Tag Archives: foreclosure

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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Filed under OP-ED, workshop

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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Filed under OP-ED, Securitization Issues, workshop

Those who implicitly trust in the legal system will get screwed by it!

(OP-ED) — 

The author of this post is an author and consultant to attorneys (and a paralegal) on real property matters and his comments (especially in this post) are of his own opinion and not that of others in the legal system.  Those who wish to obtain legal advice must ferret out competent legal counsel and retain them while monitoring the activity of those representing them in the maze of confusion we call “the American legal system”.  This is his humble opinion and not legal advice. 

I am constantly getting letters and emails from people who are “getting nowhere” using the services of attorneys.  They’re either being overcharged or under serviced, sometimes both.  What’s “fair” (a liberal term) in the “legal system” (conservative in nature, for the most part) will not be achieved a majority of the time. Many litigants (or wannabe litigants) attempt a feeble shot at going pro se, which can spell doom if you later decide to retain counsel after you’ve already screwed things up.

The legal system is rigged to benefit those who can afford to play in it.  I don’t care what any attorney tells you, if you don’t have money to pay them, what justice is “served” becomes limited in nature.  I have only found a handful of attorneys that I would consider to be “competent” to handle real property law matters and I’ve been researching this area of law for over 10 years.  That doesn’t make me an expert either.  I actually have an attorney who IS an expert witness in real property matters that many attorneys who are litigating foreclosure cases will NOT call to the stand to testify because it “might upset the judge” which they have to appear before regularly.  So the client loses his foreclosure case.  This happened last month in a courtroom in Tallahassee, Florida.  The attorney for the homeowner clearly had the bank and its witness in a vice, then opted NOT to “close the door” using his own witness to “slam the bank’s lawyers” for bringing false and misrepresentative statements on the Court.  This is what happens when attorneys DON’T DO A THOROUGH JOB because they lack the smarts, the sensitivity or at least, common sense, as to HOW TO “tighten the noose”.  Remember, most winning cases have to be appealed. Cases which have implications of criminal behavior by opposing counsel may never see an appellate court (but may rather be settled out of court, many times to the benefit of the homeowner) … or even the light of day, if they are litigated properly.

In other cases, clients are paying attorneys a monthly fee (in addition to a hefty retainer) and not getting proper billing statements as to WHAT work is being done and HOW many hours it took to accomplish said work.  Some attorneys take fees specifically to conduct depositions and then don’t take them (for whatever reason).  Whenever the client asks the attorney to supply them with a statement on account, the attorney rebukes them, makes them feel like a debtor in a debt collection action, or strong-arms them in a legal stranglehold of the attorney’s own making.  Justice benefits those who work in the “system”.  If an attorney is holding you “hostage”, you may wish to consider replacing them.

It’s no wonder I’m seeing an uptick in pro se litigation.  It’s no wonder I’m seeing more and more pro se litigants lose.  Pro se litigants generally did NOT go to law school.  They don’t trust attorneys … but they’ve never argued a case.  They are like electricity (they want to take the path of least resistance).  As long as there are banks out there trying to steal peoples’ properties, the American legal system will be afflicted with burgeoning dockets and implicit behaviors, both from the bench and the attorneys’ tables. Pro se litigants wandering into these venues uninformed are more than likely going to get crucified.

The American judiciary (both state and federal) have various “agendas”.  I have found that you have to research the judge you’re appearing in front of (what cases they’ve ruled on; how many were appealed and reversed; are they pro-bank, etc.).  You will never know whether you or your attorney “coulda, shoulda, woulda” been able to have succeeded unless you know who the referee is.  If the referee pays monthly on his mortgage, you can bet they’ll want you to do the same.  You then have to be able to handle “agenda questions” like:

(1.) When’s the last time you made a house payment? and

(2.) Are you in default?

When you hear questions like this from the bench, the judge’s agenda is: “This is my courtroom and I will find facts to determine WHO loses their home today!”  Most if not all pro se litigants will blindly think that the judge is entitled to these answers and will freely give them, not realizing that the judge’s agenda is to “clear his docket” as quickly as possible and/or is pro-bank.  The judge will get YOU to admit to these questions so he can “close the door” on you and move onto the next case.

I have read numerous cases where the court record indicates that the homeowner admitted they were in default.  What horseshit is that?  HOW do they know they’re in default?   Is it up to them to prove they’re in default or is it up to the bank to prove they are in default?  If a REMIC is involved, I’ve seen court records (and talked to attorneys who have seen court records) wherein the BANK’S SERVICER actually made the payments for the homeowner when the homeowner couldn’t make them, so then, WHEN and WHO made the house payment becomes an issue that most homeowners (pro se) and their attorneys (who aren’t in the know because they don’t have, or take, the time to do their research) miss that argument altogether.  Did you get that?  THE SERVICER MADE THE PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST PAYMENTS FOR THE HOMEOWNER, then went into court and lied to the judge and told the judge the homeowner was in default, when in fact, the REMIC’s investors were getting paid every month!

