News related to Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud

2012

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 Date

Article  (Recent Additions) Author

  Comment

10/15/10

Time to Break Up the Too-Big-to-Fail Banks?

Ellen Brown

Web of Debt

The new Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) probably didn't expect to have its authority called on quite so soon, but Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has just put the Kanjorski amendment to the test. The amendment provides that federal regulators can preemptively break up large financial institutions that -- for any reason -- pose a threat to U.S. financial or economic stability
10/15/10 Foreclosure Nightmare 

MERS – 

No Legal Foundation

Joel Skousen
Editor - World Affairs Brief
The role of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) throughout the foreclosure furor is interesting-mostly because there is no legal basis for its role. It was created out of whole cloth by the investment bankers who brought us the Mortgage Backed Securities fiasco, without any basis in law. 
10/15/10

The Florida Bar letter to Chief Judge Mayanne Downs President,The Florida Bar

 

Provided by

STOPforeclosureFraud

The Florida Bar is interested in any and all cases in which judges have found attorney misconduct.

We are asking you to request your Judges to copy The Florida Bar with any Order that finds members of The Florida Bar have conducted themselves contrary to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.  I can assure you that we will act on these matters pursuant to our rules and discipline procedures.

10/15/10

Conyers Calls for Audit To Determine Extent of Foreclosure Fraud in Government-Backed Financial Entities

 

Includes full text of letter to 

The Honorable Neil M. Barofsky

Congressman Conyers Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and 3 other Members of Congress today sent a letter to the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) asking for an audit to determine the extent that flawed and fraudulent paperwork may have affected the mortgage lending business of GMAC, the recipient of approximately $17 billion in TARP funds.  
10/15/10

Bank of America: Oppenheimer Questions that Foreclosure Math

Tiernan Ray 

Barons

As I mentioned yesterday afternoon, a hedge fund report suggested Bank of America could be facing as much as $59 billion in losses if mortgages it cannot foreclose on are “put back” to it from Fannie and others.

(But they will still receive huge bonuses. MSF)

10/15/10

Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago sues Bank of America, others

Steve Daniels

CHICAGO BUSINESS

The Home Loan Bank’s lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, asks the court to void the sales of the securities and direct the banks to reimburse the Home Loan Bank plus 10% annual interest, according to Bloomberg News.
10/15/10 Banks Could Lose $80 Billion From Mortgage Mess: Jeff Cox 

CNBC.com

"[H]uge amounts of monies have been lost and there are very angry participants at every level of the system seeking to recover the funds that they have lost."
10/15/10

It's speed vs. skepticism for Fla. judges facing avalanche of foreclosure cases

Brady Dennis 

Washington Post

J. Thomas McGrady, the chief judge for Florida's 6th Judicial Circuit, which represents two heavily populated counties around Tampa Bay on Florida's west coast, has been wrestling with how to achieve his aim of clearing the backlog while making sure justice is done.

The judge said "It's more important that we do them right than that we just get them off the books."

10/15/10 New York Pension Said to Renege on Morgan Stanley Real-Estate Relationship Cristina Alesci and

 Jonathan Keehner  

Bloomberg

“It’s unusual for an institutional investor to pull out of a capital commitment so long after it was made, but in this case it’s not totally surprising given the performance.”
10/15/10**

Foreclosure Fraud Propped Up Mortgage-Backed Securities -- And Protected Banks That Issued Them

 

This is where things get positively evil. The investment banks didn’t mind buying up loans they knew were bad, because they considered themselves to be in the moving business rather than the storage business. They weren’t going to hold on to the loans: they were just going to package them up and sell them on to some buy-side sucker.

Susie Madrak 

Crooks & Liars

The reason they're faking the mortgage documentation? If the bankers admit what's wrong with the chain of title conveyance, the mortgage loansare no longer eligible for the trusts the bankers sold to investors -- and under their own terms of agreement, the chain of title was breached, "true sale" was probably not achieved and the liability reverts to the banks.

Investors are likely to sue to recover their money. The government will probably stand behind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investors, but private banks are another matter. Some major dominoes seem likely to fall.

It's important that we don't fall for the media misdirection here: It's not "poor banks getting screwed by mortgage deadbeats." It's really "poor investors getting screwed by banks who knowingly sold them worthless mortgage bonds."

10/15/10** Where's The Note? Shock and Awe for Big Banks Michael Collins 

economicpopulist.org

Why the halt in foreclosures? It seems that the banks have ignored long established state property and title procedures and may not actually own the title to the homes subject to foreclosure (and others subject to the same procedures).

Another shock wave is slamming into investors worldwide who hold over $2 trillion in Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS). They're watching the underlying viability of their investment attacked by homeowners who are challenging the legality of mortgages, state courts deciding in favor of homeowners, and aggressive actions by state attorneys general.

10/14/10**

Banks Are Stealing Homes: Why Won’t Obama Stop It?

Alain Sherter 

BNET

What should the government do? For starters, press loan servicers to present a detailed plan for ensuring that foreclosures are legal and legitimate, Porter added. What that would almost certainly reveal is that banks can’t, in fact, verify that they have a sound basis for thousands and thousands of foreclosures. Says Yves Smith:

You don’t make up documents if you have the real ones, and if you don’t have the real ones, you are really stuck. So the idea that the banks can somehow magically find documentation they clearly DON’T have and get back to life as usual is a complete non-starter.

10/14/10**

6 Law Firm Notaries Lose Office, Suit Filed in Probe of Fake Lawyer Signatures on Foreclosure Docs ABA Journal

None of the articles includes any comment from the lawyers whose signatures are at issue or their law firms.

If we don’t follow rules, if we don’t follow laws, then we’re dead as a society,” Solomon tells the legal publication.

 

10/14/10**

6 Things You Need to Know About Foreclosure Fraud

Michael T. Snyder 

Seeking Alpha

This is a huge story that is not going to go away any time soon. The truth is that it would be hard to understate the amount of fraud that has gone on in the U.S. mortgage industry, and we are watching events unfold that could potentially rip the U.S. economy to shreds. 
10/14/10**

Summary Judgment Granted in Favor of Deutsche Bank is REVERSED by Appellate Court

STOPforeclosureFraud Because Deutsche failed to address Alejandre’s affirmative defenses, it did not carry its burden on summary judgment. Therefore, the trial court’s entry of summary judgment was erroneous.
10/14/10** Here's That Devastating Report On Bank Of America That Everyone Is Talking About Today

The presentation comes to a pretty damning conclusion: Bank of America's exposure could nearly halve its share price.

Gregory White  

Business Insider

Earlier, we wrote about Felix Salmon's contention that there's a new mortgage fraud scandal that has the potential to dwarf Goldman's ABACUS dealings. In this fraud scenario, banks took advantage of their information advantage and sold CDOs with mortgages they knew to be bad without clear representation to investors.
10/14/10**

Faulty Paperwork Prompts Deepening Foreclosure Problems Jim Lehrer

PBS NewsHour

NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman has the backstory on the flawed paperwork being used to challenge foreclosures in court. It's the first in a periodic series on the mortgage crisis. And it's all part of his regular reporting Making Sense of financial news.
10/14/10 Time for Criminal Charges To Be Filed . . .

The absurdity of illegal activity, criminal conduct, rampant fraud has reached a point where the nation must declare “No More.” We must begin the process of identifying criminal actors — and prosecuting them.

The Big Picture If you have been in any way personally harmed by the illegal actions of any bank, law firm, process server, or loan servicing agency, you MUST file criminal charges.

If your home was broken into by a firm to change the locks illegally, that is breaking and entering, and conspiracy. If the wrong bank filed a foreclosure action, if the wrong house was foreclosed upon, its time to go criminal prosecution route.

10/14/10

Too big to fail rears its head again

The financial statement itself proved the li.e

Annie Lowrey 

The Washington Independent

“This is poetic justice,” says Janet Tavakoli, of Tavakoli Structured Finance in Chicago. “The mortgages that seem to be most affected are by predatory lenders, or lenders who engaged in fraudulent practices, like appraising a home for twice its value. The careless investment banks were willing to overlook that fraud. But they just bred fraud into their mortgage-backed securities.”
10/14/10**

Smoking Loans Prove Wall Street Committed Fraud

Alain Sherter 

BNET

That pattern became hardwired into a financial system, encouraging bad behavior. Laws are broken, ethics (if they exist) smashed to bits. Here’s how the anonymous financial exec who writes over at The Fourteenth Banker put it:  The profits that were generated by this activity dwarf the potential cost. Executives’ incentives are to produce gains today and they do not pay for the risks that are left for tomorrow. The decision to have individual employees sit and sign affidavits that are false was made consciously. Someone decided to save the expense of doing it right. Or someone figured out that the chain of title had already been broken and it is better to whistle past the graveyard and defraud a court, a debtor, an investor, or a shareholder, than it is to do the right thing.

  [T]he truth is that decisions to cut corners, commit fraud, abuse clients or mislead investors are generally cognitively rational given the position in which the individual employee is put. In short, guilty.

10/14/10 Time for Criminal Charges To Be Filed Barry Ritholtz 

The Big Picture

The absurdity of illegal activity, criminal conduct, rampant fraud has reached a point where the nation much declare “No More.” We must begin the process of identifying criminal actors — and prosecuting them.
10/14/10** Florida Foreclosure Employees Had Better Protect Themselves masaccio   

FDL

The Florida Attorney General has subpoenaed records of Fidelity National Financial, Inc., also known as DOCX . The subpoenas are here. The first thing you notice is the caption: “Economic Crimes Investigative Subpoena Duces Tecum”. I like the ring of that, economic crimes. But I bet there is a group of people for whom it has a really scary sound. I’m guessing that the Florida AG doesn’t blame the employees of DOCX, and maybe the employees of the law firms. That is why they want the manuals and training materials. If I’m one of the people named in the subpoena, or an employee who notarized documents for DOCX, I’m getting on the phone to a lawyer to represent me in criminal proceedings. I do the same thing if I work for one of those law firms. I’m telling my story to my lawyer, and asking for help in cooperating with the Florida AG. I don’t worry about the cost.
10/14/10**

 

FL 4th DCA COURT OF APPEALS REVERSES SUMMARY JUDGMENT: ALEJANDRE v. DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY

StopForeclosureFraud In the instant case, as in Frost, the trial court’s entry of summary judgment was improper. Here, as in Frost, Deutsche moved for summary judgment, but in that motion, it failed to address affirmative defenses raised by the mortgagor, Alejandre. Because Deutsche failed to address Alejandre’s affirmative defenses, it did not carry its burden on summary judgment. Therefore, the trial court’s entry of summary judgment was erroneous. We do not pass upon the merits of the affirmative defenses, as that is a matter to be addressed in further proceedings.
10/14/10 Let’s Not Start Lionizing the Real Foreclosure Fraud Deadbeats – the Banks David Dayen

FireDogLake

I want to again stress that this is downright illegal and incredibly damaging to the rule of law. The improper affidavits were the tip of the iceberg, but even if they weren’t, the chain of so-called clerical errors that would get a servicer to foreclose on a home that didn’t even have a mortgage would involve so much fraud at so many stages that it makes a mockery of the notion of private property altogether. The smug cheerleaders who want to make this about borrowers and not criminal fraud really make me sick to my stomach.
10/14/10

Wall Street blames foreclosure problems on everyone besides themselves

American Blog For starters, let's remember who created "liar loans" and the housing bubble. Hold that thought and then let's look at one or two quick examples of houses that were repossessed illegally even though defaulting on payments had NOTHING to do with the process. Then let's think about the Wall Street people who created these documents yet now can't live by the law, as if they are above it. Why is it so hard for Wall Street to live by the law that their lobbyists helped write in the first place? Keep talking Wall Street because you haven't ticked off the country enough to get real change.
10/14/10 Robo-signing eviction scandal rattles Wall Street   

Bank shares fall over concerns US watchdogs will decide thousands of Americans have been evicted unfairly by employees rubber-stamping repossession documents

Jill Treanor Julia Kollewe 

guardian UK

JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon says banks could be fined over how they have handled foreclosures.

Fears US regulators will rule that thousands of Americans may have been unfairly evicted from their homes rattled Wall Street today as the scandal over the use of "robo-signers" escalated

10/14/10** The DC OP-ED: One nation, under fraud Joseph Tauke

The Daily Caller

“I think it’s safe to say that 95% of the foreclosure cases in Florida involve some form of fraud on the part of the bank,” David Goldman of Apple Law Firm, PLLC told The Daily Caller in a phone interview. “It’s probably closer to 99%. And the court system is helping them get away with it.”
10/13/10 Alan Grayson To FBI: Handcuff Time

"This is absurd.  This is deliberate, systemic fraud, and it is a crime."

Market Ticker It is not enough for big banks only to apologize for fraud, perjury, and even breaking and entering – when they are caught.  It is time for handcuffs. Fraud does not become legal just because a big bank does it. - Congressman Grayson
10/13/10

Washington State AG finds Trustees may be involved in wrongful foreclosures

PDF letter

Rob McKenna 

Washington State 

Attorney General

Trustees may be foreclosing on homes when there is no clear chain of ownership for the loan or security interest.

