Tattoos, Pyramid Schemes and Social Justice
By Gregory M. Lemelson
We had planned to write a blog post on systemic fraud in the US financial infrastructure, particularly as it relates to the mortgage industry, mortgage origination and servicing fraud. However, today a very good article was published by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone which includes colorful first-hand accounts that vividly illustrates the problem on both a macro and micro scale.
The plan was to outline these same points regarding the device of “securitization” of mortgage lending through derivatives that allow the formation of a traditional “pyramid” scheme, or what we prefer to call in the US a “Ponzi” scheme – perhaps, within a few years we may just opt to drop the name “Ponzi” altogether in favor of something like “business model for US banks in the early 21st century”. However, rather than reproduce what Rolling Stone has already done, we thought it would be a better to simply promote the existing article, with a few additional and brief thoughts on what we feel is likely the only solution.
Radical though it may seem, we believe the only way to stop the chaos of fraud and the breakdown of the rule of law in our courts, and most importantly to ensure that we ourselves are not participants in the fraud, is for homeowners who can afford their mortgage to stop paying it. Here are a few reasons why we believe this will ultimately bring about change and a restoration of the trust we badly need if we are to heal our culture:
a) The only remaining argument left to divert the attention of the masses from what is quite possibly the greatest heist in history is good old fashion “Ad Hominem” fallacy. By attempting to link the validity of the argument to the character of the person advocating for his or her rights – banks have committed a classic logical fallacy. Ad Hominem attacks aid and abet the human psychology of denial, a point not lost on our financial institutions in America.
For example, what is easier; to scorn those who are being foreclosed on because they can no longer afford their mortgage or to accept the possibility that our entire financial, and maybe justice system might be badly corrupted? Across all spectrums of crime, victims are often blamed, just ask attorneys who represent rape victims. This phenomenon is by no means unique to mortgage fraud, or those who have been raped by the institutions who carry out this trade. It has been made to appear as if those who have fallen on hard times are a matter of “incidental” inequalities in an otherwise procedurally just system. However, it is precisely the opposite which is true. Our financial institutions have created deliberate inequalities, through the use of procedurally unjust systems.
b) However, If someone comes before a judge who can easily pay their mortgage, but has chosen not to because:
1. They are not sure where or if their payments are going to the true note holder.
2. They no longer know who the true note holder is.
3. They have a legitimate concern that they may not be able to ever obtain clear title and/or title insurance (in the event of a sale) given what we now know about improperly conveyed titles and the illegitimacy of “MERS”.
4. They do not want to be an unwitting or passive participant in fraud.
5. They care about America, want our culture to be healed and recognize the dignity of every human being.
If these legitimate reasons are the cause to suspend mortgage payments, then what attack on these “non-cooperators” character can be leveled? In these cases, Judge’s will have to allow for proper civil procedure to take place in order for the legitimate inquiries of concerned Americans to come to light. Since banks virtually never produce adequate documentation (which appears to be by design), chances are things will escalate.
Americans who believe this is “the right thing to do” and who can afford their mortgage payment but believe it is in their duty not to participate in what appears to be widespread systemic criminal activity in our financial institutions should take the following steps:
1) Make requests of the servicer for important documents, in accordance with rules governing such requests. A proper RESPA and TILA request is a good place to start.
2) State your concerns, and explain why you would like copies of this important information and that you have chosen to suspend payment deliberately.
3) Create a special “escrow account” where you can place the funds that you would normally use to pay your mortgage. Tell you’re servicer that you have set up the escrow account in place of sending them the money. Keep in mind that only the judge and your attorney will need to be privy to the details of your escrow account (an alternative is to place these funds in your attorney’s IOLTA account).
4) Put everything in writing , avoid phone conversations – they are not necessary.
c) Americans have a duty to ask critical questions about the operations of their financial institutions, and if evidence has been presented that a deal was made, but not everyone was playing by the rules, than those deals need to be looked at again. It is not good enough any longer to say, if it doesn’t affect “me” than, I’m not getting involved. We have a duty to one another as Americans, and more importantly as human beings, to care about truth and justice. What’s more, apathy, so long as we are not affected, is a short lived consolation. Ultimately, this crisis will affect everyone sooner or later.
