Tag Archives: discovery

WHEN THE NOT-SO-OBVIOUS BECOMES OBVIOUS …

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

Happy New Year!

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

The Not-So-Obvious … 

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

The Obvious …

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

The Not-So-Obvious …

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

The Obvious …

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

The Not-So-Obvious … 

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

The obvious … 

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

The Not-So-Obvious … 

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

The Obvious … 

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

The Not-So-Obvious … 

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

The Obvious … 

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

And the truth shall set you free!

 

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THE MINDSET OF SOME FEDERAL JUDGES IS DISCONCERTING …

(OP-ED) — 

It scares me when I have spent hours upon hours doing research into the behaviors of the American federal judicial system and after fully digesting the U. S. Supreme Court cases of 07-1015_Ashcroft v Iqbal and 05-1126_Bell Atlantic Corp v Twombly et al … I find it a bit disconcerting when I talk to attorneys about their experiences in federal court and they tell me that suicide would be a better alternative.

From recent white papers I’ve read on the subject, legal scholars have pegged the federal judiciary as nothing more than glorified “case managers” … and the most recent article posted by the American Bar Association confirms my suspicions when I read that judges now want to eliminate discovery in cases involving less than $500,000!  The average homeowner’s residence in this country is less than that sum, so what does that say for your due process rights in courts of limited jurisdiction, which the federal courts are?

If this was not a significant assertion, made by a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge at a Federalist Society panel last month, I would have dismissed the white papers I read as speculation backed by demonstrative case law.

(Hon. Thomas Hardiman)

This judge received applause for his remark to the panel when he said, “If I were to do something unilaterally, I would probably institute a new federal rule that said all cases worth less than $500,000 would be tried without any discovery.”   Another 6th Circuit judge, Hon. Amul Thapar, another judge said to be on President Trump’s short nominee list to the Supreme Court, said that clients and their lawyers would both be happier if they could get to trial more quickly, to which Hardiman added that because vanishing jury trials in federal courts are more common, judges have put increasing reliance on alternative dispute resolution, stating, “How many clients win, and the judgment they earned was less than the fees they paid their lawyer?  That’s a Pyrrhic victory.”

What then does that say for the idea that banks are so willing to remove foreclosure cases to federal court because they already are aware of the outcome (a 12(b)(6) dismissal)?   Yet, homeowners are so eager to file cases in federal courts using federal questions and statutory violations like TILA and RESPA, when the actual damage suffered has yet to be determined.

Other judges attending the panel discussion also noted that federal rules already require that discovery be “proportional to the needs of the case”. Others stated that “discovery is a key element of our current adversarial system, often leading to obtaining evidence of legal violations via admissions in sworn testimony, smoking-gun documents or memos that demonstrate wrongdoing.”

While the federal system has apparently recognized abuse in the discovery process, their roles as case managers appears to be expanding so they can rid their dockets of garbage lawsuits, citing one means of doing so is by implementing a civil Brady Rule, which basically promotes the idea that in civil litigation, the parties would have an affirmative obligation to turn over discovery, even if it’s harmful to them!  Under the status quo, such damning evidence might get buried under a pile of evidence like “a needle in a haystack”.

This would imply (at least to me in my non-lawyer mindset) that I’m not going to get a fair shake in any federal court anywhere in the United States of America because everyone’s simply looking to find ways to chuck my hard work … case in – case out … by applying case management standards, mediation and when necessary, applying the “big stick” of sanctions if I insist on my due process rights to discovery.

It’s no wonder the banks play their crooked games in state court.  They know they’ve got a “back door” if the homeowner responds with removal to federal court or comes forward in the state court action with something that could hang the banksters and their lawyers out to dry. When threatened, the bank’s lawyers remove the case to federal court, because most cases involve an out-of-state lender and/or servicer and an amount necessary to sustain diversity jurisdiction ($75,000).  This is why class actions are starting to be frowned upon at the federal level.  Boutique law firms can get rich off the backs of our dilemmas!  Examine the number of FCRA and FDCPA actions being filed singularly versus class action and you’ll see what I mean as to the treatment they get.  And these are statutory violations that mandate federal district level filings!

