Michael Olenick: How Banks and Their Lawyers Win at the Expense of Investors and Homeowners

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By Michael Olenick, creator of FindtheFraud, a crowd sourced foreclosure document review system (still in alpha). You can follow him on Twitter at @michael_olenick or read his blog, Seeing Through Data

The focus of news stories on mortgage abuses often focus on the immediate victims, the borrowers, but that’s far from a complete tally of the losers. And they also typically fail to look hard enough at the winners and the way they are able, again and again, to burn everyone but themselves.

Our latest case study is a modest, non-descript one-story house in Seminole, Florida. Its owners, Suzanne and Luis Guerrero, did not set out to take a two-way trip through hell to win a free house as their prize for being tortured, but that is how their foreclosure case turned out. And as a result of bad conduct by local and the big ticket national law firm brought in to fight the Guerreros, the investors in Ace Securities Home Equity Loan Trust 2007-HE4 — even though they don’t know it, at least until now — get to pay the greatly magnified bill. Ocwen Loan Servicing, the most culpable party in this fiasco, also managed to emerge unscathed.

On Dec.7, 2006, at the height of the bubble, the Guerrero’s took out two loans for the same property, a first loan for $232,936 and a second loan for $58,234. Both loans were funded by Resmae Mortgage Corporation then later both the first and second lien were securitized into ACE 2007-HE4.

The Guerreros are anything but fast-and-loose condo flippers; they paid for two years before suffering an economic setback, making payments high enough to dent some principal. After defaulting they repeatedly engaged in good-faith negotiations with loan servicer Ocwen — offering to short-sell the house or modify the loan — and were repeatedly rebuffed despite that this would have lessened losses to investors. When the Guerreros were unable to negotiate a modification directly with their lender, they hired not one but two separate attorneys on two separate occasions. Only after the modification efforts failed did they hire a third lawyer to defend their case.

Elements of their case that should surprise have become the new normal. An assignment of their mortgage from Resmae to ACE 2007-HE4 was dated Feb. 27, 2007, notarized Jan. 9th, 2009, and recorded May 22, 2009, long after the 2007 cut-off date for conveying the note and with it, the mortgage (the lien) to the trust. This dubious assignment was “signed” by Ocwen employee Scott Anderson and notarized by Ocwen employee Leticia Arias.

The Guerrero’s new attorney, an experienced trial lawyer, quickly noticed that something was wrong with the documents. When pressed by the Guerrero’s attorneys, Anderson, testifying under oath, wasn’t sure whether a signature labeled “Scott Anderson” was his. Anderson explained he “delegated” signing authority to a “small group,” that could have been up to any of the 3,500 people working for him. When asked how many documents bear his signature he was “not sure” if it was more than seven, an odd statement since he is a prolific robosigner. Notary Leticia Arias had a better memory; she notarized more than a hundred documents and remembered it is Ocwen employee Naomi Morales who often signs for Anderson.

Ocwen’s lawyer, Eliot Pedrosa comes from the venerable Greenberg Traurig, a large law firm that advertises it has expertise in structured finance deals, including REMIC’s. Needless to say, one wonders why a big ticket national law firm has been hauled in on a mere small foreclosure, particularly when it is double teaming a local law firm. But since the costs are borne by investors, foreclosure lawyers are a free resource to servicers.

But all this costly lawyering only dug a very deep hole for the trust. An effort by Pedrosa to educate the judge about rules civil litigation justifying his demand for delay led the already-unhappy judge Williams to point out that a lot of what happened in foreclosure cases was well outside the rules of procedure and the Florida statutes. The judge’s conclusion: “Very unfortunate. Very unseemly. It sometimes makes me embarrassed to be a lawyer.”

In a follow-up hearing on Oct. 25th, another trust lawyer, Thomas Moon of the Van Ness Law Firm, explained to the judge they really had lost the original note when they swore so under oath. Later, Moon claims, they found it in the office of a prior lawyer. Further, Moon really did mean to file the note in court, as he told the Guerrero’s lawyers by handing them a signed pleading saying so, but claims he changed his mind minutes later because, he claims, a Greenberg Trauig lawyer told him notes disappear from the Clerk’s office. The judge recited the supposedly innocent mistakes, the filing of a false lost note affidavit which was signed by a party that the servicer couldn’t even identify, a servicer employee directing another staffer to forge his signature before a notary, and then the magical appearance of the note just when the lost note treatment was looking like it might not fly. Williams declared the entire case to be a fraud on the court and dismissed it with prejudice.

