Mortgage bank again

Today is an important day. I have been in a four year fight with SunTrust. It seems like they will never learn. The lawsuit that I filed against them in December has been settled. Although the exact terms of the settlement are confidential, I can say that I received a 5 figure settlement. That is the second time that they have paid me 5 figures within the past year. In the settlement, I agreed to hold them harmless for everything that they had done as of the date of the settlement.

The day after the settlement was signed, they again violated the court’s order. I am going to wait a couple of months for them to do it a few more times, and I will sue them again. Sooner or later, they will get the message.

Continuing Shenanigans

For those just joining us:
I had a house that lost its value in the real estate crash. I declared bankruptcy, and was going to turn the house over to the bank. The bank testified in court that they were the owner of the note and the mortgage, but I caught them lying. They had sold the note and mortgage to Fannie Mae, two year earlier. I sued, and we settled out of court for almost 10 grand. They then sold the note and mortgage again, this time to Nationstar mortgage. They recorded the sale in the county clerk’s office.

Then SunTrust tried to foreclose. The foreclosure was dismissed, and Nationstar claimed to not have any record of owning the mortgage.

The feds stepped in and sued the banks. I got another $4,000 in THAT lawsuit.

SunTrust continued to send me demands for payment, even though prohibited from doing so by the bankruptcy court, and the fact that they no longer own the note and mortgage. So after a few years of this, I got tired of it and sued again in May of this year (the hearing was in June). This time, the court awarded me $14,700 and instructed SunTrust to have no further contact with me.

The next day, SunTrust began sending letters and leaving notes on my door. Since that court date in June, I have gotten 2 letters, 5 notes on my door, and two phone calls.

Today, I get a letter from SunTrust, telling me that they have sold my note and mortgage, and effective October 1, 2013, I should send my payments to yet another bank. I am thinking that this is going to be my new career.

Bankruptcy is supposed to allow you to start over. It has been four years, and this bank STILL will not leave me alone.

Two year anniversary

I also just realized that today marks the two year anniversary of my bankruptcy filing.

After finding myself owing $240,000 on a home that was only worth about $120,000, and trying to get some help from the banks that were flush with billions of bailout money, I decided that I could either be stuck with 27 more years of mortgage payments totaling over half a million so that I could own a home worth less than $100,000, or I could do the financially wise thing and walk away, I decided to declare bankruptcy.

It was a wise decision. It turns out the bank had sold my loan to 3 other banks at the same time, so no one knows who really owns the loan. They cannot find the loan paperwork, and it turns out that there are no bank records showing who owns the loan, so I still own the home even though I haven’t made the last 25 payments. The bank lied in court, and provided forged papers to try and prove that I owed them money. They got caught, I sued them, and won a not insubstantial pile of money.

I have no debt, a 3 year old, paid for in cash pickup truck, and $40,000 in savings. I have no debt. My credit score of 655 isn’t too bad, considering a two year old bankruptcy.

Who should Alan pay?

I got the following message today, in reference to my statements and rants against the fraud being committed by our banks:

Look, If someone isn’t paying for something, is it really theirs? I have a real hard time with this whole “free house” shit. I understand there are some complex issues to do with the paperwork, etc. but bottom line, if people aren’t paying for the house, WHY DO THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE THERE? And if so, why the hell should anyone else pay their mortgage?

 What I am talking about here is not about giving a person a free house. What I am talking about here is the banks using fraud to take a home that they do not have the legal right to take. Let me break it down:

Alan loans $100 to Bob, who agrees to repay him $150 in 10 payments of $15. He uses his television as collateral and signs an IOU. The thing is, Alan doesn’t have $100 to spare for the next 15 weeks, so he tells Charlie about the deal, and says, if you pay me $110, I will give you all the money that Bob pays me. Charlie agrees, essentially taking Alan’s word that Bob is good for it. Alan pockets $10 just for making the deal. Charlie has assumed all the risk, but makes $40 on the deal.

Things go well, until Alan figures out that he can loan out that same $100 a hundred times, and sells the IOUs to Charlie. Alan’s money making scheme relies on him continuing to make loans to people over and over, and soon he runs out of honest guys to loan money to, so to keep the cash train going, he begins to loan money to everyone, whether they can pay it back or not. Who cares, Alan thinks, getting them to pay is Charlie’s problem. Alan pockets the $1000 in profit.

Charlie is now the holder of $10,000 worth of paper, but has $1500 a week coming to him. The problem is that he doesn’t have the cash to pay Alan, so he gets 10 of HIS friends to loan him $1,000 each using the notes as collateral, and agrees to pay them $1200 a week. Charlie pockets the $300 a week in profit. The investors split up the IOUs, and split the weekly money. They are promised a total profit of $200 each for the loan. In the shuffle, no one really knows who owns which IOU, but this is not a problem.

Until people stop paying. Now, Bob owes money to someone, no one disputes that. Who does he owe the money to? Who has the right to take Bob’s television? What if Charlie comes forward and has a photocopy of the note, and demands the television? Is that good enough proof for Charlie to take the TV?