Lenders are "reverse-engineering" the chain of title, including back-dating documents to make it appear as though the loan was passed from company to company on certain dates when no such assignment actually occurred. 

10/13/10 Foreclosure Fiasco's Trail Goes to Washington

Was it because they often don’t know who owns the mortgages on which they’re foreclosing, and decided to cheat?

Jonathan Weil  

Bloomberg

This may help explain why the mortgage-servicing industry got away with such misbehavior for so long.  The government, in one form or another, was doing it, too

There’s no sign the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or the Office of Thrift Supervision did anything to stop any of these institutions from treating the country’s courts so contemptuously. Perhaps the regulators were clueless. Or maybe they knew there was a problem and decided to let the banks run wild in the interest of keeping their foreclosure mills humming.

10/13/10

Mortgage Servicers Must Suspend Foreclosures In NY, State Says

The N.Y. Banking Department joins 47 state attorneys general and 37 banking and mortgage regulators as part of a multi-state group that is investigating the foreclosure practices of mortgages servicers throughout the country.

STEVEN MEYEROWITZ 

Financial Fraud Law

(FULL) The N.Y. State Banking Department has suspended home foreclosure actions by mortgage loan servicers, requiring that they conduct internal reviews of their foreclosure practices.  The servicers were also asked to respond to the Banking Department on the following issues: the steps the servicer is taking or has taken to review the foreclosure process in New York; the results of the review, including a description of the process for verifying affidavits;  the corrective action, if any, the servicer has taken or intends to take in response to the review; the measures taken to ensure that affidavits filed in New York foreclosure actions are executed in compliance with New York law; and  the status of pending foreclosure actions in New York and measures taken to suspend such actions pending review.
10/13/10

FLORIDA AG ISSUES SUBPOENAS TO LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES (LPS) & DOCX 10-13-2010

STOPForeclosureFraud Today the Florida Attorney General issued Subpoenas Duces Tecum’s to both Lender Processing Services Inc. and to a subsidiary DOCX. This involves employees past or present, the four foreclosure firms currently being investigated.
10/13/10

Bankers Ignored Signs of Trouble on Foreclosures

ERIC DASH and 

NELSON D. SCHWARTZ 

NY Times

At Citigroup and GMAC, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on home foreclosures was outsourced to frazzled workers who sometimes tossed the paperwork into the garbage. And at Litton Loan Servicing, an arm of Goldman Sachs, employees processed foreclosure documents so quickly that they barely had time to see what they were signing.
10/13/10

The Title Problems that Lie At Heart of Foreclosuregate

Attorney Matt Weidner  I urge everyone to read the very important letter below.  This should help everyone to understand just what we are dealing with. After you read this indictment of our current foreclosure system, read the attachment below which are the letters Florida Attorney General just sent out to lenders across this country… it illustrates the terrible disconnect we now suffer.
10/13/10

MERS Signing Agreements /Corporate Resolutions Signed Using Stamps

StopForeclosureFraud These two Corporate Documents were located in two separate states thousands of miles across from each other .
10/13/10 Mortgage-Foreclosure Crisis Needs Federal Response, Harvard's Porter Says Christine Harper 

Bloomberg

The U.S. government’s failure to propose a national solution to the mortgage foreclosure crisis is exacerbating the problem and leading to panic, according to Katherine Porter, a visiting professor at Harvard Law School who studies home repossessions.
10/13/10 

v

How 2 civilian sleuths brought foreclosure problems to light
Tom Pugh 

McClatchy Newspapers

More than a year before lenders, law firms and document companies began owning up to widespread paperwork problems with their foreclosure filings, Lisa Epstein and Michael Redman already knew that something was wrong — very wrong.
10/13/10 

 Foreclosure Fraud & MERS In The Spotlight:

Interview With CEO R.K. Arnold (Video, Links, Jamie Dimon Says 'No')

The Daily Bail Page includes several developments regarding MERS in the last few days:
Repeat 11/22/09

Fight against foreclosures gaining momentum Michigan, Kansas, Massachusetts cases set precedents  Diane Bukowski
Michigan Citizen
“In addition to the technicalities listed in the lawsuit, such as the fact that Evans’ subordinates were not authorized to sign deeds of sale, we are contending that sheriff’s auctions were not even held in many cases,” said Cross. “The sales should be null and void, and the original property owners should still own their homes under the law.
10/13/10

 

The Title Problems that Lie At Heart of Foreclosuregate- Understanding Just How Deep The Trouble We’re in

 

McCollum-Foreclosure-Fraud-Letters-

to-Banksters*

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog

We know that the vast majority of the judges sitting on benches never closed a real estate transaction nor searched and put together a title chain, nor could they spot a cloud or defect. They certainly don’t know the difference between insurable versus marketable title.

Problem is that title law does not like sloppy, 

nor should it insure it.

Letter
10/13/10

"Rocket Docket" In High Gear As Defenses In Homeowner-Contested Foreclosure Actions Get Flattened & Bulldozed Out Of 'Kangaroo' Court 

Parker said that in the three years before the foreclosure court was established, his firm participated in about 100 hearings for a contested final summary judgment and never lost one. With the new court, they are 1-for-15, winning their first last week in Clay County. "For the first time, they're not even pretending to be unbiased arbiters of justice," Parker said.

homeequitytheftreporter "If they find for the defendant, the plaintiffs [usually lenders] just refile," he said. "The only way to reduce [the case load] is to give it to the plaintiff. It's designed with a result in mind, and that's not how justice is supposed to work." With millions of Americans facing foreclosure, much of the foreclosure process itself is in well-publicized disarray. At least seven states are investigating allegations of wrongdoing involving bogus signatures and missing documents.
10/13/10 JPMorgan exits electronic mortgage tracking system AP JPMorgan Chase's CEO says the bank has stopped using the electronic mortgage tracking system used by major financial institutions. Lawyers have argued in court proceedings that the system is unable to accurately prove ownership of mortgages. The Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, acts as a trading house for millions of mortgages. Lawyers for homeowners say the system lacks the required paper trail to prove mortgage ownership in foreclosure proceedings.
10/12/10** Why Foreclosure Fraud Is So Dangerous to Property Rights Barry Ritholtz 

The Big Picture

I want to explain exactly why this RE fraud is so dangerous, and explain the significance of the rights that are currently being trampled. I also want to demonstrate that the only way the nation could have the quantity and magnitude of errors we see is by willful, systemic fraud.

Perhaps this commentary will allow for a more intelligent debate of this issue, and focus on what can be done to fix the problems, rather than the blind parroting of talking points.

10/12/10

ROBO-signors Reveal an Industry-Wide Banking Scheme to Defraud Homeowners

"Judges are unlikely to look favorably on a bank that claims paperwork flaws don't matter because the borrower was in default on the loan," said former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey

Michelle Conlin AP The allegations are opening the entire chain of foreclosure proceedings to legal challenge. Some foreclosures could be overturned. Others could be deemed illegal.

... a boiler-room atmosphere in which employees were pressured to forge signatures, backdate documents, swap Social Security numbers, inflate billings and pass around notary stamps as if they were salt.

10/12/10

"At the Root of the Crisis We Find the Largest Financial Swindle in World History", Where "Counterfeit" Mortgages Were "Laundered" by the Banks

Fraud and potential criminal conduct were at the heart of the financial crisis

Washington Blog The mortgages in the millions were counterfeits, not mortgages. They were "laundered" ... the dirty paper was converted into clean paper. Securitization was used to convert the worthless paper from triple D minus junk to triple A. The commercial banks were the "fences", they took the laundered paper and sold it on to the legitimate market. The "marks" were the pension funds, or any investing entity which trusted triple A rating or investment banks.
10/12/10

 

Foreclosure Crisis 'A Legal Impossibility', Ritholtz Says 

 William Alden  

Huffington Post

"This has never happened before! That is historically an impossibility. That is a legal impossibility. And yet it happened. That's how bad this is," he said. "It should never happen! This should be a hundred percent -- never, ever, ever happen."
10/12/10

Foreclosure Fraud: It's Worse Than You Think

Diana Olick 

CNBC Real Estate Reporter

The real issue is ownership of these loans and who has the right to foreclose. By the way, despite various comments from the Obama administration, foreclosures are governed by state law. There is no real federal jurisdiction.

Levitin says the documentation problems involved in the mortgage mess have the potential "to cloud title on not just foreclosed mortgages but on performing mortgages."

10/12/10 Little-Known MERS Faces Big Challenges in Foreclosure Battle Matthias Rieker  

WSJ

Trouble for MERS could add risk to banks by slowing down the securitization process, and creating uncertainty during a time when banks are struggling to reassure shareholders and customers. One hedge fund investor said Friday that questions around MERS are adding to his concerns about banks in the mortgage business and are keeping him from investing in the sector.
10/12/10

“Foreclosures Gone Wild:

 Understanding the Legal Issues Surrounding the Recent
Foreclosure Freezes and Investigations.”

Citi It now appears that in many cases (1) the paperwork was not properly transferred and 

(2) it is unclear in many cases where the actual paperwork actually rests today.

10/12/10** 

Florida's 30-Second Foreclosure Dash Hits Wall of Fraud Claims David McLaughlin   

Bloomberg

West said her case is rife with the kind of flawed mortgage documents that have caused lenders including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to stop the process of foreclosures and evictions across the country. The banks said they are investigating homeowner charges like West’s that signatures were forged and documents were backdated. “It’s not right,” said West, 40, who lives about an hour’s drive north of West Palm Beach.  “It’s like lying to the judge. It’s like lying about what’s really going on.” (yes it is)
10/12/10

Are We Headed for Housing Armageddon?

Dawn Wotapka  WSJ In the worst case, the issues become a “systemic problem” that grinds the mortgage market to a halt and title insurers refuse to insure mortgages involving existing homes. In other words, housing Armageddon.  “It would be devastating for the resale market if this robo-signer issue spiraled out of control,” Mr. Watson says.
10/12/10** Why Foreclosure Fraud Is So Dangerous to Property Rights

(THIS IS CRIMINAL FRAUD AND SHOULD BE PROSECUTED)

There is simply no reason we should tolerate unlawful property seizure merely when it is done by banks. They are not the State, not the King, and not above the law.

Barry Ritholtz

bullfax.com

It is a legal impossibility for someone without a mortgage to be foreclosed upon. It is a legal impossibility for the wrong house to be foreclosed upon. It is a legal impossibility for the wrong bank to sue for foreclosure.

And yet, all of those things have occurred. The only way these errors could have occurred is if several people involved in the process committed criminal fraud. This is not a case of “Well, something slipped through the cracks.” 

In order for the process to fail, many people along the chain must commit fraud.

10/12/10 Record Salaries on Wall Street – AGAIN!  Consumer Warning Network Profits are down, bonuses are up! That’s the way of Wall Street.  The financial gurus who crippled the economy are once again rewarding themselves, this time to the tune of $144 billion, on pace to break a record high for the second year in a row.  A study conducted by the Wall Street Journal shows more than three dozen top banks and securities firms will once again pay executives copious amounts of salary and benefits.
10/12/10

State AGs Set to Announce Foreclosure Probe

Charlie Gasparino   

FOX Business

Several dozen state attorneys general are scheduled to announce a formal probe of the banking industry’s mortgage foreclosure process on Wednesday, a move that is likely to target every major bank in the country and whether banking executives followed proper procedures while foreclosing onhomes where borrowers have defaulted on their mortgages.
10/12/10

Citigroup Stops Using Foreclosure Law Firm Facing Florida Probe Dakin Campbell 

and Donal Griffin 

Bloomberg

Citigroup Inc. said it stopped steering foreclosure work to a Florida law firm whose court filings to support home seizures are under investigation by the state’s attorney general.
10/11/10

Judges Giving Millions of Dollars to Lenders That Cannot Be Traced- The Failure of Capacity

Attorney Matt Weidner  In the months and weeks to come we’re all going to be learning and be far more concerned about the very real issue of Capacity.  As we all struggle to unravel this monstrous mess, breaking down capacity will be a key focus in the problem.   We’re all going to be searching around to determine who to sue and where to sue them, but because the courts failed to enforce the most basic pleading requirement….i.e. specifically identify who the parties to the lawsuit are, this is going to be most difficult.
10/11/10

Foreclosure Suspensions Raise Anti-Bank Anger

WSJ The foreclosure market is stalling and confusion is rising in the wake of the recent suspensions of foreclosures by four major mortgage servicers. Meanwhile, several state attorneys general, as well as members of Congress, are calling for an across-the-board foreclosure moratorium to sort out alleged irregularities in foreclosure documents submitted by the banks. (More:Courts Add to Foreclosure Delay)

10/11/10

The MERS Edifice Quavers....

And threatens to crumble into dust....

Karl Denninger Even though not a single state legislature or appellate court had authorized this change in the real property recording, investors interested in subprime and exotic mortgage backed securities were still willing to buy mortgages recorded through this new proxy system. 

