Tag Archives: assignment of mortgage

UPL, FELONY PERJURY: THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF DOCUMENT MANUFACTURING!

OP-ED — The author of this post is a consultant to attorneys on chain of title issues and the system of things. This is not legal advice but rather an exploration down a path that few even think to travel. 

“I was just doing my job.”  

What kind of response do you think you’d get from a robosigner in a deposition when asked how they prepared or executed a recorded assignment?

Part of what I have not discussed in my series on GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST is what might inadvertently happen when documents are manufactured by third-party or servicer document mills with the intended purpose of causing them to be recorded in the land records to give standing to a plaintiff in an upcoming (or current) foreclosure case.  For all intents and purposes, the documents were recorded to give some sort of legal force and effect, right?   After all, foreclosure mill lawyers and trustees (in non-judicial settings) rely on these assignments to go on about the business of stealing (uh, er, foreclosing on) peoples’ homes, right?

If I were go back into time (April 3, 2011) and trace the interviews conducted by Scott Pelley on the 60 Minutes segment, The Next Housing Shock, you would see a prime example of how a document mill operates.  These third-party document manufacturers exist all over the U.S. largely in part to excessive demands on the marketplace to produce still-missing documentation, designed to “fit” a specific situation to achieve a desired result.  The actual result was that Lorraine M. Brown (who has since served her time and is out of prison) was convicted for heading up a document mill that operated outside of the “arms-length” purview of the mortgage servicers, as Pelley explained on the broadcast.

Then there were two Florida attorneys working for the Attorney General’s office in Tallahassee: June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards.  Both were basically forced out of their jobs after releasing a detailed report on document manufacturing misbehaviors:

florida ag report_unfair deceptive and unconscionable acts in foreclosure cases

In March of 2012, the mortgage loan servicers and the 49 states Attorneys General came to an agreement NOT to continue the process of document manufacturing unless the documents actually contain legitimate information and are not misrepresentative in nature.  No sooner did the ink dry on that agreement, the servicers and the third-party mills working with servicers were back at it again.

From 2012 until as late as 2016, Bank of America cranked out tens of thousands of documents a year using contract workers in its Simi Valley, California manufacturing plant.  According to one worker there, when he complained to his supervisors that he didn’t feel right about what he was signing, he was told, “You’re lucky you have a job, now get back to work!”   His supervisor was undoubtedly NOT an attorney but rather, an actual employee of Bank of America.

Unauthorized Practice of Law, Explained (in pertinent part)

State Bars from across the country have gone after suspects who violated their statutes by practicing law without a license to do so.  Here’s a couple of examples of those statutes:

TEXAS

As you can see from the following language below, UPL is not just holding yourself out to be a lawyer or doing things only a lawyer could do without being licensed.  This statute applies to a whole range of concerns, which are then determined on an individual basis (I highlighted the pertinent parts):

SUBCHAPTER G. UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW

Sec. 81.101. DEFINITION. (a) In this chapter the “practice of law” means the preparation of a pleading or other document incident to an action or special proceeding or the management of the action or proceeding on behalf of a client before a judge in court as well as a service rendered out of court, including the giving of advice or the rendering of any service requiring the use of legal skill or knowledge, such as preparing a will, contract, or other instrument, the legal effect of which under the facts and conclusions involved must be carefully determined.

(b) The definition in this section is not exclusive and does not deprive the judicial branch of the power and authority under both this chapter and the adjudicated cases to determine whether other services and acts not enumerated may constitute the practice of law.

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Could an assignment be that “other document incident to an action or special proceeding”, such as a foreclosure wherein that document is given legal force and effect by the court in the taking of someone’s home?  Texas also has statutes that cover the recording of false documents:

Tex. Pen.Code, Title 7, Ch. 32, § 32.46(a)(1) makes it a felony to cause a forged or fraudulent document to be filed or recorded.

1. Common Law Fraud: To sustain a cause of action for actual fraud, the plaintiffs must prove (1) the defendant made a material representation that was false; (2) the defendant knew the representation was false or made it recklessly as a positive assertion without any knowledge of its truth; (3) the defendant intended to induce plaintiffs to act on the representation; and (4) plaintiffs actually and justifiably relied on the representation and thereby suffered damages. See Ernst & Young, L.L.P. v. Pac. Mut. Life Ins. Co., 51 S.W.3d 573 (Tex. 2001); 2. Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 12.002 allows for recovery of up to $10,000 per fraudulent document; 3. Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 16.003 provides for a 2-year challenge to recorded documents.

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Sadly, the two-year challenge to phony documents was probably put there by some self-serving legislators who were bought off by the banks, who knew that at some point, the suspect document might be discovered; however, it appears to run in conflict with the felony penal code’s mandates.  So which carries more weight? The penal code or the civil code?   If the penal code was enforced, the sheriff’s enforcing the laws couldn’t say, “Oh, it’s a civil matter. Take it up with the judge.”, as he’s kicking you to the curb.  A felony action runs longer than Texas’s civil code statute.

FLORIDA

Sadly, Florida Statutes only cover holding one’s self out as an attorney when one is not, but several case studies have presented us (below), with some interesting overviews about real property law:

” … the Court has held that it constitutes the unlicensed practice of law for a nonlawyer to prepare a warranty deed, quitclaim deed, land trusts, leases and mortgage agreements. The Florida Bar v. Irizarry, 268 So. 2d 377 (Fla. 1972); The Florida Bar v. Hughes, 697 So. 2d 501 (Fla. 1997); The Florida Bar v. Lister, 662 So. 2d 1241 (Fla. 1995); The Florida Bar v. Valdes, 464 So. 2d 1183 (Fla. 1985).”

UPL in Florida is a third-degree felony.  Florida appears very non-committal in its commentaries on what broadly constitutes UPL; however, as seen below from the General UPL Definitions, document manufacturing without a supervising attorney appears to be a real “gray area” (that needs some attention):

10-2. DEFINITIONS RULE 10-2.1 GENERALLY

Whenever used in these rules the following words or terms have the following meaning unless the use of the word or term clearly indicates a different meaning:

(a) Unlicensed Practice of Law. The unlicensed practice of law means the practice of law, as prohibited by statute, court rule, and case law of the state of Florida.

(b) Paralegal or Legal Assistant. A paralegal or legal assistant is a person qualified by education, training, or work experience, who works under the supervision of a member of The Florida Bar, an out-of-state lawyer engaged in the authorized practice of law in Florida or a foreign lawyer engaged in the authorized practice of law in Florida and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which the supervising lawyer is responsible. A nonlawyer or a group of nonlawyers may not offer legal services directly to the public by employing a lawyer to provide the lawyer supervision required under this rule. It constitutes the unlicensed practice of law for a person who does not meet the definition of paralegal or legal assistant to use the title paralegal, legal assistant, or other similar term in offering to provide or in providing services directly to the public.

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Florida also has a felony perjury statute with teeth in it, as it has a civil component attached:

817.535 Unlawful filing of false documents or records against real or personal property.

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “File” means to present an instrument for recording in an official record or to cause an instrument to be presented for recording in an official record.
(b) “Filer” means the person who presents an instrument for recording in an official record or causes an instrument to be presented for recording in an official record.
(c) “Instrument” means any judgment, mortgage, assignment, pledge, lien, financing statement, encumbrance, deed, lease, bill of sale, agreement, mortgage, notice of claim of lien, notice of levy, promissory note, mortgage note, release, partial release or satisfaction of any of the foregoing, or any other document that relates to or attempts to restrict the ownership, transfer, or encumbrance of or claim against real or personal property, or any interest in real or personal property.
(d) “Official record” means the series of instruments, regardless of how they are maintained, which a clerk of the circuit court, or any person or entity designated by general law, special law, or county charter, is required or authorized by law to record. The term also includes a series of instruments pertaining to the Uniform Commercial Code filed with the Secretary of State or with any entity under contract with the Secretary of State to maintain Uniform Commercial Code records and a database of judgment liens maintained by the Secretary of State.

