Legal Malpractice BOOMING in Foreclosure Defense Industry


Here's a twist on legal malpractice and foreclosure that NOBODY but I wants to report.

The Malpractice Scheme:  Hundreds       if not THOUSANDS of attorneys around the USA, including prominent lawyers in YOUR CITY, vigorously promote their foreclosure defense services.  They get foreclosure victim clients by promising to "keep you in the house as long as possible."  They charge $1500 to $3000 retainer (a downpayment gift) and $500+ a month till the foreclosure becomes final.  Meanwhile they file cookie-cutter pleadings they copied from other attorneys complaining about "show me the note," bifurcation of note from mortgage, securitization, wrong track of ownership of note, lack of standing (wrong plaintiff), vapor money (lender deposited borrower's note and used that to fund the loan), and other nonsense.  This delays the foreclosure, but the foreclosure inevitably goes through anyway and the client loses the house.  

BUT, the lawyer seldom if ever bothers comprehensively examining the mortgage, note, and all related documents for evidence of torts, breaches, fraud, and legal errors.  Some lawyers sell or promote useless services like securitization audits and loan audits.  In the end, to avert the otherwise inevitable foreclosure, some lawyers con the client into a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, keys for cash, or an onerous loan modification that leaves the client owing double to triple the value of the house, and facing a huge balloon the client cannot pay.

How does this constitute LEGAL MALPRACTICE?  Well, the bank accused the foreclosure victim of breach of contract.  So, the attorney should take these steps:

1.  Say "give me the contracts and all related documents, letters, lawsuits, etc.," then
2.  Search for the causes of action in them against the lender or lender's agents, then
3.  Attack the lender and agents through settlement negotiation or lawsuit, then
4.  WIN compensation for the mortgage victim's injuries.

You see, historically, lenders and their agents have cheated NINE OUT OF TEN mortgagors.  Settling or suing on the basis of those causes of action can get financial compensation for the mortgagor.

Thus, the mortgagor can fight one of two battles:

1.  The foreclosure, which the borrower statistically always loses.
2.  The mortgage, which the borrower statistically always wins.

Which battle makes most sense to you?

Our problem lies in the fact that no MORTGAGE ATTACK legal industry exists.  Foreclosure Defense Lawyers focus on the easy money of defense for $300 to $500 a month and the mortgagor loses the house after paying the lawyer upwards of $10,000 to $30,000 for doing virtually no work on the case.  They do this KNOWING the mortgagor will lose the house.  Those lawyers have not learned how to examine mortgages for causes of action, and I believe most have become too lazy and incompetent to serve the real interests of the client.  Many such lawyers ballyhoo claims of winning when the court temporarily dismisses the foreclosure complaint for lack of standing because the wrong plaintiff sued.   The plaintiffs nearly always correct their paperwork, get standing, refile or appeal the case, and win.  Then the court sells the property and orders the mortgagor out of the house.

The net issues:  mortgagors cannot find competent lawyers to examine their mortgages. And, the mortgagor with an examination report showing       causes of action in hand cannot find a lawyer to attack the mortgagee over those causes of action.

Herein lies a huge opportunity for lawyers and mortgagors.  Mortgagors do have a mechanism available for negotiating with the lender to obtain a reduced loan balance and payments they can afford, or financial remuneration for their injuries.  They can simply contact the lender and demand a solution.  If the lender balks, the mortgagor can contact Government regulators and report the lender for violating regulations.  That usually brings a quick remedy.  Severely injured borrowers might even get the house free and clear WITHOUT NEEDING the services of a lawyer.

The public needs to know about this technique and opportunity.  I can connect people with a competent mortgage examiner, and I charge nothing for my service.  You can read numerous articles I have written on related subjects at http://mortgageattack.com/articles.  Many people come to me for help.  Some go on to ignore my encouragements, and lose their home.  Others get their mortgages examined, and I help them discover how to proceed from there to save the home or obtain financial compensation for their injuries..

If you want to learn more about this, and don't want to read my articles, contact me.  I have retired from the computer industry and have the time to help people free as my way of giving back to the community.  I have no business obligation to any company.

Before deciding NOT to contact me, ask yourself what YOU would do with a mortgage exam report that showed causes of action against YOUR lender.

Garfield right for a change: Get a Mortgage Exam NOW

In his LivingLies Blog entry of 2016-04-27, Foreclosure Pretender Defender and Kool-Aid Drinker Neil Garfield wrote this, correct for a change:

“… you need a thorough analysis of everything that happened with your alleged loan and a careful examination of the pleadings if you are already in court. We readily understand the reluctance to spend more money on what has been a frustrating experience, but the ONLY way you can select a strategy that will or might get traction is by having an experienced eye do a thorough review and report.”

Garfield FAILS to tell his readers that he and his crew don’t have a clue about doing mortgage examinations.  They only do securitization and forensic loan audits, not full-bore examinations.  And because Garfield has spouted bogus legal theories for years,  THOUSANDS of people have lost their homes to foreclosure by relying upon his advice.  So DON’T rely upon it.  Instead, rely upon the court opinions that I have cited in the Articles section of this site.  They prove nearly everything Garfield promotes is a band-aid, at best.

The ONLY reliable place to get a comprehensive mortgage examination that finds all the ways a borrower got injured in the loan is RIGHT HERE at Mortgage Attack.

Go to the Contact page in the site menu and tell us your story.  We’ll show you exactly how to get a comprehensive mortgage examination AND how to use it for best results.

Mort Gezzam photo
Mort Gezzam

Memorize This Number If You Bought a Securitization Audit or Hired a Foreclosure Defender

Moving:  Such Fun!


Call 800 444 6787 if you did any of these:

  1. Hired a foreclosure pretense defense lawer
  2. Bought a securitization audit
  3. Bought a chain of title audit
  4. Bought a loan audit

It will connect you to Allied Van Lines after you LOSE YOUR HOUSE.  They can help move all your stuff when you get evicted.  You will lose the house, you know…

… UNLESS you heed the comments below.

NO defense exists against a foreclosure of a valid mortgage note that you breached.

None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Niente. Niemals.  Bupkis.

All foreclosure defenses eventually fail. Only a crooked foreclosure defender hides that ugly truth from you.  The foreclosure eventually goes through to completion.  The foreclosure victim loses the house. OR, if qualified, the victim accepts an onerous loan modification.  You probably don’t qualify. Fewer than 20% do.

If you face foreclosure and don’t hire a competent professional to examine your mortgage comprehensively, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR HOUSE, one way or another, sooner or later. If you cannot prove that the lender or lender’s associates injured you at the inception of your loan, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR HOUSE. If you can prove it but fail aggressively to negotiate or litigate on the basis of those injuries, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR HOUSE.

And that means you will have to move out. So, I decided to do you a favor and give you the above number of Allied Van Lines. Call them and they will move everything you own to your new home.

Oh, right, I nearly forgot. If you complain that you cannot afford a mortgage examination, or the litigation or negotiation to use it effectively, then you will really whine about what Allied Van Lines charges to move you across town or to another state.

That’s IFF (if and only if) you have a home to which you can move.

And if you cannot afford the move, here’s what your house can looklike after you get evicted:

You KNOW Whom to Call

The worst part of disasters like those shown above: generally the mortgagor (that means YOU, the borrower in default on your loan) will end up owing money for all the necessary repairs, the eviction cost, the litigation cost, lawyer fees, accrued interest, etc.

Only the Mortgage Attack methodology will give you the opportunity to save your home from such a disaster AND win concessions or money from those who injured you.

That means you must get your mortgage examined comprehensively by a competent professional. Then you can use the causes of action from the examination report as leverage in a settlement negotiation or a lawsuit against the lender and lenders associates or agents.

See?  You use the causes of action to attack the crooked mortgage instead of defending against an indefensible foreclosure.

“Causes of action” means “reasons to sue.” They can consist of a wide array tortious conduct, contract breaches, legal errors, and violations of state and federal regulations. Examples include appraisal fraud, loan application fraud, wrongful credit reputation damage, and many other terrible injuries that cost you a lot of money or put you in unnecessary jeopardy.

Some mortgage borrowers get injured badly, some get injured little, and some not at all. But any injuries can justify a set-off from the amount of your debt OR another settlement that benefits you, such as a favorable loan modification like a balloon-free reduction in your debt and interest rate, or a keys for cash deal.

You might even win a huge amount of compensatory and punitive damages (money) if you sue successfully for the injuries. In my experience, over 90% of those who get their mortgage examined have suffered injury by the lender or associates.

Yes, you can get a favorable loan modification if you negotiate from a position of power. That means you tell the lender to give you favorable terms (for example assumable 3% fixed rate for 30 years, loan balance reduced to the present value of your home, all accrued interest and costs forgiven, no 1099 to the IRS).

But you have no negotiating power without a mortgage examination report that shows how the lender or others injured you.

If YOU don’t want to lose your home to foreclosure, you know what to do. Call me today to get started on a mortgage examination by a competent professional.

Here’s another number to memorize while you make up your mind whether to lose your house or to take practical action that will give you some hope of redemption in your mortgage:

727 669 5511

Call Now

It’s your choice:

  1. Allied Van Lines (800 444 6787 FREE), or
  2. Mortgage Attack (727 669 5511). Now.

Which makes most sense to you?

What? You still don’t feel “convinced” that you need to call me right now?

Okay, I have taken the time to write up a couple of examples of the benefits you can enjoy IF you act NOW to get your mortgage examined:

And here’s a little help for developing a MORTGAGE ATTACK MENTALITY:

Feel better?

Okay. Now call me. I wait expectantly to hear from you.

727 669 5511

Proof that YOU can AFFORD a Mortgage Exam

Scammers of every stripe seem to crawl the nation looking for gullible home loan borrowers facing foreclosure, in order to sell them a worthless mortgage rescue service for gargantuan fees.

And when those borrowers finally learn about Mortgage Attack, they have the gall to whine that they don’t have the money to pay for the comprehensive mortgage examination they should have bought at the beginning of their trouble.

Why should borrowers invest in a mortgage exam?

Borrowers need the mortgage exam to prove injury and launch a Mortgage Attack against those who hurt them.   Injurious parties can include the lender, servicer, appraiser, mortgage broker, realtor, closer, title company, lawyer, and any others connected to your loan transaction.  Borrowers need the mortgage exam service because they lack the knowledge, experience, and skill to do it themselves.

And they need the exam because Mortgage Attack constitutes the ONLY demonstrably RELIABLE METHOD borrowers can use to collect monetary damages, set-offs from their debt, a loan balance reduction at favorable terms, or even the house free and clear.

