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Homebuyer tax credit: 950,000 must repay

Homebuyer tax credit: 950,000 must repay

LMFAO!! Yet Another Bomb! Thank you for the rise in Real Estate sales…How do you say “bait and switch”! Were these disclosure properly made?

Can’t wait to see the outcome of these sub-prime mortgages when most of the 950K were counting on this!

Les Christie, staff writer, On Thursday September 9, 2010, 2:40 pm EDT

Nearly half of all Americans who claimed the first-time homebuyer tax credit on their 2009 tax returns will have to repay the government.

According to a report from the Inspector General for Tax Administration, released to the public Thursday, about 950,000 of the nearly 1.8 million Americans who claimed the tax credit on their 2009 tax returns will have to return the money.

The confusion comes because homebuyers were eligible for two different credits, depending on when their homes were purchased.

Those who bought properties during 2008 were to deduct, dollar for dollar, up to 10% of the home’s purchase price or $7,500, whichever was less. The catch: The money was a no-interest loan that had to be repaid within 15 years.

Had they waited to buy until 2009, they could have gotten a much sweeter deal. Congress extended the credit and made it a refund rather than a loan.

Continue Reading…YAHOO

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in Bank Owned, breach of contract, conflict of interest, FHA, foreclosure, foreclosures, mortgage, note, Real Estate0 Comments

MUST READ |E-Discovery…Electronic Registration Systems WORST NIGHTMARE!

MUST READ |E-Discovery…Electronic Registration Systems WORST NIGHTMARE!

Via: Discovery Tactics aka Anthony Martinez & Assoc.

Latest Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Cases

I’ve been harping on the importance of demanding and acessing ESI from foreclosing parties for quite some time now.  A properly made ESI discovery request will provide numerous “smoking gun” documents that are sure to place the opposing party in a uncomfortable position.  Below I’ve identifed some of the most recent and more important cases that involve ESI.


Court Grants Defendant’s Motion for Entry of Clawback Provision

Rajala v. McGuire Woods LLP, 2010 WL 2649582 (D. Kan. July 22, 2010) Plaintiff, as Bankruptcy Trustee, brought suit against defendant, alleging several claims. The parties could not agree on the entry of a clawback provision. Accordingly, defendant moved the…

Jury Instruction Allowing Inference that Destroyed Evidence Was Unfavorable and Payment of Attorneys’ Fees and Costs Ordered as Sanction for Failure to Preserve

Medcorp, Inc. v. Pinpoint Tech., Inc., 2010 WL 2500301 (D. Colo. June 15, 2010) Finding “willful” spoliation of 43 hard drives “in the sense that Plaintiff was aware of its responsibilities to preserve relevant evidence and failed to take necessary…

Judge Scheindlin Amends Recent Pension Opinion

On May 28th, Judge Shira Scheindlin entered an order amending her recent opinion in Pension Comm. of Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Bank of Am. Secs., LLC. The order provides important clarification regarding the scope of a party’s obligation…

Court Rules Failure to Copy Files on Flash Drive Prior to Failure of the Drive Violated Duty to Preserve

Wilson v. Thorn Energy, LLC, 2010 WL 1712236 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 15, 2010) In this case, the court ordered sanctions for defendants’ failure to preserve relevant data where defendants failed to back up a flash drive containing all relevant financial records…

Court Orders Monetary Sanctions for Production Delay Resulting from Counsel’s Failure to Become Familiar with Plaintiff’s Retention Policies and Systems

GFI Acquisition, LLC v. Am. Federated Title Corp. (In re A & M Fla. Props. II, LLC), 2010 WL 1418861 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Apr. 7, 2010) Where plaintiff’s counsel “failed in his obligation to locate and produce all relevant documents in…

Court Rules Communications with Attorney Using Work Computer are Protected as Privileged

Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., 2010 WL 1189458 (N.J. Mar. 30, 2010) In this employment litigation, the Supreme Court of New Jersey addressed whether employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy as to attorney-client privileged emails sent and received…

Despite Malaysian Blocking Statute, Court Compels Third Party’s Production of Foreign Banking Information Pursuant to Subpoena

Gucci Amer., Inc. v. Curveal Fashion, 2010 WL 808639 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 8, 2010) Plaintiff sought to compel the production of documents and information regarding defendants’ Malaysian bank accounts pursuant to a subpoena served on United Overseas Bank’s New York Agency…

Court Provides Detailed Analysis of Law of Spoliation, Orders Adverse Inference Instruction, Monetary Sanctions for Intentional Spoliation of ESI

Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. v. Cammarata, 2010 WL 645253 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 19, 2010) For intentional spoliation, the court declined to order terminating sanctions but ordered an adverse inference instruction and for defendants to pay plaintiff’s attorneys fees and costs….

Court Finds Data “Not Reasonably Accessible,” Denies Motion to Compel

Rodriguez-Torres v. Gov. Dev. Bank of Puerto Rico, 265 F.R.D. 40 (D.P.R. 2010) In this employment discrimination case, the court found the electronically stored information (“ESI”) requested by the plaintiffs “not reasonably accessible because of the undue burden and cost”…

“Zubulake Revisited: Six Years Later”: Judge Shira Scheindlin Issues her Latest e-Discovery Opinion

Pension Comm. of Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Bank of Am. Secs., LLC, 2010 WL 184312 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2010) (Amended Order) Issued earlier this month, Judge Shira Scheindlin’s opinion in Pension Comm. of Univer. of Montreal Pension Plan…

Court Compels Discovery from Foreign Corporation Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

In re Global Power Equip. Group, Inc., 418 B.R. 833 (Bankr. D. Del. 2009) Upon a motion to compel production of documents from claimant, a foreign corporation, the court found the documents at issue to be within the control of…

Swiss Government Says It Would Seize UBS Data Sought by U.S., July 8, 2009 By David Voreacos and Mort Lucoff July 8 (Bloomberg) — Switzerland said it would seize UBS AG data to prevent the U.S. Justice Department from pursuing a U.S. court order seeking the identities of 52,000 American…

Finding Defendants’ Behavior “a Textbook Case of Discovery Abuse,” Court Orders $1,022,700 in Monetary Sanctions

Kipperman v. Onex Corp., 2009 WL 1473708 (N.D. Ga. May 27, 2009) In this constructive transfer and fraud case arising out of the 2003 bankruptcy of Magnatrax Corporation, plaintiff alleged numerous discovery abuses on the part of defendants and sought…

Court Declines to Compel Production of Documents from Foreign Jurisdiction upon Finding a Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and where Certain Documents are Protected from Production by Israeli Law

Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC, 2009 WL 1456573 (E.D.N.Y. May 22, 2009) In this case, defendant Arab Bank moved to compel production of documents, pursuant to subpoena, by non-parties Israel Discount Bank, Ltd. (“IDB”), its indirect, wholly –owned subsidiary, Israel…

Granting Motion to Compel, Court Orders Appointment of Independent Expert “to Retrieve any Deleted Responsive Files from Defendants’ Computers”

Bank of Mongolia v. M & P Global Fin. Servs., Inc., 2009 WL 1117312 (S.D. Fla. Apr. 24, 2009) In this case arising from allegations that defendants conspired to defraud plaintiff of $23 million, defendants failed to properly and timely…

Court Orders Production of Relevant Source Code Citing Defendant’s Suggestion for Mitigating Costs

Metavante Corp. v. Emigrant Savings Bank, 2008 WL 4722336 (E.D. Wis. Oct. 24, 2008) In this breach of contract case, Emigrant filed several motions to compel Metavante’s response to multiple discovery requests. One motion sought the production of source code…

Updated List: Local Rules, Forms and Guidelines of United States District Courts Addressing E-Discovery Issues

At least 41 United States District Courts now require compliance with special local rules, forms or guidelines addressing the discovery of electronically stored information. In some districts where there are no local rules or court-mandated forms, individual judges have created…

Finding “No Reason to Treat Websites Differently than Other Electronic Files,” Court Grants Adverse Inference for Failure to Preserve Website

Arteria Prop. Pty Ltd. v. Universal Funding V.T.O., Inc., 2008 WL 4513696 (D.N.J. Oct. 1, 2008) (Not for Publication) In this case arising from failed negotiations for a long term development loan, the plaintiff filed a motion for spoliation sanctions…

Court Denies Protective Order, Orders Allegedly Proprietary Data Produced Directly to Competitor

In re NVMS, LLC, 2008 WL 4488963 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. Mar. 21, 2008) In this case, the debtor, a medical services company, moved for expedited discovery of information contained in the database of a former billing partner. In July of…

No Spoliation Found Where Expert Drafted His Report on Computer, Without Saving or Preserving Progressive Iterations

In re Teleglobe Communications Corp., 2008 WL 3198875 (Bankr. D. Del. Aug. 7, 2008) In this lengthy opinion addressing a variety of issues, the bankruptcy judge denied defendants’ motion to exclude testimony of the plaintiff’s expert as a sanction for…

Magistrate Judge “Clearly Erred” by Analyzing Cost-Shifting Dispute for Paper Production under Seven-Factor Zubulake Test

