Judge Arthur Schack

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Analysis: Foreclosure “mess” unfolds state by state

Analysis: Foreclosure “mess” unfolds state by state

By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO | Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:46am EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – An outcry over questionable foreclosures by GMAC Mortgage and other lenders is likely to hit some states more than others because of major differences in real estate law across the nation.

But ramifications for federal taxpayers and investors will depend on the costs of clearing up the problem, the latest fallout from the bursting of the U.S. real estate bubble.

GMAC Mortgage announced last week that it had suspended evictions and post-foreclosure closings in 23 states due to concerns over paperwork. In order for a lender to foreclose on a property, it must prove that it actually checked the borrower’s loan agreements, and that the homeowner defaulted.

But the unit of Ally Financial, which is 56.3 percent owned by the U.S. government after a $17 billion bailout, said employees preparing foreclosures had submitted affidavits to judges containing information they did not personally verify.

“It’s a real mess,” said Justice Arthur Schack, a jurist on foreclosure issues who sits on the New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

GMAC’s announcement has raised doubts about whether some people lost their homes without good reason. Attorneys general in several states, including California, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio, are investigating.

“The law demands that lenders prove their case in foreclosure actions,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said last week.

But Ally characterizes the problem as merely technical, arguing that the underlying facts in each foreclosure are accurate.

“We are confident that the processing errors did not result in any inappropriate foreclosures,” it said in a statement last week.

GMAC landed in its predicament after one of its employees testified in a December 2009 deposition that he signed off on tens of thousands of affidavits containing information he did not verify.

The company said it has “substantially increased” the number of employees to verify documents, provided additional training, and suspended evictions out of an “abundance of caution.”

Ally isn’t the only firm under the microscope.

JPMorgan Chase & Co is delaying its current foreclosure proceedings and has begun to systematically re-examine related documents after discovering that some employees may have signed affidavits in some cases without personally reviewing the files.

Lawyers in Florida are questioning JPMorgan’s practices after discovering one of its executives did not check the details of its claims against a homeowner.

The executive said she had been part of an eight-person team that signs 18,000 documents a

Continue reading… REUTERS

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, Beth Cottrell, Bryan Bly, chain in title, Cheryl Samons, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, Crystal Moore, deed of trust, dennis kirkpatrick, deposition, eric friedman, erica johnson seck, Erika Herrera, fannie mae, florida default law group, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, investigation, jeffrey stephan, jpmorgan chase, judge arthur schack, Korrel Harp, Kristine Wilson, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, Wall Street1 Comment

INDYMAC’S/ONEWEST FORECLOSURE ‘ROBO-SIGNERS’ SIGNED 24,000 MORTGAGE DOCUMENTS MONTHLY

INDYMAC’S/ONEWEST FORECLOSURE ‘ROBO-SIGNERS’ SIGNED 24,000 MORTGAGE DOCUMENTS MONTHLY

Please welcome Ericka Johnson Seck to the ROBO-SIGNER Hall of Sham!

MERS & LPS once again the “Common Thread”

Here is a list of her many Corporate Hats:

  • Vice President of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS)
  • Vice President of Deutsch Bank National Trust
  • Vice President of Bank of New York
  • Attorney in Fact of IndyMac
  • Attorney in Fact of ONEWEST
  • Attorney in  Fact of FDIC

I must confess, she was my first study because she signed two assignments for “one” of my properties using “two” different employers. 🙂 ‘<blush> I even created my very first youtube video in her honor (see below)!

Thanks to Judge Arthur Schack and Tom Ice from Ice Legal in Palm Beach County, we all became familiar with Erica for wearing too many corporate hats.

She is the “Robo-Signer” Judge Schack called out in three particular cases in NY and made her an instant foreclosure household name. I don’t think she ever emerged in NY soon after this. Also see the  HSCB v. Yasmin case.

Excerpt of DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST v. HARRIS

The Court is perplexed as to why the assignment was not executed in Pasadena, California, at 46U Sierra Madre Villa, the alleged “principal place of business” for both the assignor and the assignee. In my January 3 1, 2008 decision (Deutsche Bank National Tr (1st Canpuny v Maraj, – Misc 3d – [A], 2008 NY Slip Op 50176 [U]), I noted that Erica Johnson-Seck, claimed that she was a Vice President of MERS in her July 3,2007 INDYMAC to DEUTSCHE BANK assignment, and then in her July 3 1,2007 affidavit claimed to be a DEUTSCHE BANK Vice President. Just as in Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v Maraj, at 2, the Court in the instant action, before granting itn application for an order of reference, requires an affidavit from Ms. Johnson-Seck, describing her employment history for the past three years.

Further, the Court requires an explanation from an officer of plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK as to why, in the middle of our national subprime mortgage financial crisis, DEUTSCHE BANK would purchase a non-perferforming loan from INDYMAC, and why DEUTSCHE BANK, INDYMAC and MERS all share office space at 460 Sierra Madre Villa, Pasadena, CA 91 107.

24,000 Monthly Documents executed by her team

Now Lets move on to this below… according to this deposition her office signs 24,000 mortgage related documents out of the this figure she signed about “750” a week making it approximately 3000 mortgage documents used in foreclosure cases. Anything from Affidavits of Debt, Lost Note Affidavits, Assignment of Mortgages, Declarations pretty much anything having to deal with Bankruptcy and Foreclosures.

This is what she signs without any notary present.

DEPOSITION OF ERICA JOHNSON SECK

[ipaper docId=37528161 access_key=key-t6hhb0aqxj8gvgam8s7 height=600 width=600 /]

Below is a sale that happened in DC all in 1 single day! It appears she also puts properties in her name with her co-employees Roger Stotts and  Eric Friedman.

ROGER STOTTS  signs these as well and according to the depo above Indymac/Onewest is “NOT” the custodian as defined below. Why do they commit fraud?


FIRST VIDEO MADE OF DAVID J. STERN, ERICA JOHNSON-SECK BACK IN FEBRUARY 2010

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, bogus, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deposition, deutsche bank, erica johnson seck, fdic, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Former Fidelity National Information Services, investigation, judge arthur schack, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., lis pendens, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, note, onewest, robo signers, roger stotts, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com11 Comments

Judge Schack “Every Case Is Unique,” Wants Every Assignment and Mortgage To Be Recorded!

Judge Schack “Every Case Is Unique,” Wants Every Assignment and Mortgage To Be Recorded!

See where Judge Schack takes this and even if not mentioned he makes reference to MERS. Every judge must follow his example and read and research each case because it the end “each case is unique”. If we can only make a rubber stamp weigh 2 tons?? Hmm

Mortgage mayhem

B’klyn judge tosses bad foreclosure filings

By GREGORY BRESIGER
Last Updated: 1:29 AM, September 26, 2010
Posted: 1:07 AM, September 26, 2010

With foreclosure filings growing by the month, some judges are holding banks and loan servicers’ feet to the fire to prove they “own” the mortgage and that they know what information is in the filing.

Recently, JPMorgan Chase, a mortgage servicer, was charged by a Florida judge with submitting fraudulent foreclosure paperwork on a home it did not own.

Ally Bank, formerly GMAC, the credit arm of the troubled automaker General Motors, suspended foreclosure proceedings in 23 states including New York last week, while it reviews its foreclosure procedures.

Ally, which has a $349.1 billion mortgage portfolio, according to industry records, and was also the beneficiary of more than $17 billion in US bailout funds, said this week it has amended its foreclosure procedure to make sure the documents contain truthful information and that there is a notary present when documents are signed.

Closer to home, in New York State Supreme Court no foreclosure hearing is routine in Judge Arthur Schack’s courtroom in Brooklyn. That’s where dozens of bank attorneys are learning that every detail must be right or else.

Judge Schack — the scourge of numerous banks and poorly prepared attorneys — has thrown out dozens of foreclosure applications for just the same reasons cited in Florida.

Judge Schack examines every filing in detail. That’s because “every case is unique,” said the 64-year-old judge, a former high-school social-studies teacher.

Why the large number of foreclosure dismissals for a procedure that is often routinely granted?

Continue Reading…NEW YORK POST

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, jpmorgan chase, judge arthur schack, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., robo signers, securitization, Wall Street0 Comments

Hmmm LETS SEE…WHO’s NEXT?…OH YEA LINDA GREEN, ‘BOGUS’ AND LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES

Hmmm LETS SEE…WHO’s NEXT?…OH YEA LINDA GREEN, ‘BOGUS’ AND LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES

The Washington Post just keeps putting more and more out! Now they exposed Linda Green, Lender Processing Services (LPS)…and pending “Criminal Investigations

Amid mountain of paperwork, shortcuts and forgeries mar foreclosure process

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Brady Dennis

Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 22, 2010; 9:22 PM

The nation’s overburdened foreclosure system is riddled with faked documents, forged signatures and lenders who take shortcuts reviewing borrower’s files, according to court documents and interviews with attorneys, housing advocates and company officials.

Continue reading …WASHINGTON POST

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LETS NOT FORGET HER MULTIPLE SIGNATURE PERSONALITIES

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, Beth Cottrell, bogus, chain in title, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, DOCX, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, geithner, investigation, jeffrey stephan, jpmorgan chase, judge arthur schack, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., Lender Processing Services Inc., linda green, LPS, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, note, robo signers, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Supreme Court7 Comments

TEXAS v. AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING , Inc.

TEXAS v. AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING , Inc.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Attorney General Abbott Charges Home Loan Servicer With Violating State Debt Collection Laws

American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. failed to properly process requests

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today charged Coppell-based American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. (AHMS) with using illegal debt collection tactics and improperly misleading struggling homeowners.

According to state investigators, AHMS collections agents used aggressive and unlawful tactics to collect payments from Texas homeowners who had difficulty meeting their payment obligations. The defendant also failed to credit homeowners who properly submitted their payments on time.

LAWSUIT COMPLAINT

TEXAS v. AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC

In other cases, AHMS agents falsely claimed that homeowners did not make payments so the agents could justify profitable late fees or escrow accounts. The defendant also failed to properly credit homeowners after AHMS agents withdrew funds from the homeowners’ checking accounts. Because of the defendant’s unlawful conduct, homeowners defaulted on their loans, leading to foreclosure proceedings.

Additionally, the defendant claimed to have a “Home Retention Team” to assist distressed homeowners. Many customers found that AHMS could not qualify homeowners and that they were of no help to halt the foreclosure process. Some homeowners who actually obtained loan modifications found that their monthly payments increased rather than decreased, which worsened their problem with foreclosure.

Today’s enforcement action charges AHMS with multiple violations of the Texas Debt Collection Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). The State is also seeking civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation of the DTPA.

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DinSFLA here: A little more on AHMSI

Recently, Judge Arthur Schack said this in ARGENT MTGE. CO., LLC v. Maitland, 2010 NY Slip Op 51482 – NY: Supreme Court, Kings 2010

Successor plaintiff AHMSI is one of several companies controlled by billionaire investor Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. through his firm, W. L. Ross & Company. Louise Story, in her April 4, 2008 New York Times article, Investors Stalk the Wounded of Wall Street, described Mr. Ross as “a dean of vulture investing.” She wrote:

Almost two centuries ago, as Napoleon marched on Waterloo, a scion of the Rothschilds is said to have declared: The time to buy is when blood is running in the streets.

Now as red ink runs on Wall Street, the figurative heirs of the Rothschilds — bankers, traders, hedge fund gurus and takeover artists — are plotting to profit from today’s financial upheaval. These market opportunists — vulture investors in the Wall Street term — have begun to swoop. They are buying up mortgages of hard-pressed homeowners, the bank loans of cash-short businesses, and companies that seem to be hurtling to bankruptcy. And they are trying to buy them all on the cheap. . . .

“The only time you really know you’ve reached the bottom is when you’re back on the other side and things are going back up,” said Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., a dean of vulture investors, who made a fortune buying steel companies when no one else seemed to want them.

Such caution aside, his firm, W. L. Ross & Company, recently spent $2.6 billion for two mortgage servicers [AHMSI and Option One] and a bond insurance company. He said he planned to buy more as hedge funds and other investor sell at bargain prices.


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



Posted in conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, investigation, judge arthur schack, mortgage, note, servicers, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Violations, Wall Street0 Comments

JUDGE SCHACK BLOWS ‘MERS’ & Bank Of New York (BNY) OUT THE DOOR!

JUDGE SCHACK BLOWS ‘MERS’ & Bank Of New York (BNY) OUT THE DOOR!

MERS is an artifice and they are going to blow up!

Read this carefully…Judge Schack knows exactly where this is going and where he is taking it!

Decided on August 25, 2010

Supreme Court, Kings County

The Bank of New York, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE CERTIFICATEHOLDERS CWALT, INC. ALTERNATIVE LOAN TRUST 2006-OC1 MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-OC1, Plaintiff,

against

Denise Mulligan, BEVERLY BRANCHE, et. al., Defendants.

Plaintiff:
McCabe Weisberg Conway PC
Jason E. Brooks, Esq.
New Rochelle NY

Defendant:
No Appearances.

Arthur M. Schack, J.

Plaintiff’s renewed application, upon the default of all defendants, for an order of reference for the premises located at 1591 East 48th Street, Brooklyn, New York (Block 7846, Lot 14, County of Kings) is denied with prejudice. The complaint is dismissed. The notice of pendency filed against the above-named real property is cancelled.

In my June 3, 2008 decision and order in this matter, I granted leave to plaintiff, THE BANK OF NEW YORK, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE CERTIFICATEHOLDERS CWALT, INC. ALTERNATIVE LOAN TRUST 2006-OC1 MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, [*2]SERIES 2006-OC1 (BNY), to renew its application for an order of reference within forty-five (45) days, until July 18, 2008, if it complied with three conditions. However, plaintiff did not make the instant motion until May 4, 2009, 335 days after June 3, 2008, and failed to offer any excuse for its lateness. Therefore, the instant motion is 290 days, almost ten months, late. Further, the instant renewed motion failed to present the three affidavits that this Court ordered plaintiff BNY to present with its renewed motion for an order of reference: (1) an affidavit of facts either by an officer of plaintiff BNY or someone with a valid power of attorney from plaintiff BNY and personal knowledge of the facts; (2) an affidavit from Ely Harless describing his employment history for the past three years, because Mr. Harless assigned the instant mortgage as Vice President of MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. (MERS) and then executed an affidavit of merit for assignee BNY as Vice President of BNY’s alleged attorney-in-fact without any power of attorney; and, (3) an affidavit from an officer of plaintiff BNY explaining why it purchased the instant nonperforming loan from MERS, as nominee for DECISION ONE MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC (DECISION ONE).

Moreover, after I reviewed the papers filed with this renewed motion for an order of reference and searched the Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS) website of the Office of the City Register, New York City Department of Finance, I discovered that plaintiff BNY lacked standing to pursue the instant action for numerous reasons. Therefore, the instant action is dismissed with prejudice.

Background

Defendant DENISE MULLIGAN (MULLIGAN) borrowed $392,000.00 from

DECISION ONE on October 28, 2005. The mortgage to secure the note was recorded by MERS, “acting solely as a nominee for Lender [DECISION ONE]” and “FOR PURPOSES OF RECORDING THIS MORTGAGE, MERS IS THE MORTGAGEE OF RECORD,” in the Office of the City Register of the City of New York, New York City Department of Finance, on February 6, 2006, at City Register File Number (CRFN) 2006000069253.