Lazy man’s way out, I say!

If no one wants to get to the truth, why do we keep supporting this federal justice system by electing folks who nominate and vote them into permanent judicial status, giving them loads of inherent power, when you can’t get a fair shake?   What a waste of tax dollars!

It’s a Catch 22 of “feeding the monster” that at a point in time will devour us! This is why I advocate keeping your cases on the “local level” and letting “the system of things” do what it’s supposed to do.

 

 

 

 

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UPDATE: PRO-BANK 5TH U.S. CIRCUIT APPELATES TAKE DOWN ANOTHER HOMEOWNER … MAYBE?

(BREAKING NEWS — OP-ED) —  The author of this post is a paralegal and consultant to attorneys in foreclosure matters and issues involving “the system of things”.  None of what you’re reading in this post should be construed as legal advice nor posited to guarantee a legal outcome.  

UPDATE: Now that the legal community has had somewhat of a chance to review the previously discussed Fifth U.S. Circuit ruling (in THIS case), let’s see what one law firm has to say:  5th Circuit Holds Bankruptcy Stay Tolls Statute of Limitations | Weiner Brodsky Kider PC – JDSupra

This will certainly give you an idea of how the other side thinks.

_______________________________________________________

As promised, I bring you the latest relevant case from the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Big Easy.  But wait … it wasn’t a “big easy” for the borrower, whose case I worked on long ago (in doing a chain of title assessment for) and whose assignments of deed of trust I use in my chain of title workshops to show “document manufacturing gone wrong”.  Wilshire Credit Corporation, used by Countrywide as one of its servicers,  is to blame for that screw-up.

None of what you’re about to read in this ruling appears proper because no one ever attacked the assignments head on, even when it was suggested to do so. Remember, I can’t give legal advice and it’s sad when I have to read rulings like this, knowing what I know that should have been done, but wasn’t.

So … let’s read the ruling first, then we’ll analyze how the homeowner shot himself in the foot because he put his money where it shouldn’t have been put and didn’t put his money where it should have been put:

HSBC Bank USA NA v Crum, 5th App Cir No 17-11206 (Oct 17, 2018)

We’ll do a little analysis on the chain of title and show you what suspect document manufacturing looks like and my perspective on HOW it should have been challenged.  Is it because of attorney ignorance or just plain and simple frustration?

Let’s see how sharp you are in detecting WHAT went wrong here:

ASSIGNMENT NUMBER ONE                                                                                              

NOTE: Click on the assignment to see it in larger print and click the BACK tab on your computer screen to get back to the article.

I put this assignment FIRST for a reason … look at the time (in the upper, right-hand corner) as to WHEN the assignment was recorded … 11:04:32 a.m. on July 14, 2009.   I surmise that this document was manufactured by employees of the servicer, Wilshire Credit Corporation, to create standing for HSBC Bank USA NA as Trustee for MLMI (that’s Merrill Lynch Mortgage Investors) Trust Series 2005-WMC1.  It should be clear to you that “WMC” in the REMIC series was a REMIC set up by WMC Mortgage Corporation, which was the alleged original lender.

The 5th Circuit has already ruled that it doesn’t matter if the original lender went bust BEFORE the documents were created.  How could they do that?   Corruption?  Maybe?   Maybe it was given the wrong information in the pleading.  Maybe?   The appellate court can only rule on the information it was provided and I don’t believe that any of this stuff I’m showing you here was properly vetted in discovery, was it?

Notice something else?   The signer executing this document (a known robosigner), claims to be an “Attorney-in-Fact” for MLMI Lending, Inc., however; as I will show you, she’s not acting as an attorney in fact for WMC Mortgage Corporation, is she?   There’s no written evidence of where the Limited Power of Attorney is recorded on this document, is there?

