Monthly Archives: May 2018

TO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT … OR NOT!

OP-ED — THIS IS STEP THREE OF A 3-PART SERIES BY DAVE KRIEGER, AUTHOR OF CLOUDED TITLES

I have conducted intense research for over ten years on chain of title issues and what it means for affected homeowners.

Foreclosure mill attorneys could care less about the chain of title, so long as they can come up with a game plan to steal the property, even if it means participating in the manufacturing of title documents that create standing for their client to allow their little “scalping party” to appear in court.

Once the mess of confusion has subsided and the educational process has begun, the average homeowner discovers (over time) that the method by which the alleged “lender” has preyed upon them has imbued them with a combination of guilt, rage, entitlement or empowerment or the combination of one or more of the above.  This is where things get tricky because the average homeowner generally does not know what the chain of title could possibly reveal in their particular foreclosure case.

As the clock ticks, depending on where you live, the process of foreclosure continues.

If you’re in a deed of trust state, you generally get about 45 days prior to the date of the sale to react.  By “react”, I mean file a lawsuit and get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to stop the sale and have your case heard before a tribunal.

If you’re in a mortgage state, you generally get 20 days to file an answer ONCE YOU’RE SERVED with process.  This is key to your understanding. Once a party to a foreclosure action finds out the lender is attempting to serve them through a process server, they hide to avoid service.  This only works for a short time, as the process server will figure out (through skip tracing) what your daily routine consists of and will eventually catch up with you and serve you with the foreclosure complaint when you least expect it.  Avoiding service usually means the attorneys for the bank (or the servicer) could end up going to the judge and requesting what is known as substituted service, which generally means that a relative who knows you can be served with the papers instead.  Then the 20-day clock starts.  By the end of that 20th day, you would have had to file an “Answer” or face default judgment.

Answer #1 … to Run or Not to Run … 

What you’re about to read is NOT all-encompassing, because every homeowner seems to choose a different path.

95% of homeowners who are served with a notice of foreclosure … RUN AWAY from it!  I know that figure is hard to believe … BUT … that is exactly what the lender wants you to do.  The alleged “lender” knows it’s a “numbers game”.  The majority will run away but some will stay and fight.  By avoiding the foreclosure (by running away or doing nothing), you’ve made the lender’s job 95% easier … provided the lender (or the alleged lender) has done their job right.  When the average homeowner gets served they RUN because they lack education or the funds to get educated and fight the foreclosure.  The lenders know that 95% of all homeowners do not have a legal defense fund set up to wage war in the court against the lender to save their homes.  The lenders know that in most cases, they will end up with the house (whether free and clear is debatable here) because the homeowners are scared away from a fight.  Those who do not understand that the court systems in America are motivated in favor of lenders will soon find out that fighting “the good fight” is not the easiest task in the world.

Now let’s look at the 95% of the homeowners who “run away” from the problem.  Many pack up and move out as soon as they are served with notice.  A certain percentage of them will simply “freeze in place” once served.  They don’t know what to do next.  Rather than pack up and move right away (upon service of process), they stay put and either ignore the paperwork (denial) and whatever notice they are served with and simply wait for the county Sheriff or constabulary to evict them and put their belongings to the curb.  I can’t begin to tell you what that feels like, so I’ve included a video clip to refresh your memory in the event you can’t visualize it.

I cringe watching that video, almost to the point of tears.  This is not HOW I planned to peel away at the onion!   I pray to God that no one has to endure this, but sadly, in order to avoid what that video depicts, the homeowners plan their move accordingly, knowing the bank will eventually show up to their doorstep with law enforcement and they are “moved” whether they like it or not.  This does NOT have to be you!  Even if you have a PLAN B in place, the best well-made plans take time.  You do NOT have to run, now or then.

Answer #2 … to Fight the Good Fight … or Not! 

Not fighting “the good fight” manifests itself with bad behavior.

Remember I first discussed guilt, rage, entitlement and empowerment (or any combination thereof) earlier in this post?

Fighting based on guilt is totally inappropriate.  It basically means that you’ve let the lender and/or its henchmen (the servicer’s $9/hour cubicle employees) take over and run your life based on “power over” collection tactics.  The mortgage loan servicer is obviously trying to fleece you for every dime it can get because that’s how it makes money.  You fight the urge to say “no more” based on guilt feelings.  You fight the urge based on guilt because failing will bring on more guilt.  You want to keep your house and so you’re literally “bending over” at every whim of the foes coming against you.  While this appears normal as part of our built-in defense mechanism, letting guilt drive your emotions means making bad decisions (decisions based on emotion rather than common sense and logic).  It’s basically fighting with yourself because the servicer is making your decisions for you and you’re not making them yourself.  You feel guilty because you let them win … and they’re just getting started!  Guilt can fuel the unthinkable, like murder-suicide.  That is not the answer.

