Tag Archives: foreclosures

NOTE TO INVESTORS: WHAT THE GREEN EMERALD CASE HAS TAUGHT US

(OP-ED) — The commentary provided within this post is not legal advice.  The author of this post leaves it up to the reader of the material contained herein to determine its educational value and to always conduct due diligence prior to assuming you have rights that may not have been afforded to you, either in the chain of title … or in litigation. 

For some reason, this case was seared into my conscience.  I’ve seen a lot of investor cases, but this one … this one really spells it out for investors and third parties who attempt to acquire properties AFTER a foreclosure case has commenced, instead of BEFORE (as were the facts supported by this case):

Green Emerald Homes LLC v 21st Mtg Corp, 2D17-2192 (Jun 7, 2019)

Yes, I know it’s a Florida appellate case; however, it can be said that the facts contained within the case provide a complete measure of justice for investors throughout the entire State of Florida, the third most populated state in the U.S.

Notice that Florida Bar-suspended attorney Mark Stopa first litigated this case?  He was later replaced by the listed attorneys and their respective firms.  Notice Greenspoon Marder is representing the Defendant Bank (as Appellee)?  Put them on your radar as a definite “foreclosure mill law firm”.

This case also represents that Florida Circuit Court Judges are notorious for quickly granting judgments of foreclosure. Of course, in Stopa’s disciplinary hearing before the Florida Bar, a judge who testified in Stopa’s favor admitted that judges were getting pay raises based on their ability to clear their dockets of foreclosure cases, courtesy of the Florida legislature. So not only is is apparent that Florida judges have a conflict of interest, their pension funds are vested in the very securities they grant foreclosure judgments for. This makes every Florida judge (and virtually all other state judges throughout the country) susceptible for recusal based on a conflict of interest.  Most states allow recusal for cause.  Some states allow recusal of a judge without cause.  You have to do your homework.

My point on this case is found in the citations listed throughout the ruling. There are oodles of case citations from every appellate district in Florida that support the arguments being propounded by the 2nd DCA!  These cases feed directly into the reasoning this appellate court took in noting that Green Emerald (the investor) took title BEFORE the filing of the Lis Pendens notice, not AFTER!

Further, notice the caveats (to investors) within the concurring-dissenting opinion filed by one of the judges.  ALL of the sticking points for safe investing are found there!  This case was full of “nuggets”, which is why I suggested reading it in the first place, especially BEFORE you drop a dime on any investment.  Believe me, if I were in Green Emerald’s shoes, I would have researched the chain of title to check for “hiccups” in the chain that could be attacked.  It’s always the dirty assignments, which is why C&E’s are so useful in attacking their false and misrepresentative statements.  Defeating assignments (whether you recognize it or not), knocks the “standing” legs out from under the Plaintiff bank (through its mortgage servicer), while placing unwanted scrutiny on the bastards that created the document and under whose direction!  You’ll find the foreclosure mills in many instances are directly tied to the creation of the phony documents they intend to rely on at trial (or in deed of trust state by advertisement and sale) for the prosecution of foreclosures.

Taking property “subject to” could mean one of two things … (1) you either want to continue to pay on the note and keep the mortgage “in play” until it’s paid off; or (2) you ignore the note and mortgage and prepare to spend thousands of dollars defending your position in court when the foreclosure suit is commenced.  In either case, it pays to have your name on title BEFORE the SHTF!  The other aspect NOT PURSUED here, noticeably, is that Green Emerald didn’t present any evidence that it had an assignment of the borrower’s litigation rights bestowed upon them (another key ingredient to having standing to litigate a foreclosure complaint.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

1 Comment

Filed under OP-ED

AMERICA’S HOUSING CRISIS, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE, IS THE GOVERNMENT’S FAULT!

(OP-ED) — The author of this post is a consultant to trial lawyers handling chain of title and foreclosure matters and thus, cannot render legal or financial advice.  This post is for educational purposes only. 

I was reading a news article in the local paper by a local columnist entitled, “There’s no place for you here …”   The article basically pontificated that low and middle class workers cannot afford this area’s housing market.  If what that columnist said were absolutely true (and I debate his viewpoints in so many ways), whose fault is that?

