Racketeering

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WHAT LPS & THE MILLS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW…WHO REALLY OWNS THE NOTE!

WHAT LPS & THE MILLS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW…WHO REALLY OWNS THE NOTE!

Below is a document that Lender Processing Services, Inc. or it’s many subsidiaries submits by wire transmission to the foreclosure mill with instructions NOT to name the actual owner of the note on the foreclosure but in the name of the servicer!

“FORECLOSURE SHOULD BE IN THE NAME OF ”

It clearly states the names of the real parties:

  • SERVICER
  • TRUST
  • TRUSTEE/NOTE-OWNER
  • BORROWER

A foreclosure is rarely commenced under the “Real Entity.” So why do they keep this from us when they knew all along the real parties of interest? This was only discovered during an actual case or we would have never found this.

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, conflict of interest, CONTROL FRAUD, DOCX, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, Lender Processing Services Inc., MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., note, racketeering, RICO, scam, securitization, servicers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Wall Street7 Comments

AMENDED |NEW YORK FORECLOSURE CLASS ACTION AGAINST STEVEN J. BAUM & MERSCORP

AMENDED |NEW YORK FORECLOSURE CLASS ACTION AGAINST STEVEN J. BAUM & MERSCORP

Class Action Attorney Susan Chana Lask targets Foreclosure Mill Attorneys as source of foreclosure crisis.

This is the amended complaint against Foreclosure Mill Steven J. Baum and MERSCORP.

Want to join the Class? No problem!

Please contact: SUSAN CHANA LASK, ESQ.

[ipaper docId=37881265 access_key=key-2hj0jnnmfxmm0i37q7l0 height=600 width=600 /]

Related posts:

CLASS ACTION | Connie Campbell v. Steven Baum, MERSCORP, Inc

_________________________

CLASS ACTION AMENDED against MERSCORP to include Shareholders, DJSP

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, note, racketeering, RICO, Steven J Baum, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Susan Chana Lask, Trusts, truth in lending act, Wall Street2 Comments

MERS is a “defective” product, should MERS be recalled nationwide?

MERS is a “defective” product, should MERS be recalled nationwide?

This is not a GMAC thing… this is a MERS thing!

THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS THIS IS A MERS THING!

THIS IS A 65 MILLION LOAN THING!

I know if I purchased a stroller for my kid and later knew it these strollers are all defective …I hope the government would kick in and do a nationwide RECALL!!

GMAC stops some evictions, foreclosed home sales

By JANNA HERRON (AP) –

NEW YORK — GMAC Mortgage LLC said Monday it halted certain evictions and sales of foreclosed homes as it corrects “a potential issue” in its foreclosure process.

The action highlights what is becoming a larger problem for lenders and servicers that may have illegally driven homeowners out of their houses. The issue is threatening to clog up an already overloaded foreclosure process.

Lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said last week. Banks have been stepping up repossessions to clear out their backlog of bad loans.

GMAC, which is owned by Detroit-based Ally Financial Inc., did not identify the specific internal issue that prompted the moratorium in its statement, but it has been linked to lawsuits this year surrounding the alleged falsification of a key foreclosure document.

The Florida attorney general is investigating three law firms for allegedly providing fraudulent affidavits that identify who holds the original mortgage note in foreclosure cases. In Florida and in other states, this document allows lenders to bypass a costly trial and proceed with a foreclosure.

Two of the three firms being investigated — the Law Office of Marshall C. Watson and the Law Offices of David J. Stern PA — have represented GMAC in foreclosure proceedings. And the person who signed many of these allegedly false affidavits was an employee of GMAC.

In a deposition taken in December, GMAC employee Jeffrey Stephan said he signed 10,000 affidavits or similar documents a month without personally verifying who the mortgage holder was. That means many foreclosures could have taken place based on false documentation. Stephan could not be located for comment.

“That’s hundreds of thousands of cases,” said Ice Legal PA attorney Christopher Immel who took the deposition. “And there are other people at other places who sign these kinds of documents as well.”

GMAC did not address how many homeowners would be affected by its suspension of evictions and foreclosure sales. It expects the issues to be resolved within a few weeks or, at latest, by year-end. The company didn’t respond to questions beyond its statement.

The issue of documenting who holds the mortgage is not unique to GMAC. Judges and lawyers nationwide are taking a second look at foreclosure affidavits. Many mortgages have been sliced up and sold to many investors as securities and that makes it harder to determine who is the ultimate mortgage holder.

In August, a judge in Duval County, Fla., ruled that JPMorgan Chase could not foreclose upon two homeowners because Fannie Mae carried the mortgage on its books and JPMorgan Chase only serviced the loan. JPMorgan Chase had identified itself as the owner of the loan. Similar cases across the country are pending.

The law firm that represented JPMorgan Chase in that case — Shapiro & Fishman — is the third law firm being investigated by the Florida state attorney.

Related:

MERS101


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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, jeffrey stephan, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, QUI TAM, quiet title, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, shapiro & fishman pa, signatures, Wall Street0 Comments

MUST WATCH: ‘MERS’ ON FOX NEWS!!!

MUST WATCH: ‘MERS’ ON FOX NEWS!!!

I was wondering why this site blew up with hits today!

THIS INVOLVES 65 MILLION LOANS…it was ’62’ !!! I have a source that confirmed this.


“The Curse Of The MERS”

READ ALL ABOUT MERS HERE…MERS 101

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



Posted in chain in title, class action, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deed of trust, Economy, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, investigation, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, Notary, notary fraud, note, quiet title, R.K. Arnold, racketeering, Real Estate, repossession, RICO, rmbs, robo signers, stopforeclosurefraud.com, sub-prime, trade secrets, trustee, Trusts, Wall Street4 Comments

Handcuffs for Wall Street, Not Happy-Talk

Handcuffs for Wall Street, Not Happy-Talk

“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists
– to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”
– BARACK OBAMA, speech, Aug. 28, 2006

Zach Carter

Zach Carter

Economics Editor, AlterNet; Fellow, Campaign for America’s Future

Posted: September 12, 2010 02:52 PM

The Washington Post has published a very silly op-ed by Chrystia Freeland accusing President Barack Obama of unfairly “demonizing” Wall Street. Freeland wants to see Obama tone down his rhetoric and play nice with executives in pursuit of a harmonious economic recovery. The trouble is, Obama hasn’t actually deployed harsh words against Wall Street. What’s more, in order to avoid being characterized as “anti-business,” the Obama administration has refused to mete out serious punishment for outright financial fraud. Complaining about nouns and adjectives is a little ridiculous when handcuffs and prison sentences are in order.

Freeland is a long-time business editor at Reuters and the Financial Times, and the story she spins about the financial crisis comes across as very reasonable. It’s also completely inaccurate. Here’s the key line:

“Stricter regulation of financial services is necessary not because American bankers were bad, but because the rules governing them were.”

Bank regulations were lousy, of course. But Wall Street spent decades lobbying hard for those rules, and screamed bloody murder when Obama had the audacity to tweak them. More importantly, the financial crisis was not only the result of bad rules. It was the result of bad rules and rampant, straightforward fraud, something a seasoned business editor like Freeland ought to know. Seeking economic harmony with criminals seems like a pretty poor foundation for an economic recovery.

The FBI was warning about an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud as early as 2004. Mortgage fraud is typically perpetrated by lenders, not borrowers — 80 percent of the time, according to the FBI. Banks made a lot of quick bucks over the past decade by illegally conning borrowers. Then bankers who knew these loans were fraudulent still packaged them into securities and sold them to investors without disclosing that fraud. They lied to their own shareholders about how many bad loans were on their books, and lied to them about the bonuses that were derived from the entire scheme. When you do these things, you are stealing lots of money from innocent people, and you are, in fact, behaving badly (to put it mildly).

The fraud allegations that have emerged over the past year are not restricted to a few bad apples at shady companies– they involve some of the largest players in global finance. Washington Mutual executives knew their company was issuing fraudulent loans, and securitized them anyway without stopping the influx of fraud in the lending pipeline. Wachovia is settling charges that it illegally laundered $380 billion in drug money in order to maintain access to liquidity. Barclays is accused of illegally laundering money from Iran, Sudan and other nations, jumping through elaborate technical hoops to conceal the source of their funds. Goldman Sachs set up its own clients to fail and bragged about their “shitty deals.” Citibank executives deceived their shareholders about the extent of their subprime mortgage holdings. Bank of America executives concealed heavy losses from the Merrill Lynch merger, and then lied to their shareholders about the massive bonuses they were paying out. IndyMac Bank and at least five other banks cooked their books by backdating capital injections.

Continue reading…..The  Huffington Post


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



Posted in Bank Owned, citi, conspiracy, Economy, FED FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, goldman sachs, hamp, indymac, investigation, jobless, lehman brothers, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., OCC, racketeering, RICO, rmbs, Wall Street, wamu, washington mutual, wells fargo0 Comments

CALL TO ACTION: MERS ASSIGNMENTS

CALL TO ACTION: MERS ASSIGNMENTS

The Time To Act Is NOW!

I am working on a special project & need your help to gather as many MERS Assignments as we can possibly get.

What is especially needed are the Certifying Officers signing these assignments for MERS. I don’t care if it’s old, new, signed, undated, unmarked, lender has gone bankrupt ages ago…I just want them ALL!


Click the Envelope to load up your MERS Assignment(s).

Or Info at stopforeclosurefraud.com

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



Posted in Bank Owned, bankruptcy, chain in title, concealment, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, Notary, notary fraud, note, quiet title, racketeering, Real Estate, REO, RICO, rmbs, robo signers, securitization, servicers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Supreme Court, trade secrets, trustee, Trusts, Wall Street1 Comment

DJSP reports smaller profit as AG probe looms

DJSP reports smaller profit as AG probe looms

South Florida Business Journal

Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 6:05pm EDT

As an investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s Office looms over its chairman and CEO, Plantation-based DJSP Enterprises reported a decline in both profits and income during the second quarter.

The foreclosure and title processing company (NASDAQ: DJSP) reported net income of $3.8 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenue of $56.1 million. That’s down from net income of $14.1 million, or 73 cents a share, on revenue of $61.7 million in the second quarter of 2009.

DJSP handles foreclosure legal work for major lenders, and its largest client is the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A. The lawyer is chairman and CEO of DJSP.

On Aug. 10, Attorney General Bill McCollum announced he had started an investigation of David J. Stern, P.A., along with three other Florida law firms, over whether they engaged in unfair and deceptive actions in the handling of foreclosure cases. There have been allegations that the law firms fabricated mortgage assignments to speed up foreclosures.

David J. Stern, P.A. responded to the news by stating that it would cooperate with the investigation and it has done nothing wrong.

In addition, a pending class action lawsuit accuses Stern and his firm of violating the RICO Act.

Continue reading… South Florida Business Journal


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



Posted in chain in title, class action, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, stock, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, title company3 Comments

ALTER EGO DOCTRINE: ‘Pierce the Corporate Veil’

ALTER EGO DOCTRINE: ‘Pierce the Corporate Veil’

A doctrine of law which disregards the principle of limited liability enjoyed by a corporate entity when it is proven that, in fact, no separate identity of the individual and corporation exists. The alter ego principle may also apply to relationships between corporate entities and their subsidiaries.

  • Litigants often invoke the alter ego doctrine but are rarely successful. Still, under the proper circumstances, it can be a powerful and effective equitable device for litigants before and after judgment.
  • Where the Creditor Directs Management of an Affiliated Transferee. Where the borrower has transferred title to a different entity controlled by the lender (or lenders, as the use of such entities at foreclosure is common in the participation setting), liability for an (unanticipated) uninsured loss often flows upward to the controlling parties anyway. Lender liability, alter-ego and other theories may be applied. See § (K)(1), infra (use of affiliates and  environmental liability). For a discussion of the liability of the affiliated secured lender, see Talley, § XIII(A)(3), supra.
  • Piercing the corporate veil in business is when a corporation performs an act through their officers or board of directors in good faith, so the company isn’t doing the deed themselves. In other words piercing the corporate veil has to do with the corporation through it’s officers and through the board of directors NOT acting in compliance with the corporation articles of incorporation and corporate bylaws require. And when they do that, they do that at the peril of the officers and the board of directors.

read more on this paper… HERE

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



Posted in bogus, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, investigation, mbs, mortgage, notary fraud, note, racketeering, RICO, Trusts, Wall Street9 Comments

MUST WATCH | ‘INSIDE JOB’ The Global Financial Meltdown

MUST WATCH | ‘INSIDE JOB’ The Global Financial Meltdown

From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

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



Posted in bear stearns, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, FED FRAUD, federal reserve board, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, geithner, goldman sachs, insider, investigation, jobless, lehman brothers, mbs, mortgage, Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, note, racketeering, Real Estate, repossession, RICO, securitization, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, sub-prime, trade secrets, Trusts, Wall Street0 Comments

WHISTLE BLOWER | Report On Fraudulent & Forged Assignments Of Mortgages & Deeds In U.S. Foreclosures

WHISTLE BLOWER | Report On Fraudulent & Forged Assignments Of Mortgages & Deeds In U.S. Foreclosures

Pew family trusts which I am a beneficiary and/or remainderman have maintained
investments in various banks, mutual funds, and other entities that maintain
interests in various shares, mortgage backed securities and/or debt issuances and I
have been a shareholder in many mortgage companies including Fannie Mae,
Bear Stearns, JPMorganChase, Washington Mutual, MGIC, Ocwen and Radian,
many of which are members, owners and shareholders in Mortgage Electronic
Registration Systems, Inc. [MERS].

