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Posted at 12:26 PM ET, 01/ 7/2011

Mass. court ruling has potential to void thousands of foreclosures

By Ariana Eunjung Cha

The Massachusetts Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling voiding two foreclosures because the banks failed to show the proper paperwork to prove they owned the loans-a decision that challenges the way mortgages were bundled and sold around the world.

foreclosure.jpg

Shares of Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp--the banks involved in the case--as well as those of other banks fell following the announcement of the decision. Wells Fargo was down 3.4 percent and US Bancorp 1.1 percent at midday.

The Massachusetts court is the highest to ruled on this issue and the decision has the potential to invalidate thousands of foreclosures across the state. It also provides more ammunition to borrowers in other states who could push the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the nation's highest court rules that these transfers are not legal, the multi-trillion-dollar mortgage-backed securitization industry could face massive liability.

The closely-watched decision involves two foreclosures: that of Antonio Ibanez and Mark and Tammy LaRace and whether U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo, respectively, had proper legal standing to take back the homes after the borrowers missed their payments.

After examining the paperwork filed by the banks, a lower court judge, the Massachusetts Land Court's Keith C. Long, said he had determined that the mortgage "note" that proves who the owner is had not been properly transferred when the banks auctioned off houses.

Long's decision hits on one of the most sensitive issues related to how mortgages were securitized: something called "endorsements in blank." In the rush to aggregate and sell and then resell mortgages, many of the mortgages documents were transferred without explicitly naming who the note was being sold to.

The financial services industry has argued that this practice is legally valid but Long ruled, "These blank mortgage assignments were never recorded and they were not legally recordable."

The banks had appealed Long's decision, arguing that they had clear title to the properties. But on Friday, Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Ralph D. Gants wrote that the court agreed that the banks "failed to make the required showing that they were the holders of the mortgages at the time of foreclosure."

The case is "enough to put serious cloud on title through the whole system and that's a problem," Adam Levitin, a professor at Georgetown University, said in an interview before the decision was issued.

Accusation that lenders improperly prepared paperwork for foreclosure cases and may have even engaged in fraud triggered outrage in late 2010. A federal inquiry into the matter is underway as is a separate 50-state investigation. The uproar began when Financial said in late September that it had found some "technical" errors in its foreclosure documents and that it would stop foreclosure sales in 23 states to fix them. Numerous other banks, including Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, and Wells Fargo, subsequently froze some foreclosures after admitting to similar problems.

U.S. Bancorp spokeswoman Teri Charest said the judgment "has no financial impact" on the company and that its role in the case was as a trustee for a securitization trust. Wells Fargo representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The American Securitization Forum, which represents over 330 financial firms, said that it remains "confident securitization transfers are valid and fully enforceable." It said that the case in question critical deal documents and loan schedules were not introduced in the lower court leading to the negative decision. "If these documents had been introduced, it appears that the ruling would have been substantially different," the ASF contended in a statement issued Friday afternoon.

Read the full decision here.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 7, 2011; 12:26 PM ET
Categories:  Housing  
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Comments

That makes the idea of buying a forclosure a little more concerning. So if you bought one in Mass, the upshot is that you might not have clear legal title, right? Would it just be a case of another bank might have another hand in your pocket, or that the original homeowner might be able to get the property back?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse


People did not perform on contract and now the courts want a do over. It's ridiculous and it threatens us all economically.

Posted by: edbyronadams | January 7, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The greedy banks were after profit, period. They didn't care whether what they were doing was properly done, figuring no one would come up against their deep pockets. Wrong. Finally the courts are waking up to this and will halt ALL foreclosures until the supposed mortgage holder can prove BEFORE foreclosure that they have the legal documents, properly prepared and filed with the proper jurisdiction.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It may be a technicality, but these Banksters, the financial mavens caused, created, and benefited from these criminal practices and have so far avoided any responsibility! I believe that all senior executives of all Investment Banks, TBTF Banks, Ratings bureaus, and the Fed should be terminated, all of their wealth confiscated, and they should all be collectively charged with racketeering and fraud and collectively sentenced to life making little rocks our of big rocks! I would not find it remiss to include Congressional members, administration officials, regulators, etc. with this criminal crowd!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The banks have to figure out how to get this case into Federal court where Chief Puppet Roberts can protect them.

Posted by: AD9inAZ | January 7, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

People need to release that this will have huge implications for the AVERAGE consumer.

Banks will be very reluctant to offer credit cards, mortgager loans, auto loans...loans of any type since the ability to secutitize these loans has now been negatively impacted by this ruling.


Going forward Banks will have higher costs which will be be passed on to consumers and will be much more reluctant to lend. This will slow economic growth and lead to less jobs.

All because people do not honor their promise to pay their loans on their houses any the liberals think they should live there for free!!!

This will have negative ramifications for the stock market and will cause the second wave of the crisis.

People need to honor their commitments !

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like a weird decision. What is missing in most articles about this issue is whether the person failed to pay their mortgage. My guess is that the person hasn't been paying and now just got a free pass. Basically, the rest of us will have to pay for this with higher interest rates and PMI, etc.

Posted by: columbiaheights | January 7, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I dont think its ridiculous to ask somebody to prove that they are a party to a contract before they are allowed to go to court and foreclose. If anything proof of being a party only strengthens our economy and reinforces the principals of contracts.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

This might make the banks do more checks before buying up bad mortgage investments that led to their collapse.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Myybe it's a good idea for the buyer to buy separate title insurance. I did and I feel a whole lot better about this mess.

Even though my mortgage was paid off in full, who knows is my title was properly cleared?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

and the housing market will never recover.

so no one owns the houses?

no one will ever buy another foreclosed home.

houses legitimately on the market will appreciate in value on the foreclosure bubble....

libs know no limits.

