(OP-ED)– The author of this post is the author of the book Clouded Titles (among numerous others) and proffers this message for educational purposes only and in no way should this be construed as legal advice.
Why the foregoing number?
That’s how many counties, boroughs and townships there are in America that contain public land records.
I recently received a video interview which contains the commentary of John O’Brien (Southern Essex MA Register of Deeds) and Jeff Thigpen (Guilford County NC Register of Deeds), both of whom I know and respect. Both share the commonality with some not-so-notoriously known elected officials (Armando Ramirez (Osceola County FL Circuit Clerk) and Nancy Rister (Williamson County TX County Clerk) who, having audited their public records echoed similar sentiments.
“When I saw the results of the audit we did in Williamson County, Texas, I was overcome with the same level of feeling as if I found out my husband was cheating on me,” said Clerk Rister, who was re-elected to her position the following term with strong approval ratings from her constituents.
Another commonality these four public officials shared is that their grievances are all the same … their public land records have been trashed by robosigned documents, millions of them, just in those four counties.
I gave two separate, one-hour lectures to two sessions of the Texas Clerks’ School back in January of 2012. In those two sessions, I asked a simple question … “How many of you in this room have heard of MERS?”
Only a few hands went up. I was in shock. I knew at that very moment that I was going to have to do everything in my power to sound the alarm, through workshops, seminars and in the promotion of my reading materials. Having conducted forensic examinations of two separate land records, I have come to the conclusion that even today, the land records continue to be littered with these trash documents, executed by second and third-tier parties who have no knowledge whatsoever about the validity of their contents. What’s worse … law firms involved in the pursuit of foreclosures are directing the production of these documents, which are then used as evidence in the public record to facilitate foreclosures on unsuspecting homeowners.
I have been through this diatribe before. This isn’t the first time I’ve spoken up about what constitutes “trash” documents. I spoke briefly with two different Clerks of public records in Missouri and Texas, they were so frustrated with everything they’d seen in their land records (as to these types of “assignments”) that they simply chose NOT to run again for another term and quietly faded into the landscape, knowing the evils and pitfalls that would continue to affect borrowers who continue to stupidly take on securitized mortgages, thinking they “got a deal”, when in fact, they have absolutely no idea WHO actually owns their mortgages or what condition these mortgages are in (financially).
This is a significant day in the history of mortgage repayment histories. Many a borrower has been told that in order to do a loan modification, they have to be 90 days late on their payments. There is an underlying reason for this.
On Day 91 is when the REMIC and its servicer get to “cash in on the chips”.
On average, a $500,000 mortgage loan will net the REMIC and its servicer $7,000,000 after Day 91. How’s that possible?
Credit default swap payouts. Default insurance payouts. Defective title insurance payouts. PMI, LPMI and MIP payouts. And then, the servicer, who has been dutifully paying the certificate holders (investors) of these REMICs every month gets more gravy by foreclosing on the house, alleging default on the part of the borrower when they know in fact, they told the borrower to stop making the mortgage payments … or, even in light of that … made the mortgage payments (principal and interest) to the investors … so they were never in default in the first place!
In order to stop the foreclosure (or at least put the brakes on it for awhile), the homeowner has to either respond to the lawsuit (mortgage states) or initiate a suit (deed of trust states). Sadly, dating as far back as 2009 when the first wave of foreclosures hit, 97.5% of all homeowners served with process packed up and moved out of their homes. Abandonment constitutes possession based on the mortgage contract.
LACK OF ENFORCEMENT
Who would have thought that by taking out a mortgage loan that the borrower would end up out on the street? This is only one minute reason for the homeless population being what it is today, especially in areas of the country where taxes and regulations (and more corrupt court systems) reign.
When I met with John Healey, the Fort Bend, Texas District Attorney way back in 2012, I showed him a stack of documents I had pulled from his county’s land records. I showed him samples of robosigning. I showed him samples of notary fraud. I showed him incomplete documents (that were neither signed nor notarized) that were still allowed to be recorded in the land records (all this in front of a red-faced Clerk, Dianne Wilson, PhD, who could not believe any of these documents got past her deputy clerks) and his response was, “we don’t have the white collar division necessary to investigate any of these matters”.