America continues to face a housing crisis that state governments could create a master plan to solve, yet nothing obvious and straightforward is being done.  We all think that our elected congresspeople and senators in DC will do something about it, since the issue seems to be promoted as a national issue and not a state one.  Not so in my book because it’s all become politically relative.  Politicians simply say what the voters want to hear, whether what they say means anything or not.  The system is rigged to favor the elected and not the body politic.  We need to wake up and face that fact.

THE FORECLOSURE CRISIS CONTINUES TO FUEL THE HOUSING CRISIS … AND VICE VERSA

The “American Dream” has brought with it a ton of lobbying by the banks and their minions and history has shown us the “American Dream” has brought with it a ton of scandal, including the illicit manner that continues to happen in every county’s land records: manufactured assignments.  This garbage is the by-product of Wall Street and its desire to make itself rich through securitization, off the backs of investors and borrowers alike.  Because the laws that are legislated into existence seem to favor the banks and the oligarchs that run this country, a number of ideas are contemplated here:

  1. The politicians that run this country, BOTH Democratic and Republican, have notions in their head that they think they’re better than we are.
  2. Every two to four years, we all get to watch them smear each other on TV with negative campaign ads that frankly unzip the fly of dysfunctional governments at both state and federal levels.
  3. The two-party system rightfully caused this mess and the mess won’t stop until “the system of things” is changed in favor of the people and not in favor of politicians, who get to live out their retirement better than we Americans could ever have it, if we even get to retire.

Despite what you’re reading that is spewed from spoon-fed, government sources, fake news or not, foreclosures are continuing, whether in record numbers or not … and talk about a resolution to this mess is cheap in DC.  With the CFPB (or whatever “new and improved” acronym they want to apply to this now-seemingly worthless bunch of bungling bureaucrats) being watered down, aggrieved consumers can now stop turning to the U.S. government for answers and resolution because it won’t be there for them.

Our problem is … we depend too much on government to be our savior because the government has a bad habit of promising everything, but not without strings attached.  The banks have made sure of that.  Thus, securitization is back in full swing again and the same people who got stung by the last housing crisis are the first in line to apply for their MERS-originated mortgages … rinse and repeat.  Drink the Kool-Aid … rinse and repeat.  People who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. 

This means more theft of homes, more trashed out and worthless chains of title and more shadow inventory being kept off the books, thus skewing the real numbers of  what’s being illicitly taken … and taken for granted … maybe we don’t have a crisis after all … ahhh … but we do.  And it’s not going away any time soon. As long as builders are building unaffordable homes (homes with a market value of over $250,000), this will force Americans to have to borrow more and drive them deeper into debt.  This is the typical Catch 22 syndrome of the mistakes we made in the last housing boom. Until builders are reigned in or people stop drinking the Kool-Aid, it will be status quo in America. The state and local governments could change that, but they’re not doing anything worth mentioning.

THE “CLASS SYSTEM” GAP IS EXPANDING IN AMERICA

I live in a county where retirees (some with accumulated wealth) comprise better than 25% of the population.  Home building permitting is at a standstill because of the backlog of builders coming back into the picture and the government has complete control of what these builders do, what they build and who they employ while building what they’re building.  Because permitting is taking so long and counties are becoming more particular about construction and design issues as well as code enforcement, the cost of housing becomes the victim of cost overruns.

Only one “affordable housing” project has been contemplated for this area and surprisingly, the home builders who are continuing to build “upscale” housing are part of the debate to limit that type of housing because of the “riffraff” it brings with it.  No one said anything about building “projects” here, as if that has some sort of negative connotation attached to it.   These builders however seem to forget that if only the wealthy people can buy homes in this area and rents are too expensive to support the lower income and middle income families, there won’t be any labor force to accommodate the service businesses needed to wipe the noses (and asses) of the rich people.  Yowsah! Yowsah! Yowsah!  I’m perturbed by this, because I used to own/manage/work in the restaurant business for many years and I can tell you how unpleasant things can get when people who have money take people for granted who are just trying to keep up, absent the snobbish behavior.  I must be a black man trapped in a white man’s body because there are days I wake up and I feel like a “slave to the riddim”.

