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Full Deposition of Michele Sjolander, Executive Vice President of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. “Stamp Endorsement”

Full Deposition of Michele Sjolander, Executive Vice President of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. “Stamp Endorsement”


Remember Michele Sjolander? Well, you can read about her in MERS, Endorsed Note Get SLAMMED by Kings County NY Supreme Court | BANK of NEW YORK v. ALDERAZI -

As well as in ARIZONA BK COURT ORDERS BONY MELLON TO PRODUCE ORIGINAL CUSTODIAN DOCUMENTS

and finally in the FULL DEPOSITION OF BANK OF AMERICA ROBO SIGNER RENEE D. HERTZLER

Fresh off the depo wagon comes her Full Deposition courtesy of 4closurefraud.

Excerpts:

Q It’s employees at Recontrust that stamp the
7 endorsements on the notes in general, including this one;
8 is that right?
9 A Yes.
10 Q And you’ve seen that taking place?
11 A Yes.
12 Q In Simi Valley?
13 A Yes.
14 Q Is there some type of manual or set of
15 instructions?
16 A They have my power of attorney.
17 Q Well, okay. That’s not what I’m asking. But I
18 do want to know about that. But what I’m saying: Is
19 there some sort of manual or instructions or –
20 A If you want to know the desk procedures, you
21 would have to speak with an associate of Recontrust.
22 Q Okay. Okay. Sorry. I’m just reading the notes
23 again. Now, I’m going to try to explain this. I may
24 have to do it a couple of times, but just bear with me.
25 And you’ve been very helpful so far. I appreciate it,
1 there it sat is I guess what I’m asking.
2 A In safekeeping, yes.
3 Q Okay. All right. Now, this is something you
4 touched on a minute ago. I’m going to try to phrase it
5 in a way that makes sense. Who — and let’s just deal
6 with Countrywide in 2007.
7 Who is allowed to be an endorser as you were? I
8 mean, who — let me leave it at that and see if that
9 makes sense to you.
10 A I don’t know what you’re asking.
11 Q What I’m saying is: Are there people other than
12 you at Countrywide in 2007 whose names would appear on a
13 note as an endorsement?
14 A For Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.?
15 Q Yes.
16 A In 2007, I was the endorser for Countrywide Home
17 Loans, Inc.
18 Q Okay. And, I mean, can you explain why you, in
19 particular? I mean, how is that established?
20 A Just lucky.
21 Q I mean, I know this is going to sound silly, but
22 was there some competition for it? Did they come to you
23 and say, “Ms. Sjolander, we choose you?” I mean, how did
24 you come to be designated the person?
25 A It is the position I held within Countrywide.
1 Q Okay. And did you know that going in; you know,
2 if you take this job, you’re going to be the endorser?
3 Was that explained to you at some point?
4 A I knew that my previous boss was the endorser,
5 yes.
6 Q Oh, okay. Now, we covered this, that other
7 people stamped your signature and the other — her name
8 is — oh, it’s Laurie Meder?
9 A Meder.
10 Q Okay. So other people have a stamp with her
11 name and your name on it, and how do those people have
12 the authority to put her name and your name on a note for
13 it to be an effective endorsement?
14 A With my name, they have a power of attorney.
15 Q And what does the power of attorney say?
16 A The power of attorney allows them to place my
17 endorsement stamp on collateral.
18 Q How do they come to have your power of attorney?
19 A I gave that to them.
20 Q But, I mean, in what sort of process? You know,
21 how does someone at Recontrust — I mean, I understand
22 that a power of attorney document exists, I’m assuming;
23 correct?
24 A Yes.
25 Q And how do those people come to operate under
1 it?
2 A It’s common, standard practice.
3 Q I may not be asking it quite right. I guess
4 what I’m asking is: Do they — the people who actually
5 use the stamps — is there more than one, or is there
6 just one stamp? I said “stamps” multiple. Is there only
7 one, or is there –
8 A No, there’s multiple stamps.
9 Q So do these people sign something that says, “I
10 understand I’m under Michele Sjolander’s power of
11 attorney”?
12 A Once again, you would have to look at the desk
13 procedures for Recontrust, and you would have to talk to
14 someone at Recontrust.
15 Q So that’s your understanding that you — did you
16 sign a power of attorney document?
17 A Yes, I did.
18 Q And, I mean, can you explain just in — you
19 know, in general, not word for word what it says, but
20 what does it purport to grant as power of attorney?
21 A It grants Recontrust. They can endorse and
22 assign notes on behalf of myself.
23 Q And do you know if this applies to a select
24 group of people?
25 A I do not have — I would have to read the
1 document.
2 Q Okay. But just to clarify, once again, you
3 don’t actually know the legal mechanism by which these
4 people with the stamps operate under this power of
5 attorney?
6 A As I said, I would have to go back through all
7 of the documentation that surrounds the power of
8 attorney, and Recontrust has desk procedures, and it
9 would be their procedures for them to assign that, to
10 place the stamp on the collateral.
11 Q And this was a procedure in 2007, what we’re
12 talking here is 2007?
13 A Correct.
14 Q And to the present?
15 A No.

