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[Video] Oral Arguments; Washington Supreme Court, BAIN v. MERS and Selkowitz v. Litton Loan Servicing

[Video] Oral Arguments; Washington Supreme Court, BAIN v. MERS and Selkowitz v. Litton Loan Servicing


Counsels for Kristin Bain & Kevin Selkowitz attorneys Melissa Huelsman and Richard Jones (great voice) did a FANTASTIC, OUTSTANDING JOB!!!

BOMBSHELL: Listen and watch when they ask MERS’ counsel “Who is the holder of the note”? HE DOES NOT KNOW & CANNOT ANSWER!

Oral arguments: Bain v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Sys, et al and Selkowitz v. Little “Litton” Loan Servicing, LP, et al. (May a party be a lawful beneficiary under WA’s Deed of Trust Act if it never held the promissory note secured by the deed of trust?)

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



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State Supreme Court to rule on legality of mortgage recording system (MERS)

State Supreme Court to rule on legality of mortgage recording system (MERS)


KOMO NEWS-

For the first time, a local homeowner’s fight to keep a house is headed to the state Supreme Court.

What happens there will effect thousands of people who’ve taken out mortgage loans in the past 10 years. If you own property, you need to know about a system known as MERS.

MERS stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems. It was created by the real estate finance industry to simplify the process of transferring mortgage loans.

But struggling homeowners complain MERS also conceals the true note holder when your mortgage is sold to investors.

Kristen Bain’s comfortable condo in Tukwila is tied up in the MERS debate. First, she had to sue her mortgage broker and the lender for predatory lending and failure to provide proper documentation as required by law.

[KOMO NEWS]

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



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WA AG McKenna returns $14K from foreclosure trustee firm

WA AG McKenna returns $14K from foreclosure trustee firm


GOOD FOR YOU!

Now if only if others can follow instead of bending the rules for some in Florida this would be wonderful!

THE COLUMBIAN-

Republican gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Rob McKenna has returned nearly $14,000 in donations from people tied to a firm that helps mediate foreclosures.

McKenna’s office had put the company, Northwest Trustee Services, Inc., on notice in 2010 that they could face investigation, but his campaign accepted donations from the attorneys tied to the firm on Sept. 30.

[THE COLUMBIAN]

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Amicus Brief of Washington State Attorney General Robert M. McKenna – Bain v. Metropolitan Mortgage and Selkowitz v. Litton Loan Servicing LP “MERS”

Amicus Brief of Washington State Attorney General Robert M. McKenna – Bain v. Metropolitan Mortgage and Selkowitz v. Litton Loan Servicing LP “MERS”


SUPREME COURT OF
THE STATE OF WASHINGTON

KRISTIN BAIN

vs

METROPOLITAN MORTGAGE GROUP INC. et al

[ipaper docId=81662045 access_key=key-24v4kd0j2bq2hhng7wkd height=600 width=600 /]

 

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Bain v. MERS (Wash. Supreme Court) Amicus of Atty Shawn Newman on behalf of Organization United for Reform (OUR) – Washington

Bain v. MERS (Wash. Supreme Court) Amicus of Atty Shawn Newman on behalf of Organization United for Reform (OUR) – Washington


Bain v. Metropolitan is set for hearing on March 15. This is an amicus from attorney Shawn Timothy Newman for Organization United for Reform (OUR) – Washington.

[ipaper docId=81423312 access_key=key-1mn29xvrh9m4blp1cj9v height=600 width=600 /]

 

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



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Washington Attorney General sues ReconTrust for illegal foreclosures

Washington Attorney General sues ReconTrust for illegal foreclosures


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 05, 2011
Washington Attorney General sues ReconTrust for illegal foreclosures

McKenna raps trustee’s claim that it doesn’t have to abide with state law

SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that his office is suing ReconTrust Company, a subsidiary of Bank of America, for conducting illegal foreclosures on thousands of Washington homeowners.

“ReconTrust ignored our warnings, repeatedly broke the law and refused to provide information requested during our investigation,” McKenna said. “ReconTrust’s illegal practices make it difficult, if not impossible, for borrowers who might have a shot at saving their homes to stop those foreclosures.”

