M & T Bank v. Lisa D. Smith, et al., St. Johns County, FL, Case No. CA09-0418

June 10, 2010

Order  Granting  Defendant’s  Motion  to  Dismiss  Second  Amended Complaint with Prejudice, Circuit Court Judge J. Michael Traynor

This  foreclosure  action  was  filed  by  the  Law  Offices  of  Marshall  C. Watson on February 10, 2009. Defendants moved  to dismiss because the plaintiff’s allegations that it owned the note as bearer paper based on an Allonge attached to the Note conveying possession of the note in blank was inconsistent with the plaintiff’s allegations that the note was lost.  On  September  22,  2009,  this  motion  to  dismiss  was  granted. Plaintiff filed an amended Complaint on September 22, 2009, alleging that  it  owned  the  Note  by  virtue  of  an  Assignment.    On  October  6, 2009,  plaintiff  again moved  to  dismiss,  because  a  foreclosure  action cannot be based on an assignment of a mortgage that did not exist at the  time  the  foreclosure was  filed.   On February 19, 2010,  the Court granted  the  second motion  to  dismiss.    On  March  3,  2010,  plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint, alleging that it is now the servicer of  the  loan,  and  that  Wells  Fargo  owns  the  note  pursuant  to  the Allonge.  The  defendants  moved  to  dismiss  the  second  amended complaint on March 9, 2010 for fraud upon the court because 1) the previously blank Allonge was submitted with a stamp  indicating Wells Fargo, N.A. as Trustee was  the owner of  the Note; and First National Bank of Nevada could not have added the stamp since the FDIC closed the Frist National Bank of Nevada in 2008; and 3) Plaintiff’s allegations that it owns the note contradicts all of its previous claims.

Upon  review  of  Defendants’  motion,  the  Court  finds  the plaintiff  lacks  standing  and  is  not  a  proper  party  to  the suit.  The Court  has  been misled  by  the  Plaintiff  from  the beginning.  In  its  initial  Complaint,  the  Plaintiff  alleged  it owned  the note  that was  lost.   Then Plaintiff alleged  that not only was the  lost Note  found, but the Plaintiff actually owned  the  Note  by  Assignment.  After  both  of  these Complaints  were  dismissed,  Plaintiff  then  alleged  that Wells Fargo owned the Note, while the Plainitff was merely a servicer of the loan. Moreover, the Assignment on which Plainitff relied in its First Amended Complaint postdates the filing of this foreclosure action and is inconsistent with the Mortgage, Note, stamps allegedly affixed to the Note, and the  Allonge.  The  blank  stamp  affixed  to  the  Note  and  to the Allonge  indicate a transfer  from Fist Bank Mortgage, a division of First Bank of Georgia,  to First National Bank of Nevada, and  then  to an unidentified bearer.    In  contrast, the  Assignment  indicates  a  transfer  from  First  Bank Mortgage,  by  and  through Mortgage  electronic  Recording Systems,  directly  to  the  Plaintiff.    However,  First  Bank Mortgage  had  transferred  possession  of  the  Note  to  First National Bank  of Nevada  prior  to  the date  of Assignment from First Bank Mortgage  to Plaintiff, and  the Assignment postdates  the  filing of  the  foreclosure action. Accordingly, this  action  will  be  dismissed  with  prejudice  as  to  M  &  T Bank, since M & T Bank has been unable  to clarify how  it owns  the  Note,  but  Wells  Fargo  may  commence  a  new action, on its own, if it is in fact the owner of the Note.

Additionally,  the  Court  is  concerned with  the  authenticity of  the  documents  filed.  Plaintiff  is  asking  the  Court  to ignore the documents filed in the first two Complaints, and to  rule solely on  the most  recent Complaint. However, all three  of  these  documents  appear  to  be  inconsistent with one  another  and  have  changed  as  needed  to  benefit  the Plaintiff.  For  instance,  the  blank  Allonge  as  filed  on  both February 10, 2009, and September 22, 2009,  remarkably turned  into  a  stamped  Allonge  on  March  3,  2010,  with Wells  Fargo’s  information  in  the  previously  blank  area.  This  transformation  is most  interesting,  given  that  it was argued  that  the Office of  the Comptroller of  the Currency closed the Fist National Bank of Nevada on July 25, 2008, and the stamp did not appear  in either of the February or September  2009  filings.  Similarly,  Assignments  appeared and  vanished  as  needed,  and  the  Allonge  changed  to  fit the  Plaintiff’s  particular  purpose  at  that  moment. Accordingly,  an  evidentiary  hearing  will  be  held  to determine  the  authenticity  of  the  Allonge  and  the appearance of the Assignment.

