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US, France Knew In 2007 Financial Collapse Was Imminent Due To Wall Street Fraud

US, France Knew In 2007 Financial Collapse Was Imminent Due To Wall Street Fraud


#WikiLeaks- PAULSON DISCUSSES FINANCIAL MARKETS, IRAN WITH SARKOZY, LAGARDE

Alexander Higgins-

In 2007 top US and France officials knew rampant fraud being committed by regulators, rating agencies and Wall Street Banks would soon cause a global financial collapse.

While investors and nations around the world were happily giving trillions of dollars away to crooked Wall Street bankers top officials in the United States and France knew the market would soon collapse and people would be robbed of millions.

While raising the issue that the role of government regulators and rating agencies needed to be reviewed in the wake of the upcoming crisis, US officials ignored calls from the French government to enact necessary regulation to stop the rampant fraud that would soon result in investors losing tens of trillions of dollars they had invested into the markets.

The cable reveals that while discussing the ability of the French banks to survive the crisis, French President Sarkozy was pushing the US to enact regulations to forestall the crisis. Instead, Henry Paulson responded by telling Sarkozy not to overreacted because the” it would take months, not weeks, for credit to be re-priced” telling France this is “not a major crisis.”

Paulson went on to warn that the major problem was with the German banks and which would require a bailout from the taxpayer while warning that the assets held by banks but covered up from investors by being held off-balance sheet presented systematic risk to banks and to sovereign wealth.

The cable clearly reveals that taxpayer bailouts would be needed.  Paulson further up sticks up for the Wall Street hedge fund saying they were not to blame for the crisis while acknowledging there were major Wall Street transparency issues.

To summarize, the cable reveals that top government officials in France and the US knew Wall street banks were committing fraud in the origination and packaging of sub-prime mortgage and lying to investors about the resulting securities they were creating and selling. Officials knew banks were also lying about their own liabilities and hiding them from investors by keeping the assets off their balance sheets.  The government also knew that both regulators and ratings agencies were participating in the scheme.

Remember as you read this cable, these conversations all took place over a year before the 2008 financial collapse when taxpayers around the world were forced into giving up trillions of dollars for banker bailouts. Also keep in mind that while the cable discusses “systemic risk”, “bailouts” and “market turbulence”, none of these had happened yet. They were discussing what would soon happen in the future.

The discussion of “systemic risk”, “market turbulence” and “taxpayer bailouts” over a year before the markets actually collapsed and those events actually occurred, show they knew a global financial collapse. Not only did they know it would occur but knew what the consequences would be for the investors and the governments who were fleeced by Wall Street. As the cable reveals, Paulson chose to deal with the crisis by letting it continue and urging France to keep the issue underwaps  by  urging Sarkozy not  to “over react”, hence allowing the scandal to the continue which just postponed the inevitable.

Also remember when we were forced into these bailouts, it was  under the guise that our governments had no idea the banks were doing this and this was a sudden and unforeseeable crisis. Finally, remember that – while there have been plenty of accusations from “conspiracy theorists”,  “fringe economists” and “wing nut” politicians such as Ron Paul – there still has been no admission from our government that financial regulators or the ratings agencies played a role in the crisis.

[ALEXANDER HIGGINS]

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OKLAHOMA CLASS ACTION | Dutton v. Wells Fargo, Equifax, Experian, Trans Union

OKLAHOMA CLASS ACTION | Dutton v. Wells Fargo, Equifax, Experian, Trans Union


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA

1. WILLIAM DUTTON, JR.,
2. STACY WHITE, and
3. SHANNON WHITE, on behalf of themselves
and others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs,

vs.

4. WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.,
5. EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, L.L.C.,
successor in interest to EQUIFAX CREDIT
INFORMATION SERVICES, INC.,
6. EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC,
7. EXPERIAN INFORMATION SERVICES, INC.,
8. TRANS UNION L.L.C.,
Defendants.

EXCERPT:

CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS

20. Plaintiffs seek relief on behalf of the themselves and to represent the following class:

All homeowners in the State of Oklahoma who have been adversely
affected by predatory mortgage servicing and improper foreclosure
process by Defendant Wells Fargo, N.A., and are at risk of losing
their homes to foreclosure; and have suffered damage to their
creditworthiness due to the concomitant failure of Defendants credit
reporting agencies in their fiduciary duty to investigate independently
the factual accuracy of Defendant Wells Fargo, N.A.’s negative
information concerning their creditworthiness relating to home
mortgage loans between 2006 to the date of class certification in this
action.

[…]

[ipaper docId=63852432 access_key=key-5j2821fads99n3sv2hs height=600 width=600 /]

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Even after a loan mod, mortgage servicer errors put homeowners at risk of foreclosure

Even after a loan mod, mortgage servicer errors put homeowners at risk of foreclosure


ProPublica-

Chanel Rosario was supposed to be one of the lucky ones. After years of sending and re-sending documents, waiting on hold and attending court hearings to avoid foreclosure on her Staten Island home, she’d finally received a much-needed reduction on her mortgage. Eagerly, she and her husband signed it and mailed it in last September. “We thought it was over.”

It wasn’t. After months of making payments, Rosario called the bank handling her mortgage, Chase Home Finance, and found out Chase was still reporting her as delinquent, damaging her credit score and putting her home in jeopardy. Despite months of trying to get an explanation with the help of a legal-aid attorney, she still doesn’t know why Chase isn’t abiding by the agreement.