You had the money to pay the scammers selling securitization audits, loan audits, and other useless services like the scams in the below press releases.  So DON’T tell me you don’t have the money for a proper mortgage exam that provides you with the proof that will convince a court to order a damages award to you for injuries you suffered.

Otherwise, without the mortgage exam integral to  the Mortgage Attack method, YOU WILL LOSE THE HOUSE, as you should, for breaching your note and failing to challenge the validity of the loan.

Here’s the proof that YOU have the money for the comprehensive mortgage examination that the Mortgage Attack  Maven recommends.  AND, here’s the proof that people like you have the money to pay upward of $10,000 or more to SCAMMERS.

Remember that a DOZEN such scammers get away with their crimes for every scammer the government catches and prosecutes.  And people like you emptied their wallets for them.

So, DON’T TELL me that you can’t afford a mortgage exam.  Go GET the money and order your mortgage examination today.

PROOF 1:  scammer imprisoned for bilking 400 mortgage victims out of $15,000 each.

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 5, 2015

Whittier Woman Sentenced to Nearly 6 Years in Prison for Having Duped 400 Victim Homeowners – Many Spanish Speakers – of Nearly $4 Million with False Promises of Eliminating Their Mortgages

LOS ANGELES—A Whittier woman was sentenced today to nearly 6 years in prison for her lead role in a scheme that falsely promised to eliminate mortgage debts for approximately 400 distressed homeowners who each paid a $15,000 fee, totaling nearly $4 million in victim payments. Instead of working on behalf of the homeowners, the woman simply sent worthless “Sovereign Citizen” paperwork to lenders—paperwork that did nothing to affect the mortgage of a single homeowner.

Maria Marcela Gonzalez, 45, was sentenced by Judge Stephen V. Wilson in United States District Court in Los Angeles, for two counts of making a false bankruptcy declaration.  In rejecting her request for a probationary sentence and imposing the 70-month sentence, Judge Wilson said that the defendant’s actions were “callous and in gross disregard of the law.”

Gonzalez, who pled guilty in July of this year, started the Crown Point Education Inc. scheme in early 2010 and operated from offices in Montebello.  She admitted in her plea agreement that she spoke at seminars to recruit distressed homeowners and salespersons in the Crown Point program and ran the day-to-day operations of the scheme. Many of the victims were primarily or exclusively Spanish speakers.

In her plea agreement, Gonzalez admitted that she and others promised distressed homeowners at these seminars that, in exchange for fees that were generally $15,000 per property, Crown Point would eliminate the homeowners’ mortgages within six to eight months through a secret process that involved sending packets of documents to lenders. Even though she told victims that she could eliminate their mortgage woes, Gonzalez admitted in her plea agreement that the process had never been successful. Gonzalez failed to tell distressed homeowners that earlier Crown Point clients had lost their houses to foreclosure and been evicted from their houses.

In the plea agreement, Gonzalez admitted that she worked with co-schemer Jude Lopez, who was also convicted and sentenced to a probationary term, and Ernesto Diaz, who was charged but failed to appear and is currently a fugitive.  Lopez admitted in his plea agreement that he filed bankruptcy documents in the names of Crown Point clients to delay foreclosure and eviction. Diaz admitted in his plea agreement that Crown Point filed many bankruptcy documents without the knowledge of the company’s clients and that signatures of debtors and notaries were forged on many documents filed with the bankruptcy court.

The claims made to distressed homeowners were based on discredited Sovereign Citizen claims that mortgages are invalid because the banks did not actually lend the money used to fund mortgages, and the notes were securitized.

The case against Gonzalez, Diaz, and Lopez was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

PROOF 2:  Scammer indicted for bilking 13 mortgage victims out of up to $8000 each for mortgage amelioration service.

PRESS RELEASE

Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation
Cincinnati Field Office
Special Agent in Charge Kathy A. Enstrom

Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Contact: Craig Casserly
IRS – Criminal Investigation
401 N. Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 744-3130
Craig.casserly@ci.irs.gov
CI Release #: CINFO-2015-35

COLUMBUS BUSINESSMAN INDICTED IN “MORTGAGE AMELIORATION” INVESTMENT FRAUD SCHEME

COLUMBUS, OHIO — A federal grand jury here has indicted Gary Jones, 52, of Columbus, Ohio, charging him with thirteen counts of mail fraud, eight counts of money laundering, and four counts of willfully failing to file a federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, announced the indictment returned today.

According to the indictment, between January 2010 and March 2012, Jones was the managing member of 3ARCK Capital Group, LLC, also d/b/a Three Arck Capital Group, LLC (hereinafter “3Arck”). Jones is alleged to have been the sole authorized signatory on several bank accounts for the benefit of 3Arck, which had a banking relationship with Fifth Third Bank, PNC Bank, and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. In addition, Jones allegedly partnered with an individual in an investment company known as North American Realty Services Corporation, LLC (hereinafter “NARSCOR”).

It has been alleged that between May 2009 and September 2012, Jones, by himself, through his position at 3Arck, and through his partnership with NARSCOR, raised funds under false pretenses through a process called “mortgage amelioration.” Through “mortgage amelioration,” Jones represented that he could eliminate or modify mortgages held by banks, based on theories that the mortgages were invalid or illegal because the banks had no right to foreclose on the loans. Jones represented that, after a long process, the banks would acknowledge that the mortgages and/or foreclosures were not legitimate.

Jones allegedly represented that he could present claims to the banks and the courts on behalf of property owners, and that he could either force the banks to return properties that had already been repossessed through foreclosures, or that he could get restitution for property owners upon whom the foreclosures had occurred. Jones allegedly represented that the property owners could then either have their mortgages completely eliminated, or at the very least, modified with lower payments and a better term. In addition, Jones allegedly represented that those who had already lost their homes would be rewarded with monetary compensation or the return of bank-owned properties.

It has further been alleged that the property owners or investors could place a property into the “mortgage amelioration” program by paying an application fee of between $3,995 and $7,995. The fee was to be held in an escrow account and was represented to be 100% refundable, whether the process was successful or unsuccessful.

Allegedly, Jones represented that the only expenditures out of the escrow account were to be for incidentals necessary for filings with the courts and for the creation of a trust. Even if expenditures were made from funds in the escrow account, the fee was to be returned in full to the investor at the end of the process. Once the trust was created, Jones represented that he would “ameliorate” the mortgages on the properties through communications with the banks and the courts. After the mortgage had been “ameliorated,” the property owner, allegedly, could either buy the property back from the trust or walk away from the property.

It has been alleged that the property owners or investors either mailed or e-mailed their application and other documentation. The application fees were paid by mailing checks or by wire transfer to Jones, 3Arck, Jones’s partner at NARSCOR, or to NARSCOR. Jones represented to victims that he had completed numerous “mortgage amelioration” deals and had a 100% success rate; however, it has been alleged that no mortgages were ever successfully eliminated or reduced through the program. Also, despite representations that the refundable application fees would be kept in escrow accounts, it has been alleged that the money was deposited into bank accounts controlled by Jones and no application fees were ever refunded; rather, Jones used the homeowners’ and investors’ funds for personal use.

It has been alleged that Jones failed to file a federal income tax return with the IRS for the 2009-2012 income tax years, despite earning gross income in the amount of $280,340 in 2009; $1,090,304.54 in 2010; $880,791.12 in 2011; and $146,554.50 in 2012.

Mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Failing to file an income tax return with the IRS carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

“Mr. Jones’s actions not only caused negative ramifications to those financially connected to him, but also the honest taxpayer when he committed significant tax fraud violations as detailed in the indictment,” said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charges, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “Honest and law abiding citizens are fed up with the likes of those who use deceit and fraud to line their pockets with other people’s money as well as skirt their tax obligations.”

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica H. Kim and was investigated by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

# # #

PROOF 3:  USDC fines and sentences perps for $7 million Loan Mod Scam

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 7, 2015

Operator of Inland Empire Loan Modification Scam that Targeted Distressed Homeowners Sentenced to 18 Years in Federal Prison

RIVERSIDE, California – The founder and co-owner of a Rancho Cucamonga business was sentenced today to 18 years in federal prison for orchestrating a scheme that offered bogus loan modification programs to thousands of financially distressed homeowners who lost more than $7 million when they paid for services that were never provided.

Andrea Ramirez, 47, of Rancho Cucamonga, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who also ordered the defendant to pay $6,764,743 in restitution.

Ramirez was the organizer of a telemarketing operation known under a series of names – including 21st Century Legal Services, Inc. – that bilked more than 4,000 homeowners across the nation, many of whom lost their homes to foreclosure. Ramirez was sentenced today after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

“This fraudulent company purposely targeted homeowners who were extremely vulnerable because they were facing foreclosure,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Ramirez and her co-defendants made false promises to desperate homeowners, often took the last of their money and then abandoned them. Her contempt for her victims will put her in federal prison for nearly two decades.”

Previously in this case, the other co-owner of 21st Century – Christopher Paul George, 45, of Rancho Cucamonga, was sentenced by Judge Phillips to 20 years in federal prison.

A total of 11 defendants linked to 21st Century have been convicted of federal fraud charges as a result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; IRS – Criminal Investigation; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General.

“As the ringleader in a scheme to dupe thousands of distressed homeowners out of their last dollar at the height of the financial crisis, Andrea Ramirez earned the next 18 years in federal prison, which she should use to reflect on her victims,” said Christy Goldsmith Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP).

During a 15-month period that began in the middle of 2008, Ramirez operated 21st Century, which defrauded financially distressed homeowners by making false promises and guarantees regarding 21stCentury’s ability to negotiate loan modifications for homeowners. Employees of 21st Century made numerous misrepresentations to victims during the course of the scheme, including falsely telling victims that 21st Century was operating a loan modification program sponsored by the United States government. Victims were generally instructed to stop communicating with their mortgage lenders and to cease making their mortgage payments.

21st Century employees contacted distressed homeowners through cold calls, newspaper ads and mailings. The company also controlled websites that advertised loan modification services. Once they contacted the distressed homeowners, 21st Century employees often falsely told clients that the company was operating through a federal government program, that they would be able to obtain new mortgages with specific interest rates and reduced payments, and that attorneys would negotiate loan modifications with their lenders. 21st Century employees regularly instructed financially distressed homeowners to cease making mortgage payments to their lenders and to cut off all contact with their lenders because they were being represented by 21st Century. On some occasions, 21stCentury employees told homeowners that 21st Century was using the fees paid by the homeowner to make mortgage payments, when Ramirez, George and their co-defendants simply were pocketing the homeowners’ money.

