Tag Archives: default

FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS SHOULD STAY OUT OF BK 7 COURTS IF THEY WANT TO FIGHT FORECLOSURES!

The author of this post is not giving legal advice, just reporting what’s out there.  You should consult a competent foreclosure defense attorney regarding such matters, as the contents in this post appear to reflect the court’s intolerance for homeowners who file bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure. 

OP-ED — 

Folks who are in trouble with their mortgages in Florida really need to strategize before taking the plunge into the abyss known as the Florida legal system, where state judges clearly have “agendas”, the Florida Legislature has “agendas” and the federal courts have “agendas” … all aimed at taking of property when you can’t make the payments on it.  It’s not often that the author of this post steers away from chain of title issues, but there appears to be widespread ignorance (or in the alternative, intolerance) on the part of the Sunshine State’s legal system, which makes things “not so shiny” anymore, given the recent spate of legislation and court actions.

STATE JUDGES

All one needs to do is examine court dockets to see how fast, over time, that Florida circuit judges have blindly assumed that the financial institutions coming before them actually own the promissory note they’re trying to enforce.  It would seem that judges simply rely on the blatant attack on the property owner as just because otherwise, why would this particular bank show up in court?   Because they can!  And they do!  And judges give them so much leeway that Florida homeowners are stymied for options.  This is why the State of Florida has so many zombie homes (despite what the politicians, economists and the media would have you believe) and shadow inventory that sits empty because of title issues.  In very few cases I’ve examined have I seen evidence within a transcript that allowed for a forensic examination of the note, to make sure it’s “original”, like the bank’s attorney says it is.  To show you that the inequity between state court systems is similar in nature, I’m consulting a case in New Jersey where the bank’s law firm sent a “cover lawyer” into court with what appeared to be a “faxed copy” of the note, claiming it to be the “original”.  I think most judges, even in light of the foreclosure defense attorney’s objections, could tell the difference, but nope … this judge said that the word of the law firm and the faxed copy of what it self-authenticated is good enough!  Can you believe that shit?

Another part of the equation is the existence of foreclosure defense lawyers who have seen fit to turn the foreclosure debacle into a cash cow by using delay tactics to keep property owners in their homes, despite the probable outcome that only about 1 in 25 cases brought into court makes it past the 810-day mark in a Florida foreclosure cycle.  Knowing that the odds are never “in their favor” (attributing the quotation to The Hunger Games), frustrated mortgagors then contemplate using bankruptcy court to dodge the “sale bullet”. However, things in Florida are about to change.

THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

Effective July 1, 2017, Florida homeowners who run to the bankruptcy court and get their promissory note discharged are going to find themselves without other options to fight the foreclosure.  See House Bill 471 here if you don’t believe me: fl-hb-471  It’s only two pages long and I’m sure you can read (if you’re reading this)!

Simply put, any documentation that is filed in Bankruptcy Court which would indicate surrender of the property (commonly seen in Chapter 7 cases) makes it legally okay for the bank’s attorney to submit that document that was filed in the Bankruptcy Court under penalty of perjury to a Florida circuit judge to get a Final Judgment of Foreclosure.  I see this as a definite negative if you’re trying to fight a foreclosure.  But then again, most homeowners are like electricity.  They want to take the path of least resistance; and declaring bankruptcy is certainly a hell of a lot cheaper than fighting a foreclosure through Florida’s appellate system.

It appears that folks don’t understand the difference between an in rem and an in personam action.  Enforcement of a security instrument, which in Florida’s case is a mortgage, can only happen when the party claiming to have an interest in the property can prove ownership.  An attack on the property through the recorded security instrument is an in rem action (like quiet title actions).  This is why I wrote the book The Quiet Title War Manual (with the professional help of California attorney Al West).  The book explains the difference between the note and the mortgage.  Folks who don’t get it should get this book and read it, because when Al West and I taught quiet title workshops, we hammered these basic principles into the heads of the attendees.  In personam actions are actions involving debt, which in this case is the promissory note, NOT the mortgage!   How convenient it is that the Florida legislature has come up with this House Bill in the wake of the recent court conflicts within the federal system!

THE FLORIDA FEDERAL COURTS

Let’s look at the case of In re Hookerin-re-hooker   Once you get past the first three paragraphs, you’ll understand why the Florida legislature did what it did to help the banks fight continuous counterattacks in state court.  Again, how convenient, to avoid further confusion in the courts.  Let’s just legislate this away, shall we?

Now we come to the slam dunk that affects the way the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Florida), has ruled that Chapter 7 debtors who file a bankruptcy action and put forth a statement of intention to surrender the real property cannot later contest a foreclosure in the state court. in-re-failla   If you read the first paragraph of this PUBLISHED OPINION, and then read the background on the case, it appears that the homeowners wanted to “have their cake and eat it too”.  The Failla case simply states: “Debtors who surrender property must get out of the creditor’s way.”   The Florida Legislature (I believe) made sure that a bill was passed that shut off the trough at the source of the feed (so to speak).

