Tag Archives: pro se

PRO SE, PRO PER … PRO NOWHERE … OR PRISON!

BREAKING NEWS — 

Why do the majority of distressed homeowners think they can act as their own counsel, especially when it comes to filing an appeal in their case?

Is this part of Plan B?  In other words, if Plan A doesn’t work … and you lose in state court, representing yourself in any capacity, should you continue this folly by use of the same pattern of thinking in an appeal?  Resoundingly: NO!

I can appreciate the fact that homeowners who got dissed in some way, shape or form by a lender are attempting to do what they believe is right, but there comes a point in time when Plan B ruins it for everybody else.  In both of the instances you’re about to read here … everyone loses because these opinions are published and can be referenced by the courts and opposing counsel in other similarly-situated cases.  That’s why homeowners who choose to litigate their own cases have two choices:

  1. Either be pissed at themselves because they weren’t in their right minds when they chose to litigate the case themselves; or
  2. Be pissed at themselves because they did not comprehend that the definition of “insanity” is repeating the same uneducated nonsense in a court case that got you into trouble in the appeals court, expecting different results.

Let’s face it folks, pro se/pro per litigants are not attorneys.  They are pissed off homeowners.  They want their pound of flesh because they got their ass beat in the lower courts.  Rather than coming up with Plan B, meaning, restructure your financial position and live to fight another day, they turn around and appeal their case, without legal knowledge or foundation and then expecting that the higher court will show them mercy against the “big, bad bank”.  Sadly, what you’re going to read here is procedural error, an error that could have been prevented by retaining decent counsel.

The mindset however is that pro se/pro per litigants do not trust attorneys or they think they can take on the burdensome task of litigating the matter themselves, regardless of the consequences to themselves AND EVERYONE ELSE!  When a pro se/pro per litigant fails in court, it sets bad case law for the rest of us!

Don’t feel bad for these people.  They should have known they were getting in over their head by doing this.

While I am not in favor of what these banks have done to Americans nationally, I am pissed at the lack of common sense in thinking that the average, pissed off homeowner can fight a mega-bank that spends millions, if not billions of dollars a year in litigation costs against whoever comes against it.  Bank of America, N.A. reportedly spends $2-billion a year in retaining counsel to fight its battles.  It is nothing for them to squash you like a bug, especially with their research teams vetting your educational ability prior to “launching a full spread” against you, knowing you don’t have “countermeasures” (to use specific submariner’s terms).

It is rare … and there are a few singular cases … where a pro se/pro per litigant has become the “David who slew Goliath”. This is the exception rather than the rule.  One person who I know personally, who is an absolutely brilliant researcher, won her case in bankruptcy court in Illinois. The other, who won against MERS (who also possesses a multimillion dollar legal war chest), was in Tennessee, namely Carlton J. Ditto.

When you read the following cases, please come to the realization that 99% of average American homeowners who got suckered into these securitized mortgages: (a.) do not have the legal acumen to fight their cases themselves; and (b.) do not have … and never did have … the financial resources set aside, vis a vis a legal fund, to take up the fight on behalf of the rest of us. No one expected these results to occur, yet they did.  Lessons learned at the expense of the legal system.

Ivanoff v Bank of America, Cal. 2nd App Dist No B271035 (Mar 13, 2017)

McCullough v CitiMortgage, Inc. Sup Ct Ind. No 71S03-1605-MF-272 (Mar 14, 2017)

IN OTHER NEWS — 

From time to time, I hear about pro se/pro per litigants attempting to take matters into their own hands by going “outside of the system’s own parameters” and using their own quasi-legal devices to retaliate or effectuate a legal outcome.  A majority of these battles end miserably.

I have had numerous homeowners contact me and inform me that they are utilizing what are known as “administrative processes” or “UCC-1 Statements”, to thwart the bank’s attempt at foreclosing on their homes.  As you will read in the following decision … use of these so-called “self-defeating” methods will land you in prison:

US v Jordan, 5th App Cir No 15-20454 (Mar 14, 2017)

It’s not giving legal advice when I don’t have a good feeling about what these folks are doing.  It’s just another way to protest what many Americans believe is an unjust legal system.  I get that.  However, the system has its own set of tools for dealing with these issues.  When these issues become insurmountable … and you mind yourself out of funds … no longer able to sustain … it is time to put your thinking cap on and realize that what you do in the future may cause unintended harm to others … and to amass what financial resources you may have at your disposal and find other digs, even if you have to move to another market or another state entirely, to start over.  This is what the settlers did when they came to America to escape persecution from the King.  They knew it was futile to fight, so they moved and started over.  History does repeat itself in very finite ways.

