(BREAKING NEWS — OP-ED) — The author of this post concerns himself in affairs involving chain of title for use in case development by attorneys and uses this information and research as a part of educational materials provided at workshops around the country to assist attorneys in foreclosure cases.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has all but wiped out Certified Forensic Loan Auditors in California in the filing of a Complaint for Permanent and Injunctive Relief:
The CFPB filed a formal complaint against CFLA and its officers, Andrew Lehman and Michael Carrigan, for allegedly engaging in deceptive and abusive acts and practices in connection with the marketing and sale of purported financial-advisory and mortgage-assistance-relief services to consumers. According to the complaint, since 2014 the defendants allegedly violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) and Regulation O by making deceptive and unsubstantiated representations about the efficacy and material aspects of its mortgage assistance relief services, as well as making misleading or false claims about the experience and qualifications of its employees. Additionally, the Bureau alleged the defendants’ representations about their services constituted abusive acts and practices because, among other things, consumers “generally did not understand and were not in a position to evaluate the accuracy of [the defendants’] marketing representations or the quality of the mortgage-assistance-relief services that [the defendants] sold.” Moreover, the Bureau claimed the defendants further violated Regulation O by charging consumers advance fees before rendering services.
As the result of the litigation, a stipulation to final judgment was generated, which you can read here: CFPB v CFLA et al, Stipulated Final Judgment
It should be noted that the proposed stipulated final judgment and order against the company’s principal auditor for providing “substantial assistance in furtherance of [the defendants’] unlawful conduct” in violation of the CFPA and Regulation O. The proposed judgment imposes a $493,403.04 civil penalty, of which all but $5,000 is suspended due to the auditor’s limited ability to pay. The auditor is also permanently banned from providing mortgage assistance relief services or consumer financial products and services.
So in effect, engaging in practices whereby you actually perform services for homeowners to help them with foreclosure relief/rescue makes you a target of the feds!
And I can tell you with a certainty that the pro-bank law firms across the country were very quick to report this, especially in light of the CFPB’s press release.
Doing research for an attorney that is intending on pursuing legal claims on your behalf is one thing, but actually engaging in offering services involving the homeowners directly (like loan mods) is taboo, especially when you charge them money up front with no guarantees. This is largely different from doing a Chain of Title Assessment (COTA) because the document is done strictly as a demonstration to the attorney for use in case development and is not used as evidence at trial.
I must also note here, as part of my Op-Ed “tirade” here … that DK Consultants LLC, who is sponsoring the upcoming workshop, is proactive and not reactive with its latest offering at the upcoming workshop, BEYOND FORECLOSURE, which CFLA in its present or nonexistent state cannot hold a candle to.
AMERICA’S PROBLEM IS THAT EVERYONE IS GENERALLY “REACTIVE”!
My comments here may not be specific to your scenario; however, every time someone has a money problem, life as they know it, comes to almost a screeching halt while they figure out a solution. The solution is a reaction to a bad problem. There is no telling how much money CFLA pocketed doing worthless, boilerplate, forensic and securitization audits for people and then going one step further in attempting to help them become more “reactive” by trying to solve their problems with lenders and their servicers. These “solutions” appear to have turned out to be nothing more than delay … delay … delay … you lose … to the point where people have complained en masse to the CFPB, who decided to rear its ugly head and do something about it. CFLA was the target. Federal judges in certain circuits have already made statements to the effect that “there is no such thing as a forensic loan audit” and I think these judges are part of a bigger issue: a failed legal system. The judges are only presented with and can only rule on what’s presented to them. If the information is not rational or can be defended against by the banks, the judges will let it go. For all intents and purposes, a lot of this information is not useful and expensive to procure. It’s a waste of time and resources because people have the propensity to REACT every time they’re attacked, rather than avoiding the attack by being PROACTIVE!
THE TIME TO BE PROACTIVE IS WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT FINANCIAL ISSUES ARE IN YOUR NEAR FUTURE!
No one likes to be broke, especially in the land of the fee and the home of the slave. Misery loves company. This is why dramatic reality TV shows that demonstrate everyone else’s stupidity and misfortune reign supreme. When it bleeds, it leads! HELLO … 10 O’Clock News! We all need a pity party, right? NOT!
Do you know where you find “sympathy” in the dictionary, between “shit” and “syphilis”! My “pity party” is now “PITI PARTY”!!!!
This is why we decided to take the approach that the best defense is a great offense, employed BEFORE the SHTF! This is why we are doing the workshop in November!
See the details here! BF FLYER UPDATED
There is no sense in wallowing in misery when you actually have the tools and resources available to do something about your situation BEFORE it becomes mission critical!
Over time, we have learned what works and what doesn’t work. Statistics show that 98% of all foreclosure cases that are litigated end up being ruled upon in favor of the banks. That means 2 out of 100 cases end up in a “with prejudice” dismissal. With those kinds of numbers facing you, what’s stopping you from being proactive?
UPDATE: This article seems to have ruffled some feathers, especially from people who claim to be Certified Forensic Loan Auditors. I remember the time Andrew Lehman called me up and insulted me on the phone, telling me the reason he was making so much money because he was doing workshops and I was just writing books. Granted, Mr. Lehman has a law degree (J.D.), but I don’t see, “ESQ.” anywhere unless things have changed in his profile. SB4 in California strictly forbade attorneys from doing loan mods and what makes this situation so unique is that there are federal judges that have been quoted as saying, “There’s no such thing as a forensic loan audit!” in their opinions and orders. When you put stuff like this into motion and attack the very underpinning of the judges’ own pension funds, which REMICs are all tied to, you risk attack. This is what I have been saying. Whether Carrigan copped out, he at least knew that folding would save him from having to pay a half-million-dollar fine.
This government is famous for demonizing people. I speak from experience. So writing me and threatening that they’re going to come after me, when I’m working under attorneys and with investment groups, putting up our own funds to save homeowners … I find any comments counterproductive. I don’t need a securitization audit to know that the REMIC is not going to allow you to win your court case, boiler plate or not. My commentary in the article came from attorneys who have put this stuff (in multiples), side-by-side, and the material was useless in court, especially when you have a judge with a size 9 shoe trying to shove it up the attorney’s anal sphincter! So don’t lecture me on who is going to get in trouble here (“world of hurt”).
The truth is slowly but surely coming out. Anyone who stands up to the banks in any way, shape or form is going to get attacked … some not so much as others. It depends on how much shit you stir up. If the average homeowner would take the time to study how the mortgage industry operates, they would realize that we’re headed for another bubble and borrowing money from banks at a time like this is risky. Investing in REMICs is even riskier, especially when the REMIC is not going to let the homeowner win in court if the REMIC can help it. Again, 2 chances in 100 for a with prejudice ruling in the homeowner’s favor. Maybe none of our stuff is working. Maybe some of it is working. All I know is as a reporter, I report what is said, analyze it for myself and form my own opinion, whether you like it or not. The government has more money and greater prosecutorial resources than Andrew Lehman, J.D. and if the government wants to squash him like a bug, it will. Been there, done that.