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U.S. 3rd Circuit Court Of Appeals “FDCPA, CLASS ACTION” ALLEN v. LASALLE, FEIN, SUCH, KAHN AND SHEPARD, PC

U.S. 3rd Circuit Court Of Appeals “FDCPA, CLASS ACTION” ALLEN v. LASALLE, FEIN, SUCH, KAHN AND SHEPARD, PC


DOROTHY RHUE ALLEN,
v.
LASALLE BANK, N.A; CENLAR FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK FSB; FEIN, SUCH, KAHN AND SHEPARD, PC;

No. 09-1466.

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

Argued September 14, 2010.

Filed: January 12, 2011.

Lewis G. Adler (Argued), Woodbury, N.J. 08096, Roger C. Mattson, Woodbury, N.J. 08096, Attorneys for Appellant.

Andrew C. Sayles (Argued) Gregory E. Peterson, Connell Foley, Roseland, N.J. 08068, Attorneys for Appellee Fein, Such, Kahn and Shepard, P.C.

Daniel C. Green, Vedder Price, New York, N.Y. 10019, Chad A. Schiefelbein (Argued), Vedder Price, Chicago, IL 60601, Attorneys for Appellee LaSalle Bank.

Gregory A. Lomax, Christopher L. Soriano, Morgan J. Zucker, Duane Morris, Cherry Hill, N.J. 08003, Attorneys for Appellee Cenlar Federal Savings Bank.

Before: SLOVITER, BARRY, and SMITH Circuit Judges.

OPINION OF THE COURT
SLOVITER, Circuit Judge.
This appeal presents the question whether a communication from a debt collector to a consumer’s attorney is actionable under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692f(1).
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[NYSC] NY JUDGE DENIES 42 FORECLOSURE CASES “HAMP, AFFIDAVIT” ISSUES

[NYSC] NY JUDGE DENIES 42 FORECLOSURE CASES “HAMP, AFFIDAVIT” ISSUES


EXCERPT:

In submitting any future orders of reference said application shall include an affidavit from plaintiff indicating whether this loan is subject to a H.A.M.P. review and whether plaintiff is or is not prevented from proceeding with the instant foreclosure by reason of any applicable federal H.A.M.P. directives.

Read each below as some are worded differently…

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NEW JERSEY NOTICE TO THE BAR

NEW JERSEY NOTICE TO THE BAR


RE: Emergent Amendments to Rules 1:5-6, 4:64-1 and 4:64-2

In light of irregularities in the residential foreclosure practice as reported in sworn deposition testimony in New Jersey and other states, the Court has adopted, on an emergent basis, amendments to Rules 1:5-6, 4:64-1 and 4:64-2. These amendments are effective December 20, 2010. The new rule and the amendments, along with the Order adopting them, appear with this notice. The Court’s Order also contains directions for counsel in pending uncontested residential foreclosure cases.

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Mortgage Fraud…Ally Financial (GMAC), Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan, OneWest, Wells Fargo: By Lynn Szymoniak, Esq.

Mortgage Fraud…Ally Financial (GMAC), Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan, OneWest, Wells Fargo: By Lynn Szymoniak, Esq.


Mortgage Fraud

Ally Financial/GMAC
Bank of America

Citibank

JP Morgan Chase

OneWest Bank

Wells Fargo Bank

Action Date: December 20, 2010
Location: Mercer County, NJ

New Jersey State Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner entered an order To Show Cause “In The Matter of Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Pleadings and Document Irregularities” in Civil Action No. F-059553-10, Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, General Equity Part, Mercer County on December 20, 2010. Six mortgage servicing companies and their bank-owners were ordered to show cause why the Court should not suspend their rights to foreclose.

First on the list was Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC. Ally/GMAC is the employer of Jeffrey Stephan who was exposed as one of many “robo-signers” – a phrase indicating that an employee signed thousands of documents used in foreclosure cases with no idea of the truth of the matters asserted in the documents, and more often than not, without even having read what was signed.

Stephan signed thousands of Affidavits, but he signed tens of thousands of Mortgage Assignments – the documents used by mortgage-backed trusts to show that the trusts acquired the mortgages at issue and have the right to foreclose.

