Deutsche Bank Searched Over Anti-Money Laundering Report
(Bloomberg) — Deutsche Bank AG’s offices in Frankfurt are being searched by law enforcement authorities over reports about potential money laundering that were filed by the lender.
Police were at the bank’s headquarters Friday following a decision by a Frankfurt court. Officials from the prosecutors office, regulator BaFin and Germany’s BKA federal police are involved, according to a spokeswoman for the prosecutors.
Authorities are conducting the search to find out whether the bank was late filing a suspicious activity report in a case several years ago, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked for anonymity discussing internal information.
“This is an investigative measure by the Frankfurt public prosecutor’s office in connection with suspicious activity reports filed by the bank,” the lender said in a statement. “Deutsche Bank is fully cooperating with the authorities.”
Shares of the lender fell as much as 3.8% as the search may add to a list of legal and regulatory issues hanging over Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing just as he emerges from a successful restructuring. The U.S. recently extended a monitorship after finding Deutsche Bank breached a deferred prosecution agreement after it was slow in reporting allegations by a whistleblower.
While the police presence this time was much smaller than in 2018, when video footage of some 170 law enforcement officials descending on the bank spooked investors, Deutsche Bank has a history of prosecutor searches. In the 2018 case, when the bank was raided in connection with suspected money laundering tied to its private wealth business, it was ultimately ordered to pay 15 million euros ($16 million) for failing to flag suspicious read more
Rule 5.4: Professional Independence of a Lawyer
Law Firms And Associations
(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:
(1) an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer’s firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer’s death, to the lawyer’s estate or to one or more specified persons;
(2) a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;
(3) a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement; and
(4) a lawyer may share court-awarded legal fees with a nonprofit organization that employed, retained or recommended employment of the lawyer in the matter.
(b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.
(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer’s professional judgment in rendering such legal services.
(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:
(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;
(2) a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof or occupies the position of similar responsibility in any form of association other than a corporation ; or
(3) a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.
FRAUD STOPPERS Daily News Update ⋅ May 5, 2022
Anthony Singleton(Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers) … Anthony Singleton is wanted on a charge of automobile insurance policies fraud.
Crime Stoppers: An armed robbery, retail fraud, & more · CASE ONE. The first case regards a robbery that the Lansing Police Department is investigating …
… in Aurora are searching for four suspects wanted in a fraud case. … at 303.739.6149 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
NBC New York
The suspects have not yet been caught. An investigation is ongoing. This article tagged under: CRIME STOPPERSCrime and CourtsManhattanBronxrobbery.
NBC New York
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. … Promoted By New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud …
Crime Stoppers and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is requesting your assistance in identifying a suspect involved in an incident of Fraud.
Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Sainsbery investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or …
City of Winnipeg
… or the issuing bank detects the fraud and deactivates the cards. … is asked to call 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).
Beloit Daily News
Weckerly earlier pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return … Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers …
CBS 58 has also confirmed that multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating the company for fraud. That investigation is on going and …
San Jose Inside
Amanda Christine Riley was sentenced in federal court in San Jose this week to 60 months in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud in …
You can also provide information to Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or delawarecrimestoppers.org. Information is subject to change …
… or anyone with dashcam footage or CCTV to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or … African community leader accused of fraud in anguish.
Stop Foreclosure, Sue for Breach of Contract
Now is the perfect time to stand up for your legal rights and sue for beach of contract, mortgage fraud, and foreclosure fraud because the legal tide is beginning to turn, and homeowners are starting to win! In 2016 the California Supreme Court ruled in Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corporation (Case No. S218973, Cal. Sup. Ct. February 18, 2016) that homeowners have legal standing to challenge an assignment of the mortgage loan contract in an action for wrongful foreclosure on the grounds that the assignment(s) is/are void. Obviously if the court had ruled differently, the banks would have had carte blanche to forge mortgage assignments with wild abandon. In fact, without a system of endorsements and assignments it would be impossible to determine who has a legitimate interest in the property!
In THE PAPER CHASE: SECURITIZATION, FORECLOSURE, AND THE UNCERTAINTY OF MORTGAGE TITLE ADAM J. LEVITIN writes “the mortgage foreclosure crisis raises legal questions as important as its economic impact. Questions that were straightforward and uncontroversial a generation ago today threaten the stability of a $13 trillion mortgage market: Who has standing to foreclose? If a foreclosure was done improperly, what is the effect? And what is the proper legal method for transferring mortgages? These questions implicate the clarity of title for property nationwide and pose a too- big-to-fail problem for the courts.
