Tag Archives: COTA

WHY IT PAYS TO CHECK THE WHOLE CHAIN OF TITLE!

(BREAKING NEWS – OP-ED) — The author of this post is providing the following case for your review to prove his point (not legal advice).  Take the educational value for what it is when you don’t do your due diligence! 

1601 Bay LLC et al v Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB et al, 3D19-492 (Nov 20, 2019)

This is one of the reasons I decided to offer an online Chain Of Title Assessment (COTA) class in the near future, so you can take advantage of not having to travel distances to participate in (8) 2-hour sessions to learn how these assessments are conducted and utilized.  These are not for foreclosure defense use (as an exhibit) … only for case development.

We are still in the midst of a foreclosure crisis.  It’s all due to the blowback of issues like what’s been described in this case.  It’s not hard to understand.  If you don’t look at the entire chain of title (and don’t expect your title company to do this for you) as an investor or future homeowner, you deserve what you get.

I’m going to be brief about this because you’ve heard me “beat the drum” now for how many years?  Many of you have scoffed at my pontifications.  Some of you have taken it to heart.  The mega-banks are worthless when it comes to fair and honest dealing, yet consumers are still flocking to them for loans, which they are still securitizing.  Again, definition of insanity (as I discussed in my last post).

The upcoming workshop dates … February 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd.  Times are Eastern (9 am – 1 pm).  For more details, see the Clouded Titles website.

 

 

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TEN YEARS LATER … HAS YOUR DEFINITION OF “INSANITY” CHANGED YET?

(OP-ED) — The author of this post posits these comments based on his own observations and none of this should be construed to be legal advice. For the record, the definition of “insanity” is … doing the same thing for the next 10 years you did the last 10 years expecting different results. 

Who would have ever thought that me breaking my foot would steer me down a path of moral concern, that is, America’s foreclosure crisis based on phony documents?

The Beginning of Insanity

It all began in mid-2007, when, quite by accident, I was surfing the county clerk’s website looking for details on my Texas property and discovered repetitive references to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (hereinafter “MERS”).  I had no idea who MERS was until I started doing further research into this entity only to discover this electronic database had been around since at least 1999.  It didn’t even occur to me that MERS was a brainchild of the banks because at that time, there wasn’t much information out there because the lawsuits that have made the annals of American history were not made manifest yet.

I also had no idea that MERS and the banks were working hand in hand to further their “case wins” in courts by posturing MERS as some sort of legitimate “party” that had the right to foreclose on property.  I only discovered this in 2009 after I started doing serious research into security instruments and all of the accompanying documents that littered the land records across America in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and the previous redux of securitization, which finally reared its ugly head in a way that most Americans could understand.  It was at that time I started to develop what would later become the Chain of Title Assessment (COTA).  How the documents interrelated to each other became more important than the actual information contained within each document because a pattern of behavior became obvious which was worth doing more research on.  That pattern of behavior was recorded assignments being placed within the land records just prior to a foreclosure being commenced on any given piece of property in America.

By mid-2010, I had a specific pattern identified and was able to develop a COTA checklist based on that pattern of misbehavior.  The pattern was not just a making of the law firm or the trustees attempting to enforce security instruments.  It became obvious later on in the game that the law firms and trustees actually were doing the bidding of the mortgage loan servicers; however, that realization did not come until AFTER Clouded Titles had been published (in December of 2010).  It was not until mid-2012 that things began to surface that would lead me straight to identifying who was behind all of the chicanery that enveloped all 3,041 of our nation’s real property records.  At that point in time, I had already established a working relationship with several Texas Clerks and had lectured to their Clerks’ School, sponsored by the V.G. Young Institute for County Government.  Williamson County Clerk Nancy Rister and Williamson County government were the first to attack MERS and the servicers and third-party document mills head-on in a land record audit, which was formally released in January of 2013.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY REAL PROPERTY RECORDS AUDIT_January 29, 2013

Judging by MERS’s reaction to the audit, I knew we were onto something. MERS went out of its way to try to debunk the 179 pages of damning assertions that the mortgage loan servicers and their third-party document mills were the ones behind all of the false and misrepresentative statements we would soon come to identify in the hundreds of COTAs I would being conducting since Clouded Titles was released.  Reporters kept telling me that MERS claimed it did nothing wrong and my reply was, “Then why is everybody suing them?”

