Allonge | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

Tag Archive | "allonge"

RePOST: Open Letter to all attorneys who aren’t PSA literate by April Charney

RePOST: Open Letter to all attorneys who aren’t PSA literate by April Charney


Via: Max Gardner

Are You PSA Literate?

.

We are pleased to present this guest post by April Charney.

If you are an attorney trying to help people save their homes, you had better be PSA literate or you won’t even begin to scratch the surface of all you can do to save their homes. This is an open letter to all attorneys who aren’t PSA literate but show up in court to protect their client’s homes.

First off, what is a PSA? After the original loans are pooled and sold, a trust hires a servicer to service the loans and make distributions to investors. The agreement between depositor and the trust and the truste and the servicer is called the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA).

According to UCC § 3-301 a “person entitled to enforce” the promissory note, if negotiable, is limited to:

(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 3-309 or section 3-418(d).

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.

Although “holder” is not defined in UCC § 3-301, it is defined in § 1-201 for our purposes to mean a person in possession of a negotiable note payable to bearer or to the person in possession of the note.

So we now know who can enforce the obligation to pay a debt evidenced by a negotiable note. We can debate whether a note is negotiable or not, but I won’t make that debate here.

Under § 1-302 persons can agree “otherwise” that where an instrument is transferred for value and the transferee does not become a holder because of lack of indorsement by the transferor, that the transferee is granted a special right to enforce an “unqualified” indorsement by the transferor, but the code does not “create” negotiation until the indorsement is actually made.

So, that section allows a transferee to enforce a note without a qualifying endorsement only when the note is transferred for value.? Then, under § 1-302 (a) the effect of provisions of the UCC may be varied by agreement. This provision includes the right and ability of persons to vary everything described above by agreement.

This is where you MUST get into the PSA. You cannot avoid it. You can get the judges to this point. I did it in an email. Show your judge this post.

If you can’t find the PSA for your case, use the PSA next door that you can find on at www.secinfo.com. The provisions of the PSA that concern transfer of loans (and servicing, good faith and almost everything else) are fairly boilerplate and so PSAs are fairly interchangeable for many purposes. You have to get the PSA and the mortgage loan purchase agreement and the hearsay bogus electronic list of loans before the court. You have to educate your judge about the lack of credibility or effect of the lifeless list of loans as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act specifically exempts Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities from its application. Also, you have to get your judge to understand that the plaintiff has given up the power to accept the transfer of a note in default and under the conditions presented to the court (out of time, no delivery receipts, etc). Without the PSA you cannot do this.

Additionally the PSA becomes rich when you look at § 1-302 (b) which says that the obligations of good faith, diligence, reasonableness and care prescribed by the code may not be disclaimed by agreement, but may be enhanced or modified by an agreement which determine the standards by which the performance of the obligations of good faith, diligence reasonableness and care are to be measured. These agreed to standards of good faith, etc. are enforceable under the UCC if the standards are “not manifestly unreasonable.”

The PSA also has impact on when or what acts have to occur under the UCC because § 1-302 (c) allows parties to vary the “effect of other provisions” of the UCC by agreement.

Through the PSA, it is clear that the plaintiff cannot take an interest of any kind in the loan by way of an A to D” assignment of a mortgage and certainly cannot take an interest in the note in this fashion.

Without the PSA and the limitations set up in it “by agreement of the parties”, there is no avoiding the mortgage following the note and where the UCC gives over the power to enforce the note, so goes the power to foreclose on the mortgage.

So, arguing that the Trustee could only sue on the note and not foreclose is not correct analysis without the PSA.? Likewise, you will not defeat the equitable interest “effective as of” assignment arguments without the PSA and the layering of the laws that control these securities (true sales required) and REMIC (no defaulted or nonconforming loans and must be timely bankruptcy remote transfers) and NY trust law and UCC law (as to no ultra vires acts allowed by trustee and no unaffixed allonges, etc.).

The PSA is part of the admissible evidence that the court MUST have under the exacting provisions of the summary judgment rule if the court is to accept any plaintiff affidavit or assignment.

If you have been successful in your cases thus far without the PSA, then you have far to go with your litigation model. It is not just you that has “the more considerable task of proving that New York law applies to this trust and that the PSA does not allow the plaintiff to be a “nonholder in possession with the rights of a holder.”

And I am not impressed by the argument “This is clearly something that most foreclosure defense lawyers are not prepared to do.”?Get over that quick or get out of this work! Ask yourself, are you PSA adverse? If your answer is yes, please get out of this line of work. Please.

I am not worried about the minds of the Circuit Court Judges unless and until we provide them with the education they deserve and which is necessary to result in good decisions in these cases.

It is correct that the PSA does not allow the Trustee to foreclose on the Note. But you only get there after looking at the PSA in the context of who has the power to foreclose under applicable law.

It is not correct that the Trustee has the power or right to sue on the note and PSA literacy makes this abundantly clear.

Are you PSA literate? If not, don’t expect your judge to be. But if you want to become literate, a good place to start is by attending Max Gardner’s Mortgage Servicing and Securitization Seminar.

April Carrie Charney

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (6)

Bank of Am. v Lucido | NYSC Judge Spinner Slams BOA et al & are forever barred, foreclosed and prohibited from demanding, collecting or attempting to collect

Bank of Am. v Lucido | NYSC Judge Spinner Slams BOA et al & are forever barred, foreclosed and prohibited from demanding, collecting or attempting to collect


Decided on April 16, 2012

Supreme Court, Suffolk County

Bank of America N.A., Plaintiff

against

G. Lucido also known as GALINA LUCIDO, JOHN A. LUCIDO et. al., Defendants

2009-03769

Davidson Fink L.L.P.

Attorneys for Plaintiff

28 East Main Street

Rochester, New York 14614

John Lucido

Defendant Pro Se

46 Merrits Path

Rocky Point, New York 11778

Jeffrey Arlen Spinner, J.

Plaintiff commenced this action claiming foreclosure of a mortgage by filing its Notice of Pendency and Summons and Complaint with the Clerk of Suffolk County. The mortgage at issue was given by Defendants to MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC. As Nominee For FIRST FRANKLIN FINANCIAL CORP. on March 23, 2007 in the original principal amount of $ 494,000.00 and was recorded with the Clerk of Suffolk County in Liber 21524 of Mortgages at Page 751. It was given as collateral security for a simultaneously executed Note in the same amount, the same constituting a first lien encumbering premises known as 46 Merrits Path, Rocky Point, New York.

Sometime thereafter and through no fault of their own, Defendants defaulted upon their monthly installment payments due under the Note. It is undisputed that the principal balance owed to Plaintiff, as of the date of default, was and remains at $ 493,219.75. Following the [*2]commencement of this action, an initial settlement conference, as mandated by CPLR § 3408 was convened on June 2, 2009. Thereafter, seventeen additional or adjourned settlement conferences were held, each one a component part of a continuing albeit fruitless effort to resolve this matter. It was only upon the express directive of the Court that one of Plaintiff’s representatives travelled from Fort Worth, Texas to appear with a view toward some amicable resolution of this action. However, in derogation of the mandatory provisions of CPLR § 3408(c), no person ever appeared on Plaintiff’s behalf who was vested with any authority to settle or otherwise compromise the matter. Further delays were occasioned by serious illness having afflicted both of the Defendants as well as the unfortunate passing of Mrs. Lucido (Mr. Lucido requested that the matter be temporarily removed from the conference calendar because he was unable to move forward while attending to the care of his wife). In addition, Plaintiff’s former counsel, Steven J. Baum P.C., was discharged and the firm was thereafter disbanded.

Defendant JOHN LUCIDO has, in the past, been employed as a commercial mortgage broker. Though he was not involved professionally in the procurement of the loan at issue herein, he apparently enjoys a considerable degree expertise in the area of mortgage financing, which knowledge has been displayed to this Court on multiple occasions. Throughout the settlement conference process, Defendants had, on not less than three occasions in the presence of the Court, submitted the rather voluminous financial documentation demanded by Plaintiff, to be used in considering the initial request for a customary modification. At one point in time, Defendants were offered a so-called “trial modification” with no terms disclosed other than a monthly payment amount to be remitted. However, that offer was never accepted by Defendants because of Plaintiff’s steadfast and continued refusal to disclose any of its terms to them, including the interest rate as well as the manner in which their payments would be applied to the debt, a tactic that was strenuously defended by Plaintiff’s successor counsel as “general industry practice.”

At one of the early settlement conferences, Mr. Lucido informed the Court that the servicing of his loan had been transferred to one of Plaintiff’s wholly-owned subsidiaries and that they had embarked upon a print and internet advertising campaign wherein they were offering principal reductions in an apparent effort to help homeowners bring their delinquent loans current. They advertised basic requirements of a delinquency of over 60 days duration coupled with a principal balance in excess of 120% of the value of the property (as just one example of these blandishments by Plaintiff, see homeloanhelp.bankofamerica.com ). Based in large part upon this inducement, Mr. Lucido repeatedly raised the possibility of a principal reduction and when he was advised, in open court, that it would be “considered” by the bank, he obtained a third party evaluation of the Property, reflecting the fair market value to be $ 250,000.00. He thereupon prepared and submitted a written proposal requesting a principal reduction to $ 250,000.00, coupled with the immediate deposit with Plaintiff of $ 23,588.52, a sum equal to twelve months of principal, interest, taxes and insurance for it to hold in escrow to ensure his performance, a reduction in the interest rate to 4.50% (at that time, HAMP modifications were being offered with interest at 2%) and the immediate commencement of payments upon the new principal amount at the new interest rate. This written proposal was sent to Plaintiff prior to January 26, 2011 and by February 9, 2011 it had advised Defendant, by letter, that it had received his proposal and that the same was under consideration. [*3]

The conference was adjourned several more times until June 9, 2011. At that conference, prior counsel advised Defendant and the Court that Plaintiff was “unwilling” to reduce the principal and actually misrepresented to the Court that there had been “…thirteen conferences and Defendant has never submitted financials.” Prior counsel further misrepresented to the Court that Plaintiff did not offer any loan modification programs that included a principal reduction as a component. At that juncture, the Court warned counsel that if there was found to be a lack of good faith in the settlement conference proceedings, the Court would consider the imposition of financial sanctions upon Plaintiff. The Court adjourned the conference to July 13, 2011 with the directive that a representative appear on Plaintiff’s behalf to provide an explanation to the Court.

On July 13, 2011, the matter again appeared for conference with prior counsel present. Plaintiff’s representative informed the Court that the total debt owed by Defendants and secured by the Property (principal, interest, advances, etc.) now stood at $ 673,959.23 and further, affirmatively stated under oath that “This loan is part of a pooling of loans that entrust mortgage—in fact, securities and their pooling and servicing agreement does not allow us to reduce the principal balance.” When the Court called for production of the pooling and servicing agreement (the “PSA”), counsel stated that their office was just informed “today” of this claimed restriction and, in furtherance of Plaintiff’s position, stated that “We can’t consider a principal reduction. It’s prohibited by the PSA.” The bank representative did concede, however, that Defendants had been assiduously trying to work the matter out and that they had, in fact, been submitting financial documentation as requested by Plaintiff. The bank representative also asserted that she had an appraisal showing the property value to be $ 356,000.00 but when pressed for a copy, she stated that it was “tentative.” No such appraisal was ever provided to the Court (indeed Plaintiff never produced any written indicia of the value of the Property), thusleaving the Court to accept the market value of $ 250,000.00 as advanced by Defendants.

The matter was again adjourned while the Court waited patiently for production of a copy of the PSA. Despite the Court’s order, it was not produced on September 14, 2011 nor was it provided on October 19, 2011. However, upon some intense prodding by the Court, prior counsel generously offered to provide the Court only with what Plaintiff considered to be the “salient portions” of the PSA, despite the Court’s clear and unambiguous order that the entire agreement be provided. Once again, the PSA was not provided for the December 7, 2011 conference, necessitating yet another adjournment, this time to December 21, 2011. A document purporting to be a complete copy of the PSA, consisting of 258 pages in PDF form, was finally e-mailed by prior counsel to the Court late in the day on December 15, 2011 (some 155 days after the Court ordered its production), forcing the Court to continue the matter yet again, from December 21, 2011 to January 4, 2012, and advising the parties that there would be a hearing on that date to consider the entire matter, including the possible imposition of sanctions for a lack of good faith.

At the January 12, 2012 hearing, the office of Steven J. Baum P.C. (Plaintiff’s counsel of record) failed to appear. Instead, a gentleman appeared, stating that he was per diem counsel to Pulvers Pulvers & Thompson who, in turn, was of counsel to Davidson Cook who were now attorneys for Plaintiff, though no substitution of attorney had been filed. Counsel indicated his [*4]readiness to proceed with the matter. The same bank representative who had appeared the prior year was present for the hearing as was Defendant Mr. Lucido. At the hearing, it was quickly established that the “complete” PSA as provided to the Court excluded the schedules to which it referred as an integral part, which included a description of the mortgage loans which were to be part of the pool. Although Plaintiff’s representative claimed that she was in possession of the schedules, like the phantom appraisal, they were never provided to the Court. During questioning by the Court, Plaintiff’s representative conceded that Bank of America “…always had…” the PSA in their possession. This failure to disclose, coming upon the heels of Plaintiff’s 155 day delay in providing the PSA coupled with what appears to be the intent, by Plaintiff and its prior counsel, to deceive this Court by deciding to only provide what it deemed to be the “salient” portions of the PSA, leads this Court toward the conclusion that Plaintiff was not acting in good faith throughout the pendency of this matter.

Further examination of documents revealed that Plaintiff claimed standing by virtue of an Assignment from LaSalle Bank National Association acting as Trustee under the PSA that is at issue herein. That Assignment, clearly prepared by the law firm of Steven J. Baum P.C., was acknowledged on December 22, 2008 but expressly stated that it was “…effective as of March 30, 2007. The PSA deals with an entity denominated as “Merrill Lynch First Franklin Mortgage Trust, Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2007-3.” Examination of the PSA reveals that it was consummated on May 1, 2007 (a fact that is reflected in the Assignment), which was the date on which it came into legal existence. The Assignment however expressly states that it became effective some 32 days prior to the existence of the PSA. Though questions were raised by the Court, this issue was not resolved, either by counsel or by Plaintiff.

The hearing went forward with Plaintiff vigorously asserting that the PSA absolutely prohibited any reduction of the principal. Upon pointed inquiry by the Court, the following colloquy transpired:

THE COURT: Where is it in that agreement that it states that principal reductions are absolutely prohibited?

BANK: Okay. I read through that here, and I don’t know something stating completely prohibited. It doesn’t come right out and say that portion.

THE COURT: That’s what was represented to the Court. Where does it say that? Give me a page.

BANK: I highlighted it.

BANK COUNSEL: I will read it for you.

BANK: Page 86 is what I had highlighted, and then on Page 90.

BANK COUNSEL: There are provisions in the PSA permitting—

THE COURT: You said Page 86?

BANK COUNSEL: 86, it is section 301, servicer to service mortgage loans. The sentence starting with “notwithstanding” approximately fifteen lines down.

THE COURT: All right. This refers to servicer not engaging in any conduct which would essentially cause the REMIC, the Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit, to fail to qualify as a REMIC or to result in the imposition of certain taxes under the Internal Revenue Code.

BANK COUNSEL: Correct.

THE COURT: Where does it say that a principal reduction is prohibited?

BANK COUNSEL: What this PSA document does state is that there are provisions that can [*5]prohibit the forgiveness of principal or the reduction of principal, but there are other provisions, specifically Page 90, that put it within the discretion of the servicer to recommend a principal reduction which must be signed off on by the investor.

MR. LUCIDO: Where?

BANK COUNSEL: It begins with “notwithstanding Clause 2 above, in the event that mortgage loan is in default.”

MR. LUCIDO: Where is this? Can you highlight that? Page 90? Okay, I see it. This actually allows for it.

THE COURT: This seems to permit—

BANK COUNSEL: Correct, and that’s what we are trying to tell the Court here. There are provisions that prohibit but there are provisions that do allow the servicer to recommend the reduction of principal. But it must be accepted by the investor. It must be in the best interest of the—

THE COURT: But that’s not what has been represented to this Court by the bank and their prior counsel. In fact, prior counsel explicitly represented to this Court on more than one occasion that it is absolutely prohibited under these documents, under this PSA. That is what has been represented to this Court.

BANK COUNSEL: We do submit that it might have been due to some of the provisions prohibiting principal reduction. They would have thought that those provisions may have been triggered. It might have been the opinion of the Court that they have not been.

THE COURT: Where are the express prohibitions, the ones that the bank relies on that they used here in telling this Court that they will not consider a principal reduction because it is absolutely prohibited under the terms of the PSA?

BANK COUNSEL: Under the initial clause, which is 13 lines down from Section 3.01, servicer of service mortgage loan.

THE COURT: Show me where else that it absolutely prohibits a principal reduction? Is there anywhere else in there that you can find?

BANK COUNSEL: We have not found an absolute bar, a prohibition of forgiving or reducing. It is our position, and we submit to this Court, that there are circumstances that if occurring, which is also the signing off of the client, that a principal reduction could occur under certain circumstances.

Subsequent to the foregoing colloquy and without any further concession to the Court’s line of inquiry, counsel advised the Court that an offer was now being made to Defendant, stating that “We are going above and beyond what—we are bending the rules of our underwriting. We are attempting to put together a product here that is not generally offered to the rest of the populace, the rest of the clientele, a 43.5 year product at 2% without the financials.” When the Court inquired as to the reason for Plaintiff’s abrupt about-face, counsel attempted to deflect attention from Plaintiff, instead intimating that the Court was, in effect, coercing a resolution by having “…held the bank’s feet to the fire…” and further mis-stating the facts by incorrectly asserting that “…This Court was not willing to hear it after learning that there was not a principal reduction.” It must be pointed out that in this matter as in all other foreclosure matters assigned to this Part, the Court has only attempted to fulfill its statutory responsibilities and has not, in any manner forced, coerced nor compelled any particular resolution. It is also important to note here that counsel advised the Court that Plaintiff had a new BPO showing a value of $ 346,000.00 and although requested by the Court, this BPO, like the phantom appraisal referred to on July 13, 2011, was never produced.

