Proof That It’s Illegal To Add Date To Signed Mortgage Deed
As Michael O’Deira, Dave Laity, myself and many others have been saying for more than a decade, it has been the common practice of the entire mortgage industry for at least thirty years to instruct their employees to induce mortgagors to leave the deed undated when they sign it, before it is subsequently added on or around the date it is registered at the Land Registry as a Legal Charge, which is tantamount to fraudulently creating a forged and material alteration to the deed, after signature but before illegal registration.
Now, before the inevitable chorus of legally programmed gobshite is spewed by the usual suspects, who will spuriously claim that adding the date to a signed deed before registration is not a material alteration because the mortgagor’s signature is apparently ‘held in escrow’ until the date they acquire the property concerned, here are the devastatingly simple facts:
- There is no such thing in law or equity as holding a signature on a solemn deed in escrow.
- Just because a thing is common practice does not mean it is lawful.
- Adding the date at or around registration is a material alteration, on the ground that an undated deed is incapable of registration as a legal charge.
- It is well established that a deed [or document] must be complete at the moment of signature.
- In any event, the legal or equitable right to grant an interest over a property does not arise until the mortgagor is registered as owner in the Proprietorship Register at the Land Registry.
However, don’t just take our word for it, feast your eyes on this article from the Law Gazette about a disbarred solicitor who made the same legally unsustainable arguments, in relation to the common practice of changing the date on registration forms.
Solicitor Banned For Telling Trainee To Change Date On Form
A senior solicitor who asked a trainee to amend a property form to avoid making a court order has been struck off.
Michael Robert Thompson, formerly a partner with south Wales firm Marchant Harries, caused the trainee to make an amendment followed by a re-amendment and submit it to Companies House and HM Land Registry.
Thompson, admitted in 2007, had told the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal he believed he was allowed to act in this way because he had been shown during his own training how to ‘Tipp-Ex out’ errors on documents.
But the tribunal found that even if Thompson genuinely believed he had been taught to act in this way, it was ‘fundamentally implausible’ that he could believe this conduct was allowed, several years on.
The tribunal said: ‘By the time Mr Thompson was a partner and had seven years post-qualified experience, he would (if honest) have been incapable of believing that having the deed altered in this way would be acceptable.’
It was heard that Thompson’s firm had acted for a property purchaser and had 21 days from completion in 2019 to register the mortgage with Companies House. The application was rejected because the filing fee had not been attached. The trainee re-submitted the paperwork with the fee four days later, but this time it was rejected as out of time.
The trainee spoke to Thompson, who effectively ran the firm’s conveyancing department, and he told her there was no need to apply to the court for an extension and she should change the date of the mortgage to a later date to bring the application back within the 21-day limit.
The unnamed trainee, who gave evidence to the tribunal, said she had the impression this conduct was ‘dodgy’ but was told it was ‘fine’ by Thompson and she trusted him to give sound advice.
In his evidence, Thompson told the tribunal he did not consider he was doing anything wrong at the time, based on training he claimed to have received.
He set out a number of personal factors, including ill-health, which he had been dealing with at this time. Thompson told the tribunal that the effect of these issues had been that he ‘was not thinking straight’ and was on ‘autopilot’ at the time of these events. He apologised to the tribunal for what had happened.
The tribunal found Thompson acted dishonestly and without integrity, adding there was no evidence that the balance of his state of mind should displace what a solicitor would think was acceptable. The submission that he had been shown how to Tipp-Ex out errors during his own training was rejected.
Thompson’s representative argued he should be suspended rather than struck off, saying he was a ‘safe, competent and professional man’ whose conduct should not be treated the same as a fraudster seeking to make financial gain. The tribunal said Thompson had wanted to conceal an error and was in full control of these matters. He continued to blame others and was unable to show insight into the seriousness of his actions.
He was struck off and ordered to pay £22,200 costs.
Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Ltd v Yavuz & Ors 
Furthermore, in Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Ltd v Yavuz & Ors  EWHC 3088 (QB), the judge ruled that the defendant solicitors were guilty of contempt of court for making false statements on the court documents, upon which they signed Statements of Truth attesting to facts which proved to be false:
“In my judgment, proof that these defendants knowingly made false statements in their claim forms, particulars of claim, and in the schedules of loss and witness statements in the County Court proceedings establishes that each of them is guilty of contempt of court.”
