Tag Archives: ICE

MERS AND ITS ROLE AS A PLAINTIFF AND DEFENDANT … OR THE LACK THEREOF!

(OP-ED) — This is an educational overview as to what has taken place in the American legal forums in the last two decades and my take on what it all means:

UPDATE: Please see my comments to Lori’s question in the comments section as to Bank of America’s claimed “successor by merger” BS to BAC Home Loans Servicing LP fka Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP, especially using MERS to hide the real truth!

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

On January 1, 1999, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and its parent MERSCORP, Inc. (“MERSCORP”), surfaced as a new brainchild of the mortgage industry after two previously-failed efforts to put an effective electronic database into useable form.

MERSCORP is the “brain” part of  the “brainchild” … Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is the “child” part of the “brainchild”.

The acronym known as “MERS” was attached to the “brainchild” to further confuse the system of things from being able to specifically identify whether the parent or the baby bastard child is coming into play at any given moment.

According to research done by Robert M. Janes, J.D. (retired attorney) in his work SHELLGAME MERS, Contrived Confusion (available at esprouts.com), the “MERS” known in mortgages and deeds of trust as Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. HAS NO “MEMBERS”, despite what attorneys for “MERS” have told judges all across America.  The entire system of things has bought into this crap.  Our entire judicial system has been permeated with lies.  As Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels stated (paraphrased), “tell a lie long enough and often enough and people will come to believe it as truth.”

MERSCORP however owned everything known as the MERS® System, up until the time that Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (“ICE”, who also owns the New York Stock Exchange) bought MERSCORP and all of its assets and transferred all of the MERS servers to Mahwah, New Jersey, where ICE’s data servers are located.  This happened in October of 2018.  From February of 2012 until October of 2018, MERSCORP was merged into MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. and operated as such until ICE acquired it.

MERSCORP had all of the “Members” who technically are users and subscribers of its “MERS® System”.   They have an executory contract with MERSCORP.  As far as I can tell, when ICE acquired MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., ALL of the databases, memberships and every other facet of MERS went with the sale and transfer to ICE.

These latest developments also beg the question: Do I have to sue Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. if I want to go after MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., since ICE now owns MERSCORP?   That’s a question for counsel to answer; however, I personally wouldn’t sue either one of them, knowing what I know about NOT giving MERS a “leg up” … and given the fact that MERSCORP is now backed by the power of Wall Street funding!

MERS WANTS TO BE “ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE”

Unfortunately for MERS, one State (Tennessee)’s Supreme Court gutted MERS’s business model like a chicken in the Ditto decision.  See attached:

MERS v DITTO_TN Supreme Court rules against MERS!

Unfortunately for the other 49 States, their respective Supreme Courts did not issue a ruling as succinctly as Tennessee’s ruling was.   Only Washington (Bain), Oregon (Niday and Brandrup), Montana (Pilgeram), Maine (Greenleaf and Saunders), New York (Agard, Bresler, Collymore and Silverberg), Kansas (Kesler), Arkansas (SW Homes), Nebraska (Dept. of Banking and Finance) and Missouri (Bellistri) did some damage to the MERS® System, but nowhere near the damage inflicted in Ditto.

Sadly, for the rest of the country, especially in Minnesota (Jackson) and Michigan (Sauerman), where the foregoing cases have propelled the MERS business model into fruition, homeowners in those states (except Minnesota and Michigan, where homeowners are essentially f**cked) have a long, uphill battle against any securitized trust that made use of the MERS® System to do its bidding.

REPUDIATION AGREEMENTS: A POTENTIAL WAY OUT

If you were lucky enough to have a mortgage loan originated by New Century Mortgage Corporation or Fieldstone Mortgage Company, you may have a legal solution as a possibility to consider in maneuvering through the legal pitfalls created by the use of MERS in your mortgage security instrument.

To date, to my knowledge and research, these two entities were the only two entities that had executory contracts with MERSCORP (or any form thereafter) repudiated their contracts with the MERS® System and its owner/parent MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.    See the attached below:

NCMC Notice of Repudiation

The foregoing repudiation was validated in the case of DiLibero v. MERS in Rhode Island.  I like to use this case because the Rhode Island Supreme Court likes to rub homeowners’ noses in MERS’s bullshit every chance it gets because Little Rhody’s lower courts have bought into the lies propounded by MERSCORP-retained attorneys.

See the case here: DiLibero v MERS_2015-13-190

In a previous post, I talked about the positive outcome of using the repudiation agreement as a means to assert the lack of standing of the Plaintiff Bank, unlike what happened in the Cruz v MERS case, where Cruz lost because he didn’t use the repudiation agreement. Duh?  (Was Cruz or his attorney even aware of this?)

