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MERS and the problem of false agency
Posted on April 19, 2022 by Neil Garfield
Since the beginning of this century, The initial transaction with homeowners was the product of multiple layers of paperwork, most of which were neither identified nor accessed by consumers or their professional advisers.
Here is the deal:
As was typical during the “securitization” era, the application for a loan is received as the commencement of the transaction. It is not the “closing.”
From your perspective, you asked for a loan, and you were given false paperwork for you to read and sign. From the perspective of the disclosed counterparty to your transaction, the originator was merely paid a fee for the service of selling the transaction to you as a “loan.”
The funding for your transaction is an elaborate scheme unto itself. Once the paperwork is completed by the investment bank, the investment bank borrows the amount of money needed to pay homeowners at or near the time of closing. There is frequently a waiting period after what the homeowners perceive as a loan closing. This is the final check to make sure that there are not multiple entities named as Plaintiffs or beneficiaries on mortgages and deeds of trust respectively.
The loan from, for example, Credit Suisse, is collateralized by the impending sale of certificates to investors. The certificates do NOT represent any status as beneficiaries of a trust nor any status as a creditor to whom the homeowners ‘payments set forth on the homeowners’ note are payable.
Payments of money to the investors are discretionary but they usually are made by the investment bank regardless of whether or not any homeowner makes a scheduled payment on the schedule described in the promissory note issued by the homeowner. Investors were sold and contractually accepted the idea that they and no right, title or interest to any homeowner payment, legal debt, underlying obligation, note, or mortgage (or deed of trust).
So investors are paid not by homeowners but by various undisclosed intermediaries who have access to the funds paid by homeowners and access the funds generated by sales of certificates that are frequently mislabeled as Mortgage-Backed Securities. The fact the payments are frequently made as “Servicer advances” (as though the money came from companies who were named as “servicers” is the foundation for framing this deal — taken as a whole — as at least part of the PONZI scheme.
The sale of the certificates pays back the loan to Credit Suisse, plus a fairly large (e.g. 30%) profit partly directly arising from a yield spread premium (the difference between the amount of money paid by investors for unsecured IOUs from the investment bank and the amount paid to homeowners. Additional money is generated as the proceeds or revenue of either sale of the additional derivatives securities created and issued by the investment bank.
The problem for laypeople or even lawyers is that there is a choice between whether to analyze your transaction from the perspective of what you were seeking or whether to analyze the group of transactions from the perspective of the securitization scheme, without which there would have been no homeowner transaction. The consensus in the media and courtrooms is to simply analyze the transaction from the perspective of what the consumer wanted when he or she applied for a loan, regardless of where that is an accurate description of the transaction.
Contemporaneously with the origination of the transaction, several things are happening. In broad strokes, they are divided into the money trail and the paper trail. In the paper trail, none of the documents correctly identify or describe a transaction much less “memorialize” any transaction. Because everyone has received all the money they intended from participation in the “securitization” scheme the essential ingredient of a loan account receivable is eliminated thereby making nobody the “lender.”
Simply stated, since there isn’t anyone who maintains any record on the accounting ledger of an account receivable owed by you, there is no creditor. Nonetheless, in order for the securitization scheme to work (justifying more sales of certificates and other derivatives to investors), it must appear as though (a) an underlying obligation is created, owed to a specifically named lender and (b) that it has been transferred to a named business entity with caveats on the sale — namely that there is no warranty of title to the claims against homeowners.
When the origination cycle is complete, the status of the transaction is that there is no counterparty who has a stake in the viability or success of that transaction because nobody loses money if the homeowner does not make a scheduled payment — one that I maintain is simply not due to anyone. The absence of a lender — and all that entails under law — means there is no loan. The finance side of the transaction knows this but sets out to create a false paper trail to make it seem like “this is a standard mortgage loan” or ” this is standard foreclosure action.”
The financial community in coordination with lawyers willing to play the “game” used strategies and tactics to not only make it appear that the transaction was a loan but to actually have the court presume that the transaction was a loan and that the complaining party has hired counsel to seek a remedy. The status of such claims is always this: there is no obligation, loan account, or other claims for money allegedly due from the homeowner.