Based upon the foregoing factual scenario, the Court has serious and substantial questions as to whether or not Plaintiff and its prior counsel of record have acted in good faith in this [*6]matter. By reason of the lengthy delays herein, interest has been accumulating on the debt along with sums that may be due for advances for property taxes and insurance, to say nothing of Plaintiff’s claimed counsel fees (which are, of course, subject to review by the Court). While it is important to note that the Court has grave reservations related to the actions in this matter of Steven J. Baum P.C., Plaintiff’s former counsel of record, the Court hastens to add that it has absolutely no such issues with either Henry P. DiStefano Esq. or Alicia Menechino Esq. (in fact, the appearances covered by these two most excellent attorneys were the only ones upon which the Court was able to obtain a straight answer about anything on the Plaintiff’s case herein).

In 2008, New York’s Assembly and Senate enacted Chapter 472 of the Laws of 2008 which constituted a sweeping reform of the laws governing sub-prime, high cost and non-traditional home loans. Included as part and parcel of that legislation was the newly enacted CPLR § 3408 which required a mandatory settlement conference in an action to foreclose such a mortgage. Since that enactment, this Court, sitting first as Suffolk County’s Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Conference Part and thereafter as an I.A.S. Part, has mandated that the parties to such an action act and negotiate in good faith. Indeed, in December of 2009, both the Assembly and the Senate amended CPLR § 3408 by way of Chapter 507 of the Laws of 2009, which, among other things, added a requirement that the parties act and negotiate in good faith (see CPLR § 3408(f) which states that “Both the plaintiff and the defendant shall negotiate in good faith to reach a mutually agreeable resolution, including a loan modification, if possible.”). This statutory scheme is further buttressed and implemented by the provisions of The Uniform Rules For The Trial Courts, 22 NYCRR § 202.12-a. Indeed, that Rule vests the Court with broad powers to assist the parties in reaching a settlement of their differences, stating, in pertinent part, that “…The court may also use the conference for whatever other purposes the court deems appropriate,” 22 NYCRR § 202.12-a(c)(2). That Rule further imposes upon the Court the duty to be certain that all parties act in compliance therewith, stating that “…The court shall ensure that each party fulfills its obligation to negotiate in good faith…” 22 NYCRR § 202.12-a(c)(4). For this Court to do anything less would be a serious derogation of its statutory responsibilities and would do a great dis-service to the public that it is obligated to serve..

Since an action to foreclose a mortgage is clearly a suit in equity, Jamaica Savings Bank v. M.S. Investing Co. 274 NY 215 (1937), all of the rules and tenets of equity are fully applicable to the proceeding, including the rules governing punitive or exemplary damages, I.H.P. Corp. v. 210 Central Park South Corp. 12 NY2d 329 (1963). In the timeless words of Judge Benjamin Cardozo “The whole body of principles, whether of law or of equity, bearing on the case, becomes the reservoir drawn upon by the court in enlightening its judgment” Susquehannah Steamship Co. Inc. v. A.O. Andersen & Co. Inc. 239 NY 289 at 294 (1925). In a suit in equity, the Court is vested with jurisdiction to do that which ought to be done. While the formal distinctions between an action at law and a suit in equity have long since been abolished in New York (see CPLR 103, David Dudley Field Code of 1848 §§ 2, 3, 4, 69), the Supreme Court, as New York’s trial court of general jurisdiction, is nevertheless vested with equity jurisdiction and the distinct rules governing the application of the principles of equity are still very much applicable, Carroll v. Bullock 207 NY 567 (1913).

While the Court understands that the instruments upon which a mortgage foreclosure [*7]action is based are contractual in nature and, understanding that “[s]tability of contract obligations must not be undermined by judicial sympathy” Graf v. Hope Building Corp. 254 NY 1 at 4 (1930), it is equally true, as decreed in Noyes v. Anderson 124 NY 175 at 179 (1891) that “a party having a legal right shall not be permitted to avail himself of it for the purposes of injustice or oppression.” Thus, equity will not intervene on behalf of one who acts in an unjust, unconscionable or egregious manner, York v. Searles 97 AD 331 (2nd Dept. 1904), aff’d 189 NY 573 (1907). This Court cannot, and will not, countenance a lack of good faith in the proceedings that are brought before it, especially where blatant and repeated misrepresentations of fact are advanced, neither will it permit equitable relief to lie in favor of one who so flagrantly demonstrates such obvious bad faith.

In those very rare instances where the conduct of a party is unconscionable, shocking or egregious, a Court of equity is vested with the power to award exemplary damages. Exemplary damages may lie in a situation where it is necessary to both effectuate some punishment and to deter the offending party from engaging in such reprehensible conduct in the future. Such an award may also be made to address, as so clearly and succinctly enunciated by our Court of Appeals in Home Insurance Co. v. American Home Products Corp. 75 NY2d 196, 550 NE 2d 930, 551 NYS 2d 481 (1989) “…gross misbehavior for the good of the public…on the ground of public policy”. Indeed, exemplary damages are intended to have a deterrent effect upon conduct which is unconscionable, egregious, deliberate and inequitable, I.H.P. Corp. v. 210 Central Park South Corp. 12 NY2d 329, 189 NE 2d 812, 239 NYS 2d 547 (1963).

In the matter that is sub judice, the record unequivocally demonstrates that Plaintiff, through its deliberate and contumacious conduct, has failed to act in good faith, although required by statute to do so. This Court is driven to the inescapable conclusion that Plaintiff has deliberately acted in bad faith over the preceding thirty four months. Through its repeated and persistent failure and refusal to comply with the lawful orders of the Court including those which directed production of documentation that was essential to address critical issues in the present matter, it has repeatedly caused to be put forth material mis-statements of fact which appear to have been calculated to deceive the Court and has delayed these proceedings without good cause, thereby needlessly increasing the amount owed upon the mortgage debt, to say nothing of the needless waste of the Court’s time and resources, as well as those of Defendant. In short, the conduct of Plaintiff in this matter has been over-reaching, willful and unconscionable, is wholly devoid of even so much as a scintilla of good faith and cannot be countenanced by this Court.

Under the unique circumstances of this matter, the Court determines that it is fair and equitable that Plaintiff be forever barred, precluded, prohibited and foreclosed of and from collecting any of the claimed interest accrued on the loan between the date of default and the date of this Order; that Plaintiff be barred and prohibited from recovering any claimed legal fees and expenses; and further, that the amount due Plaintiff under the Note and Mortgage herein be determined at this time to be no more than the principal balance of $ 493,219.75, exclusive of advances for property taxes and property insurance. The Court also determines that under the circumstances herein, the imposition of exemplary damages upon Plaintiff is equitable, necessary and appropriate, both in light of Plaintiff’s shocking and deliberate bad faith conduct as well as to serve as an appropriate deterrent to any future outrageous, improper and wrongful conduct. The Court hereby fixes and determines [*8]the amount of exemplary damages in the sum of $ 200,000.00, recoverable by Defendants from Plaintiff in the nature of a principal reduction upon the mortgage sought to be foreclosed by Plaintiff.

For all of the foregoing reasons, it is, therefore

ORDERED , ADJUDGED and DECREED that Plaintiff, its successors, assigns and others are forever barred, foreclosed and prohibited from demanding, collecting or attempting to collect, directly or indirectly, any and all of the sums secured by the mortgage under foreclosure herein designated or denominated as interest, attorney’s fees, legal fees, costs, disbursements or any sums other than the principal balance as well as advances for property taxes and property insurance if any, that may have accrued from the date of default up to the date of this Order; and it is further

ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that the debt due Plaintiff under the Note and Mortgage under foreclosure in this action be fixed at $ 493,219.75, exclusive of any sums advanced for property taxes or property insurance; and it is further

ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that Defendant JOHN LUCIDO be and is hereby awarded exemplary damages as against Plaintiff in the amount of $ 200,000.00 to abide the event; and it is further

ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that the foregoing award of $ 200,000.00 in exemplary damages shall be and is hereby applied as a credit against the principal balance of the mortgage under foreclosure herein, amending and reducing the same to $ 293,219.75.

This shall constitute the Decision, Judgment and Order of the Court.

Dated: April 16, 2012

Riverhead, New York

E N T E R:

______________________________________

Jeffrey Arlen Spinner, J.S.C.

Download PDF Below

Down Load PDF of This Case

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

U.S. Bank N A. v Nyarkoha | NYSC “endorsement on the underlying note, however, is undated, and in blank…does not state the actual date of physical delivery of the note.”

U.S. Bank N A. v Nyarkoha | NYSC “endorsement on the underlying note, however, is undated, and in blank…does not state the actual date of physical delivery of the note.”


Decided on February 29, 2012

Supreme Court, Queens County

 

U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee, for CSFB ARMT 2006-2, 3476 Stateview Boulevard, Ft. Mill, SC 29715, Plaintiff,

against

Dorcas Nyarkoha, et al., Defendants.

13409/2009

Appearances of Counsel:

For the Plaintiff:Hogan Lovells U.S. LLP, by Allison J. Schoenthal, Danielle Mastriano, & Nicole Schiavo, Esqs., 875 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022

For Defendant Dorcas Nyarkoha: Sumani Lanka, Esq., The Legal Aid Society – – Civil Practice, 120-46 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, New York 11415-1204

Charles J. Markey, J.

The following papers numbered 1 to 13 read on this motion by defendant Dorcas Nyarkoha, pursuant to CPLR 3012(d), for leave to serve and file a late answer, as proposed.

Papers Numbered

Notice of Motion – Affidavits – Exhibits ……………………………………………………………….1-4

Answering Affidavits – Exhibits …………………………………………………………………………5-10

Reply Affidavits ……………………………………………………………………………………………..11-13

This mortgage foreclosure action raises two controversial issues that will persist in the case law, with incongruent and inconsistent results, until a definitive ruling is eventually made by the New York Court of Appeals. The first issue, especially in the area of mortgage foreclosures, where the statutory framework provides for a conference to all answering defendants in an attempted foreclosure of a residential mortgage (see, CPLR 3408, L 2008, ch 472, § 3), is whether or not a non-answering defendant’s failure to answer timely be excused because he or she relied on ongoing settlement talks, discussions, and negotiations. The second thorny issue is whether or not a plaintiff bank’s alleged lack of standing is a meritorious defense that may be asserted by a defendant seeking permission to file a late answer.

Defendant Nyarkoha, in effect, moves to vacate her default in answering the complaint and for leave to serve a late verified answer as proposed. She claims that her default is excusable, insofar as she believed her engagement in settlement negotiations with plaintiff’s [*2]servicing agent, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc. d/b/a America’s Servicing Company (“ASC”), excused her from taking further action with respect to the suit. Defendant Nyarkoha also claims she has meritorious defenses and counterclaims. The plaintiff opposes the motion.

A defendant who has failed to timely answer the complaint must provide a reasonable excuse for the default and demonstrate a potentially meritorious defense to the action, when moving to compel the acceptance of an untimely answer (see, Palmer Ave. Corp. v. Malick, 91 AD3d 853 [2nd Dept. 2012]; Lipp v Port Auth. of NY & N.J., 34 AD3d 649 [2nd Dept. 2006]; Juseinoski v Board of Educ. of City of NY, 15 AD3d 353, 356 [2nd Dept. 2005]; see also, Rodriguez v Triani, 28 Misc 3d 130(A), 2010 WL 2802747, 2010 NY Slip Op 51256(U) [App T. 2nd Dept. 2010]). The determination of what constitutes a reasonable excuse for a default in answering lies within the sound discretion of the court (see, Adolph H. Schreiber Hebrew Academy of Rockland, Inc. v Needleman, 90 AD3d 791 [2nd Dept. 2011]; Maspeth Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn. v McGown, 77 AD3d 889 [2nd Dept. 2010]; Grutman v Southgate At Bar Harbor Home Owners’ Assn., 207 AD2d 526, 527 [2nd Dept. 1994]).

Defendant Nyarkoha states that she was out of the country at the time of the service of the copy of the summons and complaint, but after her return on June 28, 2009, contacted ASC, seeking to obtain a modification of the subject mortgage. ASC, which participated in the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”), accepted her application for loan modification under HAMP. Defendant Nyarkoha entered into a three-month Trial Period Plan with ASC through HAMP, commencing October 1, 2009, and attended seven conferences held in the Residential Foreclosure Part, wherein she was represented by the Legal Aid Society for the purpose of the conferences.

While the case was assigned to that Part, defendant Nyarkoha twice moved, in effect, to stop the running of interest on the mortgage debt. Both motions were denied. In addition, defendant Nyarkoha filed, on July 1, 2010, a pro se motion for leave to serve an answer to the complaint, which motion was repeatedly adjourned. The case was released from the Residential Foreclosure Part on December 1, 2010.

On December 28, 2010, the Legal Aid Society served and filed a notice of appearance on behalf of defendant Nyarkoha in this action. On January 27, 2011, defendant Nyarkoha served and filed a notice, indicating her withdrawal of the pro se motion for leave to serve a late answer, without prejudice to her right to refile it. The instant motion was filed six months later.

Regarding defendant Nyarkoha’s argument that she relied on ongoing settlement discussions and negotiations, the cases are mixed. A number of cases show a great reluctance, if not loathing, for such a defense as an excuse for not taking concrete action in a litigation, such as filing an answer (see, e.g., Community Preservation Corp. v Bridgewater Condominiums, LLC, 89 AD3d 784 [2nd Dept. 2011] [reliance on settlement discussions does not constitute reasonable excuse]; Mellon v Izmirligil, 88 AD3d 930 [2nd Dept. 2011] [motion to vacate was properly denied]; Maspeth Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn. v McGown, 77 AD3d 889, supra [purported reliance [*3]on settlement discussions was unsubstantiated]; Jamieson v Roman, 36 AD3d 861 [2nd Dept. 2007] [upholding denial of motion to vacate default despite party’s claim of ongoing settlement discussions, since party delayed in appearing after being served with a copy of the judgment]; Flora Co. v Ingilis, 233 AD2d 418 [2nd Dept. 1996] [reliance on settlement discussions was questionable at best]; Bank of New York v Jayaswal, 33 Misc 3d 1214(A), 2011 WL 5061626, 2011 NY Slip Op 51922(U) [Sup Ct Suffolk County 2011] [Whelan, J.] [denying motion to file a late answer, court stated that “the mere engagement in discussions aimed at a potential modification of the subject mortgage loan may not serve as a means to open up an otherwise inexcusable default in answering the summons and complaint by the defendant/mortgagor.”; discussing the competing cases and reasoning that defendant’s conversation with the plaintiff bank’s “operations consultant” could not be reasonably characterized as “legal advice” that “allegedly duped defendant . . . into not answering the complaint in a timely manner.”).

The defense or excuse of a party’s abstaining from taking any action in good faith reliance on ongoing settlement discussions and negotiations has, nevertheless, been sustained if the underlying facts and circumstances are substantiated and reasonable (see, e.g., Performance Constr. Corp. v Huntington Bldg., LLC, 68 AD3d 737, 738 [2nd Dept. 2009] [record revealed that party was actively engaged in settlement negotiations, and adversary unfairly and manipulatively failed to disclose plan to enter default judgment]; Scarlett v McCarthy, 2 AD3d 623 [2nd Dept. 2003]; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Cayo, ____ Misc 3d, 934 NYS2d 792, 794 [Sup Ct Kings County 2011] [party presented meritorious defense and substantiated belief that action was stayed pending settlement talks]; Emigrant Mortgage, Inc. v Abbey, 2011 WL 972555, 2011 NY Slip Op 30600(U) [Sup Ct Queens County 2011] [McDonald, J.]).

This Court, in the present action, concludes that defendant Nyarkoha’s reliance upon settlement negotiations with ASC was reasonable and her participation in the conferences is substantiated and thus constituting a sufficient and reasonable excuse for her failure to serve an answer through at least December 1, 2010.

To the extent Defendant Nyarkoha’s pro se motion for leave to serve a late answer was withdrawn prior to its submission, and the instant motion was not made for another six months, such additional delay may be attributable to her counsel and constitutes, at most, law office failure, which is excusable (see, CPLR 2005). Plaintiff has not demonstrated it has been prejudiced by the additional delay (see, Merchants Ins. Group v. Hudson Valley Fire Protection Co., Inc.,72 AD3d 762, 764 [2nd Dept. 2010]).

Plaintiff made no motion seeking any relief during that six-month period, notwithstanding that the order dated December 1, 2010, permitted it to seek an order of reference, and makes no cross motion for such relief. A strong public policy, furthermore, exists favoring the disposition of matters on their merits (see, Berardo v Guillet, 86 AD3d 459, 459 [1st Dept. 2011]; Yu v Vantage Mgt. Servs., LLC, 85 AD3d 564[1st Dept. 2011]; Billingly v Blagrove, 84 AD3d 848, 849 [2nd Dept. 2011]; Khanal v Sheldon, 74 AD3d 894, 896 [2nd Dept. 2010]; Rakowicz v [*4]Fashion Institute of Technology, 65 AD3d 536, 537 [2nd Dept. 2009]; Reed v Grossi, 59 AD3d 509, 511-512 [2nd Dept. 2009]; Bunch v Dollar Budget, Inc., 12 AD3d 391 [2nd Dept. 2004]).

The motion papers, in the case at bar, adequately demonstrate that the defendant Nyarkoha may have a meritorious defense based upon lack of standing (compare Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. v. Randolph Bowling, 25 Misc 3d 1244(A), 2009 WL 4893940, 2009 NY Slip Op 52567(U), slip op at 3 [Sup Ct Kings County 2011] [standing issue was not raised as a last minute gesture to avert sale of property and was thus properly raised on a motion to file a late answer] with Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co. v. Young, 66 AD3d 819,819 [2nd Dept. 2009] [upholding lower court’s denial of motion to vacate default in mortgage foreclosure action, Second Department stated that “the Supreme Court did not err in determining that they waived the issue of standing by failing to timely appear or answer”] and HSBC Bank, USA v. Dammond, 59 AD3d 679, 680 [2nd Dept. 2009] [where it was “undisputed that the respondent was personally served” and the defendant did not raise the standing defense until “immediately prior to the date scheduled for the sale of the property,” the Second Department stated: “The respondent waived any argument that HSBC lacked standing to commence the foreclosure action. Having failed to interpose an answer or file a timely pre-answer motion which asserted the defense of standing, the respondent waived such defense pursuant to CPLR 3211(e).”]; and Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co. v. Pietranico, 33 Misc 3d 528 [Sup Ct Suffolk County 2011] [Whelan, J.] [alleged lack of standing was untimely asserted on motion to vacate a default in a mortgage foreclosure action]; see, U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752 [2nd Dept. 2009] [upholding denial of plaintiff bank’s motion for summary judgment and appointment of a referee, Second Department stated: “Contrary to the Bank’s contentions, it failed to demonstrate its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law because it did not submit sufficient evidence to demonstrate its standing as the lawful holder or assignee of the subject note on the date it commenced this action.”]).