Also notice that Wilshire Credit Corporation (the mortgage loan servicer) prepared this document and after it was recorded, got it back through the U.S. Mail. This will be important to note for future discussion.

This recording was a 3-page document.  Page 2 contained the legal description.  Now … wait until you see Page 3!

What’s wrong with this picture?  These F**KTARDS can’t even do their job right, can they?   The executor of this document prepared this Allonge to show that the Depositor conveyed it into the REMIC on July 6, 2009.  If you look at the Trust’s 424(b)(5) Prospectus (shown below), the Cut-Off Date for assigning the note and mortgage to the REMIC was January 1, 2005, because (according to the IRS’s Start-up Date for the REMIC) the Closing Date of the REMIC was January 27, 2005.  This Allonge was done over 4-1/2 years later … in violation of the REMIC’s own regulations!  Besides, what do $10/hour employees of Wilshire Credit Corporation know anyway, right?   Who investigated this?  I did!  I told the Borrower long ago what happened to his chain of title.  His attorney apparently didn’t care enough to depose anyone.

Here’s what wrong with this picture:

First, you attach an “Allonge” to the promissory note, NOT an assignment!

Second, the executor of the document, a robosigner-employee of the servicer, claiming to be an attorney-in-fact for MLMI Lending, Inc., not WMC Mortgage Corporation, executed this Allonge less than a WEEK PRIOR TO the actual recording of this assignment!   How convenient is that, considering she is NOT the Lender.

Third, WMC Mortgage Corporation, owned by GE, was closed in 2007 due to the subprime mortgage collapse.  So here we have a servicer’s employee, two years later, claiming she has “attorney-in-fact” status, when most powers of attorney expire when the company GRANTING the LPOA ceases to do business!  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out!  AND …

Fourth, the signer of this document and Allonge is claiming she has power of attorney for MLMI Lending, Inc., right?  Would you please look at the above list of Principal Parties and tell me you see MLMI Lending Inc. anywhere in that document as a listed party to the equation?   So where is Treva Moreland’s authority as a $10/hour mortgage loan servicer’s employee attorney-in-fact status for a lender that closed up shop years earlier?  Oh, wait, the Pro-Bank 5th Circuit doesn’t give a shit, do they?   Or was it the Borrower or the Borrower’s attorney’s fault for not checking into this further?

But wait … it gets better!  (That’s an Al West sarcastic remark!) 

ASSIGNMENT NUMBER TWO

I put this assignment SECOND for a reason … look at the time (in the upper, right-hand corner) as to WHEN the assignment was recorded … 11:13:08 a.m. on July 14, 2009. This document was recorded SEVEN MINUTES AFTER THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT!  Again, I surmise that this document was manufactured by F**KTARD employees of the servicer, Wilshire Credit Corporation, to create standing for HSBC Bank USA NA as Trustee for MLMI (that’s Merrill Lynch Mortgage Investors) Trust Series 2005-WMC1.  Notice the same Oregon notary (Justin M. Burns) appears on this assignment as well, claiming that on July 6, 2009, the same day as Treva Moreland, the signer of the first-recorded assignment claims to have attorney-in-fact status …

Here comes Melissa Tomlin (another $10/hour Wilshire Credit Corporation F**KTARD employee), claiming she’s an Assistant Secretary for “MERS” as Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. for then-defunct WMC Mortgage Corporation … AND … she’s assigning BOTH the Note and Mortgage to Merrill Lynch Mortgage Lending, Inc. from WMC Mortgage Corporation who (now-defunct) is a “valid Assistant Secretary” for MERS … WOW!  MERS’s resolutions must really be legally sound to be able to have servicer’s employees creating shit documents out of thin air using MERS as a nominee for a closed company … Hmmm … I wonder what agency relationship existed between MERS and WMC after GE closed WMC over two years earlier?