A Big Mistake

The chain of title assessment (COTA) has been referenced as a “chain of title analysis”; however, through whatever name you want to give it, the research that goes into a COTA makes it a report, an investigative piece if you will.  By the time that the mortgage loan servicers agreed with 49 states Attorneys’ General to stop production on fraudulent documents, word had spread not only to the legal community but also the public at large, that this chicanery was widespread. Foreclosure victims became outraged at the thought of being defrauded through the illicit use of the land records.  It was at about that time that the COTA hit the courts.  Reliance on a COTA in a court of law or of equity is a huge mistake as many have discovered.  Proof of that will be made manifest in this post.  By the time homeowners and their attorneys ran screaming into court about the “fraud” in the documents, MERS and the banks had already set case precedent that the contents of the documents could not be challenged because the borrowers were not “third party beneficiaries” to the assignments and therefore had no right to challenge.  In my opinion, this lame excuse of not benefitting from the assignment was a ploy to gain favor with the courts, whose judges went along with the argument because the homeowners’ attorneys had no comeback to the argument.  The big mistake however, was the misuse of the COTA and the laziness of homeowners’ counsel to conduct proper discovery.

Many litigants ran into court with their research and attempted to use it as “evidence” to prove their theories that they were defrauded by and through the use of “fraudulent documents” recorded in the public records. Once such case involving this posts’s author manifested itself in Texas on November 25, 2013, in the same year that the Williamson County Real Property Records Audit was released.  See the case below and pay attention to the references on Page 4, where this author’s name is mentioned:

Brown v BANA_Tex 5th App Dist No 05-12-01382-CV (Nov 25, 2013)

Quoting my name and my book and making references to it is not PROOF as the Appellant soon learned the hard way.

During the time span from the time this case came out, Clouded Titles had been on the market for three years and had expanded from its 254-page original version to 432 pages (not the Mayday Edition, which is the revised final version). I knew that judges and attorneys were aware of it … and not just because of its consistent use in the courts.  By that time, the Circuit Clerk of Osceola County, Florida, Armando Ramirez, was introduced to the book and was encouraged by the public to make contact with the author, which led to the commissioning of another land record investigation, which was conducted roughly 90 days AFTER the mortgage loan servicers vowed in writing never to launder the land records with fraudulent documents again, as shown below:

OSCEOLA COUNTY FORENSIC EXAMINATION

The author of this post, once this document was made public, was attacked by the media in what appeared to be political retribution against the Clerk of the Circuit Court (Ramirez), who was again elected to his Clerk’s post in a majority vote the following election cycle.  However, this time, MERS did not play a role in the politicizing and demonizing of the report, which had an attorney opinion letter attached to it like the Williamson County report did.  Instead, the media and foreclosure mill law firms jumped into the fray, slamming the Clerk for spending county money on a report that they maliciously called a “foreclosure audit”.  Again, misuse of the COTA.  The Report issued to the Clerk was just that … a Report outlining the abuses that continued in his own land records from June 1, 2012 to June 1, 2014, well after the mortgage loan servicers agreed to stop putting false and misrepresentative documents in the land records, where they still appear to be continuing on through today!

The Bigger Mistake

What’s even worse is that a lot of wannabe “investigators” who claimed that their research was solid proof did not pass muster in other cases.  As I will demonstrate in the upcoming Chain Of Title Assessment Workshop, to be held online on the Clouded Titles website starting on February 1, 2020, this author has been pontificating all through the ages that Chain of Title Assessments (COTAs) are NOT EVIDENCE in court, despite the ignorance of litigants and their attorneys.  In this workshop, the author will cite a U.S. Supreme Court case that clearly identifies a COTA as research developed from multiple sources and compiled into a report, which this author has constantly maintained is to be used for case development and not as evidence in of itself.  But given the desperation of homeowners, along with the mistakes made by these alleged “foreclosure rescue services” that claim the COTA is their Holy Grail in order to make a buck, these assessments are STILL NOT EVIDENCE in court, as the most recent case out of Idaho demonstrates:

Losee v Deutsche Bank Natl Trust Co, Sup Ct Idaho No 45721 (Nov 29, 2019)

Do you see the date on this case?  It was just issued the day before this author published this post! 

