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MERS lost its petition for review to the Texas Supreme Court: MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., AS NOMINEE FOR GREENPOINT FUNDING v. NANCY GROVES

MERS lost its petition for review to the Texas Supreme Court: MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., AS NOMINEE FOR GREENPOINT FUNDING v. NANCY GROVES


Here is the Link: http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us

ORDERS ON PETITIONS FOR REVIEW

THE FOLLOWING PETITIONS FOR REVIEW ARE DENIED:

11/ 0555

MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., AS NOMINEE FOR GREENPOINT FUNDING v. NANCY GROVES; from Harris County; 14th district (14/10/00090/CV, ___ SW3d ___, 04/12/11)

In The
Fourteenth Court of Appeals

NO. 14-10-00090-CV

MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., AS NOMINEE FOR GREENSPOINT FUNDING, Appellant

V.

NANCY GROVES, Appellee

On Appeal from the 334th District Court
Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2009-29112

EXCERPT:

A justiciable controversy between the parties must exist at every stage of the legal proceedings. Williams v. Lara, 52 S.W.3d 171, 184 (Tex. 2001). We cannot decide moot controversies. Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Ass’n v. Jones, 1 S.W.3d 83, 86 (Tex. 1999). In order to maintain a suit to quiet title, there must be an assertion by the defendant of a claim to some interest adverse to plaintiff‘s title; and the claim must be one that, if enforced, would interfere with the plaintiff‘s enjoyment of the property. Mauro v. Lavlies, 386 S.W.2d 825, 826–27 (Tex. Civ. App.—Beaumont 1964, no writ) (internal quotation omitted) (no justiciable controversy existed because the judgments defendants obtained against plaintiffs asserted no claims against plaintiffs‘ property and defendants made no attempt to create a lien upon property or to have property sold to satisfy judgments).

Groves alleged in her petition that MERS‘s deed of trust purported to create a lien for security purposes on Plaintiff‘s property as described.? This alleged lien constitutes an adverse interest to Groves‘s title, which, if enforced, would interfere with her enjoyment of the property. See id. Therefore, a justiciable controversy existed, and the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction over the case. See Williams, 52 S.W.3d at 184; Mauro, 386 S.W.2d at 826–27.4

We overrule MERS‘s second issue.

CONCLUSION

Having overruled both of MERS‘s issues on appeal, we affirm the trial court‘s judgment.

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Assured Guaranty files new claims against JPMorgan

Assured Guaranty files new claims against JPMorgan


This will never end and the fraud will go on forever with no end in sight.

 

REUTERS-

Bond insurer Assured Guaranty Ltd filed new claims against JPMorgan Chase & Co over a mortgage-backed security sold by Bear Stearns, saying more than 35 witnesses have come forward to testify about how loans in the $337 million transaction were misrepresented.

The lawsuit contends Bear Stearns and its EMC mortgage arm, acquired by JPMorgan after their collapse in 2008, knew the pool of more than 6,000 home-equity lines of credit that served as collateral for the investment was filled with defective loans.

[REUTERS]

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READ ORDER | JPMorgan loses court ruling over ‘loan putbacks’ Syncora Guarantee Inc v. EMC Mortgage Corp

READ ORDER | JPMorgan loses court ruling over ‘loan putbacks’ Syncora Guarantee Inc v. EMC Mortgage Corp


You can read about this from REUTERS

* Syncora can pursue claims based on entire loan pool

* Insurer need not show breaches of individual loans

NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) could be forced to repurchase thousands of home equity loans, after a judge ruled in favor of a bond insurer that argued it could build its case based on a sampling of loans.

The ruling against EMC Mortgage Corp, once a unit of Bear Stearns Cos, comes amid many lawsuits seeking to force banks to buy back tens of billions of dollars of mortgage and other home loans that went sour. JPMorgan bought Bear Stearns in 2008.

You may read the court Order below:

SYNCORA GUARANTEE INC., f/k/a XL Capital Assurance Inc.,
v.
EMC MORTGAGE CORP.,

No. 09 Civ. 3106 (PAC).

USDC, S.D. New York.

March 25, 2011.

OPINION & ORDER


HONORABLE PAUL A. CROTTY, United States District Judge.

This breach of contract lawsuit arises out of a securitization transaction (“Transaction”), involving 9,871 Home Equity Line of Credit (“HELOC”) residential mortgage loans, which were purchased and used as collateral for the issuance of $666 million in publicly offered securities (“Notes”). (Mem. in Supp. Mot. to Am. 3). Defendant EMC Mortgage Corp. (“EMC”) aggregated the HELOCs, sold the loan pool to the entity that issued the Notes, and contracted with Plaintiff Syncora Guarantee Inc., formerly known as XL Capital Assurance Inc., (“Syncora”) to provide a financial-guaranty insurance policy protecting the investors in the Note. (Id.) Syncora claims that EMC breached its representations regarding 85% of the loan pool. It now moves for partial summary judgment or, alternatively, a ruling in limine, that it was not required to comply with a repurchase protocol as the exclusive remedy for all such claims. The Court GRANTS the motion for partial summary judgment on the grounds that, in light of the broad rights and remedies for which Syncora contracted, any such remedial limitation would have to be expressly stated.