Tierno v. Rite Aid Corp., 2008 WL 3287035 (N.D. Cal. July 31, 2008) In this wage and hour employment case, plaintiff sought documents about class members’ employment and salary history, terminations, performance evaluations, discipline, certain communications, and personnel files. Rite…

Inadequate Preservation Efforts Necessitate Restoration and Production of Email from Backup Tapes, and Forensic Search of CEO’s Laptop

Treppel v. Biovail Corp., 2008 WL 866594 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 2, 2008) In this case, plaintiff alleged that Biovail Corp., its CEO, general counsel and others engaged in a “smear campaign” that destroyed plaintiff’s career as a securities analyst. He asserted…

Magistrate Judge Sets Protocol for Plaintiff’s Forensic Examination of Former Employee’s Computer and Requests Affidavit from Expert Explaining Certain Issues

Equity Analytics, LLC v. Lundin, 248 F.R.D. 331 (D.D.C. 2008) In this case, plaintiff Equity Analytics claimed that defendant, its former employee, gained illegal access to electronically stored information after he was fired. Defendant explained that another Equity employee had…

Recent Amendments to Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil and Criminal Procedure Require Redaction of Personal Identification Information from Documents Filed with the Court

On December 1, 2007, the amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Procedure that implement the E-Government Act of 2002 became effective. The amendment to Appellate Rule 25, and new Bankruptcy Rule 9037, Civil Rule 5.2,…

The Biggest Data Disaster Ever

From The Red Tape Chronicles, Posted: Friday, November 30 at 05:15 am CT by Bob Sullivan: “It’s being called the worst data leak of the information age. Earlier this month, U.K. officials had to admit they’d lost hard drives containing…

Email Communications Between Physician and His Attorney Exchanged Over Hospital’s Email System Not Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege or Work Product Doctrine

Scott v. Beth Israel Med. Center Inc., 2007 WL 3053351 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Oct. 17, 2007) Plaintiff is a physician who sued for breach of contract based upon his termination from defendant hospital (“BI”). Under the contract at issue, BI…

Inadequate Legal Hold Measures, and Resulting Spoliation, Warrant Sanctions

In re NTL, Inc. Sec. Litig., 2007 WL 241344 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 30, 2007) In this opinion, Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck granted plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions in the form of an adverse inference instruction and awarded plaintiffs their costs and…

Court Allows Plaintiffs to Conduct Expedited Discovery Regarding Possible Spoliation

Roberts v. Canadian Pac. R.R. Ltd., 2007 WL 118901 (D. Minn. Jan. 11, 2007) In this decision, Chief District Judge James M. Rosenbaum granted plaintiff’s motion for leave to conduct limited discovery concerning spoliation of evidence on an expedited basis….

Condemning Defendant’s Gamesmanship, Court Orders Production of Database

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Neovi, Inc., 2006 WL 3803152 (S.D. Ohio Nov. 14, 2006) In this case involving UCC claims stemming from defendant’s internet-based check service, defendant disputed that it did sufficient business with Ohio residents to subject it…

Court Grants Plaintiff Access to Defendant’s Database

Bianchi v. The Bureaus, Inc., 2006 WL 3802758 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 1, 2006) In this brief order, the court granted plaintiff’s motion to allow her computer expert access a database maintained by defendant, for the purpose of determining whether the…

Citing Conference of Chief Justices’ Guidelines to State Courts, North Carolina Court Refuses to Compel Nonparty to Produce Deleted Emails from Backup Tapes

Bank of America Corp. v. SR Int’l Bus. Ins. Co., Ltd., 2006 WL 3093174, 2006 NCBC 15 (N.C. Super. Nov. 1, 2006) In its introductory remarks, the court advised: This opinion should be read in conjunction with the opinion in…

North Carolina Court Orders Production of Email from Backup Tapes; Parties to Share Restoration Costs Equally

Analog Devices, Inc. v. Michalski, 2006 WL 3287382 (N.C. Super. Nov. 1, 2006) (Unpublished) In this misappropriation of trade secrets case, defendants moved to compel the production of emails of the originators of the trade secrets at issue relating to…

North Carolina Court Relies on Conference of Chief Justices’ Guidelines in Two Decisions Involving the Production of Email from Backup Tapes

These two opinions, both filed on November 1, 2006, discuss for the first time the extent to which inaccessible electronic data is discoverable and who should pay for its production under the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Bank of…

$1.888 Million Judgment Entered in Favor of Bankruptcy Trustee Based on Adverse Party’s Spoliation of Financial Records

In re Quintus Corp., 353 B.R. 77 (Bankr. D. Del. 2006) Avaya, Inc. purchased the assets of the debtors in bankruptcy, and agreed to assume certain of the debtors’ liabilities. Thereafter, the trustee filed an adversary complaint against Avaya asserting…

Failure to Conduct Reasonable Investigation for Responsive Documents and Other Discovery Abuses Warrant Adverse Inference Instruction

3M Innovative Props. Co. v. Tomar Elecs., 2006 WL 2670038 (D. Minn. Sept. 18, 2006) In this patent infringement litigation, the district court judge affirmed the magistrate’s report and recommendation that plaintiff’s motion for sanctions against the defendant be granted…

Party Not Entitled to Shift Costs of Restoring Emails that were Converted to Inaccessible Format After Duty to Preserve was Triggered

Quinby v. WestLB AG, 2006 WL 2597900 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 5, 2006) Like the plaintiff in the Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, the plaintiff in this case was a highly-paid investment banker who accused her employer of gender discrimination and illegal…

Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege Invoked to Allow Testimony and Production of Notes by Attorney, Where Executive’s Deletion of Email Sought by Grand Jury Could Constitute Obstruction of Justice

In re Grand Jury Investigation, 445 F.3d 266 (3rd Cir. 2006) This opinion relates to an ongoing grand jury investigation of suspected federal criminal activity; because of the secrecy of the proceeding, the court’s opinion lacks specific details. The grand…

Second Circuit Reverses Frank Quattrone Conviction for Obstruction of Justice and Witness Tampering

In 2000, Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation (“CSFB”) employed Frank Quattrone as head of its Global Technology Group (the “Tech Group”). In that capacity, Quattrone managed approximately 400 technology investment bankers from the firm’s Palo Alto, California office. The Tech…

Florida Court Affirms $75,000 Coercive Civil Contempt Sanction Against Defendants For Prolonged Discovery Abuse

Channel Components, Inc. v. Am. II Electronics, Inc., 915 So. 2d 1278 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2005) In this case alleging tortious interference and related claims against two former employees, the plaintiff sought intervention by the court several times in…

Defendant Sanctioned for Negligent Failure to Institute and Communicate Legal Hold

In re Old Banc One Shareholders Sec. Litig., 2005 WL 3372783 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 8, 2005) In this opinion, the District Court adopted in full the Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation regarding plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions based upon the defendant’s failure…

Bank of America Corporation Ordered to Provide Discovery on Behalf of Non-Party Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries

In re ATM Fee Antitrust Litig., 2005 WL 3299763 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 5, 2005) In this class action, plaintiffs propounded requests for production of documents and a request for admissions to all named defendants, including Bank of America Corporation (“BAC”)….

Despite Evidence of Intentional and Negligent Concealment, Bankruptcy Court Dismisses Trustee’s Spoliation of Evidence Counterclaims Because No Injury Was Shown

In re Tri-State Armored Services, Inc., 332 B.R. 690 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2005) Insurance company brought adversary proceeding against Chapter 7 trustee, seeking either equitable rescission of employee dishonesty, crime, and disappearance insurance policies issued to debtor armored car company, or…

Court Orders Production of Home Office Backup Tape Created in Connection with CFTC Receivership

Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Equity Financial Group, LLC, et al., 2005 WL 2205789 (D.N.J. Sept. 9, 2005) In April 2004, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) filed an enforcement action against Equity Financial Group, LLC (“Equity”) and others…

UBS Securities to Pay $2.1 Million in Penalties and Fines for Failure to Preserve Email

On July 13, 2005 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) issued an Order in connection with the alleged failure of UBS Securities LLC (“UBS”) to preserve email. The Commission accepted an Offer of Settlement and UBS consented to entry of…

Spoliation Instruction Appropriate where Defendants Failed to Preserve Email

Arndt v. First Union Nat’l Bank, 613 S.E.2d 274 (N.C. Ct.App. 2005) Donald Arndt (“Arndt”) was hired by First Union National Bank (“First Union”) in June 1996 with an initial salary of $90,000 per year and a guaranteed minimum incentive…

Seventh Circuit Reverses Sanction Requiring Production of Documents Listed on Privilege Log

American National Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago v. Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, 406 F.3d 867 (7th Cir. 2005) American National Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago, as Trustee f/b/o Emerald Investments LP, and Emerald Investments…

Privilege Not Necessarily Waived Where Email Between Employee and Personal Attorney Maintained on Corporate Email System

In re Asia Global Crossing, Ltd., 322 B.R. 247 (S.D.N.Y. 2005) Asia Global Crossing, Ltd. and Asia Global Crossing Development Co. (collectively “Asia Global”) were pan-Asian telecommunication carriers which filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 on November 17, 2002. Asia…

