Tag Archives: pro se

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

(OP-ED) — 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(2.) Are you in default?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Filed under OP-ED

Nothing has changed much in Washington State, post-Bain!

Op-Ed —

August 16, 2012 is a day that will go down in Washington State’s history when it comes to dealing with the issues created by the licensed lenders in that State who rely on MERS to cover up “dead spots” in the chain of title to properties.  I’m attaching the Supreme Court’s en banc ruling to refresh your memory and to fill in any gaps that might be missing in your thought process.


Only a handful of states in the union agreed with the Washington Supreme Court’s decision insofar that MERS was NOT a real “beneficiary” because it didn’t loan any money and therefore, had no interest in the borrower’s promissory note.  In fact, during the oral arguments presented before the Supreme Court, counsel for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (not “MERS”, which means MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.; I’ll explain in a moment) could NOT identify WHO owned Kristin Bain’s mortgage loan! That didn’t bode well before the justices, who were stunned at the lack of knowledge and almost sheer arrogance of MERSCORP’s counsel.

You see, what the Washington State Supreme Court justices were never presented with, and thus did not have in evidence to be able to make a determination of, is that the Rules enacted by the parent of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. (then MERSCORP, Inc.), specifically note that under Rule 1 § 1, when the term “MERS” is used, it means the PARENT, NOT THE CHILD!  Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is THE CHILD. The lack of knowledge by the attorneys for the homeowners (for Bain and Selkowitz) and the deliberate omission of MERS’s own “rules” by its representative counsel should be cause for alarm in the way cases are being litigated all across the country!


In fact, they are two distinctly separate Delaware corporations. This was a contrived scheme of mass proportions, created in favor of the banks, which caused tens of millions of fraudulent and misrepresentative documents to be recorded into the land records of all 3,041 counties, townships and boroughs in the United States, literally clouding titles to over 80-million properties!

Thus, when Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. shows up in any legal proceeding, it’s the “empty shell” (a bankruptcy-remote entity with no assets or liabilities; no income or expenses; and no employees) that shows up in court … NOT THE PARENT!  MERSCORP is footing the legal costs in every proceeding (because it is a roughly $2.7-billion a year business model) that operates and argues on the flawed idea that the agent (nominee) and the beneficiary can be one in the same party.

The Tennessee Supreme Court completely gutted the MERS business model in the Ditto decision. MERS v DITTO_TN Supreme Court rules against MERS!  To NOT understand all of the basic tenets of real property and mortgage law could be fatal to you in your foreclosure case!

This is why I am hosting the Foreclosure Defense Workshop in Orlando on September 30-October 1, 2017.  (see below)

Part of the “good fight” in dealing in foreclosure actions is knowing the truth and how to find it (or go after a determination to get at it).  This is a lot of what we are teaching in the workshop, even if you’re going pro se!

You have little time to make reservations, because airfare is going up the closer you get to the date and the number of seats to the event has dramatically shrunk.  If you are even thinking of remotely preparing yourself to “fight the good fight”, you need to be at this event!  Since Hurricane Irma hit Florida and knocked out a lot of the internet connections, many Florida consumers won’t know about this event until this weekend and likely, there will be an onslaught of registrations at the last minute.


Meanwhile, back in Washington State … 

It appears that the regulatory agencies that govern the behavior of the banks aren’t falling all over themselves to stop the continual process of recording documents in the land records that makes use of MERS as a “beneficiary”, post-Bain.  Here is one such Consent Order, issued in 2017, that exemplifies my point (sent to me by one of the readers of this blog):

Planet Home Lending

The Consent Order appears to have noted that a violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act [RCW 31.04.027(2) and (13)] occurred when Planet Home Lending, a lender licensed under Washington law to conduct business in the State, caused several Assignments of Deeds of Trust to be filed in counties all across Washington State, post-Bain, characterizing MERS “as the beneficiary when MERS did not hold the corresponding promissory note.”