No more hogs at the trough.  There have been so many different points of view, it’s understandable that the Florida legislature would pass a bill that state courts could point a finger at and say, “SEE?”   So for those of you thinking that running into bankruptcy court (in any state for that matter) and declaring your intent to surrender the property (God forbid, why would you do that?) under penalty of perjury is so confusing to some when their state court cases get shut down.

ANOTHER WHAMMY! 

It has also become relatively apparent that any homeowner that has placed themselves in the foregoing position and continue to litigate their foreclosure in the state courts of Florida are likely to get sanctioned!   Vexatious litigants are likely to wind up in jail on contempt charges!  I say this because of what happened to foreclosure defense attorney Stuart Golant, 70,  in the Palm Beach County courtroom of Senior Judge Howard Harrison for simply making a motion!

Florida homeowners have had the deck stacked against them by the courts and the legislature in favor of the banks when it comes to promissory note enforcement.  Once a mortgage has been recorded in the land records where the subject property is situated, all it takes is a missed payment and the door to “foreclosure hell” opens to swallow the homeowners whole.   I can’t help but wonder what kind of counseling homeowners have received, given the phone calls and emails I get regarding strategizing an in personam case against them.

ONE MORE TIME …

In a judicial foreclosure state like Florida, a lender comes to court and waves the promissory note around and claims it has the right to enforce the terms of the note!  It should be required to prove that the note is genuine, forensically.  Have the actual paper tested.  Have the ink tested.  Check for pixelation by blowing the note up on a computer screen to examine evidence the note was photoshopped.  Object to the note being entered as the original.  I believe a majority of securitized notes are copies of what was downloaded into the MERS® System and later shredded, as I’ve covered in previous posts.

Once the lender gets the note in front of the court and gets it admitted into evidence and gets the court to agree that U.C.C. Article 3 (Negotiable Instruments) exists and that the alleged lender has the right to enforce the note, THEN the Lender gets to enforce the Security Instrument, the in rem part of the equation.  The security instrument (Mortgage) is then “ripe for the picking”.  Believe it or not, most homeowners think that the lender is foreclosing on the mortgage.  That couldn’t be further from the truth!  The Lender is foreclosing on the Note.  Proving it has the right to enforce the Note means the Lender gets the right to enforce the Security Instrument, not until!

Bankruptcy Courts are designed to handle in personam scenarios.  In personam relates to debt.  Promissory notes are evidence of debt!   Recorded mortgages are evidence of security interests, not debt!   If you’re going to use the bankruptcy court to alleviate your personal obligation to the note, and liquidate it in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, be prepared to move out of your home!

Thinking twice about running into Chapter 7 bankruptcy court to stop the sale?   The “system” is ready for you!   (Hint: This is why we have Chapters 11 and 13!)  No matter, if you live in any state where you think the “deck is stacked” against you, plan your “end game” BEFORE you go into default, not after!

And this is why I don’t talk about in personam issues much.  Homeowners really should get a financial education before they sit down at the closing table.

Tune into kdwradio.com every Friday night at 6:00 p.m. EST for my radio show, City Spotlight: Special Edition!   Order any of the author’s books by visiting Clouded Titles!

For those of you waiting for the new FDCPA book, it’s almost ready!   Pre-order your copy today!  (FDCPA actions are for dealing with debt collectors!)

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Filed under Financial Education, Op-Ed Piece

SCOTUS DECIDES TO ENTERTAIN CIRCUIT SPLIT ON FDCPA CREDITOR-DEBT COLLECTOR ISSUE!

BREAKING NEWS — (DC) 

The U.S. Supreme Court appears to have granted a Writ of Certiorari to petitioner Ricky Henson, et al in his case versus Santander Consumer USA, Inc. coming out of the nation’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  There have been numerous disagreements among the circuits as to what constitutes a “creditor” by definition versus what constitutes a “debt collector” by definition, within the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692a et seq).   More about these definitions are specifically noted through the new book FDCPA, Debt Collection and Foreclosures (by the author of this post), anticipated to be released in its first 256-page first edition, sometime around the end of this month (January, 2017).

There is evidence of deeply-entrenched conflict among the circuits, which involves the definition of a “creditor”, which is succinctly defined within the FDCPA as: (a.) any person who offers or extends credit (thereby creating a debt to the borrower); and (b.) any person to whom a debt is owed … and that of a “debt collector”, also succinctly defined as: (a.) any person whose principal purpose is to collect debts; (b.) any person who regularly collects debts owed to another; and (c.) any person who collects its own debts, using a name other than its own.  You can see where these so-called variance opinions have formed as cases involving FDCPA complaints have worked their way through each of the federal circuits.

