Living Lies/Neil Garfield on Georgia

http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/wake-up-georgia-courts-are-opening-the-door-on-wrongful-foreclosure/

http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/wake-up-georgia-courts-are-opening-the-door-on-wrongful-foreclosure/

Wake Up Georgia: Courts Are Opening the Door on Wrongful Foreclosure

Posted on March 15, 2013 by Neil Garfield

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE IN GEORGIA

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 (East Coast, including Georgia – the Atlanta Area) and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.

The selection of an attorney is an important decision and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Note: For years Georgia has been considered by most attorneys to be a “red” state that, along with states like Tennessee showed no mercy on borrowers because of the prejudgment that the foreclosure mess was the fault of borrowers. For years they have ignored the now obvious truth that the defective mortgages and wrongful foreclosures do make a difference.

Now, reflecting inquiries from Courts below who are studying the the issue instead of issuing orders based upon a knee-jerk response, the State has taken a decided turn toward the application of law over presumption and bias. There is even reason to believe that the door is open a crack for past wrongful foreclosures, as the Courts grapple with the fact that thousands of foreclosures were forced through the system by strangers to the transaction and thousands of wrongful foreclosure suits have been dismissed because of the assumption by judges that no bank would lie directly to the court. It was a big lie and apparently the banks were right in thinking there was little risk to them.

Look at Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law February/ March Issue for an article on “Foreclosure Law in the Wake of Recent Decisions on Residential Mortgage Loans: The Situation in Georgia” by Ashby Kent Fox, Shea Sullivan and Amanda Wilson. Our own lawyers have out in front on these issues for a couple of years but encountering a lot of resistance — although lately they are reporting that the Courts are listening more closely.

The Georgia Supreme Court has now weighed in (Reese v Provident) and decided quite obviously that something is rotten in Georgia. Focusing on Georgia’s foreclosure notice statute but actually speaking to the substantive defects in the mortgages and foreclosures, the majority held, as a matter of law, that

o.c.G.a. § 44-14- 162.2(a), requires the person or entity conducting a non-judicial foreclosure of a residential mortgage loan to provide the borrower/debtor with a written notice of the foreclosure sale that discloses not only “the name, address, and telephone number of the individual or entity who shall have full authority to negotiate, amend, and modify all terms of the mortgage with the debtor” (the language that appears in the statute), but also the identity of the “secured creditor” (not required by the statutory language, but which the majority inferred based on legislative intent). the majority further found that the failure to identify the “secured creditor” in the foreclosure notice renders the notice, and any subsequent foreclosure sale, invalid as a matter of law.

Once again I caution litigators that this will not dispose of your case permanently and that such rulings be used strategically so that you are not another hallway lawyer explaining how you were right but the judge ruled against you anyway. Notice provisions can be cured, non-existent transactions cannot be cured. Leading with the numbers (the money trail” and THEN using decisions like this to corroborate your argument will get you a lot more traction than leading with defective paperwork.

As I have said repeatedly, no judge, no matter how sympathetic to borrowers is going to give much relief when the borrower has admitted the debt, note, mortgage and default. These must be denied and lawyers should study up on the subject as to why they can and should be denied, and to persevere through discovery to show that the note, mortgage, default and even the debt have all been faked by strangers to the transaction.

Forcing the opposing side to show that they are a bona fide holder FOR VALUE will flush out the truth — that originator in nearly all cases was never the lender, creditor or even broker. They were simply paid naked nominees just like MERS, leaving no real party in interest on the note or mortgage, no consideration between the parties stated on the note and mortgage or notice of default, and no meeting of minds between the real lender (who is NOT in privity with the nominee lender) who, as an investor received a prospectus and Pooling and Servicing Agreement and advanced money under the mistaken belief they were buying bonds of an entity that either did not exist or was simply ignored by the investment banker and the other participants in the false securitization scheme that was used to cover-up a PONZI scheme.

Practice tips: DENY and DISCOVER. Ask for proof of payment and proof of loss. The assignments, the note and the mortgage are not proof of the debt, they are potentially evidence of the debt and the security agreement ONLY if the foundation is there (testimony by witness with personal knowledge, with exhibits of wire transfer receipts and wire transfer instructions, cancelled checks etc.) to show that the originator shown as payee and “Secured party” or “beneficiary” was lender of money.

Make them show that they booked the loan as a receivable with a reserve for default. Discover that they actually booked the transaction as a fee for service (shown on the income statement) and never entered it on their balance sheet.