The  evidentiary  hearing  in  this  matter  is  scheduled  for  August  19, 2010 at 1:45 in St. Augustine, Florida.

Regarding  the  first  assignment,  recorded  August  14,  2009,  the Assignment  is  TO M  &  T  Bank,  by  “Mortgage  Electronic  Registration Systems, as nominee for First Bank Mortgage, a Division of First Bank of  Georgia.”    It  is  signed  by  Daryle  J.  Deveso  who  is  identified  as “Assistant  Vice  President,  MORTGAGE  ELECTRONIC  REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INCORPORATED AS NOMINEE FOR FIRST BANK MORTGAGE, A DIVISION OF FIRST BANK OF GEORGIA.”

The  Deveso  signature  is  witnessed  by  Natasha  Hyman  and  Patricia Sneck and notarized  in Erie County, New York by Katherine M. Kraus.
The  question  that  comes  to mind  is  why  an  officer  of  First  Bank  of Georgia traveled to Erie County, New York to sign this document.

Because Daryle Deveso has an unusual name, it is possible to find an answer  in  the  age  of  Google.  A  search  of  this  name  indicates  that
Daryle Deveso was a member of  the Conference Planning Committee for the 6th

Annual Property Preservation Conference, held November 4-6, 2009. Mr. Deveso is identified as being employed by “M & T.”

This would mean  that when Deveso signed  the Mortgage Assignment as  an  officer  of  MERS  as  nominee  for  First  Bank  Mortgage,  the GRANTOR, he was actually employed by the GRANTEE, M & T Bank. Regarding  the  second  Assignment,  recorded  September  30,  2009,  it should  first  be  noted  that  the  word  “Corrective”  appears  under  the words “Assignment of Mortgage.”  A note to explain this is typed along the  side  of  the  document:  “This  Corrective  Assignment  is  being recorded  to  correct  the  Effective  Date  in  that  certain  Assignment  of Mortgage  recorded  8/14/2009  in  Official  Record  Book  3229  at  Page 1748 of the Public Records of St. Johns County.”

And  what  is  the  new  effective  date  of  this  Assignment  signed  and notarized on September 21, 2009?   According  to Assignment #2,  the Assignment is effective October 16, 2004.  If taken at face value, this would  certainly  solve  the  problem  of  the Assignment  post-dating  the filing of the foreclosure action, February 10, 2009.

This  Second  Assignment  is  also  TO  M  &  T  Bank,  by  “Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, as nominee for First Bank Mortgage, a Division of First Bank of Georgia.”  In this  regard,  it  is  identical  to  the first. The Second Assignment  is signed by Christopher M. Zeis who  is identified as “Vice President, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INCORPORATED AS NOMINEE FOR FIRST BANK MORTGAGE, A DIVISION OF FIRST BANK OF GEORGIA.” Christopher Zeis was NOT part of a conference planning committee where he is readily identified as an officer of M & T Bank.   His signature, however,  is witnessed by Natasha Hyman and Patricia Sneck and notarized  in Erie County, New York by Katherine M. Kraus.  These are the same witnesses and notary used by Daryle Deveso on the First Assignment when employees of  M & T Bank, the GRANTEE, were signing on behalf of the GRANTOR.

This is NOT the first time a defendant has accused The Law Offices of Marshal Watson of fabricating an Allonge.  It is also NOT the first time a defendant has accused The Law Offices of Marshall Watson of  filing and  recording a  fraudulent mortgage assignment.    It  is certainly NOT the  first  time  that  The  Law Offices  of Marshall Watson  have  filed  an action on behalf of a plaintiff who  lacks standing  to sue.   This  is NOT even the first time the Law Offices of Marshall Watson are accused of all  three offenses  in  the same  lawsuit.  This may be  the FIRST TIME, however, that these offenses are appropriately sanctioned.



M & T Bank v. Lisa D. Smith, et al. A Case of Special Interest to Florida Foreclosure Defense Lawyers by Lynn E. Szymoniak
[scribd id=32995537 key=key-3xpuq58ucg2ifllwdv3 mode=list]