Reversed Court Decision

Archive | reversed court decision

FL 4th DCA COURT OF APPEALS REVERSES SUMMARY JUDGMENT: ALEJANDRE v. DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY

FL 4th DCA COURT OF APPEALS REVERSES SUMMARY JUDGMENT: ALEJANDRE v. DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY

JUDITH ALEJANDRE and SERGIO TERRON, Appellants,
v.
DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS

f/k/a BANKER’S TRUST COMPANY, as TRUSTEE
and CUSTODIAN FOR NATIXIS 2007-HE2, Appellee.

No. 4D09-2280.

October 13, 2010 –

Joshua Bleil and Jessica Ticktin of The Ticktin Law Group, P.A.,
Deerfield Beach, for appellants.

No brief filed for appellee.

Judith Alejandre and Sergio Terron (Alejandre) appeal the summary judgment of foreclosure in favor of Deutsche Bank Trust Company. Alejandre asserts that the trial court erred in granting the summary judgment and that they had asserted affirmative defenses which were not denied by Deutsche, dealt with during the hearing on the motion for summary judgment or addressed in the final judgment. We agree and reverse.

Deutsche filed an amended complaint with the necessary documentation alleging that it was entitled to foreclose on the property in question. In Alejandre’s answer to the amended complaint, they asserted as affirmative defenses, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and unclean hands. In moving for summary judgment, Deutsche attached an affidavit stating that it had advanced to Alejandre, and is owed by Alejandre, the sum of $337,567.26. In its motion, however, it did not address any of the pending affirmative defenses. Nonetheless, the trial court granted Deutsche’s motion for summary judgment, prompting this appeal.

“The standard of review of the entry of summary judgment is de novo.” Craven v. TRG-Boynton Beach, Ltd.,925 So.2d 476, 479 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006). Further, [t]he law is well settled in Florida that a party moving for summary judgment must show conclusively the absence of any genuine issue of material fact, and the court must draw every possible inference in favor of the party against whom a summary judgment is sought.” Id. at 479-80. “Summary judgment cannot be granted unless the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file together with affidavits, if any, conclusively show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Frost v. Regions Bank,15 So.3d 905, 906 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009).

When a party raises affirmative defenses, “[a] summary judgment should not be granted where there are issues of fact raised by [the] affirmative defense[s] which have not been effectively factually challenged and refuted.” Cufferi v. Royal Palm Dev. Co.,516 So.2d 983, 984 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987). Thus, “`[i]n order for a plaintiff . . . to obtain a summary judgment when the defendant asserts affirmative defenses, the plaintiff must either disprove those defenses by evidence or establish the legal insufficiency of the defenses.’” Id. (quoting Bunner v. Fla. Coast Bank of Coral Springs, N.A.,390 So.2d 126, 127 (Fla. 4th DCA 1980)). In such instances, “[t]he burden is on the plaintiff, as the moving party, to demonstrate that the defendant could not prevail.” Id.

In Frost, a bank/mortgagee filed a foreclosure claim against a mortgagor. In response to that complaint, the mortgagors filed an answer that contained the affirmative defense of notice and opportunity to cure. The bank filed a motion for summary judgment. In opposition to that motion, the mortgagors did not file any papers or affidavits. At the hearing, the mortgagors contended that summary judgment was improper because the bank failed to address their affirmative defense. The trial court granted the bank’s motion for summary judgment. Frost, 15 So. 3d at 906.

On appeal, this court reversed. We stated that the bank failed to refute the mortgagors’ affirmative defense of lack of notice and opportunity to cure. The bank failed to meet this requirement because “[n]othing in the bank’s complaint, motion for summary judgment, or affidavits indicate that the bank gave the [mortgagors] the notice which the mortgage required. The bank also did not establish that the [mortgagors’] lack of notice and opportunity to cure defense was legally insufficient.” Id. at 906. This Court held that “[b]ecause the bank did not meet its burden to refute the [mortgagors’] lack of notice and opportunity to cure defense, the bank is not entitled to final summary judgment of foreclosure.” Id. at 906-07.

In the instant case, as in Frost, the trial court’s entry of summary judgment was improper. Here, as in Frost, Deutsche moved for summary judgment, but in that motion, it failed to address affirmative defenses raised by the mortgagor, Alejandre. Because Deutsche failed to address Alejandre’s affirmative defenses, it did not carry its burden on summary judgment. Therefore, the trial court’s entry of summary judgment was erroneous. We do not pass upon the merits of the affirmative defenses, as that is a matter to be addressed in further proceedings.

Reversed and Remanded for Further Proceedings Consistent with this Opinion.

TAYLOR and CIKLIN, JJ., concur.

ALEJANDRE v. DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY

[ipaper docId=39355993 access_key=key-25v4r2e2o2xermvv7u0y height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in deutsche bank, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, reversed court decision3 Comments

EXTRA! EXTRA! FLORIDA APPEALS COURT REVERSES IT’S OWN OPINION: RUSCALLEDA v. HSBC BANK USA No. 3D09-997

EXTRA! EXTRA! FLORIDA APPEALS COURT REVERSES IT’S OWN OPINION: RUSCALLEDA v. HSBC BANK USA No. 3D09-997

RUSCALLEDA v. HSBC BANK USA

Glazy Ruscalleda and Jose Ruscalleda, Appellants,
v.
HSBC Bank USA, etc., Appellee.

No. 3D09-997.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District.

Opinion filed September 15, 2010.

John H. Ruiz and Karen Barnet-Backer, for appellants.

Shapiro & Fishman and Heidi J. Weinzetl (Boca Raton), for appellee.

Before WELLS, ROTHENBERG, and LAGOA, JJ.

ON MOTION FOR REHEARING OR CLARIFICATION.

ROTHENBERG, J.

Upon consideration of the appellee’s motion for rehearing or clarification, we withdraw our previous opinion filed on June 9, 2010, and substitute the following opinion in its stead.

This is an appeal of a final summary judgment in a mortgage foreclosure action entered in favor of plaintiff, HSBC Bank USA (“HSBC”), and against the defendants, Glazy Ruscalleda and Jose Ruscalleda. Based on the unique circumstances of this case, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

The unique circumstances surrounding this case involve a rather confusing situation caused by two banks—the appellee, HSBC, and American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. (“American Home Mortgage”)—because they were simultaneously attempting to foreclose the same mortgage. On October 8, 2008, American Home Mortgage filed a foreclosure action against the defendants.[ 1 ] A week later, HSBC filed an action to foreclose the same exact mortgage. The complaint filed by HSBC falsely alleged that it was the current owner and holder of the mortgage and note, when, in reality, American Home Mortgage was still the holder of the note and mortgage.[ 2 ] On October 28, 2008, due to the actions of American Home Mortgage and HSBC, the defendants, who were acting pro se at that time, filed an answer and affirmative defenses only in the foreclosure action filed by American Home Mortgage, which was the holder of the mortgage and note, because they mistakenly believed that the complaints involved the same foreclosure action.

After filing their pro se answer and affirmative defenses, the defendants retained counsel. Continuing in their mistaken belief, they did not inform their attorney of the action filed by HSBC. On November 13, 2008, counsel filed an amended answer and affirmative defenses on behalf of the defendants in the American Home Mortgage action, but took no action on the HSBC complaint.

Although the defendants did not file an answer in response to HSBC’s complaint, HSBC never moved for a default judgment.[ 3 ] Instead, on January 22, 2009, HSBC moved for summary judgment, scheduling the hearing for March 24, 2009. When the defendants received the motion for summary judgment in the HSBC action, it sent the motion to their counsel. It was at that point, that the defendants and their counsel realized that two separate banks were attempting to simultaneously foreclose on the same mortgage, but that they only had been defending the initial action filed by American Home Mortgage.

On February 23, 2009, the defendants filed a memorandum of law in opposition to the motion for summary judgment, the affidavit of Glazy Ruscalleda, and a motion to transfer the case to the division where the foreclosure action filed by American Home Mortgage was pending (“Motion to Transfer”). On February 25, 2009, the defendants filed a request for production, request for admissions, and notice of interrogatory. American Home Mortgage waited until the day before the scheduled hearing to file its notice of voluntary dismissal, although it had executed the assignment of mortgage almost three months earlier.

At the scheduled hearing, the trial court heard the arguments raised by HSBC in its motion for summary judgment and by defense counsel in his memorandum of law filed in opposition. Although it is undisputed that the defendants’ discovery was still pending, the trial court entered final summary judgment on the same day as the hearing, March 24, 2009, in favor of HSBC.[ 4 ]

Based on the unique circumstances set forth above, we conclude that the order under review must be reversed, and the cause remanded for further proceedings, with directions to allow the defendants to file an answer and affirmative defenses and to require HSBC to respond to the defendants’ discovery requests. The record clearly demonstrates that the defendants’ failure to file a timely answer and affirmative defenses in the action filed by HSBC was due to the confusion caused by American Home Mortgage and HSBC when they were simultaneously attempting to foreclose on the same exact mortgage in two different divisions of the circuit court.

Reversed and remanded with directions.

Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

[ipaper docId=37553372 access_key=key-2hn44kayr0ix1ahp23yq height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, HSBC, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, note, reversed court decision, stopforeclosurefraud.com, trustee, Trusts2 Comments

MERS and OCWEN GET CAUGHT IN NEVADA

MERS and OCWEN GET CAUGHT IN NEVADA

On June 23, 2009, MERS substituted MTC Financial Inc., d.b.a. Trustee Corps, as trustee. (See Id., Ex. B.) Trustee Corps recorded a notice of trustee’s sale (“NOS”) on or about September 15, 2009, indicating that it would sell the Property on October 5, 2009, (see Id., Ex. C), but Plaintiff claims to have never received notice of the NOS, (see id. ¶ 63).

The most obvious potential defect in this foreclosure stems from the fact that Trustee Corps was substituted as trustee after it recorded the NOD, but before it recorded the NOS. In Nevada, the power of sale cannot be exercised until one of two particular entities–the beneficiary or the trustee–or an agent thereof, records the NOD. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 107.080(2)(c). Trustee Corps was not such an entity when it recorded the NOD. Thus, unless Trustee Corps can provide evidence indicating that the beneficiary–Taylor–or the trustee–Equity Title–caused Trustee Corps to file the NOD, it may be liable for wrongful foreclosure.
Further complicating matters, some other unusual events occurred prior to the filing

[ipaper docId=36861562 access_key=key-2dltthz8x68xbfnhkc8z height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in chain in title, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deed of trust, discovery, dismissed, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, MERS, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., note, Ocwen, reversed court decision, trustee, trustee sale, Trusts1 Comment

GA grant of summary judgment to defendant in foreclosure case REVERSED, genuine issue of fact remained.

GA grant of summary judgment to defendant in foreclosure case REVERSED, genuine issue of fact remained.

LY et al.,
v.
JIMMY CARTER COMMONS, LLC.

S09A1644.

Supreme Court of Georgia.

Decided: March 1, 2010.

CARLEY, Presiding Justice.

Franklin and Toni Ly (Appellants) initiated foreclosure proceedings against a shopping center owned by Jimmy Carter Commons, LLC. Jimmy Carter Commons filed an action to enjoin foreclosure and cancel the security deed and various loan documents upon which the foreclosure proceedings were based. The trial court entered a temporary injunction, and subsequently granted summary judgment to Jimmy Carter Commons. This appeal followed.

1. On appeal from the grant of summary judgment, this Court conducts a de novo review of the evidence to determine whether there is “a genuine issue of material fact, and whether the undisputed facts, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, warrant judgment as a matter of law. [Cit]” Northwest Carpets v. First Nat. Bank of Chatsworth, 280 Ga. 535, 538 (1) (630 SE2d 407) (2006). Viewed in favor of Appellants, the evidence shows that James Byun and Jin Choi were the managers of Jimmy Carter Commons, a limited liability company. Byun, purportedly acting on behalf of Jimmy Carter Commons, obtained a $1 million loan from Appellants for a real estate development project. Before executing the loan documents, Appellants learned that the operating agreement for Jimmy Carter Commons requires the approval of both Byun and Choi for such a transaction. Appellants then prepared a document entitled “Jimmy Carter Commons, LLC Unanimous Written Consent of the Manager and Members,” which authorized Byun alone “to execute the Promissory Note and Deed to Secure Debt” in question. That document was signed by Byun and ostensibly signed by Choi. Appellants and Byun then executed the loan documents, showing that the loan was made to Jimmy Carter Commons, and the loan deed conveying to Appellants the shopping center to secure the debt. Over a year later, Byun and Appellants executed loan modification documents increasing the principal amount of the loan to $1.5 million. Those documents included a “Unanimous Consent of Members of Jimmy Carter Commons, LLC,” which states that the members of the company authorize and approve the guaranty of the loan, including execution of the deed to secure debt. That document also bears the signature of Byun and the purported signature of Choi.

In granting summary judgment, the trial court found that it is undisputed that Byun did not have authority to act alone on behalf of Jimmy Carter Commons because its operating agreement required the approval of Choi, that Choi had no dealings with Appellants and did not authorize the transaction in question, that Choi’s signatures on the unanimous consent documents were forged, and that those documents were ineffective to authorize Byun alone to bind the company. However, even if all of that is true, there is still a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Appellants had knowledge that the unanimous consent documents were ineffective and did not give Byun the authority to act alone on behalf of Jimmy Carter Commons.

[T]he act of any manager [of a limited liability company] . . . binds the limited liability company, unless the manager so acting has, in fact, no authority to act for the limited liability company in the particular matter, and the person with whom he or she is dealing has knowledge of the fact that the manager has no such authority. (Emphasis supplied.)

OCGA § 14-11-301 (b) (2). Thus, “[n]o act of a manager . . . in contravention of a restriction on authority shall bind the limited liability company to persons having knowledge of the restriction.” OCGA § 14-11-301 (d).

Consequently, even if Byun acted beyond his authority as a manager of Jimmy Carter Commons, the limited liability company may still be bound by his actions if Appellants did not know that he lacked such authority. In its summary judgment order, the trial court did not cite, and Jimmy Carter Commons has not identified, undisputed evidence showing that Appellants knew that Choi’s signatures on the consent documents were forged. On the contrary, Franklin Ly testified that he had attorneys prepare the consent documents specifically to confirm Byun’s claim that he had authority to act alone on behalf of Jimmy Carter Commons, that the documents were sent to Jimmy Carter Commons in order for Byun and Choi to sign them, that the consent documents were then brought to the closing of the transactions with both Byun’s signature and Choi’s apparent signature, that it was represented to Ly that Choi had signed the documents, and that he believed that Choi had in fact signed them. This testimony creates genuine issues of material fact as to whether Appellants knew that Choi’s signatures were forged, and whether they were justified in assuming that the consent documents authorized Byun’s unilateral action on behalf of Jimmy Carter Commons. See Turnipseed v. Jaje, 267 Ga. 320, 323 (2) (a) (477 SE2d 101) (1996) (must appear that person of ordinary prudence was justified in assuming that agent had authority to perform a particular act); Capital Color Printing v. Ahern, 291 Ga. App. 101, 112 (2) (661 SE2d 578) (2008) (where agent with apparent authority commits fraud against a third party who reasonably believed that he was entering into a bona fide transaction, principal may be charged with the fraud).

