Mortgage Servicing Fraud
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
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Bill
Mr. Dibert runs a company that provides foreclosure defense litigation support.  While I have no idea what EXACTLY they do, I have never used their services, I do not provide an endorsement of their services, I think this post by Mr. Dibert is very interesting because I fell into this same trap with Mr. Garfield's website which took a lot of time to UNLEARN and a lot of help from patient, knowledgeable, senior forum members to fix. 

This is not intended to bash Mr. Garfield or his website, just a warning to Pro- Se litigants of the endless hours of research and help from others needed to even begin to defend your home.  You CANNOT just cut and paste Internet pleadings.   

Always try to find an attorney. 

Debunking the Gospel of [Neil] Garfield

Apr 7, 2010 // by Steve Dibert // Mortgage Fraud News, Steve’s Blog // 17 Comments

Since starting MFI-Miami almost 2 years ago, I have received some pretty strange calls from people. I’ve had real estate agents call me who have bought 15 income properties and then try to claim they are victim of Predatory Lending. I’ve had people who have bought investment properties who thought because they watched two episodes of The Apprentice they’re as smart as Donald Trump. I have gotten calls from the conspiracy theorists who think the Obama Administration wants their property so they can build an internment camp on it when the armed UN hovercraft come skimming over the Everglades. These are some of the more interesting calls.

However, the most interesting calls I get are from Pro Se litigants. What are Pro Se litigants? Pro Se litigants are homeowners who represent themselves in court and usually have no training as a lawyer. They are usually people who think they know more than everyone else or have the attitude of “Why should I hire a lawyer when I can do it myself.”

As the saying goes, “An attorney who represents themselves has a fool for a client.” Here’s a case in point. I had a foreclosure client when I started MFI-Miami, who filed an answer to his foreclosure that he copied and pasted off Neil Garfield’s website, Living Lies. My client then tells me he was going file a federal civil RICO case against his lender because his wife’s “forged” signature violated interstate commerce laws which is a RICO predicate. When I asked him who told him he could do that, he claimed he read he could do it on Garfield’s site. I have since received dozens of calls from people asking me for free advice based on what they read by Neil Garfield.

I have received at least 6 calls in the past week from Pro Se litigants claiming that they don’t know what to do because their Florida judge laughs at them for demanding the wet inked copy of their note. This is one of those misconceptions out on the blogosphere that had its origin from the Living Lies site. The misconception is that if the servicer or the Trustee cannot produce the original wet inked note, then they lack legal standing to execute a foreclosure and therefore the debt obligation is now nullified. This is absolutely false. In Florida, the transfer affidavit or note must officially be on record with the county 60 days prior to a servicer or Trustee filing the initial foreclosure complaint. When the attorney files the foreclosure complaint, all they are required to do is attach a copy of the original note.

For those you who don’t know who Neil Garfield is, he is a self-proclaimed Foreclosure Expert who holds seminars across the country for lawyers and Pro-Se litigants helping them fight foreclosures. According to his biography, was an Economist, Accountant and he is a “Chairman Emeritus” of a consortium of financial service companies and claims to be the “ultimate insider” on Wall Street. (Page 4, Garfield Continuum Handbook) Yet, he never mentions which companies he has worked with or the positions he held. The state of Florida also has no license on file for him being an accountant.

If he was a Wall Street “Insider,” he was like Lon Chaney aka The Man of Thousand Faces because friends of mine in the media who cover Wall Street had never heard of him until he started doing seminars. He was a trial attorney in Florida from 1977 until 1993 and by his own admission to me when I attended his seminar in Orlando last May, has not done any litigation work since then.

He preaches that, “homeowners can walk into a foreclosure hearing and walk out owning their house free and clear.” (Page 5, Garfield Continuum Handbook)

He even preaches this on his website and it is over-simplified comments like this that draw people to his website looking for easy answers. Like a late night televangelist, Garfield delivers a lot of what on the surface appears to be easy solutions but in reality are very complex legal arguments. Unfortunately, for the homeowner, foreclosure defense is not easy. It is a lot of painstaking detective work and TILA rescissions happen in only one of out of 50-75 loans.