After federal authorities executed a search warrant at 21st Century, Ramirez relocated 21st Century’s offices, renamed the company and made it appear it was operating out of Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Fraudulent mortgage fraud schemes affect consumers at the most basic level, jeopardizing their ability to retain ownership of their homes,” said Robert Wemyss, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Los Angeles Division. “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to investigate these crimes to protect consumers and our nation’s mail system from being used for illegal or dangerous purposes.”

Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez of IRS-Criminal Investigation of the Los Angeles Field Office stated: “Ms. Ramirez took advantage of unsuspecting homeowners hoping to keep a roof over their heads.  Hopefully she will now understand that her irresponsible actions have real consequences.”

In addition to Ramirez and George, nine other defendants have been convicted for their roles in the 21st Century scam. They are:

•           Crystal Taiwana Buck, 40, of Long Beach, who persuaded numerous victims to pay fees to 21stCentury, was sentenced to five years in prison;

•           Albert DiRoberto, 62, of Fullerton, who handled both sales and marketing – which included making a commercial for 21st Century – was sentenced to five years in prison;

•           Yadira Garcia Padilla, 38, of Rancho Cucamonga – who, among other things, posted bogus positive reviews about 21st Century on the Internet – was sentenced to four years in prison;

•           Michael Bruce Bates, of Moreno Valley, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison;

•           Michael Lewis Parker, of Pomona, was sentenced to six years in prison;

•           Catalina Deleon, of Glendora, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 14;

•           Hamid Reza Shalviri, of Montebello, is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday, December 10;

•           Mindy Sue Holt, of San Bernardino, was sentenced to 18 months in prison; and

•           Iris Melissa Pelayo, of Upland, was sentenced to four years in prison.

15-144
USAO – California, Central
Updated December 7, 2015
# # #

PROOF 4:  Scammers Bilk 54 Mortgage Rescue victims out of $220,000

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Three Defendants Indicted For Allegedly Swindling 54 Victims Of $220,000 In Fees In Mortgage “Rescue” Fraud Scheme

CHICAGO ― Three defendants who operated Washington National Trust, which was not licensed in Illinois as either a trust or a mortgage company, are facing federal fraud charges for allegedly swindling approximately $220,000 from at least 54 homeowners after falsely promising to save their homes from foreclosure and lower their monthly mortgage payments. The alleged mortgage “rescue” fraud scheme primarily preyed upon Hispanic victims in and around Aurora since late 2011.

One defendant, CARLOS RAYAS, 39, of Aurora, whose loan originator license was revoked by state regulators, was arrested today. He pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan and was released on his own recognizance. A status hearing was set for Jan. 10 in U.S. District Court.

Arrest warrants were issued for MELVIN T. BELL, 37, also known as “Alex Crown,” “Minister Bey,” “Sovereign King Bey,” “King Bey,” and “S.K. Bey,” and MONICA HERNANDEZ, 43, Rayas’ cousin and a former licensed real estate broker. Both Bell and Hernandez were last known to reside in Oswego.

Bell and Hernandez were each charged with four counts of mail fraud, and Rayas was charged with two counts of mail fraud, in an indictment that was returned last week by a federal grand jury and unsealed today. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of approximately $220,000.

According to the indictment, the defendants marketed the official-sounding Washington National Trust as a business providing a financial assistance program for homeowners that was operated and controlled by wealthy Native Americans and was exempt from state and federal laws. In exchange for fees ranging between $5,000 and $10,000 per property, the defendants claimed that Washington National Trust would lower the homeowners’ existing mortgage payments by half and defeat any foreclosure. All three defendants knew, however, that Washington National Trust was not licensed to conduct loan originations and modifications in Illinois and could not lower mortgage payments or defeat foreclosure.

Bell, Hernandez, and Rayas allegedly falsely promised that Washington National Trust would pay off and acquire homeowners’ mortgages, and once that happened, the homeowners would owe only half the original mortgage to Washington National Trust, due over five years and free of any interest and property taxes. To effect this so-called “mortgage rescue,” the defendants had homeowners sign documents and deeds purportedly appointing Washington National Trust as trustee and transferring title of their homes to the business, the indictment alleges. As part of the scheme, the defendants recorded fraudulent documents and deeds in Kane, Kendall and other counties to delay foreclosure and to make it appear that their business was the homeowners’ trustee, the charges add.

The indictment also alleges that the defendants falsely promised that the fees paid by homeowners would go toward reducing their principal balance after Washington National Trust acquired the loan from the lender. Instead, Bell and Hernandez used the fees to pay for marketing and operating the business, including making payments to Rayas and others who referred homeowners to them, as well as for various personal expenses, including meals, travel, and merchandise.

All three defendants allegedly concealed from homeowners that the Kane County Circuit Court had issued orders in September and October 2012 barring Washington National Trust from further filing and recording deeds. They also allegedly concealed that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation had issued orders in December 2012 and February 2013, first, to Washington National Trust to stop using the word “trust” and, later, to all three defendants to stop engaging in unlawful residential mortgage activity.

The charges were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Tony Gómez, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago. The Illinois State Police also participated in the investigation.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Romero.

Each count of mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or an alternative fine totaling twice the gross gain or twice the loss, whichever is greater, and restitution is mandatory. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Indictment

USAO – Illinois, Northern
Updated July 27, 2015
# # #

PROOF 5:  Mortgage Rescue scammers give up $400,000 in compensation for cheating borrowers

A.G. Schneiderman Reaches $400,000 Settlement With Alleged Participants In Mortgage Rescue Scam That Stole Deeds From Long Island Homeowners

Sale-Leaseback Fraud, Perpetrated At Height of Housing Crash on Long Island, Cheated 14 Families Out Of Their Homes’ Deeds and Equity

Settlements Will Return $400,000 To Families Cheated By Scam; Office of the Attorney General Also Working To Return Stolen Deeds To Homeowners

Schneiderman: This Shameful Scam Re-Victimized Families Already Suffering From The Collapse Of The Housing Market

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that he had reached settlement agreements with a disbarred attorney, an attorney, and a mortgage broker, who along with others allegedly operated a mortgage foreclosure rescue scam on Long Island that robbed 14 Long Island homeowners out of their homes’ deeds and equity. The mortgage foreclosure rescue scam involved multiple alleged partners: Empire Property Solutions and its principals, John Rutigliano and Kenneth Kiefer, located in Medford and Bethpage, NY; Zornberg & Hirsch law firm and its married principals, disbarred attorney Barry Zornberg and Nanci Hirsch, located in Hauppauge, NY; H&Z Abstract, a title company owned by Hirsch, located in Hauppauge, NY; Cory Covert, an attorney licensed to practice in New York, located in Hauppauge, NY; and mortgage broker Leonie Neufville (d/b/a Neufville Mortgage, located in Baldwin, NY).

Under the settlements, Barry Zornberg agreed to pay $340,000; Cory Covert agreed to pay $67,500.00; and Leonie Neufville agreed to pay $10,000.00 and accept a five-year ban on acting as a broker. The Attorney General has received a default judgment against Rutigliano and Kiefer, which will be converted into a money judgment. All of these funds will be used to compensate victims of the “sale-leaseback” fraud, which was perpetrated at the height of the housing crash on Long Island.

“This shameful scam re-victimized families already suffering from the collapse of the housing market,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office has the resources to connect families in danger of foreclosure with qualified housing counselors and lawyers. We’ve already helped more than 50,000 families across the state, but our work will not end until we’ve guaranteed that every family in need can get the help they deserve.”

Under this mortgage rescue scam, Empire Property Solutions advertised in local papers, offering services to help families save their homes from foreclosure by refinancing their mortgages and repairing their credit scores. The company’s principals, Rutigliano and Kiefer, encouraged homeowners to turn over the titles to them through “sale-leaseback” agreements. Homeowners were told they could stay in the properties, pay rent, build up their credit, and then, after a year, that title in the home would revert back to them. But the Attorney General’s investigation found that Rutigliano and Kiefer failed to make good on their promises to use the homeowners’ payments to pay down their mortgages. In the end, the homeowners faced foreclosure and eviction.

The attorneys represented buyers, sellers, and banks at various closings of these sale-leaseback transactions, which took place at the office of Zornberg & Hirsch. But the attorneys allegedly failed to represent the interests of the homeowners, and were instead integral to inducing them to enter into the fraudulent transactions with Empire Property Solutions. As alleged, the scam also relied on the participation of a mortgage broker, Leonie Neufville, who prepared loan applications that were integral to the effort to fraudulently obtain new mortgages.

After filing a civil complaint, Attorney General Schneiderman reached multiple settlements that will return money to the victims of this fraudulent mortgage rescue scheme.

The settlement with Zornberg, Nanci Hirsch, H&Z Abstact, and Zornberg & Hirsch law firm requires Zornberg to pay a total of $340,000. The settlement with the other attorney, Cory Covert, requires him to pay $67,500. The settlement with the mortgage broker, Leonie Neufville, bars her from practicing in the real estate industry for five years and requires her to pay $10,000.

Attorney General Schneiderman has also received a default judgment against Rutigliano and Kiefer, the principals of Empire Principal Solutions. Since Rutigliano has passed away, his estate is in probate, and the Attorney General is working to convert the default judgment against Rutigliano and Kiefer into a money judgment.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is working with several of the victims to return their deeds to their rightful ownership. OAG is also actively helping another family purchase a new home with the restitution they will receive from the settlements.

One of the homeowners who will get her deed back is Rosalie Thomas, a licensed nurse practitioner from Elmont, NY. After receiving a foreclosure notice in 2006, Thomas called Empire Property Solutions for help. Empire Property Solutions claimed Thomas could avoid foreclosure by signing onto their payment plan, but she still received a foreclosure notice a year later after spending tens of thousands of dollars.

“This whole ordeal has been very scary and stressful,” said Rosalie Thomas. “My youngest son was born in the house that Empire Property Solutions tried to take away from me. It’s the only home he’s ever known. I’m looking forward to finally getting the deed back and finally putting this behind me.”

Ronald Lambre and Marie DiManche, Haitian immigrants who live in Medford, NY, are working with OAG to purchase a new home with money from the settlements. After seeing an ad in the newspaper, Ms. Dimanche, a certified nursing assistant, called Empire Property Solutions and set up a payment plan that was initially half of what she and her husband were paying on their mortgage. After a year, Empire Property Solutions tripled the monthly payments and threatened to evict Lambre and DiManche if they did not pay. Their family, which includes six children, left the home and has since moved three times. OAG came across their case after opening an investigation.

