Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Homeowner Wins Case Without a Lawyer

New York Times, October 18, 2010

A case in Oregon may prove to be a classic example of how a single person can affect the legal system.

Judge Garr M. King issued an injunction in United States District Court blocking the foreclosure of Ms. Rinegard-Guirma's home, saying she was likely to prevail in her argument that the basic structure of MERS violates Oregon law and renders the mortgage invalid.

In her complaint, she sees a conspiracy to drive her out of her home, and says actions of the defendants have caused her to suffer "nausea, headaches, sleeplessness, skin rashes and depression," for which she was treated at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. She says efforts to negotiate a loan modification were rebuffed, despite proof she could not afford the monthly payments.

According to the judge, the mortgage on her home was sold to one of the more troubled subprime mortgage securitizations, GSAMP Trust 2006-HE5, a Goldman Sachs deal. Under the law, the sale of the mortgage would have had to take place in 2006, around the time the securitization trust was created. The company that arranged the mortgage, Mortgage Lenders Network USA, has gone out of business...

The Oregon judge reports that "on April 15, 2008, at 4:56 a.m., Marti Noriega, acting as vice president for `Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. as nominee in favor of Mortgage Lenders Network USA Inc.' signed as assignment of deed of trust" conveying the mortgage to LaSalle National Bank, the trustee of the mortgage trust. (LaSalle is now part of Bank of America.)

That date is more than six months after the last payment on the mortgage. Mortgage Lenders Network had halted operations 15 months earlier, yet still was able to have someone act as its nominee.

Note the time, before 5 a.m. According to the trust report, it began foreclosure proceedings in April 2008. Is it possible that the proceedings began the same day the deed was assigned?

The Oregon case is Natache D. Rinegard-Guirma v. Bank of America in United States District Court in Oregon, Civil Case No. 10-1065-PK. In the trust records, which I found on Bloomberg, the loan has the number 404029308.

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