In the present action, the assignment agreement indicates that the mortgage, “[t]ogether with all moneys . . . owing or that may . . . become due or owing in [r]espect thereof,” were assigned by First United Mortgage Banking Corp. to plaintiff on May 12, 2009. The endorsement on the underlying note, however, is undated, and in blank and without recourse, and the affidavit of Jennifer Robinson, the vice-president of loan documentation for Wells Fargo, indicates that the note was physically delivered to Wells Fargo as custodian for plaintiff “prior to the commencement of this action on May 25, 2009.” The action, however, was commenced on May 21, 2009, and Ms. Robinson does not state the actual date of physical delivery of the note.

The Court holds, under the circumstances of the present action, that the alleged lack of standing of the plaintiff bank may be considered on a motion to vacate a default in a mortgage foreclosure action. Absent express legislation barring a litigant from proving a meritorious defense in an attempt to vacate a default because of an alleged lack of standing, courts should not engraft such a prohibition on the case law of this State.

The Court grants defendant’s motion for leave to serve a late answer is granted, and the [*5]proposed answer annexed to the motion papers shall be deemed served upon service of a copy of this order bearing the date stamp of the County Clerk, with notice of entry. Plaintiff shall serve a reply or move with respect to the answer, within 30 days of the service of a copy of this order with notice of entry. Defendant Nyarkoha shall file a copy of the answer within 20 days of service of a copy of this order with notice of entry.

The foregoing constitutes the decision, opinion, and order of the Court.

______________________________________

J.S.C.

Dated: February 29, 2012

[ipaper docId=84416322 access_key=key-3mkfr2pslowab35tnl9 height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Massachusetts Home Seizures Threatened in Loan Case: Mortgages

Massachusetts Home Seizures Threatened in Loan Case: Mortgages


“If you’re going to take someone’s home away, you’ve got to prove you have the right to do it, and you have to follow the law when you do it,” Atty Glenn Russell said.

Busines Week-

The highest court in Massachusetts is poised to rule as soon as this month on a foreclosure case that could lead to a surge in claims from home owners seeking to overturn seizures.

The justices are deciding whether to uphold a lower court ruling that gave a Boston home back to Henrietta Eaton after Sam Levine, a 25-year-old Harvard Law School student, argued in front of the nation’s oldest appellate court that the loan servicer made mistakes when it foreclosed because it didn’t hold the note proving she was obliged to pay the mortgage.

“If the Massachusetts court says this defense works, that would have a huge ripple effect across the country,” said Kurt Eggert, a professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California.

[BUSINESS WEEK]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Massachusetts Home Seizures Threatened in EATON vs FANNIE MAE: Mortgages

Massachusetts Home Seizures Threatened in EATON vs FANNIE MAE: Mortgages


The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justices signaled last month they may rule in favor of Eaton when they asked parties in the case to submit briefs arguing whether such a decision should be applied retroactively or only to future lending. If retroactive, it would cloud the titles of the 40,000 Massachusetts properties seized in the last five years and while the ruling only applies to the state, it could serve as a model for homeowners trying to overturn foreclosures in other states.

Bloomberg-

The highest court in Massachusetts is poised to rule as soon as this month on a foreclosure case that could lead to a surge in claims from home owners seeking to overturn seizures.

The justices are deciding whether to uphold a lower court ruling that gave a Boston home back to Henrietta Eaton after Sam Levine, a 25-year-old Harvard Law School student, argued in front of the nation’s oldest appellate court that the loan servicer made mistakes when it foreclosed because it didn’t hold the note proving she was obliged to pay the mortgage.

“If the Massachusetts court says this defense works, that would have a huge ripple effect across the country,” said Kurt Eggert, a professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California.

[BLOOMBERG]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

IN RE: BALDERRAMA | 2nd allonge includes an endorsement from RFC (Judy Faber) to Deutsche that did not exist in the first allonge…3 different Promissory Notes

IN RE: BALDERRAMA | 2nd allonge includes an endorsement from RFC (Judy Faber) to Deutsche that did not exist in the first allonge…3 different Promissory Notes


**Judy Faber has a history on this site and named in some important cases…check it out!

 

UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
ORLANDO DIVISION

In re
MARIA RENEE BALDERRAMA
Debtor.

CARLA P. MUSSELMAN, TRUSTEE
Plaintiff,

vs.

DEUTSCHE BANK TRSUTE COMPANY
AMERICAS, in trust for Residential
Accredit Loans, Inc. Mortgage Asset-
Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series
2007-QH5,
Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION PARTIALLY GRANTING AND
PARTIALLY DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
AND DENYING PLAINTIFF’S CROSS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

EXCERPT:

In response, the trustee filed her own cross motion for summary judgment arguing the
various documents Deutsche has provided to support its position, including three different
versions of the note and two versions of the allonge, were ineffective to transfer any interest to
Deutsche and evidence Deutsche‘s bad faith in purporting to own the note.17 The trustee‘s
argument primarily is based on the second allonge provided by Deutsche upon the Court‘s order
compelling discovery. The second allonge includes an endorsement from RFC to Deutsche that
did not exist in the first allonge, and, according to the trustee, Deutsche caused this endorsement
to be made fraudulently to meet the needs of litigation.18 The trustee urges the Court to find
Deutsche has not adequately explained the discrepancies between the two allonges, has not met
its burden to prove it is the legitimate owner of the note, and title to the Property should vest in
the trustee.

[…]

Neither version of the allonge, however, includes dates of the alleged transfers as stated
by Ms. Faber. Even assuming she had the authority to endorse the note to Deutsche, Ms. Faber
does not explain why RFC initially failed to produce the second allonge with the RFC
endorsement in its motion to lift stay, even though it allegedly existed at that time. These ?holes?
present substantial questions of fact as to Deutsche‘s good faith and the second allonge‘s
authenticity. The Court cannot avoid suspecting that the second allonge indeed was created
solely to rebut the trustee‘s assertions in this litigation and did not previously exist. If so, the
Court suggests Deutsche and Ms. Faber individually consider the possible consequences of
propounding potentially false evidence and perjured testimony to the Court.

[ipaper docId=81975432 access_key=key-1kab3johohtn0eshfdqc height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

A valentine from Chief United States, Bankruptcy Court Middle Dist. of Florida Judge Karen S. Jennemann on Feburary 14, 2012

A valentine from Chief United States, Bankruptcy Court Middle Dist. of Florida Judge Karen S. Jennemann on Feburary 14, 2012


A valentine from Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge Karen S. Jennemann on Feburary 14, 2012:

The Court cannot avoid suspecting that the second allonge indeed was created solely to rebut the trustee‘s assertions in this litigation and did not previously exist. If so, the Court suggests Deutsche and Ms. Faber individually consider the possible consequences of propounding potentially false evidence and perjured testimony to the Court. Muselman v. Deutsche Bank, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, Case No. 6:10-bk-07828-KSJ. Document 67, page 8.

As gratifying as this recognition of fraudulent documents may be, it does raise the question: just what are the consequences of propounding false evidence and perjured testimony to the Court. With the exception of a few judges and a few decisions, there have been no consequences whatsoever.

FRAUD DIGEST by Lynn E. Szymoniak, ESQ.

 

NOTE:

I would like to make a note of this because as soon as I posted this IN RE BALDERRAMA | FL BK Court “Deutsche Bank, Not proven to either the trustee or the Court that it holds a validly endorsed promissory note evidencing its purchase of the debt on the disputed property”, it went completely missing from the site! See for yourself and it’s still missing and not sure why some cases go missing.

 

451 B.R. 185 (2011)

In re Maria Renee BALDERRAMA, Debtor.
Carla P. Musselman, as Chapter 7 Trustee, Plaintiff,

v.

Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, in trust for Residential Accredit Loans, Inc. Mortgage Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-QH5, Defendant.

Bankruptcy No. 6:10-bk-07828-KSJ. Adversary No. 6:10-ap-00245-KSJ.
United States Bankruptcy Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division.
May 4, 2011.
186*186 Seldon J. Childers, Childers Law LLC, Gainesville, FL, for Plaintiff.

Daniel A. Miller, Broad and Cassel, West Palm Beach, FL, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION PARTIALLY GRANTING AND PARTIALLY DENYING TRUSTEE’S AMENDED AND RENEWED MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF DEUTSCHE BANK

KAREN S. JENNEMANN, Bankruptcy Judge.

In this adversary proceeding the Chapter 7 trustee, Carla Musselman, seeks to quiet title and to value at zero dollars defendant Deutsche Bank’s alleged secured interest in debtor Maria Balderrama’s non-homestead real property. As part of discovery, the trustee served interrogatories and document production requests seeking information about the bank’s purchase of the promissory note and mortgage on the disputed property.[1] Deutsche Bank resists producing any discovery related to the purchase history of the note and the chain of title of the mortgage arguing that, under Florida law, it has established its secured interest in the property merely by alleging it holds the original promissory note endorsed specially in its favor.[2] The trustee disputes Deutsche Bank’s characterization of Florida law and notes that neither the Court nor the trustee has seen the original endorsed note. She now requests the Court 187*187 compel the bank to produce the requested information.[3]

Although Deutsche Bank is correct that under Florida law if it holds a validly endorsed original note it may be deemed equitably also to own the mortgage, the bank first must establish its actual possession of the original note. As such, the trustee’s discovery requests pertaining to Deutsche Bank’s status as holder of the note, including the authenticity and authority of the signatures endorsing the note, are relevant. All other requests, including any requests for information regarding the prior ownership history of the note or the mortgage, are irrelevant and overbroad under Florida law. Accordingly, the Court will grant in part and deny in part the trustee’s motion and direct Deutsche Bank to respond to interrogatory number 5 and document request numbers 7 and 30 on or before June 3, 2011. The trustee’s motion to compel otherwise is denied, and the objections raised by the bank are sustained as to all other interrogatories and production requests.

On September 28, 2010, the trustee initiated this adversary proceeding to value Aurora Loan Services’ secured claim at $0.00 pursuant to § 506(a) of the Bankruptcy Code[4] and to quiet title in property owned by the debtor located in Rockledge, Florida. Aurora is the servicing agent on the mortgage, and it previously has moved for relief from stay to foreclose on the mortgage,[5] which this Court denied without prejudice for lack of evidentiary support.[6] On October 18, 2010, the trustee served her first set of interrogatories and first requests for production of documents on Aurora. On November 17, 2010, Aurora filed its objections to the trustee’s discovery requests,[7] objecting to certain requests seeking information about the history of the ownership of the subject note and mortgage. Aurora’s objections are based on its position that under Florida law the holder of a promissory note may equitably own and enforce a mortgage, even without a written assignment of the mortgage, and, accordingly, that the trustee’s requests seeking information regarding chain of ownership are irrelevant and overbroad.

On December 16, 2010, at a pretrial conference before this Court, the parties discussed Aurora’s objections to the trustee’s discovery, and the trustee made an ore tenus motion to amend the complaint to name Deutsche Bank as the real defendant in interest as the alleged holder of the original promissory note, which the Court granted.[8] At the hearing, the trustee also agreed to file an amended motion to compel Deutsche Bank to respond to the discovery requests served on Aurora, and Deutsche Bank has agreed for purposes of resolving the amended motion to compel and its/Aurora’s objections to the trustee’s discovery that it will step into Aurora’s position and stipulate for convenience that the discovery served on Aurora properly was served on it.[9]

188*188 Accordingly, on January 4, 2011, the trustee amended her complaint to change the name of the defendant from Aurora to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, in trust for Residential Accredit Loans, Inc. Mortgage Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-QH5.[10] On January 18, 2011, Deutsche Bank filed its answer to the amended complaint.[11] On January 28, 2011, the trustee filed her amended motion to compel defendant’s response to trustee’s first interrogatories and request for production of documents and an associated memorandum of law.[12] On February 25, 2011, Deutsche Bank filed its memorandum in response to the trustee’s motion to compel.[13]

The trustee’s amended complaint argues Deutsche Bank cannot provide sufficient evidence of its purchase of either the note or the mortgage to assert a secured claim to the disputed property. The trustee now seeks to compel production of information from Deutsche Bank regarding its purchase of the underlying debt and mortgage, and especially whether the note and mortgage were properly assigned.

In response to the motion to compel, Deutsche Bank reiterates Aurora’s previous position, arguing certain interrogatories and production requests regarding chain of title are irrelevant and overbroad because, under Florida law, it need only show it holds the original note evidencing its purchase of the debt underlying the mortgage for it to equitably own the mortgage, too.[14] Essentially, the bank argues that, in Florida, a mortgage travels equitably with the underlying debt in the absence of a formal written assignment of the mortgage. Because the bank allegedly holds the note specially endorsed in its favor, Deutsche Bank maintains it already has established its security interest in the property.

The Court largely agrees with Deutsche Bank’s legal argument. Under applicable Florida law,[15] a mortgage, even without a written assignment, may travel equitably to the holder of the underlying debt, i.e., to the entity holding the original, properly executed and endorsed promissory note. Thus, if Deutsche Bank establishes it is the holder of a validly endorsed note, it, in turn, will establish its equitable ownership of the mortgage securing the note. This general rule of Florida law (the “General Rule”) was stated best in 1938 by the Florida Supreme Court in the seminal case Johns v. Gillian, as follows:

… a mortgage is but an incident to the debt, the payment of which it secures, and its ownership follows the assignment of the debt. If the note or other debt secured by a mortgage be transferred without any formal assignment of the mortgage, or even a delivery of it, the mortgage in equity passes as an incident to the debt, unless there be some plain and clear agreement to the contrary, if that be the intention of the parties.[16] 189*189 Johns goes on to say that “[t]he transfer of the note or obligation evidencing the debt… operates as an assignment of the mortgage securing the debt, and it is not necessary that the mortgage papers be transferred, nor, in order that the beneficial interest shall pass, that a written assignment be made.”[17] Johns concluded that “if there had been no written assignment, Gillian would be entitled to foreclose in equity upon proof of his purchase of the debt.”[18] Finding that Gillian had sufficiently proven his purchase of the debt through his in-court testimony, the court held that Gillian was the “equitable owner of the mortgage” entitled to foreclose, even though no formal assignment of the mortgage was executed.

The General Rule is alive and well in Florida.[19] In Riggs v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC,[20] Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals held Aurora was entitled to summary judgment in a foreclosure action when it produced the original mortgage, a promissory note endorsed in blank, and affidavits that stated Aurora was the proper holder of the note and mortgage. Aurora did not submit a written assignment of the mortgage, and Aurora was not the original mortgagee. Nonetheless, the court found Aurora was the holder of the note entitled to enforce its terms under Fla. Stat. § 673.3011, and thus could foreclose on the mortgage, because it provided sufficient evidence of its purchase of the debt underlying the mortgage: possession of the original note endorsed in blank.[21]

Likewise, in another decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a dismissal of a foreclosure action because the lower court failed to consider application of the General Rule.[22] In that case, WM Specialty filed a foreclosure complaint on December 3, 2002, and later, in response to a motion to dismiss, filed an assignment of mortgage dated January 3, 2003. The assignment, however, reflected that the mortgage was transferred to WM Specialty prior to the complaint date on November 25, 2002. The lower court found the complaint was void ab initio because WM Specialty did not hold the note and mortgage as of the date of filing the complaint. In reversing the lower court, the appellate court instructed the lower court to consider on remand whether WM Specialty acquired an equitable interest in the mortgage before execution of the written assignment by virtue of the prior transfer of the note and mortgage to WM Specialty. The court quoted Johns favorably at length for the proposition that “the mortgage in equity passes as an incident to the debt,” and indicated the lower court had failed to consider this General Rule.

In reaching its conclusion, WM Specialty Mortgage distinguished the facts before it from Jeff-Ray Corp. v. Jacobson,[23] another Fourth District Court of Appeals case the Chapter 7 trustee relies on in attempting to establish an exception to the General Rule. Jeff-Ray held that a trial court erred in not dismissing a foreclosure complaint for failure to state a cause of 190*190 action because it relied upon an assignment that was not in existence when the complaint was filed. There, the complaint was filed on January 4, 1988, supported by an alleged assignment of mortgage dated in 1986, which was not attached to the complaint. When the plaintiff later produced the assignment, it was dated April 18, 1988, four months after the complaint was filed. The plaintiff’s actions therefore led the appellate court to conclude that plaintiff had lied to the court by stating it held an assignment of mortgage from 1986 when in fact it held no assignment at all. Moreover, the court in Jeff-Ray did not discuss the General Rule or consider whether equitable transfer of the mortgage occurred prior to filing the foreclosure complaint because the plaintiff had not alleged any facts that might have indicated such transfer occurred (e.g. purchase of the underlying debt or any indication the plaintiff held possession of the mortgage in 1986).

These recent Florida appellate court cases all support Deutsche Bank’s position that proof of ownership of the debt underlying a mortgage is sufficient under Florida law to equitably convey the mortgage to the debt holder. Moreover, these cases suggest a note specifically endorsed to a foreclosure plaintiff is sufficient proof of purchase of the debt underlying a mortgage to equitably convey such mortgage. Indeed, Riggs indicates the holder of a note endorsed in blank may hold an equitable interest in the mortgage securing the note.[24]

The trustee disputes this legal analysis and, in response, argues that an exception to the General Rule applies.[25] She interprets Johns[26] to create an exception to the General Rule that if a foreclosure plaintiff lacks a written assignment of the mortgage he must prove his purchase of the debt beyond merely establishing he is the holder of the note underlying the mortgage. The trustee relies on this sentence: “Or if there had been no written assignment, Gillian would be entitled to foreclose in equity upon proof of his purchase of the debt.” Noticeably absent from this sentence and the Johns decision, however, is any statement that a creditor’s proof of its status as holder of a promissory note is not proof of purchase of the debt. The trial court in Johns required testimony of Gillian to establish he purchased the mortgage debt because there were factual issues raised concerning the timing of the purchase of the note.[27] But nothing in Johns or the more recent Florida appellate court cases can credibly be construed as establishing an exception to the General Rule that would require a note holder to prove its purchase of the debt beyond simply establishing that it is indeed the note holder. Proof of a creditor’s status as holder of a note underlying a 191*191 mortgage is proof of purchase of the debt, and the previous ownership history of the note and mortgage is irrelevant.