On summary judgment, a trial court is not authorized to resolve disputed issues of material fact. A trial court is authorized only to determine whether disputed issues of material fact remain. If, and only if, no disputed issue of material fact remains is the trial court authorized to grant summary judgment.

Georgia Canoeing Assn. v. Henry, 263 Ga. 77, 78 (428 SE2d 336) (1993). Since disputed issues of material fact remain in this case, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to Jimmy Carter Commons.

2. Because of our holding in Division 1, we need not address Appellants’ remaining claims of error with regard to the summary judgment ruling.

Judgment reversed. All the Justices concur.

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



Posted in conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, forgery, lawsuit, mortgage, Real Estate, reversed court decision1 Comment

Judge rejects Citigroup’s $75 million settlement with SEC

Judge rejects Citigroup’s $75 million settlement with SEC

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 16, 2010; 7:32 PM

A federal judge on Monday refused to accept a $75 million settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup, the second time in a year that the agency’s attempt to sanction a major bank was foiled by a judge with questions about the appropriateness of the agreement.

Judge Ellen S. Huvelle of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia raised questions during a hearing Monday about why the SEC chose to penalize Citigroup financially when it’s the company’s shareholders who will ultimately bear the price of the sanction, according to lawyers who were present. She also asked why the agency decided to charge only two executives with wrongdoing when other more senior executives were involved with Citigroup’s actions, the lawyers said.

Huvelle demanded more information from SEC and Citigroup and scheduled another hearing for Sept. 24.

Continue Reading…Washington Post

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



Posted in CitiGroup, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, mbs, reversed court decision, scam, securitization, settlement1 Comment

MERS is NOT in FACT a “MORTGAGEE”| MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. v. SAUNDERS

MERS is NOT in FACT a “MORTGAGEE”| MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. v. SAUNDERS

MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. v. SAUNDERS

2010 ME 79

MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC.,
v.
JON E. SAUNDERS et al.

Docket: Cum-09-640.

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.

Argued: June 15, 2010.

Decided: August 12, 2010.

Michael K. Martin, Esq. Petruccelli, Martin & Haddow 50 Monument Square Portland, Maine 04101, Thomas A. Cox, Esq. (orally), PO Box 1314 Portland, Maine 04104, Attorneys for Belinda and Jon Saunders.

John A. Turcotte, Esq. (orally) Ainsworth, Thelin & Raftice, P.A. 7 Ocean Street PO Box 2412 South Portland, Maine 04116-2412, Attorneys for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, LEVY, SILVER, MEAD, GORMAN, and JABAR, JJ.

GORMAN, J.

[¶ 1] Jon E. Saunders and Belinda L. Saunders appeal from entry of a summary judgment in the District Court (Bridgton, Powers, J.) in favor of Deutsche Bank National Trust Company[ 1 ] on Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.’s (MERS) complaint for foreclosure and sale of the Saunderses’ home, pursuant to 14 M.R.S. §§ 6321-6325 (2009). The Saunderses contend that the court erred in granting summary judgment to the Bank because: (1) MERS did not have a stake in the proceedings and therefore had no standing to initiate the foreclosure action, (2) the substitution of parties could not be used to cure the jurisdictional defect of lack of standing and was therefore improper, and (3) there are genuine issues of material fact.

[¶ 2] We conclude that although MERS is not in fact a “mortgagee” within the meaning of our foreclosure statute, 14 M.R.S. §§ 6321-6325, and therefore had no standing to institute foreclosure proceedings, the real party in interest was the Bank and the court did not abuse its discretion by substituting the Bank for MERS. Because, however, the Bank was not entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law, we vacate the judgment and remand for further proceedings.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶ 3] In June of 2006, Jon Saunders executed and delivered a promissory note in the amount of $258,750 to Accredited Home Lenders, Inc. At the same time, both Jon and Belinda Saunders executed a mortgage document, securing that note, in favor of MERS, solely as “nominee for [Accredited] and [Accredited]’s successors and assigns.”

[¶ 4] When the Saunderses failed to make certain payments on the note, MERS filed a complaint for foreclosure in the District Court on February 4, 2009. The Saunderses filed an answer that denied the complaint’s allegations and asserted, among others, the affirmative defense of lack of standing. MERS moved for summary judgment on its complaint on May 27, 2009. In its accompanying statement of material facts, MERS asserted that it was the “holder” of both the mortgage and the note, but neither indicated whether real property secured the note nor identified the real property of the Saunderses. The Saunderses controverted MERS’s ownership of the note in their opposing statement of material facts, citing admissions that MERS had made pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 36 that the Bank was in fact the holder of the note. The parties also disputed whether the Saunderses had received proper notice, whether the Saunderses were in default, and the amount owed on the loan. The court denied summary judgment on September 9, 2009, stating only: “Motion for summary judgment is denied as to [MERS], as there are issues of material fact preventing same and [MERS] is not entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”

[¶ 5] One day after the court denied that motion, the Bank moved pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 25(c) to substitute itself for MERS in the foreclosure proceedings and also filed a reply to the Saunderses’ additional statement of material facts. Just over one week later, the Bank, which was not yet a party, filed a motion to reconsider or amend the order denying MERS’s motion for summary judgment, pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 59(e), and a motion for further findings pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 52(b).[ 2 ] In support of its motions, the Bank filed: (1) an undated, two-page allonge indicating that Accredited transferred the note to the Bank, and (2) an assignment indicating that MERS had transferred any rights it had in the note or mortgage to the Bank. These transfers occurred on July 8, 2009, during the course of litigation. The Saunderses opposed both motions and filed a cross-motion for summary judgment arguing that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law because neither MERS nor the Bank could show that MERS held the note at the time the suit commenced.

[¶ 6] On November 18, 2009, the court granted the Bank’s motion for substitution of parties, denied the Saunderses’ cross-motion for summary judgment, and granted summary judgment to the Bank. On December 16, 2009, the court entered a judgment of foreclosure and sale. The Saunderses filed a timely appeal pursuant to M.R. App. P. 2 and 14 M.R.S. § 1901 (2009).

II. DISCUSSION

A. MERS’s Standing

[¶ 7] The Saunderses contend that MERS had no stake in the outcome of the proceedings and therefore did not have standing to institute foreclosure. We review the threshold “issue of a party’s status for standing to sue de novo.” Lowry v. KTI Specialty Waste Servs., Inc., 2002 ME 58, ¶ 4, 794 A.2d 80, 81. At a minimum, “[s]tanding to sue means that the party, at the commencement of the litigation, has sufficient personal stake in the controversy to obtain judicial resolution of that controversy.” Halfway House Inc. v. City of Portland, 670 A.2d 1377, 1379 (Me. 1996) (citing Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 731 (1972)). Typically, a party’s personal stake in the litigation is evidenced by a particularized injury to the party’s property, pecuniary, or personal rights. See, e.g., Tomhegan Camp Owners Ass’n v. Murphy, 2000 ME 28, ¶ 6, 754 A.2d 334, 336; Stull v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., 2000 ME 21, ¶ 11, 745 A.2d 975, 979; cf. Fitzgerald v. Baxter State Park Auth., 385 A.2d 189, 196 (Me. 1978).

[¶ 8] The relationship of MERS to the transaction between the Saunderses and Accredited—mortgagors and the original mortgagee—is “not subject to an easy description” or classification. See Landmark Nat’l Bank v. Kesler, 216 P.3d 158, 164 (Kan. 2009). Then Chief Judge Kaye of the New York Court of Appeals described the role and purpose of MERS thusly:

[MERS’s] purpose is to streamline the mortgage process by eliminating the need to prepare and record paper assignments of mortgage, as had been done for hundreds of years. To accomplish this goal, MERS acts as nominee and as mortgagee of record for its members nationwide and appoints itself nominee, as mortgagee, for its members’ successors and assigns, thereby remaining nominal mortgagee of record no matter how many times loan servicing, or the [debt] itself, may be transferred.

MERSCORP, Inc. v. Romaine, 861 N.E.2d 81, 86 (N.Y. 2006) (Kaye, C.J., dissenting). In Maine, we follow the title theory of mortgages; a mortgage is a conditional conveyance vesting legal title to the property in the mortgagee, with the mortgagor retaining the equitable right of redemption and the right to possession. See Johnson v. McNeil, 2002 ME 99, ¶ 10, 800 A.2d 702, 704. To determine whether MERS has standing in the present case, we must first examine what rights MERS had in the Saunderses’ debt and the mortgage securing that debt.

[¶ 9] In the note that Jon Saunders executed in favor of Accredited, there is no mention of MERS, and the Bank admitted in its statement of material facts that MERS never had an interest in the note. MERS is, however, included in the Saunderses’ mortgage document. The mortgage first defines MERS as:

(C) “MERS” is Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc. MERS is a separate corporation that is acting solely as a nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns. MERS is organized and existing under the Laws of Delaware, and has an address and telephone number of P.O. Box 2026, Flint, MI 48501-2026, tel. (888) 679-MERS. FOR PURPOSES OF RECORDING THIS MORTGAGE, MERS IS THE MORTGAGEE OF RECORD.

The remaining references to MERS in the mortgage document are in the subsequent sections conveying the mortgage and describing the property conveyed:

[Borrowers] mortgage, grant and convey the Property to MERS (solely as nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns), with mortgage covenants, subject to the terms of this Security Instrument, to have and to hold all of the Property to MERS (solely as nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns), and to its successors and assigns, forever.

. . . .

[Borrowers] understand and agree that MERS holds only legal title to the rights granted by [Borrowers] in this Security Instrument, but, if necessary to comply with law or custom, MERS (as nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns) has the right:

(A) to exercise any or all of those rights, including, but not limited to, the right to foreclose and sell the Property; and

(B) to take any action required of Lender including, but not limited to, releasing and canceling this Security Instrument.

. . . .

[Borrowers] grant and mortgage to MERS (solely as nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors in interest) the Property described [below].

Each reference to MERS within the Saunderses’ mortgage describes MERS solely as the “nominee” to the lender.

[¶ 10] The only rights conveyed to MERS in either the Saunderses’ mortgage or the corresponding promissory note are bare legal title to the property for the sole purpose of recording the mortgage and the corresponding right to record the mortgage with the Registry of Deeds. This comports with the limited role of a nominee. A nominee is a “person designated to act in place of another, usu[ally] in a very limited way,” or a “party who holds bare legal title for the benefit of others or who receives and distributes funds for the benefit of others.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1149 (9th ed. 2009); see also E. Milling Co. v. Flanagan, 152 Me. 380, 382-83, 130 A.2d 925, 926 (1957) (demonstrating the limited role of a nominee in a contract case). The remaining, beneficial rights in the mortgage and note are vested solely in the lender Accredited and its successors and assigns. The mortgage clearly provides that, by signing the instrument, the Saunderses were “giving [the] Lender those rights that are stated in this Security Instrument and also those rights that Applicable Law gives to Lenders who hold mortgages on real property.” (Emphasis added.) Not one of the mortgage covenants in the document, including the Saunderses’ obligations to make timely payments on the note, pay property taxes, obtain property insurance, and maintain and protect the property, is made to MERS or in favor of MERS. Each promise and covenant gives rights to the lender and its successors and assigns, whereas MERS’s rights are limited solely to acting as a nominee. The Bank argues that MERS’s status as a “nominee” for the lender and as the “mortgagee of record” within the document qualifies it as a “mortgagee” within 14 M.R.S. § 6321. We disagree.

[¶ 11] As discussed above, MERS’s only right is the right to record the mortgage. Its designation as the “mortgagee of record” in the document does not change or expand that right; and having only that right, MERS does not qualify as a mortgagee pursuant to our foreclosure statute, 14 M.R.S. §§ 6321-6325. Section 6321 provides: “After breach of condition in a mortgage of first priority, the mortgagee or any person claiming under the mortgagee may proceed for the purpose of foreclosure by a civil action . . . .” (Emphasis added.) It is a “fundamental rule of statutory interpretation that words in a statute must be given their plain and ordinary meanings.” Joyce v. State, 2008 ME 108, ¶ 11, 951 A.2d 69, 72 (quotation marks omitted); accord Hanson v. S.D. Warren Co., 2010 ME 51, ¶ 12, ___ A.2d ___, ___. The plain meaning and common understanding of mortgagee is “[o]ne to whom property is mortgaged,” meaning a “mortgage creditor, or lender.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1104 (9th ed. 2009). In other words, a mortgagee is a party that is entitled to enforce the debt obligation that is secured by a mortgage.[ 3 ]

[¶ 12] In order to enforce a debt obligation secured by a mortgage and note, a party must be in possession of the note.[ 4 ] See Premier Capital, Inc. v. Doucette, 2002 ME 83, ¶ 7, 797 A.2d 32, 34 (describing a note associated with a mortgage as a negotiable instrument). Pursuant to Maine’s adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code, the only party entitled to enforce a negotiable instrument is:

(1) The holder of the instrument;

(2) A nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder; or

(3) A person not in possession of the instrument who is entitled to enforce the instrument pursuant to section 3-1309 or 3-1418, subsection (4). A person may be a person entitled to enforce the instrument even though the person is not the owner of the instrument or is in wrongful possession of the instrument.

11 M.R.S. § 3-1301 (2009). MERS does not qualify under any subsection of section 3-1301 because, on this record, there is no evidence it held the note, was in possession of the note, was purporting to enforce a lost, destroyed, or stolen instrument pursuant to 11 M.R.S. § 3-1309 (2009), or was purporting to enforce a dishonored instrument pursuant to 11 M.R.S. § 3-1418(4) (2009).

