Tag Archives: foreclosure defense attorney

THE ARROGANCE OF BANKS!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BRUCE JACOBS CATCHES FLAK FROM FLORIDA’S THIRD DCA!

(BREAKING NEWS – OP-ED) —

The statistics are unlike anything I personally have ever seen as a consultant to attorneys on matters of foreclosure, chain of title and the system of things … BUT Miami-Dade foreclosure defense attorney Bruce Jacobs has put himself in the firing line by causing the Third DCA into an apparent retaliation by issuing Jacobs a Show Cause Order as to why he should not be sanctioned for violating not only Florida Appellate Rules of Procedure but Florida Bar Rules as well.  I’ve personally met and talked with Bruce Jacobs, a former Miami-Dade State’s Attorney, a devout follower of Judaism.  There are those in the foreclosure world who think little of him for various reasons, while others think he’s too busy to handle their cases, while yet others believe he is a true fighter for “the little guy”.

Miami’s Daily Business Review (via law.com) just broke a story yesterday (October 4, 2018) of the potential sanction news against Jacobs. After doing a little digging, I found the subject per curium ruling that put Jacobs in the crosshairs of some very pissed off judges.  It all stems from their reversal of the famous HSBC v. Buset case, where Jacobs represented the Busets.  After the 3rd DCA’s reversal, I asked Bruce about their opinion in Buset and he told me succinctly that “This is war! This ain’t over yet!”

In a State where homeowners have had more opportunity to figure out “the system of things” as to how foreclosure courts behave, the statistics you’re about to read, which were contained in a filing with the Florida Supreme Court in the cited case, includes statistical evidence of how Florida’s Third DCA is apparently biased and prejudiced against delinquent homeowners:

Alexander v Bayview Loan Svcg LLC, 3D16-2228 (filed April 20, 2018)

Knowing what I know about phony assignments, I proffer an idea here that squarely puts “the system of things” into motion.  By reading this “Opinion” issued by the Third District Court of Appeals in Florida, see if you can make out the frustration not only felt by Bruce Jacobs but by virtually ALL homeowners who’ve ever been in front of any judge in the Third DCA:

Aquasol Condominium Assn Inc v HSBC Bank USA NA et al, 3D17-0352 (Sep 26, 2018)

Again, Jacobs has locked horns with a nemesis that has a propensity to lie in the manufacture of assignments.  In a case in Hillsborough County, Florida, HSBC’s “document manufacturing” came under serious scrutiny and the recorded document was ordered cancelled and expunged from the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s official records in that county.  The case involving that apparent suspect document is still ongoing and if “the system of things” is allowed to play itself out, one particular foreclosure mill law firm and five of its attorneys could be facing the same consequences as Jacobs is now.  It is problematic that most homeowners let their frustrations get in the way of common sense, but the latest “Opinion” seriously appears to put Jacobs in a very tenuous position, since he’s called out the Third DCA for what he believes they apparently are … biased and prejudiced against homeowners … enough to ignore obvious frauds on their own court systems!

However, it should also be made clear here (IMHO) that “the system of things” as I have described in the 10-part series, “Gutting the Underbelly of the Beast” was not implemented in Buset … was clearly not implemented in Alexander … and was definitely NOT implemented in Aquasol, predicated on what didn’t happen in Buset.  That may be tough for some to get their head around; however, when you see the quotes that Bruce Jacobs included in his brief to the Third DCA, which made them recoil, it’s clear the Opinion they issued was really a Show Cause Order that the media is now going to make a 3-ring circus out of, especially in light of what happened to Pinellas County foreclosure defense attorney Mark Stopa.  It’s obvious that Florida does not like aggressive foreclosure defense attorneys, whose first duty is to “the Court”.   With the advent of a Florida judge testifying (at Stopa’s hearing) that Florida foreclosure court judges are incentivized to clear their dockets and receiving bonus cash rewards for doing so, it is very clear that our courts have allowed their own political agendas to taint “Lady Justice”.

I’ve always said it’s about the assignments.  It’s always about the assignments.  This is why C&E actions are so vitally important:

(1)  They dissect the false and misrepresentative information contained within the assignments that are being relied upon by bank’s counsel in foreclosure proceedings.  This involves deposing robosigners.  HSBC has robosigners.  They defaulted when challenged in a C&E as to what authority they had to execute the document.