The primary tactic utilized by the financial community is the volume of paperwork. the thicker the pile of paperwork the more likely it is that a layperson sitting on the bench, will conclude that the transaction was real as a “loan.” And that is why we witnessed the birth of a major industry — creating false, fabricated, backdated documentation making it appear that several brand name institutions were trading, purchasing, and selling the “loans”. In reality, no such transactions existed, but the paperwork said the t transactions had occurred.
Considerable effort and coordination were devised by the financial sector to mislead the court system and they did so successfully in most cases. But even a casual look at your chain of title for the mortgage or deed of trust reveals inconsistencies in the paperwork especially when one realizes that the signature block one each document is on behalf of entities that (a) don’t exist at all, (b) exist but are irrelevant to the transaction and (c) are unclear from the face of the document.
Your case is almost certainly closely aligned with the typical playbook of strategies and tactics. Examining the document assignment of mortgage you find what is typical:
No consideration. the law requires that value be paid by the claimant before it can file suit to enforce the claim. But that law does not impact the ability of the foreclosure players to make false claims of authority to administer, collect or enforce in correspondence, notices, and statements.
“Corrective instruments” that correct nothing in order to establish more paper volume.
Execution of assignment by a business entity that has no right, title or interest in the alleged obligation. For example, MERS is used to launder titles.
People from FINTECH companies regularly access the main servers that are maintained by MERS for the sole purpose of getting themselves automatically appointed, without board resolution, as an officer of MERS.
MERS always is described as the nominee for the specifically named “lender” who is just an originator selling a financial product as described above. MERS is used as a cover-up. It effectively hides the title gap in plain sight.
The execution of an assignment or corrective assignment presumes that it is acting as an agent for whoever is currently named as the current claimant, beneficiary, or Plaintiff. But no such agency exists in fact or at law.
The execution of a security instrument (mortgage or loan) by a self-proclaimed “servicer” (which performs no servicing duties with respect to receipts data processing and disbursement of money from homeowners) on behalf of a new entity appointed to be the claimant, beneficiary or Plaintiff. But the execution of the assignment by MERS on behalf of Countrywide after the collapse of countrywide. it does not exist.
And Bank of America did not acquire any ownership interest in any homeowner transactions because countrywide didn’t own any such interest.
So while Bank of America was a successor to Countrywide, the foreclosure team is relying on appearances — in order to get the court to presume that the merger created a transfer of the ownership of the unpaid nonexistent loan account receivable of the mortgage rights from Countrywide as originator to Bank of America.
In such mergers, there is no Mortgage Loan Schedule, nor any written assignment of mortgage. Since the law requires the assignment, the presumption that the transfer could occur without an assignment of mortgage is erroneous. But that fact will not stop foreclosure unless it is aggressively contested.
The document is supposedly executed by someone calling themselves an “assistant secretary.” But note that it does not say that the signor was the assistant sectary of MERS.
Every time there is mention of MERS it includes the phrase “its successors and assigns” such that it is unclear from the grammar utilized whether there is a successor to MERS or a successor for the principal in the agency agreement between MERS and the originator (Countrywide in this scenario).
But there is no succession to either one unless (a) someone bought or merged with MERS or (b) someone bought loan accounts receivable from Countrywide. Such a sale would’ve been impossible because, by the time of the merger, Countrywide had only reserved “servicing rights” which really only meant the claim to receive “servicer advances” upon liquidation of a foreclosed property. So there is no MERS successor and there is no Countrywide successor as it relates to either the actual pr presumed transfer of the alleged underlying obligation.
Any endorsements are undated. Under current law, this means that parole evidence must be offered to prove that the promissory note was transferred and delivered to the party named as claimant, beneficiary, or Plaintiff.
Documents requiring the signature of the homeowner are in most cases completely fabricated even if the homeowner did sign similar documents. This has been sued to change the fact relevant to execution and delivery of the promissory note that in approximately 95% of all cases is destroyed within days of the time of closing that transaction with the homeowner.
This becomes clearer when the homeowner is able to lay hands on the original note at least as an original, and when the original note contains coloration of signature or other marks that do not appear on the refabricated note made by electronic manipulation of images.
The foreclosure mill will often utilize such fabricated documents even when they contain glaring facially invalid errors. For example, where a parent was the owner of the property and signed the “mortgage” paperwork, the instructions received by the law firm are turned into correspondence, notes, statements, and pleadings that reflect the grantors under a deed of trust or the mortgagors under a mortgage instrument become the heirs or successors to liability under the note.
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