Neil Garfield’s theories make for great legal debate and table talk for foreclosure defense junkies and conspiracy theorists. However, in reality his theories are impractical for the average homeowner due to the astronomical fees of legal research and litigation that they would require. What Neil Garfield fails to understand or express to his seminar participants is that judges do not like going out on the proverbial limb and therefore will not make precedent making decisions.

In other words, Neil Garfield is great at talking the talk but is a little short on walking the walk. He lacks the practical litigation experience to transform his theories into reality. Even now if you read his blogs, attorneys as well as Pro Se litigants who are frequent contributors phrase their comments as if expressing opinion instead of fact.

Garfield has created a problem in judicial foreclosure states such as Florida. He has unleashed an army of Pro Se litigants who have clogged the courts trying to argue their foreclosure cases using theories they barely understand. They lack not only legal expertise but lending expertise. They are totally unprepared to argue their own cases and fail to learn or obey court procedure. Many of them go in to court trying to argue constitutional law or TILA and find themselves summarily dismissed by a judge. They then write comments on the blogosphere claiming the judicial system is corrupt and that corruption is a result of some mass government conspiracy.

What the Garfield seminars fail to express to these litigants is that foreclosure laws vary from state to state and if you are fortunate enough to live in a judicial state like Florida or New York, judges want to hear state statute not federal statute unless it is relevant to your case.

This also creates another problem for the court system. The problem consists of the homeowners who have been successful in getting their foreclosures postponed. Fed by what they read on Living Lies, these pro se litigants begin having delusions of grandeur and begin believing they are the next Alan Dershowitz or Gerry Spence. They begin dispensing legal advice on the internet. The reality is, it was not the Gospel of Neil Garfield or the Pro Se litigant’s superior linguistic or legal abilities that got the foreclosure postponed but forces beyond the homeowner’s control.

In his 683 page handbook which is riddled with errors, he claims, “Neil has come out of retirement with one purpose in mind – to do all he can to counter the effects of the mortgage meltdown and save the people and the country from the disaster of created by free money using derivative securities that not even experts understood and targeting the least sophisticated members of society.”

This may sound charitable, but don’t believe the hype. At the end of the day, it’s all about the Bejamins. Garfield and his partner Brad Keiser use these seminars to market future consulting work and forensic audits from law firms and Pro Se litigants that attend their conferences.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with people making money and I don’t have a problem with the fees Garfield and Kaiser charge their clients, I do have an issue with what they preach and how they manage the expectations of what they preach to the average homeowner. This industry is filled with enough wannabe Elmer Gantrys or messianic types with no practical mortgage industry experience and the last thing it needs is to encourage more unqualified “healers” to come into this business which is what Garfield and Keiser are doing.
http://www.mfi-miami.com/2010/04/debunking-the-gospel-of-garfield/

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William A. Roper, Jr.
Well said!

Early in the development of Living Lies, I found what appeared to be a disproportionate amount of plagerism from this site, including documents I had procured at my own expense and forwarded to the site administrators to post in the MS Fraud Legal Lounge.

In general, I believe that it is better to widely disseminate these documents.  They are in the public domain.

But in my view, courtesy and professionalism dictates at least giving credit where credit is due.

I have found the information peddled by Mr. Garfield to be of extremely uneven quality.  And his conspiracy theories are very likely to get already confused borrowers in deeper trouble.

I have no problem with capable people profitting from services actually rendered.  I am a firm believer in capitalism and the profit motive.  But I would NOT hire Mr. Garfield as an attorney OR a consultant, NOR would I recommend him to any person who is interested in saving his property from foreclosure!
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William A. Roper, Jr.

I have no opinion whatsoever about Steve Dibert other than that he writes well and makes some compelling points about Garfield.