Posted by: docwhocuts | January 7, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who are implying that it is solely the fault of deadbeat borrowers should do more research on this issue. Yes, borrowers defaulting obviously gets the ball rolling on foreclosures in most cases. In some cases, however, owners who have paid in full are getting foreclosed on in error--an error the banks refuse to fix. Also, the problem with fraudulent transfers started long before the borrowers defaulted. And yes, I said fraudulent transfers. This isn't a mere "paperwork" error on the part of the banks. The holders of these mortgage backed securities are going to be quite unhappy as they realize their investment is worthless. This is very bad for the big banks, but they need to go down. It will be beneficial in the long run.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Govt insisted that banks make shaky loans so the noble poor, and not just the evil rich, could own houses. Well, if you're being forced to put lipstick on a sow, why wouldn't you try to benefit?

But because the borrowers weren't paying, they should vacate and the property be sold, with the proceeds going directly to repay TARP funds, and meanwhile the lenders can settle the question of who owns the properties, and the TARP repayment would be credited to that bank.

Allowing the irresponsible borrowers to remain in a home for free does a WHOLE LOT MORE damage to a neighborhood than a few vacant - or newly repurchased - houses can do.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

This just draws out the housing slump even more. And as much as I blame the banks for causing this mess, we can't afford a round 2 of what happened in Fall '08. Bottom line...who was the homeowner paying his mortgage to? Did he stop paying? Then get the he** out!!!

Posted by: VaBroker | January 7, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not a true crime has been commited comes down to intent, and PROVING that the banks were forclosing strictly for profit will be near impossible. I would put forth that these banks have singularly reliquished ANY claim to the properties in question, along with any monies associated with them. In addition these Banks MUST return any and all monies collected through the intruments in question. As the Banks had no claim to the property, they misrepresented themselves in collecting payments. If no other entity can lay claim to a clean title, then the homeowner should be granted sole ownership of said property in the clear, free of any lein. In other words, for the banks; You snooze, you lose.

Posted by: KJR1 | January 7, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse


People need to release that this will have huge implications for the AVERAGE consumer.

Banks will be very reluctant to offer credit cards, mortgager loans, auto loans...loans of any type since the ability to secutitize these loans has now been negatively impacted by this ruling.


Going forward Banks will have higher costs which will be be passed on to consumers and will be much more reluctant to lend. This will slow economic growth and lead to less jobs.

All because people do not honor their promise to pay their loans on their houses any the liberals think they should live there for free!!!

This will have negative ramifications for the stock market and will cause the second wave of the crisis.


People need to honor their commitments !

Posted by: Anonymous |
-----------------------------
Ahhh the simple minded strikes again. This is not about someone missing payments. The issue is who owns the mortgage and is the way banks currently transfer mortgage legal? Let me put it this way....Even if there were 0 foreclosures in 2010 the issue would still be there. In fact I recall articles in grad school that question the validity of banks continuing this practice and listed a number of consequences banks would face because they didn't have a clear record of who owns a property.

Years before Antonio Ibanez and Mark and Tammy LaRace ever missed a payment on their mortgage this problem existed. But I guess it's typical of folks like you who prefer to treat the symptom rather than the root cause.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | January 7, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This just draws out the housing slump even more. And as much as I blame the banks for causing this mess, we can't afford a round 2 of what happened in Fall '08. Bottom line...who was the homeowner paying his mortgage to? Did he stop paying? Then get the he** out!!!

Posted by: VaBroker | January 7, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Whatever the economic impacts may be, the most important aspect of this ruling comes down to addressing poor business ethics. You have to play by the rules. And, unlike the grade school playground, you don't get to remake the rules in the middle of the game. There are proceedures to be followed when transfering titles. If you don't do it right, it doesn't count. It's usually illegal as well. The first step is to make it right; that's what this ruling is aimed at doing. The next step is to determine accountablilty; which, if any, laws were broken and by whom.

Posted by: KJR1 | January 7, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget this only determines who can't take the house, not if. These people for whatever reason still defaulted on their loans. Their signatures are on those documents saying that they will pay or else lose their homes. Also, do not forget there is no double jeopardy rule in foreclosure law. These people will just have their homes taken by someone else down the line.

This is the free market, admittedly at it's worst. It is an overblown market shedding itself of excess product. In all likelihood many of these foreclosed properties never would have been sold to their [former] owners in a properly regulated market. On the other hand nobody put a gun to their heads either to sign that Note. It was all done legally, shady still, but legally. The more deregulation the GOP wants the more we are going to see market corrections at the expense of the every day American.

Posted by: booerns14 | January 7, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Well guess what? Contracts matter, and proof of ownership matters.

Good news, and the RIGHT DECISION.

Banks and those that leech off other's misfortunes will suffer? Well they should have followed the law.

Too bad for them.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"People did not perform on contract and now the courts want a do over. It's ridiculous and it threatens us all economically."

No.

The BANKS did not perform on contract.
They cheated and they're going to have to eat this.

and yes, it threatens us ALL economically.

Why isn't this illegal?
Why aren't any bankers going to prison?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line for this whole debacle is that the pressure will increase on banks to avoid foreclosure and keep people in their homes by renegotiating the terms of the loan.

That seems to me to be a good thing.

I do agree that people signed a contract to pay for their mortgage and failing to pay it entitles the owner to foreclose. I also know that a whole lot of people have been snared by this recession. I am not as sanguine about tossing people out of their homes as are many of the toher commenter's seem to be.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

While I agree that folks who do not meet their financial obligations for property should be forced to relinquish said property, the note-owner must properly prove ownership just like any other entity before seizing said property. The banks have been bundling and selling these mortgages electronically for years now with seemingly no idea where they are going, but as long as they are making money they could care less. For this reason alone, I applaud the courts ruling -can't prove ownership? Go pound sand. Homes are where people eat, sleep, raise their families, and create lifelong memories - this isn't like repo'ing a TV - but the banks sure seem to look at it that way.

