(OP-ED, first posted: September 28, 2018) —
The writer of this rather lengthy and final post in this particular series is a paralegal, researcher 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. Any use of the theories or ideas suggested in this post is entirely at your discretion and will probably result in disaster without the proper legal help, which you are responsible for vetting. I am not an attorney referral service either.
HOW TO BANKRUPT ANY COUNTY IN AMERICA IN TEN EASY STEPS
Oh, you seriously thought I was going to go there? I just did that to freak anyone out on the “other side” that was waiting for me to say such a thing so they could hold it against me in some way. My Jewish attorney friend used to talk loudly in his leased office space because the walls were paper thin and he knew the trucking company on the other side of the wall could hear him, so he’d make statements about putting that trucking company out of business, just out of spite. That attorney is (to this day) still one of my good friends in the legal community. And he knows what personal injury is (especially after getting a large settlement out of a major soft drink manufacturer). I would say that the entire summation of this 10-part series is not “pissing in the wind”.
I have a large network of attorneys across the country that are bracing for the upcoming storm. I will not tell you their names because they are behind the scenes getting ready to do their part to make “the system of things” manifest itself.
As one Expert Witness attorney put it to his clients (paraphrased in the simplest terms):
“My testimony will be considered evidence of the statutory violations that were created by the assignments (of mortgage, deed of trust). If the homeowner’s attorney ties the statutory elements together with the facts my testimony provides, then the Plaintiff (lender, servicer, etc.)’s attorney will be acting as an accessory to the Plaintiff client’s crime. Not only will the acts be considered criminal statutory violations, they will also be considered ethics code violations. All of the above is calculated with the hope that it terminates the litigation in the homeowner’s favor.”
FIRST AND FOREMOST EVIDENCE: THE PUBLIC RECORD
While the OSCEOLA COUNTY FORENSIC EXAMINATION was only a report issued to the Clerk of that particular Circuit Court, it was one of only a few reports that were ever generated at the behest of a Clerk, Register, Recorder, etc. in the entire country (out of over 3,000 counties). It is sad when only a handful of studies were done and what happened following the release of those reports only scratched the surface of “the system of things”:
Southern Essex District, Massachusetts (2011) — Following the release of that report, a pro bono effort by Marie McDonnell, Register of Deeds John O’Brien’s office got a bunch of media attention, which subsequently brought visits by local bank counsel, threatening to sue the county. Nothing ever came of it (perhaps due to Mr. O’Brien’s response to the attorneys, “Good! Bring it! We get discovery!”), but to this day, all potentially robosigned documents are rejected from recording in that office.
Guilford County, North Carolina (2011) — Attorney Lynn Szymoniak assisted Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen bring a spreadsheet forward of known DOCX robosigners, which sparked public awareness in that county. Sadly, the entire examination was overshadowed by the FBI’s investigation of DOCX and eventual prosecution of Lorraine M. Brown, its president. Thigpen retained a law firm to file suit against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and its parent, MERSCORP; however, the case went nowhere because the court determined that the Register of Deeds did not have a private right of action.
San Francisco, California (2012) — Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, acting on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, retained Aequitas Compliance Solutions, Inc. to conduct a study of his land records, which revealed a plethora of suspect activity regarding the recording of assignments, followed by suspicious pre-foreclosure recording activity. In a scant 21-page Report, the results infuriated Ting to the point of frustration. After a media blitz and a lot of YouTube activity, Mr. Ting decided his land records were garbage and decided not to seek re-election. While the report was California-specific, it did make reference to a report issued by two attorneys from the Florida AG’s Economic Crimes Division, which later resulted in those two attorneys, Teresa Edwards and June Clarkson, being forced out of their positions.