Stephan signed these Mortgage Assignments for many different mortgage-backed trusts. Over 50 RALI (Residential Accredit Loans, Inc.) Trusts relied almost exclusively on Mortgage Assignments signed by Stephan. Over 44 RAMP (Residential Asset Mortgage Products) Trusts also used Assignments churned out by Stephan. At least 20 RASC (Residential Asset Securities Corp.) Trusts used Stephan assignments almost exclusively in foreclosures. At least 40 other mortgage-backed trusts, including certain Aames Mortgage Investment Trusts, certain Bear Stearns Trusts and certain Harborview Trusts all relied on Ally/GMAC’s Stephan for proof of their right to foreclose.

These trusts needed the Stephan-made assignments because the trusts’ depositors, sponsors, trustees and document custodians failed to obtain the critical documents, including notes and assignments, at the inception of the trust – despite promises to investors and regulators that these documents had been obtained and were being safeguarded.

In Florida, Stephan’s name appears on thousands of Mortgage Assignments, most often on documents prepared by the Law Offices of David Stern, who is under investigation by the Florida Attorney General. In almost every case, Stephans signed as a Vice President of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems.

According to the Stephan documents, the trusts almost always acquired these mortgages AFTER they were already in default, and often AFTER foreclosure proceedings had been initiated.

Many different banks, in their capacity as Trustees for mortgage-backed trusts, used Stephan Assignments, but Stephan documents were most often used by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, Bank of NY Mellon and U.S. Bank.

Assuming that each trust has mortgage loans with a face value of one billion dollars – and that over 200 trusts are involved, the amount in controversy is staggering.

Also disturbing is the number of Assignments on Stephan/Stern documents where the assignee trust is unidentified. The Stephan/Stern team repeatedly prepared and filed Assignments where only the Trustees – and not the trusts themselves – were identified as the new owners of the mortgages. “U.S. Bank as Trustee” and “Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas as Trustee” are the new owners of thousands of mortgages.

Stephan often wrongly stated his own job title, the date the assignment to the trusts took place, and the identity of the trusts. Stephan’s conduct – and the documents he produced – will not stand up to the most superficial examination. Chief Justice Rabner seems determined to dig much deeper.

The other five companies named by Chief Justice Rabner have the very same problems, having produced hundreds of thousands of flawed loan documents for mortgage-backed trusts, signed by individuals with very limited knowledge or authority. Their role was to sign their names without questioning or understanding what they signed.

According to Chief Justice Rabner, the next step may be the Appointment of a Special Master “to inquire into and report to the court on the extent of irregularities concerning affidavits, certifications, assignments and other documents from time to time filed with the court in residential mortgage foreclosure actions…” Past and present business practices would be examined and the Master could also consider whether sanctions should be imposed…and a suggested formula to determine an appropriate sanction.”

By his Order, Chief Justice Rabner gave hope to hundreds of thousands of victims of fraud by securities companies, banks, mortgage companies and mortgage servicing companies.

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READ JUDGE ORDER: New Jersey Court May Order Foreclosure Freeze

READ JUDGE ORDER: New Jersey Court May Order Foreclosure Freeze


EXCERPT:

The nature of the problem calls for a balancing of the court’s supervisory and adjudicatory roles and responsibilities. The court has therefore established the procedure in this Order to address the pressing needs of the Office of Foreclosure while providing due process to affected parties. The court will direct that the six Foreclosure Plaintiff’s named on this order show cause at a hearing scheduled for January 19, 2011, why the court should not suspend the processing of all foreclosures matters involving the six Foreclosure Plaintiffs and appoint Special Masters to review their past and proposed foreclosure practices.

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MIND-BLOWING!! NY JUDGE DENIES 127 FORECLOSURES PURSUANT TO ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS FROM CHIEF JUDGE, ROBO SIGNING

MIND-BLOWING!! NY JUDGE DENIES 127 FORECLOSURES PURSUANT TO ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS FROM CHIEF JUDGE, ROBO SIGNING


JUDGE COHALAN IS JUDGE OF THE WEEK!!!

