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Backing Banks Over Borrowers, California Judges Often Big Stakeholders in Same Banks

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 09:59

By Darwin BondGraham, Truthout | News Analysis
DARWIN BONDGRAHAM (Darwin BondGraham is a sociologist and journalist who covers political economy. He blogs at http://darwinbondgraham.blogspot.com and for washingtonspectator.org.)

http://truth-out.org/news/item/24400-alifornia-judges-ruling-in-favor-of-banks-over-borrowers-often-own-financial-stocks-and-bonds#.U65EgJjg51o.wordpress

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Sue your bank in California over a wrongful foreclosure, and the best you’re likely to get – if you have ironclad evidence that it broke the law – is a loan modification. That is, a “win” for the borrower usually means the bank keeps another customer and collects interest payments that are thousands of basis points above the level at which the bank is able to borrow from the Fed. Very often, however, homeowner lawsuits against the banks end in dismissal. In the parlance of the courts, the defendant’s demurrer is sustained. Judges in California’s superior courts often rule in favor of the banks, and the few lawsuits that filter up to the appeals courts and Supreme Court don’t fare any better.
Why do the banks keep winning in court against borrowers alleging wrongful foreclosure, fraud and other abuses? Many borrowers and their lawyers say there’s a judicial bias favoring the banks over homeowners, and that this bias is revealed by the economic position of the judges themselves. Most California judges are wealthy, and many of them hold significant investments in financial corporations and bonds, oftentimes even in the very same banks and mortgage lenders that have been sued by thousands of Californians over alleged fraud, deception and wrongful foreclosure.
Case in point: Baldwin v. Bank of America, a borrower lawsuit alleging wrongful foreclosure that battled all the way to the steps of California’s Supreme Court. In 2007, Marvin Baldwin borrowed half a million dollars from J&R Lending to purchase a small three-unit apartment building in Long Beach, California. It was the height of the real estate bubble. Things quickly fell apart, and Baldwin ran into financial troubles.
In 2009, Bank of America, which by this point had acquired Baldwin’s loan, notified him that he qualified for a federally sponsored HomeSaver Forbearance Program, a temporary bridge toward a permanent loan modification. Baldwin assumed that this was how the taxpayer-funded bank bailouts were translating into assistance for small landlords, so he cooperated with Bank of America and made payments under the program. But late in 2010, Bank of America recorded a notice of default against Baldwin’s loan. Things looked dire.
Then in October, two months after filing the notice of default, Bank of America spun around again and appeared to be offering Baldwin a rescue plan. Bank of America announced a national moratorium on foreclosures due to the bank’s acknowledgement of “irregularities” in its own internal processes. But then Bank of America reversed course yet again. In spite of announcing a moratorium on foreclosures – a moratorium stemming from the robo-signing scandal in which it was revealed Bank of America was routinely breaking the law – Marvin Baldwin’s home was suddenly sold at auction on December 8, 2010.
He filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract and fraud and sought injunctive relief to save his property. Baldwin alleged in his lawsuit that Bank of America violated California’s Unfair Competition Law, which states, among other things, that a company cannot act in ways that would be likely to deceive a reasonable customer. The foreclosure “moratorium” Bank of America announced was one such deceptive practice because the bank lulled its borrowers into inaction, but then in fact continued to foreclose on properties and sell them, argued Baldwin and his lawyer. A year later, a trial court in Los Angeles sided with Bank of America, ruling the foreclosure and auction were perfectly legal, and that the bank’s actions weren’t deceptive.
Marvin Baldwin and his lawyer Lenore Albert appealed and argued their case before California’s 2nd District Appellate Court. They lost again. The court’s reasoning waded deep into gray areas, interpreting California’s business laws, fraud laws, and real estate laws liberally in the Bank of America’s favor.
Broad Pattern of Bias Seen
Plaintiffs’ attorneys see a broad pattern in California in which the judiciary has routinely sided with the banks, even when the law could be interpreted to prevent or reverse a foreclosure.
“They don’t want to be the judge that allows 40 million mortgages to go back to the borrowers,” said Patricia Rodriguez, a lawyer who has filed homeowner lawsuits against banks and mortgage servicers in multiple California superior courts. “They don’t want to possibly set a precedent.” A single ruling against Bank of America that reverses a foreclosure sale because the bank didn’t follow the letter of the law, for example, could spill over into thousands of other cases and potentially impact the profitability of the entire banking and loan servicing industry in Calfiornia, said Rodriguez.
“It was very clear that there is one form of justice for the small borrower and another form of justice for the moneyed interests,” said Donald Adams, a retired California attorney. “It pains me to say that, but having seen the real estate debacle and the judiciary’s protection of these fraudulent practices, I have reluctantly come to that conclusion.”
As to why the banks so often come out winners, some point to the economic interests of the judges. The average superior court judge in California is paid a salary of about $150,000, but many of the judges are appointed to the bench after years of lucrative private practice where they earned many times this amount of money. Most judges worked as lawyers at large law firms and boutique offices whose clients include major corporations, real estate companies, banks, and others that can pay top dollar. By the time they become judges, most of these lawyers have amassed considerable financial wealth, and like other members of the top 1% of income earners and wealth holders, most judges invest their fortunes in stocks and bonds. And after years of working for corporate clients, many judges have also been steeped in legal and social philosophies that favor the interests of the wealthy above those of consumers and debtors.