As Sean Connery stated in the movie, The Hunt For Red October, “… when Cortez reached the new world, he burned his ships, so his men became highly motivated.”

Burning bridges doesn’t mean giving up.  It means surviving.  We are Americans.  That’s what we do.  No matter what.

Rethink Plan B!

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THE LAST QUIET TITLE WORKSHOP OF 2016!

BREAKING NEWS (from the poster)! 

For those of you who are planning to attend the Honolulu, Hawaii Quiet Title Workshop, please be advised of the following:

  1. This will be the last workshop of 2016 that Al West and I are doing together.  Either be there or miss out.
  2. This will be the last quiet title workshop that Al West and I are offering to the general public, due to lack of interest.  So, this is your last opportunity to have a powerful think tank at your disposal.  You can get the information on the workshop by clicking on the following links:
  3. QT WORKSHOP_HONOLULU_REGISTRATION FORM  (Please follow the instructions on the form!)
  4. QUIET TITLE WORKSHOP FLYER_HONOLULU  (I would recommend using discount hotel services to book your room and airfare, as our group discounts have expired!)
  5. I have decided to go a different direction involving my consulting work, which means I will be handling more attorney-based cases involving investors and homeowners who have retained counsel that is willing to accept consulting services; otherwise, I will only take cases on that basis.
  6. I am not a lawyer referral service; however, I can assist you in vetting attorneys, once you find them.  This will be done on a conference call basis for a flat fee of $75.00, payable by credit card in advance of the conference call.
  7. You can still purchase The Quiet Title War Manual, Clouded Titles and The Credit Restoration Primer from the Clouded Titles website.
  8. The online COTA Workshop is still in development and probably will not be ready until 2017.  If I become aware of any COTA Workshops being hosted by other entities in the future, I will inquire as to whether the folks who monitor this blog will be allowed to attend, at which point I will post the information accordingly.
  9. Any referrals to other consulting services outside of my immediate concern are the responsibility of those parties wishing to contact and contract with those services.  I no longer am working with outside parties who may or may not have further useful information to help you with your case.
  10. The rates on my COTAs now start at $1295.00 and go up from there.  I have a “full plate” and anticipate having a full plate for the next 3 years.  Despite what the banks, MERS and law enforcement have attempted to do in smearing me all over the media, with the help of a few self-proclaimed “investigators” who run  websites that state I ripped off the U. S. Government, I am still economically intact and am not going anywhere.  The Orlando Sentinel’s Henry Curtis got his story all wrong and was probably paid off by someone to write the article against the Osceola County Clerk in the first place, which makes his brand of journalism shoddy and unreliable at best, about as unreliable as you can get.  Any news outlet that would hire him would be a huge mistake and a disservice to the public at large. The current Osceola County Sheriff STILL isn’t running for re-election and the 9th Circuit State’s Attorney who refused to investigate the Forensic Examination commissioned by the Clerk was defeated in the Democratic primary last August.  The voters have awakened!

