Yves Smith | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

Tag Archive | "yves smith"

YVES SMITH: The Legal Lie at the Heart of the $8.5 Billion Bank of America and Federal/State Mortgage Settlements

YVES SMITH: The Legal Lie at the Heart of the $8.5 Billion Bank of America and Federal/State Mortgage Settlements


H/T Abigail – If you had any doubts about whether ‘your’ federal gov’t works for you or BofA, read Yves Smith’s latest:

One in a while, you can discern a linchpin lie on which other important lies hinge. We can point to quite a few in America: the notion of a permanent war on terror, which somehow justifies vitiating not just the Constitution, but even the Magna Carta, or the idea of an imperial executive branch.

Now the apparently-to-be-filed-in-court-today Federal/state attorneys general mortgage settlement is less consequential than matters of life and limb. But it still show the lengths to which the officialdom is willing to go to vitiate the law in order to get its way.

HUD Secretary Donovan, the propagandist in chief for the Federal/state mortgage pact, has claimed he has investor approval to do the mortgage modifications that are a significant portion of the value of the settlement. We’ll eventually see what is actually in the settlement, but the early PR was that “no less than $10 billion” of the $25 billion headline total was to come from principal reductions. Modifications of mortgages not owned by banks, meaning in securitized trusts, are counted only 50% and before Donovan realized he was committing a faux pas, he said he expected 85% of the mods to be from securitizations, so that means $17 billion.

[NAKED CAPITALISM]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Yves Smith | Yet Another Mortgage Scam: Homeowners Not Getting Cancelled Notes After Foreclosures, Hit by Later Claims

Yves Smith | Yet Another Mortgage Scam: Homeowners Not Getting Cancelled Notes After Foreclosures, Hit by Later Claims


Naked Capitalism-

As we’ve discussed the “where’s the note?” problem of mortgage securitizations, some readers who are old enough to have sold a home more than once have said that while they’d gotten a cancelled mortgage note back on their first sale, on a more recent one, they hadn’t. They were concerned, and as this post will show, they are right to be.

By way of background, the popular press has done the public a disservice by talking about “mortgages”. A “mortgage” consists of two instruments: a promissory note, which is a IOU, and a lien against the property, which is referred to as a mortgage (in non-judicial foreclosure states, they are typically called a deed of trust and confer somewhat different rights, but we’ll put that aside for purposes of this discussion).

What appears to be happening on all too often in Florida is that when borrowers signed warranty deeds in lieu of foreclosure when they can no longer keep these homes, they often get only a satisfaction of mortgage, not a cancelled note. This is not what is supposed to happen...

[NAKED CAPITALISM]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Prof. Levitin | Switching Foreclosure Rules in the Middle of the Game

Prof. Levitin | Switching Foreclosure Rules in the Middle of the Game


Credit Slips-

Yves Smith has an interesting post up on Naked Capitalism about Florida Governor Rick Scott suggesting that Florida could switch from judicial to nonjudicial foreclosures as a way to solve its foreclosure overload. (At a Congressional hearing last fall, the head of BAC testified that 70% of judicial foreclosures are in Florida, a testament to that state’s high default rate and large population among judicial foreclosure states.)

Putting aside the political questions of whether should engage in such a change and whether the votes are there, I think there’s a really interesting legal question lurking in the suggestion. Can a state change from judicial to nonjudicial foreclosure as applied to existing mortgages? (Let’s assume that it would only apply to future foreclosures, however.)

Continue reading… [CREDITSLIPS]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

How the Mortgage Industry Bullies Lawyers Who Sue Them (With the Help of PR Outlet Housing Wire)

How the Mortgage Industry Bullies Lawyers Who Sue Them (With the Help of PR Outlet Housing Wire)


NakedCapitalism

One of the striking things, as the mortgage crisis has ground on, is how persistent and to some degree effective the industry incumbents have been in influencing news stories. One can argue they’ve been more successful than the TBTF banks, perhaps because if you can tank the global economy, keep your job, and still continue to pay yourself egregious bonuses, you don’t need to stoop to throttling every bit of negative coverage. The fact that near-urban legends like strategic defaults are trumpeted in the media as if they are a meaningful phenomenon, or that defenses of securitization practices by firms like K&L Gates, which have liability on their legal opinions, dominated the coverage on that issue for quite some time until more and more court decisions showed their analysis to be sorely wanting, illustrates how much spin there is in what purports to be news.