Continue below…

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JUDGE QUESTIONS “DUAL ROLE” OF COUNSEL FOR MERS & CHASE HOME FINANCE

JUDGE QUESTIONS “DUAL ROLE” OF COUNSEL FOR MERS & CHASE HOME FINANCE


SUPREME COURT – STATE OF NEW YORK
IAS PART 10 – SUFFOLK COUNTY

HON. JOHN J.J. JONES, JR.

CHASE HOME FINANCE

v.

LUCIUS D. PAGANO

In addition, and notwithstanding the plaintiffs failure to establish compliance with paragraph 22 of the mortgage, there are two [2] other issues that must be addressed on any renewed application herein. The first issue is the legal effect of the allonge that is attached to the promissory note dated Oct. 18, 2005. This allonge clearly states that the note was endorsed by United Mortgage Corp. to the order of Greenpoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. The plaintiff’s application fails to address the fact of this clear and unequivocal endorsement of the note to Greenpoint. The second issue that the plaintiff needs to address is the execution of the mortgage assignment on Dec. 15,2009 by M.E.R.S to the plaintiff, Chase Home Mortgage. The assignment was executed by George Schmergel, on behalf of M.E.R.S. It appears that this person is also the plaintiffs attorney. Therefore, on any renewed application, the plaintiff shall set forth an explanation of the apparent dual role of counsel.

This constitutes the decision and order of the court in the disposition of this exparte application
for an order of reference, which is to be marked “not signed”.
-X

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, chase, conflict of interest, CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., robo signersComments (1)

ALLY TOLD FREDDIE AND FANNIE OF FAULTY FORECLOSURE AFFIDAVITS WEEKS AGO!

ALLY TOLD FREDDIE AND FANNIE OF FAULTY FORECLOSURE AFFIDAVITS WEEKS AGO!


This all makes sense now since the Obama administration was about to hold a conference on what to do with both Fannie and Freddie around this same time.

Ally Said to Tell Freddie Mac of Faulty Foreclosures Weeks Ago

By Lorraine Woellert and Dakin Campbell – Sep 24, 2010 12:01 AM ET

Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit told Freddie Mac that foreclosures by the auto and home lender might have been faulty weeks before halting its own evictions, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Ally informed Freddie Mac on Aug. 25 that affidavits for court proceedings might not be valid, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. By Sept. 1, Freddie Mac had notified its network of lawyers and stopped related foreclosures and evictions, said the person, who declined to be identified because the matter hasn’t been formally disclosed. GMAC told agents to halt evictions in 23 states on Sept. 17.

Fannie Mae, the largest government-backed mortgage firm, said it notified lawyers of flaws in GMAC documentation after it was alerted. Fannie Mae spokesman Brian Faith declined to say when GMAC contacted the company, and Gina Proia, the spokeswoman for Detroit-based Ally, said she couldn’t comment.

“We are obviously dismayed by reports of document problems,” Freddie Mac spokesman Brad German said in an interview. “The practices described in these reports are clearly not in compliance with Freddie Mac guidelines and servicer directives.” German wouldn’t say how many of the McLean, Virginia-based firm’s holdings were affected by the freeze.

Servicers ‘Accountable’

Fannie Mae said in a statement that its servicers must adhere to all legal requirements. “It is their responsibility to put processes in place that ensure they are fulfilling this requirement, and they are accountable for rectifying any issues that may arise in this regard.”

Continue Reading… BLOOMBERG

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, investigation, jeffrey stephan, jpmorgan chase, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, note, robo signers, shapiro & fishman pa, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

Hmmm LETS SEE…WHO’s NEXT?…OH YEA LINDA GREEN, ‘BOGUS’ AND LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES

Hmmm LETS SEE…WHO’s NEXT?…OH YEA LINDA GREEN, ‘BOGUS’ AND LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES


The Washington Post just keeps putting more and more out! Now they exposed Linda Green, Lender Processing Services (LPS)…and pending “Criminal Investigations

Amid mountain of paperwork, shortcuts and forgeries mar foreclosure process

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Brady Dennis

Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 22, 2010; 9:22 PM

The nation’s overburdened foreclosure system is riddled with faked documents, forged signatures and lenders who take shortcuts reviewing borrower’s files, according to court documents and interviews with attorneys, housing advocates and company officials.

Continue reading …WASHINGTON POST

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LETS NOT FORGET HER MULTIPLE SIGNATURE PERSONALITIES

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, Beth Cottrell, bogus, chain in title, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, DOCX, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, geithner, investigation, jeffrey stephan, jpmorgan chase, judge arthur schack, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., Lender Processing Services Inc., linda green, LPS, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, note, robo signers, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Supreme CourtComments (7)

MERS is a “defective” product, should MERS be recalled nationwide?

MERS is a “defective” product, should MERS be recalled nationwide?


This is not a GMAC thing… this is a MERS thing!

THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS THIS IS A MERS THING!