The legal confusion stems from the existence of competing systems for establishing title to mortgages and transferring those rights. Historically, mortgage title was established and transferred through the “public demonstration” regimes of UCC Article 3 and land recordation systems. This arrangement worked satisfactorily when mortgages were rarely transferred. Mortgage finance, however, shifted to securitization, which involves repeated bulk transfers of mortgages.
Like many other cases, current trial court decisions are getting reversed because the courts are waking up to the reality of the rule of law. What they have been following is an off the books rule of “anything but a free house.” However a recent Yale Law Review Article eviscerates the assumptions of a free house for the homeowners and destroys the myth that somehow that policy has saved the nation. You can read the Yale Law Review article “In Defense of “Free Houses” for more information on this tide change.
To facilitate securitization, deal architects developed alternative “contracting” regimes for mortgage title: UCC Article 9 and MERS, a private mortgage registry. These new regimes reduced the cost of securitization by dispensing with demonstrative formalities, but at the expense of reduced clarity of title, which raised the costs of mortgage enforcement. This trade-off benefited the securitization industry at the expense of securitization investors because it became apparent only subsequently with the rise in mortgage foreclosures. The harm, however, has not been limited to securitization investors. Clouded mortgage title has significant negative externalities on the economy as a whole.
If your loan contains fraud or it was securitized then your lender may have breached your mortgage loan contract, and therefore your mortgage loan contract could be legally challenged in a court of law. If your mortgage loan contract is declared legally void, then any assignments of the mortgage loan contract, or subsequent assignments, could also be declared legally void.
Securitization is the process of taking an asset and transforming them into a security. A typical example of securitization is a mortgage-backed security (MBS), which is a type of asset-backed security that is secured by a collection of mortgages. Keep in mind that it is perfectly legal for banks to create mortgage-backed securities (MBS’s); however there are significant legal ramifications that will either harm you, or benefit you, depending on what actions you take in response to the fact that your mortgage or deed of trust is legally void resulting in your property, in reality, being unsecured, just like a unsecured credit card debt. What’s in your wallet?
This is why we recommend that you take immediate action and sue for the remedy the law entitles you to, and that you deserve. Treble damages and clear and free title to your home. Not sure if your loan contains mortgage fraud or if it was securitized, no problem, we will do a free mortgage fraud analysis and free Bloomberg securitization search for you.
Many of the programs that had modest success in the early days have fallen into disfavor as banks have enacted strategies to counter their progress. The banks are not going to go down without a serious fight. They have a large arsenal of tools to use, and the legal muscle to keep the industry off balance. This is not a static game. The reason that banks have been successful, for the most part, in protecting the large number of mortgages that were securitized is that there is an intricate web of legal theories that they hide behind to justify what they have done. In effect, they have created a shell game where the ball seems to move around in defiance of the laws of physics.
The banks are relying on a complex interaction between UCC 3 commercial paper law, UCC 9 securitization law, bailment law, agency law and local laws of the jurisdiction where the property is located. They would have us believe that what they have been doing since the 1970’s is perfectly legitimate. Many lawyers who have challenged the banks have gotten close to exposing the scheme only to find that judges retreat away from the complexity of the legal theories involved and fall back on procedural barriers under the auspices of protecting the equitable interests of the banks and their agents.
FRAUD STOPPERS Foreclosure Defense Program has moved the bar forward in many substantial ways:
- Our Private Administrative process is a targeted approach to Informal Discovery:
- 3-501. PRESENTMENT or States equivalent
- Mortgage Error Resolution/Request for Information: If you believe there is an error on your mortgage loan statement or you’d like to request information related to your mortgage loan servicing, you must exercise certain rights under Federal law related to resolving errors and requesting information about your mortgage loan. If you think your credit report, bill or your mortgage loan account contains an error, or if you need more information about your mortgage loan, you send a written letter concerning your error and/or request.
- Cutting edge mortgage fraud examination and court ready lawsuits and trial ready evidence to win your case
- Nationwide foreclosure defense attorneys and Pro Se litigation education and support products and services
Subsection of Presentment (example Covenant 8 of UCC3 Note) shows NOTE and under paragraph 1 states: “BORROWER’S PROMISE TO PAY: In return for a loan that I have received, I promise to pay….