It’s impossible to really know why California’s judges have decided so many mortgage fraud and wrongful foreclosure cases in favor of the banks. Certainly it’s a mix of factors, including ideology, but also the existing structure of the legal system that favors wealthy defendants like the banks over isolated and indebted plaintiffs; the banks can afford the best lawyers to represent them, and the biggest banks spend several billion each year lobbying the legislatures of all 50 states and the federal government to shape laws and regulations in their favor. It’s an uneven playing field from the very start. But one possible way to gauge the possibility of bias in the legal system is to look at the economic interests of California’s judges. Unlike ideology, the material interests of the judiciary can be observed and measured. Through their ownership of bonds in financial and mortgage lending companies, many judges own senior claims on debt, debt that is directly tied to the loans of homeowners. Judges also own equity stakes in corporations, the value of which hinges very much on residential mortgage loans and loan-servicing activities.
For example, 42 of California’s 105 appeals court judges own stocks or bonds in financial companies. Seventeen of California’s appeals court judges own stock in Bank of America, while 10 own stock in Citibank, 6 in US Bank, 5 in JPMorgan Chase, and 4 in Wells Fargo. These judges own significant numbers of shares, on average amounting to about $10,000, but some California appeals court judges have revealed in their financial disclosure reports that they own perhaps as much as $1 million in stock in these banks.
The implication here is that many of California’s judges have a financial stake in the profitability of the largest mortgage servicers in the state, the same banks that have been brought before the courts in thousands of cases alleging wrongful foreclosure.
For example, in the Baldwin case, one of the appeals court judges who ruled in favor of Bank of America, Steven Suzukawa, owned as much as $100,000 in Bank of America stock, according to public records. Another of the judges on the three-judge appellate panel that heard the Baldwin case, Norman Epstein, owned as much as $10,000 in Bank of America stock. This was not disclosed, according to parties involved in the case. Under California’s judicial ethics standards, a judge owning more than $1,500 in stock of a company that is party to a lawsuit should recuse themselves from the case.
Baldwin fought on after the setback in the appeals court which was decided in February of this year, petitioning the Supreme Court of California to hear the case. California’s highest court refused to consider the lawsuit, dismissing the petition on May 21.
“I am a bit shocked at the failure to review such a new issue that affects thousands,” wrote Lenore Albert, Baldwin’s counsel, in an email.
One of the Supreme Court judges who was set to decide whether or not Baldwin would be heard had to recuse himself from even making that preliminary decision. Ming Chin, appointed to the California Supreme Court by former Governor Pete Wilson in 1996, disclosed as much as $100,000 worth of stock in Bank of America. Judge Chin also owns stock in Morgan Stanley, the investment bank that sold billions in mortgage-backed securities during the real estate bubble of the 2000s.
Majority of Justices Major Stakeholders in Banks
A majority of California’s Supreme Court justices own major stakes in the banks that service the majority of mortgage loans in the state. Justice Marvin Baxter owns shares of Wells Fargo Bank and Citibank. Justice Carol Corrigan owns shares of Citigroup and part of a business called Redwood Mortgage Investors, a private investment company that owns tens of millions of dollars worth of residential mortgage loans in California. Justice Joyce Kennard owns stock in JPMorgan Chase and Citibank. Justice Kathryn Werdegar owns as much as $1 million in Wells Fargo stock. That makes five of California’s seven Supreme Court justices major investors in the mortgage lending and loan servicing industries.
“I’m so frustrated,” said one lawyer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, about decisions of California’s judges. “I have my team putting together the wall of shame for the judges, how they’re not enforcing the law.”
The state courts, many of them, were individually biased against the consumers,” said retired attorney Don Adams. “The courts were not going to let individual borrowers escape mortgage payments, and were less concerned with stopping the fraudulent and predatory activities that got us into the mess in the first place.”
In 2009, Adams sued Countrywide on behalf of a client who sought to quiet title to their home after a tangled deal of loans involving Countrywide, Citibank, and Bank of America led Countrywide to wrongfully foreclose. Countrywide admitted to foreclosing “in error,” but a trial court found in favor of the bank, forcing the borrowers to sign a new loan agreement with Countrywide. Adams and his clients appealed the decision, but then lost before a panel of three judges in California’s Second Appellate District court. One of the judges, Arthur Gilbert, owned stock in Bank of America and Citibank. Another one of the judges, Kenneth Yegan, disclosed two loans for over $1 million he had taken from Countrywide.
According to Adams, the bias of the courts in favor of the banks existed long before the foreclosure crisis. “Had courts enforced the law against the lenders, the great recession did not have to occur,” he said. “Many of us were after the New Centurys, the Ameriquests, and Countrywides well before the collapse. Even after the economy imploded, most judges did their best to protect the business interests of the predatory lenders by cynically not wanting to let the consumers ‘off the hook’ without recognizing that borrowers would still have to pay a mortgage, but the lenders would have to unwind the loans and do it again. The courts felt that was too much for the fraudsters – and accordingly protected them.”