What in the hell are these people thinking?  If I have maintained that a 1943 United States Supreme Court ruling by this nation’s highest court mandates that COTAs cannot be relied on as evidence, why are these wannabe investigators and their litigants ignoring it?

Previously, much to my chagrin, I’ve warned attorneys NOT to waive my COTAs around in court.  One of them did in a Houston federal court and got screamed at by the judge.  This is where the joke about “judges screaming my name and it wasn’t during sex” evolved from. (“Who’s Dave Krieger????!!!!!!!!)

One other attorney in Michigan was forced to let a judge see the COTA (by the judge’s own insistence) because the attorney kept referring to the document while making arguments in court.  Once the judge read the document (assumedly during his lunch break), he got an education, even though it was still NOT being offered as evidence, and ordered the parties to settle the case as he stated, “neither one of you are going to like the way I rule on this one!”   In the end, the bank got the house back and the homeowners got their money back and then some.  This still does not mean that the COTA is evidence unless the material within the COTA is vetted and relied upon by expert witnesses or utilized to craft discovery to go after the underbelly of the other side’s arguments.

I beg of you … please do not continue to misuse these reports.  These reports are meant as investigative research and proper discovery must be utilized to vet the research.  Simply walking into court and waving these reports around screaming “Fraud This!” and “Fraud That!” will get you nowhere.

To get a real idea of HOW TO do a Chain of Title Assessment (COTA) on your own, where you can get a real education, I am offering the first online COTA Workshop on Saturday, February 1st (2020), in 4, 2-part segments, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Here’s the schedule of the online classes:

Sessions 1 and 2, Saturday, February 1, 2020; 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EST)

Sessions 3 and 4, Saturday, February 8, 2020; 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EST)

Sessions 5 and 6, Saturday, February 15, 2020; 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EST)

Sessions 7 and 8, Saturday, February 22, 2020; 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EST)

I have revised the COTA to take the purpose of the workshop out of the “business model mode” and craft it into the “consumer mode” for the purposes of giving you a basic education into the realm of document identification and research.  Click the following link to leave your email address in the blank space provided and the Registration Form will be emailed to you.  Once you are enrolled in all four sessions, you will be able to access the online workshop presentation (as it will be recorded for future use) on the Clouded Titles website!

The Definition of Insanity Needs to Change in Your World!

I can tell you with a certainty that mine has!  In fact, I use COTA research to make money in my real estate investing.  Had homeowners going through foreclosure been thinking about Plan B instead of trying to fight the inevitable losing court battle ratios, America might have had better case law than what it has now.  With the banks creating as much negative case law against homeowners and as tilted as the system is against borrowers who don’t pay their mortgage payments, it’s time to change your mindset and use the COTA to your advantage.  My workshop strategies have now shifted into the realm of COTA use to make money to survive instead of defending your home in a losing battle.

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STARING AT DOUBLE D’S ???

(OP-ED) — The author of this post issues the following warning:  Make sure that you vet whoever it is you’re going to associate with in life, especially in the pursuit of fighting corrupt banks and those who may claim they have a “silver bullet”.   There are lots of naysayers and gainsayers occupying the Internet these days.  Thus, surfing the Internet looking for answers to foreclosure dilemmas and jumping at the first thing that sounds plausible to you is risky!

The Internet is a dangerous place … full of information and disinformation!

It has come to my attention that certain entities out there have taken somewhat of a liking to the cancellation and expungement actions discussed in the recent Las Vegas workshop, covered by this author and Al West, Esq.  The reason Al West teaches this stuff is because he’s done it before.  He has eliminated both deeds of trust and assignments from land records in California.  Since then, there has been an evolution of the cancellation and expungement action, one that has certainly been overlooked by attorneys elsewhere, because they can’t make a big return off of doing “sniper approach” tactics.  Nope.  They want to file 20-count lawsuits because that racks up tens of thousands of dollars in fees for them.  This is part of the reason why the justice system has failed America … use of the “shotgun approach”.