© 2010 Nye Lavalle, Pew Mortgage Institute
•10675 Pebble Cove Lane • Boca Raton, FL 33498
561/860-7632 • mortgagefrauds@aol.com

[ipaper docId=36753239 access_key=key-1xwnf3x33iwj6zod9965 height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in bear stearns, bogus, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forensic document examiner, forensic mortgage investigation audit, forgery, insider, investigation, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., Lender Processing Services Inc., LPS, Max Gardner, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, neil garfield, notary fraud, note, OCC, R.K. Arnold, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, shapiro & fishman pa, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, trade secrets, Trusts, Violations, Wall Street0 Comments

EXCLUSIVE | ‘MERS’ DEPOSITION of SECRETARY and TREASURER of MERSCORP 4/2010

EXCLUSIVE | ‘MERS’ DEPOSITION of SECRETARY and TREASURER of MERSCORP 4/2010

Could this deposition hold the key to take all of MERS V3 &  MERSCORP down!

There is not 1, 2 but 3 MERS, Inc. in the past.

Just like MERS et al signing documents dated years later from existence the Corporate employees do the same to their own corporate resolutions! Exists in 1998 and certifies it in 2002.

If this is not proof of a Ponzi Scheme then I don’t know what is… They hide the truth in many layers but as we keep pulling and peeling each layer back eventually we will come to the truth!

“A Subtle Stranger” Orchestrates a Paradigm Shift

MERS et al has absolutely no supervision of what is being done by it’s non-members certifying authority PERIOD!

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
CHANCERY DIVISION – ATLANTIC COUNTY
DOCKET NO. F-10209-08
BANK OF NEW YORK AS TRUSTEE FOR
THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS CWABS,
INC. ASSET-BACKED CERTIFICATES,
SERIES 2005-AB3
Plaintiff(s),
vs.
VICTOR and ENOABASI UKPE
Defendant(s).

___________________________________________
VICTOR and ENOABASI UKPE
Counter claimants and
Third Party Plaintiffs,
vs.
BANK OF NEW YORK AS TRUSTEE FOR
THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS CWABS,
INC. ASSET-BACKED CERTIFICATES,
SERIES 2005-AB3
Defendants on the Counterclaim,
and
AMERICA’S WHOLESALE LENDER;
COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, INC.;
MORGAN FUNDING CORPORATION,
ROBERT CHILDERS; COUNTRYWIDE
HOME LOANS SERVICING LP,
PHELAN, HALLINAN & SCHMIEG,
P.C.,
Third Party Defendants
——————–

Deposition of William C. Hultman, Secretary and Treasurer of MERSCORP

[ipaper docId=36513502 access_key=key-1ltln0ondmrqe0v9156u height=600 width=600 /]

Does MERS have any salaried employees?
A No.
Q Does MERS have any employees?
A Did they ever have any? I couldn’t hear you.
Q Does MERS have any employees currently?
A No.
Q In the last five years has MERS had any
employees
?
A No.
Q To whom do the officers of MERS report?
A The Board of Directors.
Q To your knowledge has Mr. Hallinan ever
reported to the Board?
A He would have reported through me if there was
something to report.
Q So if I understand your answer, at least the
MERS officers reflected on Hultman Exhibit 4, if they
had something to report would report to you even though
you’re not an employee of MERS, is that correct?
MR. BROCHIN: Object to the form of the
question.
A That’s correct.
Q And in what capacity would they report to you?
A As a corporate officer. I’m the secretary.
Q As a corporate officer of what?
Of MERS.
Q So you are the secretary of MERS, but are not
an employee of MERS?
A That’s correct.

etc…
How many assistant secretaries have you
appointed pursuant to the April 9, 1998 resolution; how
many assistant secretaries of MERS have you appointed?
A I don’t know that number.
Q Approximately?
A I wouldn’t even begin to be able to tell you
right now.
Q Is it in the thousands?
A Yes.
Q Have you been doing this all around the
country in every state in the country?
A Yes.
Q And all these officers I understand are unpaid
officers of MERS
?
A Yes.
Q And there’s no live person who is an employee
of MERS that they report to, is that correct, who is an
employee?
MR. BROCHIN: Object to the form of the
question.
A There are no employees of MERS.

RELATED ARTICLE:

_____________________________

MERS 101

_____________________________

FULL DEPOSITION of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) PRESIDENT & CEO R.K. ARNOLD “MERSCORP”

_____________________________

DEPOSITION of A “REAL” VICE PRESIDENT of MERS WILLIAM “BILL” HULTMAN

_____________________________

HOMEOWNERS’ REBELLION: COULD 62 MILLION HOMES BE FORECLOSURE-PROOF?

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



Posted in bac home loans, bank of america, bank of new york, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, countrywide, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, insider, investigation, lawsuit, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., note, originator, R.K. Arnold, racketeering, Real Estate, sanctioned, scam, securitization, servicers, stopforeclosurefraud.com, sub-prime, TAXES, trustee, trustee sale, Trusts, truth in lending act, unemployed, Violations, Wall Street4 Comments

Banks’ Self-Dealing Super-Charged Financial Crisis

Banks’ Self-Dealing Super-Charged Financial Crisis

ProPublica

Over the last two years of the housing bubble, Wall Street bankers perpetrated one of the greatest episodes of self-dealing in financial history.

Faced with increasing difficulty in selling the mortgage-backed securities that had been among their most lucrative products, the banks hit on a solution that preserved their quarterly earnings and huge bonuses:

They created fake demand.

A ProPublica analysis shows for the first time the extent to which banks — primarily Merrill Lynch, but also Citigroup, UBS and others — bought their own products and cranked up an assembly line that otherwise should have flagged.

The products they were buying and selling were at the heart of the 2008 meltdown — collections of mortgage bonds known as collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs.

As the housing boom began to slow in mid-2006, investors became skittish about the riskier parts of those investments. So the banks created — and ultimately provided most of the money for — new CDOs. Those new CDOs bought the hard-to-sell pieces of the original CDOs. The result was a daisy chain [1] that solved one problem but created another: Each new CDO had its own risky pieces. Banks created yet other CDOs to buy those.

Individual instances of these questionable trades have been reported before, but ProPublica’s investigation shows that by late 2006 they became a common industry practice.

Source: Thetica SystemsSource: Thetica Systems

An analysis by research firm Thetica Systems, commissioned by ProPublica, shows that in the last years of the boom, CDOs had become the dominant purchaser of key, risky parts of other CDOs, largely replacing real investors like pension funds. By 2007, 67 percent of those slices were bought by other CDOs, up from 36 percent just three years earlier. The banks often orchestrated these purchases. In the last two years of the boom, nearly half of all CDOs sponsored by market leader Merrill Lynch bought significant portions of other Merrill CDOs [2].ProPublica also found 85 instances during 2006 and 2007 in which two CDOs bought pieces of each other’s unsold inventory. These trades, which involved $107 billion worth of CDOs, underscore the extent to which the market lacked real buyers. Often the CDOs that swapped purchases closed within days of each other, the analysis shows.

There were supposed to be protections against this sort of abuse. While banks provided the blueprint for the CDOs and marketed them, they typically selected independent managers who chose the specific bonds to go inside them. The managers had a legal obligation to do what was best for the CDO. They were paid by the CDO, not the bank, and were supposed to serve as a bulwark against self-dealing by the banks, which had the fullest understanding of the complex and lightly regulated mortgage bonds.

It rarely worked out that way. The managers were beholden to the banks that sent them the business. On a billion-dollar deal, managers could earn a million dollars in fees, with little risk. Some small firms did several billion dollars of CDOs in a matter of months.

“All these banks for years were spawning trading partners,” says a former executive from Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, a major insurer of the CDO market. “You don’t have a trading partner? Create one.”

The executive, like most of the dozens of people ProPublica spoke with about the inner workings of the market at the time, asked not to be named out of fear of being sucked into ongoing investigations or because they are involved in civil litigation.

Keeping the assembly line going had a wealth of short-term advantages for the banks. Fees rolled in. A typical CDO could net the bank that created it between $5 million and $10 million — about half of which usually ended up as employee bonuses. Indeed, Wall Street awarded record bonuses in 2006, a hefty chunk of which came from the CDO business.

The self-dealing super-charged the market for CDOs, enticing some less-savvy investors to try their luck. Crucially, such deals maintained the value of mortgage bonds at a time when the lack of buyers should have driven their prices down.

But the strategy of speeding up the assembly line had devastating consequences for homeowners, the banks themselves and, ultimately, the global economy. Because of Wall Street’s machinations, more mortgages had been granted to ever-shakier borrowers. The results can now be seen in foreclosed houses across America.

The incestuous trading also made the CDOs more intertwined and thus fragile, accelerating their decline in value that began in the fall of 2007 and deepened over the next year. Most are now worth pennies on the dollar. Nearly half of the nearly trillion dollars in losses to the global banking system came from CDOs, losses ultimately absorbed by taxpayers and investors around the world. The banks’ troubles sent the world’s economies into a tailspin from which they have yet to recover.

It remains unclear whether any of this violated laws. The SEC has said [4] that it is actively looking at as many as 50 CDO managers as part of its broad examination of the CDO business’ role in the financial crisis. In particular, the agency is focusing on the relationship between the banks and the managers. The SEC is exploring how deals were structured, if any quid pro quo arrangements existed, and whether banks pressured managers to take bad assets.

The banks declined to directly address ProPublica’s questions. Asked about its relationship with managers and the cross-ownership among its CDOs, Citibank responded with a one-sentence statement:

“It has been widely reported that there are ongoing industry-wide investigations into CDO-related matters and we do not comment on pending investigations.”

None of ProPublica’s questions had mentioned the SEC or pending investigations.

Posed a similar list of questions, Bank of America, which now owns Merrill Lynch, said:

“These are very specific questions regarding individuals who left Merrill Lynch several years ago and a CDO origination business that, due to market conditions, was discontinued by Merrill before Bank of America acquired the company.”

This is the second installment of a ProPublica series about the largely hidden history of the CDO boom and bust. Our first story [5] looked at how one hedge fund helped create at least $40 billion in CDOs as part of a strategy to bet against the market. This story turns the focus on the banks.

Merrill Lynch Pioneers Pervert the Market
By 2004, the housing market was in full swing, and Wall Street bankers flocked to the CDO frenzy. It seemed to be the perfect money machine, and for a time everyone was happy.

Homeowners got easy mortgages. Banks and mortgage companies felt secure lending the money because they could sell the mortgages almost immediately to Wall Street and get back all their cash plus a little extra for their trouble. The investment banks charged massive fees for repackaging the mortgages into fancy financial products. Investors all around the world got to play in the then-phenomenal American housing market.

The mortgages were bundled into bonds, which were in turn combined into CDOs offering varying interest rates and levels of risk.

Investors holding the top tier of a CDO were first in line to get money coming from mortgages. By 2006, some banks often kept this layer, which credit agencies blessed with their highest rating of Triple A.

Buyers of the lower tiers took on more risk and got higher returns. They would be the first to take the hit if homeowners funding the CDO stopped paying their mortgages. (Here’s a video explaining how CDOs worked [6].)

Over time, these risky slices became increasingly hard to sell, posing a problem for the banks. If they remained unsold, the sketchy assets stayed on their books, like rotting inventory. That would require the banks to set aside money to cover any losses. Banks hate doing that because it means the money can’t be loaned out or put to other uses.

Being stuck with the risky portions of CDOs would ultimately lower profits and endanger the whole assembly line.

The banks, notably Merrill and Citibank, solved this problem by greatly expanding what had been a common and accepted practice: CDOs buying small pieces of other CDOs.

Architects of CDOs typically included what they called a “bucket” — which held bits of other CDOs paying higher rates of interest. The idea was to boost overall returns of deals primarily composed of safer assets. In the early days, the bucket was a small portion of an overall CDO.

One pioneer of pushing CDOs to buy CDOs was Merrill Lynch’s Chris Ricciardi, who had been brought to the firm in 2003 to take Merrill to the top of the CDO business. According to former colleagues, Ricciardi’s team cultivated managers, especially smaller firms.

