you made all that revenue possible by signing a note and mortgage in favor of someone who was not lending you any money. Nobody told you about that. And nobody told you that you were not entering a transaction in which there was a lender and borrower. There was only a borrower.
The simple fact is that the banks are breaking the law every time they attempt to administer, collect or enforce a debt. This is true in all cases where securitization is part of the deal. And securitization is in play 99% of the time even where no mention of securitization is made in the claim brought against a homeowner. The banks are breaking the law because there is no debt, no claim and no creditor. The money they receive from “successful” foreclosures is pure profit. They have no right to even be in court much less get a “remedy” that is limited to creating more revenue.
Buying or owning a house is the largest single investment for most families. And yet, nearly all of them leave the keys on the counter when they are threatened with foreclosure. They are completely ignorant of the fact that they have been cheated, that more money might be owed to them, and that there is no debt to pay or to be enforced. So the banks have succeeded in using the fact that most homeowners don’t understand what they are walking away from. 96% of all foreclosures are uncontested — thus reinforcing the belief that the foreclosures are legal and valid.
Of the remaining 4% about half of those accept modification agreements or cash for keys agreements that effectively change the entire loan agreement into one in which the homeowner as borrower now accepts a virtual lender rather than a real one, thus enabling virtually anyone to make a claim. The “modification” agreement comes with no warranties or ownership of the debt, note or mortgage. But the homeowner must agree that he/she/they will accept the named servicer as if they were a creditor and to disregard what happens outside of the relationship between the “servicer” and the homeowners.
The modification agreement is probably subject to challenge because it is based upon a number of false premises, first among them that the “servicer” is not a servicer for anyone who has paid value and therefore owns the obligation. Therefore the authority of the servicer from the named claimant is irrelevant. If they don’t own the debt they can’t claim injury to their asset. I usually suggest that the if the homeowner is disposed to accept the agreement, the homeowner might get still better terms by demanding that the named claimant (e.g. BONY Mellon, US Bank, Deutsche) acknowledge and accept the modification agreement., Funny thing.
That request is ALWAYS rejected — because the servicer does not represent the interests or assets of the named claimant. They can’t supply that acknowledgement because the “trustee” won’t give it. They won’t give it because if they did, that would make them really involved in the transaction rather than just being window dressing.
So then you come to those who fight persistently. Unfortunately, it usually takes a lawyer to win. Anyone can litigate — it’s your constitutional right. But generally speaking (Not always) the winning homeowner is in that position because there as a competent trial attorney litigating the case. Out of the 2% who actually fight persistently with a lawyer who knows what to do and does it (motions, discovery, etc), 2/3 of them win. that might seen like a small number. But applied against he number of foreclosure cases filed over the last 15-20 years it means that around 150,000 homeowners have won or settled their cases on satisfactory terms.
Satisfactory terms means that they either received a substantial reduction in principal (20%-90%) plus waiver of all arrearages and restoration of credit reports, or they received a cash payment in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The lawyers made money (a lot of it), the homeowner was made whole and the foreclosure was either cancelled or allowed as part of the settlement agreement without any negative credit report.
So why doesn’t anyone hear about it? It’s because the settlement agreement makes it clear that the homeowner may not release, authorize or otherwise disclose anything about the case, the agreement or anything else.
Here is an example of the wording you find in such documents.
- Confidentiality and Notices: As a material inducement and an indivisible part of the consideration to be received by Defendants to enter into this Agreement, the Parties agree that it is appropriate to maintain any discovery exchanged in the Litigation, this Agreement, the terms of this Agreement, and the settlement provided for herein (collectively, the “Information”) as confidential on a going forward basis as of the date of this Agreement. Toward that end, Plaintiff agrees that he and her attorneys will neither disclose nor reveal to any person or entity or directly or indirectly publish, publicize, disseminate, or communicate to any person or entity the Information on a going forward basis as of the date of this Agreement, including but not limited to a prohibition on Plaintiffs and his attorneys posting or otherwise disclosing Information on the Internet or any other paper or electronic media outlet (including but not limited to news organizations websites or newspapers, email, biogs, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.). The only permitted disclosure of Information hereunder is to the persons or entities specifically identified in subparagraphs (i) through (ix) below, and the confidentiality obligation of Plaintiff’s attorneys is intended to provide for confidentiality to the full extent of, but no further than permitted by, the applicable attorney ethics or disciplinary rules.
- The Parties may provide a copy of this Agreement and/or describe the terms and conditions of this Agreement within any lawsuit before a United States court of competent jurisdiction only in response to a Court order to that The Parties further agree that, if they or their attorneys receive legal process designed to disclose any Information deemed confidential under this Agreement, the disclosing Party will provide advance written notice to counsel for the non-disclosing Party within three (3) business days of receiving such subpoena, court order, or other legal process, so that the non-disclosing Party has the option of taking steps to protect the confidentiality of this Agreement, its terms, or any Information deemed confidential under this Agreement;
- The Parties may provide a copy of this Agreement and/or describe the terms and conditions of this Agreement to their respective officers, directors, employees, attorneys, financial advisors, accountants, insurers, auditors, and other professional advisors who regularly have access to Information of this type in order to perform their duties, or with whom the Parties may consult regarding any aspect of this Agreement, provided that such persons or entities first agree to maintain this Agreement, the terms of this Agreement, and the settlement provided for herein as confidential;
- Non-Disparagement. Releasors and their attorneys will not, directly or indirectly, make any negative or disparaging statements against the Releasees maligning, ridiculing, defaming, or otherwise speaking ill of the Releasees, and their business affairs, practices or policies, standards, or reputation (including but not limited to statements or postings harmful to the Releasees’ business interests, reputation or good will) in any form (including but not limited to orally, in writing, on any social media, biogs, internet, to the media, persons and entities engaged in radio, television or Internet broadcasting, or to persons and entities that gather or report information on trade and business practices or reliability) that relate to this Agreement and the Information (as defined above) or any matter covered by the release within this Nothing in the Agreement shall, however, be deemed to interfere with each party’s obligation to report transactions with appropriate governmental, taxing, or registering agencies. Nothing in this Agreement prohibits or limits Plaintiff or Plaintiffs counsel from initiating communications directly with, responding to any inquiry from, volunteering information to, or providing testimony before, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice,
So the bottom line is that the choice between challenging and leaving is a deeply personal one and that there is no one right answer. But the choice to leave should not be based on the erroneous myth that you can’t or shouldn’t win. these people have received many times the amount funded at your loan closing and have closed off the account on their own books. They have not only been paid, they have made more money posing as lenders than they ever could have by actually being lenders. And you made all that revenue possible by signing a note and mortgage in favor of someone who was not lending you any money. Nobody told you about that. And nobody told you that you were not entering a transaction in which there was a lender and borrower. There was only a borrower.*Neil F Garfield, MBA, JD, 73, is a Florida licensed trial attorney since 1977. He has received multiple academic and achievement awards in business and law. He is a former investment banker, securities broker, securities analyst, and financial analyst.