Ocwen would be undoubtedly prefer that this dismissal with prejudice should be a one off event, but a year old opinion from the Florida Bar suggests that the pattern of facts uncovered in this case should cause judicial review of untold thousands of cases that may be tainted with the same false and fraudulent documents that sent this judge over the edge.

From the Florida Bar’s Formal Ethics Opinion:

.. if an attorney knows that any material false representations have been made on the record by a client to any court or tribunal, then the attorney must follow the instructions in the Comment to Rule 4-3.3 and ask the client to correct these false statements on the record. In the pending cases, if the client will consent to the affidavits being replaced, then the attorney may do so. The disclosure needs to be made to the court that the affidavit was improperly verified and notarized.

It’s not just for cases with flawed or fraudulent affidavits and assignments, the Bar opinion makes it explicitly clear that even cases closed years ago must be reopened if false evidence was relied upon:

With regard to the cases that have already been closed and judgment has already been entered, the duties and obligations under Rule 4-3.3 continue beyond the conclusion of the proceeding…. Therefore, the fact that improperly verified and notarized affidavits have been filed with the court needs to be disclosed to the court in the closed cases as well as the pending ones.

Finally, the FL Bar – closing the barn door they left open by ignoring David J. Stern and his ilk – leaves no ambiguity:

…whether the case is currently pending or already closed, if the client refuses to give consent to the attorney to disclose, then the attorney must make these disclosures him/herself, preferably in an in camera proceeding if possible. (emphasis added)

It is clear that Ocwen’s problems extend far beyond this one single case.

In an earlier exchange during the Oct. 25th hearing Judge Williams and Greenberg-Trauig lawyer Donald Crawford touch upon a deeper problem:

Judge Williams: “… why do people need to fake assignments if you didn’t even need it (to foreclose)?”

Donald Crawford: “Your Honor, if I could answer that, I would be a much wealthier man than I am because I can’t get in the heads of the people that made those decisions.”

I’ll clarify the answer; because without the assignments conveying the notes into ACE 2007-HE4 the asset-backed securities were not legally backed by any assets. That is, without a valid assignment of this loan, and likely many others in the trust, the servicer would be stuck without the ability to enforce the loan and, consequently, didn’t have the collateral it claimed to have. If the investors in ACE 2007-HE4 knew the trust didn’t have the collateral it purported to have, they might want their money back. Since they’ve already lost $252.6 million, destroying the mezzanine-level tranches and distributing losses to the AAA-rated tranches – they might get as cranky as Judge Williams. Even if the money managers who invested are willing to “move on,” the pensioners and municipal governments who entrusted them with their money might not feel as generous.

This disregard for investors is on display to this day, with this loan. Despite that Judge Williams banged her gavel last October, effectively giving the home to the Guerreros and sticking the trust with a loss equal to the full amount of both loans, plus expenses, the latest investor reports show no loss to investors on the first lien. Codes are used to describe the status of loans and the Guerrero first-lien was changed to “No Action,” the same code used for loans that are current. There is no notation that investors get to swallow a total loss on the $232,936 first-lien, plus pay the Guerrero’s legal fees, plus the banks legal fees, plus the servicer advances, plus any other fees Ocwen may have larded-on during on during this tortured process. That second loan was written off in its entirety in the May, 2009 reporting cycle.

Since losses are allocated to tranches in the order that the trust records the loss, and these losses affect how investors are paid, it is imperative to record losses accurately. Further, swap agreements sometimes trigger based on losses, so misallocating losses can lead to serious consequences. That in fact happened to this trust, with this loan, with ramifications that we’ll examine more in-depth in the next piece in this series.

Investors should not be surprised since questionable disclosures involving this house, and this trust, date back to the prospectus. For example, the prospectus discloses that that 3.2% of the first group of mortgages and 8.03% of the second group were second liens, but they neglected to mention that both first and second liens from the same borrower, for the same property, could be in the deal. I suppose ACE could argue they never told investors the loans were not for the same property, though given this does nothing to mitigate credit risk that argument sounds disingenuous at best. ACE did disclose that it is common to write-off second liens in the event of default, which happened early in this case.