Defendant MULLIGAN allegedly defaulted in her mortgage loan payments with her May 1, 2007 payment. Subsequently, plaintiff BNY commenced the instant action, on August 9, 2007, alleging in ¶ 8 of the complaint, and again in ¶ 8 of the August 16, 2007 amended complaint, that “Plaintiff [BNY] is the holder of said note and mortgage. said mortgage was assigned to Plaintiff, by Assignment of Mortgage to be recorded in the Office of the County Clerk of Kings County [sic].” As an aside, plaintiff’s counsel needs to learn that mortgages in New York City are not recorded in the Office of the County Clerk, but in the Office of the City Register of the City of New York. However, the instant mortgage and note were not assigned to plaintiff BNY until October 9, 2007, 61 days subsequent to the commencement of the instant action, by MERS, “as nominee for Decision One,” and executed by Ely Harless, Vice President of MERS. This assignment was recorded on October 24, 2007, in the Office of the City Register of the City of New York, at CRFN 2007000537531.

I denied the original application for an order of reference, on June 3, 2008, with leave to renew, because assignor Ely Harless also executed the March 20, 2008-affidavit of merit as Vice President and “an employee of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., attorney-in-fact for Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.” The original application for an order of reference did not present any power of attorney from plaintiff BNY to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Also, the Court pondered how [*3]Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. could be its own an attorney-fact?

In my June 3, 2008 decision and order I noted that Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) § 1321 allows the Court in a foreclosure action, upon the default of defendant or defendant’s admission of mortgage payment arrears, to appoint a referee “to compute the amount due to the plaintiff” and plaintiff BNY’s application for an order of reference was a preliminary step to obtaining a default judgment of foreclosure and sale. (Home Sav. Of Am., F.A. v Gkanios, 230 AD2d 770 [2d Dept 1996]). However, plaintiff BNY failed to meet the clear requirements of CPLR § 3215 (f) for a default judgment, which states:

On any application for judgment by default, the applicant shall file proof of service of the summons and the complaint, or a summons and notice served pursuant to subdivision (b) of rule 305 or subdivision (a) of rule 316 of this chapter, and proof of the facts constituting the claim, the default and the amount due by affidavit made by the party . . . Where a verified complaint has been served, it may be used as the affidavit of the facts constituting the claim and the amount due; in such case, an affidavit as to the default shall be made by the party or the party’s attorney. [Emphasisadded].

Plaintiff BNY failed to submit “proof of the facts” in “an affidavit made by the party.” (Blam v Netcher, 17 AD3d 495, 496 [2d Dept 2005]; Goodman v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp. 2 AD3d 581[2d Dept 2003]; Drake v Drake, 296 AD2d 566 [2d Dept 2002]; Parratta v McAllister, 283 AD2d 625 [2d Dept 2001]; Finnegan v Sheahan, 269 AD2d 491 [2d Dept 2000]; Hazim v Winter, 234 AD2d 422 [2d Dept 1996]). Instead, plaintiff BNY submitted an affidavit of merit and amount due by Ely Harless, “an employee of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.” and failed to submit a valid power of attorney for that express purpose. Also, I required that if plaintiff renewed its application for an order of reference and provided to the Court a valid power of attorney, that if the power of attorney refers to a servicing agreement, the Court needs a properly offered copy of the servicing agreement to determine if the servicing agent may proceed on behalf of plaintiff. (EMC Mortg. Corp. v Batista, 15 Misc 3d 1143 (A), [Sup Ct, Kings County 2007]; Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co. v Lewis, 14 Misc 3d 1201 (A) [Sup Ct, Suffolk County 2006]).

I granted plaintiff BNY leave to renew its application for an order of reference within forty-five (45) days of June 3, 2008, which would be July 18, 2008. For reasons unknown to the Court, plaintiff BNY made the instant motion to renew its application for an order of reference on May 4, 2009, 290 days late. Plaintiff’s counsel, in his affirmation in support of the renewed motion, offers no explanation for his lateness and totally ignores this issue.

Further, despite the assignment by MERS, as nominee for DECISION ONE, to plaintiff BNY occurring 61 days subsequent to the commencement of the instant action, plaintiff’s counsel claims, in ¶ 17 of his affirmation in support, that “[s]aid assignment of mortgage [by MERS, as nominee for DECISION ONE to BNT] was drafted for the convenience of the court in establishing the chain of ownership, but the actual assignment and transfer had previously occurred by delivery.” The alleged proof presented of physical delivery of the subject MULLIGAN mortgage is a computer printout [exhibit G of motion], dated April 30, 2009, from [*4]Countrywide Financial, which plaintiff’s counsel calls a “Closing Loan Schedule,” and claims, in ¶ 21 of his affirmation in support, that this “closing loan schedule is the mortgage loan schedule displaying every loan held by such trust at the close date for said trust at the end of January 2006. The closing loan schedule is of public record and demonstrates that the Plaintiff was in possession of the note and mortgage about nineteen (19) months prior to the commencement of this action.” There is an entry on line 2591 of the second to last page of the printout showing account number 1232268089, which plaintiff’s counsel, in ¶ 22 of his affirmation in support, alleges is the subject mortgage. Plaintiff’s counsel asserts, in ¶ 23 of his affirmation in support, that “[t]he annexed closing loan schedule suffices to proceed in granting Plaintiff’s Order of Reference in this matter proving possession prior to any default.” This claim is ludicrous. The computer printout, printed on April 30, 2009, just prior to the making of the instant motion, has no probative value with respect to whether physical delivery of the subject mortgage was made to plaintiff BNY prior to the August 9, 2007 commencement of the instant action.

Further, even if the mortgage was delivered to BNY prior to the August 9, 2007 commencement of the instant action, this claim is in direct contradiction to plaintiff’s claim previously mentioned in ¶ 8 of both the complaint and the amended complaint, that “Plaintiff [BNY] is the holder of said note and mortgage. said mortgage was assigned to Plaintiff, by Assignment of Mortgage to be recorded in the Office of the County Clerk of Kings County [sic].” Both ¶’s 8 allege that the assignment of the subject mortgage took place prior to August 9, 2007 and the recording would subsequently take place. The only reality for the Court is that the assignment of the subject mortgage took place 61 days subsequent to the commencement of the action on October 9, 2007 and the assignment was recorded on October 24, 2007.

Moreover, plaintiff’s counsel alleges, in ¶ 18 of his affirmation in support, that “[p]ursuant to a charter between Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc. ( MERS’) and Decision One Mortgage Company, LLC, all officers of Decision One Mortgage Company, LLC, a member of MERS, are appointed as assistant secretaries and vice presidents of MERS, and as such are authorized” to assign mortgage loans registered on the MERS System and execute documents related to foreclosures. ¶ 18 concludes with “See Exhibit F.” None of this appears in exhibit F. Exhibit F is a one page power of attorney from “THE BANK OF NEW YORK, as Trustee” pursuant to unknown pooling and servicing agreements appointing “Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP and its authorized officers (collectively CHL Servicing’)” as its “attorneys-in-fact and authorized agents” for foreclosures “in connection with the transactions contemplated in those certain Pooling and Servicing Agreements.” The so-called “charter” between MERS and DECISION ONE was not presented to the Court in any exhibits attached to the instant motion.

Further, attached to the instant renewed motion [exhibit D] is an affidavit of merit

by Keri Selman, dated August 23, 2007 [47 days before the assignment to BNY], in which Ms. Selman claims to be “a foreclosure specialist of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Servicing agent for BANK OF NEW YORK, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE CERTIFICATEHOLDERS CWALT, INC. ALTERNATIVE LOAN TRUST 2006-OC1 MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-OC1 . . . I make this afidavit upon personal knowledge based on books and records of Bank of New York in my possession or subject to my control [sic]” Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. is not Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP, referred to in the power of attorney attached to the renewed motion [exhibit F]. Moreover, plaintiff failed to [*5]present to the Court any power of attorney authorizing Ms. Selman to execute for Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. her affidavit on behalf of plaintiff BNY. Also, Ms. Selman has a history of executing documents presented to this Court while wearing different corporate hats. In Bank of New York as Trustee for Certificateholders CWABS, Inc. Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-22 v Myers (22 Misc 3d 1117 [A] [Sup Ct, Kings County 2009], in which I issued a decision and order on February 3, 2009, Ms. Selman assigned the subject mortgage on June 28, 2008 as Assistant Vice President of MERS, nominee for Homebridge Mortgage Bankers Corp., and then five days later executed an affidavit of merit as Assistant Vice President of plaintiff BNY. I observed, in this decision and order, at 1-2, that:

Ms. Selman is a milliner’s delight by virtue of the number of hats she wears. In my November 19, 2007 decision and order (BANK OF NEW YORK A TRUSTEE FOR THE NOTEHOLDERS OF CWABS, INC. ASSET-BACKED NOTES, SERIES 2006-SD2 v SANDRA OROSCONUNEZ, et. al. [Index No., 32052/07]),

I observed that:

Plaintiff’s application is the third application for an order of reference received by me in the past several days that contain an affidavit from Keri Selman. In the instant action, she alleges to be an Assistant Vice President of the Bank of New York. On November 16, 2007, I denied an application for an order of reference (BANK OF NEW YORK A TRUSTEE FOR THE CERTIFICATEHOLDERS OF CWABS, INC. ASSET-BACKED CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-8 v JOSE NUNEZ, et. al., Index No. 10457/07), in which Keri Selman, in her affidavit of merit claims to be “Vice President of  COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, Attorney in fact for BANK OF NEW YORK.” The Court is concerned that Ms. Selman might be engaged in a subterfuge, wearing various corporate hats. Before granting an application for an order of reference, the Court requires an affidavit from Ms. Selman describing her employment history for the past three years. This Court has not yet received any affidavit from Ms. Selman describing her employment history, whether it is with MERS, BNY, COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, or any other entity. [*6]

Further, the Court needs to address the conflict of interest in the June 20, 2008 assignment by Ms. Selman to her alleged employer, BNY.

I am still waiting for Ms. Selman’s affidavit to explain her tangled employment relationships. Interestingly, Ms. Selman, as “Assistant Vice President of MERS,” nominee for “America’s Wholesale Lender,” is the assignor of another mortgage to plaintiff BNY in Bank of New York v Alderazi (28 Misc 3d 376 [Sup Ct, Kings County 2010]), which I further cite below.

It is clear that plaintiff BNY failed to provide the Court with: an affidavit of merit by an officer of plaintiff BNY or someone with a valid power of attorney from BNY; an affidavit from Ely Harless, explaining his employment history; and, an explanation from BNY of why it purchased a nonperforming loan from MERS, as nominee of DECISION ONE. Moreover, plaintiff BNY did not own the subject mortgage and note when the instant case commenced. Even if plaintiff BNY owned the subject mortgage and note when the case commenced, MERS lacked the authority to assign the subject MULLIGAN mortgage to BNY, as will be explained further. Plaintiff’s counsel offers a lame and feeble excuse for not complying with my June 3, 2008 decision and order, in ¶ 23 of his affirmation in support, claiming that “[t]he affidavits requested in Honorable Arthur M. Schack’s Decision and Order should not be required, given the annexed closing loan schedule.”

Plaintiff BNY lacked standing

The instant action must be dismissed because plaintiff BNY lacked standing to bring this action on August 9, 2007, the day the action commenced. “Standing to sue is critical to the proper functioning of the judicial system. It is a threshold issue. If standing is denied, the pathway to the courthouse is blocked. The plaintiff who has standing, however, may cross the threshold and seek judicial redress.” (Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Inc. v Pataki, 100 NY2d 801 812 [2003], cert denied 540 US 1017 [2003]). Professor Siegel (NY Prac, § 136, at 232 [4d ed]), instructs that:

[i]t is the law’s policy to allow only an aggrieved person to bring a lawsuit . . . A want of “standing to sue,” in other words, is just another way of saying that this particular plaintiff is not involved in a genuine controversy, and a simple syllogism takes us from there to a “jurisdictional”

dismissal: (1) the courts have jurisdiction only over controversies; (2) a plaintiff found to lack “standing”is not involved in a controversy; and (3) the courts therefore have no jurisdiction of the case when such a plaintiff purports to bring it.

“Standing to sue requires an interest in the claim at issue in the lawsuit that the law will recognize as a sufficient predicate for determining the issue at the litigant’s request.” (Caprer v Nussbaum (36 AD3d 176, 181 [2d Dept 2006]). If a plaintiff lacks standing to sue, the plaintiff may not proceed in the action. (Stark v Goldberg, 297 AD2d 203 [1st Dept 2002]). [*7]

Plaintiff BNY lacked standing to foreclose on the instant mortgage and note when this action commenced on August 7, 2007, the day that BNY filed the summons, complaint and notice of pendency with the Kings County Clerk, because it did not own the mortgage and note that day. The instant mortgage and note were assigned to BNY, 61 days later, on October 7, 2007. The Court, in Campaign v Barba (23 AD3d 327 [2d Dept 2005]), instructed that “[t]o establish a prima facie case in an action to foreclose a mortgage, the plaintiff must establish the existence of the mortgage and the mortgage note, ownership of the mortgage, and the defendant’s default in payment [Emphasis added].” (See Witelson v Jamaica Estates Holding Corp. I, 40 AD3d 284 [1st Dept 2007]; Household Finance Realty Corp. of New York v Wynn, 19 AD3d 545 [2d Dept 2005]; Sears Mortgage Corp. v Yahhobi, 19 AD3d 402 [2d Dept 2005]; Ocwen Federal Bank FSB v Miller, 18 AD3d 527 [2d Dept 2005]; U.S. Bank Trust Nat. Ass’n Trustee v Butti, 16 AD3d 408 [2d Dept 2005]; First Union Mortgage Corp. v Fern, 298 AD2d 490 [2d Dept 2002]; Village Bank v Wild Oaks, Holding, Inc., 196 AD2d 812 [2d Dept 1993]).

Assignments of mortgages and notes are made by either written instrument or the assignor physically delivering the mortgage and note to the assignee.

“Our courts have repeatedly held that a bond and mortgage may be transferred by delivery without a written instrument of assignment.” (Flyer v Sullivan, 284 AD 697, 699 [1d Dept 1954]). The written October 7, 2007 assignment by MERS, as nominee for DECISION ONE, to BNY is clearly 61 days after the commencement of the action. Plaintiff’s BNY’s claim that the gobblygook computer printout it offered in exhibit G is evidence of physical delivery of the mortgage and note prior to commencement of the action is not only nonsensical, but flies in the face of the complaint and amended complaint, which both clearly state in ¶ 8 that “Plaintiff [BNY] is the holder of said note and mortgage. said mortgage was assigned to Plaintiff, by Assignment of Mortgage to be recorded in the Office of the County Clerk of Kings County [sic].” Plaintiff BNY did not own the mortgage and note when the instant action commenced on August 7, 2007.

[A] retroactive assignment cannot be used to confer standing upon the assignee in a foreclosure action commenced prior to the execution of an assignment.

(Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 210 [2d Dept 2009]). The Marchione Court relied upon LaSalle Bank Natl. Assoc. v Ahearn (59 AD3d 911 [3d Dept 2009], which instructed, at 912, “[n]otably, foreclosure of a mortgage may not be brought by one who has no title to it’ (Kluge v Fugazy, 145 AD2d 537 [2d Dept 1988]) and an assignee of such a mortgage does not have standing unless the assignment is complete at the time the action is commenced).” (See U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752 [2d Dept 2009]; Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v Gress, 68 AD3d 709 [2d Dept 2009]; Citgroup Global Mkts. Realty Corp. v Randolph Bowling, 25 Misc 3d 1244 [A] [Sup Ct, Kings County 2009]; Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Company v Abbate, 25 Misc 3d 1216 [A] [Sup Ct, Richmond County 2009]; Indymac Bank FSB v Boyd, 22 Misc 3d 1119 [A] [Sup Ct, Kings County 2009]; Credit-Based Asset Management and Securitization, LLC v Akitoye,22 Misc 3d 1110 [A] [Sup Ct, Kings County Jan. 20, 2009]; Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas v Peabody, 20 Misc 3d 1108 [A][Sup Ct, Saratoga County 2008]).

The Appellate Division, First Department, citing Kluge v Fugazy, in Katz v East-Ville Realty Co., (249 AD2d 243 [1d Dept 1998]), instructed that “[p]laintiff’s attempt to foreclose upon a mortgage in which he had no legal or equitable interest was without foundation in law or [*8]fact.” Therefore, with plaintiff BNY not having standing, the Court lacks jurisdiction in this foreclosure action and the instant action is dismissed with prejudice.

MERS had no authority to assign the subject mortgage and note

Moreover, MERS lacked authority to assign the subject mortgage. The subject DECISION ONE mortgage, executed on October 28, 2005 by defendant MULLIGAN, clearly states on page 1 that “MERS is a separate corporation that is acting solely as a nominee for Lender [DECISION ONE] and LENDER’s successors and assigns . . . FOR PURPOSES OF RECORDING THIS MORTGAGE, MERS IS THE MORTGAGEE OF RECORD.”

The word “nominee” is defined as “[a] person designated to act in place of another, usu. in a very limited way” or “[a] party who holds bare legal title for the benefit of others.” (Black’s Law Dictionary 1076 [8th ed 2004]). “This definition suggests that a nominee possesses few or no legally enforceable rights beyond those of a principal whom the nominee serves.” (Landmark National Bank v Kesler, 289 Kan 528, 538 [2009]). The Supreme Court of Kansas, in Landmark National Bank, 289 Kan at 539, observed that:

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. See In re Sheridan, 2009 WL631355, at *4 (Bankr. D.

Idaho, March 12, 2009) (MERS “acts not on its own account. Its capacity is representative.”); Mortgage Elec. Registrations Systems, Inc. v Southwest, 2009 Ark. 152 ___, ___SW3d___, 2009 WL 723182 (March 19, 2009) (“MERS, by the terms of the deed of trust, and its own stated purposes, was the lender’s agent”); La Salle Nat. Bank v Lamy, 12 Misc 3d 1191 [A], at *2 [Sup Ct, Suffolk County 2006]) . . .

(“A nominee of the owner of a note and mortgage may not effectively assign the note and mortgage to another for want of an ownership interest in said note and mortgage by the nominee.”)

The New York Court of Appeals in MERSCORP, Inc. v Romaine (8 NY3d 90 [2006]), explained how MERS acts as the agent of mortgagees, holding at 96:

In 1993, the MERS system was created by several large participants in the real estate mortgage industry to track ownership interests in residential mortgages. Mortgage lenders and other entities, known as MERS members, subscribe to the MERS system and pay annual fees for the electronic processing and tracking of ownership and transfers of mortgages. Members contractually agree to appoint [*9] MERS to act as their common agent on all mortgages they register in the MERS system. [Emphasis added]

Thus, it is clear that MERS’s relationship with its member lenders is that of agent with the lender-principal. This is a fiduciary relationship, resulting from the manifestation of consent by one person to another, allowing the other to act on his behalf, subject to his control and consent. The principal is the one for whom action is to be taken, and the agent is the one who acts.It has been held that the agent, who has a fiduciary relationship with the principal, “is a party who acts on behalf of the principal with the latter’s express, implied, or apparent authority.” (Maurillo v Park Slope U-Haul, 194 AD2d 142, 146 [2d Dept 1992]). “Agents are bound at all times to exercise the utmost good faith toward their principals. They must act in accordance with the highest and truest principles of morality.” (Elco Shoe Mfrs. v Sisk, 260 NY 100, 103 [1932]). (See Sokoloff v Harriman Estates Development Corp., 96 NY 409 [2001]); Wechsler v Bowman, 285 NY 284 [1941]; Lamdin v Broadway Surface Advertising Corp., 272 NY 133 [1936]). An agent “is prohibited from acting in any manner inconsistent with his agency or trust and is at all times bound to exercise the utmost good faith and loyalty in the performance of his duties.” (Lamdin, at 136).

Thus, in the instant action, MERS, as nominee for DECISION ONE, is an agent of DECISION ONE for limited purposes. It only has those powers given to it and authorized by its principal, DECISION ONE. Plaintiff BNY failed to submit documents authorizing MERS, as nominee for DECISION ONE, to assign the subject mortgage to plaintiff BNY. Therefore, even if the assignment by MERS, as nominee for DECISION ONE, to BNY was timely, and it was not, MERS lacked authority to assign the MULLIGAN mortgage, making the assignment defective. Recently, in Bank of New York v Alderazi, 28 Misc 3d at 379-380, my learned Kings County Supreme Court colleague, Justice Wayne Saitta explained that:

A party who claims to be the agent of another bears the burden of proving the agency relationship by a preponderance of the evidence (Lippincott v East River Mill & Lumber Co., 79 Misc 559 [1913]) and “[t]he declarations of an alleged agent may not be shown for the purpose of proving the fact of agency.” (Lexow & Jenkins, P.C. v Hertz Commercial Leasing Corp., 122 AD2d 25 [2d Dept 1986]; see also Siegel v Kentucky Fried Chicken of Long Is. 108 AD2d 218 [2d Dept 1985]; Moore v Leaseway Transp/ Corp., 65 AD2d 697 [1st Dept 1978].) “[T]he acts of a person assuming to be the representative of another are not competent to prove the agency in the absence of evidence tending to show the principal’s knowledge of such acts or assent to them.” (Lexow & Jenkins, P.C. v Hertz Commercial Leasing Corp., 122 AD2d at 26, quoting 2 NY Jur 2d, Agency and Independent Contractors § 26). [*10]

Plaintiff has submitted no evidence to demonstrate that the original lender, the mortgagee America’s Wholesale Lender, authorized MERS to assign the secured debt to plaintiff [the assignment, as noted above, executed by the multi-hatted Keri Selman].

In the instant action, MERS, as nominee for DECISION ONE, not only had no authority to assign the MULLIGAN mortgage, but no evidence was presented to the Court to demonstrate DECISION ONE’s knowledge or assent to the assignment by MERS to plaintiff BNY.

Cancellation of subject notice of pendency

The dismissal with prejudice of the instant foreclosure action requires the cancellation of the notice of pendency. CPLR § 6501 provides that the filing of a notice of pendency against a property is to give constructive notice to any purchaser of real property or encumbrancer against real property of an action that “would affect the title to, or the possession, use or enjoyment of real property, except in a summary proceeding brought to recover the possession of real property.” The Court of Appeals, in 5308 Realty Corp. v O & Y Equity Corp. (64 NY2d 313, 319 [1984]), commented that “[t]he purpose of the doctrine was to assure that a court retained its ability to effect justice by preserving its power over the property, regardless of whether a purchaser had any notice of the pending suit,” and, at 320, that “the statutory scheme permits a party to effectively retard the alienability of real property without any prior judicial review.”

CPLR § 6514 (a) provides for the mandatory cancellation of a notice of pendency by:

The Court, upon motion of any person aggrieved and upon such notice as it may require, shall direct any county clerk to cancel a notice of pendency, if service of a summons has not been completed within the time limited by section 6512; or if the action has been settled, discontinued or abated; or if the time to appeal from a final judgment against the plaintiff has expired; or if enforcement of a final judgment against the plaintiff has not been stayed pursuant to section 551. [emphasis added]

The plain meaning of the word “abated,” as used in CPLR § 6514 (a) is the ending of an action. “Abatement” is defined as “the act of eliminating or nullifying.” (Black’s Law Dictionary 3 [7th ed 1999]). “An action which has been abated is dead, and any further enforcement of the cause of action requires the bringing of a new action, provided that a cause of action remains (2A Carmody-Wait 2d § 11.1).” (Nastasi v Natassi, 26 AD3d 32, 40 [2d Dept 2005]). Further, Nastasi at 36, held that the “[c]ancellation of a notice of pendency can be granted in the exercise of the inherent power of the court where its filing fails to comply with CPLR § 6501 (see 5303 Realty Corp. v O & Y Equity Corp., supra at 320-321; Rose v Montt Assets, 250 AD2d 451, 451-452 [1d Dept 1998]; Siegel, NY Prac § 336 [4th ed]).” Thus, the [*11]dismissal of the instant complaint must result in the mandatory cancellation of plaintiff BNY’s notice of pendency against the property “in the exercise of the inherent power of the court.”

Conclusion

Accordingly, it is ORDERED, that the renewed motion of plaintiff, THE BANK OF NEW YORK, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE CERTIFICATEHOLDERS CWALT, INC. ALTERNATIVE LOAN TRUST 2006-OC1 MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-OC1, for an order of reference, for the premises located at 1591 East 48th Street, Brooklyn, New York (Block 7846, Lot 14, County of Kings), is denied with prejudice; and it is further ORDERED, that the instant action, Index Number 29399/07, is dismissed with prejudice; and it is further ORDERED that the Notice of Pendency in this action, filed with the Kings County Clerk on August 9, 2007, by plaintiff, THE BANK OF NEW YORK, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS CWALT, INC. ALTERNATIVE LOAN TRUST 2006-OC1 MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-OC1, to foreclose a mortgage for real property located at 1591 East 48th Street, Brooklyn, New York (Block 7846, Lot 14, County of Kings), is cancelled.

This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.

ENTER

________________________________HON. ARTHUR M. SCHACK

J. S. C.

~

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



Posted in bank of new york, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, dismissed, Economy, Ely Harless, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, forgery, judge arthur schack, lawsuit, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., note, Real Estate, robo signers, securitization, servicers, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Wall Street3 Comments

FORECLOSURE FRAUD Personally CAUGHT by JUDGE SCHACK! Dismissed with PREJUDICE!

FORECLOSURE FRAUD Personally CAUGHT by JUDGE SCHACK! Dismissed with PREJUDICE!

2010 NY Slip Op 51482(U)

ARGENT MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
DAPHINE MAITLAND, ET. AL., Defendants.

41383/07.

Supreme Court, Kings County.

Decided August 19, 2010.

Melissa A Sposato, Esq., Law Offices of Jordan Katz, PC, Melville NY, Plaintiff.

No Appearances, Defendant.

ARTHUR M. SCHACK, J.

In this mortgage foreclosure action, plaintiff’s motion for an order of reference for the premises located at 732 Hendrix Street, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4305, Lot 22, County of Kings) is denied with prejudice. The complaint is dismissed. The notice of pendency filed against the above-named real property is cancelled. Plaintiff’s successor in interest, AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC. (AHMSI), lacks standing to continue this action because the instant mortgage was satisfied on April 26, 2010. Plaintiff’s counsel never notified the Court that the mortgage had been satisfied and failed to discontinue the instant action with prejudice. I discovered that the mortgage had been satisfied by personally searching the Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS) website of the Office of the City Register, New York City Department of Finance. AHMSI’s President and Chief Executive Officer or its Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary Jordan D. Dorchuck, Esq., its counsel, Melissa A. Sposato, Esq. and her firm, Jordan S. Katz, P.C., will be given an opportunity to be heard as to why this Court should not sanction them for making a “frivolous motion,” pursuant to 22 NYCRR §130-1.1.

Background

Defendant DAPHINE MAITLAND (MAITLAND) borrowed $392,000.00 from original plaintiff ARGENT MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC (ARGENT), on August 4, 2006. The loan was secured by a mortgage, recorded by ARGENT, at the Office of the City Register of the City of New York, New York City Department of Finance, on August 23, 2006, at City Register File Number (CRFN) XXXXXXXXXX. Defendant MAITLAND allegedly defaulted in her mortgage loan payments with her June 1, 2007 payment. ARGENT commenced the instant action with the filing of the summons, complaint and notice of pendency with the Kings County Clerk on November 8, 2007. Plaintiff’s counsel, on April 14, 2009, filed the instant motion for an order of reference with the Court’sForeclosure Department. After reviewing the papers, the Foreclosure Department forwarded the instant motion to me on August 16, 2010.

On August 16, 2010, I searched ACRIS and discovered that AHMSI, the successor in interest to plaintiff ARGENT, executed a satisfaction of the instant mortgage almost four months ago, on April 26, 2010. The satisfaction was executed in Idaho Falls, Idaho, by Krystal Hall, Vice President of “AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., AS SUCCESSOR TO CITI RESIDENTIAL LENDING, INC. AS SUCCESSOR TO ARGENT MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC,” and the satisfaction was recorded at the Office of the City Register of the City of New York, on May 10, 2010, at CRFN XXXXXXXXXXXXX.

Successor plaintiff AHMSI is one of several companies controlled by billionaire investor Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. through his firm, W. L. Ross & Company. Louise Story, in her April 4, 2008 New York Times article, “Investors Stalk the Wounded of Wall Street,” described Mr. Ross as “a dean of vulture investing.” She wrote:

Almost two centuries ago, as Napoleon marched on Waterloo, a scion of the Rothschilds is said to have declared: The time to buy is when blood is running in the streets.

Now as red ink runs on Wall Street, the figurative heirs of the Rothschilds — bankers, traders, hedge fund gurus and takeover artists — are plotting to profit from today’s financial upheaval. These market opportunists — vulture investors in the Wall Street term — have begun to swoop. They are buying up mortgages of hard-pressed homeowners, the bank loans of cash-short businesses, and companies that seem to be hurtling to bankruptcy. And they are trying to buy them all on the cheap. . . .

“The only time you really know you’ve reached the bottom is when you’re back on the other side and things are going back up,” said Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., a dean of vulture investors, who made a fortune buying steel companies when no one else seemed to want them.

Such caution aside, his firm, W. L. Ross & Company, recently spent $2.6 billion for two mortgage servicers [AHMSI and Option One] and a bond insurance company. He said he planned to buy more as hedge funds and other investor sell at bargain prices.

Moreover, ACRIS revealed that defendant MAITLAND sold the premises to 732 HENDRIX STREET, LLC for $155,000.00, with the deed executed on April 5, 2010 and recorded on April 14, 2010, at the Office of the City Register of the City of New York, at CRFN XXXXXXXXXXXXX.