And PLEASE study up on voir dire, objections and cross examination. If you are not quick and ready objections to leading questions and other issues might well be waived unless you interrupt the questioning as fast as you can stand up. If you study up on hearsay and the business records exception to hearsay you will discover that in practically no case were the business records qualified as exceptions to the hearsay rule. But if you don’t raise it, if you don’t have statutory and case law and even a memo on the subject the judge is going to rule against you. We are talking about good lawyering here and not bias amongst judges.

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Land Records, Foreclosures, tax evasion

It is no secret that the foreclosure hell sweeping the country has resulted in a nightmare from hell. 

The land records of the past 300 years is in peril, as is your right to know who owns your Note, and who you are obligated to make your payments to.

There is an important Petition to sign to help your county keep the records in order.  It is one of the only safeguards that you, as a borrower have against the banksters.

Click the link, there are 100,000 signatures needed!

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/mandated-national-land-record-audit.html

Wrongful Foreclosure Complaints

 

It is truly amazing, the number of wrongful foreclosure complaints that are on the internet.  People search around for a complaint to copy and file in the Court, and wallah!  That one looks like a winner! 

Ever do a google search on “wrongful foreclosure”?  Amazingly… there are millions of returns on that phrase.

The other thing that no one considers, is who really puts all those sample complaints on the web?  Is every site on the up and up, or do the banks contribute their share with mis-information.  It would have to be that way. 

I have noticed some of the complaints that have ended up in the Courts, filed by pro se litigants.  Obviously, someone put that complaint out there, just so that these people would file it and fail.  Like… Well, there is another we won’t have to worry about fighting us in the courts.  So who?  Who would do such a thing?

Clearly another pro se litigant would not take an unproven complaint and suggest to others that it is a winner. 

And God knows, the plethora of bad case law already created from the rulings of federal courts, ESPECIALLY rulings from US District Court or the Northern District of Georgia, with the exception of course of Amy Totenberg’s rulings.  Those are actually the only ones worth readings. 

If you have a case in front of any other judge in NDGa., why even wait till its over to read the ruling, you know what it will say.

New rule allowing Ga. homeowners to halt foreclosures | www.wsbtv.com

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/new-rule-allowing-ga-homeowners-halt-foreclosures/nP4wb/

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. —

A metro Atlanta consumer attorney said he has already been able to halt a dozen foreclosures using a new ruling from the Georgia Court of Appeals.

The latest case involves a Forsyth County home and lending giant Wells Fargo.

“Having to move out of the dream home that my son and I built is the worst thing I could think of,” said homeowner David Stripland.

The recession hit his car dealership around the same time the housing crisis, cutting his home’s value more than 60 percent.

“You can’t sell it, you can’t re-fi, you have to get a modification,” said his wife, Paulette.

The Striplands said the process went on for more than a year. They then received a string of foreclosure notices from Wells Fargo.

“Foreclosure. It’s a shame,” said Paulette through a stream of tears.

The foreclosure has now been halted, after a recent ruling by the state appellate court.

Wells Fargo does not hold the note. It only services the loan. The note holder is not clearly stated.

The Striplands paid forensic auditors who found the loan has been divided up into dozens of securities sold to investors.

“Once these notes are chopped up and turned into bonds, securities, whatever; who really owns it?” asked their attorney, Bob Thompson.

But the Georgia Court of Appeals ruling in a case involving a Cobb County family and servicers Provident Funding, LLC, ruled homeowners have “a right to know” to whom they actually owe the money, lest they be “misled or confused.”

“Even a dog in Georgia has the right to know who’s kicking him,” Emory law professor Frank Alexander told Channel 2’s reporting partners at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“These big banks and Wall Street have to follow the law of the land, just like I do,” said Paulette Stripland.

Channel 2’s Jim Strickland learned just before 5 p.m. Thursday, Wells Fargo had halted the foreclosure.

Thompson said most homeowners in peril should take action on their own.

Call and get it stopped and get yourself some time, because with time most people can work things out,” he said.

It is likely Provident will appeal to the state supreme court.

Daily Report: Robin Hood lawyer fights foreclosures with a passion

 

http://www.dailyreportonline.com/PubArticleFriendlyDRO.jsp?id=1202559725985

‘Robin Hood’ lawyer fights foreclosures with a passion

Katheryn Hayes Tucker

Daily Report

06-18-2012

For 34 years, Robert Thompson Jr. had been a business and labor lawyer — as was his father before him — defending corporations and financial institutions and even serving on several banks’ boards of directors.

But something happened to him two and half years ago that changed his entire practice. Now, he challenges banks and financial institutions in court, accusing them of wrongful foreclosure and outright fraud on behalf of individuals who are a step away from losing their homes.