THIS IS A 65 MILLION LOAN THING!

I know if I purchased a stroller for my kid and later knew it these strollers are all defective …I hope the government would kick in and do a nationwide RECALL!!

GMAC stops some evictions, foreclosed home sales

By JANNA HERRON (AP) –

NEW YORK — GMAC Mortgage LLC said Monday it halted certain evictions and sales of foreclosed homes as it corrects “a potential issue” in its foreclosure process.

The action highlights what is becoming a larger problem for lenders and servicers that may have illegally driven homeowners out of their houses. The issue is threatening to clog up an already overloaded foreclosure process.

Lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said last week. Banks have been stepping up repossessions to clear out their backlog of bad loans.

GMAC, which is owned by Detroit-based Ally Financial Inc., did not identify the specific internal issue that prompted the moratorium in its statement, but it has been linked to lawsuits this year surrounding the alleged falsification of a key foreclosure document.

The Florida attorney general is investigating three law firms for allegedly providing fraudulent affidavits that identify who holds the original mortgage note in foreclosure cases. In Florida and in other states, this document allows lenders to bypass a costly trial and proceed with a foreclosure.

Two of the three firms being investigated — the Law Office of Marshall C. Watson and the Law Offices of David J. Stern PA — have represented GMAC in foreclosure proceedings. And the person who signed many of these allegedly false affidavits was an employee of GMAC.

In a deposition taken in December, GMAC employee Jeffrey Stephan said he signed 10,000 affidavits or similar documents a month without personally verifying who the mortgage holder was. That means many foreclosures could have taken place based on false documentation. Stephan could not be located for comment.

“That’s hundreds of thousands of cases,” said Ice Legal PA attorney Christopher Immel who took the deposition. “And there are other people at other places who sign these kinds of documents as well.”

GMAC did not address how many homeowners would be affected by its suspension of evictions and foreclosure sales. It expects the issues to be resolved within a few weeks or, at latest, by year-end. The company didn’t respond to questions beyond its statement.

The issue of documenting who holds the mortgage is not unique to GMAC. Judges and lawyers nationwide are taking a second look at foreclosure affidavits. Many mortgages have been sliced up and sold to many investors as securities and that makes it harder to determine who is the ultimate mortgage holder.

In August, a judge in Duval County, Fla., ruled that JPMorgan Chase could not foreclose upon two homeowners because Fannie Mae carried the mortgage on its books and JPMorgan Chase only serviced the loan. JPMorgan Chase had identified itself as the owner of the loan. Similar cases across the country are pending.

The law firm that represented JPMorgan Chase in that case — Shapiro & Fishman — is the third law firm being investigated by the Florida state attorney.

Related:

MERS101


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Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, jeffrey stephan, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, QUI TAM, quiet title, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, shapiro & fishman pa, signatures, Wall StreetComments (0)

BLOOMBERG| GMAC STOPS FORECLOSURES NATIONWIDE IN 23 STATES

BLOOMBERG| GMAC STOPS FORECLOSURES NATIONWIDE IN 23 STATES


This bombshell just hit the wires….EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY GMAC HAS SUSPENDED ALL FORECLOSURES IN 23 STATES!

HMMMM could this have something to do with this?? Key word JEFFREY STEPHAN

Ally’s GMAC Mortgage Halts Home Foreclosures in 23 States

By Denise Pellegrini – Sep 20, 2010 9:43 AM ET

Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit told brokers and agents to halt evictions tied to foreclosures on homeowners in 23 states including Florida, Connecticut and New York.

GMAC Mortgage may “need to take corrective action in connection with some foreclosures” in the affected states, according to a two-page memo dated Sept. 17 marked “urgent.” Ally Financial spokesman James Olecki confirmed the contents of the memo. Brokers were told to immediately stop evictions, cash- for-key transactions and lockouts, according to the document, addressed to GMAC preferred agents.

The lender will also suspend sales of properties on which it has already taken possession. The letter tells brokers to notify buyers that the company will extend closing dates by 30 days. Buyers will be able to cancel their agreement to purchase and get their deposit back, according to the letter.

Continue Reading…. BLOOMBERG

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Following is a table of the affected states.

Connecticut
Florida
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Vermont
Wisconsin

To contact the reporter on this story: Denise Pellegrini in New York at dpellegrini@bloomberg.net.

Image credit: The office complex of GMAC Mortgage, located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Photographer: Bradley C. Bower/Bloomberg

Related articles:

JEFFREY STEPHAN: MANY CORPORATE HATS

—————————————————–

HIGHLIGHTS FROM A DEPOSITION OF JEFFREY STEPHAN |By Lynn E. Szymoniak, Esq. Ed., Fraud Digest

—————————————————-

DEPOSITION OF JEFFREY STEPHAN

Deposition_of_Jeffrey_Stephan

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Posted in chain in title, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, deed of trust, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, GMAC, jeffrey stephan, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Real Estate, servicers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

JEFFREY STEPHAN: MANY CORPORATE HATS

JEFFREY STEPHAN: MANY CORPORATE HATS


From Lynn Szymoniak

Jeffrey Stephan, who actually works for GMAC Mortgage Corp. in Montgomery County, PA, signs thousands of Mortgage Assignments each month as an officer of other banks and mortgage companies in order to transfer mortgages TO GMAC. In Florida, the law firms that regularly present documents signed by Jeffrey Stephans as “proof” that GMAC has standing to foreclose include The Law Offices of Marshall Watson, The Law Offices of David Stern and Florida Default Law Group.

