problem is just snowballing,” says Ted Jadlos, senior managing director of the Applied Analytics group at LPS. “We’re talking about the housing hangover lasting until 2011.”

    Many loan modifications fail because they don’t fix the borrower’s immediate problem–unaffordable monthly payments. In fact, a restructured loan could end up costing more per month than what the mortgage-holder was originally paying–in some cases, twice as much, says Marietta Rodriguez, director for homeownership and lending for NeighborWorks America, a nonprofit that Congress created to promote home-ownership among low-to-moderate-income Americans.

    For one, lenders might need to bring back taxes and insurance current to avoid tax foreclosure, or add months of unpaid payments to the cost of the loan. In these cases, says Rodriguez, borrowers should take stock of whether a loan modification is worth it. For some homeowners in distress, foreclosure is a better option than loan modification. But before homeowners attempt to make a decision, she says they ought to seek out the help of an HUD-approved mortgage counselor.

    “People don’t know that there’s reliable, reputable, advice available so they go it on their own,” says Rodriguez. “They may not have understood their loan product to begin with, much less try to restructure it now.”

    Get Professional Help
    A preliminary report by the Urban Institute, a policy think tank, showed that borrowers who sought counseling through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program, administered by NeighborWorks, were able to reduce their payments by $454 more per month than if they hadn’t used a counselor, and were more likely to avoid foreclosure–or, if the foreclosure process had already begun, to stop it.

    But as unpleasant an ordeal as it is, “foreclosure” isn’t necessarily a dirty word. Both for individuals and the housing market at large, it’s not always a bad thing to allow a foreclosure to proceed–and sometimes doing so sooner, rather than staving off the outcome temporarily, is the right choice.

    “Foreclosures are a symptom; the cause is borrower distress,” says Jadlos. “We’re going to have to let some burn occur–let the foreclosure process get started. Let banks manage portfolios of problem assets so they don’t flood the market. You don’t have to throw people out on the street. You can find some metric to turn some of these homes into rental units.”

    SOURCE: FORBES In Depth: Loan Modifications: The Good And The Bad

    Posted in foreclosure fraud0 Comments

    Lasalle Bank N.A. v Smith 2010: NY Slip Judge Schack does it again! Slams BAUM Law Firm!

    Lasalle Bank N.A. v Smith 2010: NY Slip Judge Schack does it again! Slams BAUM Law Firm!

    Here it goes Lasalle Bank V Smith on March 22, 2010. We need Judges like this all over the US who understand the fraud behind these foreclosures! Why oh Why does the same Baum Law Firm go before this Judge when they know they are going up against one Wise Man?

    Judge Schack is asking for valid proof MERS and Lasalle has the authority to be nominated as part of the Note/Mortgage via a Power Of Attorney before he can issue a Judgment. LOL We know this will be impossible. This is off MERS website:

    Question:

    Do we need to file a power of attorney and what do we do if we are asked to produce a power of attorney?

    Being appointed as a MERS Certifying Officer means that the employee is an officer of MERS and can sign as a MERS officer. A power of attorney is not needed because that is not the capacity of how a certifying officer is signing. A power of attorney would be necessary if an employee is signing as an employee of the Lender on behalf of MERS. The Corporate Resolution does not need to be recorded and is appointing the employee as an officer of MERS. In essence, the employee is a dual officer of the lender and MERS.

    He also asks for the “Servicing Pool Agreement” that even permits them into the equation. I BET THERE IS NONE! Why because MERS nominates itself to speak onbehalf of many banks. This is an issue that should be raised.

    As in most foreclosure cases, Judge Schack is questioning Baum Law Firm how they are representing both the Plaintiff and the Defendant in this case and seeks an explanation. I think this is the question for most of where [1] VP for [2] seperate “banks” sign multiple Assignment of Mortgages and Affidavits.

    [ipaper docId=29001315 access_key=key-1ovdg3puqsfan53jqeu7 height=600 width=600 /]

    © 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



    Posted in assignment of mortgage, CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, judge arthur schack, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC.1 Comment

    ******BREAKING NEWS******Scandalous – Substantiated Allegations of Foreclosure Fraud That Implicates the Florida Attorney General’s Office (Erin Cullaro) and The Florida Default Law Group (FDLG)

    ******BREAKING NEWS******Scandalous – Substantiated Allegations of Foreclosure Fraud That Implicates the Florida Attorney General’s Office (Erin Cullaro) and The Florida Default Law Group (FDLG)

    SPREAD THIS LIKE WILDFIRE! This cannot continue!

    Via 4ClosureFraud…

    Pay attention all!