“There is no way to describe how you feel when your home is stolen,” said Marie DiManche. “I’m from Haiti, and it was my dream to own a house. How do you tell your kids you can’t get back what you lost? Thanks to these settlements, my family will finally have a chance to start over again.”

The federal government also brought a criminal investigation against the partners of this sale-leaseback fraud. The United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) indicted Rutigliano and Kiefer on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. USAO also indicted Zornberg for lying to federal investigators about his role in the scam.

The indictment has been dismissed against Rutigliano due to his death. Kiefer pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Zornberg pleaded guilty to perjury as part of a plea deal and has agreed to pay approximately $1.3 million in compensation to the victims of the fraud. Zornberg is awaiting final sentencing in federal criminal court.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Richard Yorke, Senior Investigator Paul Matthews, and Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Nassau Regional Office, Valerie Singleton, under the supervision of Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Offices, Marty Mack.  The case was previously handled by former Assistant Attorney General Victoria Safran.

In December 2014, Attorney General Schneiderman launched AGScamHelp.com, a web-based app that helps homeowners determine whether a mortgage assistance company has been vetted by a government agency.

OAG launched AGScamHelp.com in direct response to an observed increase in mortgage rescue scams in New York and across the country. According to a December 2014 report by the Center for NYC Neighborhoods and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, more than 42,000 homeowners have been conned out of $100 million nationwide.

New Yorkers have been hit particularly hard. From March 2010 to September 2014, New York homeowners submitted more than 2,700 foreclosure rescue scam complaints to the Lawyer Committee for Civil Rights, documenting at least $8.25 million in losses. Since AGScamHelp.com launched in December, more than 26,000 New Yorkers have visited the website.

AGScamHelp.com has several informational features:

  • Search Government-Vetted Companies: AGScamHelp.com allows consumers to search the name of an individual or company to determine if that entity is a “government-vetted” agency (that is, either a member of the Attorney General’s HOPP network or a HUD-certified counseling agency). If the company searched is not a government-vetted agency, the consumer will be told to proceed with caution and advised with several tips on how to identify signs of a foreclosure rescue scam.
  • Locate Nearby Counseling Partners: The web-based app also features an interactive map that allows consumers to find the nearest Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) grantee. The Attorney General has dedicated $100 million to fund HOPP, a network of more than 85 housing counseling and legal services agencies across the state that are dedicated to providing free assistance to New Yorkers.
  • Report Scams: Consumers who have already been contacted by, or are in the process of working with a company suspected of operating a foreclosure rescue scam, will also have the option to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. They will be directed to a separate page where they can complete a complaint form online. All complaints will be directed to the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection, and will be mediated by the Attorney General’s Office.
  • Get Tips: AGScamHelp.com offers details on how to recognize signs of a foreclosure rescue scam, including samples of scam letters and other materials utilized by fraudsters to target homeowners, and provides information about recent foreclosure scams that have been the subject of enforcement actions brought by the Attorney General’s Office and other law enforcement agencies.

Homeowners at risk of foreclosure should reach out to OAG, which can connect them with a free, qualified housing counseling agency within the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP).

# # #

 

Bradford Shows the Basics of Mortgage Attack in his own case

NORMAN BRADFORD SHOWS THAT THE COURTS LIKE RESCISSION and OTHER FORMS OF MORTGAGE ATTACK, etc, IF THE BORROWER ARTFULLY MANAGES THE ATTACK.

If you want to see a case where the court denied rescission pre-Jesinoski, but the court awarded damages and attorney fees to the plaintiff, and where the MORTGAGE ATTACK lawsuit shows you how to set up a win, read up on Bradford v HSBC.  Get the PACER docket report for this case:

1:09-cv-01226-TSE-JFA Bradford v. HSBC Mortgage Corporation et al

If you use the RECAP THE LAW extension in Firefox or Chrome browser, you can get an abbreviated docket report and some case docs FREE. Get the Docket Report I just ran HERE:

http://ia700409.us.archive.org/19/items/gov.uscourts.vaed.247729/gov.uscourts.vaed.247729.docket.html

You can get the case opinions at Google Scholar here.

22 July 2011 – Bradford v. HSBC Mortg. Corp., 799 F. Supp. 2d 625 – Dist. Court, ED Virginia 2011
https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10469497073493990651

8 Dec 2011 – Bradford v. HSBC Mortg. Corp., 829 F. Supp. 2d 340 – Dist. Court, ED Virginia 2011
https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=16422283053088070918

5 March 2012-  Bradford v. HSBC Mortg. Corp., 838 F. Supp. 2d 424 – Dist. Court, ED Virginia 2012
https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15611931269908753326

26 April 2012- Bradford v. HSBC Mortg. Corp., 859 F. Supp. 2d 783 – Dist. Court, ED Virginia 2012
https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=11349799512745292008

This case has not ended yet, partly because the creditor filed for bankruptcy and has not come out yet.

As the above opinions show, Bradford took out a refi loan in 2006, and paid on it for two years even thought the loan broker had lied, bait and switched him, then Bradford send the lender a justified notice of rescission in 2008.  He sued for TILA rescission, for related damages including credit reputation damage for failure of the creditor to remove the lien and to tender after he offered to tender, for FDCPA violations for trying to collect a rescinded debt, for RESPA violations because the servicer refused to tell him the identity of the creditor (for which Bradford won costs, $4K damage, and over $25K legal fees), and for wrongful foreclosure.  He filed the lawsuit 1 year and 16 days after sending notice of rescission.

Document 56 shows that a competent plaintiff like Bradford can craft a multi-count complaint so that it sails past a motion to dismiss with flying colors.  The judge analyzes the complaint carefully and seems to love it.

The court ended up dismissing the rescission complaint because the 4th Circuit had opined that the borrower must sue within 3 years after closing, and Bradford sued a little over 4 years after closing.  Thereafter, the 4th Circuit changed its view about the timing of rescission lawsuit, incidentally aligning with the Jesinoski opinion.

After the creditor comes out of bankruptcy, Bradford will have the ability to challenge the rescission dismissal in light of later Circuit position on suing for rescission, and in light of Jesinoski.  The court would, of course, reverse the dismissal and order the unwinding of the loan.  However, Bradford will have a considerable amount of setoffs, and the creditor knows it.

So, instead of challenging the dismissal right off, he can demand a settlement from the creditor (“Give me the house free and clear and call us even”).  He will point out how badly he has beat up his adversaries already, and how much more he will beat them up with the rescission and setoffs and enormous legal fees, etc.  They might make him a suitable counter offer.  Or he might have to take them back to court.  Time will tell.

Regardless, Bradford has not made a house payment since late 2008, he does not have to make payments because of the justified rescission, and interest stopped accruing on his debt in 2008, giving him free use of that money in the form of his house

In summary, Norman Bradford has, though his case, conducted a Mortgage Attack seminar for anyone wanting to know how to beat up the bank and its team members.  The pleadings sit there on PACER for you to study.

 

Mort Gezzam photo
Mort Gezzam

Nationstar v Brown – Statute of Limitations No Defense Against Foreclosure

Statute of Limitations Applies to Whole Payment Stream

By Bob Hurt, 18 September 2015

Florida’s 1st District Appellate Court gave Germaine and Andrea Brown a rude awakening by telling them the Florida foreclosure 5-year statute of limitations does not apply a 30-year stream of mortgage payments even after the creditor accelerates the loan, making the entire balance immediately due and payable.  The panel cited the Florida Supreme Court opinion in Singleton v Greymar (2004) as the controlling authority (“the unique nature of the mortgage obligation and the continuing obligations of the parties in that relationship.”).  The panel held that “the subsequent and separate alleged default created a new and independent right in the mortgagee to accelerate payment on the note in a subsequent foreclosure action.”  In other words, every default of a scheduled payment provides a new right to sue, throughout the original term of the loan.

The panel admitted that Florida’s 3rd District had reached a contrary conclusion in Deutsche Bank v Beauvais (2014).  But the panel harked to the USDC adverse opinion in Stern v BOA (2015) which claimed that Beauvis opinion went against ”overwhelming weight of authority.”  Now the Beauvais court plans to review its decision.

This should make it abundantly clear that the foreclosure statute of limitations in Florida does not constitute a valid defense against foreclosure, except on payments more than 5 years overdue on which the creditor has failed to take action.

Why should this matter to mortgage victims facing foreclosure?  Because you cannot depend on Foreclosure Defense to defeat foreclosure.  The court/trustee will NOT give you a free house.

ONLY ONE methodology  gives home loan borrowers a reliable chance beat the appraiser, mortgage broker, title company, servicer, and creditor in a mortgage dispute:  MORTGAGE ATTACK.  Borrowers must ATTACK THE VALIDITY OF THE LOAN, and to do that, they must get a comprehensive mortgage examination.

If you have a mortgage dispute, contact Mortgage Attack NOW for a full explanation of the ONLY WINNING METHODOLOGY.

Mortgage Attack Logo

 


 

NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC v. Brown, Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 1st Dist. 2015

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=9222404951266369639

NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC, Appellant,
v.
GERMAINE R. BROWN a/k/a GERMAINE R. BROWN; ANDREA E. BROWN, Appellees.

Case No. 1D14-4381.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District.

Opinion filed August 24, 2015.

Nancy M. Wallace of Akerman LLP, Tallahassee; William P. Heller of Akerman LLP, Fort Lauderdale; Celia C. Falzone of Akerman LLP, Jacksonville, for Appellant.

Jared D. Comstock of John F. Hayter, Attorney at Law, P.A., Gainesville, for Appellees.

KELSEY, J.

Appellant challenges a final summary judgment holding that the statute of limitations bars appellant’s action to foreclose the subject mortgage. We agree with appellant that the statute of limitations did not bar the action. Thus, we reverse.

It is undisputed that appellees have failed to make any mortgage payments since February 2007, the first month in which they defaulted. In April 2007, appellant’s predecessor in interest gave notice of its intent to accelerate the note based on the February 2007 breach, and filed a foreclosure action. However, the trial court dismissed that action without prejudice in October 2007, after counsel for the lender failed to attend a case management conference.

The next relevant event occurred in November 2010, when appellant sent appellees a new notice of intent to accelerate, based on appellees’ breach in March 2007 and subsequent breaches. Appellees took no action to cure the default, and appellant filed a new foreclosure action in November 2012. Appellees asserted the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense, arguing that the new action and any future foreclosure actions were barred because they were not filed within five years after the original 2007 acceleration of the note. § 95.11(2)(c), Fla. Stat. (2012) (establishing five year statute of limitations on action to foreclose a mortgage).