The hinge pin here however, is that the FDCPA also states that a person is NOT a “creditor” if that person “receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solely for the purpose of facilitating collect of such debt for another.”  That, by definition, would make most mortgage servicers “debt collectors”, which consumers, as mortgagors, now find useful to wage war in federal court by using FDCPA actions!   This is one of the reasons this author did the research of over 400 FDCPA actions, some successful and others not successful, for the purposes of illustrating not only the circuit split in definitions, but also because the only way circuit splits can be resolved in finality is by a Supreme Court decision on the valid merits of the case.

OP-ED

The key word here is “default”.  The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau both concur that the default status of a debt at the time it was acquired determines the status as to whether the entity is a “creditor” or “debt collector”.  The CFPB used this model in an action against a large bank, finding the bank violated the FDCPA by failing to send validation notices on student loan accounts there were in default at the time they were acquired from another bank.  This puts student loan borrowers in a very interesting litigation posture when debts get “assigned” to entities like Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc., Van Ru Credit Corporation, The CBE Group and Immediate Credit Recovery, Inc. (to name a few) to collect, which comprise the larger number of entities assigned to collect student loan debt on behalf of the U. S. Department of Education, which is the alleged “guarantor” (which cannot be sued, so don’t even try it).  Every case the the author has reviewed involving a state-based corporation designed to monitor the accounts of student loan borrowers and the Department of Education, wherein the Plaintiff borrower sued them for alleged FDCPA violations, got tossed out.  The smarter consumers appear to be going after the actual debt collection agencies that have been assigned to collect the debt.

When a debt is in default and has been assigned or transferred to another entity who then attempts to collect the debt, here’s where the splits stack up:

The 4th, 9th and 11th Circuits have held that a person is not a “debt collector” unless its principal purpose is to collect a debt, regularly in the business of collecting debts owed to another, or collecting a debt using a name other than its own.  The 11th Circuit has come out with some very pro-consumer decisions (like Reese v. Ellis) that have helped homeowners fighting foreclosures in going after the law firms trying to collect a debt (NOT enforcing a security instrument … there is a difference) using a different name than the one it operates under as a creditor.  These three “tests” must be met, in addition to the court’s determination that the debt was indeed in default at the time it was acquired by the person claiming the right to collect it.  These three Circuits also rejected the argument that any person taking assignment of defaulted debts is regularly collecting debts owed to another because the debts were owed to a different creditor at the time of default.  You can plainly see where the banks and their servicers (as creditors and quasi-debt collectors) want to confuse the issue, which, it appears they have done, over time.  Now the Supreme Court gets to interpret what the FDCPA means and what it doesn’t mean when it comes to these definitions.

The 3rd, 6th and 7th Circuit decisions in conflict with the foregoing Circuits have focused predominantly on the exclusions from the definitions of “creditor” and “debt collector”, declaring that any person who takes an assignment of a debt in default is a debt collector, while a person who takes assignment of a debt that is NOT in default is a “creditor”, because they actually BOUGHT the debt.  The 7th Circuit went further in explaining that any person acquiring a debt stands in the shoes of that creditor and acts similarly, as opposed to simply acquiring the debt for collection, wherein it acts more like a debt collector, by the strictest defined sense of the FDCPA.

Additionally, Also, both the CFPB and the FTC have adopted the view that the default status of the debt at the time of acquisition determines whether the entity is a “creditor” or a “debt collector.” The CFPB took this approach in a recent consent order with a large bank, finding that the bank violated the FDCPA by failing to send validation notices on student loan accounts that were in default at the time they were acquired from another bank.

VALIDATION OF STUDENT LOAN DEBTS

The CFPB just recently reported that a larger number of student loan debts have afflicted those aged 62 and older to the tune of $66.7-billion!  That’s pretty scary, considering many of these debtors are co-signers for their children’s (and grandchildren’s) education.

It is seriously implied here that in addition to mortgage loans, student loans (car loans and credit cards), have also be securitized on Wall Street into “common law trusts”.  Mortgage loans get securitized into REMICs (which stands for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits), while other securitized trusts are listed as to their designed use.

To make things a little more “interesting” … here is one sample debt validation response sent to a debt collector, who sent an “initial communication” to a student loan borrower in an attempt to collect a debt (the names of the borrower and debt collector have been purposefully changed to protect their identities):

Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested Number:

 

Date of Debt Validation Correspondence
Name and address of Debt Collector

 

Re: Your Unsigned Debt Collection Letter, dated ______, 2017.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am in receipt of a PAST DUE NOTICE, dated “______, 2017” and am responding accordingly. I choose to respond point for point to what I allege is in fact, an initial communication letter from your debt collection agency.