What do you call selling something to someone that claims an ownership right as an inherent part of the bargain - indeed, it's the only consideration that is offered in exchange for money, yet the state legislatures have not ratified this as proper, and in fact the county and state legislatures say it is not?
10/11/10

 

Lender Processing Services Has a Very Bad Day: Federal Bankruptcy Trustee Joins Litigation Against LPS on Behalf of All Chapter 13 Trustees in the US

The court filing

 nakedcapitalism Lender Processing Services, which provides “technology” services to servicers and foreclosure mills, is under an escalating legal assault. Although media attention has focused on its role as a generator of fabricated documents for servicers and mortgage trusts, it can probably shift the liability for those documents onto the parties that used them as part of foreclosure proceedings.
10/11/10

Wrongful Foreclosures and Clouded Title   Adam Levitin 

Credit Slips

GMAC/JPMChase foreclosure freezes due to concerns about faulty foreclosures: clouded title.   There's a lot of wonderful technical stuff involved with wrongful foreclosure claims, but the basic problem is pretty easy to understand:  you have to own a mortgage in order to bring a foreclosure action.  If you don't own the mortgage, you don't have any right to kick someone out of his/her house, even if that person has defaulted on his/her mortgage. 
FORECLOSURES: A MASSIVE CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE
Stealing trillions of dollars from the American people.
   
10/11/10

Did GMAC Try to Bury Its Foreclosure Smoking Gun?

The deposition GMAC really, really doesn't want you to see.

 

The Stephan Deposition

Andy Kroll

Mother Jones

Is GMAC Mortgage, the company under siege by numerous state attorneys general and members of Congress for its use of dubious foreclosure legal filings, trying to silence the lawyer who exposed the bank's practices? So says Thomas Cox, the Maine attorney whose case is at the center of GMAC's ongoing debacle.

Then, in mid-June, Cox says, something odd happened. GMAC fired the local attorney who'd handled the case up to that point and replaced her with counsel from a powerful white-shoe firm, Pierce Atwood. The new firm's first move was to accuse Cox of violating Maine civil court rules by distributing legal documents that caused "embarrassment, annoyance, oppression, and intimidation" of GMAC and Stephan.

10/11/10 Seeking Fair Contracts Nader.org This time the big banks and mortgage servicing companies, with their long, one-sided fine print contracts, may have outsmarted themselves. The newspaper headlines and the network television news are blazing news of the erupting fraudulent foreclosure process. This long-overdue coverage is generating public visibility and suddenly hundreds of thousands of foreclosures may be questioned due to what one commentator delicately called “flawed paperwork.” That is a euphemism for fraudulently executed contracts volative of state laws regarding home title changes. As usual, the jig was up only after some lawsuits were filed by foreclosed homeowners asserting that there was no proof of ownership of the mortgage which is necessary to evict and take back the house or apartment building.
10/11/10

Ohio Attorney General Fights Against Wall Street

MICHAEL POWELL  

NY Times

At least 90,000 residential and commercial foreclosure notices will be filed in Ohio this year. Pension funds for teachers, secretaries and janitors have suffered grave losses. And multitudes of the unemployed in Ohio now speak of turning to prayer.
10/11/10

 

Attorney General files Motion for Rehearing in Judge's Ruling Shapiro & Fishman Investigation includes motion and subpoena Florida AG Attorney General could not investigate the Shapiro & Fishman law firm for the firm's alleged involvement in presenting fabricated documents to the courts in foreclosure actions to obtain final judgments against homeowners.
10/11/10

Exclusive – Justice Roberts & President Obama Victims of Same “Robo-Signer DEAN When Chief Justice John Roberts and his wife refinanced their $800,000 mortgage back in August 2004 they could not have possibly imagined that their Satisfaction of Mortgage, evidencing the full payoff of their loan, was being executed by a robo signer.
10/11/10 Fight over who has legal right to foreclose makes mess worse Stephanie Armour

USA TODAY

The Problem: Persten ultimately succeeded in getting MERS action dropped, only to see a new action brought by a different company that says it is the true owner of his mortgage note. Persten still isn't sure who owns his mortgage.
10/11/10

Foreclosure freeze could undermine housing market   The financial institutions insist that, "in most if not all cases, there was no fraud", the borrowed missed their payments and the foreclosures are justified.

"MSFraud insists that, "in most if not all cases, there was fraud."

Michelle Conlin,   

AP Real Estate Writer

Allegations of possible mortgage fraud against financial giants GMAC, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of Americaread like a corporate thriller:  forged documents, faked Social Security numbers, phantom titles, disappearing paper trails, "robo-signers" and mortgages sliced and diced  so many times that nobody really knows who owns them. Lawyers who have already filed class action lawsuits in Maine and Kentucky are now signing up entire neighborhoods as new clients. They're hiring private eyes to track down former industry employees and holding marathon conference calls to strategize on how to get every speck of dirt on the banks that they can.
10/11/10 Foreclosuregate theeconomiccollapse If you work in the mortgage industry or for a title insurer, you might not want to make any plans for the next six months.  Foreclosuregate is about to explode.
10/10/10

PRESIDENT OBAMA FALLS VICTIM TO CHASE ROBO-SIGNER 4closureFraud.org They tricked all of us, even you Mr. President,  and completely disregarded the basic laws of this country to make a buck.
10/10/10 

How Deep Will The Robo Signer / RoboJudge / Foreclosure Fraud Scandal Go?

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog Matt's personal Video about the tangled web and what must be done and what should not be done.
10/10/10

ARE MERS’ SIGNATURES ON DOCUMENTS REAL or SCANNED DUPLICATES? StopForeclosureFraud The documents on this page were either stamped in or scanned in but in no way signed by any human on this earth.  This also backs up Angela Nolan deposition where she states: Let me explain the process. This is an electronic signature, so there’s certain states that allow electronic signatures. And I believe I sent you documentation on that where we sign our name, it’s scanned into a database, then the  signatures are applied electronically.
10/10/10 AP IMPACT: Bypassing county fees may cost banks MICHELLE CONLIN 

CURT ANDERSON 

The Associated Press

In 1997, when the banks' burgeoning business in mortgage securities was clashing with the unwieldy nature of written forms, the industry created its own alternative, an electronic system that would track the ever-changing ownership of home loans.
10/10/10

IT’S THE SATISFACTIONS ON MORTGAGES TOO!  ROBOSIGNED SATISFACTIONS OF MORTGAGE & WELLS FARGO IMPLICATED.   But wait, Wells Fargo said their paperwork is flawless.  Oh, that's right, Banksters are Liars. Foreclosure Hamlet IT IS A COMPLETE SHAM and the evidence is contained in the public records. The predators have left a trail of breadcrumbs for us to follow, as they corrupted America’s land records. So arrogant are these financial predators, they don’t give a damn about anything they touch. These perps exhibit no sense of ethics, morals, or propriety. No respect for long standing state or federal laws. No concern for their fellow citizens. And to top it off, these corrupt con men, tried to marginalize us after ruining our financial futures by taking us for everything we had, including our credit scores, thereby eliminating our job and recovery options. These hustlers and their criminal enterprises must be exorcised from the very fiber of America. We must not allow these cons to worm their way into the very hard conference table discussions where we try to salvage what is left of our country.
10/10/10

Foreclosure crisis much deeper than robo-signers  Edward Harrison  

Credit Writedowns

The robo-signer problem is just a flashpoint in what will later be seen as a market rife with fraud.
10/10/10 THE SiGNiNG… Or, Pardon me, Mr. Banker, but your REMIC is showing.

We’ve still got more than 50% of our population blaming homeowners, reciting the ridiculous rhetoric about “irresponsible sub-prime borrowers” buying more house than they could afford.  It’s truly stunning work, banker-people.  Nice job brainwashing millions. 

Fannie Mae sent out a memorandum months ago telling servicers that in order to be reimbursed under HAMP they would have to produce the assignment paperwork showing that the loan in question was assigned to the trust. 

Mandelman Matters Tax fraud, tax evasion, securities fraud,  fraud on the courts, a Ponzi scheme of Herculean proportion, the unqualified failure of our government’s regulatory and enforcement agencies… 

... the money long gone to bankers in the form of mega-bonuses… and a group of Wall Street bankers confident that Congress will simply white wash over everything (read: socialize the debt) and send the bill to the American people.  It’s a horror picture, no question about that.

10/10/10

Pressure on nation's mortgage lenders intensifies-source Corbett B. Daly  Reuters More than two-thirds of U.S. state attorneys general plan this week to launch a joint probe into charges some banks used fraudulent paperwork to kick struggling borrowers out of their homes.
10/9/10 Evicted family with lawyer breaks locks, reclaims home Amy Powell abc Local "This is only the beginning of this," said the Earl's attorney, Michael Pines. "I chose this family because we needed to get back in before the investor and the real estate broker defrauded a new family by having them move in, which would have created a bigger mess. (The Earls) have done absolutely nothing wrong."
10/9/10 Man seeks to undo 2-year-old foreclosure

"One or two cases like this could create a lot of waves," said Alan White, a law professor and foreclosure expert at Valparaiso University in Indiana.

UPI Carlson's may be the first case of an attempt to reverse a foreclosure after the property has been sold to a third party, legal experts said, but it probably won't be the last. 

"The hardest case of all is when the property has already been sold and innocent parties are involved. 

But if the process was fundamentally deficient and the homeowner was deprived of constitutional due process, it's conceivable the court could set aside the foreclosure," White said.

10/9/10

Judge orders Bank of America to be defendant in real estate fraud case

A clandestine meeting in a North Carolina hot tub sparked a series of events that led a federal judge in Alexandria to reverse himself Friday, and order Bank of America into amassive real estate fraud case.

Tom Jackman

Washington Post

The extraordinary ruling by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee was a victory for dozens of Fairfax County school teachers and administrators, and hundreds of other investors who claim they were sold overpriced, vacant lots in North Carolina that later plunged in value from as much as $400,000 to about $20,000 each.

In one case, plaintiffs lawyer Martin C. Conway said Friday, TRM wanted to sell a lot to a Northern Virginia woman for $380,000. But the e-mails showed that Bank of America's first appraiser valued the lot at only $210,000. A second appraisal came in at $220,000. Finally, a third appraisal for the same lot came in at $385,000, and the loan was approved.

10/9/10

BAD FAITH: Judges Getting Testy About Lawyer’s Representations and Bad Treatment of Borrowers

Never in my 27 years on the bankruptcy bench have I witnessed such financially and emotionally distressed families as I have seen pass through this court over the past two years.

Living Lies This particular Judge has expressed in writing what many other Judges have expressed orally in court and in background interviews with me — if what I say is true there will be hell to pay. Well,it’s true and now everyone knows it. The representations by counsel for the pretender lenders are no longer being taken at face value. They have the lost the advantage of the presumptions they were creating. And here, the court took its gavel and hammered a settlement down the pretender lender’s throat. You can expect more of this behavior each day as this epic unfolds.
10/9/10** Americans lose homes without proper cause and due diligence   Dominique Doms

Examiner

This investigation may very well prove that some practices may still be prevalent and not only endanger the American Dream but also prohibit those that realized it from keeping it.
10/9/10

ForclosureGate and Real Estate Armageddon

Michael Collins 

economicpopulist.org

If there are fundamental flaws in many, maybe most mortgages, flaws of a serious legal nature, what if a strategic default movement spreads beyond just those facing foreclosure? That's where Armageddon comes in.
10/8/10

After Foreclosure, a Focus on Title Insurance

Ron Lieber 

New York Times

The banks that foreclosed might start the process over again. At that point, lawyers for the people who had been foreclosed upon might take the next logical step and try to show that the banks never had the documents to prove ownership of the mortgage in the first place. The banks might settle at that point, writing checks to everyone who had gone through a disputed foreclosure in exchange for each of them giving up the title. But if banks did not settle, or the evicted homeowners refused to settle and fought on and won, they might end up owning their homes once again and not owing the bank either.
10/8/10 Robo-Signing: Two Class Actions Raise More Troubling Foreclosure Questions Abigail Field

Daily Finance

At issue is the way money flows between the law firms and LPS/Prommis. Specifically, does the LPS/Prommis business model constitute illegal fee-sharing and/or kickbacks? Sharing legal fees with nonlawyers is illegal, and the neither LPS nor Prommis are law firms. If plaintiffs win either case, it's hard to see how the companies can continue in their present form.
10/8/10 Check Out Chris Whalen's Terrifying Presentation On The 2011 Foreclosure Crisis   Gus Lubin

Business Insider

The U.S. banking industry is entering a new period of crisis where operating costs are rising dramatically due to foreclosures and defaults. We are less than ¼ of the way through the foreclosure process. Whalen says subprime losses never really showed up on balance sheets. But a coming wave of foreclosures will make them a reality. At a time when banks are already stressed, these rising operational costs will cause bankruptcy.
10/8/10 FDIC Ready To Sue Executives From Failed Banks William Alden  

Huffington Post

The potential lawsuits would help the FDIC recover more than $1 billion it lost during the credit crisis, which has forced the FDIC to take over 294 lenders since 2008. So far the FDIC, which, according to Bloomberg, doesn't sue unless it believes the defendant is able to pay up, has only filed one lawsuit related to the credit crisis, againstIndyMac executives in July.
10/8/10 Janet Tavakoli on  The "Biggest Fraud In The History Of Capital Markets"  9/2010   "We predict that within a week, all banks will halt every foreclosure currently in process. Within a month, all foreclosures executed within the past 2-3 years will be retried, and millions of existing home sales will be put in jeopardy." Tyler Durden 

