Destroyed | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

Tag Archive | "destroyed"

Missing links in the chain of ownership lead to some foreclosure postings being challenged in Texas

Missing links in the chain of ownership lead to some foreclosure postings being challenged in Texas


MERS, LPS, MERS, LPS everywhere is MERS or LPS…

This involves Tywanna Thomas, who we all know worked for Lender Processing Services’ DocX. We learned a lot from the deposition of Cheryl Denise Thomas aka Tywanna’s Mother who also worked with her.

My San Antonio-

Ezequiel Martinez, a San Antonio real estate investor who helps homeowners avoid foreclosure, recently found himself in the same predicament as his clients.

Rather than simply fight to stop the foreclosure on his Live Oak investment home, Martinez filed suit against his lender, saying the mortgage should be voided because of phony loan documents and because he doesn’t think the bank can prove it owns the mortgage note.

If Martinez wins the case, he just might be done making mortgage payments on the house at 7502 Forest Fern.

“We’re not trying to get a free house,” he explained. “We’re trying to save the house from foreclosure fraud.”

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

SEC Bans Document Destruction After Whistleblower Cries Foul

SEC Bans Document Destruction After Whistleblower Cries Foul


Massive Collateral Damage has been done and in the age of having files held in electronic data, this is very disturbing.

Executive Gov-

The Securities and Exchange Commission has forbidden its employees from destroying investigative documents, as fallout spreads from a whistleblower’s recent claim that the agency has illegally destroyed thousands of preliminary investigation documents.

An SEC attorney alerted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) of the possible crimes in August. The whistleblower said the documents in question were “matters under inquiry,” including reviews of AIG, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Bernie Madoff.

[EXECUTIVE GOV]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

One More Reason to Shut the SEC and Start Over: William D. Cohan

One More Reason to Shut the SEC and Start Over: William D. Cohan


Bloomberg-

Thanks to Darcy Flynn, a longtime attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, we now have all the ammunition we need to do what should have been done years ago: terminate the SEC, with extreme prejudice, and in its place construct a new regulatory watchdog for Wall Street free of obvious conflicts of interest.

Flynn’s courage has almost been lost in all the recent apocalyptic talk of earthquakes and hurricanes, but a few weeks back he did something remarkable. After raising concerns internally at the SEC last year — and getting nowhere — Flynn went public and alleged in a formal whistleblower complaint that for at least 17 years the SEC “followed a policy of systematically destroying documents” related to what are known as Matters Under Investigation, or MUIs, most of which were focused on possibly illicit or illegal behavior at Wall Street firms. MUIs are the first step in investigating a case that may lead to a formal SEC inquiry.

[BLOOMBERG]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Document Shredding: Why SEC’s Defense Won’t Fly

Document Shredding: Why SEC’s Defense Won’t Fly


MATT TAIBBI-

Just a quick note about the “Shredded Justice” story, as I’ve had a couple of questions about some of the SEC’s responses to the story.

Several readers pointed to this story in which SEC spokesman John Nester said this:

“We do keep records of our MUI’s and they’re available to our investigators to learn about previous work on matters that have been reviewed.”

[ROLLINGSTONE]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

MATT TAIBBI: Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?

MATT TAIBBI: Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?


A whistleblower claims that over the past two decades, the agency has destroyed records of thousands of investigations, whitewashing the files of some of the nation’s worst financial criminals.

Rollingstone-

Imagine a world in which a man who is repeatedly investigated for a string of serious crimes, but never prosecuted, has his slate wiped clean every time the cops fail to make a case. No more Lifetime channel specials where the murderer is unveiled after police stumble upon past intrigues in some old file – “Hey, chief, didja know this guy had two wives die falling down the stairs?” No more burglary sprees cracked when some sharp cop sees the same name pop up in one too many witness statements. This is a different world, one far friendlier to lawbreakers, where even the suspicion of wrongdoing gets wiped from the record.

[ROLLINGSTONE]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

LETTER | SEC Destroys Over 9,000 Fraud Documents Involving Goldman Sachs, Madoff, Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Lehman, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo

LETTER | SEC Destroys Over 9,000 Fraud Documents Involving Goldman Sachs, Madoff, Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Lehman, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo


Market Watch-

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Securities and Exchange Commission may have destroyed documents and compromised enforcement cases involving activity at large banks and hedge funds during the height of the financial crisis in 2008, according to allegations made by a lawmaker on Wednesday.

[MARKET WATCH]

[ipaper docId=62540112 access_key=key-wotv5tiw8imq9xbpkk9 height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (2)

PBPOST | Surrogate signers” signed countless foreclosure documents – with someone else’ name

PBPOST | Surrogate signers” signed countless foreclosure documents – with someone else’ name


From the Palm Beach Post Christine Stapleton [link]

At Lender Processing Services workers who signed tens of thousands of sworn foreclosure affidavits with someone else’ name were called “surrogate signers”, according to Cheryl Denise Thomas, a former LPS worker who admitted to notarizing as many as 1,000 sworn affidavits daily – often without witnessing the signature.