Merrill exercised its leverage over the managers. A strong relationship with Merrill could be the difference between a business that thrived and one that didn’t. The more deals the banks gave a manager, the more money the manager got paid.

As the head of Merrill’s CDO business, Ricciardi also wooed managers with golf outings and dinners. One Merrill executive summed up the overall arrangement: “I’m going to make you rich. You just have to be my bitch.”

But not all managers went for it.

An executive from Trainer Wortham, a CDO manager, recalls a 2005 conversation with Ricciardi. “I wasn’t going to buy other CDOs. Chris said: ‘You don’t get it. You have got to buy other guys’ CDOs to get your deal done. That’s how it works.'” When the manager refused, Ricciardi told him, “‘That’s it. You are not going to get another deal done.'” Trainer Wortham largely withdrew from the market, concerned about the practice and the overheated prices for CDOs.

Ricciardi declined multiple requests to comment.

Merrill CDOs often bought slices of other Merrill deals. This seems to have happened more in the second half of any given year, according to ProPublica’s analysis, though the purchases were still a small portion compared to what would come later. Annual bonuses are based on the deals bankers completed by yearend.

Ricciardi left Merrill Lynch in February 2006. But the machine he put into place not only survived his departure, it became a model for competitors.

As Housing Market Wanes, Self-Dealing Takes Off
By mid-2006, the housing market was on the wane. This was particularly true for subprime mortgages, which were given to borrowers with spotty credit at higher interest rates. Subprime lenders began to fold, in what would become a mass extinction. In the first half of the year, the percentage of subprime borrowers who didn’t even make the first month’s mortgage payment tripled from the previous year.

That made CDO investors like pension funds and insurance companies increasingly nervous. If homeowners couldn’t make their mortgage payments, then the stream of cash to CDOs would dry up. Real “buyers began to shrivel and shrivel,” says Fiachra O’Driscoll, who co-ran Credit Suisse’s CDO business from 2003 to 2008.

Faced with disappearing investor demand, bankers could have wound down the lucrative business and moved on. That’s the way a market is supposed to work. Demand disappears; supply follows. But bankers were making lots of money. And they had amassed warehouses full of CDOs and other mortgage-based assets whose value was going down.

Rather than stop, bankers at Merrill, Citi, UBS and elsewhere kept making CDOs.

The question was: Who would buy them?

The top 80 percent, the less risky layers or so-called “super senior,” were held by the banks themselves. The beauty of owning that supposedly safe top portion was that it required hardly any money be held in reserve.

That left 20 percent, which the banks did not want to keep because it was riskier and required them to set aside reserves to cover any losses. Banks often sold the bottom, riskiest part to hedge funds [5]. That left the middle layer, known on Wall Street as the “mezzanine,” which was sold to new CDOs whose top 80 percent was ultimately owned by … the banks.

“As we got further into 2006, the mezzanine was going into other CDOs,” says Credit Suisse’s O’Driscoll.

This was the daisy chain [1]. On paper, the risky stuff was gone, held by new independent CDOs. In reality, however, the banks were buying their own otherwise unsellable assets.

How could something so seemingly short-sighted have happened?

It’s one of the great mysteries of the crash. Banks have fleets of risk managers to defend against just such reckless behavior. Top executives have maintained that while they suspected that the housing market was cooling, they never imagined the crash. For those doing the deals, the payoff was immediate. The dangers seemed abstract and remote.

The CDO managers played a crucial role. CDOs were so complex that even buyers had a hard time seeing exactly what was in them — making a neutral third party that much more essential.

“When you’re investing in a CDO you are very much putting your faith in the manager,” says Peter Nowell, a former London-based investor for the Royal Bank of Scotland. “The manager is choosing all the bonds that go into the CDO.” (RBS suffered mightily in the global financial meltdown, posting the largest loss in United Kingdom history, and was de facto nationalized by the British government.)

Source: Asset-Backed AlertSource: Asset-Backed Alert

By persuading managers to pick the unsold slices of CDOs, the banks helped keep the market going. “It guaranteed distribution when, quite frankly, there was not a huge market for them,” says Nowell.The counterintuitive result was that even as investors began to vanish, the mortgage CDO market more than doubled from 2005 to 2006, reaching $226 billion, according to the trade publication Asset-Backed Alert.

Citi and Merrill Hand Out Sweetheart Deals
As the CDO market grew, so did the number of CDO management firms, including many small shops that relied on a single bank for most of their business. According to Fitch, the number of CDO managers it rated rose from 89 in July 2006 to 140 in September 2007.

One CDO manager epitomized the devolution of the business, according to numerous industry insiders: a Wall Street veteran named Wing Chau.

Earlier in the decade, Chau had run the CDO department for Maxim Group, a boutique investment firm in New York. Chau had built a profitable business for Maxim based largely on his relationship with Merrill Lynch. In just a few years, Maxim had corralled more than $4 billion worth of assets under management just from Merrill CDOs.

In August 2006, Chau bolted from Maxim to start his own CDO management business, taking several colleagues with him. Chau’s departure gave Merrill, the biggest CDO producer, one more avenue for unsold inventory.

Chau named the firm Harding, after the town in New Jersey where he lived. The CDO market was starting its most profitable stretch ever, and Harding would play a big part. In an eleven-month period, ending in August 2007, Harding managed $13 billion of CDOs, including more than $5 billion from Merrill, and another nearly $5 billion from Citigroup. (Chau would later earn a measure of notoriety for a cameo appearance in Michael Lewis’ bestseller “The Big Short [7],” where he is depicted as a cheerfully feckless “go-to buyer” for Merrill Lynch’s CDO machine.)

Chau had a long-standing friendship with Ken Margolis, who was Merrill’s top CDO salesman under Ricciardi. When Ricciardi left Merrill in 2006, Margolis became a co-head of Merrill’s CDO group. He carried a genial, let’s-just-get-the-deal-done demeanor into his new position. An avid poker player, Margolis told a friend that in a previous job he had stood down a casino owner during a foreclosure negotiation after the owner had threatened to put a fork through his eye.

Chau’s close relationship with Merrill continued. In late 2006, Merrill sublet office space to Chau’s startup in the Merrill tower in Lower Manhattan’s financial district. A Merrill banker, David Moffitt, scheduled visits to Harding for prospective investors in the bank’s CDOs. “It was a nice office,” overlooking New York Harbor, recalls a CDO buyer. “But it did feel a little weird that it was Merrill’s building,” he said.

Moffitt did not respond to requests for comment.

Under Margolis, other small managers with meager track records were also suddenly handling CDOs valued at as much as $2 billion. Margolis declined to answer any questions about his own involvement in these matters.

A Wall Street Journal article [8] ($) from late 2007, one of the first of its kind, described how Margolis worked with one inexperienced CDO manager called NIR on a CDO named Norma, in the spring of that year. The Long Island-based NIR made about $1.5 million a year for managing Norma, a CDO that imploded.

“NIR’s collateral management business had arisen from efforts by Merrill Lynch to assemble a stable of captive small firms to manage its CDOs that would be beholden to Merrill Lynch on account of the business it funneled to them,” alleged a lawsuit filed in New York state court against Merrill over Norma that was settled quietly after the plaintiffs received internal Merrill documents.

NIR declined to comment.

Banks had a variety of ways to influence managers’ behavior.

Some of the few outside investors remaining in the market believed that the manager would do a better job if he owned a small slice of the CDO he was managing. That way, the manager would have more incentive to manage the investment well, since he, too, was an investor. But small management firms rarely had money to invest. Some banks solved this problem by advancing money to managers such as Harding.

Chau’s group managed two Citigroup CDOs — 888 Tactical Fund and Jupiter High-Grade VII — in which the bank loaned Harding money to buy risky pieces of the deal. The loans would be paid back out of the fees the managers took from the CDO and its investors. The loans were disclosed to investors in a few sentences among the hundreds of pages of legalese accompanying the deals.

In response to ProPublica’s questions, Chau’s lawyer said, “Harding Advisory’s dealings with investment banks were proper and fully disclosed.”

Citigroup made similar deals with other managers. The bank lent money to a manager called Vanderbilt Capital Advisors for its Armitage CDO, completed in March 2007.

Vanderbilt declined to comment. It couldn’t be learned how much money Citigroup loaned or whether it was ever repaid.

Yet again banks had masked their true stakes in CDO. Banks were lending money to CDO managers so they could buy the banks’ dodgy assets. If the managers couldn’t pay the loans back — and most were thinly capitalized — the banks were on the hook for even more losses when the CDO business collapsed.

Goldman, Merrill and Others Get Tough
When the housing market deteriorated, banks took advantage of a little-used power they had over managers.

The way CDOs are put together, there is a brief period when the bonds picked by managers sit on the banks’ balance sheets. Because the value of such assets can fall, banks reserved the right to overrule managers’ selections.

According to numerous bankers, managers and investors, banks rarely wielded that veto until late 2006, after which it became common. Merrill was in the lead.

“I would go to Merrill and tell them that I wanted to buy, say, a Citi bond,” recalls a CDO manager. “They would say ‘no.’ I would suggest a UBS bond, they would say ‘no.’ Eventually, you got the joke.” Managers could choose assets to put into their CDOs but they had to come from Merrill CDOs. One rival investment banker says Merrill treated CDO managers the way Henry Ford treated his Model T customers: You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.

Once, Merrill’s Ken Margolis pushed a manager to buy a CDO slice for a Merrill-produced CDO called Port Jackson that was completed in the beginning of 2007: “‘You don’t have to buy the deal but you are crazy if you don’t because of your business,'” an executive at the management firm recalls Margolis telling him. “‘We have a big pipeline and only so many more mandates to give you.’ You got the message.” In other words: Take our stuff and we’ll send you more business. If not, forget it.

Margolis declined to comment on the incident.

“All the managers complained about it,” recalls O’Driscoll, the former Credit Suisse banker who competed with other investment banks to put deals together and market them. But “they were indentured slaves.” O’Driscoll recalls managers grumbling that Merrill in particular told them “what to buy and when to buy it.”

Other big CDO-producing banks quickly adopted the practice.

A little-noticed document released this year during a congressional investigation into Goldman Sachs’ CDO business reveals that bank’s thinking. The firm wrote a November 2006 internal memorandum [9] about a CDO called Timberwolf, managed by Greywolf, a small manager headed by ex-Goldman bankers. In a section headed “Reasons To Pursue,” the authors touted that “Goldman is approving every asset” that will end up in the CDO. What the bank intended to do with that approval power is clear from the memo: “We expect that a significant portion of the portfolio by closing will come from Goldman’s offerings.”

When asked to comment whether Goldman’s memo demonstrates that it had effective control over the asset selection process and that Greywolf was not in fact an independent manager, the bank responded: “Greywolf was an experienced, independent manager and made its own decisions about what reference assets to include. The securities included in Timberwolf were fully disclosed to the professional investors who invested in the transaction.”

Greywolf declined to comment. One of the investors, Basis Capital of Australia, filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan against Goldman over the deal. The bank maintains the lawsuit is without merit.

By March 2007, the housing market’s signals were flashing red. Existing home sales plunged at the fastest rate in almost 20 years. Foreclosures were on the rise. And yet, to CDO buyer Peter Nowell’s surprise, banks continued to churn out CDOs.

“We were pulling back. We couldn’t find anything safe enough,” says Nowell. “We were amazed that April through June they were still printing deals. We thought things were over.”

Instead, the CDO machine was in overdrive. Wall Street produced $70 billion in mortgage CDOs in the first quarter of the year.

Many shareholder lawsuits battling their way through the court system today focus on this period of the CDO market. They allege that the banks were using the sales of CDOs to other CDOs to prop up prices and hide their losses.

“Citi’s CDO operations during late 2006 and 2007 functioned largely to sell CDOs to yet newer CDOs created by Citi to house them,” charges a pending shareholder lawsuit against the bank that was filed in federal court in Manhattan in February 2009. “Citigroup concocted a scheme whereby it repackaged many of these investments into other freshly-baked vehicles to avoid incurring a loss.”

Citigroup described the allegations as “irrational,” saying the bank’s executives would never knowingly take actions that would lead to “catastrophic losses.”

In the Hall of Mirrors, Myopic Rating Agencies
The portion of CDOs owned by other CDOs grew right alongside the market. What had been 5 percent of CDOs (remember the “bucket”) now came to constitute as much as 30 or 40 percent of new CDOs. (Wall Street also rolled out CDOs that were almost entirely made up of CDOs, called CDO squareds [10].)

The ever-expanding bucket provided new opportunities for incestuous trades.

It worked like this: A CDO would buy a piece of another CDO, which then returned the favor. The transactions moved both CDOs closer to completion, when bankers and managers would receive their fees.

