Judge Rules Securitized Trust Permanently Barred From Foreclosing
Posts Tagged ‘Foreclosure’
State AGs Sell Short in LPS Settlement But Admissions May Be Helpful to Homeowners Facing ForeclosureIn Uncategorized on January 31, 2013 at 10:19 pm
The Settlement announced today between State Attorneys General and Lender Processing Services (LPS) has some important implications for homeowners facing foreclosure and those who have been foreclosed upon over the past several years.
LPS is the company that is one of the most notorious players in the foreclosure crisis. Employees of their subsidiary, Docx were profiled in a 60 Minutes Segment admitting to signing other peoples names to documents and signing documents endorsing loans, assigning mortgages and swearing to facts under oath without authorization from the company on whose behalf they were signing.
Several LPS employees have also been indicted on criminal charges in Missouri and Nevada.
These forged documents were then used and continue to be used to foreclose on homeowners from Oregon to Ohio.
If LPS were taking homes away from citizens with guns instead of forged documents, the Chief Law Officers of 46 States would not have rested until the culprits were in jail. But apparently, since LPS was just taking those houses with admittedly forged documents under their contracts with the largest banks and mortgage servicers in the country a slap on the wrist was the outcome of their “investigation.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine settled out on behalf of the entire state for an LPS contribution of $2,544,990 into the budget of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. No money for homeowners. No damages for homes fraudulently taken. No Jail for anyone.
There is a bright side for homeowners facing foreclosure. LPS has admitted in the consent decree to be filed in 46 State that it did the following:
1. Admitted that LPS produced documents had defects.
2. That documents used in foreclosures had unauthorized signatures
3. That documents used to foreclose on homeowners were not signed by the person who the documents said sign them.
4. False assignments of mortgages were recorded with clerks and recorders throughout the United States.
5. Documents used in foreclosures had notarizations that were false.
These admissions can be used on behalf of homeowners facing foreclosure to form the basis of counterclaims against lenders or to challenge the right of lenders seeking foreclosure to use the courts to take people’s homes.
The AGs fortunately did not have the power to waive those claims on behalf of individual homeowners. This development makes it more important than ever for those facing foreclosure or who have been foreclosed on since 2008 to consult with legal counsel to determine whether there are claims that can be brought against LPS or the lenders they worked for or whether there are defenses that can be raised to the right of such lenders to foreclose.
For More Information See:
OCC Settlement Allows Lenders to Decide who Gets How Much to Pay Aggrieved Homeowners: Fox Firmly in Control of ChickenhouseIn Uncategorized on January 8, 2013 at 7:59 am
Unlike State Attorneys General and the US Department of Justice who, in their settlement at least created enforceable parameters for payments, principal reductions and other relief for homeowners, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency isn’t even pretending to exercise control or oversight of the settlement that they announce yesterday.
The Huffington Post reports:
“Under the new process, OCC officials explained, banks would take the 4.4 million foreclosed mortgages involved in the original review and broadly classify them into 11 “buckets” corresponding to the level of fraud during the foreclosure process. Borrowers with foreclosed loans that fall into the highest-priority bucket, such as foreclosures illegally conducted on U.S. troops while they were fighting overseas, will qualify for a payout of as much as $125,000. Those in the lowest-level group, such as loans with a clerical error, will qualify for at least $250.”
But here is the outrageous part:
“Banks will be making all the “slotting” decisions, something OCC officials said was needed to speed the process.”
Speed is certainly important but putting the criminals in charge of determining restitution is unprecedented in american jurisprudence.
The imminent settlement between the 5 largest U.S.Banks and State Attorneys General will make it more important than ever for homeowners in distress to be represented by competent counsel.
A big part of the reason that the banks are signing onto this settlement, is that it will leverage the credibility of the Obama Administration and State Attorneys Generals to further their efforts to convince homeowners to sit on their legal rights related to legitimate claims they may have over lending and foreclosure practices.
Participating Banks are betting on the fact new modification promises may entice homeowners to walk away from real actionable claims against lenders, servicers and their vendors.
The settlement itself amounts to little more than moving around the deck chairs on the Titanic. The math simply doesn’t work. The principal reductions promised will either be spread like peanut butter over millions of mortgages, too small to advantage either the homeowner (or the lender) in any significant way, or at the proposed dollar allocation announced today, will only benefit a fraction of the homeowners facing foreclosure.
The proposed $2000 payment to families wrongly foreclosed upon is exactly the minimum that a husband and wife would be entitled to under a Fair Debt Collections Practice Claim. Those of us who represent homeowners know that there are state consumer protection claims and tort claims available that could provide wrongly displaced homeowners will tens of thousand of dollars more.
The silver lining in the settlement is that it does not in any way limit homeowner defenses or counterclaims in the foreclosure process. It is more important than ever for homeowners to be represented by competent lawyers. For more information about representation in foreclosure in Ohio click here.
Lets face it, being a homeowner in foreclosure is an awful experience.
Homeowners served with a Notice of Default or a Foreclosure Complaint often feel ashamed or embarrassed. Many are frustrated and even angry that their good faith efforts to work with Banks, Investors and Loan Servicers to avoid this very event have literally fallen on deaf ears.
After spending months dealing with a loan servicer who puts their own interests ahead of both you the homeowner and the owner of your loan, a foreclosure defendant’s mailbox ( and voice mail) now fills with offers of “help”, many from people who have very little ability to help the situation but who are quick to offer false promises of hope.
The Ohio Attorney General announced another lawsuit against a Stark County Mortgage Modification Scam. I brought the first enforcement action against such criminals back in 2008 and the problem continues to plague Ohio Homeowners. We just filed a class action case against such a company in Sizemore v. The Modification Group.