“Issues”…Nah no “issues”? If this isn’t sending us a message or 127 messages that there aren’t any “issues”… Let them continue to submit exactly what they were filing before the *New Rule*… don’t stop now! Believe me there is more than these!

EXCERPT:

Pursuant to an Administrative Order of the Chief Judge, dated October 20, 2010, all residential mortgage foreclosure actions require an affirmation from the attorney representing the plaintiff/lender/bank, as stated in the affirmation attached to this order, that he/she has inspected all documents.

The plaintiff is also directed on any future application to provide a copy of this Court’s order, the prior application/motion papers and an updated affidavit of regularity/merit from the plaintiff/lender/bank’s representative that he/she has reviewed the file in this case and that he/she documents that all paperwork is correct. The plaintiff/lender/bank’s representative shall also provide in said affidavit of regularity her/his position, length of service, training, educational background and a listing of the documents and financial records reviewed substantiating the review of the amounts owed. The affidavit should also include that she/he has personally reviewed both the mortgage and the note and any assignments for accuracy.

The plaintiff bears the burden of proof in a summary judgment proceeding and judgment will only be awarded when all doubt is removed as to the existence of any triable issue of fact. Under the present circumstances, where there have been numerous instances alleged as to “robo” signing of documents and a failure to attest to the accuracy of documents in mortgage foreclosure proceedings, the plaintiff must prove its entitlement to foreclose on a mortgage as a matter of law by establishing the regularity and accuracy of the financial documentary evidence submitted and the Court will be scrutinizing all documents for accuracy.

The foregoing constitutes the decision of the Court.

SEE ALL 127  Below…


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FIVE (5) NYSC CASES INVOLVING ROBO-SIGNER TAMARA PRICE

FIVE (5) NYSC CASES INVOLVING ROBO-SIGNER TAMARA PRICE


Excerpts:

#1 TP1_US BANK v. Ronnie Fishbein

The purported affidavit of Tamara Price, “Vice President of CITI RESIDENTIAL LENDING MORTGAGE, a
servicing agent who has power of attorney for the plaintiff,” does not contain a jurat, and there is
no language of oath or affirmation. The absence of a jurat renders the “affidavit” inadmissible as
there is no evidence that an oath or affirmation was taken (Pagano v Kingsbury, 182 AD2d 268
[ 2d Dept 19921; see also, People v Lieberman, 57 Misc 2d 1070 [Sup. Ct 19681). Moreover, the
purported power of attorney pursuant to which 1 he affidavit was assertedly prepared is not
annexed to the motion papers, and the submissions do not otherwise establish the authority of an
officer of plaintiffs servicer to execute the affidavit on behalf of plaintiff.

#2 TP2_ARGENT v. Olivera

The Affidavit of Merit and Amount Due was executed and notarized in San Bernadino, California
by Tamara Price and it is unaccompanied by a certificate of conformity and, therefore, cannot
provide evidence on this application. (see Daimler Chrysler Services North America LLC v,
Tammaro 14 Misc 34128 [A]; 2006 NY Slip OP 52506[U]* [App Term, 2Deptl; Bath Meaka1
Suppw, Inc. v. Allstate Indemnity Co., 13 Misc 3d142[A] 2006 NY Slip OP52273[U] *1-*2 [App
Term 2d Dept]).

#3 TP 3 DBNT v. Halverson

Moreover, the submissions do not reflect the authority of Tamara Price, a
self-described “authorized agent” of AMC Mortgage Services, hc., a
non-party to this mortgage foreclosure action, to represent plaintiff in this action, nor do the
submissions contain evidence that AMC Mortgage Services, Inc. is the attorney in fact for the
plaintiff in this action, as alleged in the affidavit of Ms. Price. Similarly, the assignment whereby
the mortgage was purportedly assigned to plaintiff was executed by Tamara Smith on behalf of
AMC Mortgage Services, Inc. as “authorized agent” for the assignor, without any evidence of
such agency. Accordingly, the motion is denied, with leave to renew upon proper submissions
that address the deficiencies identified herein.