The turning point for Thompson came at Christmas time, 2009. His mortgage servicer — with whom he had been embroiled in disputes over what he said were misapplied or lost checks, late fees for payments that had been made on time, unnecessary insurance costs and double billings for taxes — moved to foreclose on his home.

“I was a single father with three young children living with me in that house,” the silver-haired Thompson said during an interview in his Buckhead Thompson Law Group office filled with books about the financial industry and the economic crisis. “It was very upsetting.”

But, he added, “I was the wrong person to pick on about injunctions and bank law.”

On Dec. 28, 2009, he went before Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger, asking for an order enjoining the mortgage company from proceeding with the foreclosure. The judge’s first question was, “How much do you owe?” Thompson recalled.

“I told him I didn’t owe anything, that my payments had all been made on time, and that in fact they owed me more than $50,000 in overpayments and mystery fees,” Thompson recalled.

“Can you prove it?” the judge asked.

Thompson recalled he pointed the judge to canceled checks and FedEx receipts, and the judge granted Thompson’s injunction. Thompson filed a lawsuit against his loan servicer for mortgage fraud and abuse, wrongful foreclosure, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, conversion, misrepresentation, defamation, libel and deceit.

“People started talking about it,” Thompson said. “I thought it was just me, but then people started calling saying they had the same problem and wanting to know if I could help them.”

Now, Thompson is a man obsessed. And he said he’s had success halting foreclosures — but acknowledged securing such an injunction for a client is only the first step.

Thompson said he still has new clients coming to his office daily. Most don’t have the exact situation as his, where the payments were current but not applied to the account. The biggest percentage, he said, are struggling because of a loss of income and are seeking loan modifications to make payments more manageable, but were told by their mortgage holder they weren’t eligible either because they weren’t behind or far enough behind.

Thompson said being behind on mortgage payments isn’t a requirement of federally funded modification programs. But, on the assumption that it was, he said, his clients missed payments in hopes of qualifying for modifications, then found themselves in foreclosure with their lender refusing to accept more payments. Thompson calls that being “lured into default.”

Out of hundreds of cases he’s reviewed in the past two and a half years, he said, there wasn’t a single one where he didn’t find fraud or at least errors in the records. So far, he said, he has not yet been able to say to a homeowner, “I can’t help you because the bank did everything right.”

Bank representatives say it’s absurd to suggest banks want to foreclose if there are other options. They admit some paperwork mistakes happen but suggest it’s not right to make those a basis for loan forgiveness.

Meanwhile, Thompson is ordering up forensic audits — at a minimum of $1,000 each — to ferret out problems so that he can go to court to block foreclosures. A forensic auditing company analyzes the loan activity and tracks the transfers of deed and title as the loan has been sold by one financial company to another — and sometimes to several others.

Sometimes, Thompson said, he finds the foreclosing lender has already sold the note and collected the balance, and thus doesn’t have the legal right to foreclose. Often Thompson finds what he calls a “break in the chain of title” because the deed and the note have not been kept together in the transactions, which he said is illegal.

He can’t charge the homeowners the hourly rates he used to bill his corporate clients. Some can hardly pay anything. Occasionally, he said, he just offers free advice on how to fight a foreclosure pro se. Most of the time he negotiates a flat fee varying in amounts according to the work that needs to be done and the client’s ability to pay. “I have to make it affordable or they can’t do it,” he said. “But I can’t do it for free.”

He is especially busy the week before the first Tuesday of every month, when crowds gather on the courthouse steps for the auctioning of foreclosed homes. This month alone, he went to court for 25 injunctions to stop foreclosures.

Asked how many he won, he said, “All of them. But the injunction is only the first step.”

The next step varies, but often includes lawsuits against the lenders or servicers who initiated the foreclosure.

Lender representatives said Thompson’s charges about banks’ motivations don’t make sense.

“Do you really think the lender wants that house back?” asked Mo Thrash, a lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia and McCalla Raymer, a law firm with offices in Georgia that represents lenders. “It is absolutely ridiculous to think the lender would want the home back.”

Thrash said the conventional wisdom — that the best outcome for the lender is for the homeowner to make all their payments until the loan is paid in full — is still true, maybe more so now because of falling real estate prices and difficulty in selling homes. “I admit mistakes do happen, but I’d be willing to bet that the majority of these cases are a two-way street,” he said. “It takes two to tango.”

The majority of mortgage banks — 99 percent — are ethical and honest, Thrash added. To suggest otherwise, he said, is “absolutely crazy.”

