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Tag Archive | "Moratorium"

Occupy Buffalo protesters picket at Baum law office

Occupy Buffalo protesters picket at Baum law office


“Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Steven Baum got to go,” they chanted.

 

Buffalo News-

Nearly three dozen protesters from Occupy Buffalo demonstrated in front of the Amherst offices of Steven J. Baum PC, denouncing the controversial foreclosure attorney and calling on state authorities to shut down his office, take away his law license and even put him in jail.

The ragtag band of protesters, many of whom have been camping out in Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo, held up handwritten cardboard signs and chanted slogans to the beat of a bongo drum. They assembled at the corner of Northpointe Parkway and Sweet Home Road, before beginning a slow march down to Baum’s office at 220 Northpointe.

“Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Steven Baum got to go,” they chanted.

Signs called for a “moratorium on all foreclosures now,” proclaimed that “housing is a right,” and called Baum “the Grinch who stole houses.” Some protesters also wore paper crowns because “Stephen J. Baum is the foreclosure king of New York State,” said Samantha Colon, the spokeswoman for the protesters.

[BUFFALO NEWS]

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Rhode Island Court Suspends All Foreclosures Until Further Order of the Court

Rhode Island Court Suspends All Foreclosures Until Further Order of the Court


Thank you to Dave L (Chunga85) Foreclosure Hamlet for this tip!

By looks of this, it appears to have to do with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.

From the order:

4. All mortgage foreclosure cases are hereby STAYED and shall remain so until further order of the Court. Any deadlines for filing on any issue are hereby suspended. Counsel are permitted to file Notice of Appearance.

[…]

9. The Court will hear argument on the standing issue in Plaintiff’s Objections to the Reports and Recommendations in Fryzel v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. et al. (C.A. No. 10-352-M) and Cosajay v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. et al. (C.A. No. 10-442-M) on September 13, 2011 at 10:a.m. in Courtroom 3. Any party subject to this order that is not a party to the aforementioned two cases wishing to file an amicus brief on the standing shall do so by September 2, 2011. Only counsel in the aforementioned two individual cases will be allowed to present oral argument.

[ipaper docId=62490607 access_key=key-27shdsth2ktxmj5nk9r7 height=600 width=600 /]

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H.RES.344 — Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the States should enact a temporary moratorium on residential mortgage foreclosures. (Introduced in House – IH)

H.RES.344 — Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the States should enact a temporary moratorium on residential mortgage foreclosures. (Introduced in House – IH)


H.RES.344 — Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the States should enact a temporary moratorium on residential mortgage foreclosures. (Introduced in House – IH)

HRES 344 IH

112th CONGRESS 1st SessionH. RES. 344

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the States should enact a temporary moratorium on residential mortgage foreclosures.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 8, 2011

Ms. KAPTUR submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services


RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the States should enact a temporary moratorium on residential mortgage foreclosures.

Whereas there are nearly 6,900,000 fewer jobs in the United States economy since the start of the recession;

Whereas, in April 2011, the unemployment rate remains at 9.0 percent, nearly double the unemployment rate of the pre-recession economy;

Whereas the Director of the Congressional Budget Office testified as follows in a Senate hearing on January 28, 2009: `Challenging conditions seem likely to persist for some time in the housing and mortgage markets as well. Housing sales remain weak, and construction activity continues to decline. With the housing market’s large glut of vacant properties, the prices of homes are likely to fall considerably further, pushing the value of more borrowers’ homes below the value of their outstanding mortgages. As more of those `underwater’ borrowers experience losses of income during the current recession, rates of delinquency and foreclosure on residential mortgage loans are likely to rise further.’;

Whereas the current economic situation began to unfold some time ago and, in fact, the Federal Reserve System first began to supply additional liquidity to credit markets in August 2007, as pressures from losses on mortgage-related assets unexpectedly began to mount;

Whereas many economists today believe that to avoid relapsing into another devastating financial crisis, a key component is the Nation’s housing markets and providing necessary changes for our Nation’s financial markets;

Whereas the intent of the Troubled Assets Relief Program of the Department of the Treasury, established by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343), was to, in large portion, purchase troubled assets, including securitized mortgages, and to enable banks and other lenders engaged in the mortgage market to engage in mortgage modifications, loan workouts, and other processes designed to stem off the ever-rising tide of foreclosures, and that has not happened to the level necessary to stem the tide of foreclosures and it continues;

Whereas there were nearly 219,000 new foreclosures in April 2011, which is 7,300 homes per day;

Whereas it is projected by housing market experts that there are approximately 11,000,000 homes in the Nation which are underwater or in foreclosure;

Whereas the United States finds its housing market in a precarious and unstable state, where homeowners’ mortgage balances are routinely larger than the current value of their homes and where people are losing their homes at an alarming rate;

Whereas during the Great Depression, the State of Minnesota declared an economic emergency, and enacted a law granting relief in certain cases, `for inequitable foreclosure of mortgages on real estate and execution sales and for postponing certain others’ (Chapter 339, Laws of Minnesota, 1933, page 514);

Whereas the Minnesota statute included provisions that postponed foreclosure sales or extended mortgage redemption, as well as taking actions relating to the jurisdiction of such activities, and the Minnesota statute established a hard and fast deadline of when such relief would end, making the Act temporary in nature;

Whereas this law was challenged in the case Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell, which was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1933, with the Court ruling in 1934 in favor of the Minnesota law;

Whereas there are clear challenges to implementing a nationwide moratorium on mortgage foreclosures, yet this case tells us that the States can take action using the police power of the State; and

Whereas, in this time of instability and uncertainty, with unemployment at 9.0 percent for April 2011, a global financial system still reeling from the effects of the recession, a volatile housing market, and our Nation’s citizens struggling to balance essential needs of housing, work, and nutrition, it is time that the Nation, through the action of the President of the United States, declare a national foreclosure emergency and State-by-State seek to end the foreclosure crisis: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that–
    • (1) the President of the United States should declare a national residential mortgage foreclosure emergency and, through such declaration, encourage the States, by use of their police power, to enact a moratorium on residential mortgage foreclosures similar to the moratorium enacted by the State of Minnesota in 1933 and upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell (290 U.S. 398 (1934)); and
    • (2) the States should exercise such power and enact such a moratorium.
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Wayne County, Michigan Considers Foreclosure Moratorium

Wayne County, Michigan Considers Foreclosure Moratorium


“The whole foreclosure crisis is predicated on fraudulent practices,” Fluker told Wayne County Commissioners. “Why is this county and our sheriff allowing evictions to proceed based on fraud?”

Michigan Citizen-

DETROIT — Wayne County Commissioners heard stirring testimony June 13 from dozens of area residents fighting to remain in their homes.

Their pleas were bolstered by attorneys and experts familiar with the depth of devastation wrought by the ongoing foreclosure crisis. The broad coalition turned out for the public meeting held at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center and in support of the Homeowner Protection and Neighborhood Preservation Act.

The act, proposed by Commissioner Martha Scott in April, seeks an immediate moratorium on all foreclosures in Wayne County for one year.

Continue reading [THE MICHIGAN CITIZEN]

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BLOOMBERG | Big Banks Say MERS Mortgage Database Draws Probes

BLOOMBERG | Big Banks Say MERS Mortgage Database Draws Probes


Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. may face added costs or fines after investigators questioned the use of a mortgage database instead of original documents to justify foreclosures.

Earnings at Bank of America, the largest U.S. lender, may suffer materially if using Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems or MERS is found to be invalid, according to a regulatory filing last week. Citigroup and PNC said fines or other penalties may result from investigations into MERS and allegations of faulty foreclosure practices.

“They’re recognizing the writing on the wall, that there are serious problems associated with the basic business model and legal theories of the MERS system,” Christopher L. Peterson, a law professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City who has written articles on Reston, Virginia-based MERS, said yesterday.

Continue reading…. BLOOMBERG

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Why a Full Blown Foreclosure Moratorium Should Be In Order

Why a Full Blown Foreclosure Moratorium Should Be In Order


The filings speak for their own…

PNC:

While the two consent orders have not been finalized, PNC expects the orders to cover a range of matters. Among other things, we expect the orders to require PNC and/or PNC Bank to develop and implement written plans and programs and undertake other remedial actions with respect to various matters relating to loan servicing, loss mitigation and other foreclosure activities and operations, including, among other things, enterprise risk management, risk assessment and management, compliance, internal audit, outsourcing of foreclosure and related functions, management information systems, borrower communications, potential related financial injuries, and activities with respect to the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (a widely used electronic registry designed to track mortgage servicing rights and ownership of U.S. residential mortgage loans). We also expect that the orders will require PNC, PNC Bank and their boards to take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the orders and with the plans and programs to be established under the orders.

U.S. Bank:

In January, 2011, U.S. federal banking regulators communicated to the Company the preliminary results of an interagency examination of the Company’s policies, procedures, and internal controls related to residential mortgage foreclosure practices. This examination was part of a review by the regulators of the foreclosure practices of 14 large mortgage servicers. As a result of the review, the Company expects the regulators will require the Company to address certain aspects of its foreclosure processes, including developing plans related to control procedures and monitoring of loss mitigation and foreclosure activities, and taking certain other remedial actions. Though the Company believes its policies, procedures and internal controls related to foreclosure practices materially follow established safeguards and legal requirements, the Company intends to comply with the expected requirements of the regulators in all respects. The Company does not believe those requirements will materially affect its financial position, results of operations, or ability to conduct normal business activities. In addition, the Company expects monetary penalties may be assessed but does not know the amount of any such penalties.