Magistrate Recommends Adverse Inference Instruction and Monetary Sanctions for Failure to Preserve Hard Drives, Audio Recordings and Email

E*Trade Securities LLC v. Deutsche Bank AG, et al., Civil No. 02-3711 RHK/AJB and Civil No. 02-3682 RHK/AJB (D. Minn. Feb. 17, 2005) United States Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan filed a Report and Recommendation regarding several electronic discovery disputes…

Court Denies Motion to Compel Review of CD-ROMs for Responsive Documents

Zakre v. Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, 2004 WL 764895 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 9, 2004) Plaintiff requested an order compelling defendant to review for responsive documents two compact discs containing some 204,000 emails. Defendant had conducted a review of the emails for privileged…

Court Precludes Offering of Evidence as Sanction for Discovery Evasion

In re LTV Steel Co., Inc., 307 B.R. 37 (N.D. Ohio 2004) In bankruptcy proceeding, a creditor (“C&K”) submitted a claim for $1.9 million against the estate, a portion of which the debtor agreed was due. When the debtor sought…

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in breach of contract, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, discovery, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, lawsuit, mail fraud, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., non disclosure, notary fraud, note, originator, RICO, robo signers, securitization, servicers, trade secrets, Trusts, Violations0 Comments



Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

(a) Clerical Mistakes. Clerical mistakes in judgments, decrees, or other parts of the record and errors therein arising from oversight or omission may be corrected by the court at any time on its own initiative or on the motion of any party and after such notice, if any, as the court orders. During the pendency of an appeal such mistakes may be so corrected before the record on appeal is docketed in the appellate court, and thereafter while the appeal is pending may be so corrected with leave of the appellate court.

(b) Mistakes; Inadvertence; Excusable Neglect; Newly Discovered Evidence; Fraud; etc. On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or a party’s legal representative from a final judgment, decree, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial or rehearing; (3) fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party; (4) that the judgment or decree is void; or (5) that the judgment or decree has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment or decree upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment or decree should have prospective application. The motion shall be made within a reasonable time, and for reasons (1), (2), and (3) not more than 1 year after the judgment, decree, order, or proceeding as entered or taken. A motion under this subdivision does not affect the finality of a judgment or decree or suspend its operation. This rule does not limit the power of a court to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, decree, order, or proceeding or to set aside a judgment or decree for fraud upon the court.

Writs of coram nobis, coram vobis, audita querela, and bills of review and bills in the nature of a bill of review are abolished, and the procedure for obtaining any relief from a judgment or decree shall be by motion as prescribed in these rules or by an independent action.


Snipes v. Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp., 885 So. 2d 899, 900 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004)

Suntrust Bank, Inc. v. Hodges, 12 So.3d 1278 (Fla. 4th DCA July 22, 2009)

Challenger Investment Group, LC v. Jones, et. al., 34 Fla. L. Wkly. D1990 (Fla. 3d DCA Sept. 30 2009)

Wells Fargo Bank v. Conaway, No. 09-000145 (Fla. 6th Cir. Jan. 11, 2010)

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in breach of contract, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, corruption, discovery, ex parte, foreclosure fraud, forensic loan audit, injunction, investigation, mail fraud, mistake, non disclosure, notary fraud, securitization, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, TRO, trustee sale1 Comment



Absolutely, positively a MUST READ!

edit: From a reader who makes an excellent point…this case is very important because it turns not on the assignment of mortgage which the court disregards but rather on the failure of the originator to file the mortgage loan lists with SEC-the defendant did not even raise the point that there was also a failure to file with delaware so that the trust was never given assets———most importantly AHMSI seems to have focused on acquisition of other ex lenders servicer portolios that systematically failed to file these lists-this could enable ahmsi to have more potential latitude to allocate/reallocate or even pocket collected monies -it ties in with the comments later last week re junior senior tranche——if there is no clear certainty as to who gets money from foreclosures due to the record breakdown —-then if the money were to go to tranches that have been written off by their owners —–then the servicer can pocket the proceeds———–the servicers are unregulated–who is looking at their allocations?

the real questions now-are the loans actually in the hands of trusts as a matter of law as a result of failed filings and what happens to proceeds of collection of foreclosure proceeds??

These are highlights…


BANK OF NEW YORK, as Trustee for Home Mortgage Investment Trust CHANCERY DIVISION
2004-4 Mortgage-Backed Notes, ATLANTIC COUNTY Series 2004-4 DOCKET NO: F-7356-09



Decided June 29, 2010

This opinion deals with the plaintiff’s right to proceed with an action to foreclose a mortgage which secures a debt evidenced by a negotiable note. The original lender elected to use the Mortgage Electronic Registration System in recording the mortgage by designating that entity, as its nominee, as the mortgagee. The note and mortgage were subsequently securitized, without notice to the borrower. This action to foreclose the mortgage was filed years later, in the name of an entity created as a part of the securitization process. The defendant/borrower challenged plaintiff’s right to proceed with the foreclosure. That challenge, framed as a dispute over “standing,” has given rise to a variety of factual and legal issues typically raised in this type of litigation.

Ultimately, the questions presented were whether plaintiff could establish its right to enforce the obligation evidenced by the note and whether it must establish that it held that right at the time the complaint was filed. The answers to those questions require an understanding of the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, the securitization of mortgages and how foreclosure litigation is handled. This opinion addresses those disputes. Ultimately, the court concluded that it was appropriate to require plaintiff to establish that it had physical possession of the note as of the date the complaint was filed. Plaintiff was unable to establish that, either by motion or at trial. Accordingly, the complaint has now been dismissed on terms permitting plaintiff to institute a new action to foreclose, on the condition that any new complaint must be accompanied by an appropriate  certification, confirming that plaintiff is then in possession of the note.

In this case, the defendant borrowed $1,380,000 from American Home Mortgage Acceptance Inc. (hereafter American Home Acceptance) in September 2004. This action to foreclose the mortgage was brought in the name of The Bank of New York, as Trustee for American Mortgage Investment Trust 2004-4 Mortgage Backed Notes, Series 2004-4 in February 2009. In the interim, a variety of transactions took place, involving a number of entities. Those transactions will be discussed in some detail below. Preliminarily, this opinion will discuss the UCC, MERS and the securitization process in more general terms.

How does one become a holder of a negotiable note? In addressing that question it is necessary to distinguish between “transfer” and “negotiation.” It is also necessary to distinguish between the handling of notes payable “to order” and notes payable “to bearer.” In this particular case, it is also necessary to recognize that a note initially made payable “to order” can become a bearer instrument, if it is endorsed in blank. See N.J.S.A. 12A:3-109(c), providing that an instrument payable to an identified person may become payable to bearer if it is endorsed in blank. See also N.J.S.A.12A:3-205(b), describing what qualifies as a blank endorsement, and The Law of Modern Payment 6 Systems and Notes 2.02 at 77-78, Miller and Harrell (2002), noting that an instrument bearing the indorsement “Pay to the order of __________” is a bearer instrument. Such a bearer note can be both transferred and negotiated by delivery alone. See Corporacion Venezolana de Fomento v. Vintero Sales, 452 F. Supp. 1108, 1117 (Dist. Ct. 1978).
Under the UCC, the transfer of an instrument requires that it be delivered for the purpose of giving the person receiving the instrument the right to enforce it. A negotiable note can be transferred without being negotiated. That transfer would be effected by the physical delivery of the note. See N.J.S.A. 12A:3-203(a). In that circumstance, the transferee would not be a holder, as that term is used in the UCC. Such a transferee, however, would still have the right to enforce the note. The UCC deals with that circumstance in the following language: Transfer of an instrument, whether or not the transfer is a negotiation, vests in the transferee any right of the transferor to enforce the  instrument, including any right as a holder in due course, but the transferee cannot acquire rights of a holder in due course by a transfer, directly or indirectly, from a holder in due course if the transferee engaged in fraud or illegality affecting the instrument. N.J.S.A. 12A:3-203(b).

