Look at this mess. Florida Foreclosure Pretense Defense Attorney Mark Stopa loses his bar license, and a well-intentioned attorney takes over his business. The below email had an attached letter that includes the Florida Supremes’ order suspending Stopa from the practice of law and says his law firm has been dissolved.
It happened because Stopa cheated Foreclosure Defense clients.
Here is the email message that the noble attorney sent to Stopa’s actual and intended victims in an effort to recruit them as clients and help them with their dilemma.
That attorney called me on 21 September 2018 to tell me that he found the Stopa law practice in such a mess that he decided to shut it down for good, and that he hoped Stopa’s foreclosure victim client base would reach out to me for help.
———- Forwarded message ———
Date: Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 12:55 PM
Subject: Important Time Sensitive Message
Dear Client, Attached is an important letter concerning your case with Stopa Law Firm, P.A. Please review attached letter and stipulation. It is important that you respond. We thank you for your attention to this matter.
———- END of Forwarded message ———
Why Foreclosure Defense Attorneys Deserve Censure
Now it’s time for a little honesty. Mark Stopa and thousands of attorneys like him deserve censure and public humiliation because of their horrific record of cheating their desperate foreclosure victim clients out of money and an honest advocacy. Such attorneys have built their practice on pretending to defend clients against foreclosure, but without doing any research to discover precisely who injured the clients in the loan transaction and how the injuries happened.
If they had done honest research, they would have discovered that upwards of 90% of home loan borrowers have suffered appraisal fraud, mortgage fraud, contract breaches, regulatory violations, legal errors in their documents, servicing abuse, and/or legal malpractice by the attorneys they hired to help save their home.
Why Typical Foreclosure Defense Attorneys Cannot Help Mortgage Borrowers in Trouble
Even the attorney taking over Stopa’s failed practice thought he could help keep foreclosure victims IN their homes.
But, he concluded that he can’t keep the clients in their homes. He could only do what Stopa did – delay the client’s loss of the home while charging absurd annual and/or monthly fees for the hand-holding until the inevitable foreclosure final judgment and sale of the home occurs.
Why? Because Stopa and other Foreclosure Pretense Defense attorneys NEVER do the full investigation required to prove that someone injured the borrower in the loan transaction. And so, they DO NOT KNOW whether and how the borrower got injured. Therefore, they cannot take legal action against the perps to win compensation for their mortgage victim clients. SO, they can only DEFEND by seeking a dismissal without prejudice for failure to fulfill conditions precedent to foreclosing, or for lack of standing, or tolling of the statute of limitations. That means the right creditor will correct his errors and foreclose again, this time winning a final judgment.
What It Takes to Win Compensation
Unless the practitioner PROVES someone involved in the loan transaction or associated activities INJURED the borrower who faces foreclosure for breaching the note, then the vast majority of such borrowers will lose their homes to foreclosure, and the pretender defender attorney will merely delay the process while bilking the foreclosure victim out of monthly payments for the privilege.
In order to discover such injuries, a professional team must analyze the background story of the loan and examine every document in the loan transaction from day-one to present time, including litigation documents, servicer correspondence, closing papers, appraisal, loan application, forbearance agreements, loan modification efforts, etc. Few if any (NONE that I know of) foreclosure pretense defense attorneys have such skill. Even if some have the skill, they will charge upwards of $15,000 to $20,000 at their hourly rates to do the examination, analysis, and reporting, which take 40 to 60 hours. What foreclosure victims can afford that?
The foregoing explains why foreclosure defense attorneys only pretend to defend against foreclosure, and never win actual compensation for their client’s injuries. And yet, those attorneys hold themselves out as experts in the law. Think about this. The creditor accused the borrower of breach of contract by failing to make timely payments. Doesn’t it make sense that the defending attorney should investigate the circumstances and documents related to the contract in order to find out whether the contract is valid and whether the client suffered injuries in it?
An attorney commits legal malpractice who takes on such a client and fails to perform a comprehensive investigation and go on the attack for the injuries discovered. And that can justify a legal malpractice action against attorneys like Mark Stopa. But again, what foreclosure victim can afford such an action?