  Zero Hedge

Had we acknowledged this problem in 2005, we could’ve cleaned it up for a few hundred billion dollars. But we didn’t. Banks were lying and committing fraud, and our regulators were covering them and so a bad problem has become a hellacious one.
10/8/10 Bank of America puts sales on hold Foreclosure flaw forces lender to review action NANCY SARNOFF 

and JENNIFER HILLER   

HOUSTON CHRONICLE and   

SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

Bank of America, the nation's largest lender, said Friday it will suspend foreclosure sales across the country, a decision that could confound some Texans at risk of losing their homes and put further pressure on an already-struggling housing market. Texas does not require judicial foreclosures, but Bank of America was among 30 lenders that received letters this week from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, asking that they put foreclosures on hold and review the way they document the procedures.
10/8/10**

Foreclosure Fraud For Dummies

THE COMPLETE 5-PART SERIES

Rortybomb The current wave of foreclosure fraud and the consequences for the economy are difficult to follow. As such, I’m going to write a few posts to simplify what is going on so you can follow stories as they unfold.  This is very 101 level, and will include a reading list of blog posts and articles at each stage to help provide depth. 
10/8/10 Why Does Congress Hate America? Michael Collins  

OpEdNews

The banks are in big trouble. They failed to follow the law and rules in handling mortgages. Instead of foreclosing on home owners, those upside down and under water can consider strategic defaults on the mishandled notes. Legal efforts have reached a point where there's a "tsunami of legal action against mortgage servicers
10/8/10

Stewart Title clamps down on foreclosure sales

MICHELLE CONLIN 

and JANNA HERRON

AP

Stewart Title Guaranty Co. is clamping down on sales of foreclosed homes that may be linked to flawed documentation. In an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press, Houston-based Stewart is issuing guidelines to its agents that make it difficult to write policies on property foreclosed upon by four banks whose process is in question. Those banks are JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, OneWest Bank or GMAC Mortgage.
10/8/10 Foreclosure freeze adds to U.S. woes Grant Robertson

Globe and Mail

Since so many of the mortgages offered in the U.S. are securitized and not held by the original lender, some of the cases lack sufficient proof of which bank actually owns the rights to the home. They allege this has led to improper seizures

Those legal technicalities have the potential to reverse some foreclosures if the documents are proven to be incomplete or inaccurate. But the implications of this latest storm are much broader.

10/8/10 Full coverage: Foreclosure system in chaos Washington Post During the housing boom, millions of homeowners got easy access to mortgages. Now, some lenders have discovered many mortgage documents were faked, forged or otherwise mishandled.
10/8/10 Reid calls on lenders to halt foreclosures in all states Washington Post Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called on major lenders to halt foreclosures across the country Friday following Bank of America's announcement that it will suspend all such proceedings until a review of possible paperwork problemsis completed.
7/21/10 Non-Securitization Effect on Title Foreclosureblues The answer was that the foreclosure sale isinvalid, the deed is in essence a Wild Deed, which under most state statutes is simply void, and does not require any action by the court or anyone else to invalidate it. If the courts keep ruling for the pretender lenders, the homeowners — even the ones foreclosed long ago — are still the legal owners of the property  and the pretender lenders are going to get more objections from the attorneys for buyers saying that Seller cannot provide clear title.
10/8/10 Foreclosure Mill-Owned Title Insurance Agency Refuses To Insure Firm’s Own Work Palm Beach Post The title insurance arm of one of the state's largest foreclosure law firms is refusing to cover properties foreclosed on by its own attorneys citing potential defects in court filings. New House Title, which is owned by the same people who run the Tampa-basedFlorida Default Law Group, sent notice to a Boca Raton real estate attorney Wednesday that a 2009 foreclosure was off limits. What Attorney Robert Feldman found interesting in New House's denial for the Deerfield Beach condominium is the foreclosure was handled by the Florida Default Law Group.
10/8/10 BANK of AMERICA Halts All Foreclosures Halts All Foreclosures DAN FITZPATRICK   

DAMIAN PALETTA - WSJ

Bank of AmericaCorp. said it is placing a moratorium on all foreclosure sales across the U.S., amid political pressure on U.S. banks to examine foreclosure-documentation problems.
10/7/10 Some courts say computer system doesn't own mortgages Marketplace And hence doesn't have the right to issue foreclosure notices. The MERS system, which stores mortgage data electronically, is being scrutinized by home owners who are wondering why their foreclosure notices are invalid.
10/7/10 Boiler Rooms and Foreclosure Mills: A Brief History of America's Mortgage Industry Michael Hudson  

Huffington Post

The news about the nation's foreclosure scandal has been coming fast and furious, fueled by tales of backdated documentsfalse affidavits and "rocket dockets" that push families into the street.
10/7/10 FORECLOSUREGATE AND OBAMA'S 'POCKET VETO' Ellen Brown How do you recreate the original note if you don’t have it? And all for a flat fee, regardless of the particular facts or the supposed difficulty of digging them up. Denninger explains that mortgages are pooled into REMIC Trusts as a tax avoidance measure, and that to qualify, the properties must be properly conveyed to the trustee of the REMIC in the year the MBS is set up, with all the paperwork necessary to show a complete chain of title. For some reason, however, that was not done; and there is no legitimate way to create those conveyances now, because the time limit allowed under the Tax Code has passed.
10/7/10 Man Who Had No Mortgage Faced Foreclosure Anyway Ann Woolner   

BusinessWeek

Jason Grodensky paid cash for a South Florida home last December. With no mortgage and full ownership, he had no fear of foreclosure. And yet, Bank of America foreclosed on the house seven months later, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The court-ordered foreclosure took place July 15. Grodensky tried for months to get answers from the lawyers and lenders involved. He got nowhere until he contacted the newspaper which started poking around.

(The question here is: How did this property get  on Bank of America's books? Secondly, what is being done about this judge? MSF)

10/7/10 EVERYONE GET THIS OUT THERE ASAP!!!! FORMER EMPLOYEE WHISTLE BLOWER!!!   EXPLOSIVE DEPOSITION!  BUSTED! DAVID J. STERN “MILL” KNEW THIS ALL ALONG…

THIS IS FORECLOSURE FRAUD!

StopForeclosureFraud WHERE ARE THE FEDERAL AGENTS!!!  

 “I personally did not do it because I refused to do it.” “I wasn’t going to falsify a military document.” “I was told that that’s fine, somebody else on your team will do it.”

10/7/10 Robo-Signer Debate: Was It Fraud? WSJ That means, for each time a robo-signer’s signature appears on an Ohio home loan (and all we know at this point is that there are “hundreds” such loans) and the signature was not based on personal knowledge or properly notarized, the state’s AG could make them pay big bucks in penalties.
10/7/10 Flawed Foreclosure Documents Thwart Home Sales ANDREW MARTIN and DAVID STREITFELD  

Bloomberg

More broadly, the revelations about the sloppy paperwork are emboldening homeowners and law enforcement officials in many states to question whether lenders rightfully hold the notes underlying foreclosed properties — further chilling the housing market.
10/7/10

Property Rights Gone Wrong

Dylan Ratigan 

Huffington Post

For banks and servicers, the motive was money. Banks profited by packaging and selling those toxic home loans. Then they profited again by betting against those same securities. A bet, in essence, that a fraudulent loan wouldn't be paid back. But why would politicians allow this?

The simple answer is to stay in office.

10/7/10 Government Oversight Chairman seeks nationwide foreclosure moratorium HousingWire Rep.Edolphus Towns (D-NY), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, called for top banks to suspend foreclosures and for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate foreclosure practices. "Without a doubt, losing a home can be one of the most traumatic experiences faced by an American family," Towns said. "Anyone forced to go through this process should be treated fairly. Sadly, it appears this may not have been the case for some borrowers."
10/7/10 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Agreement Settles NJ “Pick-A-Payment” Mortgage Investigation NJToday Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has agreed to provide New Jersey consumers with nearly $67 million in loan modifications and pay the state $3.98 million to resolve allegations that companies it acquired – Wachovia Corporation, Golden West and World Savings — deceptively marketed adjustable rate mortgage loans, Attorney General Paula T. Dow announced Wednesday.
10/6/10

Atorney General Reaches Agreement with Wells Fargo Providing More Than $388 Million in Mortgage Relief to Florida Homeowners

Florida RealEstateRama  From April 1, 2010 through the term of the agreement, more than 4,000 Florida POA borrowers will be eligible for loan modifications that are expected to provide almost $388 million in mortgage relief in Florida. This sum includes more than $208 million in principal forgiveness for Florida homeowners. Overall, loan modifications will be offered to 8,700 borrowers in eight states with a total economic value estimated to be more than $772 million through mid-2013.
10/6/10 AG Holder Says Justice Looking Into Foreclosures Associated Press The government is looking into allegations that mortgage lenders in the foreclosure crisis have been evicting homeowners using flawed court papers, Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday.
10/6/10

The New "F-Word" in Foreclosures -- "Fraud"

 

Let’s call it what it is: fraud

Denise Richardson givemebackmycredit.com The more we hear news accounts pointing fingers of blame at the borrowers, the deeper the problem grows. The focus and blame for every financial crises, continues to be levied at American families—pointing out that taxpayers will be forced to bailout banks again only further outrages homeowners. They don’t want bailouts, they want justice. They want someone to get to the core of the problem, expose the dirty laundry and dispose of it. Not hide it with more legislation aimed at fast-tracking foreclosures that will only temporarily hide the stains.
10/6/10 More on Fraudulent US Foreclosure Documents 97% of the loans that originated between 2005 and 2008 are in the MERS system of the loans that originated between 2005 and 2008 are in the MERS system whispersfromtheedge

oftherainforest

What the banks/trusts/subprime lenders did was to digitize mortgage titles into a privatized system called the Mortgage Electronic Registry System, or And it did these transfers by trading excel spreadsheets among the banks and trusts rather than endorsing the mortgage notes as required by their own contracts, by state real estate law and by IRS rules.
10/6/10

JPMorgan, Bank of America Face `Hydra' of Foreclosure Probes

Margaret Cronin Fisk   

Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co.Bank of America Corp. and Ally Financial Inc., defending allegations of fraudulent home foreclosures from customers and Congress, may face the most financial peril from investigations by state attorneys general. “You’re going to see a tremendous amount of activity with all the AGs in the U.S.,”
10/6/10 LISTEN TO THIS TERRIFYING 911 CALL:  BANK BREAKING DOWN A DOOR... by mistake! Someone is going to get killed... by mistake BANK BREAKING DOWN A DOOR... by mistake! Someone is going to get killed... by mistake Attorney Matt Weidner Blog The banks and institutions that now run this country are running abs0lutely wild and out of control.They do not fear judges or law enforcement.  They do not fear any law. As one of the owners of a company who specializes in “securing” or “winterizing” properties was recently quoted in the Palm Beach Post said, “Lawsuits don’t phase us anymore.”
10/6/10 Foreclosure Furor Rises; Many Call for a Freeze  "A notary’s signature is that of a trusted, impartial third party, whose notarization bolsters the integrity of the document,” Ms. Brunner said. “To take away the safeguards of notarization means foreclosure procedures could be more susceptible to fraud.” DAVID STREITFELD   

GRETCHEN MORGENSON  

  NY Times

In a request for an investigation into questionable foreclosure practices by lenders, the lawmakers said that “the excuses we have heard from financial institutions are simply not credible. Some of the finger-pointing was also being directed back at Congress. The Ohio secretary of state, Jennifer Brunner, suggested in a telephone interview on Tuesday that a bill passed by Congress last week about notarizations could facilitate foreclosure fraud.
10/5/10 Pelosi Calls For Investigation Of Foreclosure Fraud Arthur Delaney  

Huffington Post

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other California Democrats are calling for an investigation into the foreclosure fraud scandal that has forced the nation's biggest banks to halt foreclosures in 23 states.
10/5/10 Delaware Attorney General calls for foreclosure halt Mark Eichmann   

meichmann@whyy.org

He's also asking the banks for a detailed description of their procedures for reviewing foreclosures, plus copies of all complaints they've received from Delaware citizens about the foreclosure process. Biden also wants a detailed explanation of why they are suspending foreclosures in other states.
10/5/10 Texas attorney general suspends foreclosures statewide Article contains the 30 fraudsters involved KVUE News "The reason we have made this demand is because serious allegations have arisen in Texas and across the nation that fraudulent practices were used in order to obtain foreclosure proceedings," Abbott said.
10/4/10

 