Stephan has admitted in depositions that he has no personal knowledge of the facts of documents he signs, does not verify the facts, and often does not sign in front of a notary (though the documents are eventually notarized).

Titles used by Jeffrey Stephan include the following:

(“MERS” stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.)

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for American Interbanc Mortgage , LLC;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Cardinal Financial Co., Ltd. Partnership;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Centerpoint Financial, Inc.;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Central Pacific Mortgage Corp.;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Certified Home Loans of Florida, Inc.;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Gateway Mortgage Group, LLC;

Vice President, NERS as Nominee for GMAC Bank;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for GMAC Mortgage Corp. d/b/a Ditech.com;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Great Country Mortgage Bankers Corp.;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Greenpoint Mortgage Funding, Inc.

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Group One Mortgage, Inc.;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Homecomings Financial Network, Inc,;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Lexon Financial Mortgage Corp. d/b/a Weslend Financial Corp.;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Mortgage Investors Corp.;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Pinnacle Financial Corp. d/b/a Tri Star Lending Group

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Popular Mortgage Corp.;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Premier Mortgage Funding;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Quicken Loans;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Sky Investments d/b/a North Star Lending;

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for Transland Financial Services, Inc.; and

Vice President, MERS as Nominee for USAA Federal Savings Bank

Read more on…Jeffery Stephan




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Posted in chain in title, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, FDLG, florida default law group, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, fraud digest, GMAC, jeffrey stephan, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, Lynn Szymoniak ESQ, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, robo signer, robo signers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.comComments (0)

WEISBAND Case No. 4:09-bk-05175-EWH. BKR Tucson Judge HOLLOWELL Denies MLS for Lack of Standing

WEISBAND Case No. 4:09-bk-05175-EWH. BKR Tucson Judge HOLLOWELL Denies MLS for Lack of Standing


Via: Livinglies

GMAC has failed to demonstrate that it is the holder of the Note because, while it was in possession of the Note at the evidentiary hearing, it failed to demonstrate that the Note is properly payable to GMAC

Once the securities have been sold, the SPV is not actively involved.

IN RE WEISBAND

In re: BARRY WEISBAND, Chapter 13, Debtor.

Case No. 4:09-bk-05175-EWH.

United States Bankruptcy Court, D. Arizona.

March 29, 2010.

Barry Weisband, Tucson, AZ, Ronald Ryan, Ronald Ryan, P.C., Tucson, AZ, Attorney for Debtor.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

EILEEN W. HOLLOWELL, Bankruptcy Judge

I. INTRODUCTION

The debtor, Barry Weisband (“Debtor”), has challenged the standing of creditor, GMAC Mortgage, LLC (“GMAC”), to seek stay relief on his residence. After reviewing the documents provided by GMAC and conducting an evidentiary hearing, the court concludes that GMAC, the alleged servicer of the Debtor’s home loan, lacks standing to seek stay relief. The reasons for this conclusion are explained in the balance of this decision.

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

A. Creation of Debtor’s Note And Asserted Subsequent Transfers

On or about October 6, 2006, the Debtor executed and delivered to GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. (“GreenPoint”) an adjustable rate promissory note in the principal sum of $540,000 (“Note”) secured by a Deed of Trust (“DOT”) on real property located at 5424 East Placita Apan, Tucson, Arizona 85718 (“Property”).

On a separate piece of paper, GreenPoint endorsed the Note to GMAC (“Endorsement”). The Endorsement is undated. The DOT was signed by the Debtor on October 9, 2006, and recorded on October 13, 2006. The DOT lists GreenPoint as the lender, and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) as the beneficiary of the DOT “solely as nominee for [GreenPoint], its successors and assigns.”

Approximately five months before the creation of the Note and DOT, on April 10, 2006, GreenPoint entered into a Flow Interim Servicing Agreement (“FISA”) (Exhibit D)[ 1 ] with Lehman Capital, a division of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. (collectively “Lehman”), pursuant to which Lehman agreed to purchase conventional, residential, fixed and adjustable rate first and second lien mortgage loans from GreenPoint. Under the FISA, GreenPoint agreed to service the mortgage loans it sold to Lehman. According to GMAC, GreenPoint transferred the Note and DOT to Lehman under the FISA.

On November 1, 2006, Lehman entered into a Mortgage Loan Sale and Assignment Agreement (“MLSAA”) with Structured Asset Securities Corporation (“SASC”) (Exhibit E). Under that agreement, Lehman transferred a number of the mortgage loans it acquired under the FISA to SASC. GMAC claims that the Note was one of the mortgage loans transferred to SASC. SASC created a trust to hold the transferred mortgages — GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Trust (“Trust”). The MLSAA also transferred the right to receive principal and interest payments under the transferred mortgage loans from Lehman to the Trust.