The negotiation of the instrument, on the other hand, requires both a transfer of possession and an endorsement by the holder. An instrument which is payable to bearer may be negotiated by transfer alone. Put otherwise, an instrument payable “to order” can be negotiated by delivery with an endorsement, while an instrument payable “to bearer” can be negotiated by delivery alone. N.J.S.A. 12A:3-201. To enforce the note at issue here as a holder pursuant to N.J.S.A. 12A:3-301, plaintiff would have to establish that it received the note, through negotiation, at the appropriate time. That would require that the note be endorsed prior to or at the time of delivery, either in favor of plaintiff or in blank. N.J.S.A. 12A:3-301 also provides that an instrument may be enforced by “a non holder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder.” How does one obtain that status? That may occur, by example, where a creditor of a holder acquires an instrument through execution. See The Law of Modern Payment Systems and Notes 3.01 Miller and Harrell (2002). More frequently, that status will be created by the “transfer” of the instrument, without negotiation. As already noted, transfer occurs when the instrument is delivered for the purpose of giving the person receiving the instrument the right to enforce it. See N.J.S.A. 12A:3-203(a). The statute also provides that the transfer of the instrument, without negotiation, vests in the transferee the transferor’s right to enforce the instrument. See N.J.S.A. 12A:3-203(b). That circumstance can be illustrated by reference to the dispute presented here. The note at issue, as originally drafted, was payable “to the order of” the original lender. The negotiation of the note, in that form, would require endorsement, either to a designated recipient of the note or in blank. The note, however, could be transferred without an endorsement. Assuming the transfer was for the purpose of giving the recipient the ability to enforce the note, the recipient would become a “nonholder in possession with the rights of a holder.” That would require, however, the physical delivery of the note. A number of cases recognize that there can be constructive delivery or possession, through the delivery of the instrument to an agent of the owner. See Midfirst Bank, SSB v. C.W. Haynes & Company, 893 F. Supp. 1304, 1314-1315 (S.C. 1994); Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Linn, 671 F. Supp. 547, 553 8 (N.D. Ill. 1987); and Corporacion Venezolana de Fomento v. Vintero Sales Corp, 452 F. Supp. 1108, 1117 (S.D.N.Y. 1978). Under either of the provisions of N.J.S.A.12A:3-301 which are at issue here, the person seeking to enforce the note must have possession. That is required to be a holder, and to be a nonholder in possession with the rights of a holder. The application of the provisions of the UCC to the dispute presented here will be discussed below.

MERS The Mortgage Electronic Registration System (hereafter, MERS), is a unique entity. Its involvement in the foreclosure process has been the subject of a substantial amount of litigation throughout the country, resulting in the issuance of a number of reported opinions. Recently, MERS was the focus of a decision of the Supreme Court ofKansas, reported as Landmark National Bank v. Kesler, 289 Kan. 528, 216 P.3d. 158 (Kan. 2009) which is now cited frequently in this court. That opinion reviews the manner in which MERS functions, the potential problems it can create, and some of the competing policy issues presented. The opinion also cites a variety of published opinionsfrom around the country, addressing those same issues.

In essence, MERS is a private corporation which administers a national electronic registry which tracks the transfer of ownership interests and servicing rights in mortgage loans. Lenders participate as members of the MERS system. When mortgage loans are initially placed, the lenders will retain the underlying notes but can arrange for MERS to be designated as the mortgagees on the mortgages which become a part of the public record. In that context, the lenders are able to transfer their interests to others, without having to record those subsequent transactions in the public record. See Mortgage Elec. Reg. Sys. Inc. v. Nebraska Depart. Of Banking, 270 Neb. 529, 530, 704 N.W.2d 784 (2005), cited in Landmark. The process is apparently cost efficient, from the perspective of the lenders. Among other things, the use of MERS permits lenders to avoid the payment of filing fees that might otherwise be required with the filing of multiple assignments. By the same token, it can make it difficult for mortgagors and others to identify the individual or entity which actually controls the debt at any specific time. See Landmark, 216 P.3d. at 168. On occasion, foreclosure actions are also brought in the name of MERS. When MERS is involved, defendant/borrowers often argue there has been a “separation” of the note and mortgage impacting on the plaintiff’s ability to proceed with the foreclosure. That argument has been raised here and will also be addressed below.


This case also involves the securitization of mortgage loans, a practice which is facilitated by the MERS system. Trial courts in this state regularly deal with the foreclosure of mortgages which have previously been securitized. Generally, one or more lenders will sell substantial numbers of mortgage loans they have issued to a pool or trust.

Interests in that pool or trust are then sold to individual investors, who receive certificates entitling them to share in the funds received as the underlying loans are repaid. That can occur without any notice to the debtors/mortgagors who remain obligated on the original notes. Other entities, generally called “servicers,” are retained to administer the underlying loans. Those servicers or additional “subservicers” will be responsible for collecting and distributing the funds which are due from the debtors/mortgagors. Many are given the authority to institute and prosecute foreclosure proceedings.

The note executed by defendant Raftogianis is clearly a negotiable instrument as that term is defined by the UCC. In the terms of the statute, the note is payable to bearer or to order, and it is payable on demand or at a definite time. While the note contains detailed provisions as to just how payment is to be made, it does not state any other undertaking or instruction by the person promising or ordering payment to do any act in addition to the payment of money. See N.J.S.A. 12A:3-104. The note recites that defendant Raftogianis “promises to pay U.S. $1,380,000.00 … plus interest, to the order of the Lender,” then referring to “the Lender” as American Home Acceptance, beginning with payments due in November 2004. See N.J.S.A. 12A:3-104(a)(1), (2) and (3). This note, as originally drafted, was payable “to order.” At some point, however, the note was indorsed in blank. The original note was produced at oral argument on the motion for summary judgment. It contained the following indorsement:


Ms. Bury’s original signature was just above her printed name in that indorsement. Defendant had signed the note on September 30, 2004, payable to the order of American Home Acceptance. In that form the note could be transferred by delivery, but could only be negotiated by indorsement. The indorsement in blank, however, would effectively make the note payable “to bearer,” permitting it to be transferred and negotiated by delivery alone, without any additional indorsement. While it was clear the note had been indorsed prior to the time it was presented to the court, presumably as a part of the securitization process, it was not clear just when that occurred, or when the note had been physically transferred from American Home Acceptance to some other individual or entity.

The assignment from MERS was executed and recorded a short time after the complaint was filed. That document is dated February 18, 2009. It is captioned “Assignment of Mortgage.” It recites that MERS, as nominee for American Home Acceptance, transfers and assigns the mortgage at issue to Bank of New York, as Trustee.

The assignment refers to the mortgage as securing the note at issue. It recites the transfer of the mortgage “together with all rights therein and thereto, all liens created or secured thereby, all obligations therein described, the money due and to become due with interest, and all rights accrued or to accrue under such mortgage.” The assignment was executed by one Linda Green, as Vice President of MERS, as nominee for American Home Acceptance. Ms. Green’s signature was notarized. The assignment was recorded with the Atlantic County Clerk on February 24, 2009. It does appear the assignment was intended to indicate that the debt in question had been transferred to the Bank of New York as Indenture Trustee in February 2009. It is now apparent that is not what occurred.

In any event, the matter proceeded in the vicinage based upon the filing of defendant’s contesting answer. While discovery was permitted, the parties apparently elected to forego any formal discovery. Plaintiff filed its motion for summary judgment in January 2010. The motion was based upon a certification from plaintiff’s counsel providing copies of the note, the mortgage and the February 2009 assignment. While the copy of the note provided with the motion did contain the blank indorsement noted above, there was no information provided as to when the note was indorsed, when the note was physically transferred, or where the note was being held. Defendant filed written opposition, challenging the validity of the MERS assignment. Plaintiff responded with a certification executed by a supervisor for American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., the servicer for the loans.


The issue is framed, at least in part, by the description of MERS as “nominee.” The use of that term, as it is used by MERS, was analyzed in some detail in the decision of the Supreme Court of Kansas in Landmark, a case relied upon by defendant and cited above. Landmark involved a property which was encumbered by two mortgages. The loan provided by Landmark National Bank was secured by a first mortgage payable to it. There was a second mortgage on the property securing a loan that had been provided by Millennia Mortgage Corp. Millennia was a participant in MERS. The second mortgage securing the debt due Millennia was in the name of MERS “solely as nominee” for Millennia. The Millennia mortgage was subsequently transferred or assigned to Sovereign Bank. That transfer was not reflected in the public record. Landmark filed an action to foreclose its first mortgage naming Millennia, but neither MERS nor Sovereign as defendants. No one responded on behalf of Millennia and the matter proceeded through judgment and sale. Sovereign subsequently filed a motion to set aside the judgment, arguing that MERS was a “contingently necessary party” under Kansas law. The trial court concluded that MERS was not a real party in interest and denied the
motion to set aside the judgment. Both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Kansas affirmed, essentially concluding that MERS did not have any real interest in the underlying debt. Notably, the opinion of the Supreme Court of Kansas recognizes the potential for the separation of interests in a note and related mortgage. In that context, the opinion addressed the use of the term “nominee” in some detail, as follows: The legal status of a nominee, then, depends on the context of the relationship of the nominee to its principal. Various courts have interpreted the relationship of MERS and the lender as an agency relationship. (Citation omitted)
. . .
The relationship that MERS has to Sovereign is more akin to that of a straw man than to a party possessing all the rights given a buyer. A mortgage and a lender have intertwined rights that defy a clear separation of interests, especially when such a purported separation relies on ambiguous contractual language. The law generally understands that a mortgagee is not distinct from a lender: a mortgagee is “[o]ne to whom property is mortgaged: the mortgage creditor, or lender.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1034 (8th ed. 2004). By statute, assignment of the mortgage carries with it the assignment of the debt. K.S.A. 38-2323. Although MERS asserts that, under some situations the mortgage document purports to give it the same rights as the lender, the document consistently refers only to rights of the lender, including rights to receive notice of litigation to collect payments, and to enforce the debt obligation.
The document consistently limits MERS to acting “solely” as the nominee of lender. 289 Kan. 538-540.