So they take to the Internet, take an approach to the C&E and “embellish” it to their own tastes, whether it comports with what we taught (or not).  There’s nothing worse than filing a C&E and not sticking to the point and letting the other side’s servicer or lender come in and ruin things by changing the judge’s mind, even though the law says otherwise.

Damn every judge that won’t follow the law!   I hope they all rot in hell! 

As Al West explained in the C&E Workshop, judges are all worried about their pensions which are invested in these REMIC trusts.  Thus, any time something that looks “legitimately suspect” comes before them, they look into the end result and what it might mean for them before they issue a ruling against the party filing the C&E. If you bring up the note, you deserve to lose, because the note has nothing to do with the false statements made on the assignments and other title documents, including releases of lien and even notices of lis pendens!

Discussing the implications of foul play in an assignment is one thing.  Telling a judge the note has something to do with the false statements in an assignment is quite another.

Anyone who wants to make securitization the focal point of their argument in a C&E is putting their cases at risk as well.  This document does not talk about who has what endorsement on what note.  The documents filed in the land records serve as constructive notice, no matter how long they’ve been there!  Notes are only used as SUPPORTING EVIDENCE!

Thank you Patriots! 

And I’m not talking about the football team either ….  I’m talking about those well-meaning individuals out there that want to pro se, pro per, sui juris, su-eeee, su-eeee (how you call a pig) whatever that screwed up the land records filing false liens against judges, county officials and people with whom they have an axe to grind.  THOSE are the folks that caused the “two-edged sword” legislation to come into fruition because they filed documents into the land records that were clearly criminal, causing every state legislature to pass laws prohibiting the recording of such documents (that contain false information).  What’s good for the goose, then, is good for the gander. Those who got in trouble for it went to jail, unless they were a mortgage loan servicer or its employees.  Then, they just flat out used falsely-stated information in an assignment to simply “steal the house”!  They’re proud of it too!

THE COTA

Unless you understand how your title documents come into play in the land record (which I why I started out doing Chain Of Title Assessments), you won’t have a clue WHY your chain of title is screwed up.  The interrelation of the land records has everything to do with the outcome of the C&E and a judge has to be educated well enough in the process to understand that there are issues with a document that cannot be ignored, which is why we have expert witness attorneys who will testify on behalf of the claimant, in an effort to sustain the integrity of the court, to save the judge from being tossed into prison under state statute, for aiding and abetting felony perjury!

Do you feel as if you’re in the middle of a freaking carnival?

There’s a dog and pony show jumping on our bandwagon at every turn … and we don’t even have a bandwagon!  So why do lawyers say that homeowners love the simplicity of a C&E?  Because lawyers can’t make any money doing them.  Or so they think.  Had they come to the workshop, like some lawyers did, they would have learned that in certain instances, there are methods for securing additional funds to bolster the war chest that are out there and available to attorneys (ripe for the picking).  In the alternative, case law has taught us a few ways to take an individual’s confession and turn it into gold.

Yet, the carnies are out there!   You know, those carnival barkers!  Yelling at everyone to come and see the greatest show on earth???  It’s like going to the circus and you’re the main attraction.   And you look up at the trapeze artist … all in glitter … and wonder … will she fall?   Do you ever feel like you’re swinging in the wind like her?

The C&E workshop video set is almost complete!  We’ll have it available on the Clouded Titles website soon!  Get educated, then get ugly!

Oh …

And those Double D’s you were staring at?

They stand for DUE DILIGENCE!

 

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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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SIX YEARS LATER … AND THEY’RE STILL ROBOSIGNING!

OP-ED — 

In March of 2012, all of the major servicers and the 49 States Attorneys General (except Oklahoma) inked an agreement wherein the servicers would stop the then-common practice of “robosigning” documents.  Six years later and it’s still going on.  I thought it best to clarify a few things before discussing where we are today.

Robosigning was a term referenced often by the late Kings County, New York Judge Arthur Schack, wherein he described the act of affixing signatures to documents in such a manner that: (a.) the signatures were illegible; (b.) the signatures could have been affixed by anyone [also known as surrogate signing]; (c.) contained information that was grossly distorted or misrepresentative [in HSBC v Taher_Schack, he noted that the address of the REMIC was at the same address as that of Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC in Palm Beach County, Florida], and now Ocwen Financial is acquiring PHH Mortgage, which was notorious for carrying on the same process that prompted the AG settlement.