Plaintiff’s counsel never had the courtesy or professionalism to notify the Court that the instant mortgage was satisfied and file a motion to discontinue the instant action. The Court is gravely concerned that it: expended scarce resources on an action that should have been discontinued; and, would have signed an order that could have possibly damaged the credit rating of defendant MAITLAND and put an unfair cloud on the title to the subject premises now owned by 732 HENDRIX STREET, LLC, causing both defendant MAITLAND and 732 HENDRIX STREET, LLC much time and effort to correct an error caused by the failure of successor plaintiff AHMSI and plaintiff’s counsel to exercise due diligence. If successor plaintiff AHMSI is a responsible lender, not a vulture investor looking to profit “when blood is running in the streets,” it should have notified the Court that the subject mortgage had been satisfied.

Discussion

It is clear that successor plaintiff AHMSI lacked standing to proceed in the instant action since some time prior to April 26, 2010, when the satisfaction for defendant MAITLAND’s mortgage was executed. The exact date is probably April 5, 2010, when defendant MAITLAND likely paid off the subject mortgage loan as part of her closing with 732 HENDRIX STREET, LLC, for the sale of the subject mortgaged premises. “To establish a prima facie case in an action to foreclose a mortgage, the plaintiff must establish the existence of the mortgage and the mortgage note, ownership of the mortgage, and the defendant’s default in payment.” (Campaign v Barba (23 AD3d 327 [2d Dept. 2005]). The instant mortgage was satisfied months before the instant motion for an order of reference was forwarded to me by the Foreclosure Department. The satisfaction, dated April 26, 2010, states that “AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE INC. AS SUCCESSOR TO CITI RESIDENTIAL LENDING, INC. AS SUCCESSOR TO ARGENT MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC . . . does hereby certify that a certain indenture of mortgage . . . to secure payment of the principal sum of $392,000.00, and interest, and duly recorded . . . document no. 2006000477619 on the 23rd day of August 2006, is PAID, and does hereby consent that the same be discharged of record.” (See Household Finance Realty Corp. of New York v Wynn, 19 AD3d 545 [2d Dept. 2005]; Sears Mortgage Corp. v Yahhobi, 19 AD3d 402 [2d Dept. 2005]; Ocwen Federal Bank FSB v Miller, 18 AD3d 527 [2d Dept. 2005]; U.S. Bank Trust Nat. Ass’n Trustee v Butti, 16 AD3d 408 [2d Dept 2005]; First Union Mortgage Corp. v Fern, 298 AD2d 490 [2d Dept 2002]; Village Bank v Wild Oaks, Holding, Inc., 196 AD2d 812 [2d Dept 1993]).

The Court of Appeals (Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Inc. v Pataki, 100 NY2d 801, 812 [2003], cert denied 540 US 1017 [2003]) declared that “[s]tanding to sue is critical to the proper functioning of the judicial system. It is a threshold issue. If standing is denied, the pathway to the courthouse is blocked. The plaintiff who has standing, however, may cross the threshold and seek judicial redress.”

In Caprer v Nussbaum (36 AD3d 176, 181 [2d Dept 2006]) the Court held that “[s]tanding to sue requires an interest in the claim at issue in the lawsuit that the law will recognize as a sufficient predicate for determining the issue at the litigant’s request.” If a plaintiff lacks standing to sue, the plaintiff may not proceed in the action. (Stark v Goldberg, 297 AD2d 203 [1st Dept 2002]).

Since AHMSI executed the satisfaction for the instant mortgage, the Court must not only deny the instant motion, but also dismiss the complaint and cancel the notice of pendency filed by ARGENT with the Kings County Clerk on November 8, 2007. CPLR § 6501 provides that the filing of a notice of pendency against a property is to give constructive notice to any purchaser of real property or encumbrancer against real property of an action that “would affect the title to, or the possession, use or enjoyment of real property, except in a summary proceeding brought to recover the possession of real property.” Professor David Siegel, in NY Prac, § 334, at 535 [4th ed] observes about a notice of pendency that:

The plaintiff files it with the county clerk of the real property county, putting the world on notice of the plaintiff’s potential rights in the action and thereby warning all comers that if they then buy the property or lend on the strength of it or otherwise rely on the defendant’s right, they do so subject to whatever the action may establish as the plaintiff’s right.

The Court of Appeals, in 5303 Realty Corp. v O & Y Equity Corp. (64 NY2d 313, 315 [1984]), commented that “[a] notice of pendency, commonly known as a lis pendens,‘ can be a potent shield to litigants claiming an interest in real property.” The Court, at 318-320, outlined the history of the doctrine of lis pendens back to 17th century England. It was formally recognized in New York courts in 1815 and first codified in the Code of Procedure [Field Code] enacted in 1848. At 319, the Court stated that “[t]he purpose of the doctrine was to assure that a court retained its ability to effect justice by preserving its power over the property, regardless of whether a purchaser had any notice of the pending suit,” and, at 320, “the statutory scheme permits a party to effectively retard the alienability of real property without any prior judicial review.”

In Israelson v Bradley (308 NY 511, 516 [1955]) the Court observed that with a notice of pendency a plaintiff who has an interest in real property has received from the State:

an extraordinary privilege which . . . upon the mere filing of the notice of a pendency of action, a summons and a complaint and strict compliance with the requirements of section 120 [of the Civil Practice Act; now codified in CPLR § § 6501, 6511 and 6512] is required. Proper administration of the law by the courts requires promptness on the part of a litigant so favored and that he accept the shield which has been given him upon the terms imposed and that he not be permitted to so use the privilege granted that itbecomes a sword usable against the owner or possessor of realty. If the terms imposed are not met, the privilege is at an end. [Emphasis added]

Article 65 of the CPLR outlines notice of pendency procedures. The Court, in Da Silva v Musso (76 NY2d 436, 442 [1990]), held that “the specific statutorily prescribed mechanisms for implementing this provisional remedy . . . were designed with a view toward balancing the interests of the claimant in the preservation of the status quo against the equally legitimate interests of the property owner in the marketability of his title.” The Court of Appeals, quoted Professor Siegel, in holding that “[t]he ability to file a notice of pendency is a privilege that can be lost if abused’ (Siegel, New York Practice § 336, at 512).” (In Re Sakow, 97 NY2d 436, 441 [2002]).

The instant case, with successor plaintiff AHMSI lacking standing to bring this action and the complaint dismissed, meets the criteria for losing “a privilege that can be lost if abused.” CPLR § 6514 (a) provides for the mandatory cancellation of a notice of pendency by:

[t]he court, upon motion of any person aggrieved and upon such notice as it may require, shall direct any county clerk to cancel a notice of pendency, if service of a summons has not been completed within the time limited by section 6512; or if the action has been settled, discontinued or abated; or if the time to appeal from a final judgment against the plaintiff has expired; or if enforcement of a final judgment against the plaintiff has not been stayed pursuant to section 5519. [Emphasis added]

The plain meaning of the word “abated,” as used in CPLR § 6514 (a) is the ending of an action. Abatement is defined (Black’s Law Dictionary 3 [7th ed 1999]) as “the act of eliminating or nullifying.” “An action which has been abated is dead, and any further enforcement of the cause of action requires the bringing of a new action, provided that a cause of action remains’ (2A Carmody-Wait 2d § 11.1).” (Nastasi v Nastasi, 26 AD3d 32, 40 [2d Dept 2005]). Further, Nastasi at 36, held that “[c]ancellation of a notice of pendency can be granted in the exercise of the inherent power of the court where its filing fails to comply with CPLR 6501 (see 5303 Realty Corp. v O & Y Equity Corp. at 320-321; Rose v Montt Assets, 250 AD2d 451, 451-452 [1st Dept 1998]; Siegel, NY Prac § 336 [4th ed]).” AHMSI, as successor plaintiff, lacks standing to sue. Therefore, dismissal of the instant complaint must result in mandatory cancellation of the November 8, 2007 notice of pendency against the property “in the exercise of the inherent power of the Court.”

The failure of successor plaintiff AHMSI, by its President David M. Friedman or its Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary Jordan D. Dorchuck, Esq., and its counsel, Melissa A. Sposato, Esq. and her firm, Jordan S. Katz, P.C., to discontinue the instant action since the April 2010 payoff of the MAITLAND mortgage appears to be “frivolous.” 22 NYCRR § 130-1.1 (a) states that “the Court, in its discretion may impose financial sanctions upon any party or attorney in a civil action or proceeding who engages in frivolous conduct as defined in this Part, which shall be payable as provided in section 130-1.3 of this Subpart.” Further, it states in 22 NYCRR § 130-1.1 (b), that “sanctions may be imposed upon any attorney appearing in the action or upon a partnership, firm or corporation with which the attorney is associated.”

22 NYCRR § 130-1.1 (c) states that:

For purposes of this part, conduct is frivolous if:

(1) it is completely without merit in law and cannot be supported by a reasonable argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law;

(2) it is undertaken primarily to delay or prolong the resolution of the litigation, or to harass or maliciously injure another; or

(3) it asserts material factual statements that are false.

It is clear that since at least April 26, 2010 the instant motion for aan order of reference “is completely without merit in law” and “asserts material factual statements that are false.”

Several years before the drafting and implementation of the Part 130 Rules for costs and sanctions, the Court of Appeals (A.G. Ship Maintenance Corp. v Lezak, 69 NY2d 1, 6 [1986]) observed that “frivolous litigation is so serious a problem affecting the proper administration of justice, the courts may proscribe such conduct and impose sanctions in this exercise of their rule-making powers, in the absence of legislation to the contrary (see NY Const, art VI, § 30, Judiciary Law § 211 [1] [b] ).”

Part 130 Rules were subsequently created, effective January 1, 1989, to give the courts an additional remedy to deal with frivolous conduct. These stand beside Appellate Division disciplinary case law against attorneys for abuse of process or malicious prosecution. The Court, in Gordon v Marrone (202 AD2d 104, 110 [2d Dept 1994], lv denied 84 NY2d 813 [1995]), instructed that:

Conduct is frivolous and can be sanctioned under the court rule if “it is completely without merit . . . and cannot be supported by a reasonable argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law; or . . .

it is undertaken primarily to delay or prolong the resolution of the litigation, or to harass or maliciously injure another” (22 NYCRR 130-1.1[c] [1], [2] . . . ).

In Levy v Carol Management Corporation (260 AD2d 27, 33 [1st Dept 1999]) the Court stated that in determining if sanctions are appropriate the Court must look at the broad pattern of conduct by the offending attorneys or parties. Further, “22 NYCRR 130-1.1 allows us to exercise our discretion to impose costs and sanctions on an errant party . . .” Levy at 34, held that “[s]anctions are retributive, in that they punish past conduct. They also are goal oriented, in that they are useful in deterring future frivolous conduct not only by the particular parties, but also by the Bar at large.”

The Court, in Kernisan, M.D. v Taylor (171 AD2d 869 [2d Dept 1991]), noted that the intent of the Part 130 Rules “is to prevent the waste of judicial resources and to deter vexatious litigation and dilatory or malicious litigation tactics (cf. Minister, Elders & Deacons of Refm. Prot. Church of City of New York v 198 Broadway, 76 NY2d 411; see Steiner v Bonhamer, 146 Misc 2d 10) [Emphasis added].” Since at least April 26, 2010, and probably since April 5, 2010, the instant action is “a waste of judicial resources.” This conduct, as noted in Levy, must be deterred. In Weinstock v Weinstock (253 AD2d 873 [2d Dept 1998]) the Court ordered the maximum sanction of $10,000.00 for an attorney who pursued an appeal “completely without merit,” and holding, at 874, that “[w]e therefore award the maximum authorized amount as a sanction for this conduct (see, 22 NYCRR 130-1.1) calling to mind that frivolous litigation causes a substantial waste of judicial resources to the detriment of those litigants who come to the Court with real grievances [Emphasis added].” Citing Weinstock, the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Bernadette Panzella, P.C. v De Santis (36 AD3d 734 [2d Dept 2007]) affirmed a Supreme Court, Richmond County $2,500.00 sanction, at 736, as “appropriate in view of the plaintiff’s waste of judicial resources [Emphasis added].”

In Navin v Mosquera (30 AD3d 883 [3d Dept 2006]) the Court instructed that when considering if specific conduct is sanctionable as frivolous, “courts are required to examine whether or not the conduct was continued when its lack of legal or factual basis was apparent [or] should have been apparent’ (22 NYCRR 130-1.1 [c]).” The Court, in Sakow ex rel. Columbia Bagel, Inc. v Columbia Bagel, Inc. (6 Misc 3d 939, 943 [Sup Ct,

New York County 2004]), held that “[i]n assessing whether to award sanctions, the Court must consider whether the attorney adhered to the standards of a reasonable attorney (Principe v Assay Partners, 154 Misc 2d 702 [Sup Ct, NY County 1992]).” In the instant action, plaintiff’s Chief Legal Officer or its outside counsel is responsible for keeping track of whether the mortgage was satisfied. In Sakow at 943, the Court observed that “[a]n attorney cannot safely delegate all duties to others.”

This Court will examine the conduct of successor plaintiff AHMSI and plaintiff’s counsel, in a hearing, pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 130-1.1, to determine if plaintiff AHMSI, by its President, David M. Friedman, or its Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Jordan D. Dorchuck, Esq., and plaintiff’s counsel Melissa A. Sposato, Esq. and her firm Jordan S. Katz, P.C. engaged in frivolous conduct, and to allow successor plaintiff AHMSI, by its President David M. Friedman or Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary Jordan D. Dorchuck, Esq., and plaintiff’s counsel Melissa A. Sposato, Esq. and her firm Jordan S. Katz, P.C. a reasonable opportunity to be heard. The Court is aware that AHMSI’s Chief Legal Officer, Mr. Dorchuck, is a member of the New York State Bar. (See Mascia v Maresco, 39 AD3d 504 [2d Dept 2007]; Yan v Klein, 35 AD3d 729 [2d Dept 2006]; Greene v Doral Conference Center Associates, 18 AD3d 429 [2d Dept 2005]; Kucker v Kaminsky & Rich, 7 AD3d 39 [2d Dept 2004]).

Conclusion

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that the motion of successor plaintiff, AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., for an order of reference for the premises located at 732 Hendrix Street, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4305, Lot 22, County of Kings), is denied with prejudice; and it is further

ORDERED, that because successor plaintiff, AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., lacks standing and no longer is the mortgagee in this foreclosure action, the instant complaint, Index No. 41383/07 is dismissed with prejudice; and it is further

ORDERED, that the Notice of Pendency filed with the Kings County Clerk on November 8, 2007, by original plaintiff, ARGENT MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC, in an action to foreclose a mortgage for real property located at 732 Hendrix Street, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4305, Lot 22, County of Kings), is cancelled; and it is further

ORDERED, that it appearing that successor plaintiff AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., Melissa A. Sposato, Esq. and Jordan S. Katz, P.C. engaged in “frivolous conduct,” as defined in the Rules of the Chief Administrator, 22 NYCRR § 130-1 (c), and that pursuant to the Rules of the Chief Administrator, 22 NYCRR § 130.1.1 (d), “[a]n award of costs or the imposition of sanctions may be made. . . upon the court’s own initiative, after a reasonable opportunity to be heard,” this Court will conduct a hearing affording: successor plaintiff AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., by its President David M. Friedman or Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Jordan D. Dorchuck, Esq.; Melissa A. Sposato, Esq.; and, Jordan S. Katz, P.C.; “a reasonable opportunity to be heard” before me in Part 27, on Monday, September 13, 2010, at 2:30 P.M., in Room 479, 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201; and it is further

ORDERED, that because the headquarters of successor plaintiff AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC. is in Irving, Texas, Mr. Friedman or Mr. Dorchuck may appear either in person or by telephone; and it is further

ORDERED, that Ronald David Bratt, Esq., my Principal Law Clerk, is directed to serve this order by first-class mail, upon: David M. Friedman, President of successor plaintiff AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., 4600 Regent Boulevard, Suite 200, Irving, Texas 75063; Jordan D. Dorchuck, Esq., Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of successor plaintiff AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., 4600 Regent Boulevard, Suite 200, Irving, Texas 75063; Melissa A. Sposato, Esq., Law Offices of Jordan S. Katz, P.C., 395 North Service Road, Suite 401, Melville, New York XXXXX-XXXX; and Jordan S. Katz, P.C., 395 North Service Road, Suite 401, Melville, New York XXXXX-XXXX.