This assignment was also 3 pages in length and was prepared and mailed back to Wilshire Credit Corporation after it was recorded.  Page 2, like before, contains the legal description of the subject property.   And now … for the GRAND FINALE … let’s see what’s on Page 3, shall we? (I am chuckling at this juncture, see if you can figure out why):


Notice what’s on the last page?   AN INDORSEMENT STAMP to Merrill Lynch Mortgage Lending, Inc. by WMC Mortgage Corporation!   Again, I surmise the following:

First, endorsements belong on either the promissory note or the allonge to note (if the promissory note is full of endorsements and cannot accommodate any more of them) … NOT ON A RECORDED ASSIGNMENT!

Second, the executor of the document, a robosigner-employee of the servicer, claiming to be an Assistant Secretary for MERS as nominee for then-defunct WMC Mortgage Corporation, HAD KNOWLEDGE OF what she signed when she affixed her signature to the document (that the indorsement stamp was affixed to page 3 therein), or should have had knowledge of it, right?

Third, you’d think she’d have every opportunity, being an Officer of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (Assistant Secretary), by alleged resolution ONLY and not attorney-in-fact, that she’d have some smarts about stuff like this. Nope! Doesn’t appear that way, does it?  In fact, I’m not even sure that Melissa Tomlin (after doing several signature comparisons on assignments from around the country) actually was the party executing this document!

Fourth, remember, WMC Mortgage Corporation, owned by GE, was closed in 2007 due to the subprime mortgage collapse.  So here we have a servicer’s employee, two years later, claiming she has an agency relationship with MERS as an Assistant Secretary, when in fact she’s a Wilshire Credit Corporation employee (clearly, a misrepresentation of fact), when the company GRANTING the nominee status to MERS to create an alleged (unproven) agency relationship in the first place, is no longer business!

Fifth, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when a company goes bust, agency relationships can be challenged!  I don’t ever see that happening in this case, do you?  (If you do, please correct me in the comments section of this post so everyone can see how uninformed I am!)

But wait … it gets better!  (That’s another Al West sarcastic remark!) 

No one knows how this happened … BUT … either the documents were improperly submitted wrong by Wilshire Credit Corporation when they mailed the packet to the Dallas County Clerk’s Office for recording in his Official Real Property Records … OR … the Clerk’s office juxtaposed the documents … SO … here’s what happened (you may have already figured this out … this is a fun example of a brain teaser for you researchers out there) to screw up the borrower’s chain of title with suspect documents (fact check these if you will):

(1) At the time BOTH assignments were executed, WMC Mortgage Corporation was no longer in business (not that the 5th U.S. Circuit really cares).

(2) MERS was used to cover up the chain of title, even though the agency relationship more than likely ended when WMC closed up shop (there was never a repudiation agreement against the MERSCORP executory contract ever filed in WMC’s bankruptcy, if it fact, it filed for such).

(3) In order for the facts to present themselves in proper order, the second assignment SHOULD HAVE BEEN recorded FIRST to reflect the transfer of the Note and Mortgage to MLMI Lending, Inc. from WMC, so MLMI Lending, Inc. could properly convey it into the REMIC Trust.

(4) But wait!  MLMI Lending, Inc. is nowhere to be found in the Prospectus for the REMIC under “Principal Parties”.  The originating lender was subprime mortgage lender WMC Mortgage Corporation.  True sale #1 would have been from WMC to the Seller, Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital, Inc., an entirely separate corporation from Merrill Lynch Mortgage Investors Lending, Inc., right?  So True Sale #1 was F**KED UP!

(5) True Sale #2 should have been from Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital Inc. to Merrill Lynch Mortgage Investors, Inc., the Depositor for the trust, who, under the Pooling and Servicing Agreement found in the Prospectus, signed under penalty of perjury under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, would have and should have completed True Sale #3 by transferring it into the REMIC itself, as the Issuer of the Certificates!

(6) All true sales had to be completed before the Cut-Off Date … so in fact we have a violation of the trust agreement and a misrepresentation in the Prospectus, if we are to believe what just happened here was factual.