Perjury, forgery, blatantly ignoring rules requiring lawyers to report fraudulent documents to the court, refusing to mitigate a breach leading to much steeper damages, misleading investors in both initial filings and follow-up reporting, fraud on borrowers, fraud on investors, and fraud on the court system.

It appears this “unseemly” affair could not get worse, except that it does. Like many trusts ACE2007-HE4 is likely to take a catastrophic loss on its formerly AAA-rated tranches, including tranche A-2D, CUSIP 00442LAE9. Tranche A-2D is no ordinary sub-prime tranche because it is one of twenty in ABX.HE.AAA.07-2 index, one of the core sub-prime indexes. Part two of this “unfortunate” story will highlight other inexplicable patterns that should send shivers down the spine of investors, economists, and public policy makers.

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  1. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Thanks for the excellent report: “harsh reality” flat out. We must face it.

    1. Nathanael

      Good investigative work in this article, linking the fraud on the homeowners and the court to the specific fraud on the investors.

      But is there a way to research the next step? Who *were* the investors? Did they sell their notes already? Who are the current investors? Have they been notified that they’re being defrauded?

  2. Sharon

    Ocwen is foreclosing on our property as Servicer for CSFB but then they changed their mind; CSFB isn’t in anyway involved and by the way the Quitclaim Deed and Special Warranty Deed are more than likely forged. Now they are saying Ocwen is the holder in due course and Freddie Mac is the owner. My head is spinning they have so many stories. I joined your website and will see if I can post some of my stuff. Is there a contact?

  3. Capo Regime

    Am curious what the servicers paying for the property taxes on many of the stern foreclosures (many in limbo after dismissal and presumably awaiting refiling) are thinking or wanting to do. I know of several “stern foreclosures” which have been dismissed and where the residents have not paid a dime and yet the servicers are reliably paying taxes in many cases for two or three years….How is this sustainable and why do servicers do this–not a sustainable business model.

    1. Sharon

      I think this is likely charged to the investor as well and is not out of their pocket so they could care less.

      1. Capo Regime

        Interesting–if that is the case investors are certainly being bilked on an ongoing basis given the number of properties where residents do not pay the mortgage and the servicer continues paying taxes. I suppose if investors had the servicers stop making the tax payments all of a sudden government would try to solve the matter. Odd, if what you say is correct the investors are propping local government to a significant extent based on a property value higher than could be had on the market. Ha, if I were dade county I would be in no hurry to clean up the mess and see foreclousres happen if the servicers kept paying me…

        1. Sharon

          Michael, Thanks for the excellent article. I believe I have some documents that may prove notary fraud. These are documents submitted in our court case and I would like to get them on your website FindTheFraud. I have an id and user name MERS Fraud but am unable to contribute. Could you provide me a way to get the information to you?

      2. Maggie

        Your comment that the servicers don’t care is very interesting to me. I am 3+ years in this crisis and have had our foreclosure dismissed and am now suing the servicer. Here’s the problem…account history reports show us as still in foreclosure and we even receive correspondence referring to our sheriff sale date. Our civil suit is being defended by the same foreclosure mill that dismissed the foreclosure 2 years ago. Who is conning who? Foreclosure mills conning LPS? LPS conning the servicers? To me it looks like LPS and the foreclosure mill are keeping the servicer in the dark on the actual status of the dismissed foreclosure. Why would they do this?

      1. Capo Regime

        Great–looking forward. I have always been curious why the servicers keep paying taxes. It makes sense if they had some basis to determine that the house would be sold or perhaps renters moved in. If on the other hand they are paying taxes with investors money with no aim in mind we have a problem–and there is no basis to think this will go on indefinitely. What happens should (or likely when) servicers stop making payments? Major undiscussed issue.

      2. Sharon

        Do you know why more homeowners don’t argue that their note is nonnegotiable. After a year of research I now know that ours is nonnegotiable but even my lawyer wasn’t sure. I had to lead him to the information and just at the last minute he did get it into a pleading.