This is to inform you that I am a “consumer” as defined under 15 U.S.C. 1692a(3).  Further, I deem you as a debt collector, subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which I have a copy of, under 15 U.S.C. 1692a(5).

First, you have provided me with no written proof of any of the claims you have made in this letter.  You have listed debt collection account reference numbers that I am not personally knowledgeable of.

There is no proof provided in the initial communication I received as to who purchased any alleged student loans under any guarantee agreement bearing my name and personal identifying information.  You also failed to provide me with a copy of the guarantee agreement or any of the loan paperwork that you allege or claim I owe you that is in default.   Therefore, I am disputing the entire balance of what you claim I owe you and further require that you provide me with following:

(a.) Proof of all indebtedness, including copies of any alleged loan paperwork you have in your possession, on which you base your alleged claim of default;

(b.) Proof of the entire chain of custody of each promissory note you claim that the entity you are collecting for was “required to purchase”, including but not limited to, copies of the “guarantee agreement” for each of the alleged loans contained within your initial communication to me;

(c.) Please send me a full accounting of ALL sums due that have been applied to this alleged loan balance, including alleged default insurance payments, credit default swap payments and any other insurance that was purchased to cover the entirety of the loan should an alleged default occur, including correspondence showing the payout dates of these alleged policies;

(d.) If this loan was securitized, along with other student loans, please provide me with the name of the trust and location of its trustee, including the its full contact information and telephone number;

(e.) Since you have threatened me with the garnishment of my wages, and based on the United States Code section shown below, I demand to be provided an opportunity to view all my purported loan documents and a hearing at a location close to my home;

31 U.S.C. § 3720D: US Code – Section 3720D: Garnishment

(3) The individual shall be provided an opportunity to inspect and copy records relating to the debt.

(5) The individual shall be provided an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with subsection (c) on the determination of the head of the executive, judicial, or legislative agency concerning –

(A) the existence or the amount of the debt, and

(B) in the case of an individual whose repayment schedule is established other than by a written agreement pursuant to paragraph (4), the terms of the repayment schedule.

Please be advised that I am responding with the above verbiage as you have indicated in your letter that you may utilize additional collection efforts, including an administrative wage garnishment, tax offset or assigning these alleged loans to the U. S. Department of Education, who, unless you can provide me with proof to the contrary, guaranteed these alleged loans in the first place;

(f.) Please provide me with the Name and Address of the Original Lender / Creditor and all correspondence you have in your possession related to these alleged loans.

(g.) Please provide me with the exact location of my purported loan documents, signed by me, including a direct phone number; and

(h.) Please provide me with copies of all correspondence between your agency and the U. S. Department of Education, including all loan documents, and any documents you have in your possession, bearing my legitimate signature, that prove you have the right to collect this alleged debt, including any agreements signed between you and the alleged creditor you claim to be representing in your initial communication to me.

Please be advised that, in providing the above response, John Q. Consumer is not limiting or waiving any rights or remedies he may now or hereafter have, whether arising under your purported loan documents at law or in equity, all of which rights and remedies are expressly reserved.

Further, since I cannot take your telephone calls into court, this is a demand upon you that you are restricted from contacting me at my home, on my cellular phone or at my workplace regarding the collection of any of the foregoing, until you can fully satisfy the demands set forth in this letter.

Failure to completely respond will also result in an FDCPA action being filed against your company in the appropriate forum.

All further correspondence (including your answer and supporting documentation) may be sent to the address shown below.  I expect to hear from you in short order, as this letter is intended to give you notice that I am disputing the entirety of this debt in full.

Sincerely,
John Q. Consumer (address)

Enclosure: Copy of Debt Collection Letter

Again, I managed to acquire this from a “consumer”, who sent a variation of this letter, regarding a student loan debt.  This letter is a SAMPLE and does NOT constitute the rendering of legal advice for your particular situation and may not draw any conclusions of law or guarantee any legal outcome.  If you intend on using any form of this for your own personal use, you should be aware that you do so at your own risk.  After reading this letter, I was tempted to contact “John Q. Consumer” to see if the debt collector ever responded.  It would seem to appear that when the issue of securitization is brought up, this may create a real dilemma, because the student loan itself may have already been paid in full upon the default of the borrower!  Entire of tranches of student loans may have been paid off over time!

I just thought I’d let you, the blog subscriber, know that student loan borrowers are also using similar tactics, more of which are in the new book on the FDCPA, coming out shortly, which you can pre-order on the Clouded Titles website. The book also goes into detail about how debtors have used FDCPA actions to repeatedly sue debt collectors in order to make a part-time income!  It is fascinating to see what the mind can achieve and the human condition to accomplish!  I’ve actually included an “exploded” view of an FDCPA lawsuit, both applied individually and as a class action, so you can compare notes!  I think you’ll find the 256 pages worthy of your time and consideration.