Contempt, Perjury & Fraud
The damning consequence of this decision for all conveyancing solicitors in the UK is that they have committed perjury every time they have fraudulently purported under oath that a mortgage deed was validly registered, on the basis that they did so knowing that the Land Registry wrongly presumes that the instrument bears the date it was signed by the mortgagor.
Moreover, every time a solicitor with full knowledge of this fact submits such a fraudulent deed into mortgage possession proceedings, bound under oath and code of conduct not to mislead the court, they are also guilty of contempt, as per this well established argument, published by District Judge Neil Hickman in May 2003.
Statements of truth and nothing but
District Judge Neil Hickman explains why statements of truth need to be taken more seriously
The ubiquitous statement of truth was probably the most significant innovation in the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR).
Yet it seems to be misunderstood and taken for granted.The basic statement of truth is ‘[I believe][the (claimant or as may be) believes] that the facts stated in this [document being verified] are true’ – practice direction 22 2.1.
A witness statement requires the words ‘I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true’ – practice direction 22 2.2.
There is a special form of statement of truth for use at the end of an expert’s report – practice direction 35 1.4.
CPR, rule 22.1 and practice direction 22 specify the documents which must be verified by a statement of truth.They include a statement of case and a witness statement.
If a litigant wishes to rely on matters set out in his application notice as evidence, it must be verified by a statement of truth – practice direction 22 1.2.
Why is it important?
The statement of truth has had a dramatic effect on statements of case.
It is no longer proper to put forward a case in which you do not believe.
The practice, condemned by Lord Woolf, of deliberately framing defences to keep all options open for as long as possible should have ceased.
In Clarke v Marlborough Fine Art (No 2)  All ER (D) 286 (Nov), Mr Justice Patten allowed a claimant to plead alternative claims, provided that they were properly expressed as alternatives.
What is not permissible is to plead mutually contradictory claims, or claims which are unsupported by any evidence and are merely speculation or invention.
It has to be said that in the county court, especially in certain road traffic cases, this principle is sometimes honoured in the breach.
So who can sign? A witness statement should obviously be signed by the witness.
Difficulties seem to arise with statements of case and similar documents.
Practice direction 22, paragraph 3.1 is quite clear about who can sign: the party or his litigation friend, or the legal representative of the party or litigation friend.
A responsible officer of a company may sign.
There are special provisions in practice direction 22 dealing with trustees, partners and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
A managing agent may not sign – practice direction 22 3.11 – nor may a non-solicitor debt-collector.
Sometimes a managing agent or debt collector signs, describing himself as a ‘litigation friend.’ If he is lucky, he will receive a tart note inquiring whether his client is a child or a patient.
If he is less lucky, the note will be copied to the client.
If he persists in the practice, he will find the proceedings or statement of case struck out.
Section 7 of the Powers of Attorney Act 1971 might be taken to suggest that an attorney should be able to sign on behalf of the donor.
However, section 7 only authorises an attorney to do anything which the donor can lawfully do by an attorney.
In Clauss v Pir  Ch 267, it was held that this did not permit an attorney to swear an affidavit containing the evidence of the donor – in that case, an affidavit of documents.
So it appears that an attorney cannot sign a statement of truth.
A solicitor may sign a statement of truth confirming that his client believes in the truth of the document in question.
The solicitor should sign in his own name and not that of the firm.
The solicitor’s signature should mean that he has the client’s authority to sign, that he has explained to the client that he will be confirming the client’s belief in the truth of the statements concerned, and that the consequences of a false statement have been explained (see practice direction 22, paragraphs 3.7 to 3.10).
There is a widespread suspicion that these requirements are not being taken as seriously as they should be.
Getting it wrong
Where a statement of truth has been omitted (Hannigan v Hannigan  All ER (D) 693 (May); LB Southwark v Warrell  EWCA Civ 2083) or completed incorrectly (Law v St Margarets Insurances Ltd  All ER (D) 97 (Jan)), the overriding objective means that a party should generally be allowed to put matters right rather than being struck out.
Deliberately signing a false statement of truth is a contempt of court.
In Malgar Ltd v RE Leach (Engineering) Ltd (2000) The Times, 17 February, Sir Richard Scott, the Vice-Chancellor, in dismissing an application for permission to take committal proceedings in respect of a false statement made by the defendant at an early stage but not persisted in, said: ‘…The court from which permission is sought will be concerned to see that the case is one in which the public interest requires the committal proceedings to be brought.
I repeat that these are not proceedings brought for the furtherance of private interests.