<SNIP>

4 Q All of it, okay. Let’s see. Now, you mentioned
5 documents that you had reviewed. The AS-400, that’s a –
6 can you just refresh my memory? What was that again?
7 A A servicing system.
8 Q A servicing system, okay. Now, when you looked
9 over these records and documents before that you
10 mentioned before, where were you when you looked at
11 those?
12 A Simi Valley.
13 Q Simi Valley. And where were the documents that
14 you were looking at?
15 A At that time, they were brought into my office.
16 Q Do you have any idea where they were brought
17 from?
18 A They were printed off the system.
19 Q Printed off the system.
20 A From one of my associates.
21 Q Is that a computer system?
22 A As I said, the collateral tracking is printed
23 off the AS-400, which is our servicing system. The
24 investor number commitment was printed off — it’s a
25 web-based application from secondary marketing. It’s
1 printed off of that. The note was printed off of our
2 imaging system. And I think in this case I asked for a
3 copy of the note showing the endorsements, because in our
4 imaging system it does not — the note is actually imaged
5 prior to my endorsement stamp being in place. So I had
6 my associate contact the bank, which is Recontrust, to
7 get a copy of the original note to show my endorsement
8 stamps, because in imaging it is not shown.
9 Q So if a copy is made of a note that you got from
10 Recontrust, it doesn’t have an endorsement? Is that what
11 you’re saying?
12 A From our bank, it does. In our imaging system,
13 it does not. The note is imaged prior to an
14 endorsement — in ’07, the note is imaged prior to an
15 endorsement being placed on the note. So if you look in
16 our imaging system, you wouldn’t see the chain of title
17 of endorsement.
18 Q And where would you see that?
19 A On the original note.
20 Q Which is — which is where?
21 A In this case, it was in the Fannie Mae vault in
22 Simi Valley, California.
23 Q We’ll come back to the Fannie Mae vault. Okay.
24 So they’re printed off in AS-400 imaging system.
25 A AS-400 and the imaging system are two different
systems.
2 Q Oh, you said AS-400 is a servicing software
3 platform of some type?
4 A Yes.
5 Q And the imaging system, what — can you describe
6 that?
7 A It’s a –
8 Q You know –
9 A It’s when all of the collateral documents and
10 credit file documents are imaged after the closing of a
11 loan, and they are put in our imaging system, and we can
12 go into the system by loan number and pull up the
13 documentation of a loan –
14 Q I guess –
15 A — if you have access to the system.
16 Q But imaging, I mean, I’m imagining a scanner of
17 some sort. Is that what it is?
18 A It is not my area. I cannot tell you.

continue below…

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U.S. banks offered deal over lawsuits – FT

U.S. banks offered deal over lawsuits – FT


REUTERS-

Big U.S. banks in talks with state prosecutors to settle claims of improper mortgage practices have been offered a deal that is proposed to limit part of their legal liability, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

The FT said state prosecutors have proposed a deal to limit part of the banks’ liability in return for a multibillion-dollar payment.

The talks aim to settle allegations that banks including Bank of America (BAC.N), JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N), Wells Fargo (WFC.N), Citigroup (C.N) and Ally Financial (GKM.N). seized the homes of delinquent borrowers and broke state laws by employing so-called “robosigners”, workers who signed off on foreclosure documents en masse without reviewing the paperwork.

[REUTERS]

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LETTER | Iowa AG: Banks may face criminal liability after robo-signing settlement

LETTER | Iowa AG: Banks may face criminal liability after robo-signing settlement


LIES: Didn’t we hear this before?

HW-

The eventual robo-signing settlement between the 50 state attorneys general and major mortgage servicers will not release these firms from any criminal and not all civil liabilities, according to Iowa AG Tom Miller.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and 20 members of the New York congressional delegation sent a letter to Miller Wednesday, chiding him for allegedly ousting New York AG Eric Schneiderman from the talks.

“We are deeply troubled by your recent action to silence New York’s voice by removing New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from an executive committee negotiating a nationwide settlement with the banks,” Nadler wrote.

[…]

“While a final multistate case release has not been negotiated and the release is a work in progress, attorneys general on the negotiation committee are not preparing to, nor will they agree to, release the banks from all civil liability,” Miller wrote in his letter to Nadler. “We are also not preparing to, nor can we agree to, release the banks from any criminal liability.”