This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.

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FORECLOSURE FIGHT | Interview with Judge Arthur Schack

FORECLOSURE FIGHT | Interview with Judge Arthur Schack

Continuous housing foreclosures have made this the deepest housing crisis since the great depression. As Seth Doane reports, one judge has become determined to keep families in their houses.

Judge Arthur Schack!

Source: CBSNews

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



Posted in foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, judge arthur schack0 Comments

JUDGE SCHACK DOES IT AGAIN! TOSSES OUT US BANK FORECLOSURE!

JUDGE SCHACK DOES IT AGAIN! TOSSES OUT US BANK FORECLOSURE!

Hasn’t this law firm learned their lesson…time and time again??

Homeowners’ hero judge slaps US Bank

Post staff for NYPOST
Last Updated: 4:42 AM, July 5, 2010
Posted: 12:44 AM, July 5, 2010

Brooklyn’s battling Judge Arthur M. Schack has struck again, giving a Brooklyn homeowner an Independence Day gift — freedom from foreclosure.

The judge, who has steadfastly pressed banks in foreclosure cases to prove they own the troubled mortgage and has tossed cases when banks have failed to do so, has again dismissed a foreclosure case — this time because the lawyer on the case, Steven J. Baum, represented the mortgage broker, the bank that bought the loan and the industry registration service serving as the nominee of the loan.

But Baum’s conflict of interest wasn’t the case’s only problem.

Judge Schack, in his decision, also found that the bank, US Bank, never should have filed the foreclosure action because of an “ineffective assignment of the subject mortgage and note to it.” In other words, it sold the mortgage, and the mortgage was securitized, leaving the company simply as the servicer — but it decided to try and take back the Crown Heights home anyway.

The Post has reported that the actions of the Baum firm in foreclosure cases has caught the eye of the US Trustee, the arm of the Justice Department responsible for monitoring the Bankruptcy Court.

Baum, a Buffalo-based foreclosure mill that filed 12,551 foreclosure actions in New York last year, has been scolded by judges for bringing foreclosure cases without proper documentation.

In this case, a Baum lawyer, Elpiniki Bechakas, signed papers claiming to be an executive of Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, which was given certain rights to the mortgages by the broker, Fremont Investment and Loan, while simultaneously representing Fremont and US Bank, which filed the foreclosure in July 2009.

“The Court is concerned that the concurrent representation by [the Baum firm] of both assignor MERS, as nominee for Fremont, and assignee plaintiff US Bank is a conflict of interest,” Schack wrote.

Photo Credit: CBS

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



Posted in case, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, judge arthur schack, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, robo signer, Steven J Baum, us bank2 Comments

Tracking Loans Through a Firm That Holds Millions: MERS

Tracking Loans Through a Firm That Holds Millions: MERS

Kevin P. Casey for The New York Times: Darlene and Robert Blendheim of Seattle are struggling to keep their home after their subprime lender went out of business.

By MIKE McINTIRE NYTimes
Published: April 23, 2009

Judge Walt Logan had seen enough. As a county judge in Florida, he had 28 cases pending in which an entity called MERS wanted to foreclose on homeowners even though it had never lent them any money.

Into the Mortgage NetherworldGraphicInto the Mortgage Netherworld

MERS, a tiny data-management company, claimed the right to foreclose, but would not explain how it came to possess the mortgage notes originally issued by banks. Judge Logan summoned a MERS lawyer to the Pinellas County courthouse and insisted that that fundamental question be answered before he permitted the drastic step of seizing someone’s home.

Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times R. K. Arnold, MERS president, said the company helped reduce mortgage fraud and imposed order on the industry.

“You don’t think that’s reasonable?” the judge asked.

“I don’t,” the lawyer replied. “And in fact, not only do I think it’s not reasonable, often that’s going to be impossible.”

Judge Logan had entered the murky realm of MERS. Although the average person has never heard of it, MERS — short for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems — holds 60 million mortgages on American homes, through a legal maneuver that has saved banks more than $1 billion over the last decade but made life maddeningly difficult for some troubled homeowners.

Created by lenders seeking to save millions of dollars on paperwork and public recording fees every time a loan changes hands, MERS is a confidential computer registry for trading mortgage loans. From an office in the Washington suburbs, it played an integral, if unsung, role in the proliferation of mortgage-backed securities that fueled the housing boom. But with the collapse of the housing market, the name of MERS has been popping up on foreclosure notices and on court dockets across the country, raising many questions about the way this controversial but legal process obscures the tortuous paths of mortgage ownership.

If MERS began as a convenience, it has, in effect, become a corporate cloak: no matter how many times a mortgage is bundled, sliced up or resold, the public record often begins and ends with MERS. In the last few years, banks have initiated tens of thousands of foreclosures in the name of MERS — about 13,000 in the New York region alone since 2005 — confounding homeowners seeking relief directly from lenders and judges trying to help borrowers untangle loan ownership. What is more, the way MERS obscures loan ownership makes it difficult for communities to identify predatory lenders whose practices led to the high foreclosure rates that have blighted some neighborhoods.

In Brooklyn, an elderly homeowner pursuing fraud claims had to go to court to learn the identity of the bank holding his mortgage note, which was concealed in the MERS system. In distressed neighborhoods of Atlanta, where MERS appeared as the most frequent filer of foreclosures, advocates wanting to engage lenders “face a challenge even finding someone with whom to begin the conversation,” according to a report by NeighborWorks America, a community development group.

To a number of critics, MERS has served to cushion banks from the fallout of their reckless lending practices.

“I’m convinced that part of the scheme here is to exhaust the resources of consumers and their advocates,” said Marie McDonnell, a mortgage analyst in Orleans, Mass., who is a consultant for lawyers suing lenders. “This system removes transparency over what’s happening to these mortgage obligations and sows confusion, which can only benefit the banks.”

A recent visitor to the MERS offices in Reston, Va., found the receptionist answering a telephone call from a befuddled borrower: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we can’t help you with your loan.” MERS officials say they frequently get such calls, and they offer a phone line and Web page where homeowners can look up the actual servicer of their mortgage.

In an interview, the president of MERS, R. K. Arnold, said that his company had benefited not only banks, but also millions of borrowers who could not have obtained loans without the money-saving efficiencies it brought to the mortgage trade. He said that far from posing a hurdle for homeowners, MERS had helped reduce mortgage fraud and imposed order on a sprawling industry where, in the past, lenders might have gone out of business and left no contact information for borrowers seeking assistance.

“We’re not this big bad animal,” Mr. Arnold said. “This crisis that we’ve had in the mortgage business would have been a lot worse without MERS.”

About 3,000 financial services firms pay annual fees for access to MERS, which has 44 employees and is owned by two dozen of the nation’s largest lenders, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. It was the brainchild of the Mortgage Bankers Association, along with Fannie MaeFreddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, the mortgage finance giants, who produced a white paper in 1993 on the need to modernize the trading of mortgages.

At the time, the secondary market was gaining momentum, and Wall Street banks and institutional investors were making millions of dollars from the creative bundling and reselling of loans. But unlike common stocks, whose ownership has traditionally been hidden, mortgage-backed securities are based on loans whose details were long available in public land records kept by county clerks, who collect fees for each filing. The “tyranny of these forms,” the white paper said, was costing the industry $164 million a year.

“Before MERS,” said John A. Courson, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, “the problem was that every time those documents or a file changed hands, you had to file a paper assignment, and that becomes terribly debilitating.”

Although several courts have raised questions over the years about the secrecy afforded mortgage owners by MERS, the legality has ultimately been upheld. The issue has surfaced again because so many homeowners facing foreclosure are dealing with MERS.

Advocates for borrowers complain that the system’s secrecy makes it impossible to seek help from the unidentified investors who own their loans. Avi Shenkar, whose company, the GMA Modification Corporation in North Miami Beach, Fla., helps homeowners renegotiate mortgages, said loan servicers frequently argued that “investor guidelines” prevented them from modifying loan terms.

“But when you ask what those guidelines are, or who the investor is so you can talk to them directly, you can’t find out,” he said.

MERS has considered making information about secondary ownership of mortgages available to borrowers, Mr. Arnold said, but he expressed doubts that it would be useful. Banks appoint a servicer to manage individual mortgages so “investors are not in the business of dealing with borrowers,” he said. “It seems like anything that bypasses the servicer is counterproductive,” he added.

When foreclosures do occur, MERS becomes responsible for initiating them as the mortgage holder of record. But because MERS occupies that role in name only, the bank actually servicing the loan deputizes its employees to act for MERS and has its lawyers file foreclosures in the name of MERS.

The potential for confusion is multiplied when the high-tech MERS system collides with the paper-driven foreclosure process. Banks using MERS to consummate mortgage trades with “electronic handshakes” must later prove their legal standing to foreclose. But without the chain of title that MERS removed from the public record, banks sometimes recreate paper assignments long after the fact or try to replace mortgage notes lost in the securitization process.

This maneuvering has been attacked by judges, who say it reflects a cavalier attitude toward legal safeguards for property owners, and exploited by borrowers hoping to delay foreclosure. Judge Logan in Florida, among the first to raise questions about the role of MERS, stopped accepting MERS foreclosures in 2005 after his colloquy with the company lawyer. MERS appealed and won two years later, although it has asked banks not to foreclose in its name in Florida because of lingering concerns.

Last February, a State Supreme Court justice in Brooklyn, Arthur M. Schack, rejected a foreclosure based on a document in which a Bank of New York executive identified herself as a vice president of MERS. Calling her “a milliner’s delight by virtue of the number of hats she wears,” Judge Schack wondered if the banker was “engaged in a subterfuge.”

In Seattle, Ms. McDonnell has raised similar questions about bankers with dual identities and sloppily prepared documents, helping to delay foreclosure on the home of Darlene and Robert Blendheim, whose subprime lender went out of business and left a confusing paper trail.

“I had never heard of MERS until this happened,” Mrs. Blendheim said. “It became an issue with us, because the bank didn’t have the paperwork to prove they owned the mortgage and basically recreated what they needed.”

The avalanche of foreclosures — three million last year, up 81 percent from 2007 — has also caused unforeseen problems for the people who run MERS, who take obvious pride in their unheralded role as a fulcrum of the American mortgage industry.

In Delaware, MERS is facing a class-action lawsuit by homeowners who contend it should be held accountable for fraudulent fees charged by banks that foreclose in MERS’s name.

Sometimes, banks have held title to foreclosed homes in the name of MERS, rather than their own. When local officials call and complain about vacant properties falling into disrepair, MERS tries to track down the lender for them, and has also created a registry to locate property managers responsible for foreclosed homes.

“But at the end of the day,” said Mr. Arnold, president of MERS, “if that lawn is not getting mowed and we cannot find the party who’s responsible for that, I have to get out there and mow that lawn.”

Posted in CitiGroup, concealment, conspiracy, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, forensic loan audit, forensic mortgage investigation audit, Freddie Mac, investigation, jpmorgan chase, judge arthur schack, MERS, mortgage bankers association, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, mortgage modification, note, R.K. Arnold, securitization, wells fargo0 Comments

Judge ARTHUR SCHACK’s COLASSAL Steven J. BAUM “MiLL” SMACK DOWN!! MERS TWILIGHT ZONE!

Judge ARTHUR SCHACK’s COLASSAL Steven J. BAUM “MiLL” SMACK DOWN!! MERS TWILIGHT ZONE!

2010 NY Slip Op 50927(U)

HSBC BANK USA, N.A. AS TRUSTEE FOR NOMURA ASSET-BACKED CERTIFICATE SERIES

2006-AF1,, Plaintiff,
v.
LOVELY YEASMIN, ET. AL., Defendants.

34142/07

Supreme Court, Kings County.

Decided May 24, 2010.

Steven J Baum, PC, Amherst NY, Plaintiff — US Bank.

ARTHUR M. SCHACK, J.

Plaintiff’s renewed motion for an order of reference, for the premises located at 22 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn, New York (Block 3170, Lot 20, County of Kings), is denied with prejudice. The instant action is dismissed and the notice of pendency for the subject property is cancelled. Plaintiff HSBC BANK USA, N.A. AS TRUSTEE FOR NOMURA ASSET-BACKED CERTIFICATE SERIES 2006-AF1 (HSBC) failed to comply with my May 2, 2008 decision and order in the instant matter (19 Misc 3d 1127 [A]), which granted plaintiff HSBC leave:

to renew its application for an order of reference for the premises located at 22 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn, New York (Block 3170, Lot 20, County of Kings), upon presentation to the Court, within forty-five (45) days of this decision and order of:

(1) a valid assignment of the instant mortgage and note to plaintiff, HSBC . . .;

(2) an affirmation from Steven J. Baum, Esq., the principal of Steven J. Baum, P.C., explaining if both MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. [MERS], the assignor of the instant mortgage and note, and HSBC . . . the assignee of the instant mortgage and note, pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 1200.24, consented to simultaneous representation in the instant action, with “full disclosure of the implications of the simultaneous representation and the advantages and risks involved” explained to them;

(3) compliance with the statutory requirements of CPLR § 3215 (f), by an affidavit of facts executed by someone with authority to execute such an affidavit, and if the affidavit of facts is executed by a loan servicer, a copy of a valid power of attorney to the loan servicer, and the servicing agreement authorizing the affiant to act in the instant foreclosure action; and

(4) an affidavit from an officer of plaintiff HSBC . . . explaining why plaintiff HSBC . . . purchased a nonperforming loan from MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE HOME CAPITAL, LLC [CAMBRIDGE].

[Emphasis added]

Plaintiff made the instant motion on January 6, 2009, 249 days subsequent to the May 2, 2008 decision and order. Thus, the instant motion is 204 days late. Plaintiff’s unavailing lateness explanation, in ¶ 16 of plaintiff’s counsel’s January 6, 2009 affirmation of regularity, states:

A previous application has been made for this or like relief but was subsequently denied without prejudice with leave to renew upon proper papers. By Decision and Order of this court dated the 2nd day of May 2008, plaintiff had 45 days to renew its application.