(e) “Public officer or employee” means, but is not limited to:

1. A person elected or appointed to a local, state, or federal office, including any person serving on an advisory body, board, commission, committee, council, or authority.
2. An employee of a state, county, municipal, political subdivision, school district, educational institution, or special district agency or entity, including judges, attorneys, law enforcement officers, deputy clerks of court, and marshals.
3. A state or federal executive, legislative, or judicial officer, employee, or volunteer authorized to perform actions or services for any state or federal executive, legislative, or judicial office, or agency.
4. A person who acts as a general or special magistrate, auditor, arbitrator, umpire, referee, hearing officer, or consultant to any state or local governmental entity.
5. A person who is a candidate for public office or judicial position.
(2)(a) A person who files or directs a filer to file, with the intent to defraud or harass another, any instrument containing a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation that purports to affect an owner’s interest in the property described in the instrument commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) A person who violates paragraph (a) a second or subsequent time commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) If a person is convicted of violating subsection (2) and the owner of the property subject to the false instrument is a public officer or employee, the offense shall be reclassified as follows:

(a) In the case of a felony of the third degree, to a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) In the case of a felony of the second degree, to a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4)(a) If a person is convicted of violating subsection (2) and the person committed the offense while incarcerated in a jail or correctional institution or while participating in a pretrial diversion program under any form of pretrial release or bond, on probation or parole, or under any postrelease supervision, the offense shall be reclassified as follows:

1. In the case of a felony of the third degree, to a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
2. In the case of a felony of the second degree, to a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) If a person’s offense has been reclassified pursuant to this subsection, the sentencing court shall issue a written finding that the offense occurred while incarcerated in a jail or correctional institution and direct that a copy of the written finding and judgment of conviction be forwarded to the appropriate state institution or county facility for consideration of disciplinary action and forfeiture of all gain-time or any early release credits accumulated up to the date of the violation.

(5) If the person is convicted of violating subsection (2) and the owner of the property covered by the false instrument incurs financial loss as a result of the instrument being recorded in the official record, including costs and attorney fees incurred in correcting, sealing, or removing the false instrument from the official record as described herein, the offense shall be reclassified as follows:

(a) In the case of a felony of the third degree, to a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) In the case of a felony of the second degree, to a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(6) A person who fraudulently records a claim of lien in the official records pursuant to part I of chapter 713 is subject to the fraud provisions of s. 713.31 and not this section.
(7) If a person is convicted of violating this section, the sentencing court shall issue an order declaring the instrument forming the basis of the conviction null and void and may enjoin the person from filing any instrument in an official record absent prior review and approval for filing by a circuit or county court judge. The sentencing court may also order the instrument forming the basis of the conviction sealed from the official record and removed from any applicable electronic database used for recording instruments in the official record.
(8)(a) Any person adversely affected by an instrument filed in the official record which contains a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation has a civil cause of action under this section without regard to whether criminal charges are pursued under subsection (2). A notice of lis pendens in accord with s. 48.23 shall be filed which specifically describes the instrument under challenge and the real or personal property affected by the instrument.

(b) Upon a finding that the instrument contains a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation such that the instrument does not establish a legitimate property or lien interest in favor of another person:

1. The court shall determine whether the entire instrument or certain parts thereof are null and void ab initio. If the court finds the instrument void in its entirety, it may order the instrument sealed from the official record and removed from any electronic database used for indexing or locating instruments in the official record. The court may also, permanently or for a period of time, enjoin the defendant who filed the instrument or who directed the filer to file the instrument from filing or directing a person to file an instrument in the official records without prior review and approval for filing by a circuit or county court judge, provided that as to third parties who may have given value for an interest described or granted by any instrument filed in violation of the injunction, the instrument shall be deemed validly filed and provides constructive notice, notwithstanding any failure to comply with the terms of the injunction.
2. Upon a finding of intent to defraud or harass, the court or jury shall award actual damages and punitive damages, subject to the criteria in s. 768.72, to the person adversely affected by the instrument. The court may also levy a civil penalty of $2,500 for each instrument determined to be in violation of subsection (2).
3. The court may grant such other relief or remedy that the court determines is just and proper within its sound judicial discretion.
(c) The prevailing party in such a suit is entitled to recover costs and reasonable attorney fees.
(d) The custodian of any official record shall, upon payment of appropriate fees, provide a certified copy of the sealed instrument to the party seeking relief under this section for use in subsequent court proceedings; in addressing or correcting adverse effects upon the person’s credit or property rights, or reporting the matter for investigation and prosecution; or in response to a subpoena seeking the instrument for criminal investigative or prosecution purposes.
(e) Upon request, the custodian of any official record shall, upon payment of appropriate fees, provide a certified copy of the sealed instrument to any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency.
(f) If feasible, the custodian of the official record where the instrument is recorded shall record any court order finding that the instrument is null and void in its entirety or in certain parts thereof.
(g) An instrument removed from an electronic database used for recording instruments in the public record pursuant to this section shall be maintained in a manner in which the instrument can be reduced to paper form.
(9) A government agency may provide legal representation to a public officer or employee if the instrument at issue appears to have been filed to defraud or harass the public officer or employee in his or her official capacity. If the public officer or employee is the prevailing party, the award of reasonable attorney fees shall be paid to the government agency that provided the legal representation.
(10) This section does not apply to the procedures for sealing or expunging criminal history records as provided in chapter 943.
History.s. 1, ch. 2013-228.

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The foregoing is some pretty substantive stuff, eh?   Now let’s examine a couple of the key items that got Florida foreclosure mill attorney (su casa, mi casa) David J. Stern disbarred:

In Count One of the Complaint that got him disbarred, at Paragraph 6:

During all times material, respondent elevated several staff to managerial/supervisory positions in the Stern law firm, including, but not limited to, attorneys Beverly McComas and Miriam Mendieta, and nonlawyer, Cheryl Samons, who was the office manager of the foreclosure department and/or manager of operations.

Cheryl Samons’ signature (as you may have been aware) showed up on thousands of documents as an Assistant Secretary of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., many times utilizing a notary (Terry Rice) whose commission was not valid at the time of acknowledgment.  These documents were then recorded in land records all over Florida and used to foreclose on unsuspecting homeowners.

Paragraphs 9 , 14 and 16 (of the Bar Complaint further stated:

(9) In their supervisory capacity, Mendieta, McComas, and Samons were accountable and answerable only to David J. Stern as the managing attorney and sole shareholder of the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A.

(14) Ultimately, the firm’s supervisory echelon employees such as Mensieta, McComas, and Samons, due to their extensive supervisory and managerial duties and responsibilities were given annual salaries that ranged from $200,000 to $600,000.

(16) David J. Stern’s lack of supervisory oversight, together with that of the supervisory echelon, contributed to many allegations of misconduct, including many judicial referrals to the Bar, on the part of the Stern law firm and its associates, which included, but were not limited to: (B) Improperly executed and/or improperly notarized documents, including, but not limited to, assignments of mortgage, and affidavits of reasonable attorneys’ fees …”

So if David J. Stern was not directly supervising the activities of Cheryl Samons, she could pretty much do whatever she wanted, including drafting documents that contained false and misrepresentative information (under Florida Criminal Code § 817.535).

Don’t you think that these third-party document mills operate in much the same way?   Without attorney supervision?   Exactly how much did Cheryl Samons get paid?

What is so different from what David J. Stern got disbarred for … and Lorraine M. Brown went to prison for … that these robosigners and their respective notaries can’t be held to the same criminal standards?  All of the depositions I’ve read of Stern Law Firm employees say nothing about how much anyone got paid and none of them appear to inquire as to the accuracy of the information contained on the document, with the exception of authority vested in the signer by MERS.

CALIFORNIA

BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE – BPC

DIVISION 3. PROFESSIONS AND VOCATIONS GENERALLY [5000 – 9998.11]

( Heading of Division 3 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 30. )

CHAPTER 4. Attorneys [6000 – 6243]

( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 34. )

ARTICLE 7. Unlawful Practice of Law [6125 – 6133]

( Article 7 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 34. )

6125.

No person shall practice law in California unless the person is an active licensee of the State Bar.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 659, Sec. 89. (AB 3249) Effective January 1, 2019.)

6126.

(a) Any person advertising or holding himself or herself out as practicing or entitled to practice law or otherwise practicing law who is not an active licensee of the State Bar, or otherwise authorized pursuant to statute or court rule to practice law in this state at the time of doing so, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a county jail or by a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the person shall be confined in a county jail for not less than 90 days, except in an unusual case where the interests of justice would be served by imposition of a lesser sentence or a fine. If the court imposes only a fine or a sentence of less than 90 days for a second or subsequent conviction under this subdivision, the court shall state the reasons for its sentencing choice on the record.

