— Bank’s Lawyers at San Francisco Severson & Werson LLP Embrace Felon Convicted for Bid Rigging at Public Foreclosure Auctions to Try to Win Case Against Entrenched Homeowner —
Oakland, CA — After a six-year legal battle that has yet to be resolved, an African American homeowner in Oakland, California, finally homes in on his quest for a jury trial slated to start March 21, 2016, in the Alameda County Superior Court on claims of invasion of privacy and trespassing. He is seeking punitive damages and injunctive relief against the defendants, OneWest Bank, FSB (“One West”) and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as Trustee of a Securitized Trust (“Deutsche Bank Trustee”). Following a complete defeat of the defendants’ efforts to get the case dismissed in summary judgment proceedings, San Francisco/Oakland attorney Raye Mitchell represents plaintiff going to trial.
The dispute that erupted in 2010 came after the plaintiff initiated a loan transaction with the now defunct bank, IndyMac FSB, in May 2007 to refinance his family home in San Leandro, CA, owned since 2001. The loan did not go through and was not funded because he rescinded it under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), which provides for a three-day right to rescind. The plaintiff never received any billing statements for the cancelled loan. Later, IndyMac FSB funded a new and different loan under a new loan number, but the plaintiff never received nor executed any loan documents with the new loan number. IndyMac failed in 2008 and was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, (“FDIC”).
In the summer of 2009, the defendants simply appeared and alleged that the plaintiff owned them money for the old, cancelled loan. They then claimed that they were entitled to foreclose on his family home utilizing the forged and rescinded loan documents from the failed loan. The plaintiff denies he was in default and also denies he executed the documents that were utilized to foreclose upon his home.
Despite this dispute, in August 2010, the defendants alleged they conducted a non-judicial foreclosure on the plaintiff’s family home. The plaintiff alleges that the whole foreclosure was rigged and was a fraud by the defendants. On the date of the alleged foreclosure, the plaintiff claims that the defendants sent person(s) to his house who entered upon his property without his consent, invaded his privacy, and threatened him and his family with bodily harm. In response to a 9-1-1 call, police eventually contacted a Michael Renquist about the events of the home invasion. As it turns out, Michael Renquist is a real estate investor who later pleads guilty in 2013 for his role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California. According to the initial reports about Mr. Renquist’s guilty plea, “the conspirators suppressed competition and lined their pockets through fraudulent and collusive conduct at the expense of lenders and distressed homeowners,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division in a March 2013 press release on the matter. As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Renquist was supposed to make restitution to the person(s) harmed.
Three days later back in August 2010, the plaintiff claims that the defendants sent other agents to his house for a type of self-help eviction who blocked access to his home, disrupted utilities, and entered his property without his consent. Attorney Raye Mitchell intercepted the agent, and during this encounter, the defendants’ agent(s) were accused of hitting Ms. Mitchell in the face and head, causing the plaintiff physical harm that drew blood from his face, and cuts near his eye, and on his head, along with causing significant property damage.
Lastly, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants invaded his privacy by accessing and sharing confidential information in his mortgage loan files with third parties without his consent and wrongly utilized the private information in litigation by its lawyers against the plaintiff in an effort to shame him and even ‘body-shame’ and ‘body-slam’ Attorney Raye Mitchell. He also claims that the defendants engaged in an improper investigation of his private affairs and an improper investigation into the affairs of his lawyer, Ms. Mitchell, in retaliation for fighting the illegal foreclosure, for refusing to surrender his home in an illegal self-help eviction effort and refusing a meager $ 6300 cash for keys offer to release all of his claims against the defendants for the illegal foreclosure.
The defendants seek to suppress some of the evidence in this case, including an audio of a death threat upon Ms. Mitchell from one of the accused agents of the defendants. Further details of the case and preview of case documents and the death threat audio can be found at www.HelpRestoretheAmericanDream.org.
The defendants, represented by the law firm of Severson & Werson, LLP, deny these claims and in preparation for the trial, the defendants’ lawyers identified Michael Renquist as one of their lead witnesses. “It seems strange that the lawyers at Severson & Werson LLP would embrace an admitted felon whose scheme was to cheat banks like OneWest and cheat homeowners like the Plaintiff. Clearly there was fraud in the whole alleged foreclosure, but rather than seek restitution from a convicted felon, the defendants and their lawyers at Severson & Werson LLP would rather embrace the felon to deny this African American homeowner his home,” added Attorney Raye Mitchell. Even as she prepares for jury trial, the defendants are still changing the rules of engagement by seeking to suppress an audio of the death threat plaintiff claims was left by one of the defendants’ agent toward Ms. Mitchell for fighting the defendants efforts at an illegal self-help eviction. The public can access certain key trial documents and a copy of the death threat at the website for www.DrRayeMitchell.com. Ultimately plaintiff looks forward to exercising his constitutional right to have a jury of his peers carefully consider all the evidence.
About Raye Mitchell
Raye Mitchell is the founder of www.HelpRestoretheAmericanDream.org, a website-based movement to assist homeowners protect and fight for the American dream of home ownership. As an author, public speaker, and retired attorney with expertise in entertainment law, privacy, and consumer rights, Ms. Mitchell has practiced consumer law in California for 25+ years. She currently provides affordable legal consulting for homeowners before and after foreclosure distress. She also offers training for the financial services industry and the legal profession in ‘homeowner cultural competency’ and how to work with homeowners to resolve disputes and avoid litigation. She is currently writing a new non-fiction book entitled Litigation Lynching: The Homeowner’s Un-pretty Battle for Dignity to Protect the American Dream of Homeownership. The book is about civil judicial reform, restoring homeowner dignity, protecting homeowner rights, rebuilding communities, the elimination of racial, gender, and economic status bias, and restoring the American dream of homeownership stolen from millions during the foreclosure crisis of the Great Recession. She earned an undergraduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern California (USC), an MBA from USC Marshall School of Business, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Raye Mitchell is also looking forward to supporting the efforts of The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School that is preparing to launch a new project – the Houston / Marshall Plan for Community Justice to reinvest in communities of color. #BlackLivesMatter.