http://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/2014/s14a0391.html

(It did not copy across very well, but click the link to get there from here).

In the Supreme Court of Georgia
Decided: July 11, 2014
S14A0391. MITCHELL et al. v. WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. et al.

HUNSTEIN, Justice.
Appellants Richard and Deborah Mitchell appeal from the dismissal of
their lawsuit against Appellees Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Mortgage Electronic
Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”), and their successors.1 We find that the
trial court properly granted Appellees’ motion to dismiss based on a bill of
peace, which barred Appellant Richard Mitchell from filing future lawsuits
without prior court approval. Therefore, we affirm.2

In November 2005, Richard Mitchell (“Mitchell”) obtained title to
property located at 455 St. Regis Drive, Alpharetta, Georgia, and executed a
security deed in favor of MERS, who subsequently assigned the security deed
1Appellants specifically named as defendants “any unknown heirs, devisees,
grantees, creditors, successors in interest, and other unknown persons, or unknown
spouses claiming by, through and under any of the . . . named defendants.”
2Appellants filed their appeal in the Court of Appeals, which transferred this
case to this Court because a substantive issue on appeal involved the legality or
propriety of an equitable bill of peace.

to Wells Fargo as trustee. The property was foreclosed upon after Appellants
became delinquent on their mortgage payments, and Wells Fargo purchased the
property at a foreclosure sale on February 3, 2009. Since that time, Appellants
admit that they have made numerous “dilatory filings,” proceeding pro se, in
state, federal, and bankruptcy courts.

In May 2010, Mitchell filed a complaint against Wells Fargo in Fulton
County Superior Court in case number 2010-CV-185623. Wells Fargo moved
to dismiss the complaint and moved for a bill of peace pursuant to OCGA § 23-
3-110 against Mitchell as a measure to end Mitchell’s “meritless filings” in state
court. On July 21, 2011, the trial court issued an order granting Wells Fargo’s
motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction because Mitchell had not properly
served Wells Fargo. The court also granted Wells Fargo’s motion for a bill of
peace, finding that the records of Fulton County courts reflected “nothing less
than repeated and contemptuous behavior in the courts of this State” and that the
lengthy history of filings in federal court showed a pattern of behavior by
Mitchell consistent with his state filings. The court concluded that pursuant to
OCGA § 23-3-110, “a bill of peace [was] warranted, in order to stop [Mitchell’s] abuse of the courts of Georgia.”   The court permanently enjoined Mitchell from filing any pleading or complaint related to the foreclosure and eviction from the property at issue for a period of five years unless Mitchell first received written approval from the court. The court continued that if Mitchell did file such a complaint, Wells Fargo was under no duty to respond, and the complaint or any pleading would be subject to dismissal immediately.  

Mitchell moved to set aside the order granting the bill of peace, which the court denied rally during a hearing on February 19, 2013.