Also, on November 1, 2006, SASC entered into a Trust Agreement (Exhibit F) with Aurora Loan Services (“Aurora”) as the master servicer, and U.S. Bank National Association (“U.S. Bank”) as the trustee. A Reconstituted Servicing Agreement (Exhibit G) was executed the same day, which provided that GreenPoint would continue to service the mortgages transferred to the Trust under the MLSAA, but that the Trust could change servicers at any time. Also, according to GMAC, on November 1, 2006, GMAC, Lehman, and Aurora entered into a Securitization Servicing Agreement (“SSA”) (Exhibit H), pursuant to which GMAC would service the loans transferred to the Trust. GMAC claims that under the SSA it is the current servicer of the Note and DOT.

Thus, according to GMAC, as of November 1, 2006, the Note and DOT had been transferred to the Trust, with SASC as the Trustor, U.S. Bank as the Trustee, Aurora as the master servicer, and GMAC as the sub-servicer. GreenPoint went out of business in 2007. According to GMAC, it remains the sub-servicer of the Note, and that is its only financial interest in the Note and DOT. (Transcript Nov. 10, 2009, pp. 44, 47, 75.)

B. Bankruptcy Events

As of March 1, 2009, the Debtor was in default of his obligations under the Note. Debtor filed his petition for relief under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code on March 19, 2009. On May 16, 2009, GMAC filed a proof of claim (“POC”), which attached the Note and DOT. The Endorsement from GreenPoint to GMAC was not attached to GMAC’s proof of claim. On May 12, 2009, MERS, as nominee for GreenPoint, assigned its interest in the DOT to GMAC (“MERS Assignment”). The MERS Assignment was recorded on July 16, 2009.

GMAC filed a Motion for Relief from Stay (“Motion”) on May 29, 2009, on the grounds that the Debtor had no equity in the Property and the Property was not necessary for an effective reorganization. The Motion also requested adequate protection payments to protect GMAC’s alleged interest in the Property. GMAC attached the Note with the Endorsement and DOT as exhibits to the Motion.

The Debtor filed a response challenging GMAC’s standing to seek relief from stay. After various discovery disputes, GMAC sent a letter dated September 17, 2009, to the Debtor which purported to explain the various transfers of the Note and the DOT. (Docket #90). The letter explained that GreenPoint transferred the “subject loan” to Lehman under the FISA, that Lehman sold the “subject loan” to SASC under the MLSAA, that SASC, Aurora Loan Services, and U.S. National Bank entered into a trust agreement, which created the Trust and made Aurora the master servicer for the “subject loan,” and, that GMAC was the servicer of the “subject loan” under the SSA. According to GMAC, its status as servicer, along with the Endorsement of the Note to GMAC and the assignment of the DOT from MERS to GMAC, demonstrated that it had standing to bring the Motion.

On November 10, 2009, the Court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the Motion. GMAC offered the original Note at the hearing and admitted into evidence a copy of the Note, DOT, copies of the FISA, MLSAA, Trust Agreement, the Reconstituted Servicing Agreement and the SSA. However, GMAC did not offer any documents demonstrating how the Note and DOT were conveyed by GreenPoint to the FISA. No document was offered demonstrating how the Note and DOT were conveyed from the FISA to the MLSAA or from the MLSAA into the Trust. Schedule A-1 of the MLSAA, where the transferred mortgages presumably would have been listed, only has the words “Intentionally Omitted” on it, and Schedule A-2 has the word “None.” (Exhibit F, pp. 19-20). Similarly, there is no evidence that the Note and DOT are subject to the SSA. Exhibit A to the SSA, titled “Mortgage Loan Schedule,” is blank. At the conclusion of the hearing, this Court ordered the Debtor to begin making adequate protection payments commencing on December 1, 2009 to the Chapter 13 Trustee. The Court further ordered GMAC and the Debtor to negotiate the amount of the adequate protection payments. When the parties were unable to reach agreement, the Court set the amount of the monthly payments at $1,000.

III. ISSUE

Does GMAC have standing to bring the Motion?

IV. JURISDICTIONAL STATEMENT

Jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1334(a) and 157(b)(2)(G).

V. DISCUSSION

A. Introduction

Section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that the filing of a bankruptcy petition operates as a stay of collection and enforcement actions. 11 U.S.C. § 362(a). The purpose of the automatic stay is to provide debtors with “protection against hungry creditors” and to assure creditors that the debtor’s other creditors are not “racing to various courthouses to pursue independent remedies to drain the debtor’s assets.” In re Tippett,Dean v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 72 F.3d 754, 755-56 (9th Cir. 1995)); see also In re Johnston, 321 B.R. 262, 2737-4 (D. Ariz. 2005). Despite the broad protection the stay affords, it is not without limits. 542 F.3d 684, 689-90 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing Section 362(d) allows the court, upon request of a “party in interest,” to grant relief from the stay, “such as terminating, annulling, modifying, or conditioning such stay.” 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(1). The court may grant relief “for cause, including the lack of adequate protection.” Id. The court may also grant relief from the stay with respect to specific property of the estate if the debtor lacks equity in the property and the property is not necessary to an effective reorganization. 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(2).