The principles set forth in Singleton v. Greymar Associates, 882 So. 2d 1004 (Fla. 2004), apply in this case. In Singleton, the Florida Supreme Court recognized “the unique nature of the mortgage obligation and the continuing obligations of the parties in that relationship.” 882 So. 2d at 1007 (emphasis added). The court sought to avoidboth unjust enrichment of a defaulting mortgagor, and inequitable obstacles “prevent[ing] mortgagees from being able to challenge multiple defaults on a mortgage.” Id. at 1007-08. Giving effect to those principles in light of the continuing obligations of a mortgage, the court held that “the subsequent and separate alleged default created a new and independent right in the mortgagee to accelerate payment on the note in a subsequent foreclosure action.” Id. at 1008. The court found it irrelevant whether acceleration had been sought in earlier foreclosure actions. Id. The court’s analysis in Singleton recognizes that a note securing a mortgage creates liability for a total amount of principal and interest, and that the lender’s acceptance of payments in installments does not eliminate the borrower’s ongoing liability for the entire amount of the indebtedness.

The present case illustrates good grounds for the Singleton court’s concern with avoiding both unjust enrichment of borrowers and inequitable infringement on lenders’ remedies. Judgments such as that under review run afoul of Singleton because they release defaulting borrowers from their entire indebtedness and preclude mortgagees from collecting the total debt evidenced by the notes securing the mortgages they hold, even though the sum of the installment payments not made during the limitations period represents only a fraction of the total debt. See GMAC Mortg., LLC v. Whiddon, 164 So. 3d 97, 100 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) (dismissal of earlier foreclosure action “did not absolve the Whiddons of their responsibility to make mortgage payments for the remaining twenty-five years of their mortgage agreement”). We further observe that both the note and the mortgage at issue here contain typical provisions reflecting the parties’ agreement that the mortgagee’s forbearance or inaction do not constitute waivers or release appellees from their obligation to pay the note in full. These binding contractual terms refute appellees’ arguments and are inconsistent with the judgment under review.

We have held previously that not even a dismissal with prejudice of a foreclosure action precludes a mortgagee “from instituting a new foreclosure action based on a different act or a new date of default not alleged in the dismissed action.” PNC Bank, N.A. v. Neal, 147 So. 3d 32, 32 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013); see also U.S. Bank Nat. Ass’n v. Bartram, 140 So. 3d 1007, 1014 (Fla. 5th DCA), review granted, 160 So. 3d 892 (Fla. 2014) (Case No. SC14-1305) (dismissal of earlier foreclosure action, whether with or without prejudice, did not bar subsequent foreclosure action based on a new default);Evergrene Partners, Inc. v. Citibank, N.A., 143 So. 3d 954, 955 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014)(foreclosure and acceleration based on an earlier default “does not bar subsequent actions and acceleration based upon different events of default”). The dismissal in this case was without prejudice, so much the more preserving appellant’s right to file a new foreclosure action based on appellees’ breaches subsequent to the February 2007 breach asserted as the procedural trigger of the earlier foreclosure action. We find that appellant’s assertion of the right to accelerate was not irrevocably “exercised” within the meaning of cases defining accrual for foreclosure actions, when the right was merely asserted and then dismissed without prejudice. See Olympia Mortg. Corp. v. Pugh, 774 So. 2d 863, 866-67 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000) (“By voluntarily dismissing the suit, [the mortgagee] in effect decided not to accelerate payment on the note and mortgage at that time.”); see also Slottow v. Hull Inv. Co., 129 So. 577, 582 (Fla. 1930) (a mortgagee could waive an acceleration election in certain circumstances). After the dismissal without prejudice, the parties returned to the status quo that existed prior to the filing of the dismissed complaint. As a matter of law, appellant’s 2012 foreclosure action, based on breaches that occurred after the breach that triggered the first complaint, was not barred by the statute of limitations. Evergrene, 143 So. 3d at 955 (“[T]he statute of limitations has not run on all of the payments due pursuant to the note, and the mortgage is still enforceable based upon subsequent acts of default.”).

We are aware that the Third District has reached a contrary conclusion in Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas v. Beauvais, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1, 2014 WL 7156961 (Fla. 3d DCA Dec. 17, 2014) (Case No. 3D14-575). A federal district court has refused to follow Beauvais, noting that it is “contrary to the overwhelming weight of authority.” Stern v. Bank of America Corp., 2015 WL 3991058 at *2-3 (M.D. Fla. June 30, 2015) (No. 2:15-cv-153-FtM-29CM). The court in Beauvais acknowledges that its conclusion is contrary to the weight of authority on the questions presented. 2014 WL 7156961, at *8-9. That court’s docket shows that the court has set the case for rehearing en banc; it remains to be seen whether the merits disposition will change.

Accordingly, we reverse and remand for further proceedings on appellant’s foreclosure action.

THOMAS and MARSTILLER, JJ., CONCUR.

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED.

 

How to Get the Benefits of a Securitization Audit FREE

Securitization Audits Decline Dramatically… Find Out Why

Securitization Audits Chart
Why the Shocking Decline in Securitization Audits?

 

How to Get the Benefits of a Securitization Audit FREE

Benefits?  WHAT Benefits? Learn below why the audit is a complete waste of resources.

Copyright © 1 April 2014 by Bob Hurt.  All rights reserved.  http://MortgageAttack.com

TECHNICAL ALERT:  I, the author, am not an attorney or practitioner, and I do not seek in this article to solve any specific problem for any specific person.   I provide this information for academic and discussion purposes.  Consultant a COMPETENT attorney on all questions of law.  To ensure competence, demand and verify a winning record in similar cases before you trust his battle scheme.

Background:  Why I Write this Article

Securitization audits have suffered a SHOCKING decline recently as foreclosure victims learned the hard way that the audits give no value to the foreclosure process, and foreclosure victims cannot use them to avert foreclosure.

Hundreds of people have called me personally or written to me about their mortgage problems since 2009.  I would say thousands, but I have lost count. That year I started giving people FREE information about what works and what does not win mortgage disputes against creditors and their agents and associates.

The majority of those callers had already blown hundreds to thousands of dollars on a “Securitization Audit” or flimsy “Loan Audit” which did not have the worth of the powder to blow them to hell.  Many mortgagors had also blown thousands to pay a foreclosure “pretense defense” attorney for the privilege of dragging out the foreclosure.  Most of those foreclosure victims eventually lost their homes to foreclosure auction.  Many who did loan mods went into foreclosure again and either lost the home or soon will.

Every one of those people bought a service from a clueless “Kool-Aid Drinker” or an out-and-out scammer (charlatan, cheat, con artist).  Even those attorneys who promised “We’ll keep you in the house as long as we can” committed legal malpractice if they failed to examine the mortgage transaction comprehensively for evidence of fraud and other torts, contract breaches, regulation breaches, and legal errors, and as a result failed to lodge the causes of action and affirmative defenses that would have averted foreclosure.

I write this commentary not just to give all those snakes-in-the-grass the literary black eye that they deserve, but also to give the reader something FREE that bozo scammers charge hundreds or thousands for.

I shall tell you, in short order, how to find out who owns your note and why the chain of ownership of the note has no relevance to foreclosure courts.

Securitization audit scammers tell their desperate, clueless foreclosure victim prospects that they will research the “chain of title” and find out who owns the note and what shenanigans happened during transfers of note ownership.   They will suggest that the chain of title to the note really matters in a foreclosure dispute.

In reality, as demonstrated by myriad foreclosure sales, it does not matter at all to the foreclosure judge or trustee.  Those scammers will talk about their certification, credentials, and the crookedness of securitization, putting the note into the trust after the closing date specified in the pooling and servicing agreement (PSA), REMIC violations, Bloomberg terminals for researching Securities and Exchange Commission information, etc.  And they will show you a wad of useless affidavits, and claim to have functioned as expert witnesses.  They will not tell you their affidavits and testimony have no notable effect on foreclosure decisions.

Judges and Lawyers Declare the Securitization Audit CROOKED

I shall prove to you right now that those securitization audit scammers and the charlatan attorneys who con you into paying for such audits are liars and con artists for suggesting such audits have an iota of value.

See, Demilio v. Citizens Home Loans, Inc. (M.D. Ga., 2013) (“Frankly, the Court is astonished by…Plaintiff’s attempt to incorporate such an ‘audit,’ which is more than likely the product of “charlatans who prey upon people in economically dire situation.”)

In other words, after reading this, you show yourself a fool if you ever fall for their suggestions that you need the audit to terminate a foreclosure permanently.

You do not have to take my word for it.  Look at what two attorneys say about securitization audits:

  • “… Most ‘securitization audits’ that I have reviewed are inadmissible in a court of law; they contain a mere opinion of a layman without personal knowledge (direct experience) as to what happened with a particular mortgage note after closing. Why pay a securitization auditor when you can have your grandmother provide an opinion as to what happened with the note and have her sign an ‘audit report’? In reality, in about 95% of all cases, the information supplied by a ‘securitization audit’ is either already publically available, or it is unavailable to either the homeowner or the auditor. Thus, where a homeowner genuinely lacks this information, an outsider’s opinion (in contrast to the bank’s admission) is unlikely to help.”

Gregory Bryl, Foreclosure Defense Attorney, Virginia and Florida.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/03/27/beware-of-the-latest-foreclosure-rescue-scam-securitization-audits/

  • “Mortgage Loan Securitization Audits ARE A CRIME! … THAT INFORMATION IS USELESS IF IT IS NOT ADMISSABLE IN COURT! … So I issue the challenge once again….WILL ANY SO CALLED SECURITIZATION EXPERT PLEASE STAND UP?   PLEASE, SHARE WITH ME ADMISSABLE EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS IN ANY FORECLOSURE OR BANKRUPTCY CASE!” 

Matthew Weidner, Foreclosure Defense Attorney, Florida.

http://mattweidnerlaw.com/mortgage-securitization-audits-they-are-a-crime/

Why A Borrower Defaulting a Valid Loan Cannot Beat Foreclosure

Before I tell you how to get the benefit of a securitization audit FREE, and how to get the name of the note owner, let us examine some essential facts.  To get to those facts, please answer these questions, assuming you have become a mortgagor (borrower):

  1. Did you borrow money to purchase, refinance, or get a line of credit on a home?
  2. Did you sign a note in which you agreed that you had received a loan?
  3. Did you sign a security instrument (Deed of Trust – DOT, or Mortgage) in which you asserted having seisin (possession) and having transferred the estate to the lender for purpose of a mortgage or deed of trust?
  4. Did the lender assign a servicer to service your account (take payments manage, escrow, distribute proceeds, answer your questions regarding servicing the loan)?
  5. Did you make any timely payments to the servicer?

