Santa Fe Public Banking Conference on video; upcoming events

The Santa Fe Public Banking Conference last weekend was a great success.  The videotaped event can be seen here.

Our guest on “It’s Our Money” on PRN next Wednesday, October 8th, will be Richard Wolff, the keynote speaker in Santa Fe.  Listen at noon PST/3 pm EST or on archive here.

The Praxis Peace Economics of Sustainability Conference is coming up next week in San Francisco.  I’ll be speaking at 10:30 am on Wednesday the 8th. Details here.

The Philadelphia Public Banking conference is on October 18.  Details here.

Would love to see you at one of these events!  Ellen

Public Banking for Wales, Ireland and Scotland: Promise and Possibilities

Dr. Ian Jenkins of Arian Cymru (Money Wales) has written two excellent articles on why Wales should have its own bank and how that might be accomplished. The shorter article is reprinted below, and the longer, more technical article is linked here.

Dr. Jenkins is hosting an event in Cardiff on September 26th titled “Banking and Economic Regeneration Wales,” at which Marc Armstrong, executive director of the Public Banking Institute, will be speaking, along with Ann Pettifor of the New Economics Foundation and several Welsh leaders. As Dr. Jensen states:

This is in an issue on which Wales could provide leadership on an EU-wide level, a matter in which a small nation could make a big difference.

That is also true for Ireland and Scotland, where interest in public banking is growing. I will be speaking on that subject at a series of seminars in Ireland on October 12th-15th (details here), and I spoke late last year in Scotland on the same subject (see my earlier article here).

Here is Dr. Jenkins’ perceptive piece, which applies as well to Ireland and Scotland.

Continue reading

Announcing the First Annual Public Banking Institute Conference, April 27th-28th in Philadelphia

A warm invitation is extended to our first annual Public Banking Institute Conference at the Friends Center in Philadelphia, April 27th-28th.  More information is here.

Standing up to the banks: how to challenge your foreclosure

In response to an article I posted recently called “Standing Up to the Banks,”, a number of people have written to ask for help in defending their foreclosure actions.  I started to put together materials, when I discovered that it had already been done.  The Consumer Warning Network is an excellent website providing specific directions on how to raise the produce-the-note defense —

It states: 

Using the “produce the note” strategy is something all homeowners facing foreclosure can do. If you believe you’ve been treated unfairly, fight back. We have created templates for a legal request, a letter to your lender and a motion to compel to help you through the process.


Your goal is to make certain the institution suing you is, in fact, the owner of the note (see steps to follow below). There is only one original note for your mortgage that has your signature on it. This is the document that proves you owe the debt.

During the lending boom, most mortgages were flipped and sold to another lender or servicer or sliced up and sold to investors as securitized packages on Wall Street. In the rush to turn these over as fast as possible to make the most money, many of the new lenders did not get the proper paperwork to show they own the note and mortgage. This is the key to the produce the note strategy. Now, many lenders are moving to foreclose on homeowners, resulting in part from problems they created, and don’t have the proper paperwork to prove they have a right to foreclose.


If you don’t challenge your lender, the court will simply allow the foreclosure to proceed. It’s important to hold lenders accountable for their carelessness. This is the biggest asset in your life. It’s just a piece of paper to them, and one they likely either lost or destroyed.

When you get a copy of the foreclosure suit, many lenders now automatically include a count to re-establish the note. It often reads like this: “…the Mortgage note has either been lost or destroyed and the Plaintiff is unable to state the manner in which this occurred.” In other words, they are admitting they don’t have the note that proves they have a right to foreclose.

If the lender is allowed to proceed without that proof, there is a possibility another institution, which may have bought your note along the way, will also try to collect the same debt from you again.

A Tennessee borrower recently had precisely that happen to her. Her lender, Ameriquest, foreclosed on her in July of 2007. About three months later, another bank sent her a default notice for the mortgage on the house she just lost. She called to find out what was going on. After being transferred from place to place and left on hold for lengthy periods of time, no one could explain what happened. They said they would get back to her, but never did. Now, she faces the risk of having her credit continually damaged for a debt she no longer owes.


This process is not intended to help you get your house for free. The primary goal is to delay the foreclosure and put pressure on the lender to negotiate. Despite all the hype about lenders wanting to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, most borrowers know that’s not the reality.

