I'm not an attorney but my understanding that in a non-judicial state there is a strict adherence to the process and law.
You stated the following scenario:
1st: Notice of Default
2nd: Substitution of Trustee
3rd: Assignment of Deed of Trust
4th: Notice of Trustees Sale
5th: Assignment of Deed of Trust
How can a trustee be substitute if the lender has no assignment of the deed of trust? In a non judicial state the Trust of Deed contains a "power of sale" clause. The only person eligible to evoke that power of sale is the firm that has a valid, properly executed deed of trust. The F/C process CAN NOT start until the deed of trust.
Look at the date of the when the assignment of the deed of trust was executed. (Not recorded, the recording is only formal notification to the public). If the assignment was done AFTER the substitution of trustee, then you have a valid complaint.
Check the assignment out too. The principal must be named first; with the attorney in fact second. Wells Fargo tends to put their name in first, as attorney in fact with the principal second. This automatically VOID in the state of California. This means it is an invalid assignment.
Have your attorney find out if the assignment has a valid power of attorney as well. For example, if your lender is in Bankruptcy....how could they issue a power of attorney to the lender/servicer on the assignment? Fixing that little bit may not be possible. (I believe this is the equivalent of "show me the note" in Judicial states).
Now some people will say that the lender has substantial compliance -- meaning they did steps 1, 2, , and 5 correct; the only step they goofed up on was step 3. WELL STEP THREE IS HUGE BECAUSE IT DETERMINES WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY TO EVOKE THE POWER OF SALE. And if it is invalid or done incorrectly, then everything flowing from it should be null and void.
Fight the SOB's tooth and nail.
AND ask the judge to ask the lender...why on earth are they buying a defaulting loan?