Foreclosure Deals with Breach of Contract

If you answered yes to those questions, then you know you have a contractual relationship with the lender, in which various other entities played a role (realtor, appraiser, mortgage broker, Title Company, attorney, etc.).

Moreover, you know that if either you or the others breach the contract, then that entitles you or the lender to take legal action.  You know that in a judicial foreclosure state the lender may sue you and take the house in a foreclosure sale if you breached the contract.  You know that in non-judicial foreclosure state, the lender may get the trustee to foreclose.

The lender needs to fulfill certain conditions, listed in § 22 of your loan security instrument, prior to such action, such as notify you that you breached the note, accelerate the note to make the balance due and payable now, and then take the matter to the trustee or sue you to get that money or the house.

You Lose the House if You Breached the Note

You SHOULD know that if the lender or his agents or associates engaged in some crooked behavior that invalidated the note or the loan transaction, that will give you reason to sue.

If the lender sues you for a breach and wins, the lender gets your house, or money from its sale, because the lender has a security instrument.

Unlike the lender, you do not have a security instrument that lets you go to the court or trustee to order the lender or his agent or associate to give up his house in some kind of foreclosure sale.  So how do you deal with injuries you suffered in the loan process? And how do you find out who owns the note?

Why Not Ask the Servicer and Complain to the CFPB?

You should know that if you want to learn who owns the note, you do not need a securitization audit because you can just ask the servicer. And that remains true if you want some error in your loan corrected.

You might know, though many do not, that the US Government has established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to resolve disputes between borrowers and lenders and their servicers. You can file a complaint at the following web site:

Why You Have No Standing in PSA or Note Assignment Disputes

But wait a minute. Surely you must wonder whether robo-signing, notary falsification of note assignments, assignment to a securitization trust after the closing date specified in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA), violations of Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) rules, and other securitization and assignment issues have any bearing on foreclosure, and whether you can use related arguments to beat foreclosure.  You might actually believe a securitization audit can shine some light on these concerns.

Let us answer another set of questions to get to the truth:

  1. Did you become a party to, become injured by, or become a third party beneficiary of:
    1. The PSA for a trust that owns your note?
    2. Any assignment of your note to another creditor (owner of beneficial interest in the note)?

If you answered NO to both a and b above, then you know that neither the assignment nor the PSA have any effect on you whatsoever.  Surely you know they do not affect whether or not you have breached your note or owe a mortgage loan debt.  So, therefore, you know (do you not?) that you have no standing to dispute or enforce the PSA or any assignment of the note in court.  That means robo-signing of the note (one of those ridiculous things securitization auditors tell you they will find for you) has become irrelevant to you and to any court.

See, Javaheri v. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., 2012 WL 3426278 at *6 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 13, 2012). (“Plaintiffs here do not dispute that they defaulted on the loan payments, and the robo-signing allegations are without effect on the validity of the foreclosure process.”)

About Blank Indorsements of the Note

Furthermore, according to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), if a creditor indorses the note in blank instead of naming an assignee, the note becomes bearer paper. See, UCC §3-205 https://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/3/3-205.

  • 3-205. SPECIAL INDORSEMENT; BLANK INDORSEMENT; ANOMALOUS INDORSEMENT.

(a) If an indorsement is made by the holder of an instrument, whether payable to an identified person or payable to bearer, and the indorsement identifies a person to whom it makes the instrument payable, it is a “special indorsement.” When specially indorsed, an instrument becomes payable to the identified person and may be negotiated only by the indorsement of that person. The principles stated in Section 3-110 apply to special indorsements.

(b) If an indorsement is made by the holder of an instrument and it is not a special indorsement, it is a “blank indorsement.” When indorsed in blank, an instrument becomes payable to bearer and may be negotiated by transfer of possession alone until specially indorsed.

(c) The holder may convert a blank indorsement that consists only of a signature into a special indorsement by writing, above the signature of the indorser, words identifying the person to whom the instrument is made payable.

(d) “Anomalous indorsement” means an indorsement made by a person who is not the holder of the instrument. An anomalous indorsement does not affect the manner in which the instrument may be negotiated.

 

An enormous number of notes bear blank indorsements.  That makes it easy to hand them off without cumbersome paper trails. Thus, whoever holds the note can enforce it, whether or not the holder owns beneficial interest in it. So, try answering this question:

  1. If the most recent indorser of your note indorsed your note in blank, why would you care who owns it?

I suppose you realize that you should not care because the note holder, regardless of identity, will foreclose and take the house if you breach the note.

Who May Enforce the Note, Even if Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed

The UCC defines the “PETE”  – Person Entitled to Enforce the note.  See, UCC §3-301 https://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/3/3-301.

  • 3-301. PERSON ENTITLED TO ENFORCE INSTRUMENT.

Person entitled to enforce” an instrument means (i) the holder of the instrument, (ii) a nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder, or (iii) a person not in possession of the instrument who is entitled to enforce the instrument pursuant to Section 3-309 or 3-418(d). A person may be a person entitled to enforce the instrument even though the person is not the owner of the instrument or is in wrongful possession of the instrument.

In the event the note becomes lost, destroyed, or stolen, the PETE can enforce the note anyway. See, UCC §3-309 https://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/3/3-309.

  • 3-309. ENFORCEMENT OF LOST, DESTROYED, OR STOLEN INSTRUMENT.

(a) A person not in possession of an instrument is entitled to enforce the instrument if:

(1) the person seeking to enforce the instrument

(A) was entitled to enforce it the instrument when loss of possession occurred, or

(B) has directly or indirectly acquired ownership of the instrument from a person who was entitled to enforce the instrument when loss of possession occurred;

(2) the loss of possession was not the result of a transfer by the person or a lawful seizure; and

(3) the person cannot reasonably obtain possession of the instrument because the instrument was destroyed, its whereabouts cannot be determined, or it is in the wrongful possession of an unknown person or a person that cannot be found or is not amenable to service of process.

(b) A person seeking enforcement of an instrument under subsection (a) must prove the terms of the instrument and the person’s right to enforce the instrument. If that proof is made, Section 3-308applies to the case as if the person seeking enforcement had produced the instrument. The court may not enter judgment in favor of the person seeking enforcement unless it finds that the person required to pay the instrument is adequately protected against loss that might occur by reason of a claim by another person to enforce the instrument. Adequate protection may be provided by any reasonable means.

In view of these laws, the Trustees and Courts do not require the PETE to present the original note in order to foreclose. Some states, like Florida, which require the original and will not admit into evidence a copy of a negotiable instrument, provide a law allowing a creditor to reestablish a lost, stolen, or destroyed instrument, and thereby effectively to create a new, legal “original.” See Florida Statutes, Chapter 71, http://goo.gl/hrB9bY.

So, answer these questions:

  1. Can a creditor foreclose a lost, stolen, or destroyed note on which you defaulted?
  2. Can a PETE who does not have creditor status foreclose a note in default?

I hope you answered YES to those two questions.  If so, you have by now begun to realize that only two questions have salient importance in your mortgage:

  1. Did you breach the note?
  2. Does the note lack validity?

If you answer yes to the first question, then you know that the PETE can enforce the note by foreclosing and forcing a sale of the collateral property – your house.

The ONLY Reliable Basis for Battling the Creditor and Associates

If you answered yes to the second question, then you might have an opportunity to undo the foreclosure and wind up with the house free and clear, or with a loan modified to your advantage, or setoffs from your debt, or compensatory and punitive damages awards.  You may sue for injuries that made the note invalid, whether or not you face foreclosure.

You may NOT sue until you have complied with § 20 of your loan security instrument, which provides the following delightful text:

Neither Borrower nor Lender may commence, join, or be joined to any judicial action (as either an individual litigant or the member of a class) that arises from the other party’s actions pursuant to this Security Instrument or that alleges that the other party has breached any provision of, or any duty owed by reason of, this Security Instrument, until such Borrower or Lender has notified the other party (with such notice given in compliance with the requirements of Section 15) of such alleged breach and afforded the other party hereto a reasonable period after the giving of such notice to take corrective action.  If Applicable Law provides a time period which must elapse before certain action can be taken, that time period will be deemed to be reasonable for purposes of this paragraph.  The notice of acceleration and opportunity to cure given to Borrower pursuant to Section 22 and the notice of acceleration given to Borrower pursuant to Section 18 shall be deemed to satisfy the notice and opportunity to take corrective action provisions of this Section 20.

You can find applicable law (RESPA – Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act – 12 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) and Regulations (Regulation X – 12 C.F.R. 1024 et seq.) at the below web sites, but take note that I have provided links to the latest at this point in time, and you might need to refer to earlier years based on your situation:

Take note of (carefully read) 12 U.S.C. 2605 and 12 C.F.R. 1024.35 at the above links, for these tell you the duties of the servicer to notify you of changes of the servicer, and explain what questions the servicer must answer for you, what questions the servicer may ignore, and what corrective actions the servicer must take.

So, you see, if you know the note lacks validity in some respect because the lender, servicer, title company, mortgage broker, appraiser, realtor, or some attorney or other third party injured you at the inception of the loan, you can ask for a settlement from, or sue the injurious party.  You start by bringing the injuries to the attention of the servicer.

Now you face a gnawing question that you absolutely must answer:

  1. How do you find out whether the note lacks validity?

Why Mortgage Borrowers Need a Professional Mortgage Examination

Obviously, YOU should examine all the documents related to your loan transaction for evidence of fraud, regulatory breaches, contract breaches, legal errors, and flim-flams. You might find all kinds of causes of action (reasons to sue) that entitle you to challenge the validity of the loan in court and get the court to compensate you for your injuries.

To examine your loan transaction and related issues comprehensively and comprehensively, you will need a good working knowledge of tort law, contract law, mortgage finance law, real estate law, criminal law, bankruptcy law, foreclosure law, consumer credit law, and federal and state regulations law dealing with mortgages, lending, disclosures, credit reporting, debt collection, equal opportunity, etc.

That brings us to the toughest question of all:

  1. Do you have the requisite knowledge and skill to perform a comprehensive, professional examination of your loan transaction and any related court actions?

Frankly, I guess most home loan borrowers do not have a clue how to do that. So naturally, you will want an answer to this question:

  1. Who has such competence and experience to perform a comprehensive mortgage loan transaction examination?

This article focuses on an entirely different issue.  It deals with why you do not need a securitization audit and how to get the putative benefits of such an audit FREE.  So, I shall address the answer to the above question briefly at the end of the article.