[¶ 13] Alternatively, the Bank asserts that because the mortgage document itself purported to give MERS the right to foreclose the mortgage, MERS was entitled to enforce the mortgage as the “mortgagee of record.” In other jurisdictions utilizing non-judicial foreclosure, MERS has been able to institute foreclosure proceedings based on its designation in the mortgage as the “mortgagee of record.” See, e.g., In re Huggins, 357 B.R. 180, 184 (Bankr. Mass. 2006) (concluding that MERS had standing to institute foreclosure proceedings pursuant to the statutory power of sale in Massachusetts); Jackson v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys. Inc., 770 N.W.2d 487, 500-01 (Minn. 2009) (approving MERS’s ability to commence foreclosure as the legal title holder of the mortgage in non-judicial foreclosure proceedings in Minnesota). These cases are inapposite because non-judicial foreclosures do not invoke the jurisdiction of the courts. Non-judicial foreclosures proceed wholly outside of the judiciary, typically utilizing local law enforcement to evict a mortgagor and gain possession of the mortgaged property.

[¶ 14] Here, MERS sought to foreclose on the Saunderses’ mortgage by filing a lawsuit, and, like any other plaintiff filing suit within our courts, must prove its standing to sue. Halfway House, 670 A.2d at 1379. Because standing to sue in Maine is prudential, rather than of constitutional dimension, we may “limit access to the courts to those best suited to assert a particular claim.” Lindemann v. Comm’n on Govtl. Ethics & Election Practices, 2008 ME 187, ¶ 8, 961 A.2d 538, 541-42 (quoting Roop v. City of Belfast, 2007 ME 32, ¶ 7, 915 A.2d 966, 968). In the present context, MERS, as the complaining party, must show that it has suffered an injury fairly traceable to an act of the mortgagor and that the injury is likely to be redressed by the judicial relief sought. See Collins v. State, 2000 ME 85, ¶ 6, 750 A.2d 1257, 1260 (citing Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 751 (1984)); see also Stull, 2000 ME 21, ¶ 11, 745 A.2d at 979.

[¶ 15] Nothing in the trial court record demonstrates that MERS suffered any injury when the Saunderses failed to make payments on their mortgage. When questioned directly at oral argument about what injury MERS had suffered, the Bank responded that MERS did not need to prove injury to foreclose, only that it was a “mortgagee.” As we have already explained, MERS is not a mortgagee pursuant to 14 M.R.S. § 6321 because it has no enforceable right in the debt obligation securing the mortgage. In reality, the Bank was unable to suggest an injury MERS suffered because MERS did not suffer any injury when the Saunderses failed to make payments on their mortgage. See Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc. v. Neb. Dep’t of Banking & Fin., 704 N.W.2d 784, 788 (Neb. 2005) (stating that “MERS has no independent right to collect on any debt because MERS itself has not extended credit, and none of the mortgage debtors owe MERS any money”). The only right MERS has in the Saunderses’ mortgage and note is the right to record the mortgage. The bare right to record a mortgage is unaffected by a mortgagor’s default. The Bank admitted in its statement of material facts that Accredited had never assigned, transferred, or endorsed the note executed by Jon Saunders to MERS, and represented that Accredited had transferred the note directly to the Bank. Without possession of or any interest in the note, MERS lacked standing to institute foreclosure proceedings and could not invoke the jurisdiction of our trial courts.

B. Substitution of the Bank for MERS

[¶ 16] Having determined that MERS lacked standing, our next inquiry is whether the substitution of the Bank for MERS allowed the proceedings to continue. The Saunderses contend that the substitution of the Bank for MERS pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 25(c) was improper because: (1) MERS did not have standing, and a substitution of parties cannot be used to cure a jurisdictional defect; and (2) the Bank, as a non-party, cannot file a motion to substitute parties. The Bank argues that the substitution of parties cured any impropriety in MERS commencing the foreclosure proceedings and that M.R. Civ. P. 17(a) prohibits dismissal until there has been a reasonable time to substitute the real party in interest.[ 5 ] We review the grant or denial of a party’s motion to substitute parties pursuant to both M.R. Civ. P. 17(a) and 25(c) for an abuse of the court’s discretion. See M.R. Civ. P. 25(c) (“In case of any transfer of interest, the action may be continued by or against the original party . . . .” (emphasis added)); Tisdale v. Rawson, 2003 ME 68, ¶ 17, 822 A.2d 1136, 1141 (stating that Rule 17 authorizes “a court to substitute an incorrectly named plaintiff with the real party in interest”); Bates v. Dep’t of Behavioral & Developmental Servs., 2004 ME 154, ¶ 38, 863 A.2d 890, 901 (“Judgmental decisions . . . in areas where the court has choices will be reviewed for sustainable exercise of the court’s discretion.”).

[¶ 17] Both Rule 17 and 25 are concerned with ensuring that the real party in interest is conducting the litigation. Rule 17 is used to correct an action that was filed and then maintained by the wrong party, or was filed in the name of the wrong party. See Tisdale, 2003 ME 68, ¶¶ 15-19, 822 A.2d at 1140-42 (approving the court’s substitution of the road commissioner as the plaintiff for an unincorporated association that lacked capacity to sue); Royal Coachman Color Guard v. Marine Trading & Transp., Inc., 398 A.2d 382, 384 (Me. 1979); 1 Field, McKusick, & Wroth, Maine Civil Practice § 17.1 at 348 (2d ed. 1970) (“The purpose of Rule 17(a) is to provide that the plaintiff in an action shall be the person who by the substantive law possesses the right to be enforced.”). Rule 25, in comparison, is used to substitute a second party for the original party when, in the course of litigation or pendency of an appeal, the original party’s interest ends or is transferred, or the original party becomes incompetent. See Estate of Saliba v. Dunning, 682 A.2d 224, 225 n.1 (Me. 1996) (noting the substitution of an estate, pursuant to Rule 25, for the plaintiff after his death during the pendency of the suit); Gagne v. Cianbro Corp., 431 A.2d 1313, 1315 n.1 (Me. 1981) (noting the Rule 25 substitution of Cianbro for the original defendant on appeal after the originally named defendant transferred its interest to Cianbro).

[¶ 18] The present case involves both situations: a suit brought by the wrong party and a transfer of interest mid-litigation. Although the court granted the Bank’s Rule 25(c) motion for substitution, the proper procedural vehicle for substitution in this case was Rule 17(a). See Bouchard v. Frost, 2004 ME 9, ¶ 8, 840 A.2d 109, 111 (indicating we may affirm a judgment on a ground not relied upon by the trial court). Our cases allow the Rule 17(a) substitution of plaintiffs when the correct party is difficult to determine or an understandable mistake has been made and the substitution “does not alter in any way the factual allegations pertaining to events or participants involved in th[e] suit.” Tisdale, 2003 ME 68, ¶¶ 18-19, 822 A.2d at 1142.

[¶ 19] Accredited, as the party entitled to enforce the rights granted in the mortgage, was the real party in interest at the time MERS instituted foreclosure proceedings. Five months after MERS filed for foreclosure, the Bank became the real party in interest when Accredited transferred the Saunderses’ mortgage and note to it. As we had not previously spoken on MERS’s standing to foreclose a residential mortgage, the prosecution of the case in its name is an understandable mistake to which Rule 17(a) can be applied. See Tisdale, 2003 ME 68, ¶ 19, 822 A.2d at 1142. Further, the transfer of interest did not alter the cause of action or create any prejudice to the Saunderses. MERS sought to foreclose on the Saunderses’ real property after they failed to make payments on the note, and the Bank now seeks to foreclose on the same mortgage for their failure to make payments on the same note. See id. (pointing to the unchanged facts and circumstances after substitution). In defending MERS’s motion for summary judgment, the Saunderses themselves argued that the Bank was the proper party to bring this action.[ 6 ] The substitution of parties in this case was proper, and the court did not abuse its discretion by granting the Bank’s motion for substitution. See Bates, 2004 ME 154, ¶ 38, 863 A.2d at 901.

C. Summary Judgment

[¶ 20] Finally, the Saunderses contend that the court erred in granting summary judgment because of the flawed procedure that led to the court’s entry of foreclosure and sale and because there are genuine issues of material fact and summary judgment was inappropriate.[ 7 ] We agree with both contentions.

[¶ 21] First, the procedure leading up to the summary judgment was fatally flawed. Except in certain circumstances not applicable here, substitution relates back to the date of the original complaint, and the effect of the substitution of parties was to treat the Bank as if it had been the party that commenced the litigation. See M.R. Civ. P. 17(a); 1 Field, McKusick, & Wroth, Maine Civil Practice § 17.1 at 349. As previously noted, the Bank filed a motion to alter or amend the order denying MERS’s motion for summary judgment, which the court granted. Our rules do not allow a motion to alter or amend pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 59(e)—or a motion for further findings of fact pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 52(b)—in the absence of a final judgment. Because the denial of MERS’s motion for summary judgment in the present case was not a final judgment upon which the Bank could file its motion, the court erred by granting the motion. See Dep’t of Human Servs. v. Hart, 639 A.2d 107, 107 (Me. 1994) (stating the general rule that a “denial of a summary judgment motion does not result in a final judgment”). After substitution, the Bank should have filed its own independent motion for summary judgment with a statement of material facts and supporting affidavits. The Saunderses would then have had the opportunity to respond to the new motion and appropriately defend the foreclosure action against the real party in interest.

[¶ 22] Second, the summary judgment record does not support the Bank’s entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. See Chase Home Fin. LLC v. Higgins, 2009 ME 136, ¶ 10, 985 A.2d 508, 510. “We review the grant of a motion for summary judgment de novo,” and view “the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom judgment has been entered to decide whether the parties’ statements of material facts and the referenced record evidence reveal a genuine issue of material fact.” Wells Fargo Home Mortg., Inc. v. Spaulding, 2007 ME 116, ¶ 19, 930 A.2d 1025, 1029; see also Salem Capital Grp., LLC v. Litchfield, 2010 ME 49, ¶ 4, ___ A.2d ___, ___. We consider “only the portions of the record referred to, and the material facts set forth, in the [M.R. Civ. P. 56(h)] statements to determine whether . . . the successful party was entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Higgins, 2009 ME 136, ¶ 10, 985 A.2d at 510 (quotation marks omitted). Further, we have said that

[i]n the unique setting of summary judgment, strict adherence to the Rule’s requirements is necessary to ensure that the process is both predictable and just. Even when a hearing is held in a summary judgment motion, the only record that may be considered is the record created by the parties’ submissions.

Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Raggiani, 2009 ME 120, ¶ 7, 985 A.2d 1, 3; see also Camden Nat’l Bank v. Peterson, 2008 ME 85, ¶ 21, 948 A.2d 1251, 1257 (stating that a mortgagee seeking foreclosure must strictly comply with all the steps required by the foreclosure statute).

[¶ 23] In Higgins, we outlined the minimum facts, “supported by evidence of a quality that could be admissible at trial [that] must be included in the mortgage holder’s statement[] of material facts.” 2009 ME 136, ¶ 11, 985 A.2d at 510-11. Pursuant to 14 M.R.S. § 6321, a party attempting to foreclose a mortgage must provide proof of the existence of a mortgage and its claim on the real estate and intelligibly describe the mortgaged premises, including the street address of the mortgaged property, if any, and the book and page number of the recorded mortgage. See also Higgins, 2009 ME 136, ¶ 11, 985 A.2d at 510-11 (explaining the remaining facts that must be submitted in the statements of material facts before foreclosure can proceed by summary judgment).

[¶ 24] The requirements of a street address and the book and page number were added to section 6321 after the commencement of foreclosure, but before the Bank filed its motion to alter or amend the judgment pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 59(e). See P.L. 2009, ch. 402, § 17 (effective June 15, 2009). The prior version of the statute, in effect at the time MERS filed for foreclosure, only required the complaint to “describe the mortgaged premises intelligibly.” 14 M.R.S. § 6321 (2008). As we explained in Higgins, amendments to the foreclosure statute apply to all summary judgment motions filed after their effective date, regardless of the date foreclosure proceedings commenced. 2009 ME 136, ¶ 11 n.2, 985 A.2d at 510.

[¶ 25] In the present case, even if the Bank’s motion to alter or amend were deemed procedurally sound, it would fail under either standard because it failed to include any mention of the location of the mortgaged property in its statement of material facts. While the book and page number—but not the mortgaged property’s address—were included in the affidavit supporting one of MERS’s original statements of material fact, facts not set forth in the parties’ statements of material facts are not part of the summary judgment record and not properly before us on appeal. See M.R. Civ. P. 56(h)(1); Higgins, 2009 ME 136, ¶ 12, 985 A.2d at 511 n.4. Viewed in the light most favorable to the Saunderses, the summary judgment record does not establish what property owned by the Saunderses actually secures the mortgage and the court erred by granting summary judgment to the Bank. See 14 M.R.S. § 6321 (2009); Higgins, 2009 ME 136, ¶ 13, 985 A.2d at 512.

III. CONCLUSION

[¶ 26] In summary, we hold that MERS could not institute this foreclosure action and invoke the jurisdiction of our courts because it lacks an enforceable right in the debt that secures the mortgage. Although MERS lacked standing in the present case, the jurisdictional flaw was corrected when the court appropriately granted the Bank’s motion for substitution. The court erred, however, in granting the Bank’s “renewed” motion for summary judgment, both because the Rules of Civil Procedure do not allow for reconsideration or amendment in the absence of a final judgment, and because the motion, even as amended, did not support a conclusion that the Bank was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

The entry is:

Judgment vacated. Remanded to the District Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

1. The Bank was substituted as a party for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 25(c). Rule 25 provides:

(c) Transfer of Interest. In case of any transfer of interest, the action may be continued by or against the original party, unless the court upon motion directs the person to whom the interest is transferred to be substituted in the action or joined with the original party. Service of the motion shall be made as provided in subdivision (a) of this rule.

M.R. Civ. P. 25(c).

2. M.R. Civ. P. 59(e) provides that “[a] motion to alter or amend the judgment shall be served not later than 10 days after entry of the judgment. A motion for reconsideration of the judgment shall be treated as a motion to alter or amend the judgment.” M.R. Civ. P. 52 provides:

(b) Amendment. The court may, upon motion of a party made not later than 10 days after notice of findings made by the court, amend its findings or make additional findings and, if judgment has been entered, may amend the judgment accordingly. The motion may be made with a motion for a new trial pursuant to Rule 59. When findings of fact are made in actions tried by the court without a jury, the question of the sufficiency of the evidence to support the findings may thereafter be raised whether or not the party raising the question has made in the trial court an objection to such findings or has made a motion to amend them or a motion for judgment.