Williamson County, Texas (2013) — County Clerk Nancy Rister commissioned a study of robosigned documents culled from hundreds of files in the recorded database of the public records in that county, to find hundreds of suspect issues contained within assignments and powers of attorney that were drafted and recorded by law firms that conducted foreclosures of residents there. The 179-page report, done by DK Consultants LLC, caused a raft of media attention, followed by a nearly full page rebuttal by the then-CEO of MESCORP Holdings, Inc. Bill Beckmann, claiming MERS did nothing wrong, even though MERS was at the center of attention in the audit. Several attorneys named in the report visited the Clerk’s office and made threatening comments to her staff but nothing ever came of it. Williamson County joined in a suit with Travis and Nueces County in Texas against both MERS entities which went nowhere. Sadly, the attorneys bringing the suit claimed MERS was responsible for the recordings, which the federal judge deemed was not.
Osceola County, Florida (2014) — If anything came from this Report, it was a media firestorm, apparently baited by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, spoon-fed to all of the Clerk (Hon. Armando Ramirez)’s political enemies, who made use of the information to smear the Clerk in the media. Despite the efforts to make everyone involved “front page news”, the Clerk was re-elected to his position. The FBI refused to investigate the contents of the Report, which was not an indictment, after talking to the Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives handling their end of the investigation into the Report’s contents, stating in a one-page release that they could find no victims. The State’s Attorney who was first presented with the Report, declined to investigate any of it and subsequently was not re-elected following a scandal involving Ashley Madison’s website. The Osceola County Sheriff did not seek re-election either.
Seattle, Washington (2015) — McDonnell Property Analytics was tasked with conducting a review of mortgage documents and assignments in a post-Bain decision by the Washington State Supreme Court. Page 29 of that Report clearly stated that numerous MERS assignments contained “false statements, misrepresentations, and omissions of material fact”, noting the violative statutes, which we would sincerely entertain in taking out adversarial opponents in future skirmishes in the Pacific Northwest. After much media attention and public outcry to the Seattle City Commission, the heat died down and things appear headed back to the status quo. Sadly, until the bankers are imprisoned, they continue to own Washington State. (… and you know I’m not lying here!)
All of these “protectors of the public record will go down in the annals of American history” as having made a dent in “the system of things” as exposed, with no finality. I believe that “the system of things” was not approached in the right way. The parties involved (the Clerks, etc.) in some instances, were told they didn’t have a private right of action. So what was missing?
THE LACKING COMPONENT: STATUTORY APPLICATIONS OF VIOLATIONS
What was contained in the assignments discovered in each of the foregoing reports was “evidence” that had to be discovered and never was. Any homeowner in America can run into court and waive their assignment around in the judge’s face and call it a fraudulent document and the judge will simply ignore them because nothing in the document was proven false or misrepresentative to the point of opening up “Pandora’s Box”. As long as homeowners are willing to play the “delay game”, just to keep things on the level for their comfort zones, nothing will happen. Eventually, they’ll be out of their home at the hands of a corrupt system. If they behave like Martin Wirth, they’ll end up dead at the hands of a corrupt system. You see, “the system of things” “circles the wagons” when it’s attacked. Just like Custer at the Little Big Horn (and we know what happened to him).
However, the missing components here (referring to the expert witness’s foregoing statements) are not deemed to be “third-party beneficiary” intimations, which all courts to date have placed credence in so homeowner’s “don’t get a free house”. We’re not even going there. We are talking about statutory violations of law here, which result in ethical violations by the bank’s attorneys. If the statutory law exposes the fraud in the public record and it is brought forward into a court proceeding, the bank’s attorney has the option to recant all of his pleadings and oral statements made to the court, because all of those statements make him an accessory to the statutory violations. Once the bank’s attorney has stepped into the realm of statutory violations (through felony perjury applications, fraud on the court, etc.), that attorney is now subject to disciplinary action by the state’s bar, which is exactly where the ethical violations are going to be lodged, thanks to those bar mandates previously discussed on these posts. Every state has some sort of statutory application to prosecute false and misrepresentative statements in the public record, it’s just that it’s never been postured in such a way to make it part of the court record.