(2) They bring to light certain statutory violations. Florida has a civil component to its criminal component in F.C.C. § 817.535, which some attorneys rarely use and if they use it, apparently don’t go far enough in using it. They “drop the ball” by NOT doing a C&E on the document called into question.  This is no different than a pro se homeowner going into court and waving a document around and calling it a fraudulent document.  Same results. The Court says, “Prove it!” … and you have no proof!  So piss off!

(3) They bring to light certain ethical violations. Imagine you’re a foreclosure mill lawyer who’s relying on the false and misrepresentative information contained within an Assignment of Mortgage (or even an Assignment of Deed of Trust, for those of you in non-judicial states that have sought to litigate a matter to stop a foreclosure), and you (a.) failed to exercise due diligence in vetting your evidence; (b.) were purposefully involved in the creation of the fraudulent document; and (c.) new or should have known that the information you proffered to the Court would result in a statutory violation.  There are individual Bar Rules in every State that call out this type of behavior.  These Rules fall under the section labeled “Misconduct”.  On occasion, State Bar Associations and Courts across America have to deal with such matters; however, foreclosure cases are particularly egregious in nature because the ethical violations appear to arise out of statutory violations being promulgated on the Court.

(4) They require a determination as to their validity of the document in question.  In the Hillsborough County matter, HSBC had every opportunity to respond, yet didn’t.  When you look at the C&E’s allegations there, HSBC employees could have been facing felony UPL charges.  Duh!  It’s no wonder they didn’t show up.  The good ‘ol boy network on occasion does “circle the wagons” to protect its own practitioners.  I gotta give ’em credit for their somewhat misplaced allegiance.  They pick and choose who they want to prosecute.  Obviously, the several HSBC employees aren’t in jail, so they’ll keep manufacturing phony documents (like every other mortgage loan servicer has done since they were told not to in 2012).

(5) They require a definitive action by the Court.  When presented with the facts, the judge in the Hillsborough County matter cancelled the document and ordered it expunged from the real property records.  That expungement was not detected by the foreclosure mill law firm.  That expungement created further triable issues of fact.  That expungement, in of itself, created a statutory violation.  That expungement further convoluted the chain of title, impairing that property’s vendibility.

(6) They are the “backbone” of any quiet title action.  Once eliminated, assignments and other documents set the basis for the complaint or counterclaim sounding in quiet title because the “obstacle” that the bank has to contend with is an illicit document, shown to be fraudulent, or in the alternative, proven to be fraudulent, with expert witness trial testimony from an attorney to back it up in subsequent cases.  This posits a very serious scenario for the foreclosure mill law firm.  It posits an even more of an issue for any judge hearing the subsequent quiet title action, because the same unclean hands that created and/or relied on the phony document that was cancelled and expunged through the C&E have now come home to roost.

As long as the homeowners are in a position to control the outcome of their cases, the C&E may become a vital tool to measurably determine the success or failure of their destinies.  Sadly, as vigorous of a defense that any foreclosure defense attorney could throw at the other side, especially in this matter, the C&E wasn’t part of it.  Without a basis in finality, how then can “the system of things” work to impose sanctions on the real violators and unseat judges for agreeing with them?

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TO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT … OR NOT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Answer #1 … to Run or Not to Run … 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE JOURNEY BEGINS WHEN THE PITY PARTY ENDS … STEP TWO!

Op-Ed — (continued from the previous post) STEP TWO … 

The Internet can be a dangerous thing, especially when doing research, trying to find answers to questions surrounding a potential financial issue that could become a crisis, like a foreclosure.

One of the reasons why I post blogs is because people share them.  Others who are in despair happen to run across these posts and some of them walk away with reason.  The “reason” I speak of is the need to recognize when there is a problem and the HOW TO’s to do something about it. Being in denial solves nothing.  It simply prolongs the problem.  Sometimes, it makes the problem worse.

The bigger part of the problem is the second issue I spoke of in the previous article: Confusion.  Understanding what is happening in its most blatant aspects is that there is the potential of losing one’s home.  The WHY of it all stems from the alleged lender’s assertion that payments were missed and that the loan is in default.

In mortgage states, or states that are commonly referred to as judicial states, you not only get your “day in court”, but the bank has to actually PROVE that you are in default AND that they hold your promissory note AND have the right to enforce the terms of the mortgage (and note).   In all cases, the mortgage FOLLOWS the note.  The mortgage is a recorded security instrument, which is found in the public record in the county in which the mortgaged property is located.  It contains terms and conditions which must be adhered to in order to keep the note holder from foreclosing and taking their “security for the loan” back.