3. We do not address the situation where the mortgage and note are truly held by different parties. See, e.g., Averill v. Cone, 129 Me. 9, 11-12, 149 A. 297, 298-99 (1930); Wyman v. Porter, 108 Me. 110, 120, 79 A. 371, 375 (1911); Jordan v. Cheney, 74 Me. 359, 361-62 (1883). When MERS filed its complaint against the Saunderses, Accredited was both the mortgagee and holder of the note, and MERS held only the right to record the mortgage.
4. We note that recent amendments to the foreclosure statute, although not applicable when MERS filed its complaint for foreclosure, mandate that a party seeking foreclosure provide evidence of both the mortgage and the note to proceed with the foreclosure. 14 M.R.S. § 6321 (2009) (“The mortgagee shall certify proof of ownership of the mortgage note and produce evidence of the mortgage note, mortgage and all assignments and endorsements of the mortgage note and mortgage.”).
5. M.R. Civ. P. 17(a) provides in relevant part:

No action shall be dismissed on the ground that it is not prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest until a reasonable time has been allowed after objection for ratification of commencement of the action by, or joinder or substitution of, the real party in interest; and such ratification, joinder, or substitution shall have the same effect as if the action had been commenced in the name of the real party in interest.

6. Rule 17 does not designate which party should file the motion. Because the Bank had standing to prosecute this foreclosure, it had standing to file the motion for substitution of parties. We also note that Rule 25(c) does not require the originally named party to move for substitution. M.R. Civ. P. 25(c) (“In case of any transfer of interest, the action may be continued by or against the original party, unless the court upon motion directs the person to whom the interest is transferred to be substituted . . . .” (emphasis added)).
7. The Saunderses also raise several other arguments regarding the allonge and note that we do not address.

This copy provided by Leagle, Inc.

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



Posted in concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, deutsche bank, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., note, reversed court decision, trade secrets1 Comment

FRAUD on the COURT…”WAMU, CHASE AND FISHMAN & SHAPIRO” DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE!

FRAUD on the COURT…”WAMU, CHASE AND FISHMAN & SHAPIRO” DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE!

VIA: ForeclosureHamlet & 4closureFraud

Dismissed With PREJUDICE!

Court finds convincing evidence that Wamu, Chase and Fishman & Shapiro committed fraud on this court!

JP MORGAN V. POCOPANNI DUVAL, COUNTY FLORIDA CASE NO.: 16-2008-CA-3989


[ipaper docId=35835555 access_key=key-31q8zmp0797mp741isl height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, ctx mortgage, ex parte, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, jpmorgan chase, reversed court decision, shapiro & fishman pa4 Comments

JUDGE ORDERS DISCOVERY | AMBAC Assurance Corporation v EMC Mortgage Corp, EDNY

JUDGE ORDERS DISCOVERY | AMBAC Assurance Corporation v EMC Mortgage Corp, EDNY

Via: Livinglies

Now that these venerable institutions have turned into ankle biter’s, their claims to compel production and other forms of discovery are being heard by the same judges that turn down similar claims from borrowers. In this case AMBAC is suing one of the mortgage aggregators alleging that the aggregator  caused loans to be originated without regard to the ability of of the borrower to repay the loan. They allege that despite the claim that the mortgage “pools” were sampled, many of the loans consisted of transactions in which the borrower was known not to have the capability of even making the first payment. In other cases, as we know, the loans were “qualified” simply on the ability of the borrower to make the first payment, which was substantially reduced by allowing the borrower to pay less than the accrued interest and not of the principal. AMBAC is therefore making the same claims as borrowers and investors.

It is clear from this case and other recent decisions at the trial court level that the defensive stonewalling tactics which were used successfully against borrowers are not working when the litigants are both institutions. This particular case was submitted to me by Max Gardner, who recognizes the significance of this development. It may seem like technical procedure to most people but the fact remains that these “pretender lenders” simply do not have a factual defense. The only thing they have our lawyers who are skilled in using civil procedure to avoid any possibility that the case will be  heard on the merits. This tactic, while successful against borrowers, is obviously going down the tubes in connection with litigation between institutions.

This will have an obvious and palpable effect on litigation with borrowers. Borrowers or their attorneys that represent them will merely cite  rulings in the same or nearby jurisdiction wherein discovery was allowed to proceed. Our experience in monitoring thousands of cases indicates that in the relatively few cases where judges allow discovery to proceed the matter was quickly settled or the party seeking foreclosure simply vanished, allowing the borrower to either get a judgment for quiet title by default or to sit in limbo with no party seeking payments or foreclosure.

[ipaper docId=34218867 access_key=key-2b903o42cdjk7ti4nw45 height=600 width=600 /]


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



Posted in discovery, emc, foreclosure, foreclosures, livinglies, reversed court decision, securitization, servicers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD0 Comments

“indorsement” on a separate page ‘I DON’T THINK SO’! IndyMAC BANK FSB v. Garcia, 2010 NY Slip Op 51127 – NY: Supreme Court, Suffolk 2010

“indorsement” on a separate page ‘I DON’T THINK SO’! IndyMAC BANK FSB v. Garcia, 2010 NY Slip Op 51127 – NY: Supreme Court, Suffolk 2010

Don’t we love New York!

This is another case for you all to learn from…Now again, shouldn’t their be a conflict of any documents where MERS is the nominee for any of these banks?

I think we are going to see lenders, servicers et al slowly begin to turn on MERS!


2010 NY Slip Op 51127(U)

IndyMAC BANK F.S.B., Plaintiff(s),
v.
LUDDY BRITO GARCIA, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., ACTING SOLELY AS A NOMINEE FOR STERLING NATIONAL MORTGAGE COMPANY, INC., SUBSIDIARY OF FEDERALLY CHARTERED BANK, ITS SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS, AND “JOHN DOE # 1” THROUGH “JOHN DOE # 10”, THE LAST TEN NAMES BEING FICTITIOUS AND UNKNOWN TO plaintiff, THE PERSONS OR PARTIES INTENDED BEING THE PERSONS OR PARTIES, IF ANY, HAVING OR CLAIMING AN INTEREST IN OR LIEN UPON THE MORTGAGED PREMISES DESCRIBED IN THE COMPLAINT, Defendant(s).

7282-2008

Supreme Court, Suffolk County.

Decided June 22, 2010.

Eschen, Frenkel & Weisman, LLP, 20 West Main Street, Bay Shore, New York 11706, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

Luddy Brito Garcia, 124 East 13th Street, Huntington Station, New York 11746, Defendant Pro Se.

PETER H. MAYER, J.

Upon the reading and filing of the following papers in this matter: (1) Notice of Motion by the plaintiff, dated June 2, 2009, and supporting papers; and now

UPON DUE DELIBERATION AND CONSIDERATION BY THE COURT of the foregoing papers, the motion is decided as follows: it is

ORDERED that plaintiff’s application (seq. # 002) for an order of reference in this foreclosure action is considered under 2009 NY Laws, Ch. 507, enacted December 15, 2009, and 2008 NY Laws, Ch. 472, enacted August 5, 2008, as well as the related statutes and case law, and is hereby denied without prejudice and with leave to resubmit upon proper papers, for failure to submit proper evidentiary proof, including an affidavit from one with personal knowledge, of a valid indorsement of the note or assignment of the mortgage, sufficient to establish the plaintiff’s ownership of the note and mortgage at the time the action was commenced; and it is further

ORDERED that the plaintiff shall promptly serve a copy of this Order upon the defendant-homeowner(s) at all known addresses and upon all other answering defendants, via first class mail, and shall promptly file the affidavit(s) of such service with the County Clerk and annex a copy of this Order and the affidavit(s) of service as exhibits to any motion resubmitted pursuant to this Order; and it is further

ORDERED that with regard to any scheduled court conferences or future applications by the plaintiff, if the Court determines that such conferences have been attended, or such applications have been submitted, without proper regard for the applicable statutory and case law, or without regard for the required proofs delineated herein, the Court may, in its discretion, dismiss this case or deny such applications with prejudice and/or impose sanctions pursuant to 22 NYCRR §130-1, and may deny those costs and attorneys fees attendant with the filing of such future applications.

By Order dated November 24, 2009, this Court scheduled a foreclosure settlement conference for December 23, 2009, which was adjourned to February 24, 2010. The defendant-homeowner, Luddy Brito Garcia, failed to appear at both. The plaintiff now seeks a default order of reference and requests amendment of the caption to substitute a tenant in the place and stead of the “Doe” defendants. For the reasons set forth herein, the plaintiff’s application is denied.

In this foreclosure action, the plaintiff filed a summons and complaint on January 3, 2008, which essentially alleges that Ms. Garcia defaulted in her payments of a mortgage, dated August 15, 2006, in the principal amount of $411,500.00, for the premises located at 124 East 13th Street, Huntington, New York. The original lender, Sterling National Mortgage Company, Inc., purportedly indorsed the promissory note to the plaintiff prior to the commencement of this action. According to the plaintiff, this indorsement made the plaintiff the lawful holder of the note and mortgage with standing to commence the action. Although the plaintiff’s affidavit in support indicates that the “original note with a proper indorsement is [now] in the plaintiff’s possession,” the plaintiff does not prove — or even assert — that the plaintiff actually possessed the note and mortgage at the time the action was filed.

Instead, citing Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v Coakley, 41 AD3d 674, 838 NYS2d 622 (2d Dept 2007), the plaintiff summarily argues that because the promissory note was indorsed to the plaintiff, the mortgage passed as an incident to the note. Under the circumstances presented herein, however, the plaintiff’s reliance on Coakley is misguided. In Coakley, the record showed that the promissory note had been indorsed by the original lender to another bank, who then indorsed it in blank and ultimately transferred and tendered it to the foreclosing plaintiff. On that particular record, the court found that at the time the action was commenced, the plaintiff was the lawful holder of the promissory note and of the mortgage, which had passed as an incident to the promissory note. In this case, however, the alleged “indorsement” appears to be on a separate page from the promissory note and, in any event, is clearly undated.

New York UCC §3-202 (1) states, in pertinent part, that “[i]f the instrument is payable to order it is negotiated by delivery with any necessary indorsement” (emphasis added). In addition, UCC §3-202(2) requires that “[a]n indorsement must be written by or on behalf of the holder and on the instrument or on a paper so firmly affixed thereto as to become a part thereof (emphasis added). Here, the purported indorsement is payable to order, but there is no evidence of delivery of the note prior to the action’s commencement. Furthermore, the alleged indorsement appears to be on a separate page, makes no specific reference to the subject note, and is, in any event, undated. As such, the so-called “indorsement” is, at best, unreliable and fails to support plaintiff’s claim that the “note and mortgage were assigned by a properly indorsed note prior to the commencement of this action” (see, Slutsky v Blooming Grove Inn, Inc., 147 AD2d 208, 542 NYS2d 721 [2d Dept 1989]). This is particularly true where, as here, the plaintiff’s affidavit in support of the motion fails to affirmatively state that the plaintiff did, in fact, possess the note and mortgage at the time the action was commenced. Without either proof of a proper written assignment of the underlying note or proper proof of the physical delivery of the note prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action, the plaintiff has failed to sufficiently show either the proper transfer of the obligation, or that the mortgage passed as an inseparable incident to the debt (see, U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 890 NYS2d 578 [2d Dept 2009]).

A plaintiff has no foundation in law or fact to foreclose upon a mortgage, unless the plaintiff has shown it has legal or equitable interest in such mortgage (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 887 NYS2d 615 [2d Dept 2009]; Katz v East-Ville Realty Co., 249 AD2d 243, 672 NYS2d 308 [1st Dept 1998]). A written assignment of the underlying note or the physical delivery of the note prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action would be sufficient to transfer the obligation, and have the mortgage pass as an inseparable incident to the debt (U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 890 NYS2d 578 [2d Dept 2009]). With regard to a written assignment, the execution date is generally controlling and a written assignment claiming an earlier effective date is deficient, unless it is accompanied by proof that the physical delivery of the note and mortgage was, in fact, previously effectuated (see, Bankers Trust Co. v Hoovis, 263 AD2d 937, 938, 694 NYS2d 245 [1999]). A retroactive assignment cannot be used to confer standing upon the assignee in a foreclosure action commenced prior to the execution of the assignment (Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v Gress, 68 AD3d 709, 888 NYS2d 914 [2d Dept 2009]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 887 NYS2d 615 [2d Dept 2009]).

Applying this analysis to the case before this Court, a statement by the plaintiff merely indicating that the original note is in plaintiff’s possession as of the making of a motion for an order of reference is insufficient to show that the plaintiff had standing to bring the action in the first instance (Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v Gress, 68 AD3d 709, 888 NYS2d 914 [2d Dept 2009]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 887 NYS2d 615 [2d Dept 2009]). Plaintiff’s failure to submit proper proof of a valid indorsement or assignment, and failure to otherwise prove that the plaintiff was the holder of the note and mortgage at the time the action was commenced, requires denial of the plaintiff’s motion for an order of reference.

This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.

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



Posted in chain in title, conflict of interest, dismissed, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, indymac, lawsuit, MERS, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., reversed court decision1 Comment

US TRUSTEE keeping CLOSE WATCH on NY FORECLOSURE MILL

US TRUSTEE keeping CLOSE WATCH on NY FORECLOSURE MILL

Liening on NY homeowners

Chase and law firm draw scrutiny over tactics in foreclosure cases

By RICHARD WILNER

Last Updated: 12:01 PM, February 28, 2010
Posted: 12:54 AM, February 28, 2010

As the mortgage melt down paralyzed the economy across the US and throughout New York State, one company in the center of the storm had all the business it could handle.The little-known law firm of Steven J. Baum PC, which is based in suburban Buffalo, NY, and represents dozens of banks in matters of failed mortgages, last year filed a staggering 12,551 foreclosure lawsuits in New York City and the suburbs, which works out to about 48 a day.

The foreclosure mill is one of a handful of super-regional law firms used by the country’s banks — and its lawyers appear to have practiced in every county courthouse and bankruptcy court from Staten Island to Plattsburgh and from Montauk to Niagara Falls.

But as the volume of its workload increased, so did complaints from opposing lawyers and judges that some of the thousands of lawsuits contained questionable legal work.

One bank caught in the crosshairs is JPMorgan Chase Bank, one of the largest mortgage lenders in the city.

Last month, Diana Adams, the US Trustee in Manhattan, filed papers in court supporting punitive financial sanctions against the bank for a string of bad behavior, including seeking to foreclose on homes after they rejected the attempts to make on-time payments and for failing to prove they own the mortgage on a home even as they move to seize it.

Chase filed documents that appear to be patently false or misleading, Adams said in the filing.

Although Chase has recently taken steps to address concerns expressed by courts in connection with other cases, based on Chase’s past and current conduct it needs to be sanctioned, Adams wrote.

