Tag Archives: assignment

DEFEATING DIVERSITY IN FORECLOSURE ACTIONS

(BREAKING NEWS — OP-ED) — The author of this post is the author of Clouded Titles, The Quiet Title War Manual, The C & E on Steroids!, The FDCPA, Debt Collection & Foreclosures, The Credit Restoration Primer, End Game Strategies, Beyond End Game Strategies and host of The Krieger Files.  The opinions expressed herein are that of the author and should not be construed as legal advice.  For legal advice, seek competent counsel that clearly understands what constitutes diversity jurisdiction.

Even in its most liberal stature, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has again, redefined and re-explained that REMIC trusts can end up costing you lots of money in litigation, fighting a losing battle in federal court by re-constituting an opinion of what constitutes diversity jurisdiction.  See the link below to the 17-page ruling:

Demarest v HSBC Bank USA NA, 9th App Cir No 17-56432 (Apr 8, 2019)

You’ll readily notice in the caption on Page 1 that HSBC and MERS were “incorrectly sued”, which would indicate to me they were sued in the wrong name, as indicated in the caption.

Part of the problem here is that the trustee was also sued (Western Progressive, LLC) and the trustee was also out-of-state as to its “headquarters”, which put all of the Defendants, coupled with the $75,000 required for complete diversity jurisdiction, squarely in federal court.

Again, Hawaii Attorney Gary Victor Dubin, who is again in the crosshairs of the Hawaii Bar (thanks to the banks and their attorneys who don’t like lawyers who beat them in court), likens being in federal court to suicide, which he has succinctly stated that it (suicide) is better than being in federal court.  Yet, a lot of people end up becoming victims within the federal system because of improper and incomplete pleadings.   Couple that with WHO you sue and the numbers of removed cases rise exponentially.

Why sue MERS?

This entity is the “bastard child” of MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., which is now owned by Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (which also owns the New York Stock Exchange).  This newly-acquired entity has the backing of Wall Street.  The ownership of MERS may have changed, but the stupidity of the courts in relying on every tenet of MERS’s flawed business model incorporated within the “MERS® System”, has caused nothing but utter conflict among the state courts and federal circuit courts.

Like MERS says or intimates in its pleadings (among some of the third-person, schizophrenic quotations from its collective counsel and others), “We didn’t do anything wrong!”  “We want to be all things to all people!”  “We are the God of Securitization!”  (sic)  “We are everyone’s beneficiary that names us in their mortgages and deeds of trust!”  “We can be a nominee (agent) and beneficiary at the same time!”  “We can do anything we want, because we’re MERS!”  “We can remove you to federal court because we know your pleadings lack sufficiency and we can get them dismissed!”  “We can be in multiple states at any given moment and the federal judges will do what we say because we own them!” (that’s what they think, seriously).

Knowing you’re dealing with such a filthy, stinking rich entity that kowtows to Wall Street, why in bloody hell would you name them in anything?  Do you seriously have deep pockets?

You’re dealing with a multi-billion-dollar-a-year company here.   Here are some facts you should face:

  1. You signed the mortgage (or deed of trust).  No one held a gun to your head.  You could have walked away from the closing, but you didn’t.
  2. You could have read the entire agreement, asked questions; and when you didn’t get sufficient answers, you could have put off the closing until you got clarification, but you didn’t.
  3. You had no idea that the closing agent and the entity that agent represented knew (or should have known) WHERE the funds were coming from; how the funds were getting to the escrow account that was wiring your funds to the closing agent; and all of the details regarding the validity of the “lender” and “mortgagee of record”.
  4. You had no idea what the acronym “MIN” meant … nor had you any idea of the 18-digit number following that acronym.
  5. You had no idea your loan was being securitized through a Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) on Wall Street.
  6. You had no idea that your home loan was being funded by investors unknown to you.

Yet, you got hoodwinked into signing your life away to a life of potential PTFD (Post-Traumatic Foreclosure Disorder), should you fail to make your monthly mortgage payments!

