Monday, January 31, 2011

Live Broadcast: Title insurance, Foreclosures, MERS, Standing and you (live radio broadcast)

The United States Foreclosure Crisis

Michael Haltman of Hallmark Abstract Service appearing live on 1220 KDOW in San Francisco

The show: The Real Wealth Show with Kathy Fettke

The topic: Who's really got title now?

Where: The interview can be listened to below (the interview begins at 4 minutes, 10 seconds into the broadcast).

Taped on Saturday, January 29, 2011, Michael Haltman spoke about the current foreclosure crisis in the United States real estate market and the fact that in more and more cases foreclosures are being contested and overturned.

The issues are many, including things such as robo-signing, MERS, fraudulent notarizations and the failure on the part of lenders to prove that they have the Standing to foreclose. The questions are many as well, such as will foreclosures already decided be overturned, will new homeowners who purchased REO's from bank be forced out in favor of the original delinquent homeowner and will title insurers be on the hook?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Jersey foreclosure reversed: Reason, lack of standing!

Standing to foreclose rears it's head, this time in New Jersey

In what seems to be playing out more and more often, an already decided foreclosure, this time in New Jersey was reversed because the foreclosing lender, Wells Fargo, could not prove that it had the standing to foreclose. The decision came down on Friday in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

A summary of the decision can be found at 4closureFraud, and the full decision can be read below.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., As Trustee, Respondent, V. SANDRA a. FORD, Appellant.

Sunday funnies: Motivated home seller (Cartoon)

Courtesy of inmanNEWS

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hallmark Abstract on the radio

Hallmark Abstract on the radio

Discussion of foreclosure, robo-signing, standing, MERS and more

Michael Haltman will be appearing on The Real Wealth Radio Show hosted by Kathy Fettke on 1220 KDOW in San Francisco. The show will cover some of the many issues surrounding foreclosures, and can be heard live at 1:00 PM EST by visiting and clicking on the Listen Live button at the top.

When: Saturday, January 29, 2011
Time: 1:00 PM EST
Place: 1220 KDOW Radio
How: Click the listen live button on the top of the page
Hallmark Abstract Service LLC

Michael Haltman, Partner
131 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 205
Jericho, New York 11753
516.741.4723 (P)
516.741.6838 (F)

If you are involved with buying or selling commercial or residential real estate, either privately or professionally, ask your attorney to ask about Hallmark Abstract.
Ask them if they have ever been to a closing where the title wasn't cleared, because Hallmark hasn't!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Non-securitized mortgage flow chart

Exploring the current foreclosure crisis

One of the major issues that will be in the spotlight moving forward will be the foreclosure of mortgages that were bundled and sold as REMIC's, mortgage backed securities (MBS), and collateralized mortgage obligations (CMO's). It is likely that for many of these mortgages that were sold and then resold, the paperwork for all of these assignments is not in order. This puts the ability of the lender to foreclose successfully in jeopardy.

What a non-securitized, non-MERS mortgage looks like

The flowchart is of a mortgage that was not securitized and not maintained in the MERS database. It shows the progression from loan origination to mortgage satisfaction. In the next article securitized mortgages will be examined.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Judge Schack of New York getting tough on foreclosures (Video)

... Now, Judge Arthur M. Schack of Brooklyn has taken things a step further. Since the banks in cases before him have yet to begin complying with the new court rules, he has started throwing out foreclosure cases. But the question isn't whether the banks will now choose to start complying with the rule: The question is: Will they even be able to?

"You Have to Obey Court Orders"...

Watch the video at this link.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Foreclosure opinion from ALTA

The Docket: Ibanez Ruling Spells Out Proper Foreclosure Procedure

January 18, 2011

The Docket is a monthly TitleNews Online feature provided by ALTA’s Title Counsel Committee that reviews significant court rulings and other legal developments, and explains the relevance to the title insurance industry.