A spokesperson for Chase had no comment on the US Trustee’s action.

The complaints against Baum — on the record during hearings, in legal pleadings and, eventually, borne out in judges’ decisions — include:

* Not divulging mortgage payments: In the White Plains bankruptcy of Blanca Garcia, Baum’s firm filed papers claiming Garcia was in arrears — when she actually made payments and showed the court her receipts, but they were not credited to her account. When Garcia’s lawyer complained, Baum’s firm answered the claim but, the lawyer said in court papers, ignored the receipts and continued to claim the mortgage was in arrears.

* Creating questionable assignments: A Suffolk County judge took it upon himself to investigate a filing by Baum’s firm when it attempted to foreclose on the home of Gloria E. Marsh. “A careful review,” the judge wrote in a four-page order, “reveals a number of glaring discrepancies and unexplained issues of substance.”

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



Posted in foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, reversed court decision, Steven J Baum1 Comment

CHASE left UNSATISFIED! HSBC Mtge. Corp. (USA) v Sapir

CHASE left UNSATISFIED! HSBC Mtge. Corp. (USA) v Sapir

Shhh…Anyone who has any of these named should pay close attention.

Assignment blew up in their face!

[ipaper docId=33928039 access_key=key-6vw9imafe3pfsc2g4bl height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in chase, foreclosure, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, HSBC, jpmorgan chase, lawsuit, reversed court decision, Steven J Baum0 Comments

The Conclusion…If we could only turn back time: IN THE MATTER OF MERSCORP, INC. v. Romaine, 2005 NY Slip Op 9728 – NY: Supreme Court, Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2005

The Conclusion…If we could only turn back time: IN THE MATTER OF MERSCORP, INC. v. Romaine, 2005 NY Slip Op 9728 – NY: Supreme Court, Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2005

If we can only turn back time!

2005 NY Slip Op 09728

IN THE MATTER OF MERSCORP, INC., ET AL., appellants-respondents,
v.
EDWARD P. ROMAINE, ETC., ET AL., respondents-appellants.

2004-04735.

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Department.

Decided December 192005.

Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Buffalo, N.Y. (Charles C. Martorana of counsel), for appellants-respondents.

Cahn & Cahn, LLP, Melville, N.Y. (Richard C. Cahn and Daniel K. Cahn of counsel), for respondents-appellants.

Bainton McCarthy, LLC, New York, N.Y. (J. Joseph Bainton of counsel), for American Land Title Association, amicus curiae.

Decher, LLP, New York, N.Y. (Joseph P. Forte and Kathleen N. Massey of counsel), for Mortgage Bankers Association, amicus curiae.

Howard Lindenberg, McLean, VA., for Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, amicus curiae, and Kenneth Scott, Washington, D.C., for Federal National Mortgage Association, amicus curiae (one brief filed).

Brigitte Amiri, Brooklyn, N.Y., for South Brooklyn Legal Services, amicus curiae, April Carrie Charney, Jacksonville, FL., for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc., amicus curiae, and Daniel P. Lindsey, Chicago, IL, for Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, amicus curiae (one brief filed).

Before: ROBERT W. SCHMIDT, J.P., BARRY A. COZIER, REINALDO E. RIVERA, STEVEN W. FISHER, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

ORDERED that the order and judgment is modified, on the law, by (1) deleting the provision thereof denying that branch of the petitioners’ motion for summary judgment which was to compel the Suffolk County Clerk to record and index the subject assignments and discharges, and substituting therefor a provision granting that branch of the motion, and (2) adding thereto a provision declaring that the mortgages, assignments, and discharges which name Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as the lender’s nominee or the mortgagee of record are acceptable for recording and indexing; as so modified, the order and judgment is affirmed insofar as appealed and cross-appealed from, with one bill of costs to the petitioner.

The petitioners, MerscorpInc. (hereinafter Merscorp), and its subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (hereinafter MERS), operate a national electronic registration system (hereinafter the MERS System) for residential mortgages and related instruments (hereinafter MERS Instruments). In essence, lenders who subscribe to the MERS System (hereinafter MERS Members) designate MERS as their nominee or the mortgagee of record for the purpose of recording MERS Instruments in the county where the subject real property is located. The MERS Instruments are registered in a central database, which tracks all future transfers of the beneficial ownership interests and servicing rights among MERS Members throughout the life of the loan.

Merscorp and MERS commenced this hybrid proceeding and action in response to the announcement by the Suffolk County Clerk (hereinafter the Clerk) that, as of May 1, 2001, he would no longer accept MERS Instruments that listed MERS as the mortgagee or nominee of record unless MERS was, in fact, the actual mortgagee. In June 2002 this court granted the motion by Merscorp and MERS to preliminarily compel the Clerk to record MERS Instruments and list MERS as the mortgagee in the County’s alphabetical indexes pending the SupremeCourt’s determination of the hybrid proceeding and action on the merits (see Matter ofMerscorp, Inc. v. Romaine, 295 AD2d 431).

The Supreme Court properly compelled the Clerk to record MERS mortgages (seeKlostermann v. Cuomo, 61 NY2d 525, 539). In short, the Clerk has a statutory duty that is ministerial in nature to record a written conveyance if it is duly acknowledged and accompanied by the proper fee (see Real Property Law §§ 290[3], 291; County Law § 525[1]). Accordingly, the Clerk does not have the authority to refuse to record a conveyance which satisfies the narrowly-drawn prerequisites set forth in the recording statute (see People ex rel. Frost v. Woodbury, 213 NY 51; People ex rel. Title Guar.& Trust Co. v. Grifenhagen, 209 NY 569;Matter of Westminster Hgts. Co. v. Delany, 107 App Div 577, affd 185 NY 539; Putnam v. Stewart, 97 NY 411).

Similarly, Real Property Law § 316-a (1), which only applies to the Suffolk County indexing system, provides that the Clerk must record and index “[e]very instrument affecting real estate or chattels real, situated in the county of Suffolk, which shall be, or which shall have been recorded in the office of the clerk of said county . . . pursuant to the provisions of this act.” Pursuant to Real Property Law § 316-a(2), the Clerk must maintain the indexes so they “contain the date of recording of each instrument, the names of the parties to each instrument and the liber and page of the record thereof” (see also Real Property Law § 316-a[4] and [5]). Thus, the Clerk’s duty to index recorded instruments is mandatory and ministerial in nature.

Contrary to the Supreme Court’s determination, there is no valid distinction between MERS mortgages and MERS assignments or discharges for the purpose of recording and indexing. Pursuant to Real Property Law § 321(1), the discharge document may be signed either by the mortgagee, the person who appears from the public record to be the last assignee, or their personal representatives.

As the proponents of a motion for summary judgment, Merscorp and MERS made a prima facie showing that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law by tendering sufficient evidence to establish that they complied with the applicable recording statutes (see Winegrad v. New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 853Artistic Landscaping v. Board of Assessors,303 AD2d 699). Once this showing was made, the burden shifted to the Clerk, who failed to raise a triable issue of fact in opposition to the motion (Alvarez v. Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320, 324Zuckerman v. City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562).

Since this is a declaratory judgment action, the order and judgment must be modified, inter alia, by adding a declaration that the mortgages, assignments, and discharges which name MERS as the lender’s nominee or the mortgagee of record are acceptable for recording and indexing (see Lanza v. Wagner, 11 NY2d 317, 334, appeal dismissed 371 US 74, cert denied372 US 901).

SCHMIDT, J.P., COZIER, RIVERA and FISHER, JJ., concur.

Posted in case, MERS, Mortgage Bankers Association, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., reversed court decision, securitization0 Comments

TKO KNockOUT Dismiss! Pro Se MORIN vs. BANK Of AMERICA

TKO KNockOUT Dismiss! Pro Se MORIN vs. BANK Of AMERICA

Title says it all. Like in the recent post about LISTENING TO CASSANDRA: ‘MERS’ By Carol A. Needham.

MERS has no authority to assign anything!

[ipaper docId=33335744 access_key=key-128zh9xi0glm6j9tpup0 height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in bank of america, foreclosure, foreclosures, reversed court decision0 Comments

REVERSED Tenants in Common Foreclosure Gonzalez v. Chase Home Finance FL 3rd DCA

REVERSED Tenants in Common Foreclosure Gonzalez v. Chase Home Finance FL 3rd DCA

Here we have a tenant in common case where half owner interest was recorded 7 days before Chase recorded theirs. Therefor it was reversed as Gonzalez interest is superior to Chase.

[ipaper docId=33258855 access_key=key-14rmi8maalepe94lbmi7 height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in case, Real Estate, reversed court decision2 Comments

TILA ‘VIOLATION’ TIMELY FILED REVERSAL & REMAND: Luce Frazile v. EMC Mortgage Corporation, 09-15560

TILA ‘VIOLATION’ TIMELY FILED REVERSAL & REMAND: Luce Frazile v. EMC Mortgage Corporation, 09-15560

FRAZILE v. EMC MORTGAGE CORPORATION

LUCE FRAZILE, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.

EMC MORTGAGE CORPORATION, a Foreign corporation, FREMONT REORGANIZING CORPORATION, a foreign corporation, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 09-15560. Non-Argument Calendar.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

June 11, 2010.

Before BIRCH, MARTIN and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges.

DO NOT PUBLISH

PER CURIAM:

Luce Frazile brought this action against EMC Mortgage Corporation (“EMC”) and Fremont Reorganizing Corporation (“Fremont”). She alleges that in executing and servicing her mortgage loan the defendants misrepresented the true nature of her obligations and violated various federal loan processing requirements. The district court granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss. This appeal followed. For reasons we will discuss, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand to the district court.

I.

Accepting the factual allegations of the complaint as true and construing them in the light most favorable to Frazile, the relevant facts are as follows. In 2006, a Fremont agent approached Frazile and encouraged her to refinance the home mortgage on her primary residence, which she alone owned. After she refinanced, it quickly became apparent that Frazile could not afford the payments on her newly refinanced mortgage and she turned to Fremont to rework the agreement’s terms. On November 16, 2006, Frazile again refinanced her mortgage loan. However, Frazile claims that at closing Fremont never provided her with certain documents, namely a consumer handbook on adjustable rate mortgages, two copies of a notice of right to cancel the mortgage, or a closing package. She further alleges that at some point after closing, EMC was assigned either the mortgage and note, loan servicing responsibility, or some combination of these.

Approximately two years after closing, in November 2008, Frazile attempted to rescind her mortgage loan transaction, a right to which she claimed entitlement under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601-1667f. In December 2008, Frazile finally received a “less-than-complete copy of the closing package” from EMC. In these documents, her monthly income was misstated as $4,000, well above her actual $1,200 monthly earnings. Under the terms of the mortgage, the required monthly payments actually exceeded her monthly income. According to her complaint, “[t]he cumulative effect of increased monthly mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance premiums was to create an onerous financial burden on Frazile that would seriously jeopardize her ownership of the homestead of sixteen (16) years.”

On June 15, 2009, Frazile filed this lawsuit. In addition to three state law claims, she sought relief under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), 12 U.S.C. §§ 2601-2617, TILA, and relevant federal regulations. The defendants filed Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The district court granted the defendants’ motions, dismissing with prejudice Frazile’s federal claims, declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction as to her remaining state law claims, and closing the case. Frazile now appeals, challenging only the district court’s ruling as to her two federal claims.

II.

“We review de novo the district court’s grant of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).” Redland Co. v. Bank of Am. Corp., 568 F.3d 1232, 1234 (11th Cir. 2009). While we accept all allegations of the complaint as true, the “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.’” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007). In other words, the plaintiff must “allege[] enough facts to suggest, raise a reasonable expectation of, and render plausible” the claims. Watts v. Fla. Int’l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1296 (11th Cir. 2007). “[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. ___, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). Furthermore, although the pleading party is not required to “allege a specific fact to cover every element or allege with precision each element of a claim, it is still necessary that a complaint contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory.” Roe v. Aware Woman Ctr. for Choice, Inc., 253 F.3d 678, 683 (11th Cir. 2001) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

A.

Count I of the complaint alleged violation of RESPA. In her complaint, Frazile specifically identified only one provision of that statute as the basis for her claims. She asserted that the defendants’ statutorily required “good faith estimate” failed to “timely provide [her] with full disclosure regarding the nature and the cost of the loan” including the “amount or range of settlement charges.” For this reason, she alleged that the defendants violated 12 U.S.C. § 2604(c).

We have held in the past that “there is no private civil action for a violation of 12 U.S.C. § 2604(c), or any regulations relating to it.” Collins v. FMHA-USDA, 105 F.3d 1366, 1368 (11th Cir. 1997). For this reason, we affirm the district court’s conclusion that all claims brought under this provision must fail.

However, the district court went on to liberally construe Frazile’s complaint. The court examined Frazile’s argument, made in response to the defendants’ motions to dismiss, that she had pleaded sufficient facts to give rise to a claim under 12 U.S.C. § 2605. Section 2605 does afford a private cause of action, and requires that “[e]ach transferee servicer to whom the servicing of any federally related mortgage loan is assigned, sold, or transferred shall notify the borrower of any such assignment, sale, or transfer.” 12 U.S.C. § 2605(c)(1). The district court dismissed any claim arguably brought under § 2605 on the grounds that Frazile failed to allege either (1) actual damage from the nondisclosure of the assignment of the servicing of the loan—as compared to nondisclosure of the terms of the mortgage—or (2) a pattern or practice of nondisclosure by the defendants that would warrant statutory damages. Such an allegation is a necessary element of any claim under § 2605. Id. § 2605(f). After careful review of the complaint, we agree with the conclusion of the district court that Frazile failed to allege facts relevant to the necessary element of damages caused by assignment. She did not, therefore, state a claim under § 2605.

On appeal, Frazile first acknowledges that her “complaint, as drafted, alleges that the [RESPA] violations were of § 2604(c), only.” Despite this fact, and without citation to any statutory provision, relevant regulation, or binding authority, Frazile sets out a series of other RESPA claims that she argues can be inferred from the facts alleged in her complaint. Her attempts to salvage a RESPA claim, however, are without merit. Frazile seems to suggest that she can assert a cause of action under 12 U.S.C. § 2607 (prohibiting kickbacks, markups, and fee splitting for services not performed) or 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e) (setting out the proper form and timing of responses to qualified written requests).