And I’m not being facetious here.  I’m one of the lower to middle class, just like most of you.  Sure, I have my “American Dream” but it’s different from yours.  I do not support the DC behaviors.  Deep State is counterproductive to forward-thinking government progress because it seeks to disrupt change for the better.  I do not support the two-party system because of what it’s done to America.  I am non-partisan in my thinking here.  I have to be.  We all need to be realistic for the moment because our “spending habits” (Americans are deeper in credit card debt than ever before), which are created by the spending boom that occurs with “holidays” like Black Friday, fuels negative habit patterns that will drive lower to middle-income wage earners deeper into the abyss of debt and make them less likely to be able to even afford to rent because they’re too consumed with their “comfort zones” (what it takes to make us happy in the short term).  Americans rarely ever save (unless they’re rich and they can afford to save) and most live paycheck to paycheck.  What’s in your wallet?  More month than the end of the money?

So if you were fortunate enough to have been born into wealth or accumulated it through investing and working smart, then you can certainly understand what might be in the mindset of that waitress or waiter that takes your order the next time you go out to feast at a corporate restaurant chain because all of the mom and pop operations have since become scarce due to the way our economy has made it unaffordable to start competing small businesses … and yes, not without strings attached … again.

Our state and local governments have played right into this scenario by not mandating affordable housing as part of their “master plan” (albeit Multnomah County/Portland, Oregon is attempting a stab at it) in subdivisions that still provide decent living standards for lower to middle income families with homes priced between $50,000 and 100,000.00!  The success of that program remains to be seen.  The days of the McMansion are gone thanks to the new tax laws that limit the amount of property taxes that can be deducted on a 1040 tax form.  You can thank your DC bunch for that. Only the rich will be able to afford them … and with that … comes a whole different set of problems and risks.

Coupled with the foreclosure crisis, anyone attempting to buy shadow inventory at a discount risks legal battles (prolonged quiet title actions for example) that could prevent them from actually getting a bargain, unscathed.  This includes investors that are trying to accommodate the poor in making housing affordable.  There is going to have to be consideration factored in for rents, because what people will be able to afford will be way less than what the rich can afford.

There is further conflict in reports of whether millienials migrate to the inner city because of job growth or in the alternative, move out into “the ‘burbs” because of space and security.  While one study says millennials can’t afford today’s housing because they don’t save, live from paycheck to paycheck, continue to rely on mommy and daddy when things get tough and are least immune from impulse spending … another study says they’re just fine if they want to move to suburbia and that most of them are, according to studies.  The disinformation campaign isn’t helping matters much because it means more gobbledygook to wade through to get at the real truth.

The influx of foreign workers into this country isn’t helping our economy much because jobs are being created to accommodate those who will work for less.  This is forcing the class system in America to widen because the rich are paying this influx lower wages so they (the rich) can make more money.  Many workers who have migrated into the U.S. seek jobs that pay cash; thus, they pay no taxes, yet they get social security benefits and free health care, which someone else has to pay for.  The two-party system sees this as a means to an end … to woo more non-citizens to become voters so they can vote for the “party”, who influences their choice.  In the meantime, you saw what banks like Wells Fargo did to “encourage” migrant illegal aliens to open bank accounts.  The banks are supported by the U.S. government.  The servicers who work of the banks lie, cheat and steal in the name of the banks, taking property away from hard-working Americans using servicer-manufactured documents containing false and misrepresentative declarations.

WE HAVEN’T EVEN APPROACHED THE IDEA OF A CASHLESS SOCIETY YET

What the banks really want is a cashless society.   Many in the U.S. government support this idea.  Why?

  1. It’s a way to gain personal control of every hard-working American, forcing them to do transactions using a debit or credit card.
  2. Every transaction of the type identified in #1 is already being monitored by the U.S. government (FINCEN) and the private banking sector.
  3. It reduces the amount of goods and services sold and traded in the underground economy (or so they think).  It would actually promote and increase (incentivize) participation in the underground economy, more in rural areas than in the major cities.
  4. The U.S. government can simply take earned “credits” right out of peoples’ bank accounts any time it wants to, for taxes, child support, etc., leaving the individual with nothing to live on.

No one would want to migrate here after a move like that because illegals work for cash.  If no one possessed fiat “cash” (M1) then privacy rights would be completely removed.  By tapping into a bank account, the government could purposefully screw with anyone it wanted to, knowing exactly how much an individual is “leveraged”.  How in the world do you think the writers of Enemy Of The State fathomed this story line?  Do the writers know something we don’t?