(b) Any person who has been involuntarily enrolled as an inactive licensee of the State Bar, or whose license has been suspended, or has been disbarred, or has resigned from the State Bar with charges pending, and thereafter practices or attempts to practice law, advertises or holds himself or herself out as practicing or otherwise entitled to practice law, is guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code or in a county jail for a period not to exceed six months. However, any person who has been involuntarily enrolled as an inactive licensee of the State Bar pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 6007 and who knowingly thereafter practices or attempts to practice law, or advertises or holds himself or herself out as practicing or otherwise entitled to practice law, is guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code or in a county jail for a period not to exceed six months.

(c) The willful failure of a licensee of the State Bar, or one who has resigned or been disbarred, to comply with an order of the Supreme Court to comply with Rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court, constitutes a crime punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code or in a county jail for a period not to exceed six months.

(d) The penalties provided in this section are cumulative to each other and to any other remedies or penalties provided by law.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 659, Sec. 90. (AB 3249) Effective January 1, 2019.)

6126.3.

(a) In addition to any criminal penalties pursuant to Section 6126 or to any contempt proceedings pursuant to Section 6127, the courts of the state shall have the jurisdiction provided in this section when a person advertises or holds himself or herself out as practicing or entitled to practice law, or otherwise practices law, without being an active licensee of the State Bar or otherwise authorized pursuant to statute or court rule to practice law in this state at the time of doing so.

(b) The State Bar, or the superior court on its own motion, may make application to the superior court for the county where the person described in subdivision (a) maintains or more recently has maintained his or her principal office for the practice of law or where he or she resides, for assumption by the court of jurisdiction over the practice to the extent provided in this section. In any proceeding under this section, the State Bar shall be permitted to intervene and to assume primary responsibility for conducting the action.

(c) An application made pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be verified, and shall state facts showing all of the following:

(1) Probable cause to believe that the facts set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 6126 have occurred.

(2) The interest of the applicant.

(3) Probable cause to believe that the interests of a client or of an interested person or entity will be prejudiced if the proceeding is not maintained.

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As you can see from California’s statutes, there really isn’t much in the way of disciplinary punishment for those actually “doing the deed”, other than felony perjury under the Penal Code:

PENAL CODE – PEN

PART 1. OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS [25 – 680]

  ( Part 1 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 7. OF CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC JUSTICE [92 – 186.34]

  ( Title 7 enacted 1872. )

CHAPTER 4. Forging, Stealing, Mutilating, and Falsifying Judicial and Public Records and Documents [112 – 117]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted 1872. )

115.  

(a) Every person who knowingly procures or offers any false or forged instrument to be filed, registered, or recorded in any public office within this state, which instrument, if genuine, might be filed, registered, or recorded under any law of this state or of the United States, is guilty of a felony.

(b) Each instrument which is procured or offered to be filed, registered, or recorded in violation of subdivision (a) shall constitute a separate violation of this section.

(c) Except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would best be served if probation is granted, probation shall not be granted to, nor shall the execution or imposition of sentence be suspended for, any of the following persons:

(1) Any person with a prior conviction under this section who is again convicted of a violation of this section in a separate proceeding.

(2) Any person who is convicted of more than one violation of this section in a single proceeding, with intent to defraud another, and where the violations resulted in a cumulative financial loss exceeding one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

(d) For purposes of prosecution under this section, each act of procurement or of offering a false or forged instrument to be filed, registered, or recorded shall be considered a separately punishable offense.

(e) (1) After a person is convicted of a violation of this section, or a plea is entered whereby a charge alleging a violation of this section is dismissed and waiver is obtained pursuant to People v. Harvey (1979) 25 Cal.3d 754, upon written motion of the prosecuting agency, the court, after a hearing described in subdivision (f), shall issue a written order that the false or forged instrument be adjudged void ab initio if the court determines that an order is appropriate under applicable law. The order shall state whether the instrument is false or forged, or both false and forged, and describe the nature of the falsity or forgery. A copy of the instrument shall be attached to the order at the time it is issued by the court and a certified copy of the order shall be filed, registered, or recorded at the appropriate public office by the prosecuting agency.

(2) (A) If the order pertains to a false or forged instrument that has been recorded with a county recorder, an order made pursuant to this section shall be recorded in the county where the affected real property is located. The order shall also reference the county recorder’s document recording number of any notice of pendency of action recorded pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (f).

(B)  As to any order, notice of pendency of action, or withdrawal of notice of pendency of action recorded pursuant to this section, recording fees shall be waived pursuant to Section 27383 of the Government Code.

(f) A prosecuting agency shall use the following procedures in filing a motion under subdivision (e):

(1) Within 10 calendar days of filing a criminal complaint or indictment alleging a violation of this section, the prosecuting agency shall provide written notice by certified mail to all parties who have an interest in the property affected by the false or forged instrument, or in the instrument itself, including those described in paragraph (5).

(2) (A) Within 10 calendar days of filing a criminal complaint or indictment alleging a violation of this section, the prosecuting agency shall record a notice of pendency of action in the county in which the affected real property is located.

(B) Within 10 calendar days of the case being adjudicated or dismissed without obtaining an order pursuant to subdivision (e), the prosecuting agency shall record a withdrawal of the notice of pendency of action in the county where the affected real property is located.

(3) The written notice and notice of pendency of action described in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall inform the interested parties that a criminal action has commenced that may result in adjudications against the false or forged instrument or the property affected by the false or forged instrument, and shall notify the interested parties of their right to be heard if a motion is brought under subdivision (e) to void the false or forged instrument. The notice shall state the street address, if available, and the legal description of the affected real property.

(4) Failure of the prosecuting agency to provide written notice or record a pendency of action as required under paragraphs (1) and (2) within 10 calendar days shall not prevent the prosecuting agency from later making a motion under subdivision (e), but the court shall take the failure to provide notice or record a pendency of action as required under paragraphs (1) and (2) as reason to provide any interested parties additional time to respond to the motion. Failure of the prosecuting agency to so notify interested parties under this subdivision or record a pendency of action as required under paragraphs (1) and (2) within 10 calendar days shall create a presumption that a finding as described in paragraph (9) is necessary to protect the property rights of the interested party or parties.

(5) If the instrument sought to be declared void involves real property, “interested parties” include, but are not limited to, all parties who have recorded with the county recorder in the county where the affected property is located any of the following: a deed, lien, mortgage, deed of trust, security interest, lease, or other instrument declaring an interest in, or requesting notice relating to, the property affected by the false or forged instrument as of the date of the filing of the criminal complaint or indictment.

(6) Any party not required to be noticed under paragraph (1) or (5) who nonetheless notifies the prosecuting agency in writing of the party’s desire to be notified if a motion is brought under subdivision (e) to void the false or forged instrument shall be treated as an interested party as defined in paragraph (1) or (5).

(7) The court shall set a hearing for the motion brought by the prosecuting agency under subdivision (e) no earlier than 90 calendar days from the date the motion is made. The prosecuting agency shall provide a copy by certified mail of the written motion and a notice of hearing to all interested parties described in paragraphs (1), (5), or (6), and all other persons who obtain an interest in the property prior to recordation of notice of pendency of action no later than 90 days before the hearing date set by the court. The notice shall state the street address, if available, and the legal description of the affected real property.

(8) At a hearing on a motion brought by the prosecuting agency under subdivision (e), the defendant, prosecuting agency, and interested parties described in paragraphs (1), (5), or (6), shall have a right to be heard and present information to the court. No party shall be denied a right to present information due to a lack of notice by the prosecuting agency or failure to contact the prosecuting agency or the court prior to the hearing.

(9) (A) At a hearing on a motion brought by a prosecuting agency under subdivision (e), if the court determines that the interests of justice or the need to protect the property rights of any person or party so requires, including, but not limited to, a finding that the matter may be more appropriately determined in a civil proceeding, the court may decline to make a determination under subdivision (e).

(B) If, prior to the hearing on the motion, any person or party files a quiet title action that seeks a judicial determination of the validity of the same false or forged instrument that is the subject of the motion, or the status of an interested party as a bona fide purchaser of, or bona fide holder of an encumbrance on, the property affected by the false or forged instrument, the court may consider that as an additional but not dispositive factor in making its determination under subdivision (e); provided, however, that a final judgment previously entered in that quiet title action shall be followed to the extent otherwise required by law.

(g) As used in this section, “prosecuting agency” means a city attorney, a district attorney, the Attorney General, or other state or local agency actively prosecuting a case under this section.

(h) An order made pursuant to subdivision (e) shall be considered a judgment, and subject to appeal in accordance with, paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 455, Sec. 1. (AB 1698) Effective January 1, 2015.)