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Home Ownership Rate Drops to 1998 Level

Home Ownership Rate Drops to 1998 Level


Recovery? What recovery.

Imagine all the shadow foreclosures, inventory…


Wall Street Journal-

The housing market’s woes continue forcing people into rentals, further depressing the home ownership rate in a nation that now has fewer homeowners than were created during the housing boom.

In the first quarter, 66.5% of Americans owned homes, down from 67.2% a year earlier, the Census Bureau reported. The rate last hit this level in 1998.

During the boom, when easy credit made mortgages available with less regard for income or ability to pay, the ownership rate surged to a record 69.2% in 2004?s second and fourth quarters and stayed near that level until the recession deepened.

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OH Judge Denies MTD “FDCPA, Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act” TURNER v. Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act

OH Judge Denies MTD “FDCPA, Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act” TURNER v. Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act


TAMARA TURNER, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
LERNER, SAMPSON & ROTHFUSS, Defendant.

Case No. 1:11-CV-00056.United States District Court, N.D. Ohio.

March 4, 2011.

OPINION & ORDER

[Resolving Doc. No. 8]

JAMES S. GWIN, District Judge.

The Defendant, Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss (“Lerner”), moves the Court to dismiss this action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. [Doc. 8.] The Plaintiffs oppose the motion. [Doc. 14.] The Defendant replied. [Doc. 19.]

For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART the Defendant’s motion to dismiss.

I. Background

In this putative class action, Plaintiffs Tamara Turner, Phillip Turner, Mary Sweeney, James Unger, and Kelly Unger file suit alleging violations of state and federal consumer protection statutes. [Doc. 1-1.] The Plaintiffs bring claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §1692, as well as a variety of Ohio state law claims, including the Ohio Consumer Sales Protection Act, O.R.C. Chapter 1345. [Doc. 1-1.]

This action stems from a number of mortgage foreclosure suits that Defendant Lerner initiated in Ohio state court. [Id.] Defendant Lerner is a law firm that prosecutes mortgage foreclosure actions. The Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Lerner engages in the widespread practice of filing and prosecuting mortgage foreclosure actions, notwithstanding the fact that many of Lerner’s clients lack proper standing to sue. [Id. at 2.] According to the Plaintiffs, the Defendant also employs individuals who regularly execute assignments of mortgages on behalf of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”) to their clients without proper legal authority to do so. [Id at 2.] The Plaintiffs further allege that Defendant Lerner has the practice of filing false and misleading affidavits in an effort to mislead courts into ruling that Lerner’s clients possess proper standing to prosecute foreclosure actions. [Id. at 2.] The Plaintiffs say that this practice has caused hundreds — and possibly thousands — of individuals in Ohio to defend frivolous foreclosure actions in which the Defendant’s clients lacked basic standing to sue. [Id.]

The Plaintiffs also set forth a number of allegations specific to the named Plaintiffs. First, the Plaintiffs say that Tamara and Phillip Turner resided in a home at 20526 Byron Road, Shaker Heights, Ohio, until Defendant Lerner filed a foreclosure action on behalf of Provident Funding Associates L.P. on October 16, 2009. [Id. at 5.] Tamara and Phillip Turner allege that they mistakenly believed that they only had twenty-eight days to vacate their home, and as a result, moved in with Phillip Turner’s mother. [Id. at 5.] On July 26, 2010, Defendant Lerner filed an affidavit with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas that falsely set forth the Provident Funding was the real party in interest in the foreclosure action. [Id. at 5.] However, on November 9, 2010, the Ohio state court action against the Turners was dismissed for lacking of standing, because Defendant Lerner was unable to prove that Provident had standing as holder of the relevant mortgage note to file the foreclosure action. [Id. at 5.] Apparently, Provident Funding took no appeal from that dismissal.

Second, the Plaintiffs say that Mary Sweeney owns a home located at 315 Overlook Park, Cleveland. [Id. at 6.] On January 5, 2010, Defendant Lerner filed a foreclosure action on behalf of Bank of America, claiming that Bank of America owned a promissory note which gave it standing to institute a foreclosure proceeding against her. [Id. at 6.] The Plaintiffs say that Defendant Lerner caused one of their employees — Shellie Hill — to fraudulently execute an assignment of the relevant mortgage note from MERS to Bank of America. [Id. at 6.] The Plaintiffs allege this assignment was not valid because Shellie Hill did not have any authority from MERS to execute the assignment to Bank of America. [Id. at 6.] However, on August 24, 2010, the Ohio state court action against Sweeney was dismissed for lacking of standing, because Defendant Lerner was unable to prove that Bank of America had standing as holder of the relevant mortgage note to file the foreclosure action. [Id. at 6-7.] Apparently, Bank of America took no appeal from that dismissal.