Posted by: CTL123 | January 7, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Collections attorney with 25 years experience...Yeah, I'm an expert.

Until 20 years ago, all mortgages were subject to strict state statutes that defined how mortgages were assigned, and the majority of thoses mortgages were held by the original lender until paid. Federal law was changed in the response to poor transfer notification laws, and as part of that process the old strict laws regarding assigments were weakened in the name of expediency and quick profit. Loans were quickly made, bundled, and sold to investors without the pesky cost of recording individual assignmets, primarily because of the second new concept, that of "mortgage servicer."

The servicer was empowered as a quasi agent to collect payments, declare defaults and act like the lender without technically being the lender. No money in the deal, just the rights to act like you are the princpal, not the agent. This matters because only the principal can actually foreclose, usually done by trustees (Virginia) or judicially (DC and MD).

The system would have been fine, except the bundlers began unbundling the loans and selling them on the secondary market. The loans get assigned from A to B to C, with Servicer D changing to E and maybe back to D, while promises are made to the borrowers by all the lenders and letters of the alphabet. People want to pay, but many just need a modification (no payments until work is usually the reason we get) others have no hope. Who is in which category? Why does it matter? It matters because compliance costs money. Short cuts can turn into long cuts. One man's "technicality" is the next man's "substantitve due process right."

The current issues are the fault of the collective "lenders" taking quick profits and now being forced to eat slow losses for the long cuts they took. This too shall pass, as the RTC did in the early 90's so too shall the foreclosure dockets of the region. And if the "lenders" lose out due to their choices, so be it.

You don't see this in the Credit Union world because they hold their own paper, cradle to grave. No question who my boss is.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | January 7, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

mortgage holders are required by law to follow the law. if banks don't obey the law, they lose. fundamental disrespect for law by banks is the cause. people cannot be expected to respect contract law when banks don't bother to register the sale of a mortgage. yes borrowers do get a get out of jail card free when the mortgage holder commits fraud. that is basic capitalism. the price the banks pay when they break the law should be at least as severe as anybody else's. not only lose the mortgage. but go to jail for fraud. consequences matter.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

You can't sustain contracts when you manage them in ways that ignore the law. The banks, for their convenience, ignored all the local laws governing the recording of mortgage contracts, which puts all those contracts outside the law.

The banks have behaved criminally, and this issue of failing to properly record mortgage ownership transactions places every foreclosure case in the hands of the courts, and leaves the banks with no legal basis for foreclosure.

As a result of their own nefarious actions, the big banks are well on their way to insolvency... AGAIN.

These people shouldn't be allowed to run businesses. No more bailouts. If the banks are insolvent because they can't prove the validity of the notes on their books, they should proceed into bankruptcy, receivership, and liquidation.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh come now, we REALLY don't need anymore regulatory oversight of the banks, now do we?

Posted by: pepperjade | January 7, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Funny but I've never missed a payment on anything in 54 years and i don't seem to have these problems.

Posted by: FLvet | January 7, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The greedy banks wanted to beat the local recorders out of their appropriate fees, and it is now coming back to bite them. I can't decide not to pay my motor vehicle fees, why should banks get away with deciding not to pay mortgage recordation fees?

Posted by: kamdog | January 7, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It's not an issue of "giving houses to deadbeats". The banks are supposed to keep track of the loans, either by hanging on to them or by making sure that they can say who they sold the loans to, *and* that they have the right to act as the purchaser's agent for collecting the payments. If a bank comes after me because it claims I haven't paid, but it doesn't have the contract I signed, does it have any right to my money?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It's about time. Many here are missing the point altogether. It doesn't matter if people are making their payments or not. Massachusetts Supreme Court just confirmed a lower court ruling that the banks can't foreclose because they don't have the legal right to do so. The paperwork is so messed up they can't prove they own the homes. This is a HUGE victory for every homeowner who was fraudulently foreclosed upon. If you think it doesn't affect your mortgage because you make your payments on time think again. You don't know if you are paying the correct lender each month. How would you like to pay off your mortgage only to find that you paid the wrong bank all those years? Or that you don't have clear title to your home after paying it off thanks to these crooked banks. Sloppy bookkeeping by these banks affects us all. Each time we get a ruling like this helps force the banks to clean this mess up.

To the broker posting sorry there but you know the banks are the ones who screwed it up and you don't penalize someone else for the mistakes. Sure it sucks to hit your business but those homeowners who had to deal with US Bancorp and Wells Fargo see it from a totally different angle.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | January 7, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

edbyronadams writes "People did not perform on contract and now the courts want a do over. It's ridiculous and it threatens us all economically."

-------------

Actually, what happened here is that banks allowed the paper trail of mortgages to be obfuscated so that they could bundle them and sell with less obvious risk to the buyer.

Now they are paying the price for doing such a stupid thing.

It hurts everyone when a bank can foreclose on a house when they don't have the paperwork to prove they own the paper on it.

Posted by: beargulch | January 7, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The banks played fast and loose in making thousands of reckless "no doc" loans driven by their greed. They then played fast and loose in "selling" those mortgages, again driven by greed. And once again, driven by greed, the banks are again playing fast and loose in pursuing foreclosures, rather than work with people to keep them in their homes.

