Is Borrower Bashing a Disease or Psychotic Disorder?

Scott Stafne goes to Dallas

By Scott E Stafne of Stafne Trumbull, LLC

Scott042-850x422-580x333In search of Continuing Legal Education credits I wandered into a different world last Thursday and Friday at the American Conference Institute’s Residential Mortgage & Regulatory Conference, Dallas, TX. The people at the conference, mostly lawyers for institutions seeking to eject people from their homes, were clearly human beings; Mostly youngish (under 55). Except for a token two-person panel representing home owners and a group of judges, most of the speakers seemed to agree that there was little need for meaningful judicial involvement in throwing home owners out of their homes. Indeed, many appeared indignant that families would not simply march out of their homes into the elements because their creditors beckoned them to do so.

One of the token “two member” homeowner defense panel complained that in Florida, where she practiced, the Courts had instituted a five minute trial system, for both contested and uncontested foreclosure cases. She complained (as well she should) that judges should treat contested cases differently. According to her Florida judges were not much inclined to do so; notwithstanding centuries of American jurisprudence which requires both sides to a dispute be given an opportunity to present their case.

belittle1A creditor’s lawyer belittled her concerns about requiring creditors to prove they actually own the debt, upon which a foreclosure is based. He incorrectly implied it was a completely acceptable practice for judges to exercise their discretion in determining whether hearsay should be admissible and documents should be considered authentic.

One speaker, on in-house counsel panel, suggested that routinely moving for sanctions against attorney’s representing debtors or filing ethics complaints against them would make lawyers think twice before representing debtors.

Finally a member of Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) litigation panel declared all fifty states agree proof of possession of the promissory note is sufficient to sustain a foreclosure; several others lawyers throughout the day suggested that waiving the original note in front of the judge (while claiming “the borrower had lived in the house free”) would help focus the judiciary on removing families from the home and onto the streets.

There were times I could not keep my mouth shut. And didn’t! For example, having received a litany of legal sanction threats from young creditors’ lawyers, I told the group I yodabelieved this constituted an abusive litigation practice. I asked the lawyer who belittled the defense attorney for objecting that documents had not been properly authenticated, whether he would not make similar objections if such documents were being offered against his clients.

Finally, I told the conference attendees that Washington State does not allow foreclosures based simply on possession of a promissory note. True enough, one can collect on the note; but not necessarily take the home as security. In Washington State, and I suspect in other states, foreclosure statutes (not just the Uniform Commercial Code) must be complied with before state governments can sanction a rightful creditor taking homes. In Washington State, the Supreme Court has indicated purported creditors cannot misuse our foreclosure statutes to steal Washington land.

Later that night I talked with a prominent Washington State creditor’s attorney. We engaged each other in friendly banter, but it was clear we disagreed on a fundamental principle. He was of the view that if “they” (you know: them) borrowed the money; they (them) needed to pay it back or hit the road. He complained our courts made matters worse by not just giving the houses to the banks so that the crisis could be over. To my constitutional concerns about the process, his “this trumps all” argument was: “So what if you are right? Then banks won’t do business in Washington and all our homes won’t be worth anything”. My retort: “If enforcement of the laws causes banks to flee, then Washington can serve as an example to other states as to what happens when laws are enforced. I think the banks need us more than we need them.”

Banks that are too big to fail & executives too powerful to jail must go the way of the dinosaur.

Lawyer Money Scales JusticeAs I sit here at DFW airport after the conference, before I go to San Diego to depose a CR 30(b)(6) designee of the McCarthy, Holthus law firm with regard to foreclosure practices, it seems clear to me the most significant issue of our time is: “what is going to matter most in the future, law or money?”

Clearly, we are no longer the same nation that held only a few decades ago that a president was not above the law (Nixon, for those of you who are young) as we are today; where judges and officers of the court (attorneys) openly opine their indifference with banks falsifying documents in violation of the law?

Creditors, their counsel, and the judges who want so much (and more often than they should ) to take houses away from families based on the “pay up” mantra sold to lawyers at the Dallas convention of creditors’ lawyers ignore that this is the same type of “King George” mentality challenged by American settlers through the Revolutionary War. The colonists did not think they owed the King what he demanded; hence the revolt celebrated on July 4 each year.

psychotic_paintingOur Constitution and Bill of Rights are a testament to our Founders’ reliance on procedures to produce the ideals to which they aspired. The separation of powers was made part of our system of governance so as to insure, among other things, that there was no single King George type authority.

Notwithstanding their experiences operating as a confederation, the framers of our constitution went to great lengths to insure that in many respects state governments were dual sovereigns, which could rightfully and lawfully stand up to the federal government on behalf of their citizens with regard to matters of local concern.

To me the seminar seemed more like a “support group” for creditors’ lawyers to indoctrinate them that creditors’ simplistic legal theories regarding “deadbeat debtors” are legally correct and cannot reasonably be disputed; when such theories are legally and undeniably FALSE and miss the point. We purport to be a country of laws which imposes the burden of proof on those parties whom seek relief. Or at least we used to claim we were a society based on law; not five minute sham trials.

Karma thank you

Thank you Scott for your candor and sharing. In Sheila Bair’s new book, Bull By the Horns, she too comments on the “borrower bashing” that was so prevalent even early on. That’s the way propaganda works – say it loud and long enough and someone will begin to repeat it – whether or not it’s true.