However on June 29, 2008 the Plaintiff permitted the mortgagor to enter into a foreclosure forbearance agreement. Said agreement was entered into with the hope that the Defendant would be able to keep her home. The agreement was not kept by the mortgagor and Plaintiff has since resumed the foreclosure action. The defects of the original application are addressed in the Affirmation attached hereto at Tab F [sic].

June 29, 2008 was 58 days subsequent to May 2, 2008. This was 13 days subsequent to the Court ordered deadline for plaintiff to make a renewed motion for an order of reference. While it’s laudatory for plaintiff HSBC to have granted defendant a forbearance agreement, plaintiff HSBC never notified the Court about this or sought Court approval of extending the 45-day deadline to make the instant motion. However, even if the instant motion was timely, the documents plaintiff’s counsel refers to at Tab F [exhibit F of motion] do not cure the defects the Court found with the original motion and articulated in the May 2, 2008 decision and order.

Background

Defendant LOVELY YEASMIN borrowed $624,800.00 from CAMBRIDGE on May 10, 2006. The note and mortgage were recorded by MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE, for purposes of recording the mortgage, in the Office of the City Register, New York City Department of Finance, on May 23, 2006, at City Register File Number (CRFN) XXXXXXXXXXXXX. Then, MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE, assigned the mortgage to plaintiff HSBC on September 10, 2007, with the assignment recorded in the Office of the City Register, on September 20, 2007, at CRFN XXXXXXXXXXXXX. The assignment was executed by “Nicole Gazzo, Esq., on behalf of MERS, by Corporate Resolution dated 7/19/07.” Neither a corporate resolution nor a power of attorney to Ms. Gazzo were recorded with the September 10, 2007 assignment. Therefore, the Court found the assignment invalid and plaintiff HSBC lacked standing to bring the instant foreclosure action. Ms. Gazzo, the assignor, according to the Office of Court Administration’s Attorney Registration, has as her business address, “Steven J. Baum, P.C., 220 Northpointe Pkwy Ste G, Buffalo, NY 14228-1894.” On September 10, 2008, the same day that Ms. Gazzo executed the invalid assignment for MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE, plaintiff’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C., commenced the instant action on behalf of purported assignee HSBC by filing the notice of pendency, summons and complaint in the instant action with the Kings County Clerk’s Office. The Court, in the May 2, 2008 decision and order, was concerned that the simultaneous representation by Steven J. Baum, P.C. of both MERS and HSBC was a conflict of interest in violation of 22 NYCRR § 1200.24, the Disciplinary Rule of the Code of Professional Responsibility entitled “Conflict of Interest; Simultaneous Representation,” then in effect. Further, plaintiff’s moving papers for an order of reference and related relief failed to present an “affidavit made by the party,” pursuant to CPLR § 3215 (f). The instant application contained an “affidavit of merit and amount due,” dated November 16, 2007, by Cathy Menchise, “Senior Vice President of WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. D/B/A AMERICA’S SERVICING COMPANY, Attorney in Fact for HSBC BANK USA, N.A. AS TRUSTEE FOR NOMURA ASSET-BACKED CERTIFICATE SERIES 2006-AF1.” Ms. Menchise stated “[t]hat a true copy of the Power of Attorney is attached hereto.” Actually attached was a photocopy of a “Limited Power of Attorney,” dated July 19, 2004, from HSBC, appointing WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. as its attorney-in-fact to perform various enumerated services, by executing documents “if such documents are required or permitted under the terms of the related servicing agreements . . . in connection with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.[‘s] . . . responsibilities to service certain mortgage loans . . . held by HSBC . . . as Trustee of various trusts.” The “Limited Power of Attorney” failed to list any of these “certain mortgage loans.” The Court was unable to determine if plaintiff HSBC’s subject mortgage loan was covered by this “Limited Power of Attorney.” The original motion stated that defendant YEASMIN defaulted on her mortgage payments by failing to make her May 1, 2007 and subsequent monthly loan payments. Yet, on September 10, 2007, 133 days subsequent to defendant YEASMIN’S alleged May 1, 2007 payment default, plaintiff HSBC took the ssignment of the instant nonperforming loan from MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE. Thus, the Court required, upon renewal of the motion for an order of reference, a satisfactory explanation of why HSBC purchased a nonperforming loan from MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE.

Plaintiff HSBC needed “standing” to proceed in the instant action. The Court of Appeals (Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Inc. v Pataki, 100 NY2d 801, 912 [2003]), cert denied 540 US 1017 [2003]), held that “[s]tanding to sue is critical to the proper functioning of the judicial system. It is a threshold issue. If standing is denied, the pathway to the courthouse is blocked. The plaintiff who has standing, however, may cross the threshold and seek judicial redress.” In Carper v Nussbaum, 36 AD3d 176, 181 (2d Dept 2006), the Court held that “[s]tanding to sue requires an interest in the claim at issue in the lawsuit that the law will recognize as a sufficient predicate for determining the issue at the litigant’s request.” If a plaintiff lacks standing to sue, the plaintiff may not proceed in the action. (Stark v Goldberg,297 AD2d 203 [1d Dept 2002]). “Since standing is jurisdictional and goes to a court’s authority to resolve litigation [the court] can raise this matter sua sponte.” (Axelrod v New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, 154 AD2d 827, 828 [3d Dept 1989]).

In the instant action, the September 10, 2007 assignment from MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE, to HSBC was defective. Therefore, HSBC had no standing to bring this action. The recorded assignment by “Nicole Gazzo, Esq. on behalf of MERS, by Corporate Resolution dated 7/19/07,” had neither the corporate resolution nor a power of attorney attached. Real Property Law (RPL) § 254 (9) states: Power of attorney to assignee. The word “assign” or other words of assignment, when contained in an assignment of a mortgage and bond or mortgage and note, must be construed as having included in their meaning that the assignor does thereby make, constitute and appoint the assignee the true and lawful attorney, irrevocable, of the assignor, in the name of the assignor, or otherwise, but at the proper costs and charges of the assignee, to have, use and take all lawful ways and means for the recovery of the money and interest secured by the said mortgage and bond or mortgage and note, and in case of payment to discharge the same as fully as the assignor might or could do if the assignment were not made. [Emphasis added]

To have a proper assignment of a mortgage by an authorized agent, a power of attorney is necessary to demonstrate how the agent is vested with the authority to assign the mortgage. “No special form or language is necessary to effect an assignment as long as the language shows the intention of the owner of a right to transfer it [Emphasis added].” (Tawil v Finkelstein Bruckman Wohl Most & Rothman, 223 AD2d 52, 55 [1d Dept 1996]). (See Suraleb, Inc. v International Trade Club, Inc., 13 AD3d 612 [2d Dept 2004]). To foreclose on a mortgage, a party must have title to the mortgage. The instant assignment was a nullity. The Appellate Division, Second Department (Kluge v Fugazy, 145 AD2d 537, 538 [2d Dept 1988]), held that a “foreclosure of a mortgage may not be brought by one who has no title to it and absent transfer of the debt, the assignment of the mortgage is a nullity.” Citing Kluge v Fugazy, the Court inKatz v East-Ville Realty Co. (249 AD2d 243 [1d Dept 1998]), held that “[p]laintiff’s attempt to foreclose upon a mortgage in which he had no legal or equitable interest was without foundation in law or fact.” Plaintiff HSBC, with the invalid assignment of the instant mortgage and note from MERS, lacked standing to foreclose on the instant mortgage. The Court, in Campaign v Barba (23 AD3d 327 [2d Dept 2005]), held that “[t]o establish a prima facie case in an action to foreclose a mortgage, the plaintiff must establish the existence of the mortgage and the mortgage note, ownership of the mortgage, and the defendant’s default in payment [Emphasis added].” (See Household Finance Realty Corp. of New York v Wynn, 19 AD3d 545 [2d Dept 2005]; Sears Mortgage Corp. v Yahhobi, 19 AD3d 402 [2d Dept 2005]; Ocwen Federal Bank FSB v Miller, 18 AD3d 527 [2d Dept 2005]; U.S. Bank Trust Nat. Ass’n v Butti, 16 AD3d 408 [2d Dept 2005]; First Union Mortgage Corp. v Fern, 298 AD2d 490 [2d Dept 2002]; Village Bank v Wild Oaks Holding, Inc., 196 AD2d 812 [2d Dept 1993]). Even if plaintiff HSBC can cure the assignment defect, plaintiff’s counsel has to address his conflict of interest in the representation of both assignor MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE, and assignee HSBC. 22 NYCRR § 1200.24, of the Disciplinary Rules of the Code of Professional Responsibility, entitled “Conflict of Interest; Simultaneous Representation,” states in relevant part: (a) A lawyer shall decline proffered employment if the exercise of independent professional judgment in behalf of a client will be or is likely to be adversely affected by the acceptance of the proffered employment, or if it would be likely to involve the lawyer in representing differing interests, except to the extent permitted under subdivision (c) of this section. (b) A lawyer shall not continue multiple employment if the exercise of independent professional judgment in behalf of a client will be or is likely to be adversely affected by the lawyer’s representation of another client, or if it would be likely to involve the lawyer in representing differing interests, except to the extent permitted under subdivision (c) of this section. (c) in the situations covered by subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section, a lawyer may represent multiple clients if a disinterested lawyer would believe that the lawyer can competently represent the interest of each and if each consents to the representation after full disclosure of the implications of the simultaneous representation and the advantages and risks involved. [Emphasis added]

The Court, upon renewal of the instant motion for an order of reference wanted to know if both MERS and HSBC were aware of the simultaneous representation by plaintiff’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C., and whether both MERS and HSBC consented. Upon plaintiff’s renewed motion for an order of reference, the Court required an affirmation by Steven J. Baum, Esq., the principal of Steven J. Baum, P.C., explaining if both MERS and HSBC consented to simultaneous representation in the instant action with “full disclosure of the implications of the simultaneous representation and the advantages and risks involved.” The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, the Department, in which both Ms. Gazzo and Mr. Baum are registered (In re Rogoff, 31 AD3d 111 [2006]), censured an attorney for, inter alia, violating 22 NYCRR § 1200.24, by representing both a buyer and sellers in the sale of a motel. The Court, at 112, found that the attorney “failed to make appropriate disclosures to either the sellers or the buyer concerning dual representation.” Further, the Rogoff Court, at 113, censured the attorney, after it considered the matters submitted by respondent in mitigation, including: that respondent undertook the dual representation at the insistence of the buyer, had no financial interest in the transaction and charged the sellers and the buyer one half of his usual fee. Additionally, we note that respondent cooperated with the Grievance Committee and has expressed remorse for his misconduct. Then, if counsel for plaintiff HSBC cures the assignment defect and explains his simultaneous representation, plaintiff HSBC needs to address the “affidavit of merit” issue. The May 2, 2008 decision and order required that plaintiff comply with CPLR § 3215 (f) by providing an “affidavit made by the party,” whether by an officer of HSBC, or someone with a valid power of attorney from HSBC, to execute foreclosure documents for plaintiff HSBC. If plaintiff HSBC presents a power of attorney and it refers to a servicing agreement, the Court needs to inspect the servicing agreement. (Finnegan v Sheahan, 269 AD2d 491 [2d Dept 2000];Hazim v Winter, 234 AD2d 422 [2d Dept 1996]; EMC Mortg. Corp. v Batista, 15 Misc 3d 1143 [A] [Sup Ct, Kings County 2007]; Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co. v Lewis, 4 Misc 3d 1201 [A] [Sup Ct, Suffolk County 2006]).

Last, the Court required an affidavit from an officer of HSBC, explaining why, in the middle of our national mortgage financial crisis, plaintiff HSBC purchased from MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE, the subject nonperforming loan. It appears that HSBC violated its corporate fiduciary duty to its stockholders by purchasing the instant mortgage loan, which became nonperforming on May 1, 2007, 133 days prior to its assignment from MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE, to HSBC, rather than keep the subject mortgage loan on CAMBRIDGE’s books.

Discussion

The instant renewed motion is dismissed for untimeliness. Plaintiff made its renewed motion for an order of reference 204 days late, in violation of the Court’s May 2, 2008 decision and order. Moreover, even if the instant motion was timely, the explanations offered by plaintiff’s counsel, in his affirmation in support of the instant motion and various documents attached to exhibit F of the instant motion, attempting to cure the four defects explained by the Court in the prior May 2, 2008 decision and order, are so incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous that they should have been authored by the late Rod Serling, creator of the famous science-fiction televison series, The Twilight Zone. Plaintiff’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C., appears to be operating in a parallel mortgage universe, unrelated to the real universe. Rod Serling’s opening narration, to episodes in the 1961-1962 season of The Twilight Zone (found at www.imdb.com/title/tt005250/quotes), could have been an introduction to the arguments presented in support of the instant motion by plaintiff’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C. — “You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone.” With respect to the first issue for the renewed motion for an order of reference, the validity of the September 10, 2007 assignment of the subject mortgage and note by MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE, to plaintiff HSBC by “Nicole Gazzo, Esq., on behalf of MERS, by Corporate Resolution dated 7/19/07,” plaintiff’s counsel claims that the assignment is valid because Ms. Gazzo is an officer of MERS, not an agent of MERS. Putting aside Ms. Gazzo’s conflicted status as both assignor attorney and employee of assignee’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C., how would the Court have known from the plain language of the September 10, 2007 assignment that the assignor, Ms. Gazzo, is an officer of MERS? She does not state in the assignment that she is an officer of MERS and the corporate resolution is not attached. Thus, counsel’s claim of a valid assignment takes the Court into “another dimension” with a “journey into a wondrous land of imagination,” the mortgage twilight zone. Next, plaintiff’s counsel attached to exhibit F the July 17, 2007 “Agreement for Signing Authority” between MERS, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, a Division of Wells Fargo Bank NA (WELLS FARGO), a MERS “Member” and Steven J. Baum, P.C., as WELLS FARGO’s “Vendor.” The parties agreed, in ¶ 3, that “in order for Vendor [Baum] to perform its contractual duties to Member [WELLS FARGO], MERS, by corporate resolution, will grant employees of Vendor [Baum] the limited authority to act on behalf of MERS to perform certain duties. Such authority is set forth in the Resolution, which is made a part of this Agreement.” Also attached to exhibit F is the MERS corporate resolution, certified by William C. Hultman, Corporate Secretary of MERS, that MERS’ Board of Directors adopted this resolution, effective July 19, 2007, resolving:

that the attached list of candidates are employee(s) of Steven J. Baum, P.C. and are hereby appointed as assistant secretaries and vice presidents of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., and as such are authorized to: Execute any and all documents necessary to foreclose upon the property securing any mortgage loan registered on the MERS System that is shown to be registered to the Member . . . Take any and all actions and execute all documents necessary to protect the interest of the Member, the beneficial owner of such mortgage loan, or MERS in any bankruptcy proceedings . . . Assign the lien of any mortgage loan registered on the MERS System that is shown to be registered to Wells Fargo.

