On Amy Goodman's Democracy Now yesterday, and again in a piece on Bob Sheer's TruthDig blog, Kaptur told people whose houses were being foreclosed to stay put.
Don't let the bankers kick you out, unless they can provide the original loan paper...Her advice to “squat” cleverly exploits a legal technicality within the subprime mortgage crisis. These mortgages were made, then bundled into securities and sold and resold repeatedly, by the very Wall Street banks that are now benefiting from TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program). The banks foreclosing on families very often can’t locate the actual loan note that binds the homeowner to the bad loan. “Produce the note,” Kaptur recommends those facing foreclosure demands of the banks.
“[P]ossession is nine-tenths of the law,” Rep. Kaptur told me. “Therefore, stay in your property. Get proper legal representation ... [if] Wall Street cannot produce the deed nor the mortgage audit trail ... you should stay in your home. It is your castle. It’s more than a piece of property. ... Most people don’t even think about getting representation, because they get a piece of paper from the bank, and they go, ‘Oh, it’s the bank,’ and they become fearful, rather than saying: ‘This is contract law. The mortgage is a contract. I am one party. There is another party. What are my legal rights under the law as a property owner?’Meanwhile, many sheriffs around the country have adopted a go-slow policy with regard to foreclosures evictions, Cook County, IL, being one of the foremost examples. Others are in Wayne County MI, and Butler County, OH. In other regions, sheriffs have declined "to do the banks' work for them" on case-by case bases.
For the moment, I am pretty confident (KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK) that I am in only small danger of facing anything like these conditions, ceteris paribus. But I wouldn't bet on the kindness of Bernalillo County (NM) Sheriff Dan White, who is still chafing in the nether regions from he severe defeat he suffered at the hands of an effete liberal in the race for "Leather" Heather Wilson's congress seat.
Still, the advice seems pertinent.