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LAW FIRM PARTICIPATION

When it comes to the actual document recording, you may see the law firm involved in the preparation or handling of the document.  Here are some examples:

As opposed to other law firms who are doing the foreclosing that rely on third-party document mills, title companies and servicer document mills to manufacture standing to keep documents beyond arms-length for the purposes of plausible deniability in the preparation of these suspect documents:

NDEX West LLC is another name for National Default Exchange, which foreclosure mill Barrett Daffin (a North Dallas foreclosure mill with offices on the West Coast) is involved in. At one time, then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris was investigating NDEX West.  It is uncertain whether that investigation has been concluded. NDEX West may or may not even be aware that it was or is currently being investigated (unless someone reads this blog and tells them about it).  I was made aware of the investigation through my corporate attorney, who was contacted by Kamala Harris’s office.

When the law firm participates, one must determine (generally through bona fide discovery … and not just your own personal opinion) whether the law firm actually “supervised” the execution and/or preparation of the document; how much interaction the law firm had with the document’s execution and/or creation; and whether or not the law firm reviewed any alterations to the document (common in third-party document mills), wherein you see a lot of surrogate signing, notary fraud and other suspect issues that have to be vetted, NOT TO MENTION the actual information being false and in violation of statutes like the foregoing California Penal Code and the Florida Criminal Code § 817.535.

It further makes one wonder HOW people can create, execute and cause to be recorded millions of documents (which are separate acts of perjury committed under the statutes) and not get burned by UPL issues because they created documents with the purported effect of representing something of a legal nature in the land records without the review and/or supervision of a licensed attorney.  This is something that the legislatures of all 50 states certainly need to take a closer look at because illicit document manufacturing has not stopped, despite what the servicers say!

Then you’d obviously ask yourself … if Cheryl Samons was allowed to do what she did and her acts constituted suspect felony behavior, why isn’t she in jail too?  Not only did her suspect assignment show up in the Harpster case in Pasco County, Florida, years later one of those same suspect assignments showed up in a Hillsborough County, Florida case! strominger assn_stern

The Strominger case was eventually dismissed.

THE SYSTEM OF THINGS HASN’T BEEN PLAYED OUT YET

In Nevada, two title officers with LPS were taken to task on a 606-count indictment, only to have all of those charges thrown out due to prosecutorial misconduct.

David J.Stern may have been disbarred; however, he still is out of the business with a puttload of money from his ill-gotten gains as the reputed “King of the Foreclosure World”. He had the supervisory capacity to oversee his non-lawyer staff (as mandated by bar rules), yet he apparently chose to ignore them.  If document mills don’t have “supervisory attorneys”, what would the unintended consequences of document manufacturing by companies like Indecomm Global Services, Security Connections and Nationwide Title Clearing be?

The reason Samons and others like her are NOT in jail is because we do not go far enough into “the system of things” to make that happen.  We are simply happy to NOT be foreclosed on and that’s good enough for us right now.   Why spend the extra money?

Maybe at a point in time in the near future … we’ll get there.  But for now, until someone rises to the occasion within a legal proceeding, we’re not there yet.  Keep in mind that it is my suggestion to ALWAYS depose a notary first and make sure to have a copy of the office floor plan.  Most of the leasing agents have access to them, as required under a lease, to illustrate “finish out” details.

Below is an example of one signing room floor plan (allegedly MERS’s address in Ocala, Florida, which really belonged to EDS):

The foregoing illustration was actually used in the promotion of the agent, who referred to this location as ideal for a “document manufacturing plant”.  Where in the hell did he get that idea from?   I generally look at these floor plans to determine the location of where the notaries are located, versus the persons executing the documents.  One of Bank of America’s so-called “employees” chose to admit in an interview that none of his signatures were ever witnessed by notaries when he worked in that document manufacturing plant for over three years.  His documents were collected from him and taken to the notary section to be acknowledged, which contradicts what the notarial execution language says, “under Penalty of Perjury under the laws of the State of California.”   Am I making sense here?  I recently received a copy of an assignment of mortgage signed by this admitted robosiger/contract worker for Bank of America, which goes to show you that the “damage” created by the recording of these documents (to that property’s chain of title, etc.) is on-going, despite what the banks and their servicers may think.

CIVIL CONSPIRACY IN RELATION TO DOCUMENT MANUFACTURING

How many robosigners and notaries does it take to form a civil conspiracy?   One of each.   If a law firm was giving any “direction” or “supervision” to the matter of executing and recording these documents, don’t you think they’ve become part of that “conspiracy”?   We’ll leave that question for a solid answer when someone manages to get proper discovery in a future case.  If you manage this, please let me know!  We’d all like to know.

In most U.S. states, civil conspiracy is not actionable in of itself (as a cause of action); however, according to existing case law, civil conspiracy can be used to prove the intent in an underlying tort (misrepresentation).  This is where we get back into document content and not whether someone had permission from MERS.  In my book, a corporate resolution that the Grantor cannot or refuses to prove had teeth in it (which MERS constantly refuses to prove) in order for someone to sign on its behalf poses an interesting challenge.  Does MERS actually become part of the civil conspiracy because of some alleged authority granted by it?  MERS can’t stay hidden in the woodwork forever.  At some point, the courts (I predict) will determine some sort of liability connected with a criminal proceeding.

Again, the system of things has to come full circle for this to occur.

 

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WHEN THE NOT-SO-OBVIOUS BECOMES OBVIOUS …

(OP-ED) — The author of this post is not an attorney.  I hate having to put disclaimers on here, but some people can’t separate common sense from what might be termed “legal advice”; thus, given the behavior of  “the system of things” to always backfire at some point in time, caveats are always necessary in any walk of life.

Happy New Year!

Being as it’s 2019 still doesn’t change the fact that on many an occasion, mortgage loan servicers are the parties actually conducting the foreclosures both judicial and non-judicial settings.  We’re seeing an uptick in the number of cases where assignments of mortgage or deed of trust show the “assignee” as the benefactor of the mortgage loan (ONLY) which is when the conveniently-manufactured “excuse” for paperwork is discovered in the land records around the time of the foreclosure action.  This does not excuse the fact that you have no contract with the servicer, but the lender does … maybe.  Some sort of authority has to represent what the servicer can do and cannot do; however … no one bothers to check limited powers of attorney to see if such authority was ever granted.  Are we by-passing that evaluation all because of desperation, which causes us to overlook detail?

The Not-So-Obvious … 

Roughly about a year ago, a sailboat waterfront property in Punta Gorda, Florida was sold at auction.  The winning bidder paid the fees and went to closing, only to find out Select Portfolio Servicing, LP, the mortgage loan servicer behind the auction, wasn’t the proper party to be selling the foreclosed home.  The deal fell through.  Who discovered it?   The title company that was trying to close the deal!

The Obvious …

It looked like all the paperwork was there, except when it wasn’t.  And look who discovered it … the title company.  They weren’t going to insure the home because the seller didn’t have the authority to sell it, nor did the seller (SPS) have an interest in it.  How can a party with no interest in foreclosed property sell it?   Which brings me to another point.  Since this foreclosure auction was in Florida, which is a judicial state … in order to get to the point where it went to auction, a final judgment of foreclosure had to be obtained from the circuit court, which it was. This means that someone had to lie to the judge to get the final judgment in the first place!  Did the attorney(s) who made the misrepresentations in court, both in the pleadings and in oral arguments, get sanctioned or punished?  Hell, no!  Why?  Because the Borrowers (who were from Michigan; Florida has a lot of “snowbirds” that own property there that don’t bother to check condition of title when they purchase Florida property) didn’t bring it up … and …

The Not-So-Obvious …

Because Florida judges only care about the bonuses they get from the State Legislature for kicking people to the curb any way they can!  Generally, that’s done through some overlooked procedural process … or in cases where the Borrowers show up in court, the judge then ambushes the Borrowers (and their attorneys) by asking, “When’s the last time you made a mortgage payment?”  or in the alternative … “Are you in default?”  (as if you know the legal meaning of default).  You blindly answer because of intimidation.

The Obvious …

Instead of objecting to the judge’s question by fundamentally answering that the servicer may have been making the payments for you all along, there is no firm proof of when the last payment was made on the account; and there’s no real proof that anyone is in default, except maybe the servicer, for failing to make the payments as part of their contractual obligation to the lender.  No one ever goes there, especially when there’s a REMIC trust involved.  What the judge is doing is trying to justify the foreclosure by side-stepping your due process rights to discovery.  When you let him/her do that, they get a bonus … AND … you get kicked to the curb!