Just because SCOTUS is deciding this narrow issue does not mean that FDCPA actions will be put “on hold” either.  The definitions of the FDCPA do merit clarification by the nation’s highest court, so the lower circuits will (once and for all) STOP QUIBBLING over what the terms really mean.  This is why it pays to know the FDCPA and get an education in debt collection before getting yourself into debt!

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Filed under Breaking News, FDCPA Education, Op-Ed Piece

SURVIVING FORECLOSURE

Op-Ed … 

One of the greatest achievements in life is being able to own a home.  It’s an outward sign of wealth building.  It’s one of the biggest financial commitments that a person can make, not necessarily one they should make.

The banking industry in America continues to survive despite all of the scandal that continues to plague them.  Many folks survived the economic fiasco of 2008 because the entire economy was not affected.  When only a marginal number of homeowners are affected, seemingly, the rest of the country simply falls asleep, chalking up the massive foreclosure market as a “numbers game”.  Investors came out of the woodwork, thinking they were getting a great deal, when in fact, 99% of all of the foreclosure actions conducted in this country are illegal.

The reason these foreclosures are illegal can be summed up in one word: securitization.

Most people that signed on to mortgage loans between 2003 and 2008 had no idea that they were going to be victimized by an entity called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and its parent, now known as MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.  It has been communicated to me by numerous attorneys that the MERS® System was created specifically for the purposes of online digital transfers of promissory notes within the secondary mortgage market and that any claim by MERS that it has any part of “title” to your property is superfluous folly.  MERS and its parent have continuously fought that in courts across America.  It is impossible to see why a court system would give a for-profit private entity that is not in the business of lending money beneficial status.  Some states have figured that flaw out, too late to avoid creating conflicting case law.  If the states wanted to be smart about it, they would do what Oregon counties are doing, patterning their suits after Multnomah County’s case, which resulted in a $9-million settlement, something unheard of, unless you want to keep MERS and its hierarchy out of prison.  In my book, criminal RICO is afoot here and MERS has provided the platform for that to occur in the form of servicer fraud.  Servicer’s employees are allowed to robosign and backdate assignments, falsify authority and manufacture standing for lender’s who are not “the boss of the note” which is what, largely in part, makes these 99% of the foreclosures illegal.

On the backside of this equation, homeowners who are unwilling to challenge the beast are fleeing their homes in record numbers and the shadow inventory still continues to plague the real estate market.

But what of the homeowners?

As I have stated on this blog before (in previous posts), 75% of those being served with foreclosure notices vacate their properties within thirty (30) days of notice.  The other 20% of those vacate their homes after being made aware an issuance of a final judgment of foreclosure or notice of a sale date.  The 95% was ill prepared to retain counsel to even challenge their foreclosure and the greater majority never even showed up to court to contest their foreclosure (in mortgage states).  The banks know this.  It’s a numbers game.  The banks are at a financial advantage because they’ve made all their money off of interest earned (as do the servicers with all of their fees added into the mix) and the banks have a legal fund to fight with.  Bank of America is estimated to spend roughly $2-billion annually in legal fees, most of which goes to fighting homeowners just like you and I in court.  Whether or not Bank of America can actually prove it has standing to foreclose depends on how many assignments their servicing unit manufactures, because that’s exactly what they do when there’s a default (someone stops making their mortgage payments).

Of the 5% of the remaining homeowners, 3-4% of them duke it out in court.  The other 1-2% take “cash for keys” or negotiate a loan modification, albeit the party negotiating with them probably doesn’t have the right to enter into a loan modification agreement at all.  I would estimate that roughly less than 1/2-percent actually succeed in getting a loan mod at all.  Most of the major banks, who are monitoring and servicing their alleged secondary market REMICs, who have no skin in the game, would rather have your house than put up with giving you a loan mod.

Contrary to what the banks and the media would have you believe, only about 1% of the 95% of homeowners end up actually “homeless”.  Living in your vehicle also constitutes as being “homeless”, about as much as living in a tent city, illegally living in a storage unit or under a bridge or on a sidewalk.  These 1% are seen on street corners panhandling for money.  Surprisingly, there are also racketeers that panhandle to make their mortgage payments (or go party on their gains, which in my book is totally dishonest).  It’s hard to tell who’s who because they all dress the part and carry cardboard signs.