If the personal foreclosure experiences of Thompson and some of his clients are as they described them, “It was a mistake,” said J.D. Crowe, senior vice president of Southeast Mortgage of Georgia Inc. and a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia Board of Governors.

“If that’s the case, that’s why he won an injunction and will probably win his lawsuit. With the number of foreclosures in the last few years, there’s a lot of paper going back and forth,” Crowe said.

But like Thrash, Crowe said it’s “ridiculous” to suggest that a lender would want to foreclose if there were an alternative. “Lenders want to work with borrowers. They don’t want to foreclose,” he said.

Crowe also suggested that when homeowners win their foreclosure fights, they usually win on a technicality — a mistake in the paperwork or the separation of the deed and note in the selling of the loan by one financial institution to another. In such cases, if homeowners win damages or loan forgiveness, allowing them to walk away from their mortgage payments, said Crowe, “I think it is unconscionable.”

Disbelief, said Thompson, is the biggest challenge he faces in fighting foreclosure fraud. “People who have never suffered through it cannot believe it. It challenges the fundamentals of everything you want to believe about the banks being honest and the government protecting you.”

He cited the case of client LaVonda DeWitt, a patent lawyer whose income was reduced because her firm’s revenue dropped. In an interview, she said she contacted her mortgage company to discuss a loan modification so she could lower her payments.

“They said I wasn’t eligible because I still had a job,” she said.

Then she was laid off. She called her lender again about the modification and was told she wasn’t eligible because didn’t have a job. She said she was also told she wasn’t eligible unless she was three months behind. She stopped making payments in December 2010. She also filed a complaint with the U.S. Treasury Department over being denied a loan modification. The lender responded with a document she had never seen saying she had been offered a modification and rejected it, but later admitted that claim was a mistake, according to DeWitt. She still wasn’t offered a modification. She received a foreclosure notice in March of this year.

She met with Thompson, who went to court with her to block the sale on the first Tuesday in April. She won the injunction but still wasn’t able to negotiate a loan modification. So, on Thompson’s advice, she filed a lawsuit in federal court.

DeWitt said Thompson reminds her of the fictional Atticus Finch, taking on jobs that other lawyers don’t want.

Another client of Thompson’s, Patricia Sibley, won an injunction a year ago, then filed a lawsuit against the lender for wrongful foreclosure. The suit is pending in the Northern District of Georgia. Sibley and her husband are still in their home — “because of Bob Thompson,” she said.

As with DeWitt, Sibley’s suit is based on what Thompson calls “luring into default.” When the recession hit and slashed revenue for her advertising company, Sibley said she had to close her business. She and her husband had paid down by half their $950,000 15-year mortgage on their north Atlanta home near the Chattahoochee River, and their payments were current, she said in an interview.

She contacted the lender to ask about changing the terms to lower the payments. Since they still had some income, they felt they could afford the loan if they could spread it back to 30 years. They were told they weren’t eligible for a modification because they weren’t behind. They skipped one payment and called again, but were told they were not far enough behind to be eligible, according to Sibley and the lawsuit. After the third missed payment, they received a foreclosure notice. They tried to talk to the lender’s customer service department many times and offered to pay the loan current and cover fees in return for restructuring, she said, but heard no response.

The house was advertised for foreclosure. The weekend before the first Tuesday in June 2011, cars were driving by the house and stopping to take pictures, Sibley said. It was an experience she said she wouldn’t wish on anyone.

A friend called and said she had a friend who knew someone who might be able to help — Thompson. The friend said, “I have somebody who’s like Robin Hood. He takes from the banks and gives to the poor.”

“Not that we’re the poor,” Sibley added. But, she said, “I never would have dreamed I’d be in this position.”

Sibley’s case is unresolved, but Thompson was able to get an injunction to prevent foreclosure while it’s pending.

McCurdy & Candler, which has offices in Decatur and Atlanta, handled Sibley’s foreclosure for PNC Mortgage, as well as DeWitt’s foreclosure for Chase. Managing partner Sidney Gelernter said the firm couldn’t comment on any pending case or even discuss foreclosures generally. Sibley’s suit is being defended by Ballard Spahr. One of the lawyers working on the case in Atlanta, Christopher Willis, said the firm couldn’t comment on any matter involving any of its clients.

Sibley’s lawsuit is against National City Mortgage Company, National City Bank, PNC Mortgage, Bank of America and unidentified investors. Sibley said she tried repeatedly to find out the identity of the investors who now own the loan — in order to work out payment terms — but PNC, the servicer, wouldn’t tell her.

