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IPFS News Link • Housing

Foreclosure-Gate: Judges Are Waking Up

In other words, Wells is coming in trying to foreclose on the property, claiming that the debtor (homeowner) isn't paying and thus can be evicted. A totally normal thing, right? Well, it would be, except that Wells is unable to prove it owns the note. The Note attached to the Motion was originally made payable to Lend America. The last page of the Note, however, contains a stamped endorsement, “Paid to the Order of Washington Mutual Bank, FA, Without Recourse Lend America.” (ECF Doc. # 9, at Ex. 1.) No evidence is offered that Washington Mutual Bank ever assigned or transferred the Note to Wells Fargo or to any other party. So the note is missing a complete chain of assignments. That is, there's no "there" there. Wells claims that by mere possession it is entitled to foreclose. However, that's not what the endorsements say - they claim that Washington Mutual is the creditor - not Wells. The signature on the Worksheet indicates that it was prepared by Craig C. Zecher, a Wells Fargo legal process specialist. Despite the fact that Wells Fargo did not obtain an assignment of the Mortgage until September 13, 2010, seven days before the lift-stay motion was filed on September 20, 2010, the Worksheet provides information about payment defaults dating back to April 1, 2010. Wells Fargo’s ability to certify the accuracy of the information provided in the Worksheet is questionable given its only recently acquired interest in the First Mortgage. This is the common dodge. Obtain the "assignment" only in the last minute before foreclosing (and in some cases after the case is filed.) In the latter case the assignment is worthless since you have to have standing on the day you bring the action. In the former case one questions exactly how one came to acquire the interest - and in this case it's not an open and shut circumstance, as there is plenty of question as to whether the WaMu acquisition by JPM/Chase has actually closed or not!