The trustee’s argument also relies on a decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Court, applying Massachusetts law, to argue that Florida state courts require more than the original note to convey equitable title to a mortgage.[28] Because Massachusetts law treats the equitable assignment of mortgages very differently than Florida law, a Massachusetts court’s interpretation of the law of their state is irrelevant to this proceeding. Ibanez sums up well how Massachusetts law deals with equitable transfer of mortgages as follows:

In Massachusetts, where a note has been assigned but there is no written assignment of the mortgage underlying the note, the assignment of the note does not carry with it the assignment of the mortgage. [] Rather the holder of the mortgage holds the mortgage in trust for the purchaser of the note, who has an equitable right to obtain an assignment of the mortgage, which may be accomplished by filing an action in court and obtaining an equitable order of assignment.[29]

These procedures are quite different than Florida’s procedures and its General Rule. Unlike Massachusetts, Florida law does allow the assignment of a note to carry with it the implicit assignment of the mortgage. Indeed, Ibanez distinguishes Massachusetts law from such other states’ laws that provide for equitable assignment of a mortgage.[30] Massachusetts law simply differs from Florida law and, as such, cannot create any type of exception to the still valid Florida General Rule. A creditor who holds a validly endorsed promissory note is deemed to hold an equitable lien arising from the related mortgage, without any requirement to have a separate valid assignment of the mortgage.[31]

Deutsche Bank, however, still has not proven to either the trustee or the Court that it holds a validly endorsed promissory note evidencing its purchase of the debt on the disputed property. Therefore, Deutsche Bank cannot rely on the General Rule to avoid responding to the trustee’s discovery requests pertaining to the authenticity of the note. The trustee has raised in her complaint doubts concerning the authenticity and effectiveness of the endorsements on the allonge to the note. The copies of the note and mortgage attached as an exhibit to its response therefore are insufficient to establish Deutsche Bank’s status as holder of the note.

Because the trustee has raised issues concerning the authenticity of and authority to endorse the note and allonge, the Court will overrule Deutsche Bank’s objection and compel its response to interrogatory number 5, seeking the names and addresses of “each person whose signature appears on any endorsements on the Note or any allonge.” The Court similarly will overrule Deutsche Bank’s objections and 192*192 compel its response to requests for production numbers 7 and 30. These requests seek documents and information related to Deutsche Bank’s purchase of the note and the authority of the individual who signed the endorsement. The inquiries are relevant to whether Deutsche Bank is the holder of a properly endorsed note.

The Court will sustain Deutsche Bank’s objections to every other interrogatory[32] and document production request,[33] finding such requests are irrelevant and overbroad in light of the General Rule. In particular, information on the chain of title of the mortgage, which parties have ever held an interest in the note or mortgage, and the electronic records related to this mortgage is irrelevant to the question of whether Deutsche Bank now holds the original validly endorsed note.

Accordingly, the Court will partially grant and partially deny the trustee’s motion to compel and direct defendant Deutsche Bank to respond to certain of the trustee’s first set of interrogatories and document production requests on or before June 3, 2011, as specified above. A further pretrial conference is set in this adversary proceeding for 2:00 p.m. on June 22, 2011.

A separate order consistent with this memorandum opinion will be entered simultaneously.

DONE AND ORDERED.

[1] As discussed below, the trustee’s discovery requests actually were served on Deutsche Bank’s predecessor to this adversary proceeding, Aurora Loan Services. Deutsche Bank has stipulated for purposes of this motion to compel that such requests were served on it, too. The Court similarly assumes that Deutsche Bank is authorized to prosecute the objections to the trustee’s discovery requests previously articulated by Aurora Loan Services and, for purposes of this motion, the interest of Deutsche Bank and Aurora Loan Services are identical.

[2] Defendant’s Response to Trustee’s Amended and Renewed Motion to Compel Defendant’s Response to Trustee’s First Interrogatories and Trustee’s First Request for Production of Documents and Incorporated Memorandum of Law (Doc. No. 25). A list of defendant’s specific objections to particular interrogatories and production requests is attached to its Response as Exhibit B.

[3] Trustee’s Amended and Renewed Motion to Compel Defendant’s Response to Trustee’s First Interrogatories and Trustee’s First Request for Production of Documents (Doc. No. 23).

[4] All references to the Bankruptcy Code are to Title 11 of the United States Code.

[5] Doc. No. 22 in the Main Case.

[6] Doc. No. 36 in the Main Case.

[7] Doc. Nos. 7, 8.

[8] Doc. No. 15.

[9] Fn. 4 of Defendant’s Response (Doc. No. 25). Deutsche Bank has adopted Aurora’s objections by incorporating them as Exhibit B to its Response.

[10] Doc. No. 17.

[11] Doc. No. 19.

[12] Doc. Nos. 23, 24.

[13] Doc. No. 25.

[14] Doc. No. 25 and Ex. B thereto set forth the bank’s specific objections.

[15] Paragraph 16 of the copy of the mortgage attached as Exhibit A to Defendant’s Response (Doc. No. 25) states the applicable law is the “law in which the property is located.” The property is located in Rockledge, Florida, and neither party disputes that Florida law applies.

[16] Johns v. Gillian, 134 Fla. 575, 184 So. 140, 143 (1938) (citations omitted).

[17] Id. (quoting 41 C.J., Mortgages, Sec. 686, p. 677) (quotations omitted).

[18] Id. at 143-44 (citing Pease v. Warren, 29 Mich. 9, 18 Am.Rep 58).

[19] Riggs v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, 36 So.3d 932 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) (per curiam); WM Specialty Mortgage, LLC, v. Salomon, 874 So.2d 680, 682-3 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004).

[20] 36 So.3d at 933-34.

[21] Id.

[22] WM Specialty Mortgage, 874 So.2d at 682-3.

[23] 566 So.2d 885, 886 (Fla 4th DCA 1990).

[24] 36 So.3d at 933-34.

[25] Doc. No. 24.

[26] 184 So. at 143.

[27] Specifically, one of the main issues in Johns was whether a possibly dissolved corporation properly transferred its ownership of a mortgage. Because factual issues arose as to the timing of the corporation’s assignment of the mortgage, the purported purchaser of the note and mortgage testified in court as to his purchase of the debt. Johns makes no mention of the lack of a written assignment of the mortgage as the reason for the purported note holder’s testimony. The trustee’s interpretation of Johns as establishing a requirement under Florida law that without a written assignment of mortgage a purported note holder must go beyond proof of its status as note holder to establish the purchase of the debt, including chain of title and the entire ownership history of the note, therefore is strained and unsupported by the facts of the case.

[28] U.S. Bank N.A. v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637, 941 N.E.2d 40, 53-4 (2011).

[29] Id. (citations omitted).

[30] Id. (citing Barnes v. Boardman, 149 Mass. 106, 114, 21 N.E. 308 (1889) and quoting within the citation “In some jurisdictions it is held that the mere transfer of the debt, without any assignment or even mention of the mortgage, carries the mortgage with it, so as to enable the assignee to assert his title in an action at law … This doctrine has not prevailed in Massachusetts….”).

[31] The trustee also argues the Florida U.C.C. has abolished the General Rule. This proposition has no support in either the Florida U.C.C. or, as demonstrated by the recent Fourth D.C.A. decisions discussed above, in Florida case law.

[32] In particular, the objections are sustained as to interrogatory numbers: 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17.

[33] In particular, the objections are sustained as to requests for production numbers: 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23.

[ipaper docId=55407063 access_key=key-n00win1gmrxcgwmvllb height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

REQUIRED READING: Marie McDonnell’s Supplemental Brief in EATON vs. FANNIE MAE

REQUIRED READING: Marie McDonnell’s Supplemental Brief in EATON vs. FANNIE MAE


If you want to know where the bodies are buried, look no further. Here are a few snips from Marie’s brief:

In what has become common parlance among those
investigating these securitization failures (including
the Securities and Exchange Commission and the
Department of Justice), we refer to this type of
transfer as an “A to D” assignment because it skips
over parties “B” and “C” and creates a “wild deed
(especially in title theory states such as
Massachusetts).

The assignment of mortgage is the “breeder
document” from which all other paperwork necessary
to bring the foreclosure action; notice the sale;
obtain judgment; and transfer title depends.

The Eaton Defect” as described in our amicus brief occurs when an entity, such as Green Tree Servicing LLC takes the mortgage by assignment and prosecutes a foreclosure in its own name when it neither owns nor holds the note.

The Ibanez Defect” as described in this amicus brief occurs when an entity, such as Option One Mortgage Corporation, sells the loan for securitization purposes and later, after the loan has been sold multiple times, assigns the Note and Mortgage (or just the Mortgage) directly to the Trustee of the Issuing Entity (securitized trust).

Supreme Judicial Court
FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
NO. SJC-11041
SUFFOLK COUNTY

HENRIETTA EATON,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION & ANOTHER,
DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.

ON APPEAL FROM AN INTERLOCUTORY ORDER OF THE SUFFOLK SUPERIOR COURT

SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEF OF
AMICUS CURIAE MARIE MCDONNELL, CFE

[ipaper docId=80055062 access_key=key-2jczy7ahsbjdgr7u6vbg height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Taylor v. BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC | FL 2DCA “Genuine issues of material fact remain regarding the Taylors’ affirmative defense of lack of notice”

Taylor v. BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC | FL 2DCA “Genuine issues of material fact remain regarding the Taylors’ affirmative defense of lack of notice”


JOYCE TAYLOR and LANKFORD TAYLOR, Appellants,
v.
BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Appellee.

 

Case No. 2D10-1493.
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District. 

Opinion filed November 9, 2011.
Enrique Nieves III of Ice Legal, P.A., Royal Palm Beach, for Appellants.J. Joseph Givner, Esther S. Meisels, and Randon Loeb of Higer Lichter & Givner, LLP, Aventura, for Appellee.

PER CURIAM.

Joyce and Lankford Taylor appeal a final judgment of foreclosure entered after the trial court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC. Because genuine issues of material fact remain regarding the Taylors’ affirmative defense of lack of notice, we reverse the final judgment and remand for further proceedings.

On January 4, 2006, the Taylors signed a mortgage securing an indebtedness in the principal amount of $194,350, evidenced by a note Joyce Taylor signed on the same date. The mortgage names the lender as USMoney Source, Inc., d/b/a Soluna First (USMoney) and the mortgagee as Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), acting as a nominee for USMoney. Attached to the note is an allonge signed by the president of USMoney and dated January 4, 2006, that endorses the note without recourse to Bayview.

On August 1, 2007, Bayview filed an unsworn two-count complaint against the Taylors. Count one sought to establish and enforce the note, and count two sought to foreclose the mortgage. Bayview alleged that it “owns and holds said note by virtue of the endorsement/allonge and said mortgage by virtue of the assignment of mortgage, copies of both of which are attached hereto.” No copy of the assignment of mortgage was attached to the complaint. Although Bayview alleged that it holds the note, Bayview further alleged that the original note was lost or destroyed after Bayview acquired it and that the exact time and manner of the loss or destruction was unknown to Bayview. Copies of the note, allonge, and mortgage were attached to the complaint. The complaint also contained the general allegation that “[a]ll conditions precedent to the filing of this action have been performed or have occurred.”

The Taylors filed an answer and affirmative defenses. Among their affirmative defenses the Taylors asserted that Bayview “is not the proper holder of the mortgage and therefore lacks standing to bring a foreclosure action.” The Taylors also asserted that Bayview “failed to give proper notice of the default in the payments on the note and mortgage” and thus was “estopped from accelerating said debt.”

On November 21, 2007, Bayview filed its motion for summary judgment and affidavit of indebtedness. Later, amended affidavits of indebtedness were filed. None of the affidavits mentioned an assignment of mortgage, and no documents were attached to the affidavits.

Bayview did not file its reply to the Taylors’ affirmative defenses until June 17, 2008. In its reply, Bayview alleged that it met the notice requirements. Bayview also alleged that it was entitled to maintain the foreclosure action without a written assignment of mortgage because the transfer of the note was sufficient. Bayview subsequently filed the original note, allonge, and mortgage.

The trial court held a hearing on the motion for summary judgment on February 22, 2010. The record contains a notice of filing copy of assignment of mortgage dated February 10, 2010, but the notice was not filed until February 23, 2010. The assignment of mortgage reflects that it was executed on August 7, 2007, after the complaint was filed. The trial court granted summary judgment and rendered the final judgment of foreclosure.

The standard of review on a summary judgment is de novo. Estate of Githens ex rel. Seaman v. Bon Secours-Maria Manor Nursing Care Ctr., 928 So. 2d 1272, 1274 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006). “A movant is entitled to summary judgment `if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, affidavits, and other materials as would be admissible in evidence on file 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.'” Id. (quoting Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.510(c)). The movant has the burden to prove the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, and “this court must view `every possible inference in favor of the party against whom summary judgment has been entered.'” Id. (quoting Maynard v. Household Fin. Corp. III, 861 So. 2d 1204, 1206 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003)). And, “if the record raises even the slightest doubt that an issue might exist, that doubt must be resolved against the moving party and summary judgment must be denied.” Nard, Inc. v. DeVito Contracting & Supply, Inc., 769 So. 2d 1138, 1140 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000). Furthermore, to be entitled to summary judgment, the movant must not only establish that there are no genuine issues of material fact regarding the parties’ claims, but also the movant “must either factually refute the affirmative defenses or establish that they are legally insufficient.” Konsulian v. Busey Bank, N.A., 61 So. 3d 1283, 1285 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011).

We reject the Taylors’ argument that Bayview lacked standing to foreclose the mortgage. The Taylors’ affirmative defense asserted, and they argue on appeal, that the assignment of mortgage did not occur until after the complaint was filed. See Country Place Cmty. Ass’n v. J.P. Morgan Mortg. Acquisition Corp., 51 So. 3d 1176, 1179 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010) (stating that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the foreclosure action when it did not own or possess the note and mortgage when it filed the lawsuit); Jeff-Ray Corp. v. Jacobson, 566 So. 2d 885, 886 (Fla. 4th DCA 1990) (determining that a complaint to foreclose a mortgage did not state a cause of action when it was filed because the assignment of mortgage to the plaintiff was dated four months after the lawsuit was filed).

But Bayview contends that its standing to foreclose derives from the allonge to the note because the mortgage follows the note. Bayview argues that when USMoney transferred to Bayview the note which the mortgage secured, Bayview received equitable standing to foreclose the mortgage, even without a written assignment. We agree.

Bayview alleged in its complaint that it “owns and holds said note by virtue of the endorsement/allonge.” Bayview attached copies of the note and allonge to its complaint. The note and the allonge reflect that on the same day that Joyce Taylor executed the note in favor of USMoney, USMoney in turn endorsed the note without recourse to Bayview. Before the summary judgment hearing, Bayview filed the original note and the allonge. Thus Bayview established its status as holder of the note and its right to enforce the note. See § 671.201(20), Fla. Stat. (2005) (“`Holder,’ with respect to a negotiable instrument, means the person in possession if the instrument is payable to bearer or, in the case of an instrument payable to an identified person, if the identified person is in possession.”); Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc. v. Azize, 965 So. 2d 151, 153 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) (“The holder of a note has standing to seek enforcement of the note.”); Kaminik v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 64 So. 3d 195, 196 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011) (affirming in part a summary final judgment of foreclosure where the plaintiff “tendered the original promissory note to the trial court, which contained a special indorsement in its favor”); Riggs v. Aurora Loan Servs., LLC, 36 So. 3d 932, 933 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) (“Aurora’s possession of the original note, indorsed in blank, was sufficient under Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code to establish that it was the lawful holder of the note, entitled to enforce its terms.”), review denied, 53 So. 3d 1022 (Fla. 2011).

Bayview also became the equitable owner of the mortgage when USMoney endorsed the note to Bayview because the ownership of the mortgage followed the note. In Johns v. Gillian, 184 So. 140, 143 (Fla. 1938), the Supreme Court of Florida summarized the law pertinent to the issue under review as follows:

[I]t has frequently been held that a mortgage is but an incident to the debt, the payment of which it secures, and its ownership follows the assignment of the debt. If the note or other debt secured by a mortgage be transferred without any formal assignment of the mortgage, or even a delivery of it, the mortgage in equity passes as an incident to the debt, unless there be some plain and clear agreement to the contrary, if that be the intention of the parties.

Johns stands for the proposition that a mortgage—as a mere incident to the debt it secures—follows the note unless the parties have clearly expressed a contrary intent. The First District Court of Appeal has cited Johns and other cases in support of the following proposition: “Because the lien follows the debt, there was no requirement of attachment of a written and recorded assignment of the mortgage in order for the appellant to maintain the foreclosure action.” Chem. Residential Mortg. v. Rector, 742 So. 2d 300, 300-01 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998) (footnote omitted). Because ownership of the mortgage followed the note in the absence of a contrary intention and Bayview owned and held the note when it filed its lawsuit, Bayview has standing to maintain the underlying foreclosure action. See Mazine v. M & I Bank, 67 So. 3d 1129, 1131 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011) (“The party seeking foreclosure must present evidence that it owns and holds the note and mortgage to establish standing to proceed with a foreclosure action.”).

Notably, the Taylors did not assert that the parties did not intend for the mortgage to follow the note, and they did not present any evidence in support of that proposition after Bayview filed with the trial court the original note, allonge, and mortgage. The mortgage itself reflects the parties’ intent that the mortgage would follow the note in the event of a sale. In addressing the subject of a sale or partial sale of the note in paragraph 20, the mortgage contemplates a sale of the note “together with this Security Instrument.” The note and the allonge reflect that USMoney sold the note to Bayview on the same day that the note and the mortgage were executed. The allonge also lists the “secured property address.” Thus the attachments to the complaint establish that Bayview acquired all of USMoney’s rights under both the note and the mortgage on January 4, 2006, before it filed the underlying action. Therefore, we conclude that Bayview refuted the Taylors’ affirmative defense and established its standing to foreclose the note and mortgage.