Fighting based on rage is also totally inappropriate, unless your rage is channeled into the fight itself.  Walking around being pissed off at the world, being pissed off at your family and friends and whoever you happen to engage in any related financial conversation is not the answer.  Rage, like guilt, is also an emotional element not worth pursuing if you’re going to fight “the good fight”.  Rage will make you do extremist things, like spend money where it doesn’t need to be spent logistically; spending money going on lavish vacations while ignoring the responsibilities of American homeownership; substituting rage for logic in failing to develop a business plan in order to make things happen.  Rage can also fuel the unthinkable, like murder-suicide. That also, is not the answer.

Fighting based on entitlement is understandable based on the political times we live in.  Most of America has been so conditioned to live off the government (via entitlements) and trust it implicitly that most Americans have been conditioned to believe that “the world owes me a living” and that “if I complain to the government, the government will step in and save me”.  This is false conditioning.  Complaining to any government agency about your foreclosure is a colossal waste of time!  This conditioning was by design, based on deceit by some very powerful oligarchs who have made themselves gods, thinking that their rationale is better than the average Americans’ and that they should be entitled (self-entitlement works in strange ways when you have lots of money) to make decisions for everyone else, including letting the banks run America. When you start to believe that the world owes you a living, then you can easily fall into the trap (when seduced into this false belief) of, “the bank screwed me, so I deserve a free house!”  That is not only illogical in thought, but the courts in this country, who feed off of entitlement, can spot an attitude of entitlement a mile away and shut it down!  Entitlement does not fuel the unthinkable, but it does fuel ego and pride … and pride goeth before a fall. Being entitled means you know everything.  That too is dangerous.  Ego has also hurt the banks in playing their “numbers game” too; however, the banks make up for it through the numbers of homes they’ve “stolen”, making them a more powerful legal adversary.

Fighting based on empowerment is the most desired aspect of fighting “the good fight”!  Knowledge is power and wisdom is knowledge applied.  Knowing WHEN to apply knowledge is what wins battles (Sun Tsu, The Art of War).  Knowing WHEN the enemy is weakest and where their weakest points are to begin with puts the homeowner in a condition of empowerment.  Even Tige Johnson, a transactional lawyer out of Chicago who has lectured at my workshops, has even stated that when homeowners are fully aware of the facts in their case and what the law says, they make very empowered clients.  Employing “rage” as a “fuel” to empower you to search is the greatest attribute, because it’s what drives you to succeed no matter what.  Rage alone, without empowerment, spells doom for every homeowner who wants to fight “the good fight”.

Answer #3 … the average homeowner who litigates a foreclosure can delay a foreclosure for up to 2 years! 

Ahhhh!  The naysayers and the gainsayers will chastise me for creating false hope; however, the foreclosure defense attorneys have figured out a gameplan that will delay a foreclosure for 2 years or longer and in doing so, “buys” their client time.  Time for what?  To sit on their laurels and enjoy the scenery?  Those who are embroiled in litigation MUST stay on top of it.  There is no time to dawdle or take a vacation to the Bahamas just because you’ve forced the alleged “lender” to prove its case. By the tone of your response to the foreclosure notice, whether in a deed of trust or mortgage state, the foreclosure mill law firms can measure how much of a fight is necessary to accomplish their mission.  They want to win.  They want to help their client get your home.  Many of them will engage in misleading tactics designed to throw you off point.  Many of them will commit deceitful acts and make false representations to the court.  This is all part of their game.  It also keeps the foreclosure mills in business longer because there’s no more income stream to them once the foreclosure is over and they’ve won.  And you wonder why the foreclosure mills aren’t coming after me?  It’s because through my efforts, they stay in business because I’ve empowered homeowners to fight “the good fight”!  Think about the logistical financial issues posited to the banks and their attorneys.  As Tige Johnson has stated (in my workshops), “I’m here to make the banks bleed green.”  Thus, it costs the banks to fight your “good fight” too!  This is something to consider.

In a deed of trust state, by law, most states do not allow for anything past the taking of the security, which means that once the foreclosure is complete, there is no deficiency judgment.