d) We realize many people have a great deal of anxiety over their “credit scores“, so we thought it appropriate to address the inevitable outcome of deliberately not paying your mortgage. While HUD does not allow credit reporters to report negative information while you have a pending RESPA request with your servicer, we cannot insure that your servicer will respect HUD rules, although there are serious penalties for servicers if they do not. So we think it is important to understand what exactly a “credit report” is, who designed it, and why it is that you were taught to have such great consternation over it from early adulthood, instead of being taught to have those feelings of anxiety about far more important things such as having debt. If after reflecting on this you find that you are still concerned about this “number” that has been attached to you courtesy of the credit reports – all we can say is that numbers have been used before to identify “human beings”. There are some fine examples of this business model that were affectively used in the early 1940’s in Germany and Poland. It usually involved a tattoo on the arm, because those folks too had lost everything, including the shirts off their backs. It’s a worthwhile endeavor to “study up” on what exactly the relationship is, when a human person is assigned a number instead of having their name acknowledged.
We Americans have some of the highest ideals in the world. We are high minded, enterprising, innovative and understand that human being are ultimately built for Freedom. Sadly, many Americans now feel greatly discouraged and desolate. We have a heritage worthy of any of the greatest civilizations in history – but we have somehow forgotten this. As a people we are confusing, our current economic weakness, with a notion of “who we are” – but the two are not the same, and the latter is of far greater importance. The fast growing developing countries of the world have nothing on us in this department, but if only we could see it again – they’re counting on us not to. Let us remember our principles of equality and solidarity, based on our profound belief in human rights, that recognizes the dignity of every human being. Otherwise, we cannot say that we have abolished slavery, only that we have altered its machinations.
Reposted with permission of the author
I just want to post positive energy toward everyone who is dealing with this, everyone who has been willing and able to come to terms with it, and everyone who is willing to talk about it.
In my younger years, I often heard the expression…” Money is the root to all evil ‘. Today, we can say how true that expression is. A deliberate action ‘of evil’ used to destroy has come to life, it’s here. If we want to believe or not to believe, some higher power has guided the people to find the evils that has harmed this country and the people. Now it is up to everyone to see that this action of evil be destroyed..punished.. as burned in the fires of hell. This is not a religion lesson…it is a fact. It tells the people to gather together…fight the evil..for justice. If not fought than evil has won. Demand your rights, demand those who are quilty pay for all the evils done.. Not with fines or slap on the wrist…but prison along with their assets being sold and their millions taken in a fraud salary and bonus. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. We, I say WE THE PEOPLE, were made victims, we lost our homes that we had worked so hard for, lost pensions, cars repoed, no health insurance, no jobs, we were left with nothing. This pattern of destroying must be the same punishment given to all quilty of evil. If not enough prison’s to hold all the racketeers, release those in prison with lesser crimes. Print the money from ‘air’ to build cement buildings with no luxury accommodations. Let those quilty experience what we the people have been through and how we had to live..something called survival. In prison they will not feel the rain and the cold…as millions have felt out on the street. They will be feed…on the street you went hungry. They will be given medical care…on the street you suffered the pain. Nothing they will suffer compares to the suffering of millions of children and adults who lost everything. There is no way any legal process can cure the deliberate wrongs (fraud) done. It would be fraud covering up fraud. To solve this, one must look through (pass) the problem to the seed that caused the problem…the seed started the problem and it grew. Hold your head up high and fight for the rights that America once stood for…Yes, we deserve and demand Justice …that IS OUR RIGHT.
The Biblical passage you are referring to is 1 Timothy 6:10, which does not say that money is the root of evil. Instead it says the LOVE of money is the root.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
What Timothy expresses is not that money is evil in and of itself. Have as much of it as you want, or can ethically acquire. Timothy places no prohibition on possessing or acquiring money. But don’t put your fondness, concern or love for money itself above your love for God.
I am an atheist and it pains me to see Christians misquote and misinterpret their own sacred text. I hope you insist on higher standards for your legal research and work.
she said In her day she heard the expression as I have.
I say we TAKE that MORTGAGE MONEY and SAVE IT to START A NEW AMERICAN BUSINESS RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA. Isn’t that one of our founding principles that made our country the great country it once was and will be again when WE THE PEOPLE RECLAIM THEIR COUNTRY FROM THE TYRANTS WHO TRIED TO STEAL IT FROM US.!!! WE NEED TO START REINVESTING IN AMERICA AGAIN!!