        “The irrelevance of negotiability to home-mortgage note transactions is best demonstrated by the fact that the standard form of promissory note used for those transactions fails to satisfy the requirements of negotiability. Because of the strong interest in uniformity in the large securitized home-mortgage note transactions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have promulgated a number of standard forms for use in those transactions. Transactions that do not use those forms are not eligible for repurchase by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Accordingly, although a significant number of home-mortgage notes are not securitized for various reasons, the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac forms dominate the market, even for transactions in which the lender does not contemplate an immediate sale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
        The most basic of these forms is the FNMA/FHLMC Multistate Fixed Rate Note– Single Family. Section 4 of that Note provides as follows:

        4. Borrower’s Right to Prepay

        I have the right to make payments of principal at any time before they are due. A payment of principal only is known as a “prepayment.” When I make a prepayment, I will tell the Note Holder in writing that I am doing so.

        The italicized sentence of that provision appears to constitute an “undertaking . . . to do a[n] act in addition to the payment of money.” For historical reasons codified in section 3-104(a)(3) of the U.C.C., a promissory note cannot be an instrument if it contains such an undertaking: the rules of negotiability apply only to promises to pay money, not to other, nonmonetary undertakings. Sending a notice certainly is an act “in addition to the payment of money,” and the note’s language seems to constitute an “undertaking” to perform that act (albeit only on certain conditions). Accordingly, it seems unlikely that the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac form qualifies as negotiable. Thus, the rules of Article 3 (including its holder-in-due-course protections) do not apply.

        Most people to whom I have mentioned that peculiarity find it bizarre. The requirement that a homeowner send a written notice of prepayment does not seem crucial to the administration of a mortgage note. After all, the receipt of a payment that exceeds the required minimum amount should provide some notice to the servicer. The patron of negotiability must wonder why any sensible drafter would allow all the wonderful benefits of negotiability to slip away for such a trivial provision.

        But the preceding paragraphs offer an obvious answer: the benefits of negotiability have no practical significance to the operation of the current system. Parties could take advantage of those benefits only if they were willing to be careful to obtain indorsements and take possession of each promissory note that they purchased. Given the practical difficulties that would accompany any attempt to satisfy those requirements and the uncertain prospects for victory even upon full compliance with the technical requirements, it is far more sensible to leave negotiability by the wayside in order to pursue the financial advantages promised by access to a large and highly liquid secondary market. Because the home-mortgage note market cannot practicably assure the benefits of negotiability, there is no reason why the parties drafting the notes that the system uses should take any great care to ensure that the notes retain technical negotiability. Furthermore, the absence of negotiability from the most common form of note suggests that the parties that draft those notes in fact do not take care to protect the negotiability of the obligations in question.”

        See also Dale Whitman, “How Negotiability Has Fouled Up the Secondary Mortgage Market, and What To Do About It,” 37 Pepp. L. Rev. 737 (2010).

        Also read these important articles for more information on notes and negotiability and why the PEB has it wrong.




  4. briansays

    miami herald 5/16/12
    where are crockett and tubbs??

    When two of Miami’s banking and legal giants step into federal court for a contempt hearing Thursday, they face an unusual public airing of embarrassing mistakes — or, worse, deliberate misconduct — that could tarnish their reputations.
    The Miami-based Greenberg Traurig law firm and its client, Toronto-Dominion Bank, will be grilled by a federal judge over their failure to turn over key documents for a trial involving investors burned by convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.
    In January, Miami federal jurors found TD Bank and its officers collaborated with Rothstein by telling his investment victims their money was secure as he drained their trust accounts. The bank, which was ordered to pay $67 million, was represented by Greenberg Traurig.
    A lawyer for the investors, known as the Coquina Group, has accused TD Bank and Greenberg of failing to turn over incriminating financial documents, and of producing “doctored’’ paperwork that made Rothstein look like a low-risk customer when they knew he was, in fact, a “high risk’’ whom they needed to scrutinize.
    The disbarred Fort Lauderdale lawyer is serving a 50-year sentence for orchestrating a $1.2 billion investment scam involving the sale of fabricated legal settlements.
    The landmark Coquina case ended with the nation’s first civil verdict against a bank for “aiding and abetting fraud,” by assisting Rothstein as he laundered millions of dollars in his law firm’s trust accounts kept at TD Bank, to pay for what he has described as his “rock-star lifestyle.”
    U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke now will weigh whether TD Bank and Greenberg lawyers violated so-called discovery rules — the exchange of evidence between the two sides — and whether they should be sanctioned, fined or held in contempt of court. The judge could also strike every pleading by TD Bank and Greenberg, which would cripple the bank’s appeal of the $67 million judgment.
    Coquina’s lawyer, David Mandel, who has alleged that TD Bank committed “fraud” during the trial, has asked the judge to refer the matter to the U.S. attorney’s office for a criminal investigation.
    “Throughout this litigation, [TD Bank] has engaged in a calculated course of conduct designed to impede and obstruct the discovery process,’’ Mandel and his lawyer-wife, Nina Mandel, wrote in a court filing. “TD Bank has buried documents, produced them out of order, late, or outright failed to produce them entirely.”