While the Landmark court recognized that issues might be raised as to an alleged separation of a note and mortgage, it was not required to address those issues directly. Its analysis of the role MERS plays as nominee, however, supports the conclusion reached by this court with respect to that issue. MERS, as nominee, does not have any real interest in the underlying debt, or the mortgage which secured that debt. It acts simply as an agent or “straw man” for the lender. It is clear to this court that the provisions of the mortgage describing the mortgagee as MERS “as nominee” were not intended to deprive American Home Acceptance of its right to security under the mortgage or to separate the note and mortgage.

It is a fundamental maxim of equity that “[e]quity looks to substance rather than form.” See Applestein v. United Board & Carton Corp., 60 N.J. Super. 333, 348 (Ch.Div. 1960) aff’d o.b., 33 N.J. 72 (1960). The courts have applied that principle in dealing with mortgages in a variety of contexts. So it is that an assignment of a bond or note evidencing a secured obligation will operate as an assignment of the mortgage “in equity.” See 29 New Jersey Practice, Law of Mortgages 11.2, at 748 (Myron C. Weinstein) (2d ed. 2001) (citing Stevenson v. Black, 1 N.J. Eq. 338, 343 (Ch. 1831) and other cases). Conversely, commentators have noted the propriety of treating the assignment of a mortgage, without a specific reference to the underlying obligation, as effectively transferring both interests. But it does not follow that an assignment in terms of the “mortgage” without express reference to the secured obligation is insufficient to transfer the obligation and is therefore a nullity, as some courts have held. As Mr.Tiffany long ago pointed out, The question is properly one of the construction of the language used, and in arriving at the proper construction, evidence of the sense in which that language is ordinarily used is of primary importance. The expression “assignment of  mortgage” is almost universally used, not only by the general public, but also by the Legislature, the courts, and the legal profession, to describe the transfer of the totality of the mortgagee’s rights, that is, his right to the debt as well as to the lien securing it, and to hold, as these cases apparently do, that when one in terms assigns a mortgage, he intends, not an effective transfer of his lien alone, which is an absolute nullity, not only ignores this ordinary use of the term “mortgage”, but is also in direct contravention of the well recognized rule that an instrument shall if possible be construed so as to give it a legal operation. See 29 New Jersey Practice, Law of Mortgages 11.2 at 754(Myron C. Weinstein)(2d ed.2001) (citing 5 Tiffany on Real Property 428-29). It is apparent there was no real intention to separate the note and mortgage at the time those documents were created. American Home Acceptance remained the owner of both the note and mortgage through the date the loan was securitized. It did have the right to transfer its interests when the loan was securitized.

It was entirely appropriate to argue that the February 2009 assignment from MERS, as nominee for American Home Acceptance, to the Bank of New York, as Trustee, was ineffective. From the court’s perspective, that assignment was, at best, a distraction. The actual transfers of interests in the note and mortgage occurred in different ways. There was no reason, however, that plaintiff could not acquire the right to enforce the note and mortgage through those other  transactions. In that context, defendant’s attack on plaintiff’s right to proceed based on the alleged separation of the note and mortgage is rejected.


Defendant’s attack on plaintiff’s ability to proceed with the foreclosure based on the alleged “separation” of the note an mortgage was rejected. Plaintiff, however, failed to establish that it was entitled to enforce the note as of the time the complaint was filed.

In this case, there are no compelling reasons to permit plaintiff to proceed in this action. Accordingly, the complaint has been dismissed. That dismissal is without prejudice to plaintiff’s right to institute a new action to foreclose at any time, provided that any new complaint must be accompanied by an appropriate certification, executed by one with personal knowledge of the circumstances, confirming that plaintiff is in possession of the original note as of the date any new action is filed. That certification must indicate the physical location of the note and the name of the individual or entity in possession.

An appropriate order has been entered

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Posted in bank of new york, bogus, breach of contract, case, conspiracy, deutsche bank, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, note, robo signer, securitization, Trusts2 Comments

Trespassing, Breach of Contract Claim: DIXON v. MIDLAND MORTGAGE CO.

Trespassing, Breach of Contract Claim: DIXON v. MIDLAND MORTGAGE CO.

RON DIXON, As Conservator for Beatrice Jiggetts, Plaintiff,

Civil Action No. 09-1789 (RWR).

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

June 29, 2010.


RICHARD W. ROBERTS, District Judge.

Plaintiff Beatrice Jiggetts brings this action against the defendant, Midland Mortgage Company (“Midland”), alleging claims of trespass, conversion, and breach of contract arising out of Midland changing the locks and foreclosing on her home. Midland moves to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that its home entry was authorized because Jiggetts defaulted on her mortgage and abandoned her home, that the law of conversion applies to personal property and not real property, and that the complaint fails to allege the elements of a contract. Because conversion applies only to chattel, Midland’s motion to dismiss Jiggetts’s conversion claim will be granted. However, because the complaint amply states a cause of action for both trespass and breach of contract and Midland does not show it was authorized to enter Jiggetts’s home, Midland’s motion to dismiss Jiggetts’s trespass and breach of contract claims will be denied.


Jiggetts co-owned with Charles L. Chesley a single-family home located in Washington, D.C. (Compl. ¶ 4.) For the past several years, however, Jiggetts has lived in a nursing home because she suffers from dementia. While Jiggetts was in the nursing home, Chesley was to make the monthly mortgage payments on the property, but failed to do so. (Id. ¶ 5.) Thus, Midland chose to foreclose. (Id. ¶ 6.)

Jiggetts alleges that, on approximately July 16, 2009, her conservator, Ron Dixon, came to an agreement with Midland to postpone the foreclosure sale until August 19, 2009 in order to give Dixon an opportunity to secure a buyer for the house and avoid foreclosure. (Id. ¶ 10.) Midland then scheduled a foreclosure sale for August 19, 2009. (Id. ¶ 7.) During the last week of July, Dixon found a potential buyer and asked Chesley to prepare the property for the potential buyer’s visit. (Id. ¶ 11.) When Chesley arrived, he discovered that the locks on the property had been changed. (Id.) Chesley and Dixon contacted Midland, and Midland’s attorney told them that the deed of trust authorized Midland’s entry into the property. (Id.) Midland ultimately gave Dixon the combination to unlock the house. (Id. ¶ 12.)

Jiggetts brought suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia alleging that Midland’s entry into the property and alteration of the locks constituted trespass and conversion (id. ¶¶ 14-19) and a breach of contract. (Id. ¶¶ 21-24.) Midland removed this action to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction and now moves to dismiss, arguing that it cannot be held liable for trespass because it had a superior possessory interest in the property, that the law of conversion applies to personal property only, and that Jiggetts has failed to state a claim for breach of contract.[ 1 ]


“`To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, acceptable as true, to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”‘” Anderson v. Holder, 691 F. Supp. 2d 57, 61 (D.D.C. 2010) (brackets omitted) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007))). A court considering a 12(b)(6) motion takes all factual assertions within the complaint as true and gives a plaintiff “`the benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts alleged.'” Id. (quoting Holy Land Found. for Relief & Dev. v. Ashcroft, 333 F.3d 156, 165 (D.C. Cir. 2003)). Those inferences, however, must be supported by the facts alleged, and merely asserting legal conclusions as facts will not suffice. Id. “[A] court `may consider only the facts alleged in the complaint, any documents either attached to or incorporated in the complaint and matters of which [a court] must take judicial notice.'” U.S. ex rel. Westrick v. Second Chance Body Armor, Inc., 685 F. Supp. 2d 129, 133 (D.D.C. 2010) (alteration in original) (quoting Trudeau v. FTC, 456 F.3d 178, 183 (D.C. Cir. 2006)). A document outside the complaint may be considered on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) if it is “referred to in the complaint and [is] integral to” the plaintiff’s claim. Kaempe v. Myers, 367 F.3d 958, 965 (D.C. Cir. 2004).


Under District of Columbia law, “`[a] trespass is an unauthorized entry onto property that results in interference with the property owner’s possessory interest therein.'” Sarete, Inc. v. 1344 U St. Ltd. P’ship, 871 A.2d 480, 490 (D.C. 2005) (quoting Richard R. Powell, Powell on Real Property § 64A.02[1] at 64A-16 (Michael A. Wolf ed., 2000)). Jiggetts contends that Midland trespassed on her property when it entered her property and changed the locks. Midland does not dispute that it entered the property and changed the locks. Its sole argument against Jiggetts’s trespass claim is that its entry was lawful because Jiggetts abandoned the property. (Def.’s Mem. at 3-4.)