Posted by: jwatson2 | January 7, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I skimmed the decision, and it basically comes down to "you cannot sell a house unless you can prove you owned it at the time of the sale". I don't know why that position is considered so radical.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Here we GO!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

WE CAN ONLY HOPE. The White House and Congress have deserted the American people on this, but just maybe the courts will provide a means for dismantling these big banks. Even better, though, is this ruling will make it very very difficult, if not outright impossible, for investors to assemble packages of mortgages and peddle them around he world. Some experts even think we can force these investors to buy back ALL of he packaged deals hey have sold over the past seven years, thereby ruining a whole bunch of them! So be of good cheer, may might just see the bankrupting and ruin of Wall Street. Then, just maybe, we can take our country back, do away with this free trade nonsense, impose trade tariffs and grow American small businesses employing American workers behind trade barriers, end the embarrassment and stupidity of Chinese and Indian garbage dominating our store shelves, and drive a big truck through the campaign funding sources the two parties rely on. PROTECTIONISM!!! It's what the voters want.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 7, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"If these documents had been introduced, it appears that the ruling would have been substantially different,"

Isn't that strange? Why would the banks go to court and not bother to produce vital documents? I wonder if they are going to sue their lawyers for negligence?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Only the rightful owner of a property may forclose on it. If the bank can not prove that they are the rightful owner then they have no standing to foreclose.
It's perfectly plausible that the person occuping the property is the rightful owner. Should the bank be given the benefit of the doubt?
Even if the property belongs neither to the bank nor the occupant to whom should the property be handed over? Is it the courts responsability to determine who the rightful owner is? It is up to the rightful owner to claim his property.

At least the occupant, legitimate or not, has a stake in maintaing the integrity of the propery and the community.

Posted by: ArtDodger69 | January 7, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Commentators thinking this is about banks taking what is theirs need to realize: Just because someone is behind on their payment doesn't give me the right to take their house. That's because I don't own their house. This is a case where the bank says it owns the house, but doesn't. Who does? That's what proper paperwork is for. Same thing with a car. If you don't own it and stop making payments, the only one who can take it is the owner. And the owner must prove they own it. Otherwise anyone with a tow truck can steal it.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It's way too late for home owners in Flint, Michigan where decades of de-industrialization have resulted in a real estate market with valuations that are a fraction of their peak and where hundreds of foreclosures are for sale at less than the price of a used car. Here is a look at the situation in another rust-belt city:



http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2010/12/flint-city-in-crisis.html

Posted by: Baywoodfarm | January 7, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I know how to solve this problem. The Federal Government should wave it's magic wand and pay the mortgages on the clouded foreclosed properties. The current occupants need to be evicted. This is the only way to protect the citizens that matter (the banks)!

After all, the old way of doing things with cumbersome paperwork made it impossible to "maximize efficiency" and rapidly market mortgage backed securities. We all know how well that worked with several trillions being "created" all siphoned off into banks and hedge funds.

Time to start purchasing assault weapons, ammo and canned food.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Funny but I've never missed a payment on anything in 54 years and i don't seem to have these problems.

Posted by: FLvet
----------------------
Ah but that's the problem right? You could be paying merrily paying your mortgage on time every year to a lender who legally does not have any right to the property. Besides the one with real problems is the lenders. It's conceivable that the borrowers who are in default will eventually be forclosed on but they will not be foreclosed on by the wrong lender. That is what this case is all about. Who knows if the correct lender is eventually sorted out through the legal system the borrowers may be able to re negotiate the mortgage.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | January 7, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually I should correct my earlier post. In this case the property is presumed to belong to the occupant, and the question is who own's the defaulted mortgage? The promissory note states that the home is collateral for the money that was given to purchase the home. If the contract was between two people and improperly transfered to another party then that third party has no standing to forclose. Only the original note holder can forclose. But presumably they've already been paid by the third party. So it makes no sense to give the property back to the original note holder until they give the money back to the third party.

So rather than sueing the owner of the property to take possession of a property that they have no right to, they need to sue the company that sold them the note to get their money back or make a proper transfer of the note. Only once they have proper ownership of the note can they forclose on the property.

Posted by: ArtDodger69 | January 7, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse


This much seems clear:

1. The banks or their agents did not want to spend the money it would take to properly document their loans.

2. They were turning deals so quickly that they skipped all due diligence.

3. They assumed that housing values would never fall.

4. When the house of cards began to collapse, they did not want to hire the accountants, lawyers and real estate experts needed to track down titles, deeds and loan docs.

5. They assumed the courts would accept their shoddy documentation, that they had more rights than an individual "person."

6. While the fact that they made loans to individuals may not be in dispute, they did so without collateral. So, their "mortgages" are just low-interest signature loans. Good luck collecting on that!

Posted by: motorfriend | January 7, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous wrote: "People need to release [sic] that this will have huge implications for the AVERAGE consumer."

Yes, people will realize that the courts will require banks to obey the law. Banks will not pass on the costs of their self-made fiasco to consumers because banks that did follow the law, such as credit unions, will maintain pricing discipline. But would you rather have judicial activists legislate from the bench and rule that banks are above the law?

If anything, the Massachusetts court behaved like Chief Justice John Roberts said he would during his confirmation hearings. The Court acted like a baseball umpire and called it like it saw it.

"People need to honor their commitments !"

You mean the way business does? Businesses file strategic bankruptcies just to get out of burdensome contracts. They can and do "cram down" their mortgages in bankruptcy. And we haven't seen commercial mortgage rates rise because of this. So what's the problem with individuals taking a business-like approach? Are you a Marxist who hates business?

docwhocuts wrote: "libs know no limits."

Like I said, the Court acted in a totally conservative manner, as Chief Justice Roberts would have them. Would you rather see activists legislating from the bench?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Most commenters have the roles of the actors completely reversed. It is the banks that are seeking relief, not the former homeowners. Due to their use of improper procedures the banks are unable to obtain title insurance and cannot sell the foreclosed properties.

The original suit was an attempt to "remove a cloud from the title" by the banks, and the judges are simply agreeing with the insurance companies that the banks do not have a clear claim to the property. That would be entirely the fault of the companies that took shortcuts and failed to respect the law.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Please provide the decision in another format that is not Microsoft Word! Plain text would be the easiest to read, but HTML or PDF (if necessary) would be acceptable.

