FDCPA CASE PROVIDES CLARITY AS TO THE TERM “DEBT COLLECTOR”

(BREAKING NEWS – OP-ED) — 

In a precedential Third U.S. Circuit ruling (Tepper v. Amos Financial, LLC) on August 7, 2018, the Court really went out of its way to provide us with parameters of what constitutes a true “debt collector”.  I believe these 15 pages will serve your educational value well:

Tepper v Amos Fin LLC, 3rd App Cir No 17-2851 (Aug 7, 2018)_Precedential

Also significant is that the District Court Justice who the appellate court affirmed the ruling of was the same judge that blasted the basic fundamentals of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and its parent MERSCORP, Inc. in the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania suit against the pair of distinctly separate entities (which the 3rd Circuit reversed, succinctly).

Much of the differences here have to do with whether or not the debt was purchased by “Party B” when it was in default, versus if it wasn’t.  This is why careful examination must be paid to the condition of transfer at the time a mortgage loan is transferred to a REMIC trust, because if the note and mortgage were in default at the time they were transferred to the REMIC, these same conditions may apply!  See Page 13 of this ruling for clarification (III. Discussion).

This “test” should help you decide whether to pursue an FDCPA action, among other factors previously discussed on this blog.

This is also another reason WHY I wrote the book on “FDCPA, Debt Collection & Foreclosures”, available on the Clouded Titles website!

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GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST – PART 3

(OP-ED, first posted: September 1, 2018) —

The writer of this post is a paralegal and consultant to attorneys on matters involving chain of title, foreclosures and document manufacturing.  The opinions expressed herein are that of the writer’s only and do not constitute legal or financial advice.  The author apologizes in advance for the graphic depiction of anything necessary (in the extreme) to shock your conscience into understanding that this is not recommended for you to try on your own. 

At some point in the equation, you are going to have to put your trust in someone that has (at least) studied “the system of things” and understands (basically) where it leads and how to approach it.

AGAIN … DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!  YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!  I am sharing talking points about a system here, not a boilerplate method where you get to exact revenge.  The following could be your end result if you attempt to do this yourself:

I just recently received a copy of the autopsy of Martin Wirth, a Park County, Colorado resident that was shot to death during an eviction process by the Sheriff’s Department. Another Sheriff’s deputy was shot to death, but after what I read in the autopsy findings, I find it hard to believe that Wirth had anything to do with the deputy’s death. After Waco and Tillman, we know that friendly fire deaths are indeed probable and cannot be ruled out.  In fact, the coroner’s findings were (from the Summary):

The autopsy reveals eleven entrance gunshot wounds involving the full spectrum of the back with a predominance of the mid-back. The autopsy further reveals five exit wounds involving the lower right neck and the mid and upper chest. A sixth exit wound is located in the upper abdomen, in the midline. At the autopsy, three bullets were retrieved outside the body. One bullet is found in the clothing related to the chest; a second bullet is found under the head while removing the clothing; a third bullet is retrieved from the body bag. Two large caliber bullets are recovered from the right and left anterior chest wall. One large caliber bullet remains deeply embedded in the left pelvis. The extensive internal injuries in this case associated with six anterior exit wounds preclude a precise definition of wound tracts.

For those of you who need an explanation, “anterior exit wounds” are sustained as the result of being shot in the back while running away from the gunfire!  How is one able to kill a Sheriff’s deputy while under siege, running out the back door of his home?  We have not heard the whole story. Was there a cover-up?  The news media reported that Wirth shot the deputies as they entered his residence.  They returned fire.  “Wirth died at the scene.”  (media reports)  What scene?  The autopsy said Wirth was found outside of his home on the ground.  How did he get outside (where the coroner’s report said his body was found) if he “died inside” upon return fire of the deputies?  There are a lot of unexplained scenarios here, ones the media can’t hold a candle to.