  5. RDP

    Nice to see the Florida Bar has acknowledged there is a problem. Whether they actively attempt to remedy it is another matter entirely. I warned them nearly 8 years ago that some of its members at 2 separate law firms, both employed by Ocwen, and one of which was later under investigation for mortgage fraud by former AG McCullum, were perpetrating fraud on the courts and perjuring themselves in submissions and affidavits. Even provided them with the documents, statutory and case law, but the Bar acted like I had run over their dog or something. Also reported it to the Judicial Qualifications Committee, because the behavior of some state court judges needs to be heavily scrutinized as well, but they acted like they couldn’t care less. Seeing this happen for the better part of a decade, I think the only way things will change is when Floridians raise hell and demand it.

  6. Timmy Metropolis

    Thanks for this, there are undoubtedly many many more stories. Prepare to be offended, but some of these “attorneys” must be more thoughtful. Well, each of us has a tale or two of corporate lawyers, and similar to certain members of congress can’t be held to a reasonable level of self-respect.
    But we must be civil, and remember that they too have families, and their jourmey in life may be that they are just doing a job. The housing crisis details so much more that is wrong with this country, and to see this kind of relentless abuse is a beacon urging change. Is it worth mentioning that they’re are substantial numbers of people in this country who need housing. decent affordable housing?

    1. sergtat

      What is wrong with this country is you Timmy Metropolis, some serial killers also have a family and a mortgage and kids in school. This country is doomed because it is rotten from the head. Con gress, courts, office, media… you name it.

    2. RC

      I have read your comment several times and I still can’t figure out what you are trying to say

  7. frustrated

    So, why didn’t the judge sanction the lawyers? they asserted the material false representations? If they punish the lawyers, few will go to court with bogus information.

    1. Nathanael

      It would make sense for the people living in the house to pay the property taxes directly as soon as a dispute started, but of course the people living there usually don’t have any money. (In the cases where the bank is totally off their rocker, however, and is refusing payments or something similar, the homeowners may have plenty of money to do this.)

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Greg and YVES: in the case I know about personally, in which the bank sold the mortgage to a slice&dice bank out of state BEFORE the Act of Sale was signed, the buyer was forbidden to carry her own insurance. The bank insisted upon bundling the mortgage and the insurance, the bank insisted upon the appraiser, and I think the bank “bundled” the property taxes into the “deal” also. If the latter is so, this may be a TELL of strategic control down the line.

      Wasn’t it Freddie Mac that “designed” the computer program that was used in all of these MERS facilitating instruments? If Freddie Mac saw to it that the “bundling” was forced upon the buyer of the house, mightn’t the program itself be evidence of “Intent to defraud”–the smoking gun of INTENT to defraud because the MEANS to defraud was built in and non-negotiable?

  8. chunga

    The Illinois Supreme Court recently made some recommendations regarding these illegal practices.

    The Illinois Bankers’ Association response was rather chilling.

    “We are particularly concerned with the implications of the Subcommittee’s recommendations in point 3 requiring that “a copy of each assignment of the mortgage be attached to the foreclosure complaint, and that a copy of the note, as it currently exists, including all endorsements and allonges” also be attached to the complaint. Our concern is further heightened by the statement in footnote 1 of the second proposed version of the “Affidavit of Amounts Due and Owing” that the affidavit “is not intended to relieve the foreclosing party from establishing . . . the party’s right to enforce the instrument of indebtedness if applicable.”