    We have been sitting on this information for some time now due to ongoing investigations but since the cat is out of the bag here we go…

    Over at  Matt Weidner’s Blog

    He reports on the transcript and motion from a hearing held in a Volusia County Courtroom from Ice Legal.

    Bombshell- Substantiated Allegations of Foreclosure/Affidavit Fraud That Implicates the Florida Attorney General’s Office

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the attorneys at Ice Legal may be the most aggressive and hard charging Foreclosure Fraud Fighters in Florida.  When this whole system comes crashing down and when judges and the Florida Supreme Court put an end to the systemic abuses of the court process being perpetrated by the foreclosure mills, the attorneys at Ice Legal will rightly take their fair share of the credit.

    Attached here is a must read Motion along with a copy of a transcript from a hearing held in a Volusia County Courtroom.  The Motion lays out a very disturbing set of allegations…

    This is a foreclosure action filed by WELLS FARGO BANK, NA (the “BANK”). The BANK is represented by Florida Default Law Group, P.L. (“FDLG”). On behalf of the BANK in this case, and on behalf of other clients in other cases, FDLG filed affidavits to establish that the attorneys’ fees it was allegedly paid were reasonable. The affidavits purport to have been executed by Lisa Cullaro, the appointed expert on attorneys’ fees. The notary who allegedly administered the expert’s oath and vouched for her signature was Erin Cullaro, a former employee of FDLG and now an Assistant Attorney General in the Economic Crimes Division of the Office of the Attorney General.

    Not only was Erin just a former employee, she was one of the lead counsel for Michael Echeverria, the owner of FDLG (Florida Default Law Group)

    Just recently their website http://www.echevarria.com/AttorneyProfiles.htm went “offline” but Google cashed version is here…

    I also archived it here…4CLOSUREFraud for the PROOF!

     

    Compare the signatures:

    Continue to 4closurefraud for the rest …

    Below is a FDLG letterhead from 2003 with Erin Cullaro listed.

    Posted in concealment, conspiracy, corruption, dennis kirkpatrick, erica johnson seck, matt weidner blog0 Comments

    [NYSC] JUDGE SCHACK TAKES ON ROBO-SIGNER ERICA JOHNSON SECK: DEUTSCHE BANK v. MARAJ (1)

    [NYSC] JUDGE SCHACK TAKES ON ROBO-SIGNER ERICA JOHNSON SECK: DEUTSCHE BANK v. MARAJ (1)

    2008 NY Slip Op 50176(U)
    DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY As Trustee under the Pooling and Servicing Agreement Series Index 2006-AR6, Plaintiff,
    v.
    RAMASH MARAJ A/K/A RAMISH MARAJ, ET AL., Defendants.
    25981/07.

    Supreme Court of the State of New York, Kings County.
    Decided January 31, 2008.

    Plaintiff: Kevin M. Butler, Esq., Eschen Frenkel Weisman & Gordon, De Rose & Surico, Bayside NY.

    Defendant: No Opposition submitted by defendants to plaintiff’s Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale.

    ARTHUR M. SCHACK, J.

    Plaintiff’s application, upon the default of all defendants, for an order of reference for the premises located at 255 Lincoln Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4150, Lot 19, County of Kings) is denied without prejudice, with leave to renew upon providing the Court with a satisfactory explanation to various questions with respect to the July 3, 2007 assignment of the instant mortgage to plaintiff, DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY AS TRUSTEE UNDER THE POOLING AND SERVICING AGREEMENT SERIES INDEX 2006-AR6 (DEUTSCHE BANK). The questions deal with: the employment history of one Erica Johnson-Seck, who assigned the mortgage to plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK, and then subsequently executed the affidavit of facts in the instant application as an officer of DEUTSCHE BANK; plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK’s purchase of the instant non-performing loan; and, why INDYMAC BANK, F.S.B., (INDYMAC), Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), and DEUTSCHE BANK all share office space at Building B, 901 East 104th Street, Suite 400/500, Kansas City, MO 64131 (Suite 400/500).

    Defendant RAMASH MARAJ borrowed $440,000.00 from INDYMAC on March 7, 2006. The note and mortgage were recorded in the Office of the City Register, New York City Department of Finance on March 22, 2006 at City Register File Number (CRFN) XXXXXXXXXXXXX. INDYMAC, by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), its nominee for the purpose of recording the mortgage, assigned the note and mortgage to plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK, on July 3, 2007, with the assignment recorded on September 5, 2007 at CRFN XXXXXXXXXXXXX.