However, in order to keep the foreclosure hounds at bay, you have to initiate a lawsuit in the proper court, because deed of trust states do not provide for your “day in court”.   You have to “create” your day in court by filing a claim against the lender or its alleged representative.  Once that suit is filed, you also have to ask the court to stop the foreclosure sale by granting a temporary restraining order (TRO).  Simply filing a lis pendens only “gums up the title”.  It does NOT stop a foreclosure.  I had to get that through my head when I started helping homeowners fight “the good fight”.  As I teach in my Foreclosure Defense Workshop (along with attorneys who lecture at them that are well versed in this subject matter), you have to follow rules of civil procedure and rules of evidence to the letter, which means you have your work cut out for you unless you have the resources to retain counsel to represent you.

In a mortgage state, by law, most states provide for deficiency judgments (post-sale) and attorney’s fees, which means this has to be taken into consideration before you fight “the good fight”.

Many times, a straight forward “Answer” that is timely filed with the court and appropriately served on the foreclosure mill law firm representing your alleged “lender” adds an additional 30-60 days to your “fight”.  Simply put, ANSWER the damned complaint, point for point.  However, just because you’ve filed an Answer to their complaint (in a mortgage state) does NOT mean you get to sit back and relax.  Your fight is just beginning.  Many reading this post have kept the lenders at bay for 8 years or longer!  Whatever made you think you can’t do the same?  Would having an extra 8 years of time give you time to get your financial affairs straightened out to the point where you can strategically leave the suit and enter into a new financial realm you created during that time frame?  Many smart homeowners have figured out that if they can “buy time”, they can re-strategize their financial position and move on! Sadly however, most homeowners aren’t that smart when it comes to litigation, which is why I hold workshops.

Answer #4 … opening the door to “empowerment” by doing your homework! 

Over the years, I have learned that every alleged “lender” (generally through its mortgage loan servicer) creates at least one “assignment” and causes it to be recorded in the land records in the county your home is located in.  Many of these assignments are created just prior to a foreclosure action, which becomes suspect as to its legitimacy.  You can bet that the assignment was “designed” to “manufacture standing” so the lender’s representative can complete the foreclosure without question from the court.  It’s like “manufacturing evidence”, which can be used to the lender’s advantage … or in many cases by you … to the lender’s disadvantage.

Starting with evaluating your chain of title may prove to be the key to discovering the strategies you need to fight “the good fight”. Filing bankruptcy to stall the inevitable is the “cheap way out”, that will hurt your credit more than the foreclosure itself (by more than 300 points), which is why I’m not quick to even think that way.  Unless you have a defined strategy involving an adversarial proceeding, along with a huge mountain of unsecured debt with no way to pay it back, I would never consider filing bankruptcy.  Filing bankruptcy is not empowering anything.  Filing bankruptcy is giving up in a feeble attempt to “stop the bleeding”.  Even if you stop the bleeding, the damage has been done and there will still be a scar, a scar you will live with for ten (10) years (even if you are successful in removing the bankruptcy from your credit reports).

In order to become MORE successful in your efforts, you need to plan a strategy,which includes an exit strategy in case things don’t go as planned. These days, I’m seeing a lot more investors using “end game strategies” (which I also teach at workshops) because they are “calculated” and their financial weight can be measured.  The average homeowner however will find themselves in a different scenario because as I stated before, the “war chest” simply doesn’t exist in most cases.

Thus, once you obtain your entire chain of title, you can look for clues as to how to unwind your dilemma or in the alternative, find the most efficient and affordable way to restructure your life and move on.  The “devil is in the details” and most of the time, the evidence found within the promissory note does NOT match up to what the recorded assignment says.  The other side will twist the truth to prove its case; or in the alternative, throw in stumbling blocks to increase the cost of your litigation in an attempt to discourage you from fighting further and to resort to settling when settling may not be an option when you know the truth and have figured out ways to prove it.

I’ve been involved in numerous cases throughout my years of involvement in the world of foreclosures, which is why I’m called in to consult attorneys on various cases and conduct chain of title assessments (COTAs) for homeowners, which saves them time and money because the attorney can get to the real issues faster, which saves the attorney time as a benefit to the homeowner, especially where time is of the essence.  I can genuinely live with myself in what I’ve been doing, which is to educate homeowners using the research I’ve conducted since 2007.  Whether the research pans out for the homeowner depends on how the homeowner chooses to fight “the good fight”, which is why I’ve developed workshops that teach foreclosure defense.

In closing, I also warn of using “rage” as your guide when it comes to picking your litigation strategies.  You have to have a level head in order to evaluate what strategies are going to work best.  Suing everyone over everything is a sure way to stretch your finances to the limit.  While I believe that walking away (strategic default) from a future problem (home foreclosure) has been used not only by myself but by multitudes of others as well, knowing the truth about the matter may have changed the strategy I’d planned as well as the case outcome.  How then can you make an honest decision without a level head, a true set of facts and multiple strategies with which you can cloak yourself in empowerment?