    “Advocates of this result apparently are not concerned with its implications beyond the context of a given lawsuit or class of lawsuits, but the rest of us should be, for obvious reasons. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together hold over $5.3 trillion in home mortgages, nearly half the entire residential mortgage market in the United States. Viewed on a prospective basis, Fannie and Freddie presently are issuing more than 95% of all mortgage-backed securities in the country.6 The notion that defaults on these notes cannot effectively be pursued in Illinois courts is untenable. To suggest that tens of thousands of seriously delinquent borrowers should retain their properties in de facto fee simple – which is what would happen, since there would be no other parties to foreclose on these loans (a result that also would encourage many thousands more to strategically default on their loans) – would be to accept a future in which almost no residential mortgages could or would be underwritten in the state of Illinois.”

    This is a very big problem. They basically admit that if they are required to follow the law they will die. And there is no mention of IRS 806A-G

    Illinois Bankers Association Re: Discussion Points Submitted for Public Comment and Hearing on April 27, 2012

    That’s the direction this is headed Michael. It’s going to be us or them.

    1. Nathanael

      I don’t think they understand what will happen if they legalize theft of houses by bankers.

      Machiavelli warned the Prince not to take people’s houses. It’s a line you do not cross if you want to retain power.

      1. Old Soul

        Excellent point of reference: Machiavelli’s The Prince: Don’t take people’s houses. Don’t do this unless you are actually trying to demoralize, destabilize and wreck the society. I think that is actually the plan: to wreck the society.

        1. Nathanael

          Nobody sane would have that as a plan.

          When you wreck the society, the first thing that happens is that the old elite get executed.

          There’s no other society for the elite to flee to, either. They’re doing this in the US and Europe, while China and South America don’t want them.

          This is why I think the elite are just crazy.

  9. David Chaney

    I have been in hell with Ocwen Loan Servicing for more than three years since they mysteriosly became the loan servicer to my loans once Saxon bailed. (Oddly, the addresses of both entities remain the same.) First, Ocwen has been trying to collect on a second mortgage that they bought that was wiped out in foreclosure, in a building that was given to the servicer (Wells Fargo) in Chapter 11 court. (The stay was lifted.) Wells foreclosed on the first, and when they got possession of the the second (which they inherited from Wachovia when the FDIC bestowed Wells with that gift) Wells sold the stripped out second to Ocwen who has been reporting me as late to the bureaus and trying to collect on the non-existent second for three years.Sadly, Ocwen also services another loan, on a different property on which Ocwen has refused my court ordered payments for three years, has tried three times to sell the subject property, has cost me a boatload in fees and just recently struck the jackpot when the I reopened my Chapter 11 case and got an injunction from Judge Sandra R. Klein, who is new on the bench. It turns out Judge Klein spent the last ten years investigating fraud the U.S. Trustees office and as we all know, the banks NEVER commit fraud against debtors, the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, or the courts. So now that Judge Klein is a sitting judge, she is ruthlessly throwing the book at debtors – and bending over backwards for banks. In my case I paid off all of my unsecured creditors a year early, and I asked Judge Klein to discharge my bk so I could open a new case and resolve all the messes I’m in (another bank, Trustee B of A, serviced by Wells, has also been refusing my payments.) And I had a building where the loan was paid on time for three years, but expired, and Chase moved to foreclose. Out of 50 creditors the only one to oppose my discharge was Ocwen. So guess what – Judge Klein denies my discharge, knowing I will lose my Chase bldg., tells me to negotiate with Ocwen (after they’ve tried to foreclose 3 times and she even issued an injunction to stop the last sale). Ocwen’s attorney doesn’t even make the hearing – he show’s an hour late after Judge Klein has ruled against me. She is unruffled. She proceeds to rule against several more debtors, and calls it a day. My result is that I have to transfer my case to state court and hope for an uncaptured judge who is not looking for a job with the banks.

    It is disheatening and a disgrace that following the law in this country will get you nowhere. And Judge Klein wonders why people defraud the Trustee?

  10. psychohistorian

    The posting was an education in itself and then you read the comments and learn more….systemic problems galore. I like that idea of replacing the pot smoker in jails around the country with real criminals….just for balance and social healing.

    Gawd, I wish the larger public would start seeing this information instead of the propaganda machine output that obfuscates the truth at every turn.

  11. matt weidner

    The maddending thing about this story is this was just the one example, out of untold hundreds of thousands that was caught. I happened to be in this judge’s courtroom while all this went down. This judge has the instinct to know when something is wrong, but none of us have any idea the depth of this shell game, this ponzi scheme. The Wizards of Finance and our nation’s leaders have ignored the pleas of homeowners for years now….they will not be able to ignore the coming earthquake, tsunami, hurricane…when the investors realize they are the real losers in this game…..

  12. Sara

    I don’t think anyone should get a house free and clear without proof of paying the mortgage. If you’re not paying a mortgage. you’re out! If you have canceled checks, you’re in–or refused checks that demonstrate a good faith effort to pay.
    Short sale requests are often just an attempt to rent for free in places where there are few buyers. I’d like free rent too.

    1. F. Beard

      I don’t think anyone should get a house free and clear without proof of paying the mortgage Sara

      Why not? People’s homes were built with their own stolen purchasing power. “Loans create deposits” and where do you think the purchasing power for those loans comes from?

      Be glad for anyone who escapes that unjust debt slavery.

      And if you’d like to help yourself as well then support a universal bailout for everyone, including non-debtors.

      1. Sharon

        Well said F. Beard. To Sara, please do more research because you are willfully ignorant. In Colorado they can take your home with a lawyer’s signature.

        From a filing in a Colorado foreclosure by the Law Firm Aronowitz & Mecklenburg, LLP

        “Assignment” of a Note is done by indorsement. C.R.S. § 4-3-204. Indorsement is relevant only as to the rights and liabilities between persons claiming ownership to the note and former holders. See C.R.S. § 4-3-415. As the maker of the Note, Respondent is liable for the Note to the holder thereof, whether or not the holder came into possession thereof lawfully. C.R.S. § 4-3-301. Consequently, whether the OneWest establishes an unbroken chain of assignments back to Respondent, or OneWest snatched the Note out of the hands of the true owner in plain sight of the Court on the day before commencing the foreclosure, OneWest is the holder, and has standing to enforce the Note.

      2. Sara

        I have no problem with a 3.5% 30 year mortgage refi for all gov. guaranteed loans under 350k or so. We’re on the hook anyway–many are under water. But people should PAY for what they get. I don’t ask for freebies, nor want to hand any out. I don’t have a pension, but my IRA is in a US index that probably takes a hit for every 250k house given away by an elected judge. I also think Ocwen should be sued by the investors on that one–and the judge have his/her head examined.

        1. Sara

          Maybe I am ignorant. I understand a mortgage to be a contact were “we loan you $X. You pay us $X per month. If you do not act as agreed then we take the collateral via foreclosure.” If judges make decisions such as the one above then investors will not buy MBS including morgages from that state in the future–too much risk. Then how will people buy and sell homes? FHA?

          1. F. Beard

            Then how will people buy and sell homes? Sara

            With real money lent at true free market interest rates and/or with real savings.

            However, the above would be massively deflationary UNLESS it was combined with a universal bailout to replace credit money with new reserves.

            It’s only money that is needed and it would not be a “freebie”; it would be just restitution for systematic theft from both debtors and non-debtors.

          2. Nathanael

            Sara, actual local banks can issue NON-RESELLABLE mortgages which they HOLD THEMSELVES. They can finance that through, you know, deposits. At the moment this is the only way to have anything resembling certainty over ownership of a mortgaged property.

  13. Sharon

    Another scam that is becoming painfully clear is that the home owners’ insurance companies are benefiting too. We have a family that lost their home; it burned to the ground and is a total loss. The insurance company is refusing to pay the family to rebuild. Why? Because they can’t determine who to pay so the insurance company pockets all the premiums but doesn’t have to pay.

    1. Ben Howard

      I read your comment, If you can prove fraud with regards to your mortgage, you can get the court to release the mortgage and wind up owning the property free and clear. What kind of fraud are you descriping,and if there is fraud how do you get the court to reconize the fraud. please explain. Thanks Ben

      1. Ben Howard

        I read your comment about, if you can prove fraud, you can persuade the court to release the mortgage and wind up owning the property free and clear. What kind on fraud are you decribing, and how do you get the court to reconize the fraud. Please explain

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