Cases are won and lost based on a series of arguments, misstatements and missteps.   If the judge in your case is largely moved to rule against you based on emotional ploys by the bank’s attorneys (use of the term “deadbeat”; “They’ve lived in this house for 10 years without making a payment your Honor and we want our house back now.” … that sort of thing), then you are sunk before you walk in to their courtroom.  It helps to attend trials in their courts if at all possible (some judges don’t allow anyone but the actual litigants on the docket to appear in their courtroom for a reason) to see how they act and react to the various arguments.  Conversely, if you don’t do your homework (or your attorney doesn’t do his), you’ll lose anyway.  This is why over 95% of all homeowners who are facing foreclosure RUN AWAY!  This is why we have so much shadow inventory.

Not all attorneys are competent and honest. If it’s your house we’re talking about here, then the question becomes, “What are you willing to do to protect it from unscrupulous or unlearned attorneys?”  If an attorney that was representing me called me “out of the blue” and said I needed to send him $5,ooo right away, I’d ask them what the money would be used for.  If I didn’t get what I paid for, I’d demand the money back or get another attorney.  Attorneys should provide billing statements to their clients; however, most sole practitioners have no time for that, which is the “downside” to retaining them.  I would not want an attorney who only specializes in personal injury cases to represent me in a foreclosure matter because they haven’t won any cases in those kinds of forums; it isn’t their specialty; and they lack the knowledge to be able to defend against unscrupulous bank attorneys in those “shark-infested waters”. That’s like hiring a dentist to do brain surgery on your next of kin.

I am not an attorney referral service.  Most states require you to be licensed to have an attorney referral service.  Most people do not ask an attorney how many cases they’ve won in a particular area.  I can recite the names of attorneys who have won quiet title actions; however, when you then dissect how many were tax deed cases versus the harder-to-accomplish quasi in rem foreclosure cases, the number of successful attorneys diminishes ten-fold (at least what we know from the court record).  You have to vet the attorney to make sure you’re getting what you pay for. You have to discuss with them how many cases they’ve won based on what causes of action.

Many cases don’t make the court record (by design).  We already have learned this through other honest attorneys’ publications, where they have challenged certain legal publications’ decisions to only put in cases that favor the banks and not pro se homeowners (or in the alternative) or the more competent attorneys’ wins.  This is another unwritten fallacy of American jurisprudence.  As a result of closed-door settlements and sealed pay-offs, most homeowners do not know WHO won the foreclosure cases and why (because they were deliberately hidden from public view).  A classic example is that of Bank of America trying to get a federal bankruptcy judge to “delete” the massive case against them, which the judge refused to do Sundqvist-Memo-Opinion and rightfully so.  Here, we have an honest judge that wants to do the right thing by not just the homeowner, but also the public at large.

Pro se litigants not only miss filing deadlines … but when it comes to pleading cases, they don’t know how to plead cases.  Take for example one appellate decision out of Texas:  In this particular instance, the author of the pleading (the homeowner) decided to make use of quotes out of my book Clouded Titles, which is a book, not a legal primer in which to quote diatribe to bolster your legal arguments:

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

It does not bother me that the Texas 5th Appellate District knows who I am, but the fact the homeowner extensively quoted my research (as shown on Page 4 of the ruling) even stymies me.  What’s worse, the term “robosigning” has more of an emotional connotation to it, sort of related to fraud claims, which have also fallen on deaf ears in the courts, as in the Texas case of Reinagle v. Deutche Bank National Trust CompanyReinagle v Deutsche Bank Natl Trust Co, 5th App Cir No 12-50569 (Jul 11, 2013)

I put this stuff in here to show you the following:

(1.) Homeowners get so bent out of shape that they use stuff in their pleadings that they shouldn’t;

(2.) They do not attack the sufficiency (or the lack there0f) of the other side’s pleadings;

(3.) They express their complaints using meaningless allegations, rather than defeat the other side’s attempts in making unfounded declarations without objection; and

(4.) They quote from my book, which is like letting stuff out of your research arsenal that is meaningless to the Court.

To prove a suspect robosigning issue, one would have to take depositions of everyone involved in the creation and execution of the document to see who ordered it; who acknowledged it; who typed it up; where it went to after it was recorded; what powers of attorney are connected to it, etc.  Taking timely depositions in a court case is vital to its success.  Generally, I’m seeing civil conspiracies pop up as the result of document manufacturing; however, failing to depose all of the involved parties will prove fatal in knocking out an Assignment of Mortgage or Deed of Trust from the land records in a Cancellation & Expungement action (C&E).   We managed to succeed in a Tampa, Florida case in getting a Release of Mortgage cancelled and expunged from the land records. Now the end game claimant has more hurdles to jump over in attempting foreclosure.