Third, and finally, Plaintiffs say that James and Kelly Unger own a home at 3158 Morley Road, Shaker Heights, Ohio. [Id. at 7.] On May 29, 2007, Defendant Lerner served the Ungers with a foreclosure complaint by on behalf of Bank of New York. [Id. at 7.] The Plaintiffs claim that Lerner’s employee, Shellie Hill, fraudulently assigned the mortgage note on behalf of MERS to Bank of New York. [Id. at 7-8.] The Plaintiffs say this assignment was not valid because Shellie Hill did not have any authority from MERS to execute the assignment to Bank of New York. [Id. at 7-8.] On July 14, 2009, the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas dismissed the foreclosure action because the Defendant failed to prove that the Bank of New York had standing to sue. [Id. at 8.] The Ungers were again served with a foreclosure complaint in an action filed by the Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company on November 30, 2009. [Id. at 8.] This second action was dismissed on July 13, 2010; there is no allegation that Defendant Lerner directly participated in this second lawsuit. [Id. at 8.]

On January 4, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. [Id.] The Plaintiffs bring six causes of action of behalf of a putative class of all Ohio homeowners who were defendants in foreclosure actions brought by Defendant Lerner since January 5, 2006. [Id.] Specifically, the Plaintiffs bring causes of action: (1) under the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. §1692, saying the Defendant used false, deceptive, and misleading practices to prosecute foreclosure actions (Count 1); (2) under the FDCPA, saying that the Defendant’s behavior constitutes slander of credit (Count 2); (3) for abuse of process under Ohio state law (Count 3); (4) for malicious prosecution under Ohio state law (Count 4); (5) under the Ohio Consumer Sales Protection Act, O.R.C. Chapter 1345, saying the Defendant’s filing of frivolous lawsuits constitutes an “unfair, deceptive and unconscionable sales practice” (Count 5); and (6) for filing of frivolous lawsuits under Ohio Revised Code § 2323.51 (Count 6). [Doc. 1-1.]

On January 7, 2011, the Defendant removed the action to federal court. [Doc. 1.] The Court has proper subject matter jurisdiction over the claims brought under the FDCPA and supplemental jurisdiction over the claims brought under Ohio state law. 28 U.S.C. § 1331; 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d); 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). The Defendant now moves to dismiss this action for failing to state a claim. [Doc. 8.]

II. Legal Standard

A court may grant a motion to dismiss only when “it appears beyond doubt” that the plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6); Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45 (1957). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to `state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The plausibility requirement is not a “probability requirement,” but requires “more than a sheer possibility that the defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 provides the general standard of pleading and only requires that a complaint “contain . . . a short plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). “Rule 8 marks a notable and generous departure from the hyper-technical, code-pleading regime of a prior era, but it does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949-51. (citations removed). In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), “a court should assume the[] veracity” of “well-pleaded factual allegations,” but need not accept a plaintiff’s conclusory allegations as true.

III. Analysis

III.A Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Count 1)

Congress enacted the FDCPA in order to eliminate “the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692(a). The statute is very broad, and was intended to remedy “what it considered to be a widespread problem.” Frey v. Gangwish, 970 F.2d 1516, 1521 (6th Cir.1992). “When interpreting the FDCPA, [courts should] begin with the language of the statute itself . . .” Schroyer v. Frankel, 197 F.3d 1170, 1174 (6th Cir.1999). With the purpose of the FDCPA in mind, the Court will proceed to the substance of the Plaintiffs’ claims.

i. Equitable Tolling

Claims brought under the FDCPA are subject to a one-year statute of limitations. 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d). The claims brought by Plaintiffs James and Kelly Unger are not timely, since the last action alleged to be taken by the Defendant occurred in July, 2009. Therefore, unless equitable tolling applies to their claim, it must be dismissed as untimely.

The Sixth Circuit has not ruled on whether equitable tolling applies to claims under the FDCPA. Whittiker v. Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co., 605 F.Supp.2d 914, 917 (N.D. Ohio 2009). Nonetheless, since the Sixth Circuit has held that equitable tolling applies to claims brought under the Truth in Lending Act, district courts in this Circuit generally also apply equitable tolling principles to claims brought under the FDCPA. See, e.g., Zigdon v. LVNV Funding, LLC, 2010 WL 1838637 at *6-12 (N.D. Ohio, Apr. 23, 2010); Whittiker, 605 F. Supp.2d at 917; Foster, et al. v. D.B.S. Collection Agency, 463 F.Supp.2d 783, 799 (S.D. Ohio 2006).

To benefit from equitable tolling, a plaintiff must show that she has been pursuing her rights diligently and that some extraordinary circumstance stood in her way. Lawrence v. Florida, 549 U.S. 327, 335 (2007). Equitable tolling is “available only in compelling circumstances which justify a departure from established procedures.” Puckett v. Tennessee Eastman Co., 889 F.2d 1481, 1488 (6th Cir. 1989). Sixth Circuit case law has consistently held that the circumstances which will lead to equitable tolling are rare. Souter v. Jones, 95 F.3d 577, 590 (6th Cir. 2005). Moreover, the plaintiff has the burden of persuading the court that she is entitled to equitable tolling. Allen v Yukins, 366 F.3d 396, 401 (6th Cir. 2004). The following factors are generally considered when the issue of equitable tolling arises: (1) lack of notice of the filing requirement, (2) lack of constructive knowledge of the filing requirement, (3) diligence in pursuing one’s rights, (4) absence of prejudice to the defendant, and (5) the plaintiff’s reasonableness in remaining ignorant of the particular legal requirement. Chavez v. Carranza, 559 F.3d 486, 492 (6th Cir. 2009).