Midland’s argument is misguided, however. In the District of Columbia, abandonment is defined as an anticipatory breach wherein a tenant “`leaves the premises vacant with the avowed intention not to be bound by [the] lease.'” Jones v. Cain, 804 A.2d 322, 331 (D.C. 2001) (quoting Simpson v. Lee, 499 A.2d 889, 894 (D.C. 1985)). The complaint does not allege or concede facts reflecting that Jiggetts intended to abandon her property. Instead, the complaint reflects that Jiggetts had every intention of maintaining the monthly mortgage payments. (See, e.g., Compl. ¶ 5 (“While [Jiggetts was] in the nursing home, Chesley was supposed to be making the monthly mortgage payments on the subject property.”).) Moreover, while Midland claimed that the deed of trust authorized Midland to enter the property upon default (see id. ¶ 11), Midland has not presented any copy of the deed of trust mentioned in the complaint or any other agreement granting it the right to enter the property upon Jiggetts’s failure to make the mortgage payments. Because Jiggetts has pled that Midland entered her property without consent and changed the locks, preventing entry by the owners, and Midland has failed to show it was otherwise authorized to take that action, Midland’s motion to dismiss Jiggetts’s trespass claim will be denied.


Under District of Columbia law, conversion is defined as the “`intentional exercise of dominion or control over a chattel which so seriously interferes with the right of another to control it that the actor may justly be required to pay the other the full value of the chattel.'” Edmonds v. United States, 563 F. Supp. 2d 196, 202 (D.D.C. 2008) (quoting Fed. Fire Protection Corp. v. J.A. Jones/Tompkins Builders, Inc., 267 F. Supp. 2d 87, 92 n.3 (D.D.C. 2003)). A chattel is defined as “`[m]ovable or transferable property; personal property; . . . [or] a physical object . . . not the subject matter of real property.'” Doe ex rel. Doe v. Fed. Express Corp., 571 F. Supp. 2d 330, 333 (D. Conn. 2008) (quoting Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004)) (first alteration in original). Jiggetts argues that the defendant “converted [her] leasehold interest, in the subject property, to [its] own interest” by entering the property and changing the locks. (Pl.’s Opp’n at 3.) However, the leasehold interest in her home is the subject matter of real property and is not chattel, see District Of Columbia v. Place, 892 A.2d 1108, 1112 (D.C. 2006), and the law of conversion does not apply to real property. Midland’s motion to dismiss Jiggetts’s conversion claim will be granted.


A contract is formed when there is an offer, an acceptance, and valuable consideration, see Paul v. Howard Univ., 754 A.2d 297, 311 (D.C. 2000), and a contract can be made orally or in writing. See Ames v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Civil Action No. 06-2039 (RMC), 2007 WL 1404443, at *2 (D.D.C. May 11, 2007). The complaint alleges that Midland “agreed to postpone the foreclosure until August 19, 2009, in order to allow [Dixon] to attempt to sell the property to avoid the foreclosure” and that the defendant breached an agreement when it entered the property and changed the locks. (Compl. ¶¶ 10, 22.) Midland contends that the breach of contract claim must be dismissed because “plaintiff attaches no proof of such an agreement to the Complaint.” (Def.’s Mem. at 6.)

On a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff is not required to prove each element of her claim. Instead, she is merely required to plead facts that, if proven, would establish the elements of her claim. Moreover, while Jiggetts fails to plead facts reflecting that Midland breached an agreement to postpone the foreclosure sale because she does not allege that a foreclosure sale took place before August 19, 2009, Jiggetts’s complaint can be read to state a claim that Midland breached the parties’ mortgage agreement. The complaint refers generally to a contract and states that Midland breached an agreement by breaking into and changing the locks on the doors. (Compl. ¶ 22.) Further, Jiggetts’s opposition states that “[w]hen the Defendant changed the locks . . . without an order of the court to do so, it was a breach of their mortgage contract[.]” (Pl.’s Opp’n at 4.) Because a court is to grant the plaintiff the benefit of all inferences derived from the facts alleged, and the complaint — read in the light most favorable to Jiggetts — contains sufficient factual matter to state a claim for breach of the parties’ mortgage agreement, Midland’s motion to dismiss Jiggetts’s breach of contract claim will be denied.[ 2 ]


Because conversion applies only to chattel, Midland’s motion to dismiss Jiggetts’s conversion claim will be granted. However, the complaint alleges a trespass and, read in the light most favorable to Jiggetts, a breach of contract claim. Thus, Midland’s motion to dismiss Jiggetts’s trespass and breach of contract claims will be denied. Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED that Midland’s motion [5] to dismiss be, and hereby is, GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Jiggetts’s conversion claim is dismissed, but Midland’s motion is denied in all other respects.

1. Midland also argues that its motion should be granted because Jiggetts’s opposition brief was not timely filed. (Def. Midland Mortgage Co.’s Reply to Opp’n to Mot. to Dismiss at 1.) Although Jiggetts’s opposition was filed beyond the time prescribed by the local civil rules, the circumstances here support abiding by the general judicial preference for resolving disputes on their merits rather than dismissing them based on technicalities. See, e.g., Niedermeier v. Office of Baucus, 153 F. Supp. 2d 23, 27 (D.D.C. 2001).
2. Plaintiff seeks punitive damages on each of her claims (Compl. ¶¶ 16, 19, 24), which the defendant opposes. In the District of Columbia, “punitive damages are not available [w]here the basis of a complaint is . . . breach of contract[,]” Caston v. Butler, Civil Action No. 08-1656 (JDB), 2010 WL 2505591, at *1 (D.D.C. June 22, 2010) (first alteration in original) (internal quotation marks omitted), unless the plaintiff alleges that the breach of contract “`merges with, and assumes the character of a willful tort[.]'” Cambridge Holdings Group, Inc. v. Fed. Ins. Co., 357 F. Supp. 2d 89, 97 (D.D.C. 2004) (quoting Brown v. Coates, 253 F.2d 36, 39 (D.C. Cir. 1958)). Further, in order to recover punitive damages, “[plaintiff] must `prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the [defendant] committed a tortious act, and by clear and convincing evidence that the act was accompanied by conduct and a state of mind evincing malice or its equivalent.'” Butera v. District of Columbia, 235 F.3d 637, 657 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (quoting Jonathan Woodner Co. v. Breeden, 665 A.2d 929, 938 (D.C. 1995)). The tortious act must be accompanied by “fraud, ill will, recklessness, wantonness, oppressiveness, wilful disregard of the plaintiff’s right, or other circumstances tending to aggravate the injury.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). Jiggetts alleges that the defendant’s trespass was “willful, wanton, intentional, [and] malicious” (Compl. ¶ 15), and that her breach of contract claim “merges with and assumes the character of a willful tort.” (Id. ¶ 24.) Such allegations, if proven, could entitle her to punitive damages. Thus, defendant’s motion to dismiss Jiggetts’s punitive damages claim will be denied.

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Posted in breach of contract, foreclosure, foreclosures, trespassing1 Comment

NEVADA is on a ROLL! ALOUA v. AURORA LOAN SERVICES, LLC, Dist. Court, D. Nevada 2010

NEVADA is on a ROLL! ALOUA v. AURORA LOAN SERVICES, LLC, Dist. Court, D. Nevada 2010


Case No. 2:09-CV-00207-KJD-RJJ.

United States District Court, D. Nevada.

June 23, 2010.


KENT J. DAWSON, District Judge. Currently before the Court is Defendants Aurora Loan Services, LLC, and Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB’s Motion to Dismiss (#15).[1] Plaintiff Pia Marie T. Cordero Aloua filed a Response and Opposition (#18) to Defendants’ Motion on October 5, 2009, to which Defendants filed a Reply (#19) on October 20, 2009.

I. Background

Plaintiff financed the real property located at 116 Peachy Court in Las Vegas, Nevada (“subject property”) on or about the 5th day of July, 2007. At that time, Plaintiff executed an adjustable rate loan (“first loan”) in the principal amount of $768,987.00 and a fixed-rate balloon loan (“second loan”) in the principal amount of $144,185.00. Lehman Brothers, which changed its name to Aurora Bank on April 24, 2009, was the original lender, and Aurora Loan Services (“ALS”) was appointed as the loan servicer on August 16, 2007. Plaintiff’s first loan, which was placed in the sub-prime category, was financed based upon a yearly adjustable interest rate of 9.375% and was to be paid to Lehman Brothers by monthly payments beginning in September 2007. Plaintiff avers that the sub-prime designation of her loan, which led to higher fees and interest, was in error because Plaintiff had verifiable income and a credit score sufficient to qualify for the traditional prime rate. Defendants aver that Plaintiff defaulted on her loans in December 2007, leading to foreclosure proceedings which were ultimately completed on July 14, 2008 through Quality Loan Service Corporation (“QLS”), the appointed substitute trustee. ALS claims to have acquired title to the subject property through said foreclosure proceedings. Plaintiff avers, however, that she did not default on her loans and that the foreclosure sale was carried out without serving the required notices and without giving Plaintiff the appropriate opportunity to avert the sale. On January 7, 2009, Plaintiff commenced this action in the District Court for Clark County, Nevada. The action was removed to this Court on February 2, 2009 on the basis of federal question and diversity jurisdiction. (See #1.) On September 2, 2009, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint against all Defendants, alleging the following causes of action: (1) intentional misrepresentation; (2) negligence per se under the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) and the federal Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”); (3) negligence; (4) rescission under TILA; (5) wrongful foreclosure; and (6) quiet title. On September 21, 2009, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint (#15). For the reasons discussed below, the Court grants the Motion to Dismiss in part and denies it in part.