A spokeswoman for PNC said the company couldn’t comment on any lawsuit. “We do work with customers,” said Amy Vargo, noting modification programs described on the PNC website.

In his own personal case, Thompson sued BAC Home Loans Servicing, which is a subsidiary of Bank of America, and Bank of New York Mellon, formerly known as Bank of New York, successor in interest to JP Morgan Chase Bank. Bank of America acquired Countrywide Mortgage Company, which was Thompson’s loan servicer. Thompson’s lawsuit names four companies that owned his note successively. Thompson’s case — which he has withdrawn for now — was defended by Monica Gilroy of Alpharetta’s Dickenson Gilroy, who said she couldn’t discuss it.

The foreclosing firm in Thompson’s case was Shuping, Morse & Ross, based in Riverdale. Neither the managing partner, Sheltan Andrew Shuping Jr., nor the lawyer who handled the foreclosure, Kevin Duda, could be reached for comment.

Thompson’s lawsuit — moved from Fulton Superior Court to federal district court in Atlanta — seeks damages for overpayments and unauthorized fees, harassment and injury to his credit and reputation, naming a figure of $5 million.

Thompson said he has stopped making mortgage payments, and BAC has stopped trying to foreclose. He moved to withdraw his complaint, while keeping the door open to refiling it later, and the judge agreed. He said he believes the courts are evolving in their understanding of foreclosure fraud, and he plans to reinitiate the suit at a time that will be advantageous. For now, he said, “It’s an armed truce.”

Thompson’s case in federal court is Thompson v. BAC Home Loans, No. 1:10-CV-3205-TCB.

Sibley’s case in federal court is Sibley v. National City Mortgage Co., No. 1:12-cv-00305-SCJ-JFK.

Daily Report: Robin Hood lawyer fights foreclosures with a passion

Certified Forensic Loan Auditors, LLC | AG Biden Says $25B Settlement Not the End, Securitization Next

 

AG Biden Says $25B Settlement Not the End, Securitization Next

mortgagenewsdaily.com | May 16, 2012

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said recently that the states’ attorneys general need to make it clear that the recent $25 billion settlement with five major banks is the beginning not the end of their enforcement actions.   Biden, speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe said the savings and loan crisis cost the economy $168 billion and 1,000 people went to jail.  “This crisis, which was man made,” he said, “cost the economy trillions and I can’t really find anyone who has been held accountable.”

Show co-host Willie Geist asked Biden who he was focusing on, who did he think should be in jail?  Biden said one area he, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and others are looking at is the securitization aspect, “whether or not there were false securities, mortgage-backed securities, sold to investors.  That affects borrowers as well.”

He noted that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster recently indicted DOCX and its CEO Lorraine Brown.  This is relevant, Biden said, because this woman has become famous, on 60 Minutes and so forth, because she signed thousands upon thousands of foreclosure affidavits.  “Chris Costner indicted her for forgery.  That’s the kinds of thing we need to begin to do.”  He said that investigations need to go beyond robo-signing and that people must be held accountable.  “People are angry,” he said.  “Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers and 99 Percenters are all angry that no one has been held accountable for something they know is obviously fraught.  And that’s my job as AG.”

Certified Forensic Loan Auditors, LLC | AG Biden Says $25B Settlement Not the End, Securitization Next

About Us | Foreclosure Defense Nationwide – Mortgage Foreclosure Help – Free Advice

 

Jeff Barnes

WILLIAM JEFF BARNES, ESQ.

Jeff is the founder of the Foreclosure Defense Nationwide (FDN) website and blog. His law practice is primarily oriented towards defense of foreclosure actions throughout the United States, with his Firm having represented victims of foreclosure and predatory lending practices with local counsel where required in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Jeff has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1988 and is also a member of the Colorado Bar, first admitted in 1990. Before concentrating full-time on foreclosure defense, he had been previously admitted to practice in several state courts, including the Superior Court for the State of New Jersey (Atlantic City); the Hennepin County Circuit Court (Minnesota); the Norfolk Superior Court (Commonwealth of Massachusetts); the Circuit Civil Court of Walker County, Alabama; and the Superior Court for the State of California (Orange County).

He is also admitted to several Federal Courts, including the United States District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits. Jeff has been previously admitted to practice pro hac vice in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota (Duluth); the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Newark); the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming; and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose Division), and is currently admitted pro hac vice to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Eastern Division); the United States District Court for the District of Oregon (Portland Division); the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington; and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville Division).