Based on what history has taught us, Wirth ended up being demonized in the media, just like Randy Weaver and David Koresh.  And let’s not forget Nevada notary Tracy N. Lawrence, who suddenly died of a 3-drug cocktail overdose on the day of her sentencing for one count of notary fraud (she offered to testify against two title officers of LSI Title Agency, Inc.).  Her death was ruled a suicide; however, I know dozens of Texas county clerks that would disagree with that finding because they were presented with those facts at the lecture series I presented to them in 2012. You could see their jaws drop. They were all shaking their head “no”.

You’re probably asking yourself why I intended to post this information.  I bring this up now because of the serious nature of attacking (on your own, because you think you can do better than someone with legal skill, knowledge and a law license) entities outside the scope of your foreclosure case.  I can think of a half dozen people that will ignore my warning here and risk ending up dead or in jail because they won’t listen to reason.  Sometimes I wonder why I even share stuff like this because it’s like giving a baby a stick of dynamite with a short fuse.  What you don’t know could kill you!  Did I scare the shit out of you yet?  You need to understand how serious this stuff is! I don’t know of any other way to emphasize what can happen to you if you self-implement, unless you’d care to Google David Koresh’s autopsy photos to see what an “end result” looks like!

Lest we forget, authorities came in and bulldozed over the “crime scene” at the Mount Carmel “compound”, obliterating any evidence.  A “compound” is defined as a 10′ x 10′ plywood shack (re: Weaver) or the average foreclosure victim’s home (re: Wirth) or the openly multiple-building, communal-style home (re: Branch Davidians).  Take your pick.  What’s behind Door #3?   None of them had fences and razor wire around them, so I have a hard time believing these fit the definition of a “compound”.  Oops!! I forgot.  That’s the term the government uses when it wants to demonize you in the media, so it can get the support of decent, hard-working, taxpaying voters who will support everything they’ve done under suspicious circumstances.

Now let’s get to the sum and substance of “the system of things” …

BONDS AND BONDING

Bonds can come in the form of cash or surety.  I want you to focus on these two and stop thinking about how the counties monetize bail bonds or bonds on their subjects they have detained or arrested.  This has nothing to do with the subject matter, but rather has evolved from Patriot-style behaviors, which I abhor, as this will get you put in jail or worse.

County judges and notaries commissioned by the state (or commonwealth) generally have to have a bond.  Some states do not require a notary bond; thus, the state itself may be held responsible for removing that requirement because a nexus was created when the Secretary of State issued a notary commission to the individual committing the crime (notarizing documents that contain false and misrepresentative information).  If the state doesn’t require a bond, then the notary is acting under the authority of the Secretary of State issuing the commission and thus, we would look to the state to cough up damage money as the result of felony behavior before the court.  What I’m talking about (in brief) here is the idea that bonds can be attacked; however, THIS TOO has to be done properly.  Every “punch line” HAS TO HAVE A “set-up”!

When a cop shoots somebody, what happens?  The cop is generally put on administrative leave while an investigation takes place.  Then a decision is made as to liability (whether the cop should be charged with murder or whether the shooting was justifiable).

What happens when a judge is required to have a bond and tolerates felony behavior in his court?   If someone challenges his bond, he may be placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place and liability is determined.  There is a right way and a wrong way to even get close to challenging a judge’s bond.  Don’t think that attacking a judge’s bond won’t create statewide attention BECAUSE IT WILL!  Within 24 hours, every court official in the state will know it happened.

PATRIOT-STYLE CRAP

Some people think that filing liens against a judge is cute and that the judge will get his comeuppance.  THIS will get you a jail term, or worse.  I had a COTA workshop attendee do a year and a day for filing a lien against a state judge.  So if you like prison, try doing stupid shit like this!  All filing the lien does is screws up the judge’s credit until necessary measures (which involve spending money) are implemented to delete the lien from the public record.  Filing false liens is a felony in most states.  Please do not call me collect from your jail cell if you act the fool and file one of these liens against a judge because I will not bail you out!  You would be surprised how folks you know well distance themselves from you once you’ve been arrested and jailed!  Let me jog your memory because the State of Missouri just passed a new law (worth the read):