Any party affected by the stay should be entitled to seek relief. 3 COLLIER’S ON BANKRUPTCY ¶ 362.07[2] (Henry Somers & Alan Resnick, eds. 15th ed., rev. 2009); Matter of Brown Transp. Truckload, Inc., 118 B.R. 889, 893 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 1990); In re Vieland, 41 B.R. 134, 138 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 1984)). Relief from stay hearings are limited in scope — the validity of underlying claims is not litigated. In re Johnson, 756 F.2d 738, 740 (9th Cir. 1985). As one court has noted, “[s]tay relief hearings do not involve a full adjudication on the merits of claims, defenses or counterclaims, but simply a determination as to whether a creditor has a colorable claim.” In re Emrich, 2009 WL 3816174, at *1 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. 2009).

Nevertheless, in order to establish a colorable claim, a movant for relief from stay bears the burden of proof that it has standing to bring the motion. In re Wilhelm, 407 B.R. 392, 400 (Bankr. D. Idaho 2009). The issue of standing involves both “constitutional limitations on federal court jurisdiction and prudential limitations on its exercise.” Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498 (1975). Constitutional standing concerns whether the plaintiff’s personal stake in the lawsuit is sufficient to have a “case or controversy” to which the federal judicial power may extend under Article III. Id.; see also Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 559-60 (1992); Pershing Park Villas Homeowners Ass’n v. United Pac. Ins. Co., 219 F.3d 895, 899 (9th Cir. 2000).

Additionally, the “prudential doctrine of standing has come to encompass several judicially self-imposed limits on the exercise of federal jurisdiction.'” Pershing Park Villas, 219 F.3d at 899. Such limits are the prohibition on third-party standing and the requirement that suits be maintained by the real party in interest. See Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. at 498-99; Gilmartin v. City of Tucson, 2006 WL 5917165, at *4 (D. Ariz. 2006). Thus, prudential standing requires the plaintiff to assert its own claims rather than the claims of another. The requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 17, made applicable in stay relief motions by Rule 9014, “generally falls within the prudential standing doctrine.” In re Wilhelm, 407 B.R. at 398.

B. GMAC’s Standing

GMAC advances three different arguments in support of its claim to be a “party in interest” with standing to seek relief from stay. First, GMAC asserts it has standing because the Note was endorsed to GMAC and GMAC has physical possession of the Note. Second, GMAC asserts that by virtue of the MERS Assignment, it is a beneficiary of the DOT and entitled to enforce and foreclose the DOT under Arizona law. Third, GMAC asserts it has standing because it is the servicer of the Note. The court addresses each of GMAC’s claims in turn.

1. GMAC Has Not Demonstrated That It Is A Holder Of The Note

If GMAC is the holder of the Note, GMAC would be a party injured by the Debtor’s failure to pay it, thereby satisfying the constitutional standing requirement. GMAC would also be the real party in interest under Fed. R. Civ. P. 17 because under ARIZ. REV. STAT. (“A.R.S.’) § 47-3301, the holder of a note has the right to enforce it.[ 2 ] However, as discussed below, GMAC did not prove it is the holder of the Note.

Under Arizona law, a holder is defined as “the person in possession of a negotiable instrument that is payable either to bearer or to an identified person that is the person in possession.” A.R.S. § 47-1201(B)(21)(a).[ 3 ] GMAC has failed to demonstrate that it is the holder of the Note because, while it was in possession of the Note at the evidentiary hearing, it failed to demonstrate that the Note is properly payable to GMAC. A special endorsement to GMAC was admitted into evidence with the Note. However, for the Endorsement to constitute part of the Note, it must be on “a paper affixed to the instrument.” A.R.S. § 47-3204; see also In re Nash, 49 B.R. 254, 261 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 1985). Here, the evidence did not demonstrate that the Endorsement was affixed to the Note. The Endorsement is on a separate sheet of paper; there was no evidence that it was stapled or otherwise attached to the rest of the Note. Furthermore, when GMAC filed its proof of claim, the Endorsement was not included, which is a further indication that the allonge containing the Endorsement was not affixed to the Note.[ 4 ]

In Adams v. Madison Realty & Dev., Inc., 853 F.2d 163 (3d Cir. 1988), the plaintiffs executed promissory notes which, after a series of transfers, came into the defendant’s possession. At issue was whether the defendant was the rightful owner of the notes. The court held that the defendant was not entitled to holder in due course status because the endorsements failed to meet the UCC’s fixation requirement. Id. at 168-69. The court relied on UCC section 3-202(2) [A.R.S. § 47-3204]: “An indorsement must be written by or on behalf of the holder and on the instrument or on a paper so firmly affixed thereto as to become a part thereof.” Id. at 165. Since the endorsement page, indicating that the defendant was the holder of the note, was not attached to the note, the court found that the note had not been properly negotiated. Id. at 166-67. Thus, ownership of the note never transferred to the defendant. Applying that principle to the facts here, GMAC did not become a holder of the Note due to the improperly affixed special endorsement.