The Ultimate Solution for Mortgage Victims
The only solution to the above dilemma lies in finding an affordable mortgage examination service. The borrower should buy that service, and use the information in the examination report as the basis for demanding settlements from the injurious parties, or for filing actions for fraud, breach of contract, and breach of regulatory laws. In the vast majority of situations, the injurious parties far prefer settling with the borrower than fighting the borrower in a court case that the borrower will surely win.
For more information on the right way to attack the validity of the loan, see http://mortgageattack.com, and fill in the contact form.
Consumer Advocate and Mortgage Attack Maven
727 669 5511
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.
Maslanka could owe over $100K in his adversaries’ legal fees because his lawyer (Neil Garfield) propounded lunatic arguments in a lawsuit against a mortgage lender and creditor. If Maslanka gets a mortgage examination, he might have the evidence to prove that Garfield committed legal malpractice. Garfield is a total embarrassment to the legal profession; and obviously anyone associated with his madness, or uses any of it, is a big a clown as he is. See this article and comments at https://livingliesthetruth.com/2016/05/16/fla-court-destroys-garfield-arguments-in-maslanka/
Fla Court Destroys Garfield Arguments in Maslanka
Zdzislaw Maslanka wrote paid in full on a mortgage payment check, and then sued for quiet title in 2011. He kept his loan payments current, though. He named as defendants his home loan creditor, Wells Fargo, and the loan originator Embrace, who had sold WF the loan soon after closing. Maslanka didn’t fare well in the litigation, so he hired Neil Garfield to soup up and manage the case, and to show those bumpkins how a real pro handles things.
Garfield hosed his client as you will read in the case documents, specifically, the court’s dismissal order to the 3rd amended complaint, the 5th amended complaint, the motions to dismiss it, the order to dismiss it, and the appellate docket. The complaints read like jibberish-filled lunacy.
In short, the creditors’ attorneys rightly called the effort an abuse of the judicial process. The trial judge dismissed the complaints for failure to state a claim for which the court could grant relief. In a 12 May 2016 decision, the appellate panel affirmed without comment, and it awarded unconditional attorney fees to the creditors. Maslanka worries that he will have to pay it. Maybe he should sue Garfield for it.
See the main case documents zipped here for easy download. If you prefer more torture, access the rest of the trial docs here.
In fairness, maybe I’m too harsh on Neil Garfield. Maybe he did his best for Maslanka, or maybe Maslanka forced him to lodge those inane arguments that I have complained against for years. And maybe Garfield has reformed since he wrote that 5th amended complaint.
But if Garfield did that on his own, he deserves severe discipline by the Florida Bar, in my humble opinion, for he just made Maslanka look like a fool. And that makes Garfield a Bozo in my book.
Regarding this one, Garfield obviously does not realize that a borrower no longer has an interest in a foreclosed property, and there has no legal entitlement to TILA-rescind the loan that the court has discharged through a foreclosure judgment and sale of the property.
Okay, let me give it to you this way. I recently ran across a desperate mortgage victim whom Neil Garfield had gouged for $2500 for this absolutely useless tom-foolery memorandum. Garfield speculates about numerous legal theories which the court shot down in the above cited Jones v Select Portfolio Servicing opinion. You can find more case opinions destroying the bogus legal theories for which he bilks his desperate clients.
If you get bored to death, go to the bottom for SALVATION. Meanwhile, note that I have replaced potentially sensitive information with Blah or Blah Blah in order to protect the identity of Garfield’s victim.
—————–Start of Garfield Cure for Insomni… z-z-z–z-z —————
This is a review and report and not a definitive statement of opinion on the entire case strategy. Since the property is located in Florida and Mr. Garfield is licensed in Florida, he is qualified to give both expert opinions and legal opinions.
DATE: whenever 201
RE: Blah Blah and his Wife
Phone No.: Blah
Email Address: Blah
JUDGMENT ENTERED years ago,
SALE DATE CANCELED MULTIPLE TIMES
FEDERAL ACTION TO ENJOIN USE OF NOTE AND MORTGAGE SUGGESTED
The address of the property in question is BlaB Street, Blahville, Florida, in Blah County.