With respect to the affirmative defense of lack of notice, Bayview failed to refute this affirmative defense; it therefore prevents summary judgment in this case. Bayview made a general allegation that all conditions precedent had been performed, but the motion for summary judgment and affidavits do not negate the affirmative defense that Bayview failed to give proper notice of the default in the payments on the note and mortgage. Paragraph 22 of the mortgage, attached to the complaint, requires the lender to give the borrower notice prior to acceleration of the debt. In fact, the notice provision is the same as the one in Konsulian. See Konsulian, 61 So. 3d at 1284. There, the lender failed to establish that it met the condition precedent of providing the requisite notice when the borrower raised the issue as an affirmative defense; therefore, the lender was not entitled to summary judgment. Id. at 1285; see also Goncharuk v. HSBC Mortg. Servs., Inc., 62 So. 3d 680, 682 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011) (reversing summary judgment for plaintiff’s failure to address in its motion for summary judgment and affidavits the affirmative defense of lack of notice); Lazuran v. Citimortgage, Inc., 35 So. 3d 189, 189-90 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) (reversing summary judgment where the plaintiff failed to refute the affirmative defense of lack of notice). For this reason, summary judgment was premature. Therefore, we reverse the final judgment of foreclosure and remand for further proceedings.

Reversed and remanded.

SILBERMAN, C.J., and NORTHCUTT and WALLACE, JJ., Concur.

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED.

[ipaper docId=72868093 access_key=key-1gbpmscwivbepgv51sr7 height=600 width=600 /]

 

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Guest Post: Eaton – Dividing the Mortgage Loan and Affirming the Consequent

Guest Post: Eaton – Dividing the Mortgage Loan and Affirming the Consequent


Written by Gregory M. Lemelson

In January the Massachusetts supreme judicial court held in US Bank National Association vs. Antonio Ibanez that a note holder may not foreclose on a property in order to redeem a debt, if they are not also the holder of a valid mortgage (that is to say also with a valid assignment). We outlined the details of this case and its implications in our article “Ibanez – Denying the Antecedent, Suppressing the Evidence and one big fat Red Herring” on January 11th, 2011.

The issue before the SJC in Henrietta Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Association and Green Tree Servicing, LLC is whether the assignee of a mortgage security alone (fraudulent assignments aside), without any direct or indirect interest in or claim to the underlying debt, can seek to recover the debt through foreclosure.

Oral arguments in the case were heard on Oct. 3rd, 2011.

It is important to note that in Ibanez, the SJC was not willing to overturn long standing legal principles simply because of recent “innovation” in the way banks chose to record their security interest in real property (e.g. MERS), or because of the extraordinary liability such a ruling would have on what basically amounted to four years of mostly illegal foreclosure activity in the Commonwealth.

The Ibanez article published last January predated Eaton by some ten months, and since the SJC reviewed Eaton “sua sponte”, there was no way to know at the time, that Eaton would make it all the way to the SJC, so the following comments taken from the article are perhaps prescient:

” It is possible that from the banks perspective an invalid assignment of the note is the more serious concern for the following reasons:

1. Without first having proper ownership of the debt, the bank can not initiate any collection activity, let alone foreclosure.

2. Notes (ownership of the debt asset), may be subject to further contention in bankruptcy proceedings where many creditors have a vested interest in the assets of a defunct mortgage lender, particularly since these notes are often sold in bankruptcy for a fraction of their face value.

3. The trusts that are supposed to contain the validly conveyed notes will in fact, not actually contain them (because they are not bearer paper), thus violating the representations and warranties made to investors who purchase these securities. Therefore, it is unsecured debt, and potentially, no debt at all upon which to collect payments.

6. Even if the notes obtain a valid conveyance, or confirmation of conveyance at a later date, it is still may be impossible to place them into the MBS’s:

a. It will have been longer than 90 days (the typical expiry period to transfer assets into the trust)

b. If it is a foreclosure matter, the loan is in default (the PSA’s do not allow for the addition of defaulted loans)

c. Any effort on the part of the trust to insert old or defaulted loans would jeopardize the trusts favorable REMIC status – thus further harming already impaired returns.”

As pointed out in the Ibanez article, clear title to the property is important. If the assignment of the mortgage is invalid, then there is a “cloud on title”. The banks recognizing this, brought Ibanez before the land court of their own volition in order to clear this “cloud on title”. One of the key mistakes counsel for Eaton made, perhaps in their effort to establish the more serious problem of legitimate possession of the note, was overlooking the validity of the Mortgage assignment, (still incredibly important) which, as with most securitized loans, was so clearly fraudulent (see Amicus brief of Marie McDonnell). Incidentally, this was of particular interest to the court during oral arguments, however, because the issue was never raised by Eaton’s counsel in its complaint, it could not be addressed by the court. Thus the opportunity to cite the authority of Crowley v. Adams 22 Mass. 582 (1917) which concerned the fraudulent conveyance of a mortgage without a note, was lost. Within the context of discussing the assignees knowledge of the fraud, the court held:

“[the assignee] should be held to have known as to each transaction, the possession of the note was essential to an enforceable mortgage, without which neither mortgage could be effectively foreclosed.” Id. at 585.

This was a error on the part of counsel, and eliminated a potential fifth source of authority in Eaton, as we wrote in January:

“1. If there must be a perfected interest in the mortgage (according to MA law) at the time of foreclosure, then how many foreclosures have taken place in Massachusetts with the same profile as Ibanez, and are thus invalid?

2. Clear title is important – In the statement of the case, the banks actually brought the complaint before the land court as independent actions in order to “remove a cloud on the title” – thus the banks recognize that such defects are a problem for future conveyance. All MA homeowners should be worried about the same (discussed further below).

3. To foreclose on a mortgage securing property in the commonwealth, one must be the holder of the mortgage. To be the holder of the mortgage, the bank must:

a. Be the original mortgagee

b. Be an assignee under a valid assignment of the mortgage

c. It is not sufficient to possess the mortgagor’s promissory note (bearer paper). Apparently most if not all securitized mortgages were endorsed in “blank”, in other words to the bearer.

4. The notice requirements set forth in G.L.c. 244, ss 14 unequivocally requires that the foreclosure notice must identify the present holder of the mortgage. This likely was not the case in past foreclosures in MA. For future foreclosure actions the question is can the real mortgage holder be found and will they cooperate in assigning the security interest?

5. Assignees of a mortgage must hold a written statement conveying the mortgage that satisfied the statute of Frauds or even the most basic elements of contractual requirements.

AG Coakley acknowledges that “the securitization regime was required to conform to state law prior to foreclosing, to ensure simply that legal ownership ‘caught up’ in order that the creditor foreclose legally in MA. The lenders, trustees and servicers could have done this, but apparently elected not to, perhaps on a ‘Massive Scale’ ” Saying that they “could have done this” within the context of MA law is one thing, within the context of IRS tax code, or NY trust law, is another.”

Further the article points out that a holder of the mortgage without the note, really only holds the security instrument in trust for the debt holder (thus anticipating Eaton), as pointed out in the following taken from the Ibanez article:

“4. The holder of the mortgage holds the mortgage in trust for the purchaser of the note, who has an equitable right to obtain an assignment of the mortgage, which may be accomplished by filing an action in court and obtaining an equitable order of assignment. If the average MBS has 5,000 notes for example, then we have to assume 5000 separate actions would have to be filed in court to ensure they are truly “Mortgage Backed Securities”, and that is only if the REMIC status isn’t jeopardized by such a revelation or action.”

However, the impasse for banks is the fact, that even if the court recognizes the authority of MERS to assign the mortgage to the foreclosing entity (usually the servicer), the following conditions still must be met:

a) The assignment must still be a valid assignment (most are not)

b) There must also be a valid assignment of the note to establish who exactly owns the debt.

The vast majority of these loans were sold into securitization trusts and are merely endorsed “in blank” (if they can even be found in the trust at all). Most schedules attached to the trust documents include little or no information on the details of the particular loans (as was the case in Ibanez), or sometimes include the address of particular properties, but no information on the barrowers, or curiously the loan amounts. Other failures include post-dated or otherwise invalid notarizations, and fraudulent signatures etc., which are all suggestive of fraud.

Given this, to speak of Eaton merely as a question over the validity of MERS and its assignments is incorrect. Even if Eaton is not affirmed by the SJC, the issue of validly conveyed notes, remains of vital importance.

That having been said, we believe the Appellants chances of prevailing are precisely zero, or maybe less. Taken together with Ibanez, this means serious problems for the bond holders in these securitization trusts and their bank administrators. With all the nuance of every day speak we could muster, we think it is put best by saying just; some of the debt-servants might escape. That isn’t to say that all measures won’t be taken to try to prevent this outcome.

On contemporary Pheronic thinking and the Pyramids that debt-servants build

We believe that this situation lends itself to the possibility of violence, as tragic an outcome as that is and would be. On June 3rd, 2011 we published our follow up to the Ibanez article entitled simply “On the ethics of mortgage loan default“. Four days later, the Essex county registrar of deeds John O’Brian, who we quote in the article, stopped recording fraudulent mortgage assignments (which many if not most are). It seems logical that this would be a “wake-up” call to the average homeowner, particularly since other registrars are prepared to follow suit. With the registrar’s decision, it has become a fact that title may no longer be recordable and ownership is in question.  As it turns out, the homeowner who faithfully sends in monthly mortgage payments for years or decades (in an effort to “do the right thing”), may have no more clear ownership rights in the related property than a perfect stranger.

As the article “On the ethics of mortgage loan default” spread throughout the Internet with countless links and references, we were surprised to find comments that included (not unlike the allegory of the cave) the desire that the author “be shot“. We were equally surprised when the Hacktivist group “Anonymous” (which was not our target audience either) featured the article prominently in several of their sites.

shadows_on_the_wall_3It has been said “the rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender”. Perhaps in our Naiveté, we did not understand the sensitivity around the suggestion that a servant might want to be free one day. Nor did we recognize that the powerful human inclination to denial might elicit more than just a passive reaction.  Like the prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all – later puts their life in danger from those who remain in the cave. Yet, the source of the light is truth and intelligence and those who would act prudently must see it.

These implications give rise to powerful questions in the current context. One such question regards the difference between a debt and a moral obligation? Why do we confuse the two so often in our society? Such that those who seek forgiveness of debt, are made to feel as if they are violating a moral code, or a cultural taboo? Perhaps the explanation lies in a more clear definition of the two. A moral obligation is something that can be forgiven with some flexibility, there is hardly exactness involved.

A monetary debt on the other hand can be calculated with the accuracy and immutability of math and the related science of accounting, and grown with the power of compounded interest, and therefore, in proper monetary debt, exist the possibility of subjugation in perpetuity, or at least for the entire natural life of the debtor.

Oddly, our society adds insult to injury in this failing of human civilization, and as if this dreadful revelation were not enough, adds on top of these accurately calculated and compounded financial obligations, the fallacy of a moral obligation, and in so doing the debt-servant is made to feel guilt regarding his moral character as well as his failure to pay.

When this sleight of hand is wedded to exhaustion (a pre-existing condition of many debt-servants), the odds of one actually fighting back against such a system, corrupt though it may be, are only minute. It must have been a genius who figured out that slavery with chains is inefficient. If a human could be conditioned to believe he is a free man, when he is not, and that already disillusioned he might be convinced that he is also a rich man, when he is not, then chains and their related complications are wholly unnecessary. All that is necessary then is to lower his idea of freedom and wealth substantially, and provide him with cut-rate imitations.

Under these circumstances, the average man would in fact work extraordinary hours, even if his paycheck was essentially diminished to less than zero by his existing debts (thus requiring him to take on new ones), and if by chance he was able to save, those funds too would be safely transferred to the hands of strangers (through “innovations” such as 401K’s, which could be convenient deducted from his paycheck electronically and instantly). These strangers are there to help the debt-servant loose what meager savings might be possible through sub-par investments (like internet stocks) which he never understood, but which is broker was always paid for trading.

Notably, this shell game can never be revealed to a debt-servant, because then he would understand that he is not really a free man, even though the real law is “…not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts”, and yet this inclination of the heart is often resisted, even with violence. Nonetheless, In this law of the heart lies “a desire” which is so great that it over powers all other human constructs, including offensive debts.

In this respect, surely a few folks in Europe must have believed that the entire trade in chained slaves made the United States look like an economically and operationally primitive bunch – for the cost of that variety of servant is actually much higher, and had a far smaller pool of candidates, namely those with a particular tint to their skin. Yet, telling someone that they are inferior based merely on the color of their skin is a hard sell year after year. Conversely, telling someone they are free, when they have never tasted real freedom because they were born into debt, is easier to maintain, because it deals with more subtle issues, and the likelihood of confusion with moral obligation, and exploits the power of human denial.

The earliest evidence regarding market places and trade indicate that if you have something to sell that is of far lesser value than you are indicating, than it is wise to have the greatest physical distance possible between yourself and your counterpart – for in such a trade lies the inherent possibility of a violent reaction to the discovery on the part of the unsuspecting buyer, particularly when accurate accounts of credit and debt are kept and ruthlessly enforced. Some of the oldest recorded documents in history are of this variety; they are surprisingly, accounts of credit and debt. Perhaps human history is really a history of subjugation then. Cultural anthropologists are quite familiar with this idea of credit and debt in (even ancient) market places. It’s an old story. However, Americans are bread as consumers, not as economic or cultural anthropologist, because in that knowledge rests power, and power, by definition must belong to a coterie. For the greater the number of those subdued, the greater the power of the few who would subdue, just as with money, power deals only in transfers.

That is why the average American home owner is not allowed to have the true owner of their mortgage debts revealed – they are the counter party to an impolite deal. In these trades great profits were made, and in the pricing of the assets, great misrepresentations regarding intrinsic value. Wealth destruction therefore is a misleading expression in describing what happened; the accurate term is wealth transfer. During the housing “Pyramid” (this term is far more accurate than “bubble”, because it accurately describes an order) one of the greatest logical errors of all time was sold; that the intrinsic value of a home, which had within it the possibility of calculating (accurately) fair price was tied instead to a hyper speculative measure, that which is inherently impossible to price with any degree of accuracy, and which is immaterial; our notion of an ideal. As one might imagine, no price is too high to live an “ideal” – think of it as a seller’s paradise. After, a difficult stock market collapse, and an even more difficult terrorist attack, why would anyone be interested in mere stocks or bonds? After all the very place where these electronic slips are traded was very nearly destroyed. This new investment was allegedly concrete, and also patriotic. Americans were led to believe they had “…discovered a pearl of great value”, the only security whose price could never go down – it was like a “Dream”, like an “American Dream”.

However, when loan documents were to be signed a new broker suddenly appeared.  Without any forewarning, with a name that was not before heard, or with anyone who had actually seen him, or understood how he operated, he made a subtle but powerful arrival on the scene. His name is Mr. MERS, and he instituted even greater secrecy than stock brokers and fund managers. Few have seen his physical appearance, or pulled back the curtain, it’s uninteresting anyways, because Mr. MERS is nothing more than a relational database, which only a very small fraction of the world’s population have access to (even democratically elected bodies, such as county recorders have no such access). He brokers the movements of trillions of dollars in capital. He is a construct of your trading partner, and because of his existence, you can never have a “level playing field”, or hope of a fair trade. In this brave new world, the requisite distance that precedes a bad trade, is no longer a measure of geography, it is a piece of software.

With this surreptitious matrix of relational database fields safely in place, how are all those houses, like so many stone blocks cut by ancient hands, turned into a pyramid? The answer seems self-evident; through a pyramid scheme naturally.

How would a contemporary mass exodus from such bondage look? Just as Fannie Mae and Green Tree divided the essential components of their security, It might look like ordinary debt-servants parting and dividing a sea of concrete, and traversing the depth of high rise buildings in New York, just as “by faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land”.

The people in New York are criticized for their lack of direction, the fact that they appear to be lost in a veritable desert – but they are free, and in their hearts live an almost child-like innocence that we should desire to have. After all, their predecessors spent a good deal more time lost, and through it discovered a greater revelation, one that would lay the foundation to ultimate answers.

The popular accounts promulgated by Adam Smith and the contemporary science of modern economics as we were made to understand them, rely on more than one myth regarding the engineering of debt, and its related instrument – money. These underlying misrepresentations give rise to the possibility of great abuses, for the very nature of trade, and all else which rests upon it is thus misunderstood.

There are many reasons to despair over the future of our fragile state in the US today. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is not one of those reasons. By upholding the rule of law, and observing the incredibly important, and notably democratic foundations of land recording practice in the commonwealth they serve as a beacon for the rest of the country to follow and impart hope. This comes at a time when such hope is in scarce supply. If it is God’s will, than the light of wisdom handed down from prior ages on this point will shine through the darkness that has been created by corrupt forces. We can only hope.

A Road Map for Homeowners: Four Authoritative Guidelines

In Massachusetts law there exists four authoritative guidelines by which property may be foreclosed upon in order to redeem a debt (Five if Crowley v. Adams is included from above). Incidentally division is not a problem for these four authorities, for they stand equally well alone as they do in combination as requirements to validly exercise the power of sale of real property. Both the spirit and the letter of these sources are echoed in laws of other states, and as such can be taken as fundamentally universal. They are as follows:

 The Common Law and the problem of Division

In Summary Eaton dealt with the following three realities of long standing Massachusetts law:

1. The assignee of a mortgage with no claim to the underlying debt cannot foreclose.

2. A mortgage separated from the debt it secures has no value in and of itself; it can only be held in trust for the note holder (naked title)

3. The trust relationship implied for the benefit of the note holder does not empower a mortgage assignee to foreclose as a “fiduciary” at any time.

It should be offensive even to the casual observer that in the case of Eaton, as would be the case for most home owners today, a valid promissory note memorializing the debt was and is missing. Who held it at the time of the foreclosure, how they obtained it, and what relationship they had if any to the appellants was and is still unknown.