3OCGA § 23-3-110 provides as follows:
(a) It being the interest of this state that there shall be an end of
litigation, equity will entertain a bill of peace:
(1) To confirm some right which has been previously satisfactorily
established by more than one legal trial and is likely to be litigated
again;
(2) To avoid a multiplicity of actions by establishing a right, in favor
of or against several persons, which is likely to be the subject of legal
controversy; or
(3) In other similar cases.
(b) As ancillary to this jurisdiction, equity will grant perpetual
injunctions.
4The court also ordered Mitchell to pay Wells Fargo $4,000 in attorney fees.
5At the time of the filing of this appeal, the trial court had not issued a written
order memorializing its oral ruling denying Mitchell’s motion to set aside.
3
Meanwhile, on May 24, 2012, Appellants, proceeding pro se, filed a
complaint to quiet title and for injunctive relief with regard to the property
against Appellees in Fulton County Superior Court in case number
2012-CV-215444. Wells Fargo moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing inter
alia that Mitchell had failed to receive prior written court approval in violation
of the bill of peace. Appellants did not respond. On October 18, 2012, the court
granted Wells Fargo’s motion to dismiss based on good cause, including the fact
that Mitchell was barred from filing the complaint pursuant to the bill of peace.
Thereafter, Appellants, represented by counsel, filed a motion to reconsider the
order dismissing their complaint, a motion to set aside the dismissal order, and
an emergency motion for stay of execution of writs of possession pending a
ruling on Appellants’ previously filed motions. On November 2, 2012, the court
denied all three of Appellants’ motions.
Appellants now appeal the dismissal of their complaint, contending that
because the court dismissed Mitchell’s complaint for lack of jurisdiction over
Wells Fargo in case number 2010-CV-185623, the court had no jurisdiction over
Wells Fargo to grant them the relief sought in the bill of peace. They assert that
because the court lacked jurisdiction over Wells Fargo, the bill of peace was
4
facially void and a nullity, and they may collaterally attack this void order in this
appeal. Appellants thus assert that the trial court erred in dismissing their
complaint in case number 2012-CV-215444 by relying on a void bill of peace.
Appellees respond that the bill of peace was not void because the court had
jurisdiction over Mitchell, and therefore, that the dismissal based on the bill of
peace was not in error.
We agree with Appellees. In case number 2010-CV-185623, Wells Fargo
made a special appearance and thereby consented to the court’s jurisdiction for
the limited purpose of filing its motion for a bill of peace, while at the same time
contesting the court’s personal jurisdiction over it with respect to Mitchell’s
complaint. Additionally, the court had personal jurisdiction over Mitchell, and
Appellants do not argue to the contrary. Therefore, the trial court had
jurisdiction to issue the bill of peace, and it is not void on its face.6 See Nally
v. Bartow County Grand Jurors, 280 Ga. 790 (1) (633 SE2d 337) (2006) (order
was not void where the appellant failed to show that the court lacked personal
or subject matter jurisdiction).
6We make no ruling on the propriety of the merits of the bill of peace.
Without any order setting aside the bill of peace or a reversal thereof on
appeal, it remains binding on Mitchell. Accordingly, we find that the court’s
dismissal of Appellants’ complaint in case number 2012-CV-215444 based on
Mitchell’s failure to comply with the bill of peace was proper. See Rolleston v.
Kennedy, 277 Ga. 541, 542 (591 SE2d 834) (2004) (summary dismissal of
complaint was correct due to a previously issued bill of peace, which enjoined
the plaintiff from claiming an adverse interest in certain property or filing any
lawsuit without prior written court approval).8
Judgment affirmed. All the Justices concur.
We note that the bill of peace names only Richard Mitchell. Deborah
Mitchell, however, makes no argument that the bill of peace does not apply to her as
well. In any event, we note that an injunction – which is like an equitable bill of
peace in many respects – binds not only the persons named in the injunction, but
“their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys,” as well as “those persons
in active concert or participation with them who receive notice of the order by
personal service or otherwise.” OCGA § 9-11-65 (d).
8Appellees’ motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction is hereby denied.

WTF?

The Georgia Supreme Court determined back when they made the ruling on the You case, that the foreclosing entity does not have to hold the Note, does not have to hold the security deed, and does not have to have an interest in the loan.’

It should not surprise anyone, they had been allowing it to go on for a long time.  Now, I am seeing the people who were foreclosed upon between 4 and 6 years ago, are being foreclosed upon again, but this time, by someone new, a different Lender, that never existed.  One day the real Lender will come, and they too will foreclose on the borrower.

Has everything gotten so bad, that the courts just don’t care?  What ever happened to contract law?  Are they going to allow all contracts to be violated by lenders, or just when it comes to real property?

I saw someone the other day, Bank of America had allegedly foreclosed upon the man.  Bank of America not only foreclosed, but evicted  the man as well.  Bank of Americas name is on the  Deed Under Power.  Bank of America swore under Oath that they were the current party with right to foreclose.  A month and a half later, US Bank sold the property to a third party, because they claim that they were the party with rights to the property.

So lets’s get this straight, when did Bank of America turn into US Bank?  There was nothing in the record showing Bank of America had any claim to the Note or Deed, nothing showing that Bank of America is anything to the loan.  The Deed Under Power of Sale, has Bank of America’s name on  it, with some of those squiggly marks that the foreclosing attorneys have been signing for years, to create a fictional assignment.  But… US Bank be damned, they were going to get some of that action.  So without any documentation recorded anywhere, of any kind, US Bank sold the property to a third party.

88 Federal Indictments Made in Massive Food Stamp Fraud Cases

R. Robin McDonald, Daily Report

June 10, 2014

http://www.dailyreportonline.com/home/id=1202658832982/88%20Federal%20Indictments%20Made%20in%20Massive%20Food%20Stamp%20Fraud%20Cases#

Edward Tarver, US Attorney, Southern District of Ga.John Disney/Staff

A federal grand jury in Savannah has indicted 88 defendants in what federal prosecutors are calling one of the largest federal food program frauds ever prosecuted.