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Filed under OP-ED, workshop

THE JOURNEY BEGINS WHEN THE PITY PARTY ENDS … STEP TWO!

Op-Ed — (continued from the previous post) STEP TWO … 

The Internet can be a dangerous thing, especially when doing research, trying to find answers to questions surrounding a potential financial issue that could become a crisis, like a foreclosure.

One of the reasons why I post blogs is because people share them.  Others who are in despair happen to run across these posts and some of them walk away with reason.  The “reason” I speak of is the need to recognize when there is a problem and the HOW TO’s to do something about it. Being in denial solves nothing.  It simply prolongs the problem.  Sometimes, it makes the problem worse.

The bigger part of the problem is the second issue I spoke of in the previous article: Confusion.  Understanding what is happening in its most blatant aspects is that there is the potential of losing one’s home.  The WHY of it all stems from the alleged lender’s assertion that payments were missed and that the loan is in default.

In mortgage states, or states that are commonly referred to as judicial states, you not only get your “day in court”, but the bank has to actually PROVE that you are in default AND that they hold your promissory note AND have the right to enforce the terms of the mortgage (and note).   In all cases, the mortgage FOLLOWS the note.  The mortgage is a recorded security instrument, which is found in the public record in the county in which the mortgaged property is located.  It contains terms and conditions which must be adhered to in order to keep the note holder from foreclosing and taking their “security for the loan” back.

In deed of trust states, or states that are commonly referred to as non-judicial states, you don’t get your day in court unless you file a lawsuit and demand that the court issue a temporary restraining order (TRO), which prevents the lender (or its alleged servicing representative) from advertising and conducting a sale of your property on the courthouse steps at a prescribed point in time.  The deed of trust is also a recorded security instrument, which operates similarly to a mortgage, and if properly recorded, is also found in the public record in the county in which the mortgaged property is located.

You should know that if lenders had their way, EVERY STATE would be a deed of trust state.  That way, the lenders and their henchmen would have nothing to prove when it came to advertising and selling homes on the courthouse steps.  Until they actually bribe every state’s legislature to change over to non-judicial from judicial, homeowners still have their day in court. This is the only way the banks can win.  Knowing of this potential makes me wonder why people are taking out loans to buy property when, if they know there is a possibility of their financial future turning dismal, they don’t just buy a small plot of raw land and “build as they go”.  This would seemingly make more sense and involve the banks less.

Another reason the lenders prefer a deed of trust to a mortgage is that when examining the 2007-08 financial crisis, homeowners were affected to the point where most in financial straits could not afford an attorney let alone keeping food on the table.  Knowing the homeowner won’t fight back increases a successful outcome by the lender of taking the property back without much hassle.  Now that the Dodd-Frank Act has been molested and degraded to the point of history repeating itself, how many potential homeowners will be sucked into taking out mortgages from the mega-banks, which the gutting of Dodd-Frank was clearly designed to benefit.  You can bet the major lenders had a lot to do with those major changes to the most recent passage of the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act”.  Because these bills are so voluminous and partisan, they create more “confusion” for the average person on the street who didn’t go to law school.

Your “property” has a chain of title … 

Researching your property’s chain of title is like peeling away the layers of an onion.  The more research you do, the more layers you peel away, leaving the real truth on the table, which, after peeling an onion, leaves most people in tears.  This is why I used the “onion” analogy because peeling onions makes my nose run and my eyes water.  Finding out what really happened to you as the result of your being duped by an unscrupulous mortgage loan officer would make anyone cry, especially when they discover that they made a mistake getting that particular mortgage loan in the first place.  And now, you’ve opened “Pandora’s Box” and found the onion.

Accepting the “truth” for what it is … 

During the times prior to the 2007-08 financial crisis, banks and mortgage companies were loaning money to anyone who could “fog up a mirror”, altering mortgage loan applications, baiting loan applicants with teaser rates tied to adjustable rate, interest-only and negative amortization loans and mortgages that looked normal, only to end up finding one got stuck with a balloon note or interest rates that put their monthly payments out of reach of their paychecks.  This was deliberate and calculated.  The banks played both sides of the coin when they lured the investors into the schemes of securitization and lured the homeowners into loans they neither could afford nor deserved.  The first “truth” you need to recognize is whether you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.  Once you realize what the truth is, it makes it easier to come to grips with and deal with HOW the mistake was made that got you into the dilemma you’re in now.  I went through this “dilemma”.  I got stuck with an “80/20 loan”.  That’s two separate mortgages, wherein the second mortgage (the “20”) had a much higher interest rate and was generally tied to another Wall Street security altogether. I used the foregoing phraseology to describe “securitization”.