THE LACKING COMPONENT: ETHICAL VIOLATIONS
Once a record has been created of all of the evidence and testimony in court, the expert witness attorney files a formal complaint to that state’s bar against the bank’s lawyer, alleging ethical violations, which now affects the errors and omissions insurance policy. The bank’s lawyer is now tempted to file a claim to get his attorney’s fees paid for in the bar disciplinary committee hearing(s); however, if the E & O carrier should become aware of what the attorney is involved in, it would certainly become “risk averse” and deny paying for any of his legal representation, which means it has to come out of his own pocket, which could get really expensive. At a minimum, he risks suspension. At most, he risks disbarment. How is he going to pay off all of his student loans then? It’s a benefit to the homeowner, because any subsequent law firm will be aware of the case and will run from it, unless it wants to wind up playing out the same scenario as “the system of things” unfolds on them too.
THE LACKING COMPONENT: JUDICIAL SYSTEM CHALLENGES
The judge hearing the foreclosure case should “do the right thing” and hold an evidentiary hearing (see Part 7, the M & T Bank v. Smith case). Any evidentiary hearing, properly conducted, based on all of the evidence, would preclude any action against the judge and force a settlement. While this would be an obvious savings to the homeowner, most judges ignore the claims of misrepresentation because they have agendas. It is these “agendas” that, if not applied, would force an onslaught of suits in that state, tying up the foreclosures dockets for years, because all homeowners would have to do is claim they’ve been wronged and ask for a free house. We know that is not going to happen; however, “the system of things” will do more good if it is correctly applied in getting that “judge with an agenda” removed from the bench because he (or she) is complicit in a fraud and allowed it to happen, bringing exposed risk against the county and its treasury.
Besides going after the judge’s bond, we see filings to the judicial review panel, which will have the entire record given to the state bar against the lawyer in that proceeding. Without a bond, the judge cannot sit on the bench. End of career. End of legacy. Maybe, even end of pension. If it’s a senior judge that’s been pulled out because he already has a pension and a nice nest egg, personal judgments against him as the result of a proper proceeding may haunt him for the rest of his life, with not only a personal “stain” on his legacy, but any serious criminal applications here could pierce the sovereign immunity and put him squarely into a criminal proceeding, where he’d face prison time. Imagine the supreme court of any state being tied up in felony allegations? Think West Virginia! It can happen and you’ll see it happening when “the system of things” is fully unveiled. You see, judges are not exempt from prison and an eventual stained legacy, despite what they think of themselves and their so-called “immunity”.
Pompous shits! And we trusted them to do the right thing.
And let’s not forget the county who employs the judge. They have a treasury. Most of them are self-insured and have to answer to voters, who would be pissed at them if the treasury was drained due to multiple damage settlements. This is why state tort claims actions were developed. Now, imagine a 1,000 people, all affected by the same law firm, all having similarly-situated false and misrepresentative assignments, all coming after the same entities (at once) who got them kicked to the curb by the same county judges. It really only takes one judge to be removed from the bench under the shadow of felony behavior to send a message to everyone else in “the system of things” that we know how to play the game “for real” now.
If the state bar does nothing to bring a resolution to the attorney’s ethical violations, then the insurance companies will, indirectly. No insurance carrier is going to insure an attorney with a bad record of being an accessory to a crime. End of paycheck. Defaulted student loans. End of credibility (e.g., David J. Stern). No one has gone after all his money … yet. Any law firm relying on his assignments? Watch out! Your time is coming.
And let’s not forget how the law firm is going to suffer at the hands of this behavior. No E & O insurance carrier will write professional liability on a stained past history of illicit behaviors. End of law firm. Oh sure, they can try and just throw another firm together and keep doing the same thing until they end up disbarred like Stern; however, the bad behavior follows the principals too … and any law firm subsequently taking the case in chief.
And let’s not forget the mortgage loan servicers, third-party debt collectors and document mills creating these phony assignments, or in the alternative, relying on them. They answer to either the departments of banking and finance or the department of insurance. The states have risk pools (of money). Imagine tapping into that pile of cash!