#4 FROM JUDGE SCHACK

TP 4 JUDGE SCHACK_ DEUTSCHE v. Ezagui

According to plaintiffs application, defendant Ezaguis’ default began with the
nonpayment of principal and interest due on September 1,2006. Yet, more than five
months later, plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK was idling to take an assignment of a
nonperforming loan from AMERIQUEST. Further, both assignor AMC, as Attorney in
Fact for AMERIQUEST, and assignee, DEUTSCHE BANK, have the same address, 505
City Parkway West, Orange, CA 92868. Plaintiffs “affidavit of amount due,” submitted
in support of the instant application for a default order of reference was executed by
Tamara Price, on February 16, 2007. Ms. Price states that “I am the Vice President for
DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE OF
AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE SECURITIES, INC., ASSET-BACKED PASS
THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2004-R1( 1, UNDER THE POLING AND
SERVICING AGREEMENT DATED AS OF OCTOBER 1,2004, WITHOUT
RECOURSE (DEUTSCHE BANK.” However, i he February 7,2007 assignment from
AMERIQUEST, by AMC, its Attorney in Fact, is executed by Tamara Price, Vice
President of AMC. The Tamara Price signatures on both the February 7,2007 affidavit
and the February 16,2007 assignment are identical. Did Ms. Price change employers
from February 7,2007 to February 16,2007? The Court is concerned that there may be
fraud on the part of AMERIQUEST, or at least malfeasance. Before granting an
application for an order of reference, the Court requires an affidavit from Ms. Price,
describing her employment history for the past three years. Further, irrespective of her
employment history, Ms. Price must explain why DEUTSCHE BANK would purchase a
nonperforming loan from AMERIQUEST, and why DEUTSCHE BANK shares office

THE BIGGIE

#5 JUDGE SCHACK_DBNT v. CLOUDEN

In the instant action, Argent’s defective assignment to Deutsche Bank affects the
standing of Deutsche Bank to bring this action. The recorded assignment from Argent to
Deutsche Bank, made by “Tamara Price, as Authorized Agent” on behalf of “AMC
Mortgage Services Inc. as authorized agent,” lacks any power of attorney granted by
Argent to AMC Mortgage Services, Inc. and/or Tamara Price to act on its behalf. The
first mortgage assignment, from Grand Pacific Mortgage to Argent, was proper. It was
executed by the President of Grand Pacific Mortgage.

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NY DAILY NEWS: Dubious signatures, missing, inaccurate paperwork halt 4,450 city foreclosures

NY DAILY NEWS: Dubious signatures, missing, inaccurate paperwork halt 4,450 city foreclosures


BY Robert Gearty
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Sunday, October 24th 2010, 4:00 AM

Thousands of foreclosures across the city are in question because paperwork used to justify the seizure of homes is riddled with flaws, a Daily News probe has found.

Banks have suspended some 4,450 foreclosures in all five boroughs because of paperwork problems like missing and inaccurate documents, dubious signatures and banks trying to foreclose on mortgages they don’t even own.

The city’s not alone. All 50 states are investigating foreclosure paperwork, evicted homeowners are hiring lawyers and buyers of foreclosed homes are fretting over the legality of their purchases.

Last week, New York‘s top judge, Jonathan Lippman, began requiring all bank lawyers to sign a form vouching for the accuracy of their foreclosure paperwork.

That could have been a problem for one Long Island foreclosure that was being brought by GMAC Mortgage last year.

A sworn affidavit dated March 30 was signed by someone identified as Sherry Hall, vice president of a GMAC affiliate called Homecomings Financial Network.

Fifteen days later another sworn affidavit surfaced in another Suffolk County foreclosure, this time signed by a GMAC vice president named Sheri D. Hall.

Despite the difference in the names, the signatures were identical – and were vouched for by the same notary.

Suffolk Supreme Court Justice Peter Mayer refused to approve the foreclosure bearing the name Sherry Hall and ordered her, and the notary, to appear in court Nov. 17. GMAC officials did not return calls.