I would rather not be exposed to whatever computer viruses are on the Washington Post's internal networks. Thanks!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how little people know.

(1) The ruling was on who owns the mortgage.
When some mortgages were chopped or sold, multiple parties ended up owning a mortgage. During this process proper documentation was NOT kept AND transfer taxes were NOT paid. This means that a title bounced to multiple parties w/o the required LEGAL documentation AND TAXES were not paid to your state.

(2) Deadbeats still owe someone, but banks have to prove ownership. Someone will collect, it just might take some time.

EVERYONE is wrong. Banks believe the law does not apply to them and they avoided paying taxes and tracking ownership (google MERS).
Deadbeats are living rent free.

I feel sorry for no one. I just hate uninformed rants.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

edbyronadams wrote:
People did not perform on contract and now the courts want a do over. It's ridiculous and it threatens us all economically.
*******************************************
From what I've read, this Court's decision does not prohibit the true owner of the mortgage note from foreclosing on the property. It only states that US Bank/Wells Fargo did not prove ownership, and therefore cannot foreclose.

Let's face it: the banks got careless. They didn't maintain the "paper trail" that would have prevented this case from ever making it to a courtroom in the first place.

Whomever actually owns the note (and can prove it through correct and complete documentation) can still foreclose.

Posted by: morethanbooksmart | January 7, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Judging from some comments, people seem to think that banks can do no wrong, and if they do wrong we can't penalize them because they will put our recovery into a tailspin. What's wrong with this picture? They have gotten bigger than the government's ability to control them, a situation Republicans seem to think is good. Seemingly, at every step, the banks were falling all over themselves to make money, failing to keep proper track of the necessary paperwork, in many cases not doing it at all. It is time this win win for the banks end. Just as some borrowers have not been able to make payments, the banks failed to follow procedure, but conservatives believe that banks should not be held accountable.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The Banksters are one trick ponies. This is not the first time that "all haste must be applied, in confiscating property." The Banksters and the Federal Government during the Great Depression conspired to do the same thing and in commune, attacked the poor ferociously to take from them all they owned as quickly as possible.

*****

"Capital must protect itself in every way...Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principal men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd." -- Taken from the Civil Servants' Year Book, "The Organizer" January 1934.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

To all anonymous posters, it seems you would cut off your nose to smite your face.
Banks and all lending institutions must show WHO owns the LOAN, or else they could play a shell game with the citizens who confided in these institutions with their loan needs.
I'm SHOCKED that you would think or beleive these institutions should be trusted in ABSOLUTE and not second guessed.
Their is one set of rules and, one law and one constitution.Lets abide by the letter of the law, or move to anothewr country.
That is the courts obligation, THE LETTER OF THE LAW.
That's all I have to say.
Sad this generation follows the LAW when it suits them and SHORT it when it does not.

Posted by: duran9000 | January 7, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

That makes the idea of buying a forclosure a little more concerning. So if you bought one in Mass, the upshot is that you might not have clear legal title, right? Would it just be a case of another bank might have another hand in your pocket, or that the original homeowner might be able to get the property back?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

=========

That's why you buy title insurance. If there is a problem with the title, it will show up during the search and void the contract. If it is missed in the search, the title company pays for your losses.

Banks are very careful about challenging a Title Company - they need the title company to approve their mortgages

Title insurance is relatively inexpensive and a huge stress buster in today's market

Posted by: asmith1 | January 7, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

obama with his finger on the trigger...
get ready for chaos...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 7, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

edbyronadams wrote: "People did not perform on contract and now the courts want a do over. It's ridiculous and it threatens us all economically."

Yes, people did not perform on contract, but contract with whom? There has to be a legal record that says you own a property before you can foreclose. That's contract law 101. If the courts were to say that legal proof of ownership is not necessary, then THAT would undermine the economy. The banks have nobody to blame for this but themselves. They got too greedy and careless.

Posted by: skrut003 | January 7, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Why do these morons think it is "liberal" to require banks to obey the law. The banks wither followed the law in the foreclosure process or they did not. I didn't know conservatives were so soft about obeying the law.

Posted by: treefrog2 | January 7, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

One of just many comments suggesting, people who either took out a loan or refinanced their homes are bums who simply "chose" not to pay for those loans are obviously not well informed. One blog in part stated: People need to realise that this will have huge implications for the AVERAGE consumer. Banks will be very reluctant to offer credit cards, mortgage loans, auto loans, loans of any type since the ability to secutitize these loans has now been negatively impacted by this ruling. Going forward Banks will have higher costs which will be be passed on to consumers and will be much more reluctant to lend. This will slow economic growth and lead to less jobs.

All because people do not honor their promise to pay their loans on their houses and the liberals think they should live there for free! People need to honor their commitments!
Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 1:50 PM.end of quote.

I for one am one of those individuals who through sheer necessity refinanced my home and through due diligence discovered the fraud, and illegal dealings the golden boys at the banks perpetrated and have been perpetrating upon unsuspecting homeowners and me in particular. Many of the companies listed on my paperwork after the original refinance was sold and resold no less than 5 times were not even listed as legitimate corporate entities in the State of California at the time they became involved with my note. In part, and I do mean seriously "in part", that happened due to those companies using fraudulent means to cheat the State of California out of the taxes due if they had filed the proper paperwork. The morass of paperwork, just for starters in my particular circumstance involved the substitution of Trustee a month after the ink wasn't even dry on the refinance. For those who aren't aware, when a substitution of Trustee takes place, the new named Trustee can sell your home, should you fall behind in your payments. 4 years later a new substitution of Trustee was initiated and recorded at the local courthouse. The problem raised by that stems from the New Substitution of Trustee breaking the proper chain of title to my home. As the last lender of note (after the note was sold 5 times) obviously didn't have the paperwork to refer to, & instead named the original lender NOT, the company the first recorded company listed as being a new Trustee. Chain of title was broken: A FRAUDULENT ACT.And that is but a few of their methods to hoodwink people who fully intended to honor their obligations. If any one of you folks committed the crimes these companies perpetrated against the little guys, you would be singing behind bars. Much more to my story, but I will win in Court not because I didn't want to pay, but because they committed fraud. Not me. Heard of MERS, they too were involved along with too many acts to mention in this blog. Will I sue? ABSOLUTELY. & if this affects the stock market, well it should. No one should commit fraud and get away with it.