Although a photo copy of the note was produced with the typical “endorsement in blank” markings, the appellants provided no document or other information indicating when the note was endorsed or who held it either then or now. The required assignments between intermediaries were never produced. Interestingly neither of the defending entities offered any testimony or other evidence in either court action to resolve these all important questions or otherwise identify the holder of the note. However, they did concede, that it was not the foreclosing entity Green Tree, LLC.

Conceivably this is because they do not know, and they do not want to know, and maybe they would even like to forget. Perhaps the note it is evidence.

Not surprisingly counsel for the appellants, despite this revelation, argued that the whereabouts and history of the promissory note was “irrelevant” and that they were entitled to foreclose nonetheless.

After a careful review of the full history of the mortgage foreclosure law in Massachusetts, as well as the related statutes and appellate decisions, The Superior court didn’t exactly see it that way – determining that no decision had ever overturned the established common law rule that a mortgage assignee must hold the note in order to enforce it through foreclosure.

Needless to say, this is of great concern to the banks, as predicted in the Ibanez article (cited above). Given the audacity of their claims, we believe it is reasonable to assume these folks would, if given the opportunity “send an orphan into slavery or sell a friend”. It has been difficult and time consuming to discover that notes were sold multiple times into multiple trust, thus creating a out-and-out pyramid of securities, upon which even more derivatives could be sold. However, something even more simple and obvious has been taking place in broad daylight, something peculiar that has been overlooked – the awkward problem of entire houses being stolen, by folks who have categorically no financial interest or otherwise is the properties.

Since this is the direct opposite of “The American Dream”, possibly the moniker “the American Nightmare” is appropriate.

Taking a step back, it is awful to consider that GreenTree, LLC had no interest in the debt, no interest in holding the property pre or post foreclosure, and had no material interest in the entire affair whatsoever, and yet they were the entity which sought to foreclose (or steal). Does it not appear as Les Trois Perdants with GreenTree, LLC acting as a shill?

For centuries promissory notes and the mortgages securing their repayment were held or assigned together. The separation of these two instruments, until recently was an anomaly and exception. Albeit no longer an anomaly, but rather the general business practice of approximately the last ten years, the SJC reaffirmed in Ibanez, that a trust implied by operation of law gave the note holder the right to sue to obtain an equitable assignment of the mortgage (U.S. Bank v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637 (2011) – which implies surprising possibilities (e.g. every note allegedly held in every securitized pool, would have an individual and related suit to perfect it’s claim). Implications aside, the court’s ruling established nonetheless a method by which the note holder (the person to whom the debt is owed) could be empowered to collect payment.

Incidentally, long before the bifurcation of the notes and mortgages was ubiquitous, this operation of law was periodically challenged by mortgage assignees who believed that they, as “mortgagees” could simply foreclose in their own names. However, since the 19th century, and as pointed out above, the SJC has ruled otherwise. In a series of decisions it articulated the rule that a mortgagee who has no interest in the debt underlying the note cannot conduct a foreclosure, insisting instead that that right is reserved for a holder of a valid note along with a valid mortgage.

Green Tree, LLC and their Government handlers suggest that the parts of the whole, when taken independently have the properties of the whole. That is to say in this case, that since the mortgage contains the power to foreclose, the mortgage must have with it all the powers of the note – this proposition is patently wrong, and is the fallacy of Division. The instruments may function properly together, but have incomplete authority independently – and that is exactly what long standing statute (as outlined below) has upheld.

In Summary, Ibanez brought to light that banks holding only notes have only an unsecured debt – that is to say one that could be negotiated like any other. Eaton, on the other hand brings to our attention something of far greater importance; namely that a holder of a mortgage alone (even if validly assigned), without proper ownership of the underlying debt, has in fact nothing.

Call us speculators, but if SJC affirms the lower court’s decision we have a funny feeling more than one banks share price might be adversely affected.

In the end, suggesting independent authority of the mortgage, regardless of any concern for the note or the debt is just a bad argument – it’s not only “Division” it is also a great candidate for the “Non Sequitur” argument of the year award.

 GreenTree, LLC – Affirming the Consequent

A thorough discussion of Massachusetts foreclosure law can be found in Howe v. Wilder, 77 Mass. 267 (1858). which resolved a foreclosure dispute by holding that a mortgagee, without the note, could not foreclose on the mortgage.

The court goes on to elaborate that because the party who would otherwise seek to foreclose was owed no debt, he cannot recover possession:

“For in pursuing such a suit [the party] has only the rights of a mortgagee, and is limited by the restriction imposed upon him…if nothing is found due to the plaintiff, it follows by necessary implication, from the provisions of the statute, that he can recover no judgment at all; none to have possession at common law, because that is expressly prohibited; and none under the statute, because where there is no condition to be performed, there can be no failure of performance, and no consequences can follow a contingency which in nature of things can never occur.”

Suggesting that by being an assignee of the mortgage, encompasses the right to foreclose is simply “Affirming the Consequent” and is just another logical fallacy.

 MGL 244 § 14 and the Straw Man

Bifurcating the note and the mortgage was an extraordinary circumstance when the legislature decided the subject laws. At the time these laws were ameliorated there was no reason to explicitly delineate between the debt and the mortgage instrument securing it. To argue, as Green Tree has, that the term “Mortgagee” as used in MGL 244 § 14 means also “naked mortgagee”, (a mortgage holder not having any interest in the underlying debt) is a “Straw Man“. This suggestion overlooks the historical context in which the law was authored, the rise of the mortgage securitization industry, its related practices and the compulsory changes to recording which has taken place over the last decade. It is to overlook the privatization of land records that (as far as we know), no elected official or law maker had blessed beforehand.

If Green Tree’s argument were accurate, they would not assign the mortgages to third party servicers at all, and rather continue to foreclose in MERS name (more efficient) as had been the practice until several states supreme courts ruled against it, citing the fact that MERS had no economic interest in the mortgage, which is “but an incident to the note” or “a mere technical interest” (Wolcott v. Winchester) – this of course reaffirms the spirit of the law which Henrietta Eaton asserts in her complaint.

In particular the court stated that the assignee of a “naked Mortgage”:

“…must have known that the possession of the debt was essential to an effective mortgage, and that without it he could not maintain an action to foreclose the mortgage.” Wolcott v. Winchester, 81 Mass. 462 (1860)

Despite all of this, the bright idea of the securitization industry was to simply transfer the mortgage instrument to the servicer – a related party, sort of.

If Eaton is not affirmed by the SJC, we might as well make Three Card Monte our national pastime and get rid of baseball altogether. In such a scenario handicapping the future of the US economy and the ability to affectively and profitably speculate in the CDS market will be “duck soup”.

 The authority of the UCC codified at G.L.c. 106

Because the common law involves a great deal of common sense, it just so happens to be mirrored in the Uniform Commercial Code. In particular G.L.c. 106. Article 3 of the UCC governs the negotiation and enforcement of negotiable instruments, including promissory notes secured by mortgages. Section 3-301, like the common law, provides that one must hold a (valid) note in order to validly enforce it. This rule serves the purpose of protecting consumers and barrowers against the very real possibility of double liability created when a debt is enforced. As in the current matter, Green Tree, LLC or any other mere mortgagee (even if they could get a valid assignment), would have no power or authority to discharge the actual debt. Thus if the operation of law were in any other capacity than it currently is, the mortgagee could foreclose on a property, while the debtor would still be left with a valid debt outstanding to an entirely unrelated party.

This lends itself to the requirement for transparency. During the oral arguments before the SJC, one justice asked why it mattered if the homeowner knew to whom they owed their debt. The answer is that homeowners have an important role to play in the outcome of the final settlement and discharge of their debt, and are above all the most interested party in ensuring that their payments are in fact reducing the outstanding principle balance as they are made. Otherwise, they may as well be directed to make their payments to any random stranger. It is absurd to suggest that a debtor be required to simply make payments to anybody who asks for it. That is to suggest that he is not only a debtor-servant, but also a mindless sheep – then again, perhaps that is the desired outcome.

In fact the entire matter may only be possible in a non-judicial foreclosure state, for if it were a civil complaint for the collection of an amount due, than would the debt instrument itself not be scrutinized as a first priority in the proceedings? Perhaps small unimportant questions like who actually owns the debt and is bringing the action would be relevant under such circumstances.

 The authority of loan contracts

In the end, the entire action by Fannie Mae and Green Tree, violates the very contract which is being disputed. Even if no other statues or laws had operated or ever existed, Eaton’s argument would survive on this one point alone – and Eaton is not unaccompanied – she stands with some 60 million other homeowners in the US with virtually identical contracts.

In the case of Eaton standard mortgage loan documents were used, and they essentially all look alike. The terms of Eaton’s mortgage contract, as with virtually all others, authorizes only the note holder to exercise the power of sale. The one concession Green Tree, LLC made was that they are not the note holder and have neither argued, nor provided evidentiary support for the claim, that a foreclosure by anyone other than the note holder was necessary (not that it would be possible).

 A bitter Fruit: Double Liability

It has been said, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”. No, because “every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” . Is Green Tree’s lawyer actually advocating that homeowners should just rely on the banks and servicers to be “nice guys” and not go after the debtors twice? It is already known that certain elements in the industry were willing to sell the same note multiple times into multiple pools which given Burnett v. Pratt, 39 Mass. 556 (1839), presents interesting problems for RMBS investors, who were essentially their business partners. If the architects of these systems can sell the same note twice, to their own business partners and customers, why would they not try to also collect twice from their debt-servants, who rank many orders below business partners and real customers?

If the severity of compound interest is not enough, the result may be plan “B” – “doubling up” where needed.

If the fact that being named on a valid mortgage is not sufficient to authorize a foreclosure, than automatically the question becomes who holds the note? The answer to the latter question is a bit more serious, for in the answer lies a good deal more than the banks would like to reveal.

Does greed have rational limits? It does not and it cannot because greed is not rational to begin with. Since nobody knows how the foreclosing mortgagee would actually go about paying the note holder, are homeowners to rely on a system of document management (which usually involves an Iron Mountain truck, and a whole lot of paper shredding) to ensure that debt-servants are set free if they ever pay off their “debts”?

Did barrowers really sign up for that when they signed their mortgage and note? If not, when and where are the limits?

 It’s only a matter of time

Homeowners must examine the assignments on their mortgages and notes. If a foreclosure is imminent, a preliminary injunction should be sought in order to have an opportunity to examine the documents thoroughly and also to give time to the SJC to issue its ruling – Jurisprudence matters. When the final Eaton ruling is taken together with Ibanez, there will be a sea change – it’s only a matter of time.

It seems reasonable that in a world where bandwidth intensive videos can be encoded and uploaded over a high speed 4G network from the New York Stock Exchange and on the Internet in 30 sec. using a smartphone with 64 gigs of memory (that can fit on a SanDisk card the size of your fingernail), and join billions of other files that have highly accurate GPS data embedded in their metadata, that finding a note for multiple six or seven figures debt and bringing it to court with you would really be no big deal – but apparently it is.

Foreclosures that took place before Ibanez, likely involve an assignment of the mortgage which is invalid because it would have been assigned post foreclosure (as was the common practice at the time), thus invalidating a huge number of existing foreclosures.

For foreclosures or those facing foreclosure in the post Ibanez era, than it is highly likely that the assignment of the mortgage is both invalid and fraudulent, as Mrs. McDonnell so accurately points out is endemic in most registry of deeds.  If it’s the note than that servicers intend to rely on, they may need to dream  up a new strategy, because those are all “missing” as we see in Eaton.  New strategies it seems are now in short supply.

A few more questions and thoughts

The “pump and dump” is as old as “market places” are. Whether it’s a street vendor in morocco extolling the virtues of his wares he wants to sell, or a the salesmen of shares in Netflix and Linkedin at impossiblele valuations – this “pump and dump” technique often is done with considerable misrepresentations, which result in artificially high prices for a time, and makes true price discovery impossible for buyers.

If you’re on the wrong side of the transfer, as a buyer of such stocks or bonds, you would have claims against the salesman – it’s called securities fraud. Now this ‘old time’ operation has been executed in the real estate market as well, and real estate, although most people don’t think of it this way, is also a security just like any other (it’s really not the American Dream, as has been sold – because as pointed out above, when something goes beyond the parameters of a mere security, to that of a “dream”, no price is too high). Just like stocks, these securities were pumped, and then dumped (but only after the related CDS’s were purchased by the architects).

What’s being described is an activity based on fraudulent misrepresentations, like most other such schemes. The “Pump” part involved a lot of paper shuffling, so that when the “dump” took place, the profiteers could not be easily identified. The same is true today. That is why debt-servants are not allowed to know their lender-masters – because it is the beginning of the paper trail, and as any certified fraud examiner will indicate, it all starts with the paper trail.

By focusing the attention of the court and the people on the intricacies of the letter of the law – even though they are wrong at that as well, the banks are taking attention away from the more obvious question, which is why? Why fight to interpret the law that way? That is the real question: Why. Why not produce the note. Why not reunite the note with the Mortgage?

Why would notes go missing? These are not credit card bills, they are documents outlining typically multi-six figure sums, or seven figure sums in some cases. Isn’t it logical that these documents would be kept in a safe place? And tracked? How could so many notes just disappear?

Why would the SJC and the American people at large not be alarmed by entities who foreclose on a property and yet have no idea who actually holds the debt?

The securitization process, in which so many notes were resold is subtle, but complex and riddled with a taxonomy that makes it as understandable as a foreign language to the casual observer. Yet, more careful scrutiny reveals that there is nothing even vaguely sophisticated about it’s operation.

The business of taking homes without any debt being owed is so obvious and simple so as to lend itself to denial. For example, one member of the SJC panel actually asked the attorney for Eaton why the barrower needed to know who owned the debt that they were paying? We thought maybe it was a joke – sadly it may not have been.

Yet, we know that notes have been sold multiple times into multiple pools and trusts, thus creating multiple creditors.

Any consumer should want to know if there debt is actually going to be discharged, and in order to know this, they would have to know who the actual debt holder is.

These debts are not secured. They are negotiable. This week alone, there was talk of bankruptcy proceedings for Eastman Kodak and American Airlines, Friendly’s, after more than 80 years in business, including operating during the last depression, actually did file. As commercial entities, they will be allowed before, during and after bankruptcy to work with their creditors in a completely transparent way.

Why is the average American expressly forbidden this simple aspect of business dealing? Though they entered into such obligations at far greater disadvantage than their corporate cousins?

It is clear that by introducing multiple parties that there are conflicting incentives and interests. It was surprising that the SJC brought up inadvertently during the oral arguments that the lender may have contractually sold their rights to have any say whatsoever in negotiations with the debt holder.

It is now well established that the servicers have the greatest financial incentives to foreclose, and apparently answer to no one, perhaps not even the lender, who nobody appears to be able to find.

The following question regarding Green Tree, MERS and the Eaton case are worth asking:

- Why would they go to such great lengths to keep the “lender” or holder of the debt in “secret”? What is there to gain? Would it not be much more expeditious to just reunite the note with the mortgage and then foreclose?

- Foreclosing with just a mortgage used to be an anomaly? But now it is the rule – what changed? Why would lenders take such an extraordinary risk with trillions of dollars?

- Does the claim that the notes are “lost”, or “missing” seem credible in light of the extraordinary technological world we live in?

- Is the imbalance in power between the home buyer (as signer) and the lawyer (as author) of the contract important? 99% of home buyers had no clue what they were signing – their attorney’s didn’t understand the assignee aspect of MERS or how it functioned either.

- Why would the servicer hide the debt holder? Why go through all of this trouble? Is it because it is really the US government by proxy of Fannie and Freddie?

- Were the notes used in a pyramid scheme? Were they sold multiple times intentionally in order to accommodate increasing degrees of leverage that the derivatives market required to sustain itself?

- What is the size of the global derivatives market which rest (at least in part) upon RMBS securities?

- Are RMBS pools really “Dark Liquidity” or simply “Dark Pools” and is that why MERS is necessary?

 A final note on reverse transfers

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts servicers in possession of mortgages only (which is basically all of those who represent securitized notes) are barred by common law rule, by statute, by the Uniform Commercial Code, and by the terms of the mortgages themselves from conducting foreclosures. If they have already done so, those foreclosures are void. We believe these principles do and will extend beyond the commonwealth eventually to all of the US.

The reason the banks are fighting this is because there exists a very real fear that homeowners stuck with inflated debts, which are the equivalent to indentured servents, might actually gain some negotiating power to settle these debts, at prices which not only reflect the prudent risk management which should have taken place in prior years, but also the related and more realistic asset prices which should have prevailed at the time of the original transactions.

From a purely business point of view, the asset prices were inflated, and the average home buyer with a home loan vintage 2002-2007 had little or no choice in the setting of those prices. However, there is another group who did, and they were writing “loans” and selling them as fast as the CPU and the RAMM on MERS’ servers would allow them (thankfully cloud computing, with its superior ability to process data, and elastic memory and bandwidth wasn’t yet widely used).

Yet the securitization industry and their very elite and very wealthy captains are not having any of that – because it is a reverse transfer. To be a debt-servant is to be the servant of another man by force. Humans are not designed or built for that – that is a construct of an unfortunate human condition, which we should want to change.

How a mortgage payment can be made with fidelity every month into a authentic black hole, and the attendant psychology which enables this behavior is beyond the scope of this article. The Common Law, the MGL and UCC and even the contracts themselves make it clear though, if a mortgagor expects a discharge of the debt, they need to know who exactly they are paying.

Taking a step forward requires some courage, but less than those who have taken to the streets in NY, Boston or other cities – they are doing really hard and courageous work. Not paying a mortgage in light of the a priori evidence cannot even qualify as an act of civil disobedience. The average homeowner and mortgagor is not called to such a high calling in this instance – they are merely called to follow the mundane laws of the land which have been set down for over 150 years. It is just simple prudence. It is the lack of denial, and a willingness to recognize the truth, no matter how unpleasant. Participation in the system as it is, while concurrently declining to examine the issues intelligently is not defensible.

Paradoxically the hand of the strong which moved to Divide (the notes) and Affirm (title interest) – when taken in God’s hands, has destroyed (the notes) and preserved (the legitimate ownership).

About Gregory M. Lemelson

Author – Amvona.com blog. Entrepreneur. Find joy in teaching and writing. Founded companies in retail, real estate and Internet technology.

