About Me And Why I Decided To Start This Newsletter
First, I want to thank you very much for the privilege of your time, and to have spent some of it exploring what I have to say.
First a little background on me.
My life has taken many twists and turns that have led me to where I am today.
I have faced a rock-hard “pelota” being hurled at me at speeds of upwards of 170 MPH when I played professional Jai Alai in West Palm Beach and Tallahassee, Florida, as well as Newport Rhode Island.
I then attended law school and was fortunate enough to study Constitutional Law under the tutelage of the late Antonin Scalia in Dublin Ireland during the Summer of 1998.
After passing the bar, I then successfully argued one of the most high-profile cases involving mortgage foreclosure in America, [U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v.Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637 (Mass. SJC 2011)]. The oral argument before the Massachusetts Supreme Court can be seen here [Note, that I am the second attorney to speak for the Appellees on behalf of the LaRace family]. 1
I have continued to defend the LaRace family after the “Ibanez” decision. The financial industry is a “terminator” that does will stop advancing until it takes a house at foreclosure. The LaRace home is roughly valued at $140,000.00. During the subsequent ten (10) years and three subsequent lawsuits I have represented the LaRace family in, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and its “mortgage servicer” has spent many multiples of that figure, while I have never taken any fee, which includes the representation before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in “Ibanez”.
Please see my website blog post here, for pleadings, transcripts, and the like from the ongoing LaRace litigation. Note, that arguing these cases is not for the faint of heart. The financial industry is also a formidable opponent with very deep pockets.
Due to “Ibanez” and the FHFA conservatorship of the GSEs, in 2013, I was asked to present at the Federal Housing Finance Agency at a week-long conference examining mortgage “securitization” and its impact on the “GSE’s [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]
I have, and currently still do, square off against the best-skilled highly trained Attorneys from the largest law firms in America, defending mortgage foreclosure.
Primarily, I examine the “securitization” model to defend a foreclosure on the basis that the foreclosing entity is an emperor with no clothes, i.e. that the current foreclosing claimant is not the “mortgagee” that someone took the loan out from. These can be extremely difficult and esoteric arguments to make.
For those that remember the years leading up to the “Great Recession”, circa 2008, we face a frighteningly similar, and even worse, set of circumstances today in the final days of 2021.
My Goal is to present real-world cases [with client permission] that take you to a front-row seat to witness the causes of foreclosure and the extremely difficult task of defending foreclosure. I will also detail the devasting effects of enduring the unending nightmare of perpetually living under the threat of losing the roof over one’s head.
My cases are primarily in Massachusetts, which does not require that the foreclosing entity go to Court in order to foreclose on a borrower [non-judicial foreclosure].
The barbaric auction process in Massachusetts requires that the Foreclosure Auction take place in front of the property [providing neighbors with a show]. We also hope to be able to show you videos of these auctions as they take place.
Ibanez was decided on January 6, 2011. In the [soon to be] eleven (11) years since this case was decided, I have sat back and watched silently as others pontificate as to what Ibanez meant, and what its ruling means. During this time I have been so busy fighting to keep people in their homes [including the LaRace family who was the unnamed party inIbanez], that I did not have sufficient time to speak my mind, and what I have gone through, and what continues to transpire each day regarding foreclosure.
Here we are 11 years down the road, and unfortunately not much has changed. I fear what is coming down the pike in the coming months, and next year will make the “crash of 2008”, seem like a minor downturn.
I hope to provide my viewpoint from the last “downturn”, and help generate ideas for the upcoming disaster. The storm clouds are gathering, and only those who are greedy, or have their heads in the sand, are blind to the devasting storm that is forming.
Those that say that people in forclosure are “deadbeats”, or were just “gaming the system”, do not understand that over 90% of foreclosures involve folks that were deceived, and merely used as pawns for a conduit to issue derivative investments such as Mortgage Backed Securities, and/or other synthetics.
The Michael J. Lewis's story “The Big Short”, which was adapted for the big screen in the movie by the same name, only scratches the surface, as it only took the perspective of the investor. The true untold story is from the borrower’s viewpoint, and the failure of the financial industry to have designed the “securitization” paradigm to factor in the differences in state law with the treatment of mortgages. While JPMorgan Chase may have employed an army of “Quants” in its boiler rooms to create the Frankenstein we now deal with, these mathematicians failed to comprehend that in some states like Massachusetts, the mortgage does not follow the Note, [Lien Theory vs. Title Theory].
This is merely my initial posting, to provide background, and to hopefully provide the stepping stone for you to come back when I begin to discuss in greater detail, the financial industry destruction of property ownership, and financial ruination of individuals’ lives, in the financial industry thirst for monetary greed.
On this final day of 2021, I truly wish the best for you and your family, friends, and coworkers, in the upcoming year. My prayer is that we will finally get the COVID-19 pandemic behind us and that by some miracle we can avert the upcoming financial crisis.
If this subject sounds like something that you would be interested in reading on a continuing basis, please like and share this post with others. Also, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, and please subscribe to this newsletter. Currently, the subscription is free. I believe that more people need to understand what really takes place in a foreclosure auction. Please help me with this endeavor, as I believe that time is running short.
Thank you for reading this far, Happy New Year, and please stay safe.
Glenn F. Russell, Jr.
The “Ibanez” case made national news and impacted many different industries and spawned interest from news organizations, as well as academia; see the National Association of Realtor position, here , see the Harvard Law Review take on the case, here, Cornell University take, here, Georgetown Law Professor Adam Letvin take, here, Housingwire take, here, Duke University Law Journal (Letvin), here, CNBC take here, Reuters article, where I am quoted, here. This is just a sampling of the many news articles, law review articles, law firm publications, title insurance publications, and financial institutional law firm publications regarding “Ibanez”