The Not-So-Obvious … 

The banks already know and assume, because it’s a numbers game, that homeowners don’t have the money to fight and that 95% of them will run if given the opportunity, instead of fighting for what’s theirs.  The banks may be aware that the servicer is the real party retaining the foreclosing attorney or law firm, but they simply look at the complaint caption and take what’s written in the pleadings as the gospel truth, when it is far from it.  This is why it’s disadvantageous to live in a deed of trust (non-judicial) state than in a judicial (mortgage) state, where you get your day in court … because all foreclosures are deemed to be legal until otherwise challenged.

The obvious … 

If and when you find yourself with more month at the end of the money and the mortgage payment is going to be late or short in dollar amount, it is certain your account will be red-flagged after the 10th of the following month when the mortgage payment isn’t received.  As per the patterns discovered in the OSCEOLA COUNTY FORENSIC EXAMINATION, it is also highly likely that the mortgage loan servicer will direct its employees to manufacture a phony assignment, using MERS to cover up the chain of title, to convey your property (along with the note, which MERS cannot do since it admittedly doesn’t have an interest in the note) into a REMIC trust.  This will happen within the 90-day period of you not making timely mortgage payments.  This is all done because the servicer wants your home because it’s going to get reimbursed for all of those payments (principal and interest) it made for you!

The Not-So-Obvious … 

What the servicer doesn’t tell you is that when it starts sending you loan modification paperwork, the foreclosure paperwork shuffle affecting your home is already in progress.  It is at this point in time that borrowers are distracted by distress and frustration, all by design planning on the part of the servicer.  This is why there are so many complaints against mortgage loan servicers these days.

The Obvious … 

You have a limited amount of time to prepare … either to run or to fight the good fight.  Your research should include talking to at least two different foreclosure defense attorneys.  Within 90 days to six months, you can expect to get a notice that the proceedings just got traction and are moving forward.  I can guarantee you 100% that if you do nothing, you lose your home.

The Not-So-Obvious … 

Mortgage loan servicers really hate discovery.  They have limited information in the Borrowers’ Collateral Loan Files.  Most Borrowers take the path of least resistance, which is what the servicers are counting on, and send them a Qualified Written Request under RESPA § 6, expecting to get a document dump of everything in their file, which is NOT what the servicer wants to see or hear.  Borrowers seem to forget that a QWR is not real discovery.  Servicers side-step all sorts of issues in answering QWR’s outside of a court case.

The Obvious … 

The chain of title has evidence which you can readily obtain in certified form, especially the assignments!  The devil is in the details and that is exactly where you’ll find your false and misrepresentative statements!   The Borrower should seek out counsel that is versed in discovery in order to craft questions and statements that are likely to have to set the stage for a Motion to Compel to get the servicer to answer them.  No discovery = No truth!

And the truth shall set you free!

 

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HAWAII SUPREMES TELL U.S. SUPREMES TO PISS OFF … AND OTHER STUFF!

(BREAKING NEWS — OP-ED) — The author of this post does not posit legal advice here.  It’s is food for thought for your own educational value! 

Honolulu … Gary Victor Dubin has done it again!   This time, it’s a rehash of the Reyes-Toledo case “perfected”!

Bank of America, NA v Reyes-Toledo et al, Hi Sup Ct No SCWC-15-0000005 (Oct 9, 2018)

I know it’s a week old case, but it’s worth the commentary because of something the Hawaii Supreme Court basically told the U.S. Supreme Court (who basically came up with their own “plausibility” pleadings scenario when they ruled in Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal.  It basically gave attorneys that represent the banks the opportunity to get 12(b)(6) dismissals of foreclosure cases simply by removing them to federal court and citing the two foregoing cases, which basically … in layman’s terms … requires a pleading to contain facts that are totally “fact”, enough to substantially prove their case.  That also meant (in Hawaii) that their “Notice” pleadings weren’t sufficient.  In the foregoing ruling, the Hawaii Supremes said otherwise!   That is significant for homeowners living in Aloha because the judicial foreclosures commenced there (because Hawaii is a mortgage state) get to review cases that have minimal allegations instead of having to write a non-fictional “book” every time an attorney had to answer or file a complaint to shut down the other side’s foreclosure attack.

In the foregoing instance, the Hawaii Supremes told the Hawaii Appellate Court and the Circuit Court, “You BOTH got it wrong!”

First, understand that the entire merger scenario presented by Bank of America, N.A. is false.  It did NOT happen that way.  Every time Countrywide Home Loans is mentioned (in any form), Bank of America conveniently neglected to mention Red Oak Capital or any other entity involved in the actual acquisition of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.  That in of itself is false and misrepresentative and Bank of America had to have relied on an Assignment of Mortgage that was “manufactured” to create standing in order to bring its claim in the first place!  Therefore, B of A’s attorneys should be brought up on charges to the Hawaii Bar and either get heavily sanctioned for wasting the Court’s time or face disbarment for committing repeated ethical violations!  Yes, Hawaii does have “Misconduct” as a section in its Rules of Professional Conduct that mirror the ABA’s own set of rules.

Page 3 of this 44-page Ruling clearly cites how the Appellate Court applied the “plausibility” standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court, when in fact, Hawaii has its own set of pleading standards!  Page 4 at Paragraph 2 REJECTS the plausibility standard.  If this doesn’t send a clear message to all of the Circuit Court justices in Hawaii, nothing will.  In fact, this Ruling should be shoved up every one of their asses until they “get it”!  Otherwise, the system of things could see to it that each county in the State of Hawaii “pays dearly” out of its own coffers and each circuit judge is removed from the bench.  This is why we have Appellate Courts (because Circuit Judges do not always, in fact almost always, DON’T DO THE RIGHT THING!) and in this case, the Appellates applied the wrong standard as well.

As to where MERS is concerned … I don’t believe that any Court in the land has been tasked with having MERS and its representatives answer to HOW an agency relationship was established and HOW MERS had any right to transfer a mortgage loan, given the fact that on its own website (owned now by ICE), MERS declares that it has no interest in loans and doesn’t take any monthly payments.  Only one judge in Florida (that I am aware of) did the RIGHT THING in knocking out a servicer’s phony document from the land records because MERS never gave any rights to HSBC Bank USA N.A.!  How then can MERS transfer interests it doesn’t have?  It’s the phony document scam again.  It always has been.  And the banks’ attorneys keep relying on these phony documents to foreclose and no one does the right thing to expose the document for what it is and hold the attorneys liable.

You see, great discovery is like an enema.  It’s supposed to help flush out the shit!   Can I be any more succinct than that?

The problem is, MERS hardly answers any of the discovery propounded against it.  And now that MERS is owned lock, stock and server by the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, how much of a conflict of interest is there in our court systems now?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?  MERS and its counsel seemingly don’t believe they have to answer any of the discovery served upon it.  If it does, it’s with an objection.  Homeowners would rather waste thousands of dollars plying discovery on MERS rather than go after the notary and the executor(s) of the phony document that contains the false representations the bank’s attorneys keep relying on!   It’s no wonder they’re losing!  Sadly, in one particular case I’m personally aware of, an attorney was paid $6,000 (by his client) to take the depositions of a notary and a robosigner that clearly lied on the assignment … and he took the money and spent it and did nothing.  In fact, the attorney didn’t even plead the phony document was phony!  When you have homeowner’s attorneys that can’t or won’t do their jobs properly, you wonder how homeowners are getting wins at all!

Such was the case in Alabama.  The attached case made its way to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jackson v Bank of America NA, 11th App Cir No 16-16685 (Aug 3, 2018)

Needless to say, the attorney for the homeowners in this case is in real trouble!  To my personal knowledge, this is not the first case he’s had that has been mishandled or improperly filed.  (Let’s see what the 11th Circuit does!)

The foregoing represents a sheer waste of homeowner money and resources.  The foregoing represents a delay game gone wrong.  The foregoing represents clear attorney misconduct.  The foregoing represents an opportunity for a federal appellate court to really mete out a severe punishment hefty enough to put the attorney out of business for good without even having to bring him on on State Bar ethical violations!

The irony of the fact that both cases involve Bank of America NA … and they ended up with different results.

The system of things worked superbly in one instance … and clearly failed in the other.  Ah, the “learning curve” we all must face.  At least the Hawaii Supreme Court appears to have its stuff straight!

