Friday, August 15, 2014



On 12/10/2013, the Washington Attorney General entered into a Consent Judgment with OCWEN FINANCIAL who owns one of the largest, most abusive Loan Servicers in the nation, OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC. William Erbey is the CEO of OCWEN. The Consent Agreement was intended to stop mortgage foreclosure and loan servicing abuses by OCWEN, and OCWEN agreed to help homeowners with cash payments, modifications, and/or offer principal reductions. Here are some of the allegations in the settlement:

Failed to promptly and accurately apply payments made by borrowers or to maintain accurate account statements.
Charged unauthorized fees for default-related services.
Gave false or misleading information to borrowers on loans that had been transferred from other servicers.
On transferred loans with in-process trial and permanent modifications, deceptively sought to collect payments from consumer under the mortgage's original unmodified terms.
Failed to provide correct and timely information to borrowers seeking information about loss mitigation services, including loan modifications.
Improperly denied loan modification relief to eligible borrowers.
Gave false or misleading reasons for loan modification denials.
Robo-signed affidavits in foreclosure proceedings.
Imposed force-placed insurance when the servicers knew or should have known borrowers had adequate coverage.
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Do not hand over your keys to these scumbag OCWEN Loan Servicers and the Seattle Attorneys who represent them, Routh Crabtree Olsen, P.S. (RCO, P.S.) and/or Houser & Allison. OCWEN is a 3rd party debt collector who simply services your mortgage for the true Note Holder. The attorneys representing OCWEN and the Bank Trustee are also 3rd party debt collectors. Your mortgage contract was not with OCWEN or the Bank Trustee, and likely had a completely different originating Lender. Your Note cannot be "Assigned" by "MERS" (See your Deed of Trust for MERS language) or OCWEN LOAN SERVICING as they do not hold or own your mortgage documents. OCWEN has no rights in your property. In this mortgage era where your Note has been bought and sold on the open market an average of 4 - 12 times, no one really knows who owns or holds your NOTE! Lots of copies of Notes are being floated around but ask for proof of the ORIGINAL signed Note! Unless someone pops up with the ORIGINAL wet ink NOTE and says "I hold it", no entity or individual is entitled by law to foreclose on your home and property! For more information about this please read the blog articles in the Nationwide Defense Network website and attorney Jeff Barnes's efforts on behalf of homeowners. You will learn all there is to know to educate yourself about mortgage origination, securitization and foreclosure scam by big banks and loan servicers since about the mid-2000s. You will learn about all of the important foreclosure legal decisions in the country.

Also, see the OCWEN SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT signed around by the 50-state attorney generals and OCWEN at:

If you are experiencing no relief from OCWEN LOAN SERVICING in your problems with its abusive loan servicing tactics or OCWEN's preposterous loan modification efforts (!), contact Attorney General Robert Ferguson or David Huey at the Consumer Complaint portal for the Washington Attorney General's Office website. FILL OUT A COMPLAINT FORM AND TELL THEM YOU WANT THE RELIEF THEY BARGAINED FOR ON YOUR BEHALF IN DECEMBER 2013 WITH OCWEN LOAN SERVICING! YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR HOME AND BE FREE FROM HARASSMENT BY THESE UNPRINCIPLED FIRMS.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Judge Rules Foreclosure Unconstitutional

Judge George N. Bowden of the Superior Court in Washington State ruled against Bank of America (BoA) in a foreclosure battle that ended with the nonjudicial foreclosure sale under the Deed of Trust Act (DTA). The sale was deemed void, and the court is setting the foreclosure aside.

In this case defended by StafneTrumbull law firm in Washington State, the homeowner won his ability to sue BoA for damages for a wrongful freclosure which is another major victory against the unethical and illegal foreclosures industry that has left millions of Americans homeless.

Bowden acknowledged that this case was like most; “convoluted in the minefield” that is the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) system.

Bradburn, the homeowner, was told by BoA “that he should stop making his mortgage payments so that he could qualify for refinancing.”

BoA ensured that this homeowner was in default of the mortgage by promising to refinance; then initiated litigation against the homeowner to retrieve the property for failure by Bradburn to remain current on his payments.