Jeff has been admitted pro hac vice to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division (numerous counties, including Atlantic, Ocean, Monmouth, Morris, Glouster, Burlington, and Passaic); the Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Plymouth); the Superior Court for Flathead County (Montana); the Superior Court of Coweta County (Georgia); the Superior Court of Washington (Ferry County); the District Court for Kootenai and Bonner Counties (Idaho); Hancock County Superior Court (Indiana); Iowa District Court (Greene County); Kern County Superior Court (California); San Bernadino County Superior Court (California); Washetenaw County (Michigan); Mahoning County (Ohio); Maricopa County Superior Court (Arizona); Pima County Superior Court (Arizona); the Hawaii First District Court (Honolulu); the Hawaii Second District Court (Maui); the Kenosha County Court (Wisconsin); The Superior Court for Washington County, Vermont; the Circuit Courts of Oregon (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Crook Counties); and the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit (Winnebago County, Illinois); all such admissions and applications being in connection with foreclosure defense litigation representing borrowers. Mr. Barnes does not represent any banks, “lenders”, servicers, trustees of securitized mortgage loan trusts, trustee sale companies, or any others who seek to foreclose.

Jeff has spent over twenty-two years litigating throughout the United States in the areas of business tort litigation, contract litigation, insurance litigation (coverage, claims, premium fraud defense, and Unfair and Deceptive Insurance Practices), fraud litigation, real estate litigation, and Administrative proceedings involving defense of chiropractors in disciplinary proceedings, and appeals in deportation proceedings following the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act. His practice includes both trials (jury and non-jury) and appeals at both the state and Federal level, and opposing Proofs of Claim and Stay relief Motions in Bankruptcy proceedings involving foreclosure issues. Jeff has also been a Certified Mediator and Arbitrator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida, and also previously obtained status as a Qualified Neutral in the State of Minnesota.

After graduating from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with a degree in Experimental Psychology, Jeff obtained a Master of Science degree in Education and his Juris Doctor (law) degrees from the University of Miami (Florida). Between graduation from college and prior to law school, Jeff was a public and private school teacher in Miami, Florida, having taught elementary, junior, and senior high students, as well as serving as an assistant adjunct professor at Florida International University in the areas of Behavioral Science Statistics and Preventive Law to Master’s and Doctoral candidates. While in law school, Jeff served as a prosecutor in the Office of the State Attorney in Miami, Florida during law school.

FDN handles foreclosure defense matters in both judicial and non-judicial (trustee) jurisdictions and is affiliated with securitized trust auditors and investigators; mortgage loan auditors, certified fraud examiners, and paralegals who conduct a wide-ranging review of mortgage documents to ascertain any violations of Federal lending laws, loan tracking rhrough securitizations, applicable insurances, and other issues. Amortgage loan examination or audit is strongly recommended for anyone seeking to defend a foreclosure action. FDN will provide contact information for an auditor or loan examiner upon request made through our “Contact Us” link.

FDN’s local counsel network currently embraces thirty-nine (39) separate law Firms throughout the United States and continues to grow.

About Us | Foreclosure Defense Nationwide – Mortgage Foreclosure Help – Free Advice

The Securitization Curtain is Lifting in Hawaii! | Deadly Clear

Deadly Clear

Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction… potentially lethal. -Warren Buffet

The Securitization Curtain is Lifting in Hawaii!

Posted on March 29, 2012 by Deadly Clear

“One of the most important decisions for Borrowers Rights in the history of Hawaii has been made with this decision,” remarked Honolulu attorney Gary Dubin. Honorable Judge J. Michael Seabright of the Hawaii United States District Court, today GRANTED the homeowners’ Motion to Dismiss the case filed against them in federal district court by Plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee Morgan Stanley ABS Capital I Inc. Trust 2007-NC1 Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-NC1.

The Williamses (Leigafoalii Tafue Williams and Papu Christopher Williams), who were represented by Honolulu attorney, James J. Bickerton (Jim), of Bickerton Lee Dang & Sullivan, filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), in which they argue, among other things, that Plaintiff has no standing to foreclose because it has not established that it was validly assigned the Mortgage and Note.

The Court noted that: “Because the court finds that Plaintiff has failed to establish its standing to bring this action, the court need not reach the Williamses’ other arguments for dismissal.”

Honorable Judge J. Michael Seabright gets it! And his ORDER was detailed. In the Discussion, Judge Seabright notes an argument that homeowners have being trying to persuade the courts (especially at the lower state levels) to grasp: STANDING and JURISDICTION.