Missouri-2018-HB1769-Enrolled

I don’t know if you picked up on this or not, but Paragraphs 8 & 9 of this new bill appear to provide the framework in Missouri to do a C&E (I have taught this method in previous foreclosure defense workshops).    We do not file any type of liens as part of the process I am talking about here.  We do file a lis pendens.  The suit involves real property.  We have a methodology that requires precision in the creation of a paper trail.  THIS is what gets judges removed from the bench, not your pro se filing of judicial misconduct complaints.  Filing these is also a mistake, because most pro se litigants file them because they didn’t like the judge’s ruling.  Sorry, but that is what the appellate process is for.  I have heard that Patriot-type radio talk show hosts advocate doing this repeatedly to upset the system of things.  Taking that advice will lead you to a 6 x 8 cell with three hots and a cot.  The nature of judicial misconduct is reporting egregious behavior, like condoning felony perjury on behalf of the bank’s counsel.  THAT is what you file judicial misconduct complaints for.  This is why counties, most of whom are self-insured, get nervous when their Risk Managers are approached about this type of subject matter.  DO NOT CONTACT THEM YOURSELF!  We have a method for “getting their attention”!

THE BIGGEST, BADDEST PAPER TRAIL YOU CAN IMAGINE

I cannot stress to you enough that discovery and obtaining documented evidence and employing expert witness affidavits and testimony in the creation of a well-documented paper trail is ESSENTIAL to any success using this plan; otherwise, what do you have worth investigating.  I’ve yet to see a pro se litigant conduct proper discovery, let alone understand rules of civil procedure and rules of evidence to finality in their favor.  A majority of those reading this article won’t even know (if asked outright) what a declaratory judgment action is, let alone a state tort claims action.  The system of things may be overwhelming to many of you, but according to attorneys I’ve spoken with, it’s an eventual Achille’s heel in the system.  One attorney stated, “It’s a game changer!”  When counties don’t have money, they can’t function properly.   Government officials have to answer to voters and the media about the problem created by you, which is why they’ll try to settle before it becomes a 3-ring media circus.

As one attorney put it … you can change things with your vote … or you can change things employing specific tactics against “the system of things”.   I discuss this for educational purposes, because I get so many calls from frustrated foreclosure victims, who don’t know where to turn.  The problem is, the homeowners don’t know how to create the right paper trail.  Hell, I know attorneys that have stopped short of doing the right thing.  Malpractice is also a concern and with the tactics inside “the system of things”, these foreclosure defense attorneys should be worried as well, because “what applies to the goose can be applied to the gander”!

Without “the system of things” in place, we would succumb to financial ruin as a body politic and that could lead to the Civil War that the Rasmussen poll recently talked about.  I am not advocating the use of violence here, just common sense.

More to come about “the system of things” … so you can understand its layout and consequences!

 

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GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST – PART 2

(OP-ED, first posted: August 29, 2018) —

The writer of this post is a paralegal and consultant to attorneys on matters involving chain of title, foreclosures and document manufacturing.  The opinions expressed herein are that of the writer’s only and do not constitute legal or financial advice. 

It is hard to say how much we spend on the average for insurance coverage for a wide and varied range of issues.  I personally spend over $7,000 a year on insurance and I’m sure that others spend well more than that.   My CPA’s tell me that what you spend on ALL insurance is supposed to equal roughly 10% of your estimated gross income.  If you’re spending more than that, something might be amiss with your personal financial planning.

As a business, basic liability insurance for a small business like mine consulting firm runs about $350 a year.  I am sure that other larger firms are then paying into the tens of thousands for insurance coverage depending on their liability, which is based on risk assessment.  Remember, insurance companies are risk averse, which means they shy away from companies that might posit high-risk behaviors.  The insurance companies are in business to make money, not spend it paying claims on damages based on the imputed negligence of their insureds.  Insurance companies buy office buildings and other large real estate holdings because they can make a guaranteed income with a full list of tenants paying every month (as an example). Insurance companies ARE the financial guarantee (in large part) guaranteeing “right behavior” of their insureds.