Bowden pointed out that the DTA “seems to contemplate a borrower and a lender with an independent trustee having the power to foreclose on the deed of trust in the event of default by the borrower. The lender would normally hold the underlying note and be the beneficiary of it. Here matters have been complicated by the sale of the underlying note from HomeStar Lending to Countrywide, which was later acquired by [BoA].”

Interestingly, Bowden stated that “Fidelity Title was identified as the trustee but then MERS was characterized as the beneficiary ‘as the nominee’ of the lender and their assigns. At summary judgment it was claimed that the note was ‘owned’ by Fannie Mae although it was ‘held’ by [BoA], which was then described as the ‘servicer’ of the note at the behest of Fannie Mae.”

The evidence presented by the homeowner showed that “MERS was never the owner or holder of the note.”

Orig.src.Susanne.Posel.Daily.News- stafne.trumbull_susanne.posel_bradburn.bankofamerica
In 2013, Bain v. MERS held that this system “is not and cannot be a legal beneficiary under Washington State law. Only the legal holder of the note, the real creditor, has the power to appoint the substitute trustee in order to transact such legal actions as a foreclosure.”

Neil Garfield, property right attorney commented that MERS “is the electronic smokescreen that allowed banks to build their securitization Ponzi scheme without worrying about details like ownership and chain of title.”

Garfield said: “Properties were sold to multiple investors or conveyed to empty trusts, subprime securities were endorsed as triple A, and banks earned up to 40 times what they could earn on a paying loan, using credit default swaps in which they bet the loan would go into default. As the dust settles from collapse of the scheme, homeowners are left with underwater mortgages with no legitimate owners to negotiate with. The solution now being considered is for municipalities to simply take ownership of the mortgages through eminent domain. This would allow them to clear title and start fresh, along with some other lucrative dividends.”

Bowden cited that there were “contradictory statements that were filed. [BoA] filed a declaration with ReconTrust which identified Fannie Mae as the owner and beneficiary of the deed of trust, yet ReconTrust later identified [BoA] as the beneficiary.”

This shows the scheme enacted by BoA to sanction this illegal and unconstitutional foreclosure which was proven because the DTA was not adhered to; as well as “failure to materially comply with that statute renders a foreclosure sale pursuant to it invalid.”

Therefore the foreclosure implemented against the homeowner was illegal because there was a failure to appoint “a trustee that was independent.”

Bowden clearly stated “I could not find that Fannie Mae as the claimed owner of the underlying note was a bona fide purchaser for value, even if it was not complicit in the violations of the DTA.”

It was concluded that BoA and MERS action were “unfair [and] deceptive” in nature and the homeowner was “injured” because of this foreclosure.

Big Bank FAIL: Judge Rules Foreclosure Unconstitutional

All credit for this article to:  
of Investigative Headline News

Saturday, July 13, 2013




North Dakota has had the nation's lowest unemployment ever since the economy tanked. What's its secret? 

In an article in The New York Times on August 19th titled “The North Dakota Miracle,” Catherine Rampell writes:

Forget the Texas Miracle. Let’s instead take a look at North Dakota, which has the lowest unemployment rate and the fastest job growth rate in the country.

According to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, North Dakota had an unemployment rate of just 3.3 percent in July—that’s just over a third of the national rate (9.1 percent), and about a quarter of the rate of the state with the highest joblessness (Nevada, at 12.9 percent).

North Dakota has had the lowest unemployment in the country (or was tied for the lowest unemployment rate in the country) every single month since July 2008.

Its healthy job market is also reflected in its payroll growth numbers. . . . [Y]ear over year, its payrolls grew by 5.2 percent. Texas came in second, with an increase of 2.6 percent.

Why is North Dakota doing so well? For one of the same reasons that Texas has been doing well: oil.
Oil is certainly a factor, but it is not what has put North Dakota over the top. Alaska has roughly the same population as North Dakota and produces nearly twice as much oil, yet unemployment in Alaska is running at 7.7 percent. Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming have all benefited from a boom in energy prices, with Montana and Wyoming extracting much more gas than North Dakota has. The Bakken oil field stretches across Montana as well as North Dakota, with the greatest Bakken oil production coming from Elm Coulee Oil Field in Montana. Yet Montana’s unemployment rate, like Alaska’s, is 7.7% percent. 

