IN RE BURKS v. COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP 4/12/2010

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IN RE BURKS v. COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP 4/12/2010

IN RE BURKS v. COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP 4/12/2010

In re: JAMES L. BURKS, JR.
JAMES L. BURKS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP, AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, Defendants.

Case No. 09-10170-DWH, Adv. Proc. No. 09-1064-DWH.

United States Bankruptcy Court, N.D. Mississippi.

April 12, 2010.

OPINION

DAVID W. HOUSTON III, Bankruptcy Judge

On consideration before the court is a motion for partial summary judgment filed by the defendant, Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP, (“Countrywide”), now known as BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, (“BAC”); a response to said motion having been filed by the plaintiff, James L. Burks, Jr., (“debtor”); and the court, having heard and considered same, hereby finds as follows, to-wit:

I.

The court has jurisdiction of the subject matter of and the parties to this proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1334 and 28 U.S.C. § 157. This is a core adversary proceeding as defined in 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(2)(A), (B), and (O).

II.

The debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief pursuant to Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code on January 15, 2009. He filed the subject complaint on April 16, 2009, against Countrywide, now known as BAC, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, (“HUD”).

The debtor executed a primary promissary note and a deed of trust to purchase his residence on August 31, 2002. The original beneficiary in the deed of trust was Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. The underlying loan is currently being serviced by BAC, as the successor to Countrywide, and the amount of the indebtedness set forth in BAC’s proof of claim is $109,112.21.

The primary note and deed of trust were insured by HUD. When the debtor fell behind in his payments on the primary note, HUD paid $8,878.77 to Countrywide on debtor’s behalf under HUD’s Partial Claim Program. To provide security for this disbursement, on June 13, 2006, the debtor executed a subordinate note and deed of trust in favor of HUD encumbering his residence.

The debtor alleged in Count 1 of his complaint that none of the documents pertaining to either of the above described loans were signed by his wife, Shawna Yvette Dawson-Burks. Consequently, he contended, pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. §89-1-29, that neither of the deeds of trust were valid as liens against his and his wife’s homestead due to the lack of his spouse’s signature.

Motions for partial summary judgment as to Count 1 of the complaint were filed by the debtor, BAC, and HUD. The court concluded that there were no genuine issues of material fact remaining in dispute as to the debtor’s Count 1 claim against BAC and granted BAC’s motion for partial summary judgment. HUD’s joinder in BAC’s motion for partial summary judgment was denied. The debtor’s motion for partial summary judgment as to the invalidity of HUD’s unsecured non-purchase money deed of trust was sustained. (See the court’s opinion and order, both dated December 21, 2009.)

BAC has now filed this second motion for partial summary judgment asserting that it is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law as to the remaining counts of the debtor’s complaint. The debtor has alleged that BAC and its predecessor, Countrywide, charged improper and unauthorized fees in violation of § 506 of the Bankruptcy Code and Rule 2016, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. The debtor objected to BAC’s proof of claim and additionally asserted that BAC and/or Countrywide committed violations of the automatic stay.

III.

Summary judgment is properly granted when pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Bankruptcy Rule 7056; Uniform Local Bankruptcy Rule 18. The court must examine each issue in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Phillips v. OKC Corp., 812 F.2d 265 (5th Cir. 1987); Putman v. Insurance Co. of North America, 673 F.Supp. 171 (N.D. Miss. 1987). The moving party must demonstrate to the court the basis on which it believes that summary judgment is justified. The nonmoving party must then show that a genuine issue of material fact arises as to that issue. Celotex Corporation v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.29 265 (1986); Leonard v. Dixie Well Service & Supply, Inc., 828 F.2d 291 (5th Cir. 1987), Putman v. Insurance Co. of North America, 673 F.Supp. 171 (N.D. Miss. 1987). An issue is genuine if “there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a fact finder to find for that party.” Phillips, 812 F.2d at 273. A fact is material if it would “affect the outcome of the lawsuit under the governing substantive law.” Phillips, 812 F.2d at 272.

The court notes that it has the discretion to deny motions for summary judgment and allow parties to proceed to trial so that the record might be more fully developed for the trier of fact. Kunin v. Feofanov, 69 F.3d 59, 61 (5th Cir. 1995); Black v. J.I. Case Co., 22 F.3d 568, 572 (5th Cir. 1994); Veillon v. Exploration Services, Inc., 876 F.2d 1197, 1200 (5th Cir. 1989).

IV.