[HOUSING WIRE]

[ipaper docId=63834830 access_key=key-1pa07f0fvx22a1cl256d height=600 width=600 /]

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Memo: BofA to Sell Correspondent Mortgage Business

Memo: BofA to Sell Correspondent Mortgage Business


WSJ-

From: Home Loan News Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 4:19am Subject: Important Message From Barbara DeSoer

To All IMS Associates

I wanted to provide this team with information about a strategic announcement our Home Loans business will make today that is consistent with our ongoing efforts to align the business to the bank’s customer-driven strategy.

Earlier this year, when we split out the Legacy Asset Servicing business, we did so in order for our team to focus on the future of the home loans business. We have made significant progress over the past several months and are taking steps to further position our business to serve the needs of the bank’s 58 million households and attract new mortgage customers with the potential to support growth across the franchise.

[WALL STREET JOURNAL]

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BREAKING: Bank of America to Exit Mortgage Business

BREAKING: Bank of America to Exit Mortgage Business


It’s going to tank!

WSJ-

Bank of America Corp. intends to sell its correspondent mortgage business, as the troubled lender looks to narrow its focus and bolster its financial strength, said people familiar with the situation.

Employees could be notified as soon as Wednesday that the lender has decided to exit the correspondent channel because it no longer fits with the long-term strategy for its mortgage unit. The company decided to get out roughly four to six weeks ago, following a review led by mortgage chief Barbara Desoer. The business employs more than 1,000 people.

[WALL STREET JOURNAL]

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Federal Housing Finance Agency Action Regarding Court Consideration of Proposed Bank of America Settlement

Federal Housing Finance Agency Action Regarding Court Consideration of Proposed Bank of America Settlement


For Immediate Release

Contact:
Corinne Russell (202) 414-6921
Stefanie Johnson (202) 414-6376

August 30, 2011

Federal Housing Finance Agency Action Regarding
Court Consideration of Proposed Bank of America Settlement

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), in its capacity as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), today filed an Appearance and Conditional Objection regarding the proposed settlement between Bank of America and a consortium of 22 investors being considered by a court in New York. This pleading was filed to obtain any additional pertinent information developed in the matter. The conservator is aware of no basis upon which it would raise a substantive objection to the proposed settlement at this time. In fact, FHFA considers it positive that the proposed settlement includes subservicing requirements, specific terms for the servicing of troubled mortgages and the curing of certain document deficiencies. Additionally, FHFA is encouraged that a number of significant market participants support the proposed settlement.

Due to its duty to preserve and conserve Enterprise assets, the conservator believes it prudent not only to receive additional information as it continues its due   diligence of the proposed settlement, but also to reserve its capability to voice a substantive objection in the unlikely event that necessity should arise.

###

The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $5.7 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions.

[ipaper docId=63608461 access_key=key-28qkwf1hpfo6v93rjo0r height=600 width=600 /]

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Nadler and NY Delegation Assail Iowa Attorney General for Excluding NY Attorney General from Mortgage Settlement Talks

Nadler and NY Delegation Assail Iowa Attorney General for Excluding NY Attorney General from Mortgage Settlement Talks


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

NEW YORK, NY – Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, and 20 members of New York’s congressional delegation chided Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller for his dismissal of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last week from ongoing mortgage settlement negotiations, demanding that Attorney General Miller explain how he intends to ensure that New York’s interests are represented during the remainder of the negotiation talks.  The national committee of state Attorneys General are working to settle numerous complex legal matters arising from the 2008 housing collapse.


“As members of the New York congressional delegation, we are united in fighting for a fair resolution of the housing crisis that has devastated tens of thousands of families across our state,” the members wrote.  “That is why we are deeply troubled by your recent action to silence New York’s voice by removing New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from an executive committee negotiating a nationwide settlement with the banks.  We ask that you explain how New York’s interests will be protected as negotiations move forward.”

Below is the full text of the letter:

August 30, 2011

The Honorable Tom Miller
Attorney General
1305 East Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

Dear Attorney General Miller:

As members of the New York congressional delegation, we are united in fighting for a fair resolution of the housing crisis that has devastated tens of thousands of families across our state.  That is why we are deeply troubled by your recent action to silence New York’s voice by removing New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from an executive committee negotiating a nationwide settlement with the banks.  We ask that you explain how New York’s interests will be protected as negotiations move forward.

New York’s homeowners and investors have been hit hard by the economic impact of wrongdoing related to the mortgage crisis.  According to the FBI, New York ranked as one of the top ten states for known or suspected mortgage fraud activity for two consecutive years.  It also was one of the top ten states for reports of mortgage fraud across all originations in 2010.  Undoubtedly, our state, the third largest in the nation, deserves a seat at any negotiating table that could potentially limit our state’s ability to investigate and penalize wrongdoing done within our borders.

