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DEFEATING DIVERSITY IN FORECLOSURE ACTIONS

(BREAKING NEWS — OP-ED) — The author of this post is the author of Clouded Titles, The Quiet Title War Manual, The C & E on Steroids!, The FDCPA, Debt Collection & Foreclosures, The Credit Restoration Primer, End Game Strategies, Beyond End Game Strategies and host of The Krieger Files.  The opinions expressed herein are that of the author and should not be construed as legal advice.  For legal advice, seek competent counsel that clearly understands what constitutes diversity jurisdiction.

Even in its most liberal stature, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has again, redefined and re-explained that REMIC trusts can end up costing you lots of money in litigation, fighting a losing battle in federal court by re-constituting an opinion of what constitutes diversity jurisdiction.  See the link below to the 17-page ruling:

Demarest v HSBC Bank USA NA, 9th App Cir No 17-56432 (Apr 8, 2019)

You’ll readily notice in the caption on Page 1 that HSBC and MERS were “incorrectly sued”, which would indicate to me they were sued in the wrong name, as indicated in the caption.

Part of the problem here is that the trustee was also sued (Western Progressive, LLC) and the trustee was also out-of-state as to its “headquarters”, which put all of the Defendants, coupled with the $75,000 required for complete diversity jurisdiction, squarely in federal court.

Again, Hawaii Attorney Gary Victor Dubin, who is again in the crosshairs of the Hawaii Bar (thanks to the banks and their attorneys who don’t like lawyers who beat them in court), likens being in federal court to suicide, which he has succinctly stated that it (suicide) is better than being in federal court.  Yet, a lot of people end up becoming victims within the federal system because of improper and incomplete pleadings.   Couple that with WHO you sue and the numbers of removed cases rise exponentially.

Why sue MERS?

This entity is the “bastard child” of MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., which is now owned by Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (which also owns the New York Stock Exchange).  This newly-acquired entity has the backing of Wall Street.  The ownership of MERS may have changed, but the stupidity of the courts in relying on every tenet of MERS’s flawed business model incorporated within the “MERS® System”, has caused nothing but utter conflict among the state courts and federal circuit courts.

Like MERS says or intimates in its pleadings (among some of the third-person, schizophrenic quotations from its collective counsel and others), “We didn’t do anything wrong!”  “We want to be all things to all people!”  “We are the God of Securitization!”  (sic)  “We are everyone’s beneficiary that names us in their mortgages and deeds of trust!”  “We can be a nominee (agent) and beneficiary at the same time!”  “We can do anything we want, because we’re MERS!”  “We can remove you to federal court because we know your pleadings lack sufficiency and we can get them dismissed!”  “We can be in multiple states at any given moment and the federal judges will do what we say because we own them!” (that’s what they think, seriously).

Knowing you’re dealing with such a filthy, stinking rich entity that kowtows to Wall Street, why in bloody hell would you name them in anything?  Do you seriously have deep pockets?

You’re dealing with a multi-billion-dollar-a-year company here.   Here are some facts you should face:

  1. You signed the mortgage (or deed of trust).  No one held a gun to your head.  You could have walked away from the closing, but you didn’t.
  2. You could have read the entire agreement, asked questions; and when you didn’t get sufficient answers, you could have put off the closing until you got clarification, but you didn’t.
  3. You had no idea that the closing agent and the entity that agent represented knew (or should have known) WHERE the funds were coming from; how the funds were getting to the escrow account that was wiring your funds to the closing agent; and all of the details regarding the validity of the “lender” and “mortgagee of record”.
  4. You had no idea what the acronym “MIN” meant … nor had you any idea of the 18-digit number following that acronym.
  5. You had no idea your loan was being securitized through a Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) on Wall Street.
  6. You had no idea that your home loan was being funded by investors unknown to you.

Yet, you got hoodwinked into signing your life away to a life of potential PTFD (Post-Traumatic Foreclosure Disorder), should you fail to make your monthly mortgage payments!