Source: Thetica SystemsSource: Thetica Systems

ProPublica’s analysis shows that in the final two years of the business, CDOs with cross-ownership amounted to about one-fifth of the market, about $107 billion.Here’s an example from early May 2007:

  • A CDO called Jupiter VI bought a piece of a CDO called Tazlina II.
  • Tazlina II bought a piece of Jupiter VI.

Both Jupiter VI and Tazlina II were created by Merrill and were completed within a week of each other. Both were managed by small firms that did significant business with Merrill: Jupiter by Wing Chau’s Harding, and Tazlina by Terwin Advisors. Chau did not respond to questions about this deal. Terwin Advisors could not reached.

Just a few weeks earlier, CDO managers completed a comparable swap between Jupiter VI and another Merrill CDO called Forge 1.

Forge has its own intriguing history. It was the only deal done by a tiny manager of the same name based in Tampa, Fla. The firm was started less than a year earlier by several former Wall Street executives with mortgage experience. It received seed money from Bryan Zwan, who in 2001 settled an SEC civil lawsuit over his company’s accounting problems in a federal court in Florida. Zwan and Forge executives didn’t respond to requests for comment.

After seemingly coming out of nowhere, Forge won the right to manage a $1.5 billion Merrill CDO. That earned Forge a visit from the rating agency Moody’s.

“We just wanted to make sure that they actually existed,” says a former Moody’s executive. The rating agency saw that the group had an office near the airport and expertise to do the job.

Rating agencies regularly did such research on managers, but failed to ask more fundamental questions. The credit ratings agencies “did heavy, heavy due diligence on managers but they were looking for the wrong things: how you processed a ticket or how your surveillance systems worked,” says an executive at a CDO manager. “They didn’t check whether you were buying good bonds.”

One Forge employee recalled in a recent interview that he was amazed Merrill had been able to find buyers so quickly. “They were able to sell all the tranches” — slices of the CDO — “in a fairly rapid period of time,” said Rod Jensen, a former research analyst for Forge.

Forge achieved this feat because Merrill sold the slices to other CDOs, many linked to Merrill.

The ProPublica analysis shows that two Merrill CDOs, Maxim II and West Trade III, each bought pieces of Forge. Small managers oversaw both deals.

Forge, in turn, was filled with detritus from Merrill. Eighty-two percent of the CDO bonds owned by Forge came from other Merrill deals.

Citigroup did its own version of the shuffle, as these three CDOs demonstrate:

  • A CDO called Octonion bought some of Adams Square Funding II.
  • • Adams Square II bought a piece of Octonion.
  • • A third CDO, Class V Funding III, also bought some of Octonion.
  • • Octonion, in turn, bought a piece of Class V Funding III.

All of these Citi deals were completed within days of each other. Wing Chau was once again a central player. His firm managed Octonion. The other two were managed by a unit of Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Not all cross-ownership deals were consummated.

In spring 2007, Deutsche Bank was creating a CDO and found a manager that wanted to take a piece of it. The manager was overseeing a CDO that Merrill was assembling. Merrill blocked the manager from putting the Deutsche bonds into the Merrill CDO. A former Deutsche Bank banker says that when Deutsche Bank complained to Andy Phelps, a Merrill CDO executive, Phelps offered a quid pro quo: If Deutsche was willing to have the manager of its CDO buy some Merrill bonds, Merrill would stop blocking the purchase. Phelps declined to comment.

The Deutsche banker, who says its managers were independent, recalls being shocked: “We said we don’t control what people buy in their deals.” The swap didn’t happen.

The Missing Regulators and the Aftermath
In September 2007, as the market finally started to catch up with Merrill Lynch, Ken Margolis left the firm to join Wing Chau at Harding.

Chau and Margolis circulated a marketing plan for a new hedge fund to prospective investors touting their expertise in how CDOs were made and what was in them. The fund proposed to buy failed CDOs — at bargain basement prices. In the end, Margolis and Chau couldn’t make the business work and dropped the idea.

Why didn’t regulators intervene during the boom to stop the self-dealing that had permeated the CDO market?

No one agency had authority over the whole business. Since the business came and went in just a few years, it may have been too much to expect even assertive regulators to comprehend what was happening in time to stop it.

While the financial regulatory bill passed by Congress in July creates more oversight powers, it’s unclear whether regulators have sufficient tools to prevent a replay of the debacle.

In just two years, the CDO market had cut a swath of destruction. Partly because CDOs had bought so many pieces of each other, they collapsed in unison. Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, the biggest perpetrators of the self-dealing, were among the biggest losers. Merrill lost about $26 billion on mortgage CDOs and Citigroup about $34 billion.

Additional reporting by Kitty Bennett, Krista Kjellman Schmidt, Lisa Schwartz and Karen Weise.


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



Posted in bank of america, cdo, citi, CitiGroup, concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, Credit Suisse, deutsche bank, Economy, goldman sachs, investigation, Merrill Lynch, racketeering, RICO, rmbs, stock, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, trade secrets, Wall Street0 Comments

CLASS ACTION AMENDED against MERSCORP to include Shareholders, DJSP

CLASS ACTION AMENDED against MERSCORP to include Shareholders, DJSP

Kenneth Eric Trent, P.A. of Broward County has amended the Class Action complaint Figueroa v. MERSCORP, Inc. et al filed on July 26, 2010 in the Southern District of Florida.

Included in the amended complaint is MERS shareholders HSBC, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, WAMU, Countrywide, GMAC, Guaranty Bank, Merrill Lynch, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Norwest, Bank of America, Everhome, American Land Title, First American Title, Corinthian Mtg, MGIC Investor Svc, Nationwide Advantage, Stewart Title,  CRE Finance Council f/k/a Commercial Mortgage Securities Association, Suntrust Mortgage,  CCO Mortgage Corporation, PMI Mortgage Insurance Company, Wells Fargo and also DJS Processing which is owned by David J. Stern.

MERSCORP shareholders…HERE

[ipaper docId=36456183 access_key=key-26csq0mmgo6l8zsnw0is height=600 width=600 /]

Related article:

______________________

CLASS ACTION FILED| Figueroa v. Law Offices Of David J. Stern, P.A. and MERSCORP, Inc.

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



Posted in bank of america, chain in title, citimortgage, class action, concealment, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, countrywide, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, HSBC, investigation, jpmorgan chase, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., lawsuit, mail fraud, mbs, Merrill Lynch, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, Mortgage Bankers Association, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, non disclosure, notary fraud, note, racketeering, Real Estate, RICO, rmbs, securitization, stock, title company, trade secrets, trustee, Trusts, truth in lending act, wamu, washington mutual, wells fargo13 Comments

Whatcha Gonna Do Mr. White Shoe Boy When the American Lion Comes for You?

Whatcha Gonna Do Mr. White Shoe Boy When the American Lion Comes for You?

“I’m not going to be here next week” is how Mr. Geeai greeted me on a delightfully cool morning last week,  “so your readers are going to have to live without me.  You can come and hang out,  but you have to bring your own coffee.”

“Is this the annual Geeai family campout?’

“Indeed it is”,  he replied.   “Chris is coming up from California and we are all going to hang for a week.  So you and your readers have to live without me next week.”

“That’s OK.  I’ll take notes”

“So what new has happened this week?”

“Remember David Stern?”

The jerk who is making hundreds of millions by throwing people out of their houses?  Yes,  I remember him.”

Want to know the name of his 130 foot yacht?”

“I’m afraid to ask.”

Su Casa es Mi Casa

And then Mr. Geeai did something that really surprised me.  With all of the emotion of a great white shark coming in for a kill he said,  “Ok,  that’s a knee cap buddy”.  And then he formed his fingers into the shape of a pistol and unloaded on my kneecap.  “Bang”  he said,  and looked at me with dead eyes,  “That’s just for naming your boat what you did.  It shows who you are and that’s worth a kneecap without any other consideration.  Oh,  I’m sorry,  is that painful ?  Good.  Now,  let’s talk about what your real punishment is going to be.”

It didn’t surprise me that he blew away the kneecap so much as the totally uncaring,  nonchalant attitude he took towards the action.  It was as if he were telling one of his tenants they were responsible for a late payment.  Totally emotionless,  you’re a mark in a book.  ‘Oh,  it says here I blow your kneecap off.  *bang*  Scratch that one,  what’s next on the list?’  That’s not like him.  I know him as a man of great compassion but all of that was gone as he thought of dealing with the ones responsible for ripping off the whole country for their personal aggrandizement.

There is a seething anger in this country and them that are responsible best take heed.  If Mr. Geeai can seriously consider blowing off a kneecap … and then consider what might be appropriate punishment …  then there is real trouble brewing.  Mr. Geeai is as laid back as they come.

There was a MERS story this past week from www.wallstreetoasis.com.   Wall Street Oasis bills themselves as  a place where “monkeys” (their terms,  not mine) from investment banks,  hedge funds and private equity firms can come to relax,  trade barbs & quips,  rant,  and generally find an outlet for the frustrations built from breathing the rarified air of corporate finance.

In order to comment on any of their blogs,  you have to be a member and in order to become a member,  you have to fill out an exhaustive series of questions such as,  where did you go to school?  Where did you get your MBA?  What was your GPA?  I was reminded of standing in the little boy’s room in grammer school competing with all of the other boys to see who could step the furthest away from the urinal and still arc a flow into the bowl.  Doug Jones was the best at two steps away from the back wall,  his closest competition was four but then Doug was the best athlete on the playground so we weren’t surprised.  We were awed.  Qualifications to become a member of Wall Street Oasis are just as meaningless as arcing a flow into the urinal if you ask me.  I suppose some people are in awe just like I was with Doug Jones but I’ve grown up a bit since then.  I digress.

Continue Reading…Chink in the Armor

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



Posted in class action, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, djsp enterprises, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, Wall Street0 Comments

HOMEOWNERS’ REBELLION: COULD 62 MILLION HOMES BE FORECLOSURE-PROOF?

HOMEOWNERS’ REBELLION: COULD 62 MILLION HOMES BE FORECLOSURE-PROOF?

Ellen Brown, August 18th, 2010
WEBofDEBT

Over 62 million mortgages are now held in the name of MERS, an electronic recording system devised by and for the convenience of the mortgage industry. A California bankruptcy court, following landmark cases in other jurisdictions, recently held that this electronic shortcut makes it impossible for banks to establish their ownership of property titles—and therefore to foreclose on mortgaged properties. The logical result could be 62 million homes that are foreclosure-proof.

Mortgages bundled into securities were a favorite investment of speculators at the height of the financial bubble leading up to the crash of 2008. The securities changed hands frequently, and the companies profiting from mortgage payments were often not the same parties that negotiated the loans. At the heart of this disconnect was the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, a company that serves as the mortgagee of record for lenders, allowing properties to change hands without the necessity of recording each transfer.

MERS was convenient for the mortgage industry, but courts are now questioning the impact of all of this financial juggling when it comes to mortgage ownership. To foreclose on real property, the plaintiff must be able to establish the chain of title entitling it to relief. But MERS has acknowledged, and recent cases have held, that MERS is a mere “nominee”—an entity appointed by the true owner simply for the purpose of holding property in order to facilitate transactions. Recent court opinions stress that this defect is not just a procedural but is a substantive failure, one that is fatal to the plaintiff’s legal ability to foreclose.

That means hordes of victims of predatory lending could end up owning their homes free and clear—while the financial industry could end up skewered on its own sword.

California Precedent

The latest of these court decisions came down in California on May 20, 2010, in a bankruptcy case called In re Walker, Case no. 10-21656-E–11. The court held that MERS could not foreclose because it was a mere nominee; and that as a result, plaintiff Citibank could not collect on its claim. The judge opined:

Since no evidence of MERS’ ownership of the underlying note has been offered, and other courts have concluded that MERS does not own the underlying notes, this court is convinced that MERS had no interest it could transfer to Citibank. Since MERS did not own the underlying note, it could not transfer the beneficial interest of the Deed of Trust to another. Any attempt to transfer the beneficial interest of a trust deed without ownership of the underlying note is void under California law.

In support, the judge cited In Re Vargas (California Bankruptcy Court); Landmark v. Kesler (Kansas Supreme Court); LaSalle Bank v. Lamy (a New York case); and In Re Foreclosure Cases (the “Boyko” decision from Ohio Federal Court). (For more on these earlier cases, see here, here and here.) The court concluded:

Since the claimant, Citibank, has not established that it is the owner of the promissory note secured by the trust deed, Citibank is unable to assert a claim for payment in this case.

The broad impact the case could have on California foreclosures is suggested by attorney Jeff Barnes, who writes:

This opinion . . . serves as a legal basis to challenge any foreclosure in California based on a MERS assignment; to seek to void any MERS assignment of the Deed of Trust or the note to a third party for purposes of foreclosure; and should be sufficient for a borrower to not only obtain a TRO [temporary restraining order] against a Trustee’s Sale, but also a Preliminary Injunction barring any sale pending any litigation filed by the borrower challenging a foreclosure based on a MERS assignment.