It does not take an Einstein to figure out that when there’s more month at the end of the money, you’re not making it.  When you’re even one day late on your mortgage payments, the servicer handling your mortgage “red flags” your account and starts a file on you. The servicer is generally looking for excuses to take your home away from you.  No servicer in today’s times is “nice”; in fact, they’re all common liars from time to time, especially those $9/hour cubicle employees who tell you that you have to be 90 days late before you can apply for a loan mod.  THAT IS THE BIG LIE!  The servicer knows that on Day 91, the REMIC’s credit default swaps, default insurance and any other PMI or LPMI that’s been tied to the loan will be negotiated and the alleged “Lender” will reap over 200% profit off of your mortgage loan … and that’s without even applying for the title insurance payout (the principal amount of the loan less 27% administrative costs) because the chain of title is jacked up (due to the Lender’s own ineptness).

The next major ploy of disbelief is the then-servicer (on or before DAY 90) has its employees dummy up an assignment of mortgage or deed of trust and cause it to be recorded into the land records in the county where your home is located so they can “structure” or “manufacture” standing to foreclose.  The term “standing” in of itself intimates that the lender (or its servicer) has the right to do what it’s doing to you. Most attorneys I know assert “lack of standing” in almost every foreclosure defense, because the simple statements of the servicer (who claims to represent the real party in interest) are not sufficient enough to prosecute a foreclosure.

If your loan is in the MERS® System, it is likely to have been securitized, which means that the chain of title is really messed up an there is likely a REMIC (Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit), a tax-exempt entity that soaked investors for loan money, who has no idea you’re in default (the servicer knows!) and the servicer comes in disguised as the Lender, retains an attorney, obtains a foreclosure, sells the house post-judgment and runs away with your earnings.  This is why mortgage loan servicers are in business.  You make gobs of money when 95% of the homeowners run away and leave their homes to the servicer and their law firms, who split the booty, post-sale. MERSCORP (in whatever form) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. were created to bolster lighting fast transfers of loans electronically, that have allegedly been securitized (paid for with investor money instead of the bank’s own money) and sold and re-sold multiple times on Wall Street.  This can only happen if the loan is securitized.  MERS IS NOT (AND SHOULD NOT BE) USED IN PORTFOLIO LOANS!

If you just understood what I just said … the REMIC does NOT know when you are in default because the servicer is required to make your payments to the investors, even when you don’t.  When people realize this, they get really pissed off because all along they thought it was all their fault.  The “noose” was tightened around your neck when you signed the mortgage loan in the first place!  Speaking of fault … did you come to realize the word “fault” and “default” are similar?  How do you know you’re actually in “default” if the servicer has been making your mortgage payments all along?   This is the “power over” debt collection game they play with you when you’re late on your mortgage payments.  All this time, the servicer has been making the payment for you and you never knew it.

These are only a fraction of the “truths” I teach at my workshops!

Homeowners who think they’ve been defrauded want to sue everyone tied to the mortgage loan.  THAT is the first big mistake that homeowners make.  That’s because their confusion has caused them to become angered (the third phase of foreclosure) for all the wrong reasons, to the point where they lose all rational consciousness in making proper decisions about litigation. Listening to people putting forth information and then acting on that information (without first vetting it just because it supports some sort of rational argument they have in order to make a living steering people down rabbit holes) accomplishes nothing either.  This is why many people become confused. Once they enter the cesspool of foreclosure cases looking for answers, they get so overwhelmed they don’t know where to turn or who to trust.

My research shows me that if the banks and mortgage companies were conniving and calculated enough to pull one over on you at closing, then the obvious objective is to give them their just desserts in return.  “Wise as serpents, harmless as doves.”  Going out and filing big lawsuits against lenders without a reason or any “litigation logic” using that same rationale is futile and fatal.  Why waste your money and your time?  The fact you are being foreclosed on brings an undue psychological burden on the mindset, which in turn induces stress, which in turn affects both your mental and physical health.  This is why 95% of homeowners “run away” and don’t fight.  This is why America can easily be “taken over” by the “party elite”, because most do not know HOW TO fight, let alone WHY.  If you knew HOW TO fight, wouldn’t the WHY develop into something more logical?   This is like taking karate or some other form of martial arts training.  There’s no “false hope” here because you are confident you stand a chance of winning.  You either choose to fight or you don’t.  You can still walk away from a fight and save your mental and physical anguish by formulating an alternate plan (otherwise known as PLAN B).