(7) The misrepresentations contained within the Assignments themselves purport to have transferred everything (in order) from WMC to MLMI Lending, Inc. and from MLMI Lending, Inc. to the REMIC Trust; however, with them being recorded in reverse, it would have been impossible to represent this the other way around, so the entire chain of custody of the note is convoluted and so is the chain of title, creating suspect issues for discovery.

(8) Because MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.) cannot convey Notes because it doesn’t have an interest in the Notes (it only allows lenders to record them in the MERS® System database), then the entire claimed transfer by the servicer’s employee (and NOT the lender itself, who was by then defunct) was also misrepresentative in fact.

(9) Further, all of these misrepresentations appear to constitute violations of the Texas Penal Code and the fact the U.S. Mails were used could constitute felony mail fraud (two counts), which is a 95% slam dunk for the prosecution.  Thus, had “the system of things” played itself out the way it should have been played out, Treva Moreland, Melissa Tomlin and Justin Burns would all be doing time instead of going about their feeble lives doing whatever.

(10) Under “the system of things”, the attorneys for the bank relied on these assignments to steal Mr. Crum’s property and should be disbarred.  The judge in the state court could obviously NOT be held accountable for the fraud on his court, because he wasn’t made aware of it at the time the suit was filed and answered (the Texas Constitution requires all HELOC’s to be judicial challenges under Rule 736 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure).  If the judge was made aware, he could have lost his bond and have been removed from the bench and the headlines would have grabbed national attention!

(11) And now … for the piece d’resistance … the lawsuit filed by the alleged REMIC, for which it got a judgment against Mr. Crum, conveniently alleged that Mr. Crum was in default, when in fact, the REMIC’s own Prospectus required Wilshire Credit Corporation to make Mr. Crum’s payments on the home if he couldn’t make them … see here, see here:

Notice where is says (in Paragraph 2 of the foregoing paragraphs) that the Servicer (Wilshire) is obligated to make such advances with respect to delinquent payments of principal and interest on each Mortgage loan … how then, could Mr. Crum be in default?   If MLMI 2005-WMC1 was never aware of the default, which we know probably didn’t happen since the servicer was making all of the advance payments, then WHO actually was foreclosing on Mr. Crum?

(12) Wilshire Credit Corporation … using what I claim are false and misrepresentative documents!  But I’m not the expert witness here (but I have an attorney who is though).  I still see a mess in the constructive notice to the world of when the documents were juxtaposed.  Improperly recorded documents put the cart before the horse, didn’t they?  Can you see it spelled out now?

Any decent, well-informed, non-agenda’d judge should have been aware of all of this … but then again, they only review what’s put in front of them and what’s challenged and why.   You be the judge as to WHO failed WHO here and why.

I had all the facts in 2011.  Now they’ve come home to roost over seven years later … in a bad way!  I can definitely say discovery was sorely lacking here!

Join Dave Krieger and R. J. Malloy for another exciting segment of City Spotlight – Special Edition on WKDW-FM, 97.5 in North Port, Florida, this Friday night at 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) … the subject matter this week … blockchain, jurisdictional issues, societal breakdown and the latest from the ABA blogs!  To listen to the show, CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

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GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST – PART 8

(OP-ED, first posted: September 22, 2018) — 

The writer of this post is a paralegal and consultant to attorneys on matters involving chain of title, foreclosures and document manufacturing.  The opinions expressed herein are that of the writer’s only and do not constitute legal or financial advice.  Any use of the theories or ideas suggested in this post is entirely at your discretion and will probably result in disaster without the proper legal help.

In the segment numbered “Part 7” of these successive posts, there was a boatload of case law wherein judges did the right thing.  As you probably noticed from reading In re Wilson, it involved improper reporting of the posting of payments (all while the foreclosure was still being commenced).  Another case (M & T Bank v. Smith) involved multiple manufactured promissory notes (after the fact) that could have not possibly happened the way the bank’s attorneys said they did. To that end, the judge did the right thing, by: (1) holding an evidentiary hearing; and (2) sanctioning the Marshall C. Watson Law Firm, noting that the Marshall C. Watson Law Firm has gained notoriety for filing false assignments in the land records!  This is EXACTLY what I intimated was STILL GOING ON in the real property records, included in the OSCEOLA COUNTY FORENSIC EXAMINATION.