See the case here: Cruz v. MERS_2015-12-136

The second known notice of repudiation was filed in the bankruptcy case of Fieldstone Mortgage Company, in a rather voluminous omnibus filing:

Fieldstone Mortgage Bankruptcy

As I teach in my COTA Workshops, repudiation of a contract in a Chapter 11 proceeding is like taking a dump.   Getting rid of excess baggage that could potentially weigh you down as to legal issues coming back to bite you in the ass.

In what I’ve just presented, both entities unilaterally decided they didn’t want to play in the MERS® System any further because they deemed it a potential liability and thus NOTICED MERS that they were ending their relationship with MERSCORP.  This has provided at least one homeowner with an “out”.

In what I deem is a “new twist” to the equation, the New York-based law firm of Jenner & Block (where Neil Barofsky works), issued a memo, dated January (2019), entitled “Recent Developments in Bankruptcy Law”, wherein Section 9 talks about “executory contracts” and where the debtor in possession (of whatever is part of the debtor’s estate or business) does not need court approval to repudiate (or cancel) an executory contract (see below):

NOTE: Click on the picture to see it in full size!

For a full copy of the report (in PDF format): Recent Developments in Bankruptcy Law, Jan 2019 (Jenner & Block)

What does THIS SAY for Chapter 11 petitioners who repudiate MERSCORP executory contracts NOT needing court approval?   How do you know a MERSCORP executory contract with a so-called “MERS Member” was cancelled by the Chapter 11 debtor unless you ask about it (in discovery)?   Would you care to go rummaging through bankruptcy court filings (at ten cents a page)?   The repudiation agreement by the defunct lender or notice of such may not even be in there!

MERS AS A PLAINTIFF

In the states that allow Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. to file a foreclosure action against a borrower, MERS is simply claiming that it’s exercising its right to foreclose per the language in the security instrument.  In some cases I’ve seen, MERS’s attorneys even come in and attempt to claim a surplus after the sale, even though MERS itself receives no payments, incurs no financial harm, etc. (see Restatement of Mortgages, Third § 5.4), which I think the law firm is clearly attempting to pilfer whatever surplus it can get for its own gains and not those of MERS or its parent.

The problem I have with MERS being anywhere near a foreclosure is not so much the contractual angle, but the damage angle, based on the Spokeo v. Robins decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.  How was MERS damaged?    In the Robinson case in California, MERS plead to the 9th Circuit (as part of getting the appellate court to affirm the lower court’s ruling) that its business model would be harmed if the appellate court didn’t rule in its favor.  You see how the lie permeates into the appellate court system?

Sadly, I liken MERSCORP CEO Bill Beckmann and his Board of Directors as a little Hitler and his band of little crony “yes-men”.   They all need to be in jail!  And speaking of Hitler …

MERS AS A DEFENDANT

The main reason that MERS (as Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.) is listed as a Defendant in foreclosure cases is because the Plaintiff REMIC or servicer (posing as the party claiming to have the right to enforce the security instrument) wants to notice MERS in order for MERSCORP employees to check the database to make sure that there aren’t any other “mesne assignees” hiding somewhere within the chain of custody of the electronic trading going on involving that alleged loan, in order to provide a “clearing” of potential unknown Defendants that may come in later and file a claim in the case.

THE SUPREME COURT HAS (TO DATE) NOT ALLOWED ANTI-MERS CASES TO COME BEFORE IT

Writs of Certiorari have tried and failed.  However, I still believe that we will continue to see more MERS-related decisions appealed to the nation’s highest court until the matter of MERS’s flawed business model and the damage it has inflicted on over 80-million homes finally gets resolved.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS STILL THE ASSIGNMENTS: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS! 

Again, if you go into the back of The Quiet Title War Manual, you will see state-by-state listings of statutes that cover certain elements of law involving quiet title, declaratory relief, deficiency judgment law, etc. … and below that section, three individual paragraphs on actionable statutes and case law involving violation of statute in the recording of documents into the land records which contain false information (many of which are felony-rooted in nature) or violate provisions of state consumer protection act laws.  We are now (based on my past posts) seeing the use of these mechanisms in attacking the banks’ attorney(s) (because sometimes there is more than one attorney or law firm involved in any given foreclosure) in turning a statutory violation into an ethical violation!

When a foreclosure mill attorney is put “at risk” of being suspended or being disbarred for suborning perjury, committing perjury or some other ethical misconduct, do you really think he (or she) is going to want to stay in the fight?   Further, what future substituted law firm would want to step “into the pile of poop” created by the first law firm, knowing it would put itself “at risk” of having its Errors & Omissions insurance policy attacked?