Raising legitimate concerns about elements of the proposed settlement is a responsibility of every member of the executive committee and should never be the basis for silencing a viewpoint.  Your removal of Attorney General Schneiderman sets a dangerous precedent for other attorneys general who, out of fear of what might happen, may choose silence over voicing valid concerns with particular aspects of the proposed settlement.  Moreover, your attempt to banish opposition rather than address varying viewpoints undermines both the validity of the process and any settlement reached by the committee.

New York deserves adequate representation during the remainder of the mortgage settlement negotiations.  We look forward to hearing how you will ensure that New York’s voice is heard.

Sincerely,

Jerrold Nadler
Carolyn Maloney
Maurice Hinchey
Joseph Crowley
Edolphus Towns
Carolyn McCarthy
Jose Serrano
Gary Ackerman
Timothy Bishop
Eliot Engel
Charles Rangel
Nita Lowey
Louise Slaughter
Paul Tonko
Gregory Meeks
Bill Owens
Yvette Clarke
Kathleen Hochul
Brian Higgins
Nydia Velazquez
Steve Israel

###

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Matt Stoller: Power Politics – What Eric Schneiderman Reveals About Obama

Matt Stoller: Power Politics – What Eric Schneiderman Reveals About Obama


Absolute Must Read…

Naked Capitalism-

A lot of people have asked why New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is going after the banks as aggressively as he is. It’s almost unbelievable that one lone elected official, who happens to have powerful legal tools at his disposal, is doing something that no one with any serious degree of power has done. So what is the secret? What kind of machinations is he undertaking that no one else has been able to do?

I’ve known Schneiderman for a few years, back when he was a state Senator working to reform the Rockefeller drug laws. And my answer to this question is pretty simple. He wants to. That’s it. Eric Schneiderman is investigating the banks because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. So he’s doing it. This guy has thought about his politics. He wrote an article about how he sees politics in 2008 in the Nation, and in his inaugural speech as NY AG he talked about the need to restore faith in both public and private institutions. Free will still counts for something, apparently.

[NAKED CAPITALISM]

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The Man Who May Bring the Banksters to Justice (If They Don’t Break His Knees First)

The Man Who May Bring the Banksters to Justice (If They Don’t Break His Knees First)


New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman may will go down in history as the most important public official in reforming the corrupt financial system!!

HuffPO-

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman may go down in history as the most important public official in reforming the corrupt financial system that caused the great Financial Crisis of 2008 and holding the perps responsible — if he can hold out against pressure from Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, and the Obama administration to give Wall Street a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

Eric Schneiderman has played a key role in the investigation of foreclosure fraud and robo-signing by 50 state attorneys general against JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Bank. Reportedly, most of of the attorneys general — with the support of the Obama administration — are advocating a $20 billion settlement with the banks (less than a year’s worth of Wall Street’s bonus pool) in exchange for broad immunity from future investigations and prosecutions, not only of illegal foreclosures but of a wide range of fraudulent activity in connection with mortgage securitization over the past decade.

[HUFFINGTON POST]

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FDIC Objects to Bank of America’s Proposed $8.5 Billion Mortgage-Bond Pact

FDIC Objects to Bank of America’s Proposed $8.5 Billion Mortgage-Bond Pact


There will be NO settlement!

Via Bloomberg-

The FDIC objected to Bank of America Corp. (BAC)’s proposed mortgage-bond settlement.

Filing Courtesy of Naked Capitalism & Webber3292

[ipaper docId=63528705 access_key=key-zs0zok86w3cc6fo3fte height=600 width=600 /]

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Under fire, N.Y. AG wins plaudits in mortgage probe

Under fire, N.Y. AG wins plaudits in mortgage probe


Miller said he invited Schneiderman’s office in June to be part of a smaller negotiating committee, but Schneiderman declined, indicating he “would possibly pursue a different direction.”

LOL! this is telling him nicely to take his “$maller Negotiating Committee” and stuff it, I ain’t For $ale!

Baltimore Sun-

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York attorney general’s booting from a panel of state officials negotiating a settlement of mortgage abuses may shore up his political base and enforcement agenda.

Eric Schneiderman’s resistance to a possible $25 billion settlement being negotiated with the largest mortgage servicers has already drawn praise from groups representing minorities and organized labor.

“Anybody who takes on the banks is a hero,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said. “Whether he gets anything done is another story. In politics, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.”

[BALTIMORE SUN]

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NY AG Eric T. Schneiderman Committed To Full Investigation into Banks’ Misconduct

NY AG Eric T. Schneiderman Committed To Full Investigation into Banks’ Misconduct


Via an email from his office-

You might have been following the latest developments related to the national settlement of the mortgage probe, including this story in today’s Huffington Post about our tough fight for a comprehensive resolution to this crisis.