The alleged fraud involved the purchase and sale for cash of more than $18 million in food stamp benefits and vouchers issued by the Women Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

Edward Tarver, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, said in a written statement: “The government alleges that the defendants stole taxpayer-funded benefits intended to feed the most needy families and children in our communities.”

Tarver said the grand jury handed down two separate indictments. One indictment accused 54 defendants of mail and wire fraud conspiracy as well as conspiracy to launder money. Those defendants are accused of conspiring to open what federal prosecutors called “purported grocery stores” in Atlanta, Lithonia, Stone Mountain, Riverdale, Macon, Savannah, Garden City and LaGrange in order to buy WIC vouchers and food stamp benefits for cash.

Once the storefront operations were open and had secured federal approval as WIC and food stamp vendors, many of the defendants, according to federal prosecutors, allegedly canvassed low-income neighborhoods soliciting the food programs’ participants to exchange their benefits for cash rather than food. Prosecutors said the defendants are accused of buying food stamp benefits and WIC vouchers for cash at a fraction of their face value and then redeeming them for full credit.

An additional 34 defendants were charged in a second indictment with exchanging more than $1,000 of WIC vouchers or food stamp benefits for themselves or their children for cash, federal prosecutors said.

WIC provides infant formula, juice, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income pregnant and post-partum women and to infants and children up to age 5 who are considered nutritionally at risk. Program participants receive three-month vouchers they can exchange at authorized stores. The food stamp or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides food stamp benefits through electronic benefit transfer cards similar to debit cards.

It is a federal crime to trade WIC of food stamp benefits for cash.

Companies, agencies mentioned: Women Infants

Filed Under: Criminal Law

 

http://biscuette.com/2012/07/16/fake-gregory-adams-debra-deberry-fun-new-characters-in-the-tragi-comedy-of-dekalb-county-government/#comment-2552

le biscuette Has It Right, Thank You For Your Truthful Rendition of DeKalb County, Georgia!!!

Fake Gregory Adams, Debra DeBerry Fun New Characters in the Tragi-comedy of Dekalb County Government

July 16, 2012

By 

Ah, Dekalb County, what a thriving bastion of the American spirit. We’ve been blessed with such American heroes as Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who proudly took to Libyan state television to decry US involvement in the movement against brutal dictator Moammar Gaddafi; there’s former Dekalb CEO Vernon Jones, for whom Dekalb taxpayers are on the hook for upwards of five million dollars in legal fees for a reverse discrimination lawsuit; we’ve got Dekalb school superintendent Crawford Lewis, indicted for operating a “crime ring” from his post. And these are just the most visible of our trusted public servants. Beneath the crusty surface of Dekalb County’s political life–embodied by McKinney, Jones, Lewis, and the like–is a colorful cast of crooks and con artists whose power to defraud derives from their elected or appointed post.

The July 31, 2012 political primary election has brought forth at least two fun new characters. And that’s sort of exciting, isn’t it? It’s like getting a new Angry Bird, or a zany addition to the cast of the Simpsons. It’s a fun addition to what is already a colorful and hilarious mix of deviants, a new car full of clowns to delight and entertain us as they bilk our precious tax dollars, and wreck our sacred institutions, for their own corrupt ends.

Let’s turn first to Debra DeBerry, who currently sits as the Clerk of Superior Court of Dekalb County. This is basically the person in charge of administering the functions of the highest county court, where death penalties can be issued, huge civil verdicts reached, marriages dissolved–basically, all the most important and consequential events that can happen in the life of a county. How did DeBerry become the Clerk? You’d assume she was elected, right? Nope. Or appointed by the governor, something to that effect? Not exactly. Deberry became Clerk in 2011 after the long-term Clerk, Linda Carter, resigned. No big deal, right? Well…

According to lawyers representing Linda Carter, Carter didn’t write her resignation letter. It was written by–guess who?–Debra DeBerry, signed by Carter, and then delivered to the governor’s office that very day by one of DeBerry’s subordinates. At the time, Carter was suffering from an Alzheimer’s-like mental illness. The kicker: not only did the DeBerry-drafted letter announce Carter’s resignation, it also named DeBerry as Carter’s replacement. Some coverage of the scandal below:

Now, of course, DeBerry denied wrongdoing. And apparently the lawsuit was settled before trial, so we’ll never know who was “right or wrong” here. But the entire situation smells incredibly nasty, doesn’t it?

nootkabear:

At least Georgia is not the only state that has corrupt judicial systems, the Country as a whole has corrupt judicial systems and US District Court Judges are taking a notice of such corruption, and wondering why no one has been prosecuted.