I plainly stated, “John, it only takes one prosecution to send a message. I’ll even help your department with the investigation to dig up solid evidence”. He would have none of it. The banks are just too powerful and his political ass was more important than standing up for what was right.
It will be a sad day in hell … even after it “freezes over” … that you’ll get any prosecutorial arm to lift a finger to help consumers out of this dilemma.
This is a battle that must be fought by the 2.5% of those homeowners who want “justice”. Is that what you call it these days?
Statistically, 1 out of 100 cases brought before the lower court systems in this country go anywhere. 99 out of 100 cases (which is why they called the movie 99 Homes) end up getting tossed out (dismissed) because all of the foreclosure defense attorneys who handle these types of cases are out for the buck or in the alternative, are overwhelmed and uneducated when it comes to dealing with the actual working elements of a foreclosure case.
The government hasn’t helped either. Thanks to the convenience of a bioweapon virus, most of the courts in this country have been shuttered out of fear. In fact, moratorium after moratorium has extended the foreclosure process out even further, leaving families who were without income during this alleged pandemic in a state of limbo, not knowing when the “knock at the door” would come and a sheriff’s deputy or process server would be standing there with papers. The government has made it all too easy to streamline foreclosures, so those that have limited means to fight stand little chance of winning even more time to stay in their homes.
APATHY HAS BECOME AMERICA
It is said to think that the majority of families who haven’t paid rent during the entire economic shutdown are continuing to live off the fat of their landlords, who have been forced into destitution themselves because of having to pay on their mortgage loans when there’s no subsistence whatsoever from their tenants. Maybe we should blame the landlords for taking on too much loan burden. Maybe we shouldn’t. After all, investing in real estate was supposed to be the American Dream, right? What on earth changed all that?
Most of America was locked inside their homes and programmed purposefully by the mainstream media to be fearful of a disease whose numbers have been constantly manipulated to serve the political interests and agendas of politicians who seek to control John Q. Public (that would be all of us) by enslaving us into taking injections that are only for emergency use only. It isn’t enough that the shots themselves are killing Americans, the loss of loved ones due to the jab is also being covered up and this leaves the family unit in shambles. How are people supposed to fight when they remain in a state of confusion?
This is the type of programmable conditioning that George Orwell wrote about in his book 1984.
Clerks Rister and Thigpen both became directly involved in lawsuits to try to stem the tide of phony documents. Both were shut down in the civil courts as the judges stated the Clerks had no private right of action. When you don’t have an actual harm, how can you proceed as a plaintiff? That’s basic Justice 101.
TURN THE TABLES
Understand that “default” has to be proven. It never is. In fact, it’s admitted to by homeowner’s attorneys more than not. Once the judge hears (or questions) “When’s the last time you made a mortgage payment?” (the judge is prosecuting the case for the bank), it’s game over.
Foreclosure defense attorneys would do well to understand that it’s not the REMIC (lender) coming to court to collect on the booty (the gravy from the sale of the house) … it’s the mortgage loan servicer that’s doing the dirty work. Getting the bank’s attorney to admit who he’s actually representing is the first battle. Getting to the issue of how much money the REMIC and the certificate holders made off of DAY 91 is yet another battle that must be fought. Again, the certificate holders have to show they were “harmed” too … if they can’t show harm, it’s game over for them too.
How simple is discovery? Getting the plain statements out on paper is half the battle (the homeowners could do it themselves). But … we have become a society of “doers”. We do what we are told. If the people do not rise up, they will be defeated and the BlackRocks of the world will move in, buy up their foreclosed homes in bulk and turn America into a nation of renters. While the government will attempt to play itself as the hero, the government has made things worse by driving inflation through the roof.
It’s one giant squeeze play on America and the smart homeowners have already figured out Plan B.
Past DAY 91, the mindset should be, seek alternative, less-expensive housing. Downsize. Research. Fight back to stay in your home as long as you can. Use cash for keys as a last option (not a first). Make the bank spend a bunch of money by answering your lawsuits or initiating them. Homeowners have private rights of action when it comes to trash documents littering their chains of titles. This is where “the stand” begins.