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Related link:

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CASE EVERYONE SHOULD READ: DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST AMS. AS TRUSTEE v. McCoy, 2010 NY Slip Op 51664 – NY: Supreme Court, Suffolk

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CASE EVERYONE SHOULD READ: DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST AMS. AS TRUSTEE v. McCoy, 2010 NY Slip Op 51664 – NY: Supreme Court, Suffolk

CASE EVERYONE SHOULD READ: DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST AMS. AS TRUSTEE v. McCoy, 2010 NY Slip Op 51664 – NY: Supreme Court, Suffolk


2010 NY Slip Op 51664(U)

DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS AS TRUSTEE, Plaintiff(s),
v.
DEREK McCOY; EDYTA McCOY; MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. AS NOMINEE FOR HOMECOMINGS FINANCIAL, LLC, (F/K/A HOMECOMINGS FINANCIAL NETWORK, INC.) BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE SILVER CHASE CONDOMINIUM; “JOHN DOE #1-5 AND “JANE DOE #1-5″ SAID NAMES BEING FICTITIOUS, IT BEING THE INTENTION OF Plaintiff TO DESIGNATE ANY AND ALL OCCUPANTS, TENANTS, PERSONS OR CORPORATIONS, IF ANY, HAVING OR CLAIMING AN INTEREST IN OR LIEN UPON THE PREMISES BEING FORECLOSED HEREIN, Defendant(s).

7782-2008. Supreme Court, Suffolk County.

Decided September 21, 2010. Fein, Such & Crane, LLP, 747 Chestnut Ridge Road, Chestnut Ridge, New York 10977-6216, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

Derek McCoy, Edyta McCoy, 35 Gibbs Road, Coram, New York 11727, Defendants Pro Se.

PETER H. MAYER, J.

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

ORDERED that plaintiff’s resubmitted application (seq. # 002) for an order of reference in this foreclosure action is considered under 2009 NY Laws, Ch. 507, enacted December 15, 2009, and 2008 NY Laws, Ch. 472, enacted August 5, 2008 (as amended), as well as the related statutes and case law, and is hereby denied without prejudice, and with leave to resubmit upon proper papers, for the reasons set forth herein; and it is further

ORDERED that, inasmuch as the plaintiff has failed to properly show that the homeowner-defendants are not entitled to a foreclosure settlement conference, pursuant to CPLR 3408 such conference is hereby scheduled for November 17, 2010, 9:30 a.m., in the courtroom of the undersigned, located at Room A-259, Part 17, One Court Street, Riverhead, NY 11901 (XXX-XXX-XXXX), for the purpose of holding settlement discussions pertaining to the rights and obligations of the parties under the mortgage loan documents, including but not limited to, determining whether the parties can reach a mutually agreeable resolution to help the defendant avoid losing their home, and evaluating the potential for a resolution in which payment schedules or amounts may be modified or other workout options may be agreed to, and for whatever other purposes the Court deems appropriate; and it is further

ORDERED that “Sherry Hall,” who purports, in this particular case, to be the Vice President of Homecomings Financial Network, Inc., the purported attorney-in-fact for the plaintiff, shall appear at the November 17, 2010 Foreclosure Settlement Conference; and it is further

ORDERED that “Nikole Shelton,” the individual who purportedly notarized Ms. Hall’s signature in this particular action, as well as in the action entitled GMAC Mortgage, LLC v Ingoglia, under Suffolk County Index Number XXXX-XXXX, shall appear at the November 17, 2010 Conference; and it is further

ORDERED that any attorney appearing at the conference on behalf of the plaintiff (including a per diem attorney) shall, pursuant to CPLR 3408, be fully authorized to dispose of the case; and it is further

ORDERED that the plaintiff shall bring to all future conferences all documents necessary for evaluating the potential settlement, modification, or other workout options which may be appropriate, including but not limited to the payment history, an itemization of the amounts needed to cure the default and satisfy the loan, and the mortgage and note; if the plaintiff is not the owner of the mortgage and note, the plaintiff shall provide the name, address and telephone number of the legal owner of the mortgage and note; and it is further