ReconTrust is a foreclosure trustee that is legally required to act as a neutral party on behalf of both the lender and the borrower while conducting foreclosure proceedings in good faith and in accordance with the law.

The lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court by McKenna and Assistant Attorney General Jim Sugarman, of the office’s Consumer Protection Division, alleges that “ReconTrust has failed to comply with the Washington Deed of Trust Act, RCW 61.24, in each and every foreclosure it has conducted since at least June 12, 2008.” The company is also accused of violating the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

The Attorney General’s Office announced the suit during a news conference held outside a foreclosed home in Seattle. McKenna and Sugarman were joined by two women whose homes were foreclosed by ReconTrust and several private attorneys who are also concerned about ReconTrust’s actions.

“My home is being foreclosed on. The situation has caused great pain for my son and myself,” said Myra Cole, a single mother from Spanaway who struggled to find employment after a layoff. Her loan servicer was reviewing her Spanaway home for a loan modification when ReconTrust sold the house at foreclosure.

“I couldn’t understand how this could have happened,” Cole continued. “I got the run-around. I just can’t believe that the company that’s supposed to be helping me is foreclosing on me. … We are trying to save our homes. We’re doing the steps they tell us. In the end, it’s all for nothing. It’s an injustice.”

Ruby Barrus told a similar story about the home where she and her husband live in Marysville. During a time of financial hardship, their loan servicer promised not to foreclose while they worked out a loan modification.

“Our payments were never late,” Barrus said, adding that they only stopped making payments because the bank indicated they needed to default to qualify for the modification. “We just figured they knew what they were doing because they were our servicer. … Months later, we get a letter from ReconTrust saying they’re our foreclosure attorneys. We had never heard of them.”

Both women are in court battles to keep their homes.

McKenna said an essential requirement of the Deed of Trust statute is that a trustee maintains an office in the state where homeowners can go to ask questions, make last-minute payments and request a foreclosure be postponed for a legitimate reason. But ReconTrust doesn’t have an office in Washington.

“ReconTrust’s claim that the company doesn’t have to follow Washington law and procedures because it is a national bank is wrong,” McKenna added.

The Attorney General’s Office alleges the company:

  • Failed to maintain a physical office with telephone service in Washington.
  • Failed to identify the actual owner of the promissory notes being foreclosed.
  • Provided confusing information regarding how borrowers defaulted and how they can cure that default.
  • Failed to conduct foreclosures in a public place, instead holding them at private sites including an office park in Bellevue.
  • Created or permitted the use of documents that were improperly executed, notarized or sworn to. Sugarman said notices and agreements contained conflicting dates and improper notarizations and ReconTrust employees sometimes signed as officers of other entities.
  • Failed to exercise its duty of good faith toward the borrower by deferring solely to the lender when deciding whether to postpone a foreclosure.

The complaint states that homeowners facing foreclosure are “captive to ReconTrust’s services” and that the company’s failures to abide by the law have concealed material information needed by homeowners to assert rights and defenses, negotiate a loan modification, cure defaults, and postpone or stop a foreclosure sale.

Sugarman said, “It is particularly important right now for trustees to understand and strictly comply with Washington foreclosure law. There have been several changes including a new right for homeowners to request mediation to discuss a possible loan modification or forbearance before the bank pursues foreclosure.”

The complaint asks that the court require ReconTrust to comply with the law and impose civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation, as well as restitution for consumers.

Based on information obtained during its investigation, the Attorney General’s Office estimates that ReconTrust has issued 9,900 foreclosure notices since January 2008 in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties alone.  ReconTrust forecloses across the state.  It’s unknown how many foreclosures may have been prevented had ReconTrust complied with laws.

In May 2010, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division began investigating reports of lenders and trustee services not properly reviewing foreclosure documents or following other legal procedures. McKenna sent letters in October 2010 and April 2011, outlining concerns and calling on trustees to suspend questionable foreclosures in the state. The office is investigating more than a dozen other trustees for suspected violations.

The office also remains very involved with the multistate investigation into problems in the foreclosure industry.

For more information about these investigations and resources for homeowners, including new mediation rights, visit www.atg.wa.gov/foreclosure.aspx.