That being said … 

  1. I will still continue to post updated information on this site.  Once the online workshops are up, please note they are general in nature and are only there to help you formulate your research in conducting chain of title issues and will not offer legal advice, attorney referrals or any other subject matter information that is not relevant to chain of title.
  2. I will still continue to be the “foe” of MERS, MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. and the banks.  I am sick and tired of them and wish they were all in prison.  Unfortunately, the United States Government is in bed with the banks; yet the average, uninformed consumer still chooses to participate in impulse buying of homes they are NOT entitled to and cannot afford; thus, the same nonsense that plagued us in the 90’s and the millennia will continue to plague us for at least the next decade as the banks continue to water down the Dodd-Frank Act through their lobbyists.
  3. If you wish for Al West and I to come to your city to conduct a Quiet Title Workshop, there are firm parameters you will have to follow. You will have to guarantee 30 paid attendance for the event and the rate will be higher than what we normally charge to do a workshop and you will have to pay our travel to and from the event, plus meeting room and hotel rooms. No exceptions.
  4. I am still working on the FDCPA book.  This book is going to be a powerful think piece, in addition to all of the case citations, strategies and legal attack plans placed within this work, based on previous history of those who have been successful in such actions.  This has become the most formidable attack plan against the servicers and their law firms who lie in court about who they truly represent.  Yes folks, we are knee deep in servicer fraud.  In my estimation, the named plaintiff in a foreclosure suit does not know they’re the named plaintiff!
  5. The federal court systems (as well as the state court systems) are corrupt as hell!   Sure, there are a few judges out there that get it academically, but until you do your research and bring an adequate “game plan” to the table, all of the bad case law will continue to screw things up in the legal system because people may be mad, but they’re still unprepared financially and in all aspects of their education involving legal matters.
  6. Most attorneys have figured out how to scam homeowners for monthly payments and give them nothing in return.  I am still getting email from homeowners who are concerned that they may have picked the wrong attorney to represent them.  I am not an attorney referral service, but I have a few that I work with that I have found to be reliable.  If you have started your litigation pro se however, they may choose not to work with you.
  7. Please do not contact me about TILA and RESPA issues. That is not my focus.  There is narrow case law in these areas and you still aren’t going to get and free house, despite what anyone tells you.  I have been contacted by United States Treasury Agents regarding certain claims made by firms who tell consumers that all they have to do is file a rescission and they get a free house.  Unlike what happened to me 20 years ago, it is not me that is the target here.
  8. I will continue to do county land record audits.  If you know of someone who needs (or has indicated) they want one done, please let me know. If you’re in California, Al West will show the County Recorder how they can get a county land record audit done without the charges coming out of their budgets.
  9. Al West and I are still working on projects together.  Al West and I will be at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearings on MERSCORP v. Robinson.  Yes, I authored quite a bit of the reply brief and I am very well aware (as MERS is) of the fact that MERS sent a mole in to bug our Las Vegas Quiet Title Workshop. I found out about that from information supplied to me that originated through a federal judge in Maryland. It would appear to indicate to me that the folks at MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. (and the U.S. government) understand that I am “not going away any time soon” … and if I do, it will be by their hand and their doing and not mine!  We are still coordinating efforts regarding certain AWL and ABC mortgage loans. We are also handling IRS Whistleblower cases!
  10. In certain matters, I may also be testifying in court. This still does NOT make me an expert witness. Please do not contact me to testify at your hearing or at trial.  If subpoenaed without my knowledge or consent, consider me a hostile witness ab initio.  I still want my day in front of the grand jury, be it state or federal.  I have a lot to tell them and show them.

Beware of whack jobs that continue to dwell on what happened to me 20 years ago.  As attorney Lynn Szymoniak eloquently put it … “it doesn’t matter what he did 20 years ago, what matters is what he’s doing now!”  If Ms. Szymoniak didn’t believe in what I was doing, she would NOT have shown up to my COTA Workshop to lecture to the class.  Please support The Housing Justice Foundation.

Finally, when I’m done with the FDCPA book, I am going to pick up where I left off and finish the “other book” I have been working on … a book which explains in detail what happened to me 20 years ago, the American legal system, American politics in general, and why Americans are becoming polarized in certain aspects of society.  The U. S. Government will definitely NOT like what is in this “other book” (although it’s not as dicey as “Snowden”).  If you get a chance to see that movie … this man should be exonerated and not indicted.  He just sent a warning shot to all of you out there that think you’re “secure” when you’re anything but.

No, I’m not a doom-and-gloomer.  Like many of you out there who are evaluating your future plans and strategies, that is a wise move in my book. Remember, the U. S. government is paranoid as a whole and government employees believe everything Uncle Sam tells them.  I have found trusts to be quite handy these days.

 

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Filed under Breaking News, Chain of Title Education, Financial Education, Quiet Title Education

A SHAKY FOUNDATION: FLORIDA JUDGES MAY BE IN CONFLICT WITH THE FORECLOSURES THEY RULE ON!

(Op-Ed) — The poster of this blog is not an attorney and thus, what is printed here should not be construed as legal advice.  However, some of the information contained in this piece was “run past” a foreclosure defense attorney, who thought of it as “novel” and thus, I note it as worthy of sharing! 

Let’s say (hypothetically) that you’ve retained a foreclosure defense attorney to help you save your home.  The attorney usually wants some sort of retainer up front (fees which can run anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 or more, depending on the track record of the attorney) and many of them want monthly payments (which can run anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the track record of the attorney).  You’re already out of pocket to the tune of at least a couple of mortgage payments.

Let’s say your attorney claims to be aggressive and claims they will fight for you, but later, you find that the scenario seems to be more like “kicking the can down the road” in defense of the foreclosure action.  In other words, “the delay game”.  It’s happened to tens of thousands of homeowners all across America. This is why many of those who got into the fight pro se did so because they didn’t trust attorneys and figured out that they (as pro se litigants) could at least delay the foreclosure themselves while keeping food on the table and the lights turned on.  We know that many of those who chose that path were eventually evicted.  Only a small percentage of those homeowners (who should consider themselves fortunate) are still in their homes and still fighting because they bothered to get an education and talk to the right people about their various legal snafus.

