Daily Archives: October 31, 2012

Five states accounted for nearly half of U.S. foreclosures

U.S. foreclosures declined in September with five major states accounting for nearly half of all national foreclosure activity, CoreLogic ($23.64 0.52%) said Wednesday.

Not only is the real estate recovery market specific, distressed inventory levels vary by state.

For the 12-month period ending in September, the states of California, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Michigan had the highest number of completed foreclosures.

California led the way with 108,000 foreclosures, followed by Florida with 92,000. Texas, Georgia and Michigan recorded more than 50,000 foreclosures each during the period. All five states accounted for 47.7% of foreclosures during the period.

States with the lowest foreclosure rates included South Dakota, District of Columbia, Hawaii, North Dakota and Maine. The states with the lowest foreclosure activity levels reported less than 700 filings during the 12 months, with South Dakota reporting only 20 completed foreclosures.

Read on.

UPDATE: CA Governor Jerry Brown Is Getting Involved In Homeowner Niko Black’s Case…

UPDATE: The lawyers from the Stephen Golden Law Firm were able to get Wells Fargo to let Niko back into her home to retrieve her belongings and the medical devices  needed for her treatment.

The governor’ office has now gotten involved to investigate how something like this can happen in the state of California, and Wells Fargo has now been served with an order to show up to court and explain to the judge why they defied his orders.

Read more: http://www.ktlkam1150.com/pages/DavidCruz.html?article=10536310#ixzz2Au3ELpyA

Deutsche Bank takes another home in dubious Queens Foreclosure case

In an interview conducted on Saturday October 27th 2012, Queens Foreclosure Attorney Brian McCaffrey said “this case could have been fought and won on its merits” and “it’s a shame that Deutsche Bank was allowed to coast through the process without ever having to prove to the Court that they actually had standing to foreclose”

On October 24, 2012 a foreclosure process that began more than 3 years ago came full circle when the property located at 150-15 108th Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11433 was sold by Deutsche Bank for $245,100.00 to an LLC named RDG QUEENS XVIII LLC.

The LLC making the purchase was registered with the NYS DOS by the accounting firm ofSINGER & FALK, INC. whose CEO is Steven Falk. When contacted for this article Mr. Falk was unavailable for comment.

The Queens Foreclosure case was entitled DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST vs. MBAH, CLEMENT ETAL, under index number: 027411/2009.

Although it appears from the record that the prior owner CLEMENT MBAH attempted to protect his interest by making motions in court, his pro-se attempts were too little – too late.

In a decision issued on July 11, 2011 the HONORABLE KEVIN J. KERRIGAN held that the… “Motion by Mbah to vacate the default judgment of foreclosure and sale, issued by this Court on June 15, 2010, as against him is denied. Movant has failed to set forth an excuse for his default or a meritorious defense to foreclosure”

McCaffrey expressed disappointment saying “This case is only one of many where the Plaintiff who did not own the mortgage… was never properly challenged or their case would have failed.”

To understand what Mr. McCaffrey is talking about one needs to look at the history of the ownership of this mortgage which was securitized with thousands of others during the housing and mortgage boom.

You see Deutsche Bank was the “trustee” for a NY established Trust that was formed in 2004 under NY Trust Law. Under NY Law the Trust had a closing date of September 29, 2004, and no mortgage loan could have been assigned into the Trust after that date. NY Trust law states that any act made contrary to the interest of the Trust is void. Moreover, under IRS Code it was unlawful to transfer any asset into the Trust after the closing date.

Read on.

U.S. District Court in Texas blocks MERS lawsuit


Individual homeowners do not having standing to sue Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems over county recording fees, according to a decision from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

The decision was passed down in the Huml v. MERS case—another piece of litigation that will define how seriously individual courts take claims that MERS robbed local jurisdictions out of revenue by recording mortgage assignments electronically without paying county recording fees.

The court threw out multiple claims made by Bea Huml and other homeowners in a lawsuit against MERS, Bank of America Home Loans Servicing ($9.20 0.08%), and The Bank of New York Mellon.

Read on.

Justice: Barclays faces two new charges in the United States

Translated in English:

2012 busy year for lawyers Barclays. The British bank announced Wednesday, October 31 to be two new regulatory investigations in the U.S., which couldcomplicate his comeback after a series of cases, including the sensational scandal Libor this summer, which have tarnished reputation.

The bank said the United States cooperate with the Department of Justice (DoJ) and stock exchanges (SEC) in an investigation related to possible violations of the law on corruption of foreign officials, in a case which is already subject of investigation in the United Kingdom .

London Whale’s Boss Martin-Artajo Sued by JPMorgan

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) sued the executive responsible for supervising Bruno Iksil, the trader nicknamed the London Whale for market-moving wagers at the division responsible for a $6.2 billion trading loss.

Javier Martin-Artajo, Iksil’s boss in the chief investment office, is a defendant in a London lawsuit filed Oct. 22 by the bank and made public today. The court filings didn’t reveal any details of the complaint. Both men have left the bank.

Read on.