Too many homeowners have experienced lender resistance to their efforts to work out a payment structure to keep them in their homes. Many lenders bear responsibility for these defaults, because they put borrowers into unfair loans using deceptive, hard-sell practices and then made the problem worse with predatory servicing.

Most homeowners just want these lenders to give them reasonable terms on their mortgages, many of which were predatory to begin with. With the help of judges who see through these predatory practices, lenders will feel the pressure to work with borrowers to keep them in their homes. Don’t forget lenders made incredible amounts of money by using irresponsible practices to issue and service these loans. That greed led to the foreclosure crisis we’re in today. Allowing lenders to continue foreclosing on home after home, destroying our neighborhoods and our economy hurts us all. So, make it hard for your lender to take your home. Make ‘em produce the note!


A. If your lender has already filed suit to foreclose on your home:

  1. Use the first form. It’s a fill-in-the-blank legal request to your lender asking that the original note be produced, before it can proceed with the foreclosure. In some jurisdictions, the courts require the original request to be filed with the clerk of court and a copy of the request to be sent to the attorney representing the lender. To find out the rules where you live, call the Clerk of Court in your jurisdiction.
  2. If the lender’s attorney does not respond within 30 days, file a motion to compel with the court and request that the court set a hearing on your motion. That, in effect, asks the judge to order the lender to produce the documents.
  3. The judge will issue a ruling at your hearing. Many judges around the country are becoming more sympathetic to homeowners, because of the prevalence of predatory lending and servicing. In the past, many lenders have relied upon using lost note affidavits, but in many cases, that’s no longer enough to satisfy the judge. They are holding the lender to the letter of the law, requiring them to produce evidence that they are the true owners of the note. For example:
  • In October 2007, Ohio Federal Court Judge Christopher Boyko dismissed 14 foreclosure cases brought by investors, ruling they failed to prove they owned the properties they were trying to seize.

B. If you are in default, but your lender has not yet filed suit against you:

  1. Use the second form. It’s a fill-in-the-blank letter to your lender which also requests they produce the original note, before taking foreclosure action against you.
  2. If the lender does not respond and files suit against you to foreclose, follow the steps above.
UPDATE: CNN features The Consumer Warning Network and the “Produce The Note” strategy. Borrowers are putting this plan into action and getting results!

Consumer Warning Network Featured on CNN

THE LATEST: Borrower wins more time to fight foreclosure! At a court hearing Tuesday, a Pinellas County, Florida Judge denied Wachovia the right to proceed with its foreclosure against borrower Jacqueline O’Brien (profiled in the CNN story).  Instead, O’Brien was granted a continuance, as she pursues the produce the note strategy.  Wachovia expressed interest in renegotiating the terms of the loan, rather than continuing the court battle. 
Chris Hoyer adds in an email:
When people ask for individual lawyers we either refer them to their local bar referral system or, when they can’t afford a lawyer (most often), we give them this link :
which allows them to find free legal advice in their area.  We have had lots of people show success recently from the feedback we have gotten.

Conferences in April and May: The UnMoney Convergence and Building a New World Conference

Last week I attended an excellent conference in Seattle called the UnMoney Convergence.  I’ve been so busy that I don’t know that I can give it justice here, but I wanted to add a note.   I’d estimate that about 50 people attended, although I didn’t count.  It was largely a community currency group, so that was the main focus of the discussions.  The structure was interesting: anyone who wanted to could speak or organize a group.  The two full days of the conference were divided into 7 time slots, and the large hall (in the Seattle Town Hall) was divided into 5 meeting places with letter labels.  That made 28 possibilities for groupings, one or more of which you could sign up to lead (giving name and topic on a large bulletin board).  When it was your appointed time, you went to your corner and waited to see if anyone showed up.  I signed up for two, at the end of each day, and on the first one, guess what — nobody showed up.  At least not at first, but then a person I really wanted to talk to wandered over, and we had a very fruitful discussion.  On the second day, my group was better attended and we had another very good discussion.  Other group leaders attracted substantially better followings and were more formally prepared, with slide presentations and so forth.  What was cool and unusual was that the conference organizers themselves were basically agenda-free, and the people who came with their own agendas (including me, though only for practice, being a duck among swans), often wound up losing interest in their own pet project in favor of some of the others.  One drawback with the approach was that if you played the butterfly, flitting from group to group (one of the options we were encouraged to take, which I did), you were liable to miss important points and didn’t dare ask for a replay, which could have been lengthy.  But overall it was a very congenial and supportive group, and a great opportunity for networking.  I won’t try to discuss the particular talks, partly because I didn’t catch the whole gist of most of them; but if you’re interested in learning more you can go to the session notes at the UnMoney Convergence website, <a href=””></a&gt;.