However, I might take this moment to add that desperate homeowners throw everything they’ve got at the bank to save their homes, even if it’s not appropriate.  Al West and I do not advocate using quiet title actions to stop foreclosures!   You’ll have to attend the workshop to find out why. 

Let’s say however, that your attorney really does care about your problem and thinks that the big, bad banks need to be stopped and is really willing to put forth the effort and display an aggressive attitude in court in an effort to shut down the bank’s attack.  This poses a different problem in an unforgiving legal system.  Instead of kicking the can down the road, they file potentially game-changing briefs in court, briefs that not only stall the foreclosure process (especially in Florida, where judges were mandated to “clear the dockets” of foreclosure backlog, hence the name “rocket docket”) but actually bring the legal options for the banks to a standstill.  This does not come without a price.  That “price” appears political in nature.   That price involves the behaviors of the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Bar (it is NOT an association) and virtually every Florida judge who rules on a foreclosure case (or even a quiet title action).  You may see “the writing on the wall” in your own state too (even if you don’t live in Florida)!

Let’s examine the repercussions of what happens when attorneys file quiet title actions in Florida.

Here is one such response I received from one attorney (in part):

“Please be advised that the Florida Bar has filed a complaint against me for filing quiet title lawsuits, initially proposing a 91-plus day rehabilitative suspension which means I would have to re-apply to the Bar.  I have been an atty for 30 years and have never had one client complain about me. However, two banks and two judges have filed complaints as to quiet title lawsuits I filed during 2013 and 2014 that were unsuccessful as the judiciary here is not ready to recognize that there might be a colorable action against the lying, cheating, thieving lenders. The Bar will not even discuss a penalty less than a 45-day suspension.”

So it would appear (at least to me) that some real “muscle” has been brought in to the fight, which now shines a strange light on the Florida Bar.  Why would judges complain about quiet title actions unless they have something to worry about … like the real truth coming out.   Well, we can’t have THAT now, can we?

This prompted me to start looking into WHY the Florida Bar is being used as a “henchman” for the courts who don’t particularly like vetting the truth.  Is it because of the pension fund that all Florida judges are tied to?   This brought back memories of the case of Countrywide v. Mines (as noted below):

February 05, 2010, 05:44 PM EST by Cary O’Reilly
Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) — A Florida judge was ordered to remove himself from a foreclosure proceeding by Bank of America Corp.’s Countrywide unit after the homeowner claimed the judge received a discount loan from an affiliate of the mortgage lender.  Circuit Judge Hugh Carithers in Jacksonville, Florida, must enter a recusal order and ask Chief Circuit Judge Donald Moran to pick a replacement, a district court of appeals ruled today. Joseph W. Mines Jr., who is representing himself in the foreclosure proceeding, alleged the judge had received favorable interest rates not available to the public in his own dealings with a lender affiliated with Countrywide, court records show. Mines’s home was just about to be sold when he filed his claim seeking the judge’s removal, according to the case docket.  “This court finds these facts, taken as true as they must be, would prompt a reasonably prudent person to fear that he or she would not obtain a fair and impartial hearing,” the appeals court in Tallahassee, Florida, said its ruling. Pat Ryan, a courtroom clerk for Carithers, said she hadn’t seen the ruling and couldn’t comment. Directory assistance had no phone listing for Joseph Mines in Jacksonville.  The case is Countrywide v. Mines, 2007-CA-6852.

Here’s the Court Decision that parallels what you just read: Mines v Countrywide Home Loan_31 So.3d 820

So I started thinking … hmmm … what about these judge’s state-sponsored pension funds and other “perks” they’re getting?  What if their “funds” are vested in financials?  So now my “crew” is on the warpath to dig up all of the financials involved in this “retirement” account these judges seem so eager to protect.  Why they would they complain to the Florida Bar to do something about scenarios like the filing of quiet title actions, if there wasn’t something in it for them (besides being forced to rule on something legitimate for a change)?

The other thing that is bothering me is “tortuous interference with contractual relations”.

The problem with quiet title actions anywhere in America is that it appears that in many instances, they are improperly filed and even moreso, improperly utilized as a means of foreclosure defense, when they have nothing to do with the Note and have everything to do with title to the property.  The lack of understanding of this concept has set numerous spates of bad case law.  This is what prompted Al West and I to write the book (The Quiet Title War Manual) and go on a tour offering a quiet title workshop that can educate homeowners and their attorneys about the real issues involved in the filing of quiet title actions.