What constitutes diversity jurisdiction?

In order to be able to remove a lawsuit to federal court (which is a court of limited jurisdiction), two things have to occur:

  1. The Plaintiff is a resident of State “A”, while the Defendant(s) are known to be residents of State “B”.
  2. The amount in controversy must exceed $75,000.

Gee … I wonder what would happen if the homeowner showed the caption as:

Joan Demarest and the Registered Holders of Nomura Home Equity Loan, Inc., Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-HE2 … as joint petitioners … with NO defendants listed … and asked for a declaratory judgment ruling on the merits of WHO got screwed in this deal?  Where’s the controversy then?  (you attorneys can chime in here)

In order to have justiciable controversy (the makings of a proper lawsuit that a court can claim jurisdiction to rule on), you have to have a Plaintiff and a Defendant(s).  If you have “joint petitioners” and NO defendants, how can there be a “controversy” if both joint petitioners agree on the same thing?  Despite the fact that the certificate holders are from all over the world, some of them (To Be Determined) may be in the state you’re residing in (State “A”).   If there’s no State “B”, then why list DOES 1-10, inclusive, like this case did?    I actually litigated a case (while out of state) through the mail, with a co-party, as joint petitioners, and got my ruling from a court in Missouri!  Does that surprise you?

Diversity FAILS if … 

  1. There is no amount in controversy (which is what you have in a declaratory relief case, like a cancellation and expungement action (C&E) over a bogus document in the land records; and
  2. You aren’t naming out-of-state defendants until the in-state defendants respond and lock the case up in state court.

Does this make any legal sense to you?

This is part of what we taught in the C&E Workshop in Las Vegas April 6th and 7th. 

America’s land records are a “crime scene”!

MERS’s flawed business model helped make it that way.  Over 80-million homeowners who unknowingly borrowed investor money through securitized mortgages did the rest of the damage.  It was “intentional” on MERS’s part.   It was ‘unintentional” on the homeowners’ part.

Despite the fact you can beat diversity, certain entities will remove the case to federal court anyway, just to F**K with you and your pocketbook!  MERS is one of those entities.

There is a right way and a wrong way to approach this scenario.  What Joan Demarest did in her case was the wrong way.

The “trustee” is a necessary party in Deed of Trust states!

You should know that if you name the trustee in your lawsuit, it’s likely that the trustee is “headquartered” out-of-state.   The trustee (in this case) was declared by the 9th Circuit panel to be a “real party to the controversy for purposes of diversity jurisdiction when he possess certain customary powers to hold, manage, and dispose of assets for the benefit of others”.

This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on May 27, 2016.  You would think that by then, anyone involved in this case could have figured out what the “end result” could be … but NO!  We have attorneys out there that like to use the “shotgun approach” instead of the “sniper approach”.  This is why California Attorney Al West and I put together “The C & E on Steroids!”   It’s a sniper approach to cleaning up the “crime scene”.   If you clean up the “crime scene”, then what evidence is there that a crime occurred?  What evidence is there that a party has standing to foreclose when the intended “consequence” of an assignment is declared void, cancelled and expunged from the land records?

This is why we found instructional appellate case law to support our research and methodology for doing these types of “sniper approach” end game strategies.  Everyone wants an “end game”.  Getting to that point is why people run into trouble having their dirty laundry removed to federal court where it’s likely to get dismissed on a 12(b)(6) motion.  And the foreclosure happens anyway, because “we’re too pissed to think straight!”

Watch the movie “American Sniper”.  Then, liken that mindset to your approach.  Knowing WHEN, WHERE, HOW and WHY you need to “take out” a target makes all the difference in the world.

Look for The C & E on Steroids!, along with the DVD training video kit, available in early May, only on CloudedTitles.com!

Sniper training at your fingertips!

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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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THE ARROGANCE OF BANKS!?

(OP-ED) — The author of this post is not an attorney and none of this should be construed as legal advice but is put forward for educational purposes only. 