While not binding on courts in other jurisdictions, the ruling could serve as persuasive precedent there as well, because the court cited non-bankruptcy cases related to the lack of authority of MERS, and because the opinion is consistent with prior rulings in Idaho and Nevada Bankruptcy courts on the same issue.

What Could This Mean for Homeowners?

Earlier cases focused on the inability of MERS to produce a promissory note or assignment establishing that it was entitled to relief, but most courts have considered this a mere procedural defect and continue to look the other way on MERS’ technical lack of standing to sue. The more recent cases, however, are looking at something more serious. If MERS is not the title holder of properties held in its name, the chain of title has been broken, and no one may have standing to sue. In MERS v. Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, MERS insisted that it had no actionable interest in title, and the court agreed.

An August 2010 article in Mother Jones titled “Fannie and Freddie’s Foreclosure Barons” exposes a widespread practice of “foreclosure mills” in backdating assignments after foreclosures have been filed. Not only is this perjury, a prosecutable offense, but if MERS was never the title holder, there is nothing to assign. The defaulting homeowners could wind up with free and clear title.

In Jacksonville, Florida, legal aid attorney April Charney has been using the missing-note argument ever since she first identified that weakness in the lenders’ case in 2004. Five years later, she says, some of the homeowners she’s helped are still in their homes. According to a Huffington Post article titled “‘Produce the Note’ Movement Helps Stall Foreclosures”:

Because of the missing ownership documentation, Charney is now starting to file quiet title actions, hoping to get her homeowner clients full title to their homes (a quiet title action ‘quiets’ all other claims). Charney says she’s helped thousands of homeowners delay or prevent foreclosure, and trained thousands of lawyers across the country on how to protect homeowners and battle in court.

Criminal Charges?

Other suits go beyond merely challenging title to alleging criminal activity. On July 26, 2010, a class action was filed in Florida seeking relief against MERS and an associated legal firm for racketeering and mail fraud. It alleges that the defendants used “the artifice of MERS to sabotage the judicial process to the detriment of borrowers;” that “to perpetuate the scheme, MERS was and is used in a way so that the average consumer, or even legal professional, can never determine who or what was or is ultimately receiving the benefits of any mortgage payments;” that the scheme depended on “the MERS artifice and the ability to generate any necessary ‘assignment’ which flowed from it;” and that “by engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, specifically ‘mail or wire fraud,’ the Defendants . . . participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate commerce.”

Ellen Brown wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Ellen developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how the Federal Reserve and “the money trust” have usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are webofdebt.com, ellenbrown.com, and public-banking.com.

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



Posted in bogus, chain in title, class action, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, lawsuit, mail fraud, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, racketeering, RICO, servicers, trade secrets, trustee, Trusts, Wall Street5 Comments

1st Comes Fannie, then comes Freddie, then comes tax payer with…

1st Comes Fannie, then comes Freddie, then comes tax payer with…

Scratch this record!!!!! Need help go to MERS!!

Last week Fannie Mae asked treasury for $1.5 billiion in assistance …now comes Freddie with loss and seeks aid.

You know this is outrageous! They applaud MERS and write recommendations of how they are excited with MERS but yet MERS does nothing but conceal information from the borrowers and has secret agreements with the possible beneficiaries of these loans. MERS takes tax dollars away from our schools, children, counties etc.

While we are on this subject of counties and states, why are they crying bankruptcy and major cut backs…how about ending the MERS sham and go after the fees that you cry about with them? Who does this benefit? Not us but the Mortgage Banking Industry and Wall Street so called Lending Institutions.

All these problems came about the same time MERS came to existence…now tell me something? Isn’t this a tad of a coincidence these issues became at the same time sub-prime loans hit peak?

By now we all have witness the Foreclosure Barons you have as designated counsel and what do you plan to do about it? No matter what dots there are, both Fannie and Freddie have a connection?

Why was all this NEVER a REAL PROBLEM in the past with assignments…lets say prior to 1998? Hmmm…

We are no fools.

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



Posted in bogus, chain in title, concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, Mortgage Bankers Association, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., non disclosure, notary fraud, note, originator, QUI TAM, racketeering, sub-prime, trade secrets, Violations, Wall Street0 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Fannie and Freddie’s Foreclosure Barons

EXCLUSIVE: Fannie and Freddie’s Foreclosure Barons

How the federal housing agencies—and some of the biggest bailed-out banks—are helping shady lawyers make millions by pushing families out of their homes.

— By Andy Kroll

Wed Aug. 4, 2010 12:01 AM PDT

LATE ONE NIGHT IN February 2009, Ariane Ice sat poring over records on the website of Florida’s Palm Beach County. She’d been at it for weeks, forsaking sleep to sift through thousands of legal documents. She and her husband, Tom, an attorney, ran a boutique foreclosure defense firm called Ice Legal. (Slogan: “Your home is your castle. Defend it.”) Now they were up against one of Florida’s biggest foreclosure law firms: Founded by multimillionaire attorney David J. Stern, it controlled one-fifth of the state’s booming market in foreclosure-related services. Ice had a strong hunch that Stern’s operation was up to something, and that night she found her smoking gun.

It involved something called an “assignment of mortgage,” the document that certifies who owns the property and is thus entitled to foreclose on it. Especially these days, the assignment is key evidence in a foreclosure case: With so many loans having been bought, sold, securitized, and traded, establishing who owns the mortgage is hardly a trivial matter. It frequently requires months of sleuthing in order to untangle the web of banks, brokers, and investors, among others. By law, a firm must execute (complete, sign, and notarize) an assignment before attempting to seize somebody’s home.

A Florida notary’s stamp is valid for four years, and its expiration date is visible on the imprint. But here in front of Ice were dozens of assignments notarized with stamps that hadn’t even existed until months—in some cases nearly a year—after the foreclosures were filed. Which meant Stern’s people were foreclosing first and doing their legal paperwork later. In effect, it also meant they were lying to the court—an act that could get a lawyer disbarred or even prosecuted. “There’s no question that it’s pervasive,” says Tom Ice of the backdated documents—nearly two dozen of which were verified by Mother Jones. “We’ve found tons of them.”

This all might seem like a legal technicality, but it’s not. The faster a foreclosure moves, the more difficult it is for a homeowner to fight it—even if the case was filed in error. In March, upon discovering that Stern’s firm had fudged an assignment of mortgage in another case, a judge in central Florida’s Pasco County dismissed the case with prejudice—an unusually harsh ruling that means it can never again be refiled. “The execution date and notarial date,” she wrote in a blunt ruling, “were fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead the defendant and this court.”

Stern has made a fortune foreclosing on homeowners. He owns a $15 million mansion, four Ferraris, and a 130-foot yacht.

More often than not in uncontested cases, missing or problematic documents simply go overlooked. In Florida, where foreclosure cases must go before a judge (some states handle them as a bureaucratic matter), dwindling budgets and soaring caseloads have overwhelmed local courts. Last year, the foreclosure dockets of Lee County in southwest Florida became so clogged that the court initiated rapid-fire hearings lasting less than 20 seconds per case—”the rocket docket,” attorneys called it. In Broward County, the epicenter of America’s housing bust, the courthouse recently began holding foreclosure hearings in a hallway, a scene that local attorneys call the “new Broward Zoo.” “The judges are so swamped with this stuff that they just don’t pay attention,” says Margery Golant, a veteran Florida foreclosure defense lawyer. “They just rubber-stamp them.”

But the Ices had uncovered what looked like a pattern, so Tom booked a deposition with Stern’s top deputy, Cheryl Samons, and confronted her with the backdated documents—including two from cases her firm had filed against Ice Legal’s clients. Samons, whose counsel was present, insisted that the filings were just a mistake. She refused to elaborate, so the Ices moved to depose the notaries and other Stern employees whose names were on the evidence. On the eve of those depositions, however, the firm dropped foreclosure proceedings against the Ices’ clients.

It was a bittersweet victory: The Ices had won their cases, but Stern’s practices remained under wraps. “This was done to cover up fraud,” Tom fumes. “It was done precisely so they could try to hit a reset button and keep us from getting the real goods.”

Backdated documents, according to a chorus of foreclosure experts, are typical of the sort of shenanigans practiced by a breed of law firms known as “foreclosure mills.” While far less scrutinized than subprime lenders or Wall Street banks, these firms undermine efforts by government and the mortgage industry to put struggling homeowners back on track at a time of record foreclosures. (There were 2.8 million foreclosures in 2009, and 3.8 million are projected for this year.) The mills think “they can just change things and make it up to get to the end result they want, because there’s no one holding them accountable,” says Prentiss Cox, a foreclosure expert at the University of Minnesota Law School. “We’ve got these people with incentives to go ahead with foreclosures and flood the real estate market.”

PAPER TRAIL

View the documents featured in this story:

Federal Securities Fraud Suit, Cooper and Methi v. DJSP Enterprises, David J. Stern, and Kumar Gursahaney, July 2010

Class Action Racketeering Suit, Figueroa v. MERSCORP, Law Offices of David J. Stern, and David J. Stern, July 2010

Fair Debt Collection Violation Suit, Hugo San Martin and Melissa San Martin v. Law Offices of David J. Stern, July 2010

Class Action Suit for Fair Debt Collecting Violations, Rory Hewitt v. Law Offices of David J. Stern and David J. Stern, October 2009

Florida Bar, Public Reprimand, Complaint Against David J. Stern, Sept. 2002

Florida Bar, Public Reprimand, Consent Judgment Against David J. Stern, Oct. 2002

Freddie Mac Designated Counsel, Retention Agreement with Law Offices of David J. Stern, April 2003

Freddie Mac Designated Counsel, Memo to Law Offices of David J. Stern, March 2006

Amended Complaint Alleging Sexual Harassment, Bridgette Balboni v. Law Offices of David J. Stern and David J. Stern, July 1999

Stern’s is hardly the only outfit to attract criticism, but his story is a useful window into the multibillion-dollar “default services” industry, which includes both law firms like Stern’s and contract companies that handle paper-pushing tasks for other big foreclosure lawyers. Over the past decade and a half, Stern has built up one of the industry’s most powerful operations—a global machine with offices in Florida, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines—squeezing profits from every step in the foreclosure process. Among his loyal clients, who’ve sent him hundreds of thousands of cases, are some of the nation’s biggest (and, thanks to American taxpayers, most handsomely bailed out) banks—including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup. “A lot of these mills are doing the same kinds of things,” says Linda Fisher, a professor and mortgage-fraud expert at Seton Hall University’s law school. But, she added, “I’ve heard some pretty bad stories about Stern from people in Florida.”

While the mortgage fiasco has so far cost American homeowners an estimated $7 trillion in lost equity, it has made Stern (no relation to NBA commissioner David J. Stern) fabulously rich. His $15 million, 16,000-square-foot mansion occupies a corner lot in a private island community on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. It is featured on a water-taxi tour of the area’s grandest estates, along with the abodes of Jay Leno and billionaire Blockbuster founder Wayne Huizenga, as well as the former residence of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. (Last year, Stern snapped up his next-door neighbor’s property for $8 million and tore down the house to make way for a tennis court.) Docked outside is Misunderstood, Stern’s 130-foot, jet-propelled Mangusta yacht—a $20 million-plus replacement for his previous 108-foot Mangusta. He also owns four Ferraris, four Porsches, two Mercedes-Benzes, and a Bugatti—a high-end Italian brand with models costing north of $1 million a pop.

Despite his immense wealth and ability to affect the lives of ordinary people, Stern operates out of the public eye. His law firm has no website, he is rarely mentioned in the mainstream business press, and neither he nor several of his top employees responded to repeated interview requests for this story. Stern’s personal attorney, Jeffrey Tew, also declined to comment. But scores of interviews and thousands of pages of legal and financial filings, internal emails, and other documents obtained by Mother Jones provided insight into his operation. So did eight of Stern’s former employees—attorneys, paralegals, and other staffers who agreed to talk on condition of anonymity. (Most still work in related fields and fear that speaking publicly about their ex-boss could harm their careers.)

Continue readingMOTHER JONES

Andy Kroll is a reporter at Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here. Email him with tips and insights at akroll (at) motherjones (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter here.

— Illustration: Lou Beach

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



Posted in chain in title, class action, CONTROL FRAUD, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, FDLG, florida default law group, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, investigation, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., notary fraud, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, stock, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, Wall Street1 Comment

The Most Reviled Law Firm in Florida and the “Unowned Mortgage Loans” Scheme By LYNN SZYMONIAK, ESQ.

