Balancing the Scales of Justice for Pro Se Homeowners

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 | 0 comments

Do not walk, RUN to your local Barnes & Noble store, or click onto Amazon and purchase Norman Sirak’s “Overcoming Foreclosure”.   “The web of deceit required for converting mortgages into securities is so sophisticated; it makes the Mafia in the Godfather look like amateur hour.  In addition to challenging foreclosures, this book also exposes the unlawful and predatory mentality driving this scheme”   Sirak does what the standard foreclosure sites, even this one, does not do – it provides a clear understanding of what the hell the Banks and Wall Street suits have done in very clear, easy to understand terms.  Drawing parallels to everyday occurrences that resonate with the average “joe” – Sirak tells us like it is and then tells us how to attack these illegal foreclosures resulting from the predatory lending and servicing shenanigans of the banks.

One of the most fascinating statements he makes is “A shell company will be invented and then added as a party to every mortgage and deed of trust”  Sound familiar? MERS may be named as the “permanent beneficiary” but the reality is that MERS obscures the transfers and the simple fact that the “mortgage and/or deed” ended with the REMIC Trust whose funds were used to fund your loan.   And it isn’t just MERS – Homes 123 and New Century Mortgage were “shell companies” as was America Wholesale Lender.   Any mortgage and/or deed that was securitized is subject to challenge as the true lender/creditor was never disclosed to the borrower – and this book explains this and how to fight their insidious greed that has and continues, to destroy  American homeownership.

 If you are like me, you will put this down, stamp your feet, pick it back up and read some more, then put it back down and stamp your feet.  And if you are tempted to skip right to the Quiet Title action and  how to pursue your claim, DON’T.  Understanding what they did is paramount to YOUR success and ensuring that the attorneys and Judge’s don’t run over you.

Mr. Sirak suddenly passed away on October 7, 2012 – just a mere two months ago.  This man has left us a remarkable treasure that is steeped in a healthy respect for the law and an incredible understanding of our civil and property rights.   Here is his website with excerpts from the book and a review of who this man was.  May he rest in peace, and may we all achieve peace with help from his book






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Due Process and Constitutional Rights Matter

Posted by on Nov 16, 2012 | 2 comments

One of the most troubling aspects of the whole “unlawful detainer” business is the callous disregard the Courts seem to have towards homeowners who are battling wrongful foreclosures.  This week I have been supporting two members whose constitutional rights were violated when they were denied their due process rights and the Court failed miserably in taking the issues seriously.

First, one homeowner faced an unlawful detainer where the attorney for the Plaintiff had actually represented the homeowner in the past, in litigating unlawful detainers for the homeowner’s rental properties.  From the beginning of the litigation the homeowner demanded the Plaintiff’s attorney recuse himself from the litigation because of the conflict of interest.  California law and professional conduct rules are very clear that, “An attorney is required to avoid the representation of adverse interests”.  Prof.Conduct Rule 3-310(E). Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group v. City of San Jose, 7 Cal.Rptr.3d 868  Cal.App.6.Dist.,2003.  In response to the homeowner’s claims, the presiding Judge laughed with the Plaintiff’s attorney and said, ‘I guess you are supposed to remember all your clients”.  Well yes, in fact the attorney is responsible for NOT litigating against a current or former client unless they have received a waiver to do so.

The trial court must cautiously balance the competing interests of the parties.  See In Re Marriage of Zimmerman,  (1993) 16 Cal.App.4th 556, 562-563.  The paramount concern must be to preserve the public trust in the scrupulous administration of justice and the integrity of the bar.  Thus, the important right to counsel of one’s choice must yield to ethical considerations that affect the fundamental principles of our judicial process.  See People ex rel Dept. of Corporations v SpeeDee Oil Change Systems, Inc. (1999) 20 Cal. 4th 1135, 1145-1146.