Typical aspects (I call them “markers”) of robosigning include: (a.) scribbled signatures; (b.) varied signatures of the same name; and (c.) signatures different from the indicated name typed underneath the signature line.

Surrogate Signing came to light in the wake of the discovery of Linda Green, whose name was so easy to sign that everyone at DOCX was doing it: THE NEXT HOUSING SHOCK

As you may know, the President of DOCX ended up in Club Fed.  This conviction (of Lorraine M. Brown) was the only significant “slap on the hand” for bad behavior (of a document mill officer) that resulted in the loss of millions of homes in foreclosure actions through fraudulently-manufactured-then-publicly-recorded documents.

Typical markers of surrogate signing can be found on documents generated prior to 2012, that are commonly (and still) relied upon to tie together a chain of title for the purposes of “stealing” a borrower’s home.  Just because the borrower signed a note and mortgage doesn’t give the banking cartel the right to be sloppy about the way they followed their own procedures involving securitization (or the lack thereof).

Notary Fraud can occur in a multitude of ways.  Each state has specific regulations governing the commission of notaries public.  One doing any kind of research however, will need to pay attention to the regulations of certain states, which have (for all intents and purposes) watered down the obligations and governing regulations of notaries.  Some states do not require a notary bond.  Some states do not require notaries keep a journal of every notarial acknowledgment they perform.  Some states don’t even require that the notary physically witness the signature of the person executing the document.  What those in state government do not understand is that they are complicit in the very behaviors they put Lorraine Brown in prison for because local prosecutors do nothing to stop any of the foregoing behaviors for fear of putting their own political asses in a sling.

Some states (like California) require the notary to sign under penalty of perjury.  Perjury is a criminal matter, which can result in jail time.  Local prosecutors could easily make short work of handling a notary fraud case, simply by investigating the notary … it only takes one conviction to send a message … but they don’t.

As a “marker”, notary fraud could be the result of: (a.) acknowledging a signature that wasn’t affixed by the party claiming to have executed the document; (b.) acknowledging an execution when the party affixing their signature wasn’t present at signing; (c.) acknowledging an execution of a document as a party to a group of signers who routinely manufacture assignments of mortgage or deed of trust (similar to what went on in Simi Valley, California between 2012 and 2016 at Bank of America, N.A.’s robomill); (d.) participating as a notary in any document manufacturing scheme wherein the information placed within the document is false and misrepresentative and was placed there intentionally (civil conspiracy) wherein the notary was directed to participate as part of the signing process with the knowledge that what the notary was doing was illegitimate; and (e.) pre-acknowledging documents and affixing a seal with no signatures placed upon the document.

Self-Assignment is a common marker of the major banking institutions who can’t find paperwork, so they have their own employees (whether the major bank is servicing the loan or not) make stuff up out of thin air.  An example of this follows (with my analysis).  This is also included in the scheme of document manufacturing.

All of the foregoing “markers” are part of a scheme called “Document Manufacturing”

I talk about this extensively in the book Clouded Titles, which has undergone several updates between its original publication in December 2010 and its final “Mayday Edition” on May 1, 2016 because of newly-discovered information pertinent to investigations by this author through Chain of Title Assessments (COTAs) this author has conducted.

Document Manufacturing is the process by which multiple parties are retained by a mortgage loan servicer to act in a capacity of a bank official, using Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (on many an occasion) to further “dilute” the chain of title by obfuscating the path of ownership from the originating lender (many of which were bankrupt and out of business at the time the document was executed) to the current “alleged” owner of the mortgage loan.  Most of this process takes place within ninety (90) days AFTER a borrower allegedly stops making their mortgage loan payments.  Customarily, most of this scheme takes place within the walls of the mortgage loan servicer’s own document manufacturing plant or at a contractor-based, third-party document mill.

The scheme may involve witnesses also attesting to the signature of the alleged “officer” signing the assignment. Many times, these witnesses are notaries (who should know better).  Many times, these witnesses simply sit around the signing table, shuffling documents from person to person, all affixing their signatures to a pre-determined spot on the document.  All of these documents are then bundled up and taken to a different part of the building and placed on the desk of a notary who will then acknowledge the documents and affix the notary seal to each one, claiming the signers “personally appeared” before them, when in fact, THAT did not happen!