WHERE THE COUNTIES FIT IN … 

Counties take in annual property taxes from every property owner registered within their databases, based on assessments of market values and mill levies (dollars per thousand times the estimated assessed value of the property).  By law, the counties are always in first lien position, because residency is a jurisdictional issue that was legally addressed by state legislatures long before mortgage liens were.  The law makes it easy for a county, over time, to take property away from those who refuse to pay taxes when they become due, whether ad valorem, non-ad valorem or special assessment in nature. Those of you who think you can put property back into the state of allodial title to avoid paying taxes can stop reading now. Those days are seriously OVER and you will lose.

Most counties are self-insured.  A lot of the pool of money that the counties rely on for self insurance purposes come from property taxes and go into a general fund.  Most counties (the larger ones in population) have Risk Managers.  Smaller counties generally employ County Executives, which do principally the same thing: damage control.  Counties generally enjoy sovereign immunity.  There is plenty of case law to back that up.  Sovereign immunity, by definition, is a judicial doctrine that prevents the government or its political subdivisions, departments, and agencies from being sued without its consent. The doctrine stems from the ancient English principle that the monarch (or king) can do no wrong.  Ahhhh … but we all know on occasion the “king, or the king’s men … DO WRONG”!  Sadly, many of them have gotten away with it.

Counties are sued generally (as you will read about if you did your research like I did before writing Beyond End Game Strategies) for the acts of persons employed by the county.  Let’s say someone who works for the county is driving along and runs a red light and slams into your vehicle in an intersection.  Believe it or not, THIS type of suit against counties is more predominant than what I’m going to address in this and future articles.  Or a child falls into a public swimming pool and drowns because there was no lifeguard around to save him because the lifeguard was off making time with the female pool staff.  This could be construed as simple negligence, for which the county could be liable.

ATTORNEYS CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR MALPRACTICE … BOTH OF THEM!

“Imagine if you will” (to quote the late Rod Serling, or “submitted for your approval”) … going after an attorney for malpractice.  Here’s one article posted on Lexology® you’ll probably want to read as a “concept piece”: Tripartite Relationship: Insurers suing panel counsel lawyers – lexology

I covered the foregoing on my recent radio show on WKDW-FM, 97.5, North Port, FL, streaming live at kdwradio.com.  You can hear it this Friday night (Aug. 31) at 6 pm EDT!  Click LISTEN NOW and wait for the program to start.

The substance of this is based on negligence (negligent behavior).  Now, imagine this being applied to foreclosure defense attorneys who fail to perform as expected (and required).  Imagine further going after the other side’s attorney for bringing a false and misrepresentative document into a foreclosure case, relying on it and making similarly subjective, misrepresentative statements in open court, allowing the court to step all over your rights in handing your property over to the bank’s mortgage loan servicer.  Why isn’t your attorney paying attention to the false and misrepresentative information on the assignments when this is the “keys to the kingdom”?   If your attorney has knowledge about the falsity of such a document, he is bound by the Professional Code of Conduct to report it.  Have you ever heard of an attorney that has done this?   I’ll let you answer that question yourself because I can’t think of one.

When a complaint is filed with the State Bar (of any state), they supposedly have a duty to examine the complaint for its legitimacy.  THIS IS NOT SOMETHING YOU SHOULD DO AS A PRO SE LITIGANT!  YOU ARE NOT A BAR-LICENSED ATTORNEY!  YOU HAVE NO CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT YOU HAVE TO ANSWER TO OR FOLLOW!

Subsequent to filing a claim with the State Bar, the E & O policy of the attorney and his law firm is researched and located and contacted.  Either a claim will be paid out upon the formal filing of a complaint or in the alternative, claims for attorney representation in front of the state bar could be denied, which means the attorney “is bleeding green”.   This is “the system of things” operating in reverse because here … you weren’t paid a benefit, but the attorney was denied a benefit, which was a detriment to him.  If the insurance company is allowed to sue to recoup what it has paid out in damages, then they’ll go after the law firm, etc. and make them “bleed green” … this is assuming you suffered a damage (post-foreclosure judgment, loss of home, loss of equity).  Once a judgment is obtained, a Motion to Vacate is the only thing that sets the stage for any subsequent action.  YOU CANNOT DO THIS YOURSELF!   YOU ARE NOT DEFENDING A TRAFFIC TICKET HERE!  PRO SE LITIGANTS WILL END UP LOSING THEIR HOME, IN JAIL OR THE SUBJECT OF A HEFTY FINE, OR BOTH!  You did not learn any of this in civics class!  They don’t teach this stuff in high school OR college for a reason.  They don’t want you to know “the system of things” and how it works.