Everything from taking out the mortgage loan to fighting the alleged “lender” in court has a certain amount of risk.  Some of this risk is calculable.  Some of it is not.   You chose the path you are on for a variety of reasons and now you must choose the right reasons to either run and hide from your creditors or to get educated, stand up and fight them.   Filing bankruptcy only aggravates your struggle and to that end, I will explain that in the next step.

The journey begins with the chain of title … 

There is only one place that you’re going to be able to locate the foregoing and that is in the office of the clerk or recorder of your county records.  These folks get paid to help you search out the necessary documents.  If you live in a rural area with an underdeveloped county recording system, it’s highly likely that you will have to search all of this by hand through the index, which is organized by last name, then first name until you locate the recorded copy of your warranty deed.  This is your proof that title has been vested in you and no one else.

As a title consultant for many years, I can safely say that in most instances, this is your starting point.  You do not need certified copies of everything, just regular printed copies you can scan and mail to others who may have more research knowledge than you.  Getting together with other homeowners to discuss your findings after a visit to the land records may expose you to more research truths, which you need to begin your quest to justice.

You MUST collect the entire chain of title for your property in order to be able to fully analyze it (or have someone else that is more formally trained analyze it).  Skimping to only obtain the first couple of pages of a mortgage or deed of trust is just plain penny wise and pound foolish.  You need to see the whole document to see HOW you got screwed.  The devil is in the details!

Mortgage = Payments until Death  (Duh … “mort” … in several languages, means “Death”)

STAY TUNED FOR STEP THREE!  (I will discuss HOW the chain of title is used to formulate your case for trial!)

For more information on the Foreclosure Defense Workshop, click on the link!

I’m only doing this once this year!

For more information on Dave Krieger’s information library, CLICK HERE!

NOTE: Foreclosure defense attorneys are attending this Workshop!

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Filed under OP-ED, Securitization Issues, workshop

STOP WALLOWING IN SELF-PITY AND START FIGHTING BACK!

Op-Ed — The author of this blog (Dave Krieger, not the same “Dave Krieger” that got fired from the Boulder Daily Camera for speaking out against the newspaper’s owner, a hedge fund that he claimed was the ruin of his daily newspaper, where he was an editorial columnist, against the orders of the publisher) has written four consumer-related books and four legally-related manuals on debt collection, credit restoration, foreclosure defense and “end game” strategies.  The purpose of this blog is to encourage activity through education and not to render legal advice. 

Woe is NOT me!

I write this post to convey a thought process that had not only entered my mind at a point in time back in late 2002, but I also had to consider that other American homeowners have also had this same thought process under similar circumstances as frequently as the moment you’re reading this post.  My intention here was not to write this in a demeaning way, for we are human and as humans, we make mistakes.  I wrote the book Clouded Titles because I made a mistake and I wanted to learn from it through research.  I self-published my first version of Clouded Titles in December of 2010 after two years worth of research into what in the hell was going on across America, partly because no one else was rising to the occasion and I saw a need for getting this research out there.  Someone had to say something … and no one was. Once I published that book, I was no longer a victim of that mistake.

I have been accused by some of being an opportunist.

If you think that selling copies of a self-published book is a way to get rich or was my only purpose for making money in handing out information … the real reason I did this was because time is money … and over time, I’d lost a lot of money.  Printing copies of the book cost money, which is why self-publishing is so expensive and many times will stop a person from publishing a book.

I further had to reflect on the ways that homeowners (as borrowers) became discouraged and then confused when they further wade out into the “river of cures” for their situations, only to find charlatans and thieves waiting to take their money and run. This includes foreclosure defense attorneys, many of whom have figured out “the delay game” and recklessly charge for that. While it is true that there are many attorneys who continue to educate themselves as to how to fight the banks and are successful in court, they are far and few between. Many of those attorneys who stand up and fight, get knocked down.  Some of them are disbarred for doing the right thing by their homeowner-client.

This is part of the confusion that the banks absolutely love, because they’ve already “gotten ahead of this” legal game they are fighting by having Congress and our state legislatures create laws to help banks and hinder homeowners.  Thus, when the confused homeowner finally realizes he’s been duped, he becomes angry and this is where the real problem begins because all rational logic and common sense about litigation goes out the window.  Now the angered homeowner “knows everything”, even though he didn’t go to law school.

They just want a “free house”, your Honor! 

This statement has been recited in open court tens of thousands of times by foreclosure mill attorneys, while the uneducated homeowner sits there with his thumb up his ass!  Why didn’t you or your attorney object?  Oh … you didn’t know you could do that?