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The Equitable One
To my knowledge Brad Keiser is no longer connected with Neil Garfield or LivingLies.
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    In my humble opinion, Mr. Garfield was one of the first to "get" the big
picture. He explained the "scandal" from both the "investors" and the "borrowers" point of view. He noticed for example, that for every 100 units
of investors money IN only about 10 units of money actually got loaned to
the borrowers, the rest got stolen by Wall Street. He called it the hidden
"yield spread premium".
    Now, after the recent convictions of the Taylor,Bean, Whitacre executives
and all the admissions they made under oath, about "plan B", it is clear that
they were selling the same mortgage Notes multiple times to different investors. Colonial Bank collapsed because of this "Ponzi" scheme. ( The story
is on today's Livinglies website.)
     What is fascinating about the article, is  how the perpetrators tried to get TARP funds from the Federal government to save Colonial Bank and it
was that application that caused the whole scheme to unravel and be exposed. One must wonder how many other TARP fund recipients managed
to fool the Feds and get the money to bail out their Ponzi pyramids.
      I have researched many TBW foreclosures and they all used MERS as
cover in the mortgage documents to hold the mortgage so the investors
would not realize that multiple Notes on the same mortgage deed were being
sold. In evey case I examined, the Note presented was a COUNTERFEIT COLOR PHOTOCOPY. Sometimes, they were of such low quality that they
had turned PURPLE! This fact never stopped Judges from granting "summary
judgment" to the servicers who were foreclosing as though they owned the
loan.
       Yes, a lot of "free houses" have been given away, but as Mr. Garfield
has pointed out, they were given to the "pretender lender" servicing companies who had zero equity in the properties.
       The borrowers were merely unwitting minor pawns in a massive nationwide securities fraud scheme. All MERS mortgages were unlawful
because they by- passed OFFICIAL RECORDS mortgage recording laws.
All the debts so secured should be ruled "unsecured" and the properties
returned to their rightful owners. The investors need to be made whole
by recouping their stolen money from the Wall Street fraudsters who ripped
them off. That has been Mr. Garfield's mantra and I second that emotion!
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Bill
 
Quote:
In my humble opinion, Mr. Garfield was one of the first to "get" the big
picture. He explained the "scandal" from both the "investors" and the "borrowers" point of view. He noticed for example, that for every 100 units
of investors money IN only about 10 units of money actually got loaned to
the borrowers, the rest got stolen by Wall Street. He called it the hidden
"yield spread premium".
    Now, after the recent convictions of the Taylor,Bean, Whitacre executives
and all the admissions they made under oath, about "plan B", it is clear that
they were selling the same mortgage Notes multiple times to different investors. Colonial Bank collapsed because of this "Ponzi" scheme. ( The story
is on today's Livinglies website.)
     What is fascinating about the article, is  how the perpetrators tried to get TARP funds from the Federal government to save Colonial Bank and it
was that application that caused the whole scheme to unravel and be exposed. One must wonder how many other TARP fund recipients managed
to fool the Feds and get the money to bail out their Ponzi pyramids.
      I have researched many TBW foreclosures and they all used MERS as
cover in the mortgage documents to hold the mortgage so the investors
would not realize that multiple Notes on the same mortgage deed were being
sold. In evey case I examined, the Note presented was a COUNTERFEIT COLOR PHOTOCOPY. Sometimes, they were of such low quality that they
had turned PURPLE! This fact never stopped Judges from granting "summary
judgment" to the servicers who were foreclosing as though they owned the
loan.
       Yes, a lot of "free houses" have been given away, but as Mr. Garfield
has pointed out, they were given to the "pretender lender" servicing companies who had zero equity in the properties.
       The borrowers were merely unwitting minor pawns in a massive nationwide securities fraud scheme. All MERS mortgages were unlawful
because they by- passed OFFICIAL RECORDS mortgage recording laws.
All the debts so secured should be ruled "unsecured" and the properties
returned to their rightful owners. The investors need to be made whole
by recouping their stolen money from the Wall Street fraudsters who ripped
them off. That has been Mr. Garfield's mantra and I second that emotion!



Mike H,

Your post is a prime example of WHY Mr. Dibert had such a negative post about Living Lies.  While your opinion is very "COLORFUL" and full of "theories" the problem is when a Pro Se attempts to bring this into the courtroom and argue this before a judge.  There is a huge difference between your opinion, Mr. Garfield's opinion, and ARGUMENTS SUPPORTED BY FACTS AND CASE LAW WHICH IS WHAT A JUDGE WILL ACCEPT.  Judges do not want an unfounded opinion arguing your ideology, they want something they can understand and rule on based on the LAW and FACTS.  