In deed of trust states, or states that are commonly referred to as non-judicial states, you don’t get your day in court unless you file a lawsuit and demand that the court issue a temporary restraining order (TRO), which prevents the lender (or its alleged servicing representative) from advertising and conducting a sale of your property on the courthouse steps at a prescribed point in time.  The deed of trust is also a recorded security instrument, which operates similarly to a mortgage, and if properly recorded, is also found in the public record in the county in which the mortgaged property is located.

You should know that if lenders had their way, EVERY STATE would be a deed of trust state.  That way, the lenders and their henchmen would have nothing to prove when it came to advertising and selling homes on the courthouse steps.  Until they actually bribe every state’s legislature to change over to non-judicial from judicial, homeowners still have their day in court. This is the only way the banks can win.  Knowing of this potential makes me wonder why people are taking out loans to buy property when, if they know there is a possibility of their financial future turning dismal, they don’t just buy a small plot of raw land and “build as they go”.  This would seemingly make more sense and involve the banks less.

Another reason the lenders prefer a deed of trust to a mortgage is that when examining the 2007-08 financial crisis, homeowners were affected to the point where most in financial straits could not afford an attorney let alone keeping food on the table.  Knowing the homeowner won’t fight back increases a successful outcome by the lender of taking the property back without much hassle.  Now that the Dodd-Frank Act has been molested and degraded to the point of history repeating itself, how many potential homeowners will be sucked into taking out mortgages from the mega-banks, which the gutting of Dodd-Frank was clearly designed to benefit.  You can bet the major lenders had a lot to do with those major changes to the most recent passage of the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act”.  Because these bills are so voluminous and partisan, they create more “confusion” for the average person on the street who didn’t go to law school.

Your “property” has a chain of title … 

Researching your property’s chain of title is like peeling away the layers of an onion.  The more research you do, the more layers you peel away, leaving the real truth on the table, which, after peeling an onion, leaves most people in tears.  This is why I used the “onion” analogy because peeling onions makes my nose run and my eyes water.  Finding out what really happened to you as the result of your being duped by an unscrupulous mortgage loan officer would make anyone cry, especially when they discover that they made a mistake getting that particular mortgage loan in the first place.  And now, you’ve opened “Pandora’s Box” and found the onion.

Accepting the “truth” for what it is … 

During the times prior to the 2007-08 financial crisis, banks and mortgage companies were loaning money to anyone who could “fog up a mirror”, altering mortgage loan applications, baiting loan applicants with teaser rates tied to adjustable rate, interest-only and negative amortization loans and mortgages that looked normal, only to end up finding one got stuck with a balloon note or interest rates that put their monthly payments out of reach of their paychecks.  This was deliberate and calculated.  The banks played both sides of the coin when they lured the investors into the schemes of securitization and lured the homeowners into loans they neither could afford nor deserved.  The first “truth” you need to recognize is whether you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.  Once you realize what the truth is, it makes it easier to come to grips with and deal with HOW the mistake was made that got you into the dilemma you’re in now.  I went through this “dilemma”.  I got stuck with an “80/20 loan”.  That’s two separate mortgages, wherein the second mortgage (the “20”) had a much higher interest rate and was generally tied to another Wall Street security altogether. I used the foregoing phraseology to describe “securitization”.

It does not take an Einstein to figure out that when there’s more month at the end of the money, you’re not making it.  When you’re even one day late on your mortgage payments, the servicer handling your mortgage “red flags” your account and starts a file on you. The servicer is generally looking for excuses to take your home away from you.  No servicer in today’s times is “nice”; in fact, they’re all common liars from time to time, especially those $9/hour cubicle employees who tell you that you have to be 90 days late before you can apply for a loan mod.  THAT IS THE BIG LIE!  The servicer knows that on Day 91, the REMIC’s credit default swaps, default insurance and any other PMI or LPMI that’s been tied to the loan will be negotiated and the alleged “Lender” will reap over 200% profit off of your mortgage loan … and that’s without even applying for the title insurance payout (the principal amount of the loan less 27% administrative costs) because the chain of title is jacked up (due to the Lender’s own ineptness).

The next major ploy of disbelief is the then-servicer (on or before DAY 90) has its employees dummy up an assignment of mortgage or deed of trust and cause it to be recorded into the land records in the county where your home is located so they can “structure” or “manufacture” standing to foreclose.  The term “standing” in of itself intimates that the lender (or its servicer) has the right to do what it’s doing to you. Most attorneys I know assert “lack of standing” in almost every foreclosure defense, because the simple statements of the servicer (who claims to represent the real party in interest) are not sufficient enough to prosecute a foreclosure.