But, I do guarantee you right now that NO securitization auditor or so-called forensic loan auditor, and only the rarest of attorneys, has the remotest capability of doing such an examination correctly without wasting your money.

How to Discover Who Owns Your Mortgage Note:  Ask the Servicer

So let us get on with this final question:

  1. How do I find out who owns the note?

How to Avoid Paying the Wrong Party

Most people worry about who owns the note because they do not want to pay the wrong person and then face an accusation of breaching the note through non-payment.  Some simply want to mount a challenge against foreclosure, thinking that if the wrong person forecloses, that will justify asking the court to dismiss the case or stop the foreclosure.

Suppose you do not know who owns the note and you fear that the wrong person will receive your mortgage payments. That could open you to an accusation by the real creditor that you breached the note through non-payment.  The courts provide a means for ensuring that your payment goes to the right party:  the Interpleader Action.

Your loan security instrument identifies whom to pay. If you ever doubt whom to pay, you can file the interpleader action to remove doubt and comply with the terms of your loan.  The court will assign someone to take your money and pay it to the correct party.

Federal Law Helps You Find the Owner of the Note

As to how to find out who owns the note, federal law requires the creditor and servicer to notify you of any change in creditor or servicer timely so you do not pay the wrong party.  Read the law for yourself, here:

See, 15 U.S.C. 1641(f)

(f) Treatment of servicer

(1) In general

A servicer of a consumer obligation arising from a consumer credit transaction shall not be treated as an assignee of such obligation for purposes of this section unless the servicer is or was the owner of the obligation.

(2) Servicer not treated as owner on basis of assignment for administrative convenience

A servicer of a consumer obligation arising from a consumer credit transaction shall not be treated as the owner of the obligation for purposes of this section on the basis of an assignment of the obligation from the creditor or another assignee to the servicer solely for the administrative convenience of the servicer in servicing the obligation. Upon written request by the obligor, the servicer shall provide the obligor, to the best knowledge of the servicer, with the name, address, and telephone number of the owner of the obligation or the master servicer of the obligation.

 

Federal law also requires the servicer and creditor to notify the borrower of any change in the servicer or creditor.

See, 15 U.S.C. 1641(g)

(g) Notice of new creditor

(1) In general

In addition to other disclosures required by this subchapter, not later than 30 days after the date on which a mortgage loan is sold or otherwise transferred or assigned to a third party, the creditor that is the new owner or assignee of the debt shall notify the borrower in writing of such transfer, including—

(A) the identity, address, telephone number of the new creditor;

(B) the date of transfer;

(C) how to reach an agent or party having authority to act on behalf of the new creditor;

(D) the location of the place where transfer of ownership of the debt is recorded; and

(E) any other relevant information regarding the new creditor.

(2) Definition

As used in this subsection, the term “mortgage loan” means any consumer credit transaction that is secured by the principal dwelling of a consumer.

 

Thus, the borrower should always have timely notice in order to pay the right party and to know whether the right party has made any effort to foreclose a defaulted loan.

If in doubt the borrower need only call or write to ask the servicer.  The servicer must give the borrower the identity and contact information for the creditor, and the details regarding escrow for insurance and property tax, and other information regarding servicing the loan.

Get Help from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If the servicer plays dumb or either the servicer or creditor fail to inform the borrower, then the borrower may seek enforcement assistance from the CFPB.  As I mentioned above, you can file a complaint via the web site:

Sue the Creditor and/or Servicer

As to punishing servicer recalcitrance, federal law provides borrowers with a private right of action against the creditor and/or servicer as appropriate. The court can order the defendants to pay the borrower up to $4000, plus any actual damage, plus legal fees and costs of the action.  The court can force the defendants to give the proper information to the borrower.

See, 15 U.S.C. 1640(a)

§1640. Civil liability

(a) Individual or class action for damages; amount of award; factors determining amount of award

Except as otherwise provided in this section, any creditor who fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this part, including any requirement under section 1635 of this title, subsection (f) or (g) of section 1641 of this title, or part D or E of this subchapter with respect to any person is liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of—

(1) any actual damage sustained by such person as a result of the failure;

(2)(A)(i) in the case of an individual action twice the amount of any finance charge in connection with the transaction, (ii) in the case of an individual action relating to a consumer lease under part E of this subchapter, 25 per centum of the total amount of monthly payments under the lease, except that the liability under this subparagraph shall not be less than $200 nor greater than $2,000, (iii) in the case of an individual action relating to an open end consumer credit plan that is not secured by real property or a dwelling, twice the amount of any finance charge in connection with the transaction, with a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $5,000, or such higher amount as may be appropriate in the case of an established pattern or practice of such failures; 1 or (iv) in the case of an individual action relating to a credit transaction not under an open end credit plan that is secured by real property or a dwelling, not less than $400 or greater than $4,000; or

(B) in the case of a class action, such amount as the court may allow, except that as to each member of the class no minimum recovery shall be applicable, and the total recovery under this subparagraph in any class action or series of class actions arising out of the same failure to comply by the same creditor shall not be more than the lesser of $1,000,000 or 1 per centum of the net worth of the creditor;

(3) in the case of any successful action to enforce the foregoing liability or in any action in which a person is determined to have a right of rescission under section 1635 or 1638(e)(7) of this title, the costs of the action, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee as determined by the court; and

(4) in the case of a failure to comply with any requirement under section 1639 of this title, paragraph (1) or (2) of section 1639b(c) of this title, or section 1639c(a) of this title, an amount equal to the sum of all finance charges and fees paid by the consumer, unless the creditor demonstrates that the failure to comply is not material…

 

Please read the full Civil Liability law at the below link.  I have only provided the part important to this discussion.

The SEC Web Site

You can satisfy your curiosity about the PSA and other documents related to your loan, such as the bank’s 424(b)(5) prospectus form filing.  You need only dig around in Edgar at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s web site here:

You can find the regulations requiring such filings in 17 C.F.R. 230.424

Thus, You Need NO Securitization Audit to Receive its Alleged Benefits

As you can see, I have just saved you the cost of a securitization audit.  I have given you the main benefit of it, knowledge of how to discover the identity of the creditor, the person who owns beneficial interest in the note, and I have shown your entitlement to get the court to award damages to you for a failure to give that information.  And I gave you all that ABSOLUTELY FREE.

Now you know also that you do not need to pay some scalawag huckster of a securitization auditor to find out who owns your note. Most of the time the so-called auditor gives clients a bunch of useless information like a copy of the PSA, but fails to tell you who owns the note.  Why? Because creditors indorsed most securitized notes in blank and most notes have become securitized.

If in doubt, check the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac web site and enter your loan number, for they own many if not most of the mortgage notes.

If still in doubt, pick up the phone.  Call the servicer, and ask, “Who owns my note?”  If you get the bum’s rush, try it in writing, then contact the CFPB, and complain. If that does not work, SUE.

But under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you bother with a securitization audit.  It will only waste your money and your time, and give you zero benefit.

Yes, I know I titled the article to make it seem like securitization audits provide benefits you can get free.  Well I gave you FREE those benefits that a securitization auditor fools victims into thinking they will get for a big fat fee, but which the victims do not get at all.

If you already made the ill-informed mistake of paying a securitization auditor for that useless audit, I suggest that you demand a full refund and report that scalawag to the State Attorney General.  Why?  Because those crooked “auditors” know they sell useless junk.

Save Your Money for a Professional Mortgage Examination

Besides, you will need all that money to pay a competent, professional mortgage transaction examiner to examine your transaction documents.  That will reveal injuries you have suffered.  And when you show the injuries to the servicer, the injurious parties, the CFPB, and the court, you thereby give yourself the ONLY opportunity of pressing your adversary into a settlement or of obtaining a damage award judgment from the court.

Yes, I know the ONLY such examination firm in the USA, the only one I can confidently recommend.

If you have a mortgage and you want help with it, familiarize yourself with the articles and concepts at the Mortgage Attack web site here:

Then write me using the contact form at the site, or pick up the phone and call me at

  • 1 (727) 669-5511

Bob Hurt

 

 

 

Should You Report the Mortgage Broker for Fraud?

A mortgage victim recently wrote this to me:

“I sent the lender a letter. They responded within 2 weeeks with a letter that  had a 2 copies of the loan application from a bank with different information in spots and signed by a TLC. One set was different than what was given to me at settlement.  An extra year was added to my years of employment. Also a $1000 bonus was added to my salary, and they changed the reason for refinance from cash out to home improvement. I never told them any of those things. I have no idea why that is on the papers and I wasn’t aware of it until I got their letter.  Could they have changed it to pass the loan through at the time and sent it to me by mistake? “

Clearly, this borrower feels acutely aware of misbehavior by the mortgage broker or lender through falsification of the loan application.  The borrower does not admit signing the loan application, but of course we know he must have signed a loan application, the note, and the security instrument at closing.  Typically, the closing officer shoves one form after another across the table to the borrower and shows where to sign it.  Typically, the borrower never bothers reading it or having an attorney review it in advance.

And, look at this text from the Acknowledgement and Agreement section of FannieMae’s Uniform Residential Loan Application, which most mortgage borrowers sign:

“Each of the undersigned specifically represents to Lender and to Lender’s actual or potential agents, brokers, processors, attorneys, insurers, servicers, successors and assigns and agrees and acknowledges that:  (1) the information provided in this application is true and correct as of the date set forth opposite my signature and that any intentional or negligent misrepresentation of this information contained in this application may result in civil liability, including monetary damages, to any person who may suffer any loss due to reliance upon any misrepresentation that I have made on this application, and/or in criminal penalties including, but not limited to, fine or imprisonment or both under the provisions of Title 18, United States Code, Sec. 1001, et seq. …”

I have supplied that and other criminal laws from the Legal Information Institute that might interest you.  These and other federal criminal laws might stimulate you into reporting your crooked mortgage broker to the FBI.  However, if you signed the loan application at closing, FBI agents, DOJ attorneys, and federal judges might construe that as meaning you read and understood and agreed with the content of every document you signed BEFORE signing it.  If so, whom might they consider committed bank fraud, etc?

In spite of this, Congress has established statutes that impose time limitations for prosecuting people for crimes.  If too much time goes by between commission of the crime and indictment, the government might lose the authority to prosecute.  These statutes can get a little complicated and non-uniform, so attorneys must study them carefully to learn the effect on their clients.  The student can find a Congressional Research Service report on the Statutes of Limitations here.

Note that this article deals only with federal crimes.  Your state has its own criminal and civil laws that might affect appraisers, mortgage brokers, title companies, Realtors, lenders, servicers, and borrowers.