MULTI STATE FIXED RATE NOTE–Single Family–Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac UNIFORM INSTRUMENT Form 3200 1/01 (page 1 of 3 pages) Covenant:
I and any other person who has obligations under this Note waive the rights of Presentment and Notice of Dishonor. “Presentment” means the right to require the Note Holder to demand payment of amounts due. “Notice of Dishonor” means the right to require the Note Holder to give notice to other persons that amounts due have not been paid.
- 15 U.S. Code § 1692g – Validation of debts
Often a debt collector cannot validate a debt and therefore cannot legally enforce collections.
- Truth In Lending Act (TILA RESCISSION) codified in 12 CFR Part 226 (Regulation Z); particularly§ 226.34 Prohibited acts and §226.32 sub-paragraph (ii) et seq. predatory lending practices
A mortgage loan covered by the Truth in Lending Act may be rescinded by mailing a Rescission Letter to the purported lender, forcing the purported lender/creditor to oppose that rescission with a lawsuit within 20 days or lose all opposition rights.
- The primary focus of the legal aspect of our program revolves around taking the theories and best practices that have been most successful around the country and make refinements.
“Here, the specific defect alleged is that the attempted transfers were made after the closing date of the securitized trust holding the pooled mortgages and therefore the transfers were ineffective.
- Our program seeks to avoid getting mired in the complexity of the various areas of law involved, instead focusing on a simple, focused approach that makes it harder for judges to avoid the strength of our core arguments.
- The PMA trustees and executive team have a diverse set of skills and significant experience in the core areas that will improve the success factors for our operations.
We have spent an exhaustive amount of time analyzing all of the cases that have been successful in resolving mortgage securitization problems. We have designed our legal information litigation strategy to hit the banks hard and fast where they are most vulnerable.
Our primary focus is on getting clear and marketable title to the property by arguing that the actions of the banks have made the security provisions of the mortgage/deed of trust unenforceable.
Instead of fighting the foreclosure itself head-on, we argue that none of the banks or their agents has the right to enforce the foreclosure provisions of the Mortgage/Deed of Trust. In effect, if none of the banks have standing to enforce the foreclosure provision, we are entitled AS A MATTER OF LAW to a declaratory judgment of Breach of Contract (Security Agreement) that is res judicata, i.e., a permanent ban on foreclosure.
The Stand & Fight Program is a complete program that provides you with everything you need:
- Administrated Process
- Court Ready Chain of Title Investigation and Signed Affidavit
- Complaint along with all exhibits
- Legal Research
- Legal Briefs
- Case Management for Local Civil Rules of Procedures
- Training and Support
Take action right now and get the FACTS and HELP that you need to gain the legal remedy that the law entitles you to, and that you deserve!
Notice of Default and Paragraph 22 of the Standard Mortgage
Some think that there has been a dry spell for wins of homeowners beating the big banks. However the decision below shows otherwise and is very important for a couple of reasons. First it gives us more of a confirmed road map of how to make defenses in certain cases that have facts similar to this case…i.e. violations of Paragraph 22 of the mortgage, in regards to a notice of default (NOD), which we knew about but this decision emphasizes the importance of this type of defense. But also important…..Judge Gantz is back in full swing helping borrowers fight against illegal foreclosures. You will recall that he wrote the Freemont decision, Ibanez, and others…but then he seemed to have lost some momentum. However, with this decision, Judge Gantz is back in full stride protecting us from the criminal banks and their illegal foreclosure practices.
NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports. If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us SJC-12139
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION vs. ELVITRIA M. MARROQUIN & others.1 Essex. January 9, 2017. – May 11, 2017. Present: Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ. Mortgage, Foreclosure, Real estate. Real Property, Mortgage, Sale. Notice, Foreclosure of mortgage. Summary process. Complaint filed in the Northeast Division of the Housing Court Department on June 18, 2012. The case was heard by David D. Kerman, J., on motions for summary judgment. The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review. Cody J. Cocanig for the plaintiff. Dayne Lee (Eloise P. Lawrence also present) for Elvitria M. Marroquin. Joshua T. Gutierrez, Daniel D. Bahls, & Andrew S. Webman, for Lewis R. Fleischner & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief.