Standing is a requirement grounded in Article III of the United States Constitution, and a defect in standing cannot be waived by the parties. Chapman v. Pier 1 Imports (US.) Inc., 631 F.3d 939,954 (9th Cir. 2011). A litigant must have both constitutional standing and prudential standing for a federal court to exercise jurisdiction over the case. Elk Grove Unified Sch. Dist. v. Newdow, 542 U.S. 1, 11 (2004). Constitutional standing requires the plaintiff to “show that the conduct of which he complains has caused him to suffer an ‘injury in fact’ that a favorable judgment will redress.” Id. at 12. In comparison, “prudential standing encompasses the general prohibition on a litigant’s raising another person’s legal rights.” Id. (citation and quotation signals omitted); see also Oregon v. Legal Servs. Corp., 552 F.3d 965, 971 (9th Cir. 2009).”

Let’s continue – but we’ll get back to that injury issue later in the post.

The WILLIAMSES’ ORDER continues: “The Williamses factually attack Plaintiff’s prudential standing to foreclose, arguing that there is no evidence establishing that Plaintiff was validly assigned the Mortgage and Note on the subject property. The issue of whether Plaintiff was validly assigned the Mortgage and Note is inextricably intertwined with the merits of the Plaintiffs claims seeking to foreclose…”

Of course, this was a New Century Mortgage (Home123) and the Plaintiffs were taking part in a fabricated assignment in 2009 to a 2007 Trust… (that boat had sailed 2 years before because theTrust had long since closed) – but even more compelling in the Motion to Dismiss-Memorandum was the Williamses assertion that New Century aka Home123 was in a liquidating bankruptcy as of August 1, 2008 and they had nothing to assign in January 2009.

Deutsche argued that the Williamses were not parties or beneficiaries to the assignment such that they cannot challenge it… [we’ve heard that before, yeah?]. However, the Judge Seabright clarifies a valid point:

“Plaintiffs argument confuses a borrower’s, as opposed to a lender’s, standing to raise affirmative claims. In Williams v. Rickard, 2011 WL 2116995, at *5 (D. Haw. May 25, 2011), — which involved the same parties in this action and in which Lei Williams asserted affirmative claims against Deutsche Bank – Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway explained the difference between the two:

“…Standing” is a plaintiff’s requirement, and … Defendants must establish “standing” to defend themselves.”

Judge Seabright continues: ”Deutsche Bank asserts affirmative claims against the Williamses seeking to enforce the Mortgage and Note, and therefore must establish its legal right (i.e., standing) to do so. See, e.g., IndyMac Bank v. Miguel, 117 Haw. 506, 513, 184 P.3d 821, 828 (Haw. App. 2008) (explaining that for standing, a mortgagee must have “a sufficient interest in the Mortgage to have suffered an injury from [the mortgagor’s] default”).”

Attorney Bickerton faced off in court and explained to the Judge in oral argument that the banks didn’t just miss the date to file their assignments or needed to tidy up paperwork, this was a ‘Business model using the loans for overnight lending.’ Bickerton told the Court that if this wasn’t dismissed, his first line of discovery would be geared to uncover the outside financial advantages being derived from the use of the Williamses’ loan.

Understanding the premeditated intentions of these banks, how they pledge, collaterize, swap, sell, lease,and trade these loans that are SUPPOSED to have been in a static trust will open the eyes of lawmakers to the real moral hazard – the fraud upon the homeowners, the courts and the state.

Jim Bickerton profoundly says that, “every foreclosure in the state is a victim of this shadow banking scam.”

James J. Bickerton
Bickerton Lee Dang & Sullivan
Fort St Tower
745 Fort St Ste 801
Honolulu, HI 96813
808-599-3811
Email: bickerton@bsds.com

“Security trusts will no longer be able to hide behind the hocus pocus of the pooling and servicing agreements. The ramifications of this decision are extraordinary,” praises Gary Dubin.

INJURY – Remember that issue from above?

Let’s discuss the trusts. We can see by the assignments that they were not made timely and NY trust laws call them VOID. The REMIC has failed. But maybe the investors ARE getting paid with the behind the scenes shadow banking scheme.

And let’s suppose we can see the trading in the trust is active, numerous investors have already been paid off – where is the “injury”….hmmm?

We’re connecting the dots, people with above average intelligence are realizing, just like Judge Seabright, that there are huge schemes behind the scenes of an everyday mortgage that the borrower never intended to participate in… and eventually we’ll know whether the application for a mortgage started the securitization process before the borrower signed the note making them securities with no disclosure, how many insurance policies were attached to the loans and when (we never agreed to be over insured which would give someone the incentive to “off” us)… it’s coming soon – to a court room near you…

…and the Securitization curtain will be lifting for the big show.