The Most Reviled Law Firm in Florida and the “Unowned Mortgage Loans” Scheme By LYNN SZYMONIAK, ESQ.

excerpts:

Chain-of-title is not just an issue for the buyers and sellers of particular homes and title insurance companies. Some entity – and most likely several entities – are claiming these mortgages and loans
as assets when regulators and investors are determining solvency and compliance, but disavowing these same “assets” when acknowledgement of ownership would result in responsibilities ranging from payment of taxes to lawn mowing.

Stern employees often sign as if a bankrupt or out-of-business company or a failed bank owned the mortgage and loan up until foreclosure is imminent. In county recorders’ offices across the state, the Stern-created records show that the trusts acquired mortgages and loans on dates when no such acquisitions ever took place. The trusts claim ownership solely to prove that they have the right to foreclose. The date selected is arbitrary – chosen by Stern or LPS or the mortgage servicing company. In reality, residential mortgage-backed trusts did not rush to acquire billions of dollars in sub-prime non-performing loans in 2008 and 2009 as these assignments falsely state.

[ipaper docId=35193493 access_key=key-15cd46kpp21si9phgbhx height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in chain in title, CONTROL FRAUD, djsp enterprises, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, fraud digest, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., lawsuit, LPS, Lynn Szymoniak ESQ, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, Notary, notary fraud, note, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD1 Comment

CLASS ACTION FILED| Figueroa v. Law Offices Of David J. Stern, P.A. and MERSCORP, Inc.

CLASS ACTION FILED| Figueroa v. Law Offices Of David J. Stern, P.A. and MERSCORP, Inc.

KABOOM!!! This will send out shock waves.

After last week’s lawsuit filed on behalf of investors for possible securities fraud violations against DJSP Enterprises and another pending. I present to you another Class Action filed 7/26/2010 this time against the Law Offices of David J. Stern P.A., David J. Stern and MERSCORP, Inc..

Mr. Trent totally “gets it” and in this complaint he outlines and points out what we all have a hard time piecing together.

Here are excerpts of the complaint:

Beginning in or about 1999, the Defendant Firm joined with Defendant Merscorp, Inc., and other conspirators in the fraudulent scheme and RICO enterprise herein complained of. The employees of the Defendant Firm, including many licensed attorneys, have become skilled in using the artifice of MERS to sabotage the judicial process to the detriment of borrowers, and, over the past several years, have routinely relied upon MERS to do just that.

As Stern boasted to a room of investors at a recent promotional event, recent “direct source initiatives” by the larger lenders increasingly enable the Defendant Firm, DJSP, and other entities recently formed by Stern to take mortgages “from cradle to the grave.”

The whole purpose of MERS is to allow “servicers” to pretend as if they are someone else: the “owners” of the mortgage, or the real parties in interest. In fact they are not. The standard MERS/Stern complaint contains a lie about this very subject. While the title of the standard complaint makes reference to “lost loan documents,” in the body of the standard complaint, the Defendant Firm alleges that the plaintiff is the “owner and holder” of the note and mortgage. Both cannot be true unless the words used are given new meanings.

With the oversight of Defendant Merscorp and its unknown principals, the MERS artifice and enterprise evolved into an “ultra-fictitious” entity, which can also be understood as a “meta-corporation.” To perpetuate the scheme, MERS was and is used in a way so that to the average consumer, or even legal professional, can never determine who or what was or is ultimately receiving the benefits of any mortgage payments. The conspirators set about to confuse everyone as to who owned what. They created a truly effective smokescreen which has left the public and most of the judiciary operating “in the dark” through the present time.

The preparation, filing, and prosecution of the complaints to “Foreclose Mortgage and to Enforce Lost Loan Documents” were each predicate acts in the pattern of racketeering activity herein complained of, and were actions taken in furtherance of the MERS enterprise. The actions could not have been brought by the Defendant Firm without the MERS artifice and the ability to generate any necessary “assignment” which flowed from it.

By engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, specifically “mail or wire fraud,” the Defendants subject to this Count participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate commerce. In addition to the altered postmarks described below, the mail fraud is the sending of the fraudulent assignments and pleadings to the clerks of court, judges, attorneys, and defendants in foreclosure cases. These Defendants intentionally participated in a scheme to defraud others, including the Plaintiff and the other Class Members, and utilized the U.S. Mail to do so.

These documents were executed by an “Assistant Secretary” or “Vice President,” apparently of MERS. In reality, the person executing the assignments had no knowledge whatsoever of the truth of their contents, and was simply an employee of the Defendant Firm.

Altering common hardware and/or software used by the Defendant Firm so that envelopes used to mail important legal documents, such as final judgments, to defendants contain no date of mailing in the postmark and intentionally delaying in sending the mail until defendants have lost their rights. (Exhibit F). These predicate acts constitute “mail fraud.”

Here is an explanation from David J. Stern of the continuing foreclosure rout:

One of my favorite questions from one of my believers, one of my investors on the first call-in, “What inning are we in? If this was a baseball game, what inning are we in?” And my response is, we’re only in the 2nd inning. We still have 3 innings of foreclosures left, and after the foreclosures, we have 3 innings of REO liquidation and as the REO liquidations pan out, we get into the re-fi and we get into the origination.
[ . . . ]
So yeah, we’re in the 2nd inning, but guess what – when we get to the 9th inning, it’s going to be a doubleheader and we got a second game coming. So when people say, “Oh my God, the economy is bad!” I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s great.” I mean, I hate to hear people are losing their homes and credit isn’t available and credit is such that they can’t re-fi, but if you are in our niche, it’s what we do and it’s what we want to see.

[ipaper docId=34959419 access_key=key-zii1wo2j5d6enxmd05b height=600 width=600 /]

Thank you attorney Kenneth Eric Trent P.A. from Ft. Lauderdale , FL !

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



Posted in class action, concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, djsp enterprises, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., lawsuit, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, racketeering, RICO, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD35 Comments

EXPLOSIVE CONSIDERATIONS, “RACKETEERING”!! IN RE Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) Litigation. No. 09-2119-JAT. United States District Court, D. Arizona.

EXPLOSIVE CONSIDERATIONS, “RACKETEERING”!! IN RE Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) Litigation. No. 09-2119-JAT. United States District Court, D. Arizona.

IN RE Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) Litigation.

No. 09-2119-JAT.

United States District Court, D. Arizona.

June 4, 2010.

ORDER

JAMES A. TEILBORG, District Judge.

In the transfer order establishing this consolidated multidistrict litigation (“MDL”), the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“Panel”) stated, “IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that claims unrelated to the formation and/or operation of the MERS system are simultaneously remanded to their respective transferor courts.” (Doc. #1.) The parties contest which claims in each of the various cases relate to the formation and/or operation of MERS.[1] This Order addresses the thirteen cases[2] listed below that were transferred by the MDL Conditional Transfer Order (CTO-2) and Simultaneous Separation and Remand of Certain Claims (Doc. #107):

First Plaintiff's Name   Arizona Case Number   Original Jurisdiction Case Number

Huck[3]               CV 10-401-PHX-JAT     3:09-553 (Nevada)
Gillespie                CV 10-413-PHX-JAT     3:09-556 (Nevada)
Duncan                   CV 10-414-PHX-JAT     3:09-632 (Nevada)
Sieben                   CV 10-416-PHX-JAT     3:09-642 (Nevada)
Huck                     CV 10-417-PHX-JAT     3:09-643 (Nevada)
Vo                       CV 10-425-PHX-JAT     3:09-654 (Nevada)
Eastwood                 CV 10-426-PHX-JAT     3:09-656 (Nevada)
Ellifritz                CV 10-427-PHX-JAT     3:09-663 (Nevada)
McConathy                CV 10-428-PHX-JAT     3:09-665 (Nevada)
Smith                    CV 10-429-PHX-JAT     3:09-666 (Nevada)
Sage                     CV 10-456-PHX-JAT     3:09-689 (Nevada)
Mason                    CV 10-457-PHX-JAT     3:09-734 (Nevada)
Freeto                   CV 10-459-PHX-JAT     3:09-754 (Nevada)
Fitzgerald               CV 10-460-PHX-JAT     3:10-1 (Nevada)
Dominguez                CV 10-461-PHX-JAT     3:10-16 (Nevada)

I. General Interpretation of the Transfer Order

In the initial transfer order, the Panel transferred to this Court all allegations within these actions that “the various participants in MERS formed a conspiracy to commit fraud and/or that security instruments are unenforceable or foreclosures are inappropriate due to MERS’s presence as a party” or that otherwise concern the “formation and operation” of MERS. (Doc. #1.) However, the Panel simultaneously remanded unrelated claims to their transferor courts, finding that “plaintiffs’ claims relating to loan origination and collection practices do not share sufficient questions of fact with claims regarding the formation and operation” of MERS and their inclusion “would needlessly entangle the litigation in unrelated, fact-intensive issues.” Id.

Accordingly, this Court will not retain claims that, although naming MERS as a defendant, allege conduct primarily related to loan origination and collection practices, or otherwise stray from the common factual core of the MDL. Only causes of action that in essence turn on the formation or operation of MERS, no matter how framed, have been transferred to the undersigned.

Defendants Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and MERSCORP, Inc. (collectively, “Moving Defendants”) filed a Motion to Remand Claims. (Doc. #364.) Four responses were filed. Defendant OneWest Bank (“OneWest”) disagrees with Moving Defendants on six claims in one case. (Doc. #420.) Defendants Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., Countrywide Financial Corp., Countrywide Bank, F.S.B., Bank of America Corporation, N.A., ReconTrust Company, N.A., First Horizon Home Loans Corporation, and Wells Fargo Bank (collectively, “Responding Defendants”) disagree as to six types of claims in seven cases. (Doc. #428.) Two other responses were filed that do not dispute the Moving Defendants’ analysis. (Doc. ##415, 416.) MERS replied. (Doc. #433.)

II. Claims on Which the Parties Do Not Agree

Within these “tag-along” actions there are several types of claims over which the parties disagree. Where the parties agree as to the proper determination of a claim, the Court adopts the parties’ determination unless otherwise noted.

A. Fraud in the Inducement

The parties disagree about the status of claims for fraud in the inducement in Duncan (Fourteenth Claim), Sieben (Fourteenth Claim), Huck (Fourteenth Claim), and Ellifritz (Fourteenth Claim). Moving Defendants argue that all of these claims have been transferred to the MDL. Responding Defendants argue that the claims in Duncan, Sieben, and Huck have been split with part of each claim transferred to the MDL and part of each claim remanded to the respective transferor court. OneWest argues that the claim in Ellifritz has been remanded in its entirety.

Each of these claims contains the allegation that defendants “failed to disclose the material terms of the loans” and other allegations relating to the loan origination process.[4] But these claims also allege that defendants failed to disclose that they “had no lawful right to foreclose upon” the properties and that “[the plaintiffs’] obligations on the notes had been discharged.” These allegations relate to the operation of MERS.[5]

While either the MERS-related misrepresentations or the non-MERS-related misrepresentations could each be logically sufficient to establish liability, it may be that only all of the misrepresentations together were sufficient to induce the plaintiffs to enter the contract. Thus, these claims cannot be split and—as at least some of the allegations relate to the operation and formation of MERS—these claims have been transferred in their entirety to the MDL.

B. Fraud Through Omission

The Parties disagree about the status of claims for fraud through omission in Duncan (Sixth Claim), Sieben (Sixth Claim), Huck (Sixth Claim), and Ellifritz (Sixth Claim). Moving Defendants argue that these claims have been transferred to the MDL, while Responding Defendants and OneWest argue that these claims have been split with part of each claim transferred to the MDL and part of each claim remanded to the respective transferor court.

Each of these claims contains the allegation that defendants failed to disclose their “predatory, unethical and unsound lending and foreclosure practices” and the “predatory… practices of other major lenders, of which Defendants were aware per the MERS system.”[6] Thus, these claims involve both MERS-related omissions and non-MERS-related omissions which could serve as the basis for a finding of fraud. However, just as with the fraud in the inducement claims above, the fraud through omission claims cannot be severed. Therefore, these claims have been transferred in their entirety to the MDL.

C. Racketeering

Plaintiffs assert claims for racketeering activity under Nevada law in Duncan (Eleventh Claim), Sieben (Eleventh Claim), and Huck (Eleventh Claim). These claims allege vaguely that defendants have “engaged in racketeering” via the “predatory and abusive lending practices described herein.”[7] Responding Defendants argue that because these alleged underlying lending practices have been bifurcated, with some retained and some remanded, this racketeering claim must also have been split. Moving Defendants argue that because these claims are unclear as to which practices actually constitute the racketeering claim, they have been transferred to the MDL in its entirety.