Continue reading [NAKEDCAPITALISM]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Adam Levitin | Securitization Chain-of-Title: the US Bank v. Congress ruling

Adam Levitin | Securitization Chain-of-Title: the US Bank v. Congress ruling


posted by Adam Levitin
.

Over on Housing Wire, Paul Jackson is crowing that chain-of-title issues in mortgage securitization are overblown because an Alabama state trial court rejected such arguments in a case ironically captioned U.S. Bank v. Congress.

But let’s actually consider whether the opinion matters, what the court actually did and did not say, and whether it was right.

Jackson and Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism have a running fued over the seriousness of chain-of-title problems, and I think that explains why Jackson is so worked up over this decision.  My own take is that it is much ado about nothing. Before anyone gets too excited one way or the other about this case, let’s remember that this is a ruling by one judge in an Alabama state trial court decision. It was unlikely to get much notice anywhere else in the country, but for the securitization industry grasping for a legal victory to parade around. This court ruling doesn’t have precedential value anywhere, including in Alabama, and its persuasive value is very low too, both on account of it being an Alabama state trial court and because of the quality of its analysis. Put differently, this ain’t an Ibanez type ruling, where a leading state supreme court issues a very thoughtful unanimous opinion.

[ipaper docId=50074488 access_key=key-znfj6cxg5u875g8ams0 height=600 width=600 /]

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

More Evidence That Mortgage Loans Were Not Properly Conveyed to Securitization Trusts

More Evidence That Mortgage Loans Were Not Properly Conveyed to Securitization Trusts


Via: Naked Capitalism

We’ve described in various posts how evidence is growing that the participants in mortgage securitizations sometime early in this century appear to have ignored the requirements of a variety of laws and their own contracts. We believe the most serious and difficult to remedy problem results when the parties involved in the creation of a mortgage securitization failed to take the steps necessary to convey the loans to the legal entity, a trust, which was set up to hold them. As we wrote:

…. there is substantial evidence that in many cases, the notes were not conveyed to the trust as stipulated. As we have discussed, the pooling and servicing agreement, which governs who does what when in a mortgage securitization, requires the note (the borrower IOU) to be endorsed (just like a check, signed by one party over to the next), showing the full chain of title. The minimum conveyance chain in recent vintage transactions is A (originator) => B (sponsor) => C (depositor) => D (trust).

The proper conveyance of the note is crucial, since the mortgage, which is the lien, is a mere accessory to the note and can be enforced only by the proper note holder (the legalese is “real party of interest”). The investors in the mortgage securitization relied upon certifications by the trustee for the trust at and post closing that the trust did indeed have the assets that the investors were told it possessed.

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



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

Fannie and Freddie Continue to Rely on Foreclosure Mills Despite Evidence of Fraud

Fannie and Freddie Continue to Rely on Foreclosure Mills Despite Evidence of Fraud


Posted by Yves Smith at 6:08 am

A good piece at Mother Jones, “Fannie and Freddie’s Foreclosure Barons” (hat tip Foghorn Leghorn) provides a window on a seamy big business: cut rate foreclosure processing machines that routinely ride roughshod over borrowers and the law.

Unfortunately, space limitations prevent the story from going deeply into some critical issues. The piece does a good job of explaining how these cut rate legal services operations are creations of Fannie and Freddie and illustrating how they are engaging in fabricating documents. The story focuses on a specific bad actor, a law firm founded by David Stern that handles roughly 1/5 of the foreclosures in Florida:

Ariane Ice sat poring over records on the website of Florida’s Palm Beach County…She and her husband, Tom, an attorney, ran a boutique foreclosure defense firm called Ice Legal…. Ice had a strong hunch that Stern’s operation was up to something, and that night she found her smoking gun.