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

NY Appellate Div – 2nd Dept. “Deutsche Bank Affidavit Fail, Submitted Two Different Versions of an Undated Allonge … Purportedly Affixed to the Original Note”

NY Appellate Div – 2nd Dept. “Deutsche Bank Affidavit Fail, Submitted Two Different Versions of an Undated Allonge … Purportedly Affixed to the Original Note”


Decided on October 4, 2011

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

APPELLATE DIVISION : SECOND JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

.

REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P.
ANITA R. FLORIO
JOHN M. LEVENTHAL
SHERI S. ROMAN, JJ.
2010-06483
(Index No. 38303/07)

[*1]Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, etc., respondent,
v
Joell C. Barnett, appellant, et al., defendants.

Joell C. Barnett, Brooklyn, N.Y., appellant pro se.

DECISION & ORDER

In an action to foreclose a mortgage, the defendant Joell C. Barnett appeals, as limited by her brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Jackson, J.), dated February 23, 2010, as granted those branches of the plaintiff’s motion which were to strike the answer, for summary judgment on the complaint, and for an order of reference, and denied her cross motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(3) to dismiss the complaint.

ORDERED that the order is modified, on the law, by deleting the provisions thereof granting those branches of the plaintiff’s motion which were to strike the answer, for summary judgment on the complaint, and for an order of reference, and substituting therefor provisions denying those branches the motion; as so modified, the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs to the appellant.

In order to commence a foreclosure action, a plaintiff must have a legal or equitable interest in the mortgage. A plaintiff has standing where it is the holder or assignee of both the subject mortgage and of the underlying note at the time the action is commenced (see Bank of N.Y. v Silverberg, 86 AD3d 274; Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Weisblum, 85 AD3d 95; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 207; U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752; Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v Gress, 68 AD3d 709). An assignment of a mortgage without assignment of the underlying note or bond is a nullity, and no interest is acquired by it (see Merritt v Bartholick, 36 NY 44, 45; Bank of N.Y. v Silverberg, 86 AD3d 274; LaSalle Bank Natl. Assn. v Ahearn, 59 AD3d 911, 912). “Either a written assignment of the underlying note or the physical delivery of the note prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action is sufficient to transfer the obligation” (U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d at 754; see Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Weisblum, 85 AD3d at 108). [*2]Here, the plaintiff failed to establish, as a matter of law, that it had standing to commence the action. The Supreme Court thus erred in awarding the plaintiff summary judgment.

Contrary to the contention of the defendant Joell C. Barnett, an affidavit made by the plaintiff was not required, since the plaintiff was not proceeding upon Barnett’s default (cf. CPLR 3215[f]). However, the documentation submitted failed to establish that, prior to commencement of the action, the plaintiff was the holder or assignee of both the note and mortgage. The plaintiff submitted copies of two different versions of an undated allonge which was purportedly affixed to the original note pursuant to UCC 3-202(2) (see Slutsky v Blooming Grove Inn, Inc., 147 AD2d 208, 212). Moreover, these allonges purporting to endorse the note from First Franklin, A Division of National City Bank of Indiana (hereinafter Franklin of Indiana) to the plaintiff conflict with the copy of the note submitted, which contains undated endorsements from Franklin of Indiana to First Franklin Financial Corporation (hereinafter Franklin Financial), then from Franklin Financial in blank.

The plaintiff also failed to establish that the note was physically delivered to it prior to the commencement of this action. The vice president of the plaintiff’s servicing agent and the plaintiff’s counsel both affirmed that the original note is in the possession of the plaintiff’s counsel. However, the affidavits did not state any factual details concerning when the plaintiff received physical possession of the note and, thus, failed to establish that the plaintiff had physical possession of the note prior to commencing this action (see Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Weisblum, 85 AD3d at 108; U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d at 754). Finally, the Certificates of Resolution and Incumbency submitted to establish the authority of one Eileen Gonzales to execute a September 14, 2007, assignment of mortgage from Franklin Financial to the plaintiff were executed after the subject assignment and, thus, cannot establish that she had such authority at the time the mortgage assignment was made. These inconsistencies raise an issue of fact as to the plaintiff’s standing to commence this action. Thus, the Supreme Court should have denied those branches of the plaintiff’s motion which were to strike the answer, for summary judgment on the complaint, and for an order of reference; the cross motion was properly denied (see US Bank N.A. v Madero, 80 AD3d 751, 753).
RIVERA, J.P., FLORIO, LEVENTHAL and ROMAN, JJ., concur.

ENTER:

Matthew G. Kiernan

Clerk of the Court

[ipaper docId=67964102 access_key=key-1umt09h57pqktiwczzb1 height=600 width=600 /]

 

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

EATON v. FANNIE MAE – ORAL ARGUMENTS

EATON v. FANNIE MAE – ORAL ARGUMENTS


You may access all briefs and hear oral arguments by following the links below.

You will hear the cutting edge offense and defense regarding MERS authority (or lack thereof) to foreclose.

Please listen to Judge Gants hammer the Fannie Mae attorney about the Assignment!

 

.

Docket # SJC-11041
Date October 3, 2011
Video View oral argument with Windows Media Player
Summary
(prepared by Suffolk University Law School)
Mortgage Foreclosure– This case deals with the validity of a foreclosure sale conducted by a mortgagee who did not hold the underlying promissory note.
Appealed From Appeals Court, Single Justice, Justice Judd J. Carhart
Briefs See selection available in PDF format at Supreme Judicial Court website
Counsel for Appellant
(Appearing)
Federal National Mortgage Association:  Joseph P. Calandrelli, Richard E. Briansky
Counsel for Appellee
(Appearing)
Eaton:  David A. Grossman
Amici Curiae Adam J. Levitin

.

.

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF MARIE MCDONNELL, CFE FOR EATON v. FANNIE MAE

AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF MARIE MCDONNELL, CFE FOR EATON v. FANNIE MAE


Supreme Judicial Court
FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
NO. SJC-11041

HENRIETTA EATON,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION & ANOTHER,
DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.

.

.

ON APPEAL FROM THE APPEALS COURT SINGLE JUSTICE

BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE MARIE MCDONNELL, CFE

“It is incumbent upon consumers, their attorneys,
registry staff, clerks of court, and judges to learn
how to recognize these sham assignments because they
are corrupting the chain of title in our land records;
and because, once recorded, courts afford them
deference rather than seeing them for what they are:
counterfeits, forgeries and utterings.

The MERS System is no replacement for the timehonored
public land recording system that is the
foundation of our freedom, our prosperity, and our
American way of life. By privatizing property transfer
records MERS has been allowed to set up a “control
fraud” of epic proportions that has facilitated the
largest transfer of wealth in human history, and it
should be abolished.”

[ipaper docId=67303689 access_key=key-2gv5ryhjwbjm1c62c1a1 height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF PROFESSOR ADAM J. LEVITIN FOR EATON v. FANNIE MAE

AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF PROFESSOR ADAM J. LEVITIN FOR EATON v. FANNIE MAE


COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
S.J.C. NO. 11041

HENRIETTA EATON
Plaintiff-Appellee
V.
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION & ANOTHER
Defendants-Appellees

ON APPEAL FROM MASSACHUSETTS
SUPERIOR COURT

CIVIL ACTION NO. 11-1382

AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF
PROFESSOR ADAM J. LEVITIN

[ipaper docId=67236937 access_key=key-2buu4oi55aj4pquiykeb height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

NY Post finds in 92% of NY area foreclosures, banks fail to prove ownership to foreclose

NY Post finds in 92% of NY area foreclosures, banks fail to prove ownership to foreclose


NY POST-

The banks still just don’t get it.

In a staggering 92 percent of the claims brought by creditors asserting the right to foreclose against bankrupt families in New York City and the close-in suburbs, banks and mortgage servicers couldn’t prove they had the right to kick the families out on the street, a three-month probe by The Post has shown.

But that didn’t stop the banks from trying.

By robosigning documents and pressing foreclosures without the proper paperwork, banks have attempted to steamroll their way over sometimes-outgunned homeowners, The Post has uncovered.

But homeowners and the courts are starting to fight back.

Read more:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/house_of_cards_hNdx5fNGt6oOl1U9mTW0HN#ixzz1V3P5SA00

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Mortgage Servicers Gratutitously Screw Up Foreclosures By Using Obsolete Scans

Mortgage Servicers Gratutitously Screw Up Foreclosures By Using Obsolete Scans


All-in-One [Copier, Scanner, Printer, Fabricator]


Abigail C. Field-

By now I imagine that everyone recognizes a pandemic of legally flawed foreclosures has infected America’s land records. But not everyone realizes how deep the greed and “corner cutting” goes. For example, a significant percentage of the flawed proceedings tainting our hundreds-year-healthy system of tracking land ownership may reflect nothing more than mortgage servicers’ unwillingness to get the original promissory note, mortgage and assignments from the vault. That is, using the real, accurate documents (and complying with the rules and law) is too expensive.

(Sorry officer, I recognize I was going 80 in a 35 mile an hour zone. It was costing me too much money to drive the speed limit. Time is money.)

[REALITY CHECK]


We are extremely fortunate to have Abigail continue to focus on these issues!

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

MORGAN v. HSBC BANK USA | KY Appeals Court Reverses SJ “We note that the particular facts of this case, in particular the sequence of events that unfolded, is troubling”

MORGAN v. HSBC BANK USA | KY Appeals Court Reverses SJ “We note that the particular facts of this case, in particular the sequence of events that unfolded, is troubling”


CHRISTOPHER MORGAN AND SHARON TAKVAM, Appellants,

v.

HSBC BANK USA, NA, Appellee.

No. 2009-CA-000597-MR.

Court of Appeals of Kentucky.

July 29, 2011.

J. Hays Lawson, Louisville, Kentucky, Brief for Appellants.

Kimberlee S. Rohr, Cincinnati, Ohio, Brief for Appellee.

BEFORE: LAMBERT AND MOORE, JUDGES; ISAAC,[1] SENIOR JUDGE.

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

OPINION

LAMBERT, JUDGE.

Christopher Morgan and Sharon Takvam appeal from the Shelby Circuit Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of HSBC Bank USA, NA in a foreclosure action. After a careful review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

On August 22, 2005, Morgan and Takvam executed a note in the amount of $101,200.00 to Ownit Mortgage Solutions, Inc. (Ownit). That same day, Morgan and Takvam granted a mortgage to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., (MERS) as nominee for Ownit. The mortgage encumbered the property located at 12233 Mount Eden Road, Mount Eden, Kentucky 40046. After executing the note and mortgage, Morgan and Takvam defaulted on their payments and currently owe for their March 1, 2008, payment. At the time of this appeal, they owed $101,066.87, plus interest at 9.875% per year from February 1, 2008, in addition to court costs, advances, and other charges, including a reasonable attorney fee, as allowed by law.

On July 31, 2008, HSBC Bank USA, National Association, as Trustee for Ownit Mortgage Loan Trust, Mortgage Loan Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2005-5 (HSBC) instituted foreclosure proceedings by filing a complaint against Morgan and Takvam, based on their alleged default under the note and mortgage. In the complaint, HSBC claimed to be the holder of the note on Morgan and Takvam’s home, but stated that a copy of the note was unavailable at the time the complaint was filed. Rather than filing an answer, Morgan[2] moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that HSBC did not have standing to sue and that the complaint failed to state a claim for which relief may be granted. The basis for Morgan’s motion to dismiss was that HSBC did not attach a copy of the note to its complaint, and thus there was no proof that they had standing to enforce the note.

HSBC responded to the motion to dismiss on September 11, 2008, and in its response attached a copy of an adjustable rate note between Ownit, as lender, and Morgan and Takvam, as borrowers. HSBC was not a party to this note. On August 11, 2008, an assignment of mortgage from Ownit to HSBC dated August 4, 2008, was recorded in Shelby County, Kentucky. While Morgan’s motion to dismiss was still pending, HSBC filed for summary judgment on December 3, 2008. The copy of the note HSBC attached to the motion for summary judgment included an undated “Note Allonge” signed by Richard Williams as Vice President of Litton Loan Servicing, LP and as Attorney in Fact of Ownit. This document purported to negotiate the note to HSBC.

On January 7, 2009, the trial court held a hearing on Morgan’s motion to dismiss and HSBC’s motion for summary judgment. Subsequently, on February 25, 2009, the trial court denied Morgan’s motion to dismiss and entered summary judgment in HSBC’s favor. Morgan filed a timely motion to vacate under Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure (CR) 59.05 on March 6, 2009, and on March 18, 2009, the trial court orally denied Morgan’s motion and noted the same on the docket sheet.

Morgan filed a notice of appeal on April 2, 2009. On April 8, 2009, this Court, sua sponte, raised the issue of jurisdiction and ordered Morgan to show why the appeal should not be dismissed as being interlocutory because no order appeared in the record denying Morgan’s CR 59.05 motion. After considering Morgan’s response, this Court entered another order on June 8, 2009, ordering that the appeal be held in abeyance for thirty days to allow the circuit court to enter an order in accordance with its March 18, 2009, docket sheet notation overruling Morgan’s motion to vacate.

Although the case was returned to this Court’s active docket automatically at the expiration of that thirty-day period per the Court’s order, the record did not reflect that the trial court ever entered an order denying the motion to vacate. On March 16, 2011, this court again held the matter in abeyance for thirty days to permit the parties to petition the trial court to enter a proper order denying the CR 59.05 motion. On March 31, 2011, the parties tendered an order from the trial court denying the CR 59.05 motion, and this case was returned to our active docket for consideration of the merits on appeal.

On appeal, Morgan raises two arguments; namely, 1) that HSBC was not entitled to a judgment as a matter of law because it did not have authority to enforce the note and 2) that summary judgment was premature because discovery was incomplete and because he did not have time to conduct discovery to determine whether HSBC breached an assumed duty.

In Lewis v. B & R Corp., 56 S.W.3d 432, 436 (Ky. App. 2001), this Court set forth the standard of review in an appeal from the entry of a summary judgment:

The standard of review on appeal when a trial court grants a motion for summary judgment is “whether the trial court correctly found that there were no genuine issues as to any material fact and that the moving party was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The trial court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and summary judgment should be granted only if it appears impossible that the nonmoving party will be able to produce evidence at trial warranting a judgment in his favor. The moving party bears the initial burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists, and then the burden shifts to the party opposing summary judgment to present “at least some affirmative evidence showing that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial.” The trial court “must examine the evidence, not to decide any issue of fact, but to discover if a real issue exists.” While the Court in Steelvest[, Inc. v. Scansteel Service Center, Inc., 807 S.W.2d 476, 480 (Ky. 1991),] used the word “impossible” in describing the strict standard for summary judgment, the Supreme Court later stated that that word was “used in a practical sense, not in an absolute sense.” Because summary judgment involves only legal questions and the existence of any disputed material issues of fact, an appellate court need not defer to the trial court’s decision and will review the issue de novo. [Citations in footnotes omitted.]

Morgan’s first argument addresses whether HSBC was entitled to judgment as a matter of law based upon the argument that HSBC lacked standing to enforce the note. Initially, we note that the particular facts of this case, in particular the sequence of events that unfolded, is troubling. In its complaint, HSBC alleged that it was the holder of the note on Morgan’s home but claimed that a copy of the note was unavailable. Morgan moved to dismiss on grounds that HSBC failed to produce the note and thus had no proof that, as the holder of the note, it was entitled to proceed in foreclosure against Morgan and Takvam.

KRS 355.1-201(2)(u) defines a “holder” as “[t]he person in possession of a negotiable instrument that is payable either to bearer or to an identified person that is the person in possession.” Morgan argues that at the time it filed suit, HSBC was not a holder of the note and accordingly could not enforce the note. In support of this argument, Morgan points out that the note was payable to a specific, identified entity: Ownit. Morgan argues that Ownit could have transferred or negotiated its rights to HSBC by endorsement, which requires a signature by an authorized representative of Ownit in the signator’s official capacity, see KRS 355.3-402, but that it failed to properly do so.

Initially, HSBC produced a note between Ownit, Morgan, and Takvam, and subsequently, at summary judgment stage, produced another note with the aforementioned note allonge purporting to assign the note to HSBC. In its order granting summary judgment, the trial court held that the endorsement in the note allonge by Richard Williams, as president of Litton Loan Servicing LP and attorney- in- fact for Ownit, was sufficient proof that HSBC was a holder of the note. In support of this holding, the trial court explained that as an attorney- in-fact for Ownit, Williams was authorized to transact business for Ownit. However, we find it troubling that when HSBC initially filed suit, a copy of this note was not attached and that later, this undated note allonge purporting to indorse the note to HSBC appeared in the record.

Further, HSBC argues that under KRS 355.3-203(2), it has the power to enforce the note. That statute states that “[t]he transfer of an instrument, whether or not the transfer is a negotiation, vests in the transferee any right of the transferor to enforce the instrument.” The Official comment to Section 203(2) states: “If the transferee is not a holder because the transferor did not indorse; the transferee is nevertheless a person entitled to enforce the instrument under Section 3-301 if the transferor was a holder at the time of transfer.”

Thus, according to HSBC, even if Ownit did not properly indorse the note, as Morgan claims on appeal, it can enforce the note if Ownit was a holder at the time of the transfer, or at the time the note allonge was signed. The difficulty in determining the applicability of the note allonge is the fact that it is not dated, and thus there is nothing in the record to determine whether the transferor, Ownit, was a holder at the time it allegedly transferred its interest in the note to HSBC.

This case is further complicated by the fact that the mortgage was not assigned to HSBC until August 4, 2008, and was subsequently recorded on August 11, 2008. HSBC filed suit on July 31, 2008, and the parties were served on August 2, 2008. Morgan argues that because HSBC did not have possession of the note and the mortgage when it filed suit, and thus had no standing, it cannot cure its lack of standing by subsequently acquiring an interest in the mortgage.