When an individual can’t eat and feed his family because his “line of credit” or cash flow is suddenly cut off, what do you think will happen?   A classic “have not” scenario.  He takes from the “haves” by whatever means possible.   You really want to live in a society like that?  America is already ranked as one of the most dangerous places to live by Atlas & Boots and Forbes Magazine.  A cashless society would make a bad thing worse because the police cannot stop random acts of violence when they themselves could become instant victims.  No amount of deposited “fiat credit money” can stop a rebellion or even a full-scale revolution, which is what you’d have if the government insisted on going this route. The major cities would turn into blood baths.  I’m not being paranoid here.  Think about what you would do if you had to face this situation head-on.  What would you do?  After all, you gave the government your tax dollars and you voted for all of these politicians who loaded your “Government By The People” with hundreds of layers of bureaucracy, some of which has broken off and become a part of Deep State.

DO YOU SMELL SOCIALISM?

I majored in political science and journalism in college; thus, I posit the following scenario:

Imagine taking all of the money away from the rich and passing it around to all of the poor to fund the services necessary to accommodate the influx of non-citizens into America.  The poor will spend through all of their newly-found gratis like shit through a goose (an old saying of Gen. George S. Patton) and will then expect MORE.  Now there’s no future for American businesses because the wealthy will not be able to support their businesses and expand their businesses to accommodate more employees because they are broke (or taxed into non-existence), just like the rest of us.  This is why socialism hasn’t worked wherever it’s proliferated because someone has to pay for the “nanny state”, which the government created with your tax dollars. Socialism begats authoritarianism, which begats communism.  The result of communistic behaviors promotes crime (e.g. the Russian mafia, etc.) in order to circumvent and deliberately retaliate against government behaviors.

Everybody likes free stuff!  However, someone has to pay for the services that illegal immigrants are receiving in this country.  Someone has lost a job to an illegal immigrant.  Someone died at the hands of an illegal immigrant.   And more than 5,000 people are trying to get into this country illegally and the whole mess at the San Ysidro border crossing has been politicized to the point of nauseation.  No one is a racist just because they are implementing the laws that are in place in this country.  This is what the executive branch of our federal government was designed to do.  Blame our founding fathers for even thinking that we should all be safe and secure and live in peace and freedom.  Now I’m being facetious.  Depending on which political party (of the two) you belong to, you see 5,000 new voters, voting towards socialism and getting free stuff, or you see 5,000 new voters sucking off the teat of America and at some point in time, someone will have to pay for it. But how?

INCREASING TAXES PROMOTES REVOLUTIONARY IDEAS

Yes … just like in America’s Prohibition Era, whenever taxes were increased, people went underground to survive and the shadow economy flourished.  History has not changed.  U.S. government economists (like Bruce Bartlett) and socialist think tanks are still trying to figure out how to bring the shadow economy under control so they can tax it … yeah, good luck with that.  And who profits from all of this?  The banks.  After all, their “fed” is the one who keeps “loaning money” to the government, so it can continue to write checks its body can’t cash to support “nanny state” philosophies.

People seem to forget how history repeats itself.  It further seems to me that we got into a war with the British over a 3% tea tax, right?

The big outcry at the time was taxation without representation.  Think about the 23 taxes you pay on a loaf of bread and tell me that this country is not the frog swimming around in luke warm water. Unbeknownst to him, the master of the fire is turning the heat up to gradually boil him alive! Think about that the next time you have to pay for someone else’s direct benefit to your detriment (you’re broke again?).

TAXING APPROPRIATE SOURCES

Colorado and Washington State have discovered just how much extra revenue the recreational marijuana business brings in.  The federal government however, ironically doesn’t want to allow marijuana businesses to have bank accounts that the government can get legitimate tax gains from.  The irony of it all is that banks are great sources for laundering drug money, aren’t they?  When people who buy controlled substances like marijuana use cash they’ve taken from their pocket or their bank account, give it to a drug dealer in exchange for pot, who then uses those funds to go out and buy basic necessities to live on and spends the cash right back into the mainstream economy … that money ends up getting deposited into someone else’s bank account at some point in time down the road.  Yet, those in government that have created all of this “reefer madness paranoia” legislation seem to believe that the banking system Uncle Sam borrows from (and then spends it like a drunken sailor) plays no part in it; thus, the government shouldn’t be held accountable, even though it provided the vehicles and the mechanisms in which buying drugs is facilitated.  People pay for drugs with cash … not a debit or credit card.  Any cash can be “laundered” no matter what source it came from, even if legitimate.  Our foolish government could be taxing pot sales at all levels but the politicians won’t listen to the voters, will they?  And that’s just one area that the politicians who allegedly run this country aren’t listening to … or if they are listening … they don’t care and they vote the way they want to vote.  If they want to keep pot illegal, despite what the voters want, they’ll keep pot illegal.  This is another prime example of the way our government is to blame for its failure to counterbalance revenue shortfalls.