Part of my problem is that when a lender can’t prove they own the note, yet after the ruling their attorneys insist on continuing the tirade against the homeowners filing quiet title actions by asking for “dismissals with prejudice”, which I have personally seen in at least one case I have in my files, the possibility exists that these law firms may have committed a tort against the homeowner and they’re asking the courts to sanction this behavior!

What these bank attorneys don’t seem to get is the following reasoning (by virtue of every mortgage contract in America since 1999 that I am aware of):

SEISIN-DEFENSE OF TITLE

This paragraph has two parts (which I will expound upon here):

(1) the Borrower is claiming that he owns the property and has superior title to that property, with the rights to convey an interest in the property to other parties (which could be lenders, or the complete transfer to another owner).  As the Borrower, the Borrower is claiming that the property is unencumbered; yet I seriously doubt that any “Borrower” has actually (besides me) gone into the land records to see exactly what the chain of title looks like for their property and really do a thorough search to find out if anything “could come back to bite them later”.  The “except for encumbrances of record” part even scares me more, because with the advent of MERS-originated mortgages, this Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Uniform Instrument language (put there by the lender, NOT by the Borrower) is enforceable as part of the conditions of the contract.  If MERS’s business model is problematic, which according to the latest settlement with Multnomah County, Oregon appears to be indicative of, then the entire country is in trouble; and

(2) the Borrower also covenants (promises) to warrant the title to the property and will defend that title “against all claims and demands, subject to encumbrances of record.”   The term “subject to” is a “weasel clause”, left up to the discretion of the court; but the term “and will defend title generally” sure seems to me as if the Borrower has been obligated by the contract to file a quiet title action in order to preserve his and any real lien holder’s interest in the property from harm by a party that is not entitled to it.  This would clearly indicate to me that anyone coming against the property that doesn’t have a real interest may be interfering with the Borrower’s contractual relations with the real party in interest.  So if the lender can’t prove it owns the note, it and its attorneys really have no place trying to achieve the ultimate goal of obtaining a “Certificate of Title”, claiming that they own something and that the Courts now could be interfering with that contractual obligation by “going after” attorneys who are trying to do right by their clients!

So there has to be an underlying reason.  In my COTA Workshops, I mention the importance of “backgrounding your judges and opposing counsel”.  Well, it appears this has just gone one step further.  Time to start digging into those retirement accounts to see what those judges are so worried about and why they would make illicit use of the Florida Bar (who itself could be brought into question for interfering with a Borrower’s right to quiet title to property) to do its dirty work so the court won’t have to rule on such matters.  It would be politically expedient to toss these kinds of cases, depending on where your source of election campaign money is coming from.  Ask Pam Bondi.  She should be able to tell you which banks and servicers are funding her future re-election campaign.  You can tell whose side she’s on based on the lack of support for certain causes, like investigating what’s in the OSCEOLA COUNTY FORENSIC EXAMINATION.  One would think with all of the negative publicity and stink made by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office vis a vis the Orlando Smutinel, that her office knew this examination had been conducted.

I suppose I will have to launch multiple FOIA Requests at some point on all of this (sigh!).

If it proves to be true, then the Mines case may just be as important as I made it out to be, because judges ruling on foreclosure cases involving the very REMICs they’re protecting may be an “apple they’re not entitled to take a bite out of” and we may end up having to have special masters in Florida to rule on foreclosure and quiet title actions because all judges in the State would be conflicted out!  More to come on this story and its relevance to quiet title actions in America.

I might also wish to point out an article from THE DOCKET CALL in Volusia County, Florida, which you can read here: 2014Spring_DocketCall   In this post, you should read the second section about clearing the foreclosure backlog and pay close attention to the last sentence of the article!  It will scare the hell out of you when it comes to why judges are fighting homeowners and lending the appearance of siding with the lenders.  There’s more to the story than this article appears to ferret out.

In the meantime, this is a friendly reminder that Al West and I are hosting a Quiet Title Workshop in Tampa, Florida, April 2-3, 2016 at the Tampa Airport Marriott.  You and/or your attorney may wish to attend.  We will also be discussing issues with aspects of quiet title and TILA.  There are only 36 seats in the room and a slew of them have already been reserved.  Please visit the Clouded Titles website for further details … and get educated!

The real fight has just begun!

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Filed under Op-Ed Piece, Quiet Title Education