Thomas said despite “raised eyebrows”  her supervisors never used the word “forge” and repeatedly told workers the practice of signing someone else’ name on a sworn affidavit was legal. Thomas detailed the company’s foreclosure document processing practices during a deposition in an Orange county foreclosure case on March 23.

[ipaper docId=51885547 access_key=key-2omhtmjy5z5l5nazqt36 height=600 width=600 /]

[image credit: I-Robot]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Deposition Transcript of DOCx, LPS CHERYL DENISE THOMAS

Deposition Transcript of DOCx, LPS CHERYL DENISE THOMAS


via: NakedCapitalism

Excerpts:

Beginning Pg. 33

that’s when they — well, upon us leaving
anyway, they took up our notary stamps and
everything and destroyed them. But I was
relieved of my duties once moved to
Gwinnett County.

Q. Who — who — I’m sorry, did I miss
that? Who destroyed those documents?

A. I can’t say exactly who destroyed
them. All I know is that Jeffrey
the supervisor in the signing room at that
times, he picked up everyone’s stamp, the
notaries’ stamps.

Q. He took your stamps?

A. He took our stamps. And — and
they were destroying them.

Q. How were they destroying them?

A. I don’t know how. He just said
they were picking up all the stamps, all
of the notary stamps. And they were going
to destroy them, because the company was
closing. And they were only suppose to be
used for that company.

Continue below…

[ipaper docId=51885547 access_key=key-2omhtmjy5z5l5nazqt36 height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

As We Were Saying, eMortgage Coming To Your Town?

As We Were Saying, eMortgage Coming To Your Town?


Come hungry…close a loan electronically within 15 minutes and with doughnuts. Not like it took any longer the paper route!

Providing all the ‘errors’ and ‘mistakes’ currently happening in foreclosure land, just hope your eNote/eMortgage doesn’t get deleted by accident.

via Housing Wire:

Harry Gardner, president of SigniaDocs, said the perfect infrastructure is one that manages all mortgage documents electronically, but the number of loans in the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems’ eRegistry is about 200,000, or “a small fraction of mortgages written in the last 10 years.”

“And by eMortgage, we mean truly paperless not some hybrid of some paper and some electronic documentation,” Gardener said. “Ten years ago, we were saying mainstream eMortgage documentation was three to five years away, and I’m happy to say that mainstream eMortgage documentation is now three to five years away.”

continue reading….  Housing Wire

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

eMortgages, eNotes …Get Ready For The No-DOC Zone

eMortgages, eNotes …Get Ready For The No-DOC Zone


For you to understand the plan the financial institutions have you need to grasp the following. Will MERS patterns continue? Imagine the price you will pay when these files are hacked or manipulated.

Everyone knows by now that MERS was ‘invented’ to keep costs low for the banks, reduce the risk of record-keeping errors and make it easier to keep track of loans for the banks not the borrowers. By these actions, not only has MERS eliminated crucial chain in title documents, has proven in many court cases to assign absolutely nothing because it had no power to negotiate the note but also eliminated an enormous amount of county revenues.

Last week SFF wrote about the latest invention planned to coexist with MERS called SmartSAFE, which will be used for creating, signing, storing, accessing and managing the lifecycle of electronic mortgage documents. According to Wave’s eSignSystems Executive VP Kelly Purcell, “Mortgages are sold several times throughout the life of a loan, and electronic mortgages address the problem of the ‘lost note,’ while improving efficiency in the process.”

This goes a step forward of what MERS can do today.

Will this process eliminate recording paper mortgages/deeds from county records? Eliminate fees that counties in trouble desperately need? THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS.

Still with me? Finally, according to CUinsight, a sample eNote in the form of a MRG Category 1 classified SMARTDoc, was successfully delivered to Xerox’s BlitzDocs eVault, a virtual repository that connects directly to the MERS® eRegistry and eDelivery systems, where it was electronically signed and registered.

Adding the finishing touches to permit MERS access to future eNotes? I say this is the master plan.

Looking forward to what MA John O’Brien, the Essex County register of deeds, NC Register of deeds Jeff Thigpen and NY Suffolk County, former county clerk Ed Romaine’s approach is after they read what they plan on doing to land records. If they thought it was limited to the elimination of recording fees for assignments of mortgage, they are mistaken.

Questions remain as to why replace something that has been working for so long? Why continue with MERS, a system which has failed in many ways? MERS is under investigation for fraud is it not? Why in a time where mortgage fraud is wide spread, will anyone even trust using electronic devices to manage possibly future trillions of dollars worth?

Say farewell to a tradition that has been here for well over 300 years. Eliminating ‘paper’ will put promissory notes and  mortgage related documents in great jeopardy. No computer system in the world is secure [PERIOD].

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

LQQK ‘MOM’, No paper, Lost Paper, Detroyed and Misfiled Paper…The Next Wave

LQQK ‘MOM’, No paper, Lost Paper, Detroyed and Misfiled Paper…The Next Wave


Before you go down to the “New Device” take a look back when THE FLORIDA BANKER’S ASSOCIATION ADMITTED THAT NOTES ARE DESTROYED:

This is a direct quote from the Florida Banker’s Association Comments to the Supreme Court of Florida files September 30, 2009:

“It is a reality of commerce that virtually all paper documents related to a note and mortgage are converted to electronic files almost immediately after the loan is closed. Individual loans, as electronic data, are compiled into portfolios which are transferred to the secondary market, frequently as mortgage-backed securities.