I’ve discovered there were people who became “entitled”, thinking that all of the research I did should simply be handed to them for free because “they deserved it” and that if I really wanted to help homeowners, I would just hand out all my research for free.  THAT mindset is what got me into trouble in the first place.  That is part of the “self-pity” phase that will get you into trouble if you let it.  My first mistake was to put my first version of Clouded Titles out in pdf format, which was available for $19.95, which was subsequently purchased and downloaded all over the internet for free through the homeowner foreclosure networks.  My intention was to use the proceeds from the book to do a national tour, offering free, daily workshops for homeowners in 50 cities, but as a result of this “entitlement”, THAT didn’t happen. I learned NOT to make that same mistake again, because it costs for me to research and publish and my time is worth something. Your time is worth something too. Stop thinking it isn’t.  THAT thinking got YOU into trouble because it was at that point YOU became a victim and became discouraged.

I have been accused by some of giving false hope.

Albeit, God only helps those who helps themselves, but I liken this scenario to being slapped around for trying to do the right thing.  If you are facing foreclosure or are in the middle of it, then I have walked in your shoes and I do not deserve to be treated as if my voice should be silenced because I chose to stand up and fight.  I thought this was America and this is what Americans do when there is a wrong that affects the masses and Congress doesn’t want to listen.  Apparently, there are some out there that think I’m trying to get rich off of the backs of struggling homeowners and that was never my intention.  This is one of the reasons I volunteer at WKDW-FM Radio and have a consumerist show called City Spotlight – Special Edition, where I’ve spent over a year, discussing my research (along with my frequent co-host, R. J. Malloy, who is a retired attorney and former law clerk to a U.S. District Court judge) with listeners (and attorneys who listen to my show).  My show, which is 55 minutes in length, airs every Friday at 6 p.m. EDT and repeats every Monday at 2 p.m. EDT.  I have talked in greater detail about a lot of the stuff I teach at my workshops (chain of title, foreclosures, corruption in the court system, etc.). You can listen live just by going to the website and clicking LISTEN LIVE … for free!  (You get to pay for internet access, as NOTHING is for free!)   

I regularly donate money to keep this radio station going, as it is listener-supported community radio.  If I make anything off of my program, it will be because it may be syndicated in the future.  I will continue to donate part of those proceeds back to the station to keep it running.

BUT!  Why should I continue to do that if you don’t care?

I have had any credibility I sought to build (through my efforts to educate and speak out) attacked by MERS, the banks, law enforcement and the media. 

This goes to show you that in life … no pain, no gain.

Even if you have pain, the first thought entering your mind is to give up and run away.  Others have tried that and failed miserably.

I have learned that when you run … you fail!  Throughout history, Americans who ran from a fight ended up being taken prisoner and we have all been enslaved in debt in this country to one extent or another.

I became aware that as early as 2011, bank attorneys and information technology employees working for the banks and MERSCORP, Inc. nka MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. (and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.) were monitoring my every activity, from radio shows to TV interviews to blog posts.  They do this for a reason. They want to know if authors like myself are saying anything defamatory about them or spreading false rumors about them.  They also wanted to monitor my “educational output” because they want to know HOW homeowners were being taught to fight back and what they could expect.  This further educated them as to HOW to counter attack homeowners in court.  This blog post and my radio show are not the only outlets being monitored either.

Because of my sharing of this research to the Texas Clerks’ Association, my team and I were retained by Nancy Rister, who is still the County Clerk of Williamson County, Texas, to conduct an audit of her records (see the link below):

WILLIAMSON COUNTY REAL PROPERTY RECORDS AUDIT_January 29, 2013

As a result of the release of that “Audit”, then-MERSCORP, Inc. CEO Bill Beckmann bought almost a full page ad in the Austin American-Statesman, on February 7, 2013, attempting to refute the contents of the 179-page report.  I knew for sure that this so-called “MERS”, by whatever definition, was watching the goings-on and the public reaction to my research and the results of the report.

As soon as the OSCEOLA COUNTY FORENSIC EXAMINATION was released to the public, the media outlets (who I suspect were spoon-fed information by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, in violation of F.S.A. § 400) proceeded to attack myself and Osceola County Clerk of the Circuit Court Armando Ramirez because of my “colored past”.  This is all part of the sacrifice I had to make … and some of the disgruntled homeowners, naysayers and gainsayers proceeded to jump on the bandwagon … people who I thought were fighting for homeowners … and attacked me as well by furthering the misrepresentations contained in the media news outlet reports.  You see, this is all part of a process known as “demonization”.  It’s what the “system” does to those who protest in order to “keep them in line”.