While the bankruptcy court in In re Nash, 49 B.R. 254 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 1985) found that holder in due course status existed even though an allonge was not properly affixed to an instrument, the court based its determination on the clear intention that the note assignment be physically attached because: (1) the assignment was signed and notarized the same day as the trust deed; (2) the assignment specifically referenced the escrow number; (3) the assignment identified the original note holder; and (4) the assignment recited that the note was to be attached to the assignment. Id. at 261.

In this case, however, there is no proof that the allonge containing the special endorsement from GreenPoint to GMAC was executed at or near the time the Note was executed. Furthermore, the Endorsement does not have any identifying numbers on it, such as an account number or an escrow number, nor does it reference the Note in any way. There is simply no indication that the allonge was appropriately affixed to the Note, in contradiction with the mandates of A.R.S. § 47-3204. Thus, there is no basis in this case to depart from the general rule that an endorsement on an allonge must be affixed to the instrument to be valid.

GMAC cannot overcome the problems with the unaffixed Endorsement by its physical possession of the Note because the Note was not endorsed in blank and, even if it was, the problem of the unaffixed endorsement would remain.[ 5 ] As a result, because GMAC failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that the Endorsement was proper, it has failed to demonstrate that it is the holder of the Note.

2. The MERS Assignment Of The DOT Did Not Provide GMAC With Standing

GMAC argues that it has standing to bring the Motion as the assignee of MERS.[ 6 ] In this case, MERS is named in the DOT as a beneficiary, solely as the “nominee” of GreenPoint, holding only “legal title” to the interests granted to GreenPoint under the DOT. A number of cases have held that such language confers no economic benefit on MERS. See, e.g., In re Sheridan, 2009 WL 631355, *4 (Bankr. D. Idaho 2009); In re Mitchell, 2009 WL 1044368, *3-4 (Bankr. D. Nev. 2009); In re Jacobson, 402 B.R. 359, 367 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. 2009). As noted by the Sheridan court, MERS “collect[s] no money from [d]ebtors under the [n]ote, nor will it realize the value of the [p]roperty through foreclosure of the [d]eed of [t]rust in the event the [n]ote is not paid.” 2009 WL 631355 at *4.

Because MERS has no financial interest in the Note, it will suffer no injury if the Note is not paid and will realize no benefit if the DOT is foreclosed. Accordingly, MERS cannot satisfy the requirements of constitutional standing. GMAC, as MERS’ assignee of the DOT, “stands in the shoes” of the assignor, taking only those rights and remedies the assignor would have had. Hunnicutt Constr., Inc. v. Stewart Title & Trust of Tucson, Trust No. 3496, 187 Ariz. 301, 304 (Ct. App. 1996) citing Van Waters & Rogers v. Interchange Res., Inc., 14 Ariz. App. 414, 417 (1971); In re Boyajian, 367 B.R. 138, 145 (9th Cir. BAP 2007). Because GMAC is MERS’ assignee, it cannot satisfy the requirements of constitutional standing either.[ 7 ]

3. GMAC Does Not Have Standing As The Servicer Of The Note

(a) Servicer’s Right To Collect Fees For Securitized Mortgages

Securitization of residential mortgages is “the process of aggregating a large number of notes secured by deeds of trust in what is called a mortgage pool, and then selling security interests in that pool of mortgages.” Kurt Eggert, Held Up In Due Course: Predatory Lending, Securitization, and the Holder in Due Course Doctrine, 35 CREIGHTON L. REV. 503, 536 (2002). The process begins with a borrower negotiating with a mortgage broker for the terms of the loan. Then, the mortgage broker either originates the loan in its own name or in the name of another entity, which presumably provides the money for the loan. Almost immediately, the broker transfers the loan to the funding entity. “This lender quickly sells the loan to a different financial entity, which pools the loan together with a host of other loans in a mortgage pool.” Id. at 538.

The assignee then transfers the mortgages in the pool to another entity, which in turn transfers the loans to a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”,) whose sole role is to hold the pool of mortgages. Id. at 539. “The transfer to the special purpose trust must constitute a true sale, so that the party transferring the assets reduces its potential liability on the loans and exchanges the fairly illiquid loans for much more liquid cash.” Id. at 542. Next, the SPV issues securities which the assignee sells to investors. Id. at 539.

Once the securities have been sold, the SPV is not actively involved. It “does not directly collect payments from the homeowners whose notes and deeds of trust are held by the SPV.” Id. at 544. Rather, servicers collect the principal and interest payments on behalf of the SPV. Id. Fees are associated with the servicing of loans in the pool. Therefore, GMAC would have constitutional standing if it is the servicer for the Note and DOT because it would suffer concrete injury by not being able to collect its servicing fees.[ 8 ]In re O’Kelley, 420 B.R. 18, 23 (D. Haw. 2009) . In this case, however, the evidence does not demonstrate that the Note and DOT were transferred to the Trust, and, without that evidence, there is no demonstration that GMAC is the servicer of the Note.