The reason “many firms file lost note counts as a standard alternative pleading in the complaint” is because the physical document was deliberately eliminated to avoid confusion immediately upon its conversion to an electronic file. See State Street Bank and Trust Company v. Lord, 851 So. 2d 790 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003). Electronic storage is almost universally acknowledged as safer, more efficient and less expensive than maintaining the originals in hard copy, which bears the concomitant costs of physical indexing, archiving and maintaining security. It is a standard in the industry and becoming the benchmark of modern efficiency across the spectrum of commerce—including the court system.”

Now if there is no issues surrounding what everyone is shouting from their roof tops, then why integrate a new software that was suppose to have been implemented already to “Improves Efficiency & Transparency of Electronic Mortgage Transactions” within MERS itself?

THEY KNOW THEY HAVE A PROBLEM!

Now from SYS-CON on SmartSAFE

“During the foreclosure crisis of the last few years we saw many instances where the original and subsequent paperwork was lost, destroyed or misfiled when loans were bought and sold,” commented Kelly Purcell, Executive Vice President for Wave’s eSignSystems division. “Mortgages are sold several times throughout the life of a loan, and electronic mortgages address the problem of the ‘lost note,’ while improving efficiency in the process.”

This will debut during next week’s MBA National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference and Expo 2011 (at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.).

Will this be the new system that will eventually take over MERS as MOM?

This one is both “Smart & Safe” <wink>


 

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

IL 7th Circuit Appeals Court: “WHERE’S THE NOTE” COGSWELL v. CITIFINANCIAL MORTGAGE

IL 7th Circuit Appeals Court: “WHERE’S THE NOTE” COGSWELL v. CITIFINANCIAL MORTGAGE


PATRICK L. COGSWELL and PATRICK M. O’FLAHERTY, doing business as THE PATRICK GROUP, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
CITIFINANCIAL MORTGAGE COMPANY, INCORPORATED, successor by merger to Associates Finance, Incorporated, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 08-2153.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

Argued April 15, 2009. Decided October 5, 2010.

Before FLAUM, RIPPLE, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.

SYKES, Circuit Judge.

CitiFinancial Mortgage assigned its interest in a mortgage to two investors—doing business as “The Patrick Group”—but never delivered the original or a copy of the underlying note. When The Patrick Group tried to foreclose on the mortgage in Illinois state court, its action was dismissed because it could not produce the note. After an unsuccessful appeal, The Patrick Group filed this breach-of-contract lawsuit against CitiFinancial. The suit was removed to federal court, and the district court granted summary judgment in favor of CitiFinancial.

We reverse. The district court based its summary-judgment decision primarily on a determination that CitiFinancial never agreed to deliver the note as part of the parties’ agreement to transfer the mortgage. But whether they agreed on this term is a question of fact, and The Patrick Group presented enough evidence from which a reasonable fact finder could conclude that it was a part of the parties’ agreement. The district court’s alternative basis for summary judgment—that CitiFinancial’s alleged breach did not cause The Patrick Group’s damages—was also erroneous. Under the circumstances of this case, the causation question should have been resolved in The Patrick Group’s favor as a matter of law; the state trial and appellate courts rejected The Patrick Group’s foreclosure action because without a copy of the note, it could not prove it was the holder of the debt the mortgage secured.

<SNIP>

In short, as a matter of law, The Patrick Group’s damages were caused by CitiFinancial’s failure to deliver an original or a copy of the note secured by the mortgage.[5] The open factual question is whether the parties’ agreement required CitiFinancial to do so, and on this the evidence is disputed. We therefore REVERSE the judgment of the district court and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Continue reading below…

COGSWELL v. CITIFINACIAL

[ipaper docId=44166834 access_key=key-260e6bvt95alp1yb56zb height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (2)

Testimony of Diane E. Thompson Before the Senate Banking, Housing Committee

Testimony of Diane E. Thompson Before the Senate Banking, Housing Committee


I was impressed with Mrs. Thompson and her knowledge. Excellent read with Mr. Levitin’s testimony.

Excerpts:

What robo-signing reveals is the contempt that servicers have long exhibited for rules, whether
the rules of court procedure flouted in the robo-signing scandal or the contract rules breached in
the common misapplication of payments or the rules for HAMP modifications, honored more
often in the breach than in reality. Servicers do not believe that the rules that apply to everyone
else apply to them. This lawless attitude, supported by financial incentives and too-often
tolerated by regulators, is the root cause of the robo-signing scandal, the failure of HAMP, and
the wrongful foreclosure of countless American families.