The bottom line here … knowledge may be power … but not having the wisdom to use it may cost you more than it’s worth.

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NWTS IS CLOSING ITS DOORS; SHIFTS ITS FORECLOSURE CASES TO OTHER TRUSTEE MILLS

(BREAKING NEWS, OP-ED) — 

Boo, Frickety Hoo! 

Why is everybody in the foreclosure mill and related industries pining over the announcement by several news outlets that Northwest Trustee Services, Inc. (“NWTS”) in Bellevue, Washington is closing its doors?

I for one am glad to see them “out of here”, given the fact of NWTS’s propensity to allegedly foreclose on U.S. servicemen and women while they’re on active duty, in violation of federal law.  The closure announcement comes in the wake of the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the foreclosure mill trustee of violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (see the lawsuit HERE: US v NWTS, US W.D. Wash No 2-17-cv-01686 (Nov 9, 2017)

I have been aware of RCO’s bastard brainchild phasing out of its trustee service operations for some time now; however, NWTS has spun off its business to other foreclosure mill concerns like Quality Loan Service Corp, who has previously admitted in writing to screwing up paperwork related to non-judicial foreclosure actions. I do not make that accusation lightly.  For those who need proof of my allegations, see HERE: QLS Letter to Washington Attorney   If this doesn’t piss you off, nothing will.  It further proves that the “right hand still does not know what the left hand is doing” and that trustees, and I mean ALL trustees, cannot be trusted.

I maintain that all of the non-judicial foreclosure mills have been participating in the foregoing kind of scheme, especially involving recorded documents which they themselves caused (in one way, shape or form) to be manufactured for the purposes of standing to foreclose, because: (a.) they all know it’s a numbers game in the number of challenges they might face by homeowners who lack the funds to fight; (b.) they all know that a majority of the homeowners will capitulate and run away from the entire process without a fight at all, allowing them unfettered access to what amounts to “legalized theft”; and (c.) with RCO buying up area newspapers to reduce costs of foreclosure, it’s still making money whether NWTS is operating or not because of the shifting of cases to other concerns.

If you find yourself now facing another concern attempting to non-judicially foreclose on you, claiming to have taken NWTS’s place in the que, check the following in your local land records:

  1. Was there a recorded SUBSTITUTION OF TRUSTEE by the Lender?   According to the Deed of Trust (generally at Paragraph 24), ONLY the Lender is allowed to substitute the Trustee, NOT the servicer and NOT the previous Trustee!  The land records must reflect a valid SUBSTITUTION OF TRUSTEE … BEFORE … and not AFTER … the commencement of a foreclosure sale proceeding.
  2. Did you receive a NOTICE OF DEFAULT AND TRUSTEE’S SALE from NWTS in the past?  In order for a future sale to occur through another Trustee source, you have to have received such a notice, which must be recorded in the land records AFTER the SUBSTITUTION OF TRUSTEE was legitimately filed by the Lender.   If you don’t see that chronological sequence, you have suspect issues in the chain of title to potentially challenge the illegality of the attempted foreclosure sale.
  3. Was there a previous chain of title issue with the substitution involving NWTS?  Many folks stop looking backward, when the real damning evidence is already of record. Look to see who SUBSTITUTED NWTS as the Trustee and examine the chain of title involving alleged Assignments of Deeds of Trust.  If you happen to find an Assignment that merely conveys the Deed of Trust and NOT THE NOTE, for the sake of conducting a non-judicial foreclosure sale, you may have issues with 15 USC §§ 1641(f)(g), for violations of the federal Consumer Protection Act, as well as the Washington Consumer Protection Act (or any related state consumer protection act, for that matter).

This isn’t legal advice folks. This is just plain common sense, based on research.  Legal challenges happen in all sorts of ways.  Responsible American homeowners will fight these monsters.  Even though NWTS is closing its doors, it still has to “face the music” regarding the aforementioned federal lawsuit.  The misbehaviors of NWTS are not isolated incidents. In fact, these misdeeds are common to all trustees!

For those in judicial foreclosure states reading this article, understand how lucky you have it that you have “your day in court”, because in non-judicial foreclosure states, all foreclosures are deemed to be legal unless otherwise challenged in a court of law or of equity.  Otherwise, you don’t get the privilege of fighting the monster.  If the banks had their way, ALL foreclosures would be non-judicial.  It’s the proverbial draining of American homeownership, turning the U.S. into a nation of renters or even worse.  Homelessness is up a point this year (over 554,000 people are living on the streets) according to hud.gov: Housing and Urban Development: Homelessness Data Exchange   Don’t become one of them!