Kudlow Gets Into Foreclosuregate The REMIC issues are the ones you can't fix. Market-Ticker The REMICs - the foundational conduits for all this paper - are to a large degree defective.  I bet some of Fannie and Freddie's are too.  Many notes were not conveyed, and in the states where recordation is necessary, most of them weren't recorded either.  Many of these original notes are known to be sitting with the originator, never endorsed over and in some cases shipped overseas or deliberately destroyed.  For all intents and purposes they're gone, because once the MBS closes they can't be put in later on. This can't be fixed because both the offering circulars and IRS regulations set hard cut-offs for these things by which time everything has to be "in" and done.  Further, you can't put anything in a REMIC that's defaulted - only good paper.  So a defaulted note can't be put in, and nothing can be put in now, as the time has lapsed.  Violate either of these and the REMIC's tax preference is destroyed.  Don't violate it and some of the REMICs are empty boxes with, at best, naked promissory notes (legally a signature loan) and no standing to foreclose.
10/4/10 Homeowner Activists and Attorneys Vindicated After Years of Being Ignored Richard Zombeck  

Huffington Post

Many of the people who've been battling foreclosure, loan servicers, banks, and legal firms bent on taking homes have done so at considerable cost to their sanity, reputation, and finances. They've been lambasted by the other side and by their neighbors, called leeches, welfare freaks, and losers. They've been accused of having bought beyond their means and blamed for being the cause of the financial crisis, when the majority of homeowners have been victimized and scammed. In extreme cases some have been labeled whack job conspiracy theorists and alarmists by the media and elected officials.
10/4/10 Florida Banks Destroyed Notes; Others Never Transferred Them LivingLies The pooling and servicing agreement, which governs who does what when in a mortgage securitization, requires the note to be endorsed (just like a check, signed by one party over to the next), showing the full chain of title.the minimum conveyance chain is A (originator) => B (sponsor) => C (depositor) => D (trust). The endorsements also have to be wet ink; no electronic signatures permitted.
10/4/10

Merkley Wants Independent Investigation of Foreclosure Fraud

David Dayen - FDL Without title insurance, there is no new mortgage, and the property can’t be sold. If the property can’t be sold, there is nothing for the bank to gain by foreclosing.
10/4/10

 

Texas attorney general calls for statewide foreclosure freeze over 'robosigning' concerns Texas Attorney General Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asked loan servicing companies on Monday to suspend all foreclosure activities over concerns about the accuracy of foreclosure documents. In a letter sent to 27 companies that service mortgage loans in Texas, Abbott's office demanded the immediate suspension of foreclosures, selling foreclosed properties and evicting people living in those properties.
10/4/10 O'Malley calls on mortgage firms to temporarily stop foreclosures Jamie Smith Hopkins  

The Baltimore Sun

Gov. Martin O'Malley is calling on mortgage servicers to voluntarily halt foreclosures in Maryland until they're certain they're following state law and can ensure residents aren't being mistreated.
10/4/10

NOW THERE IS BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS JEFFREY STEPHAN  VICTIM OF ROBO-SIGNER HAS HEART ATTACK AND DIES 4closureFraud A Sales Executive for a well known Recording Studio Company promoting Latin Artists like Julio Iglesia, Willie Chirino, Charlie Zaa, Rickie Martin and others has died of a heart attack due to the pressures of foreclosure by GMAC.
10/4/10** Citigroup, Ally Sued by Homeowners Alleging Racketeering Over Mortgages   Suit claims conspiracy to falsely foreclose  Margaret Cronin Fisk 

and Thom Weidlich 

Bloomberg

Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. units were sued by homeowners in Kentucky for allegedly conspiring with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. to falsely foreclose on loans.

The lawsuit, filed as a civil-racketeering class action on behalf all Kentucky homeowners facing foreclosure, also names as a defendant Reston, Virginia-based MERS, the company that handles mortgage transfers among member banks. The suit claims that through MERS the banks are foreclosing on homes even when they don’t hold titles to the properties.

10/4/10** FROM THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG DOWN:  THE CRISIS IN DOCUMENTS USED FOR FORECLOSURE

15 different types of records required for foreclosure not produced in securitized mortgage transactions.

 

Attorney Richard Kessler

Fraud is widespread because securitization is structured as a paperless transaction through the use of digitized management information technology. Paper records were regarded as redundant, inefficient, unproductive, obsolete, space wasting and time consuming. In short, paper documents were never produced having been replaced by digitized computer files. 

When the legal requirements for foreclosure required the production of non-existent paper records, the widespread fabrication of after-the-fact impostor documents came into use.

10/4/10 The Foreclosure Paper Chase Stephanie Dhue  

 NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT,  PBS

IRA RHEINGOLD, NATIONAL ASSN. OF CONSUMER ADVOCATES: It would slow down the process and it would require them to obey the law -- and obeying the law and slowing down the process would cost the servicing industry money. They don't want to spend the money and they've been getting away with this for years. 
10/4/10** Foreclosure? Not So Fast ROBBIE WHELAN   

WSJ

The banks argue that the irregularities cited by judges and consumer advocates are technicalities and that the underlying paperwork on each loan is sound. But lawyers who defend borrowers say the problems are widespread and prove that homeowners are being illegally thrown out of their homes. They promise to bring more suits against mortgage servicing companies that rubberstamp foreclosure filings.
10/3/10** MERS/MBS/Foreclosure Goes RICO Read the COMPLAINT Market Ticker See, without standing they can't foreclose, but then we get back to "who can?"  And what we find is that the originator was paid, and thus they can't either.  Worse, for those originators that are bankrupt, their "assets", such as they are, can't go anywhere without a bankruptcy trustee's signature, and further, even if someone was to acquire that, which nobody has, THE REMICs CAN'T TAKE THE PAPER ANYWAY, AS THEIR CLOSING DATE HAS EXPIRED. So we have a bankrupt originator who was paid in full and can't foreclose, and we have a note that can't be transferred into the REMIC without destroying its tax preference (retroactively, incidentally), which instantaneously trashes the value of the MBS - probably by more than they could hope to recover if they were going to take the note anyway.
10/3/10**

4ClosureFraud Posts Lender Processing Services Mortgage Document Fabrication Price Sheet  nakedcapitalism Evidence is mounting that for cost reasons, starting in the 2004-2005 time frame, originators like Countrywide simply quit conveying the note. We are told this practice was widespread, probably endemic. The notes are apparently are still in originator warehouses. That means the trust does not have them (the legalese is it is not the real party of interest), therefore it is not in a position to foreclose on behalf of the RMBS investors. So various ruses have been used to finesse this rather large problem.
10/3/10**

Wells Fargo Executive: Verified Only Dates Executive: Verified Only Dates Associated Press The growing questions about foreclosure documents could cause thousands of homeowners to contest foreclosures that are in the works or completed.
10/3/10** Flawed Paperwork Aggravates a Foreclosure Crisis Gretchen Morgenson   

NY Times

Judges may dismiss the foreclosures altogether, barring lenders from refiling and awarding the home to the borrower. That would create a loss for the lender or investor holding the note underlying the property. Almost certainly, lawyers say, lawsuits on behalf of borrowers will multiply.
10/3/10**

BOMBSHELL- READ THE GMAC/JEFFREY STEPHAN ORDER THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE!

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog THE BANKS DO NOT WANT YOU TO SEE THIS DOCUMENT THE BANKS HAVE ASKED THE COURT TO SEAL THIS DOCUMENT. THE ENTIRE MORTGAGE SERVICING INDUSTRY IS GOING TO GO BALLISTIC ONCE THIS ORDER GETS OUT THERE AND IS WIDELY DISTRIBUTED THAT’S WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU SIT DOWN AND READ THE DOCUMENT ATTACHED BELOW SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY……(AND SHARE IT WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS) StephanProtectiveOrder
10/3/10**

Shock Therapy for Wall Street: JPMorgan Suspends 56,000 Foreclosures; GMAC and BOA Many More

No harm perhaps except the illegal taking of thousands of homes without due process . . . .

Ellen Brown  

Web of Debt

Increasingly, judges are holding that if MERS owns nothing, it cannot foreclose, and it cannot convey title by assignment so that the trustee for the investors can foreclose. MERS breaks the chain of title so that no one has standing to foreclose   The homes are effectively owned free and clear.
10/2/10** Judge "Hang 'Em High Harry" simplifies Foreclosure cases

 

Todd Ruger

  Herald Tribune

Rapkin unleashed a new order last week, aimed at attorneys for lenders who are still making the kind of simple errors that would be considered ridiculous in any courtroom.  A lot is at stake; Rapkin sees hundreds of cases where the lender is minutes away from taking someone's property.
10/2/10**

VIDEO – ATTORNEY SIGNATURES – THE NEXT FRAUD BATTLE GROUND   Next area of attack, attorney signatures. 4closureFraud The video here is an actual deposition where an attorney just recently admitted to frauds we have know about for a while. Even though I have known this has been going on, every rabbit hole I look down has a surprise. The fraud in this crisis is so massive that I do not believe there is an area that has not been affected.

We have seen it at every level.

10/2/10

Bank of America delays foreclosures in 23 states ALAN ZIBEL
The Associated Press
The document problems could cause thousands of homeowners to contest foreclosures that are in the works or have been completed. If the problems turn up at other lenders, a foreclosure crisis that's already likely to drag on for several more years could persist even longer.
10/2/10

On The Foreclosure Front NY Times The improprieties raise the prospect that some families may have lost their homes in a less-than-legal process, and that some buyers of foreclosed homes may not have clear title to their properties.
10/2/10**


Robo-Signing: Documents Show Citi and Wells Also Committed Foreclosure Fraud Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup's CitiMortgage told The New York Times their employees do not engage in similar practices. Yet, new evidence I've found shows they have. THEY LIED!
ABIGAIL FIELD  

Daily Finance

Documents submitted to a court are supposed to be true as submitted. As an attorney, if I file with a court a document in which I swore that I personally verified the information contained within the document is true, but I didn't actually do that, I'd get in real trouble.  It's simple: That's fraud in the eyes of the court.
10/1/10**

Foreclosure Errors Cloud Homeownership With `Blighted Titles'  A study found errors in about three-fourths of court filings related to home repossessions.

Kathleen M. Howley   

Bloomberg

Such mistakes may allow former owners to challenge the repossession of homes long after the properties are resold, according to Kessler. Ownership questions may not arise until a home is under contract and the potential purchaser applies for title insurance or even decades later as one deed researcher catches errors overlooked by another.   A so-called defective title means the   person who paid for and moved into a house may not be the legal owner.
10/1/10

Notarize This: The Brewing Foreclosure Storm Jennifer Brunner  

Ohio Secretary of State

While serving as a Chase Home Finance, LLC employee, Beth Cottrell's name has appeared in foreclosure affidavits from 2008 through 2010 in the Florida court system on documents showing mortgage amounts owed on behalf of Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Federal National Mortgage Association, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, People's Choice Home Loan, Wachovia and Citi, even though she was an employee of Chase Home Finance, LLC in Columbus.
10/1/10**

Title problems – the media is catching on

[o]nly when Old Republic refused to issue policies did GMAC and Chase realize they had to clean up their acts. 

Stopa Law Blog Meanwhile, Fidelity National is denying problems with title policies.  But what do you expect them to say?  “Yes, we have hundreds of thousands of title policies out there for which we have exposure – come sue us.  And those of you who own our stock – sell it because the value is going to plummet.”  When Fidelity is denying the problem, you know there’s a problem.
10/1/10**

 

Connecticut Attorney General seeks 60-day freeze on foreclosures

Reuters "Banks that lured consumers into loans they couldn't afford now seek to stampede them into foreclosure," Blumenthal said in a statement. "This freeze should stop a foreclosure steamroller based on defective documents and enable effective remedies."
10/1/10**

Foreclosure Mistakes Cloud Home Ownership Titles Bloomberg U.S. courts are clogged with a record number of foreclosures. Next, they may be jammed with suits contesting property rights as procedural mistakes in those cases cloud titles establishing ownership.
10/1/10** Massive Mortgage Mess Update: Title Companies Stop Insuring Foreclosed Properties Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge

Today's latest chapter in what is now known as the new 3M: the Massive Mortgage Mess, is thatFidelity National has told lenders to halt foreclosures, and to stop sales of bank owned properties.
2010 SUBPRIME FALLOUT:  Experts Share How the Mortgage Crisis Happened AP 5 pages of charts & graphs
2010 Where Foreclosures Cluster: A few states are disproportionately hit AP Interactive chart
10/1/10**

THE IMMINENT COLLAPSE OF REAL ESTATE Attorney Matt Weidner Blog Tile companies may refuse to underwrite this garbage. (Oops, see article above)
9/10** Debt Collection Practices: When Hardball Tactics Go Too Far Privacy Rights Clearinghouse This guide explains the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other laws that apply to debt collectors. We provide information about how to stop calls from collectors and how to correspond with them about your account or to dispute a collection action. We also explain your right to privacy, and how debt collection efforts may affect your job, your credit report, even information in your medical files
9/30/10**  Fraudulent Foreclosures; How will they right the wrongs? Denise Richardson givemebackmycredit.com These organizations have been stealing the homes of beleaguered homeowners who probably have sore throats from screaming about the mishandling of their mortgage loans. Whether or not they made timely mortgage payments, these homeowners have been finding themselves evicted from their homes and pushed out onto the streets.  
9/30/10** 7 major lenders ordered to review foreclosure procedures  

Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

Anana Eunjung Cha  

Washington Post

Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) called the news about lenders initiating improper foreclosures "very troubling." He asked senior bank regulators at Thursday's hearing - including Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila C. Bair and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke - to comment on the matter.
9/30/10** DECLARATION OF WAR!- Foreclosure Mill Lashes Out At Judge Attorney Matt Weidner Blog “Your honor, we’re a volume foreclosure mill and we cannot be expected to follow the rules of professional conduct, make all our hearings or follow the orders of the court.”  The thing that I found most disturbing about the whole affair is the fact that this senior partner failed and refused to stand up and defend the young lawyers that worked for him and that are now the subject of civil contempt proceedings….with the possibility of indirect criminal contempt left open.  
9/30/10**

Look at all the

 ROBO-SIGNORS!