The Court finds that these claims incorporate each and every other claim in their respective complaints. Thus, it would be feasible for either a pair of non-MERS-related violations to support a racketeering claim or a pair of MERS-related violations to support a racketeering claim. Therefore, these racketeering claims should be considered by both this Court and the transferor court. Accordingly, these claims have been bifurcated.[8]

D. Civil Conspiracy

Plaintiffs assert claims for civil conspiracy in, Duncan (Tenth Claim), Sieben (Tenth Claim), and Huck (Tenth Claim). These claims allege vaguely that defendants have “entered into a conspiracy with other members of MERS” in which they “failed to inform Nevada mortgagors of their rights,” continue to illegally “eject Nevadans” from their homes, and commit the violations alleged in the other claims of the complaint.[9] Responding Defendants argue that because these alleged underlying violations include claims that have been retained and claims that have been remanded, this conspiracy claim must also have been split. Moving Defendants argue that all of the allegations are fused with the alleged MERS conspiracy and have thus been transferred to the MDL.

The Court finds that these claims are cumulative of all other claims in their respective complaints. Thus, it would be feasible for either a pair of non-MERS-related violations to support a conspiracy claim or a pair of MERS-related violations to support a conspiracy claim. Therefore, these civil conspiracy claims should be considered by both this Court and the transferor court. Accordingly, these claims have been bifurcated.[10]

E. Contractual Breach of Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing and Tortious Breach of the Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

The parties disagree on these two types of claims in Duncan (Eighth and Ninth Claims), Sieben (Eighth and Ninth Claims), Huck (Eighth and Ninth Claims), and Ellifritz (Eighth and Ninth Claims). Moving Defendants argue that these claims have been transferred in full, Responding Defendants argue that these claims in Duncan, Sieben, and Huck have been severed with part transferred and part remanded, and OneWest argues that these claims in Ellifritz have been remanded in full.

Plaintiffs allege that defendants’ participation in MERS created a duty of good faith and fair dealing which was breached in the loan origination process.[11] Thus, even though these claims involve loan origination, they raise questions of fact sufficiently related to operation of MERS. Thus, these claims have been transferred in their entirety to the MDL.

F. Wrongful Foreclosure

Plaintiffs assert a claim for wrongful foreclosure in Ellifritz (Fifth Claim). Moving Defendants argue that the claim has been retained, while OneWest argues that this claim has been split. Specifically, OneWest argues that “Plaintiffs’ allegation that their obligations have been discharged because investors of mortgage-backed securities received federal bailout funds” deals with “collection of payments on the mortgage loan, and whether Plaintiffs’ payment obligation has been discharged” and has been remanded. (Doc. #420 at 5-6.) Moving Defendants contend that because “the federal-bailout allegation concerns the role of [MERS], the `wrongful foreclosure’ claim was transferred to this Court in its entirety.” (Doc. #433 at 6.)

The Panel’s transfer order made clear that the actions transferred to this Court “possess a common factual core regarding allegations that… security instruments are unenforceable or foreclosures are inappropriate due to MERS’s presence as a party.” (Doc. #1 at 2.) Here the allegation is that defendants’ “foreclosures are inappropriate” due to the workings of the federal bailout. This allegation appears to share sufficient questions of fact with claims regarding the formation and operation of MERS that it is properly part of the MDL. Accordingly, the entirety of this claim for wrongful foreclosure has been retained.

G. Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and Conversion

Plaintiffs assert a claim for “conspiracy to commit fraud and conversion” in Ellifritz (Second Claim). Moving Defendants argue that this claim has been transferred to the MDL and OneWest argues that this claim has been remanded. The claim alleges that defendants conspired to defraud plaintiffs “by participating in [MERS]… which was the forming of an association to conspire to deprive Plaintiff(s) of their property through fraud and misrepresentation…”[12] This allegation relates to the formation and operation of MERS and, thus, the Court finds that this claim has been transferred.

Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED that the Motion to Remand Certain Claims (Doc. #364) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Huck (CV 10-401-PHX-JAT), Gillespie (CV 10-413-PHX-JAT), CV 10-415-PHX-JAT (Caffee), and CV 10-455-PHX-JAT (Barlow) the motion is denied without prejudice. Moving Defendants shall have ten days after the Court rules on the motions for leave to amend to file a motion to remand all claims that it asserts the panel remanded to the respective transferor courts in the transfer orders; Plaintiffs and the non-moving Defendants shall respond to this motion to remand within ten days and in the responses shall specify what claims they agree were remanded, what additional claims, if any, have been remanded, and what claims, if any, they assert were not remanded; Moving Defendants shall reply (in a consolidated reply) within ten days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Duncan (CV 10-414-PHX-JAT), Sieben (CV 10-416-PHX-JAT), Huck (CV 10-417-PHX-JAT), Vo (CV 10-425-PHX-JAT), Ellifritz (CV 10-427-PHX-JAT), McConathy (CV 10-428-PHX-JAT), Smith (CV 10-429-PHX-JAT), and Sage (CV 10-456-PHX-JAT) claims 2, 5-9, 13 and 14 and part of claims 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12 remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and claim 1 and part of claims 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12 have been remanded to their respective transferor courts. MERS shall file a copy of this Order with each transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Eastwood (CV 10-426-PHX-JAT) claims 1-2, 5-9, 13 and 14 and part of claims 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12 remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and part of claims 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12 have been remanded to the transferor court. MERS shall file a copy of this Order with the transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Mason (CV 10-457-PHX-JAT) and Fitzgerald (CV 10-460-PHX-JAT) claims 1-4 and part of claim 6 (i.e., injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and quiet title) remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and claim 5 and part of claim 6 (i.e., injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and reformation) have been remanded to their respective transferor courts. MERS shall file a copy of this Order with each transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Freeto (CV 10-459-PHX-JAT) claims 2, 5-11, and 13 and part of claims 3 and 4 remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and claims 1 and 12 and part of claims 3 and 4 have been remanded to the transferor court.[13] MERS shall file a copy of this Order with the transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Dominguez (CV 10-461-PHX-JAT) claims 1-2, 5-11, 13 and 14 and part of claims 3, 4, and 12 remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and part of claims 3, 4, and 12 have been remanded to the transferor court.[14] MERS shall file a copy of this Order with the transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall file a copy of this Order in each member case listed on page 2.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to any claims that are staying with this Court, Defendants shall answer or otherwise respond to those claims within the time limits set in the Initial Practice and Procedure Order (Doc. #25); with respect to any claims that have been remanded to the transferor courts, Defendants shall answer or otherwise respond to those claims within fifteen days of this Order, unless any order of the transferor court is inconsistent with this Order, in which case, the order of the transferor court shall control.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED within 12 days of this Order, MERS shall file all documents related to a case bifurcated herein into the record of the transferor court in that particular case. (Because this Court will not transfer the entire MDL file and docket to any individual transferor court, this will insure the Judge in the transferor court has a complete record for that specific case).

[1] The parties have fully briefed this issue pursuant to the Court’s Order on Practices and Procedures (Doc. #176). Although the parties sought “remand” of certain claims to the transferor court, under Section 1407(a), remands to a transferor court can only be effected by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. 28 U.S.C. § 1407; see also R.P.J.P.M.L. 7.6. The Court, thus, stresses that this order is solely a determination of which claims are pending before this Court and which claims remain in their respective transferor courts, pursuant to the Panel’s transfer orders.

[2] Twenty-one additional cases transferred by the transfer order have been addressed by a separate set of briefing.

[3] In four cases briefed for this order, CV 10-401-PHX-JAT (Huck), CV 10-413-PHX-JAT (Gillespie), CV 10-415-PHX-JAT (Caffee), and CV 10-455-PHX-JAT (Barlow), Plaintiffs have moved for leave to file amended complaints. (Doc. ##525, 526, 564, 573.) The Court will wait until after it grants or denies those motions to determine which claims have been retained and which claims have been remanded in these four cases. An updated briefing schedule is set forth below.

[4] See, e.g., CV 10-414-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 48-50

[5] Id.

[6] See, e.g., CV 10-413-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 31.

[7] See, e.g., CV 10-414-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 43.

[8] The identical racketeering claims in Vo (Tenth Claim), Eastwood (Tenth Claim), Ellifritz (Tenth Claim), McConathy (Tenth Claim), Smith (Tenth Claim), Sage (Tenth Claim), Freeto (Tenth Claim), and Dominguez (Tenth Claim) are also bifurcated.

[9] See, e.g., CV 10-414-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 41-42.

[10] The identical civil conspiracy claims in Vo (Eleventh Claim), Eastwood (Eleventh Claim), Ellifritz (Eleventh Claim), McConathy (Eleventh Claim), Smith (Eleventh Claim), Sage (Eleventh Claim), Freeto (Eleventh Claim), and Dominguez (Eleventh Claim) are also bifurcated.

[11] See, e.g., CV 10-414-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 38-41.

[12] CV 10-437-PHX-JAT (Ellifritz), Doc. #1-1 at 41.

[13] While these remanded claims do not appear to involve Defendants Litton Loan Servicing LP, Bank of New York Mellon as former trustee for the C-BASS Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates Series 2005-CB4, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, as former trustee for the C-BASS Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates Series 2005-CB4 (collectively, “Litton Loan Group”), this argument is better made in a motion to dismiss. Thus, the Court remands these claims even as they relate to the Litton Loan Group.

[14] The Court remands these claims even as they relate to Defendant Litton Loan Servicing LP.

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



Posted in concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, racketeering0 Comments

EXPLOSIVE CONSIDERATIONS, “RACKETEERING”!! IN RE Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) Litigation. No. 09-2119-JAT. United States District Court, D. Arizona.

EXPLOSIVE CONSIDERATIONS, “RACKETEERING”!! IN RE Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) Litigation. No. 09-2119-JAT. United States District Court, D. Arizona.

IN RE Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) Litigation.

No. 09-2119-JAT.

United States District Court, D. Arizona.

June 4, 2010.

ORDER

JAMES A. TEILBORG, District Judge.

In the transfer order establishing this consolidated multidistrict litigation (“MDL”), the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“Panel”) stated, “IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that claims unrelated to the formation and/or operation of the MERS system are simultaneously remanded to their respective transferor courts.” (Doc. #1.) The parties contest which claims in each of the various cases relate to the formation and/or operation of MERS.[1] This Order addresses the thirteen cases[2] listed below that were transferred by the MDL Conditional Transfer Order (CTO-2) and Simultaneous Separation and Remand of Certain Claims (Doc. #107):

First Plaintiff's Name   Arizona Case Number   Original Jurisdiction Case Number

Huck[3]               CV 10-401-PHX-JAT     3:09-553 (Nevada)
Gillespie                CV 10-413-PHX-JAT     3:09-556 (Nevada)
Duncan                   CV 10-414-PHX-JAT     3:09-632 (Nevada)
Sieben                   CV 10-416-PHX-JAT     3:09-642 (Nevada)
Huck                     CV 10-417-PHX-JAT     3:09-643 (Nevada)
Vo                       CV 10-425-PHX-JAT     3:09-654 (Nevada)
Eastwood                 CV 10-426-PHX-JAT     3:09-656 (Nevada)
Ellifritz                CV 10-427-PHX-JAT     3:09-663 (Nevada)
McConathy                CV 10-428-PHX-JAT     3:09-665 (Nevada)
Smith                    CV 10-429-PHX-JAT     3:09-666 (Nevada)
Sage                     CV 10-456-PHX-JAT     3:09-689 (Nevada)
Mason                    CV 10-457-PHX-JAT     3:09-734 (Nevada)
Freeto                   CV 10-459-PHX-JAT     3:09-754 (Nevada)
Fitzgerald               CV 10-460-PHX-JAT     3:10-1 (Nevada)
Dominguez                CV 10-461-PHX-JAT     3:10-16 (Nevada)

I. General Interpretation of the Transfer Order

In the initial transfer order, the Panel transferred to this Court all allegations within these actions that “the various participants in MERS formed a conspiracy to commit fraud and/or that security instruments are unenforceable or foreclosures are inappropriate due to MERS’s presence as a party” or that otherwise concern the “formation and operation” of MERS. (Doc. #1.) However, the Panel simultaneously remanded unrelated claims to their transferor courts, finding that “plaintiffs’ claims relating to loan origination and collection practices do not share sufficient questions of fact with claims regarding the formation and operation” of MERS and their inclusion “would needlessly entangle the litigation in unrelated, fact-intensive issues.” Id.

Accordingly, this Court will not retain claims that, although naming MERS as a defendant, allege conduct primarily related to loan origination and collection practices, or otherwise stray from the common factual core of the MDL. Only causes of action that in essence turn on the formation or operation of MERS, no matter how framed, have been transferred to the undersigned.

Defendants Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and MERSCORP, Inc. (collectively, “Moving Defendants”) filed a Motion to Remand Claims. (Doc. #364.) Four responses were filed. Defendant OneWest Bank (“OneWest”) disagrees with Moving Defendants on six claims in one case. (Doc. #420.) Defendants Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., Countrywide Financial Corp., Countrywide Bank, F.S.B., Bank of America Corporation, N.A., ReconTrust Company, N.A., First Horizon Home Loans Corporation, and Wells Fargo Bank (collectively, “Responding Defendants”) disagree as to six types of claims in seven cases. (Doc. #428.) Two other responses were filed that do not dispute the Moving Defendants’ analysis. (Doc. ##415, 416.) MERS replied. (Doc. #433.)