I have not, as of this date, seen any case which has been decided in favor of a foreclosure Defendant using these arguments or the old "Death Gamble" theory.  If you have them please post them for all the members here to read.  

This also begs an answer to the question, "If Mr. Garfield is correct on his assertions, why have the premier foreclosure defense attorneys distanced themselves from these arguments?" 
 
You and Mr. Garfield are suggesting Catastrophic fatal flaws in mortgages, securtization, foreclosures, funding, ect... but no one other than Mr. Garfield can understand "What is going on" and he never offers proof of his claims other than "I know" and "from my experience". 

While I do read living lies on occasion because I feel the failure to investigate "theories" will result in a lack of progress in the war against foreclosure, when these assertions/allegations/theories are proven and supported by facts I feel the top attorneys will jump all over it and you will see good caselaw start popping up in different jurisdictions.   





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Dear Bill,
    I understand your objections. Most people are not "mavericks" and they are naturally opposed to new theories unless they have hard evidence to back them up and show that they work in practice. THAT IS WHY WE NEED
"MAVERICKS" TO STIR THINGS UP!
    A good example from history is the invention of the first airplane by the
Wright brothers, two bicycle mechanics from North Carolina.
    The best minds in engineering had been trying to invent a flying machine
for hundreds of years and then it gets solved by two semiliterate, country
boys from N.C.. The problem was that a monoplane does not get enough
lift. French military engineers tried all kinds of different wing shapes but the
Wright brothers, in typical country boy thinking said to themselves, "If one
wing won't give enough lift, lets bolt two wings together, parallel to one another, that should give us twice the lift." They were the original "WING NUTS" who solved the problem that the experts could not figure out.
     With the TBW convictions now on the record, many timid lawyers now
have a proven avenue to explore as a new defense to foreclosure. Also,
here is a question to ponder, "How can a defunct lender which was a member
of MERS, assign a mortgage to a new entity using MERS as the agent, three
years after the demise of the original lender? It violates agency law, yet
Judges allow it all the time and few lawyers object to it. Why is that?
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William A. Roper, Jr.
Quote:
Mike H. said:
How can a defunct lender which was a member
of MERS, assign a mortgage to a new entity using MERS as the agent, three
years after the demise of the original lender? It violates agency law, yet
Judges allow it all the time and few lawyers object to it. Why is that?


Mike H.:

We have been discussing that issue here at the MS Fraud Forum since before Neil GARFIELD knew how to spell F-O-R-E-C-L-O-S-U-R-E.

Neil hasn't discovered anything new or significant.  But he is occasionally good at identifying the compelling arguments and analysis of others and trumpeting the information as his own ideas and work.

But the trouble is that he also seems unable to distinguish FACT from FANTASY and has similarly seized upon several ideas that have no merit whatsoever.

Therein lies the problem.  When a poorly informed pro se defendant shows up in court seeking to present the least coherent and most palpably irrational and even fanciful of the uneven sewage seeping from his site, the Judge shuts off the rambling defendant orders foreclosure and renders the poor victim HOMELESS!

As long as Mr. GARFIELD gets his $$, he can live with that.  Most folks here are quite content to share their knowledge and experience at NO COST.

Mr. GARFIELD is NO VISIONARY.  Rather he is a rather ordinary snake oil salesman.
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Bill
Mike H,

While I agree, someone has to take chances and new avenues to foreclosure defense because the law is not stagnant, the law is an evolving organism, a   Pro Se litigant SHOULD NOT be the parties to test these new arguments. 

There are PROVEN simple arguments that if properly pleaded and EFFECTIVE discovery is propounded on the Plaintiff cause all sorts of problems for the Plaintiff.    A big problem is as Mr. Debert stated, these arguments posted on a lot of websites (not just living lies) oversimplify very complex arguments.   