While I was not provided with any specific Assignment to review, I would guess (and my guesses are usually pretty right on) that the Assignment was created by employees of the servicer of the loan. Recognizing this scenario is important for two key reasons:

  1. If a consumer is economically affected by the recording of one of these subject, suspect Assignments, the consumer would have to assert a specific violation of the foregoing state statutes; and
  2. If the Assignment of Deed of Trust used MERS to characterize the Assignor as a “beneficiary”, post-Bain, for the purposes of transferring any rights in the note to a REMIC, or even more importantly, to the servicer, who then commences a foreclosure action against the Property, then there may also be a violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1641(f) and (g), the Federal Consumer Protection Act.

Through the use of the federal citation, the case then becomes a federal issue, so one would have to get a competent attorney to sort through which would be more effective to prove (as a Plaintiff) against Planet Home Lending, the violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act (which has a supporting Consent Order to apply to the case as evidence) or the Federal version of the same.

The problem is however, that the Consent Order implies that Planet Home Lending didn’t admit to guilt, even though the State found violations of the foregoing Act (under Agreement and Order Paragraph C). For all intents and purposes, the Order basically said, “Don’t do it again!” and by agreement, any further violations of the Order would be dealt with in the future (to what extent, we do not know).

Now, I can surmise that all of the litigious folk out there affected by the issuance of this Consent Order have realized that there is nothing stopping a consumer from bringing a private right of action against Planet Home Lending (or any other lender or servicer violating the Washington CPA). However, I caution those considering such to use due diligence in determining “damage”, whether actual, compensatory, exemplary or punitive.  Without some sort of financial loss, it may be more difficult to press forward with a CPA violation claim.

That being said, it appears that suit may be brought under the foregoing state statutes in lieu of any decision like Yvanova v New Century Mortgage Corp. et al (California) and Miller v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, 726 F. 3d 717 – Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit 2013 – Google (Texas) that gives consumers the right to challenge the creation of (and subsequent recording of) a suspect document affecting chain of title in the land records of any county in Washington State.  This may also apply in other Consumer Protection Act-related statutes across the country, but it is likely that a consumer would have to conduct some pretty specific discovery (against the mortgage loan servicers’ employees and notaries) to see who ordered the creation of the document and who caused it to be manufactured, for what purpose and determine accountability.

It should also be noted that civil conspiracy is defined in virtually every state statute.  While this term does not in of itself, constitute a cause of action in the literal sense, the act of one or more actors getting together and conspiring to do a thing to scheme that adversely affects the economic or financial well-being of another would certainly be an issue to be considered.

In Florida, for example, Florida Criminal Code § 817.535 makes it a third-degree felony to record a document containing false and misrepresentative information with the intent to deprive another of their property.  While consumers cannot commence criminal proceedings directly, they can file a criminal complaint with the local sheriff’s department (the county land records are the sheriff’s jurisdiction) and pursue a criminal case that way, especially if discovery shows that a civil conspiracy to create the document indeed occurred. You should understand that (based on our past dealings with a certain sheriff’s department) detectives at the county level are either lazy, in defiance of or lack the knowledge to properly and fully investigate such matters, as evidenced by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, who could find no wrongdoing in the OSCEOLA COUNTY FORENSIC EXAMINATION.

The foregoing subject matter is only PART OF what we’re going to cover in the upcoming Foreclosure Defense Workshop.  Thus, the tools and weapons that pro se litigants and litigants being represented by counsel are being refined to be more effective and the means by which documents are challenged has also been refined (AND PROVEN) to work!  There are three specific things I’m going to be sharing at the workshop in this regard, in addition to the newly-developed tactics by Rich Kalinoski, the attorney lecturing to those attending this workshop.

Again, this is the ONLY workshop we’re doing in 2017.  We have not decided whether we’re going to do another workshop again. Rich is very busy implementing his new developments and for this reason, may stifle any efforts to conduct a workshop in the future.  Know this … legal tools will be available to all of those who attend!

In the meantime, keep researching and “fighting the good fight”.

Dave Krieger is the author of several books, including Clouded Titles, available on his website.  He consults attorneys in foreclosure matters and drafts pleadings and conducts research for attorneys and litigants. Mr. Krieger is Managing Member of DK Consultants LLC in San Antonio, Texas. 


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Filed under OP-ED, workshop



This event features a foreclosure defense attorney, a title consultant, a forensic document examiner and a Florida Circuit Clerk.