Frazile never raised arguments regarding § 2607 at the district court, even though she had the opportunity to do so. When, for instance, the defendants pointed out in their respective motions to dismiss that § 2604(c) could not support a private cause of action, Frazile did not argue that her complaint alleged facts sufficient to give rise to claims of unlawful markups, kickbacks, or fee splitting. Instead, as it related to RESPA, Frazile’s responsive filing focused entirely on § 2605. She argued that although she had cited only § 2604(c), “[t]he motion to dismiss should be denied because Ms. Frazile is afforded a private or individual cause of action under § 2605.” “[W]e have repeatedly held that `an issue not raised in the district court and raised for the first time in an appeal will not be considered by this court.’” Walker v. Jones, 10 F.3d 1569, 1572 (11th Cir. 1994) (quoting Depree v. Thomas, 946 F.2d 784, 793 (11th Cir. 1991)). If we were to try and address these new arguments on appeal, “we [would] have nothing to go on other than scattered (and unsupported) factual references in the appellant[`s] brief before this Court.” Access Now, Inc. v. Sw. Airlines Co., 385 F.3d 1324, 1332 (11th Cir. 2004). Under this standard, Frazile failed to preserve a § 2607 claim.

In addition, after careful review of Frazile’s complaint, we cannot conclude that Frazile “alleged enough facts to suggest, raise a reasonable expectation of, and render plausible” claims brought under either § 2607 or § 2605(e). See Watts, 495 F.3d at 1296. Relying solely on the allegations of the complaint, we conclude that Frazile’s pleading did not afford the defendants fair notice either that she brought a claim for payment of unlawful kickbacks, markups, or fee splitting, or that she brought a claim based on the inadequacy of their response to her qualified written request. In other words, her complaint did not include factual allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S. Ct. at 1965.

For the foregoing reasons, the district court did not err when it held that Frazile’s complaint failed to state a RESPA claim.

B.

Frazile also sought relief under TILA, alleging that the defendants violated 15 U.S.C. §§ 1635, 1640, and 1641 as well as Regulation Z, 12 C.F.R. § 226. She asked that the district court remedy her losses by rescinding her mortgage transaction and awarding damages, costs, and attorney’s fees. The district court rejected Frazile’s TILA claims on the grounds that rescission was not available for residential mortgage transactions of the type at issue in Frazile’s suit and that any claim for damages was time-barred.

The district court turned to 15 U.S.C. § 1635(e)(1) to dispense with Frazile’s rescission claim. However, its reliance on this provision was misplaced. TILA exempts from the right of rescission residential mortgage transactions “to finance the acquisition or initial construction of such dwelling.” See 15 U.S.C. §§ 1635(e)(1), 1602(w); 12 C.F.R. §§ 226.23(f)(1), 226.2(a)(24). However, the facts alleged in Frazile’s complaint clearly demonstrate that the mortgage at issue was obtained as part of a refinancing transaction. Thus, § 1635(e)(1)’s exemption is not applicable.[ 1 ]

Frazile also sought damages, attorney’s fees, and costs under § 1640(a) both for the defendants’ failure to comply with the statute’s disclosure requirements and for their failure to properly respond to her November 2008 rescission request. The district court addressed only the former issue, deeming any claim for damages time-barred under § 1640(e), which requires that plaintiffs bring suit “within one year from the date of the occurrence of the violation.” 15 U.S.C. § 1640(e).

This Court has observed that a TILA nondisclosure “violation `occurs’ when the transaction is consummated,” in other words, at the time of closing of a residential mortgage transaction. Smith v. Am. Fin. Sys., Inc. (In re Smith), 737 F.2d 1549, 1552 (11th Cir. 1984). Insofar as nondisclosure is concerned, we have held that the violation “is not a continuing violation for purposes of the statute of limitations.” Id. We have also recognized that the doctrine of equitable tolling might salvage a stale TILA claim where the debtor “ha[s] been prevented from [bringing suit] due to inequitable circumstances.” Ellis v. Gen. Motors Acceptance Corp., 160 F.3d 703, 706-08 (11th Cir. 1998).

The alleged nondisclosure occurred at closing on November 16, 2006, more than a year prior to the commencement of this suit. As the district court correctly observed, the complaint’s relevant assertions of misconduct all relate to conduct that took place on or before closing. Because Frazile filed this suit on June 15, 2009, more than one year later, her damages action for noncompliance with TILA’s disclosure requirements is time-barred.[ 2 ]

However, the district court did not evaluate whether the defendants’ failure to timely rescind the mortgage transaction amounted to a separate violation of § 1635(b), which is actionable under § 1640(a). See In re Smith, 737 F.2d at 1552. When a borrower exercises a valid right to rescission, the creditor must take action within twenty days after receipt of the notice of rescission, returning the borrower’s money and terminating its security interest. See 15 U.S.C. § 1635(b). Failure to do so constitutes a separate violation of TILA, actionable under § 1640. Therefore, the one-year limitations period for violation of § 1635(b) claims runs from twenty days after a plaintiff gives notice of rescission. See Belini v. Wash. Mut. Bank, FA, 412 F.3d 17, 26 (1st Cir. 2005) (holding that though the plaintiffs had conceded that their disclosure-based TILA claims were time-barred, the statute of limitations had not yet run on claims arising out of noncompliance with § 1635(b)’s twenty-day requirement). Frazile alleged that in November 2008 she exercised her statutory right to rescind and that the defendants failed to timely respond. Frazile then filed this action on June 15, 2009. Thus, Frazile’s cause of action for inadequate response to her notice of rescission is not time-barred.[ 3 ]

We recognize that the defendants set out a series of alternative grounds on which we might affirm the district court’s dismissal of Frazile’s TILA claims. Despite our authority to affirm on other grounds, we think the better course is to leave these issues for appropriate factual and legal development by the district court. See Jones v. Dillard’s, Inc., 331 F.3d 1259, 1268 n.4 (11th Cir. 2003). On remand, the district court should therefore evaluate the defendants’ other grounds for dismissal and determine whether Frazile has, in fact, stated a TILA claim. If she has, the district court must then determine whether the alleged nondisclosures preserved Frazile’s right to rescind for three years, see 15 U.S.C. § 1635(f), and whether Frazile has alleged that the defendants violated TILA’s rescission procedures by failing to adequately respond to her rescission notice, see id. § 1635(b).

III.

For the foregoing reasons, the district court’s dismissal of Frazile’s RESPA claims is AFFIRMED. However, we REVERSE as to Frazile’s TILA claims and REMAND for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

1. We are aware that under 15 U.S.C. § 1635(e)(2) the right to rescind does not apply to certain refinancing and consolidation loans. However, neither the district court nor either defendant—in their motions to dismiss or on appeal—cites to or relies upon this provision when arguing that Frazile failed to state a TILA claim. Furthermore, even if § 1635(e)(2) were applicable, Frazile might still have a right to rescind “to the extent the new amount financed exceed[ed] the unpaid principal balance, any earned unpaid finance charge on the existing debt, and amounts attributed solely to the costs of the refinancing or consolidation.” 12 C.F.R. § 226.23(f)(2).
2. In her briefs on appeal, Frazile asserts that the district court should have deemed the statute of limitations equitably tolled because the defendants did not supply her with the relevant TILA-required disclosures until December 2008 or January 2009, and that the documents eventually provided were incomplete. She also claims that the statute of limitations defense is inapplicable because the exact date of the closing is in question.Frazile’s equitable tolling arguments fail. The alleged nondisclosure of TILA-related documents is the same conduct that makes up the TILA violation itself, a violation that we have deemed noncontinuing for statute of limitation purposes. See In re Smith, 737 F.2d at 1552. To hold otherwise would mean that any failure to disclose at the time of closing would not only give rise to a TILA claim, but would also toll the statute of limitations, thereby eviscerating the time limit expressly set out in § 1640(e). Frazile knew in 2006, at the time of closing, that she had not been supplied with the documents. Her ability to bring suit within one year of this alleged TILA violation was not affected by the defendants’ failure to provide the required documents at closing or by EMC’s purportedly incomplete disclosures two years later.Insofar as she questions the exact date of the closing, Frazile’s argument is directly contradicted by the allegations of her own complaint, in which she clearly and repeatedly asserts that the refinancing transaction closed on November 16, 2006.

Thus, Frazile has failed to state facts sufficient to demonstrate that she was prevented from filing this lawsuit by extraordinary circumstances that were both beyond her control and unavoidable and that she had diligently sought to preserve her statutory rights within a year of the alleged nondisclosure violation. See Arce v. Garcia, 434 F.3d 1254, 1261 (11th Cir. 2006).

3. Fremont argues that Frazile waived the right to object to both § 1635(e)(1)’s applicability and the timeliness of her damages action because her initial brief did not directly address the grounds on which the district court based its ruling. Instead, argues Fremont, Frazile conflates the two issues and dedicates the bulk of her initial brief to the timeliness of her rescission claim. We do not consider these issues abandoned. In her brief, Frazile argues that she continues to enjoy TILA’s protections, citing cases to support the position that she is allowed three years to request rescission of the mortgage transaction, pursuant to § 1635(f). Her argument therefore necessarily takes issue with the district court’s conclusion that her mortgage transaction is exempted under § 1635(e). Additionally, she challenges the district court’s finding that she is not entitled to equitable tolling of the statute of limitations, claiming in her initial brief that in 2008 and in 2009 EMC obstructed her ability to acquire information relevant to her suit. Thus, the defendants were on notice that the district court’s TILA rulings were within the scope of Frazile’s appeal.
© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, respa, reversed court decision, tila0 Comments

FL FORECLOSURE “GROSS” RUBBER STAMP REVERSED! 5th DCA Wells Fargo vs. Lupica 6/2010

FL FORECLOSURE “GROSS” RUBBER STAMP REVERSED! 5th DCA Wells Fargo vs. Lupica 6/2010

We find that the denial of these motions constituted a gross abuse of discretion, we reverse.

[ipaper docId=33016514 access_key=key-xmq2izaefqys3tk7jfz height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in case, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, reversed court decision, wells fargo0 Comments

THANK YOU Attorney John Christian Barlow, ESQ. in Utah

THANK YOU Attorney John Christian Barlow, ESQ. in Utah

Dear Mr. Barlow,

I want to thank you for your excellent service. I cannot tell you how this ruling today saddens many in this situation.

We are witnessing indescribable horror in our judicial system that make us realize the following:

  1. One does not need to be Registered to do Business in a state.
  2. Promissory Notes are just as good as the paper my trash bag is made of.
  3. Anyone can conceal important “facts” from any debtor.
  4. Only when a party is in default the “shadow people” come to existence.
  5. All we need is a “straw man” to hide assets.

Each day we get closer and closer to exposing the truth.

WE WILL DEFEAT THEM! WE WILL NOT GIVE UP!

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



Posted in bank of america, Recontrust, reversed court decision1 Comment

FL 4th DCA FINAL SUMMARY FORECLOSURE JUDGMENT REVERSED!!  LAZURAN vs. CitiMortgage Inc, Law Offices of David J. Stern PA et al

FL 4th DCA FINAL SUMMARY FORECLOSURE JUDGMENT REVERSED!! LAZURAN vs. CitiMortgage Inc, Law Offices of David J. Stern PA et al

When is someone going to really sanction these characters??

Time after time…I will say they’re days are numbered and we are getting closer and closer.

[ipaper docId=32848042 access_key=key-1pk7zslqcl70oojnax38 height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in citimortgage, djsp enterprises, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., reversed court decision0 Comments

BANK OF AMERICA channels BRITNEY SPEARS “OOPS I DID IT AGAIN”: Foreclosing AGAIN on a MORTGAGE FREE HOME!

BANK OF AMERICA channels BRITNEY SPEARS “OOPS I DID IT AGAIN”: Foreclosing AGAIN on a MORTGAGE FREE HOME!

ARE YOU NEXT?

Tuolumne Woman Owns Home Outright

POSTED: 3:58 pm PDT May 26, 2010
UPDATED: 5:53 pm PDT May 26, 2010

TUOLUMNE, Calif. — Nancy Willmes paid cash for her Tuolumne home in 2001. So she was quite surprised when Bank of America send her a notice of default on the property in February.

“I honestly felt like Bank of America was trying to steal my property,” Willmes said.

She contacted Bank of America to try to find out why the bank believed it could foreclose on property she had purchased outright.

Willmes has chain-of-ownership records, which show Bank of America had sold the property to Fannie Mae years earlier. Fannie Mae foreclosed on the previous owner, and Willmes purchased the property with cash from Fannie Mae.

But Willmes said Bank of America did not care about the documentation.

The bank proceeded with the foreclosure, placing ads in the local paper and nailing a foreclosure notice to her door.

“I called the title company, the title company called B of A, and they refused to rescind it,” Willmes said.
Fearful she would lose her home to the bank, Willmes called KCRA Call 3, and a Call 3 volunteer contacted Bank of America.

Willmes said that’s when Bank of America began returning her phone calls.

The bank rescinded the notice of trustee sale, stopping the foreclosure.

In a statement to KCRA 3, Bank of America said the problem was a system error. It said it updated its records and canceled the sale.

“This is my whole life. This is my future,” Willmes said. “I’ve got to thank you guys for basically giving me back my home. That is a big relief.”

Copyright 2010 by KCRA.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in bank of america, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, reversed court decision, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD0 Comments

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!! IN RE BRIGID In re: MARY BRIGID, Chapter 7, Debtor. MARY ANN RABIN, Plaintiff, v. MARY BRIGID, et al., Defendants. Case No. 08-18750, Adversary Proceeding No. 09-1062. United States Bankruptcy Court, N.D. Ohio.

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!! IN RE BRIGID In re: MARY BRIGID, Chapter 7, Debtor. MARY ANN RABIN, Plaintiff, v. MARY BRIGID, et al., Defendants. Case No. 08-18750, Adversary Proceeding No. 09-1062. United States Bankruptcy Court, N.D. Ohio.

SAFE!

Via: Livinglies

More and more Judges are finding ways to destroy the entire mortgage — a message to those “lenders” who refuse to reduce principal as settlement of the dispute.

Submitted by Max Gardner

In re: MARY BRIGID, Chapter 7, Debtor.
MARY ANN RABIN, Plaintiff,
v.
MARY BRIGID, et al., Defendants
.

Case No. 08-18750.

Adversary Proceeding No. 09-1062.

United States Bankruptcy Court, N.D. Ohio.

May 21, 2010.