Thus, when disqualification of an attorney is sought for an alleged violation of the foregoing ethical principles, in cases involving successive representation, the courts have adopted the substantial relationship test. Under this test, where an attorney successively represents clients with adverse interests, and where the subject matter of the two representations are substantially related, both the Supreme Court and the appellate courts mandate that the need to protect the first client’s confidential communications  requires disqualification  from representing the successive client.  (SpeeDee Oil, supra, 20 Cal. 4th at p. 1146).  As such, the attorney for the first client will be presumed to possess confidential information making disqualification mandatory.

This is no laughing matter and the fact that a presiding Judge would think it appropriate to joke with the offending attorney is deplorable conduct.   The writ of possession was issued and the Sheriff’s Notice of Eviction has been posted;  the homeowner took the only avenue available to him – with research support from Info To Fight Foreclosure, the homeowner filed a Writ of Mandate around 11am this morning.  At 4pm this afternoon the Appellate Court clerk contacted the homeowner to let him know the Writ “has gas” as the Conflict of Interest is a serious issue and therefore the Court had issued a Temporary Stay which had been faxed to the Sheriff’s department.

The Writ has not issued, but I am cautiously optimistic that the Appellate Court will listen to the homeowner and issue a Writ VOIDING the judgment and recalling the Writ of Possession.  The Plaintiff’s attorney should have been disqualified and if Justice still prevails in our “hallowed halls” – both the Judge and Plaintiff’s attorney will stop laughing.

The second matter is one in which the homeowner had requested a “jury trial” for her Unlawful Detainer.   The homeowner had filed a “waiver of fees” and the “jury trial” was scheduled; but when she arrived at court there was no jury.  When she demanded the jury trial the Court informed her that her request was ‘untimely” as the jury fees had not been paid.   “The right to trial by jury is, of course, a basic and fundamental part of our jurisprudence. Any doubts on the issue should be resolved in favor of preserving a litigant’s right to trial by jury. (Byram v. Superior Court, supra, 74 Cal. App. 3d 648, 654.) [8c]  Although the Byram court was expressly referring to the right to jury trial under the California Constitution, [162 Cal. App. 3d 1267] the Court found that there was no reason why the policy of resolving doubts in favor of trial by jury would apply any less in the case of statutory guarantees.

Here the Court claimed the homeowner’s request was untimely because court fees had not been paid but the ruling flies in the face of the homeowner’s constitutional right to have a jury trial.   And non payment of fees is NOT grounds for denying the jury trial.  An unlawful detainer action is considered an action of law and therefore triable by a jury unless waived. CCP §§ 1171, 631 (waiver of jury trial).  Marquez-Luque v Marquez  (1987) 192 CA3d 1513, 1519, 238 CR 172.  See Department of Trans. V Kerrigan (1984) 153  CA3d Supp 41, 45046, 200 CR 865.  A jury is waived either expressly under CCP § 631(d)(2) or (3) by a failure to demand a jury trial within five days of notice of trial setting.   The Court should not deny a tenant’s request for a jury trial, however, even if jury fees were not timely posted, unless the failure to post fees would prejudice the landlord. See Johnson-Stovall v. Superior Court (1993) 17 CA4th 808,809 – 812, 21 CR2d 494.  (Emphasis added)

Trial by jury is an indispensable component of due process of law.  Thus, any court which fails to provide trial by jury, fails the test of due process, has no lawful jurisdiction to hear the matter in controversy, and any judgment rendered thereby is null and void, without lawful force and effect, whatsoever.  See: World Wide Volkswagon v. Woodsen, 444 U.S. 286, 291; National Bank v. Wiley, 195 US 257; Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 US 714.

Here this homeowner is first asking for the Court to correct its improper actions by requesting the Court VOID the judgment – stayed tuned.  We will let you know if the Court follows the law and VOIDs the judgment and gives her a jury trial..or if she will have to pursue this with the Appellate Court.

It is a shame that these rubber stamping boiler room Courtrooms are running amuck, but as you can see, homeowners who recognize their rights are being violated and stand up to the Court and demand they change their bad behavior, ARE being heard!





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