JPMorgan Chase:

The Firm expects to incur additional costs and expenses in connection with its efforts to correct and enhance its mortgage foreclosure procedures. Multiple state and federal officials have announced investigations into the procedures followed by mortgage servicing companies and banks, including JPMorgan Chase and its affiliates, relating to foreclosure and loss mitigation processes. The Firm is cooperating with these investigations, and these investigations could result in material fines, penalties, equitable remedies (including requiring default servicing or other process changes), or other enforcement actions, as well as significant legal costs in responding to governmental investigations and additional litigation. The Firm cannot predict the ultimate outcome of these matters or the impact that they could have on the Firm’s financial results.

HSBC Holdings: Did the right thing & Halted Foreclosures 3/1/2011

State and federal officials are investigating the procedures followed by mortgage servicing companies and banks, including HSBC Finance Corporation and certain of our affiliates, relating to foreclosures. We and our affiliates have responded to all related inquiries and cooperated with all applicable investigations, including a joint examination by staffs of the Federal Reserve Board (the “Federal Reserve”) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) as part of their broad horizontal review of industry foreclosure practices. Following the examination, the Federal Reserve issued a supervisory letter to HSBC Finance Corporation and HSBC North America noting certain deficiencies in the processing, preparation and signing of affidavits and other documents supporting foreclosures and in governance of and resources devoted to our foreclosure processes, including the evaluation and monitoring of third party law firms retained to effect our foreclosures. Certain other processes were deemed adequate. The OCC issued a similar supervisory letter to HSBC Bank USA. We have suspended foreclosures until such time as we have substantially addressed the noted deficiencies in our processes. We are also reviewing foreclosures where judgment has not yet been entered and will correct deficient documentation and re-file affidavits where necessary. See “Executive Overview” in MD&A for further discussion.

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HSBC Suspends Foreclosure Actions

HSBC Suspends Foreclosure Actions


Bank made disclosure in annual SEC report

By Jonathan D. Epstein

Updated: March 1, 2011, 6:33 AM

HSBC Bank USA and HSBC Finance Corp. have stopped all home foreclosures until further notice and may face unspecified regulatory actions or fines, after regulators found “certain deficiencies” in servicing and foreclosure procedures, HSBC said in government filings Monday.

The disclosure by HSBC, buried deep within its annual financial report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, marks the first time HSBC has admitted to a foreclosure moratorium in the wake of a legal and paperwork crisis that swept the industry.

That’s a dramatic reversal from its stance just a few months ago, when it said publicly that it would not suspend home seizures because it didn’t feel its procedures were compromised by so-called “robo-signers” and faulty court affidavits.

“Robo-signing” refers to bank or law firm employees signing off on foreclosures without actually being familiar with the cases or reading paperwork.

Continue reading … BuffaloNews


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REUTERS | BofA, Wells, Citi see foreclosure probe fines

REUTERS | BofA, Wells, Citi see foreclosure probe fines


Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:20pm EST

CHARLOTTE, N.C./NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo — three of the biggest banks in the United States — said they could face fines from a regulatory probe into the industry’s foreclosure practices.

The statements, made in regulatory filings on Friday, are the most direct admission yet from major banks that they could have to pay significant amounts of money to settle probes and lawsuits alleging that they improperly foreclosed on homes.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), the largest U.S. bank by assets, said the probe could lead to “material fines” and “significant” legal expenses in 2011.

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said it is likely to face fines or sanctions, such as a foreclosure moratorium or suspension, imposed by federal or state regulators. It said some government agency enforcement action was likely and could include civil money penalties.

Citigroup Inc (C.N) said it could pay fines or set up principal reduction programs.

The biggest U.S. mortgage lenders are being investigated by 50 state attorneys general and U.S. regulators for foreclosing on homes without having proper paperwork in place or without having properly reviewed paperwork before signing it.

The bad documentation threatens to slow down the foreclosure process and invalidate some repossessions.

Continue reading … REUTERS

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BOSTON GLOBE: A New Act In Foreclosure Circus

BOSTON GLOBE: A New Act In Foreclosure Circus


By Paul McMorrow
January 14, 2011

LAST WEEK’S Supreme Judicial Court decision, in which the court upended a pair of Springfield foreclosures and upbraided Wells Fargo and US Bank for maintaining sloppy records is great news for homeowners facing foreclosure. Mortgage-servicing banks, which were in the habit of trading mortgages around like cheap baseball cards, will be forced to slow the pace of foreclosures even more, and carefully verify that they actually own the mortgages on the properties they want to foreclose on. But the decision brings uncertainty to buyers of foreclosed properties — buyers who might not have clear title to their homes anymore.

The SJC decision in Ibanez vs. US Bancorp justifiably beat up on a pair of banks that couldn’t prove they owned mortgages they foreclosed on. The reverberations should be especially strong for mortgage investors and big banks.

Investors who bought up bonds backed by huge pools of mortgages have already been pressuring banks to buy back pools of bad mortgages that they sold before the housing bubble collapsed. These cases only cover a relatively small universe of poorly underwritten loans, but billions of dollars are at stake. Investors burned by mortgage bets have been trying to line up a much more expansive set of lawsuits challenging not the mortgages themselves, but the way big banks handled them after they were sold. The Ibanez decision gives serious weight to those investors, who are eying massive potential payouts.

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ADAM LEVITIN| Ibanez and Securitization Fail

ADAM LEVITIN| Ibanez and Securitization Fail


posted by Adam Levitin
.

The Ibanez foreclosure decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has gotten a lot of attention since it came down on Friday. The case is, not surprisingly being taken to heart by both bulls and bears. While I don’t think Ibanez is a death blow to the securitization industry, at the very least it should make investors question the party line that’s been coming out of the American Securitization Forum. At the very least it shows that the ASF’s claims in its White Paper and Congressional testimony are wrong on some points, as I’ve argued elsewhere, including on this blog. I would argue that at the very least, Ibanez shows that there is previously undisclosed material risk in all private-label MBS.

The Ibanez case itself is actually very simple. The issue before the court was whether the two securitization trusts could prove a chain of title for the mortgages they were attempting to foreclose on.  

There’s broad agreement that absent such a chain of title, they don’t have the right to foreclose–they’d have as much standing as I do relative to the homeowners. The trusts claimed three alternative bases for chain of title:

(1) that the mortgages were transferred via the pooling and servicing agreement (PSA)–basically a contract of sale of the mortgages

(2) that the mortgages were transferred via assignments in blank.

(3) that the mortgages follow the note and transferred via the transfers of the notes.

The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that arguments #2 and #3 simply don’t work in Massachusetts. The reasoning here was heavily derived from Massachusetts being a title theory state, but I think a court in a lien theory state could easily reach the same result. It’s hard to predict if other states will adopt the SJC’s reasoning, but it is a unanimous verdict (with an even sharper concurrence) by one of the most highly regarded state courts in the country.  The opinion is quite lucid and persuasive, particularly the point that if the wrong plaintiff is named is the foreclosure notice, the homeowner hasn’t received proper notice of the foreclosure.

Regarding #1, the SJC held that a PSA might suffice as a valid assignment of the mortgages, if the PSA is executed and contains a schedule that sufficiently identifies the mortgage in question, and  if there is proof that the assignor in the PSA itself held the mortgage. (This last point is nothing more than the old rule of nemo dat–you can’t give what you don’t have. It shows that there has to be a complete chain of title going back to origination.)  

On the facts, both mortgages in Ibanez failed these requirements. In one case, the PSA couldn’t even be located(!) and in the other, there was a non-executed copy and the purported loan schedule (not the actual schedule–see Marie McDonnell’s amicus brief to the SJC) didn’t sufficiently identify the loan. Moreover, there was no proof that the mortgage chain of title even got to the depositor (the assignor), without which the PSA is meaningless: 

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The force behind the Massachusetts decision

The force behind the Massachusetts decision


Today my friend’s history was made. The Massachusetts decision represents a major victory for consumers as well as for the handful of attorneys and advocates who dedicated their lives to protecting the defenseless. Perhaps the critical game-changing event in the Massachusetts litigation was the Amicus Brief submitted by Marie McDonnell setting forth and outlining the securitization paradigm and the defects in the chain of title.

Her analysis exposed both the material deficits contained and the subsequent fraudulent actions taken by the banks in foreclosing the properties. If you recall correctly it was Marie who first made the discovery in Antonio Ibanez’s loan in which it may have been securitized twice? Lets not forget who the robo-signer was that assigned the mortgage to U.S. Bank but non other than Linda Green.

And after two and half very long years post-foreclosure who would have thought that Mark and Tammy LaRace would move back home!

I would like to personally thank all the attorney’s involved and a special thanks to my good friend Marie McDonnell for her brilliant work and who deserves a mighty high five from all of us…

Marie McDonnell is the President of McDonnell Property Analytics, Inc. (www.mcdonnellanalytics.com), a company dedicated to helping consumers, and training and supporting attorneys in defending foreclosures.

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WAPO| Mass. court ruling has potential to void thousands of foreclosures

WAPO| Mass. court ruling has potential to void thousands of foreclosures


Posted at 12:26 PM ET, 01/ 7/2011

By Ariana Eunjung Cha

The Massachusetts Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling voiding two foreclosures because the banks failed to show the proper paperwork to prove they owned the loans-a decision that challenges the way mortgages were bundled and sold around the world.

Shares of Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp–the banks involved in the case–as well as those of other banks fell following the announcement of the decision. Wells Fargo was down 3.4 percent and US Bancorp 1.1 percent at midday.

The Massachusetts court is the highest to ruled on this issue and the decision has the potential to invalidate thousands of foreclosures across the state. It also provides more ammunition to borrowers in other states who could push the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the nation’s highest court rules that these transfers are not legal, the multi-trillion-dollar mortgage-backed securitization industry could face massive liability.

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BLOOMBERG| Banks Lose Pivotal Massachusetts Foreclosure Case

BLOOMBERG| Banks Lose Pivotal Massachusetts Foreclosure Case


By Thom Weidlich – Jan 7, 2011 2:56 PM ET

U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. lost a foreclosure case in Massachusetts’s highest court that will guide lower courts in that state and may influence others in the clash between bank practices and state real-estate law. The ruling drove down bank stocks.

The state Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a judge’s decision saying two foreclosures were invalid because the banks didn’t prove they owned the mortgages, which he said were transferred into two mortgage-backed trusts without the recipients’ being named.

Joshua Rosner, an analyst at the New York-based research firm Graham Fisher & Co., called the decision “a landmark ruling” showing that at least in Massachusetts a mortgage “must name the assignee to be valid.”

“This is likely to open the floodgates to more suits in Massachusetts and strengthens cases in other states,” Rosner said.

“We agree with the judge that the plaintiffs, who were not the original mortgagees, failed to make the required showing that they were the holders of the mortgages at the time of foreclosure,” Justice Ralph D. Gants wrote for a unanimous court.


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BREAKING NEWS: AFFIRMED MASSIVE VICTORY RULING FOR HOMEOWNERS “IBANEZ, LaRACE”

BREAKING NEWS: AFFIRMED MASSIVE VICTORY RULING FOR HOMEOWNERS “IBANEZ, LaRACE”


Via Marie McDonnell


read the decision below...

[ipaper docId=46472917 access_key=key-q6cdgd9ngxzx2dtbgv3 height=600 width=600 /]

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports. If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030       (617) 557-1030

SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us

SJC-10694

U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, trustee1 vs. ANTONIO IBANEZ (and a consolidated case2,3).

Suffolk. October 7, 2010. – January 7, 2011.

Present: Marshall, C.J., Ireland, Spina, Cordy, Botsford, & Gants, JJ.4

Real Property, Mortgage, Ownership, Record title. Mortgage, Real estate, Foreclosure, Assignment. Notice, Foreclosure of mortgage.

Civil actions commenced in the Land Court Department on September 16 and October 30, 2008.

Motions for entry of default judgment and to vacate judgment were heard by Keith C. Long, J.

The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.

R. Bruce Allensworth (Phoebe S. Winder & Robert W. Sparkes, III, with him) for U.S. Bank National Association & another.

Paul R. Collier, III (Max W. Weinstein with him) for Antonio Ibanez.

Glenn F. Russell, Jr., for Mark A. LaRace & another.

The following submitted briefs for amici curiae:

Martha Coakley, Attorney General, & John M. Stephan, Assistant Attorney General, for the Commonwealth.

Kevin Costello, Gary Klein, Shennan Kavanagh & Stuart Rossman for National Consumer Law Center & others.

Ward P. Graham & Robert J. Moriarty, Jr., for Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts, Inc.

Marie McDonnell, pro se.

GANTS, J. After foreclosing on two properties and purchasing the properties back at the foreclosure sales, U.S. Bank National Association (U.S. Bank), as trustee for the Structured Asset Securities Corporation Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-Z; and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Wells Fargo), as trustee for ABFC 2005-OPT 1 Trust, ABFC Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2005-OPT 1 (plaintiffs) filed separate complaints in the Land Court asking a judge to declare that they held clear title to the properties in fee simple. We agree with the judge that the plaintiffs, who were not the original mortgagees, failed to make the required showing that they were the holders of the mortgages at the time of foreclosure. As a result, they did not demonstrate that the foreclosure sales were valid to convey title to the subject properties, and their requests for a declaration of clear title were properly denied.5

Procedural history. On July 5, 2007, U.S. Bank, as trustee, foreclosed on the mortgage of Antonio Ibanez, and purchased the Ibanez property at the foreclosure sale. On the same day, Wells Fargo, as trustee, foreclosed on the mortgage of Mark and Tammy LaRace, and purchased the LaRace property at that foreclosure sale.

In September and October of 2008, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo brought separate actions in the Land Court under G. L. c. 240, § 6, which authorizes actions “to quiet or establish the title to land situated in the commonwealth or to remove a cloud from the title thereto.” The two complaints sought identical relief: (1) a judgment that the right, title, and interest of the mortgagor (Ibanez or the LaRaces) in the property was extinguished by the foreclosure; (2) a declaration that there was no cloud on title arising from publication of the notice of sale in the Boston Globe; and (3) a declaration that title was vested in the plaintiff trustee in fee simple. U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo each asserted in its complaint that it had become the holder of the respective mortgage through an assignment made after the foreclosure sale.

In both cases, the mortgagors — Ibanez and the LaRaces — did not initially answer the complaints, and the plaintiffs moved for entry of default judgment. In their motions for entry of default judgment, the plaintiffs addressed two issues: (1) whether the Boston Globe, in which the required notices of the foreclosure sales were published, is a newspaper of “general circulation” in Springfield, the town where the foreclosed properties lay. See G. L. c. 244, § 14 (requiring publication every week for three weeks in newspaper published in town where foreclosed property lies, or of general circulation in that town); and (2) whether the plaintiffs were legally entitled to foreclose on the properties where the assignments of the mortgages to the plaintiffs were neither executed nor recorded in the registry of deeds until after the foreclosure sales.6 The two cases were heard together by the Land Court, along with a third case that raised the same issues.

On March 26, 2009, judgment was entered against the plaintiffs. The judge ruled that the foreclosure sales were invalid because, in violation of G. L. c. 244, § 14, the notices of the foreclosure sales named U.S. Bank (in the Ibanez foreclosure) and Wells Fargo (in the LaRace foreclosure) as the mortgage holders where they had not yet been assigned the mortgages.7 The judge found, based on each plaintiff’s assertions in its complaint, that the plaintiffs acquired the mortgages by assignment only after the foreclosure sales and thus had no interest in the mortgages being foreclosed at the time of the publication of the notices of sale or at the time of the foreclosure sales.8

The plaintiffs then moved to vacate the judgments. At a hearing on the motions on April 17, 2009, the plaintiffs conceded that each complaint alleged a postnotice, postforeclosure sale assignment of the mortgage at issue, but they now represented to the judge that documents might exist that could show a prenotice, preforeclosure sale assignment of the mortgages. The judge granted the plaintiffs leave to produce such documents, provided they were produced in the form they existed in at the time the foreclosure sale was noticed and conducted. In response, the plaintiffs submitted hundreds of pages of documents to the judge, which they claimed established that the mortgages had been assigned to them before the foreclosures. Many of these documents related to the creation of the securitized mortgage pools in which the Ibanez and LaRace mortgages were purportedly included.9

The judge denied the plaintiffs’ motions to vacate judgment on October 14, 2009, concluding that the newly submitted documents did not alter the conclusion that the plaintiffs were not the holders of the respective mortgages at the time of foreclosure. We granted the parties’ applications for direct appellate review.

Factual background. We discuss each mortgage separately, describing when appropriate what the plaintiffs allege to have happened and what the documents in the record demonstrate.10

The Ibanez mortgage. On December 1, 2005, Antonio Ibanez took out a $103,500 loan for the purchase of property at 20 Crosby Street in Springfield, secured by a mortgage to the lender, Rose Mortgage, Inc. (Rose Mortgage). The mortgage was recorded the following day. Several days later, Rose Mortgage executed an assignment of this mortgage in blank, that is, an assignment that did not specify the name of the assignee.11 The blank space in the assignment was at some point stamped with the name of Option One Mortgage Corporation (Option One) as the assignee, and that assignment was recorded on June 7, 2006. Before the recording, on January 23, 2006, Option One executed an assignment of the Ibanez mortgage in blank.

According to U.S. Bank, Option One assigned the Ibanez mortgage to Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB, which assigned it to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which then assigned it to the Structured Asset Securities Corporation,12 which then assigned the mortgage, pooled with approximately 1,220 other mortgage loans, to U.S. Bank, as trustee for the Structured Asset Securities Corporation Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-Z. With this last assignment, the Ibanez and other loans were pooled into a trust and converted into mortgage-backed securities that can be bought and sold by investors — a process known as securitization.

For ease of reference, the chain of entities through which the Ibanez mortgage allegedly passed before the foreclosure sale is:

Rose Mortgage, Inc. (originator)

Option One Mortgage Corporation (record holder)

Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (seller)

Structured Asset Securities Corporation (depositor)

U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee for the Structured Asset Securities Corporation Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-Z

According to U.S. Bank, the assignment of the Ibanez mortgage to U.S. Bank occurred pursuant to a December 1, 2006, trust agreement, which is not in the record. What is in the record is the private placement memorandum (PPM), dated December 26, 2006, a 273-page, unsigned offer of mortgage-backed securities to potential investors. The PPM describes the mortgage pools and the entities involved, and summarizes the provisions of the trust agreement, including the representation that mortgages “will be” assigned into the trust. According to the PPM, “[e]ach transfer of a Mortgage Loan from the Seller [Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.] to the Depositor [Structured Asset Securities Corporation] and from the Depositor to the Trustee [U.S. Bank] will be intended to be a sale of that Mortgage Loan and will be reflected as such in the Sale and Assignment Agreement and the Trust Agreement, respectively.” The PPM also specifies that “[e]ach Mortgage Loan will be identified in a schedule appearing as an exhibit to the Trust Agreement.” However, U.S. Bank did not provide the judge with any mortgage schedule identifying the Ibanez loan as among the mortgages that were assigned in the trust agreement.

On April 17, 2007, U.S. Bank filed a complaint to foreclose on the Ibanez mortgage in the Land Court under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (Servicemembers Act), which restricts foreclosures against active duty members of the uniformed services. See 50 U.S.C. Appendix §§ 501, 511, 533 (2006 & Supp. II 2008).13 In the complaint, U.S. Bank represented that it was the “owner (or assignee) and holder” of the mortgage given by Ibanez for the property. A judgment issued on behalf of U.S. Bank on June 26, 2007, declaring that the mortgagor was not entitled to protection from foreclosure under the Servicemembers Act. In June, 2007, U.S. Bank also caused to be published in the Boston Globe the notice of the foreclosure sale required by G. L. c. 244, § 14. The notice identified U.S. Bank as the “present holder” of the mortgage.

At the foreclosure sale on July 5, 2007, the Ibanez property was purchased by U.S. Bank, as trustee for the securitization trust, for $94,350, a value significantly less than the outstanding debt and the estimated market value of the property. The foreclosure deed (from U.S. Bank, trustee, as the purported holder of the mortgage, to U.S. Bank, trustee, as the purchaser) and the statutory foreclosure affidavit were recorded on May 23, 2008. On September 2, 2008, more than one year after the sale, and more than five months after recording of the sale, American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., “as successor-in-interest” to Option One, which was until then the record holder of the Ibanez mortgage, executed a written assignment of that mortgage to U.S. Bank, as trustee for the securitization trust.14 This assignment was recorded on September 11, 2008.

The LaRace mortgage. On May 19, 2005, Mark and Tammy LaRace gave a mortgage for the property at 6 Brookburn Street in Springfield to Option One as security for a $103,200 loan; the mortgage was recorded that same day. On May 26, 2005, Option One executed an assignment of this mortgage in blank.

According to Wells Fargo, Option One later assigned the LaRace mortgage to Bank of America in a July 28, 2005, flow sale and servicing agreement. Bank of America then assigned it to Asset Backed Funding Corporation (ABFC) in an October 1, 2005, mortgage loan purchase agreement. Finally, ABFC pooled the mortgage with others and assigned it to Wells Fargo, as trustee for the ABFC 2005-OPT 1 Trust, ABFC Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2005-OPT 1, pursuant to a pooling and servicing agreement (PSA).

For ease of reference, the chain of entities through which the LaRace mortgage allegedly passed before the foreclosure sale is:

Option One Mortgage Corporation (originator and record holder)

Bank of America

Asset Backed Funding Corporation (depositor)

Wells Fargo, as trustee for the ABFC 2005-OPT 1, ABFC Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2005-OPT 1

Wells Fargo did not provide the judge with a copy of the flow sale and servicing agreement, so there is no document in the record reflecting an assignment of the LaRace mortgage by Option One to Bank of America. The plaintiff did produce an unexecuted copy of the mortgage loan purchase agreement, which was an exhibit to the PSA. The mortgage loan purchase agreement provides that Bank of America, as seller, “does hereby agree to and does hereby sell, assign, set over, and otherwise convey to the Purchaser [ABFC], without recourse, on the Closing Date . . . all of its right, title and interest in and to each Mortgage Loan.” The agreement makes reference to a schedule listing the assigned mortgage loans, but this schedule is not in the record, so there was no document before the judge showing that the LaRace mortgage was among the mortgage loans assigned to the ABFC.

Wells Fargo did provide the judge with a copy of the PSA, which is an agreement between the ABFC (as depositor), Option One (as servicer), and Wells Fargo (as trustee), but this copy was downloaded from the Securities and Exchange Commission website and was not signed. The PSA provides that the depositor “does hereby transfer, assign, set over and otherwise convey to the Trustee, on behalf of the Trust . . . all the right, title and interest of the Depositor . . . in and to . . . each Mortgage Loan identified on the Mortgage Loan Schedules,” and “does hereby deliver” to the trustee the original mortgage note, an original mortgage assignment “in form and substance acceptable for recording,” and other documents pertaining to each mortgage.

The copy of the PSA provided to the judge did not contain the loan schedules referenced in the agreement. Instead, Wells Fargo submitted a schedule that it represented identified the loans assigned in the PSA, which did not include property addresses, names of mortgagors, or any number that corresponds to the loan number or servicing number on the LaRace mortgage. Wells Fargo contends that a loan with the LaRace property’s zip code and city is the LaRace mortgage loan because the payment history and loan amount matches the LaRace loan.

On April 27, 2007, Wells Fargo filed a complaint under the Servicemembers Act in the Land Court to foreclose on the LaRace mortgage. The complaint represented Wells Fargo as the “owner (or assignee) and holder” of the mortgage given by the LaRaces for the property. A judgment issued on behalf of Wells Fargo on July 3, 2007, indicating that the LaRaces were not beneficiaries of the Servicemembers Act and that foreclosure could proceed in accordance with the terms of the power of sale. In June, 2007, Wells Fargo caused to be published in the Boston Globe the statutory notice of sale, identifying itself as the “present holder” of the mortgage.

At the foreclosure sale on July 5, 2007, Wells Fargo, as trustee, purchased the LaRace property for $120,397.03, a value significantly below its estimated market value. Wells Fargo did not execute a statutory foreclosure affidavit or foreclosure deed until May 7, 2008. That same day, Option One, which was still the record holder of the LaRace mortgage, executed an assignment of the mortgage to Wells Fargo as trustee; the assignment was recorded on May 12, 2008. Although executed ten months after the foreclosure sale, the assignment declared an effective date of April 18, 2007, a date that preceded the publication of the notice of sale and the foreclosure sale.

Discussion. The plaintiffs brought actions under G. L. c. 240, § 6, seeking declarations that the defendant mortgagors’ titles had been extinguished and that the plaintiffs were the fee simple owners of the foreclosed properties. As such, the plaintiffs bore the burden of establishing their entitlement to the relief sought. Sheriff’s Meadow Found., Inc. v. Bay-Courte Edgartown, Inc., 401 Mass. 267, 269 (1987). To meet this burden, they were required “not merely to demonstrate better title . . . than the defendants possess, but . . . to prove sufficient title to succeed in [the] action.” Id. See NationsBanc Mtge. Corp. v. Eisenhauer, 49 Mass. App. Ct. 727, 730 (2000). There is no question that the relief the plaintiffs sought required them to establish the validity of the foreclosure sales on which their claim to clear title rested.

Massachusetts does not require a mortgage holder to obtain judicial authorization to foreclose on a mortgaged property. See G. L. c. 183, § 21; G. L. c. 244, § 14. With the exception of the limited judicial procedure aimed at certifying that the mortgagor is not a beneficiary of the Servicemembers Act, a mortgage holder can foreclose on a property, as the plaintiffs did here, by exercise of the statutory power of sale, if such a power is granted by the mortgage itself. See Beaton v. Land Court, 367 Mass. 385, 390-391, 393, appeal dismissed, 423 U.S. 806 (1975).

Where a mortgage grants a mortgage holder the power of sale, as did both the Ibanez and LaRace mortgages, it includes by reference the power of sale set out in G. L. c. 183, § 21, and further regulated by G. L. c. 244, §§ 11-17C. Under G. L. c. 183, § 21, after a mortgagor defaults in the performance of the underlying note, the mortgage holder may sell the property at a public auction and convey the property to the purchaser in fee simple, “and such sale shall forever bar the mortgagor and all persons claiming under him from all right and interest in the mortgaged premises, whether at law or in equity.” Even where there is a dispute as to whether the mortgagor was in default or whether the party claiming to be the mortgage holder is the true mortgage holder, the foreclosure goes forward unless the mortgagor files an action and obtains a court order enjoining the foreclosure.15 See Beaton v. Land Court, supra at 393.

Recognizing the substantial power that the statutory scheme affords to a mortgage holder to foreclose without immediate judicial oversight, we adhere to the familiar rule that “one who sells under a power [of sale] must follow strictly its terms. If he fails to do so there is no valid execution of the power, and the sale is wholly void.” Moore v. Dick, 187 Mass. 207, 211 (1905). See Roche v. Farnsworth, 106 Mass. 509, 513 (1871) (power of sale contained in mortgage “must be executed in strict compliance with its terms”). See also McGreevey v. Charlestown Five Cents Sav. Bank, 294 Mass. 480, 484 (1936).16

One of the terms of the power of sale that must be strictly adhered to is the restriction on who is entitled to foreclose. The “statutory power of sale” can be exercised by “the mortgagee or his executors, administrators, successors or assigns.” G. L. c. 183, § 21. Under G. L. c. 244, § 14, “[t]he mortgagee or person having his estate in the land mortgaged, or a person authorized by the power of sale, or the attorney duly authorized by a writing under seal, or the legal guardian or conservator of such mortgagee or person acting in the name of such mortgagee or person” is empowered to exercise the statutory power of sale. Any effort to foreclose by a party lacking “jurisdiction and authority” to carry out a foreclosure under these statutes is void. Chace v. Morse, 189 Mass. 559, 561 (1905), citing Moore v. Dick, supra. See Davenport v. HSBC Bank USA, 275 Mich. App. 344, 347-348 (2007) (attempt to foreclose by party that had not yet been assigned mortgage results in “structural defect that goes to the very heart of defendant’s ability to foreclose by advertisement,” and renders foreclosure sale void).

A related statutory requirement that must be strictly adhered to in a foreclosure by power of sale is the notice requirement articulated in G. L. c. 244, § 14. That statute provides that “no sale under such power shall be effectual to foreclose a mortgage, unless, previous to such sale,” advance notice of the foreclosure sale has been provided to the mortgagee, to other interested parties, and by publication in a newspaper published in the town where the mortgaged land lies or of general circulation in that town. Id. “The manner in which the notice of the proposed sale shall be given is one of the important terms of the power, and a strict compliance with it is essential to the valid exercise of the power.” Moore v. Dick, supra at 212. See Chace v. Morse, supra (“where a certain notice is prescribed, a sale without any notice, or upon a notice lacking the essential requirements of the written power, would be void as a proceeding for foreclosure”). See also McGreevey v. Charlestown Five Cents Sav. Bank, supra. Because only a present holder of the mortgage is authorized to foreclose on the mortgaged property, and because the mortgagor is entitled to know who is foreclosing and selling the property, the failure to identify the holder of the mortgage in the notice of sale may render the notice defective and the foreclosure sale void.17 See Roche v. Farnsworth, supra (mortgage sale void where notice of sale identified original mortgagee but not mortgage holder at time of notice and sale). See also Bottomly v. Kabachnick, 13 Mass. App. Ct. 480, 483-484 (1982) (foreclosure void where holder of mortgage not identified in notice of sale).

For the plaintiffs to obtain the judicial declaration of clear title that they seek, they had to prove their authority to foreclose under the power of sale and show their compliance with the requirements on which this authority rests. Here, the plaintiffs were not the original mortgagees to whom the power of sale was granted; rather, they claimed the authority to foreclose as the eventual assignees of the original mortgagees. Under the plain language of G. L. c. 183, § 21, and G. L. c. 244, § 14, the plaintiffs had the authority to exercise the power of sale contained in the Ibanez and LaRace mortgages only if they were the assignees of the mortgages at the time of the notice of sale and the subsequent foreclosure sale. See In re Schwartz, 366 B.R. 265, 269 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2007) (“Acquiring the mortgage after the entry and foreclosure sale does not satisfy the Massachusetts statute”).18 See also Jeff-Ray Corp. v. Jacobson, 566 So. 2d 885, 886 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1990) (per curiam) (foreclosure action could not be based on assignment of mortgage dated four months after commencement of foreclosure proceeding).

The plaintiffs claim that the securitization documents they submitted establish valid assignments that made them the holders of the Ibanez and LaRace mortgages before the notice of sale and the foreclosure sale. We turn, then, to the documentation submitted by the plaintiffs to determine whether it met the requirements of a valid assignment.

Like a sale of land itself, the assignment of a mortgage is a conveyance of an interest in land that requires a writing signed by the grantor. See G. L. c. 183, § 3; Saint Patrick’s Religious, Educ. & Charitable Ass’n v. Hale, 227 Mass. 175, 177 (1917). In a “title theory state” like Massachusetts, a mortgage is a transfer of legal title in a property to secure a debt. See Faneuil Investors Group, Ltd. Partnership v. Selectmen of Dennis, 458 Mass. 1, 6 (2010). Therefore, when a person borrows money to purchase a home and gives the lender a mortgage, the homeowner-mortgagor retains only equitable title in the home; the legal title is held by the mortgagee. See Vee Jay Realty Trust Co. v. DiCroce, 360 Mass. 751, 753 (1972), quoting Dolliver v. St. Joseph Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 128 Mass. 315, 316 (1880) (although “as to all the world except the mortgagee, a mortgagor is the owner of the mortgaged lands,” mortgagee has legal title to property); Maglione v. BancBoston Mtge. Corp., 29 Mass. App. Ct. 88, 90 (1990). Where, as here, mortgage loans are pooled together in a trust and converted into mortgage-backed securities, the underlying promissory notes serve as financial instruments generating a potential income stream for investors, but the mortgages securing these notes are still legal title to someone’s home or farm and must be treated as such.

Focusing first on the Ibanez mortgage, U.S. Bank argues that it was assigned the mortgage under the trust agreement described in the PPM, but it did not submit a copy of this trust agreement to the judge. The PPM, however, described the trust agreement as an agreement to be executed in the future, so it only furnished evidence of an intent to assign mortgages to U.S. Bank, not proof of their actual assignment. Even if there were an executed trust agreement with language of present assignment, U.S. Bank did not produce the schedule of loans and mortgages that was an exhibit to that agreement, so it failed to show that the Ibanez mortgage was among the mortgages to be assigned by that agreement. Finally, even if there were an executed trust agreement with the required schedule, U.S. Bank failed to furnish any evidence that the entity assigning the mortgage — Structured Asset Securities Corporation — ever held the mortgage to be assigned. The last assignment of the mortgage on record was from Rose Mortgage to Option One; nothing was submitted to the judge indicating that Option One ever assigned the mortgage to anyone before the foreclosure sale.19 Thus, based on the documents submitted to the judge, Option One, not U.S. Bank, was the mortgage holder at the time of the foreclosure, and U.S. Bank did not have the authority to foreclose the mortgage.

Turning to the LaRace mortgage, Wells Fargo claims that, before it issued the foreclosure notice, it was assigned the LaRace mortgage under the PSA. The PSA, in contrast with U.S. Bank’s PPM, uses the language of a present assignment (“does hereby . . . assign” and “does hereby deliver”) rather than an intent to assign in the future. But the mortgage loan schedule Wells Fargo submitted failed to identify with adequate specificity the LaRace mortgage as one of the mortgages assigned in the PSA. Moreover, Wells Fargo provided the judge with no document that reflected that the ABFC (depositor) held the LaRace mortgage that it was purportedly assigning in the PSA. As with the Ibanez loan, the record holder of the LaRace loan was Option One, and nothing was submitted to the judge which demonstrated that the LaRace loan was ever assigned by Option One to another entity before the publication of the notice and the sale.

Where a plaintiff files a complaint asking for a declaration of clear title after a mortgage foreclosure, a judge is entitled to ask for proof that the foreclosing entity was the mortgage holder at the time of the notice of sale and foreclosure, or was one of the parties authorized to foreclose under G. L. c. 183, § 21, and G. L. c. 244, § 14. A plaintiff that cannot make this modest showing cannot justly proclaim that it was unfairly denied a declaration of clear title. See In re Schwartz, supra at 266 (“When HomEq [Servicing Corporation] was required to prove its authority to conduct the sale, and despite having been given ample opportunity to do so, what it produced instead was a jumble of documents and conclusory statements, some of which are not supported by the documents and indeed even contradicted by them”). See also Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC v. Nelson, 382 Ill. App. 3d 1184, 1188 (2008) (reversing grant of summary judgment in favor of financial entity in foreclosure action, where there was “no evidence that [the entity] ever obtained any legal interest in the subject property”).

We do not suggest that an assignment must be in recordable form at the time of the notice of sale or the subsequent foreclosure sale, although recording is likely the better practice. Where a pool of mortgages is assigned to a securitized trust, the executed agreement that assigns the pool of mortgages, with a schedule of the pooled mortgage loans that clearly and specifically identifies the mortgage at issue as among those assigned, may suffice to establish the trustee as the mortgage holder. However, there must be proof that the assignment was made by a party that itself held the mortgage. See In re Samuels, 415 B.R. 8, 20 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2009). A foreclosing entity may provide a complete chain of assignments linking it to the record holder of the mortgage, or a single assignment from the record holder of the mortgage. See In re Parrish, 326 B.R. 708, 720 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2005) (“If the claimant acquired the note and mortgage from the original lender or from another party who acquired it from the original lender, the claimant can meet its burden through evidence that traces the loan from the original lender to the claimant”). The key in either case is that the foreclosing entity must hold the mortgage at the time of the notice and sale in order accurately to identify itself as the present holder in the notice and in order to have the authority to foreclose under the power of sale (or the foreclosing entity must be one of the parties authorized to foreclose under G. L. c. 183, § 21, and G. L. c. 244, § 14).

The judge did not err in concluding that the securitization documents submitted by the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that they were the holders of the Ibanez and LaRace mortgages, respectively, at the time of the publication of the notices and the sales. The judge, therefore, did not err in rendering judgments against the plaintiffs and in denying the plaintiffs’ motions to vacate the judgments.20

We now turn briefly to three other arguments raised by the plaintiffs on appeal. First, the plaintiffs initially contended that the assignments in blank executed by Option One, identifying the assignor but not the assignee, not only “evidence[] and confirm[] the assignments that occurred by virtue of the securitization agreements,” but “are effective assignments in their own right.” But in their reply briefs they conceded that the assignments in blank did not constitute a lawful assignment of the mortgages. Their concession is appropriate. We have long held that a conveyance of real property, such as a mortgage, that does not name the assignee conveys nothing and is void; we do not regard an assignment of land in blank as giving legal title in land to the bearer of the assignment. See Flavin v. Morrissey, 327 Mass. 217, 219 (1951); Macurda v. Fuller, 225 Mass. 341, 344 (1916). See also G. L. c. 183, § 3.

Second, the plaintiffs contend that, because they held the mortgage note, they had a sufficient financial interest in the mortgage to allow them to foreclose. In Massachusetts, where a note has been assigned but there is no written assignment of the mortgage underlying the note, the assignment of the note does not carry with it the assignment of the mortgage. Barnes v. Boardman, 149 Mass. 106, 114 (1889). Rather, the holder of the mortgage holds the mortgage in trust for the purchaser of the note, who has an equitable right to obtain an assignment of the mortgage, which may be accomplished by filing an action in court and obtaining an equitable order of assignment. Id. (“In some jurisdictions it is held that the mere transfer of the debt, without any assignment or even mention of the mortgage, carries the mortgage with it, so as to enable the assignee to assert his title in an action at law. . . . This doctrine has not prevailed in Massachusetts, and the tendency of the decisions here has been, that in such cases the mortgagee would hold the legal title in trust for the purchaser of the debt, and that the latter might obtain a conveyance by a bill in equity”). See Young v. Miller, 6 Gray 152, 154 (1856). In the absence of a valid written assignment of a mortgage or a court order of assignment, the mortgage holder remains unchanged. This common-law principle was later incorporated in the statute enacted in 1912 establishing the statutory power of sale, which grants such a power to “the mortgagee or his executors, administrators, successors or assigns,” but not to a party that is the equitable beneficiary of a mortgage held by another. G. L. c. 183, § 21, inserted by St. 1912, c. 502, § 6.

Third, the plaintiffs initially argued that postsale assignments were sufficient to establish their authority to foreclose, and now argue that these assignments are sufficient when taken in conjunction with the evidence of a presale assignment. They argue that the use of postsale assignments was customary in the industry, and point to Title Standard No. 58 (3) issued by the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts, which declares: “A title is not defective by reason of . . . [t]he recording of an Assignment of Mortgage executed either prior, or subsequent, to foreclosure where said Mortgage has been foreclosed, of record, by the Assignee.”21 To the extent that the plaintiffs rely on this title standard for the proposition that an entity that does not hold a mortgage may foreclose on a property, and then cure the cloud on title by a later assignment of a mortgage, their reliance is misplaced because this proposition is contrary to G. L. c. 183, § 21, and G. L. c. 244, § 14. If the plaintiffs did not have their assignments to the Ibanez and LaRace mortgages at the time of the publication of the notices and the sales, they lacked authority to foreclose under G. L. c. 183, § 21, and G. L. c. 244, § 14, and their published claims to be the present holders of the mortgages were false. Nor may a postforeclosure assignment be treated as a pre-foreclosure assignment simply by declaring an “effective date” that precedes the notice of sale and foreclosure, as did Option One’s assignment of the LaRace mortgage to Wells Fargo. Because an assignment of a mortgage is a transfer of legal title, it becomes effective with respect to the power of sale only on the transfer; it cannot become effective before the transfer. See In re Schwartz, supra at 269.

However, we do not disagree with Title Standard No. 58 (3) that, where an assignment is confirmatory of an earlier, valid assignment made prior to the publication of notice and execution of the sale, that confirmatory assignment may be executed and recorded after the foreclosure, and doing so will not make the title defective. A valid assignment of a mortgage gives the holder of that mortgage the statutory power to sell after a default regardless whether the assignment has been recorded. See G. L. c. 183, § 21; MacFarlane v. Thompson, 241 Mass. 486, 489 (1922). Where the earlier assignment is not in recordable form or bears some defect, a written assignment executed after foreclosure that confirms the earlier assignment may be properly recorded. See Bon v. Graves, 216 Mass. 440, 444-445 (1914). A confirmatory assignment, however, cannot confirm an assignment that was not validly made earlier or backdate an assignment being made for the first time. See Scaplen v. Blanchard, 187 Mass. 73, 76 (1904) (confirmatory deed “creates no title” but “takes the place of the original deed, and is evidence of the making of the former conveyance as of the time when it was made”). Where there is no prior valid assignment, a subsequent assignment by the mortgage holder to the note holder is not a confirmatory assignment because there is no earlier written assignment to confirm. In this case, based on the record before the judge, the plaintiffs failed to prove that they obtained valid written assignments of the Ibanez and LaRace mortgages before their foreclosures, so the postforeclosure assignments were not confirmatory of earlier valid assignments.

Finally, we reject the plaintiffs’ request that our ruling be prospective in its application. A prospective ruling is only appropriate, in limited circumstances, when we make a significant change in the common law. See Papadopoulos v. Target Corp., 457 Mass. 368, 384 (2010) (noting “normal rule of retroactivity”); Payton v. Abbott Labs, 386 Mass. 540, 565 (1982). We have not done so here. The legal principles and requirements we set forth are well established in our case law and our statutes. All that has changed is the plaintiffs’ apparent failure to abide by those principles and requirements in the rush to sell mortgage-backed securities.

Conclusion. For the reasons stated, we agree with the judge that the plaintiffs did not demonstrate that they were the holders of the Ibanez and LaRace mortgages at the time that they foreclosed these properties, and therefore failed to demonstrate that they acquired fee simple title to these properties by purchasing them at the foreclosure sale.

Judgments affirmed.

CORDY, J. (concurring, with whom Botsford, J., joins). I concur fully in the opinion of the court, and write separately only to underscore that what is surprising about these cases is not the statement of principles articulated by the court regarding title law and the law of foreclosure in Massachusetts, but rather the utter carelessness with which the plaintiff banks documented the titles to their assets. There is no dispute that the mortgagors of the properties in question had defaulted on their obligations, and that the mortgaged properties were subject to foreclosure. Before commencing such an action, however, the holder of an assigned mortgage needs to take care to ensure that his legal paperwork is in order. Although there was no apparent actual unfairness here to the mortgagors, that is not the point. Foreclosure is a powerful act with significant consequences, and Massachusetts law has always required that it proceed strictly in accord with the statutes that govern it. As the opinion of the court notes, such strict compliance is necessary because Massachusetts is both a title theory State and allows for extrajudicial foreclosure.

The type of sophisticated transactions leading up to the accumulation of the notes and mortgages in question in these cases and their securitization, and, ultimately the sale of mortgaged-backed securities, are not barred nor even burdened by the requirements of Massachusetts law. The plaintiff banks, who brought these cases to clear the titles that they acquired at their own foreclosure sales, have simply failed to prove that the underlying assignments of the mortgages that they allege (and would have) entitled them to foreclose ever existed in any legally cognizable form before they exercised the power of sale that accompanies those assignments. The court’s opinion clearly states that such assignments do not need to be in recordable form or recorded before the foreclosure, but they do have to have been effectuated.

What is more complicated, and not addressed in this opinion, because the issue was not before us, is the effect of the conduct of banks such as the plaintiffs here, on a bona fide third-party purchaser who may have relied on the foreclosure title of the bank and the confirmative assignment and affidavit of foreclosure recorded by the bank subsequent to that foreclosure but prior to the purchase by the third party, especially where the party whose property was foreclosed was in fact in violation of the mortgage covenants, had notice of the foreclosure, and took no action to contest it.

1 For the Structured Asset Securities Corporation Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-Z.

2 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., trustee, vs. Mark A. LaRace

& another.

3 The Appeals Court granted the plaintiffs’ motion to consolidate these cases.

4 Chief Justice Marshall participated in the deliberation on this case prior to her retirement.

5 We acknowledge the amicus briefs filed by the Attorney General; the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts, Inc.; Marie McDonnell; and the National Consumer Law Center, together with Darlene Manson, Germano DePina, Robert Lane, Ann Coiley, Roberto Szumik, and Geraldo Dosanjos.

6 The uncertainty surrounding the first issue was the reason the plaintiffs sought a declaration of clear title in order to obtain title insurance for these properties. The second issue was raised by the judge in the LaRace case at a January 5, 2009, case management conference.

7 The judge also concluded that the Boston Globe was a newspaper of general circulation in Springfield, so the foreclosures were not rendered invalid on that ground because notice was published in that newspaper.

8 In the third case, LaSalle Bank National Association, trustee for the certificate holders of Bear Stearns Asset Backed Securities I, LLC Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2007-HE2 vs. Freddy Rosario, the judge concluded that the mortgage foreclosure “was not rendered invalid by its failure to record the assignment reflecting its status as holder of the mortgage prior to the foreclosure since it was, in fact, the holder by assignment at the time of the foreclosure, it truthfully claimed that status in the notice, and it could have produced proof of that status (the unrecorded assignment) if asked.”

9 On June 1, 2009, attorneys for the defendant mortgagors filed their appearance in the cases for the first time.

10 The LaRace defendants allege that the documents submitted to the judge following the plaintiffs’ motions to vacate judgment are not properly in the record before us. They also allege that several of these documents are not properly authenticated. Because we affirm the judgment on other grounds, we do not address these concerns, and assume that these documents are properly before us and were adequately authenticated.

11 This signed and notarized document states: “FOR VALUE RECEIVED, the undersigned hereby grants, assigns and transfers to _______ all beneficial interest under that certain Mortgage dated December 1, 2005 executed by Antonio Ibanez . . . .”

12 The Structured Asset Securities Corporation is a wholly owned direct subsidiary of Lehman Commercial Paper Inc., which is in turn a wholly owned, direct subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

13 As implemented in Massachusetts, a mortgage holder is required to go to court to obtain a judgment declaring that the mortgagor is not a beneficiary of the Servicemembers Act before proceeding to foreclosure. St. 1943, c. 57, as amended through St. 1998, c. 142.

14 The Land Court judge questioned whether American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., was in fact a successor in interest to Option One. Given our affirmance of the judgment on other grounds, we need not address this question.

15 An alternative to foreclosure through the right of statutory sale is foreclosure by entry, by which a mortgage holder who peaceably enters a property and remains for three years after recording a certificate or memorandum of entry forecloses the mortgagor’s right of redemption. See G. L. c. 244, §§ 1, 2; Joyner v. Lenox Sav. Bank, 322 Mass. 46, 52-53 (1947). A foreclosure by entry may provide a separate ground for a claim of clear title apart from the foreclosure by execution of the power of sale. See, e.g., Grabiel v. Michelson, 297 Mass. 227, 228-229 (1937). Because the plaintiffs do not claim clear title based on foreclosure by entry, we do not discuss it further.

16 We recognize that a mortgage holder must not only act in strict compliance with its power of sale but must also “act in good faith and . . . use reasonable diligence to protect the interests of the mortgagor,” and this responsibility is “more exacting” where the mortgage holder becomes the buyer at the foreclosure sale, as occurred here. See Williams v. Resolution GGF Oy, 417 Mass. 377, 382-383 (1994), quoting Seppala & Aho Constr. Co. v. Petersen, 373 Mass. 316, 320 (1977). Because the issue was not raised by the defendant mortgagors or the judge, we do not consider whether the plaintiffs breached this obligation.

17 The form of foreclosure notice provided in G. L. c. 244, § 14, calls for the present holder of the mortgage to identify itself and sign the notice. While the statute permits other forms to be used and allows the statutory form to be “altered as circumstances require,” G. L. c. 244, § 14, we do not interpret this flexibility to suggest that the present holder of the mortgage need not identify itself in the notice.

18 The plaintiffs were not authorized to foreclose by virtue of any of the other provisions of G. L. c. 244, § 14: they were not the guardian or conservator, or acting in the name of, a person so authorized; nor were they the attorney duly authorized by a writing under seal.

19 Ibanez challenges the validity of this assignment to Option One. Because of the failure of U.S. Bank to document any preforeclosure sale assignment or chain of assignments by which it obtained the Ibanez mortgage from Option One, it is unnecessary to address the validity of the assignment from Rose Mortgage to Option One.

20 The plaintiffs have not pressed the procedural question whether the judge exceeded his authority in rendering judgment against them on their motions for default judgment, and we do not address it here.

21 Title Standard No. 58 (3) issued by the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts continues: “However, if the Assignment is not dated prior, or stated to be effective prior, to the commencement of a foreclosure, then a foreclosure sale after April 19, 2007 may be subject to challenge in the Bankruptcy Court,” citing In re Schwartz, 366 B.R. 265 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2007).

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Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (3)

Dear President Obama…

Dear President Obama…


Exactly 2 years ago to this day you held a rally in Toledo, Ohio. In your speech you spoke about our economy and the path it would travel if we did not propose “Change”.

In this speech in Ohio you proposed a 90 day Moratorium on Foreclosures.

You made this statement.

“We cannot allow homeowners and small towns to suffer because of the mess made by Wall Street and by Washington and for those Americans in danger of losing their homes today I’m also proposing a three month moratorium on foreclosures. If your a bank…if your a bank or a lender who’s getting money from the rescue plan that passed congress and your customers are making a good faith effort to make their mortgage payments and renegotiate their mortgage you will not be able to foreclose on their home for three months. We need to get to give the people the breathing room to get back on their feet”.

Today we come to the conclusion they not only are kicking us out of our homes but engaging in a “pattern of conduct” using fraudulent documents to do so. This is clear fraud upon the courts and this is unacceptable in AMERICA.

Yesterday I received an email informing me of a 74 year old woman will be evicted today. This is our sister, mother…grandmother. Can you imagine walking in her shoes and all she has struggled to maybe have a taste of being whole at 74? Do you understand the fear she has of not knowing where she will go, end up? Does anyone care what will happen to this human?

These are the emails that make me contribute to the cause.

I once had hope for change but now I am hopeless in what I witness being accepted.

Below is the actual video of the rally you held in Ohio. I hope you listen carefully to your own words and do the right thing for the American people today.

We are listening and demand a Foreclosure Freeze to this rampant Foreclosure Fraud.

Respectfully,

Damian-


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Posted in assignment of mortgage, CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., robo signers, securitization, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Wall StreetComments (3)

VIDEO: ELIZABETH WARREN “THIS IS A VERY BIG PROBLEM” On FORECLOSURE FRAUD

VIDEO: ELIZABETH WARREN “THIS IS A VERY BIG PROBLEM” On FORECLOSURE FRAUD


Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) — Elizabeth Warren, the White House adviser in charge of forming the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, discusses her first month on the job, the need for U.S. lenders to simplify home mortgage paperwork and the outlook for financial industry regulation. Warren, speaking with Margaret Brennan on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness.” (Source: Bloomberg)

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Posted in elizabeth warren, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Moratorium, mortgage, servicersComments (4)

VIDEO: OHIO SOS JENNIFER BRUNNER on Foreclosure Fraud, Kaptur, MERS, H.R. 3808, Notaries, Moratorium

VIDEO: OHIO SOS JENNIFER BRUNNER on Foreclosure Fraud, Kaptur, MERS, H.R. 3808, Notaries, Moratorium


Democracy NOW! News – Calls are growing for a nationwide moratorium on home foreclosures following the recent revelations that major lenders may have committed fraud while forcing thousands of people out of their homes. On Thursday the White House announced President Obama will not sign a bill approved by Congress that could have made it easier for banks to foreclose. We discuss the latest in the foreclosure crisis with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. This week Ohio filed a lawsuit accusing the lender Ally Financial and its GMAC Mortgage division of fraud in approving scores of foreclosures. Published with written permission from democracynow.org.

http://www.democracynow.org Provided to you under Democracy NOW! creative commons license. Copyright democracynow.org, an independent non-profit user funded news media, recognized and broadcast world wide.

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraudComments (1)

Reid calls on lenders to halt foreclosures in all states

Reid calls on lenders to halt foreclosures in all states


Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 8, 2010; 2:16 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called on major lenders to halt foreclosures across the country Friday following Bank of America‘s announcement that it will suspend all such proceedings until a review of possible paperwork problems is completed.

Reid, who had sent a letter to major banks asking them to suspend foreclosures in Nevada, extended his concern to include all 50 states.

“I thank Bank of America for doing the right thing by suspending actions on foreclosures while this investigation runs its course,” he said. “I urge other major mortgage servicers to consider expanding the area where they have halted foreclosures to all 50 states as well.”

Reid is the latest Democratic leader to join a growing chorus of lawmakers and state attorneys general who have called for greater scrutiny of the foreclosure process and a nationwide moratorium. Homeowner advocates say that lenders have used dubious paperwork to expedite the eviction of homeowners who are behind on their payments.

Pressure on the banks continues to grow on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) said Friday that the banking committee he chairs will hold hearings Nov. 16 to investigate the foreclosure paperwork morass.

CONTINUE READING…WASHINGTON POST

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Posted in CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, MoratoriumComments (3)

BofA halts foreclosure sales in 50 states

BofA halts foreclosure sales in 50 states


By ALAN ZIBEL, Associated Press

Bank of America Corp., the nation’s largest bank, said Friday it would stop sales of foreclosed homes in all 50 states as it reviews potential flaws in foreclosure documents.

A week earlier, the company had said it would only stop such sales in the 23 states where foreclosures must be approved by a judge.

The move comes amid evidence that mortgage company employees or their lawyers signed documents in foreclosure cases without verifying the information in them.

“We will stop foreclosure sales until our assessment has been satisfactorily completed,” company spokesman Dan Frahm said in a statement. “Our ongoing assessment shows the basis for our past foreclosure decisions is accurate.”

Concern is growing that mortgage lenders have been evicting homeowners using flawed court papers. State and federal officials have been ramping up pressure on the mortgage industry over worries about potential legal violations.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urged five large mortgage lenders to suspend foreclosures in Nevada until they have set up systems to make sure homeowners aren’t “improperly directed into foreclosure proceedings.” Nevada is not among the states where banks had suspended foreclosures.

Also Friday, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. said it is halting most foreclosures and evictions in 23 states for a month so it can review whether documents it submitted to courts complied with state laws. An official at the Pittsburgh-based bank confirmed the decision on Friday, which was reported earlier by the New York Times. The official requested anonymity because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced.

Continue reading…ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, bank of america, CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosuresComments (1)

Grayson Sends Letter to FSOC Regulators on Foreclosure Fraud and Calls for Foreclosure Halt

Grayson Sends Letter to FSOC Regulators on Foreclosure Fraud and Calls for Foreclosure Halt


October 6, 2010

The Honorable Timothy F. Geithner   .The Honorable Sheila Bair
Secretary                                                        . Chairman
Department of the Treasury           . Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue,          . NW 550 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20220                     . Washington, DC 20429

The Honorable Ben S. Bernanke                 .  The Honorable Mary Schapiro
Chairman                                                              . Chairman
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System    .Securities and Exchange Commission
20th Street and Constitution Ave,                                      .NW 100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20551 Washington, DC 20549

The Honorable John G. Walsh                                  .The Honorable Gary Gensler
Acting Comptroller of the Currency                     .Chairman
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Commodity Futures Trading Commission
250 E St. SW                                                                    . 1155 21st St. NW
Washington, DC 20219                                                .Washington, DC 20581

The Honorable Ed DeMarco                                     .The Honorable Debbie Matz
Acting Director                                                             .Chairman
Federal Housing Finance Agency                         .National Credit Union Administration
1700 G Street,                                                               .NW 1775 Duke Street,
Washington, DC 20552                                              .Alexandria, VA 22314-3428

Dear Secretary Geithner and members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC),

The FSOC is tasked with ensuring the financial stability of the United States, which includes identifying and addressing possible systemic risks. There is a well-documented wave of foreclosure fraud sweeping the country that presents such a risk. Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase have both suspended foreclosures in 23 states where that fraud could be uncovered and stopped by the courts. Connecticut has suspended foreclosures.

I write to encourage the FSOC to appoint an emergency task force on foreclosure fraud as a potential systemic risk. I am also writing to ask the members of the FSOC to use their regulatory authority to impose a foreclosure moratorium on all mortgages originated and securitized between 2005-2008, until this task force is able to understand and mitigate the systemic risk posed by the foreclosure fraud crisis.

So far, banks are claiming that the many forged documents uncovered by courts and attorneys represent a simple ‘technical problem’ with foreclosure processes. This is not true. What is happening is fraud to cover up fraud.

The mortgage lending boom saw the proliferation of predatory lending and mortgage fraud, what the FBI called at the time ‘an epidemic of mortgage fraud.’ Much of this was lender-induced.

When lenders – many of whom are now out of business – originally lent money to borrowers, they often did so knowing that the terms of the loans could not possibly be honored. They sought fees, not repayment. These lenders put people in predatory loans, they induced massive amounts of fraud, and Wall Street banks misrepresented these loans to investors when they moved through the securitization chain. They were stealing money from investors, and from homeowners.

Obviously these originators and servicers didn’t keep good records of who owed what to whom because the point was never about getting paid back, it was about moving as much loan volume as possible as quickly and as cheaply as possible. The banks didn’t keep good records, and there is good reason to believe in many if not virtually all cases during this period, failed to transfer the notes, which is the borrower IOUs in accordance with the requirements of their own pooling and servicing agreements. As a result, the notes may be put out of eligibility for the trust under New York law, which governs these securitizations. Potential cures for the note may, according to certain legal experts, be contrary to IRS rules governing REMICs. As a result, loan servicers and trusts simply lack standing to foreclose. The remedy has been foreclosure fraud, including the widespread fabrication of documents.

There are now trillions of dollars of securitizations of these loans in the hands of investors. The trusts holding these loans are in a legal gray area, as the mortgage titles were never officially transferred to the trusts. The result of this is foreclosure fraud on a massive scale, including foreclosures on people without mortgages or who are on time with their payments.

The liability here for the major banks is potentially enormous, and can lead to a systemic risk. Fortunately, the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation includes a resolution process for these banks. More importantly, these foreclosures are devastating neighborhoods, families, and cities all over the country. Each foreclosure costs tens of thousands of dollars to a municipality, lowers property values, and makes bank failures more likely.

I appreciate your willingness to assess possible systemic risks to the country, and would again encourage you to suspend foreclosures until this problem is understood and its ramifications dealt with.

Sincerely,

Alan Grayson

Member of Congress

Letter to FSOC Calling for Foreclosure Halt

[ipaper docId=38926270 access_key=key-1puud130qpriliwchgrg height=600 width=600 /]

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Posted in congress, securitization, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, TrustsComments (1)

AMICUS BRIEF FILED FOR LANDMARK MASSACHUSETTES CASES IBANEZ & LaRACE EXPOSES FORECLOSURE FRAUD

AMICUS BRIEF FILED FOR LANDMARK MASSACHUSETTES CASES IBANEZ & LaRACE EXPOSES FORECLOSURE FRAUD


Update 1/7/2011:

BREAKING NEWS: AFFIRMED MASSIVE VICTORY RULING FOR HOMEOWNERS “IBANEZ, LaRACE”

I have personally read this Amicus Brief and seen the exhibits and this is Explosive!!

This is a must read for any defense attorney and judges!

“Marie,

This is without question the most important decision so far in the war against the unlawful and fraudulent conduct of the originators, securitizers, out-source-providers, default servicers, and their so-called lawyers! The Judge articulates the business models we are dealing with better than anyone has done in any opinion, article or brief. I am sure your work contributed greatly to the education of the court and for that you should be highly commended. This Judge really and truly got it! It is the perfect outline of the transactional requirements and debunks every bogus argument that the other side has been advancing for year”.

O. MAX GARNDER III-

Dear Damian,

I have attached a sampling from my Amicus Brief filed on Friday, October 1, 2010 with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in the landmark cases that are presently on appeal from the Massachusetts Land Court styled:  U.S. Bank v. Ibanez and its companion case, Wells Fargo Bank v. LaRace.

My brief reveals groundbreaking evidence that Antonio Ibanez’s loan was most likely securitized twice – a hidden fact unknown until now.

Moreover, the Assignment of Mortgage allegedly conveying the Ibanez loan to U.S. Bank, executed by “robo-signer” Linda Green, violated the Pooling and Servicing Agreement and other Trust documents.

Finally I expose the fact that U.S. Bank, who bought the Ibanez property at foreclosure for $94,350, sold it on December 15, 2008 for $0.00.  That’s right, they foreclosed on Ibanez’s property so that they could give it away!

With respect to Mark and Tammy LaRace, I am happy to report that through the efforts of Attorney Glenn F. Russell, Jr. and myself, the LaRaces moved back into their home in January of this year, two and a half years post-foreclosure!

My Amicus Brief reveals that Wells Fargo Bank’s own documents prove that they did not have the authority to foreclose on the LaRaces.  Therefore, the Assignment of Mortgage, Power of Attorney, Affidavit, and Foreclosure Deed executed by “robo-signer” Cindi Ellis were all unauthorized.

Wells Fargo Bank’s recent statement that it does not have the same “document” problem that GMAC, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America have admitted to is simply not true.  I have audited many, many foreclosure files where Wells Fargo Bank employees and their agents have manufactured false documents to prosecute wrongful foreclosures such as in the LaRaces’ case.

I would encourage everyone to go to my website and make a donation of $125.00 or more which will allow me to e-mail a complete copy of my Amicus Brief together with the Exhibits that document the fraud.  Although I undertook this effort on a pro bono basis, I will have a printing bill that could amount to about $5,000.  Therefore, I would greatly appreciate some assistance.

CONSUMERS

My Amicus Brief will explain why your mortgage servicing company must hire “document execution teams” to create the paper trail needed to foreclose.

ANALYSTS

My Amicus Brief is a roadmap that will show you how to use the documentary evidence to prove the underlying fraud in foreclosure cases.

ATTORNEYS

My Amicus Brief will teach you how to frame the issues so that you can go toe-to-toe with “tall building lawyers.”

JUDGES

My Amicus Brief will educate you so that your courtrooms do not become “crime scenes” as creditors’ attorneys ask you to sanitize and validate their false and fraudulent foreclosure documents.

Respectfully,

Marie

Marie McDonnell, CFE
Truth In Lending Audit & Recovery Services, LLC

Mortgage Fraud and Forensic Analyst

Certified Fraud Examiner

http://truthinlending.net/

30 Main Street, Rear
P.O. Box 2760
Orleans, MA 02653
Tel. (508) 255-8829
Cell (508) 292-5555
Fax (508) 255-9626


UPDATE: 10/13/2010 As Filed

[ipaper docId=38884691 access_key=key-13f8jmfld9d7c1a156cg height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (5)

Hard Times Are Getting Harder: Why The Silence?

Hard Times Are Getting Harder: Why The Silence?


WHO IS TALKING ABOUT WHAT MATTERS?

Aren’t job losses and foreclosures as important as a “Ground Zero Mosque” (that has not been built, isn’t a mosque or even at ground zero?)

By Danny Schechter, Author of The Crime Of Our Time

We know we live in hard times that are on the verge of getting harder with 500,000 new claims for unemployment last week, a recent record. The stock market may be over for now as fear and panic drives small investors out. Big corporations hoard stashes of cash rather then hire workers.

Foreclosures are up, and the Administration’s programs to stop them are down, well below their stated goals, only helping 1/6th of those promised assistance.

And here’s a statistic for you: 300,000. That’s the number of foreclosure filings every month for the past 17 months. This year, 1.9 million homes will be lost, down from 2 million last year. Is that progress? In July alone, 92, 858 homes were repossessed.

At the same time, the number of cancelled mortgage modifications exceeded the number of successful ones. According to Ml-implode.com, last month, “the number of trial modification cancellations surged to 616,839, greatly outnumbering the 421,804 active permanent modifications.”

The Treasury Department admits its HAMP program did not meet expectations but justifies it on the grounds that it gave homeowners lower payments—thatr is, until they were tossed out of their homes. Critics call this “extend and pretend.

And don’t think this is only a problem that affects the homeowners about to go homeless. The New York Times quotes Michael Feder, the chief executive of the real estate data firm Radar Logic to the effect that we are all at risk.

“My concern is that if we have another protracted housing dip, it’s going to bring the economy down,” Mr. Feder said. “If consumers don’t think their houses are worth what they were six months ago, they’re not going to go out and spend money. I’m concerned this problem isn’t being addressed.”

The larger point is that even if you believe the economy is already down, it can go lower. No one knows how to “fix it” either just as BP couldn’t plug the “leak” that, truth be told, is still oozing oil, and is 650 feet in scope.

So what are we doing about it? Are we demanding debt relief or a moratorium on foreclosures? Are we shutting down the foreclosure factories

Continue Reading…NewsDissector

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Posted in conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, Danny Schechter, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, geithner, goldman sachs, hamp, investigation, Moratorium, mortgage, Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, mortgage modification, Real Estate, Wall StreetComments (0)

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