THE “CLASS SYSTEM” GAP FUELS THE CRIME RATE

And just when you thought that a cop shooting an unarmed “African-American” wasn’t bad enough, I still maintain that when you displace a family on the street … and the head of household runs out of options, you end up with more murder-suicides, suicides, death by cop and crimes against property when the system can ill afford to maintain law and order in the present day as it is … all because the local government, which has every means to change the environment in every one’s favor, still wants to make its “master plans” cater to those who can afford it.  It doesn’t matter what race, color or creed you are!  The biggest mistake facing America today is allowing the class system “gap” to widen. By allowing the class system gap to proliferate throughout America, the scales could tip to the point that when there’s nothing the “have nots” won’t do to take from the “haves”, we’ll end up in another civil war (regional in nature, maybe) … and it’s our state and federal politicians that have widened this gap … so they can come in and play nanny state.  The widening of the gap promotes the idea that socialism will fix it, which is false (if you’ve studied economics).

When it comes to a prime example of how easy it would be for civil insurrection to occur, visit an area that’s been placed under martial law (you may not see eye to eye with me on this).   Here’s a mild example … go into any hurricane-affected area and see how the government treats the locals.  Why was Blackwater brought into New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina?  To prevent armed insurrection … because that’s where the city was headed. Anyone who has been through the “Superdome” experience can attest to that. When disaster strikes, what’s the first thing the “have nots” do?  Loot!  It never ceases to amaze me that “have nots” would grab TV sets while looting a disaster area when the electricity is out.  You can’t eat or drink a TV.  You really think the pawn shops are going to accept stolen merchandise, just so you can have a cheeseburger?  The “have nots” come in every race, color and creed.  If they have no money and they’re hungry, what do think they’re going to do at the first opportunity? (I’ll let you figure that one out.)

When the 2008 financial collapse occurred on Wall Street, then-Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson was calling congressmen telling them that if they didn’t bail out the banks, martial law might have to be declared.  You see how the government’s mindset behaves when a disaster strikes. Hence, TARP was created.  Even more sadly, most government employees believe everything their government tells them!  That’s how the government gets more support for its nanny state policies!

THE FOUR MOST IMPORTANT BASICS IN LIFE: FOOD, WATER, SHELTER … AND A WAY TO MAKE A DECENT LIVING

If you’re employed in any one of these first three areas, you will always have an income because everyone needs these three things to survive in America.  This is no longer the American Dream but the American Nightmare.  Anyone living under substandard conditions will agree with me that the family unit is in jeopardy.  Tempers flare because of lack of money or the sudden shift in any one of the basic three things needed to survive, which includes being displaced from your home.  I wrote about this in Clouded Titles.

Now that I’ve painted a minuscule picture of  “the ghost of things to come”, we need to take a stand (at least on our own behalf) to take all of these factors into consideration … and then do something civil about it.

FOOD

I find it best to research one of the basic first three areas and find a niche within it.  I know a lot of people that are resellers for survival foods.  I know fewer who have actually now resorted to truck farming (it’s also an underground economic niche and can be very profitable) and I used to help pay my mortgage payments on my first home with a hen house full of laying hens (eggs are great barter material too).  In order to accomplish all that, you might think “country”.  There is a lot of unrestricted land out there and folks living in these areas tend to think a lot alike (they don’t like big government) … something the U.S. government doesn’t like.  Whatever the government doesn’t like is probably a great thing for America because anything that happens in the hinterland benefits the local economy, not DC.  All of the possible changes you could employ to affect a positive outcome for your local economy are a good thing, even if you’ve been foreclosed on and have to start over again.   There are areas of the country where land is still cheap and food production is in demand.  Even in WWII we had “Victory Gardens”.  Flea markets are a great source of networking!  Food trucks can also be a profitable business if run right, albeit you’ll be facing permitting issues and health regulations.