(b) There Is Insufficient Evidence That The Note Was Sold To Lehman And Became Part Of The Trust

When the Debtor executed the Note and DOT, GreenPoint was the original holder of the Note and the economic beneficiary of the DOT. GreenPoint, allegedly, transferred the Note to Lehman pursuant to the FISA. However, the term “mortgage loans” is not defined in the FISA and GMAC’s documents regarding the securitization of the Note and DOT provide no evidence of actual transfers of the Note and DOT to either the FISA or the Trust. Because such transfers must be “true sales,” they must be properly documented to be effective. Thus, to use an overused term, GMAC has failed “to connect the dots” to demonstrate that the Note and DOT were securitized. Accordingly, it is immaterial that GMAC is the servicer for the Trust.

C. Debtor’s Other Arguments

1. Securities Investors Are Not The Only Individuals Who Can Satisfy Standing Requirements When Dealing With A 362 Motion on a “Securitized” Mortgage

The Debtor argues that, in an asset securitization scheme, only the securities investors have standing to seek stay relief because they are the only parties with a financial interest in the securitized notes. However, because the Debtor executed the Note and received consideration (which he used to purchase the house), the contract is enforceable regardless of who provided the funding. In other words, the fact that the funds for a borrower’s loan are supplied by someone other than the loan originator, does not invalidate the loan or restrict enforcement of the loan contract to the parties who funded the loan. A number of cases and treatises recognize that consideration for a contract, including a promissory note, can be provided by a third party. See, e.g., DCM Ltd. P’ship v. Wang, 555 F. Supp. 2d 808, 817 (E.D. Mich. 2008); Buffalo County v. Richards, 212 Neb. 826, 828-29 (Neb. 1982); 3 WILLISTON ON CONTRACTS § 7:20 (Richard A. Lord, 4th ed. 2009); RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS § 71(4) (2009).

Notes are regularly assigned and the assignment does not change the nature of the contract. The assignee merely steps into the shoes of the assignor. In re Boyajian, 367 B.R. 138, 145 (9th Cir. BAP 2007); In re Trejos, 374 B.R. 210, 215 (9th Cir. BAP 2007). No additional consideration is required, as opposed to a novation which creates a new obligation. Id. at 216-17 citing RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS § 280, cmt. e. Therefore, the Debtor’s argument that the Note is unenforceable because the funder of the Note was not the payee fails. The Note is still valid and can be enforced by the party who has the right to enforce it under applicable Arizona law.

2. Proof Of A Note’s Entire Chain Of Ownership Is Not Necessary For Stay Relief

A movant for stay relief need only present evidence sufficient to present a colorable claim — not every piece of evidence that would be required to prove the right to foreclose under a state law judicial foreclosure proceeding is necessary. In re Emrich, 2009 WL 3816174, at *1 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. 2009). Accordingly, not every movant for relief from stay has to provide a complete chain of a note’s assignment to obtain relief.

Arizona’s deed of trust statute does not require a beneficiary of a deed of trust to produce the underlying note (or its chain of assignment) in order to conduct a Trustee’s Sale. Blau v. Am.’s Serv. Co., 2009 WL 3174823, at *6 (D. Ariz. 2009); Mansour v. Cal-W. Reconveyance Corp., 618 F. Supp. 2d 1178, 1181 (D. Ariz. 2009); Diessner v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., 618 F. Supp. 2d 1184, 1187 (D. Ariz. 2009). It would make no sense to require a creditor to demonstrate more to obtain stay relief than it needs to demonstrate under state law to conduct a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure. Moreover, if a note is endorsed in blank, it is enforceable as a bearer instrument. See In re Hill, 2009 WL 1956174, at *2 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 2009). Therefore, this Court declines to impose a blanket requirement that all movants must offer proof of a note’s entire chain of assignments to have standing to seek relief although there may be circumstances where, in order to establish standing, the movant will have to do so.

3. The Movant Has Not Violated Rule 9011

The Debtor argues that GMAC “violated Rule 7011″ by presenting insufficient and misleading evidence. Given that there is no Rule 7011, the Court assumes that the Debtor was actually referring to Bankruptcy Rule 9011. Rule 9011 allows a court to impose sanctions for filing a frivolous suit. FED. R. BANKR. P. 9011(c); see also FED. R. CIV. P. 11(c). As noted at the evidentiary hearing, the Court did not find that GMAC filed its motion for relief stay in bad faith, nor does this Court believe GMAC filed its motion thinking it did not have proper evidentiary support. There are numerous, often conflicting, decisions on the issues of “real party in interest” and constitutional standing, and what evidence must be presented by a servicer seeking stay relief. The record in this case does not support imposition of 9011 sanctions.

VI. CONCLUSION

GMAC has not demonstrated that it has constitutional or prudential standing or is the real party in interest entitled to prosecute a motion for relief from stay.

Accordingly, its motion is DENIED without prejudice.

Posted in case, foreclosure fraud, livinglies, MERS, mortgage electronic registration system, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, neil garfieldComments (0)


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