A number of other mineral-rich states were initially not affected by the economic downturn, but they lost revenues with the later decline in oil prices. North Dakota is the only state to be in continuous budget surplus since the banking crisis of 2008. Its balance sheet is so strong that it recently reduced individual income taxes and property taxes by a combined $400 million, and is debating further cuts. It also has the lowest foreclosure rate and lowest credit card default rate in the country, and it has had NO bank failures in at least the last decade

If its secret isn’t oil, what is so unique about the state? North Dakota has one thing that no other state has: its own state-owned bank.

Access to credit is the enabling factor that has fostered both a boom in oil and record profits from agriculture in North Dakota. The Bank of North Dakota (BND) does not compete with local banks but partners with them, helping with capital and liquidity requirements. It participates in loans, provides guarantees, and acts as a sort of mini-Fed for the state. In 2010, according to the BND’s annual report: 

The Bank provided Secured and Unsecured Federal Fund Lines to 95 financial institutions with combined lines of over $318 million for 2010. Federal Fund sales averaged over $13 million per day, peaking at $36 million in June. 

The BND also has a loan program called Flex PACE, which allows a local community to provide assistance to borrowers in areas of jobs retention, technology creation, retail, small business, and essential community services. In 2010, according to the BND annual report:

The need for Flex PACE funding was substantial, growing by 62 percent to help finance essential community services as energy development spiked in western North Dakota. Commercial bank participation loans grew to 64 percent of the entire $1.022 billion portfolio.

The BND’s revenues have also been a major boost to the state budget. It has contributed over $300 million in revenues over the last decade to state coffers, a substantial sum for a state with a population less than one-tenth the size of Los Angeles County. According to a study by the Center for State Innovation, from 2007 to 2009 the BND added nearly as much money to the state’s general fund as oil and gas tax revenues did (oil and gas revenues added $71 million while the Bank of North Dakota returned $60 million). Over a 15-year period, according to other data, the BND has contributed more to the state budget than oil taxes have.       

North Dakota’s money and banking reserves are being kept within the state and invested there. The BND’s loan portfolio shows a steady uninterrupted increase in North Dakota lending programs since 2006. 

According to the annual BND report:
Financially, 2010 was our strongest year ever. Profits increased by nearly $4 million to $61.9 million during our seventh consecutive year of record profits. Earnings were fueled by a strong and growing deposit base, brought about by a surging energy and agricultural economy. We ended the year with the highest capital level in our history at just over $325 million. The Bank returned a healthy 19 percent ROE, which represents the state’s return on its investment.

A 19 percent return on equity! How many states are getting that sort of return on their Wall Street investments? 

Timothy Canova is Professor of International Economic Law at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. In a June 2011 paper called “The Public Option: The Case for Parallel Public Banking Institutions,” he compares North Dakota’s financial situation to California’s. He writes of North Dakota and its state-owned bank:

The state deposits its tax revenues in the Bank, which in turn ensures that a high portion of state funds are invested in the state economy. In addition, the Bank is able to remit a portion of its earnings back to the state treasury . . . . Thanks in part to these institutional arrangements, North Dakota is the only state that has been in continuous budget surplus since before the financial crisis and it has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. 

He then compares the dire situation in California:

In contrast, California is the largest state economy in the nation, yet without a state-owned bank, is unable to steer hundreds of billions of dollars in state revenues into productive investment within the state. Instead, California deposits its many billions in tax revenues in large private banks which often lend the funds out-of-state, invest them in speculative trading strategies (including derivative bets against the state’s own bonds), and do not remit any of their earnings back to the state treasury. Meanwhile, California suffers from constrained private credit conditions, high unemployment levels well above the national average, and the stagnation of state and local tax receipts. The state’s only response has been to stumble from one budget crisis to another for the past three years, with each round of spending cuts further weakening its economy, tax base, and credit rating. 

Not all states have oil, of course (and it’s hardly a sustainable economic basis), but all could learn from the state-owned bank that allows North Dakota to capitalize on its resources to full advantage. States that deposit their revenues and invest their capital in large Wall Street banks are giving this economic opportunity away.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013



(Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos)
The judge’s denial of MERS/BoA’s Motion to Dismiss in the case of Nueces County v.  MERS et al. is AMAZING!  Not because it’s novel, but because it actually follows the law!  It’s like Neil Garfield or Matt Weidner or David Rogers wrote it.  Or like I wrote it!   In fact, in my losing case of Kirby v. Bank of America (Southern District of Mississippi, 2012), I did use many of these same arguments–any sane, reasonable person would have!  You have got to read this decision!