There is legitimate help for people who want to modify their mortgages and access modification help and government programs in Ohio. Save the Dream Ohio is a program I am very proud to have helped create. It has helped thousands of Ohioans access assistance at no cost.
Sometimes, however, legal leverage is necessary to drive self interested Mortgage Servicers and investors to the table. In a large majority of loans originated between 2001 an 2008 there are significant problems in the history of loans on the lender’s side.
In a surprising number of cases the mortgage servicing industry has responded by literally forging documents for presentation to courts to attempt to fix fatal problems in the sale and assignment of the mortgages of homeowners who are in foreclosure. See 60 Minutes report on robosigning.
Many lawyers who solicit homeowners in foreclosure are no better than the phony modification mills. Some try to push homeowners into cookie cutter bankruptcies leaving legitimate defenses that a surprising number of homeowners have on the table. Other lawyers do nothing more than try to run out the clock on the foreclosure process without aggressively attacking the real legal issues that could result in a flat out dismissal of a foreclosure complaint or put pressure on a lender to enter into a meaningful modification, including on involving a reduction of principal.
That is why it is critical for homeowners who have been sued for foreclosure to interview and hire lawyers who are willing and able to put the cutting edge issues regarding the proper ownership of mortgages, robosigning fraud and standing directly in in front of the court.
Beware of easy and cheap solutions.
Look for lawyers who have successfully litigated motions to dismiss and who are willing to do the painstaking work of forcing a lender seeking foreclosure to prove every single element of their case.
The discovery process will allow a lawyer for a homeowner to dig deep into the ownership of your note and the business practices of those seeking to foreclose, often yielding defenses to foreclosure ( or even claims against the lender, servicer or their foreclosure mill lawyer) that cannot be identified in any other way.
Careful scrutiny of authority of people signing affidavits, assignments and endorsements can break the chain or ownership of notes and result in dismissal of foreclosures.
High quality legal work is available to homeowners in foreclosure for no more than the cost of a reasonable monthly mortgage payment. Not only will good lawyers keep you in your home for longer, aggressive legal tactics push lenders to the negotiating table or force dismissal of foreclosure lawsuits all together.
For more information contact Law Office of Marc Dann Co. LPA or 216-373-0539
From Dick Davet:
About U.S. Bank v. Duvall
The Ohio Supreme Court announced two separate decisions relating to Duvall on Wednesday, April 6, 2011. In respect of the U.S. Bank notice of appeal and filing seeking a discretionary review, the Court dismissed the appeal in Case No. 2011-0171. Interestingly, FOUR Supreme Court Justices dissented from the dismissal!
But also on Wednesday, the Supreme Court DID certify the conflict previously identified by the Court of Appeals on the U.S. Bank motion in Case No. 2011-0218:
The net effect of these two decisions is that the Ohio Supreme Court is going to hear and determine this certified question in respect of the U.S. Bank v. Duvall decision:
“To have standing as a plaintiff in a mortgage foreclosure action, must a party show that it owned the note and the mortgage when the complaint was filed?”
For More Information on Foreclosure Defense Contact:
Law Office of Marc Dann Co. LPA
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has issued subpoenas to The Baum Law Firm according to today’s New York Times
The Baum firm is engaged in the very same conduct as Ohio Foreclosure Mill Lerner Sampson and Rothfuss. Here is how the New York Times Describes the new probe:
“Scrutiny of the Baum firm has increased in recent months after significant errors surfaced nationwide in legal paperwork used by banks to seize delinquent borrowers’ homes. For example, documents detailing how much borrowers owe have been signed by bank representatives who say they have not verified the information. Other problems involve the questionable notarization of documents, or paperwork indicating that the foreclosure process was begun without providing proof that the entities involved had the legal right to foreclose.”
For More Information about Foreclosure Defense
Contact: Law Office of Marc Dann Co. LPA.
A consensus has appeared to emerge, even among the legal and corporate players in the Foreclosure debacle that the status quo is unacceptable. The debate in State Attorneys General’s Offices, the new Federal Consumer Protection Agency and among the Loan Servicers is trying to frame an appropriate remedy for the problem. Todays New York Times outlines how the debate is shaping up.
Unfortunately some important players remain in denial. According to the Times The acting comptroller of the currency, John Walsh, the top federal banking regulator said:
“… that while there were widespread problems with documentation and oversight of law firms and other crucial links in the foreclosure chain, only a “small number of foreclosure sales should not have proceeded.”
He clearly has not been litigating foreclosure cases in Cuyahoga County. The problems are much more widespread than anyone is willing to admit.
Others are just starting to wake up to the problem. HSBC has announced that it is suspending its foreclosure processes.
Some players want to assess penalties and damages and apply those funds to a renewed modification process. For the first time the idea of using assessed fines and penalties to buy down mortgage principal in underwater mortgages is being seriously considered. Although there is still no discussion of reeling in the Federal Housing Administration’s arbitrary, costly and anti-consumer policies.
Building on the landmark Wells Fargo v. Jordan Decision, Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County) ruled this week that an affidavit alleging that a foreclosure plaintiff held the note prior to filing of a complaint for foreclosure is not sufficient evidence to support a foreclosure judgment.
In Deutche Bank v. Triplett, the court of appeals held:
“… Deutsche Bank’s affidavit of ownership, sworn out more than a year after the
foreclosure complaint was filed, is insufficient to vest the bank with standing
to file and maintain the action. Thus, if Deutsche Bank had offered no
evidence that it owned the note and mortgage when the complaint was filed,
it would not be entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Jordan, ¶¶ 22-23.
For More Information on Foreclosure Defense contact: Law Offices Of Marc Dann Co. LPA .