    According to plaintiff’s application, defendant MARAJ’s default began with the nonpayment of principal and interest due on March 1, 2007. Yet on July 3, 2007, more than four months later, plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK accepted the assignment of the instant non-performing loan from INDYMAC. Further, both assignor MERS, as nominee of INDYMAC, and assignee DEUTSCHE BANK list Suite 400/500 on the July 3, 2007 Assignment as their “principal place of business.” To compound corporate togetherness, page 2 of the recorded Assignment, lists the same Suite 400/500 as the address of INDYMAC.

    The Assignment by MERS, on behalf of INDYMAC, was executed by Erica Johnson-Seck, Vice President of MERS. The notary public, Mai La Thao, stated in the jurat that the assignment was executed in the State of Texas, County of Williamson (Williamson County is located in the Austin metropolitan area, and its county seat is Georgetown, Texas). The Court is perplexed as to why the assignment was not executed in Kansas City, the alleged “principal place of business” for both the assignor and the assignee.

    Twenty-eight days later, on July 31, 2007, the same Erica Johnson-Seck executed plaintiff’s affidavit submitted in support of the instant application for a default judgment. Ms. Johnson-Seck, in her affidavit, states that she is “an officer of Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as Trustee under the Pooling and Servicing Agreement Series INDX 2006-AR6, the plaintiff herein.” At the end of the affidavit she states that she is a Vice President of DEUTSCHE BANK. Again, Mai La Thao is the notary public and the affidavit is executed in the State of Texas, County of Williamson. The Erica Johnson-Seck signatures on both the July 3, 2007 assignment and the July 31, 2007 affidavit are identical. Did Ms. Johnson-Seck change employers from July 3, 2007 to July 31, 2007, or does she engage in self-dealing by wearing two corporate hats? The Court is concerned that there may be fraud on the part of plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK, or at least malfeasance. Before granting an application for an order of reference, the Court requires an affidavit from Ms. Johnson-Seck, describing her employment history for the past three years.

    Further, the Court requires an explanation from an officer of plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK as to why, in the middle of our national subprime mortgage financial crisis, DEUTSCHE BANK would purchase a non-performing loan from INDYMAC, and why DEUTSCHE BANK, INDYMAC and MERS all share office space in Suite 400/500.

    With the assignor MERS and assignee DEUTSCHE BANK appearing to be engaged in possible fraudulent activity by: having the same person execute the assignment and then the affidavit of facts in support of the instant application; DEUTSCHE BANK’s purchase of a non-performing loan from INDYMAC; and, the sharing of office space in Suite 400/500 in Kansas City, the Court wonders if the instant foreclosure action is a corporate “Kansas City Shuffle,” a complex confidence game. In the 2006 film, Lucky Number Slevin, Mr. Goodkat, (a hitman played by Bruce Willis), explains (in memorable quotes from Lucky Number Slevin, at www.imdb.com/title/tt425210/quotes).

    A Kansas City Shuffle is when everybody looks right, you go left . . .

    It’s not something people hear about. Falls on deaf ears mostly . . .

    No small matter. Requires a lot of planning. Involves a lot of people. People connected by the slightest of events. Like whispers in the night, in that place that never forgets, even when those people do.

    In this foreclosure action is plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK, with its “principal place of business” in Kansas City attempting to make the Court look right while it goes left?

    Conclusion

    Accordingly, it is

    ORDERED, that the application of plaintiff, DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY AS TRUSTEE UNDER THE POOLING AND SERVICING AGREEMENT SERIES INDEX 2006-AR6, for an order of reference for the premises located at 255 Lincoln Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4150, Lot 19, County of Kings), is denied without prejudice; and it is further

    ORDERED, that leave is granted to plaintiff, DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY AS TRUSTEE UNDER THE POOLING AND SERVICING AGREEMENT SERIES INDEX 2006-AR6, to renew its application for an order of reference for the premises located at 255 Lincoln Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4150, Lot 19, County of Kings), upon presentation to the Court, within forty-five (45) days of this decision and order, of: an affidavit from Erica Johnson-Seck describing her employment history for the past three years; and, an affidavit from an officer of plaintiff

    DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY AS TRUSTEE UNDER THE POOLING AND SERVICING AGREEMENT SERIES INDEX 2006-AR6, explaining why (1) plaintiff purchased a nonperforming loan from INDYMAC BANK, F.S.B., (2) shares office space at Building B, 901 East 104th Street, Suite 400/500, Kansas City, MO 64131 with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and INDYMAC BANK, F.S.B., and (3), claims Building B, 901 East 104th Street, Suite 400/500, Kansas City, MO 64131 as its principal place of business in the Assignment of the instant mortgage and yet executed the Assignment and affidavit of facts in this action in Williamson County, Texas.

    This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.

