Monday, January 13, 2014


Rocket Dockets Undermine Faith In Judicial System

Having now personally participated in the “expedited” processes that are now invoked in many states, it has become apparent that they are all deficient. Citizens who find themselves in the court system are fast losing faith that it is a rubber stamping system if they are accused of anything, and an obstacle to justice if they are seeking compensation for damages sustained as a result of breach of duty or obligation. My main observation is that in the civil dockets, equal protection is intentionally thrown out the window. If the opposing parties are on equal footing on a socio-economic scale, they might have a better chance of being “heard”, which is the essence of due process; but if there is a disparity in their perceived position in our society, they are more likely to see undue process — which is to say there is a presumption of guilt of the person on the lower scale and a presumption that the larger, higher party is more credible.
The credibility of banks and their attorneys ought to be greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism from the start. They have been accused of the most heinous economic crimes of their own doing and accessory to the crimes of others, found guilty in many cases by administrative agencies, and yet are treated with deference by judges in contested actions. So far they have paid collectively around $200 Billion in fines and settlements for conduct that is illegal, improper and outside the bounds of anything that could be called accepted industry standards. And that total represents what we know about. The amount of private settlements with the real parties to mortgage loans — homeowners and investors — is presumably much higher, but sealed under confidentiality.
The result of all this is that the banks are getting exactly what they want — keeping their ill-gotten gains and getting still more money called “profit” with their payments of fines, damages and penalties being pennies on the dollar. And they get an added bonus. Homeowners could avoid foreclosure if they raised the right defenses in the right way. But they are still giving up and leaving their keys on the kitchen counter. So far 15 Million people have been displaced by the foreclosure process. The very people who should be an army of revolt in the Courts are so intimidated by their opposition and what they see happening in the courts that they give up their largest investment, their lifestyle, their neighborhood because they are demoralized by a rigged legal system.
The rigging comes from the starting position that the origination and acquisition of loans actually occurred and therefore, no matter how you cut it, the homeowner is a borrower and the bank that sued them or put their home up for sale is accordingly entitled to do so, because the borrower stopped paying “the debt”. And in most cases that is true, the record of payments shows that the borrower was making payments to some Servicer and then stopped. The conclusion is that foreclosure is inevitable and that due process is due in name only and not in substance — even where the creditor named as such in the foreclosure process is receiving and accepting full payments from third parties, which is to say that homes are foreclosed and sold without any default on the books of the creditor.
My review of thousands of closings leads me to an avoidable, inescapable conclusion that the premise behind rocket dockets is untrue and can never be proven otherwise. The “debt” was the product of absolute fraud deserving of punitive damages and I intend to push that point until I get it — hopefully in a verdict instead of the thousands of sealed settlements I know about. The fraud started with theft of pension fund money by the investment banks and conversion of pension fund assets (the note and mortgage or deed of trust) by the investment banks.
The money loaned to homeowners was not originated or acquired by a REMIC trust. It came from stolen money — money that was never deposited into the trust account of the REMIC trust). The homeowner was further fraudulently induced to sign documents that converted investor money and documents to the broker dealers (investment banks). The property was never encumbered by a valid mortgage or the encumbrance became unenforceable when the loan was supposedly “acquired” in a fictitious transaction. The missing or late assignment of the “debt” was fictitious (note there was no debt because none of the parties had ever loaned any money nor paid any value to acquire it — but the real debt still existed without documentation and without any collateral). But the pile of paper, ever growing, is taken by judges to mean that the greater “weight” of the pile of meaningless documents creates a presumption in favor of the fraudulent allegations of the co-conspirators.
The answer is simple. The real debt was created by the lending of real money by a real lender to a real borrower. That is what the laws says and that is what common sense will tell you. THAT loan really happened, but because of the interference of the banks and servicers, the money of the lender investor (pension fund) and the paperwork documenting the transaction were hijacked. And that is why investors are getting settlements, agencies are getting verdicts, and the banks are continuing to pay hundreds of billions of dollars to protect TRILLIONS of dollars in ill-gotten gains.
Back in 2007 I proposed a way of settling this with amnesty for all and a share of the risk of loss by everyone. I will soon write about the doctrine of ASSUMPTION OF RISK which is a way of apportioning the real risks at the time of the defective mortgage originations and acquisitions. It is like the old doctrine of comparative negligence and it is good law aimed at a just result.
Assumption of Risk is an affirmative defense that arises by operation of law. It is based upon facts that show that the projected loss of the Plaintiff occurred, at least in part, because they impliedly agreed to assume the risk of loss upon certain events. For example, if the household income was $50,000 at the time was originated, then by most standards the maximum total payment of PITI should have been between $15,000 and $20,000 per year (or around $1250-$1600 per month). Any loan calling for payments above that level triggers the Assumption of Risk defense to the extent that the payment exceeds the level set by industry standards. The simple reality is that the “lender” (whether real or fictitious) accepted the probability that the loan would default at the moment the payment reset to an amount that was known to be impossible.
So if you look at those “pick a payment” or teaser payment loans, you can see how this would apply. The initial payment might have been $500 per month, but the payment eventually resets to $4,000 per month. Since the payment resets to an amount equal to the entire household income, it is impossible for the loan to succeed. And in fact the the new rules that went into effect this month from the Consumer Financial Protection Board are considered to be merely “back to basics” where such a loan would never be allowed. If we use Assumption of Risk as an affirmative defense, then the “blame” gets shared. A jury or judge would decide the comparative risks assumed or agreed by the parties regardless of what was in the written agreements. In this case the decision might be that the maximum payment to be assessed against the homeowner would be $1,600. The other $2,400 per month supposedly due under the note would be offset. The offset might result in the reformation or modification of the loan.
There are dozens of ways and hundreds of case scenarios in which assumption of risk could be used. Of course this would mean taking cases off the rocket docket and putting them into general civil or complex litigation dockets.
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