And sadly, these same attorneys that are representing the banks’ servicers went to the same law schools as the foreclosure defense attorneys seated at the opposing table.  The “good ‘ol boy network” reaches up into the judiciary, because judges were attorneys at one point.  Everybody who’s anybody knows somebody in the profession.  Their relationships are more than cordial.  Many of them run so deep that some foreclosure defense attorneys have tempered their aggressive behaviors, despite the fact they want to do the first thing by their clients (whether their clients know it or not).  The bigger part of the problem is the one thing that all attorneys learn in law school: find some way to settle.  When someone’s home is at stake, settling for less than a completely positive outcome shouldn’t even be on the table.  In fact, it’s an insult to the homeowner’s intelligence (what was the lawyer thinking?).  This is not to say that someone cannot rise up and call this chicanery for what it is: fraud on the court, compounded by felony components and ethical violations worthy of disbarment.  This is what should have happened in every case posted in Part 7!

Aside from all of the arguments over the various issues you hear in the courtroom, the judges keep tabs on everything that’s said and they watch the clock fastidiously. You only get so much time, which is why getting all of your discovery done ahead of time is important, along with the intended depositions.  This is all part of building that big, bad ass paper trail I talked about on earlier posts. The bigger the paper trail, the more evidence you have to help the affected insurance company either deny a claim or pay out on a claim!

Now we’re going to get even more serious …

The Oregon State Bar was sued by two of its member attorneys in U.S. District Court under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988.   Read the 7-page Complaint here:

Gruber, Runnels v Oregon State Bar, US D. Ore No 3-18-cv-1591 (Aug 29, 2018)

CASE IN POINT: THE DETAILS

Notice here that the Defendant is referred to as “a public corporation” established pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes § 9.010 (imagine the liability there)?

Also notice that on the last page, the Oregon State Bar put out a press release that smacks of political overtones.  Is this organization a State Bar or a political action committee?

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  By publishing that single-page ideologue, the State Bar hierarchy has just “positioned its own agenda”.  And you wonder where judges get their agendas?  Who put this “free house” crap in their heads in the first place?  This is only part of the bullshit that has most Americans distrusting their judicial system.  That is not a good thing under “the system of things”.  Stuff like that leads to civil unrest (or hasn’t Congress noticed?) or civil disobedience.  Hey wait!  We’re already seeing that in America … just read the State Bar’s ideologue!

The State Bar Associations have errors and omissions insurance that can be challenged if they fail (as a public corporation) to do the right thing by the people and instead, push their own agendas on the body politic.  I’m talking foreclosed homes by attorneys who lied in court and used phony assignments to bolster their claims of standing, created by servicers and their employees to steal private property because they didn’t do the paperwork properly when the loan was first executed (and potentially securitized).  This makes the entire process liable (if not in the least, suspect), especially when the state bar (in this case, Oregon) sets a bad example by putting out political statements instead of remaining neutral and unbiased.  Why not say something like most judges do in foreclosure courts (and I’m being really sarcastic here):

“When’s the last time you made a mortgage payment?”

At that point, it doesn’t matter what you say, the judge already has his mind made up, despite whether the banks’ attorneys are all accessories to felony conspiracy and fraud, along with a multitude of ethical violations that could get them disbarred (and potentially imprisoned)  I am waiting for the day (and I think I’ll see it in my lifetime) when a judge gets his bond revoked and gets removed from the bench because he (or she) was warned of the felony components of the attorney’s behavior (for the bank) and ignored it … and didn’t do the right thing.  The damage is suffered when the judge issues the final judgment of foreclosure.  At that point, a sale date is set and all is lost unless somebody recants or the judge changes his mind.