I do not care what some of these gainsayers have said (including referencing my “bolting from a news conference” I elected to speak at like “O.J. Simpson in a Hertz commercial”) because it became obvious to me that they were just out to get publicity for themselves at my expense.  Several attorneys who read the 758-page Forensic Examination wanted to sue the gainsayers for defamation, but I told them that what they did was part of the cost of “getting the word out”.  They can say all they want, but the truth is out there.  Bad press is still press.  So the next time you see those assholes, and you know who they are, thank them for the further misinformation and bad press, because it furthered my cause.

The banks and MERS reacted to it.  Law enforcement reacted to it.  The media was spoon-fed 20-year-old information so they could take up a political agenda against the Osceola County Clerk, Armando Ramirez.  Soon after the reporter wrote the scathing article, he quit the Orlando Sentinel.  The Osceola Sheriff whose detectives I suspect leaked the information to the media in violation of state law did not seek reelection.  What should that tell you?  It pays to fight!

Here’s the thing … we’re Americans.  A large number of us fought and died to preserve our rights under the law for the rest of us ever since the history of this great land of ours began.  Have we forgotten what history has taught us?

The world doesn’t end just because you got “served” with notice of foreclosure … so … I have to wonder why the percentage of homeowners who “run away” is so high.  

It does not matter whether you’re in a “deed of trust” or “mortgage” State, the bank (or its servicer) HAS TO serve you with notice that your home will be advertised and sold on the courthouse steps on a given date in time or in the alternative, if you don’t show up in court, you will be found in default and could lose your home anyway.  Sadly, 95% of Americans who get “served” with foreclosure notices pack up and move.  They run from a fight.  No matter what.  They too suffer the end result of 7 years of bad credit or continued attacks by third-party debt collectors who bought their deficiency judgments from the banks, post-sale because they chose to be a victim.

I refused to be a victim … and I changed my scenario! 

No bank can ever foreclose on me.  I live quite comfortably through my own efforts and not because I “fleeced” money out of disgruntled homeowners on a regular basis.  I pay for this website to post blogs.  I offer workshops that I have to charge for to cover the expense of bringing in attorneys to teach foreclosure defense information to struggling homeowners.  I only do this once a year, when and if the need arises. I saw the recent uptick in foreclosures announced by Black Knight Financial Services and THAT, my friends, precipitated my need to pay attention to trending activity on the part of the conniving megabanks banks who appear to be in control of Wall Street and the secondary mortgage market.

If the percentage of homeowners who ran away from their mortgages (and their homes) was only 25% (and not 95%) … and everyone knew the rules of evidence and civil procedure (as foreclosure mill attorneys do), then there would be no need for me to even continue this blog post, let alone host seminars. However, the uptick in foreclosures has regenerated the need to help homeowners again and this is why there was a need to set up a workshop.  The foreclosure activity against American homeowners will not stop until the banks and Congress have all turned us into a nation of renters and debt slaves who can be controlled by the hierarchy.  The league of those who believe that they know more than we do is called an oligarchy.  Frankly, this “league” is there because they’ve already figured out that if you have money (and lots of it), then they can be in control of not only their lives, but the lives of others also, including yours.

I am still “in the fight” and I am mortgage free, even with my “colored past”! 

You have to understand that at some point in time, through a decisive action plan of steps, you can finally see the “light at the end of the tunnel”.  If we were taught to live by example, then why weren’t we financially educated in high school?  Today’s financial education is still “missing” or “lacking”.  I believe this is deliberate.  Media advertising is still deceptive to a  degree because it lures people into using credit to “buy now and pay later (with interest)” for something they should have saved for all along.  It seems that no one saves anymore.  We are so conditioned to impulse spending we’ve forgotten that principle.  Having equity in a home is also a form of saving, but even equity is FAKE until its realized through the fruition of sale of the property.  THAT should have been the American Dream … but it wasn’t, was it?  Over half of America is NOT prepared for perceived “retirement”.  That’s sad, even though they could do something about it.

Most people who are debt free (or even mortgage free) might simply just ignore the plight of all others who face the perils of foreclosure. So why am I still here?  Perhaps my own personal experiences have been either by best friend or my worst enemy.  I am constantly continuing to research and learn lessons from all of this.

Whatever the case, if you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any!  I may be missing some of my rights, but you do not have to be placed in or succumb to the same situation.  Your first ambition (goal) should be to learn HOW you got into this mess … and then learn HOW to get yourself out of it WITH AS LITTLE FINANCIAL DAMAGE AS POSSIBLE and with as little of a financial risk as possible!

So quit with the “pity party” and start looking for right answers through right thinking … and stop thinking like a victim.

THAT’S STEP ONE! 

Stay tuned for STEP TWO! 

 

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