Lost Assignment Affidavit | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

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Affidavits of Lost Assignments filed for Mortgage-Backed Trusts

Affidavits of Lost Assignments filed for Mortgage-Backed Trusts


By Fraud Digest

Mortgage Fraud

AFFIDAVITS OF LOST ASSIGNMENTS
Christina Carter
Linda Green
John Kennerty

Action Date: July 6, 2011
Location: West Palm Beach, FL

Is it perjury to submit a sworn affidavit to a Court that a Mortgage Assignment has been lost when there is absolutely no evidence that such Assignment ever even existed?

What if the affiant swears to know WHEN the non-existent Assignment was lost:

“Affiant’s investigation has revealed that the original unrecorded assignment of mortgage is lost or missing through no fault of the Assignee, although it appears Assignee was in possession of the instrument at the time it was lost or became missing.”

This exact statement – and many similar statements – appear in thousands of Affidavits of Lost Assignments – signed by Linda Green, John Kennerty and Christina Carter – employees of Lender Processing Services, America’s Servicing Company and Ocwen Loan Servicing.

These Affidavits are used in foreclosures to explain why mortgage-backed trusts should be allowed to foreclose even though the original lender never assigned the mortgages to the trusts.

Mortgage servicers continue to file these Lost Assignment Affidavits in 2011 – despite the many investigations and regulatory Consent Decrees.

How can you swear something was lost when it never existed? How can you swear as to the no-fault of a bank that is not even your employer?

Only robo-signers and mortgage servicers know for sure.


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



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WaPO: First, the electronic mortgage superhighway. Then, the pileup.

WaPO: First, the electronic mortgage superhighway. Then, the pileup.


Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, January 2, 2011

In the early 1990s, the biggest names in the mortgage industry hatched a plan for a new electronic clearinghouse that would transform the home loan business – and unlock billions of dollars of new investments and profits.

At the time, mortgage documents were moved almost exclusively by hand and mail, a throwback to an era in which people kept stock certificates, too. That made it hard for banks to bundle home loans and sell them to investors. By contrast, a central electronic clearinghouse would allow the companies to transfer thousands of mortgages instantaneously, greasing the wheels of a system in which loans could be bought and sold repeatedly and quickly.

“Assignments are creatures of 17th-century real property law; they do not coexist easily with high-volume, late 20th-century secondary mortgage market transactions,” Phyllis K. Slesinger, then senior director of investor relations for the Mortgage Bankers Association, wrote in paper explaining the system.

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



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NO. THERE’S NO LIFE AT MERS

NO. THERE’S NO LIFE AT MERS


NO. THERE’S NO LIFE AT MERS

By DinSFLA

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc (MERS) has a very long history. The beginning stages have remained a mystery until now.

In 1989, Brian Hershkowitz developed the “Whole Loan Book Entry” concept while serving as a director for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). In 1990, he first introduced this concept to seven different industry groups; Document Custodian, Originators, Servicers, Title Insurers, County Recorders, Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE’s) and Warehouse/Interim Lenders. The reception was very positive and it was viewed as a very useful recording system to be used for how equity and debt securities could be identified and managed.

In 1991, Mr. Hershkowtiz published Farming It Out in Mortgage Banking Magazine. His main discussion in this article is primarily about getting the opinion of the experts in the technology outsourcing service industry. In 1992, Mr. Hershkowitz published another article called Cutting Edge Solutions in Mortgage Banking Magazine. In this particular article he mentions the actual meeting that took place at the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) headquarters with many key players that are known today as some of MERSCORP’s shareholders, such as, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In this meeting they discussed a “System” that will bring changes in mortgage records.

Mr. Hershkowitz went on to become President and COO of LandSafe Credit, a leading settlement service provider that was a subsidiary of Countrywide. Mr. Hershkowitz also spent several years serving Countrywide in the areas of strategic planning and executive management.

In 2001, Mr. Hershkowitz became Executive Vice President at Fidelity National Information Services (FNIS) and President of its mortgage and information services division. His responsibilities included management of the Company’s data offerings, including public records information, credit reporting information, flood hazard compliance data, real estate tax information and collateral valuation services. He left FNIS in November of 2006 to become Chief Executive Officer of Maximum Value Group, a consulting firm focused on providing advice to private equity and other market participants in the area of banking and mortgages.

ENTER THE X-FILES

MERS has evolved into a totally different purpose today.

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of MERSCORP Inc., located at 1595 Spring Hill Rd Ste 310 Vienna, VA 22182.

MERS was founded by the mortgage industry. MERS tracks “changes” in the ownership of the beneficial and servicing interests of mortgage loans as they are bought and sold among MERS members or others. Simultaneously, MERS acts as the “mortgagee” of record in a “nominee” capacity (a form of agency) for the beneficial owners of these loans.

To ensure widespread acceptance within the industry, MERS sought to have security instruments modified to contain MERS as the original mortgagee (MOM) language. MERS began to change decades of business practices after the two biggest mortgage funders in the U.S. the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) and the Ferderal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) modified their Uniform Security Instruments to include MOM language. Their approval opened the doors to incorporate MERS into loans at origination.

Soon after, U.S. government agencies like the Veterans Administration, Federal Housing administration and Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae), and several state housing agencies followed both Fannie/Freddie to approve MERS.

More than 60 percent of all newly-originated mortgages are registered in MERS. Its mission is to register every mortgage loan in the United States on the MERS System. Since 1997, more than 65 million home mortgages have been assigned a Mortgage Identification Number (MIN) and have been registered on the MERS System.

The mortgage-backed security (MBS) sector tested the viability of MERS because a substantial number of mortgages are securitized in the secondary market. In February 1999, Lehman Brothers was the first company to include MERS registered loans in a MBS.

Moody’s Investor Service issued an independent Structured Finance special report  on MERS and it’s impact of MBS transactions and found that where the securitzer used MERS, new assignments of mortgages to the trustee of MBS transactions were not necessary.

Since MERS is a privately owned data system and not public, all mortgages and assignments must be recorded in order to perfect a lien. Since they failed to record assignments when these loans often traded ownership several times before any assignment was created, the legal issue is apparent. MERS may have destroyed the public land records by breaking the chain of title to millions of homes.

IN MERS CEO’S OWN WORDS

In or around the summer of 1997, MERSCORP President and CEO R.K. Arnold wrote, “Yes, There is life on MERS” Mr. Arnold stated, “Some county recorders have expressed concerns that MERS will eliminate their offices nationwide or destroy the public land records by breaking the chain of title. As implemented, MERS will not create a break in the chain of title, and, because MERS is premised on an assignment recorded in the public land records, MERS cannot work without county recorders.”

In this same article Mr. Arnold also states “The sheer volume of transfers between servicing companies and the resulting need to record assignments caused a heavy drag on the secondary market. Loan servicing can trade several times before even the first assignment in a chain is recorded, leaving the public land records clogged with unnecessary assignments. Sometimes these assignments are recorded in the wrong sequence, clouding title to the property”. Mr. Arnold never mentions the fact that the mortgage notes have been securitized, thereby becoming “negotiable securities” under the Uniform Commercial Code.

In an interview for The New York Times, Mr. Arnold said, “that his company had benefited not only banks, but also millions of borrowers who could not have obtained loans without the money-saving efficiencies MERS brought to the mortgage trade.”

Mr. Arnold went on to say that, ” far from posing a hurdle for homeowners, MERS had helped reduce mortgage fraud and imposed order on a sprawling industry where, in the past, lenders might have gone out of business and left no contact information for borrowers seeking assistance.”

“We’re not this big bad animal,” Mr. Arnold said. “This crisis that we’ve had in the mortgage business would have been a lot worse without MERS.”

Unfortunately, even a simple search in the Florida Land Records proves the opposite to be the case. Researchers have  easily found affidavits of lost assignments actually stating, “the said mortgage was assigned to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., from “XXXXXXX”, the original of the said assignment to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., was lost, misplaced or destroyed before same could be placed of record with the Florida Land Records County Clerk’s office; That, “XXXXXXX”, it’s successors and/or assignee is no longer in business/or do not respond to our request for a duplicate assignment, and therefore, a duplicate original of said assignment cannot be obtained.”

According to affidavits such as these, not only have the borrowers lost contact with the lenders, but the same is true that MERS did as well.

On September 25, 2009, Mr. R.K. Arnold was deposed in Alabama. Mr. Arnold admitted MERS does not have a beneficial interest in any loan, does not loan money and does not suffer a default if monies are not paid. On November 11, 2009, William C. Hultman was deposed in Alabama and made the same admissions.

Yet again, researchers have easily located affidavits recorded in the Florida Land Records stating “That said Deed of Trust has not been assigned to any other party and that MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, Inc. is the current holder and owner of the Note and Deed of Trust in question.”

NO. THERE’S NO LIFE AT MERS

Aside from not recording assignments, Mr. Arnold failed to mention that the certifying officers given authority to execute sensitive loan documents would not be paid employees of MERS. This raises the critical legal question as to how one can act as a certified officer and execute any equitable interest on behalf of any security instruments without being an employee of MERS.

On April 7, 2010, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, MERS Treasurer and Secretary William C. Hultman gave an oral sworn video/telephone deposition in the case of Bank Of New York v. Ukpe.:

Q Do the assistant secretaries — first off, are
you a salaried employee of MERS?
A No.

Q Are you a salaried employee of MERS Corp,
Inc.?
A Yes.

Q Are any of the employees of MERS, Inc.
salaried employees?
A I don’t understand your question.

Q Does anyone get a paycheck, if they are an
employee of MERS, Inc., do they get a paycheck from
Mercer, Inc.?
A There is no MERS, Inc.

Q I thought, sir, there’s a company that was
formed January 1, 1999, Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems, Inc. Does it have paid employees?
A No, it does not.

Q Does it have employees?
A No.

Q Does MERS have any employees?
A Did they ever have any? I couldn’t hear you.

Q Does MERS have any employees currently?
A No.

Q In the last five years has MERS had any
employees?
A No.

<SNIP>

Q How many assistant secretaries have you
appointed pursuant to the April 9, 1998 resolution; how
many assistant secretaries of MERS have you appointed?
A I don’t know that number.

Q Approximately?
A I wouldn’t even begin to be able to tell you
right now.

Q Is it in the thousands?
A Yes.

Q Have you been doing this all around the
country in every state in the country?
A Yes.

Q And all these officers I understand are unpaid
officers of MERS?
A Yes.

Q And there’s no live person who is an employee
of MERS that they report to, is that correct, who is an employee?
A There are no employees of MERS.

If so, how does anyone have any authority to sign security instruments encumbered by any loan documents, if these certifying officers are not paid employees and never attend corporate meetings in the capacity as Vice President, Assistant Secretary, etc. with Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc..

COURTS FIND ISSUES WITH MERS

Federal and state judges across America are realizing that the mortgage industry’s nominee is backfiring.

In Mr. Arnold’s own words, “For these servicing companies to perform their duties satisfactorily, the note and mortgage were bifurcated. The investor or its designee held the note and named the servicing company as mortgagee, a structure that became standard.” What has become a satisfactory standard structure for the mortgage industry has not been found by many courts to be legally sufficient to foreclose upon the property.

Again, MERS only acts as nominee for the mortgagee of record for any mortgage loan registered on the computer system MERS maintains, called the MERS System. MERS cannot negotiate a security instrument. Therefore, MERS certifying officers cannot have legal standing to assign what MERS does not own or hold.

The Supreme Court of New York Nassau County:
Bank of New York Mellon V. Juan Mojica Index No: 26203/09

Justice Thomas A. Adams stated, “Not only has plaintiff failed to establish MERS’ right as a nominee for purposes of recording to assign the mortgage, more importantly, no effort has been made to establish the authority of MERS, a non-party to the note, to transfer its ownership.”

The Supreme Court of Maine:
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v. Saunders, No. 09-640, 2010 WL 3168374,
(Me. August 12, 2010) The Court explains that the only rights conveyed to MERS in either the Saunders’ mortgage or the corresponding promissory note are bare legal title to the property for the sole purpose of recording the mortgage and the corresponding right to record the mortgage with the Registry of Deeds. This comports with the limited role of a nominee. A nominee is a “person designated to act in place of another, usu[ally] in a very limited way,” or a “party who holds bare legal title for the benefit of others or who receives and distributes funds for the benefit of others.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1149 (9th ed. 2009).

In Hawkins, No. BK-S-07-13593-LBR, 2009 WL 901766
The Court found that the deed of trust “attempts to name MERS as both beneficiary and a nominee” but held that MERS was not the beneficiary, as it had “no rights whatsoever to any payments, to any servicing rights, or to any of the properties secured by the loans.”

In Re: Walker, Case No. 10-21656-E-11 Eastern District of CA Bankruptcy court rules MERS has NO actionable interest in title. “Any attempt to transfer the beneficial interest of a trust deed without ownership of the underlying note is void under California law.” “MERS could not, as a matter of law, have transferred the note to Citibank from the original lender, Bayrock Mortgage Corp.” The Court’s ruled that MERS and Citibank are not the real parties in interest.

In re Vargas, 396 B.R. at 517-19. Judge Bufford found that the witness called to testify as to debt and default was incompetent. All the witness could testify was that he had looked at the MERS computerized records. The witness was unable to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Rules of Evidence, particularly Rule 803, as applied to computerized records in the Ninth Circuit. See id. at 517-20. “The low level employee could really only testify that the MERS screen shot he reviewed reflected a default. That really is not much in the way of evidence, and not nearly enough to get around the hearsay rule.”