Things To Watch Out For …

  1. Any entity that has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy before 2010 … as to whether they got court approval to repudiate the MERSCORP executory contract.

This provides you with a potential argument (or at least an affirmative defense to a foreclosure) that MERS and its alleged “agents” (“officers’)  for the “nominee” has any authority that was repudiated by the originating lender (debtor-in-possession);

2.  Assignments dated AFTER the originating lender filed for bankruptcy (easily discovered on Google or Google Scholar).

You especially want to check for language within the assignments (of mortgage or deed of trust) that says, “together with the Note”, because MERS cannot transfer what it does not have an interest in.   Secondly, not many people argue that there is no specific right delegated to MERS to “assign” anything.   Thirdly, NOTES ARE NEGOTIATED … not transferred or assigned; and

3.  Any mortgage foreclosure complaints, notices of trustee’s sale or similar notices that reflect that MERS has any authority to do anything, specific to the state of the union you are in.

Certain states, as I’ve mentioned before, do NOT allow MERS to do much of anything, while in other states, MERS can pretty much steamroller over homeowners.

My question is, why are you still living there?   Or better yet, why haven’t you attacked the assignments in Consumer Protection or statutory claims?

The Devil Is In The Details

Always check the assignment of mortgage or deed of trust for:

  1. Self-dealing (by the servicer and its employees);
  2. Claims that the note was “assigned” in addition to the mortgage or deed of trust by MERS;
  3. Names and addresses of law firms involved in the assignment;
  4. Names and addresses of title companies involved in the assignment;
  5. Names and addresses of servicers involved in the assignment that claim the Plaintiff’s address is in c/o the servicer’s address;
  6. Names of known robosigners involved in the assignment;
  7. Names of notaries participating in the assignment that are acknowledging under PENALTY OF PERJURY;
  8. Phony MERS addresses (like their alleged Ocala, Florida address, which actually belonged to Electronic Data Systems);
  9. Dates of assignments that well post-date the REMIC’s 424(b)(5) Prospectus Cut-Off and Closing Dates;
  10. Post-dating or back-dating of the assignment; and
  11. Documents created in one state that are executed in another state.

Any of these “details” can be used as evidence to go after the law firm attempting the foreclosure!   And THAT my friends … is how the system of things should work!

Coming soon …

P.S.: Hat tip to David A. Rogers, Esq. of Austin, Texas for the Fieldstone materials!

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ENTER 2019 AND THE NEW MERS!

(BREAKING NEWS – OP-ED) —

FYI, NOT for use as legal advice … but for the added benefits of research!

ICE OWNS MERSCORP … and things have changed! 

If you haven’t been paying attention to the “new and improved MERS”, you should be.  As of October of last year, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (“ICE”; the same bunch that owns the New York Stock Exchange) took over MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.

Two new corporate shills appear to be heading up the parent (MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.).  I got this from the “new and improved MERSinc” website:

How ironic?  The “Goone” squad!  (I know you’re trying to hold back the laughter, but this is serious folks!)

Noticeably missing from the MERSINC.org website is the “Member Search” tool.   Now ICE has made it impossible and further obfuscates WHO is participating as a “user/subscriber of the MERS® System!  Thus, anyone wanting to do research on a MERS-originated mortgage or deed of trust is going to have to ask for their closing documents PRIOR TO signing them.  Otherwise, those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it because THE GOONE SQUAD now controls all of the information in the MERS System!

It also appears that since Goone is connected to the DTCC, he now might have access to every credit transaction conducted throughout the United States!

You can still search for the alleged “Servicer” on the MERS® System website; however, the users of the system are expected to continue to put the same malarkey on the “Investor” portion of the site when you go to access that information, vis a vis entering your personal identifying information, namely, your last name and your social security number.

Let’s be clear one more time … your social security number is actually NOT your number.  It was assigned to you by the Social Security Administration when you volunteered to be in the social in-security program.

My wisdom for 2019 … AVOID MERS MORTGAGES LIKE THE PLAGUE!

Any mortgages or deeds of trust you intend to execute from now on probably should be through the following entities:

(1) credit unions that are NOT user/subscribers to the MERS® System; and

(2) owner financing, or in the alternative, hard money lending, designed to purchase within the short term.

You have every right to walk away from the closing table and not have your property encumbered by “MERS” paper.  You should also do a chain of title search on anything you intend on purchasing because you never know what unknown (mesne) assignees might be lurking in the shadows, just waiting for that inopportune moment to foreclose on you!