MEMORANDUM OF OPINION

ARTHUR I. HARRIS, Bankruptcy Judge

This matter is currently before the Court on the cross-motions for summary judgment of the plaintiff-trustee, Mary Ann Rabin, and defendant RBC Mortgage Company. At issue is whether the trustee is entitled to avoid a mortgage because the notary’s certificate of acknowledgment failed to recite the name of the party whose signature was acknowledged, notwithstanding a postpetition attempt to correct this omission. For the reasons that follow, the Court holds that the mortgage was not executed in accordance with Ohio’s statutory requirements and can be avoided by the trustee as it relates to the undivided half interest of the debtor Mary Brigid. Accordingly, the trustee’s motion for summary judgment is granted, and RBC Mortgage’s motion for summary judgment is denied.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Unless otherwise indicated, the following facts are not in dispute. The debtor Mary Brigid and non-debtor Susan Radbourne are joint owners of the real property located at 3000 Yorkshire Road, Cleveland Heights Ohio, 44118. The deed was recorded on September 10, 1999, and provides “Mary Brigid, unmarried and Susan M. Radbourne, unmarried remainder to the survivor of them.” On July 9, 2003, RBC Mortgage extended a loan to Radbourne. The loan was secured by a mortgage of the real property, which was recorded in the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s office, Instrument No. 20030110552 on July 11, 2003.

Page 26 of the mortgage (Docket # 38 Ex. D ) provides in pertinent part:

BY SIGNING BELOW, Borrower accepts and agrees to the terms and 
covenants contained in this Security Instrument and in any riders 
executed by Borrower and recorded with it.

WITNESSES:

X/s/ Brent A. White             /s/ Susan M. Radbourne     
 Brent A. White                Susan M. Radbourne  — Borrower

                                 /s/ Mary Brigid            
                                    — Borrower

STATE OF OHIO

COUNTY OF Cuyahoga   

 On this 9  day of July 2003 , before me, a Notary Public in and for 
said County and State, personally appeared
 Susan M. Radbourne                                             
 Unmarried                                
 ___________________________________________________________________
the individual(s) who executed the foregoing instrument and 
acknowledged that he/she/they did examine and read the same and
did sign the foregoing instrument, and that the same is 
his/her/their free act and deed.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and official seal.

                                    /s/ Brent A. White         
                                    Notary Public

                                                          (Seal)

                                 *   *   *

On November 7, 2008, the debtor filed a petition under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code (case # 08-18750). On February 5, 2009, the trustee of the Chapter 7 estate initiated this adversary proceeding seeking to avoid the mortgage of RBC Mortgage as it relates to the debtor’s half interest pursuant to section 544 of the Bankruptcy Code and to determine the interests of all parties in the property.

The complaint named as defendants Mary Brigid, Susan Radbourne, Mortgage Electronic Registration System,  RBC Mortgage Company, Chase Home Finance, Huntington National Bank, the Cuyahoga County Treasurer, and the City of Cleveland Heights. The treasurer, City of Cleveland Heights, Mary Brigid, Susan Radbourne, and RBC Mortgage filed answers to the complaint. In its answer, the City of Cleveland Heights asserted a judgment lien in the amount of $1,316.80 at the rate of 5% interest from February 26, 2009, No. JL06258471. Radbourne asserted an undivided half interest in the property in question. She also brought a cross-claim for negligence against RBC Mortgage and requested a reservation of her right to purchase the real estate pursuant to Section 363(i). In its answer, RBC Mortgage asserted that the debtor held only bare legal title and that the trustee had constructive notice.

On June 4, 2009, all parties stipulated that the Cuyahoga County Treasurer has the first and best lien on the subject property for taxes and assessments. On December 27, 2009, the debtor’s deposition was taken, at which the debtor acknowledged signing the mortgage outlined above. On January 13, 2010, attorney David A. Freeburg filed an affidavit of facts regarding the acknowledgment of the mortgage by Mary Brigid. On January 14, 2010, the trustee filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to avoid the mortgage held by RBC Mortgage. On January 21, 2010, RBC Mortgage filed a cross-motion for summary judgment and a response. Briefing on the cross-motions for summary judgment is complete, and the Court is ready to rule.

JURISDICTION

Determinations of the validity, extent, or priority of liens are core proceedings under 28 U.S.C. section 157(b)(2)(K). The Court has jurisdiction over core proceedings under 28 U.S.C. sections 1334 and 157(a) and Local General Order No. 84, entered on July 16, 1984, by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), as made applicable to bankruptcy proceedings by Bankruptcy Rule 7056, provides that a court shall render summary judgment, if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

The moving party bears the burden of showing that “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that [the moving party] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Jones v. Union County, 296 F.3d 417, 423 (6th Cir. 2002). See generally Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Once the moving party meets that burden, the nonmoving party “must identify specific facts supported by affidavits, or by depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file that show there is a genuine issue for trial.” Hall v. Tollett, 128 F.3d 418, 422 (6th Cir. 1997). See, e.g., Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252 (1986) (“The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff’s position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff.”). The Court shall view all evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party when determining the existence or nonexistence of a material fact. See Tenn. Dep’t of Mental Health & Mental Retardation v. Paul B., 88 F.3d 1466, 1472 (6th Cir. 1996).

DISCUSSION

Under the “strong arm” clause of the Bankruptcy Code, the bankruptcy trustee has the power to avoid transfers that would be avoidable by certain hypothetical parties. See 11 U.S.C. § 544(a). Section 544 provides in pertinent part:

(a) The trustee shall have, as of the commencement of the case, and without regard to any knowledge of the trustee or of any creditor, the rights and powers of, or may avoid any transfer of property of the debtor or any obligation incurred by the debtor that is voidable by —

Page 7

. . . .

(3) a bona fide purchaser of real property, other than fixtures, from the debtor, against whom applicable law permits such transfer to be perfected, that obtains the status of a bona fide purchaser and has perfected such transfer at the time of the commencement of the case, whether or not such a purchaser exists.

11 U.S.C. §544. Any transfer under section 544 is preserved for the benefit of the estate. See 11 U.S.C. § 551.

The mortgage provides that federal law and the law of the jurisdiction in which the property is located will control. Because the real property in question is located in Ohio, the Court will apply Ohio law to determine whether the trustee can avoid the mortgages using the “strong arm” clause. See Simon v. Chase Manhattan Bank (In re Zaptocky), 250 F.3d 1020, 1024 (6th Cir. 2001) (applicable state law governs determination whether hypothetical bona fide purchaser can avoid mortgage).

Under Ohio law, a bona fide purchaser is a purchaser who “`takes in good faith, for value, and without actual or constructive knowledge of any defect.'” Stubbins v. Am. Gen. Fin. Serv., Inc. (In re Easter), 367 B.R. 608, 612 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2007), quoting Terlecky v. Beneficial Ohio, Inc. (In re Key), 292 B.R. 879, 883 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2003); see also Shaker Corlett Land Co. v. Cleveland, 139 Ohio St. 536 (1942). The Bankruptcy

Code expressly provides that a bankruptcy trustee is a bona fide purchaser regardless of actual knowledge. See In re Zaptocky, 25,0 F.3d at 1027 (“actual knowledge does not undermine [trustee’s] right to avoid a prior defectively executed mortgage.”). Because actual knowledge does not affect the trustee’s strong-arm power, the Court need only determine whether the trustee had constructive knowledge of the prior interests held by the defendant RBC Mortgage.

Ohio law provides that “an improperly executed mortgage does not put a subsequent bona fide purchaser on constructive notice.” Zaptocky, 250 F.3d at 1028. Ohio courts have refused to allow a recorded mortgage to give constructive notice when the mortgage has been executed in violation of a statute. See In re Nowak, 10,4 Ohio St. 3d 466 (2004) (listing cases). The first question, then, is whether the mortgage was executed in compliance with, or substantially conforms to applicable statutory law. A second question, if the mortgage was not executed in compliance, is whether the December 27, 2009, acknowledgment by Mary Brigid and the January 13, 2010, affidavit filed by attorney Freeburg corrected the defect. A third question, if the lien remains defective, is what interest the trustee is entitled to avoid.

The Mortgage Was Not Properly Executed in Accordance with Ohio Revised Code § 5301.01

Ohio Revised Code § 5301.01 requires four separate acts to properly execute a mortgage: (1) the mortgage shall be signed by the mortgagor; (2) the mortgagor shall acknowledge his signing in front of a notary public, or other qualified official; (3) the official shall certify the acknowledgment; and (4) the official shall subscribe his name to the certificate of acknowledgment. OHIO REV. CODE ANN. § 5301.01(A) (2004); see Drown v. GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. (In re Leahy), 376 B.R. 826, 832 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2007) (listing four requirements provided by Ohio Rev. Code. § 5301.01).2 At issue in this case is whether the certificate of acknowledgment, which omitted the name of Mary Brigid, satisfies the third requirement to proper execution of a mortgage.

Certification of an acknowledgment is governed by Ohio Revised Code sections 147.53-147.58. Ohio Revised Code section 147.53 provides:

The person taking an acknowledgment shall certify that:

(A) The person acknowledging appeared before him and acknowledged he executed the instrument;

(B) The person acknowledging was known to the person taking the acknowledgment, or that the person taking the acknowledgment had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person described in and who executed the instrument.

The Ohio Revised Code further provides that a certificate of acknowledgment is acceptable in Ohio if it is in a form prescribed by the laws or regulations of Ohio or contains the words “acknowledged before me,” or their substantial equivalent. OHIO REV. CODE § 147.54. Ohio’s statutory short form acknowledgment for an individual is as follows:

      State of ________

      County of ________

      The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by
      (name of person acknowledged.)

      (Signature of person taking acknowledgment)
      (Title or rank) (Serial number, if any)

OHIO REV. CODE § 147.55(A).

The trustee argues that the mortgage was improperly recorded because the certification of acknowledgment does not conform to section 5301.01 of the Ohio Revised Code with respect to the debtor. Specifically, the trustee asserts that the clause fails to identify the name of the debtor. The Court agrees. Recent case law, including a 2008 decision from the Sixth Circuit BAP, supports the trustee’s position that an acknowledgment is defective if it fails to identify the person whose signature is being acknowledged. See In re Nolan, 38,3 B.R. 391 (6th Cir. B.A.P. 2008)In re Sauer, 41,7 B.R. 523 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2009); Daneman v. Nat’l City Mortg. Co. (In re Cornelius), 408 B.R. 704, 708 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2009) (“The absence of the name of the mortgagee acknowledging election is the functional equivalent of no certificate of acknowledgment and renders an acknowledgment insufficient.”); Drown v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (In re Peed), 403 B.R. 525, 531 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2009) affirmed at No. 2:09cv347 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 18, 2010); Terlecky v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (In re Baruch), No. 07-57212, Adv. No. 08-2069, 2009 Bankr. Lexis 608 at *22 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio Feb. 23, 2009) (“An acknowledgment clause containing nothing relative to the mortgagor’s identity is insufficient; rather, an acknowledgment clause must either identify the mortgagor by name or contain information that permits the mortgagor to be identified by reference to the mortgage.”); In re Leahy, 37,6 B.R. at 832. See also Smith’s Lessee v. Hunt, 13 Ohio 260, 269 (1844) (holding that court was unable to infer name of grantor when acknowledgment was blank as to the grantor and, thus, the mortgage was defective and did not convey title).

The holdings in Nolan, Smith’s Lessee, and similar cases are also supported by case law interpreting almost identical statutory provisions for acknowledgment clauses in Kentucky and Tennessee. See, e.g., Gregory v. Ocwen Fed. Bank (In re Biggs), 377 F.3d 515 (6th Cir. 2004) (affirming bankruptcy court’s decision avoiding deed of trust under section 544 and Tennessee law when deed of trust omitted names of acknowledging parties); Select Portfolio Servs. v. Burden (In re Trujillo), 378 B.R. 526 (6th Cir. B.A.P. 2007) (affirming bankruptcy court’s decision avoiding mortgage under section 544 and Kentucky law when debtor was not named or identified in certificate of acknowledgment).

Because RBC Mortgage conceded that at the time of execution the mortgage was defective, and because no argument was made regarding substantial compliance, this Court holds that the mortgage failed to substantially comply with the filing requirements. Therefore, the mortgage was improperly executed with respect to the debtor because the certification of acknowledgment failed to indicate who appeared before the notary public as required under Ohio Revised Code section 5301.01.

RBC Mortgage’s Attempt to Validate the Defective Mortgage via Section 5301.45 is Ineffective

The Court rejects the argument of RBC Mortgage that Ohio Revised Code section 5301.45 and Bankruptcy Code section 546(a)(1) allow it to correct a defective acknowledgment and defeat the trustee’s strong arm powers by using the debtor’s testimony taken at a deposition postpetition. First, section 5301.45 simply does not apply to any situation other than the correction of pagination of acknowledgment clauses. Second, even if section 5301.45 did apply, the postpetition acknowledgment by the debtor was not voluntary. These issues are discussed more fully below.

1. Section 5301.45 is meant as a mechanism to correct pagination only

While older versions of the statutes at issue in this case date back as early as the 1800’s, the Court begins its analysis with the 1910 version of the Ohio General Code. See THE GENERAL CODE OF THE STATE OF OHIO (The Commissioners of Public Printing of Ohio 1910) (“Being an Act entitled `An Act to revise and consolidate the general statutes of Ohio”). Section 8510 of the 1910 Ohio General Code provided:

A deed, mortgage, or lease of any estate or interest in real property, must be signed by the grantor, mortgagor, or lessor, and such signing be acknowledged by the grantor, mortgagor, or lessor in the presence of two witnesses, who shall attest the signing and subscribe their names to the attestation. Such signing also must be acknowledged by the grantor,

mortgagor, or lessor before a judge of a court of record in this state, or a clerk thereof, a county auditor, county surveyor, notary public, mayor, or justice of the peace, who shall certify the acknowledgment on the same sheet on which the instrument is written or printed, and subscribe his name thereto.   (Emphasis added). This 1910 statute outlined the requirements to validate a deed, mortgage, or lease, including the necessity for two witnesses and that the acknowledgment page be on the same page as the instrument, and is the precursor to Ohio Revised Code section 5301.01.

The original version of what is now Ohio Revised Code section 5301.45 is provided in Local Laws and Joint Resolutions, 57 v 10, and was titled as section 8559 of the Ohio General Code. The current version of the statute is substantially identical to its 1910 version and provides in full:

When a deed, mortgage, lease, or other instrument of writing intended to convey or encumber an interest in real estate is not printed or written on a single sheet, or when the certificate of acknowledgment thereof is not printed or written on the same sheet with the instrument, and such defective conveyance is corrected by the judgment of a court, or by the voluntary act of the parties thereto, such judgment or act shall relate back so as to be operative from the time of filing the original conveyance in the county recorder’s office.

OHIO REV. CODE § 5301.45.