ORDERED that the plaintiff shall promptly serve, via first class mail, a copy of this Order upon the homeowner-defendants at all known addresses (or upon their attorney if represented by counsel), as well as upon all other appearing parties, and shall provide the affidavit(s) of such service to the Court at the time of the scheduled conference, and annex a copy of this Order and the affidavit(s) of service as exhibits to any future applications submitted to the Court; and it is further

ORDERED that in the event any scheduled court conference is adjourned for any reason, the plaintiff shall promptly send, via first class mail, written notice of the adjourn date to the homeowner-defendants at all known addresses (or upon their attorney if represented by counsel), as well as upon all other appearing parties, and shall provide the affidavit(s) of such service to the Court at the time of the subsequent conference, and annex a copy of this Order and the affidavit(s) of service as exhibits to any future applications submitted to the Court; and it is further

ORDERED that with regard to any future applications submitted to the Court, the moving party(ies) must clearly state, in an initial paragraph of the attorney’s affirmation, whether or not the statutorily required foreclosure conference has been held and, if so, when such conference was conducted; and it is further

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

In this foreclosure action, the plaintiff filed a summons and complaint on February 26, 2008. The complaint essentially alleges that the homeowner-defendants, Derek McCoy and Edyta McCoy, defaulted in payments with regard to a December 8, 2006 mortgage in the principal amount of $288,000.00 for the premises located at 35-34 Gibbs Road, Coram, New York 11727. The original lender, Homecomings Financial, LLC, had the mortgage assigned to the plaintiff by assignment dated February 28, 2008, two days after the commencement of the action. According to the court’s database, a foreclosure settlement conference has not yet been held. The plaintiff’s application seeks a default order of reference and requests amendment of the caption to remove the “Doe” defendants as parties. Plaintiff’s counsel contends that the “present application corrects the specified defects articulated in the [December 4, 2008]Short Form Order.” Notwithstanding counsel’s contention, plaintiff’s current application fails to correct several defects, and presents other grounds which preclude an order of reference in favor of the plaintiff.

By Order dated December 4, 2008, the plaintiff’s prior application for the same relief was denied without prejudice, and with leave to resubmit upon proper papers, to allow the plaintiff to properly show whether or not the subject loan is a “subprime home loan” or a “high-cost home loan” as defined by statute, thereby entitling the defendants to a foreclosure settlement conference pursuant to the then-applicable 2008 NY Laws, Chapter 472. In this regard, the plaintiff’s attorney has submitted a letter in which he claims that it is his “belief that the mortgage being foreclosed is not a sub-prime home loan and is not subject to the [foreclosure conference] requirements.” Counsel also submits an Affirmation of Compliance with CPLR 3408, which states that “[w]e have determined that this loan is not subprime,” and that the defendants “are not entitled to a court conference” (emphasis in original).

Despite counsel’s assertions, the plaintiff’s own affidavit of merit states that “[w]e have determined that this loan is subprime” and that “the defendants are entitled to court conference” (emphasis added). The direct contradiction between counsel’s “belief” and the assessment of one whose affidavit states, as in this case, that she has “first-hand knowledge of the facts and circumstances surrounding this action,” validates this Court’s approach in refusing to accept counsel’s assertions as fact in any given foreclosure action. The mistaken “belief” of an attorney who has no personal knowledge of the facts, yet opines in court documents that a homeowner-defendant is not entitled to a statutorily required court conference, may prejudice the homeowner’s rights while subjecting the attorney to otherwise avoidable court sanctions. Since the plaintiff has failed to adequately show that the homeowner-defendants are not entitled to a foreclosure settlement conference, such conference shall be held on November 17, 2010, 9:30 a.m.

The Court’s December 4, 2008 Order also specifically stated that “[w]ith regard to any future applications … plaintiff’s papers shall include … evidentiary proof of compliance with the requirements of CPLR §3215(f), including but not limited to a proper affidavit of facts by the plaintiff [or by plaintiff’s agent, provided there is proper proof in evidentiary form of such agency relationship], or a complaint verified by the plaintiff and not merely by an attorney or non-party, such as a servicer, with no personal knowledge.”