Private lawsuits against ReconTrust have been filed in Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon and Arizona concerning its role in foreclosures in those states, as well as by private attorneys in Washington.  The Attorney General of Utah sent a public letter to Bank of America threatening suit if ReconTrust continued to violate Utah foreclosure law.

DOCUMENTS

ReconTrust Complaint

This link lists properties that are listed for sale or have been sold by ReconTrust: http://www.recontrustco.com/upcoming_counties.aspx?state=Washington



Media Contact:

Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager,

(206) 464-6432, cell: (206) 437-2654,

kalexander@atg.wa.gov

source: http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=28750

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



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NYT | New Rules for Mortgage Servicers Face Early Criticism

NYT | New Rules for Mortgage Servicers Face Early Criticism


Federal banking regulators have not officially imposed their new rules for the top mortgage servicers, but criticism is already being heard. A wide coalition of consumer and housing groups is denouncing the legal agreements, which are likely to be published within a few days. ?

[…]

The problem, said Alys Cohen of the National Consumer Law Center, is the agreements “do not in any way require the servicers to stop avoidable foreclosures, and that is what we need.”

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Washington State Attorney General McKenna Letter To Trustees RE: Potential Unlawful Foreclosure Practices

Washington State Attorney General McKenna Letter To Trustees RE: Potential Unlawful Foreclosure Practices


A homeowner who is unable to find a local address or phone number for their trustee should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online at http://atg.wa.gov/FileAComplaint.aspx. However, this will not stop a foreclosure sale.  Homeowners should also contact a housing counselor or an attorney.

Washington is a “non-judicial foreclosure” state, which means that a lender can proceed directly to selling a home at public auction without first filing a lawsuit. This process was created by the state Legislature. Although lenders may foreclose in court in Washington, they almost always choose non-judicial foreclosures.

If a trustee is unwilling to stop a foreclosure, then the homeowner must file a lawsuit under the Deed of Trust Act and obtain a court order before the sale. Bankruptcy may stop or delay a foreclosure but it may also put the homeowner in a worse position. Legal representation is essential to a successful case, McKenna said.

BORROWER RESOURCES:

  • If you believe unlawful activity has occurred in regard to your mortgage, you should speak with an attorney. A homeowner may file a suit to challenge a foreclosure, but they must do so prior to the foreclosure sale.
  • If you are unable to afford a lawyer, you should contact the Washington State Homeownership Information Hotline at 1-877-894-4663 (HOME) for referral to the Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project. The hotline can also refer to you to a free, state-approved housing counselor.
  • Te Attorney General’s Office cannot stop a foreclosure or provide individuals with legal advice, as the office is barred by law from representing private citizens.
  • Homeowners should read the Washington Foreclosure Prevention Resources Guide, provided by the Seattle-King County Asset Building Collaborative Foreclosure Prevention Team and recommended by the Attorney General’s Office and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
  • Additional resources can be found at www.atg.wa.gov/foreclosure.aspx.

Source: http://atg.wa.gov

[ipaper docId=52463517 access_key=key-28tozjml9i4fdsxkmvj8 height=600 width=600 /]

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WA STATE Attorney General McKenna calls for mortgage trustees to suspend questionable foreclosures

WA STATE Attorney General McKenna calls for mortgage trustees to suspend questionable foreclosures


Hat tip to ForeclosureBlues

SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that his office has uncovered evidence that suggests foreclosure trustees are ignoring consumer protection laws in Washington, adding a new layer to a stack of problems reported in the mortgage-servicing industry. He sent letters today to 52 trustees outlining his concerns and calling on them to suspend any questionable foreclosures in the state.

“As part of our ongoing investigation, we have received complaints and information that indicate the Washington foreclosure process frequently includes inaccurate documents, conflicts-of-interest, faulty chains of title and failures to provide the disclosures and conduct mediations required by law,” McKenna said during a press conference today in Seattle with officials from the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. “Some of these practices can deprive homeowners of their legal right to assert legitimate defenses in an action to save their homes.”

“Problems aren’t limited to the national banks and mortgage servicers, however, and appear to extend to foreclosure trustees,” he continued.