No matter what defensive (or offensive) strategy is seemingly employed by homeowners (as borrowers), not only do we still get the same ‘ol, same ‘ol from bank attorneys (who actually represent the mortgage loan servicer and not the owner of the note themselves) as to their defamatory conjecture from “Your Honor, they (meaning the borrower) just want a free house!” … we still get the continued misrepresentation of the facts in a foreclosure action, whether it be judicial or non-judicial in nature.

In a judicial scenario, the arrogance is blatant. The attorney files the foreclosure action (generally employed by a foreclosure mill that gets paid a low winning bid dollar amount) and puts all of the same, standard “trash talk” about the homeowner (as the borrower), claiming the borrower is in default and that it (the client) is entitled to enforce the security instrument.  This isn’t personal really.  It’s a numbers game and if you’re a borrower who hasn’t made his payments in ages, it does not necessary mean that the burden of proof shifts to you, just because it’s your home and you’ve been served with papers which, nine times out of ten, contain pleadings that have notably false and misrepresentative statements contained within them.  In a judicial state, it’s still up to the alleged claimant-Plaintiff to prove its case or go home. This is why the banks want everything changed to non-judicial in nature, so they don’t have to work so hard to steal people’s homes.

Instead, the borrower opts to defend his position by putting forward an answer and affirmative defenses to the Plaintiff’s assertions.  The very act of this filing and anticipated response immediately gives the court jurisdiction to hear the matter before it (with an assigned case number and recorded lis pendens).  At the point of the recording of the lis pendens, the borrower’s title is slandered (not the filing of the case with the applicable court).  It is the notice of lis pendens that gives the world constructive notice of the proceedings against the property because it is the security instrument that the Plaintiff seeks to enforce.  However, in a judicial state, the Plaintiff must possess the Note, or in the alternative, sufficiently demonstrate that it had the note, but lost it, and made every effort to find it, but couldn’t.  Instead of looking for the note (or dummying one up out of nowhere like we know they do) and presenting a complete case, the arrogant bank and its lawyer press forward anyway and prey on the emotion of the court, backed by the reasoning that since they filed a complaint to foreclose, they must be the lender, right?

Generally, when the Plaintiff can’t produce the note, it produces an assignment of mortgage, which is generally “manufactured” by the mortgage loan servicer’s employees in favor of the servicer.  Half the time, the assignment includes the language “together with the note”, which, if MERS is involved, is a physical impossibility because MERS cannot transfer something it does not own.  This makes the assignment false and misrepresentative.  Instead of questioning the tactics of the servicer, on many an occasion, the banks’ own attorneys just take it and run with it, or even worse, are complicit in its manufacture!  This makes it even worse because the bank’s attorney (and law firm) would be suborning perjury, which, the last time I checked, was a felony.  It’s even worse when they try to rely on the assignment to steal the house.  It is the INTENT that is made known when the misrepresentations within the assignment are orally pontificated upon the court by the bank’s attorney in his arguments … thus, the arrogance of the bank is transferred to its lawyer, who can then claim reliance on the document because the attorney (or the “cover lawyer”, different from the attorney who filed the original pleadings) is now at greater than “arm’s length”position from the transaction and thus will claim plausible deniability (as in “I had no idea, Your Honor.”)

In a non-judicial setting, the scenario is much more deceitful.  If the borrower doesn’t stop the proceeding with something factual that can be proven in court, followed by a temporary restraining order, it is assumed that whoever commences a foreclosure action against the property is going to get their wish because going to court is not required in deed of trust states, except in certain cases, which is why the arrogant banks keep trying to lobby legislatures to change their method of enforcing security instruments to non-judicial, because all non-judicial actions do not require a court’s approval and thus all foreclosure actions are deemed legal unless proven otherwise.  This too is a numbers game of greater proportions because most homeowners in deed of trust states do not have access to competent foreclosure defense attorneys because “the system of things” does not warrant a board specialized attorney (in real property law or foreclosure defense) to come forward and shut the door on the foreclosure.  Most attorneys in deed of trust states really don’t know how to defend against foreclosures but they sure know how to structure a business model to take a retainer, followed by monthly payments, making their newly-found client their newly-created annuity payment.  This is great for business because it boosts cash flow.  But, it doesn’t nothing for the homeowner (as the borrower) unless the homeowner has something in the chain of title worth arguing.