II. Claims on Which the Parties Do Not Agree

Within these “tag-along” actions there are several types of claims over which the parties disagree. Where the parties agree as to the proper determination of a claim, the Court adopts the parties’ determination unless otherwise noted.

A. Fraud in the Inducement

The parties disagree about the status of claims for fraud in the inducement in Duncan (Fourteenth Claim), Sieben (Fourteenth Claim), Huck (Fourteenth Claim), and Ellifritz (Fourteenth Claim). Moving Defendants argue that all of these claims have been transferred to the MDL. Responding Defendants argue that the claims in Duncan, Sieben, and Huck have been split with part of each claim transferred to the MDL and part of each claim remanded to the respective transferor court. OneWest argues that the claim in Ellifritz has been remanded in its entirety.

Each of these claims contains the allegation that defendants “failed to disclose the material terms of the loans” and other allegations relating to the loan origination process.[4] But these claims also allege that defendants failed to disclose that they “had no lawful right to foreclose upon” the properties and that “[the plaintiffs’] obligations on the notes had been discharged.” These allegations relate to the operation of MERS.[5]

While either the MERS-related misrepresentations or the non-MERS-related misrepresentations could each be logically sufficient to establish liability, it may be that only all of the misrepresentations together were sufficient to induce the plaintiffs to enter the contract. Thus, these claims cannot be split and—as at least some of the allegations relate to the operation and formation of MERS—these claims have been transferred in their entirety to the MDL.

B. Fraud Through Omission

The Parties disagree about the status of claims for fraud through omission in Duncan (Sixth Claim), Sieben (Sixth Claim), Huck (Sixth Claim), and Ellifritz (Sixth Claim). Moving Defendants argue that these claims have been transferred to the MDL, while Responding Defendants and OneWest argue that these claims have been split with part of each claim transferred to the MDL and part of each claim remanded to the respective transferor court.

Each of these claims contains the allegation that defendants failed to disclose their “predatory, unethical and unsound lending and foreclosure practices” and the “predatory… practices of other major lenders, of which Defendants were aware per the MERS system.”[6] Thus, these claims involve both MERS-related omissions and non-MERS-related omissions which could serve as the basis for a finding of fraud. However, just as with the fraud in the inducement claims above, the fraud through omission claims cannot be severed. Therefore, these claims have been transferred in their entirety to the MDL.

C. Racketeering

Plaintiffs assert claims for racketeering activity under Nevada law in Duncan (Eleventh Claim), Sieben (Eleventh Claim), and Huck (Eleventh Claim). These claims allege vaguely that defendants have “engaged in racketeering” via the “predatory and abusive lending practices described herein.”[7] Responding Defendants argue that because these alleged underlying lending practices have been bifurcated, with some retained and some remanded, this racketeering claim must also have been split. Moving Defendants argue that because these claims are unclear as to which practices actually constitute the racketeering claim, they have been transferred to the MDL in its entirety.

The Court finds that these claims incorporate each and every other claim in their respective complaints. Thus, it would be feasible for either a pair of non-MERS-related violations to support a racketeering claim or a pair of MERS-related violations to support a racketeering claim. Therefore, these racketeering claims should be considered by both this Court and the transferor court. Accordingly, these claims have been bifurcated.[8]

D. Civil Conspiracy

Plaintiffs assert claims for civil conspiracy in, Duncan (Tenth Claim), Sieben (Tenth Claim), and Huck (Tenth Claim). These claims allege vaguely that defendants have “entered into a conspiracy with other members of MERS” in which they “failed to inform Nevada mortgagors of their rights,” continue to illegally “eject Nevadans” from their homes, and commit the violations alleged in the other claims of the complaint.[9] Responding Defendants argue that because these alleged underlying violations include claims that have been retained and claims that have been remanded, this conspiracy claim must also have been split. Moving Defendants argue that all of the allegations are fused with the alleged MERS conspiracy and have thus been transferred to the MDL.

The Court finds that these claims are cumulative of all other claims in their respective complaints. Thus, it would be feasible for either a pair of non-MERS-related violations to support a conspiracy claim or a pair of MERS-related violations to support a conspiracy claim. Therefore, these civil conspiracy claims should be considered by both this Court and the transferor court. Accordingly, these claims have been bifurcated.[10]

E. Contractual Breach of Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing and Tortious Breach of the Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

The parties disagree on these two types of claims in Duncan (Eighth and Ninth Claims), Sieben (Eighth and Ninth Claims), Huck (Eighth and Ninth Claims), and Ellifritz (Eighth and Ninth Claims). Moving Defendants argue that these claims have been transferred in full, Responding Defendants argue that these claims in Duncan, Sieben, and Huck have been severed with part transferred and part remanded, and OneWest argues that these claims in Ellifritz have been remanded in full.

Plaintiffs allege that defendants’ participation in MERS created a duty of good faith and fair dealing which was breached in the loan origination process.[11] Thus, even though these claims involve loan origination, they raise questions of fact sufficiently related to operation of MERS. Thus, these claims have been transferred in their entirety to the MDL.

F. Wrongful Foreclosure

Plaintiffs assert a claim for wrongful foreclosure in Ellifritz (Fifth Claim). Moving Defendants argue that the claim has been retained, while OneWest argues that this claim has been split. Specifically, OneWest argues that “Plaintiffs’ allegation that their obligations have been discharged because investors of mortgage-backed securities received federal bailout funds” deals with “collection of payments on the mortgage loan, and whether Plaintiffs’ payment obligation has been discharged” and has been remanded. (Doc. #420 at 5-6.) Moving Defendants contend that because “the federal-bailout allegation concerns the role of [MERS], the `wrongful foreclosure’ claim was transferred to this Court in its entirety.” (Doc. #433 at 6.)

The Panel’s transfer order made clear that the actions transferred to this Court “possess a common factual core regarding allegations that… security instruments are unenforceable or foreclosures are inappropriate due to MERS’s presence as a party.” (Doc. #1 at 2.) Here the allegation is that defendants’ “foreclosures are inappropriate” due to the workings of the federal bailout. This allegation appears to share sufficient questions of fact with claims regarding the formation and operation of MERS that it is properly part of the MDL. Accordingly, the entirety of this claim for wrongful foreclosure has been retained.

G. Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and Conversion

Plaintiffs assert a claim for “conspiracy to commit fraud and conversion” in Ellifritz (Second Claim). Moving Defendants argue that this claim has been transferred to the MDL and OneWest argues that this claim has been remanded. The claim alleges that defendants conspired to defraud plaintiffs “by participating in [MERS]… which was the forming of an association to conspire to deprive Plaintiff(s) of their property through fraud and misrepresentation…”[12] This allegation relates to the formation and operation of MERS and, thus, the Court finds that this claim has been transferred.

Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED that the Motion to Remand Certain Claims (Doc. #364) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Huck (CV 10-401-PHX-JAT), Gillespie (CV 10-413-PHX-JAT), CV 10-415-PHX-JAT (Caffee), and CV 10-455-PHX-JAT (Barlow) the motion is denied without prejudice. Moving Defendants shall have ten days after the Court rules on the motions for leave to amend to file a motion to remand all claims that it asserts the panel remanded to the respective transferor courts in the transfer orders; Plaintiffs and the non-moving Defendants shall respond to this motion to remand within ten days and in the responses shall specify what claims they agree were remanded, what additional claims, if any, have been remanded, and what claims, if any, they assert were not remanded; Moving Defendants shall reply (in a consolidated reply) within ten days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Duncan (CV 10-414-PHX-JAT), Sieben (CV 10-416-PHX-JAT), Huck (CV 10-417-PHX-JAT), Vo (CV 10-425-PHX-JAT), Ellifritz (CV 10-427-PHX-JAT), McConathy (CV 10-428-PHX-JAT), Smith (CV 10-429-PHX-JAT), and Sage (CV 10-456-PHX-JAT) claims 2, 5-9, 13 and 14 and part of claims 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12 remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and claim 1 and part of claims 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12 have been remanded to their respective transferor courts. MERS shall file a copy of this Order with each transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Eastwood (CV 10-426-PHX-JAT) claims 1-2, 5-9, 13 and 14 and part of claims 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12 remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and part of claims 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12 have been remanded to the transferor court. MERS shall file a copy of this Order with the transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Mason (CV 10-457-PHX-JAT) and Fitzgerald (CV 10-460-PHX-JAT) claims 1-4 and part of claim 6 (i.e., injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and quiet title) remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and claim 5 and part of claim 6 (i.e., injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and reformation) have been remanded to their respective transferor courts. MERS shall file a copy of this Order with each transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Freeto (CV 10-459-PHX-JAT) claims 2, 5-11, and 13 and part of claims 3 and 4 remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and claims 1 and 12 and part of claims 3 and 4 have been remanded to the transferor court.[13] MERS shall file a copy of this Order with the transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Dominguez (CV 10-461-PHX-JAT) claims 1-2, 5-11, 13 and 14 and part of claims 3, 4, and 12 remain with the undersigned as part of the MDL and part of claims 3, 4, and 12 have been remanded to the transferor court.[14] MERS shall file a copy of this Order with the transferor court within the next two business days.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall file a copy of this Order in each member case listed on page 2.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to any claims that are staying with this Court, Defendants shall answer or otherwise respond to those claims within the time limits set in the Initial Practice and Procedure Order (Doc. #25); with respect to any claims that have been remanded to the transferor courts, Defendants shall answer or otherwise respond to those claims within fifteen days of this Order, unless any order of the transferor court is inconsistent with this Order, in which case, the order of the transferor court shall control.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED within 12 days of this Order, MERS shall file all documents related to a case bifurcated herein into the record of the transferor court in that particular case. (Because this Court will not transfer the entire MDL file and docket to any individual transferor court, this will insure the Judge in the transferor court has a complete record for that specific case).

[1] The parties have fully briefed this issue pursuant to the Court’s Order on Practices and Procedures (Doc. #176). Although the parties sought “remand” of certain claims to the transferor court, under Section 1407(a), remands to a transferor court can only be effected by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. 28 U.S.C. § 1407; see also R.P.J.P.M.L. 7.6. The Court, thus, stresses that this order is solely a determination of which claims are pending before this Court and which claims remain in their respective transferor courts, pursuant to the Panel’s transfer orders.

[2] Twenty-one additional cases transferred by the transfer order have been addressed by a separate set of briefing.

[3] In four cases briefed for this order, CV 10-401-PHX-JAT (Huck), CV 10-413-PHX-JAT (Gillespie), CV 10-415-PHX-JAT (Caffee), and CV 10-455-PHX-JAT (Barlow), Plaintiffs have moved for leave to file amended complaints. (Doc. ##525, 526, 564, 573.) The Court will wait until after it grants or denies those motions to determine which claims have been retained and which claims have been remanded in these four cases. An updated briefing schedule is set forth below.

[4] See, e.g., CV 10-414-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 48-50

[5] Id.

[6] See, e.g., CV 10-413-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 31.

[7] See, e.g., CV 10-414-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 43.

[8] The identical racketeering claims in Vo (Tenth Claim), Eastwood (Tenth Claim), Ellifritz (Tenth Claim), McConathy (Tenth Claim), Smith (Tenth Claim), Sage (Tenth Claim), Freeto (Tenth Claim), and Dominguez (Tenth Claim) are also bifurcated.

[9] See, e.g., CV 10-414-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 41-42.

[10] The identical civil conspiracy claims in Vo (Eleventh Claim), Eastwood (Eleventh Claim), Ellifritz (Eleventh Claim), McConathy (Eleventh Claim), Smith (Eleventh Claim), Sage (Eleventh Claim), Freeto (Eleventh Claim), and Dominguez (Eleventh Claim) are also bifurcated.

[11] See, e.g., CV 10-414-PHX-JAT (Duncan), Doc. #1-1 at 38-41.

[12] CV 10-437-PHX-JAT (Ellifritz), Doc. #1-1 at 41.

[13] While these remanded claims do not appear to involve Defendants Litton Loan Servicing LP, Bank of New York Mellon as former trustee for the C-BASS Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates Series 2005-CB4, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, as former trustee for the C-BASS Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates Series 2005-CB4 (collectively, “Litton Loan Group”), this argument is better made in a motion to dismiss. Thus, the Court remands these claims even as they relate to the Litton Loan Group.

[14] The Court remands these claims even as they relate to Defendant Litton Loan Servicing LP.

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



Posted in concealment, conspiracy, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., racketeering0 Comments


GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
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