    [ipaper docId=40494321 access_key=key-18trq6o8869pcgoq0lxh height=600 width=600 /]

    © 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



    Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD0 Comments

    AGENTS BEWARE! HERE COME THE HAFA VENDORS aka LPS AFTER YOUR COMMISSION

    AGENTS BEWARE! HERE COME THE HAFA VENDORS aka LPS AFTER YOUR COMMISSION

    I believe Mr. Churchill miss this one LPS Auction Solutions is uniquely positioned to sell and close foreclosed properties. View bank foreclosed home auctions, buy foreclosed properties online.
    lpsauction.com

     
    Posted by:
    Lance Churchill on 03/25/2010.

    A few weeks ago I posted an article on this blog in which I expressed concern about deductions that could occur from real estate agent commissions because of the language in the new HAFA short sale guidelines that are about to go into effect.  That language states that agent commissions are protected up to six percent of the transaction unless the servicer chooses to retain “a vendor to assist the listing broker with the sale” and if a vendor is retained, “this vendor must be paid ___% (or $___) from the commission.” 

    In essence, I predicted that a new industry of short sale vendors would spring up, not really to assist the broker, but to do the servicer’s job at the real estate agent’s expense, resulting in smaller commissions than were being paid even a few years ago when servicers were routinely reducing commissions as a condition of short sale approval.  I noted at the time that some agents were already running into some of these vendors in their short sale transactions. 

    With the effective date of HAFA only ten days away, these short sale vendor companies are starting to appear like weeds.   Here are excerpts from three press releases I have seen in just the last few days:

    March 16, 2010 — Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS), a leading provider of integrated technology and services to the mortgage and real estate industries, is pleased to announce the launch of its professional short-sale service.  Offered through LPS Asset Managements Solutions, LPS short-sale solution helps servicers respond more quickly to short sale offers and close more transactions. http://www.lpsvcs.com/NewsRoom/Pages/20100316.aspx 

    March 18, 2010 — Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Loan Resolution Corp., a provider of short sale services, plans to add 100 positions this month to meet demand for the government’s new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternaltives program.  http://www.mortgageorb.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.5487 

    March 25, 2010 — Lenders Asset Management Corporation (LAMCO), a full service, nationwide default asset management company offering comprehensive REO services, announced its company’s approach to help mortgage servicers fully comply with the federal government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/lamco-ramps-up-short-sale-services-in-conjunction-with-hafa-program,1217095.shtml

    Notice how the press releases proclaim these companies are creating these divisions to help the servicers comply with HAFA.  I guess they didn’t read that it was supposed be the agents they were assisting.   I hope that they do make the short sale process easier, but the drafters of the HAFA program (with recommendations from the servicers) shouldn’t have tried to be cute with their wording in HAFA by guaranteeing a 6% commission unless a vendor is hired to assist the broker

    The implication is that the vendors will make an agent’s job so much easier, that the agent doesn’t really deserve a full commission on the transaction.  After all, now all the agent will have to do is work with the seller, list the property, qualify the seller for HAFA, market the property, deal with buyers with low ball offers, negotiate with unrepresented buyers, negotiate with selling agents, get a contract signed, send it to the servicer or vendor for approval, guide it through closing, appear at closing and deal with all the other usual issues in a transaction.  

    In other words, HAFA listing agents will not only be doing everything they would do in any other transaction, but will also now have to deal with the HAFA process.   HAFA’s drafters should have just honestly stated in the guidelies that:  Real estate agents are going to give up one quarter of their commission so that the servicers can hire somebody to do the servicer’s job.

    All the complaining aside, the HAFA program is what it is unless NAR can lobby the Treasury Department and get this provision changed.  Hopefully, when Freddie and Fannie come out with their own HAFA compliant guidelines in the near future, they will strike this provision.  After all, both Fannie and Freddie within the past year changed their loss mitigation policies to protect 6% commissions for agents. 

    I think a real effect of this provision is that it will result in many selling agents avoiding HAFA short sales which will ultimately affect the success of the HAFA program.  One of the primary reasons that the investors/owners of loans listed as short sales started paying 6% commissions, was they realized that in today’s difficult real estate market, some selling agents with solid buyers were avoiding short sale properties that only paid a two or two and one half percent commission to the selling agent.  With all the short sales on the market, there were plenty of properties to show their buyers that paid a full commission.  If this happens, the lenders and servicers greed will have caused them to once again shoot themselves in the foot.

    In the next installment on the new HAFA program taking effect on April 5, 2010, I will discuss some of the pros and cons of participating in the HAFA program along with some of HAFA’s flaws that may cause it a lot of problems as it is implemented.  In the meantime, for more education on the HAFA program, check out our free video series at www.hafaprogram.com or our in depth course at www.2010shortsaleplaybook.com.

    Posted in foreclosure fraud2 Comments

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