FRAUD ON THE COURT

In US Bank v. Harpster the Law Offices Of David J. Stern committed fraud on the court by the evidence based on the Assignment of Mortgage that was created and notarized on December 5, 2007. However, that purported creation/notarization date was facially impossible: the stamp on the notary was dated May 19, 2012. Since Notary commissions only last four years in Florida (see F .S. Section 117.01 (l)), the notary stamp used on this instrument did not even exist until approximately five months after the purported date on the Assignment.

The Court specifically finds that the purported Assignment did not exist at the time of filing of this action; that the purported Assignment was subsequently created and the execution date and notarial date were fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead the Defendant and this Court. The Court rejects the Assignment and finds that is not entitled to introduction in evidence for any purpose. The Court finds that the Plaintiff does not have standing to bring its action.

The Court dismissed this case with prejudice.

In Duval County, Florida another foreclosure case was dismissed with prejudice for fraud on the court. In JPMorgan V. Pocopanni, the Court found that Fishman & Shapiro representing JPMorgan had actual knowledge at all times that the Complaint, the Assignment, and the Motion for Substitution were all false. The Court found that by clear and convincing evidence WAMU, Chase and Shapiro & Fishman committed fraud on this court.

Both these cases involved Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. assignments.

FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS

Two RICO Class Action lawsuits have commenced against Foreclosure Law Firms and MERSCORP for fabricating and forging documents that are entered into courts as evidence in order to have standing to foreclose. Unknown to judges and the borrowers, they accept these documents because they are executed under perjury of the law. These “tromp l’oeil” actions have finally surfaced and the courts has taking notice.

The lack of supervision and managing of MERS “Robo-Signers” has led to a national frenzy of fabrication, forgery and certifying officers wearing multiple corporate hats. Anyone who compares signatures of these certifying officers will see a major problem with forgery in hundreds of thousands affidavits and assignments which creates an enormous dark cloud of title defects to millions of homes across the US.

On August 10, 2010 Florida attorney general Bill McCollum announced that he is investigating three foreclosure law firms for allegedly providing fraudulent assignments and affidavits relating in foreclosure cases.

In a deposition taken in December 2009, 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 and many homes may have been unlawfully foreclosed on.

On September 20, 2010, GMAC halted foreclosures in 23 different states. Two of the three firms being investigated by the Florida attorney general, the Law Office of Marshall C. Watson and the Law Offices of David J. Stern PA, have represented GMAC in foreclosure proceedings.

This is not limited to only GMAC Mortgage. There are many hundreds of thousands of these same documents that are being created by many foreclosure law firms across the nation.

University of Utah law professor Christopher L. Peterson has raised the issue that MERS should be regarded as a debt collector. He argues that some of MERS’ methods are just the sort of deceptive practices that ought to be regulated under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U. S. C. §1692(a),(j).

CONCLUSION

Finally in May, 2009, Mr. Arnold said in Mortgage Technology Magazine, “Every system in the mortgage industry can switch MERS registry on or off at will,” referencing that both the Obama administration and Congressional leaders are aware of this.

President Obama and Congressional leaders it is time to permanently switch MERS lifeless device off!

Not until MERS became the primary focus for challenges to legal standing in foreclosure courts as reported by the alternative media, have the main stream media and the mortgage industry have begun to realize that property records cross the United States have become totally unreliable.

It has taken more than a decade for the courts to recognize that MERS has become a mortgage backfire system leaving clouded titles in over 65 million loans since 1997.

Courts across the nation must comply with the law.  Any documents submitted to the courts regarding property ownership should be assumed to be nothing but smoke in a mirror.

No, Mr. Arnold, there’s no life at MERS.


DinSFLA, “nominee” of stopforeclosurefraud.com, a blog on Foreclosure Fraud.

© 2010 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved. www.StopForeclosureFraud.com

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



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MUST READ | Finding The Missing Piece In The Reconveyance Puzzle

MUST READ | Finding The Missing Piece In The Reconveyance Puzzle


State-level legislation introduced earlier this year proposed that the beneficiary of a trust deed have only 30 days after payoff to deliver a written request to the trustee to reconvey the property back to the grantor.

If the beneficiary delayed delivery of the request and missed the 30-day deadline by even one day, the beneficiary would be liable to the grantor for $500, the legislation stated. This amount would be in addition to all actual damages incurred by the grantor.

Consequently, if a prospective sale of the property was lost because of a delay in following through with the reconveyance, the beneficiary would be held liable for substantial damages.