Posted by: lynngems1 | January 7, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

We are a land of laws and property rights. It's a wake-up call to banks in states with "laws" that give banks the immense power to forclose on a person's "property" without judicial oversight. If the banks want to maintain that immense power, they must have squeaky clean contractual procedures.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The chain of title have been broken,we have all these loans out here with no clear title, you could be paying on time & when it's time to sell you don't have a clear title, this is a mess and could take years to clean up... because you're up to date with your payment don't think you're okay, your chain of title would be broken just as well ...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

this is just the start. the tip of the iceberg.

it's going to get really, really bad once banks have to start recognizing these losses. it will take another bailout or else we will see a collapse of some of our biggest banks. (imagine trying to get another bailout now, on top of the newly minted QE2! not bloody likely). we're in for a tough year of devaluation & default, and you can bank on it (not that that term holds much credibility anymore). anyway.... there will be blood. 2011 is going to suck.

if you're brave, google "christopher whalen" & 2011

Posted by: jmsptrck001 | January 7, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I have a friend who benefited from the confusion - he had filed bankruptcy (federal court) and the mortgage servicer (now owned by Bank Amercia) tried to foreclose - but couldn't provide the documentation to support their claim. (They also were generally disrespectful of the court and failed to respond in a timely manner.)

Whoever it was that held legitimate claim via the mortgage to the property failed to make their claim legitimate in a timely manner (what it came down to is no one could really document who had the paperwork and who was the actual mortgage holder.)

Bankruptcy judge set aside the mortagage - buddy got free and clear title to his house and whoever it is who held legitimate claim to the mortgage lost the remaining 97k due on the contract.

Had the lender and servicor followed reasonable business practices to protect their interest, they would have received teh house and been able to sell it to reclaim their investment. Their loss ultimately is due to their own carelessness.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The chain of title have been broken, we have all these loans out here with no clear title, & because you pay on time each month don't think for a minute you're okay, your title could be broken and when it's time to sell 5 or 10 years, this mess will looking you right in the face or your family, we have a mess here, it will cost trillon of dollars to fix & some will live free,, some will get free home, some will get huge reduction and the list goes on & on ...it's sad so few know what a big mess we have and walk around like everthing is okay because i paid this month, let me tell you when the chain is broken it could take years to repair... if your grandchild get ready sell years from now, it may take he or she twenty years or so to clear title ... That's why this must be stop ... now

Posted by: larry | January 7, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

What court would let a foreclosure proceed without proof of title?

The banks cannot access our judicial system and ask for an emergency remedy for relief from an alleged defaulted mortgagee, when they approach the court with unclean hands.

And the banks hands are filthy;especially those like Wells Fargo that have been laundering the Mexican cartels money that facilitates thousands of heinous, violent deaths in Mexico and the US Southwest.

Bravo to the Massachusetts courts.

Posted by: googlesmoogle | January 7, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse


Just a short further comment for readers to consider about the crux of the foreclosure mess. Again many of the posters to this blog appear to be ill informed as to the "real" issues. One of those issues, pertains to the FACT, when the note - meaning the original note for a refi or new loan was sold/securitized, that original note or refi, was PAID OFF, so they, the new lenders, cannot go back to the home owner to be PAID OFF again. ie: NO LEGAL STANDING TO FORECLOSE. Subsequently, that leaves all of the investors a catch as catch can situation...ie: Who do they go after for their money. Certainly not the homeowner and/or the multitude of lenders/investors, who chose to act fraudulently by not following the proper procedures required to file and pay taxes to the counties where the home is located thus clouding the title to the home. Ultimately, the homeowner, who for one reason or another wasn't able to honor their commitment to the original lender will have to file for a Quiet Title to regain their right to their home. This isn't about people not fulfilling their commitments. It's about Truth in Lending, and the legal requirements lenders have in filling out and recording the paperwork required by law to protect chain of title. Instead they attempted and got away with for some considerable time in cheating local govtmts. out of their fees through numerous nefarious methods to circumvent doing so. I say again: "No one should commit fraud and get away with it".

edbyronadams wrote:
People did not perform on contract and now the courts want a do over. It's ridiculous and it threatens us all economically.
*******************************************
From what I've read, this Court's decision does not prohibit the true owner of the mortgage note from foreclosing on the property. It only states that US Bank/Wells Fargo did not prove ownership, and therefore cannot foreclose.
Let's face it: the banks got careless. They didn't maintain the "paper trail" that would have prevented this case from ever making it to a courtroom in the first place.
Whomever actually owns the note (and can prove it through correct and complete documentation) can still foreclose.
Posted by: morethanbooksmart | January 7, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lynngems1 | January 7, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I've never understood about this whole foreclosure process being challenged. What sort of idiot keeps making a mortgage payment and then claims he doesn't owe it because some company doesn't have the original paper. I for one do not pay bills I do not owe, but I do know without paper work which ones I really owe. And believe me these people know they OWE.

Posted by: Snowdude | January 7, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

This is a recipe for continuing the uncertainty in the housing market and will contribute to declining prices and further instability.

Good going courts.