The falsification of judicial foreclosure documents is closely and directly tied to widespread
errors and maladministration of HAMP and non-HAMP modification programs, and the forcedplaced
insurance and escrow issues. Homeowners for decades have complained about servicer
abuses that pushed them into foreclosure without cause, stripped equity, and resulted, all too
often, in wrongful foreclosure. In recent months, investors have come to realize that servicers’
abuses strip wealth from investors as well.3 Unless and until servicers are held to account for
their behavior, we will continue to see fundamental flaws in mortgage servicing, with cascading
costs throughout our society. The lack of restraint on servicer abuses has created a moral hazard
juggernaut that at best prolongs and deepens the current foreclosure crisis and at worst threatens
our global economic security.

The current robo-signing scandal is a symptom of the flagrant disregard adopted by servicers as
to the basic legal and business conventions that govern most transactions. This flagrant
disregard has been carried through every aspect of servicer’s business model. Servicers rely on
extracting payments from borrowers as quickly and cheaply as possible; this model is at odds
with notions of due process, judicial integrity, or transparent financial accounting. The current
foreclosure crisis has exposed these inherent contradictions, but the failures and abuses are
neither new nor isolated. Solutions must include but go beyond addressing the affidavit and
ownership issues raised most recently. Those issues are merely symptoms of the core problem:
servicers’ failure to service loans, account for payments, limit fees to reasonable and necessary
ones, and provide loan modifications where appropriate and necessary to restore loans to
performing status.

Continue to the testimony below…

[ipaper docId=42936886 access_key=key-1uwm2jv8el3gfezslrfk height=600 width=600 /]

Diane E. Thompson, Of Counsel

Diane E. Thompson has represented low-income homeowners since 1994.  She currently works of counsel for the National Consumer Law Center.  From 1994 to 2007, Ms. Thompson represented individual low-income homeowners in East St. Louis at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.  While at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance, Ms. Thompson served as the Homeownership Specialist, providing assistance to casehandlers representing homeowners in 65 counties in downstate Illinois, and the Supervising Attorney of the Housing and Consumer unit of the East St. Louis office.  She has served on the boards of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council.  She was a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board from 2003-2005.  Between 1995 and 2001, Ms. Thompson served as corporate counsel to the largest private nonprofit affordable housing provider in the East St. Louis metropolitan area. She received her B.A. from Cornell University and her J.D. from New York University.

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

Highlights From The Testimony of Adam J. Levitin Before the Senate Banking, Housing Committee

Highlights From The Testimony of Adam J. Levitin Before the Senate Banking, Housing Committee


Watched the hearing yesterday and Mr. Levitin was extremely impressive!

Please watch the video for explosive info regarding securitization, “Nothing-Backed Securities”…transfers are void!

Sorry for the quality but was the best I could do.

.

———————————————————————–

.

Written Testimony of

Adam J. Levitin

Associate Professor of Law

Georgetown University Law Center
Before the
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

“Problems in Mortgage Servicing from Modification to Foreclosure”
November 16, 2010
2:30 pm

Excerpts:

A number of events over the past several months have roiled the mortgage world, raising
questions about:


(1) Whether there is widespread fraud in the foreclosure process;

(2) Securitization chain of title, namely whether the transfer of mortgages in the
securitization process was defective, rendering mortgage-backed securities into non-mortgagebacked
securities
;

(3) Whether the use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) creates
legal defects in either the secured status of a mortgage loan or in mortgage assignments;

(4) Whether mortgage servicers’ have defaulted on their servicing contracts by charging
predatory fees to borrowers that are ultimately paid by investors;

(5) Whether investors will be able to “putback” to banks securitized mortgages on the
basis of breaches of representations and warranties about the quality of the mortgages.
These issues are seemingly disparate and unconnected, other than that they all involve
mortgages. They are, however, connected by two common threads: the necessity of proving
standing in order to maintain a foreclosure action and the severe conflicts of interests between
mortgage servicers and MBS investors.

It is axiomatic that in order to bring a suit, like a foreclosure action, the plaintiff must
have legal standing, meaning it must have a direct interest in the outcome of the legislation. In
the case of a mortgage foreclosure, only the mortgagee has such an interest and thus standing.
Many of the issues relating to foreclosure fraud by mortgage servicers, ranging from more minor
procedural defects up to outright counterfeiting relate to the need to show standing. Thus
problems like false affidavits of indebtedness, false lost note affidavits, and false lost summons
affidavits, as well as backdated mortgage assignments, and wholly counterfeited notes,
mortgages, and assignments all relate to the evidentiary need to show that the entity bringing the
foreclosure action has standing to foreclose.

Concerns about securitization chain of title also go to the standing question; if the
mortgages were not properly transferred in the securitization process (including through the use
of MERS to record the mortgages), then the party bringing the foreclosure does not in fact own
the mortgage and therefore lacks standing to foreclose. If the mortgage was not properly
transferred, there are profound implications too for investors, as the mortgage-backed securities
they believed they had purchased would, in fact be non-mortgage-backed securities, which
would almost assuredly lead investors to demand that their investment contracts be rescinded,
thereby exacerbating the scale of mortgage putback claims.

[…]

Pay Close Attention To What He Says

[ipaper docId=42884106 access_key=key-4dwbkeca3hxlgeiw15x height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (4)

BLOOMBERG | No Breaks for Robo-signing Computer Stamping Mortgage Documents

BLOOMBERG | No Breaks for Robo-signing Computer Stamping Mortgage Documents


EXCELLENT JOB! Now this is what I am talking about…no affidavits…it’s the “assignments”, the destroyed notes, the Break in Chain, the E-Signatures, no supervision!