The property is in foreclosure. As of last year Mr. BlahBlah reports that he hired an attorney, started modification and is not current on payments.
He has requested a review and commentary in connection with his property and his loan.
He has already filed a petition for relief in bankruptcy court under Chapter 7 and apparently converted to Chapter 13. Motion to lift stay was filed and presumably granted. The name of his attorney in the State Court action, Case No. yeah sure, wherever County.
Mr. BlahBlah reports that in years ago they were 3 months behind in their payments. Acting through a HUD counselor there was apparently an agreement that was reached in September Years ago where they would catch up on the three payments. According to Mr. BlahBlah Wells Fargo broke the agreement, refused to discuss the matter any further and Mr. BlahBlah and his wife apparently were served with a summons and compliant that years ago. If they have correspondence proving the existence of the deal, then this would be a point to raise in defense as a possible violation of either estoppel1 or dual tracking, which was not passed until after the agreement.
If the agreement can be proven (they will most likely deny it), then even without the Dodd-Frank prohibition against dual tracking, the homeowners reasonably relied upon the existence of the agreement and made payments that were accepted. Wells Fargo has a history of accepting payments under oral modifications and then abandoning the agreement without accounting for the payments — which often makes the default letter wrong as to the missing payments.
Disclosures as to the true funding of the origination of the loan, the acquisition of the debt (as opposed to the acquisition of the paper) and the true party in interest who could be plaintiff are all absent, which is the same thing that I have seen as an expert witness and as an attorney many times with Wells Fargo. Many entities, like World Savings and Wachovia boasted they were funding their own loans. This was nearly never true. The loan papers may have been originated back in years ago but the disclosure of the money trail has never been made.
Mr. BlahBlah answered the summons and complaint without the help of legal counsel and served interrogatories on the plaintiff that he says were never answered.
He has apparently been through several attorneys that were merely kicking the can down the road to buy more time without making mortgage payments but of course having Mr. BlahBlah make monthly payments to the attorney.
According to the registration statement submitted by Mr. BlahBlah the original loan was with World Savings Mortgage which merged into Wachovia and then Wells Fargo. I think what he meant was World Savings Bank which was acquired by Wachovia Bank which in turn was acquired by Wells Fargo Bank. The case was filed as Wells Fargo Bank as plaintiff. From prior experience we know that this is probably a ruse intended to cover up the fact that they don’t know who the creditor is and they are hoping that a judge will simply take their word for it.
Mr. BlahBlah has provided a docket from the Clerk of the Circuit Court which indicates that the property has been set for sale several times. This would indicate in turn that a final judgment of foreclosure was entered. However I do not see on the docket the description of an order granting summary judgment or a final judgment of foreclosure entered in favor of Wells Fargo. I presume that such a judgment exists or the sale would never have been scheduled.
As of December 30, 2015 Wells Fargo is showing a balance due of $93,979.25, with an unpaid principle balance of $200,338.10, an escrow balance of $31,855.05, carrying an interest rate of 6.5 percent with a maturity date in July 2049.
Based upon my knowledge of the parties involved, and specifically in this case Loan No. whatever2, I believe that the loan is in fact claimed by a trust which in fact does not own it. The loan was in my opinion most likely never funded by World Savings Bank, Wachovia or Wells Fargo. It is my opinion that none of those entities paid for either the origination or the acquisition of the loan and that any documents to the contrary are fabricated and most likely forged. The system at Wells Fargo if this case actually goes to trial at some point will show that probably Fanny Mae or Freddie Mac was the “investor” from the start. However, since the government sponsored entities generally function in only two areas3, it seems unlikely, to say the least, that the investor would be correctly identified in the Wells Fargo system that they would use at trial unless they have changed their method of fabricating business records.
Client advises that the loan number changed recently. The reasons for this change should be investigated.
The statutory authority of the GSE’s (Fannie and Freddie) allow for them to operate as guarantors and/or Master Trustees of REMIC Trusts who were intended to own the debt, note and mortgage. The “hidden” REMIC Trusts operate the same as private label and publicly registered REMIC Trusts. And they suffer from the same defects — the money from investors never made it into any account owned by the Trust or the Trustee, which means that the Trust could not possibly have paid for loans. The Trust would be an inactive trust devoid of any business, operations, assets, liabilities, income or expenses.