The scheme is designed to place everyone in the manufacturing chain at better than “arms length” away from the servicer, as a means to reduce liability.  This would bring this author to an obvious conclusion that it would be more difficult to seek out and depose those who participated in the scheme because of costs and time involved, making it virtually impossible to defend one’s property from theft by document fraud.

AND HERE IT IS … 2018 … AND …

… we still have not gotten past being dishonest about providing solid proof of effective transfer of the promissory note in conjunction with an assignment of a mortgage or deed of trust.

As the result of the OSCEOLA COUNTY FORENSIC EXAMINATION, we learned that having local law enforcement investigate matters of this nature was way over their heads (let alone their pay grades).  They are either in denial or superbly arrogant about having to investigate what they said were “victimless crimes”.  The investigation involved the examination of documents in the land records from June 1, 2012 (after the AG settlement was reached) and June 1, 2014 (a 2-year span).   Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. was used as a research guide, because it led the examination team directly to all of the securitized RMBS documents, which contained continued patterns of everything I’ve described in this article.

As a means of education (because I can’t give legal advice) … let’s examine a couple of recently-filed documents:

In Osceola County, Florida, where we previously conducted an examination of their land records, paid for with Osceola County taxpayer dollars, I happened to find this recently-manufactured self assignment:

In the foregoing instance, I analyze the following suspect issues for your evaluation: 

(1.) This assignment of mortgage was done by JPMorgan Chase Bank’s own employees in their document manufacturing plant in Monroe, Louisiana on January 10, 2018.

(2.) The document could have been executed to Chase by Standard Pacific Mortgage, Inc., without the use of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as Standard Pacific Mortgage, Inc. is still in business in Irvine, California. Why then did Chase employees, in a civil conspiracy with Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc. in Florida, have to then create this document?  Why didn’t the originating Lender create and execute the document?

(3.) If you’ll notice, “Judy G. Jackson”s printed name appears to have been inserted into the document by the party creating AND executing it.  The notary did not even fill in the space provided.

(4.) In this instance, the notary claims that Judy G. Jackson was “personally known, who did say that he/she/they” (the notary is too lazy to delineate for gender and plurality to make the document appear more legitimate). Nowhere in the document does it say that Louisiana Notary Amy Gott, who has a lifetime commission, actually “personally witnessed” Jackson’s signature.

(5.) There is no proof of authority anywhere on the document, indicating that Jackson had the authority to execute the instrument, which was signed on January 10, 2018.

(6.) The document misrepresents the mailing address for the lender as that of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.’s post office box in Flint, Michigan.

(7.) Notice that the Assignment of Mortgage ONLY “conveys” the Mortgage (and NOT the Note)?

(8.) The document was further obfuscated by the return address (after recording) as that of Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc. (“NTC”) in Palm Harbor, Florida (one of the companies targeted as a third-party document mill in the Osceola County Forensic Examination).  Why send it to NTC in the first place, unless NTC had something to do with its manufacture?

(9.) Notice the 1999 corporate seal for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.?  The employees at JPMorgan Chase Bank misrepresented their authority using “MERS” to obfuscate the chain of title.  NTC obviously has a document manufacturing, archive contract with Chase, which could be further played out through discovery.

(10.) You will notice from doing your own research that the use of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. to obfuscate the chain of title with a “place card-type” position of the “nominee” (agent), has been used for so long that our very own United States Government and County Clerks and Recorders (who are blind, or reprobate, or both) simply choose to let this lie proliferate.

EXAMPLE #2: 

In the foregoing instance, I analyze the following suspect issues for your evaluation: 

(1.) This assignment of mortgage was done by a third-party document mill in their document manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 21, 2018.

(2.) The originating Lender (IndyMac Bank, F.S.B., now out of business) obviously used Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. to transfer its loans within the MERS® System via the use of a third-party mill, who couldn’t even be bothered to put the 1999 Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. corporate seal on the document.