For those dealing in Bank of America merger issues, it’s all going to be about the assignments and all of the false and misleading statements contained within them!  Chase isn’t much better with its self-dealing assignments.  Sadly, title companies and the U.S. government are all “in bed” with them.  This is what happens when we move away from the truth and the liars are allowed to get away with it.  They get arrogant and believe they can keep doing the same thing over and over again.

History Repeats Itself … get ready for another round of subprime mortgage lending … a New York attorney just sent me the linked article.  Read it and weep.

SUBPRIME MORTGAGE LOANS BACK ON MARKET … 

Listen to Dave Krieger on City Spotlight – Special Edition on WKDW-FM, 97.5 FM, every Friday night at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.  This week, Dave will be discussing the attached article with co-host, R. J. Malloy (retired attorney and former Clerk to a U.S. District Court judge), along with Jacob Gil regarding Florida’s Amendment 2 campaign.  If attorneys and judges are listening to Dave’s show, you should too!  In fact, over 7,000 listeners dial us up every week on kdwradio.com from all over the globe!  Knowledge is power!

 

 

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GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST – PART 9

(OP-ED, first posted: September 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.  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.

As we near the close of this 10-part segment, I posit that this may not be the climactic end you were hoping for.

Creating a big, bad ass paper trail to be used to trigger those “safeguards” in “the system of things” takes time, time that a lot of litigants don’t have because they didn’t make the time.  Maybe they weren’t afforded the time … the time to learn about how “the system of things” works.   While I’ve always maintained that the Internet can be a dangerous place to search for clues or resolve to anything, the “safeguards” that make up “the system of things” have been maintained within the “status quo” for quite some time (decades).  You’ve probably heard that old saying, “Well, it’s the best system we’ve got!”   Why change it?   Maybe, because it’s NOT the best system at present.  In fact, the way that “the system of things” has been abused, perhaps we need to re-examine HOW “the system of things” is supposed to work and give the balance of what’s wrong with “the system” itself an enema.  In order to do that, we have to wake “the system” up … and you cannot do that in federal court … yet.

WAKING UP THE BEAST!

There are roughly 3,041 counties, boroughs, townships, etc. that now exist in America.  Most if not all of them are incorporated.  Most if not all of them are self-insured to a degree.  Most of them carry liability insurance for certain aspects of their “day to day affairs” in the management of county government.  The cities within the counties also have certain types of insurance that is supposed to safeguard the body politic from harm, in case a city (or county) employee injures someone while acting within the course and scope of their employment.   This is an important set of terms to remember: “the course and scope”.  Judges are also paid by the county in virtually every situation, to sit on the bench and administer the “day to day affairs” brought before them during the course and scope of their employment.

Waking “the system of things” up (and in your favor) would seemingly involve …

(1) identifying the statutory problem you (as a property owner) are faced with … which is legislation that was passed that allows every property owner to challenge the legitimacy of documents in the public record as being suspect;

(2) bringing forward a claim against the perpetrators who created-manufactured-executed the document in question … generally involving declaratory relief, which opens up the needed discovery to expose the liability;

(3) bringing forward an expert witness affidavit and testimony to support your claim … this is best done by an attorney who has figured out HOW “the system of things” is supposed to work and can help to build your big, bad ass paper trail;

(4) taking the entire “bad ass paper trail” in documented form to several different “layers” within the county government and within the private sector (insurance and bonding).  We see four (4) copies of this paper trail as a necessity!

Once class action lawyers figure out what we’re trying to accomplish here, they are probably going to get busier (in the future), once it becomes firmly fixed in their minds HOW TO raid a county treasury because of some judge’s screw-up in allowing felony behavior to spew forth from his courtroom.   It’s just like having a bailiff purposefully hover over you while you’re trying to speak to the judge.  It’s intimidating.  As long as the judge knows he can play God for 5 minutes and get away with it (because you’re broke, desperate and don’t know anything), you’ll continue to have a bad feeling about today’s justice system, especially foreclosure courts (whether you’re in a judicial or non-judicial state, it doesn’t matter).

THE BIG, BAD ASS PAPER TRAIL

For those of you who are still having trouble fathoming the substance of the “big, bad ass paper trail” … I shall endeavor to spell it out for you:

(1) The complete trial transcript (if you’re in a judicial state) of the foreclosure case, including all exhibits (or in a non-judicial state, by your own litigation filing and said responses from “the other side”);

(2) The complete oral transcript of every hearing involving your case, conducted by said tribunal, certified by your own court reporter;

(3) The complete certified set of all oral transcripts taken at every deposition of every party summoned to testify that was involved in the creation-manufacture-execution and recording of the suspect document;

(4) The complete set of every document in your chain of title to your property, from the Warranty Deed (i.e., see also Grant Deed, Special Warranty Deed, Quit Claim Deed, Statutory Warranty Deed, etc.); and

(5) A certified, original copy of all documentation and four (4) copies of same (for distribution within the “layers” of “the system of things”) to present to authoritative committees (the judicial review panel and the state bar’s disciplinary panel) and the insurers (E & O and bonds).

Copy #1: The Judicial Review Panel (against the judge, along with a judicial misconduct complaint);

Copy #2: The State Bar Disciplinary Committee (against the lawyer for the bank who came into court and misrepresented the truth about the documents he/she relied on);

Copy #3: The E & O carrier for the law firm and their attorneys (including the attorney being accused of felony behavior in your case); and

Copy #4: The County’s Risk Manager, in an attempt to obtain bonding information on the judge (to attack the bond, have the matter investigated by the insurance company and seek to file a claim against the bond and have it pay out and/or have it revoked; thus, unseating the judge from the bench).

You may wish to have a separate fifth (5th) copy available in case the county wants to keep its copy and not forward it to the judge’s bonding carrier.

The whole stack of stuff should be somewhere between 4″ and 6″ thick!

What I have just described to you are the “safeguards” (the preliminary ones) that are supposed to be in place to attack the lower echelons of “the system of things”.  The upper echelons (the federal system) are used to plunder the county treasury if the Risk Manager, the County Commission and the perpetrators themselves refuse to “do the right thing” (and/or settle).  You DO NOT do this on your own dammit!  You have no mandate to report wrongdoing to the bar or the judicial review panel … ONLY ATTORNEYS AND JUDGES DO!   So stop with the pro se, pro per, sui juris Patriot crap and start thinking “system” … as it is and has it has been set up to function.  Stop trying to cram your giant square peg into the small, round hole (that is “the system of things”)!  If you ignore this, you do so at your own peril.  You risk creating bad case law for everyone else by not knowing what you’re doing and you also risk potential, physical harm to you and your family (remember Ruby Ridge … I was going to post Vicky Weaver’s autopsy photos but my “legal voice of reason” talked me out of it).  I cannot begin to emphasize how serious this shit is once you’ve awakened “the beast” (in other words, you’d best have legal help … and not a Patriot, non-lawyer either).

The original, certified copy remains with you for the potential follow-through with the State Tort Claims Act suit, if one is necessary, against the county or city in question, which would force “the system of things” to either litigate the matter or settle with you.

You are NOT prosecuting a criminal action here.  This is a civil matter involving statutory and ethical violations!

THE NON-JUDICIAL SETTING

I haven’t spoken much about non-judicial issues here because it is incumbent upon the homeowner to do one of two things: (1) pack up and move; or (2) file a lawsuit to stop the foreclosure and fight.   If you look at your chain of title and you see a chain of assignments … ALL of them come into play here.  If one of those assignments can be proven to be false and misrepresentative (it’s likely almost all of them are or will be), then you can rattle the other side’s cage and topple the entire chain of assignments like dominoes.  Proving fraud on the court cannot come out of your own mouth however.  That determination comes out of the mouth of the judge, who does “the right thing”!   “The system of things” does not offer YOU that opportunity.  You have to put together a civil action (preferably based on declaratory relief and negligence), coupled with proving a civil conspiracy (NOT RICO!), which is easier to prove because the burden of proof is lower.

If you are frustrated because you are currently losing, it’s because you’re not paying attention to “the system of things”.   You are acting out of desperation and not using the common sense and wisdom God gave you.