Posted by: bandmom22 | January 7, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"Here's what I've never understood about this whole foreclosure process being challenged. What sort of idiot keeps making a mortgage payment and then claims he doesn't owe it because some company doesn't have the original paper. I for one do not pay bills I do not owe, but I do know without paper work which ones I really owe. And believe me these people know they OWE."
------------------------------------
Snowdude: google "MERS" or check out some of the WaPo MERS stories. Short story: the lender (say Countrywide) separated the mortgage from the Note (you pay on the Note) and sold the Note at a discount to someone else. Neither the Note or the mortgage is recorded at your local City Hall since it's cheaper to record it through MERS. Then maybe the Note got bundled or securitized and sold as part of a package to investors in Norway or Iceland. The "official" lender of record is MERS, which is a computer database, and legally does not "own" the Note or the mortgage. So who really owns the Note and is entitled to your payements? Good question - you should not blame the borrower or call them "stupid" if they have no idea who bought, then sliced and diced their Note.

Posted by: shadowmagician | January 7, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

In simple terms the mortgages placed with Freddie Mac/ Fannie Mae, were broken up into tranches where each mortgage was no longer whole … bits went into high grade securities, and bits went into junk bonds. This was the attraction of the new vehicles with different rates of return. In order to maintain chain of ownership between borrower and (original) lender the use of REMIC and MERS was designed to do that...It failed... The chain of ownership was broken ... That break in the chain says that the borrower no longer owes any money on the loan...The title errors from the housing bubble starting to become evident...These loans with REMIC AND MERS , The title have been broken...


Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The Obama administration will find a way to negate this. They would never let middleclass homeowners win at the expense of the banks. Never.

So while this sounds like a very rare victory for the little guy, you can bet it will be shortlived.

The banks own everything, including Obama, no matter whose name is on it or whether the rules were followed. Rules don't apply to rich people.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Finally! I knew it was simply a matter of time before a senior court would find the bank claims as laughable, as they were predatory.

Not sure how this will all play out given the Supreme's, but, one thing is for sure; lenders all over the world are moistening their shorts right about now!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

CitiMortgage and its law firm, Brice Vander Linden & Wernick, illegally foreclosed on our home.

They never sent us the Notice of Sale - but submitted fraudulent documents to the court stating that they had, which constitutes fraud upon the court.

They sold our house at auction without notifying us (after stating that they were working with us and had no plans to foreclose)-- then went on to illegally enter our house, remove our property, make changes to the house, change the locks and list it for sale.

They never allowed us back in the house, corrected the title, returned our property or even told us what they did with it.

A month later, they apparently sold the house to an employee of the law firm that illegally foreclosed on us.

Really.

CitiMortgage was notified of the illegal foreclosure.

THEY DID NOTHING.

Nothing.

We reported to the OCC, Citi, HUD and Fannie Mae the illegal foreclosure, illegal entry, removal of our property and the subsequent sale of our house to what appears to be an employee of the law firm that illegally foreclosed.

They all did nothing.

It's time for *someone* to do *something*.

www.ourforeclosurestory.org

Posted by: bluebonnetsandbbq | January 7, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

O-kay then don't ask don't tell,what law our we going by?
in the fox hole

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I am proud to be an American, G-D bless these hero judges.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

This unamimous decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court was a well thought out and well decided mainstream opinion that has no possibility whatsoever of beign overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The plaintiff financial institutions utterly failed to prove that they had any ownership interest in the mortgages at issue, despite being given every opportunity by the lower court to do so.

The article unnecessarily MUDDLES one key aspect of the decision and makes the holding sound radical when in fact it is not.

The article states:

"Long's decision hits on one of the most sensitive issues related to how mortgages were securitized: something called "endorsements in blank." In the rush to aggregate and sell and then resell mortgages, many of the mortgages documents were transferred without explicitly naming who the note was being sold to.

The financial services industry has argued that this practice is legally valid but Long ruled, "These blank mortgage assignments were never recorded and they were not legally recordable."

The issue is NOT indorsemnt in blank which is expressly authorized by § 3-205 of the Uniform Commerical Code (UCC) and is LAWFUL EVERYWHERE, including Massachusetts. Instead, the issue is ASSIGNMENT IN BLANK as mentioned in the subsequent paragraph.

In contrast to indorsement in blank, assignment in blank IS NOT authorized ANYWHERE to the best of my knowledge and belief, nor HAS IT EVER BEEN.

The validity of assignments is usually determined under a state's statute of frauds and the statute identifies the requisites of a valid conveyance.

AN ASSIGNMENT IN BLANK IS AN INCOMPLETE INSTRUMENT. As an incomplete instrument, various jurisdictions reach differing conclusions about its effectiveness. In some places, such as Massachusetts, it is simply VOID. In other places, it may BECOME VOID when ALTERED after execution. (Is is OK if I unilaterally ALTER OUR CONTRACT AFTER YOU SIGN IT?). Finally, in a few places, the incomplete instrument might be curable by the insertion of the grantee, but would become effective ONLY upon completion, which creates a PROOF PROBLEM.

Bear in mind that the excutives of the major banks and their Wall Street law firms have been paying themselves mulitmillion dollar bonuses at tazpayer expense to create this toxic financial waste! And a first year law student studying property couldn't possibly rate a "C" doing work this poor.

IT IS TIME TO STOP SUBSIDIZING AND CODDLING INCOMPETENT, CORRUPT AND CRIMINAL MONOPOLIES AND BREAK UP THE BIG BANKS.

The corrupt Democratic politicians who have been coddling these criminals also need to be driven from office and put in jail.