This author thinks it makes sense to contact a competent attorney and seek legal advice about whether and how to report suspicions that a mortgage broker or other entity involved in your mortgage loan transaction has committed a crime by hoodwinking you.

You might have many kinds of criminal and civil issues in your mortgage transaction.  It makes most sense to get a competent professional to examine your mortgage so as to find ALL of those issues so you can identify them to your attorney in preparation for suing or filing a criminal complaint.  If you want a comprehensive mortgage examination, notify Maven via Mortgage Attack‘s Contact page.

————— Start of US Code ————-

18 USC 4 – Misprision of felony.

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

18 USC 1001 – Statements or entries generally.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party’s counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.
(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—

(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or
(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

18 USC 1341 – Frauds and swindles.

Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan, exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, or furnish or procure for unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin, obligation, security, or other article, or anything represented to be or intimated or held out to be such counterfeit or spurious article, for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, places in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter, any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposits or causes to be deposited any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by any private or commercial interstate carrier, or takes or receives therefrom, any such matter or thing, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail or such carrier according to the direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any such matter or thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

18 USC 1344 – Bank Fraud. 
Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice—
(1) to defraud a financial institution; or
(2) to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises;
shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
18 USC 1346 – Scheme or Artifice to Defraud.
For the purposes of this chapter, the term “scheme or artifice to defraud” includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.

 

————— End of US Code ————-

 

To ALL Real Estate Short Sale & Loan Mod Agents:

Mortgage Exam Ethically Mandatory Prior to Negotiation with Bank

I write to toss a business philosophy gauntlet before you.  I do not run a business.  I function as ombudsman and consumer activist in support of mortgage victims.  I help people with mortgage problems obtain the best possible advantage for any negotiation with the bank and its agents, or to beat them in a lawsuit.

I consider ANYTHING that operates to defeat that purpose as inimical to it. So, I might become YOUR enemy.  I DO NOT SUPPORT efforts of negotiators and other service providers who undermine the mortgage victim’s ability to negotiate from a position of power.  I shall explain why.

Mortgage Attack, the Only Worthy Methodology

ONE and ONLY one methodology has proven worthy at enabling the best financial outcome possible for mortgagors.  I term it the “Mortgage Attack” methodology.  The Mortgage Attack methodology consists of finding any and all of the ways the mortgage lender and its agents and associates injured the borrower, and using those injuries as negotiating leverage against the bank. This applies whether or not the borrower faces foreclosure.  And the negotiating scenario can include a simple negotiation for a loan modification favoring the borrower, as well as a lawsuit or counter/cross-complaint against the injurious parties.

The Mortgage Attack methodology provides a negotiating advantage to the borrower because it carries an explicit or implicit threat of litigation against the injurious parties for injuring the borrower.  It has become common knowledge that jurors loath lenders and associates who injure borrowers with scurrilous tactics.  Since lawyers for the bank know this, the smarter ones will encourage their clients to settle in some way to avoid the litigation and related damage to the lender’s reputation, not to mention the possibility of monumental damages awards against the bank by the courts.

The Bad Guys in the Transaction

By “lender and its agents and associates” I mean the loan originator, owners of beneficial interest in the note, Realtor, mortgage broker, appraiser, title company operative, servicer, and/or related attorney.  In short, it includes everyone involved in the mortgage transaction and related events other than the borrower.  These are the “Bad Guys” in the transaction, EVEN IF the borrower erred too.  Why?  Because YOU work for the borrower, not the bank, etc.

The borrower’s own attorney or other practitioner can become culpable for injuries to the borrower resulting from the attorney’s failure aggressively to look for such causes of action and to lodge corresponding affirmative defenses, motions to dismiss, or counter/cross-complaints against the lenders and its agents and associates who injured the borrower.

By implication, EVERY PRACTITIONER employed by the mortgagor, including agents for short sale and loan modifications, has ethical and moral duties to guide the borrower toward the Mortgage Attack methodology before undertaking any negotiation for short sale or loan modification on behalf of a mortgage victim.  The reason: only that methodology lets you negotiate from a position of power for the borrower.

Mortgage Examination Critically Important for Finding Evidence of Wrongdoing

The Mortgage Attack paradigm requires a comprehensive mortgage examination by a competent professional to find the causes of action against the lender and its agents and associates.  The examination service provider should render a report showing the causes of action in a form that facilitates admission into evidence in a court of law.  I know of only ONE firm capable of performing such an examination and delivering such a report.  I shall happily divulge the identity of the firm to any with sincere need for the information.

The Challenge, the Gauntlet for Negotiators

I write this commentary to challenge short sale and loan modification agents to encourage their mortgage victim prospects to spend the necessary money on a proper mortgage examination (as above) BEFORE undertaking any short sale or loan modification effort.  The reason should seem obvious, but I’ll explain it anyway.  The prospect might decide to sue the injurious parties instead of negotiating from a position of weakness.  As a consequence of winning such a law suite, the borrower might win huge compensatory and punitive damages, enough to buy several houses.  That will certainly leave the borrower in possession of the mortgaged property at risk.  Furthermore, the borrower can negotiate a short sale or loan modification or keys for cash deal from a position of power and strength, rather than from a position of weakness.

Certainly, the agents for short sale and loan mods will lose some commissions by advocating Mortgage Attack.  But they will also win better negotiated settlements AND more clients because of their integrity.

In essence, I assert in this commentary that agents for short sale and loan mod commit ethics breaches and violate their duties to their prospective clients by telling them a mortgage exam is not always the best way to go when the opposite is obviously true.

Mortgage Attack and Mortgage Exam ALWAYS Come First

Mortgage Attack paradigm demands that the mortgage examination ALWAYS comes first in an effort to deal with a troubling mortgage.  In point of fact, a mortgagor who owes more for a property that its actual value, and a mortgagor facing foreclosure, should ALWAYS purchase a comprehensive mortgage examination by a competent professional FIRST AND FOREMOST, before doing any other thing, to minimize the danger in the mortgage.  ONLY a mortgage examination can give the mortgagor the necessary negotiating leverage for dealing with a bank and its stable of attorneys.

You’ll Earn More Commissions If You DO THE RIGHT THING

Agents for short sale and loan mod seem so terribly desperate for commissions that they will sacrifice the mortgagor client’s best interest by denigrating a mortgage exam as the primary step in resolving the mortgagor’s problems.  That is, plainly, unethical and immoral.

Thus the gauntlet becomes the challenge to do the right thing.  Recommend a mortgage examination for all of your clients as a prerequisite for doing business with them.

Here’s How…

Contact me NOW for free help with that process.

Call 727 669 5511 • Or Click Here.

Mort Gezzam photo
Mort Gezzam

Mortgage-Related Laws, Regs, Rules, Cases

Whether or not a person can afford an attorney, it makes good sense to know the law, rules, regulations related to the case, and to know how and where to find case law.  OBVIOUSLY, you should go to a law library or consult an attorney if you can find a competent one willing to fight for you and with some kind of proven track record.

It also makes sense to have a subscription to prepaid legal service like Legal Shield so you can talk to a lawyer inexpensively about your rights and options.

Unfortunately I have learned better than to trust an attorney to develop a sound strategy or to manage a case efficiently  or to advocate my cause aggressively.  In the end YOU are responsible for winning or losing your case, and YOU suffer (the lawyer doesn’t) if you lose your case.   So, you need to keep your “thumb on the pulse” of the case at all times, to keep the lawyer “honest” so to speak, particularly if you have had the sad misfortune of hiring a foreclosure pretender defender (don’t make me name names).

In order to remain aware and capable, you need to learn the law and become disposed to using it.  And you should learn about litigation practice   – rules of procedure and evidence.  I have collected some links to federal and Florida laws, and legal research sites.  Enjoy.

Federal mortgage related Law/Regulations

ConsumerFinancialProtectionBureau Chapter X

  • Equity skimming on HUD property or VA loan property a Federal Crime – 12 USC 1709-2
12 USC 1709-2
Whoever, with intent to defraud, willfully engages in a pattern or practice of—
(1) purchasing one- to four-family dwellings (including condominiums and cooperatives) which are subject to a loan in default at time of purchase or in default within one year subsequent to the purchase and the loan is secured by a mortgage or deed of trust insured or held by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the loan is made by the Department of Veterans Affairs,
(2) failing to make payments under the mortgage or deed of trust as the payments become due, regardless of whether the purchaser is obligated on the loan, and
(3) applying or authorizing the application of rents from such dwellings for his own use,
shall be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. This section shall apply to a purchaser of such a dwelling, or a beneficial owner under any business organization or trust purchasing such dwelling, or to an officer, director, or agent of any such purchaser. Nothing in this section shall apply to the purchaser of only one such dwelling.

Florida Mortgage Related Civil Litigation

Florida Evidence code Chapter 90
Witnesses, Records, Documents Code Chapter 92
Civil Practice
Rules of Civil procedure and Judicial Admin – http://floridabar.org
Go to Florida Judicial Circuit web site to find local court rules and administrative orders
Florida Code of judicial conduct
Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar
Rules regulating Florida Bar

Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act
Article III Chapter 673 and IX Chapter 679 UCC
marketable titles Chapter 712
Foreclosure Chapter 702
Florida Equity Skimming Chapter 697,

Books:

Trawick’s Florida Practice and Procedure
Florida Causes of Action
Florida Evidence Code with Objections
https://pushlegal.com/ online/phone law, rules, etc $1 per book per month rent.

Cheap legal research

http://www.stetson.edu/law/library/ –  Sometimes one can call with a question and get it answered

LII / Legal Information Institute

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex legal dictionary/encyclopedia
http://law.lexisnexis.com/infopro/zimmermans/  Zimmerman research guide

http://constitution.org – founding documents, scholarly articles, searchable Statutes at Large
Google Scholar
http://Archive.org
Federal Digital System (laws etc)
Florida Appellate court web sites
  Florida appellate Opinions

http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/
http://www.justia.com/
http://www.plol.org/Pages/Search.aspx
http://www.lawguru.com/ilawlib/
http://thelawengine.com/
ABA Free Full-text Online Law Review/Law Journal Search Engine
Law Journals: Submissions and Rankings
http://www.fastcase.com/
http://www.versuslaw.com/
http://estore.loislaw.com/
http://www.lexisweb.com/ – Expensive
http://westlaw.com – Expensive
http://www.lexisone.com/freecaselaw/formulatingsearches.html
http://www.law.gmu.edu/library/research
http://www.law.duke.edu/lib/researchguides/intresearch
Federal case dockets and documents:  http://pacer.gov (you’ll need a credit card)