(3.) If you’ll notice, the party signing the document is using a non-designated “official title” for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.?   Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. only allows signers to use the titles of “Assistant Secretary” or “Vice President” (not as shown).

(4.) The pre-printed document contains the name of the signer in the notarial execution in all capital letters, which means it was inserted into the document using computer software.  The signer couldn’t even sign her own name in full.

(5.) Geez … every other Florida assignment I’ve seen had two (2) witness signatures contained within the document.  I guess these third-party doc mills don’t care if they follow Florida law or not, right?

(4.) Knowing how third-party document manufacturing plants behave, I would debate the use of the words “personally appeared”, given what we know about signing plant floor plans.

(5.) There is no proof of authority anywhere on the document, indicating that Salicce (the signer) had the authority to execute the instrument in that capacity, let alone have personal knowledge of its contents (robosigning).

(6.) The document doesn’t even list the mailing address for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., even though it claims to have an interest in the Assignment (as the “Assignor”) … pretty blatant huh?

(7.) Notice that the Assignment of Mortgage ONLY “conveys” the Mortgage (and NOT the Note)?

(8.) Notice that since IndyMac was out of business, a third-party document mill had to use Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. to obfuscate the chain of title to convey the mortgage (ONLY) into the REMIC directly, which by the way, had a cut-off date of June 1, 2005 and a Closing Date of June 15, 2005, in violation of the governing regulations for that REMIC, which can be found here: http://www.secinfo.com/dqTm6.z1en.htm.

(9.) Also notice that the name of the REMIC is incorrectly listed.  According to SEC records, the official name of the REMIC is the Indymac Home Equity Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Trust, Series Inabs 2005-B.  As far as I can see, there are are least three (3) distinct misrepresentations under Florida Criminal Code § 817.535 in the forgoing document.

(10.) Do we have possible notary fraud here?   Do you not see in the notarial execution where the notary claims to have acknowledged that Salicce (an employee of Visionet Systems Inc.) was an “Assistant Vice President” of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. when in fact, there is no such designation?  And from the scribbled signature of the notary, is it possible she executed this document without the signer being present and does this often enough to get writer’s cramp signing scribbled signatures a lot?  It might merit requesting her notary application from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to see if that signature (on her application) matches the signature on this document.  Also notice the acknowledgment says nothing about “personally appeared” either.

By the way, the bold-faced type you see in the foregoing assignment is part of the boiler-plate software template used by document mills to create these suspect documents.

THIS BEHAVIOR ALSO COVERS “RELEASES OF MORTGAGES” AND “DEEDS OF RECONVEYANCE”

If you think that the foregoing behavior only applies to assignments, you should look at Releases of liens as well. Of particular note is the issue of potential unauthorized practice of law, which is a felony in Florida and most other states, for executing and recording documents known to contain false information (perjury) without attorney supervision.

I have successfully participated in removing (by expungement) a bogus Release of Mortgage out of the land records in Hillsborough County, Florida and the existing “alleged pretender lender” has absolutely no idea it now has a competing lien ahead of its foreclosure attempts.  This is why foreclosure law firm attorneys are so imbecilic when it comes to “getting their story straight” when they try to foreclose on a mortgage without FIRST checking the chain of title for competing liens … which brings me to my next point:

Any lawyer for the banks that comes into court and regurgitates these misrepresentations is likely to have committed not only felony perjury and potential multiple ethics violations … but any subsequent law firm will not be able to continue their tirade on the property once the initial violations have been exposed.

Perhaps it is now time to go after the foreclosure mill lawyers instead of just their clients!

My final parting shot goes against the state district and circuit attorneys who refuse to criminally prosecute these people.  Don’t yell at me!  You elected them!  You and I can both probably think to ourselves what worthless POS these people are if they aren’t going to do what’s right.

If you don’t know your rights … you don’t have any!

Dave Krieger is the author of the book Clouded Titles and has a weekly radio show on WKDW-FM in North Port, Florida covering consumer issues. He serves as a paralegal and chain of title consultant to attorneys as well as performs chain of title assessments for consumers as well as  forensic examinations and audits of county land records, despite the fact he is a disenfranchised citizen of whatever you want to call this economically messed up country you live in.

Coming soon … How to deal with the next financial collapse in America! 

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