 

MORTGAGE FRAUD

  JPMORGAN

 CHASE

 BARBARA HINDMAN ET AL

 
Lynn Szymoniak

Fraud Digest

 

 

On September 29, 2010, financial giant JP Morgan Chase announced it was suspending 56,000 foreclosures because its documents may have been “submitted without proper review.” To assist JPMorgan Chase, Fraud Digest suggests that it dismiss those actions where the Affidavits or Mortgage Assignments were signed by the following robo-signers: Beth Cottrell, Whitney Cook, Christina Trowbridge and Stacy Spohn from the Chase Home Finance office in Franklin County, OH; Margaret Dalton and Barbara Hindman from the Jacksonville, FL office of JPMorgan Chase; and any of the Lender Processing Services robo-signers from the Dakota County, MN office including Christina Allen, Liquenda Allotey, Christine Anderson, Alfonzo Greene, Laura Hescott, Bethany Hood, Cecelia Knox, Topako Love, Jodi Sobotta, Eric Tate, Amy Weis and Rick Wilken. In particular, JP Morgan Chase should look at those cases where the bank has supposedly assigned mortgages to WaMu, WMALT, Long Beach Mortgage Company and NovaStar trusts years after the closing dates of these trusts. The number of questionable or fraudulent documents is likely to be much closer to 560,000 than to 56,000, and that will only be a good beginning. - Lynn Szymoniak
9/30/10

 

Ohio Seeks Federal Criminal Probe of Foreclosures on Improper Documents Lorraine Woeller      

Bloomberg

Courts should require “absolute adherence to the law” during foreclosures, Brunner wrote, “even if it means prosecuting some of our largest corporations."
9/30/10

OneWest Bank employee: 'Not more than 30 seconds' to sign each foreclosure document Ariana Eunjung Cha  

Washington Post

In a sworn deposition in July, Erica Johnson-Seck, an Austin, Tex.,-based vice president for bankruptcy and foreclosure for OneWest Bank, said she and her team of seven others sign 6,000 documents a week or about 24,000 a month without reading all of them.

Johnson-Seck also said in the deposition that she had signing authority for Deutsche Bank, Bank of New York and U.S. Bank, among others.

9/30/10

 

Foreclosure Mill Law Firms Under Pressure from Lawmakers

ABA Journal As two major banks have acknowledged possible document irregularities concerning thousands of mortgage foreclosure cases and imposed temporary freezes on the litigation, some federal lawmakers have been trying to put the brakes on law firms that reportedly are responsible for filing many cases that may be problematic
9/30/10**

Press Release

Secretary Brunner Outlines Two Lines Of Attack In Fighting High Ohio Foreclosure Rates Release includes links to letters and the a deposition of MERS Secretary and Treasurer, William Hultman  Ohio Secretary of State 

Jennifer Brunner

Ohio Secretary of State revealed that she has referred specific instances of notary abuse occurring at Chase Home Mortgage in Columbus and by the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) to a federal prosecutor for investigation.
9/29/10

 White Paper

TWO ACES: DEMYSTIFYING THE MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEM’S LAND TITLE THEORY Professor 

Christopher L. Peterson

1. THE EVOLVING LEGAL FOUNDATION OF MERS 

2. GATHERING STORM CLOUDS OF TITLE 

3. MORTGAGES WITHOUT MORTGAGEES: MERS AND THE PROBLEM OF CONVEYANCE 

4. WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY? THE RIGHT OF COUNTIES TO RECOVER UNPAID RECORDING FEES 

5. REBUILDING A TRUSTWORTHY REAL PROPERTY RECORDING SYSTEM

9/29/10

LEGAL ETHICS

JPMorgan Chase Freezes Foreclosures in 56,000 Cases; Will More Banks Follow Suit?
ABA Journal "It would not surprise me if other banks now look at this issue," attorney Frank Hirsch tells Reuters. He is a partner of Alston & Bird.
9/29/10**

FORECLOSURE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: TIME TO TAKE OFF THE GLOVES!!!

Attorney Mr. Martinez

stopforeclosurefraud

I personally don’t like these foreclosure mills and what they stand for on a moral and ethical front.  I believe that any attorney that can stomach putting families in masses in the street for money is morally challenged and any lawyer that’s willing to commit fraud upon the court doesn’t deserve my professional courtesy.
9/29/10

The Curtains Are Now On Fire (Mortgage/MBS Fraud)

Market-Ticker Lawyers and law enforcement officials in a handful of states contend that they have found far more serious examples of fraud. These officials argue that the companies filing foreclosure claims often did not have legal standing to kick people out of their homes and used forged paperwork to cover their tracks.
9/29/10

Ambac Sues Bank of America Over Countrywide Bonds

Karen Freifeld 

and David Mildenberg

 Bloomberg

Ambac Assurance Corp. sued Bank of America Corp. over $16.7 billion of mortgage-backed securities, saying the bank’s Countrywide Financial Corp. unit fraudulently induced Ambac to insure bonds backed by improperly made loans.

Ambac found that 97 percent of 6,533 loans it reviewed across 12 securitizations sponsored by Countrywide didn’t conform to the lender’s underwriting guidelines, according to the complaint filed yesterday in New York state Supreme Court.

9/29/10

TOXIC TITLES PART DEUX – LINDA GREEN OF DOCX (ET AL?) DID NOT HAVE SIGNING AUTHORITY ON BEHALF OF MERS

 

Post includes important links

4closureFraud Well, it looks like that Linda Green DID NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER ASSETS! How much you want to bet that NO ONE at Docx had AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER ASSETS!Hell, how much you want to bet that most of these so called “Vice Presidents” had no authority! Are all of these foreclosures VOID due to fraud?  (YES Michael, they are! MSF)
9/28/10

In Hearings, a Campaign for Legal Aid in Civil Cases

JOHN ELIGON

NY Times

Since 2008, there has been a 40 percent increase at the Legal Aid Society in requests for help on health care issues and an 800 percent increase in requests for help with foreclosures, according to Steven Banks, the society’s chief attorney.
9/28/10

Banks Foreclose First, Ask Any Questions Later

Shouldn’t banks be careful about taking away someone’s home?

Ann Woolner

Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co executive said in a deposition last May that she hadn’t personally verified information on the thousands of affidavits and other documents she signed so that her bank could foreclose on houses.

Beth Ann Cottrell, an operation supervisor at the company’s Chase Home Finance unit, testified that she and seven other managers signed a total of about 18,000 documents a month, according to a transcript.

“My review is more or less signing the document unless it’s questionable,” she said.

9/28/10 Lost in the system that took the house User Poll: What should happen to foreclosure documents approved by 'robo-signers?' Ariana Eunjung Cha and Brady Dennis Washington Post A picture is emerging is of an industry - from loan officers in local offices in neighborhood strip malls to the financial titans of Wall Street - eager to purge bad mortgages from its books. To speed that process, documents and signatures were forged, notary witnesses were faked and those responsible for checking court filings never read the massive stacks that passed across their desks at a breakneck pace, attorneys and law enforcement officials say.
9/28/10 Ally Financial Asked to Halt Evictions in Colorado Margaret Cronin Fisk and Lorraine Woellert

Bloomberg

In a letter dated yesterday, Attorney General John W. Suthers said he wanted to hear what new procedures GMAC has put in place to “ensure that fair and accurate representations are made when it pursues foreclosure actions.” He asked for a meeting between GMAC and members of his consumer protection staff.
9/27/10

Misplaced Incentives Were the Rot at the Core of the Financial Crisis

Ratings agencies were competing for enormous fees from these Wall Street banks. 

Daily Finance Moody's (MCO) took in $3 billion to provide such structured finance ratings between 2002 through 2006, and the business accounted for 44% of its 2006 revenue -- up from 37% in 2002. But in order to win that business, the ratings agencies needed to put a AAA-rating on pools of mortgages that didn't deserve them. Ratings agencies were so compromised by that conflict of interest that 93% of the 2006 AAA ratings they issued on sub-prime MBS were later downgraded to junk.
9/27/10

Mistakes widespread on foreclosures, lawyers say

Stephanie Armour

USA Today

"We've taken depositions at other servicing companies that take these documents without reviewing them," says Christopher Immel, a lawyer at Ice Legal in West Palm Beach, Fla. "They were filing fraudulently. It's rarely done correctly."

9/27/10

Florida’s Kangaroo Foreclosure Courts: Judges Denying Due Process on Behalf of Banks

This abuse of contracts and legal procedures matters because the courts are the last bastion of defense of the individual. Even libertarians, who keenly oppose government mission creep, give courts an elevated role as a protector of rights.

Let’s look at one example of banana republic faux justice in the US, via a speech by foreclosure court Judge Roger Colton to his court on how the day was going to go. It’s simply breathtaking. He says that if the bank is foreclosing, he’s not going to consider any evidence that the foreclosure is in error (servicing errors, plaintiff can’t provide proof it owns the note, which means it might not be the right party and procedurally, means it lacks standing to take action). He says he has already heard everything, there is a lot of unemployment in the area; he is going to schedule a court date, but that is merely a deadline for negotiation. In other words, he makes it abundantly clear he has no interest in hearing evidence. When he gets to seeing a defendant after his speech to the court (p. 13), he rubber stamps what the bank wants without even considering the evidence. And apparently his entire day went like that.

nakedcapitalism The summary from an attorney who was representing a client before him that day:

On 8/30, I had a Summary Judgment Foreclosure hearing on Palm Beach County’s “Rocket Docket”. The judge spoke for 14 minutes to the crowd, of mostly pro se defendants, about how they should just agree to the summary judgment and the plaintiffs, (whose attorneys (Shapiro & Fishman had a dedicated courtroom and to whom he referred to as “my attorneys”) would be gracious (Ha!) enough to allow them to stay in their homes for 120 days if needed (even though the statute says he only has to give them 30). When it came to hearing arguments which were fully briefed and provided to the court (pursuant to the instructions of the Divisions head judge) he only allowed 30-60 seconds for argument, failed to read any of the papers, failed to review the plaintiff’s foreclosure package, flatly ignored the Affidavit filed in Opposition, ignored my plea for a trial, signed the judgment and dismissed me. I never was permitted to even read the proposed judgment or to examine the “newly discovered” allonge which Shapiro’s counsel said I had no right to see.

9/27/10

Mortgage Behavior: Florida Banks Destroyed Notes; Others Never Transferred Them

In none of the cases this large group has seen were the notes transferred to the trust properly.

Max Gardner, a North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer who has taken a serious interest in this area, now has a standing joke that the first one that finds a deal where the note was correctly endorsed must bronze it and hang it on their wall. In other words, in none of the cases this large group has seen were the notes transferred to the trust properly.

 nakedcapitalism This is highly entertaining, because the excuse is “oh we destroyed the note, so our standard practice is to use a lost note affidavit.” If this was really as widespread as the Florida Bankers Association suggests, they are in a whole heap of trouble, because in most (if not all) jurisdictions, original notes with proper wet ink endorsements are required. And in states that are serious about proper procedure (South Carolina, for instance), judges are not going to have much sympathy with the use of a lost note affidavit when the note was destroyed.
9/27/10**

Ocwen Financial loses $13M verdict

Brian Bandell

South Florida Business Journal

Cartel Asset Management brought the case against the West Palm Beach-based mortgage servicing company (NYSE: OCN) and Ocwen Loan Services, the successor to its former savings institution, Ocwen Federal Bank. The vendor accused them of misappropriation of trade secrets and violating its contract.
9/27/10**

Struggling Texans need legal aid Texas Supreme Court Justice

Nathan Hecht

 Many need help with basic civil legal issues impacting their very existence: foreclosures, employment disputes, domestic violence, and benefits to veterans and the elderly. Currently in Texas, there are 5.7 million people who qualify for legal aid.
9/27/10

Judge ponders jurists' role in Ally Financial foreclosure cases

KIMBERLY MILLER 

Palm Beach Post

"If the reports I am hearing are true, the illegal foreclosures taking place represent the largest seizure of private property ever attempted by banks and government entities," Grayson wrote. "This is lawlessness."
9/27/10**

What Does the GMAC Announcement and Notices Of Withdraw Mean?

Attorney Matt Weidner In the U.S., when an officer of the court is found to have fraudulently presented facts to court so that the court is impaired in the impartial performance of its legal task, the act, known as “fraud upon the court”, is a crime deemed so severe and fundamentally opposed to the operation of justice that it is not subject to any statute of limitation.
9/26/10

JPMorgan Based Foreclosures On Faulty Documents, Lawyers Claim

JPMorgan Chase & Co. faces a legal challenge next month that could cast doubt on thousands of foreclosures after a mortgage executive at the bank said she didn’t verify documents used to justify home seizures

Bloomberg Inaccurate statements by banks in foreclosure documents may give borrowers who have lost their homes a legal basis to challenge the seizures, derailing resales and casting doubts on property titles.