There are bonds and professional liability insurance policies in force that cover the behaviors of the foregoing entities. When they step into this fray however, “the system of things” may end up coming after the individuals and the supervisors that gave them the platform to create these phony assignments and put them all in prison. How many “Linda Greens” would you imagine would end up there … or should? As with what didn’t happen in Osceola County, “the system of things” would be more persuasive in this case, because of testimony, affidavits, a paper trail and a transcript of the proceedings.
The system of things put “safeguards” in place to insure that the public is not harmed by illicit behaviors. Notice I used the word “insure”? There’s a reason for that. When insurance companies refuse to pay for bad behavior, someone has to … be it the state, the county or the individuals responsible for stealing private property.
YOUR ATTORNEY HAS TO DO HIS JOB! THAT’S ALL!
If anything needs to be understood (and stressed) here, it’s that if you’re paying an attorney to do his job, he should do his job. Not play the “delay game” with you. There are attorneys out there that will do their jobs. We need one that has enough sense to put an expert witness attorney on the stand in a formal hearing setting and examine him (with a prepared set of questions) like any other witness on the stand. We don’t need him jumping up and down and screaming at the judge either. Remember, he has to appear before the same judge again (that is, if the judge is still a seated judge). Once this takes place, your attorney will become fully aware of the statutory and ethical violations that have occurred. Sadly, he now is mandated by his state bar to report them under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Whether he does it is irrelevant. The expert witness attorney will do the reporting to the appropriate authorities. If they don’t act, then we hit up their insurance carriers!
Attorneys do get perturbed with “the system”. In our previous segment (Part 8), we explored the suit filed against the Oregon State Bar, a public corporation. Even the state bars should be held to a higher standard and from time to time, refreshed with new blood from humble folks not so consumed with their power and their copious attitudes. State bars have a treasury too, if you get my drift. Unfortunately, many attorneys who say they’re “fighters” may try to talk you out of opening “Pandora’s Box” in lieu of a loan modification. That, in of itself, is a trap against homeowners. But again, it’s all about the money, right?
CALL TO ACTION: SENSE OF URGENCY, WHETHER YOU’RE IN YOUR HOME OR NOT
I’m not going to do the “Alex Jones” thing and tell you to harass anyone, “push back” or man your “battle stations”. Just the opposite. Wise as serpents, harmless as doves. Plan the trap. Set the trap. Spring the trap. Catch the prey. Hunger Games: “Remember who your enemy is.” as you see Katniss Everdeen with her bow and arrow, going after a squirrel or a rabbit. It’s a single and precise strike at the target. In this “system of things”, you have multiple targets to choose from. HOW you play that game is up to you. You are not limited by your tactical ammo. You do however, have to use your due diligence and wisdom to determine which target to go after and plan the trap. The bait is already there (what’s in the public record) in the form of documents (assignments) that violate statute. It doesn’t matter about the “third-party beneficiary” argument. The statute says what the statute says. It means what the state legislature intended it to mean, no matter what the bank’s attorney argues. Once that argument starts and the trap is sprung, the bank’s attorney can only do one thing: recant his pleadings and oral statements and motion for the case to be dismissed. In the alternative, he risks prosecution and eventual disbarment for moving forward.
I want to see your “phony assignments”, especially if they involve a securitized trust, MERS, known robosigners, self-dealing, claims of merger known to be false, etc.
Send them to be at firstname.lastname@example.org. I personally want to see what you’re facing. If you have even more sense, you’ll include your contact information with your pdf submission. I’m compiling a list of aggrieved homeowners in each state, be it mortgage or deed of trust, and their violative assignments. I DO NOT NEED TO SEE YOUR ENTIRE CASE FILES! Anyone sending me anything but what I asked for will see their emails deleted!
In the meantime, keep calm and carry on. And remember, pro se litigants need not apply. Misapplication of any of what was discussed in any of the ten parts of this series of posts is done at your peril.
To everyone else reading these successively “belly gutting” posts: May the odds be ever in your favor.