Let me tell you directly: I am deeply committed to pursuing a full investigation into the misconduct that led to the collapse of America’s housing market, and to seeking a resolution that gives homeowners meaningful relief, allows the housing market to begin to recover, and gets our economy moving again.

Our ongoing investigation into the housing crisis cannot be shut down to accommodate efforts to settle quickly and give banks and others broad immunity from further legal action. If you have any thoughts or concerns about this critical issue, please contact me at 1-800-771-7755, or send a message via Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you for your support,

Eric T. Schneiderman
Attorney General

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Obama Goes All Out For Dirty Banker Deal

Obama Goes All Out For Dirty Banker Deal


Dirty, Dirty, Dirty…

TAIBBLOG-

A power play is underway in the foreclosure arena, according to the New York Times.

On the one side is Eric Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General, who is conducting his own investigation into the era of securitizations – the practice of chopping up assets like mortgages and converting them into saleable securities – that led up to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

On the other side is the Obama administration, all the banks, and, now, apparently, all the other state attorneys general.

[ROLLINGSTONE]

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BREAKING: New York Removed From State Group Working on Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Deal

BREAKING: New York Removed From State Group Working on Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Deal


Truly remarkable that no one can convince Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to agree to back down! NY should support his team in any way, shape and form. He is NOT willing to let go of what is right for the NY people!

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) — The New York Attorney General’s office was removed from a group of state attorneys general that is working on a nationwide foreclosure settlement with U.S. banks, according to a state official.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has raised concern about terms of a possible deal, was removed from the executive committee of state attorneys general, according to an e-mail today from Iowa Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan.

[BLOOMBERG]

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Attorney General of N.Y. Is Said to Face Pressure on Bank Foreclosure Deal

Attorney General of N.Y. Is Said to Face Pressure on Bank Foreclosure Deal


Gretchen Morgenson-

Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices, according to people briefed on discussions about the deal.

In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement, said the people briefed on the talks.

Mr. Schneiderman and top prosecutors in some other states have objected to the proposed settlement with major banks, saying it would restrict their ability to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing in a variety of areas, including the bundling of loans in mortgage securities.

[NY TIMES]

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To put it another way, it’s a throwdown! Geithner and the Fed versus New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

To put it another way, it’s a throwdown! Geithner and the Fed versus New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman


Bloomberg-

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) may settle a state and federal probe of foreclosure practices in a deal that lets New York proceed with an inquiry into securitizations, according to two people with direct knowledge of the talks.

The firm may pursue an accord with most of the 50 state attorneys general, even if it omits New York’s Eric Schneiderman and at least two other states who are opposed because a deal would impede related inquiries, said one of the people. Negotiations on a broad settlement stalled after Schneiderman indicated he wouldn’t let it block his probe into the bundling and sale of mortgages, said the people, who declined to be identified because talks are private.

[BLOOMBERG]

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Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden also intends to intervene in the Bank of America case

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden also intends to intervene in the Bank of America case


Lets not forget some of the trusts in the settlement were established under Delaware law…

(Reuters) –

A day after New York’s attorney general called Bank of America Corp’s (BAC.N) $8.5 billion mortgage-backed securities settlement “unfair” and “inadequate”, another state attorney general hinted he may also oppose the deal.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden plans on filing a motion to intervene next week, said an attorney from his office on Friday.

[REUTERS]

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New York Attorney General Accuses Bank Of New York Mellon Of Fraud, Moves To Block Bank Of America’s Mortgage Deal

New York Attorney General Accuses Bank Of New York Mellon Of Fraud, Moves To Block Bank Of America’s Mortgage Deal


First broke on this site last year, a Bank of America executive, Linda DeMartini, testified that Countrywide routinely did not convey crucial documents for loans sold to investors in KEMP v. Countrywide.

HuffPO-

WASHINGTON — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked a state judge to reject a proposed $8.5 billion settlement agreement over soured loans between Bank of America and a group of investors, claiming in court documents that a separate bank representing the investors committed fraud for failing to ensure that the mortgage securities were created in accordance with state law and for failing to act in the investors’ best interest.

Bank of New York Mellon, the trustee representing the investors, “knowingly, repeatedly, and consistently” misled investors into thinking that the mortgage bonds were created properly, Schneiderman said in court documents. BNY Mellon also put its own interests before those of the investors it’s supposed to represent, he said.

[HUFFINGTONPOST]

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Prof. Levitin | About Those Notes…Evidence of Securitization Fail

Prof. Levitin | About Those Notes…Evidence of Securitization Fail


You’re either pregnant or you ain’t. Can’t be both!