Originally posted on Manifest Injustice:

I was reading some information about the financial crisis in this country (USA), and ran across a paper written by US District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff.  If we had more Judges with the mind of this one, we would not be in nearly as bad a shape as we are in.  I have not yet figured out how the Judges justify allowing foreclosures, when they know for a fact that the Banks and their attorneys are creating fraudulent documents, committing perjury in their Courtrooms, and are breaking so many laws, that it has become the norm…  

Read what Honorable Judge Jed S. Rakoff says:  http://www.ft.com/cms/cb1e43f2-4be6-11e3-8203-00144feabdc0.pdf

11/12/13
Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted In Connection With The Financial Crisis?
by Jed S. Rakoff
(U.S. District Judge)

Five years have passed since the onset of what is sometimes called the Great Recession. While the economy has slowly improved, there…

View original 3,700 more words

Originally posted on FOREVER VICTIMS:

Attorney Mark Stopa Shows Guts Confronting Appellate Court Bias                          Posted on October 4, 2013 by Neil Garfield 

http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/attorney-mark-stopa-shows-guts-confronting-appellate-court-bias/ 

I have just received a copy of a daring and tempestuous motion for rehearing en banc filed by the winner of the appeal. The homeowner won because of precedent, law and common sense; but the court didn’t like their own decision and certified an absurd question to the Florida Supreme Court. The question was whether the Plaintiff in a foreclosure case needs to have standing at the commencement of the action. Whether it is jurisdictional or not (I think it is clearly jurisdictional) Stopa is both right on the law and right on his challenge to the Court on the grounds of BIAS.

The concurring opinion of the court actually says that the court is ruling for…

View original 897 more words

New York Getting Ready to Prosecute Banks for Violations of Settlement

Livinglies.wordpress.
Posted on May 7, 2013 by Neil Garfield
At the end of the day everyone knows everything. If you start with the premise that the securitization of debt was a farce and that the necessary element of the false securitization of mortgage loans was the foreclosure of those loans, then you move one step closer to understanding the mortgage and foreclosure mess and a giant step forward to understanding and implementing a solution. All the actions, statements and myths promulgated by the Wall Street banks become clear, including their violation of every consent decree,order and settlement they ever made with respect to mortgage loans.
Attorney General Schneiderman of New York seems to understand this and he is taking the mega banks to task for violating a settlement that looks like pennies on the dollar. He doesn’t care why they violated the $26 Billion settlement but he is taking action for their consistent violation of the settlement. But I care about the reason and so should you. The reason is nothing less than the obvious: the mega banks expose themselves to liability that far exceeds the terms of the settlement.
In any normal circumstances when a big company enters into a settlement that amounts to pennies on the dollar, the company rushes to make the settlement final by paying the money and performing the actions required in the agreement. Thus they commit illegal acts and get away with it by entering into an agreement that looks big but doesn’t put them out of business. They are nothing but anxious to put the settlement behind them.
So why are the mega banks refusing to abide by a $26 billion settlement on a multi- trillion theft? The answer by pure logic and my sources is that if the banks actually performed on the material portions of the agreement they risk going out of business. Why?
The answer is arithmetic. The purpose of the settlement was to stop illegal foreclosure practices and compensate those who lost their homes in illegal Foreclosures (as opposed to simply reversing the Foreclosures and starting over again which is what any court of law would require if there was an admission that the documents and claims in foreclosure were false).
Arithmetic is the answer. Without Foreclosures, the banks cannot support their claim of failure of the mortgages. If the loans are reinstated then the “sales” of loans and mortgage bonds become immediately subject to an accounting and to payback to investors who bought empty bogus bonds issued by a trust that existed in name only. If the loans must be considered performing loans because of any of the reasons contained in those multistage settlements, consent decrees,orders and agency settlements, then the banks must reimburse the insurers, buyers and counter-parties on hedge products like credit default swaps.
Thus satisfactions the settlement agreement exposes the banks to a reduction in their tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 capital such that the reality and empty underbelly of the banksia displayed for all to see. Those banks and are not nearly as big as they say they are and must be resolved by the FDIC because they actually do not have the minimum capital requirements that all banks must have to continue operations. That is why the Brown bill in the U.S. Senate is dead on right.
If the Foreclosures were invalid there is only one way to correct them, just like any title problem. Correct the defect In Title by reversing the foreclosure or get an affidavit from the homeowner joining in some correction of the corrupted title resulting from fake Foreclosures.
With trillions in liability at stake of course the banks are violating the settlement agreements and consent decrees. All they can do is try to control state and federal action by providing photo opportunities and planted articles around the media to make people feel good. But neither the housing market nor the economy will get the stimulus necessary for a full recovery until the truth is addressed instead of pretending you can fix this mortgage and foreclosure mess with Tiny settlements and promises that nobody intends to keep.

