Monday, February 14, 2011

MERS can't assign mortgages, judge rules

A personal victory today for me - and possibly hundreds of thousands of homeowners - thanks to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Grossman in Central Islip, New York, who ruled, last Thursday, that Merscorp has no legal right to transfer mortgages.

Anyone following the fiasco that is the housing market knows Merscorp better by MERS, as they were the "nominee" on millions of mortgages written in the housing "boom" of the 2000s. What the judge's ruling does is essentially invalidate most mortgages written between 2003 and 2008 (and some before and after that), because that was the time period in which the largest lenders - Countrywide (now BofA), JP Morgan Chase, WAMU and others used MERS to end-run the county recording offices and save on fees, then packaged and resold these mortgages to witless investors.

Now, the banks have no standing in courts to foreclose and the buyers of those ugly securitized mortgages want their money back. Banks are being forced into a corner, even after being bailed out by the Federal Reserve, TARP and taxpayer money. The ruling from that bankruptcy court and others should serve distressed homeowners well in fights with the banks over ownership rights as they set strong precedents and are are likely only to be overturned by individual state legislatures.

Even then, any new laws validating the banks' practices would have to be applied retroactively, an activity expressly forbidden by the US constitution (remember that?).

This is, in reality, the end of the game for the big banks, which should have been allowed to fail in the beginning. The American public has spent Trillions of dollars keeping these bodies afloat and they are still sinking, and fast. Little by little, Americans are learning to stand up to the banks, city hall, the states and the federal government and demand their rights.

The ruling from this past Thursday stands as a marker in the struggle for resumption of the RULE OF LAW, which has been kept bound and gagged by the current and former presidential administrations. The American public is tired of being lied to and robbed from and the time has come to choose sides. Either you side with the government, the banks and their crooked politics and practices or you side with the people, and seemingly, the courts and the lawyers.

This is a nation governed by the rule of law, not by force or money or politics. Choose now!

Meanwhile, the circus kept running at Wall and Broad.

Dow 12,268.19, -5.07 (0.04%)
NASDAQ 2,817.18, +7.74 (0.28%)
S&P 500 1,332.32, +3.17 (0.24%)
NYSE Composite 8,405.15, +30.26 (0.36%)

Despite the marginal gains, advancing issues led decliners overall, 3686-2856. There were 286 new highs and 23 new lows on the NASDAQ and 355 new highs and 11 new lows on the NYSE. Selected stocks are clearly stretched to the limits of affordability, though with price discovery a lost art in the algo-following world of computer trading, this alone will not foment an imminent collapse of values. However, the volume on the NYSE made another new low point today, just a week after setting the low mark of the year. Rising indices without full-blown participation is the very first tool in the analyst bag, though the rules have been changed so dramatically over the past few years that nothing is certain today.

Still, market manipulations cannot last forever. The rules of economics will eventually take out all of the excess and malinvestment. It has to or the entire market is a fraud.

NASDAQ Volume 1,985,633,750
NYSE Volume 3,959,988,500.00

Note the divergence in commodities. Oil continued down again today, losing another 77 cents, to $84.81, while the precious metals gained. Watch for oil prices to continue their plunge back below $80 and beyond. demand has dried up once the price for US unleaded gas exceeded $3.15 on a national basis. Since the $4.00 shock of 2008, American drivers have made adjustments: buying more fuel-efficient vehicles, driving less, driving smarter, conserving, car-pooling.

Besides the obvious adjustments, the US economy simply is not strong enough - nor is the world economy, for that matter - to justify high fuel prices. There is little to no growth and slack demand. Ergo, oil and gas prices should fall accordingly.

As for the PMs, well, they've resumed their ominous climb. Gold gained $4.70, to $1,365.10, but still remains stuck in a range, though the bottom is in at $1350.00. Silver popped another 54 cents, to $30.53, approaching the 30-year-highs last seen in December.

The lid is about to come off the entire global system of financial fraud, again.

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