1 Julio E. Vasquez and Christopher Vasquez. GANTS, C.J. In Pinti v. Emigrant Mtge. Co., 472 Mass. 226, 227, 232 (2015), we held that a foreclosure by statutory power of sale pursuant to G. L. c. 183, § 21, and G. L. c. 244, §§ 11- 17C, is invalid unless the notice of default strictly complies with paragraph 22 of the standard mortgage, which informs the mortgagor of, among other things, the action required to cure the default, and the right of the mortgagor to bring a court action to challenge the existence of a default or to present any defense to acceleration and foreclosure.
We applied this holding to the parties in Pinti but concluded that our decision “should be given prospective effect only.” Id. at 243. We therefore declared that the decision “will apply to mortgage foreclosure sales of properties that are the subject of a mortgage containing paragraph 22 or its equivalent and for which the notice of default required by paragraph 22 is sent after the date of this opinion,” which was issued on July 17, 2015.Id. We did not reach the question whether our holding should be applied to any case pending in the trial court or on appeal. Id. at 243 n.25.
We reach that question here, and conclude that the Pinti decision applies in any case where the issue was timely and fairly asserted in the trial court or on appeal before July 17, 2015. Because we conclude that the defendants timely and fairly raised this issue in the Housing Court before that date, and because the notice of default did not strictly comply with the requirements in paragraph 22 of the mortgage, we affirm the judge’s ruling declaring the foreclosure sale void.
Background. In December, 2005, the defendants2 secured a mortgage loan in the amount of $312,000 from American Mortgage Express Corporation (American Mortgage) and, as security for the loan, granted a mortgage on their home to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), which American Mortgage had designated as the mortgagee in a nominee capacity. MERS subsequently assigned the mortgage to Bank of America, N.A. (Bank of America), as successor by merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP. After the defendants failed to make their mortgage payments, the loan servicer, Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP, on October 17, 2008, mailed the defendants a notice of intention to foreclose (notice of default). The notice informed the defendants that they were in default and set forth the amount due to cure the default. The notice warned in relevant part:
2 The mortgage loan was secured by the defendants Elvitria M. Marroquin and Julio E. Vasquez. The limited record before us suggests that Christopher Vasquez is Marroquin’s son, and that a motion filed by the Federal National Mortgage Association to amend the summons and complaint to include him was granted by the Housing Court judge. For convenience, we refer to “the defendants” throughout this opinion.
“If the default is not cured on or before January 15, 2009, the mortgage payments will be accelerated with the full amount remaining accelerated and becoming due and payable in full, and foreclosure proceedings will be initiated at that time. As such, the failure to cure the default may result in the foreclosure and sale of your property. . . . You may, if required by law or your loan documents, have the right to cure the default after the acceleration of the mortgage payments and prior to the foreclosure sale of your property if all amounts past due are paid within the time permitted by law. . . .Further, you may have the right to bring a court action to assert the non-existence of a default or any other defense you may have to acceleration and foreclosure.”
The defendants did not cure the default, and in March, 2012, Bank of America gave notice and conducted a foreclosure sale by public auction of the mortgaged home. Bank of America was the high bidder at the foreclosure auction and subsequently assigned its winning bid to the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae or plaintiff), which properly recorded the foreclosure deed conveying title of the property in May, 2012. On June 18, 2012, Fannie Mae initiated a summary process action in the Housing Court to evict the defendants from the property. On June 19, 2012, the defendants, representing themselves but assisted by counsel, filed an answer in which, by checking a box, they proffered as a defense to the eviction that “[t]he plaintiff’s case should be dismissed because it does not have proper title to the property and therefore does not have standing to bring this action and/or cannot prove a superior right to possession of the premises.”
For reasons not apparent from the record, Fannie Mae did not move for summary judgment until June, 2015, where, among other arguments, it contended that Bank of America had complied with the terms of the mortgage in exercising the power of sale, and specifically asserted that the notice of default had complied with paragraph 22 of the mortgage.3 On September 23, 2015, the defendants filed a cross motion for summary judgment in which they argued that the notice of default failed to strictly comply with the terms of paragraph 22 of the mortgage and that the defendants should be entitled to the benefit of our decision in Pinti even though the notice of default was sent well before the issuance of that opinion. In October, 2015, the judge granted the defendants’ cross motion for summary judgment and denied the plaintiff’s motion.