The Department of Financial Institutions shares McKenna’s concerns that some foreclosures may not have been processed according to Washington law, said Director Scott Jarvis.

“Such failures potentially injure not just the homeowners denied the protections afforded to them under our laws, but also subsequent purchasers of foreclosed properties, financial institutions who might be inclined to lend on such properties, and the title insurance companies who insure the chain of title to those properties,” Jarvis said. “The last thing we need in these difficult times is to further damage our already struggling real estate industry.”

Washington state government officials are investigating foreclosure servicing problems from three perspectives:

  • McKenna and Jarvis announced today that they have joined the National Association of Attorneys General and banking regulators in forming a multistate group to investigate whether mortgage servicers have improperly submitted affidavits or other documents related to foreclosures in their states. The Washington Attorney General’s Office will serve on the executive committee of the multistate group. Jim Sugarman and David Huey, assistant attorneys general in the Consumer Protection Division, and Deborah Bortner, director of DFI’s Division of Consumer Services, will represent Washington on the new multistate group.
  • The Mortgage Fraud Working Group of The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, a joint federal-state initiative co-chaired by McKenna, is also investigating certain aspects of these foreclosure problems.
  • On the local front, the Washington Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division since May of this year has been investigating reports of lenders and trustee services not properly reviewing foreclosure documents or following other legal procedures.

“Because Washington state law allows foreclosure without court oversight, you are the party most responsible for ensuring that foreclosures are done properly,” McKenna wrote in the letter to trustees. “Consequently, I ask you to suspend all foreclosures in which you have not yet confirmed that all foreclosure-related documents were lawfully signed, that the chain of ownership is clear and has been revealed to you in full, and that state consumer protection requirements have been followed.”

McKenna said that he strongly favors loan modifications and other means of preventing foreclosures when possible and advocates working with lenders to improve communication with borrowers. In addition to its enforcement efforts, the Attorney General’s Office plays a leading role in the multistate Foreclosure Prevention Working Group, which issues regular reports on the status of foreclosure prevention efforts.

“The housing counselors that we fund have told us again and again about the serious communication problems they are having on behalf of families facing foreclosure,” said Kim Herman, executive director of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, “These families just want to be treated fairly and get a reasonable, timely decision so they can move on with their lives. That is not too much to expect and, hopefully, this process will help that happen.”

Washington residents facing foreclosure should call the Washington State Homeownership Information Hotline at 1-877-894-HOME (4663) for referral to a free, state-approved housing counselor or legal help. Additional resources are on the Attorney General’s Web site at www.atg.wa.gov/foreclosure.aspx.

Specific concerns addressed in McKenna’s letter to foreclosure trustees:

  • Employees of foreclosure trustees are signing documents posing as the corporate officer of multiple banks and mortgage servicers and signatures of some trustees vary widely from document to document. This appears to be happening even though signatures are notarized with a statement that the signer is the actual person standing before the notary.
  • Trustees may be foreclosing on homes when there is no clear chain of ownership for the loan or the security interest. At the national level, there are reports of lenders “reverse-engineering” the chain of title, including back-dating documents to make it appear as though the loan was passed from company to company.
  • Many default notices have gone out without all required information. Since July 26, 2009, Washington trustees have been required to identify the owner of the loan and the company that is acting as servicer. The notices must also include an address and phone number for the servicer. The absence of these details can make it harder for homeowners to contact their mortgage owners.
  • Lenders are not consistently telling homeowners about their right to explore alternatives to foreclosure. Lenders are required to advise borrowers who obtained mortgages between 2003-2007 of their right to meet and confer and, if requested, the loan owner must schedule a meeting to occur within 14 days. It is our understanding that lenders are regularly not telling homeowners about this right, which exists to help homeowners explore alternatives to foreclosure.

Washington is a “non-judicial foreclosure” state, which means that a lender can proceed directly to selling a home at public auction without first filing a lawsuit. This process was created by the state Legislature. Although lenders may foreclose in court in Washington, they almost always choose non-judicial foreclosures.

[ipaper docId=45180956 access_key=key-29drih0blt4ulcno54b height=600 width=600 /]

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