This can be a real trap if it takes more than 30 days to forward a request for reconveyance. The $500 fine could be just the beginning. In the opinion of George C. Reinmiller Trustee Inc., beneficiaries, loan servicers and trustees will probably see more of this type of legislation around the country, because a limited few have been slow in completing reconveyances.

The penalties and monetary losses don’t stop there.

With the rise in foreclosures and an increase in budget cutbacks, lenders and servicers have been seeing a higher demand to have complete and accurate collateral files to certify their pools of loans.

By completing an audit and ensuring everything is there, servicers will find it easier to close on the sale of the pool and will see a decrease in requests for the repurchase of certain assets in the file. These certified pools of loans are considered more valuable and are, therefore, sold relatively easily.

In today’s market, purchasers of pools look for any number of reasons for a seller to repurchase loans. One such reason – in fact, the most common reason – is incomplete files.

If there are problems within a pool, lenders and servicers can spend huge amounts of money trying to discover the missing pieces. Another possible headache is the time and money involved to go back and forth with the attorney trying to resolve these types of issues should the loan fall into foreclosure. If the issues cannot be resolved quickly, the seller may have to buy back the loans, which is something a struggling company shudders to hear.

What can lenders and loan servicers do to quickly correct these types of problems or keep them from occurring in the first place?

The more time that passes between origination and file verification, the more costly and difficult it becomes to obtain any missing documents. Sometimes, with cutbacks (such as loss of human resources) or, as we see happening more frequently these days, the relocation of offices, documents can be forgotten or misplaced and can end up sitting incomplete in an abandoned filing cabinet that will probably go untouched until someone accidentally comes across it.

Servicers should take aggressive document control and verify they have the documents they need in each file as soon as possible. If documents are missing, there are still strategies that can be employed.

Finding and obtaining missing original documents that have to be publicly recorded (e.g., mortgages, assignments and assumptions) are fairly easy to retrive. For instance, you can get a certified copy from the county recorder where the property is located, as long as the document was originally recorded.

Research can be done to verify whether the document was recorded by searching the county’s Web site or speaking with the recorder’s office. You may obtain a certified copy by phone or by mailing in a certified copy request to the county recorder. However, there are a few recording districts that require an abstractor to physically come in to research and/or request a copy of a document.

Obtaining copies of missing documents that were never recorded on the public record – such as title policies – can get much more complicated. One can always go directly to the title company or title agent that issued the policy, but with current conditions in the economy and mortgage industry, title companies have been closing their doors.

The next step is to contact the underwriter. Most underwriters will not send the original policy, because they normally do not have it. However, they should be able to send a certified copy. Because each purchaser is different and may have a different concept of what is acceptable, specificity is key. Get a clear definition of what a certified copy of a title policy is from the purchaser before obtaining one from the underwriter.

There is a chance that the underwriter may not have the policy, either. In that case, the underwriter might have to re-issue it, which can get pretty costly. To re-issue the policy, the underwriter will normally require a complete chain of assignments. Most underwriters will only reissue a title policy directly from the current beneficiary of the mortgage and will use the assignments on record to verify that person’s identity.

With Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), missing assignments have, in recent years, become less of a problem for some, but there are still many mortgages that are not registered with MERS. With the countless number of banks and mortgage companies being sold or closing, it can become a Sherlock Holmes case trying to find an entity that can sign and, therefore, complete the assignment chain. It usually starts with searching various Web sites and tracking down the current holder or entity of the company.

When all else fails
Then the phone calls start in an attempt to find the right person to sign the document. What happens if you can’t find anyone to sign? In many cases, when there is no one left that can sign an assignment, a lost assignment affidavit is a possible resolution. But keep in mind that only certain states and/or recording jurisdictions allow these affidavits. If all else fails, then it is up to the courts to resolve the problem, which is when the expenses start to increase once again.

By having all loan files complete, one is able to move quickly if a loan is paid in full, as well. Steep penalties can be avoided in certain states by providing a release or reconveyance in a timely manner. This is especially important if Reinmiller’s opinion holds true and the trend of shortened compliance time frames grows further.

Lenders and servicers should take a proactive approach in their daily functions and do whatever it takes to ensure that their files are complete from the start to avoid costly mistakes with unpredictable results.

Jessica Woods is vice president of Richmond Monroe Group Inc., an outsource services provider offering processing and technology solutions to the servicing industry. She can be reached at (417) 447-2931 or jessicaw@richmondmonroe.com.


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



Posted in conflict of interest, foreclosure, foreclosures, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, title company, trade secretsComments (1)


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