3 Paragraph 22 of the mortgage provides that in the event the borrower commits a breach of any term of the mortgage, prior to acceleration of the loan the lender must notify the borrower of “(a) the default; (b) the action required to cure the default; (c) a date, not less than [thirty] days from the date the notice is given to [the defendants], by which the default must be cured; and (d) that failure to cure the default on or before the date specified in the notice may result in acceleration of the sums secured by [the mortgage].”
Paragraph 22 further provides that such notice must inform the borrower “of the right to reinstate after acceleration and the right to bring a court action to assert the non-existence of a default or any other defense of the borrower to acceleration and sale.” It also declares that, if the default is not timely cured, the lender “may invoke the statutory power of sale.”
The judge found that the issue in Pinti had been “timely and fairly raised,” and concluded that our decision in Pinti should apply to all cases similarly situated that were pending in the trial court or on appeal where the issue had been timely and fairly raised before July 17, 2015. The judge also concluded that the notice of default failed to strictly comply with the requirement in paragraph 22 of the mortgage that the notice shall inform the borrower “of the right to reinstate after acceleration and the right to bring a court action to assert the non-existence of a default or any other defense of the borrower to acceleration and sale.”The judge found that, by stating, “You may, if required by law or your loan documents, have the right to cure the default after the acceleration of the mortgage payments and prior to the foreclosure sale of your property . . . ,” and “you may have the right to bring a court action to assert the non-existence of a default or any other defense you may have to acceleration and foreclosure” (emphasis added), the notice “significantly, and inexcusably, differed from, watered. . . down, and overshadowed the notice that was contractually and legally required by the mortgage.” He added that “there was no excuse for the difference in language “and that it was impossible to imagine any purpose for drafting a notice that failed to track the language of the mortgage “unless, of course, the purpose was to discourage [b]orrowers from asserting their rights.”4 After the judge issued his decision, the Appeals Court held in Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v. Murphy, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 726, 727
(2015), that the Pinti decision applies to cases pending on appeal where the claim that the notice of default failed to strictly comply with the notice provisions in the mortgage had been “raised and preserved” before the issuance of the decision. Although the issue was not before it, the Appeals Court declared that “the Pinti rule” did not extend to cases pending in the trial court. Id. at 732. Relying on this dictum, the plaintiff moved to vacate the judgment under Mass. R. Civ. P. 60 (b), 365 Mass. 828 (1974). The judge denied the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. We allowed the defendants’ application for direct appellate review. Discussion. 1. Application of the Pinti decision to pending cases. Our decision in Pinti was grounded in the requirement in G. L. c. 183, § 21, that, before a mortgagee may
4 The judge analogized the warning in the notice of default to a Miranda warning that informed a suspect before interrogation: “You [may] have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right [and if you have that right], anything you say or do [may] can and will be used against you in a court of law. You [may] have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney [and if you have that right], one [may] will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”
exercise the power of sale in a foreclosure, it must “first comply with the terms of the mortgage and with the statutes relating to the foreclosure of mortgages by the exercise of a power of sale.”Because the power of sale is a “substantial power” that permits a mortgagee to foreclose without judicial oversight, we followed the traditional and familiar rule that “‘one who sells under a power [of sale] must follow strictly its terms’; the failure to do so results in ‘no valid execution of the power, and the sale is wholly void.’” Pinti, 472 Mass. at 232-233, quoting U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637, 646 (2011). See Pryor v. Baker, 133 Mass. 459, 460 (1882) (“The exercise of a power to sell by a mortgagee is always carefully watched, and is to be exercised with careful regard to the interests of the mortgagor”).
Although it had long been established in law that the failure to strictly comply with the terms of a mortgage renders void an otherwise valid foreclosure sale, we gave our decision “prospective effect only, because the failure of a mortgagee to provide the mortgagor with the notice of default required by the mortgage is not a matter of record and, therefore, where there is a foreclosure sale in a title chain, ascertaining whether clear record title exists may not be possible.” Pinti, 472 Mass. at 243. Our concern was that a third party who purchases property that had once been sold at a foreclosure auction would not, through a title search, be able to determine whether the notice of default strictly complied with the terms of the mortgage. It would therefore be nearly impossible to eliminate the risk that the foreclosure sale would later be declared void and that the title would be returned to the foreclosed property owner. See id. We presumed that, after our decision in Pinti, mortgagees “as a general matter” would address this uncertainty by executing and recording “an affidavit of compliance with the notice provisions of paragraph 22 that includes a copy of the notice that was sent to the mortgagor pursuant to that paragraph.” Id. at 244.