The other 94% are either living with family members or have become substandard renters while they attempt to regroup.  If bankruptcy was utilized to “buy time”, a negative credit score of about 450 points will tank the debtor’s ability to recover for at least 3 years.  My problem with helping out many of these homeowners in “short sale” position is that I am suspicious of the bank’s real interest in the property.  If I look in the county land records, what am I going to find?   No matter.   Short sales are preludes to foreclosures.   If I see a spate of short sales in any given market, foreclosures are about 90 days behind them.  Remember, the bank would rather have your house.  They have no skin in the game and the longer they stay “in the game”, the more potential there is to discover their misdeeds.  Their mission is to cash out and this is what has made them rich.

I have been getting numerous texts and emails from folks who have told me what they have done to survive a foreclosure.  Unlike me, who had a rental property I could move into when I did a strategic default on my primary residence in 2003 (and later sold it for a handsome profit, which turned into a scheme that made me mortgage free), most homeowners have no “end game”.   They made no plans. Most made no plans because they live from paycheck to paycheck.   I heard one investor say, “Working hard builds character.”  Well, that may be true but if there’s more month at the end of the money, character has no place in contingency planning.  People will do amazing things.

I beg to hear of your story on this post, as it will give inspiration to others who are faced with similar plights.  Please comment. 

I have also heard that people have utilized an outbuilding or barn, moved it onto a piece of vacant land (either one they owned or owner financed) and built a house out of it.  It’s primitive, but at least it’s a roof over your head.  So are mobile homes, if you can find them cheap enough.   I lived in one for 4 years and fixed it up so it didn’t even look like a mobile home inside.  I made a handsome profit selling it when I made my next move.  I am one of those that is not complacent.  No matter what happens, I am resolved and determined to bounce back.  I paid off the mobile home in one year and invested about $4500 fixing it up over time.  The owner of the land I bought was happy when I sold it because he got paid in full when he was facing a family medical crisis and needed the funds badly; so it was a “helping hand” to him.  At least I had clear title.

This is a problem for many homeowners because fighting a foreclosure means proving the title is jacked up.  This is no fun when you don’t know what you’re looking for.  This is why many homeowners don’t do what you’re doing and subscribe to this blog and do research into chain of title.  If everyone in America did the kind of research you and I do, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.  This country’s economy would have bounced back on its own and we wouldn’t be depending on politicians to fix it for us.

We are in an upturn real estate market (in most of America) and this begs for opportunity.  I always like real estate investing because it means creating wealth through equity positioning.  If you are NOT in a position to give up, it would be better to rebound into another investment property as soon as possible, even if it’s owner financed.  This is why (in the book Clouded Titles) I talk about having garage sales and liquidating stuff on Craigslist and places like that, because “lightening the load” affords opportunity when downsizing.  This is part of the end game plan for most folks.  You may have some other ideas, which I welcome here, because I want to know what you did to survive a foreclosure.  So do my other readers.  Despite the setbacks you faced, try to have a happy holiday season.

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Filed under Financial Education, Op-Ed Piece

FORENSIC COUNTERMEASURES

(Op-Ed, Financial Education) — The poster of this blog is not an attorney and the information portrayed here is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Kudos to Washington State attorney Scott Stafne for posting this where I could obtain a copy of it in my travails in research!

The title of this post reflects what I’m about to share with you, which you should read at least twice over before making any assessments in your case.

Most folks do not realize that when the proverbial “ca-ca hits the fan” that these types of countermeasures may be necessary to defeat the “other side’s” claim to note ownership.  In an attempt to show that the title documents (the assignments in the land records) do not match the chain of custody of the note, one may have to go a step further in evaluating the legitimacy of the note. It is implied here that once the loans were electronically uploaded into the MERS® System, they were shredded because they were trading on the secondary markets electronically and their original versions weren’t needed anymore.

Anyone reading this post should understand the following:

(1) It is safe to assume that prior to closing your loan, your loan could have been sold as many as NINE TIMES (or more in some cases)!  This means that your originating lender, who many times is just a corresponding lender (5% of their own money into the “game”) was paid off BEFORE the closing actually occurred, which would appear to indicate that the document (the mortgage or deed of trust) on its face is false because it does not state that the lender was paid in full prior to closing.  It only shows where your loan originated.

(2) It is also safe to assume that some investor funded your loan and you don’t have any idea who that investor might be because everything is hidden from you!  Regardless of that fact, the issue remains that the banks will falsely assert that you have no right to determine WHO was involved on the “other end” of the financing spectrum, even though there is convincing research that shows the borrower is actually a party to the securitization process because without their monthly payments, the securitization chain would break (massive defaults in any given tranche within the REMIC after 90 days), the REMIC’s sponsor (who already made side bets that your loan would fail) would cash in on the credit default swaps it placed, plus the default and title insurance policies it took out, which would appear to indicate it was paid in full, and then some, for your loan, yet did not apply any of the proceeds to it, but rather went to the strip club and indulged in some blow, booze and hookers, including all those “friends of Angelo”!