Then, the resolution certifies five Steven J. Baum, P.C. employees [all currently admitted to practice in New York and listing Steven J. Baum, P.C. as their employer in the Office of Court Administration Attorney Registry] as MERS officers. The five are Brian Kumiega, Nicole Gazzo, Ron Zackem, Elpiniki Bechakas, and Darleen Karaszewski. The language of the MERS corporate resolution flies in the face of documents recorded with the City Register of the City of New York. The filed recordings with the City Register show that the subject mortgage was owned first by MERS, as nominee for CAMBRIDGE, and then by HSBC as Trustee for a Nomura collateralized debt obligation. However, if the Court follows the MERS’corporate resolution and enters into a new dimension of the mind, the mortgage twilight zone, the real owner of the subject mortgage is WELLS FARGO, the MERS Member and loan servicer of the subject mortgage, because the corporate resolution states that the Member is “the beneficial owner of such mortgage loan.” The MERS mortgage twilight zone was created in 1993 by several large “participants in the real estate mortgage industry to track ownership interests in residential mortgages. Mortgage lenders and other entities, known as MERS members, subscribe to the MERS system and pay annual fees for the electronic processing and tracking of ownership and transfers of mortgages. Members contractually agree to appoint MERS to act as their common agent on all mortgages they register in the MERS system.” (MERSCORP, Inc. v Romaine, 8 NY3d 90, 96 [2006]). Next, with respect to Ms. Gazzo’s employer, Steven J. Baum, P.C, and its representation of MERS, through Ms. Gazzo, the Court continues to journey through the mortgage twilight zone. Also, attached to exhibit F of the instant motion is the August 11, 2008 affirmation of Steven J. Baum, Esq., affirmed “under the penalties of perjury.” Mr. Baum states, in ¶ 3, that “My firm does not represent HSBC . . . and MERS simultaneously in the instant action.” Then, apparently overlooking that the subject notice of pendency, summons, complaint and instant motion, which all clearly state that Steven J. Baum, P.C. is the attorney for plaintiff HSBC, Mr. Baum states, in ¶ 4 of his affirmation, that “My firm is the attorney of record for Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., d/b/a America’s Servicing Company, attorney in fact for HSBC Bank USA, N.A., as Trustee for Nomura Asset-Backed Certificate Series 2006-AF1. My firm does not represent . . . [MERS] as an attorney in this action.” In the mortgage world according to Steven J. Baum, Esq., there is a fine line between acting as an attorney for MERS and as a vendor for a MERS member. If Mr. Baum is not HSBC’s attorney, but the attorney for WELLS FARGO, why did he mislead the Court and defendants by stating on all the documents filed and served in the instant action that he is plaintiff’s attorney for HSBC? Further, in ¶ 6 of his affirmation, he states “Nowhere does the Resolution indicate that Ms. Gazzo, or my firm, or any attorney or employee of my firm, shall act as an attorney for MERS. As such I am unaware of any conflict of interest of Steven J. Baum, P.C. or any of its employees, in this action.” While Mr. Baum claims to be unaware of the inherent conflict of interest, the Court is aware of the conflict. ¶ 3 of the MERS “Agreement for Signing Authority,” cited above, states that “in order for Vendor [Baum] to perform its contractual duties to Member [WELLS FARGO], MERS, by corporate resolution, will grant employees of Vendor [Baum] the limited authority to act on behalf of MERS to perform certain duties. Such authority is set forth in the Resolution, which is made a part of this Agreement.” As the Court continues through the MERS mortgage twilight zone, attached to exhibit F is the June 30, 2009-affidavit of MERS’ Secretary, William C. Hultman. Mr. Hultman claims, in ¶ 3, that Steven J. Baum, P.C. is not acting in the instant action as attorney for MERS and, in ¶ 4, Ms. Gazzo in her capacity as an officer of MERS executed the September 10, 2007 subject assignment “to foreclose on a mortgage loan registered on the MERS System that is being serviced by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.” Thus, Mr. Hultman perceives that mortgages registered on the MERS system exist in a parallel universe to those recorded with the City Register of the City of New York. While Mr. Hultman waives, in ¶ 9, any conflict that might exist by Steven J. Baum, P.C. in the instant action, neither he nor Mr. Baum address whether MERS, pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 1200.24, consented to simultaneous representation in the instant action, with “full disclosure of the implications of the simultaneous representation and the advantages and risks involved” explained to MERS. Then, attached to exhibit F, there is the June 11, 2008-affidavit of China Brown, Vice President Loan Documentation of WELLS FARGO. This document continues the Court’s trip into “a wondrous land of imagination.” Despite the affidavit’s caption stating that HSBC is the plaintiff, Mr. or Ms. Brown (the notary public’s jurat refers several times to China Brown as “he/she”), states, in ¶ 4, that “Steven J. Baum, P.C. represents us as an attorney of record in this action.” The Court infers that “us” is WELLS FARGO. Moving to the third issue that plaintiff was required to address in the instant motion, compliance with the statutory requirements of CPLR § 3215 (f) with an affidavit of facts executed by someone with authority to execute such an affidavit, plaintiff’s instant motion contains an affidavit of merit, attached as exhibit C, by Kim Miller, “Vice President of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. as Attorney in Fact for HSBC,” executed on December 8, 2008, 220 days after my May 2, 2008 decision and order. The affidavit of merit is almost six months late. Again, plaintiff attached a photocopy of the July 19, 2004 “Limited Power of Attorney” from HSBC [exhibit D], which appointed WELLS FARGO as its attorney-in-fact to perform various enumerated services, by executing documents “if such documents are required or permitted under the terms of the related servicing agreements . . . in connection with Wells Fargo[‘s] . . . responsibilities to service certain mortgage loans . . . held by HSBC . . . as Trustee of various trusts.” Further, the “Limited Power of Attorney” fails to list any of these “certain mortgage loans.” Therefore, the Court is unable to determine if the subject mortgage loan is one of the mortgage loans that WELLS FARGO services for HSBC. The “Limited Power of attorney” gives WELLS FARGO the right to execute foreclosure documents “if such documents are required or permitted under the terms of the related servicing agreements.” Instead of presenting the Court with the “related servicing agreement” for review, plaintiff’s counsel submits copies of the cover page and redacted pages 102, 104 and 105 of the October 1, 2006 Pooling and Servicing Agreement between WELLS FARGO, as Master Servicer, HSBC, as Trustee, and other entities. This is in direct contravention of the Court’s May 2, 2008-directive to plaintiff HSBC that it provides the Court with the entire pooling and servicing agreement upon renewal of the instant motion. Thomas Westmoreland, Vice President Loan Documentation of HSBC, in ¶ 10 of his attached June 13, 2008-affidavit, also in exhibit F, claims that the snippets of the pooling and servicing agreement provided to the Court are “a copy of the non-proprietary portions of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement that was entered into when the pool of loans that contained the subject mortgage was purchased.” The Court cannot believe that there is any proprietary or trade secret information in a boilerplate pooling and servicing agreement. If plaintiff HSBC utilizes an affidavit of facts by a loan servicer, not an HSBC officer, to secure a judgment on default, pursuant to CPLR § 3215 (f), then the Court needs to examine the entire pooling and servicing agreement, whether proprietary or non-p

roprietary, to determine if the pooling and servicing agreement grants authority, pursuant to a power of attorney, to the affiant to execute the affidavit of facts.

Further, there is hope that Mr. Westmoreland, unlike Steven J. Baum, Esq., is not in another dimension. Mr. Westmoreland, in ¶ 1 of his affidavit, admits that HSBC is the plaintiff in this action. However, with respect to why plaintiff HSBC purchased the subject nonperforming loan, Mr. Westmoreland admits to a lack of due diligence by plaintiff HSBC. His admissions are straight from the mortgage twilight zone. He states in his affidavit, in ¶’s 4-7 and part of ¶ 10: 4. The secondary mortgage market is, essentially, the buying and selling of “pools” of mortgages. 5. A mortgage pools is the packaging of numerous mortgage loans together so that an investor may purchase a significant number of loans in one transaction. 6. An investigation of each and every loan included in a particular mortgage pool, however, is not conducted, nor is it feasible. 7. Rather, the fact that a particular mortgage pool may include loans that are already in default is an ordinary risk of participating in the secondary market . . . 10. . . . Indeed, the performance of the mortgage pool is the measure of success, not any one individual loan contained therein. [Emphasis added] The Court can only wonder if this journey through the mortgage twilight zone and the dissemination of this decision will result in Mr. Westmoreland’s affidavit used as evidence in future stockholder derivative actions against plaintiff HSBC. It can’t be comforting to investors to know that an officer of a financial behemoth such as plaintiff HSBC admits that “[a]n investigation of each and every loan included in a particular mortgage pool, however, is not conducted, nor is it feasible” and that “the fact that a particular mortgage pool may include loans that are already in default is an ordinary risk of participating in the secondary market.”

Cancelling of notice of pendency

The dismissal with prejudice of the instant foreclosure action requires the cancellation of the notice of pendency. CPLR § 6501 provides that the filing of a notice of pendency against a property is to give constructive notice to any purchaser of real property or encumbrancer against real property of an action that “would affect the title to, or the possession, use or enjoyment of real property, except in a summary proceeding brought to recover the possession of real property.” The Court of Appeals, in 5308 Realty Corp. v O & Y Equity Corp. (64 NY2d 313, 319 [1984]), commented that “[t]he purpose of the doctrine was to assure that a court retained its ability to effect justice by preserving its power over the property, regardless of whether a purchaser had any notice of the pending suit,” and, at 320, that “the statutory scheme permits a party to effectively retard the alienability of real property without any prior judicial review.” CPLR § 6514 (a) provides for the mandatory cancellation of a notice of pendency by: The Court, upon motion of any person aggrieved and upon such notice as it may require, shall direct any county clerk to cancel a notice of pendency, if service of a summons has not been completed within the time limited by section 6512; or if the action has beensettled, discontinued or abated; or if the time to appeal from a final judgment against the plaintiff has expired; or if enforcement of a final judgment against the plaintiff has not been stayed pursuant to section 551. [emphasis added] The plain meaning of the word “abated,” as used in CPLR § 6514 (a) is the ending of an action. “Abatement” is defined (Black’s Law Dictionary 3 [7th ed 1999]) as “the act of eliminating or nullifying.” “An action which has been abated is dead, and any further enforcement of the cause of action requires the bringing of a new action, provided that a cause of action remains (2A Carmody-Wait 2d § 11.1).” (Nastasi v Natassi, 26 AD3d 32, 40 [2d Dept 2005]). Further, Nastasi at 36, held that the “[c]ancellation of a notice of pendency can be granted in the exercise of the inherent power of the court where its filing fails to comply with CPLR § 6501 (see 5303 Realty Corp. v O & Y Equity Corp., supra at 320-321; Rose v Montt Assets, 250 AD2d 451, 451-452 [1d Dept 1998]; Siegel, NY Prac § 336 [4th ed]).” Thus, the dismissal of the instant complaint must result in the mandatory cancellation of plaintiff HSBC’s notice of pendency against the property “in the exercise of the inherent power of the court.”

Conclusion

Accordingly, it is ORDERED, that the renewed motion of plaintiff, HSBC BANK USA, N.A. AS TRUSTEE FOR NOMURA ASSET-BACKED CERTIFICATE SERIES 2006-AF1, for an order of reference, for the premises located at 22 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn, New York (Block 3170, Lot 20, County of Kings), is denied with prejudice; and it is further

ORDERED, that the instant action, Index Number 34142/07, is dismissed with prejudice; and it is further

ORDERED that the Notice of Pendency in this action, filed with the Kings County Clerk on September 10, 2007, by plaintiff, HSBC BANK USA, N.A. AS TRUSTEE FOR NOMURA ASSET-BACKED CERTIFICATE SERIES 2006-AF1, to foreclose a mortgage for real property located at 22 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn New York (Block 3170, Lot 20, County of Kings), is cancelled.

This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.

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



Posted in case, cdo, concealment, conspiracy, corruption, dismissed, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, forensic mortgage investigation audit, HSBC, investigation, judge arthur schack, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, note, reversed court decision, robo signer, robo signers, securitization, Supreme Court1 Comment

Judge Slashes 'Fat Cat' Bank's Bill for Subpoenaed Documents

Judge Slashes 'Fat Cat' Bank's Bill for Subpoenaed Documents

Mark Fass
New York Law Journal
December 28, 2009

A Brooklyn judge has rejected a bank’s request for $9,112 in costs for producing subpoenaed documents, calling the claim an example of the excess and greed among “fat cat bankers on Wall Street.”

JPMorgan Chase, a non-party in an action to confirm an arbitration award, sought 25 cents per page and $25 per hour for producing 18,248 pages of subpoenaed documents demanded by the petitioner.

In a blistering 11-page decision, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack granted JPMorgan Chase only $1,250.27, or about one-seventh of the amount the bank requested.

The judge quoted a recent interview of President Barack Obama on “60 Minutes” in which the president suggested that the greed of “fat cat bankers” played a role in the present recession.

“Clearly, Chase’s arbitrary $25.00 per hour … fee for the unsubstantiated 182 hours of research by person or persons unknown only helps to unjustly enrich ‘a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street,'” Justice Schack wrote in Matter of Arbitration of Klein v. Persaud, 8007/09. “This Court is not a collection vehicle to further enrich already rich bankers.”

Schack called the bank’s CEO, James S. Dimon, the “fattest cat” at JPMorgan Chase, citing Dimon’s compensation of nearly $20 million in 2008.

Petitioner Abraham Klein initiated the underlying action to confirm a multimillion-dollar arbitration award against Christine Persaud and Caring Home Care Agency.

In July, Schack asked non-party JPMorgan Chase to submit an affirmation regarding its production expenses.

The bank claimed it provided Klein 18,248 pages of documents and requested $9,112 — $4,550 for locating and retrieving the documents and $4,562 for printing them.

In opposing JPMorgan Chase’s request, Klein called the bank’s demand “flawed and disingenuous.” He argued that the bank sought to be “rewarded for ignoring court orders” and reimbursed for pages it never produced. Klein also claimed that JPMorgan Chase flooded his attorneys with “thousands” of documents they never requested.

JPMorgan Chase denied those allegations.

“Chase produced approximately 12,000 pages by [the] deadline set by the Court … The 12,000 pages are responsive to petitioner’s unequivocal and explicit demand for all documents for that account,” the bank contended in court papers. “Chase has also produced more than 6,000 pages of documents for the other four accounts listed in the June 12th subpoena.”

Schack sided with Klein.

First, the judge reduced the bank’s hourly fee from $25 to $6.55 — the minimum wage in Indiana, where the judge believed the work may have been done, at the time the documents were produced.

“[T]he Court … is guided by the principal that ‘[o]rdinarily, the retrieval and evaluation of documents should be done by the lowest-level person consistent with accurate and reliable identification of the material called for,'” Schack wrote.

The 182 hours worked by JPMorgan Chase employees therefore came to $1,192, not $4,562, the judge concluded.

In order to determine the compensation rate per page the bank copied, the judge “examined” the Web sites of “three major stationary suppliers” and determined that a case of Hammermill Copy Plus Paper, containing 10 reams (i.e., 5,000 sheets) lists for $44.99, or a little less than a penny per page.

Schack therefore awarded JPMorgan Chase one cent per page for paper, plus an additional two cents for “toner, copier maintenance and electricity.”