This is why we wrote the 40-page booklet explaining it:

I do not hand this work out likely, for what’s in this book is that “baby with a stick of dynamite with a short fuse” … and you are NOT going to abuse “the system of things” out of sheer desperation.  We are not going to allow that to happen.  There is a right way and a wrong way to approach how the scenario plays out.  We have to create the big, bad ass paper trail, starting with your chain of title.  Every chain of title tells a story.  What does yours say?   BTW, leave the word “fraud” out of your vocabulary here.  The new words to affix in your brain are:  “statutory violations”, “ethical violations”, “false and misrepresentative”, “negligent misrepresentation”, “negligence”, “misrepresentation” and “felony behavior”.   Why?  Because the insurance companies clearly understand what these terms are and are NOT likely to pay out claims based on these terms!  THAT can work to your advantage and to the other side’s disadvantage!

If the judge does the right thing (like the cases noted in Part 7 of this series of posts), and you get your evidentiary hearing, you may find yourself either settling out of court or in the alternative, awarded hefty damages by a jury or sanctions by a judge (like your home).   One thing is for certain, every insurance company in your state is going to know what’s going on … as you cannot allow the law firm you would be pursuing or its attorneys an opportunity to become “re-insured” through another carrier due to their propensity to commit the same torts and felony behavior.  If you’re going to do a takedown … well … it’s like that old saying, “If you’re going to shoot the King, you’d better make sure you kill him!”   That means, whatever judge allows the felony behavior to continue in his court … and/or … the ethical violations … without doing due diligence to “peel away the onion” and expose bank illegality for what it is … will expose the county (as well as the judge) to a very long-winded, unpleasant experience in U.S. District Court … and you better make sure that judge never returns to the bench (otherwise, you face possible retribution)!

ALL THE WHILE MAINTAINING CIVILITY

And remember, we’re being “civil” here.  This is not politically motivated speech, like “push back”, a statement used some time ago by a congresswoman who doesn’t even live in her own district which has polarized America.  This same congresswoman even said, “if you shoot me, you better shoot straight”.  What kind of B.S. is that?  I’m sure Steve Scalise didn’t find that at all funny.   But then again, this is America, where BOTH parties have contributed to the mess we’re all in. BOTH parties voted “the system of things” into being.

Don’t think that barricading yourself in your house is going to make a statement either.  Remember what happened to Martin Wirth?   We don’t want to see you end up like that.  Or Vicky Weaver.  Or David Koresh.  These people were stubborn and all became victims of their own ignorance and political beliefs.  This is what “the system of things” is geared towards.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely … and if you’re going to lock horns with the beast, you’d better make sure you’re within striking distance of its underbelly; otherwise, all of this is for naught.

THE STATE TORT CLAIMS ACTION = SHTF

The “other side” knew that at some point I’d be getting to this part.

Remember that suit the two Oregon lawyers filed against their own state bar?   It was filed in U. S. District Court, right?

Why is that so?  Because the attorneys were quoting federal statutes, which put it firmly within the jurisdiction of the federal court!

You can’t expect the “county” or “state” itself to allow you to sue it, do you?

Major obstacles, if not a total cover-up.   Major threats will probably be bandied about.

Late night phone calls.  Silence, followed by breathing and maybe, if you’re lucky, a whispered,  “I know where you live.”

Stalking by suspicious vehicles either outside your home or at places you frequent.

Tapping your phones without a warrant.

Breaking into your home and putting keystroke technology into your computers to read your emails.

Bugging your home or office.

Bribing federal court clerks to hide your paperwork so it’s not timely filed and thus gets excluded.

Texting death threats to your cell phone (showing pictures of your kids playing in the front yard).

Changing the locks on your doors when the foreclosure sale hasn’t even happened.

Cleaning out the contents of your home before the foreclosure sale has even occurred.

Real estate brokers showing up to your home wanting to know when you’re going to move out.

Your family pets disappear.

Oh, you think I’m joking?

Every one of the things I just described above has happened to homeowners in the course of the last twenty (20) years, since securitization and bad banking behavior started running rampant across America.  We’re talking billions of dollars of insurance payouts here and the banks and their henchmen (their servicers) are going to ratchet up their illicit behaviors.  You will have to be strong when it comes to this point in “the system of things”, because this is no longer a “game of thrones”, to see who will be King.  This is a matter of survival for those who are able to procure the most evidence in the shortest amount of time, because the other side is going to have fair warning and is going to have ample time to either come to the table or retaliate.

You cannot file one of these actions unless you give the county (the political subdivision) fair warning.

THIS is what risk managers are for.   If the county is too small, then the County Executive gets the warning.  They have to be warned to be given time to settle.

That is a statutory requirement in most states.  Sorry … you don’t get to ambush the county with a lawsuit in federal court without trying to negotiate settlement first.

Yes, it’s administrative bullshit.  But it’s “the system of things”, right?

Most counties have general liability insurance and vehicle insurance to cover the expected … a slip and fall on an icy courthouse step … a collision with a county vehicle driven by a county employee performing his lawful duties … yet no one expected “the system of things” to “right itself” on the backs of phony documents, did they?

There comes a breaking point, when someone has to “cry Uncle”!   … and this is that breaking point.  There has to be a way to deal with phony assignments.  The system of things has had that in place all along.  We just didn’t realize it … and what it was going to take to make it work the way it’s supposed to.

There’s more to the story in the final segment (Part 10) of these posts, so stay tuned!

 

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GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST – PART 6

(OP-ED, first posted: September 11, 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.  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.

In my last episode (Part 5) of this series of posts, I talked about risk aversion and the creation of a paper trail.  In this episode, I cover the “why” this becomes necessary.

DOCUMENTATION IN SUPPORT OF A CLAIM

The very first thing I look at (as a title consultant) is the chain of title, especially the warranty or grant deed (proof of ownership), the mortgage (or deed of trust) and any subsequent assignments coming against the chain of title.  All of these documents (in certified form) become the initial evidence in support of any claim I may have against a law firm, a judge or any other party that put that false and misrepresentative information into the public record and then relied on it to steal my property.  After all, in judicial states, where I see most of the atrocities committed, the foreclosure mill attorneys are the ones attaching these documents in their pleadings, as exhibits, or in the alternative, making reference to said exhibits, to be used as evidence to support their complaints to justify the foreclosure.

The pleadings themselves (in original or amended form) also become part of the evidence package in support of my claim, because they contain the language that relies on the false and misrepresentative statements where an assignment was posited or referenced therein as evidence in support of their claim.  This package should include every single document placed within the court docket, including the index sheet … certified copies (and 1 plain copy for review). 

You’re probably asking yourself where the promissory note comes into play here, because judicial states mandate you have to have the original note in order to foreclose. In non-judicial states, possession of the note is not required to foreclose; thus, all foreclosures are assumed to be legal unless otherwise challenged.  This means that if you’re in one of the non-judicial states, you have to institute suit based on the chain of title you have, in order to start the paper trail.  Thus, non-judicial state property owners are at a distinct disadvantage because they must spend the money filing a lawsuit to stop the foreclosure and obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) and they are limited at best as to what is provable and what isn’t because the other side has not responded to the suit.  You can’t make boisterous claims either, as you will be denied the TRO and that is what you’re seeking to shut down the foreclosure sale.   You see, until the other side responds, they’ve created no paper trail you can assert contains false and misrepresentative statements, which is why I like using a C & E (an acronym for Cancellation & Expungement Complaint) “right out of the gate” if I realize I might not be able to make my mortgage loan payments any more.  Waiting until the 11th hour to file one of these Complaints (in of itself) has been definitely proven to be a waste of time and financial resources.  Filing a wrongful foreclosure action (before the fact) is also a waste of time and financial resources because the foreclosure has not occurred yet (and this is supported by case law).  I mention all of this because your research becomes fundamental as part of creating the paper trail.

Any oral statements made in court have to be supported by some sort of record.  This is why we have court reporters.  Most pro se litigants and uneducated homeowners conveniently forget to retain a court reporter to document everything said in open court to their disadvantage. This means that with no court record, there’s nothing to take up on appeal or challenge because you’ve “stiffed” yourself out of a paper trail.  Besides, having a court reporter has been shown to keep the judge honest.  Don’t think that just because the county can afford to have its own court reporter there means you can simply rely on getting a copy of the transcript from the county’s court reporter.  They are backlogged with work and will take their time getting anything to you, at a time when having a transcript of the proceedings might be timely necessary.  This always works to the homeowner’s disadvantage.  That is deliberate!  Why?  Because the county is using its own court reporter to “cover its own ass” and you can bet stuff will be left out of the record.  Then it’s your word against the county’s.  So, tis better to get your own court reporter!  You need to create your own “timely paper trail” for future use and reference.  This is not a traffic ticket we’re talking about here!