The Plaintiffs say that the claims of James and Kelly Unger should be subject to equitable tolling since another law firm attempted to foreclose on the Ungers’ home in 2010 on behalf of the Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company. The Plaintiffs allege that the firm which brought the second suit attempted to use the assignment of mortgage previously executed by one of Defendant Lerner’s employee as evidence of standing. [Doc. 14 at 9.] This second foreclosure action was ultimately dismissed on July 13, 2010, also for want of standing to sue. [Id.] There is no allegation that Defendant Lerner participated in this second action or otherwise was connected to it.

The Court does not find this sufficient reason to justify equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. The Ungers do not allege any circumstances that would have prevented them from filing this action within the one-year statute of limitations. The Ungers do not allege or proffer any evidence showing that they have been diligently pursuing their legal rights or that Defendant Lerner concealed their alleged wrongdoing or tricked them into not exercising rights. SeeMezo v. Holder, 615 F.3d 616, 620 (6th Cir. 2010); Barry v. Mukasey, 524 F.3d 721, 724 (6th Cir. 2008). Indeed, the Ungers were free to bring all claims related to the first lawsuit prior to or during the pendency of the second lawsuit. If anything, the Ungers are alleging an ongoing violation that did not end until July, 2010. However, this argument also fails, because there is no allegation that Defendant Lerner filed or otherwise participated in the second foreclosure action that was filed against the Ungers.

Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the Defendant’s motion to dismiss all claims brought by Plaintiffs James and Kelly Unger under the FDCPA.

ii. Violation of FDCPA

The Court will now proceed to the claims brought by Plaintiffs Tamara Turner, Phillip Turner, and Mary Sweeney, all of which are brought within the one-year statute of limitations.[1]

Section 1692e of the FDCPA generally prohibits a debt collector from using false, deceptive or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of a debt. 15 U.S.C. § 1692e.[2] Section 1692f prohibits debt collectors from using “unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692f.[3] In the Sixth Circuit, a false statement that is not deceptive under the objective “least sophisticated consumer” test is not a violation of the FDCPA. See Lewis v. ACB Business Services, Inc., 135 F.3d 389, 401-02 (6th Cir. 1998). In Count 1, the Plaintiffs allege Defendant Lerner violated the FDCPA in the underlying foreclosure actions by misrepresenting who owned Plaintiffs’ mortgage notes at the time the underlying foreclosure actions were filed, thus concealing the fact that its clients lacked capacity to bring the suits. [Doc. 14 at 5.]

Simple inability to prove present debt ownership at the time a collection action is filed does not constitute a FDCPA violation. Harvey v. Great Seneca Financial Corporation, 453 F.3d 324, 331-33 (6th Cir.2006). Courts in the Sixth Circuit applying the FDCPA to lawsuits brought to collect a debt have generally found, however, that where a plaintiff alleges that the plaintiff in an underlying debt collection action says that it was the owner of a debt, “all the while knowing that they did not have means of proving the debt,” that a FDCPA complaint will survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. See, e.g., Delawder v. Platinum Financial Services, 443 F. Supp.2d 942, 945 (S.D. Ohio 2005)[4] (false affidavit attached to complaint “all the while knowing that they did not have means of proving the debt”).

Here, not only do the Plaintiffs allege that the Defendant filed the foreclosure actions knowing that it did not have the means of proving the ownership of the debt; they also allege that the Defendant knowingly executed misleading affidavits and unauthorized assignments of the notes to their clients. [Doc. 1-1.] The Court finds that this conduct, if proven true, would be actionable under the FDCPA under both Sections 1692e and 1692f. See Hartman v. Asset Acceptance Corp., 467 F. Supp.2d 769, 779 (S.D. Ohio 2004) (holding that a representation that defendant was a “holder in due course” of a debt is actionable as a representation concerning the “legal status” of the debt, if the representation is false and if the defendant does not satisfy the bona fide error defense); Kline, 2010 WL 1133452, at *8; Lee v. Javitch, Block & Rathbone, LLP, 484 F. Supp.2d 816, 820 (S.D. Ohio 2007) (“Section 1692f of the FDCPA . . . has been described as a `backstop’ in the statute, intended to cover actionable debt collection practices that may not be expressly addressed in Sections 1692d and 1692e”).[5]

Accordingly, the Court DENIES the Defendant’s motion to dismiss Count 1 of the complaint as to Plaintiffs Tamara Turner, Phillip Turner, and Mary Sweeney.

III.B Slander of Credit (Count 2)

The Plaintiffs next bring a cause of action for “slander of credit” under the FDCPA, saying that instituting a legal action based upon manufactured or false evidence constitutes slander of credit. [Doc. 1-1.] The Plaintiffs fail to explain the basis for this claim, other than saying they are bringing the claim under the FDCPA. The Court finds, given this paucity of explanation, that the Plaintiffs fail to allege a valid cause of action for slander of credit. A claim will not survive a motion to dismiss where a plaintiff simply lists causes of action, but neglects to make any plausible factual allegations related to them.