And it’s all based on the phony assignments.  Shouldn’t someone be held liable?  I’m not talking about a corporate fine here either.  I’m talking about prison time for the perpetrators of the documents! 

MOTIONS TO VACATE

Lest the judge not have fair warning and be allowed to change his (or her) mind, based on newly-proffered evidence, the bank’s attorneys may end up losing more than their case.  In fact, because of felony behavior, or any collusion with felony behavior (i.e., Oh, sorry I robbed that bank … I was only the getaway driver; here’s the money back) … fraud can pierce not only corporate veils, but all operating agreements sanctioned by the state to where the individual managing attorneys and partners are all personally liable to the homeowner.  If it’s a major law firm, they’ll probably try to avoid filing an insurance claim, because the felony behavior would “come out in the wash” and the firm would never get insurance coverage again and would have to either self-insure or dissolve. And that, my friends, is how we take down a law firm … because they’re going to want to settle … but if there’s a class action of over 1,000 homeowners … who is going to cough up all that money to pay those 1,000 claims under statute?  Someone is not only going “broke”, but the State Bar had better make sure they don’t commit felonies again (through disbarment).  Now they get to figure out, with a felony involving moral turpitude, good luck getting a job at Wal-Mart.  How would they pay off those $250,000+ in student loans?  Boo-hoo!  (sobbing)  … NOT!

So the Motion to Vacate serves as a tool to make the court aware of the illicit behavior … and why.  If the court ignores it, the judge and the county he acts in become participants in the fraud and felony behavior.  This is when things get dicey.  The “system of things” is going to try to draw a “fine line” as to whether the behavior was unintentional or malicious.  This is why we need court transcripts!  If the judge makes an “agenda statement” (i.e., “No one gets a free house!”; “When’s the last time you made a mortgage payment?”; or “You’ve lived in that house for free long enough!”).  This type of speech not only promotes a specific “agenda”, it could lead to more sinister issues. AND …

No one to this point has thought to inform the county’s risk manager with the proper ammunition.  Every pro se litigant that has tried going through the risk manager has failed miserably because they do NOT know HOW to properly “connect” with the person responsible for “damage control”.

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY

All judges in every state enjoy this privilege.  Unfortunately, many of them let it go to their heads.

States also enjoy this privilege.  Isn’t that amazing how they get to legislate themselves this privilege?

Judges get to “play God for 5 minutes” in foreclosure court, not realizing the scenario may present itself to mandates that require them to “do the right thing”.  Because they have “agendas” (“NO ONE GETS A FREE HOUSE!”), they are more quick to “step into the pile of shit” that is about to be created for them.  They have to answer to a judicial review board.  If it can be shown that a felony was committed, on top of multiple ethical violations … and the judge did nothing about it after being called out on those violations … their sovereign immunity is in jeopardy.  Any judge reading this article should take to heart what I’m saying, because the counties are self-insured and most of its officials have to answer to voters.  What if that class action also includes the judge (or judges) involved in the multiple felonies committed in hundreds of cases still applicable in their county?  What if the statutes of limitation are tolled because of the ongoing behavior?  Sure, it’s going to be a sticking point, but, the fact is, no insurance company or bonding company is going to shell out any legal fees to pay for the accessory criminal behavior of an attorney or judge in representing them (paying their attorney’s fees).  The judge will not be able to get another bond, ever, because his or her bond would have been revoked.  That “bond” is an insurance policy designed by “the system of things” to compensate the injured for their losses.   The “senior judges” that were brought out of retirement to preside over foreclosure courts could find themselves and their estate liable as well.  In most states, personal injury judgments are NOT dischargeable in bankruptcy … especially when the parties were warned of potential felony issues and ignored them! 

If the entire Supreme Court of the State of West Virginia can be impeached for felony misbehavior (embezzlement, unjust enrichment and misappropriation of state property), then what makes the judges in the foreclosure courts think they can get away with imposing their political agendas on homeowners when the banks and their servicers are feloniously culpable for fraudulent document manufacturing (or in the least, being co-conspirators to that effect)?