Normally I might be tempted to highlight a sentence or two from the judge’s order and then mumble through my understanding of it, but with this brilliant order, all that needs to be done is to provide the blockbuster, bombshell quotes from it (for those who may not have the time or inclination to read it).  The quotes themselves are commentary enough, so here goes:

1. “MERS does not, however, hold any beneficial interest in the deeds of trust, and it is not a beneficiary of the deeds of trust.  It is merely an agent or nominee of the beneficiary.” (p. 14)

2. “By having itself designated as the “beneficiary under the security instrument” in the deeds of trust presented to the County Clerk for recordation in the County’s property records, knowing that it would be listed as the grantee of the security interest in the property, it appears that MERS asserted a legal right in the properties.  The Court concludes that, viewing the FAC’s allegations in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, one could plausibly infer that the recorded deeds of trust [naming MERS as "beneficiary"] constituted fraudulent liens or claims against real property or an interest in real property. ” (p. 14)

3.  “While Defendants may not have acted with the actual purpose or motive to cause harm to the County, the FAC alleges that through their creation of MERS, Defendants intended to establish their own recording system in order to avoid having to record transfers or assignments with the County and paying the associated filing fees. (FAC ¶¶ 2, 3, 17.)  Accordingly, one can reasonably infer from the allegations set forth in the FAC that Defendants were aware of the harmful effects the fraudulent liens would have on the County.  That is sufficient to establish intent.” (p. 16)

4. “Accordingly, the Court concludes that the FAC sets forth sufficient facts to give rise to a plausible inference that Defendants made false statements to the County regarding their rights under the deeds of trust and their relationships to the borrowers in the mortgages issued by MERS members.” (p. 22)

5. “County records as having a security interest in the properties.  Accordingly, viewing the allegations of the FAC in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the Court concludes that one could plausibly infer that Defendants made material misrepresentations of fact to Plaintiff in the deeds of trust presented to the County for filing.” (p. 23)

I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself!  This judge gets it EXACTLY right!  She even defers to Carpenter v. Longan!  There is obviously a major schism in the Texas federal judiciary, and this judge–Nelva Gonzales Ramos (an Obama appointee)–comes down on exactly the right side!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Even if You Pay On Time

 (This article for research.  Please visit the CBS links within the article for more facts.)

Foreclosure Fraud: How You Can Be Driven to Default Even if You Pay On Time

 The new nation-wide investigation into foreclosure frauds comes as no surprise to people who follow the mortgage service business. Shoddy, deceptive paperwork has plagued homeowners for years. In the industry's slimy underside, firms push borrowers into default and foreclosure, even when they've been making payments on time.

Foreclosure Mess: What it Means for You

Their business model makes defaults profitable, says Marie McDonnell who has been auditing mortgages for accuracy since 1986. The ugly chain of deception starts with the way a servicer might handle your escrow account.

A mortgage service company collects your monthly payments, deducts a fee, and passes the remainder to the investors who own the loan. The majority of the servicing is done by big banks, such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. Your payments usually include a sum for property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums, which goes into an escrow account. The servicer uses that account to pay the taxes and premiums as they come due.

However, every homeowner should check his or her mortgage escrow account -- right now -- for one of two wrongs.

First, the servicer might be putting more into escrow than you actually owe, hoping you won't notice. That gives the bank extra money to earn some interest on. Or second, you might owe more than you realize. That leads to underpayments, default, fat late fees owed and, eventually, foreclosure.

As an example of the first case, take Nathalie Martin, who teaches bankruptcy law at the University of New Mexico. She recently noticed an unusual change in her escrow account. Her property taxes had risen by about $60 a month, yet her servicer -- without notice, she says -- had started withdrawing an extra $120 from her account. The same thing was happening to some of the clients of the university's law clinic, who were seeking help with loan modifications or foreclosure notices.

When Martin called her servicer (and actually got a live body instead of a machine), she was told that the extra $60 was a "voluntary" payment on her part. Voluntary? Not likely. The servicer had simply helped itself to her money. You're supposed to get a notice 30 days before an increase, but servicers don't always send it out, McDonnell says. Or the borrower overlooks it.