Because this is an issue of first impression in the state of Kentucky, Morgan cites to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Marchione, 887 N.Y.S.2d 615 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept. 2009), in support of this argument. In that case, the parties executed a mortgage with Option One Mortgage Corporation on September 2, 2005. Id. at 616. The parties allegedly failed to make payments beginning on April 1, 2007, and Wells Fargo initiated suit by filing a summons and complaint on November 30, 2007. Id. Option One assigned its “right, title and interest” in the aforementioned mortgage to Wells Fargo in an assignment dated December 4, 2007. Id. The assignment contained a provision stating that it became effective on October 28, 2007. Id. The Appellate Court held that because Wells Fargo did not have an interest in the note and mortgage before they filed suit and only acquired such an interest after filing suit, the bank lacked standing to bring the suit. Id. at 617. Specifically, the trial court held, “[i]n order to commence a foreclosure action, the plaintiff must have a legal or equitable interest in the mortgage. . . . Here, Wells Fargo lacked standing to bring this foreclosure action because it was not the assignee of the mortgage on November 30, 2007, the day the action was commenced.” Id. Ohio also requires that banks have an interest in the mortgage when suit is filed. See Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Byrd, 897 N.E.2d 722 (Ohio App. 1 Dist. 2008) (“bank that was not the mortgagee when suit was filed cannot cure its lack of standing by subsequently obtaining an interest in the mortgage.”).

Because it is impossible to determine from the record when Ownit transferred its interest in the note to HSBC and because the mortgage was not assigned to HSBC until August 4, 2008, after HSBC filed suit against Morgan, we simply cannot say that HSBC had standing to bring the instant action. CR 17.01 provides that “every action shall be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest, but…an assignee for the benefit of creditors…may bring an action…” It follows that, where a cause of action has been assigned, the assignee becomes the real party in interest. See CR 17.01. However, “[i]n no event may an assignee maintain an action for any part of a claim which has not been assigned to him.” Works v. Winkle, 234 S.W.2d 312, 315 (Ky. App. 1950). A mere expectancy is not enough to establish standing, a party must prove a “present or substantial interest.” Plaza B.V. v. Stephens, 913 S.W2d 319, 322 (Ky. 1996) (quoting Ashland v. Ashland F.O.P. No.3, Inc., 888 S.W.2d 667 (Ky. 1994)). In the instant case, HSBC cannot prove when it obtained a present or substantial interest in the note and it did not receive an interest in the mortgage until after it filed suit. Accordingly, the trial court’s judgment as a matter of law that HSBC had standing to pursue its claims was in error.

For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the Shelby Circuit Court’s summary judgment and remand this matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

ISAAC, SENIOR JUDGE, CONCURS.

MOORE, JUDGE, CONCURS IN RESULT BY SEPARATE OPINION.

Respectfully, I concur with the result that HSBC Bank did not establish that it had standing to file a complaint at the time it commenced this action. Although a bankruptcy action, I agree with the analysis and detailed explanation set forth in In re Veal, ___ B.R. ___, 2011 WL 2304200 (9th Cir. BAP, June 20, 2011) and find it to be persuasive and an excellent explanation relevant to the issue presently before the Court.

[1] Senior Judge Sheila R. Isaac sitting as Special Judge by assignment of the Chief Justice pursuant to Section 110(5)(b) of the Kentucky Constitution and Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 21.580.

[2] We note that while Takvam was named on the Notice of Appeal, she does not appear to have actively participated at the trial court level below, and she has not filed a separate brief on appeal. Thus we refer only to Morgan throughout the opinion.

[ipaper docId=61901445 access_key=key-rvpjr78h5lui22v5isn height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST CO. AMERICAS v. PICON | NYSC Vacates JDGMT “ASMT Mortgage from MERS to Plaintiff, under New York law, definitively did not transfer ownership of the Note to Plaintiff”

DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST CO. AMERICAS v. PICON | NYSC Vacates JDGMT “ASMT Mortgage from MERS to Plaintiff, under New York law, definitively did not transfer ownership of the Note to Plaintiff”


RePOST due to a possible hack.

Don’t be a fool. I can assure you, the AG’s that are investigating have this info.

~

2011 NY Slip Op 31747(U)

DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS AS TRUSTEE, 9350 Waxie Way San Diego, CA 92123 Plaintiff,

v.

DANILO PICON, MAGALYS T. PICON, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., AS NOMINEE FOR FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF ARIZONA, NEW YORK CITY ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD, NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT ADJUDICATION BUREAU, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE,
JOHN DANIELS, YVETTE “DOE” Defendants.

No. 1070/08, Motion Seq. No. 4.

Supreme Court, Queens County.

June 22, 2011.

BERNICE D. SIEGAL, Judge.

EXCERPT:

Once the issue of standing is raised by the Defendant, the burden is placed on the Plaintiff to prove, as in the instant matter, that it owns the Note underlying the action and the validity of any associated assignment (TPZ Corp. v Dabbs, 25 AD3d 787, 789 [2d Dep’t 2006]). A demonstration by the Plaintiff that it owns the Mortgage, without a showing that it also owns the Note is a nullity and any action for foreclosure based on the ownership of the mortgage alone must fail (Kluge v Fugazy, 145 AD2d 537, 538 [2d Dept 1988]). This result is mandated because the mortgage is “but an incident to the debt which it is intended to secure,” and without more, it provides the holder with no actionable interest on which to commence a foreclosure action (Merritt v Bartholick, 36 NY 44, 45 [1867].

While a written assignment or physical transfer of the Note is sufficient to result in an implicit transfer of an associated Mortgage, an assignment of the Mortgage, without an explicit assignment of the Note, will not result in an assignment of that Note (U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 754 [2d Dept 2009]).

In the case before us, Plaintiff only proffers evidence that the mortgage was transferred to the Plaintiff (through MERS, as nominee for Firs National Bank of Arizona [“Arizona”]) via an Assignment of Mortgage dated January 7, 2008. It does not, critically, provide evidence that the Note itself was transferred to the Plaintiff.

The only documents the Plaintiff submits in connection with the issue of the ownership and assignment of the Note are a copy of the original Adjustable Rate Note Agreement between Arizona and the Defendant dated March 8, 2006, and a copy of an undated allonge between Arizona and the First National Bank of Nevada [“Nevada”], seemingly transferring Arizona’s interest in the Note to Nevada. Although not dated, it is only logical for the court to assume that the allonge was executed prior to any purported assignment of the Note to the Plaintiff. If we were to assume otherwise, it would imply that Arizona was assigning to Nevada a Note that it did not own (since such Note had already been purportedly assigned to the Plaintiff).

Critically, Plaintiff does not provide documents demonstrating that the Note itself was assigned to Plaintiff, such as from MERS (as nominee for Arizona), from Arizona itself, or from a third-party such as Nevada.

The only interpretation the court can adduce from such evidence is that although it is possible that Nevada may own both the Mortgage and the Note since a valid transfer of a Note (in this case through the undated allonge), effectively transfers an associated Mortgage, the assignment of the Mortgage from MERS (as nominee for Arizona) to Plaintiff, under New York law, definitively did not transfer ownership of the Note to Plaintiff.

Since the allonge indicates that the Note is the property of Nevada and not Arizona, Arizona was never in a position to assign the Note to Plaintiff. Therefore, even if Plaintiff holds the Mortgage, without evidence that it also owns the Note, it lacks standing to pursue the foreclosure action at bar. Consequently, Plaintiff’s acquisition of the Mortgage without the underlying Note is insufficient to sustain a foreclosure action and Defendant’s motion to dismiss based on the Plaintiff’s lack of standing is granted.

[…]

The other issues raised in Defendant’s Order to Show Cause including the 1) motion to dismiss due to a failure to state a cause of action under CPLR 3211, and 2) a motion to vacate the default judgment and allow an answer under CPLR 317 are deemed moot as they are subsumed or deemed irrelevant in light of this court’s decision above. Based on the forgoing, it is

ORDERED that Defendant’s motion to vacate the default judgment and dismiss the action is granted; it is further

ORDERED that Defendant’s motion to have the case dismissed with prejudice due to fraud is denied.

The foregoing constitutes the decision and order of the court.

[…]

[ipaper docId=59328003 access_key=key-118ad3g85p29i38ysxi2 height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST CO. AMERICAS v. PICON | NYSC Vacates JDGMT “ASMT Mortgage from MERS to Plaintiff, under New York law, definitively did not transfer ownership of the Note to Plaintiff”

DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST CO. AMERICAS v. PICON | NYSC Vacates JDGMT “ASMT Mortgage from MERS to Plaintiff, under New York law, definitively did not transfer ownership of the Note to Plaintiff”


[PDF].DEUTSCHE v PICON w RePOST since the content was possibly hacked

2011 NY Slip Op 31747(U)

DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS AS TRUSTEE, 9350 Waxie Way San Diego, CA 92123 Plaintiff,

v.

DANILO PICON, MAGALYS T. PICON, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., AS NOMINEE FOR FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF ARIZONA, NEW YORK CITY ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD, NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT ADJUDICATION BUREAU, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE,
JOHN DANIELS, YVETTE “DOE” Defendants.

No. 1070/08, Motion Seq. No. 4.

Supreme Court, Queens County.

June 22, 2011.

BERNICE D. SIEGAL, Judge.

EXCERPT:

Once the issue of standing is raised by the Defendant, the burden is placed on the Plaintiff to prove, as in the instant matter, that it owns the Note underlying the action and the validity of any associated assignment (TPZ Corp. v Dabbs, 25 AD3d 787, 789 [2d Dep’t 2006]). A demonstration by the Plaintiff that it owns the Mortgage, without a showing that it also owns the Note is a nullity and any action for foreclosure based on the ownership of the mortgage alone must fail (Kluge v Fugazy, 145 AD2d 537, 538 [2d Dept 1988]). This result is mandated because the mortgage is “but an incident to the debt which it is intended to secure,” and without more, it provides the holder with no actionable interest on which to commence a foreclosure action (Merritt v Bartholick, 36 NY 44, 45 [1867].

While a written assignment or physical transfer of the Note is sufficient to result in an implicit transfer of an associated Mortgage, an assignment of the Mortgage, without an explicit assignment of the Note, will not result in an assignment of that Note (U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 754 [2d Dept 2009]).

In the case before us, Plaintiff only proffers evidence that the mortgage was transferred to the Plaintiff (through MERS, as nominee for Firs National Bank of Arizona [“Arizona”]) via an Assignment of Mortgage dated January 7, 2008. It does not, critically, provide evidence that the Note itself was transferred to the Plaintiff.

The only documents the Plaintiff submits in connection with the issue of the ownership and assignment of the Note are a copy of the original Adjustable Rate Note Agreement between Arizona and the Defendant dated March 8, 2006, and a copy of an undated allonge between Arizona and the First National Bank of Nevada [“Nevada”], seemingly transferring Arizona’s interest in the Note to Nevada. Although not dated, it is only logical for the court to assume that the allonge was executed prior to any purported assignment of the Note to the Plaintiff. If we were to assume otherwise, it would imply that Arizona was assigning to Nevada a Note that it did not own (since such Note had already been purportedly assigned to the Plaintiff).

Critically, Plaintiff does not provide documents demonstrating that the Note itself was assigned to Plaintiff, such as from MERS (as nominee for Arizona), from Arizona itself, or from a third-party such as Nevada.

The only interpretation the court can adduce from such evidence is that although it is possible that Nevada may own both the Mortgage and the Note since a valid transfer of a Note (in this case through the undated allonge), effectively transfers an associated Mortgage, the assignment of the Mortgage from MERS (as nominee for Arizona) to Plaintiff, under New York law, definitively did not transfer ownership of the Note to Plaintiff.

Since the allonge indicates that the Note is the property of Nevada and not Arizona, Arizona was never in a position to assign the Note to Plaintiff. Therefore, even if Plaintiff holds the Mortgage, without evidence that it also owns the Note, it lacks standing to pursue the foreclosure action at bar. Consequently, Plaintiff’s acquisition of the Mortgage without the underlying Note is insufficient to sustain a foreclosure action and Defendant’s motion to dismiss based on the Plaintiff’s lack of standing is granted.

[…]

The other issues raised in Defendant’s Order to Show Cause including the 1) motion to dismiss due to a failure to state a cause of action under CPLR 3211, and 2) a motion to vacate the default judgment and allow an answer under CPLR 317 are deemed moot as they are subsumed or deemed irrelevant in light of this court’s decision above. Based on the forgoing, it is

ORDERED that Defendant’s motion to vacate the default judgment and dismiss the action is granted; it is further

ORDERED that Defendant’s motion to have the case dismissed with prejudice due to fraud is denied.

The foregoing constitutes the decision and order of the court.

[…]

[ipaper docId=59328003 access_key=key-118ad3g85p29i38ysxi2 height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (4)

EATON v. FANNIE MAE, GREEN TREE SVCING | MASS SUPERIOR COURT “Mortgagee NOT in Possession of the Note, MERS, IBANEZ, Prelim. Injunction”

EATON v. FANNIE MAE, GREEN TREE SVCING | MASS SUPERIOR COURT “Mortgagee NOT in Possession of the Note, MERS, IBANEZ, Prelim. Injunction”


mortgagee without mortgage note holds “naked legal title” in trust


COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

SUPERIOR COURT
CIVIL ACTION
N0.-11 1381 E

HENRIETTA EATON

vs .

FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION & another1

Excerpts:

The Defendants have produced a photocopy of the Note. It is endorsed in blank and does not bear an allonge indicating when it was endorsed or who held it at the time of the foreclosure. For the purposes of this motion only, Defendants stipulate that Green Tree did not hold the Note when the foreclosure occurred.

[…]

There is no inconsistency between this analysis and the recent decision in U.S.Bank National Association v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637 (2011). Ibanez restated common law of the Commonwealth to the effect that the assignment of a mortgage must be effective before foreclosure in order to be valid. In Ibanez, it was undisputed that the foreclosing entities were the note holders. The plaintiffs argued that, as note holders, they had a sufficient financial interest to foreclose. Not so, said the Court; as note holders separated from the mortgage due to a lack of effective assignment, they had only a beneficial interest in the mortgage note. The Court held that the power of sale statute, by its terms, granted that authority to the mortgagee, not to the owner of the beneficial interest.2 The SJC did not address the authority of the assignee of the mortgage not in possession of the note to foreclose.

[…]

In finding that Eaton is likely to succeed on her claim, the court is cognizant of sound reason that would have historically supported the common law rule requiring the unification of the promissory note and the mortgage note in the foreclosing entity prior to foreclosure. Allowing foreclosure by a mortgagee not in possession of the mortgage note is potentially unfair to the mortgagor. A holder in due course of the promissory note could seek to recover against the mortgagor, thus exposing her to double liability. See 5- Star Mgmt., Inc. v. Rogers, 940 F. Supp. 512, 520 (D. E.D.N.Y. 1996); Cf. Cooperstein v. Bogas, 317 Mass. 341, 344 (1944) (noting that allowing a creditor ofthe mortgagee to reach and apply the interest of the debtor in the mortgage itself would “leav[ e] the note outstanding as a valid obligation of the mortgagor to the holder of the note who might possibly be a person other than the mortgagee.”).

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

For the reasons set forth above, Eaton’s motion for preliminary injunction is ALLOWED. Fannie Mae is hereby enjoined until further order of this court from proceeding with its previously commenced summary process action Housing Court Docket 2010-2010-SP-0379 with respect to Eaton’s residence at 141 Deforest Street, Roslindale, Massachusetts, or from interfering with the Eaton’s possession and enjoyment thereof. 9

[…]

[ipaper docId=58499371 access_key=key-16mmozczkoh4r8zu5wq1 height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON v. FAULK | “Capacity, Possession of the fourth page of the note, which includes a blank endorsement”

BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON v. FAULK | “Capacity, Possession of the fourth page of the note, which includes a blank endorsement”


Via: Prof. Adam Levitin

You have to read Do We Have a Fraud Problem? The Case of the Mysteriously Appearing Allonge, to understand where this is coming from but here is a sample of what the professor says about the case below:

Which brings us to BONY v. Faulk. In this case, the foreclosure filing included a 3 page note. The note lacked endorsements connecting the originator to BONY as trustee for the foreclosing securitziation trust. This set up a motion to dismiss on the grounds that BONY didn’t have any right to do anything–it had no connection with the note.

But wait!  Suddenly BONY’s attorney tells the court that she is in possession of the fourth page of the note, which includes a blank endorsement. Puhlease…  What a ridiculous deus ex machina ending. Are we do believe that this attorney filed 3 pages of the note, but not the 4th? If so, I sure hope she’s not billing for that screw up.

But here’s what perplexes me. Suppose that an allonge is produced. How are we going to know when that allonge was created or that it even relates to the note in question? (Just so everyone’s clear–if the endorsement were created later, then BONY as trustee for CWABS 2006-13 trust had no standing at the time the action was filed because the trust didn’t own the note at that time.) How do we know that this attorney isn’t engaged in fraud on the court (and a host of other violations of state and federal law)?

And this isn’t even getting into the question of whether the PSA at issue requires specific endorsements, not endorsements in blank. As it turns out that’s a problem in this particular case. Here’s the PSA for CWABS 2006-13 trust.  Section 2.01(g)(1) provides that the Depositor deliver to the trustee:

the original Mortgage Note, endorsed by manual of facsimile signature in blank in the following form: “Pay to the order of _______ without recourse”, with all intervening endorsements that show a complete chain of endorsement from the originator to the Person endorsing the Mortgage Note…

[ipaper docId=58072124 access_key=key-5pqgrklvsxpy24zpled height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

ADAM LEVITIN | Do We Have a Fraud Problem? The Case of the Mysteriously Appearing Allonge

ADAM LEVITIN | Do We Have a Fraud Problem? The Case of the Mysteriously Appearing Allonge


“Now allonges. An allonge isn’t a delicious throat-soothing lozenge from Switzerland. It’s a piece of paper that goes a-long with the note. The allonge is basically an overflow sheet for extra endorsements”

Prof. Adam Levitin:

I have generally been willing to give mortgage servicers, servicer support shops (like LPS), and foreclosure attorneys the benefit of the doubt when it comes to documentation irregularities (to put it mildly) in foreclosures. My working assumption up to this point has been that the documentation problems have been a function of corner cutting with securitization based on the assumptions that (1) the loans would perform better than they did and (2) those that defaulted would result in default judgments in foreclosure, so no one would ever notice the problems. I’ve also assumed that lack of capacity has played a critical role in problems in the default management chain–the system is held together by Scotch tape at this point. In other words, the problems in the system weren’t caused by malice.

Continue reading [CREDITSLIPS]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

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

Archives