For reasons that I will discuss below, it is my opinion that the homeowners in this case should send a notice of rescission and we will discuss whether that notice should be recorded. In addition there should be consideration of a federal lawsuit seeking to enforce the rescission and seeking an injunction to prevent Wells Fargo from using the note and mortgage against the BlahBlahs. I would further add that in my opinion from my review of the documents that were provided by the client there is a strong likelihood of success using standard foreclosure defense strategies.
In the court file is a notice of action which states that Blah BlahBlah and Blaha BlahBlah both stated as avoiding service at the address of Blah Blah Street, Blahville, Florida, . This indicates to me that the service in years ago was a “drive by” service in which no real effort was made to find or serve Mr. or Mrs. BlahBlah.
This in turn leads me to believe that this was typical foreclosure mill actions and that Wells Fargo still has not fulfilled its obligation to review the business records to determine the ownership or balance of the loan. Or to put it differently, they probably did know about the problems with ownership and balance of the loan and wanted the foreclosure sale anyway. Based upon my preliminary review it would appear that Wells Fargo Bank made payments to the certificate holders of a trust under a category known mainly in the industry as “servicer advances.”
Based upon their statement I would say that their servicer advances totaled more than $90,000.00. The longer the case goes the higher is the value of their claim to recover their “servicer advances.” However, those advances, while made, came from a comingled account consisting entirely of investor money. Therefore there is no actual action for recovery of the servicer advances.
The case was apparently filed in years ago. Or if the case was not filed at that time then additional paperwork was added to the file at that point. Since the case number refers to the year years ago I am presuming that they filed a skeleton case in order to have the case filed before the end of the year.
The complaint is interesting in that, as usual, Wells Fargo does not allege that it is the owner of the debt. It alleges that it is the owner and holder of the note and mortgage. And of course it alleges that a default exists but it does not state the party to whom the money is owed nor the statement of ultimate facts upon which the court could arrive at the conclusion that the actual creditor has suffered a default or loss as a result of the payments being stopped.
The alleged loan, which in my opinion was never funded by World Savings Bank, was a reverse amortization (pick a payment) loan. This loan was probably sold in one form or another 20 or 30 times. The capital from the sale of the loans probably funded many other loans.
There is a request filed in years ago for the original promissory note, and the contact information for the current holder of the note, which was never answered. This might have some relevancy to a claim contesting jurisdiction of the court.
While the docket that was sent to me by Mr. BlahBlah did not appear to contain the final judgment for the plaintiff, the documents that he sent and which were uploaded contain a final judgment for plaintiff. The final judgment apparently was a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff on years-ago at 1:30 p.m.
As expected, the documents in the possession of Mr. BlahBlah contain a mortgage servicing transfer disclosure. Hence we have evidence of the transfer of servicing rights but not transfer of ownership of the debt.4 In my opinion this corroborates my conclusion that the loan was subject to claims of securitization starting at a time before consummation could have ever occurred. In my opinion the loan was table funded, which means that the actual source of funds for the loan was another party to whom the documents would be “assigned” immediately after, or even before the apparent “closing.”
This is especially relevant to the issue of whether the alleged loan is subject to claims (probably false claims) of securitization. Each of the alleged entities in the “Chain” had robust servicing capacities. The transfers of servicing duties makes no sense and explains nothing except that the usual pattern of musical chairs was being employed to confuse the issues surrounding “holder” of the note etc. The presumptions that are ordinarily used for a holder of a note should not be allowed,in my opinion, because of the history of flagrant violations by Wells Fargo and its predecessors. Producing evidence of a pattern of conduct of fabrication, forgery, robo-signing etc should enable the attorney to argue that the presumptions should not apply, thus requiring Wells Fargo to prove the money trial and ownership of the debt, which they will never do.