WATER

I cannot believe that people have actually run afoul of the law for harvesting rainwater.  However, it’s a great source of income.  Who would have ever thought that putting water in a plastic bottle and selling bottled water would ever work?  Whoever did is making a killing now because the well hasn’t run dry and the merchants have made the bottled water industry a necessity of life, even if it means you have to dispose of something that’s not biodegradable. With our water supplies / groundwater becoming contaminated (see Flint, Michigan), water filtration systems is also another big business that the wealthy certainly can afford.  Even smaller supply, pour-over systems sell well during hard times.  Man cannot live without water … so getting into any business that involves the production or supply of clean, potable water is a good thing.

SHELTER

Your PLAN B might include doing what I did in buying a tract of land, owner finance. My payments were $222 a month for 10 years.  Even on a fixed income, pulling a used mobile home out onto a tract of land works, especially if it’s paid off.  I used an investment return to pay for getting set up on 3/4-acre mortgage free.  Just to show you I’m not kidding, see below (front and back yard).  I was only 40 minutes from Austin, Texas!

This is what mortgage-free living can look like, if you have a PLAN B that you can start up on a small budget without having to get a mortgage. Anything relative to setting up shelters for people on unrestricted land out in the country is a good thing.  We had German Shepherds roaming the property so we never had to worry about break-ins.  It cost me less than $15,000 out of pocket to set up!   You could even do it for less with a little creative thinking!

It is amazing what you can find out there to live in, it’s peace and quiet country living … and you could put your property into a trust for asset protection to keep it away from the money-grubbing banksters or debt collectors trying to collect on judgments!  Sure, it’s not a McMansion, but it’s home and it’s a stress-free environment!  It’s also far from the madding crowd … so in the event of unrest, you’ve got more time to plan and react if you need to.  Anything connected to real estate … agents, brokers, investors, developers, storage sheds, portable buildings (which can be converted into housing) and cabins … can be profitable with a little marketing. Any carpentry skills become a real plus!

MAKING A DECENT LIVING

Retirement is NOT a part of my vocabulary. I don’t see what the big rush is to retire anyway, given the fact that the government would like you to wait until you’re 70 to start drawing Social In-security. Besides, any business worth having means that an entrepreneurial spirit is probably alive and well and is driving the business forward.  If you’ve lost your regular job (or you think you might lose your job), this is the time to start planning for your future.  An active LLC or incorporation costs next to nothing to set up and consulting businesses (like mine) take a lot less money to start up.  There are books out there that have oodles of information in them on how to start your own business. Find something you’re good at and go for it.  Don’t turn a negative foreclosure into a pity party.  Use it as your learning curve and don’t make the same mistake next time.  Examine what caused you to get into the mess in the first place and then … go out and do just the opposite.  The banks may hate you … but hey, mortgage free living is really where it’s at!  Being self-employed means taking home more of your paycheck NOW and not having to wait on a tax refund from the government, which has been operating in the negative since 1933.  It’s also another great way to live without borrowing!  Being creative about it is what I find most rewarding.  As an afterthought, only create these entities if you have the means to keep track of their accounting and tax filing status.

Retraining in later life is not as bad as it sounds, even if you’re disabled.  As long as you’ve got brains, there’s a consulting position out there or a desk job that will pay you a decent living with little up-front investment.  Thinking positive in this day and age is hard to do. There’s so much negativity around. The idea behind all of what I’ve just stated in my foregoing diatribe is designed to get your inner sanctum churning because the times, they are a-changing, again!

 

13 Comments

Filed under INVESTOR END-GAME STRATEGIES, OP-ED, Securitization Issues

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?

6 Comments

Filed under BREAKING NEWS, OP-ED

GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST – PART 8

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

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

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

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

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

Now we’re going to get even more serious …

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

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

CASE IN POINT: THE DETAILS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOTIONS TO VACATE

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

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

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

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

C & E’s JUST BECAME MORE EFFECTIVE! 

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

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

THE CONSPIRACY AND THE UNDERLYING TORT

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

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

Jury_Instructions_-_Misrepresentation

Jury_Instructions_-_Negligence

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

 

5 Comments

Filed under OP-ED