It involved something called an “assignment of mortgage,” the document that certifies who owns the property and is thus entitled to foreclose on it….By law, a firm must execute (complete, sign, and notarize) an assignment before attempting to seize somebody’s home.

A Florida notary’s stamp is valid for four years, and its expiration date is visible on the imprint. But here in front of Ice were dozens of assignments notarized with stamps that hadn’t even existed until months—in some cases nearly a year—after the foreclosures were filed. Which meant Stern’s people were foreclosing first and doing their legal paperwork later. In effect, it also meant they were lying to the court—an act that could get a lawyer disbarred or even prosecuted. “There’s no question that it’s pervasive,” says Tom Ice of the backdated documents—nearly two dozen of which were verified by Mother Jones. “We’ve found tons of them.”

This all might seem like a legal technicality, but it’s not. The faster a foreclosure moves, the more difficult it is for a homeowner to fight it—even if the case was filed in error. In March, upon discovering that Stern’s firm had fudged an assignment of mortgage in another case, a judge in central Florida’s Pasco County dismissed the case with prejudice—an unusually harsh ruling that means it can never again be refiled. “The execution date and notarial date,” she wrote in a blunt ruling, “were fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead the defendant and this court.”…

But the Ices had uncovered what looked like a pattern, so Tom booked a deposition with Stern’s top deputy, Cheryl Samons, and confronted her with the backdated documents—including two from cases her firm had filed against Ice Legal’s clients. Samons, whose counsel was present, insisted that the filings were just a mistake. She refused to elaborate, so the Ices moved to depose the notaries and other Stern employees whose names were on the evidence. On the eve of those depositions, however, the firm dropped foreclosure proceedings against the Ices’ clients.

It was a bittersweet victory: The Ices had won their cases, but Stern’s practices remained under wraps. “This was done to cover up fraud,” Tom fumes. “It was done precisely so they could try to hit a reset button and keep us from getting the real goods.”

Backdated documents, according to a chorus of foreclosure experts, are typical of the sort of shenanigans practiced by a breed of law firms known as “foreclosure mills.” ….The mills think “they can just change things and make it up to get to the end result they want, because there’s no one holding them accountable,” says Prentiss Cox, a foreclosure expert at the University of Minnesota Law School. “We’ve got these people with incentives to go ahead with foreclosures and flood the real estate market.”

Yves here. This is far from the only form of document forgeries. A widespread abuse is what bankruptcy attorney Max Gardner calls the “alphabet problem.”

Mortgage securitizations were very carefully designed to satisfy a number of concerns. One of them was bankruptcy remoteness, that if an originator failed, as Countrywide, New Century, IndyMac and a host of others did, that the creditors in the bankruptcy would not be able to claw mortgages back out of securitizations (assets sold close to the date of a bankruptcy may be deemed to have been conveyed fraudulently, and thus can be seized by the court on behalf of the creditors).

To prevent this from occurring, the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (the master document that governs the securitization) would provided for a minimum of two independent legal entities to sit between the originator and the trust that would hold the mortgages being securitized (technically, the note, which is the IOU; the mortgage, which is a lien, follows the note in 45 states). So the prescribed minimum number of steps was A (originator) => B => C => D (trust). Some securitizations (for reasons unrelated to establishing bankruptcy remoteness) would provide for even more steps.

Keep in mind that the PSA also required that the notes be conveyed to the trust, with the proper chain of endorsements, by closing; certain exceptions and fixes were permitted up to 90 days after closing, but these would be applicable only to a very small proportion of the pool.

Continue Reading…NakedCapitalism

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



Posted in CONTROL FRAUD, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, ice law, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Notary, notary fraud, note, RICO, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (2)


GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
Kenneth Eric Trent, www.ForeclosureDestroyer.com

Archives