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Mr. Pines has been considered a leading expert in foreclosure defense since about 2009. He had a real estate investment company in Salt Lake and was first interviewed by the Los Angeles Times for his opinion about the real estate crisis.
His first teaching seminar was for the San Diego County Bar and some 200 people showed up. Thereafter, he had a successful business teaching continuing education for attorneys and taught all over California for bar associations including appearances at the Orange County California Bar and The UC Davis Law School. His seminars were widely praised.
He won his very first case for the Quintero Family Trust filed in the San Diego Federal Court. He got a preliminary injunction stopping a foreclosure and the Judge did not require the posting of a bond which is extraordinary and the court was critical of the bank attorneys. Using his suggestions, attorneys have been winning against the banks ever since.
His techniques are cutting edge and he pioneers new ones all the time. As of November 2020, he has some new ideas.
Currently, one of the things he is suggesting is that the investors in the securitized trust be included in legal actions. They are usually either large mutual fund bond companies or institutional investors like pension or retirement funds.. The theory is simple. The securitization failed, including the REMIC, and the investors were not entitled to get homeowner money or money from anyone else. He is well aware of the cases that hold that homeowners do not have standing to complain about violations of the Pooling and Service Agreement because they are not parties or intended beneficiaries. His theory is not contract, but simple equitable claims for state law cause of action.
He has an investigator who has a contact with a former Wall Street insider who can get “loan level data” and identify the investors in the trust and also schedules of the money paid to investors.
The bond funds or institutional investors will of course have large law firms who if sued, and will probably sue the securitization parties saying they want to be reimbursed if they have to pay any money to the homeowners. They will have the problem of explaining the complexities of securitization to the court which has always been a problem for homeowners.
This could have enormous consequences. Because the REMIC failed, the investors were not entitled to the special tax treatment. The large bond mutual funds who specialize in MBS investments did not tell the individual “mom and pop” investors this. The attorneys representing the institutional investors like the various pension funds they represented about this.
In 2011, the IRS was made aware of this problem. It stated: ““The IRS is aware of questions in the market regarding REMICs and proper ownership of the underlying mortgages as set out in federal tax law, and is actively reviewing certain aspects of this issue.”
The IRS noted that if the strict requirements for establishing REMICs were not followed, ordinary income taxes and penalties would be owed. However, due to the potential enormous consequences, some opined that: “IRS Likely to Expand Mortgage Industry Coverup by Whitewashing REMIC Violations” ( See: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/04/irs-likely-to-expand-mortgage-industry-coverup-by-whitewashing-remic-violations.html ). That appears to be what happened. Attorneys Generals did however file legal actions alleging the collusion between parties concerning what they called a conspiracy to commit fraud concerning the REMICS.
It will be very interesting to see what happens when this is exposed in court.
If you wish to know some of his other cutting edge ideas let us know.
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