Posted by: waroper | January 8, 2011 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Mortgage refinancing means re-funding the mortgage loan with better terms as well as conditions, most likely from a different lender. It is one way to save money. Search online for "123 Mortgage Refinance" they found me 3.1% refinance rate and also gave free analysis of my mortgage.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2011 2:02 AM | Report abuse

We're currently in the midst of the greatest mortgage refinancing frenzy of the past 5 or 6 years. Rates are now the lowest they've been since mid to late 2003, I worked with a company called "123 Mortgage Refinance" I refinanced my current mortgage to 3.12% search online for them if you are planning to do refinance.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2011 2:06 AM | Report abuse


When you're shopping quotes from lenders, beware of points that they'll try to impose on your refi. Each point is a fee of 1% on the amount you borrow. I worked with "123 Mortgage Refinance" search online for them. I would strongly recommend them since they got me 3.24% rate on my mortgage refinance.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2011 2:07 AM | Report abuse

The banks only pretend to have sloppy paper work because the real paper cannot be made public. If each loan schedule for each PSA were made public, some smart person might put each banks PSA loan schedules in a database and find out that many of the loans were allegedly sold more than once.

Don't ever think the banks or WS law firms that put the paper work together are stupid or sloppy.They have the paper. But they may have made a business decision that revealing the paper may produce a bigger loss than loosing a few contested foreclosures.


Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2011 7:54 AM | Report abuse

The Credit Unions are doing it right. They remarket the homes themselves and then recoup losses by capturing the financing also (i.e. http://repofinder.com). The large banks haven't a clue how to do anything with prudence. We should have let them fail and let the Credit Unions take over.

Posted by: dolomite2001 | January 8, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Scary thought:

If the banks have "lost" the ownership documents of homes they're trying to foreclose upon, do you really think they have the paperwork for the home you're living in?

Wells Fargo and US Bank have every reason in the world to have "all their ducks in a row" when they foreclose on a property. Because of sloppy, or non-existent documentation the banks cannot prove they own the promissory note. That means the title to the property is not clear. Most banks will not lend on a property without a clear title of ownership, which makes selling the property 10x more difficult.

If these banks can't come up with the goods even when they're liable to lose big, do you think they haven't lost the docs on home loans that are in good standing? Will your bank be able to come up with the documents when you want to sell?

Posted by: morethanbooksmart | January 9, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

We know that many of the mortgage-backed securities were fraudulent. In many cases the same mortgage was pledged into multiple securities, which is illegal. In others, mortgages already in default were included in the bundles. In the case of Countrywide, the titles were never actually transferred into the trust, so those securities are technically uncollateralized. While the US and state governments may have given BofA a "get out of jail free" card, the foreign banks that bought those fraudulent securities are now demanding Wall Street buy back the bad paper, including Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank. The only way the banks can keep from collapsing is to cover the losses is to confiscate the actual homes of Americans, allowing them to place the full value of the asset on their books to recapitalize, whereas a monthly payment for the next 15 years is of little use. The US Government, siding with the banks, has accelerated the tax credits that encourage offshoring of high paying jobs, thereby setting up Americans to lose their homes to the banks. The short version is that the government took your jobs so the banks could take your homes. This is wealth confiscation, just like Roosevelt did with gold in 1933, only done covertly in a way to trick Americans into thinking it is their own fault they lost everything.

The foreclosure fraud is just a symptom. The real scandal is the fraudulent mortgage backed securities. At the recent Jekyll Island meeting to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the private Federal Reserve system, even Allan Greenspan admitted that fraud and criminality pervade the US financial system, and underlies the destruction of America.

Even were he still alive and even with an atomic bomb, Osama bin Laden could not have caused 1/10 of the damage to American lives that Wall Street just did, with the connivance of the Federal Government.

http://bit.ly/h1GXHk

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"People did not perform on contract and now the courts want a do over. It's ridiculous and it threatens us all economically."

"HUH??

Is simple contract law. If one wants to collect on a contract they must own the actual contract; otherwise anyone can demand anything from anyone and the entire web of commerce comes to an abrupt halt and chaos reigns..

Suppose I claim I own your mortgage and file foreclosure paperwork on you. I can you know, via forgeries and fake notarys, just like the banks have done, provided I had the desire. Do you really want to have no legal right to question my purported ownership of your note and let me take your home just because I was willing to commit fraud??

I would opine that you not having this basic right would be ridiculous and would threatens us all economically.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Consumers Should Take More Active Roles Concerning Mortgage and Foreclosure Frauds

American consumers are at the mercy of State Attorneys General to vigorously investigate and prosecute economic fraud –of all types. Even prior to AG Tom Miller’s “deal” with mortgage lenders who deliberately engage in foreclosure fraud, scores of people needed to be jailed so that mortgage and foreclosure fraud can be deterred. On the other hand, understandably, limited facts and evidence can leave authorities with little choice except to “deal” (like plea bargain).

Instead of hope and demand that out-of-control judicial and political systems somehow right itself, Americans need to DO our part –or at least weigh what IS our part. Pro-action accomplishes better results than (notwithstanding any justification) posting commiserating, blaming, or angry comments and statements on the Internet regarding our nation's mortgage crisis. Ethical lawmakers, activists, news media, and particularly investigative reporters who put their safety on the line, are not solely responsible for exposing fraud and corruption.

Contained in the petition, “Request for Congressional Foreclosure Panel to Examine Foreclosure Lawyers” @ http://chn.ge/eU2zAm are details and illustrations about foreclosure frauds being carried out by some lawyers who file foreclosure proceedings in civil as well as bankruptcy courts. Individual consumers can help law enforcement to curtail and / or prosecute frauds associated with foreclosures by providing facts and information similar to descriptions in that petition. (It is certainly the BETTER ROUTE than people copying / buying various publications via the Internet, and thinking that they can take on court systems –particularly in light of the few grounds for opposing foreclosures successfully, instead of delaying them.)

Hopefully people continue signing and sharing the petition. But also hopefully they will also heap upon offices of Attorneys General, information / evidence about foreclosure-judicial wrongdoing.

*Additional discussion about foreclosure illegalities at: “Commentary on: “Emerging Battleground on Mortgage Abuses: Foreclosure Mills” @ http://t.co/riJXgou.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 12, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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