(3)  The reason lenders use the “MERS® System” is because they intended on securitizing your loan and the actual process started when you submitted your Form 1003 loan application! The title documents in your “chain of title” will reflect something totally different than what actually happened on Wall Street (the secondary markets).  Many attorneys and researchers I work with surmise that it was at this point (when the MERS® System was utilized), that parties whom you did not authorize to have your personal identifying information were involved in an apparent massive conspiracy to commit identity theft against you by farming your information out to “the system”, where every subscriber has access to your information, whether you gave permission or not for them to have it!

(4) The banking cartels play by numbers and they know that very few of those getting subprime loans have the resources to wage a legal battle in the court system! This is one of the reasons why they “got out ahead of it” when it came to setting case law involving shutting down the “back end defenses” to securitization, which are now the subject of much litigation in the “sand states”, especially Florida and California.  Anyone reading the Glaski or Saldivar cases can certainly understand where this poster is going with this. These are standing cases!  California homeowners have been getting repeatedly screwed over with non-judicial foreclosures committed by servicers and alleged substitute trustees who (if legally bound to do so) could NOT prove they have any real interest (financial or otherwise) in your property.

(5) Forensic countermeasures may be more relevant if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac claim to own your loan! Many forensic analysts have told me that once Fannie or Freddie (who I believe were involved in the setting up of the MERS® System to hide their own misdeeds) have your loan, utilizing these types of strategies may be the only means of “shutting down” their claim of note ownership!  In of itself, undated indorsements have also become a major part of the appellants arguments in homeowner-won foreclosure cases, as the other side can’t prove “effective date of transfer” of the note.

It is for this reason that I found that the following document may be necessary to consider when planning your litigation strategy: FORENSIC EXAMINATION OF NOTE

Keep in mind that 85% of all property owners who found themselves facing foreclosure packed up and moved, leaving their home vacant.  This violates their mortgage or deed of trust, based on the fact that they warranted they would live in the property.  It also warrants the issuance of an IRS Form 1099-A, which represents abandonment, as much as this poster still regards the illegality of that in of itself!

The remaining 15% of those property owners who did stand up to the banks dwindled the more they were challenged.  Ten (10%) per cent more of them gave up due to running out of funds and/0r the fundamental fortitude to defend their property once the proceedings either started or were challenged in the courts (including non-judicial proceedings that went judicial when the property owners filed suit to stop the foreclosure).  The remaining five (5%) per cent of all homeowners either have been beat down or are still fighting a war that has placed them in a condition of financial suppression, all by design.

These forensic countermeasures cost money.  This poster has other avenues of approach regarding research into the loan itself, even though he specializes in chain of title and quiet title research.

This is one of the reasons that this poster is working on a new book, which he believes to be fundamentally necessary in educating homeowners on how litigation strategies have shifted towards FDCPA-type filings as a means to build a “war chest” to fight the banks.  This book is taking more time than thought because of the voluminous content of case law but is anticipated to be out before year’s end.  There is more to the entire securitization scheme once “fraud on the court” issues become present!

In the meantime, it becomes necessary to plan your litigation strategy if you intend on staying in your home with the intent to “fight the monster” because the judges across America are convinced that their retirement accounts will be jeopardized if they rule in your favor, which I believe is far from the truth.  The foregoing “forensic countermeasure” is just one avenue you may wish to consider.

If I didn’t care about you and your situation, I wouldn’t be posting these types of articles! 

And the truth shall set you free … God’s speed!

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Filed under Chain of Title Education, Financial Education, Op-Ed Piece

FLORIDA’S COURT SYSTEMS IN A STATE OF FLUX! FLORIDA’S REAL ESTATE DOESN’T FARE MUCH BETTER!

The opinions expressed herein are the opinion of the author and do not constitute the rendering of legal or financial securities advice.  If you believe you are one of the aggrieved homeowners affected by the content of this post, this author would suggest you contact an attorney and/or investment broker experienced in matters discussed herein.  The resulting comments are not for the faint of heart. 