There are several theories under which “slander of credit” could be actionable. However, the Plaintiffs do not allege factual circumstances that would constitute possible violations. For example, the Plaintiffs fail to allege that the Defendant made a negative report to a credit reporting agency or that the Defendant threatened to report the Plaintiffs to a credit agency related to the mortgages in question. See 15 U.S.C. § 1681h; 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(8). The Court does not have the duty to imagine or devise theories of recovery, and accordingly, the Court GRANTS the Defendant’s motion to dismiss Count 2 of the complaint.[6]

III.C Abuse of Process (Count 3)

The Plaintiffs also bring a claim for abuse of process under Ohio state law. Under Ohio law, the elements of a claim for abuse of process are that: “(1) that a legal proceeding has been set in motion in proper form and with probable cause; (2) the proceeding has been perverted to attempt to accomplish an ulterior purpose for which it was not designed; and (3) direct damage has resulted from the wrongful use of process.” Voyticky v. Village of Timberlake, Ohio, 412 F.3d 669, 676 (6th Cir. 2005) (quoting Yaklevich v. Kemp, Schaeffer, & Rowe Co. et. al., 626 N.E.2d 115, 116 (Ohio 1994)). “The tort action termed `abuse of process’ has developed for `cases in which legal procedure has been set in motion in proper form, with probable cause, and even with ultimate success, but nevertheless has been perverted to accomplish an ulterior purpose for which it was not designed.'” Yaklevich, 626 N.E.2d at 118 (quoting Prosser & Keeton, The Law of Torts (5th ed.1984) 897, Section 121). Thus, “there is no liability [for abuse of process] where the defendant has done nothing more than carry out the process to its authorized conclusion, even though with bad intentions.” Id. at 118 n. 2 (citing Prosser & Keeton, supra, at 898). Rather, in an abuse of process case, “[t]he improper purpose usually takes the form of coercion to obtain a collateral advantage, not properly involved in the proceeding itself, such as the surrender of property or the payment of money, by the use of the process as a threat or a club.” Robb v. Chagrin Lagoons Yacht Club, Inc., 662 N.E.2d 9, 14 (Ohio 1996).

Here, even accepting the Plaintiff’s allegations as true, their claim for abuse of process fails. In support of their claim, Plaintiffs say that “the very act of attempting to force people out of their homes when their client does not have the proper paperwork to prove ownership constitutes malice.” [Doc. 14 at 16.] However, the Plaintiffs own allegations negate several of the elements of this cause of action.

On the first element — a legal proceeding initiated in proper form and with probable cause — the Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants did not have the proper standing or evidence needed to initiate their foreclosure actions. In claiming that the Defendant’s clients did not have probable cause to sue, the Plaintiffs seek to prove the exact opposite of this element of the abuse of process claim. Similarly, on the second element of the abuse of process claim — the proceeding has been perverted to attempt to accomplish an ulterior purpose for which it was not designed — the Plaintiffs own allegations again negate this element. The Plaintiffs claim that the Defendants initiated foreclosure actions without standing in the hope that it could nonetheless force the residents out of their homes. [Doc. 1-1 at 2-3; Doc. 14 at 16.] However, the proper purpose of a foreclosure action is to force people out of their homes; the Plaintiffs are alleging not that the Defendant used a foreclosure action for an improper purpose, but that the Defendants instituted foreclosure actions without reasonable hope of success.

Indeed, “`abuse of process differs from malicious prosecution in that the former connotes the use of process properly initiated for improper purposes, while the latter relates to the malicious initiation of a lawsuit which one has no reasonable chance of winning.'” Clermont Environmental Reclamation Co. v. Hancock, 474 N.E.2d 357, 362 (Ohio Ct. App. 1984); see also Avco Delta Corp. v. Walker, 258 N.E.2d 254, 257 (Ohio Ct. App. 1969) (“the malicious abuse of process is the employment of a process in a manner not contemplated by law, or to obtain an object which such a process is not intended by law to effect”). Here, rather than using the lawsuit to obtain a collateral advantage, the Plaintiffs allege that the Defendant filed the appropriate type of action for their ultimate goal — foreclosure of a home — but filed that action without proper probable cause. See Havens-Tobias v. Eagle, 2003 WL 1601461, at *5 (Ohio Ct. App., Mar. 28, 2003).

Accordingly, since the Plaintiffs’ allegations do not make out a claim for abuse of process, the Court GRANTS the Defendant’s motion to dismiss on this claim.

III.D Malicious Prosecution (Count 4)

The Plaintiffs also assert a claim of malicious civil prosecution. [Doc. 1-1 at 10.] To assert a claim for malicious prosecution under Ohio law, a plaintiff must prove: “(1) malicious institution of prior proceedings against the plaintiff by defendant . . . (2) lack of probable cause for the filing of the prior lawsuit, . . . (3) termination of the prior proceedings in plaintiff’s favor, . . . and (4) seizure of plaintiff’s person or property during the course of the prior proceedings.” Robb, 662 N.E.2d at 13 (citing Crawford v. Euclid Nat’l Bank, 483 N.E.2d 1168, 1171 (Ohio 1985)).