Cable company forcing payments, threatens with liens and foreclosure

OCALA, Fla. —

Some Ocala residents are taking on a cable company they say is forcing them to pay for services they don’t use.

The homeowners of the Palm Cay community said Cablevision has threatened them with liens and foreclosure.

Some homeowners said they are still charged by Cablevision, even though they use a satellite TV company.

The cable company said it doesn’t matter.

One homeowner’s cable bill, which he said he hasn’t paid in years, went up to $1,200 – and ended up in court Wednesday.

Read on.


Assignment of Note After Suit Filed Does Not Cure Lack of Standing

The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled today that a party’s standing to initiate a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit is determined on the date the complaint is filed in court, and a party that lacked standing at the time a suit was filed cannot remedy that defect by receiving assignment of a mortgage and promissory note after the filing of the foreclosure action but prior to the entry of judgment.

Applying that analysis to a Greene County case, the court dismissed a decree of foreclosure granted to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMA) against the home of Duane and Julie Schwartzwald of Xenia because FHLMA did not have standing as an actual party in interest at the time it filed the foreclosure action.

The court’s 7-0 decision, authored by Justice Terrence O’Donnell, reversed a decision of the Second District Court of Appeals.

In November 2006, the Schwartzwalds purchased a home in Xenia and received a mortgage loan from LegacyMortgage in the amount of $251,250. They executed a promissory note and a mortgage granting LegacyMortgage a security interest in the property. Legacy Mortgage then endorsed the promissory note as payable to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and assigned the mortgage to Wells Fargo.

In September 2008, Duane Schwartzwald lost his job at Barco, Inc., and the Schwartzwalds moved to Indiana so he could accept a new position. They continued making mortgage payments as they tried to sell the house in Xenia, but they went into default on January 1, 2009. In March 2009, Wells Fargo agreed to list the property for a short sale, and on April 8, 2009, the Schwartzwalds entered into a contract to sell it for $259,900, with closing set for June 8, 2009.

However, on April 15, 2009, FHLMA commenced a foreclosure action against the property, alleging that the Schwartzwalds had defaulted on their loan and owed $245,085.18 plus interest, costs, and advances. FHLMA attached to its complaint a copy of the mortgage identifying the Schwartzwalds as borrowers and LegacyMortgage as lender, but indicated that a copy of the promissory note was “currently unavailable.” On April 24, 2009, FHLMA filed with the court a copy of the note signed by the Schwartzwalds in favor of LegacyMortgage. The final page showed the endorsement by Legacy Mortgage payable to Wells Fargo, and a blank endorsement by Wells Fargo that did not name an endorsee.

On May 15, 2009, Wells Fargo assigned the note and mortgage to FHLMA and FHLMA filed with the court a copy of the assignment on June 17, 2009. FHLMA subsequently moved for summary judgment granting foreclosure, supporting the motion with the affidavit of Herman Kennerty, vice president of loan documentation for Wells Fargo as servicing agent for FHLMA, who attested that the Schwartzwalds were in default and authenticated the note and mortgage as well as the assignment of the note and mortgage fromWells Fargo to FHLMA. The Schwartzwalds also moved for summary judgment, asserting FHLMA lacked standing to foreclose on their property.

The trial court entered summary judgment for FHLMA, finding that the Schwartzwalds had defaulted on the note, and ordered that the property be sold. FHLMA purchased the property at a sheriff’s sale.

On appeal, the Second District Court of Appeals affirmed and held that FHLMA had established its right to enforce the promissory note as a nonholder in possession, because assignment of the mortgage effected a transfer of the note it secured. The court concluded that although FHLMA lacked standing at the time it commenced the foreclosure action, it cured that defect by the assignment of the mortgage and transfer of the note prior to entry of judgment. The Second District certified, however, that its decision conflicted with earlier decisions of the First and Eighth Districts holding that a lack of original standing in a foreclosure action could not be remedied by obtaining an assignment of a mortgage and note prior to the entry of judgment.

The Supreme Court agreed to review the case to resolve the conflict among appellate districts.

Writing for a unanimous court in today’s decision, Justice O’Donnell explained that in order to invoke the jurisdiction of a trial court, a party initiating a lawsuit must have “in an individual or representative capacity, some real interest in the subject matter of the action.”

Justice O’Donnell wrote: “We recognized that standing is a ‘jurisdictional requirement’ in State ex rel. Dallman v. Franklin Cty. Court of Common Pleas, (1973), and we stated: ‘It is an elementary concept of law that a party lacks standing to invoke the jurisdiction of the court unless he has, in an individual or representative capacity, some real interest in the subject matter of the action.’ … And recently, in Kincaid v. Erie Ins. Co., (2010), we affirmed the dismissal of a complaint for lack of standing when it had been filed before the claimant had suffered any injury.”

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 holding in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife that “standing is to be determined as of the commencement of suit,” and state court decisions supporting that same conclusion from Oklahoma, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Florida, Mississippi, and Nebraska, Justice O’Donnell pointed out that in this case “Federal Home Loan concedes that there is no evidence that it had suffered any injury at the time it commenced this foreclosure action. Thus, because it failed to establish an interest in the note ormortgage at the time it filed suit, it had no standing to invoke the jurisdiction of the common pleas court.”