II. Discussion

A. Motion to Dismiss

A court may dismiss a plaintiff’s complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it demands “more than labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). “Factual allegations must be enough to rise above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (internal citation omitted). In Iqbal, the Supreme Court recently clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering motions to dismiss. First, the Court must accept as true all well-pled factual allegations in the complaint; however, legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 1950. Mere recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory statements, do not suffice. Id. at 1949. Second, the Court must consider whether the factual allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 1950. A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff’s complaint alleges facts that allow the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 1949. Where the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has “alleged—but not shown—that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). When the claims in a complaint have not crossed the line from conceivable to plausible, plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

III. Analysis

A. Intentional Misrepresentation

Plaintiff alleges Defendants knowingly made false misrepresentations to Plaintiff, upon which Plaintiff justifiably relied to her detriment. To state a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation in Nevada, a plaintiff must allege that (1) defendant made a false representation; (2) defendant knew or believed the representation to be false; (3) defendant intended to induce plaintiff to rely on the misrepresentation; and (4) plaintiff suffered damages as a result of his reliance. Bartmettler v. Reno Air, Inc., 956 P.2d 1382, 1386 (Nev. 1998). Misrepresentation is a form of fraud where a false representation is relied on in fact. See Pacific Maxon, Inc. v. Wilson, 96 Nev. 867, 871 (Nev. 1980). Fraud has a stricter pleading standard under Rule 9, which requires a party to “state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud.” FED. R. CIV. P. 9(b). Pleading fraud with particularity requires “an account of the time, place, and specific content of the false representations, as well as the identities of the parties of the misrepresentations.” Swartz v. KPMG LLP, 476 F.3d 756, 764 (9th Cir. 2007); see also Morris v. Bank of Nev., 886 P.2d 454, 456 n.1 (Nev. 1994). The Ninth Circuit has held, however, that the stricter pleading requirements of Rule 9(b) “may be relaxed with respect to matters within the opposing party’s knowledge,” reasoning that “[i]n such situations, plaintiffs can not (sic) be expected to have personal knowledge of the relevant facts.” Neubronner v. Milken, 6 F.3d 666, 672 (9th Cir. 1993) (citing Wool v. Tandem Computers, Inc., 818 F.2d 1433, 1439 (9th Cir. 1987); Moore v. Kayport Package Express, Inc., 885 F.2d 531, 540 (9th Cir. 1989). Even under this relaxed version of Rule 9(b), however, “a plaintiff who makes allegations on information and belief must state the factual basis for the belief.” Id. Here, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants knowingly concealed the true nature of her credit score and defrauded her by placing her loan in the sub-prime category to charge higher commissions. Plaintiff also alleges, among other things, that Defendants misrepresented the fees charged and paid in association with her loan, as well as her eligibility to participate in a loan modification program. Taking these assertions as true, the Court finds Plaintiff has sufficiently stated a claim for fraud: Plaintiff alleges that Defendants intentionally misrepresented information to her, that she relied on these representations, and that she was damaged as a result.

B. Negligence per se

To state a claim for negligence per se, a plaintiff must allege that (1) he or she belongs to a class of persons that a statute was intended to protect; (2) defendant violated the relevant statute; (3) plaintiff’s injuries are the type against which the statute was intended to protect; (4) the violation was the legal cause of plaintiff’s injury; and (5) plaintiff suffered damages. See Anderson v. Baltrusaitus, 944 P.2d 797, 799 (Nev. 1997). Whether a particular statute establishes a standard of care in a negligence action is a question of law. Vega v. E. Courtyard Assocs., 24 P.3d 219, 221 (Nev. 2001). Plaintiff claims Defendants violated provisions of TILA, 15 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq., and RESPA, 12 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq., dealing with a lender’s disclosure duties. Defendants argue that the TILA claim is time barred because the statute of limitations has run. Section 1640(e) of TILA requires that claims be brought within one year of the date of the loan transaction. Interpreting this provision, the Ninth Circuit has held that while as a general rule the limitations period runs from the date the transaction is consummated, the doctrine of equitable tolling may, when appropriate, toll the limitations period until the borrower has had a reasonable opportunity to discover the facts giving rise to a TILA claim. King v. California, 784 F.2d 910, 915 (9th Cir. 1986). The Ninth Circuit has also held that the equitable tolling analysis is a factual one: the finder of fact must determine whether equitable tolling will prevent unjust results or maintain the integrity of the relevant statute. Id. Because these factual questions are yet to be resolved, the Court is unable to say at this stage in the litigation whether the statute of limitations has run. Therefore, Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s TILA claim on statute of limitations grounds is denied. Moreover, after reviewing the Complaint, the Court finds Plaintiff has adequately stated a TILA claim against Defendants. Plaintiff alleges Defendants (1) failed to disclose the identity of persons and entities who share the service fees and other charges for her loans; (2) failed to disclose the percentage of the loan amount paid to the nominal lender; and (3) failed to disclose relevant credit terms to enable Plaintiff to compare market rates and prevent unfair credit practices. (Dkt. #14, Compl. ¶ 26-28.) Taking these assertions as true, Plaintiff has stated a viable claim for relief under TILA. Plaintiff has failed, however, to sufficiently state a claim for negligence per se under RESPA. 12 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq. As a general rule, RESPA does not create an express or implied private right of action. Collins v. FMHA-USDA, 105 F.3d 1366, 1367-68 (11th Cir. 1997); Bamba v. Resource Bank, 568 F. Supp. 2d 32, 34-35 (D.D.C. 2008); Morrison v. Brookstone, 415 F. Supp. 2d 801, 806 (S.D. Ohio 2005); McWhorter v. Ford Consumer Fin. Co., 33 F. Supp. 2d 1059, 1064 (N.D. Ga. 1997). A limited exception to this rule exists: a private right of action exists under RESPA when a specific statutory provision mentions such a right. See Bloom v. Martin, 865 F. Supp. 1377, 1384-85 (N.D. Cal. 1994). Although Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated several provisions of RESPA, the only section she references with any specificity is § 2605. Accordingly, because this section of the statute does not provide a private right of action, Plaintiff’s claim for negligence per se under RESPA fails.

C. Rescission

Plaintiff also alleges she is entitled to a rescission of the mortgage contract under TILA, 15 U.S.C. § 1635. Plaintiff is incorrect. Section 1635 of TILA establishes that lenders must notify borrowers of their right to rescind and outlines the penalties for failure to comply with this requirement. Nonetheless, § 1635 expressly states that these provisions do not apply to “residential mortgage transactions.” A residential mortgage transaction is defined in 15 U.S.C. § 1602(w) as a “transaction in which a mortgage . . . interest is created or retained against the consumer’s principal dwelling.” See also 12 C.F.R. § 226.2(a)(24). This is precisely what Plaintiff’s mortgage contract entailed: the parties entered into a transaction in which Plaintiff attained financing from Defendants to acquire residential property. Because Plaintiff is not entitled to rescind the mortgage contract, her rescission claim under § 1635 fails as a matter of law and Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is granted as to Plaintiff’s rescission claims.

D. Wrongful Foreclosure

Plaintiff also alleges wrongful foreclosure. “An action for the tort of wrongful foreclosure will lie if the trustor or mortgagor can establish that at the time the power of sale was exercised or the foreclosure occurred, no breach of condition or failure of performance existed on the mortgagor’s or trustor’s part which would have authorized the foreclosure or exercise of the power of sale.” Collins v. Union Federal Sav. & Loan Ass’n, 662 P.2d 610, 623 (Nev. 1983). “The material issue of fact in a wrongful foreclosure claim is whether the trustor was in default when the power of sale was exercised.” Id. Here, Plaintiff affirmatively alleges that she was not in default of payment to the lender at the time the foreclosure occurred, and therefore, the representations as stated on the Notice of Default were false.[2] Taking these assertions as true, the Court finds that Plaintiff has adequately stated a claim for wrongful foreclosure against Defendants. Therefore, Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is denied as to Plaintiff’s wrongful foreclosure claim.

E. Negligence against QLS

To bring a negligence claim in Nevada, a plaintiff must show that (1) defendant owed a duty of care to plaintiff; (2) defendant breached that duty; (3) defendant’s breach was the actual and proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries; and (4) plaintiff was injured. Scialabba v. Brandise Constr., 921 P.2d 928, 930 (Nev. 1996). Liability based on negligence does not exist without a breach of duty. Bradshaw v. Blystone Equip. Co. of Nev., 386 P.2d 396, 397 (Nev. 1963). Plaintiff claims that Defendant QLS, “as trustee under the deed of trust, had a duty to Plaintiff to ensure that any party instructing it to conduct a foreclosure sale of the property actually owned and had rights under the note and deed of trust.” (See #14, Compl. ¶ 32.) Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant QLS’s failure to take the appropriate steps to comply with this duty was the actual and proximate cause of damages to Plaintiff. Id. at ¶ 33-39.) At this point, because Plaintiff’s claim for wrongful foreclosure remains, the Court also finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently pled a claim for negligence.