“Early in the process the judges were very cavalier and they just took the financiers’ word,” Peterson said. “Now there are enough disputes out there about ownership of loans that the judges are starting to feel like they need to hold the financial institutions to the basic rules of evidence.”

“The judges could absolutely hold the bank and attorneys in contempt.”

9/26/10

Allegations of Falsified Documents Continue to Plague Bank of America


In states like California where foreclosures are not always supervised by the courts, the prevalence of "robo-signing" is particularly disconcerting to advocates such as UFAN

UFAN hopes to bring to light instances of fraud and take action for any who were victimized by such.

PRWeb Though the branch manager reportedly cut a check for the amount on the spot, UFAN believes the couple’s need to “foreclose” on the bank to recover legal fees (not to mention the fact that Bank of America tried to foreclose on this couple that never borrowed from them) is an insight into just how mismanaged some large financial institutions have become.
9/25/10

The Stephan/GMAC Foreclosure Fiasco Is Just The Start- Next, Are The Attorney Signatures Real?

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog If the signatures that are on those pleadings are not of the attorney, as they are required to be according to theFlorida Rules of Civil Procedure, this would be a Bombshell at least as big as the Stephan announcement.
9/25/10

New Proof Wall Street Knew Its Mortgage Securities Were Subpar: Clayton Execs Testify

Huffington Post

During a little-noticed hearing this week in Sacramento, Calif., a firm hired by Wall Street to analyze mortgages given to borrowers with poor credit, which were then packaged and sold to investors during the boom years, revealed that as much as 28 percent of those loans failed to meet basic underwriting standards -- and Wall Street knew all along.

Worse, when the firm flagged those loans for potential issues, Wall Street banks ignored its recommendation nearly half the time and likely purchased those loans anyway -- selling them to unwitting investors who were never told that the biggest home loan due diligence firm in the country had found potential defects in these mortgages.

9/24/10

Lenders Have Failed to Repurchase $11B in Bad Loans from GSEs

(It's not the GSE that guaranteed the  bad loans, it's ultimately the taxpayers who pay and pay. MSF)

Carrie Bay - DSnews Banks that sold bad mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a contractual obligation to buy the loans back, according to their regulator. But many of the nation’s largest institutions aren’t living up to their end of that commitment.
9/24/10

Congress' letter to Fannie Mae - Foreclosure Fraud Alan Grayson, Barney Frank, Corrine Brown

Members of Congress

[We are disturbed by the increasing reports of predatory 'foreclosure mills' in Florida working for Fannie Mae servicers. Foreclosure mills are law firms representing lenders that specialize in speeding up the foreclosure process, often without regard to process, substance, or legal propriety. According to the New York Times, four of these mills are both among the busiest of the firms and are under investigation by the Attorney General of Florida for fraud.  The firms have been accused of fabricating or backdating documents, as well as lying to conceal the true owner of a note.]
9/24/10

Citigroup Sued in New York by Norway's Central Bank for Stock, Bond Losses

David McLaughlin and Donald Griffin

Bloomberg

 
9/24/10** HOW DO WE TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY

Until the people take back control of their courts, nothing will change.

beforeitsnews If judges were forced to choose between according due process of law, and prison for failure to adhere to their oath to support and defend the Constitution, within which is found your right to due process of law, you would then receive due process.  Until judges are faced with this choice, you will not receive due process and you have no remedy.
9/24/10

Paul Volcker Slams 'Broken' Financial System, Banks, Regulators

William Alden

  Huffington Post

Volcker said the mortgage system is "absolutely broken," and is the most pressing problem in the current economic situation
9/24/10

Improper GMAC Affidavits Leading to Charges of Document Fabrication to Change Title  nakedcapitalism  Ms. Faber and her document custodian team at facilities described in the Washington Post article attached to this letter have fabricated and changed title in thousands of foreclosure cases.
9/23/10 Wolters Kluwer Launches Platform for Paperless Loan Processing HEATHER HILL CERNOCH

DSnews

“In today’s volatile marketplace, mortgage lenders are seeking to retain a competitive advantage by reducing cost and making the origination process faster and easier. OneFile allows them to do all of this. (Problem: The UCC does not allow it. MSF)
9/23/10

Bank of America's  unfunny foreclosure tricks Colin Bar - Fortune  The irresponsible foreclosure practices of banks have been in the headlines. Employees of both GMAC and JPMorgan Chase have admitted to signing off on foreclosure documents without actually having read them. The reports have led to renewed questions about the banks' foreclosure practices. But as usual, the no holds barred winner in the irresponsible bank tricks department is Bank of America.
9/23/10

REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW 

Foreclosure System Is ‘Riddled with Faked Documents

ABA Journal

Other lenders whose work is at issue include:

JPMorgan Chase. One of its employees said in a May deposition that she signed off on thousands of foreclosures a month without verifying the accuracy.

• An employee of a document lending company owned by Lender Processing Servicesclaimed to be an executive with several large banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, when signing foreclosure affidavits. In one case she listed “bogus assignee” as the owner of a mortgage, and in another she signed as an officer of a fake company called “Bad Bene.” (The company says the names were just “placeholder phrasing.”)

9/23/10

Mortgage Investors Target Banks Using Clearing House

Thom Weidlich and Jody Shenn 

Bloomberg

“If we’re going to have a mortgage system in this country that’s not government controlled, this effort or an effort like it will have to succeed,” says Bill Frey, head of Greenwich, Connecticut-based securities firm Greenwich Financial Services LLC. If the investors “don’t act together, the deals are going to continue to take huge losses.”
9/23/10 Bank of America Forecloses on Mortgage-Free Home Harriet Johnson Brackey, 

Sun Sentinel

In Florida courts, which have been swamped with foreclosure cases for several years, mistakes "happen all the time," said foreclosure defense attorney Matt Weidner in St. Petersburg. 

"It's just not getting reported."

9/23/10

FORECLOSURE CRISIS – 4TH DCA TO REVIEW SEALING OF DOCUMENTS IN FORECLOSURE CASE

4closurefraud The issue of court secrecy was addressed by the Florida Supreme Court in 2007 after the discovery of widespread abuses by judges in sealing court cases and filings.
9/23/10

GMAC Drew `False Testimony' Sanction Years Before Eviction Halt

Dakin Campbell and Lorraine Woellert 

Bloomberg

Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit, which suspended evictions in 23 states last week after finding employees didn’t verify foreclosure documents, was sanctioned in 2006 for similar practices, court records show.
9/23/10

Amid mountain of paperwork,

shortcuts and forgeries mar

foreclosure process

Ariana Eunjung Cha and Brady Dennis Washington Post The nation's overburdened foreclosure system is riddled with faked documents, forged signatures and lenders who take shortcuts reviewing borrower's files, according to court documents and interviews with attorneys, housing advocates and company officials.
9/23/10 Banks Pressed on Sour Home Loans

Investors in Pool of Securities Seek to Force Lenders to Buy Back or Modify Problem Mortgages

CARRICK MOLLENKAMP  

  WSJ

Big U.S. banks are facing legal pressure to make up for losses tied to pools of soured low-end mortgage loans. 

In the latest effort, a group of investors in 2,300 mortgage securities worth roughly $500 billion is seeking to force several banks that originated or are now servicing faulty subprime-mortgage loans to repurchase or modify them. 

Bond and mortgage insurers, hard hit in the housing crisis, have filed lawsuits accusing lenders and banks of sticking them with flawed loans marred by poor underwriting and faulty appraisals.

9/22/10

'Robo-signer' played quiet role in huge number of foreclosures

Stephan's admission has cast into doubt thousands of mortgage foreclosure filings. 

Washington Post From his cubicle inside a sprawling beige stucco building, Stephan works as the leader of the document execution team for GMAC Mortgage. He has signed off on as many as 10,000 foreclosures in a month, according to court documents. That's barely a minute per case, assuming he works a normal eight-hour day.
9/22/10**

 

Funds Seek Countrywide Bear Stearns Home Mortgage Buybacks

Jody Shenn 

 Bloomberg

His hedge-fund clients are looking to recoup money on loans in bonds from issuers including Countrywide Financial Corp., now part of BofA, and a unit of Bear Stearns Co (EMC Mortgage), which was bought by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
9/22/10**

WATCH 

VIDEO!

Washington Post- Fallout From Jeffrey Stephan Fiasco Could Be Enormous Attorney Matt Weidner Blog

AND TO ALL THOSE JUDGES WHO WILL BE GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT BASED ON THIS FLAWED EVIDENCE TODAY AND NEXT WEEK AND LATER…

DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS?

9/22/10**

Lender Admits Blindly Approving Foreclosures newser.com

 If servicers are submitting court documents that aren't true or that have not been verified, that is of great concern. 

- Iowa Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan

AG Madigan: Servicers have been submitting false documents to courts for two decades. - MSF

9/22/10**

A Crack In Wall Street's Foreclosure Pipeline?  

An admission by one big bank sends ripples throughout the housing industry

One judge in central Florida told Mother Jones that, in the past week, she's seen attorneys representing several other big banks file what she called "mysterious" motions to proactively withdraw foreclosure affidavits.

Andy Kroll 

Mother Jones

The firms say the affidavits "may not have been properly verified"—the same problem with the documents at the heart of GMAC's headaches. Having never seen a spate of withdrawals like this before, the judge, Pasco County's Lynn Tepper, questioned whether other banks might be hoping to avoid the kind of public scrutiny now on GMAC by quietly clearing up conflicts with robo-signed documents. Tepper called the motions "unbelievable," and said she might seek to vacate foreclosures—instead of merely delaying them—where banks try to swap out bogus documents for new ones.
9/22/10

Judge Thomas Porteous and the Judicial 'Devil's Den' from Whence He Came   Barbara Ann Jackson If gifts and favors are not causing judicial bias and unfair rulings, various unscrupulous legal tactics certainly cause unfair outcomes. Unscrupulous ways of litigating, as well as blatant unfair, contrary-to-law judicial rulings, are reasons why far too many people become deprived of justice.
9/22/10 Florida led nation in mortgage fraud, federal commission says

Experts discussed Florida's multibillion-dollar mortgage fraud problem during a hearing hosted by the federal Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA

 Miami Herald

Mortgage fraud is responsible for untold trillions of dollars in bad loans currently defaulting across the country, and Florida has played a starring role in the tragedy, a federal commission said during a hearing in Miami.

``Mortgage fraud is not just a side issue -- in many ways it's a central issue of this financial collapse,'' former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, a commission member, said after the hearing. ``I was stunned at the extent and the dollar impact of mortgage fraud and its contribution to the worst financial meltdown in half a century.''

9/21/10**

What Does the GMAC Announcement and Notices Of Withdraw Mean?

Attorney Matt Weidner In the U.S., when an officer of the court  is found to have fraudulently presented facts to court so that the court is impaired in the impartial performance of its legal task, the act, known as “fraud upon the court”, is a crime deemed so severe and fundamentally opposed to the operation of justice that it is not subject to any statute of limitation.
9/21/10

With end of TARP, investigations into fraud take center stage

Reuters They are looking into whether the money loaned to financial institutions and automakers was used properly or not, if there was fraud in applications for TARP financial backing and other wrongdoing.
9/21/10**

Are The Jeffrey Stephan Affidavits The Beginning of The End for Foreclosures in Florida?

Post includes two Stephan depositions*

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog I am so profoundly disappointed that the charges that will come will not come because our judges stood up and put an end to it all.  They will not come because the Florida Bar took a leadership role and took a stand to protect consumers and they will not come because law enforcement, legislators or consumer protection agencies and official stepped in.  They will come because the perpetrators and purveyors of this flawed system turned on themselves.
9/20/10** Grayson Calls on Florida Supreme Court to Halt Foreclosures nakedcapitalism I respectfully request that you abate all foreclosures involving these firms until the Attorney General of the state of Florida has finished his investigations of those firms for document fraud.

If the reports I am hearing are true, the illegal foreclosures taking place represent the largest seizure of private property ever attempted by banks and government entities. This is lawlessness.

9/20/10**

Who is going to step up and help the victims of GMAC who have already been  "illegally" foreclosed upon? 

 

GMAC Mortgage HALTS FORECLOSURES in 23 States ADMITTING FALSE AFFIDAVITS  

 

GMAC's memo

Ariana Eunjung Cha 

The Washington Post

The bottom line is that GMAC mortgagors who “lost” their homes still own them.

These people can move back into their homes in my opinion and even take possession from those who allegedly purchased them, since the title was based upon a fatal defect in the chain. Whether these people will end up owing any money and whether they might still be subject to foreclosure from SOMEBODY is not yet known, but we know that GMAC-sponsored foreclosures are now admitted to be defective. Neil

Brokers were told to stop evictions, cash-for-key transactions and lockouts, regardless of occupant type, with immediate effect, according to the document, addressed to  GMAC  preferred agents.