Bryan Bly is a pen-wielding “robo- signer” at Nationwide Title Clearing Inc., inking his name on an average 5,000 mortgage documents a day for companies such as Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Those are just the ones that cross his desk.

Nationwide Title employs a computer system that automatically inserts a copy of Bly’s signature on thousands of digital files that he never sees. The system even affixes an electronic notary seal.

“The problem with the way these documents are created isn’t because a computer is used,” said Gloria Einstein, a legal aid attorney in Green Cove Springs, Florida, who deposed Bly in a case in a which her client faces foreclosure by a unit of Deutsche Bank AG. “It’s because an enterprise has decided to use a computer to create a system where nobody is responsible for the information and the decisions.”

The rush to securitize more than $4 trillion of mortgages as U.S. home sales peaked in 2005 and 2006 inundated loan servicers and contractors like Palm Harbor, Florida-based Nationwide Title that help them handle paperwork. Lawsuits fighting some of the more than 4 million foreclosures since then have exposed sloppy recordkeeping and raised questions about the validity of documents used to seize properties.

Signatures Draw Scrutiny

Bly is just one of more than a dozen robo-signers deposed in the past two years by lawyers for borrowers seeking to block foreclosures. Spurred by descriptions in depositions of employees signing thousands of affidavits a week without checking their accuracy as legally required, the attorneys general in all 50 states last month opened an investigation into whether banks and loan servicers used faulty documents or improper practices to foreclose.

Nationwide Title, which has about 175 employees, provides document imaging, tracking, retrieval, recording and processing on bulk loan transfers for lenders, servicers and investors. It’s the largest third-party processor of mortgage assignments, handling more than 350,000 last year, Senior Vice President Jeremy Pomerantz said in a telephone interview. The company also prepares lien releases, which show that a mortgage has been paid off by the borrower.

Assignments, which are usually recorded with county land record departments, list the buyer and seller of a loan as it’s sold or packaged with other loans into a mortgage-backed security. Lawyers for homeowners are challenging the legitimacy of the documents, which are relied on by lenders to show they have the right to foreclose.

Batches of 30,000

(While closely held Nationwide Title in the past offered a package of foreclosure-specific services, it had just one client, Pomerantz said. The company doesn’t handle foreclosure affidavits — submitted by banks to assert ownership of a loan when they’ve lost the promissory note or to show that borrowers are in default — and often it doesn’t know when clients are requesting documents for defaulted loans, he said.)

Nationwide Title’s proprietary system isn’t entirely automated, said Erika Lance, senior vice president of administration. Employees receive requests from clients for lien releases and mortgage assignments, which are often sent in batches of as many as 30,000. They review the information and images of loan documents sent along with the request, and the information is keyed into the computer system.

The computer system fills in the electronic assignments in the format and wording each county requires, and places a signature and notary seal from a list of employees approved by each bank. Bly and other signers are given a title at the bank requesting the documents, such as “vice president” or “assistant secretary,” depending on what the individual counties require, Lance said.

Laws Catching Up

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (6)

Judge Bufford, Judge Ayers, MERS & The UCC Committee

Judge Bufford, Judge Ayers, MERS & The UCC Committee


UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE COMMITTEE

WHERE’S THE NOTE, WHO’S THE HOLDER: ENFORCEMENT OF PROMISSORY NOTE SECURED BY REAL ESTATE

HON. SAMUEL L. BUFFORD
UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY JUDGE
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

(FORMERLY HON.) R. GLEN AYERS
LANGLEY & BANACK
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTUTUTE
APRIL 3, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C.

WHERE’S THE NOTE, WHO’S THE HOLDER

INTRODUCTION

In an era where a very large portion of mortgage obligations have been securitized, by assignment to a trust indenture trustee, with the resulting pool of assets being then sold as mortgage backed securities, foreclosure becomes an interesting exercise, particularly where judicial process is involved.  We are all familiar with the securitization process.  The steps, if not the process, is simple.  A borrower goes to a mortgage lender.  The lender finances the purchase of real estate.  The borrower signs a note and mortgage or deed of trust.  The original lender sells the note and assigns the mortgage to an entity that securitizes the note by combining the note with hundreds or thousands of similar obligation to create a package of mortgage backed securities, which are then sold to investors.

Unfortunately, unless you represent borrowers, the vast flow of notes into the maw of the securitization industry meant that a lot of mistakes were made.  When the borrower defaults, the party seeking to enforce the obligation and foreclose on the underlying collateral sometimes cannot find the note.  A lawyer sophisticated in this area has speculated to one of the authors that perhaps a third of the notes “securitized” have been lost or destroyed.  The cases we are going to look at reflect the stark fact that the unnamed source’s speculation may be well-founded.