Under the first element, malicious institution of prior proceeding, the Court finds that the Plaintiffs’ allegation satisfy this element. The Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant filed the foreclosure actions with malice since the Defendant knew that its clients did not have proper standing to sue. [Doc. 1-1 at 2.] This allegation, if proven true, would sufficiently satisfy the malice element of a claim of malicious prosecution. See Eberhart v. Paintiff, 2005 WL 1962993 at *6 (Ohio Ct. App., Aug. 17, 2005) (“malice may be inferred from the absence of probable cause”);

On the second element, the Plaintiffs also adequately allege that the Defendant lacked probable cause for the filing of this lawsuit. In the complaint, the Plaintiffs say that the Defendant’s clients lacked basic standing to bring the lawsuit since their clients were not the proper holders of the mortgage notes and that Defendant knew of this lack of standing. [Doc. 1-1 at 2.] Therefore, this element is satisfied for purposes of a motion to dismiss.

As to the third element — termination of the prior proceeding in favor of the plaintiff — the Plaintiffs allege that all of the underlying foreclosures were terminated in their favor due to a lack of standing. This allegation, if proven true, would satisfy the third element. See Vitrano v. CWP Lmtd. Partnership, 1999 WL 1261151, at *4 (Ohio Ct. App., Dec. 22, 1999).

The Plaintiffs here, though, fail to adequately allege the fourth element — seizure of plaintiff’s person or property during the course of the prior proceedings. None of the Plaintiffs allege that their property was seized due to the actions of the Defendant, which is fatal to their claim of malicious prosecution. Ohio courts have emphasized that the seizure element is a necessary component of a claim for malicious civil prosecution and that the claim cannot survive without a seizure of property. See Robb, 662 N.E.2d at 14.

Indeed, a claim for malicious civil prosecution does not lie simply because a previously filed claim is meritless, but rather, only in cases “where there is a prejudgment seizure of property, i.e., where there essentially has been a judgment against, and a concomitant injury suffered by, a defendant before he has had a chance to defend himself.” Id.See, e.g., Aames Capital Corp. v. Wells, 2002 WL 500320 at *6 (Ohio Ct. App. Apr. 3, 2002) (“damage to a person’s credit, however, does not constitute seizure of property with regard to a malicious prosecution claim”); Clauder v. Holbrook, 2000 WL 98218 at *2 (Ohio Ct. App., Jan. 28, 2000) (holding that rendering a title to land unmarketable during pendency of a lawsuit is not a seizure for purposes of malicious prosecution); Ahlbeck v. Joelson, 1997 WL 458460, at *3 (Ohio Ct. App., Aug. 8, 1997) (freezing of assets during bankruptcy proceedings caused by suit does not satisfy seizure element). Thus, because none of the Plaintiffs allege that their property was seized during the course of the foreclosure proceedings instituted against them, the Court finds that they do not adequately plead this cause of action. at 14. This element of the cause of action has been strictly interpreted to apply only to seizures of actual real or personal property.

Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the Defendant’s motion to dismiss this claim.

III.E Ohio Consumer Sales Protection Act, Chapter 1345 (Count 5)

Next, the Plaintiffs allege a violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Protection Act, Chapter 1345. Specifically, the Plaintiffs say that the conduct of the Defendant “commenc[ed] foreclosure proceedings when their clients lack standing [which] are unfair, deceptive and unconscionable sales practices under O.R.C. §§ 1345.02 and 1345.03.

Ohio Revised Code section 1345 makes it unlawful for a supplier to engage in an unfair, deceptive, or unconscionable act or practice in regard to a consumer transaction. O.R.C. § 1345.02. The OCSPA defines a “supplier” as a “person engaged in the business of effecting or soliciting consumer transactions, whether or not he deals directly with the consumer.” O.R.C. § 1345.01(B). The statute has been generally interpreted as applying to the collection of debts associated with consumer transactions by attorneys. See Celebrezze v. United Research, Inc., 482 N.E.2d 1260, 1262 (Ohio 1984); see also Schroyer v. Frankel, 197 F.3d 1170, 1177 (6th Cir. 1999). Thus, the Court concludes that the debt collection activities of Defendant Lerner fall within the purview of the statute. The Ohio Consumer Protection Statute provides generally that “[n]o supplier shall commit an unfair or deceptive act or practice in connection with a consumer transaction.” O.R.C. § 1345.02(A). Although a somewhat unresolved issue, other courts have held that a law firm collecting a debt on behalf of a mortgagee may be amenable to suit under this Act. See Delawder, 443 F. Supp.2d at 953; Havens-Tobias v. Eagle, 2003 WL 1601461, at *4-5 (Ohio Ct. App. March 28, 2003). Indeed, “[g]iven the [Ohio Consumer Protection Act’s] purpose to protect consumers from deceptive acts and practices, and Ohio courts’ recognition that debt collection falls within [its] ambit, the Court believes Ohio courts would recognize a cause of action under Section 1345.02(B)(10) for all deceptive debt collection practices, including a supplier’s deceptive lawsuit to collect a debt.” Delawder, 443 F.2d at 953. This Court now finds the rationale of the court in DelawderSee, e.g., Becker v. Montgomery, Lynch, 2003 WL 23335929, at *2 (N.D. Ohio, Feb. 26, 2003) (holding that conduct which violates the FDCPA also violates the Ohio Consumer Protection Staute); Lee, 484 F. Supp.2d at 821 (holding that Ohio Consumer Protection Act applies to debt collection practices of law firms). persuasive, and also finds that the filing of deceptive lawsuits violates the Ohio Consumer Protection Act.