Not having had a chance to write up this interesting experience myself, I’ll post the review of Tom Palumbo and Ann Williams —

The first international conference of the World Prout Assembly, “Building a New World,”

World Prout Assembly: Religion Pt. 1 – AOL Video
Video Search Results – tag: prout – AOL Video

Building A New World
By Tom Palumbo and Ann Williams

As history has illustrated, the opulent green and sleepy mountains of the western part of Virginia have nurtured seeds of change. Again, in late May, the Virginia countryside heard cries of “Revolution!”. Not unlike the Colonie’s war cry against Imperial powers, people are standing up to a global crisis of immense proportions demanding immediate and ongoing solutions.

The event was a 4 day conference over Memorial Day Weekend entitled, “Building a New World”. Held on the Radford University campus, the gathering was the first summit of the World Prout Assembly.

Conference organizer, Garda Ghista, spoke of the need for “a great and immense movement…to sweep our nation; a positive force that through its sheer {energy} will have the capacity to…constitute hope and a new direction…”. The group brought together an eclectic think-tank of innovative people who study societal dynamics and influences on today’s culture.

Notable activists such as Cindy Sheehan ( A “Gold Star Mother for Peace”), Attorney Lynn Stuart, Robert Jensen, David Swanson, Kathy Kelly and many others led panel discussions geared towards a new global renaissance.

Several Hampton Roads residents were in attendance including Tench Phillips, co-owner of The Naro Expanded Cinema in Norfolk ( He called the events of the “Building a New World” conference “an unprecedented weekend… of organizers, authors, academics and film-makers coming together in a true grass-roots democratic movement to teach and learn from one another.”

Prominent critics of the war and neocon agenda aligned with Adam Kokesh and his colleagues of Iraq Veterans Against the War (, who recently testified in landmark Winter Soldier hearings. Iraqi-American physician Dahia Wasfi ( presented a workshop on “The Sorrows of Race, Gender and Class.” Documentarian Danny Schecter presented “In Debt We Trust.”He and NYT Bestselling Authors Steve Alten (The Shell Game) and William Blum (Rogue Nation) each spoke on the urgency of Media Reform.

The vast array of topical challenges facing our nation and world today ranged from verified voting, economic quagmire, sustainable communities, environmental concerns and unanswered questions from the 9/11 attacks.

Advocates for change from Hampton Roads, included Chris Jaramillo, Joe Fillipowski, Dr. DC Amarasinghe, and members of PETA who participated in a full slate of workshops such as “Right to Healthcare,” “End of Empire,” “Prevent Unwanted Presidencies: Election Fraud,” “Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights,” and “Taking Back the Media.”

Father Roy Bourgeois, co-founder and director of School of the Americas Watch, shared numerous struggles for non-violent change and victories towards the path to healing a broken world. His listeners were moved by his gently saying, “We know not what we have within us…” and we must recognize and celebrate the power of a “Solitary Witness”.

Pastor Rev. Pamela Anne Bro. of Living Waters Sanctuary, of Virginia Beach, offered an energetic presentation at the conference entitled “Spiritual Practices on the Path to Peace.”

There was an appeal for local activists to urgently challenge folks to wake up, pronto. Read. Research. Hone critical thinking skills. To do this they are peacefully armed with countless resources including websites ie;, books, DVD’s and infinite persistence. The unified hope is that the world can be a better and just place for everyone. You will likely recognize them as they engage people in line, at the movies, on the streets, at gas-stations, grocery stores or along the Boardwalk. They are the contemporary Town Criers of Hampton Roads.

The sense from most people participating was that in spite of ongoing global crisis, imminent change is happening. Our survival depends on how flexibly, creatively and effectively we respond to our challenges. The gathering has shaped a pro-active vision of fundamental change be it called a revolution, an awakening, a paradigm shift or a new American Renaissance.