Eric Schneiderman: Banks Have ‘Confidence’ That Law Enforcement Is Not Taking Violations ‘Seriously’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/07/eric-schneiderman-banks_n_3226992.html

http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Unleash-The-Massive-Power-by-michael-payne-130425-957.html

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Headlined to H1 4/25/13

Unleash The Massive Power Of The People Against The Forces That Are Ravaging This Country

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[[ThePowerful]] From http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Davis_-_We_Are_the_99%25.png: Occupy Davis - We Are the 99%25
Occupy Davis – We Are the 99%25 by Wikipedia

America , difficult as it may be for some to accept, is a house of cards, i.e., "a weakened structure that is in danger of collapsing or failing if its foundations continue to erode." This nation of ours remains in deep turmoil as our nation and our democracy are being ravaged by Corporatists and rogue politicians. There is only one way to combat this dangerous coalition and that is by unleashing the massive power of the American people against it.

What brought us to this sorry state and condition? To begin with, America has become a democracy in name only and government of the people, by the people and for the people of America has been cleverly transferred to the masters of Corporatism. Powerful corporations have now assumed control over this nation and rule it with an iron fist. The tentacles of this giant octopus are wrapped around and are suffocating every important institution in this country.

Far too many Americans are seemingly oblivious to the depth of this dilemma and the precarious state of this nation. For those who doubt and minimize these dangers because they have been conditioned to think that this nation is invincible, all they need do is listen to some of the respected economists who warn that our financial sector can, at any time, be devastated by a monumental collapse of mega-trillion dollars of toxic derivatives that could wreck this economy almost overnight. Congressional oversight and regulation has been so weakened over time that it makes such a catastrophe a real possibility. See this article by Richard Clark to receive an alarming, in-depth analysis of this issue.

Now let’s further examine how this government and the Congress have become the antithesis of how a democracy should function. The principles of our democracy indicate that the passage of legislation should be based on majority rule but that’s not how this Congress and, especially the Senate, functions. And it never will until the use of the poisonous filibuster, by which legislation is routinely obstructed, delayed and destroyed, is brought under control. Congress, as is often said, is the place where good ideas go to die. Try as I might I can think of absolutely nothing of real substance that this Congress has done since America entered the 21st Century.

But it’s more than just the deadly filibuster that is making this Congress dysfunctional. Another contentious issue involves how the people of this country are represented in the Senate. The Founding Fathers made a colossal mistake when they created the Senate and mandated that there would be two senators for every state instead of basing the number on states’ individual populations. Time and again the votes of tiny states have proven to more powerful as those of massive states. For example, the eight least populous states in America have a combined population of 5,876,000 and 16 senators while California and New York with a combined population of almost 57 million have a total of only 4 senators. That condition limits and dilutes the overall power of the people.

Combine this political mistake by the Founding Fathers with the use of the filibuster by the Republicans and you know exactly why this Congress remains in gridlock and critical legislation never gets off the ground. This is concrete evidence of exactly why this country is so badly deteriorating. Both of these contributing factors to congressional incompetence could be altered if the power of the people is unleashed to begin the transformation of this government.

Therefore it’s not difficult to conclude that this Congress, as currently constituted, is entirely incapable of effectively governing this nation and society. Then the really big question becomes: what exactly can be done about it? Well, that’s where the massive power of the people of America comes in because this power represents the one and only way that this grave condition can be alleviated. It all comes down to the fact that the people must be energized and motivated to put an end to this political madness.

That massive power of which I speak is the voting power of nearly 210 million eligible voters in this country. Those who sincerely want to address this country’s myriad of problems have to realize that voter turnout must be dramatically increased and that they must organize a massive movement to accomplish just that. They need to undertake this task at a time when the Republican Party is doing everything in its power to reduce the number of voters through all sorts of devious means because they know that their only chance to win elections is by low turnout.

Here is what must happen. The Center for the Study of the American Electorate, put 2012 voter turnout at 57.5% of all eligible voters in America, This study group estimated 126 million people voted in the 2008 election, meaning that 93 million eligible citizens did not cast ballots. How can this democracy function effectively when so many Americans who have been given the opportunity to vote choose not to? That is inexcusable; every American who could actually vote and does not is contributing directly to the gigantic mess this country is in. They are at the very center of this problem that is allowing our system of government to be corrupted by sleazy, greedy politicians. You would think that progressives and independents would recognize the great danger this poses and would be working tirelessly across America to substantially increase voter turnout.

Sure this could be a great thing for America but to many it’s difficult to picture how that process would actually evolve. So, let’s think of it this way; suppose you buy a house that needs a complete rehab. So where do you start? First, you have to address the rotting foundation, the sewage from leaking pipes and, of course, you will need to bring in the exterminators. You start where the worst damage is being done, spend a lot of time, money and effort to make the necessary repairs and then you move up to the higher levels of the house and finish the job.