Accordingly, the Court finds that the Plaintiffs’ allegations, if proven true, would be actionable under the Ohio Consumer Protection Act. The Plaintiffs here allege that the Defendant knowingly brought deceptive lawsuits and also made fraudulent assignments of mortgage notes to support standing to sue. The Court, therefore, DENIES the Defendant’s motion to dismiss this Count.[7]

III.F Frivolous Lawsuits — Ohio Revised Code Section 2323.51

Finally, the Plaintiffs bring a claim under Ohio Revised Code Section 2323.51, saying that they are entitled to “sanctions, including attorney fees,” since they argue that the Defendant filed frivolous lawsuits against them. [Doc. 1-1 at 11; Doc. 14 at 18.] The Defendant says this claim must be dismissed as untimely. [Doc. 9 at 18-19.]

Under Section 2323.51, a litigant may receive an award of attorney’s fees where their opponent has been found to have engaged in “frivolous conduct,” which is defined, inter alia, as conduct that is meant “merely to harass or maliciously injure” or “is not warranted under existing law [or] cannot be supported by a good faith argument,” as making “allegations or other factual contentions that have no evidentiary support,” or as denials “or factual contentions that are not warranted by the evidence.” O.R.C. § 2323.51(A)(2)(a)(i)-(iv).

Although the alleged conduct of the Defendant would seem fall within the purview of the statute, the Plaintiffs claim under the this statute fails for several reasons. First, the proper forum for a motion brought under O.R.C. Section 2323.51 would be the original state court foreclosure actions that the Defendant filed against the Plaintiffs. Indeed, the “[r]elief under R.C. 2323.51 is obtained by filing a motion in a pending case,” and not in a later separate civil action. Gevedon v. Gevedon,855 N.E.2d 548, 553 (Ohio Ct. App. 2006); see also Roo v. Sain, 2005 WL 1177940, at *5 (Ohio Ct. App. 2005). In that regard, Section 2323.51 is quite similar to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, which itself does not create a separate cause of action, but rather, creates a means of punishing misconduct in a pending action. SeeSawyer v. Sinkey, 610 N.E.2d 1219, 1223 (Ohio Ct. App. 1992). Thus, the Plaintiffs attempt to improperly use that statute in this suit and any claims brought under that Section in this Court must be dismissed.

Second, even if that claim could be brought in this Court, the statute of limitations on the claim has run. Under the plain language of O.R.C. § 2323.51, any claim for attorney’s fees brought under that statute must be filed “not more than thirty days after the entry of final judgment in a civil action or appeal.” O.R.C. § 2323.51. Since more than thirty days have passed since the final judgment in each of the underlying state court foreclosure actions, the claims brought under that Section are not timely and must be dismissed. The Court, therefore, GRANTS the Defendant’s motion to dismiss this claim.

IV. Conclusion

For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS the Defendant’s motion to dismiss Counts 2, 3, 4, and 6 of the complaint against all Plaintiffs and Count 1 of the complaint as to Plaintiffs James and Kelly Unger; the Court DENIES the Defendant’s motion to dismiss Count 1 of the complaint as to Plaintiffs Tamara Turner, Phillip Turner, and Mary Sweeney and Count 5 of the complaint as to all Plaintiffs.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

[1] As a preliminary matter, the Court finds that the Defendant is a “debt collector” under FDCPA. The Supreme Court has held that the FDCPA “applies to attorneys who `regularly’ engage in consumer-debt-collection activity, even when that activity consists of litigation.” Heintz v. Jenkins, 514 U.S. 291, 299 (1995). Under the FDCPA, a “debt collector” is “any person who uses any instrum entality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principle purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or assessed to be owed or due to another.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6) (emphasis added).

[2] The sections of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e at issue provide in relevant part:

§ 1692e. False or misleading representations

A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(2) The false representation of — (A) the character, am ount, or legal status of any debt; or . . .

(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken . . .

(10) The use of any false representations or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.

[3] The relevant sections of 15 U.S.C. § 1692f provide:

§ 1692f. Unfair practices

A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.

[4] See also Whittiker, 650 F. Supp.2d at 931 (holding that filing of foreclosure action while knowing that one lacks ability to prove ownership of debt is actionable under the FDCPA); Kline v. Mortgage Electronic Sec. Systems, 2010 WL 1133452, at *8 (S.D. Ohio, Mar. 22, 2010) (holding that an inability to prove a debt at the time of filing a collection lawsuit does not violate the FDCPA, but stating suing in court with false attachments in an attempt to prove debt would violate the FDCPA.); Williams v. Javitch, Block & Rathbone, LLP, 480 F. Supp.2d 1016 (S.D. Ohio 2007) (knowledge that information in affidavit is false as to specifics of debt violates FDCPA).

[5] The Court also notes that it concurs with the thoughtful analysis set forth in Hartman v. Asset Acceptance Corp., in which that court found that the common law immunity for statements and pleadings made in court is abrogated by the FDCPA. 467 F. Supp.2d 769 (S.D. Ohio 2004).

[6] As this case will proceed, this Court has authority to consider a motion to amend the complaint to reassert this claim if plaintiffs can more specifically allege a cause of action. Rule 54(b) provides:

“When an action presents more than one claim for relief []the court may direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more, but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay. Otherwise, any order or other decision, however designated, that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not end the action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties’ rights and liabilities.