In an apparent effort to satisfy the requirements of CPLR §3215(f), the plaintiff submits an affidavit of merit from “Sherry Hall,” who purports in this particular case to be the Vice President of Homecomings Financial Network, Inc. (“Homecomings”), the purported attorney-in-fact for the plaintiff. The Limited Power of Attorney annexed to the affidavit, however, does not name Homecomings as the attorney-in-fact. Instead, it names Residential Funding Company, LLC. Therefore, the Court cannot conclude that the affidavit was “made by the party” as required by CPLR §3215(f) (emphasis added). Notably, the instructions on the power-of-attorney form also require the form to be recorded and returned not to the plaintiff bank, nor to Homecomings as the purported attorney-in-fact, but rather to “GMAC ResCap.” This raises certain concerns, particularly given the nature of the affidavit of merit submitted in this case, as compared to the affidavit of merit submitted to the Court by the same attorneys in an unrelated foreclosure matter, GMAC Mortgage, LLC v Ingoglia, under Suffolk County Index Number XXXX-XXXX.

In the Ingoglia case (which was recently discontinued), counsel submitted an affidavit of merit from “Sheri D. Hall” in her purported capacity as Vice President of GMAC Mortgage, LLC. That affidavit was notarized by Nikole Shelton on April 14, 2009. Just weeks earlier, on March 25, 2009, Ms. Shelton notarized an affidavit of merit from “Sherry Hall” in this case, in which Ms. Hall purports to be Vice President of Homecomings. It would appear, therefore, that Ms. Hall purports to be the Vice President of two different banks almost simultaneously. Furthermore, although the affidavit in this case appears to have been notarized by Ms. Shelton on March 25, 2009, it appears to have been signed by Ms. Hall five (5) days later, on March 30, 2009, after it was notarized.

The “Hall” affidavit in each case is accompanied by a Certificate of Acknowledgment notarized by “Nikole Shelton” in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Both Certificates state that the individual executing the affidavits “personally appeared” before Nikole Shelton. Both state that the affiant was “personally known to [Nikole Shelton] or proved to [Nikole Shelton] on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual whose name is subscribed to the [affidavit].” Notwithstanding these assertions by Ms. Shelton in both cases, the affidavit submitted to the Court in Ingoglia was executed by one who printed and signed her name as “Sheri D. Hall,” while the affidavit submitted in this case was executed by one who printed and signed her name as “Sherry Hall.” Although the Court cannot function as a handwriting expert, the signatures in both affidavits appear virtually identical, despite the difference in the two names.

These facts raise questions concerning the true identity and veracity of the person signing the affidavits of merit, who swears to be the Vice President of two different banks almost simultaneously, as well as the veracity of Nikole Shelton, in notarizing both signatures. Accordingly, “Sherry Hall,” who submitted the affidavit of merit in this case, and “Nikole Shelton,” who purportedly notarized Ms. Hall’s signature in this case and purportedly notarized the signature of “Sheri D. Hall” in the Ingoglia case, shall appear at the November 17, 2010 conference, so the Court may determine whether or not it must conduct an evidentiary hearing on these issues.

Concerning assignment of the subject mortgage, this Court’s December 4, 2008 Order specifically required any resubmitted motion to include “evidentiary proof, including an affidavit from one with personal knowledge, of proper and timely assignments of the subject mortgage, if any, sufficient to establish the plaintiff’s ownership of the subject note and mortgage at the time the action was commenced, and that the assignment is not merely an invalid assignment or an assignment with an ineffectual retroactive date” (emphasis added). Despite this specific instruction, the plaintiff’s affidavit of merit merely states that the plaintiff “is still the holder of record of the … mortgage.” This statement fails to show that the plaintiff was the holder of the note and mortgage when the plaintiff commenced the action. The plaintiff filed the summons and complaint on February 26, 2008; however, the assignment of the mortgage to the plaintiff from the original lender, Homecomings Financial, LLC, is dated February 28, 2008, two days after the commencement of the action.