LIABILITY … AND WHY THE BANKS ARE NOT EAGER TO TRANSFER TITLE ON FORECLOSED HOMES … 

Let’s take the case of the 2-year-old toddler who accompanied his parents into their new (resale) home in Tampa, Florida.   The home they just acquired was situated next to a foreclosed home.  There were clearly signs in the windows denoting that the property had been foreclosed on or was about to be.  Like most busy parents in the middle of unloading a moving truck, they lost track of the toddler.  They found him floating face down in the pool of the foreclosed home, which was not covered up properly, and efforts to revive him failed.  Of course, despite the foreclosure on the property, the bank claimed it wasn’t liable because the homeowner’s name was still on title and he was required to pay for insurance and bore all of the responsibility for anything happening on the property.   Sadly, this happens a lot (as to the lack of title transfer) with foreclosures, until the banks find a bona fide purchaser.  So in my mind, the homeowner, despite the fact he’s vacated the premises, he’s still liable.  If the hazard insurance, which covers personal liability, isn’t maintained or isn’t in place at all because of a lapse in coverage, the homeowner then becomes solely and financially liable to the parents of the deceased child.  This is why banks won’t transfer title right away after seizing a property.   In fact, in California, you aren’t even buying the property in foreclosure!  You’re buying the lien!  How many of you know that?  This would make Trustee’s Deeds a complete sham!  Why isn’t anyone attacking the validity of Trustee’s Deeds based on California law?   Lack of knowledge, I suspect.  Those of you reading this for the first time wouldn’t have a clue as to where to turn to next, so don’t even try.

Title companies are also risk averse and won’t allow transfer until things are “buttoned up” … or so we’ve been told.  This is where more illicit document manufacturing occurs.  But it gets even better because licensed operators (attorneys, law firms, notaries, debt collectors, insurance companies, title companies) are all responsible to a higher authority!  Stay tuned!

 

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GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST – PART 1

(OP-ED, first posted: August 25, 2018) —

The writer of this post is a paralegal and consultant to attorneys on matters involving chain of title, foreclosures and document manufacturing.  The opinions expressed herein are that of the writer’s only and do not constitute legal or financial advice. 

Everything these days revolves around insurance of some sort.  The credibility of some professions is backed up with insurance or bonding to guarantee against losses incurred by inadvertent or blatant illicit behaviors of those insured or bonded.  The system of things revolves around the dollar.  People have put their faith in the dollar, whether it has any backing or not.  As long as people (the body politic) can be fooled into a perception of believing that this so-called “legal tender” can still be used to pay debts “public or private”, the system will continue to flourish, whether “in the red” or “in the black”.

REALITY CHECK

Look how many times you purchase insurance in your life and for what purposes (CYA).

Virtually all 50 states require some sort of minimum liability auto insurance, through a policy that guarantees the insurance company will cover a loss if a claim is filed against the policy.  Many folks just get a liability policy if they’re driving a car that has no lien against it; however, an auto loan on a vehicle will require that you have full coverage.  Based on your driving record and your credit score, full coverage insurance can rape your monthly income, denying you of even basic needs just because you need to get to work and a means of insurable transportation to get you there.

Throughout the last decade of this dismal fight to keep Americans in health insurance, we’ve been forced to buy health insurance coverage through some sort of program connected with the Affordable Care Act.  Seniors over 65 are forced to buy Medicare.  That too comes with a price tag.  Part B is $134 a month, no matter WHO you go through to get insurance.  Any supplement insurance (which is highly recommended by agents these days), adds another $80-$100 a month on top of the $134 you pay every month just to avoid a financial catastrophe due to health issues.