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13 thoughts on “Is Borrower Bashing a Disease or Psychotic Disorder?

  1. Yey creditor’s, don’t loan money to people and then purposely , stupidly ,illegally , greedily destroy the machine people use to earn money to pay it back, and then call them “deadbeats”. If the borrowers are “deadbeats” what are you? “debtbeats”?

  2. I have been dealing with Wells Fargo and their funny time games and it blows my mind to see a “National Association”be so brazen about sending documents that are conflicting another and could care less who knows it.Fabricating dates,documents,notary issues,etc and submit them to the CFPB knowing or thinking that they are above the law.Telling a homeowner that they cant work with them it’s not allowed by the “Investor” but having kept the deed in their name and assigning only after default,many years past the cut-off dates of the Garbage that is called a pooling agreement.Then “Authorizing”some law firm were half of these looser’s are not even lawyers starts a foreclosure and more fabrications,more robo-signing,more games, and then rationalizing their bs by saying homeowners are to blame.It is pathetic and a disgrace to the United States that this has been allowed to happen.Banks and their lawyers are the looser’s and deadbeats 100% they never lent a penny and never put the down payment on the home yet these Deeds and Notes give them more rights than should be allowed.Its what happens after the homeowner attempts to renegotiate or modify then QWR,Its their behavior thats pathetic and you cant rationalize that,forget the issues at origination,forget the issues relating to the so called Securitization that is disgusting also but the Behavior of the bigger banks is by far the most criminal in my opinion and lets one know that they will stop at nothing.I know a ton of folks refinanced during that era 2003-2008 and many have since refi’d out of those and many walked away.I was a “Premiere client” for almost 15 years before going into a Wells Fargo branch to try to renegotiate my Broker originated,No doc,6%,Interest only for 10 years,refi of my principle residence after having past loans paid in full same bank,Multiple accounts,stock account,IRA,etc and was told flat out nope cant do it.Basically they said your stuck in this junk and told me about something called an “Investor”,that was a term I had not heard before that day.This “Investor had guidelines they said,but wait let me get this I thought this was a loan with Wells Fargo,my bank of many years and they have been good years and now your telling me this.So started my journey and it continues even today.I would be willing to let anyone see the documents related and the crimes that have gone down if so interested.Good luck.

  3. I look forward to interviewing Attorney Stafne on this in the next week or so. Stay tuned and keep moving forward. By the way I dealt with another abusive attorney recently as part of our movie project; this guy was even brazen in the face of Linda Green and Sand Canyon’s lies and deceit so we called his office and ran video… Steven M. Autieri at Marinosci Law Group.
    http://mortgagemovies.blogspot.com/2013/10/marinosci-law-groups-steven-m-autieri.html

  4. BTW such a shame about the Florida rush jobs because if you recall a couple years ago the Bar Association was talking tough…. and most of us documented it…. so what happened?
    http://mortgagemovies.blogspot.com/2011/07/justice-takes-holiday-kingcastmortgage.html

    Thank you for telling the Truth in Florida Ethics as noted by my colleague Neil Garfield at his wonderful site “LivingLies.”

    “A Bar staff opinion held it makes no difference whether the case was open or closed or what stage an open case is at in terms of the lawyer’s duty. The opinion said that under Rule 4-3.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal), the improperly prepared affidavits constitute false evidence, and the lawyer has a duty to disclose that to the courts.”

    • It appears to me homeowners have a duty to protect their titles and the judicial system has a duty to allow you to.
      “Although Plaintiff wishes to focus on Defendants’ standing to challenge the MERS assignment, Defendants also have an essential contractual obligation to defend generally the title. From the mortgage, Section (Q), BORROWER COVENANTS: “Borrower warrants and will defend the title to the Property against all claims and demands, subject to any encumbrances of record.” Yep, it’s an obligation.

      -JD

      Comment by Sharon Nettleton 13 hours ago

      just a short blip here folks as when they say you are a “deadbeat” and do not have the right to questions them….read your deed of trust….BORROWER’S COVENANTS….. most I have read state that you swear to defend this deed against any and all recorded emcumbrances….SO, with that you not only have the right BUT THE CONTRACTUAL DUTY TO CHALLENGE AND DEFEND…. use it, it is the document you signed…..and your duty to protect…..

    • It appears to me homeowners have a duty to protect their titles and the judicial system has a duty to allow you to. “Although Plaintiff wishes to focus on Defendants’ standing to challenge the MERS assignment, Defendants also have an essential contractual obligation to defend generally the title. From the mortgage, Section (Q), BORROWER COVENANTS: “Borrower warrants and will defend the title to the Property against all claims and demands, subject to any encumbrances of record.” Yep, it’s an obligation.

      -JD

      Comment by Sharon Nettleton 13 hours ago

      just a short blip here folks as when they say you are a “deadbeat” and do not have the right to questions them….read your deed of trust….BORROWER’S COVENANTS….. most I have read state that you swear to defend this deed against any and all recorded emcumbrances….SO, with that you not only have the right BUT THE CONTRACTUAL DUTY TO CHALLENGE AND DEFEND…. use it, it is the document you signed…..and your duty to protect…..

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  7. Reblogged this on sandrakblog and commented:
    this is for my good friend Dave Dear karma….YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL!!!!!!THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME THE PLEASURE TO WATCH YOU AND YOUR LIEYING BULLYS BITCH SLAP THOSE WHO ARE LONG OVERDUE. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK Dave

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