What happens a week later when David (one of the investors, or so David claims) produces a copy with a signature on it that says, “Pay to the order of _______, signed Charlie”? David states that the original was destroyed when he washed his pants, but he has this copy to prove that he is the rightful holder of the IOU. The problem is that Alan won’t give anyone the television unless they can prove that he is paying the right guy, so now who gets the money or the TV? David decides to solve the problem and sends a friend over to break into Bob’s house to steal the television. After all, SOMEONE owes David money, right?

Then, to complicate things further, Edward comes forward and has the ORIGINAL IOU, and sues Bob. So, how do we untangle this mess? Bob has lost the TV, and now has three different people, each with a legal claim to the $150 he owes someone. Who gets the money, who gets the TV? Who gets the shaft?

That is what we are dealing with, but on a much smaller scale. Imagine that this is not 100 loans of $100 each, but 60 MILLION loans averaging $200,000 each. While my example is hard to follow, the real one is much harder.

Just because a homeowner owes SOMEONE money, it doesn’t mean that he owes that particular bank money, and before a bank can take your home, they should have to prove that they are the one who is entitled to it. The problem is that the banks can’t do it, because through dishonesty and ineptitude, they have created a paperwork mess. There are 600,000 pending foreclosures on backlog right now in Florida, a state of 16 million people. In some counties, one in ten homes is in some stage of the foreclosure process. Some of them are cases where more than one bank is foreclosing on the  same home, using the same mortgage and promissory note as evidence.

Bank of America admits fraud, just not in so many words

First, it was GMAC that had to suspend foreclosures because they were caught manufacturing the paperwork needed to take people’s homes.

Then, JPMorgan Chase was forced to do the same, citing problems with documentation. From the Chase article:

The Associated Press said that the company has acknowledged its employees “signed some affadavits about loan documents without personally verifying the files,” and said the bank has asked judges to hold off on entering judgments on the foreclosures in question until its review is complete.

Now, Bank of America is following suit. These banks, their employees, and their attorneys are being caught committing perjury, yet there are still people out there who are blaming this economic meltdown on the borrowers by accusing them of borrowing money they couldn’t afford to repay. They blame the Government for “requiring” banks to lend to people who couldn’t pay.

They blame everyone except the banks, who took in trillions in profits by making sub-prime loans, then got a government bailout when the loans collapsed, and are now committing fraud to take people’s homes.

Why aren’t people being put in jail for this? Why are these lawyers not being disbarred?

Another problem being overlooked is this: When a foreclosure is found to have been awarded because of fraud, that foreclosure is void or voidable. When a lawyer, who is considered to be an officer of the court, is found to have fraudulently presented facts to court so that the court is impaired in the impartial performance of its legal task, the act, known as “fraud upon the court”, is a crime deemed so severe and fundamentally opposed to the operation of justice that it is not subject to any statute of limitation. 

What does this mean for the future of Real Estate? That means that no one can issue title to a single piece of property without considering the possibility that someone can have a previous foreclosure voided, and that property returned to the previous owner. Think about the implications of this, and the effect it will have on prices.

The 10 largest mortgage lenders in the Nation control 78% of the mortgages. They are:
1 Bank of America- 26% market share – suspended foreclosures due to fraudulent documentation
2 Wells Fargo – 24% market share
3 JP Morgan Chase- 10% market share – suspended foreclosures due to fraudulent documentation
4 GMAC- 4% market share- suspended foreclosures due to fraudulent documentation
5 Citigroup – 3.5% market share
6 US Bank Home Mortgage – 3% market share
7 PHH Home mortgage – 2.5% market share
8 SunTrust – 1.75% market share
9 Provident Funding -1.65%
10 Branch Banking and Trust 1.6%

Billing errors and documentation

I recently moved. When I moved, I shut off all services at the old house, and opened them at the new one. I had my mail forwarded, and I gave my new address to all of the people who needed it. All of my final bills came to me and were paid. Except one.

Bell South sent my bill to the new street address, but the old city, like so:

123 New House Street
Old Town, Florida

So as a result, I never got the bill. Three months later, I am contacted by a collection agency. I call Bell South and ask them why I was sent to collections, and the problem is quickly identified. I point out that since the error was theirs and not mine, that I will pay what I owe, but that I will not pay late fees, nor will I pay this unless I get a letter that states that the collection will not be placed on my credit.

The lady tells me that they don’t do that, and that I should just pay. She goes on to say that since the letter was not returned, the fact that I did not get the letter is not their problem.

The problem is that I will not pay a late fee that was not my fault, and if I pay at all without such a letter, nothing prevents them from placing a black mark upon my credit record.

I send a dispute letter to the collector AND to Bell South. Bell South sends me a copy of my last three bills, and these copies clearly show that they had the address wrong.

Funny thing is that the collection agency manages to get the address right. Since my dispute, they have both ignored my letters, and continue to call. They call me, they call my girlfriend. They send letters. Soon, I am sure they will place this on my credit record. When they do, they are going to force me into suing them for violating the law.

Why can’t businesses just do business in an ethical manner? I want to pay this, but I also am not going to ruin my credit for the next seven years because of an error on their part.