UCC SECTION 3-309

If the issue were as simple as a missing note, UCC §3-309 would provide a simple solution.  A person entitled to enforce an instrument which has been lost, destroyed or stolen may enforce the instrument. If the court is concerned that some third party may show up and attempt to enforce the instrument against the payee, it may order adequate protection.  But, and however, a person seeking to enforce a missing instrument must be a person entitled to enforce the instrument, and that person must prove the instrument’s terms and that person’s right to enforce the instrument.  §3-309 (a)(1) & (b).

WHO’S THE HOLDER

Enforcement of a note always requires that the person seeking to collect show that it is the holder.  A holder is an entity that has acquired the note either as the original payor or transfer by endorsement of order paper or physical possession of bearer paper.  These requirements are set out in Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been adopted in every state, including Louisiana, and in the District of Columbia.  Even in bankruptcy proceedings, State substantive law controls the rights of note and lien holders, as the Supreme Court pointed out almost forty (40) years ago in United States v. Butner, 440 U.S. 48, 54-55 (1979).

However, as Judge Bufford has recently illustrated, in one of the cases discussed below, in the bankruptcy and other federal courts, procedure is governed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy and Civil Procedure.  And, procedure may just have an impact on the issue of “who,” because, if the holder is unknown, pleading and standing issues arise.

BRIEF REVIEW OF UCC PROVISIONS

Article 3 governs negotiable instruments – it defines what a negotiable instrument is and defines how ownership of those pieces of paper is transferred.  For the precise definition, see § 3-104(a) (“an unconditional promise or order to pay a fixed amount of money, with or without interest . . . .”)  The instrument may be either payable to order or bearer and payable on demand or at a definite time, with or without interest.

Ordinary negotiable instruments include notes and drafts (a check is a draft drawn on a bank).  See § 3-104(e).

Negotiable paper is transferred from the original payor by negotiation.  §3-301.  “Order paper” must be endorsed; bearer paper need only be delivered.  §3-305.  However, in either case, for the note to be enforced, the person who asserts the status of the holder must be in possession of the instrument.  See UCC § 1-201 (20) and comments.

The original and subsequent transferees are referred to as holders.  Holders who take with no notice of defect or default are called “holders in due course,” and take free of many defenses.  See §§ 3-305(b).

The UCC says that a payment to a party “entitled to enforce the instrument” is sufficient to extinguish the obligation of the person obligated on the instrument.  Clearly, then, only a holder – a person in possession of a note endorsed to it or a holder of bearer paper – may seek satisfaction or enforce rights in collateral such as real estate.

NOTE:  Those of us who went through the bank and savings and loan collapse of the 1980’s are familiar with these problems.  The FDIC/FSLIC/RTC sold millions of notes secured and unsecured, in bulk transactions.  Some notes could not be found and enforcement sometimes became a problem.  Of course, sometimes we are forced to repeat history.  For a recent FDIC case, see Liberty Savings Bank v. Redus, 2009 WL 41857 (Ohio App. 8 Dist.), January 8, 2009.

THE RULES

Judge Bufford addressed the rules issue this past year.  See In re Hwang, 396 B.R. 757  (Bankr. C. D. Cal. 2008).  First, there are the pleading problems that arise when the holder of the note is unknown.  Typically, the issue will arise in a motion for relief from stay in a bankruptcy proceeding.

According F.R.Civ. Pro. 17, “[a]n action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest.”  This rule is incorporated into the rules governing bankruptcy procedure in several ways.  As Judge Bufford has pointed out, for example, in a motion for relief from stay, filed under F.R.Bankr.Pro. 4001 is a contested matter, governed by F. R. Bankr. P. 9014, which makes F.R. Bankr. Pro. 7017 applicable to such motions.  F.R. Bankr. P. 7017 is, of course, a restatement of F.R. Civ. P. 17.  In re Hwang, 396 B.R. at 766.  The real party in interest in a federal action to enforce a note, whether in bankruptcy court or federal district court, is the owner of a note.  (In securitization transactions, this would be the trustee for the “certificate holders.”) When the actual holder of the note is unknown, it is impossible – not difficult but impossible – to plead a cause of action in a federal court (unless the movant simply lies about the ownership of the note).  Unless the name of the actual note holder can be stated, the very pleadings are defective.

STANDING

Often, the servicing agent for the loan will appear to enforce the note.   Assume that the servicing agent states that it is the authorized agent of the note holder, which is “Trust Number 99.”   The servicing agent is certainly a party in interest, since a party in interest in a bankruptcy court is a very broad term or concept.  See, e.g., Greer v. O’Dell, 305 F.3d 1297, 1302-03 (11th Cir. 2002).  However, the servicing agent may not have standing: “Federal Courts have only the power authorized by Article III of the Constitutions and the statutes enacted by Congress pursuant thereto. … [A] plaintiff must have Constitutional standing in order for a federal court to have jurisdiction.”  In re Foreclosure Cases, 521 F.Supp. 3d 650, 653 (S.D. Ohio, 2007) (citations omitted).

But, the servicing agent does not have standing, for only a person who is the holder of the note has standing to enforce the note.  See, e.g., In re Hwang, 2008 WL 4899273 at 8.

The servicing agent may have standing if acting as an agent for the holder, assuming that the agent can both show agency status and that the principle is the holder.  See, e.g., In re Vargas, 396 B.R. 511 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008) at 520.