However, we applied our ruling to the parties in Pinti, id. at 243, citing Eaton v. Federal Nat’l Mtge. Ass’n, 462 Mass. 569, 589 (2012), and deferred the question whether our holding “should be applied to any other class of cases pending on appeal.” Id. at 243 n.25. In Galiastro v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 467 Mass. 160, 167-170 (2014), we addressed that same issue in a closely parallel context. In Eaton, 462 Mass. at 571, we declared that a foreclosure by power of sale is invalid unless a foreclosing party holds the mortgage and also either holds the underlying note or acts on behalf of the note holder.
We applied this rule to the parties in Eaton, but otherwise gave the ruling prospective effect only. Id. In Galiastro, supra at 168, we extended the benefit of our decision in Eaton to litigants who had preserved this issue and whose cases were pending on appeal at the time that Eaton was decided. We declared that “[w]here multiple cases await appellate review on precisely the same question, it is inequitable for the case chosen as a vehicle to announce the court’s holding to be singled out as the ‘chance beneficiary’ of an otherwise prospective rule.” Galiastro, supra at 167-168, citing United States v. Johnson, 457 U.S. 537, 555 n.16 (1982), and Commonwealth v. Pring-Wilson, 448 Mass. 718, 736 (2007).
Limiting the application of prospective rulings to such a “chance beneficiary” would mean that something as arbitrary as the speed at which a case is litigated might determine its outcome, as only the first case raising this issue to reach the Supreme Judicial Court would get the benefit of the ruling. It would also greatly diminish the “incentive to bring challenges to existing precedent” by depriving similarly situated litigants “of the benefit for the work and expense involved in challenging the old rule.” Galiastro, supra at 169, quoting Powers v Wilkinson, 399 Mass. 650, 664 (1987).
The same principles underlying our decision in Galiastro to extend the Eaton rule to cases pending on appeal cause us to extend the Pinti rule to cases pending in the trial court where the Pinti issue was timely and fairly raised before we issued our decision in Pinti. In such cases, the homeowner-mortgagors are similarly situated to the plaintiffs in Pinti, because they presented the same arguments in the trial court that the Pinti plaintiffs presented to this court on appeal. All that distinguishes the homeowners in Pinti from the homeowners in this case is the pace of the litigation. The summary process complaint in this case was first filed in June, 2012; the complaint in Pinti seeking a judgment declaring that the foreclosure sale was void was filed in January, 2013. If this case had proceeded to judgment more promptly in the Housing Court, this appeal, rather than Pinti, might have been the one that established the so-called Pinti rule.5
Having so ruled, we now consider whether the homeowner defendants in this case timely and fairly raised a Pinti defense before the issuance of our Pinti decision. The judge found that they had, and we conclude that he was not clearly erroneous in so finding. We recognize that the defendants did not specifically allege that the mortgagee’s notice of default failed to strictly comply with the terms of paragraph 22 of the mortgage until they filed their cross motion for summary judgment on September 23,
5 We recognize that this ruling will increase the impact our Pinti decision may have on the validity of titles, but we expect the increase to be modest and that it will simply be part of the inherent “unevenness [that] is an inevitable consequence of any change in doctrine.” Galiastro v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 467 Mass. 160, 170 (2014), quoting Johnson Controls, Inc. v. Bowes, 381 Mass. 278, 283 n.4 (1980).
2015, more than two months after the issuance of our opinion in Pinti. But more than three years before that opinion, in June, 2012, they filed an answer as self-represented litigants where they checked the box proffering as a defense to the eviction that the plaintiff did not have “superior right to possession of the premises.”6 We need not consider whether the assertion of this affirmative defense alone was sufficient to give fair notice of a Pinti defense, because it is apparent from the plaintiff’s memorandum in support of its motion for summary judgment, which was filed one month before the issuance of our Pinti decision, that the plaintiff recognized that the defendants had alleged that the notice of default failed to comply with the terms of paragraph 22 of the mortgage. In that memorandum, the plaintiff argued that it had complied with the requirements of paragraph 22 and that it would be “irrational and fundamentally unfair” to declare the foreclosure proceeding void because of the purported minor differences between the language of the notice of default and that of the mortgage.
