|Straw man is defined as a person set up to serve as a cover for a usually questionable transaction.|
Did you take out a home mortgage in 2007 - 2008 from Washington Mutual Bank? Does your loan number begin with #301 ? Is your lender identified on your Note as Washington Mutual Bank FA? Do you have reason to believe your Investor Code is X99? Have you been unable to identify the securitized trust in which your loan was placed? Perhaps you had a Straw Man as your lender?
For far too many borrowers who took out mortgages in the 2007 - 2008 period of time with the lender identified on original loan documents as "Washington Mutual Bank, FA, a federal savings bank", there remains the big question as to who was the true lender. Often the results of expensive non-productive securitization audits in playing "the find the borrower game" results have been inconclusive and reveal no identifying information.
Let's review the history.
Borrowers applied for mortgages through various avenues with Washington Mutual Bank (WMB). Yet loan documents contain mixed information. HUD1 documents identify the lender as "Washington Mutual" which in itself is not the legal name of any entity under the domain of the holding company identified as "Washington Mutual Inc." (WMI) Adding to the obfuscation, the Note, Mortgage and/or Deed of Trust, a binding legal documents, identify the lender as "Washington Mutual Bank, FA a federal savings bank" (WMBFA) which ceased to exist in April 2005 according to WMI's annual report for 2005. Add to that the confusing use of the logo, WAMU, which is not the legal name of any entity.
So who is the actual lender of the mortgage? Is it WAMU? Or Washington Mutual Bank, WMB? Or Washington Mutual Bank, FA, WMBFA? Or is it the parent corporation, Washington Mutual, Inc (WMI)?
Why does it matter? On September 25, 2008 the entity Washington Mutual Bank failed and was taken over by FDIC as Receiver. That same day FDIC as Receiver sold WMB to JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA. Chase claims to own countless loans that are allegedly in default on which they are rightly but mostly wrongly foreclosing. However, Chase never produced an inventory of the loans as required by the Purchase and Assumption Agreement.
This brings us back to the 2007 - 2008 time period when WMB began its decline culminating as a failed bank on September 25, 2008. There have been rumors that many of the loans originated in late 2007 and 2008 were "Portfolio loans" but these portfolios have not been identified by Chase or the FDIC in foreclosure law suits across America.
Through documents this researcher discovered revealing information contained in a "Motion For Permission To File Confidential ACS Image Solutions Discovery Documents Under Seal" filed by a plaintiff with the US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California, Division 5 in an adversarial legal action against JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA The document was filed October 10, 2014 and will be heard November 13, 2014.
The plaintiff requests the Court's permission to file specific documents under seal obtained through discovery in the adversary case. The files are a series of contracts between Washington Mutual Inc. (WMI) and ACS Commercial Solutions, Inc. (ACS). No protective order exists for the documents rather there is a gentleman's agreement with Xerox to treat the materials as confidential.
Per the said Motion the ACS discovery files allegedly show the following revelations:
- ACS received paper loan origination files from Washington Mutual Inc (WMI) in Houston. [Not from WMB or WMBFA.]
- ACS prepared the documents for scanning; the documents were not supposed to include the collateral file, which if found was returned to WMI.
- ACS shipped the documents to Juarez, Mexico. The actual movement of files was videotaped by a Texas television news crew as previously written up on this blog.
- ACS scanned the documents in Juarez, Mexico.
- ACS stored the documents in Juarez, Mexico until WMI directed ACS to destroy the loan documents.
- ACS destroyed the loan origination documents as ordered by WMI.
- ACS made the loan origination document images available via the FileNet System software.
- ACS provided remote scanning facilities to scan in documents like the collateral files into FileNet.
- ACS scanned and thereafter maintained as the WMI Loan portfolio, ambiguously referred to as the WAMU Loan Portfolio.
- ACS sold some of the records to JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA (Chase) and destroyed the rest.
- The documents scanned included both the Plaintiff's Home Equity Lines of Credit. The FISERV insurance on the HELOC in this case list the lender name as WMI and not Washington Mutual Bank. This is evidence that the Receiver (FDIC) did not transfer the HELOC to Chase because it was never owned by Washington Mutual Bank.
The information is important because the loan portfolio is identified as belonging to Washington Mutual Inc. (WMI) and not Washington Mutual Bank (WMB). WMI is directed the maintenance of this loan portfolio at ACS, not Washington Mutual Bank.
The Motion asserts that Plaintiff's Washington Mutual Bank FA (WMBFA) (loan #301------) origination documents were sent to ACS Image Solutions. WMI correspondence to ACS dated July 25, 2008 appears to be the request for records maintained by ACS.
This allegedly further suggests:
- That Washington Mutual Bank FA (WMBFA) is a strawman lender name for Washington Mutual Inc. (WMI)
- That Washington Mutual Inc. (WMI) was the original lender, not Washington Mutual Bank (WMB).
- That Washington Mutual Bank (WMB) was never more than the service.
- If Washington Mutual Bank did not own the loan portfolio, which is apparently the case, then FDIC the Receiver could not have transferred the said loan portfolio to JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA on September 25, 2008.
- This is evidence that WMB was the "Loan Servicer" and not the owner of the loan.
- Thus, Chase is acting as a "Loan Servicer" having bought the servicing business from the FDIC as Receiver.
The said Motion will be heard before Honorable Arthur S. Weissbrodt at a hearing in Courtroom 3020 on November 13, 2014 at 3 PM at the US Bankruptcy Court in San Jose, California.
Case: 10-05245, Doc # 431; filed 10/10/14; US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California - Division 5; James Madison Kelley v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA.