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If You Don't Challenge the Smoke and Mirrors the Smoke Becomes Law and the Mirrors Become an Inescapable Nightmare

by Neil Garfield | January 25, 2019

Bottom Line: Failure to attack the facial validity of the documents is virtually hanging the homeowner letting him/her twist in the wind. Without such a relentless attack based upon scrutiny of the exact wording on documents revealing that nobody is actually identified as a real party in interest, you will be trapped by an endless cascade of legal presumptions against the homeowner.

In response to an email from a fellow attorney asking me about bankruptcy (BKR), the statute of limitations (SOL) adn renewing the debt after BKR discharge or renewing the payment by acknowledging it after BKR, I wrote the following.

  1. If the loan was scheduled as secured in favor of a particular creditor it is probably incorrect. If the loan was subject to a valid encumbrance at all, it almost certainly was not in favor of the current claimant, who has not purchased the debt and therefore no debt was transferred in fact despite paperwork appearing to state the contrary. Nor has the current claimant obtained authorization from the real owner of the debt as agent or representative.

  2. SOL: You are right but courts got tricky with this and they rule, like in Florida, that the statute ran out only on payments that were due and that there is a presumption of deceleration at some point. Check NY law. Florida is changing back to the old rule slowly which supports your view.

  3. Any payment on a debt can restart the statute running. Check Federal BKR law and NY Law. Payment while in BKR presents problems if not done with court approval.

  4. Under “modification” there are several problems. First every such modification is in actuality the transfer of the debt from an old pretender to a new pretender (servicer). In most respects it is a new loan agreement entirely, probably subject to TILA disclosure requirements because the old chain of title is being abandoned and a new one is being started — all without any reference to or formal grant of authority from the actual owner of the debt. Payments under such a “modification” agreements are not really payments on the debt because the payment is neither going to the owner of the debt nor anyone formally authorized by the owner of the debt. Such payments could be construed as a new and probably unenforceable obligation.

  5. Acknowledgment by borrower of the debt owed to Pretender A directed to Pretender B is not acknowledgment of the debt if neither of them was the owner of the debt or an authorized representative or agent of the owner of the debt. But unless you attack the facial validity of the instruments, the law of the case will slide toward treating both pretenders as real. Once final that becomes irreversible.

  6. BKR discharge operates by law and not individual action. See BKR law and procedure. A promise to pay AFTER discharge might subject both the pretender creditor and the borrower to sanctions.

  7. An unconditional promise is just that and it is enforceable if supported by consideration. But there is no consideration.

  8. At a minimum there should be disclosure to the court and possibly seek court approval for agreements signed. But if you do that you are again creating law of the case that essentially requires treatment of the pretenders as real parties.

 

 

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