If your loan is in the MERS® System, it is likely to have been securitized, which means that the chain of title is really messed up an there is likely a REMIC (Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit), a tax-exempt entity that soaked investors for loan money, who has no idea you’re in default (the servicer knows!) and the servicer comes in disguised as the Lender, retains an attorney, obtains a foreclosure, sells the house post-judgment and runs away with your earnings.  This is why mortgage loan servicers are in business.  You make gobs of money when 95% of the homeowners run away and leave their homes to the servicer and their law firms, who split the booty, post-sale. MERSCORP (in whatever form) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. were created to bolster lighting fast transfers of loans electronically, that have allegedly been securitized (paid for with investor money instead of the bank’s own money) and sold and re-sold multiple times on Wall Street.  This can only happen if the loan is securitized.  MERS IS NOT (AND SHOULD NOT BE) USED IN PORTFOLIO LOANS!

If you just understood what I just said … the REMIC does NOT know when you are in default because the servicer is required to make your payments to the investors, even when you don’t.  When people realize this, they get really pissed off because all along they thought it was all their fault.  The “noose” was tightened around your neck when you signed the mortgage loan in the first place!  Speaking of fault … did you come to realize the word “fault” and “default” are similar?  How do you know you’re actually in “default” if the servicer has been making your mortgage payments all along?   This is the “power over” debt collection game they play with you when you’re late on your mortgage payments.  All this time, the servicer has been making the payment for you and you never knew it.

These are only a fraction of the “truths” I teach at my workshops!

Homeowners who think they’ve been defrauded want to sue everyone tied to the mortgage loan.  THAT is the first big mistake that homeowners make.  That’s because their confusion has caused them to become angered (the third phase of foreclosure) for all the wrong reasons, to the point where they lose all rational consciousness in making proper decisions about litigation. Listening to people putting forth information and then acting on that information (without first vetting it just because it supports some sort of rational argument they have in order to make a living steering people down rabbit holes) accomplishes nothing either.  This is why many people become confused. Once they enter the cesspool of foreclosure cases looking for answers, they get so overwhelmed they don’t know where to turn or who to trust.

My research shows me that if the banks and mortgage companies were conniving and calculated enough to pull one over on you at closing, then the obvious objective is to give them their just desserts in return.  “Wise as serpents, harmless as doves.”  Going out and filing big lawsuits against lenders without a reason or any “litigation logic” using that same rationale is futile and fatal.  Why waste your money and your time?  The fact you are being foreclosed on brings an undue psychological burden on the mindset, which in turn induces stress, which in turn affects both your mental and physical health.  This is why 95% of homeowners “run away” and don’t fight.  This is why America can easily be “taken over” by the “party elite”, because most do not know HOW TO fight, let alone WHY.  If you knew HOW TO fight, wouldn’t the WHY develop into something more logical?   This is like taking karate or some other form of martial arts training.  There’s no “false hope” here because you are confident you stand a chance of winning.  You either choose to fight or you don’t.  You can still walk away from a fight and save your mental and physical anguish by formulating an alternate plan (otherwise known as PLAN B).

Everything from taking out the mortgage loan to fighting the alleged “lender” in court has a certain amount of risk.  Some of this risk is calculable.  Some of it is not.   You chose the path you are on for a variety of reasons and now you must choose the right reasons to either run and hide from your creditors or to get educated, stand up and fight them.   Filing bankruptcy only aggravates your struggle and to that end, I will explain that in the next step.

The journey begins with the chain of title … 

There is only one place that you’re going to be able to locate the foregoing and that is in the office of the clerk or recorder of your county records.  These folks get paid to help you search out the necessary documents.  If you live in a rural area with an underdeveloped county recording system, it’s highly likely that you will have to search all of this by hand through the index, which is organized by last name, then first name until you locate the recorded copy of your warranty deed.  This is your proof that title has been vested in you and no one else.

As a title consultant for many years, I can safely say that in most instances, this is your starting point.  You do not need certified copies of everything, just regular printed copies you can scan and mail to others who may have more research knowledge than you.  Getting together with other homeowners to discuss your findings after a visit to the land records may expose you to more research truths, which you need to begin your quest to justice.