And no, this is NOT going to collapse the entire system of things.  This “too big to fail” bullshit is nothing more than fear mongering.  The “system of things” was created “By the People, For the People”.

Thus, if a class action lawsuit of affected homeowners went after just ONE LAW FIRM and its supervising attorney and its managing partners and took a judge along for the ride as well, especially if the judge had anything to do with the properties he issued orders of final judgments against, now THAT would be something!  That would send a clear message that the “safeguards” that are in place in “the system of things” actually work!

C & E’s JUST BECAME MORE EFFECTIVE! 

These same principles work outside of the realm of the foreclosure proceeding, especially when challenging phony documents or statements made in the pleadings of foreclosure mill attorneys that are false and misrepresentative.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that an Affidavit from an Expert Witness Attorney who identifies the false and misrepresentative information, along with the ethical violations, will strike discord in the heart of the lawyer(s) bringing the foreclosure action.  And you wonder why there are substitutions of counsel when things get dicey in a foreclosure case.  Again, it has everything to do with something illegal happening behind the scenes that the foreclosure mills want to avoid exposure on.  That makes the C & E (Cancellation & Expungement) action even more important!

C & E actions are declaratory in nature.  They open up discovery like a Pandora’s Box.  Once the court is notified of the statutory and ethical violations, it must do the right thing and hold a hearing to preserve the sanctity of the justice system.  If ignored, the judge hearing the case deserves what’s coming because the entire “system” that’s supposed to be in place (in his Court) just went to shit!  Then it’s no holds barred.  His county is self-insured and would rather put him on administrative leave and attempt a crack at “damage control” and quietly settling out of court.  Of course, this is why attorneys are taught to settle FIRST in law school.  That way, they don’t have to air dirty laundry in front of the judge.  Again, and I reiterate this with utmost sincerity, most Americans don’t trust the justice system as it is, which is why “the system of things” is in existence … it all involves insurance and who pays for the damage claims, if in fact they pay out anything (this work to the opposing party’s detriment, or it could work to your benefit … you don’t get both most of the time).

THE CONSPIRACY AND THE UNDERLYING TORT

Fraud is a tort.  The elements of fraud are also expensive to prove.  The elements of negligence however are not.  KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN … BUT FAILED TO ACT would seem to apply here.  This is much easier to prove, especially if it was willful.  Imagine getting discovery from one of the robosigners or the notary involved in the document creation, all singing like canaries to avoid felony perjury prosecution.   What are the banks and their servicers (and title companies) going to do?  Kill all the notaries so they can’t testify against them.  Three words here: Remember Tracy Lawrence?

Misrepresentation is also a tort.   Couple that with negligence and you have negligent misrepresentation.   Go to your jury instructions to find out WHAT you have to prove to win your case … see here, see here (courtesy of the State of Tennessee, where MERS ain’t shit!):

Jury_Instructions_-_Misrepresentation

Jury_Instructions_-_Negligence

Remember (from previous posts) that conspiracy is only actionable as a tort in certain states (by statute).  In a majority of states, conspiracy, while not actionable, can be used to prove an underlying tort, through discovery, while exposing all of the parties involved, especially if a law firm is involved in creating the phony assignment being used to prove standing to foreclose on you!   Yes, it costs money dammit!  You want justice?

 

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GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST – PART 6

(OP-ED, first posted: September 11, 2018) —

The writer of this post is a paralegal and consultant to attorneys on matters involving chain of title, foreclosures and document manufacturing.  The opinions expressed herein are that of the writer’s only and do not constitute legal or financial advice.  Any use of the theories or ideas suggested in this post is entirely at your discretion and will probably result in disaster without the proper legal help.

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

DOCUMENTATION IN SUPPORT OF A CLAIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE EXPERT WITNESS AFFIDAVIT AND LIVE COURT TESTIMONY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EXPOSED RISK FACTORS 

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

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

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

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

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

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