Such is the case in South Carolina, where a MERSCORP attorney has allegedly testified under oath (in a deposition) that MERS cannot act for a “non-functional entity” (which means an entity that has gone out of business and years later, all of a sudden uses MERS (through the actions of the servicer’s own employees or another third party) to cover up the chain of title and bring the note and mortgage or deed of trust from the originating, out-of-business lender, to the present tense, in an attempt to allow whatever party comes in with a claim against the property, to foreclose on it.  Apparently, this same testimony allegedly worked on  a case in New Mexico as well, allegedly.  I use the word “allegedly” here because there’s no attached “oral transcript” or “order” from either court to validate the claims made by attorney Jeff Barnes, who goes into court pro hac vice (a guest of the court, using the resident attorney’s bar license) to help the homeowner (who is paying major dollars to both Barnes and the resident lawyer) get out of their foreclosure jam.

I find it odd that a post, dated October 29, 2018, on Barnes’s website, would make such statements without completing the grandstanding against MERS by actually including “hard evidence” in the form of a transcript or order, don’t you think?  In the New Mexico case, it wasn’t a slam dunk, however, it appears, without verification, that most of the borrower’s affirmative defenses would be sustained based on this new admission of MERSCORP’s own lawyer.  If one wanted to really make themselves appear “credible” with their “victory lap”, don’t you think one should brandish the sword they used as the weapon of choice?  (I put this in here for you Game Of Thrones fans!)  But, seriously, wouldn’t that make logical sense?   So we could read HOW the defeat occurred?

But wait, that would make the grandstanding (to get more business obviously) more plausible and less arrogant, right?  We can’t have THAT now, can we?  We need to further our business model and leave borrowers in the dark, only to surmise that somewhere out there, a MERSCORP attorney was indeed deposed and testified that his client has no right to transfer the note (something I’ve been saying for years) because MERS has no interest in it.  Factually, even if such an order or transcript WERE included, do you really think most borrowers would know HOW to take what they’ve learned from it and apply it to their own scenario?  Not hardly.  Not in today’s court systems.

It should be noted that the claim was made (in Barnes’s website post) that a deposition was taken, which means the only way you’re going to get damning information to shut down the banks’ arrogance, it to get damning information by conducting a deposition.  This is where the rubber meets the road with foreclosure defense attorneys because great discovery wins cases and if your attorney is “lacking” when it comes to getting the right set of facts out of a deposition, you’ve lost not only your home but all those financial resources you could have used to move onto PLAN B. Pro se litigants rarely, if ever, conduct a deposition, let alone a proper and complete one.

In sum, you’re either going to fight the bank’s arrogance with provable facts or you’re not.  The system of things supports more than just an affirmative defense against the bank’s lawyer because of the misrepresentations in his pleadings.  It supports a bar complaint.  I don’t see too many foreclosure defense lawyers putting forward bar complaints based on false and misrepresentative pleadings from foreclosure mill attorneys, do you?  (This is why we focus more these days on “the system of things” and how that plays out!) 

And somehow, the good ‘ol boy network seemingly continues to survive.

NOTE: If you want to hear multiple scenarios explained about why our voting system may be all f**ked up (especially in Florida with the recent negative spotlight put on it), listen to Dave Krieger tonight (6 p.m. EST) on WKDW-FM’s City Spotlight – Special Edition, just by clicking on this link and then clicking on LISTEN NOW!  Joining Dave and co-host R.J. Malloy as their guests are North Port, Florida City Commissioner Jill Luke and outgoing City Commissioner Linda Yates.

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TO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT … OR NOT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Answer #1 … to Run or Not to Run … 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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