A BRIEF ASIDE: WHO IS MERS?

For those of you who are not familiar with the entity known as MERS, a frequent participant in these foreclosure proceedings:

MERS is the “Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc.  “MERS is a mortgage banking ‘utility’ that registers mortgage loans in a book entry system so that … real estate loans can be bought, sold and securitized, just like Wall Street’s book entry utility for stocks and bonds is the Depository Trust and Clearinghouse.” Bastian, “Foreclosure Forms”, State. Bar of Texas 17th Annual Advanced Real Estate Drafting Course, March 9-10, 2007, Dallas, Texas. MERS is enormous.  It originates thousands of loans daily and is the mortgagee of record for at least 40 million mortgages and other security documents. Id.

MERS acts as agent for the owner of the note.  Its authority to act should be shown by an agency agreement.  Of course, if the owner is unknown, MERS cannot show that it is an authorized agent of  the owner.

RULES OF EVIDENCE – A PRACTICAL PROBLEM

This structure also possesses practical evidentiary problems where the party asserting a right to foreclose must be able to show a default.  Once again, Judge Bufford has addressed this issue.   At In re Vargas, 396 B.R. at 517-19.  Judge Bufford made a finding that the witness called to testify as to debt and default was incompetent.  All the witness could testify was that he had looked at the MERS computerized records.  The witness was unable to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Rules of Evidence, particularly Rule 803, as applied to computerized records in the Ninth Circuit.  See id. at 517-20.  The low level employee could really only testify that the MERS screen shot he reviewed reflected a default.  That really is not much in the way of evidence, and not nearly enough to get around the hearsay rule.

FORECLOSURE OR RELIEF FROM STAY

In a foreclosure proceeding in a judicial foreclosure state, or a request for injunctive relief in a non-judicial foreclosure state, or in a motion for relief proceeding in a bankruptcy court, the courts are dealing with and writing about the problems very frequently.

In many if not almost all cases, the party seeking to exercise the rights of the creditor will be a servicing company.  Servicing companies will be asserting the rights of their alleged principal, the note holder, which is, again, often going to be a trustee for a securitization package.  The mortgage holder or beneficiary under the deed of trust will, again, very often be MERS.

Even before reaching the practical problem of debt and default, mentioned above, the moving party must show that it holds the note or (1) that it is an agent of the holder and that (2) the holder remains the holder.  In addition, the owner of the note, if different from the holder, must join in the motion.

Some states, like Texas, have passed statutes that allow servicing companies to act in foreclosure proceedings as a statutorily recognized agent of the noteholder.  See, e.g., Tex. Prop. Code §51.0001.  However, that statute refers to the servicer as the last entity to whom the debtor has been instructed to make payments.  This status is certainly open to challenge.  The statute certainly provides nothing more than prima facie evidence of the ability of the servicer to act.   If challenged, the servicing agent must show that the last entity to communicate instructions to the debtor is still the holder of the note.  See, e.g., HSBC Bank, N.A. v. Valentin, 2l N.Y.  Misc. 3d 1123(A), 2008 WL 4764816 (Table) (N.Y. Sup.), Nov. 3, 2008.  In addition, such a statute does not control in federal court where Fed. R. Civ. P. 17 and 19 (and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7017 and 7019) apply.

SOME RECENT CASE LAW

These cases are arranged by state, for no particular reason.

Massachusetts

In re Schwartz, 366 B.R.265 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2007)

Schwartz concerns a Motion for Relief to pursue an eviction. Movant asserted that the property had been foreclosed upon prior to the date of the bankruptcy petition.  The pro se debtor asserted that the Movant was required to show that it had authority to conduct the sale.  Movant, and “the party which appears to be the current mortgagee…” provided documents for the court to review, but did not ask for an evidentiary hearing.  Judge Rosenthal sifted through the documents and found that the Movant and the current mortgagee had failed to prove that the foreclosure was properly conducted.

Specifically, Judge Rosenthal found that there was no evidence of a proper assignment of the mortgage prior to foreclosure.  However, at footnote 5, Id. at 268, the Court also finds that there is no evidence that the note itself was assigned and no evidence as to who the current holder might be.

Nosek v. Ameriquest Mortgage Company (In re Nosek), 286 Br. 374 (Bankr D Mass. 2008).

Almost a year to the day after Schwartz was signed, Judge Rosenthal issued a second opinion.  This is an opinion on an order to show cause.  Judge Rosenthal specifically found that, although the note and mortgage involved in the case had been transferred from the originator to another party within five days of closing, during the five years in which the chapter 13 proceeding was pending, the note and mortgage and associated claims had been prosecuted by Ameriquest which has represented itself to be the holder of the note and the mortgage.  Not until September of 2007 did Ameriquest notify the Court that it was merely the servicer.  In fact, only after the chapter 13 bankruptcy had been pending for about three years was there even an assignment of the servicing rights.  Id. at 378.

Because these misrepresentations were not simple mistakes:  as the Court has noted on more than one occasion, those parties who do not hold the note of mortgage do not service the mortgage do not have standing to pursue motions for leave or other actions arising form the mortgage obligation.  Id at 380.