Citation: U.S.National Bank Association, trustee vs. Antonio Ibanez (and a consolidated case)…; No.SJC-10694

Short Facts: Two lenders, trustees of a securitized pool of loans, purchased property at their respective foreclosure sales. They then started quiet title actions to have the court ratify the location of the publication of notice (they thought they used the wrong newspaper). The complaint sought the declaration that the title was held by the lenders in fee simple. The original borrowers did not respond, so the lenders asked for default judgments that asked the court recognize the assignment into the plaintiff which appeared of record after the sale. The record holder of the mortgage was the apparent servicer. The lenders tried to show the court, by use of the various unrecorded assignments, and servicing and pooling agreements, that they, as trustees of the “Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates” and “Asset Backed Certificates” that they were, in fact the current owner of the mortgage and indebtedness. The documents were not executed and did not have exhibits describing the specific loans and appeared to be incomplete. The court did not agree.

Holding: The lower court (Land Court which is a specialized process of title review) held that the publication in the metro paper was good notice for land in an adjacent suburb, however, the foreclosure was void because the plaintiffs did not have standing to foreclose since the assignments to them were executed and recorded after the sale. The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts granted direct appellate review and agreed with the lower court.

Relevance to the title insurance industry: In the current climate of foreclosure fiasco, the courts are not hesitating to hold the lenders to the letter of the law, even though the borrowers did not raise a defense (or even appear). Unfortunately, in the deluge of foreclosures, the foreclosing parties have been shown to cut corners. We need to make sure we are reviewing and analyzing each foreclosure carefully, especially on the resale of REO.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ibanez ruling in Mass. could have far reaching impact on foreclosures

The ruling by the Massachusetts State Judicial Court upheld a lower court ruling that US Bancorp did not have standing to foreclose on the loan of Antonio Ibanez.

The issue concerned the banks inability to produce a document chain that showed them as the rightful holder of the note and mortgage with the standing to foreclose.

It involved all of the ingredients and entities that make other in-progress and completed foreclosures potentially suspect including MERS, robo-signing and endorsing in blank. All these terms will be explored at a later time, but for now this is a flowchart of the Antonio Ibanez loan.

The Ibanez Ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: US Bank National Association (as trustee) vs. Antonio Ibanez (1/07/2011)

FORECLOSURE NULLIFIED: Assignment of the mortgage received after the foreclosure.

1. Ibanez executes mortgage with Rose Mortgage Inc.

2. Rose allegedly assigned the mortgage to Option One.

3. Option One then assigned the mortgage to Lehman Brothers.

4. Lehman Brothers allegedly assigned the mortgage to Lehman Brothers Holding.

5. Lehman Brothers Holding packaged the mortgage with 1000 others to be sold as a security.

6. The mortgages were to be placed with Asset Securities Corp. Asset Securities Corp. was then to assign the mortgages to US Bancorp as trustee.

7. In the event of a foreclosure, it was the job of US Bancorp to do so on behalf of the trust and in the interest of the bondholders.

8. To have the court rule in their favor, US Bancorp needed only to show documentation of each link in the chain of assignments. Because they could not do so, the foreclosure was overturned.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where have you been?

The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel, after an extended hiatus, is back with a vengeance!

Hallmark Abstract will now be providing updates and insights to the mortgage and title industry on a regular basis going forward.

In the current climate that includes questions surrounding foreclosures and terms that were once foreign to most including MERS, REMIC's, robo-signing and endorsing in blank, it is critical to stay on top of news stories as they emerge.

The Ibanez ruling handed down by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that upheld a lower courts ruling reversing a completed foreclosure is a graphic case in point.

Developments in the once relatively staid world of title insurance are now coming fast and furious, and Hallmark Abstract would be remiss is we did not keep our readers and clients fully informed.

That is our promise and our pledge.

Michael Haltman, Partner

Hallmark Abstract Service
131 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 205
Jericho, New York 11753
516.741.4723 (O)
516.741.6838 (F)