In my opinion the mortgage document was improper in that it failed to disclose a hidden balloon payment. By having negative amortization or reverse amortization, the balance that is owed as principal continues to increase. Under the terms of the mortgage when it reaches 115 percent of the original loan principal, the loan automatically reverts to standard amortization which is what caused so many people, including the BlahBlahs, to default. Borrowers were seduced into taking these highly complex loan products under the supposition that they would later be able to refinance again, taking “equity” out of the home and providing them with the resources to make the payments. The effect of these loans is to cause a balloon payment at the end of a short period of time. Thus the balloon was not disclosed and the term of the loan was not disclosed because the full amortization of the loan was beyond the financial capacity of the “borrower.”
In my opinion the assertion by Wells Fargo that it is the investor, the creditor, the lender, or the successor lender is and always has been false. It appears that no sale of the property has taken place and that none is scheduled based upon information I received from Mr. BlahBlah recently in a telephone consultation. Even though a judgment has been entered, it is my opinion that the rights and obligations of the parties are still defined by the alleged note and the alleged mortgage. Hence the sending of a notice of rescission and the recording of a notice of interest in real property under Florida Statute 712.05 would be appropriate as a strategy. I also think that an action filed in federal court to enjoin Wells Fargo from the use of the note and mortgage would be appropriate. The basis for the action would be, after notice of rescission had been sent, and presumably after the 20 days from receipt of the notice of rescission had expired, the loan contract was cancelled, the note and mortgage became void as of the date of mailing of the notice of rescission.
There is also another strategy of alleging a fraud upon the court, but I don’t think that would get much traction.
What I think can get some traction is a lawsuit against Wells Fargo for having presented the false evidence to the court. The difference is that you are not accusing the court of wrongdoing, you are accusing Wells Fargo of wrongdoing and taking advantages. I believe that considering the history that the BlahBlahs report in their narrative that substantial compensatory damages might be awarded, but that punitive damages do not appear to be likely at this time. That is not to say that punitive damages will not be awarded. As time goes on, more and more courts are becoming aware of the fact that the type of foreclosure system has been a sham. Each time another judgment for settlement is reached it becomes apparent that the banks are continuing to engage in the same behavior and simply paying fines for it as a cost of doing business.
As Mr. BlahBlah knows, I do not accept many engagements to directly represent homeowners in these actions. I think that in this case I would be willing to accept the engagement, along with co-counsel, Patrick Giunta. I would have to review this file with him to confirm, but the likelihood is that the initial retainer would be in excess of $5,000.00 and that the monthly payment of our fee would be at least $2,000.00. There would also be court costs and other expenses amounting to over $1,000.00.
Another option is to seek out another attorney who is willing to take on the case and use my services as litigation support. The hourly rate I charge for all matters, whether as attorney or expert witness is $650.00. The hourly rate of most other attorneys is significantly below that. The actual amount of work required from me if I am in the position of litigation support would be vastly reduced and thus the expense of having me work on the BlahBlah file would be significantly reduced, enabling the BlahBlahs to hire counsel who is receptive to me providing litigation support.
In all engagements, in which I am the attorney, or providing litigation support, there is also a contingency fee that varies from 20 percent to 35 percent of any amount paid in hand to the homeowner. Specifically this means that if the case is settled or resolved in a manner in which title to the property becomes unencumbered, the contingency fee would not apply to the house itself, but only to other damages that were paid in connection with the settlement or collection of a judgment.
————— End of Garfield Blather ————–
Enough of Garfield’s nonsense – HERE is your Salvation
Go to the Mortgage Attack site and READ it. There you will find salvation for mortgage woes – absolutely the only reliably workable technology for putting money back in the pocket of borrowers with crooked mortgages.
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.
“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.
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):
Did you borrow money to purchase, refinance, or get a line of credit on a home?
Did you sign a note in which you agreed that you had received a loan?
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?
Did the lender assign a servicer to service your account (take payments manage, escrow, distribute proceeds, answer your questions regarding servicing the loan)?
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:
Did you become a party to, become injured by, or become a third party beneficiary of:
The PSA for a trust that owns your note?
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 §3-205https://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:
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
“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.
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:
Can a creditor foreclose a lost, stolen, or destroyed note on which you defaulted?
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:
Did you breach the note?
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.