A pro se litigant who fought a mortgage foreclosure by attempting to pay a bank with drafts from his purported account at the United States Treasury has no basis to reverse summary judgment in favor of the lender, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
Derik Blocker of Merrillville relied on attorney-in-fact Marcus Lenton Jr. of Chicago to represent him when U.S. Bank initiated a foreclosure in December 2011, six months after Blocker stopped making mortgage payments, according to the record.
Lenton sent U.S. Bank a personal, non-certified check for $180,000 on a principal balance of more than $157,000. But the bank didn’t cash the check on which Lenton had written, “Not for deposit – EFT only!!!”
The bank also rejected documents Lenton later prepared including a “payment instrument to discharge the alleged debt,” a “lawful order for money” for $200,000 directed to the U.S. Treasury, a “UCC Financing Statement” and an “international bill of exchange.”
In finding no issues of material fact and affirming summary judgment for U.S. Bank, Judge Michael Barnes cited the “Redemptionist” nature of the arguments, which also mirror those of sovereign citizens.
Redemptionist theory “propounds that a person has a split personality: a real person and a fictional person called the ‘strawman,’” Barnes wrote in Derik A. Blocker and Tammi Blocker v. U.S. Bank National Association as Trustee for the Certificateholders Citigroup Mortgage Loan Trust Inc. Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificate Series 2007-AHL3, 45A03-1211-MF-479. “The ‘strawman’ purportedly came into being when the United States went off the gold standard in 1933, and, instead, pledged the strawman of its citizens as collateral for the country’s national debt. Redemptionists claim that government has power only over the strawman and not over the live person, who remains free.”
Redemptionist adherents claim that the government sets up accounts in the initial amount of $630,000 for each person at birth, and that through obscure procedures of the Uniform Commercial Code, citizens can gain access to those funds for their own purposes.
“Lenton’s attempts to pay off the Blockers’ mortgage debt were not only unorthodox but also legally unacceptable. It is unclear who Lenton is or what his relationship to the Blockers is and whether he represented to them that he knew the ‘secret formula’ to accessing money locked away in a clandestine Treasury Department account but, in any event, he clearly failed to access or provide the funds needed to pay off their mortgage,” Barnes wrote. “The trial court did not err in refusing to countenance these purported attempts to discharge the Blockers’ debt.”
The court also took issue with the Blockers’ repeated contentions that the Lake Superior trial court lacked jurisdiction. “To the extent the Blockers make other arguments attacking the trial court’s jurisdiction or the propriety of its judgment that we have not explicitly addressed, it suffices to say that those arguments lack cogency and we will not address them further.”