Only where the plaintiff is the assignee of the mortgage and the underlying note at the time the foreclosure action was commenced does the plaintiff have standing to maintain the action (U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 890 NYS2d 578 [2d Dept 2009]; Federal Natl. Mtge. Assn. v Youkelsone, 303 AD2d 546, 755 NYS2d 730 [2d Dept 2003]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 887 NYS2d 615 [2d Dept 2009]; First Trust Natl. Assn. v Meisels, 234 AD2d 414, 651 NYS2d 121 [2d Dept 1996]). An assignment executed after the commencement of an action, which states that it is effective as of a date preceding the commencement date, is valid where the defaulting defendant appears but fails to interpose an answer or file a timely pre-answer motion that asserts the defense of standing, thereby waiving such defense pursuant to CPLR 3211[e] (see, HSBC Bank, USA v Dammond, 59 AD3d 679, 875 NYS2d 490 1445 [2d Dept 2009]). It remains settled, however, that foreclosure of a mortgage may not be brought by one who has no title to it and absent transfer of the debt, the assignment of the mortgage is a nullity (U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 890 NYS2d 578 [2d Dept 2009]; Kluge v Fugazy, 145 AD2d 537, 536 NYS2d 92 [2d Dept 1988]).

Indeed, a plaintiff has no foundation in law or fact to foreclose upon a mortgage in which the plaintiff has no legal or equitable interest (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 887 NYS2d 615 [2d Dept 2009]; Katz v East-Ville Realty Co., 249 AD2d 243, 672 NYS2d 308 [1st Dept 1998]). Either a written assignment of the underlying note or the physical delivery of the note prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action is sufficient to transfer the obligation, and the mortgage passes with the debt as an inseparable incident (U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 890 NYS2d 578 [2d Dept 2009]).

Although the February 28, 2008 assignment states it is “effective January 19, 2008,” such attempt at retroactivity is ineffectual. If an assignment is in writing, the execution date is generally controlling and a written assignment claiming an earlier effective date is deficient, unless it is accompanied by proof that the physical delivery of the note and mortgage was, in fact, previously effectuated (see, Bankers Trust Co. v Hoovis, 263 AD2d 937, 938, 694 NYS2d 245 [1999]). A retroactive assignment cannot be used to confer standing upon the assignee in a foreclosure action commenced prior to the execution of the assignment (Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v Gress, 68 AD3d 709, 888 NYS2d 914 [2d Dept 2009]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 887 NYS2d 615 [2d Dept 2009]). Plaintiff’s failure to submit proper proof, including an affidavit from one with personal knowledge, that the plaintiff was the holder of the note and mortgage at the time the action was commenced, requires denial of the plaintiff’s application for an order of reference.

In its prior Order, the Court also gave specific directives concerning proof of compliance with RPAPL §1303 and § 1320 for any resubmitted motions. In this regard, the prior Order required “evidentiary proof, including an attorney’s affirmation, of compliance with the form, type size, type face, paper color and content requirements of RPAPL §1303 regarding foreclosure notices, as well as an affidavit of proper service of such notice,” as well as “evidentiary proof, including an attorney affirmation, of compliance with the form, content, type size, and type face requirements of RPAPL §1320 regarding special summonses in residential foreclosure actions, and proof of proper service of said special summons” (emphasis supplied). Despite these very specific directives, the attorney’s affirmation in support of this resubmitted motion fails to address those sections. While the affidavit of service does state that the summons and complaint were served with a Section 1303 notice on colored paper and a Section 1320 notice, such information, by itself, is not proper proof that those notices were compliant with the specific form, content, type size, and type face requirements set forth in those statutes.

Lastly, the Court notes that although service of process was made upon defendant Derek McCoy by substitute service pursuant to CPLR 308(2), the additional mailing required for such service was never completed. Instead, the process server sent the additional mailing to defendant Edyte McCoy who is alleged to have received a copy of the summons and complaint by personal service pursuant to CPLR 308(1). Such personal service does not require an additional mailing to complete service. Based on the foregoing, the plaintiff has established neither completion of service upon the defendant, Derek McCoy, nor jurisdiction of this Court over that defendant.

Based upon the foregoing, the plaintiff’s motion is denied.

This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.

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