Thus, the state of the law regarding the formal requirements of a valid mortgage in 1910 was that although section 8510 required the instrument and acknowledgment clause to be on the same page, section 8559 allowed for correction of this deficiency through voluntary act of the parties or judgment by the court. However, the Ohio Supreme Court held in 1939 that certificates bound to an instrument substantially complied with the statute. The Court explained that:

When the provision now found in Section 8510, General Code, was enacted, more than a hundred years ago, deeds, mortgages and leases were usually and could easily be written in their entirety on a single sheet of paper. In recent years many of such instruments are so long that to write or print them on one sheet would require a roll of paper. Often, too, the acknowledgments are so numerous as to present the same difficulty. What the Legislature sought by the enactment of the provisions now found in Section 8510 was no doubt the prevention of fraud that might be readily perpetrated if the certificate of acknowledgment were on a sheet separate from the instrument itself. With respect to the lease in litigation this danger is eliminated because the certificates are bound to the other parts by rivets so as to make a unified whole.

S.S. Kresge Co., v. Butte, 136 Ohio St. 85, 89-90 (1939).

Noticeably missing from later versions of section 8510 (now 5301.01 of the Ohio Revised Code), is the requirement that the notary certify the acknowledgment on the same sheet as the instrument. See OHIO REV. CODE § 1.01 (“All statutes of a permanent and general nature of the state as revised and consolidated into general provisions, titles, chapters, and sections shall be known and designated as the `Revised Code'”); OHIO GENERAL CODE § 8510, OHIO REV.CODE § 5301.01. In fact, the current version of section 5301.07 specifically provides that no instrument conveying real estate is defective or invalid because “the certificate of acknowledgment is not on the same sheet of paper as the instrument.”

It appears that section 5301.45 was enacted to afford an opportunity for parties to physically affix separate pages of an instrument and an acknowledgment clause to enable substantial compliance with section 5301.01. The Ohio Jurisprudence 3d contains an analysis of the interplay between these statutes.

[Section 5301.45] assumes that the certificate of acknowledgment must be printed or written on the same sheet with the mortgage, or else the mortgage is defective; but there is now no statute specifically requiring the acknowledgment to be on the same sheet. The reason for the above provision, so far as acknowledgments are concerned, undoubtedly lies in the fact that under an earlier from of RC section 5301.01, it was required that the acknowledgment be on the same sheet of paper as that on which the conveyance was written. It seems likely that the omission from the statute in this respect was due to judicial construction of the former statute, in regard to which the courts, recognizing the ever-increasing length of instruments such as mortgages, held that the instrument was valid where the sheets were securely fastened together and a certificate of acknowledgment was on the last page. In some cases, emphasis was placed upon the sheets being so fastened together that the one bearing the certificate of acknowledgment could not be removed without showing evidence of mutilation.

69 O. Jur. 3d Mortgages § 102 (1986).

The Ohio Transaction Guide, a multi-volume set that has provided

practitioners with research tools and practice tips for over thirty years is instructive and consistent with this Court’s understanding of the intention of the statute. Section 188.30 of the Ohio Transaction Guide provides that “if a deed is not printed or written on the same sheet with the instrument, the conveyance may be corrected by the judgment of a court or by the voluntary act of the parties.” It continues by providing that “[a]lthough it is not necessary to the validity of the deed that the acknowledgment appear on the same sheet of paper as the deed, the usual practice is to convey the property with the necessary acknowledgments on the same sheet.” Thus, the original and later versions of section 5301.45 were designed as a mechanism for correcting failure to adhere to a repealed requirement of section 5301.01. This Court holds that section 5301.45 was enacted to amend mortgages and deeds where the execution and acknowledgment clauses were on separate pieces of paper, at a time in history when such documents were required to appear on the same page, and the parties wished to physically bind them together. Therefore, section 5301.45 cannot be used to correct the type of acknowledgment clause defect at issue in this case.

2. The debtor’s postpetition acknowledgment was not voluntary

Even if this Court were to find that section 5301.45 can be utilized to cure a defective mortgage certification clause under section 546(b)(1), the debtor’s postpetition acknowledgment was not voluntary. Specifically, the debtor testified at a deposition after being served with process and was required to answer questions under oath. This is not the type of voluntary behavior provided for by the statute, especially because both the deposition and “re-recording” of the mortgage took place after the trustee had initiated this adversary proceeding, and served the debtor with a summons and complaint.

In summary, this Court holds that section 5301.45 can only retroactively perfect a mortgage where the instrument and acknowledgment clause are on separate pages, the parties voluntarily act to attach those pages, and the mortgage is otherwise a validly executed document. Therefore, the Court rejects RBC Mortgage’s attempt to use section 5301.45 and the debtor’s postpetition deposition testimony to correct the type of acknowledgment clause defect at issue in this case.

The Trustee May Avoid the Debtor’s Undivided Half Interest in the Subject Property

Although it is well established that a trustee may avoid a debtor’s half interest when a mortgage is found to be valid as to one co-owner and defective as to the other co-owner, RBC Mortgage asserts that the title of the tenancy held by the debtor and Radbourne somehow mandates a different result. This Court finds that Radbourne and the debtor held the property as joint tenants, as evidenced by the deed’s use of the language to “Mary Brigid, unmarried and Susan Radbourne, unmarried, remainder to the survivor of them,” (emphasis added). Section 5302.20 provides that a deed showing a clear intent to create a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship “shall be liberally construed to do so.” OHIO REV. CODE § 5302.20. This Court finds that based on the clear reading of the deed in question, the intention of the parties was to create a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

Further, joint tenants hold “an equal share of the title during their joint lives unless otherwise provided in the instrument creating the survivorship tenancy.” OHIO REV. CODE § 5302.20. Although this statute provides that joint tenants are subject to a proportionate share of the costs related to ownership, it also provides that when a creditor of a survivorship tenant enforces a lien against the debtor’s interest, the interest “shall be equal unless otherwise provided in the instrument creating the survivorship tenancy.” OHIO REV. CODE § 5302.20. This proposition is supported by recent case law. In Simon v. CitiMortgage, Inc., (In re Doubov), 423 B.R. 505 (N.D. Ohio 2010), the bankruptcy trustee sought to avoid the debtor wife’s half interest in property that both spouses mortgaged as joint tenants. The trustee argued that a defective acknowledgment rendered the mortgage avoidable as to the debtor wife. Judge Morgernstern-Clarren held:

When the debtors granted the mortgage, they held the property under a survivorship tenancy. See Ohio Rev. Code §§ 5302.17, 5302.20. Under this form of ownership each survivorship tenant holds an equal share of the title to the property during their joint lives (unless the instrument creating the tenancy provides otherwise, which this one does not.) Ohio Rev. Code 5302.20(B). . . .

. . . .

Under Ohio law, a person is precluded from granting a mortgage on property in which he has no interest. See Ins. Co. Of N. Am. v. First Nat’l Bank of Cincinnati, 444 N.E. 2d 456, 459 (Ohio Ct. App. 1981). Additionally “a mortgagor can only bind the estate or property he has, and a `mortgagee can take no greater title than that held by the mortgagor.'” Stein v. Creter (In re Creter), Adv. No 06-2042, 2007 WL 2615214, at *4 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio Sept. 5, 2007) (quoting 69 Ohio Jur. 3d Mortgages and Deeds of Trusts § 17); see also Stubbins v. HSBC Mortgage Servs., Inc. (In re Slack), 394 B.R. 164, 170 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2008). When Mr. Doubov gave the mortgage to Citifinancial, he only held title to the property under a survivorship tenancy; that one-half interest is what he mortgaged.

In re Doubov, 42,3 B.R. at 513-14.

Similarly, when the debtor and Radbourne mortgaged the property, they did so as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. The instrument creating the tenancy did not provide for other treatment of ownership, and thus the debtor, as a matter of law, held an undivided half interest in the property at the time it was mortgaged. When Radbourne gave the mortgage to RBC Mortgage, she only held a half interest, and that is what RBC Mortgage received. This conclusion is supported by the fact that both the debtor and Radbourne answered the trustee’s complaint by claiming an undivided half interest in the property, and this Court declines to consider any argument by RBC Mortgage that the debtor owes Radbourne some equitable relief as a result of her filing for a petition for bankruptcy. This Court holds that the certificate of acknowledgment is defective and the trustee can avoid themortgage as it relates to the undivided half interest of Mary Brigid.

Unresolved Matters Including Radbourne’s Cross-Claim

While it appears that this decision resolves most of the claims at issue in this adversary proceeding, one matter not yet addressed in this decision is Radbourne’s cross-claim against RBC Mortgage. In her cross-claim, Radbourne alleges that she was damaged as a result of negligence by RBC Mortgage in the preparation of the loan documentation and closing of the loan transaction that are the subject of this adversary proceeding. In its cross-motion for summary judgment, RBC Mortgage also seeks summary judgment on Radbourne’s cross-claim. Radbourne has not filed a response.

The Court is reluctant to decide the merits of Radbourne’s cross-claim absent further argument from the parties on the question of jurisdiction to hear this claim. For example, even if the parties were to consent to the undersigned judge entering a final judgment on the cross-claim, the Court has serious doubts as to whether it has “related to” subject matter jurisdiction over a non-debtor’s tort claim against another non-debtor. See 28 U.S.C. § 1334; In re Dow Corning Corp., 8,6 F.3d 482 (6th Cir. 1996).

An action is “related to bankruptcy if the outcome could alter the debtor’s rights, liabilities, options, or freedom of action (either positively or negatively) and which in any way impacts upon the handling and administration of the bankruptcy estate.”  86 F.3d at 489 (quoting Pacor, Inc. v. Higgins, 743 F.2d 984, 994 (3d Cir. 1984)). For example, any recovery to the non-debtor Radbourne is unlikely to affect the debtor’s estate, either positively or negatively. Accordingly, any party wishing to have this Court decide the cross-claim should be prepared to address the issue of subject matter jurisdiction at a status conference at 1:30 P.M. on June 8, 2010.

In addition, while not included as a separate count, the trustee does seek, in her prayer for relief, authority to sell the real property, including the interest of the non-debtor co-owner. Therefore, counsel shall be prepared to advise the Court at the status conference as to what additional steps are needed to resolve all remaining claims in this adversary proceeding. Until there is a final decision on Radbourne’s cross-claim and any other unresolved claims, this is not a final judgment for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 158. See Bankr. Rule 7054 and Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b).

CONCLUSION

For the reasons stated above, the Court holds that the certificate of acknowledgment is defective and the trustee can avoid the mortgage as it relates to the half interest of the debtor. Accordingly, the trustee’s motion for summary judgment is granted. While it appears that this decision is largely dispositive, until there is a final decision on Radbourne’s cross-claim, this is not a final judgment for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 158. See Bankr. Rule 7054 and Fed R. Civ. P. 54(b). The Court will conduct a status conference at 1:30 p.m. on June 8, 2010. Counsel shall be prepared to advise the Court as to what additional steps are needed to resolve all remaining claims in this adversary proceeding.

Page 24

JUDGMENT

For the reasons stated in the separate Memorandum of Opinion, the Court holds that the certificate of acknowledgment is defective and the trustee can avoid themortgage as it relates to the half interest of the debtor. Accordingly, the trustee’s motion for summary judgment is granted. While it appears that this decision is largely dispositive, until there is a final decision on Radbourne’s cross-claim, this is not a final judgment for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 158. See Bankr. Rule 7054 and Fed R. Civ. P. 54(b). The Court will conduct a status conference at 1:30 p.m. on June 8, 2010. Counsel shall be prepared to advise the Court as to what additional steps are needed to resolve all remaining claims in this adversary proceeding.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

—————

Notes:

1. This Memorandum of Opinion is not intended for official publication.

2. In Zaptocky, the Sixth Circuit identified “three major prerequisites for the proper execution of a mortgage: (1) the mortgagor must sign the mortgage deed; (2) the mortgagor’s signature must be attested by two witnesses; and (3) the mortgagor’s signature must be acknowledged or certified by a notary public.” Zaptocky, 250 F.3d at 1024. The differences between Zaptocky’s three requirements and Leahy’s four requirements are (A) the deletion in Leahy of Zaptocky’s second requirement — attestation by two witnesses — due to a change in the statute, and (B) the Leahy court’s breaking down of Zaptocky’s third requirement — certification of acknowledgment — into three separate parts.

—————

Posted in foreclosure, reversed court decision0 Comments

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

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

2010 NY Slip Op 50927(U)

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

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

34142/07

Supreme Court, Kings County.

Decided May 24, 2010.

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

ARTHUR M. SCHACK, J.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Emphasis added]

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

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

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

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

Background

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion

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

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

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

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

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

Cancelling of notice of pendency

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.

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



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

Bank Fails to Rebut Satisfaction’s Validity Created By Notary’s Acknowledgment; FORECLOSURE DENIED! -Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Moise

Bank Fails to Rebut Satisfaction’s Validity Created By Notary’s Acknowledgment; FORECLOSURE DENIED! -Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Moise

Via: FRAUD DIGEST

ROBO-SIGNER

The trial court opinion was published in the New York Law Journal.

KINGS COUNTY
Real Property
Bank Fails to Rebut Satisfaction’s Validity Created By Notary’s Acknowledgment; Foreclosure Denied

Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Moise

Defendants seek summary judgment based on the fact that Plaintiff has not shown a valid assignment of the mortgage and note.

Plaintiff originally submitted an assignment of the mortgage dated April 30, 2009. The assignment was signed by Yolanda Williams, Assistant Secretary of Mortgage Electronic Systems, Inc..  However, the notary public’s acknowledgement states that she witnessed and acknowledged the signature of Herman John Kennerty, whose name does not appear anywhere on the document.

Plaintiff acknowledges that there was a mistake on the assignment and argues the mistake was de minimis not curat lex.  It also argues that the Court should simply replace the defective assignment with the correction assignment, and proceed with its action.  In fact, the error was not de minimis as the signature of the purported assignor was not acknowledged, rendering the assignment a nullity.

A simple typographical error can be amended, but a failure to properly acknowledge the signature of a person who signed the instrument cannot be. No affidavit is submitted either Yolanda Williams or the notary Lisa Rhyne explaining what the alleged error was or how it occurred. In fact, the so called “correction” assignment in fact is acknowledged by a different notary on a different date.

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



Posted in conspiracy, dismissed, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, forensic loan audit, forensic mortgage investigation audit, Lynn Szymoniak ESQ, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, reversed court decision, robo signer, robo signers, wells fargo1 Comment

GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
Advertise your business on StopForeclosureFraud.com
Kenneth Eric Trent, www.ForeclosureDestroyer.com

Archives