Martin complained and the extra charge was stopped. Her advice to homeowners: Every time your taxes or insurance premiums rise, calculate how much you'll have to pay over the next year and divide by 12. That's the amount that servicers should be charging for your escrow each month. They're allowed a little extra only if there's a shortage of money in the account they have to prove it.

Also, be sure check your monthly mortgage statements, if you get them (some servicers send statements only once a year). Homeowners with fixed-rate mortgages might not open the envelopes, because they don't expect their payments to go up. But the servicer might raise your escrow payment -- and overcharge you -- in advance of a tax change. You have to watch them every minute.

If you accidentally underpay, you fall into a cruel trap.

This happens when you don't realize that your escrow payments are going to rise. When you make your next payment -- at the old rate -- it won't be enough to cover the escrow plus the mortgage payment due.

You might expect the servicer to use the money to cover your mortgage and notify you that the escrow amount was short. But that's not the way it works. Instead, the bank puts your payment into a "suspense" account.

None of the money is applied to the mortgage due. You're recorded as being in default. A late fee is charged and your false, bank-manufactured delinquency is reported to the credit bureau. "That's a theft of mortgage payments," McDonnell says.

If you don't realize what's happening because the servicer doesn't send monthly statements (or you don't check your statements), you'll send the same payment the second month. There's now enough money to cover the first month you "missed" but not enough for the second month. You've officially defaulted again.

At this point, the servicer will probably send you a pre-foreclosure notice, demanding all the past payments due, plus interest and fees. If you can't come up with a lump sum to settle the demand immediately, you might be foreclosed before you can even begin to straighten out the mess. "It's a train out of control," McDonnell says.

There's another way that a sloppy (or calculating) servicer can force a default. If you pay for homeowners insurance directly, without going through the escrow account, the bank might conclude you're uninsured. It will buy the insurance for you, without telling you -- and again, your regular monthly payment might fall short. The same thing could happen if you let your insurance lapse.

Even worse, the banks buy the insurance from an entity that they have a relationship with, paying two or three times the premium that a homeowner would pay directly, mortgage expert Jack Guttentag says.

McDonnell has audited many mortgages that predatory servicers have pushed into default, even though the homeowners always paid on time. The banks' incentive? High fees for late payments and for managing the foreclosure process. She believes that defaults became a profit center around 1995. Ever since 2005, servicers have been putting up "absolute resistance" to working thing out with the consumer, "even when I can prove servicer wrongdoing," she says.

You might be tempted to blame the errors and fraud that led to the current foreclosure freeze on the sheer volume of defaults. In fact, in this poorly regulated industry, the servicers have been getting away with abuse for a very long time. They need to be added to new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's lengthening list.

More on MoneyWatch:
Who Pays for a Foreclosure Freeze? We the Taxpayers Do
The Foreclosure Mills: How This Could Really Hurt the Housing Market
The Foreclosure Mess: It's Worse Than You Think
© 2010 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, April 29, 2013


Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets."

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It's about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates. In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions). Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture.

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia
Why? Because Libor already affects the prices of interest-rate swaps, making this a manipulation-on-manipulation situation. If the allegations prove to be right, that will mean that swap customers have been paying for two different layers of price-fixing corruption. If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.

"It's a double conspiracy," says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. "It's the height of criminality."

The bad news didn't stop with swaps and interest rates. In March, it also came out that two regulators – the CFTC here in the U.S. and the Madrid-based International Organization of Securities Commissions – were spurred by the Libor revelations to investigate the possibility of collusive manipulation of gold and silver prices. "Given the clubby manipulation efforts we saw in Libor benchmarks, I assume other benchmarks – many other benchmarks – are legit areas of inquiry," CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton said.

But the biggest shock came out of a federal courtroom at the end of March – though if you follow these matters closely, it may not have been so shocking at all – when a landmark class-action civil lawsuit against the banks for Libor-related offenses was dismissed. In that case, a federal judge accepted the banker-defendants' incredible argument: If cities and towns and other investors lost money because of Libor manipulation, that was their own fault for ever thinking the banks were competing in the first place.

"A farce," was one antitrust lawyer's response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.

"Incredible," says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.

All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings – in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation's GDP – are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it's increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.

If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati – this is the real thing, and it's no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Court rules citizens have the right to record police