My further wisdom for 2019 … TAX DEEDS!

Every state has a system for purchasing tax deeds. Investigate these in the alternative!  You’re helping the county pay its bills, in addition to getting yourself a great deal!

In Florida, for example, you can buy tax deeds at auction for less than assessed value.  In Florida, for example, when you buy a tax deed and your tax deed is recorded, possession is immediate!  You get to own the land (or a single lot; sometimes you can get acreage) outright; however, first investigate to make sure you can put a manufactured home or site built home of smaller proportions (if you’re in the scale-down mode) on such a lot.  Many areas have deed restrictions.  Don’t forget, you still need to quiet the title to the property, but on tax deeds, provided you don’t have to serve a foreign investor or person outside of the U.S., most QT actions take 60-90 days to complete and shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Whatever “state” of the union you’re in, the county maintains the #1 position for liens, based on payment of property taxes.  The ways of the allodial title have disappeared, despite what you’ve heard from some well-meaning Patriots that claim you can restore a land patent to its original state.  There is an interesting comment from Washington State I found to back that up:

(NOTE: Click on the image to enlarge it to make it easier to read!)

Anyone trying this crap may find themselves on the receiving end of criminal charges because filing false documents into the land records is a felony in almost all 50 states and is punishable under both civil and criminal aspects.  You cannot evade property taxes anywhere.  This is why I like buying tax deeds for less than assessed value … the annual taxes on them is cheap and buying agricultural land (if you can find it) is even better!  It’s a great way to “start over” with less money, especially if you’re reeling from the effects of a foreclosure and are opting NOT TO DEFEND, but rather to move on.  Just make sure that if you’re buying a lot to build on, have a plan to follow through on that quickly.  Don’t buy raw land just for the sake of having a nest egg because you will continue to pay annual property taxes on that land in the future whether you live on that land or not.  Now that industrial hemp is being legalized, build your home out of hemp (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfQbXuTzQQU) like these folks did in Asheville, North Carolina!

I’ve gotten past the point of asking people to simply deed their properties (that they’re about to be foreclosed on) over to me so I can litigate them in court.  If people were that “entitled” in the first place to make bad decisions to buy property using MERS-related securitization, thus screwing up their title, why would I want that headache?  Analyze every deal before engaging it!

MERS generally is never found on the titles to vacant lots!  That’s another plus for buying tax deeds on vacant land you intend on quickly building on.  Being mortgage free is a blessing in this day and age and I can only wish the best for my readers, that they can enjoy the freedom of not owing a bank or a monthly payment to a landlord, if not in 2019, then at some point in the near future.  That might be a great New Year’s resolution to make!  Why become part of the Nation of Renters if you don’t have to?

 

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MERS HAS A NEW OWNER … THE SAME BUNCH THAT OWNS THE NYSE!

(BREAKING NEWS — OP-ED) — 

It’s official and still under investigation (by me) … but the reasons that the author of this blog post wrote the book Clouded Titles goes to the very core of an argument I made ages ago, siding with various law professors and legal minds in the world of foreclosure defense:  MERS cannot be trusted to be a reliable source for the truth!

Now it has been announced by multiple news pieces within the financial sector that Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (“ICE”) has announced that it has acquired ALL of MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.’s assets, namely, the MERS® System and everything that goes with it.

ICE also announced that it has moved all of the MERS® System’s operations to its data center in Mahwah, New Jersey.  ICE acquired the New York Stock Exchange in November of 2013.

You’re probably all wondering why this happened.  In one short statement, ICE claims that the addition of MERS will help ICE “serve its customers better as the U.S. mortgage industry is gradually shifting to more digital mortgages and electronic notes from a paper-based process.”

WARNING — There’s a signpost ahead.  It says you’re about to enter “The Twilight Zone”! 

There are some serious repercussions with this acquisition.  I spoke with California attorney Al West yesterday about this acquisition.  Here are some of the components to consider:

(1) There is a movement afoot to privatize the entire land record system and take it away from the state-sponsored, state-sanctioned, state-mandated public databases and archives! 

Since this country was founded, our Framers gave the States certain rights to govern their own affairs, one of which was to establish land recording systems.  The purpose of this was to establish who owned what parcels of land.  Each state legislature voted on setting up these archival databases, which in of themselves, have evolved into (at least many of them) digital centers of database retrieval.  While it is certainly convenient to go online and search out your chain of title, taking all of this and putting it into ledger technology that is decentralized (“blockchain”) is dangerous because ANY system (over time) can be hacked and tampered with.

(2) The fact that there was even a mention of moving towards “digital mortgage” means that the possibilities do exist that you can easily get a mortgage loan from your smartphone or your home computer, all with the push of a button that applies your “digital signature” through your IP address. How convenient for the mortgage banking industry and MERS! Isn’t that wonderful?  NOT! NOT! NOT!

Part of the problem that precipitated the 2008 financial collapse was easing up on credit restrictions.  Credit was available everywhere (as long as you “could fog up a mirror”). History repeats itself and those who are ignorant of it are doomed to repeat it.  For starters, even though taking out one of these “digital mortgage loans” may supply you with a copy of what you signed … (a.) digital signatures are NOT your actual signatures; (b.) the digital signature you picked will be present on the “copy” of the mortgage paperwork you received; (c.) in all likelihood, your IP address from your computer or digital technology relative to your smartphone will be stored for retrieval in case you default on your loan and then that technology will be used against you for sure; (d.) all of this technology will be registered within the MERS® System now that ICE owns it lock, stock and server.  You can bet the obfuscation towards consumers will be just as prevalent, if not greater, as it has been in the past; and (e.) because the increased use of MERS will be tolerated, you can bet more foolish investors will keep buying into the thought that securitization is a great way to make money.  As history has shown us, even with its lingering effects, a lot of investors lost money while the sponsor-sellers made off (Madoff) like bandits!

(3) With “digital” technology, there are no “originals”!  

That means no original “note”, no original “mortgage”, no original SQUAT!  And ICE will keep the disclaimers on the “MERS” website it now owns, making sure things are just as “fuzzy” for everyone but “investors” and actual subscribers of the MERS® System.  It is unknown at this time WHO will actually entertain the previously-referenced “executory contract” now that MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. appears to have sold off all interest in its patented process (or so we might think).   Verifiability will shrink making it harder to defend mortgage foreclosure actions.

(4) The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s role in determining MERS® System violations is undetermined!

Given what we know about lax prosecutions in the revolving door business known as the “SEC”, it is hard to ascertain at this time what we’re dealing with as to potential non-disclosure violations or other liabilities first assessed against the MERS business model.

(5) Even more serious … using any digital technology puts you at risk of identity theft!

Look … if hackers can get into the Equifax database … put your thinking cap on before you fill out an online mortgage loan application!

WARNING TO THE JUDICIARY! — You … as a judge … may play into “the system of things” in an adverse way! 

Because the same parent company to the NYSE owns MERSCORP’s “MERS® System”, all state and federal judges holding any NYSE-traded shares may have a conflict of interest!

It is seriously important to recognize, as Al West pointed out to me yesterday in our phone conversation, that any judge having any stock in the NYSE, now that MERS is a directly-linked, wholly-owned subsidiary, may represent a conflict of interest if that judge’s portfolio contains any NYSE-traded stock, which could be stock in any financial institution or any loan with MERS in it that is connected in any way to an NYSE stock, which could be cause to have the judge recused from your foreclosure case!

Further, my radio co-host (on WKDW-FM’s City Spotlight-Special Edition), R. J. Malloy, also intimated that in Florida, all of the senior judges presiding over foreclosure dockets could also be at risk of being recused based on similar conflicts of interest because their pension funds are vested in these types of stocks, bonds, securities, etc.  Not good!

If the judge is called upon to recuse himself from a case because he holds stock in the NYSE, which is connected to MERS, or has a pension vested with anything related to either, and fails to recuse himself, it could trigger an attack on the judges bond for a multitude of behaviors, including non-disclosure, which if played out to its distinct finality, could represent an ethical violation for which he could be permanently removed from the bench.  This would include federal judges (who, for the most part, have their finances laid bare at Judicial Watch!) who end up getting cases that have been removed by foreclosure mill attorneys who think they can get a 12(b)(6) out of the federal districts.

Besides clogging up the judicial system throughout the United States, all of the U. S. counties that employ judges that are even remotely “attached” to “the system of things” are at risk of having their treasuries plundered because most U.S. counties are self-insured.

For one minute, I do not believe that any of the people involved in the acquisition of the MERS® System even thought about the repercussions of having MERS connected to the NYSE!

If you thought that the idea of shredding documents was an option, with digital technology, there won’t be any originals to shred … and loan mods will probably be done online … reviewed online … and denied online.  Information gathering technologies will put all of your personal identifying information at risk, because ALL systems at some point, can be hacked. That furthers your risk for identity theft if you “play the digital game”!   Be forewarned!  Things are about to get dicey!

 

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, OP-ED