6 The full text of the defense, marked box no. 67 on the answer, states:”The plaintiff’s case should be dismissed because it does not have proper title to the property and therefore does not have standing to bring this action and/or cannot prove a superior right to possession of the premises. Wayne Inv. Corp. v. Abbott, 350 Mass. 775 (1966) (title defects can be raised as defense in summary process); G. L.239, § 1 (summary process available to plaintiff only if foreclosure carried out according to law).
“Where the plaintiff recognized that the defendants had raised the Pinti issue as a defense before our Pinti decision, the judge did not err in finding that the defendants fairly and timely raised the issue and therefore were entitled to the benefit of the Pinti decision.
Obligation of strict compliance. Having determined that the defendants are entitled to the benefit of our holding in Pinti, we must now address whether the notice of default strictly complied with paragraph 22 of the mortgage. It did not. Once a borrower has defaulted on a mortgage, G. L. c. 183, 21, authorizes the mortgagee to foreclose and sell the premises, provided it “first compl[ies] with the terms of the mortgage and with the statutes relating to the foreclosure of mortgages by the exercise of the power of sale.” Pinti, 472 Mass. at 232, quoting G. L. c. 183, § 21. As we explained in Pinti, supra at 236, “the ‘terms of the mortgage’ with which strict compliance is required — both as a matter of common law under this court’s decisions and under § 21 — include not only the provisions in paragraph 22 relating to the foreclosure sale itself, but also the provisions requiring and prescribing the preforeclosure notice of default” (footnote omitted). See Foster, Hall & Adams Co. v. Sayles, 213 Mass. 319, 322-324 (1913).
The notice of default in this case communicated much of what paragraph 22 requires but fell short in several crucial respects. Paragraph 22 requires that the notice “inform [the borrower] of the right to reinstate after acceleration and the right to bring a court action to assert the non-existence of a default or any other defense of [the borrower] to acceleration of sale.” Despite this language in the plaintiff’s own uniform mortgage instrument, the notice declared that the borrower “may, if required by law or [the borrower’s] loan documents, have the right to cure the default after the acceleration of the mortgage payments and prior to the foreclosure sale of [the borrower’s] property if all amounts past due are paid within the time permitted by law” (emphasis added). Similarly, the notice declared that the borrower “may have the right to bring a court action to assert the non-existence of a default or any other defense [the borrower] may have” (emphasis added).
We agree with the judge that this language in the notice “significantly, and inexcusably, differed from” the language in paragraph 22 of the mortgage, and “watered . . . down” the rights provided in that paragraph to the mortgagor homeowner. The phrase, “you may, if required by law or your loan documents, have the right to cure the default after acceleration,” suggests that the right to cure and reinstate is not available to every mortgagor, and that any such right is contingent upon the law or the provisions of other loan documents. But paragraph 19 of the mortgage specifically grants a mortgagor the right to reinstatement after acceleration, and sets forth the steps required to do so.This phrase instead suggests that the homeowner may need to perform legal research and analysis to discern whether the right to cure and reinstate is available.
Similarly, rather than unequivocally inform the borrower of the right to bring a court action to attempt to prevent a foreclosure by asserting that there was no default or by invoking another defense, the notice of default stated that the borrower may have the right to bring such an action. Here, too, the implication is that the right is merely conditional, without specifying the conditions, and that the mortgagor may not have the right to file an action in court.
The defendant contends that it accurately informed borrowers that they “may have” the right to bring a court action because they would have no such right if their court action lacked a good faith basis. But neither paragraph 22 of the mortgage nor the notice identified a bad faith exception to this right and we cannot reasonably infer that a borrower would understand that the “may have” language referenced such an exception.7
7 Because we find that the notice of default was not in strict compliance with paragraph 22, we need not address the We agree with the judge that, because the Pinti decision applies to this case and because the notice of default did not strictly comply with the requirements of paragraph 22 of the mortgage, the foreclosure sale is void.
8 Conclusion. The allowance of the defendants’ cross motion for summary judgment, as well as the denials of the plaintiff’s motions for summary judgment and for relief from judgment, are affirmed.
defendants’ contention that the plaintiff waived its argument that the notice was in strict compliance when it conceded that it was only in substantial compliance in the memorandum in support of its motion for summary judgment and at the hearing in the Housing Court.