Sadly, just because NWTS is folding doesn’t mean another foreclosure mill trustee service won’t surface in the future that’s funded by principals of the RCO law firm or some other scumbag law firm looking to make a dishonest buck.

Most of my research has shown that according to most laws and rules, Trustees involved in foreclosure sales are supposed to maintain neutrality.  However, we know that’s really NOT the case, right?

On another note, I further would wonder why I still haven’t received a refund from the Washington State Bar Association of my $50 Application Fee for neglecting to respond to my application (not even a denial letter) to have the WSBA sanction my conducting a Continuing Legal Education class for attorneys in Washington State on quiet title actions and other end game strategies.  You can see HOW the WSBA contributes to the power base of the banking industry in Washington State, right?  The crooks roost in all quarters folks!  How many legislators can you name that the banks and their lobbyists have bribed to pass legislation (favoring the banks) recently?  And you still want to borrow money from those banks?

Coming up on Clouded Titles Blog … 

There’s more than one way to skin a REMIC!  Dialing up the pure intellectual masturbation!

Arguments for getting past the typical bank attorney statement that “the Borrower isn’t a party to the Assignment”!

Two easy ways to take the bank’s attorney “out of the driver’s seat”!

… and other more interesting stuff!

Say NO! to MERS mortgages!

Borrower only from banks that portfolio their loans!

(like Fort Sill National Bank)

That was not an endorsement … just an example!

Get back to the old ways of banking!

Support public banking!

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DESPERATE TIMES MAY CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES

OP-ED (UPDATE)

The author of this post is a paralegal and consultant to attorneys in real property and foreclosure matters. Any information or suggestions proffered on this blog are not to be construed as legal advice, nor to they impliedly guarantee any legal outcome or attempt to draw any conclusions of law.  

This Friday night’s radio show on WKDW-FM (97.5 mHz) in North Port, Florida (streaming live on kdwradio.com), November 2nd, 6:00 p.m. EDT, promises to be one of the most informative programs you will hear me broadcast to date on my weekly City Spotlight – Special Edition segments.  It talks about what to do in the face of despair in buying a home after you’ve suffered through financial setbacks and foreclosures.  All of you blog post readers get to have a sneak peek at some of what I’ll be discussing on the show:

After I get done talking about all of the attorney and judicial misconduct, I’m going to cover the following …

Okay, so your credit is screwed up, now what?

First, I will be discussing the setbacks (foreclosures, short sales, deeds in lieu and credit restoration) that a large number of homeowners have faced or are facing.  There are several avenues you can take to correct these setbacks; however, like anything else, they take time … time you might not have.

Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits are on the rise!

Hear all of the latest statistics over the past year to date and why! I’ll even cover part of your attack plan …

The Nuclear Option

Many homeowners have opted to take the bankruptcy route.  Not to forget those who thought it was a humiliating experience, you should learn from our Commander-in-Chief, who has companies that have filed bankruptcy on numerous occasions to restructure themselves and are still operating!   I’ll discuss bankruptcy pros and cons (the way the banks think) in some detail, including Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings and how they can work to your benefit … without you even being at risk of having your credit rating tainted or having to come up with gobs of money to play the game!  

Getting back on your feet … 

You would think that many homeowners would have learned through their dilemma how NOT to make the same mistake again.  Surprisingly, many homeowners keep repeating the same mistakes again and again, out of desperation.  I’ll be discussing what the industry considers your opportunity for a “bounce back” … for which I’m providing you with a chart:

Those of you listening to the show can follow along on this chart as I explain it in detail. 

Alternative methods for gaining control of your life … 

Are you suffering from the “Titanic Syndrome”?   Rather than struggle, why not look at your options.  I’ll discuss those “alternative” scenarios in a little more detail on the show!

Sorry … you’ll have to tune in to get the rest of the info, because no one likes reading huge blog posts (apparently).  Click on the above internet link and then click LISTEN LIVE!

This coming Friday night at 6:00 p.m. … join me for City Spotlight – Special Edition (as I always do every Friday night) with guest R. J. Malloy, retired attorney and former clerk to a U.S. District Court judge!  The stuff you’ll hear on this show you won’t hear anywhere else.

Know that on November 2, 2017 … not only is it mass education … I am going to rip the banking industry (and the ever-complicit Big Brother … you know who, the system that’s complicit with the banks!) a new asshole on City Spotlight – Special Edition!

Click the button below for more details!

 

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Filed under I'm not posting any more stuff on here!, OP-ED