Where else can you mingle with other attorneys, investors, affected homeowners and paralegals that are “fighting the good fight” than at this Workshop!

Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1, 2017 at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites Airport North (9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days).

This is the only Workshop of its kind that teaches you how to navigate the treacherous waters of state and federal court, even if you’re going at it alone pro se because you either don’t have the money to pay an attorney or don’t trust attorneys.

On Day 1, we explore the Rules of Civil Procedure, Title Issues and Fraudulent Documents; and on Day 2, Rules of Evidence, along with a Q&A session.

Murphy’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment. 

There is nothing worse than blowing your case (and creating bad case law) because you missed a step in filing, answering or appealing your case.

There is nothing worse than being socked with the other side’s attorney’s fees because you weren’t prepared to take calculated risks to wage a court battle!

There is nothing worse than having your case being dismissed because of deficiencies in your case because you didn’t know when and how to posture discovery.

There is nothing worse than having your case removed to federal court because your state pleadings were poorly written or your filed case was totally deficient and devoid of proper claims.

Most importantly, there is nothing worse than being messed over by a biased court judge because you lacked the knowledge necessary to make the other side prove its case!

It’s one thing to go into court and fight a traffic ticket.  It’s totally another to go into court and fight to save your home.

If you’re in the middle of a foreclosure action, bring all your case files with you!   You may get answers to questions you have involving your specific case throughout the course of this Workshop!

The cost to attend is $695 per person; $895.00 for a married couple.  

This is way less than most homeowners’ mortgage payments!

What?  You can’t afford this Workshop?

Then ask yourself whether you can even afford to stay in your home.

Maybe fighting a foreclosure is a complete waste of your valuable time and resources!

Maybe you’re simply thinking about abandoning your home.  That’s just what the banks want you to do! 

Maybe this class will show you some tricks of the trade that you haven’t even thought of!

Hotel reservations in our group room block end on September 15th, so you have 10 days left to make hotel arrangements!

Responsible American homeowners don’t quit.  They fight!

In fact, your chances for “buying time” simply increase exponentially if you engage in a court battle!

Don’t let the banks steal your home!  Sign up today and attend this important workshop!  FDW ORLANDO REGISTRATION FORM



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For those of you that haven’t been keeping track of the differences of opinion between the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Spokeo v. Robins case, the 9th Circuit panel has issued an opinion that the Plaintiff (Robins) did in fact allege a “concrete injury”.  I posited this dilemma in my book FDCPA, Debt Collection and Foreclosures to some extent.  Now it appears that the 9th Circuit’s holding played in fact off of the Big Top’s decision, which was narrow, wherein a violation of the FCRA (according to this decision), an acronym for the Fair Credit Reporting Act, was enough to include this in an FDCPA action to establish that when servicers (who act as lenders) wrongfully put information on your credit report or in the alternative, debt collectors report things to the credit bureaus that are known to be false (or wrongfully reported by servicers during a period of time wherein a Qualified Written Request is pending), prevents the consumer from moving forward by hampering their credit scores, which results in future credit damage, which is an actionable injury, enough to establish Article III standing.

As you may remember, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a May 16, 2017 ruling declaring that the 9th Circuit failed to address whether the statutory provisions at issue were established to protect Robins’s concrete interests, as opposed to purely procedural issues. The 9th Circuit responded that the FCRA was created to protect consumers’ interests in mandating that credit reporting agencies issue truthful and accurate credit reports, which affect a consumer’s future lifestyle changes, the ability to obtain credit and employment potential.

The 9th Circuit remanded the case back down to the Central District of California for further action.  For those of you in the 9th Circuit states, you should be jumping for joy, because the little guy has won another round.  To see the opinion, click the link: Robins v Spokeo Inc, 9th App Cir No 11-56843 (August 15, 2017)

It stands to reason that we will be discussing this in more detail in our third of four FDCPA webinars, coming soon to the CloudedTitles.com website.

In the meantime, for those of you continuing to fight foreclosures pro se, you may wish to pay attention to the following and inquire about attending our upcoming foreclosure defense workshop in Orlando, Florida:

Download the Registration Form here: FDW ORLANDO REGISTRATION FORM



Filed under BREAKING NEWS, webinar