F. Quiet Title

Finally, Plaintiff brings a claim of quiet title, arguing that because foreclosure was wrongful, Plaintiff remains the rightful owner of the subject property. Taking these assertions as true, Plaintiff has stated a claim for wrongful foreclosure against Defendants. Therefore, Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is denied as to Plaintiff’s quiet title claim.

IV. Conclusion

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (#15) is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as follows:

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for intentional misrepresentation is DENIED.

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for negligence per se under TILA is DENIED.

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for negligence per se under RESPA is GRANTED.

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for negligence against QLS is DENIED.

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for rescission under TILA is GRANTED.

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for wrongful foreclosure is DENIED.

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for quiet title in DENIED.

[1] Defendant Quality Loan Service Corporation filed a Joinder (#22) to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss that is considered together with Defendant’s Motion herein. [2] If matters outside of the pleadings are submitted in conjunction with a motion to dismiss, Rule 12(b) grants courts discretion to either accept and consider, or to disregard such materials. See Isquith v. Middle S. Utils., Inc., 847 F.2d 186, 193 n.3 (5th Cir.1988). A court exercises this discretion by examining whether the submitted material, and the resulting conversion from the Rule 12(b)(6) to the Rule 56 procedure, may facilitate disposing of the action. Id. at 193 n.3. If the court elects to convert the motion, “[a]ll parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present all the material that is pertinent to the motion.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d). Here, Defendants have attempted to provide evidence refuting Plaintiff’s no default claim, Plaintiff however, has not had an adequate opportunity to fully brief this issue. Accordingly, without opining whether Plaintiff’s claims may survive a summary judgment motion, the Court elects not to convert Defendants’ immediate Motion into one for summary judgment.

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in aurora loan servicing, breach of contract, concealment, conspiracy, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, lehman brothers, respa, tila, truth in lending act, Violations0 Comments

Notice of Appeal Filed – Stay of Court Order to Vacate Injunction Stopping Bank of America Foreclosures in Utah Requested

Notice of Appeal Filed – Stay of Court Order to Vacate Injunction Stopping Bank of America Foreclosures in Utah Requested

There is something not right here and I think the outcome might surprise us!

by Morgan Skinner, KCSG News

St. George, UT) – A Notice of Appeal to Federal Judge Clark Waddoups court order vacating an Injunction against Bank of America and its subsidiary ReconTrust Company halting all foreclosures in Utah was filed Friday, June 25, 2010 by St. George attorney John Christian Barlow.

Barlow told KCSG News he was “troubled by Court ruling but unrelenting in pursuit of redress for his client (Cox) and other homeowners who have become victims of mortgage lending gone mad.” Barlow said he has motioned the court to allow Cox’s complaint to include a “Class of Citizens” currently in foreclosure in Utah. Barlow contends his client’s rights to remedies were taken away from her by a faceless lender who continues to overwhelm homeowners and the judicial system with motions and petitions as a remedy instead of making a good-faith effort in face-to-face negotiations to help homeowners as the Utah legislature intended. The David and Goliath legal battle over federal versus states-citizens rights is headed to the 10th Circuit Court.

Judge Waddoups’ Memorandum of Explanation in support of vacating a statewide Preliminary Injunction halting all foreclosures by the Bank of America only served to raise more questions.

Some of the questions include:

1.) Why is the judge’s ruling at variance with his previous rulings this year as noted in a Letter to Judge Waddoups submitted to the court June 10th, 2010 by the Plaintiff’s counsel John Christian Barlow, Esq. and E. Craig Smay, Esq. and posted June 21, 2010 in the court docket, after the Ruling and Memorandum of Explanation.

2.) Why did Judge Waddoups essentially brush aside the Plaintiff’s pleading that included the Supreme Court decision Cuomo vs. Clearing House Association in which the Court said…“If a State chooses to pursue enforcement of its laws in court, its targets are protected by discovery and procedural rules” meaning a state has a right to enforce its own laws against national banks.

3.) Why hasn’t Judge Waddoups recused himself from all Bank of America or ReconTrust Company related cases since he was a senior partner in the law firm Parr, Waddoups, Brown, Gee & Loveless now Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless that represented the Bank of America in Utah Fourth District Court, Case No. 070402786 before he took the bench. And, the law firm continues to represent the Bank of America and its subsidiaries. According to the Code of Conduct for US Judges, a judge should recuse himself when there may be a conflict of interest.

4.) Why shouldn’t Judge Waddoups recuse himself from any case in which his old law firm represents either the plaintiff or the defendant until he takes full distribution of his retirement fund with the law firm as disclosed in Judge Waddoups most recent Financial Disclosure Statement that shows he only took a partial distribution of his retirement from the firm’s 401K

“Bank of America acquired the bankrupt Countrywide Home Loan portfolio in a stock deal June 3, 2009. And, according to the ReconTrust website, the Bank of America has over 1113 Utah homeowners in foreclosure this month, and the numbers keep growing,” Barlow said.

The second part of the Plaintiff’s complaint has yet to be addressed. It alleges neither the lender, nor MERS*, nor Bank of America, nor any other Defendant, has any remaining interest in the mortgage promissory note. The note was bundled with other notes and sold as mortgage-backed securities or otherwise assigned and split from the Trust Deed. Barlow said he has begun a quiet title action and expects the court to adjudicate it according to the facts of evidence which will clearly demonstrate lenders bundling notes into securities and trading in the financial markets have created the underlying homeowner’s mortgage nightmare.

*MERS(Mortgage Electronic Registration System) is a process designed to simplify the way mortgage ownership and servicing rights are originated, sold and tracked created by the real estate finance industry. MERS eliminates the need to prepare and record assignments when trading residential and commercial mortgage loans as securities.

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in bank of america, bogus, breach of contract, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Recontrust, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD2 Comments

POCKET CHANGE!! BofA’s Countrywide settles with FTC for $108 million

POCKET CHANGE!! BofA’s Countrywide settles with FTC for $108 million

(Reuters) – Bank of America Corp has agreed to pay $108 million to settle government charges that its Countrywide unit, the mortgage lender that became synonymous with risky lending practices, bilked borrowers with misleading and excessive fees.

Housing Market

The Federal Trade Commission said two Countrywide mortgage servicing units deceived cash-strapped homeowners by overcharging them by hundreds or thousands of dollars, sometimes when they were already in bankruptcy.

The alleged activity took place before Bank of America acquired the distressed lender in 2008.

The settlement is a small win for regulators trying to hold to account those who contributed to the deep financial crisis.

The agency called the $108 million settlement one of the largest in an FTC case and the largest in a mortgage servicing case. The FTC has no jurisdiction over banks but does have jurisdiction over deceptive practices by non-bank financial services and products firms.

Countrywide, which was once the nation’s top mortgage lender, “profited from making risky loans to homeowners during the boom years, and then profited again when the loans failed,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, noting that some fees during the foreclosure process were marked up more than 400 percent.

Bank of America said in a statement that it agreed to the settlement to void the expense and distraction of litigating the case. There was no admission of wrongdoing.

The FTC said the $108 million, which represents the amount consumers were overcharged, would be used to repay borrowers but could take months to sort out.

“The record-keeping of Countrywide was abysmal,” said Leibowitz. “Most frat houses have better record-keeping than Countrywide.”

In May, Countrywide agreed to a $624 million settlement of a class action lawsuit accusing it of misleading investors about its lending practices. The case was led by several pension funds, including the New York State Common Retirement Fund, that state’s $129.4 billion public pension fund, and five New York City pension funds.

Once the largest U.S. mortgage lender, Countrywide and its long-time chief executive, Angelo Mozilo, became known for risky lending practices that helped fuel the U.S. housing boom and subsequent bust.

Countrywide nearly collapsed as credit markets tightened, before Bank of America agreed to buy it in January 2008 in a stock deal valued at about $4 billion.

Mozilo and two other former Countrywide executives remain defendants in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil fraud lawsuit.

The SEC alleges that Mozilo hid from investors the deteriorating prospects of Countrywide, and conducted insider trading by entering a systematic stock selling plan in late 2006, knowing that the mortgage lender’s prospects would worsen.

The SEC claimed Mozilo violated insider trading rules in generating a $139 million profit by exercising stock options in 2006 and 2007.

It said the exercises came after he admitted in an email to colleagues that Countrywide was “flying blind” as to the quality of its loans.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and a member of the panel working out final wording on a comprehensive overhaul of Wall Street, called the FTC settlement “a major breakthrough that closes one of the ugliest chapters of the entire subprime mortgage crisis.”

“Anyone who believes the blame for the housing crisis rests with borrowers should read this settlement and learn just how shameless these lenders were during these years,” Schumer said.

(Additional reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington and by Joe Rauch in Charlotte; editing by John Wallace and Gerald E. McCormick)

© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.

Posted in bank of america, breach of contract, coercion, concealment, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures0 Comments

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