Discovery is vital whether or not you are doing a C & E (which allows you to do discovery of the party executing the assignment and the notary who acknowledged the assignment) or a full-blown complaint to stop the foreclosure.  Discovery responses becomes part of your evidence package … and the “paper trail”!  If you don’t propound discovery on the other side or at least the relevant parties (the ones who created the assignment), you’re on a sinking ship.  All of the discovery (and the responses you get) become part of the paper trail.

Depositions are a must!  These are taken using a court reporter who writes down every single word that is spoken and many of them use video cameras (which is allowed) to take taped statements, which is even more intimidating.  I find that going after the creator of the document, the executor of the document and the notary who acknowledged the document are vital to creating a proper paper trail (not so much the creator of the document, unless you’re trying to solidify that the law firm or servicer was involved in a civil conspiracy with the agents who executed the assignment).  You’re only talking a minimum of TWO DEPOSITIONS here … the executor of the assignment and the notary who acknowledged it.  What authority did they have to execute the document?  Where is the notary’s bond?  Is there even a bond?  Can we attack the notary’s commission even though there is no bonding requirement?  YOU BET!  Attacking a notary’s bond (if there is one to go after) can be a source of cash flow to support your court fight. You can bet the other side will object to everything you ask for because they don’t want anything said on the record that can be used against them in court.

In all matters related to your case, PHONE CALLS DO NOT WORK!  You cannot take phone calls into court!  DO NOT CALL THE NOTARY!  Do not contact the notary by mail!  If you’re sending them a subpoena to appear at a deposition … their deposition … you do it through a process server … which is also a legitimate part of your paper trail!   I have people who have contacted me who do exactly what I just suggested NOT TO DO.  They scare the notary into hiding.  When it does come time to serve them with a subpoena, they can’t be found.  Duh!  And these people actually think they’re doing the right thing?  Seriously?  What part of desperation is incorporated into stupidity?  This is where you have to put your emotions aside and start thinking “common sense”.

THE EXPERT WITNESS AFFIDAVIT AND LIVE COURT TESTIMONY

I’m talking “expert witness attorney” here, not your average forensic loan or securitization auditor (who thinks they’re an expert witness).  Why an attorney for an expert witness?  Allow me to re-arrange your brain’s priorities through the following three reasons:

REASON #1: Litigation Consultant … your expert witness attorney can also serve as a litigation consultant to help you frame some damning discovery centered around statutory violations!  This is important because using the stuff I mentioned previously in The Quiet Title War Manual has nothing to do whether or not you can challenge assignments because you’re not a third-party beneficiary.  That is a bullshit banking argument that has nothing to do with the statute in question!  The statutes speak directly to the recording of documents known to contain false and misrepresentative information!  Separate the two distinctions in your mind because the borrower’s name is in the assignment; the borrower is a party to securitization (if that’s an issue) and because the document involves misrepresentations that may include “MERS” (in whatever form), which claim that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. had something to do with negotiating the instrument (the note), which runs contrary to what’s in the assignment, generally.

REASON #2: Personal Knowledge of the Facts … this happens when the expert witness attorney reviews all of your documents.  He can testify as to their factual basis AND render a legal opinion … BOTH under oath and under penalty of perjury as a lawyer!  This is way different than having a so-called “expert” that’s NOT an attorney testify as to anything factual … they can’t give legal opinions; otherwise, in doing so, their testimony could be impeached or effectively diluted under cross examination. Not only that … because the attorney who serves as your expert witness is sitting in the court (prior to giving his testimony), he actually gleans personal knowledge listening to the other side’s attorney further the false and misrepresentative information to the court … for which the damage is immediate (see In re Wilson, U.S. Bkpt Ct E.D. La No 07-11862, Memorandum of Law in Support of the United States Trustee’s Motion for Sanctions against Lender Processing Services, Inc. and the Boles Law Firm), which says:

“Untruthful statements made in bankruptcy proceedings undermine the integrity of the bankruptcy process. The bankruptcy system relies on the candor and accuracy of information presented by all parties, creditors and debtors alike. To ensure candor before this Court and to protect the integrity of the bankruptcy system, this Court should impose on Fidelity and Boles monetary sanctions and other non-monetary relief as this Court deems appropriate pursuant to its inherent authority to sanction abusive litigants coming before the Court, and pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 105(a).”  And from the following footnote, No. 16):

“Rule 9011 provides a 20 day “safe harbor” in which a party may withdraw the challenged written representations, unless they are contained in the bankruptcy petition. If the challenged paper is withdrawn, it would not be considered by the court in its decision making process. However, there can be no safe harbor for untruthful statements made in open court, because the harm that results is likely to be immediate.”

(I just told you the Expert Witness Attorney would be there to hear all of the “immediate” misrepresentations.)  This is an actual case where Wells Fargo Bank got hit with a $1.3-million sanction!

This is an attorney, namely, the Bankruptcy Trustee, reporting misconduct! He is telling the other side (through his memorandum, they’ve been given fair warning to recant what they’ve placed into the court record).   If you didn’t catch that so far … let me make sure to clarify this in the following “reason”:

REASON #3: Rule 8.3 – Reporting Professional Misconduct … this is a mandated state bar rule (how many foreclosure defense attorneys actually follow it?)

(a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.

(b) A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge’s fitness for office shall inform the appropriate authority.

The foregoing mandates (which is what “shall” means, not “may”) are put there to hold attorneys accountable to report misconduct. What forensic loan auditor or securitization auditor is mandated by the Bar’s own rules to to this?  Come on, think?  Where’s the mandate?

(long pause, heavy sigh)  Come up with one yet? Didn’t think so.

This means that when the expert witness comes into personal knowledge of the facts that the other side’s lawyer has committed felony perjury by making false and misrepresentative statements in open court, he has a mandated duty (for which the State Bar must listen) to report the other lawyer’s misconduct!

This also means that if the judge hearing your case doesn’t give a shit and let’s this scumbag attorney for the bank say whatever he wants and get away with it and hands your property over to the bank AFTER your expert witness attorney advises (through a legal opinion) that the other side’s lawyer, in both pleadings and exhibits and oral statements made, has committed misconduct, not only is the judge exposed and now at risk, but the county he is employed by may also be “on the hook”.

At least bankruptcy judges have the decency to “do the right thing”.  I recently noted the results of the Sundquist ruling in California.  Sundquist-Memo-Opinion

A lot of this depends on how “stacked” your paper trail is and what evidence of misconduct you were able to actually PROVE (not just assert).

EXPOSED RISK FACTORS 

BTW, for those of you “Patriots” out there … a majority of the judges’ oaths of office I’ve seen were actually recorded in the public record in the county they serve in!  This is important to recognize the WHY you’d want a certified copy of their oath of office.   THE PAPER TRAIL!   It’s proof he/she (as a judge) is serving IN THAT COUNTY!

Most counties are self-insured.  The county has either a County Executive or Risk Manager who handles their claims because of something an employee did wrong.  Who would think to tag a judge?   After all, aren’t the judges bonded?   What happens if the bond is attacked, challenged and successfully revoked?   The judge can’t sit on the bench, right?  He will probably be placed on administrative leave while the county investigates what happened.  But that’s not all the county has to worry about.

As a result of the trial or hearing (whether it be evidentiary or just one of those 5-minute “rocket docket” style pieces of crap), there are two other complaints that must be reported … a complaint on the lawyer to the State Bar that can discipline him … and a complaint on the judge to the appropriate judicial authority.  More paper trail to show the County … to give them fair warning that they need to step up or face the consequences!

ALL OF THIS HAS TO BE DONE BY THE EXPERT WITNESS ATTORNEY … WHO IS MANDATED TO “PULL THE TRIGGER”!   PRO SE LITIGANTS (who think they know more than the expert witness attorney) WILL ONLY F**K THIS UP IF THEY TRY TO DO IT THEMSELVES (calling into the county or the bar or the judicial review board and whining about their silly little issues, or filing crap judicial misconduct complaints, which is how the major insurance players in this game will view their cheap efforts to avoid having to pay for an expert witness attorney).  I put this part in the back end of this post as a caveat, because it’s the expert witness attorney who has the “big stick of dynamite with the short fuse” … NOT YOU! 

It gets better … stay tuned for another round of insight into the insurance game in the next segment! The title companies are also in this up to their ears (among other places)!

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