You MUST collect the entire chain of title for your property in order to be able to fully analyze it (or have someone else that is more formally trained analyze it).  Skimping to only obtain the first couple of pages of a mortgage or deed of trust is just plain penny wise and pound foolish.  You need to see the whole document to see HOW you got screwed.  The devil is in the details!

Mortgage = Payments until Death  (Duh … “mort” … in several languages, means “Death”)

STAY TUNED FOR STEP THREE!  (I will discuss HOW the chain of title is used to formulate your case for trial!)

For more information on the Foreclosure Defense Workshop, click on the link!

I’m only doing this once this year!

For more information on Dave Krieger’s information library, CLICK HERE!

NOTE: Foreclosure defense attorneys are attending this Workshop!

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Nothing has changed much in Washington State, post-Bain!

Op-Ed —

August 16, 2012 is a day that will go down in Washington State’s history when it comes to dealing with the issues created by the licensed lenders in that State who rely on MERS to cover up “dead spots” in the chain of title to properties.  I’m attaching the Supreme Court’s en banc ruling to refresh your memory and to fill in any gaps that might be missing in your thought process.

BAIN V METROPOLITAN MORTGAGE GROUP, INC. ET AL

Only a handful of states in the union agreed with the Washington Supreme Court’s decision insofar that MERS was NOT a real “beneficiary” because it didn’t loan any money and therefore, had no interest in the borrower’s promissory note.  In fact, during the oral arguments presented before the Supreme Court, counsel for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (not “MERS”, which means MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.; I’ll explain in a moment) could NOT identify WHO owned Kristin Bain’s mortgage loan! That didn’t bode well before the justices, who were stunned at the lack of knowledge and almost sheer arrogance of MERSCORP’s counsel.

You see, what the Washington State Supreme Court justices were never presented with, and thus did not have in evidence to be able to make a determination of, is that the Rules enacted by the parent of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. (then MERSCORP, Inc.), specifically note that under Rule 1 § 1, when the term “MERS” is used, it means the PARENT, NOT THE CHILD!  Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is THE CHILD. The lack of knowledge by the attorneys for the homeowners (for Bain and Selkowitz) and the deliberate omission of MERS’s own “rules” by its representative counsel should be cause for alarm in the way cases are being litigated all across the country!

THE PARENT AND THE CHILD ARE NOT THE SAME!

In fact, they are two distinctly separate Delaware corporations. This was a contrived scheme of mass proportions, created in favor of the banks, which caused tens of millions of fraudulent and misrepresentative documents to be recorded into the land records of all 3,041 counties, townships and boroughs in the United States, literally clouding titles to over 80-million properties!

Thus, when Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. shows up in any legal proceeding, it’s the “empty shell” (a bankruptcy-remote entity with no assets or liabilities; no income or expenses; and no employees) that shows up in court … NOT THE PARENT!  MERSCORP is footing the legal costs in every proceeding (because it is a roughly $2.7-billion a year business model) that operates and argues on the flawed idea that the agent (nominee) and the beneficiary can be one in the same party.

The Tennessee Supreme Court completely gutted the MERS business model in the Ditto decision. MERS v DITTO_TN Supreme Court rules against MERS!  To NOT understand all of the basic tenets of real property and mortgage law could be fatal to you in your foreclosure case!

This is why I am hosting the Foreclosure Defense Workshop in Orlando on September 30-October 1, 2017.  (see below)

Part of the “good fight” in dealing in foreclosure actions is knowing the truth and how to find it (or go after a determination to get at it).  This is a lot of what we are teaching in the workshop, even if you’re going pro se!

You have little time to make reservations, because airfare is going up the closer you get to the date and the number of seats to the event has dramatically shrunk.  If you are even thinking of remotely preparing yourself to “fight the good fight”, you need to be at this event!  Since Hurricane Irma hit Florida and knocked out a lot of the internet connections, many Florida consumers won’t know about this event until this weekend and likely, there will be an onslaught of registrations at the last minute.

FDW ORLANDO REGISTRATION FORM

Meanwhile, back in Washington State … 

It appears that the regulatory agencies that govern the behavior of the banks aren’t falling all over themselves to stop the continual process of recording documents in the land records that makes use of MERS as a “beneficiary”, post-Bain.  Here is one such Consent Order, issued in 2017, that exemplifies my point (sent to me by one of the readers of this blog):

Planet Home Lending

The Consent Order appears to have noted that a violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act [RCW 31.04.027(2) and (13)] occurred when Planet Home Lending, a lender licensed under Washington law to conduct business in the State, caused several Assignments of Deeds of Trust to be filed in counties all across Washington State, post-Bain, characterizing MERS “as the beneficiary when MERS did not hold the corresponding promissory note.”