The judge also noted that of the 18,248 pages that JPMorgan Chase produced, the bank placed 16,317 pages online, as opposed to printing them. For those pages, the bank only deserved compensation for labor and not supplies, the judge wrote, calling the bank’s claim “disingenuous.”

At three cents per page for only 1,939 pages, instead of 25 cents per page for 18,248, the bank deserved $58.17, not $4,562, Schack concluded.

The judge ordered Klein to pay JPMorgan Chase a total of $1,250.27.

Michelle E. Tarson of Simmons, Jannace & Stagg represented Chase. The firm did not return calls for comment.

Paulino J. Salazar and Mendel Zilberberg of Mendel Zilberberg & Associates in Brooklyn represented Klein.

Posted in jpmorgan chase, judge arthur schack0 Comments

Subprime Legal: Judges Scrutinize Mortgage Docs, Deny Foreclosures

Subprime Legal: Judges Scrutinize Mortgage Docs, Deny Foreclosures

By Amir Efrati JULY 25, 2008, 8:27 PM ET

foreclosureIt’s been about nine months since several federal judges in Ohio issued the widely-read amir foreclosure dismissals that shined a light on sloppy paperwork done by companies that specialize in handling foreclosures.

Since then, the WSJ reports tonight, other judges across the country have caught on and are carefully scrutinizing mortgage documents filed as part of foreclosures and dismissing cases based on mistakes they’re finding, which borrowers might be able to exploit when facing foreclosure. (For another good read on judges and lawyers working to staunch foreclosure, click here for a recent NLJ story.)

Among the issues hitting snags among the judges, according to WSJ:

“Backdated” mortgage assignments: Assignments, documents that transfer ownership of the mortgage, are executed after the foreclosure process has begun but state that they are “effective as of” a date prior to the foreclosure action. Some judges are dismissing those cases, saying attempts to retroactively assign the mortgage aren’t valid.

Suspicious multiple hats: Employees for mortgage companies are signing affidavits stating they are employees of one company, but other mortgage documents say they work at another firm. In some cases, an employee claims to work for companies on both sides of a transaction, prompting one skeptical judge to ask for that person’s work history for the last three years.

Shared office space: In foreclosure filings, one judge has found that numerous mortgage-related companies, including units of Wall Street banks, all claim to share the same address: a suite of a West Palm Beach, Fla., building. “The Court ponders if Suite 100 is the size of Madison Square Garden to house all of these financial behemoths or if there is a more nefarious reason for this corporate togetherness,” the judge wrote in a recent decision.

Judge SchackBrooklyn Crusader: The judge making Madison Square Garden references is Brooklyn’s own Arthur M. Schack (pictured) of Kings County Supreme Court, who has dismissed dozens of foreclosures sua sponte because of shoddy documents or suspicious patterns he notices in the filings.

Schack, 63, a former counsel to the MLB Players Association who is known for peppering his rulings with pop culture references such as Bruce Willis movies, says barely any of the foreclosures he has denied eventually are completed.

In one of his foreclosure dismissals, Schack (Indiana, New York Law School) cited the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” to make the point that homeowners now deal with “large financial organizations, national and international in scope, motivated primarily by their interest in maximizing profit, and not necessarily by helping people.”

In an interview, Schack, a Brooklyn native, told WSJ: “Taking away someone’s home is a serious matter. I’m a neutral party and in reviewing papers filed with the court, I have to make sure they’re proper.”

Posted in concealment, conspiracy, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, judge arthur schack0 Comments

A ‘Little Judge’ Who Rejects Foreclosures, Brooklyn Style: Judge Arthur Schack

A ‘Little Judge’ Who Rejects Foreclosures, Brooklyn Style: Judge Arthur Schack

If other judges knew more of what really is than whats not perhaps they would also know the fraud that is being played in their court rooms.

By MICHAEL POWELL Published: August 30, 2009

The judge waves you into his chambers in the State Supreme Court building in Brooklyn, past the caveat taped to his wall — “Be sure brain in gear before engaging mouth” — and into his inner office, where foreclosure motions are piled high enough to form a minor Alpine chain.

 Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

“I don’t want to put a family on the street unless it’s legitimate,” Justice Arthur M. Schack said.

Every week, the nation’s mightiest banks come to his court seeking to take the homes of New Yorkers who cannot pay their mortgages. And nearly as often, the judge says, they file foreclosure papers speckled with errors.

He plucks out one motion and leafs through: a Deutsche Bank representative signed an affidavit claiming to be the vice president of two different banks. His office was in Kansas City, Mo., but the signature was notarized in Texas. And the bank did not even own the mortgage when it began to foreclose on the homeowner.

The judge’s lips pucker as if he had inhaled a pickle; he rejected this one.

“I’m a little guy in Brooklyn who doesn’t belong to their country clubs, what can I tell you?” he says, adding a shrug for punctuation. “I won’t accept their comedy of errors.”

The judge, Arthur M. Schack, 64, fashions himself a judicial Don Quixote, tilting at the phalanxes of bankers, foreclosure facilitators and lawyers who file motions by the bale. While national debate focuses on bank bailouts and federal aid for homeowners that has been slow in coming, the hard reckonings of the foreclosure crisis are being made in courts like his, and Justice Schack’s sympathies are clear.

He has tossed out 46 of the 102 foreclosure motions that have come before him in the last two years. And his often scathing decisions, peppered with allusions to the Croesus-like wealth of bank presidents, have attracted the respectful attention of judges and lawyers from Florida to Ohio to California. At recent judicial conferences in Chicago and Arizona, several panelists praised his rulings as a possible national model.

His opinions, too, have been greeted by a cry of affront from a bank official or two, who say this judge stands in the way of what is rightfully theirs. HSBC bank appealed a recent ruling, saying he had set a “dangerous precedent” by acting as “both judge and jury,” throwing out cases even when homeowners had not responded to foreclosure motions.

Justice Schack, like a handful of state and federal judges, has taken a magnifying glass to the mortgage industry. In the gilded haste of the past decade, bankers handed out millions of mortgages — with terms good, bad and exotically ugly — then repackaged those loans for sale to investors from Connecticut to Singapore. Sloppiness reigned. So many papers have been lost, signatures misplaced and documents dated inaccurately that it is often not clear which bank owns the mortgage.

Justice Schack’s take is straightforward, and sends a tremor through some bank suites: If a bank cannot prove ownership, it cannot foreclose.

“If you are going to take away someone’s house, everything should be legal and correct,” he said. “I’m a strange guy — I don’t want to put a family on the street unless it’s legitimate.”

Justice Schack has small jowls and big black glasses, a thin mustache and not so many hairs combed across his scalp. He has the impish eyes of the high school social studies teacher he once was, aware that something untoward is probably going on at the back of his classroom.

He is Brooklyn born and bred, with a master’s degree in history and an office loaded with autographed baseballs and photographs of the Brooklyn Dodgers. His written decisions are a free-associative trip through popular, legal and literary culture, with a sideways glance at the business pages.

Confronted with a case in which Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs passed a defaulted mortgage back and forth and lost track of the documents, the judge made reference to the film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the evil banker played by Lionel Barrymore.

“Lenders should not lose sight,” Justice Schack wrote in that 2007 case, “that they are dealing with humanity, not with Mr. Potter’s ‘rabble’ and ‘cattle.’ Multibillion-dollar corporations must follow the same rules in the foreclosure actions as the local banks,savings and loan associations or credit unions, or else they have become the Mr. Potters of the 21st century.”

Last year, he chastised Wells Fargo for filing error-filled papers. “The court,” the judge wrote, “reminds Wells Fargo of Cassius’s advice to Brutus in Act 1, Scene 2 of William Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’: ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’ ”

Then there is a Deutsche Bank case from 2008, the juicy part of which he reads aloud:

“The court wonders if the instant foreclosure action is a corporate ‘Kansas City Shuffle,’ a complex confidence game,” he reads. “In the 2006 film ‘Lucky Number Slevin,’ Mr. Goodkat, a hit man played by Bruce Willis, explains: ‘A Kansas City Shuffle is when everybody looks right, you go left.’ ”

The banks’ reaction? Justice Schack shrugs. “They probably curse at me,” he says, “but no one is interested in some little judge.”

Little drama attends the release of his decisions. Beaten-down homeowners rarely show up to contest foreclosure actions, and the judge scrutinizes the banks’ papers in his chambers. But at legal conferences, judges and lawyers have wondered aloud why more judges do not hold banks to tougher standards.

“To the extent that judges examine these papers, they find exactly the same errors that Judge Schack does,” said Katherine M. Porter, a visiting professor at the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and a national expert in consumer credit law. “His rulings are hardly revolutionary; it’s unusual only because we so rarely hold large corporations to the rules.”

Banks and the cottage industry of mortgage service companies and foreclosure lawyers also pay rather close attention.

A spokeswoman for OneWest Bank acknowledged that an official, confronted with a ream of foreclosure papers, had mistakenly signed for two different banks — just as the Deutsche Bank official did. Deutsche Bank, which declined to let an attorney speak on the record about any of its cases before Justice Schack, e-mailed a PDF of a three-page pamphlet in which it claimed little responsibility for foreclosures, even though the bank’s name is affixed to tens of thousands of such motions. The bank described itself as simply a trustee for investors.

Justice Schack came to his recent prominence by a circuitous path, having worked for 14 years as public school teacher in Brooklyn. He was a union representative and once walked a picket line with his wife, Dilia, who was a teacher, too. All was well until the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.

“Why’d I go to law school?” he said. “Thank Mayor Abe Beame, who froze teacher salaries.”

He was counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association in the 1980s and ’90s, when it was on a long winning streak against team owners. “It was the millionaires versus the billionaires,” he says. “After a while, I’m sitting there thinking, ‘He’s making $4 million, he’s making $5 million, and I’m worth about $1.98.’ ”

So he dived into a judicial race. He was elected to the Civil Court in 1998 and to the Supreme Court for Brooklyn and Staten Island in 2003. His wife is a Democratic district leader; their daughter, Elaine, is a lawyer and their son, Douglas, a police officer.

Justice Schack’s duels with the banks started in 2007 as foreclosures spiked sharply. He saw a plague falling on Brooklyn, particularly its working-class black precincts. “Banks had given out loans structured to fail,” he said.

The judge burrowed into property record databases. He found banks without clear title, and a giant foreclosure law firm, Steven J. Baum, representing two sides in a dispute. He noted that Wells Fargo’s chief executive, John G. Stumpf, made more than $11 million in 2007 while the company’s total returns fell 12 percent.

“Maybe,” he advised the bank, “counsel should wonder, like the court, if Mr. Stumpf was unjustly enriched at the expense of W.F.’s stockholders.”

He was, how to say it, mildly appalled.

“I’m a guy from the streets of Brooklyn who happens to become a judge,” he said. “I see a bank giving a $500,000 mortgage on a building worth $300,000 and the interest rate is 20 percent and I ask questions, what can I tell you?”

Posted in concealment, conspiracy, corruption, erica johnson seck, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, judge arthur schack, onewest, robo signer, robo signers0 Comments

Applications For Foreclosures By Mighty Banks Are Often Speckled With Mistakes

Applications For Foreclosures By Mighty Banks Are Often Speckled With Mistakes

Applications For Foreclosures By Mighty Banks Are Often Speckled With Mistakes

by  Karen,   published:  Wednesday May 19, 2010

There is an adage fixed to the walls in front of the chambers of Judge Arthur M. Schack in Supreme Court Building at Brooklyn – “Be sure brain in gear before engaging mouth.” Inside foreclosures are piled up high enough to vie with the Alps. Each week the high and mighty banks of USA seek out his court to snatch the houses of New York residents who have failed in paying mortgage dues. Very often, said Schack, the applications of the banks are speckled with mistakes.

Judge Schack points out one motion coming from Deutsche Bank. The representative of the bank had claimed to be the vice president of two banks. His office was located in Kansas City but the notarization of the signature was in Texas. Moreover the bank was not the owner of the mortgage when it started with foreclosure proceedings against the borrower. Promptly the matter was dismissed.

Judge Schack said, “I’m a little guy in Brooklyn who doesn’t belong to their country clubs, what I can tell you? I won’t accept their comedy of errors.”

While there are hot debates and angst against bailing out banks and demands for more action to help homeowners, Judge Schack is sparring with the deadliest sword of all – the law. The law is being used to put them lenders in their places. The sympathies of the judge are clear for all to see.

In the previous two years 102 foreclosure places had come before him. He has tossed out from these 46 cases. His slicing decisions laced with allusions to the wealth of the bank presidents that are reminders of the legendary King Croesus, have won the respect of the legal fraternity across USA and especially in Florida, Ohio and California.

One or two bank officials have tried to stand up against him complaining that the judge has been depriving them of what is rightfully theirs. Recently HSBC made an appeal against a ruling complaining that the judge has set before others a “dangerous precedent” by behaving like “both judge and jury.” He has got rid of foreclosure cases even before getting any response from the house owners.

Together with few other state and federal judges, Justice Schack has held up a magnifying glass before the doings of the mortgage industry. During the past decade the bankers in heady haste handed out millions of mortgage loans with terms that were an admixture of good, bad and dangerously ugly.

Posted in foreclosure fraud, judge arthur schack0 Comments

NEW YORK COURT DISMISSES FORECLOSURE WITH PREJUDICE ON ILLEGAL MERS ASSIGNMENT EXECUTED BY COUNSEL FOR THE FORECLOSING PLAINTIFF

NEW YORK COURT DISMISSES FORECLOSURE WITH PREJUDICE ON ILLEGAL MERS ASSIGNMENT EXECUTED BY COUNSEL FOR THE FORECLOSING PLAINTIFF

May 12, 2010

New York Judge Arthur Schack has dismissed another foreclosure case, this time with prejudice, as a result of an illegal MERS assignment which was “executed” by an attorney in the office of counsel for the Plaintiff, finding that the alleged assignment violated the New York Rules of Professional Conduct as doing so was a conflict of interest.

The Plaintiff was US Bank, N.A. as Trustee for the SG Mortgage Securities Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-FRE2. The original lender was Fremont Investment and Loan. The purported Assigment of Mortgage (which did not assign the Note at all) was executed by a New York attorney as “Assistant Secretary and Vice-President” of MERS. As this attorney, signing for the assignor, listed her business address as that of the law office of the Plaintiff’s counsel (Steven J. Baum P.C.), which represented the assignee US Bank as Trustee, the Court found this to be a conflict of interest in violation of 22 NYCRR sec. 1200.0 Rules of Professional Conduct. Judge Schack dismissed US Bank’s foreclosure action with prejudice and cancelled the Lis Pendens.

We know that there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of these MERS assignments which have been executed by paralegals and others from the law offices of the Plaintiff’s foreclosure counsel as alleged “Vice Presidents” or “Assistant Secretarys” of MERS. This decision indicates that all such purported assignments are most likely illegal, void, and that any foreclosure action based on such an assignment should be dismissed with prejudice.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

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

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



Posted in concealment, conspiracy, corruption, foreclosure fraud, judge arthur schack, MERS, mortgage electronic registration system, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud0 Comments

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

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

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

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

Question:

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

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

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

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

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



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


GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
Kenneth Eric Trent, www.ForeclosureDestroyer.com

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