Banks lose crucial Massachusetts foreclosure case

Section:

By Tom Weidlich
Bloomberg News
Friday, January 7, 2011

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-07/us-bancorp-wells-fargo-lose-piv...

US Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. lost a foreclosure case in Massachusetts' highest court that will guide lower courts in that state and may influence others in the clash between bank practices and state real estate law. The ruling drove down bank stocks.

The state Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a judge's decision saying two foreclosures were invalid because the banks didn’t prove they owned the mortgages, which he said were improperly transferred into two mortgage-backed trusts.

"We agree with the judge that the plaintiffs, who were not the original mortgagees, failed to make the required showing that they were the holders of the mortgages at the time of foreclosure," Justice Ralph D. Gants wrote.

... Dispatch continues below ...



ADVERTISEMENT

Prophecy Receives Permit To Mine at Ulaan Ovoo in Mongolia

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Prophecy Resource Corp. (TSX-V:PCY, OTCQX: PRPCF, Frankfurt: 1P2) announces that on November 9, 2010, it received the final permit to commence mining operations at its Ulaan Ovoo coal project in Mongolia. Prophecy is one of few international mining companies to achieve such a milestone. The mine is production-ready, with a mine opening ceremony scheduled for November 20.

Prophecy CEO John Lee said: "I thank the government of Mongolia for the expeditious way this permit was issued. The opening of Ulaan Ovoo is a testament to the industrious and skilled workforce in Mongolia. Prophecy directly and indirectly (through Leighton Asia) employs more than 65 competent Mongolian nationals and four expatriots. The company also reaffirms its commitment to deliver coal to the local Edernet and Darkhan power plants in Mongolia."

The Ulaan Ovoo open pit mine is 10 kilometers from the Russian border and within 120km of the Nauski TransSiberian railway station, enabling transportation of coal to Russia and its eastern seaports. Thermal coal prices are trading at two-year highs at Russian seaports due to strong demand from Asian economies.

For the complete press release, please visit:

http://prophecyresource.com/news_2010_nov11.php



Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest U.S. lender by assets, dropped $1.10, or 3.4 percent, to $31.05 at 11:41 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. US Bancorp declined 28 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $26.01.

The 24-company KBW Bank Index fell as much as 2.2 percent after the decision was handed down.

Claims of wrongdoing by banks and loan servicers triggered a 50-state investigation last year into whether hundreds of thousands of foreclosures were properly documented as the housing market collapsed. The probe came after JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Ally Financial Inc. said they would stop repossessions in 23 states where courts supervise home seizures and Bank of America Corp. froze U.S. foreclosures.

Teri Charest, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based US Bancorp, didn't immediately return a call for comment. Jason Menke, a spokesman for San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, didn't have an immediate comment.

Charest previously referred questions on the case to the loan servicer for both mortgage-backed trusts, American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. Philippa Brown, a spokeswoman for Coppell, Texas-based American Home Mortgage, didn't have an immediate comment.

In March 2009 Massachusetts Land Court Judge Keith C. Long voided the foreclosures, finding that the mortgage transfers were done months after the house sales. In October of that year, Long declined the banks' request to reverse that ruling after they argued that the documents that bundled together the mortgages had transferred those instruments to them.

Today's court decision held out the possibility of securitization documents properly transferring mortgages.

Such documents, along with "a schedule of the pooled mortgage loans that clearly and specifically identifies the mortgage at issue as among those assigned, may suffice to be proof that the assignment was made by a party that itself held the mortgage," Gants wrote. "However, there must be proof that the assignment was made by a party that itself held the mortgage."

The case is U.S. Bank v. Ibanez, 10694, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (Boston). The lower-court cases are U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez, 08-Misc-384283, and Wells Fargo Bank NA v. LaRace, 08-Misc-386755, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Trial Court, Land Court Department (Boston).

* * *

Join GATA here:

Yukon Mining Investment e-Conference
Wednesday-Thursday, January 19-20, 2011

http://theyukonroom.com/yukon-eblast-static.html

Vancouver Resource Investment Conference
Vancouver Convention Centre West
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Sunday-Monday, January 23-24, 2011

http://cambridgehouse3.com/conference-details/vancouver-resource-investment-conference-2011/15

Cheviot Asset Management Sound Money Conference
Guildhall, London
Thursday, January 27, 2011

http://www.gata.org/files/CheviotSoundMoneyConferenceInvite.pdf

Phoenix Investment Conference and Silver Summit
Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa
Friday-Saturday, February 18-19, 2011
Glendale, Arizona

http://cambridgehouse3.com/conference-details/phoenix-investment-confere...

Support GATA by purchasing a colorful GATA T-shirt:

http://gata.org/tshirts

Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:

http://gata.org/node/wallstreetjournal

Or a video disc of GATA's 2005 Gold Rush 21 conference in the Yukon:

http://www.goldrush21.com/

Help keep GATA going:

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16



ADVERTISEMENT

Sona Drills 85.4g Gold/Ton Over 4 Metres at Elizabeth Gold Deposit,
Extending the Mineralization of the Southwest Vein on the Property

Company Press Release, October 27, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Sona Resources Corp. reports on five drillling holes in the third round of assay results from the recently completed drill program at its 100 percent-owned Elizabeth Gold Deposit Property in the Lillooet Mining District of southern British Columbia. Highlights from the diamond drilling include:

-- Hole E10-66 intersected 17.4g gold/ton over 1.54 metres.

-- Hole E10-67 intersected 96.4g gold/ton over 2.5 metres, including one assay interval of 383g of gold/ton over 0.5 metres.

-- Hole E10-69 intersected 85.4g gold/ton over 4.03 metres, including one assay interval of 230g gold/ton over 1 metre.

Four drill holes, E10-66 to E10-69, targeted the southwestern end of the Southwest Vein, and three of the holes have expanded the mineralized zone in that direction. The Southwest Vein gold mineralization has now been intersected over a strike length of 325 metres, with the deepest hole drilled less than 200 metres from surface. "The assay results from the Southwest Zone quartz vein continue to be extremely positive," says John P. Thompson, Sona's president and CEO. "We are expanding the Southwest Vein, and this high-grade gold mineralization remains wide open down dip and along strike to the southwest."

For the company's full press release, please visit:

http://sonaresources.com/_resources/news/SONA_NR19_2010.pdf