Credit Slips-

Since last October, shortly after the robosigning scandal broke, I’ve been talking until I turned blue in the face about robosigning being the tip of the iceberg with mortgage problems and that the real issue was chain of title. Robosigning appeared to be an almost unexpected deposition by-product; the real goal in the depositions that uncovered the robosigning was exposing the backdating of mortgage endorsement. And that they did–the notaries’ whose seals were on the documents didn’t have their commissions when the assignments supposedly took place.

But why would anyone bother backdating mortgage assignments? …


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Fortune Confirms Pervasive Defects in Bank of America Mortgage Documents

Fortune Confirms Pervasive Defects in Bank of America Mortgage Documents


Naked Capitalism-

Do you remember the brouhaha over testimony by a senior executive in Countrywide’s mortgage servicing unit last year? It called into question whether mortgages had been conveyed properly to securitizations, which in turn would impair Bank of America’s ability to foreclose.

Let me refresh your memory. As we wrote last year:

Testimony in a New Jersey bankruptcy court case provides proof of the scenario we’ve depicted on this blog since September, namely, that subprime originators, starting sometime in the 2004-2005 timeframe, if not earlier, stopped conveying note (the borrower IOU) to mortgage securitization trust as stipulated in the pooling and servicing agreement….

As we indicated back in September, it appeared that Countrywide, and likely many other subprime orignators quit conveying the notes to the securitization trusts sometime in the 2004-2005 time frame. Yet bizarrely, they did not change the pooling and servicing agreements to reflect what appears to be a change in industry practice. Our evidence of this change was strictly anecdotal; this bankruptcy court filing, posted at StopForeclosureFraud provides the first bit of concrete proof. The key section:

As to the location of the note, Ms. DeMartini testified that to her knowledge, the original note never left the possession of Countrywide, and that the original note appears to have been transferred to Countrywide’s foreclosure unit, as evidenced by internal FedEx tracking numbers. She also confirmed that the new allonge had not been attached or otherwise affIXed to the note. She testified further that it was customary for Countrywide to maintain possession of the original note and related loan documents.

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At Bank of America, more incomplete mortgage docs raise more questions

At Bank of America, more incomplete mortgage docs raise more questions


Abigail Field-

Fortune examined hundreds of foreclosure documents to determine the validity of mortgage securitizations after Bank of America debunked testimony about them last fall. The results raise more questions than they answer.

Are Countrywide mortgage-backed securities really mortgage-backed? Do banks even have the legal right to foreclose on certain homes?


Check out the related posts below …

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MERS, Endorsed Note Get SLAMMED by Kings County NY Supreme Court | BANK of NEW YORK v. ALDERAZI

MERS, Endorsed Note Get SLAMMED by Kings County NY Supreme Court | BANK of NEW YORK v. ALDERAZI


Decided on April 11, 2011

Supreme Court, Kings County

The Bank of New York, as Trustee for the Benefit of the Certificateholders, CWABS, Inc., Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2007-2, Plaintiff,

against

Sameeh Alderazi, Bank of America, NA, New York City Environmental Control Board, new York City Parking Violations Bureau, New York City Transit Adjudication Bureau, and “John Doe No.1″ through “John Doe #10″, Defendants.

21739/2008

Plaintiff Attorney
Hiscock & Barclay
1100 M & T Center
3 Fountain Plaza
Buffalo, New York 14203-1486
Charles C. Martorana, Esq.

Plaintiff Former Attorney –
Frenkel, Lambert, Weiss, Weisman & Gordon, LLP
20 West Main Street
Bayshore, New York 11706 (631) 969-3100
Todd Falasco, Esq.

Wayne P. Saitta, J.

The Plaintiff renews its motion for an appointment of a referee in the underlying foreclosure action.

Upon reading the Notice of Motion and Affirmation of Charles C. Martorana Esq., of counsel to Hiscock and Barclay, LLP attorneys for Plaintiff, dated September 28 2010, and the exhibits annexed thereto; the Affirmation of Charles C. Martorana Esq., dated January 7, 2011; the Affirmation of Todd Falasco Esq., of counsel to Frenkel, Lambert, Weiss, Weisman, & Gordon, LLP,. Former attorneys for Plaintiff and the exhibits annexed thereto; the Affidavit of Jonathan Hyman sworn to February 10, 2011, and the exhibits annexed thereto; and upon all the proceedings heretofore had herein, and after hearing oral argument by Plaintiff’s counsel on March 3, 2011, and after due deliberation thereon, the motion is denied for the reasons set forth below.

The underlying action is a residential foreclosure action on a property located at 639 East 91st St. In Brooklyn. Plaintiff’s original application for the appointment of a referee to compute was denied by order of this court dated April 19, 2010. The Court denied the application because the Plaintiff, could not demonstrate that the original mortgagee, Countrywide Home Loans Inc., (doing business as America’s Wholesale Lender), had authorized the assignment of the mortgage to the Plaintiff.

The assignment to Plaintiff was executed by Mortgage Electronic Reporting System (MERS) as nominee for America’s Wholesale Lender.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines a nominee as “[a] person designated to act in place of another, usually in a very limited way”.

In its Memoranda to its original motion , Plaintiff quoted the Court in Schuh Trading Co., v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 95 F.2d 404, 411 (7th Cir. 1938), which defined a nominee as follows:

The word nominee ordinarily indicates one designated to act for another as his representative in a rather limited sense. It is used sometimes to signify an agent or trustee. It has no connotation, however, other than that of acting for another, or as the grantee of another.. Id. ( Emphasis added).

An assignment by an agent without authority from the principal is a nullity. Plaintiff failed to provide any evidence that Countrywide had authorized MERS to assign its mortgage to Plaintiff. The Court denied the application with leave to renew upon a showing that Countrywide had authorized MERS to assign its mortgage to Plaintiff.

Plaintiff has again moved for an order of reference, and submitted in addition to the MERS assignment, what it purports to be an endorsed note and a corporate resolution of MERS showing that MERS had appointed all officers of Countrywide Financial Corporation as assistant secretaries and vice presidents of MERS.

This present motion must fail for the same reason as the prior motion as Plaintiff has failed to provide documentation from the lender that it authorized the assignment.

[*2]The Endorsed Note Plaintiff submits an affidavit from Sharon Mason, a vice president of BAC Home Loan Servicing LP (BAC), a servicer of the loan, in which she asserts, based upon Plaintiff’s, books and records, that at the time the action was commenced the original note bearing the endorsement of Countrywide was in Plaintiff’s possession.

Plaintiff also submits an affidavit from Jonathan Hyman, an officer of BAC, based on BAC’s records. Hyman asserts in his affidavit that the mortgage was assigned to Bank of New York and that “the original note was delivered and endorsed to the plaintiff with endorsement in the name of the plaintiff.” Hyman appends to his affidavit a copy of what purports to be an endorsed note.

The note contains a stamped endorsement which states, “Pay to the Order of * * without recourse Countrywide Home Loans Inc., A New York Corporation Doing Business As America’s Wholesale Lender By: Michele Sjolander Executive Vice President”. Under the stamp is handwritten ” * * The Bank of New York, as Trustee for the Benefit of the Certificate, CWABS, Inc. Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2007-2″. The endorsement is undated.

However, the note that was appended to the summons and complaint filed in court on July 25, 2008 does not bear any endorsement. Plaintiff has offered no explanation, from anyone with knowledge, as to why, had the note had been endorsed and in its possession when it commenced the suit, that the note filed when the suit was commenced did not bear an endorsement.

Significantly, counsel for Plaintiff stated in oral argument before the Court on March 3 2011 that “There is nobody left to speak at to Countrywide”.

The affidavits of Hyman and Mason, which were based on the books and records of the plaintiff and BAC, are insufficient to establish ownership of the note in light of the fact that the note originally submitted bore no endorsement, and the fact that purported endorsement is undated. The affidavits are based on books and records, not on personal knowledge. Yet the affiants did not produce any of the records on which they based their assertion that Plaintiff possessed an endorsed note at the time the action was commenced.

The Mortgage Assignment

In his affidavit Hyman also asserts that, Keri Selman, the person who signed the assignment, served as an officer of both Countrywide and MERS. He appended a copy of a MERS corporate resolution which appointed all officers of Countrywide Financial Corporation as assistant secretaries and vice presidents of MERS.

Even putting aside the fact that there is no evidence that Countrywide Financial Corporation and Countrywide Home Loans Inc., are the same entity, the fact that MERS authorized Countrywide officers to act on its behalf, is not evidence of the converse. It is no evidence that Countrywide authorized MERS officers to act as officers of Countrywide. Further, the fact that Selman may have been an officer of both Countrywide and MERS does not alter the fact that she executed the assignment on behalf of MERS.

The face of the assignment indicates that MERS is assigning the mortgage as nominee of America’s Wholesale Lender (a trade name of Countrywide), and more [*3]importantly that Selman executed the assignment as assistant vice president of MERS.

Hyman’s assertion that the assignment incorrectly lists Selman’s title as assistant vice president of MERS, instead of assistant secretary and vice president of MERS, is of no relevance other than to demonstrate the casual and cavalier manner in which these transactions have been conducted.