This court is of the opinion that this adversary proceeding has numerous material factual issues remaining in dispute. The debtor’s payment history and the methodology employed by BAC/Countrywide in the application of the debtor’s payments must be developed through an evidentiary hearing. The parties opposing views regarding the significance of the financial records have been made evident in telephonic conferences conducted by the court.

In summary, because of the aforesaid factual disputes, the court determines that BAC’s motion for partial summary judgment is not well taken.

A separate order will be entered consistent with this opinion.

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One Response to “IN RE BURKS v. COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP 4/12/2010”

  1. Mark Doyle says:

    It is incredible to see just how out of touch our main stream media is.

    I have been researching the Mortgage predatory lending market for some time now, gathering a whole bunch of dirt on Angelo Mozilo, David Sambol, Kurland and others at Countrywide Home Loans. I uncovered more than a little dirt on Bank of America and its CEO Kenneth Lewis. But what moved me the most was coming across this Lone Ranger like character named David Merritt.

    This is a guy who got suckered into one of those Countrywide Predatory loans. He and his wife are first time home buyers who wanted to put 5 to 10 % down on their $729,000 home in Silicon Valley California – 2 miles from Yahoo headquarters, 4 from google and 5 from Apple.

    With just 2 days to remove their loan contingency, and with at least two other lenders ready to sell them a relatively decent mortgage, Countrywide talked them out of going with the competition by presenting a 1 to 3 percent, FHA Good Faith Estimate and declared: “if you can find someone to beat this loan, then go with them and we’ll pay the closing costs.”

    Countrywide staff were trained on how to determine how much knowledge a home buyer had, and they knew that the Merritts were suckers to be taken. Once they fired the other lenders and committed themselves to Countrywide, the Merritts found themselves locked into a 100% financing Pay Option ARM and HELOC which was destined to charged them over 2 million dollars. Countrywide had a policy of talking buyers out of putting down payments, and convincing them that they would give them a loan that was better. In fact, they would always tell home buyers that No One Could beat them and the truth was that they did beat everyone at the application stage in order to remove all the competition, but they left out that by the time the home buyer was closing escrow, most competitors would have done better.

    The Merritts signed a loan that was charging twice as much as the average lender. What is more is that they signed a loan which Countrywide assigned Mortgage Electronic Registration System as a lender. As it turns out, MERS was designed to be a front company which allows: 1) Note holders to hide from public scrutiny; 2) the duplication of one loan note that could be sold off to 2 or more investors or mortgage backed security pools: 3) evasion of paying local recorder fees; 4) Overriding state legislatures recording the laws on recording liens, beneficiaries and holders in due course; 5) attacking Public Policy in regards to its goals of protecting consumers and lenders from fraud via recording laws; and last, but not least, 6) being a conduit for billions of dollars to pass right by Uncle Sam and into Cayman or Canadian banks where no federal taxes can touch it.

    This is how Countrywide rose to the top. And they intentionally targeted elderly, minorities and unsophisticated first time buyers.

    Now in July 2008 Bank of America bought Countrywide out for 2 billion dollars. A company with assets that exceeded 20 billion, and servicing machine that churned out billions more.

    Bank of America went to all the states Attorneys Generals and asked them to bring lawsuits on behalf of their state citizens against Countrywide and to already agree to cut a sweet settlement deal with Bank of America. This was a strategy to persuade that Public that BofA was sincere about cleaning up the mess Mozilo and cronies created. But what is left out is that they are also trying to cut off home buyers ability to charge BofA with the predatory loans of Countrywide.

    Behind the scenes, BofA has been supporting Countrywide since 1969. It has always been in the predatory loan business, but through other front companies. For the longest, evidence shows, Kenneth Lewis was very close allies with Mozilo and planned with him to defraud Americans out of their home equity.

    It is so strange to see so many Americans enslaved to the Banking and Finance gangsters and not even know it, or if they do, just accept it.

    David Merritt is literally one of the 21st Century modern epics “David versus Goliath.” And all the has is a little sling and a rock against Goliaths billion dollar war armor. Check out some of his thoughts on many issues at wordpress.com/insightbeyondsight, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has before it Merritt v. Countrywide, BofA, Wells Fargo et al, Docket No 09-17678 where he has charged straight at these Greedsters with RICO and other federal violation. And in Santa Clara Superior Court Merritt v. Mozilo et al No. 109CV159993.

    He is actually looking for other victims who have deeds of trust assigned to MERS and he wishes to help in anyway possible to fight these folks offensively , he prefers, but he has enough information to help defensively as well. Lawyers from around the country taps into this Big David. So circulate the word.

    Mark Doyle

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