To Tell the Truth — Will the Real Lender Please Stand Up?
Fri Jun 22, 2012 by Oppenheim Law on Bank Fraud, Florida Foreclosures & Florida Law News
To Tell the Truth was one of my favorite TV game shows when I was a kid.
If you are not familiar with it, during each episode a panel of celebrities would try to correctly identify a contestant with a special talent. The contestant was mixed in with two impostors who pretended to be the contestant.
Now the contestant was sworn to tell the truth, but the two imposters were allowed to lie, in order to confuse the celebrity judges. At the end, after the celebrities all voted , the host would ask, “Will the real [person’s name] please stand up?”
It seems everytime I walk into court, I end up playing “To Tell The Truth”, with the banks playing the role of the contestant. Except in this version (perhaps I should call it To Tell The Truth, Foreclosure Edition) when it comes time for the real lender to ‘please stand up’, no one does!
It is as if all the ‘contestants’ are imposters. An example of this twisted game show is now playing itself out in a Palm Beach County courtroom.
In 2009, HSBC Bank brought a foreclosure action against Abby Lopez. But Bank of America has also claimed to be the lender in this case. Bank of America was the company that included email exchanges between bank representatives about who was the lender of the loan and how to proceed with the foreclosure case.
And yet, Bank of America is not named as a plaintiff in Lopez’s case, only HSBC is.
When Bank of America realized that it should be the plaintiff, it tried to request the foreclosure be changed to show the correct plaintiff. Yet they ultimately decided that the best route would be for HSBC to proceed with the foreclosure and just quit-claim the property to them after the foreclosure was complete.
Maybe the banks are confused, but more likely they are playing a shell game with Ms. Lopez’s house.
The legal standing to sue is the bedrock of a foreclosure action. A bank has to show that it owns the mortgage in order to have the right to seek a foreclosure! This is nothing new to my readers, although it seems that both banks, HSBC and Bank of America, are skipping over this part of the law for their own benefit.
Bank of America knew it had two options that would both incur expenses for them. The bank chose the option that would result in a lower expense for itself, but one that suggests fraud upon the court.
To confuse the audience even more, HSBC is trying to hide Bank of America’s emails from the public. HSBC does not even want the public to have access to the courtroom in this public hearing.
The First Amendment Foundation, Scripps Media, Inc., and the Sun-Sentinel Publishing Company are now intervening in HSBC Bank USA v. Lopez against HSBC. The FAF believes that the court proceedings in this case should be open to the media and the public because a trial is a public event under the First Amendment. The FAF is also against HSBC’s attempt to hide the information that is already (and has been for months) in a public court file and on the Internet.
What HSBC is engaging in here is nothing more that cheap parlor tricks, in an effort to distract you and me from the real issue, which is simply that HSBC is not the owner of the note.
As such, it does does not have standing to bring this foreclosure suit against Lopez.
The banks know the law. Yet, the banks are treating foreclosure cases like a TV game show, but I suspect Ms. Lopez is not happy with her parting gift.
The banks are trying to confuse the issues to cover up their identities and are refusing to tell the truth, just like the imposters on the show.
So will the real lender please stand up?
In The Trenches,