What constitutes diversity jurisdiction?

In order to be able to remove a lawsuit to federal court (which is a court of limited jurisdiction), two things have to occur:

  1. The Plaintiff is a resident of State “A”, while the Defendant(s) are known to be residents of State “B”.
  2. The amount in controversy must exceed $75,000.

Gee … I wonder what would happen if the homeowner showed the caption as:

Joan Demarest and the Registered Holders of Nomura Home Equity Loan, Inc., Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-HE2 … as joint petitioners … with NO defendants listed … and asked for a declaratory judgment ruling on the merits of WHO got screwed in this deal?  Where’s the controversy then?  (you attorneys can chime in here)

In order to have justiciable controversy (the makings of a proper lawsuit that a court can claim jurisdiction to rule on), you have to have a Plaintiff and a Defendant(s).  If you have “joint petitioners” and NO defendants, how can there be a “controversy” if both joint petitioners agree on the same thing?  Despite the fact that the certificate holders are from all over the world, some of them (To Be Determined) may be in the state you’re residing in (State “A”).   If there’s no State “B”, then why list DOES 1-10, inclusive, like this case did?    I actually litigated a case (while out of state) through the mail, with a co-party, as joint petitioners, and got my ruling from a court in Missouri!  Does that surprise you?

Diversity FAILS if … 

  1. There is no amount in controversy (which is what you have in a declaratory relief case, like a cancellation and expungement action (C&E) over a bogus document in the land records; and
  2. You aren’t naming out-of-state defendants until the in-state defendants respond and lock the case up in state court.

Does this make any legal sense to you?

This is part of what we taught in the C&E Workshop in Las Vegas April 6th and 7th. 

America’s land records are a “crime scene”!

MERS’s flawed business model helped make it that way.  Over 80-million homeowners who unknowingly borrowed investor money through securitized mortgages did the rest of the damage.  It was “intentional” on MERS’s part.   It was ‘unintentional” on the homeowners’ part.

Despite the fact you can beat diversity, certain entities will remove the case to federal court anyway, just to F**K with you and your pocketbook!  MERS is one of those entities.

There is a right way and a wrong way to approach this scenario.  What Joan Demarest did in her case was the wrong way.

The “trustee” is a necessary party in Deed of Trust states!

You should know that if you name the trustee in your lawsuit, it’s likely that the trustee is “headquartered” out-of-state.   The trustee (in this case) was declared by the 9th Circuit panel to be a “real party to the controversy for purposes of diversity jurisdiction when he possess certain customary powers to hold, manage, and dispose of assets for the benefit of others”.

This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on May 27, 2016.  You would think that by then, anyone involved in this case could have figured out what the “end result” could be … but NO!  We have attorneys out there that like to use the “shotgun approach” instead of the “sniper approach”.  This is why California Attorney Al West and I put together “The C & E on Steroids!”   It’s a sniper approach to cleaning up the “crime scene”.   If you clean up the “crime scene”, then what evidence is there that a crime occurred?  What evidence is there that a party has standing to foreclose when the intended “consequence” of an assignment is declared void, cancelled and expunged from the land records?

This is why we found instructional appellate case law to support our research and methodology for doing these types of “sniper approach” end game strategies.  Everyone wants an “end game”.  Getting to that point is why people run into trouble having their dirty laundry removed to federal court where it’s likely to get dismissed on a 12(b)(6) motion.  And the foreclosure happens anyway, because “we’re too pissed to think straight!”

Watch the movie “American Sniper”.  Then, liken that mindset to your approach.  Knowing WHEN, WHERE, HOW and WHY you need to “take out” a target makes all the difference in the world.

Look for The C & E on Steroids!, along with the DVD training video kit, available in early May, only on CloudedTitles.com!

Sniper training at your fingertips!

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, OP-ED, Securitization Issues, workshop

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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