They are brought in the public interest and are in some respects like criminal proceedings.
Nonetheless, they are civil proceedings to which the overriding objective set out in CPR 1 is therefore applicable….Committal was seen as disproportionate.
It may not always be viewed that way.
There are alternatives to committal as the court can ‘exercise any of its powers under the rules.
There are many ways this can be done.
For example, the offender may be condemned in costs.
In Molloy v Shell UK Ltd  All ER (D) 79 (Jul), the claimant had signed a statement of truth claiming to have been rendered unable to work and seeking more than 300,000 in damages.
In fact he had been able to return to work and the judge, awarding him 18,000, branded him ‘spectacularly dishonest’.
The Court of Appeal held that he should have been ordered to pay all the defendant’s costs from the date of a payment in.
It may be thought he was fortunate not to be landed with the defendant’s costs throughout having regard to CPR rule 44.3(5)(d).
Or a party may have part of his statement of case struck out, or may be refused permission to amend.
In Malgar, Sir Richard Scott said: ‘It is important that flagrant breaches of the obligation to be responsible and truthful in verifying statements of case and in verifying witness statements should be policed and enforced, if necessary by committal proceedings…
Many judges are increasingly concerned at the casual attitude sometimes shown towards statements of truth.
A solicitor who puts forward a plainly false statement of truth is likely at least to be required to attend personally to explain himself, and may well find himself facing disciplinary proceedings.
Solicitors are officers of the court.
A false statement of truth potentially amounts to deliberately misleading the court.
The Great British Mortgage Swindle
If you haven’t already seen the film or you feel like you need to refresh your memory on this and the other TGBMS Grounds, which comprise the only arguments that have consistently prevented people losing their properties in mortgage battles over the past four years, you can rent or buy it for just a few quid on Amazon Prime.
Early in the new year, the TGBMS Class Actions I gave notice of at the end of the film, which we began in the summer of 2019, will kick-start into private criminal proceedings against the coterie of banksters and their minions, who have been responsible for decades of institutionalized financial crimes.
These actions will be supported by bundles of prima facie evidence containing almost two thousand individual cases of mortgage registration fraud and signature forgery, as well as a plethora of false statements made under oath by conveyancing and litigating solicitors.
One of the primary grounds upon which we have relied since we won summary judgment in Bank of Scotland v Waugh & Others  is that the right to grant a mortgage does not arise before registered ownership, as per the subsequent Supreme Court decision in Scott v Southern Pacific Mortgages .
Despite this, the banks and their legal representatives have aggressively resisted applying the binding rule of law and equity because without the mortgagor effectively granting a charge over somebody else’s property before they receive the funds to buy it, the banks cannot fraudulently use the deed and the resulting promise to pay to create a deposit in their private account, which they then pretend to loan to the purported borrower at compound interest.
In more simple terms, the banks are not engaged in the business of lending money – they are engaged in the business of securities trading, the keystone of which is the fraudulent mortgage registration industry, which the current Governor of the Bank of England has been fully aware of since at least 2013, when he became head of the utterly corrupt FCA to knowingly preserve this edifice of criminality for personal material gains.
As always, you can rest assured that in 2023 we will be taking unprecedented steps to lawfully terminate this empire of ill-gotten gains and to seize a just outcome for the millions of people who have already been evicted because of fraudulently registered mortgages, void court orders, failed regulators and perjured witness statements by legal professionals.
Nevertheless, if you live in the Newcastle area and you fancy putting all the troubles in the world into perspective, laughing at everything like we all used to laugh in the nineties – without restraint – there are still a few tickets left for the Speakeasy Comedy Club Christmas do tonight, where you will be treated to uncensored, polemical hilarity by Lewis Schaffer, Nicholas De Santo and yours truly.
It will be great to see you there, if you can make it. Otherwise, you might be interested in joining the All Things UCT webinar on 29/12/2022, tickets for which can be booked at the box office link below.
The Crimes of COVID-1984 webinar, which was scheduled to take place tomorrow evening, has been rescheduled because of the number of people who want to participate but will be otherwise engaged in Christmas related activities, obviously including travelling to relatives’ homes in the middle of a snowbound train strike.
However, the new date for the webinar is Friday 13 January 2023 and tickets can be booked here:
Last but not least, look out for my next blog, which will be a long-awaited COVID-1984 PCP Update that will hopefully warm the cockles of your heart just in time for Christmas, as the net finally begins to close in on the Four Horsemen and their accomplices.