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Current Status of TILA Rescission and Its Application to Past, Present and Future Foreclosures

by Neil Garfield | November 9, 2018

Ultimately there will be recognition that the courts are vetoing legislation passed by congress simply because the judges disagree or are afraid of the consequences if they were to apply the law. Congress wrote it, passed it, and it was signed into law. In a nation governed by the rule of law there can be no space for exceptions. This is a violation of the most basic tenet of the US Constitution — division of governance into three co-equal branches of government. The courts are required under law to follow the law. Eventually the chickens are going to come home. How and when that will happen remains unclear.

I am of the opinion that an action should be brought to SCOTUS, using perhaps some non-traditional approaches for original jurisdiction to demand a remedy, to wit: vacating all orders, judgments and actions taken to enforce the void note and mortgage after rescission has been sent. The failure of the creditors to contest the rescissions should not be the basis for ignoring or invalidating the express wording of the statute.

Here is the current status of TILA Rescission.

Despite the clear wording of the statute and the clear wording of a unanimous Supreme Court decision, lawyers and judges continue to erroneously “read in” conditions to rescission under 15 USC §1635. They were told not to do that by SCOTUS in Jesinoski but they continue to do it.

The practical effect is that judges are not following the law and therefore ruling in ways that basically ignore the TILA rescission.

According to both statutory and case law, no lawsuit, no tender, no condition of any kind and of any nature is written in the statute and SCOTUS says the wording is clear and unambiguous and therefore nobody can read any conditions into the procedures set forth by the TILA Rescission statute. In Jesinoski SCOTUS unanimously said that no lawsuit and no tender was required. Tender is NOT required UNTIL the so-called lender complies with the three statutory duties set forth in the TILA Rescission Statute. In Jesinoski the Supreme Court expressly stated that it was ruling on WHEN the rescission was effective by operation of law. The Court expressly ruled that this was a procedural statute. It provides nonjudicial relief to borrowers just like many states provide nonjudicial relief to lenders.

In an abundance of caution, I have been advising my clients to raise the issue but realize that virtually no court in the land, state or federal is going to say that the note and mortgage is void unless they are reversed by an appellate court — and the appellate courts have been doing the same thing as the trial courts. You probably don’t need that to preserve the issue because it is jurisdictional.

By law, the rescission statute acts as a cancelation and release of the mortgage encumbrance because that is what the law says. If the note and mortgage are in fact void by operation of law then everything that comes after that is void.

But if the courts refuse to apply that law because they have decided they don’t like the result then your notice of rescission will not get you any relief until SCOTUS, in a decision like Countrywide v Jesinoski, explicitly tells all the lower courts to stop pretending they can interpret the statute.

Such a decision will only be effective if the court spells out that rescission is and has been effective by operation of law upon delivery and that no other conditions apply. It can attacked on any number of grounds but the so-called lenders must do so within 20 days or they are time barred. And if they maintain that position for one year, they lose the right to enforce the debt, in addition to the their previous loss of the right to enforce the void note and void mortgage.

Bottom line: the lawyer who says that tender is required before rescission is effective is wrong on the law but right as to the practical result. In fact any lawyer who advises clients about the weakness of any position based upon TILA Rescission is wrong on the law but right as to the practical effect.

Ultimately the system is going to need to deal with the the consequences of rebelling against the clear pronouncements of law from the US Congress and the US supreme Court. There is absolutely no question that millions of foreclosures have proceeded without jurisdiction because the note and mortgage were void as a result of delivery of TILA Rescission. In many cases they were actually recorded in the chain of title. Decisions and actions taken without jurisdiction to do so are void according to all statutory law, common law and rules of civil procedure as required by the US Constitution.

In my opinion that means that all homeowners who were deprived of clear title to their homes through foreclosure after sending a notice of rescission, still own their property. Lawyers for the banks were repeatedly told to ignore rescission at their own peril. They did it anyway.

Ultimately there will be recognition that the courts are vetoing legislation passed by congress simply because the judges disagree or are afraid of the consequences if they were to apply the law. This is a violation of the most basic tenet of the US Constitution — division of governance into three co-equal branches of government. The courts are required under law to follow the law. Eventually the chickens are going to come home. How and when that will happen remains unclear.

 

 

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