___________________________________________________________________

Details by DeadlyClear

Honorable Judge J. Michael Seabright – Thank you. Mahalo!
This is why he gets the “Gets It” award:

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2005/04/28/news/story5.html

An assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted several high-profile white-collar criminal cases here is on his way to becoming Hawaii’s fourth full-time federal judge. Michael Seabright: As an assistant U.S. attorney, he put three isle politicians behind bars.

The U.S. Senate voted 98-0 yesterday to confirm J. Michael Seabright as a U.S. district judge for the District of Hawaii. ”I’m very honored to have received that vote,” said Seabright, 46, an assistant U.S. attorney since 1990 and head of the white-collar crime section since 2002.

Image of the Honorable John Michael Seabright from http://www.grainnet.com/articles/usda_cited_by_federal_judge_for_permitting_violations_in_hawaii-36404.html

Fed Blesses Banks’ Foreclosure-Rental Approach – Developments – WSJ

April 5, 2012, 5:55 PM

http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/04/05/fed-blesses-banks-foreclosure-rental-approach/

Fed Blesses Banks’ Foreclosure-Rental Approach

By Alan Zibel

Reuters Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

The Federal Reserve set out new polices for banks that decide to rent out foreclosed homes, endorsing a strategy for managing the huge number of distressed properties that have piled up during the housing bust.

The central bank said in a six-page policy statement Thursday that the Fed’s regulations permit the rental of foreclosed properties to tenants “in light of the extraordinary market conditions that currently prevail.” The policy clarified that banks that would otherwise be required to sell off the properties more quickly can turn to rental as a strategy.

Banks can do so “without having to demonstrate continuous active marketing of the property provided that suitable policies and procedures are followed,” the central bank said. The shift to rentals is a significant change in the way banks deal with properties that fall into foreclosure – if loan assistance programs don’t work.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other central bank officials have spoken publicly about the need to encourage banks to rent out foreclosures. “With home prices falling and rents rising, it could make sense in some markets to turn some of the foreclosed homes into rental properties,” Mr. Bernanke said in a February speech.

The central bank said that banks holding large numbers of foreclosures should establish detailed policies for renting foreclosures, including a process to determine whether the properties are safe to occupy and meet local building code requirements.

The Fed said banks should set up criteria by which properties are picked to be rental properties. The banks should establish plans that “describe the general conditions under which the organization believes a rental approach is likely to be successful,” the central bank said.

Last month, Bank of America Corp. announced a plan to allow homeowners at risk of foreclosure to hand over deeds to their houses and sign leases that will let them rent the houses back from the bank at a market rate.

In addition, Fannie Mae is selling 2,500 homes in eight metropolitan areas around the country. The government-controlled mortgage firm is selling the $320 million portfolio to investors, who would be required to turn them into rental properties.

Follow Alan @AlanZibel

 

NootkaBearMcDonald Says:

It never ceases to amaze me….

First the banks screw the people with toxic loans.

They sale the Note, and then Sale the Deed to someone else, make a whole hell of a lot of money.

Then it is just a matter of time until these pick a pay loans, or negative am loans, adjustable rate loans, get to where you can no longer make the payments, no matter how much money you make.  Face it, the payment went into default when you made your first payment if you had a pick-a-pay loan, you started out making payments that were less than the amount of interest each month.

The homeowner defaults, the banks, who cannot foreclose, due to having sold the Note to one entity, and the Deed to another entity, so they have LPS, DocX, CoreLogic,  Prommis Solutions, or some other unsavory 3rd party default services entity, create falsified, robo-signed and forged documents, because ain’t no way in hell, they’re going to let your house get away.

The Bank then forecloses, no matter what they have to do, they will do it to get that home. 

Then…what are they going to do with yet another home?  Of course, the one with the most homes in the end wins.. but we still have a ways to go before then.  In the meantime, different areas are coming up with fees for having houses sitting with no one living in the homes.

BRAINSTORM!!!  RENT IT OUT!!!

So they stole your home, bought it themselves at the auction, turned the paperwork into the Insurance, got 80% of the amount you defaulted on, and they can either sale it (but there is no one left that can get a home loan, they have done foreclosed on them all) or Rent it out.  Just think!!!  When they get used to the idea, they will be renting you your house, foreclosing on you and selling your house in one swift easy move.

Hell, they should just take your house from you, let you stay there, and change it from house payment to rent, without having to do any paperwork or anything…kind of like the issue of not having the needed documents to foreclose on you.  They will wipe out the need for a Promissory Note and a Deed, they will keep you in your home by renting it to you.