The media is starting to pay attention to issues created by recent court rulings in Florida’s very complex foreclosure debate. However, until the Supreme Court of Florida steps in and decides what is just, which is certainly debatable in of itself, Florida may be the worse place to buy REO’s (real estate owned property) and any property affected by MERS-originated mortgages. REO’s that have had MERS in their chains of title may have complicated the sale of these properties to investors looking to score a “great deal”.  At best, these MERS-tainted REO’s may end up purposefully serving only as rental properties in the greater scheme of things.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper published an article worthy of mention here (see the link to the article HERE), as 15 cases of evidence are about to be turned over to the Osceola County, Florida Sheriff’s Department for further review of 156 specifically-reviewed cases, along with hundreds of other related documents discussed in the Trib’s article involving “robosigned” documents that were recorded in real property records across the State of Florida.  The Osceola County Circuit Clerk, Armando Ramirez, commissioned a forensic examination of his county’s real property and court records to look for evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the way foreclosure cases were handled.  It’s no secret that many of Florida’s foreclosure mill law firms are likely implicated in the furtherance of document manufacturing in order to “create standing” for the very clients they represent as plaintiffs in foreclosure actions against unsuspecting homeowners.  It is also of great concern that Osceola County’s representative law firm may find itself conflicted out of future challenges against the county if any wrongdoing involving county officials or their agents is discovered.  In other words, any law firm representing the Clerk of a county against another county agency will pose serious issues because one law firm can’t represent internal opposing sides of the same client.  The forensic examination may thus turn into a political bailiwick for Florida’s 9th Circuit and as a result, may never go anywhere.  This however is not going to stop aggrieved homeowners from filing complaints with the Sheriff and demanding their investigation.  If these complaints are ignored, the political burden could ultimately shift against the Florida 9th Circuit’s prosecutorial arm come next November.  From the current issues involving the investigation, the investigating parties now handling the matter are way in over their heads in the knowledge and understanding it takes to constructively understand what is going on in each of these suspect cases.

The Herald-Tribune article points out many serious issues for both banks and homeowners, some of which I gloat over, as the Court’s justices should have foreseen this backlash coming in their haste to just hand houses over to the banks, ignoring the claims of fraudulent behavior by affected homeowners.

This comes back around to the saying we keep hearing in one Florida Circuit Court after another … “No one gets a free house!”

What the justices seemingly ignore however is that the banks may be coming to court with unclean hands, having unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of homeowner defaults through the payout of default insurance policies and credit default swaps.  In just these instances alone, the alleged lenders bringing the foreclosure actions may have already been paid in full and stealing the house then becomes “gravy” for the servicers handling the foreclosure duties in most instances.   If a REMIC trust is the alleged plaintiff, some of the tranches of the alleged REMIC trust may have already been made whole and none of these “enrichments” are shown on bottom-line balance sheets affecting the homeowners’ loan balances.  That in of itself, not shown in verified complaints filed with the circuit courts in Florida, could constitute perjury on the part of the plaintiff and their representative counsel.

This could also mean that the affected homeowner’s were never in default at all.  So let’s talk about who get’s a free house here.  This kind of diatribe is pure conjecture, based on emotional opinion and not law.  So when the issues in chief start rearing their ugly head as described in the Trib’s article, this boondoggle appears to be the courts’ own doing … or undoing, based on irrational judicial behaviors.  You want to see an already stressed-out court system?   You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

The conflict here is in the current case rulings involving Florida’s five-year statute of limitations on debt collection.  If the banks had their way, there would be no statute of limitations at all.  It would be a free-for-all on all Florida real estate.  The fact that the current Florida Executive Branch is obviously pro-bank, coupled with the mixed bag of debate going on in the Florida Legislature as to how to “remedy” the issues in chief, the marketability of Florida real property now becomes a real concern.  If this is the case, any investigation into banking and foreclosure mill misdeeds (for all intents and purposes) are going to fall on deaf ears.

In other words, based on the political tenor in the State of Florida, buying and owning real property in this State carries with it serious financial consequences.  Take for instance the Osceola County homeowner who paid off her mortgage ten years after she got it (paid off in 2003).  Years later, without notice, Bank of America foreclosed on her property.  With MERS in the equation, chain of title to every Florida property involving MERS now becomes a relative issue, especially having knowledge that five (5) Osceola County, Florida judges were also found to have MERS in their chain of title.  Some of them actually sold their property with MERS occupying a previous position in their mortgages prior to sale.  This does not speak well for the financial acumen of the judges or any party representing Osceola County.  Further, if any judge is holding financial securities, they do so at their own peril.  That is the last thing I’d want to be holding onto going into this second wave of what the Herald-Tribune paints as a potentially dismal picture.

Many judges across the country have retirement accounts heavily vested in financial securities.  This in of itself doesn’t speak well for potential bias on the part of a judge who’s trying to protect his own interests let alone his reliance on his financial advisor who stuck him with tainted securities.

With the rush to invest in Florida property comes this caveat:  Beware of a “great REO deal”!  It may not bite you in the ass at closing, but if you bought with the intention of buying, fixing up and flipping, you’d best do your homework beforehand to make sure you’re actually the owner of the property you’re selling!  One only has to read the famous Massachusetts Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez case to understand that if the party selling the investor the home didn’t own the home at the time the investor bought it, the investor doesn’t own the home either and can’t encumber it nor legally sell it!

Florida real estate brings due diligence to a whole new level considering today’s news!

 

 

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Filed under Breaking News, Financial Education