So, let’s proceed from that analogy back into the real world and see just how such a monumental endeavor could be progressed in order to cleanse and stabilize our currently corrupted political system:

*In the 2014 national elections: the objective must be to do everything possible to soundly defeat every GOP candidate. We need to get rid of every U.S. Representative and senator that has blocked critically needed gun safety controls, those who consistently obstruct job creation, those who support an agenda of perpetual war, and those who are working to restrict the Constitutional rights and freedoms of the people. In doing this certain Senate Democrats, Mark Begich, AK, Mary Landrieu, LA, Mark Pryor, AR, Heidi Heitkamp, ND and any other Democrats who too often vote against the best interests of the people must also be replaced.

The Republicans in Congress have now crossed the line, they have stabbed the people of America in the back time and again and as appropriate payback this party of control freaks must be dismantled. The voting power of the people, a power that, when ignited nothing can withstand, will do just that and turn this ideologically twisted party into a pile of smoldering ashes.

A very broad coalition of rational-thinking Democrats, progressives, independents, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, and every other minority group in America, together with the majority of Caucasian Americans, must band together to flush these traitors, be they Republicans or rogue Democrats, out of the Congress and send them into political purgatory.

*If the people would send the Republican Party into political oblivion, it would naturally follow that for the first phase of this governmental transformation, the Democrats would take full control of both houses of the Congress. That could be another problem in the making and so it would be crucial to immediately initiate a movement to create and develop a Progressive Party that would, for all practical purposes, take the place of the defunct GOP and challenge the Democrats on all key issues and problems facing this nation. Such a movement could be formed through the collective efforts of progressives, independents, the Green Party and other similar groups.

*With a new style Congress it would pave the way for making campaign finance reform the #1 priority by enacting legislation that absolutely bans corporations and special interest lobbyists from having any contact with any member of this Congress or associated government agencies. This would completely remove Corporate America from any involvement of any kind with the election process.

*Let the Democratic and Progressive Parties compete for the support of the American people. If the Congress undergoes an overhaul, if the filibuster obstruction is stopped, if the Senate is reconstituted with more senators from populous states and no more than one senator for each of the smallest states, then we can, once again, see democracy in action.

*Open the door for honest, ethical, individuals with vision and passion to lead America out of its current deep morass; presidents who will never allow themselves to be controlled by the proliferators of war and the masters of Corporatism as has been the case since we entered the 21st Century; those who, over a period of time, would transform the Supreme Court into a judicial body that rules on the basis of the constitutionality of issues instead of personal beliefs and ideology.

Without question, many out there may well react to this kind of a plan as far-fetched, naïve, and even deluded thinking because they just can’t see how the mass of the people can be awakened from their lethargy and motivated to do something dramatically different. But that’s what’s been the problem; we keep telling ourselves what we can’t or don’t want to do instead of making up our minds that we can and must not allow our country to be further ravaged by those whose only objective is to advance their own interests at the expense of the people.

But even in the face of the expected opposition by those who embrace the status quo and passively accept and condone what is happening around them, this is a plan that, without a doubt, could be successful if the majority of people can be made to fully understand that they have no choice but to get involved; that time is running out and that it is critically important they concentrate on taking positive actions instead of merely criticizing and complaining. They need to wake up to the realization that they must do everything in their power to save their country. All they need do is to stop sitting on the sidelines and get out to vote.

This can happen and, in fact, it better happen or we are going to see this house of cards in which we live come crashing down upon us.

Michael Payne

 

I recently learned that in Forsyth County Georgia, an investigation has begun on the crooked foreclosure mill attorneys in Georgia.  YEA!!!

Wow, there has been continual violations of Georgia’s real property laws ever since Foreclosure Hell began, and should it be proven that these attorneys, signing their names as every bank’s employees, which we know they aren’t maybe the tides will be turning!!!

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The Surf Report

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Georgia's Corrupt Judicial System

Just another Judicial Corruption Site

GUNNY.G: ARE YA GOOD-N-P!SSED YET, PILGRIM?

“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

Ajaytao 2010

My Personal Opening to the World

Paul Militaru

Photography Portfolio

BLOGGING BAD w/Gunny G ~ "CLINGERS-AMERICA!"

~ THE ORIGINAL*ONLY GUNNY G ! NEWS*VIEWS*HISTORY*POLITICS*Etc. ~SEMPER BLOGGING/REBLOGGING ! ~

Arlin Report

Telling You What The News Won't.

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

Angry Beaver Radio

Broadcasting Live from the Globalist occupied country formerly known as Canada Saturdays 3 - 5 PM est on TruthFrequencyRadio.com

tomfernandez28's Blog

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Political Vel Craft

Veil Of Politics

LoriLoo

How great would life be if we lived a little, everyday?

Storytime with John

pull up and listen...I've got a funny one for ya...

Derby City Rambler

Real Life. Real Stories. Real Words.

Be Like Water

Music, Film and Life

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

SparkOnIt

Science & Technology News

Uncle Tree's House

Putting music to words, and words to pictures ~

New York Post

News, Gossip, Entertainment, Sports & Opinion

MarkHofgardLaw

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