 

 

Quote:
"How can a defunct lender which was a member
of MERS, assign a mortgage to a new entity using MERS as the agent, three years after the demise of the original lender? It violates agency law, yet Judges allow it all the time and few lawyers object to it. Why is that?

 
I am familiar with similar situations like this.  If you search the forum this has been addressed a few times, a few different ways. 

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Duncan
Here is the danger of going pro-se with unsupportable arguments.  Take a moment to read this recent Arizona Court of Appeals decision to see exactly WHY the produce the note, the note was assigned, etc, blah, blah, won't work.

http://www.cofad1.state.az.us/memod/CV/CV100385.pdf

Stick to the facts.  Note the Court made a point of saying the owner/pro-se never alleged he wasn't in default.  Fatal mistake.


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My friends,
Can we stop bashing each other and focus on positive foreclosure defense  issues ? I like all the websites that discuss foreclosure issues. They gives a forum so people can get together , discuss their foreclosure lawsuits and feel that they are not the only one who is in financial trouble. This moral support is very important to many people. I am crying the lost of Foreclosure Blues. It is an informative website, just like other websites. Neil Garfield's website is informative and provide forum for people to discuss their problems and exchange knowledge.  

Internet advices are for information only. We have to select them and choose them for our own use. It made people aware of the issues and it is their responsibilities to investigate the issues further. Hiring an attorney is not a guarantee to win lawsuit; hiring the wrong attorney is worst.  So one must educate themselves on the foreclosure issues whether one hires attorneys or do it pro se.

Those of you who wants to audit your own mortgage, buy this book for approx $29. It has step by step instruction how to look for TILA, RESPA and other mortgage fraud." 23 legal defenses to foreclosure how to beat the bank" by Troy Doucet. http://www.foreclosure-fight.com/shop/product/23-legal-defenses-e-book:1.

Judges are dismissing foreclosure lawsuits. Pro se don't give up. Read the blog below written by Foreclosure Defense Hero Mark Stoppa Esq.,
A collection of Order Granting Motion to Dismiss
 

One of the things that drives me craziest about being a foreclosure defense attorney is when I see fellow foreclosure defense lawyers, in court, voluntarily withdrawing their motions to dismiss or consenting to entry of an Order denying those motions.  Sure, this has no direct impact on my cases, but I hate seeing homeowners prejudiced by bad lawyering.  Plus, I fear this suggests to judges, albeit implicity, that motions to dismiss are not worth arguing – that creates the false impression that such motions lack merit, and that’s not the impression we want to be leaving on our judges. 

I’m not suggesting that foreclosure lawyers bring motions to dismiss that lack merit.  Rather, my point is that, in my experience, there is almost always a bona-fide reason to dismiss a foreclosure complaint.  Judges don’t always agree, but the way the banks’ lawyers prepare these complaints, there is invariably some good-faith argument for dismissal.  So when I see colleagues giving up on these motions without a fight, it drives me nuts!

If you’re a foreclosure defense attorney or a Florida homeowner facing foreclosure, and you don’t think motions to dismiss can be granted in foreclosure cases, check out the Orders below.  There’s obviously no guarantee such a ruling will happen in any given case, but Orders like this are entered frequently enough that it would be hard for me to imagine consenting to an Order denying a motion to dismiss (without a hearing).  

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion To Dismiss Amended Complaint

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss Complaint

Order on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss

Order on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Complaint

Order on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss

Order on Defendant(s) Motion to Dismiss

Order on Defendant(s) Motion to Dismiss

Order on Defendant(s) Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss Complaint

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss Complaint

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss Complaint

Order Granting Motion to Dismiss Complaint

Mark Stopa

http://www.stayinmyhome.com

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I agree with Mr. Dibert & Mr. Roper, most of what's posted on Garfield's website, by him. is nothing more than conjecture and wishful thinking. Anyone with any legal acumen & two brain cells to rub together can see it. Moreover, several individuals have challenged him to show proof of anything close to a win. A dismissal without prejudice is not a win.

Our latest press release; Beware of the Latest Foreclosure Rescue Scam--"Pretender Defenders" http://www.mmdnewswire.com/foreclosure-rescue-scam basically exposes his and his disciples nonsense!
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