The justices rejected the Second District’s finding that FHLMA’s lack of initial standing to sue had been remedied by the assignment of the Schwartzwald’s mortgage and promissory note from Wells Fargo to FHLMA after the foreclosure action had been filed.

Justice O’Donnell wrote that Ohio Civil Rule 17(A) allows an authorized representative of a real party in interest, such as the executor or administrator of an estate, the trustee of a trust, or a party with a shared contractual interest in disputed property to initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the real party in interest, but does not “allow a party with no personal stake in a controversy to file a claim on behalf of a third party, obtain the cause of action by assignment, and then have the assignment relate back to commencement of the action.”

Noting that its dismissal of FHLMA’s April 2009 complaint based on lack of standing was not a judgment on the merits of the case, and did not preclude the pursuit of a future foreclosure action, the court concluded: “It is fundamental that a party commencing litigation must have standing to sue in order to present a justiciable controversy and invoke the jurisdiction of the common pleas court. Civ.R. 17(A) does not change this principle, and a lack of standing at the outset of litigation cannot be cured by receipt of an assignment of the claim or by substitution of the real party in interest.”

“Here, it is undisputed that Federal Home Loan did not have standing at the time it commenced this foreclosure action, and therefore it failed to invoke the jurisdiction of the court of common pleas. Accordingly, the judgment of the court of appeals is reversed and the cause is dismissed.”

Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Office of Public Information for the general public and news media. Opinion summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the court, but only for those cases considered noteworthy or of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official headnotes or syllabi of court opinions. The full text of this and other court opinions from 1992 to the present are available online from the Reporter of Decisions. In the Full Text search box, enter the eight-digit case number at the top of this summary and click “Submit.”

2011-1201 and 2011-1362. Fed. Home Loan Mtge. Corp. v. Schwartzwald, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-5017.
Greene App. No. 2010 CA 41, 194 Ohio App.3d 644, 2011-Ohio-2681. Judgment reversed and cause dismissed.
O’Connor, C.J., and Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O’Donnell, Lanzinger, Cupp, and McGee Brown, JJ., concur.

SOURCE: http://www.courtnewsohio.gov

Copy of opinion below…

Did JPMorgan Chase Really Take A “Ten Billion Dollar Hit” For Uncle Sam?


The Ten Billion Dollar Hit

In fact, as we noted yesterday, this was one hell of a deal for JPMorgan Chase. And nevertheless the Post unquestioningly asserts today that “JPMorgan took a $10 billion hit on the Bear Stearns portfolio.”

Readers are entitled to an explanation for a statement that bold, but none is forthcoming. Instead, the Post wants us to believe — as do a number of other Washington power players – that Dimon and JPMorgan Chase took one for the team, jeopardizing their profits because … well, because they love their country. It’s already cost ’em ten billion, so let’s give them a break, right?

And yet the Post, like most other major news outlets, reported in 2008 that the Federal Reserve agreed to absorb $29 billion in losses to the mortgage securities portfolio after JPM absorbed the first $1 billion. So where did this $10 billion figure come from? Given the deal which the government set up for the bank, a lot of money would have to disappear before a “hit” like this could talke place.

The Math

It was reported in 2008 that JPMorgan Chase paid a $1.2 billion to acquire Bear Stearns, whose Manhattan headquarters alone were valued at somewhere between $1.1 and 1.4 billion at the time. Then there were other properties, corporate jets, automobiles, various holdings, cash on hand … since the Post didn’t do the math, let’s do it ourselves:

Published reports stated that Bear Stearns had a total of $370 billion in assets when JPM purchased it. Danielle Douglas,Post reporter whose byline appears in today’s article, reports that the sale price as $1.5 billion, which is higher than earlier reports. The difference is not explained. But even if that higher figure is correct, JPMorgan Chase acquired $370 billion in assets for $1.5 billion.

That’s a damned good deal.

Fannie, Freddie Sued in Florida Over Failure to Pay Transfer Taxes

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the home mortgage-finance companies now under government control, failed to pay transfer taxes to Miami-Dade County, Florida, when they took ownership and sold thousands of foreclosed properties, the county alleges.

Harvey Ruvin, clerk of the courts for Miami-Dade County, sued the mortgage finance companies in federal court in Miami yesterday alleging Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac improperly claimed they’re exempt from paying the tax, which amounts to 60 cents per $100 of the value of single-family residences.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are parties to thousands of real estate transactions, particularly here in South Florida, and they are shirking their responsibility to pay their fair share of transfer taxes,” Adam M. Schachter, a lawyer for the county, said in an e-mailed statement.

The Miami-Dade lawsuit is the latest jurisdiction to sue the companies seeking to recoup transfer taxes. Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Montgomery County, Ohio, have similar lawsuits pending in federal courts. Hernando County, Florida, sued the companies in federal court in Tampa in June.

Read on.