[7] The Court need not yet consider whether a class action under Chapter 1345 may be validly brought. This issue may more appropriately be resolved in a motion for class certification.

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



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OHIO CLASS ACTION: FMR AG Files Class Action Against Law Firm TURNER v. Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss (“LS&R”)

OHIO CLASS ACTION: FMR AG Files Class Action Against Law Firm TURNER v. Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss (“LS&R”)


CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
PURSUANT TO RULE 23 OF THE
OHIO RULES OF CIVIL
PROCEDURE, FAIR DEBT
COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT,
SLANDER OF CREDIT, ABUSE OF
PROCESS AND MALICIOUS
PROSECUTION

continue to complaint…

[ipaper docId=46328230 access_key=key-1fd5zsqadjyv4681toq height=600 width=600 /]

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



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Unit of DJSP Enters into Forebearance Agreement With Bank of America

Unit of DJSP Enters into Forebearance Agreement With Bank of America


Stern’s DAL Enters Forbearance Agreement With Bank of America Over Credit

A business run by David Stern, the Florida foreclosure lawyer who is under investigation by the state’s attorney general, entered a forbearance agreement with lender Bank of America NA.

The bank agreed not to take action in the period ending Nov. 26 over a default on a revolving line of credit by DAL Group LLC, a unit of Stern’s foreclosure-processing company, DJSP Enterprises Inc., according to a regulatory filing. The credit line, entered into in March, has an outstanding principal balance of about $12 million, DAL said.

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



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Homebuyer tax credit: 950,000 must repay

Homebuyer tax credit: 950,000 must repay


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading…YAHOO

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



Posted in Bank Owned, breach of contract, conflict of interest, FHA, foreclosure, foreclosures, mortgage, note, Real EstateComments (0)

Basel II Overview: Basel II framework that sets capital requirements for banks.

Basel II Overview: Basel II framework that sets capital requirements for banks.


Basel II Summary – What is Important to Know About the Basel II Framework By George J Lekatis

What is Basel II? Who is behind it? Who has developed it? Is it an international law? Do we have to comply? Who has to comply? May I have a Basel II Summary? These are very important questions, and it is good to start from their answers.

The Basel II Framework (the official name is “International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards: a Revised Framework”) is a new set of international standards and best practices that define the minimum capital requirements for internationally active banks. Banks have to maintain a minimum level of capital, to ensure that they can meet their obligations, they can cover unexpected losses, and can promote public confidence (which is of paramount importance for the international banking system).

Banks like to invest their money, not keep them for future risks. Regulatory capital (the minimum capital required) is an obligation. A low level of capital is a threat for the banking system itself: Banks may fail, depositors may lose their money, or they may not trust banks any more. This framework establishes an international minimum standard.

Basel II will be applied on a consolidated basis (combining the bank’s activities in the home country and in the host countries).

The framework has been developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), which is a committee in the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the world’s oldest international financial organization (established on 17 May 1930).

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision was established by the G10 (Group of Ten countries) in 1974. These 10 countries (have become 11) are the rich and developed countries: Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The G10 were behind the development of the previous (Basel i) framework, and now they have endorsed the new Basel II set of papers (the main paper and the many explanatory papers). Only banks in the G10 countries have to implement the framework, but more than 100 countries have volunteered to adopt these principles, or to take these principles into account, and use them as the basis for their national rulemaking process.

Basel i was not risk sensitive. All loans given to corporate borrowers were subject to the same capital requirement, without taking into account the ability of the counterparties to repay. We ignored the credit rating, the credit history, the risk management and the corporate governance structure of all corporate borrowers. They were all the same: Private corporations.

Basel II is much more risk sensitive, as it is aligning capital requirements to the risks of loss. Better risk management in a bank means that the bank may be able to allocate less regulatory capital.

In Basel II we have three Pillars:

Pillar 1 has to do with the calculation of the minimum capital requirements. There are different approaches:

The standardized approach to credit risk: Banks rely on external measures of credit risk (like the credit rating agencies) to assess the credit quality of their borrowers.

The Internal Ratings-Based (IRB) approaches too credit risk: Banks rely partly or fully on their own measures of a counterparty’s credit risk, and determine their capital requirements using internal models.

Banks have to allocate capital to cover the Operational Risk (risk of loss because of errors, fraud, disruption of IT systems, external events, litigation etc.). This can be a difficult exercise.

The Basic Indicator Approach links the capital charge to the gross income of the bank. In the Standardized Approach, we split the bank into 7 business lines, and we have 7 different capital allocations, one per business line. The Advanced Measurement Approaches are based on internal models and years of loss experience.

Pillar 2 covers the Supervisory Review Process. It describes the principles for effective supervision.

Supervisors have the obligation to evaluate the activities, corporate governance, risk management and risk profiles of banks to determine whether they have to change or to allocate more capital for their risks (called Pillar 2 capital).

Pillar 3 covers transparency and the obligation of banks to disclose meaningful information to all stakeholders. Clients and shareholders should have a sufficient understanding of the activities of banks, and the way they manage their risks.

Here is a simple video to follow: By bionicturtledotcom

Quick overview of Basel II framework that sets capital requirements for banks. Three pillars contains the rules & support (supervisor review, market discipline) that say how much eligible regulatory capital must be held against risk-weighted assets.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2kGYUP7Vro]

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