While Hyman further asserts in his affidavit that Selman “under her authority as an Assistant Secretary and Vice president of MERS, expedited the Assignment of Mortgage process on behalf of MERS, with the approval and for the benefit of Countrywide,” he provides no evidence that Countrywide in fact approved or authorized the assignment.

Similarly, William C. Hultman, Secretary and Treasurer of MERS, states in a conclusory fashion in paragraph 8 of his affidavit that Countrywide “instructed MERS to assign the Mortgage to Bank of New York” without offering the basis for that assertion, other than it role as nominee.

Plaintiff claims, that by the terms of the mortgage MERS as nominee, was granted the right “(A) to exercise any or all of those rights, including, but not limited to the right to foreclose and sell the Property, and (B) to take any action required of the Lender including, but not limited to, releasing and canceling this Security Instrument.” However, this language is found on page two of the mortgage under the section “BORROWER’S TRANSFER TO LENDER OF RIGHTS IN THE PROPERTY” and therefore is facially an acknowledgment by the borrower. The fact that the borrower acknowledged and consented to MERS acting as nominee of the lender has no bearing on what specific powers and authority the lender granted MERS as nominee. The problem is not whether the borrower can object to the assignees’ standing, but whether the original lender, who is not before the Court, actually transferred its rights to the Plaintiff.

Furthermore, while the mortgage grants some rights to MERS it does not grant MERS the specific right to assign the mortgage. The only specific rights enumerated in the mortgage are the right to foreclose and sell the Property. The general language “to take any action required of the Lender including, but not limited to, releasing and canceling this Security Instrument” is not sufficient to give the nominee authority to alienate or assign a mortgage without getting the mortgagee’s explicit authority for the particular assignment.

The MERS Agreement

Plaintiff also argues that the agreement between MERs and its members grants MERS the authority to assign the mortgages of its members. However a reading of the MERS agreement reveals only that MERS can execute assignments on behalf of its members when directed to do so by the member or its servicer.

Plaintiff cites Rules of MERS membership, Rule 2 section 5. However what that rule requires is that a member to warrant to MERS that the mortgage either names MERS as mortgagee or that they prepare an assignment of mortgage naming MERs as mortgagee.

In this case MERS was named in paragraph (c) of the mortgage as Mortgagee of record for the purpose of recording the mortgage. Being the mortgagee of record for the [*4]purpose of recording the mortgage does not confer the right to assign the mortgage absent an instruction to do so from the lender. Paragraph 2 of the MERS terms and conditions provide that “MERS shall serve as mortgagee of record with respect to all such mortgage loans solely as a nominee in an administrative capacity”, and that “MERS agrees not to assert any rights (other than rights specified in the governing documents) with respect to such mortgage loans or mortgaged properties”. Assigning or alienating a mortgage without an explicit instruction from a lender to do so, is not acting in an administrative capacity.

Further, paragraph 6 of the terms and conditions provides that, “the MERS system is not a vehicle for creating or transferring beneficial interests in mortgage loans.” (emphasis added)

Lastly, Section 6 of the MERS agreement provides that MERS shall comply with the instructions from the holder of the notes and that in the absence of instructions from the holder may rely on instructions from the servicer with respect to transfers of beneficial ownership.

What the MERS agreements and terms and conditions provide, is that MERS may execute an assignment when instructed to do so by the lender or its servicer. This is nothing

more than saying that if granted authority by the lender, or its agent, to assign a mortgage, MERs can assign the mortgage on behalf of the lender.

To read the MERS agreement as granting MERS authority to assign any of the mortgages of its thousands of members, on its own volition, without the instruction or consent of the member would lead to a nonsensical result.

Plaintiff has failed to meet the very basic requirement that proof of an agent’s authority must be shown from the mouth of the principal not from the agent. Lexow & Jenkins, P.C. v. Hertz Commercial Leasing Corp., 122 AD2d 25, 504 N.Y.S.2d 192 (2nd Dept 1986), Siegel v. Kentucky Fried Chicken of Long Island, Inc., 108 AD2d 218, 488 N.Y.S.2d 744 (2nd Dept 1985).

As Plaintiff has not shown that it owned the note and mortgage, it has no standing to maintain this foreclosure action. Therefore the renewed motion for an order of reference must be denied and the action dismissed.

The Court has raised the standing issue sua sponte because, in this case, it goes to the integrity of the entire proceeding. For the court to allow a purported assignee to foreclose, in the absence of some proof that the original lender authorized the assignment of the mortgage to them, would cast doubt upon the validity of the title of any subsequent purchasers, should the original lender or successor challenge the assignment at a future date.

WHEREFORE it is hereby Ordered that Plaintiff’s motion for an Order of Reference is denied and the action is dismissed. This constitutes the decision and order of the Court.

[*5]

J.S.C.

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