You can’t get a mortgage loan without insuring the property with hazard insurance. When homeowners get into trouble, the first thing to be neglected is the hazard insurance payment.  Then the property taxes.  The lender (or its servicer) then has to cover any claimed losses by putting forced placed insurance on the property because the property owner failed to do so.  This process, which I call a “cheap date”, is used in part to prove that the servicer, acting on behalf of the lender, has some sort of interest to protect in the property, especially when it comes time to foreclose on said property.

If you own a business, most if not all responsible business owners carry a general liability insurance policy.  These policies generally start at $350 a year, which is no big deal. However, given any type of special insurance coverage, you’ll find that the more “risk averse” an insurer has to weigh in on a given situation, the more expensive the policy. For example, if your business deals in a product or service that comes with a higher risk than most of injuring the general public, this forces the premiums to go up.

Because many Americans are not well-funded and are deep in debt, the last type of insurance policy they encounter is a life insurance policy, to make sure that if something happens to them, their loved ones at least have some minimal nest egg to keep them going. This is where a majority of Americans put the least amount of dollars. Most of us are underinsured in this category.  I’ve heard a lot of folks say that “you’re making a bet with the insurance company that you’re going to live so long before they have to pay out”.  This is true, which is why I buy 10 to 15-year term insurance.  If I live past 80, I’m lucky.  Good luck getting insurance past 85, because virtually all insurance companies will deny coverage past that age because they know what the odds are of a quick payout.

By the time you’re 80 (if you live that long), you should have some sort of an “estate” to leave behind that’s worth something.  Most Americans however don’t even have $50,000 in savings they can fall back on if, God forbid, something goes wrong.  In fact, the number of consumer bankruptcies, especially those over age 65, is on the upswing. Student loans, mortgages and consumer debt are driving the bankruptcy filings, statistically well ahead of medical catastrophes.  However, I would proffer that “debt stress” would cater to certain medical issues at some point.

A NECESSARY EVIL

There’s insurance coverage out there for virtually every kind of behavior, including liability for actions taken against you that could be deemed illegal.  This is why we have “bonds” in place for judges, clerks, virtually all elected officials, notaries and credit repair people, to name a few.  Most counties in America are “self-insured”.  Most states have what is known as an “insurance risk pool” or a back-up fund of money to pay for damages that the state or its actors might cause against its citizens.

Law firms and real estate brokerages have what is known as “E & O” policies (or should) in order to exist.  “E & O” stands for Errors & Omissions (policies).  These types of policies generally pay out for legal services in case the insured comes under fire for erroneous or negligent behavior.  It’s a “knew or should have known better” scenario.  So the E & O primarily covers legal fees for representing the insured and/or paying out claims against the insured’s policy.

If there wasn’t an insurance policy covering something somewhere, our litigious society would drive this country into a financial meltdown sooner than later.  The only way that a meltdown would occur sooner than later is if the “perception” of the masses were to dynamically change to reflect an understanding that “insurance” supports the “underbelly of the beast.”   This is why I wrote the “Beyond End Game Strategies” supplement.  The concepts expressed here go beyond the traditional thoughts of most Americans. Insurance companies are “risk averse” … and their “end game” is to deny claims whenever possible due to exceptional or non-covered acts of the insured.  This is why insurance companies file more declaratory relief actions than most any other entity in America … to have a court determine whether they’re responsible to pay a claim on behalf of the insured.

Do you see where my thought processes are going?  There is a method to the madness and the “beast” is the system of things.

And … at some point … a meltdown in America is likely.

Stay tuned for Part 2.  It gets better! 

 

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BREAKING NEWS – GEORGIA INVESTOR GETS $3.5-MILLION + COURTESY OF THE 11TH U.S. CIRCUIT APPELLATES!

(BREAKING NEWS) —

You gotta love this!  It was even a jury award and Taylor, Bean & Whitaker was involved!

Focus on what Jane did (without Tarzan) … and shellacked Homeward Residential too!

McGinnis v American Home Mtg Svcg Inc, 11th App Cir No 14-13404 (Aug 22, 2018)

Study this 21 pages!  It’s full of “nuggets”!

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