Brilliant article. This really gets to the heart of the matter of the securitization fraud that made their WHOLE PYRAMID SCHEME possible and THEN LED TO GREAT STICK-UP OF AMERICA.. Maybe the politicians are starting to get it now too. There is NO POSSIBLE LEGAL WAY for these people to go back and fix what they intentionally never did right in the first place. Thank God for this website and the great people here and everywhere that have helped the American people be saved from this horrible fraud and susequent injustice aimed directly at us as if we were the criminals here. It is time for a change and I think maybe Washington might just be willing to begin to do the right thing. We The People and all of the WARRIORS who have really went above and beyond what they had to do to try to put this country on the right path again, will keep watching and making sure this is being done and being done right and fair and just. We can never let our guard down or else they will try this again. Make sure your children know about this nearly complete obliteration of our freedoms and the FINAL outcome. Tell them never to forget this chapter in U.S. History that will surely be in their childrens and their childrens, childrens history books some day. Just make sure they know that there are two sides to this story and the historical account in the history books isn’t always the true account. They must know the truth about the GREATEST PONZI SCHEME IN HISTORY and the subsequent GREAT STICK-UP OF AMERICA and the carnage that followed and the almost complete obliteration of our FREEDOM. Let them know THEY MUST NEVER STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT IS GOING ON IN THEIR COUNTRY. If they don’t agree with something they have a voice and they need to use it and sound the alarm bells right away so as this type of thing will never ever happen to America and it’s people ever again. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
I read the entire Rolling Stones article which is awesome, accurate, timely. We must not only get angry at the current state of affairs but take actions which will serve to change the direction we are headed as a nation.
I absolutely agree with this article, that the actions of folks who CAN pay could go a long way toward getting the corrections which we all need as a country.
In addition to TILA and RESPA, it is imperative that you also submit a “qualified written request” asking for certain documents, most notably your a copy of your mortgage and note, and a copy of ALL assignments of the mortgage and note. Your right to submit this request is granted under Federal law, (RESPA, section 6) applies to ALL loan types, in ALL states. Be sure to include all the items which are indicated in this articles as the reasons WHY you are submitting the request (not sure who the holder of your note is, don’t want to participate in fraud yourself, need to be sure that you are paying the correct party).
For some excellent background on the QWR or qualified written request you check out the blog posts at:
http://www.HomeOwnership.blogspot.com. For a ‘how-to to do it yourself’ book which will give you really clear, DETAILED instructions, log on to http://www.DovePublisingHouse.com for “Avoiding Foreclosure Using the Qualified Written Request”. Yes, I know you are NOT in default but you still need the tool to be sure you do it most effectively.
Additionally, do some general research on the web. Just google; “qualified written request” or “qwr”.
Just like everything else in the world, there is a way to do something and a more effective way to do something. You do not need an attorney to do this. You can do it yourself with the info you get from the web search. Taking the time and effort to get a comprehensive, step by step instructional guide will help you to prepare one which will be most. effective.
Finally, you have the ability to submit a letter of explanation to the 3 credit reporting agencies stating why you are in default on the mortgage (if you choose to take this action–and I hope you will). That way, anyone who pulls your credit will have the explanation in the file as well.
Best of luck! This crisis has created an opportunity for all Americans to finally realize that we really are ALL in this together. No matter what your personal financial circumstance T-O-D-A-Y there are a couple of facts which should face:
a. your personal situation could be totally changed in a very short time (no matter how secure you think you
b. you can not avoid being negatively impacted by the crisis occurring around you.
We all need to be pro-active in any way we can.
Mildred ( foreclosure intervention specialist, consumer advocate, speaker, writer–
lost home to foreclosure in 1991, was middle class now working class poor)
Thank you for the nice comments and for providing additional information. You are absolutly right about the QWR – being as specific as possible is also important. The real key is to reveal that notes where never properly conveyed – this little fact changes everyting, and can and should be easily revealed in an proper RESPA QWR.
A friend of mine has basically done this, and the case is now in federal court. I am more than happy to keep you updated on your blog, if you would like to hear how it goes….
This particular lawsuit involves an unloved, unoccupied cabin–there is not much emotion involved. (i.e. no homeowner living there for free, no renters paying the mortgage for him.)The plaintiff is hoping the case will be judged solely on the rule of law.
Thanks for writing the article. I think you hit the nail on the head!
I would really like to hear how it goes for your friend, so please do keep me informed – feel free to post here or on the amvona.com site –
It’s to hard to type when I standing and applauding. Well Done. John R.