By Michael Cormier
Knowledge is Power – Francis Bacon
We’ve all heard Francis Bacon’s quote before in some form or other. For centuries it’s been used again and again in speeches and literature.
Yet, however it’s used, it always means the same thing: When we gather facts and take the time to understand them, our lives are enriched. Hence we are empowered.
Nowhere is this truer than with mortgage foreclosures, where a little knowledge can make the difference between losing your home and keeping it. Yet we don’t always know where to find the right information, or how to turn that knowledge into power.
That’s why anyone facing foreclosure needs someone in their corner who will fight for them—a company like Peace of Mind, LLC (866-4WayOut; http://www.peaceofmind.services/stop-foreclosures). Peace of Mind is dedicated to helping homeowners experiencing difficulty at the hands of aggressive and unscrupulous mortgage lenders. Our staff and outside legal consultants stand ready to step in and level the playing field for homeowners.
So how exactly can Peace of Mind help you? Numerous ways. But let’s start with a scenario that will probably surprise you:
Once upon a time, we all believed that banks rarely, if ever, made mistakes. More important, we were taught that banks are always honest because the government regulates them and serves as our watchdog and protector.
Nothing could be further from the truth! Yet we didn’t understand just how wrong we were until the banking industry’s shiny facade began to peel away following the 2008 Wall Street crisis that nearly brought down our whole economy. And what was largely responsible for that crisis? Banks playing fast and loose with other people’s money by selling predatory mortgage loans and engaging in fraudulent banking practices.
It didn’t end there. The recent Wells-Fargo scandal highlights just how slipshod banking practices have become. Nowhere is this negligence better illustrated than the problem of missing mortgage documentation and illegal foreclosure practices.
Ah, but guess who might just benefit from these shady practices? The answer is YOU.
It’s true. If you’re facing the loss of your family home, your bank will treat you like some powerless insect that’s hunkered down on its property – an insect it can easily chase out with the help of its old pal, the legal system. Yet in many cases these banks have overestimated YOUR power.
Let me explain:
Over the last twenty or thirty years, mortgage lenders stopped paying attention to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). That was a mistake. The UCC is a statute adopted in all fifty states, which regulates financial transactions, especially ones involving promissory notes, mortgages, and other lending contracts. Two key provisions governing mortgage foreclosures are UCC 3-501 and UCC 3-309. In a nutshell, these laws tell lenders what they can and cannot do when making demands or commencing foreclosure proceedings against a borrower.
As the mortgage lending business became increasingly complex in the nineties and beyond, banks got sloppy. Documents were handled by more and more middlemen as banks stopped sending their own people to closings and loans were assigned and sold from one bank to the next. What happened in this process may prove to be your savior.
You see, before a bank can foreclose, it must be in possession of the original promissory note. Not a copy. Without getting into long detail as to how, many original notes were lost or misplaced in the course of all the paper exchange. Believe it or not, some banks fraudulently reproduced signatures using mechanical signature machines with ballpoint pens to make them look original. Even borrowers and their lawyers were hoodwinked into thinking the paper had a real signature!
Yet any borrower who challenged these fake promissory notes would have the bank’s attorney sweating bullets if she/he couldn’t authenticate the document for the court. The result? Some cases got tossed, and the borrowers got more time to negotiate a loan workout with better bargaining power. In some cases, they found themselves in the enviable position of having just cause to sue their lender. The power shifted from lender to borrower.
What’s shocking is how prevalent this problem, and the fraudulent banking practices it generated, really are. Much has been written about it in recent years, from lengthy law review articles (e.g. Uneasy Intersections: The Right to Foreclosure and the UCC; 48 Wake Forest Law Rev. Issue 5, Winter 2013) to numerous online case studies by attorneys versed in mortgage law and the UCC. A white paper published by Albany Law School can be obtained by contacting Peace of Mind, LLC at (866) 4WayOut or http://www.peaceofmind.services/stop-foreclosures.
The issue of original promissory notes is only the tip of the iceberg. For anyone whose house is upside down, or who is considering a short sale or even walking away from their home, Peace of Mind (866-4WayOut; http://www.peaceofmind.services/stop-foreclosures) is your source for knowledge and power. Not only is this true with unfair and deceptive banking practices, Peace of Mind can help you stay in your home even when the circumstances that got you into trouble were not the bank’s fault. Remember: lenders aren’t the only ones with rights.
So don’t throw in the towel until you’ve got all the facts. Start fighting for your home today by contacting Peace of Mind.
And feel better knowing you’re not alone.
Peace of Mind, LLC is a consumer advocacy group comprised of attorneys, paralegals, expert witnesses, finance professionals and other specialists whose objective is to help consumers and homeowners experiencing financial difficulties. Peace of Mind, LLC is not a law firm. The foregoing is meant only as a source of general information, and should not be construed as legal advice.