While I was not provided with any specific Assignment to review, I would guess (and my guesses are usually pretty right on) that the Assignment was created by employees of the servicer of the loan. Recognizing this scenario is important for two key reasons:

  1. If a consumer is economically affected by the recording of one of these subject, suspect Assignments, the consumer would have to assert a specific violation of the foregoing state statutes; and
  2. If the Assignment of Deed of Trust used MERS to characterize the Assignor as a “beneficiary”, post-Bain, for the purposes of transferring any rights in the note to a REMIC, or even more importantly, to the servicer, who then commences a foreclosure action against the Property, then there may also be a violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1641(f) and (g), the Federal Consumer Protection Act.

Through the use of the federal citation, the case then becomes a federal issue, so one would have to get a competent attorney to sort through which would be more effective to prove (as a Plaintiff) against Planet Home Lending, the violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act (which has a supporting Consent Order to apply to the case as evidence) or the Federal version of the same.

The problem is however, that the Consent Order implies that Planet Home Lending didn’t admit to guilt, even though the State found violations of the foregoing Act (under Agreement and Order Paragraph C). For all intents and purposes, the Order basically said, “Don’t do it again!” and by agreement, any further violations of the Order would be dealt with in the future (to what extent, we do not know).

Now, I can surmise that all of the litigious folk out there affected by the issuance of this Consent Order have realized that there is nothing stopping a consumer from bringing a private right of action against Planet Home Lending (or any other lender or servicer violating the Washington CPA). However, I caution those considering such to use due diligence in determining “damage”, whether actual, compensatory, exemplary or punitive.  Without some sort of financial loss, it may be more difficult to press forward with a CPA violation claim.

That being said, it appears that suit may be brought under the foregoing state statutes in lieu of any decision like Yvanova v New Century Mortgage Corp. et al (California) and Miller v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, 726 F. 3d 717 – Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit 2013 – Google (Texas) that gives consumers the right to challenge the creation of (and subsequent recording of) a suspect document affecting chain of title in the land records of any county in Washington State.  This may also apply in other Consumer Protection Act-related statutes across the country, but it is likely that a consumer would have to conduct some pretty specific discovery (against the mortgage loan servicers’ employees and notaries) to see who ordered the creation of the document and who caused it to be manufactured, for what purpose and determine accountability.

It should also be noted that civil conspiracy is defined in virtually every state statute.  While this term does not in of itself, constitute a cause of action in the literal sense, the act of one or more actors getting together and conspiring to do a thing to scheme that adversely affects the economic or financial well-being of another would certainly be an issue to be considered.

In Florida, for example, Florida Criminal Code § 817.535 makes it a third-degree felony to record a document containing false and misrepresentative information with the intent to deprive another of their property.  While consumers cannot commence criminal proceedings directly, they can file a criminal complaint with the local sheriff’s department (the county land records are the sheriff’s jurisdiction) and pursue a criminal case that way, especially if discovery shows that a civil conspiracy to create the document indeed occurred. You should understand that (based on our past dealings with a certain sheriff’s department) detectives at the county level are either lazy, in defiance of or lack the knowledge to properly and fully investigate such matters, as evidenced by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, who could find no wrongdoing in the OSCEOLA COUNTY FORENSIC EXAMINATION.

The foregoing subject matter is only PART OF what we’re going to cover in the upcoming Foreclosure Defense Workshop.  Thus, the tools and weapons that pro se litigants and litigants being represented by counsel are being refined to be more effective and the means by which documents are challenged has also been refined (AND PROVEN) to work!  There are three specific things I’m going to be sharing at the workshop in this regard, in addition to the newly-developed tactics by Rich Kalinoski, the attorney lecturing to those attending this workshop.

Again, this is the ONLY workshop we’re doing in 2017.  We have not decided whether we’re going to do another workshop again. Rich is very busy implementing his new developments and for this reason, may stifle any efforts to conduct a workshop in the future.  Know this … legal tools will be available to all of those who attend!

In the meantime, keep researching and “fighting the good fight”.

Dave Krieger is the author of several books, including Clouded Titles, available on his website.  He consults attorneys in foreclosure matters and drafts pleadings and conducts research for attorneys and litigants. Mr. Krieger is Managing Member of DK Consultants LLC in San Antonio, Texas. 

 

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