As a result, the Court sanctioned the local law firm that had been prosecuting the claim $25,000.  It sanctioned a partner at that firm an additional $25,000.  Then the Court sanctioned the national law firm involved $100,000 and ultimately sanctioned Wells Fargo $250,000.  Id. at 382-386.

In re Hayes, 393 B.R. 259 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2008).

Like Judge Rosenthal, Judge Feeney has attacked the problem of standing and authority head on.  She has also held that standing must be established before either a claim can be allowed or a motion for relief be granted.

Ohio

In re Foreclosure Cases, 521 F.Supp. 2d (S.D. Ohio 2007).

Perhaps the District Court’s orders in the foreclosure cases in Ohio have received the most press of any of these opinions.  Relying almost exclusively on standing, the Judge Rose has determined that a foreclosing party must show standing.  “[I]n a foreclosure action, the plaintiff must show that it is the holder of the note and the mortgage at the time that the complaint was filed.”  Id. at 653.

Judge Rose instructed the parties involved that the willful failure of the movants to comply with the general orders of the Court would in the future result in immediate dismissal of foreclosure actions.

Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Steele, 2008 WL 111227 (S.D. Ohio) January 8, 2008.

In Steele, Judge Abel followed the lead of Judge Rose and found that Deutsche Bank had filed evidence in support of its motion for default judgment indicating that MERS was the mortgage holder.  There was not sufficient evidence to support the claim that Deutsche Bank was the owner and holder of the note as of that date.  Following In re Foreclosure Cases, 2007 WL 456586, the Court held that summary judgment would be denied “until such time as Deutsche Bank was able to offer evidence showing, by a preponderance of evidence, that it owned the note and mortgage when the complaint was filed.”  2008 WL 111227 at 2.  Deutsche Bank was given twenty-one days to comply.  Id.

Illinois

U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Cook, 2009 WL 35286 (N.D. Ill. January 6, 2009).

Not all federal district judges are as concerned with the issues surrounding the transfer of notes and mortgages.  CookId. at 3.  In fact, a review of the evidence submitted by U.S. Bank showed only that it was the alleged trustee of the securitization pool.  U.S. Bank relied exclusively on the “pooling and serving agreement” to show that it was the holder of the note.  Id. is a very pro lender case and, in an order granting a motion for summary judgment, the Court found that Cook had shown no “countervailing evidence to create a genuine issue of facts.”

Under UCC Article 3, the evidence presented in Cook was clearly insufficient.

New York

HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Valentin, 21 Misc. 3D 1124(A), 2008 WL 4764816 (Table) (N.Y. Sup.) November 3, 2008.  In Valentin, the New York court found that, even though given an opportunity to, HSBC did not show the ownership of debt and mortgage.  The complaint was dismissed with prejudice and the “notice of pendency” against the property was cancelled.

Note that the Valentin case does not involve some sort of ambush. The Court gave every HSBC every opportunity to cure the defects the Court perceived in the pleadings.

California

In re Vargas, 396 B.R. 511 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008)

and

In re Hwang, 396 B.R. 757 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008)

These two opinions by Judge Bufford have been discussed above.  Judge Bufford carefully explores the related issues of standing and ownership under both federal and California law.

Texas

In re Parsley, 384 B.R. 138 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2008)

and

In re Gilbreath, 395 B.R. 356 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2008)

These two recent opinions by Judge Jeff Bohm are not really on point, but illustrate another thread of cases running through the issues of motions for relief from stay in bankruptcy court and the sloppiness of loan servicing agencies.  Both of these cases involve motions for relief that were not based upon fact but upon mistakes by servicing agencies.  Both opinions deal with the issue of sanctions and, put simply, both cases illustrate that Judge Bohm (and perhaps other members of the bankruptcy bench in the Southern District of Texas) are going to be very strict about motions for relief in consumer cases.

SUMMARY

The cases cited illustrate enormous problems in the loan servicing industry.  These problems arise in the context of securitization and illustrate the difficulty of determining the name of the holder, the assignee of the mortgage, and the parties with both the legal right under Article 3 and the standing under the Constitution to enforce notes, whether in state court or federal court.

Interestingly, with the exception of Judge Bufford and a few other judges, there has been less than adequate focus upon the UCC title issues.  The next round of cases may and should focus upon the title to debt instrument.  The person seeking to enforce the note must show that:

(1)               It is the holder of this note original by transfer, with all necessary rounds;

(2)               It had possession of the note before it was lost;

(3)               If it can show that title to the note runs to it, but the original is lost or destroyed, the holder must be          prepared to post a bond;

(4)               If the person seeking to enforce is an agent, it must show its agency status and that its principal is the holder of the note (and meets the above requirements).

Then, and only then, do the issues of evidence of debt and default and assignment of mortgage rights become relevant.


MORE INFO LINK

UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE AND NOTE TRANSFERS AND DEED OF TRUST-1


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



Posted in conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deed of trust, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, Judge R. Glen Ayers, judge samuel bufford, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., note, rmbs, securitization, servicers, trustee, Trusts, ucc, uniform commercial code committeeComments (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