The company will also suspend sales of properties on which it has already foreclosed.

9/20/10**

Warning!

Banks changing locks before Foreclosures are even filed

KIMBERLY MILLER 

Palm Beach Post

"They are emboldened because they are getting away with it," said St. Petersburg attorney Matt Weidner  The suit claims that not only were things stolen, but that the employee with the criminal record returned a second time and threatened the renters saying he was going to take all of their belongings.
9/19/10

WATCH OUT~ Keep your eyes out for this interesting development!

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog I’m talking about the failure to specifically and accurately identify who or what the plaintiff corporation is, where they are located and under what authority they assert the capacity to sue.  Now in this Twilight Zone world of mortgage foreclosures, our judges have no idea what the answers to those questions are so all across this state our judges are busy transferring millions of dollars in judgments and property to entities with long, confusing, abbreviated, obfuscated, mutilated, desecrated names. 
9/18/10**

Latest Real Estate Time Bomb:

Title of Foreclosed Properties Clouded

Wells Fargo Dumping Risk on Hapless Buyers

nakedcapitalism.com Technically, the foreclosing bank has no recorded title rights to foreclose in the first place. As the number of real estate foreclosures skyrockets, the odds are higher that a home you live in today, or at some point in the future may have had a foreclosure in its history.Even if the foreclosure has long since passed, a loophole in the way mortgages are recorded can create a serious title defect for future owners. As the number of real estate foreclosures skyrockets, the odds are higher that a home you live in today, or at some point in the future may have had a foreclosure in its history.Even if the foreclosure has long since passed, a loophole in the way mortgages are recorded can create a serious title defect for future owners. Title analysis performed this month by AFX Title has detected this error to be common in random samples of properties it reviewed. “This could affect the property ownership of millions of homes nationwide” said David Pelligrinelli, of AFX Title. “The mortgage recording method which created this title flaw did not exist until recently. As title abstractors are just seeing this problem emerge now but a wave of title claims is coming over the next year or so.”….
9/17/10

Wall Street Banks Committing Widespread Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud Alexander Higgins 

theintelhub

Personally I find it ironic that when GM was on its ass it held its hand out to taxpayers for a bailout. But now that the company s back on its feet again, here they are submitting fraudulent documents to kick taxpayers out of their homes. A. Higgins
9/17/10

Foreclosure Mill Commits Error, But Summary Judgment Granted Anyway Briefs included thanks to foreclosure fighter Mike Wrubel.

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog It’s hard for some attorneys (those who still believe in the integrity of our courts and the process) to believe just how flawed and desecrated our court system has become and how this desecration is on display in the foreclosure courtroom.  Every day fundamental law and rules are ignored thousands of times a day all across this state by judges who are blind to the long term consequences of this insanity.
9/17/10

KABOOM – PAUL NGUYEN V. CHASE BANK – DEED OF TRUST VOIDED, PROMISSORY NOTE RESCINDED, ABSOLUTE VICTORY

4closurefraud

Therefore, for reasons and findings stated on the record, it is hereby ordered that default judgment is entered against Chase Bank USA, N.A. and Chase Home Finance, LLC on Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint. Defendant First American Loanstar Trustee Services, LLC failed to file the mandated pretrial documents and did not even appear at the pretrial conference.

9/17/10

FORECLOSURE FRAUD – AND THE WINNER OF THE “MOST JOB TITLES” CONTEST IS…

Fraud Digest JOHN KENNERTY a/k/a Herman John Kennerty has been employed for many years in the Ft. Mill, SC offices of America’s Servicing Company, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. He signed many different job titles on mortgage-related documents, often using different titles on the same day. He often signs as an officer of MERS (“Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.”)  On many Mortgage Assignments signed by Kennerty, Wells Fargo, or the trust serviced by ASC, is shown as acquiring the mortgage weeks or even months AFTER the foreclosure action is filed.

9/17/10

Irvine woman sues EMC Mortgage over loan mod ‘hoax’

 

The Complaint

Marilyn Kalfus, real estate reporter

 

The OC Register

Wilcox says in the suit that she underwent 4 temporary or trial modifications with EMC but never received the permanent modification that she was promised. The goal posts kept changing, she said, as she was shuttled from person to person at EMC MORTGAGE.

The law firm of Lanza & Goolsby states on its website, ”It is estimated that the class may include hundreds or thousands of California homeowners who were victims of EMC’s fraud — while struggling to keep their homes through this recession.”

JPMorgan Brings Foreclosure Case In Mortgage In Which It Was Just A Servicer, Court Finds Bank Committed Fraud

An interesting development out of Jean Johnson, Circuit Judge in Duval Country, Florida, where in a case filed by JPMorgan/WaMu, as Plaintiff, and law firm of Shapiro and Fishman, attempted to evict defendants Hank and Marilyn Pocopanni. As basis for the legal case, WaMu had submitted an assignment of mortgage, which however the court just found never actually belonged to WaMu, and instead was carried on the books of Fannie Mae. Once this was uncovered is where this case gets really interesting

Tyler Durden And here the Judge got really angry: "The court finds WAMU, with the assistance of its previous counsel, Shapiro and Fishman, submitted the assignment when [they] knew that only Fannie Mae was entitled to foreclose on the Mortgage, and that WAMU never owned or held the note and Mortgage." And, oops, "the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that WAMU, Chase and Shapiro & Fishman committed fraud on this Court" and that these "acts committed by WAMU, Chase and Shapiro amount to a "knowing deception intended to prevent the defendants from discovery essential to defending the claim" and are therefore fraud. 
9/16/10** Countrywide's Angelo Mozilo Must Face Trial in SEC Suit, U.S. Judge Rules

Madoff cellmate perhaps?

 Edvard Pettersson - Bloomberg Walter said in yesterday’s ruling that a jury could conclude that Countrywide’s “consistent” practice of ignoring its underwriting guidelines, which the SEC alleges the lender didn’t disclose, would be important to investors.
9/16/10**

Two for One: Foreclosed Townhome Mistakenly Sold Twice Dawn Wotapka WSJ No one has stepped forward to take the blame. In court papers, OneWest, formerly Indymac, says the escrow company, Point Break Escrow Inc., closed the sale by mistake. (We’ve previously written about a judge who forgave the entire balance on a OneWest loan.)
9/16/10**

 

Losses from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac seizures may near $400 billion 

Federal Housing Finance Agency is seeking billions in repayment from banks that sold bad loans to the mortgage giants to help offset taxpayer losses, but some financial institutions are balking.

Jim Puzzanghera

Los Angeles Times

The banks can be required to repurchase loans that default if they did not meet housing entities' underwriting standards by accepting false falsifying borrower information or appraisals, for instance.
9/15/10 Mortgage Servicing Fraud – How They Push Homeowners to Foreclosure Denver Mortgage Loans While there are a whole host of abuse practices these companies engage in, this article will look at five of the most common.
9/14/10

Fannie Sets New Foreclosure Timeframe

Mortgage Servicing News Fannie Mae has established new foreclosure timeframes for four states – Florida, Maryland, Nevada and New York – telling seller/servicers they face potentially steep fines if they cannot complete the task.
9/14/10**

Bank of America May Have to Buy Back $20 Billion in Loans, Insurers Say

Hugh Son

Bloomberg

More than half of the soured home-equity credit lines and residential mortgages created from 2005 through 2007 that insurers examined should be bought back, the Association of Financial Guaranty Insurers said in a letter to Bank of America. Banks are dealing with demands for repurchases from buyers and insurers of mortgage securities who say that the loans were created with false, misleading or missing data.
9/14/10**

includes letter from homeowner

A Perfect Example Of What We’re All Fighting For

"The stories of abuse that Americans are suffering in this legal process are the most disturbing to me as a lawyer".

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog  We have all lost hope that there is any sort of fairness or equity in this country and when you witness the abuses that the lenders and their attorneys are permitted to visit upon normal citizens everyday, you cannot help but believe our judges either do not see the abuses, or worse... they see them -  but do not care.
9/13/10** MOVING INTO FIRST POSITION:

                  PRIORITY OF LIENS

Neil Garfield

livinglies

IF YOU HAVE A SECOND MORTGAGE, HELOC OR OTHER JUNIOR LIEN ON YOUR PROPERTY (LIKE AN ASSOCIATION LIEN FOR NON-PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE), THAT MIGHT JUST BE YOUR TICKET OUT OF THIS MESS.
9/12/10**

Handcuffs For Wall Street, Not Happy Talk

Complaining about nouns and adjectives is a little ridiculous when handcuffs and prison sentences are in order.

Zach Carter-AlterNet

 Washington Mutual executives knew their company 

   was issuing fraudulent loans;

Wachovia is settling charges that it illegally laundered 

   $380 billion in drug money;

- Barclays is accused of illegally laundering money;

- Goldman Sachs set up its own clients to fail;

- Citibank executives deceived their shareholders;

- Bank of America executives concealed heavy losses;

- IndyMac Bank and at least five other banks cooked 

   their books. 

9/11/10** Bank Robbery on Wall Street  The Gangsters  versus The Banksters   They'  ve been getting some of the perpetrators to fork over multi-million fines to get out of jail rather than toss their asses behind bars.   The Gangsters  versus The Banksters   They'  ve been getting some of the perpetrators to fork over multi-million fines to get out of jail rather than toss their asses behind bars. Danny Schechter mediachannel.org The Commission has its own “flaws,” failing to see or investigate this pervasive fraud at the heart of the crisis. 

Economist Michael Hudson notes, “I believe that the beneficiaries were fraudsters, and that the system cannot be saved. Trying to save it by keeping the debts in place – and letting Wall Street banks “work their way out of debt” at the U.S. economy’s expense – threatens to lock the economy in a chronic debt deflation and depression.”

9/10/10**

INSIDE CHASE and the Rush to Foreclose

- “Our attitude at CHASE was to process everything as quickly as possible, so we can foreclose and take the house to sale.  That’s how we made our money.”

 - “CHASE is in the foreclosure business, not the modification business.”

- They’re whole focus is to foreclose, not to modify. 

STOPForeclosureFraud “Foreclosures are a no lose proposition for a servicer,” Jerad told me during the interview.  “The servicer gets paid more to service a delinquent loan, but they also get to tack on a whole bunch of extra fees and charges.  If the borrower reinstates the loan, which is rare, then the borrower pays those extra fees.  If the borrower loses the house, then the investor pays them.  Either way, the servicer gets their money.”
9/10/10

BIG NEWS!

MERS-Deutsche Bank Slammed on Quiet Title

 

MERS v. Torr  If anyone has a clearer copy of this opinion, please send to MSFraud.org.

Neil Garfield

livinglies

MERS tried to Quiet Title

In so doing they paved the way for millions of homeowners to sue MERS to quiet title.

The net result is that the encumbrance is invalid. 

That means the debt, the obligation, MIGHT exist, but it is NOT secured by the home. 

9/10/10

Chief Judge Wondering About Judiciary’s Role in Foreclosures

“Blanc said Monday that there has been an increase in requests by lenders and loan servicers to cancel foreclosure sales and vacate judgments following the disclosure that Ally was freezing portions of its foreclosure operation in 23 states, including Florida.

Foreclosure Industry News While judges granted those requests, Blanc said he was concerned about cases in which defective foreclosure affidavits aren’t being brought to the court’s attention, possibly because the borrower has given up or walked away from the home.” 

Why would this judge have an incentive to ignore all the things that borrowers and their attorneys have been saying for the last two or three years?

9/10/10

HOLY SMOKES- KEVIN AMBLER- A CANDIDATE THAT REALLY, REALLY “GETS IT”!

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog Ambler was absolutely aghast when I shared with him stories of judges limiting access to courtrooms.  He was shocked, appalled,  and in disbelief.  That really got his attention, so I would very much like to have some of your stories to share with him.
9/10/10 Mortgage Shell Game – Foreclosure Fraud by MERS Morning Liberty Radio

& Neil Garfield

Millions of people over the last 10 years, who believe they have lost their home to foreclosure, still own them.  

Judges, Attorneys, Clerks, and Government Agencies have been aiding in this mortgage and foreclosure fraud against Americans.

If you have a MERS Mortgage here is their deposition.  Bankers need to go to jail.  Politicians need to go to jail.  This evidence is now a part of the public record, how MERSCORP has been operating a complete sham with mortgages and foreclosures.  MERS is not the Corporation committing Fraudulent Acts and Deceptive Practices with people and their property.

9/10/10 Dealing with a Hostile Court Environment Neil Garfield

livinglies

Judge it is as simple as this — the borrower signed a note and the lender received a bond. Those are two different things. If you let them continue with this fraud you are giving houses to brokers who never put up a dime for the funding of the loan.
9/10/10

Decided 7/2/2010

These Pesky Documents take the FUN out of Foreclosures

Steven J. Baum's Aurora Loan Servicing case.

Hon. Debra Silber  

Supreme Court,

Kings County, NY

Pursuing the paper trail, and wondering if this mess was sloppiness or intentional fraud which should be brought to the attention of the authorities, while trying to remember the court was merely asked to appoint a referee to compute, the court plowed on, to see whether there are more obstacles to foreclosure that need to be addressed. Curiosity got the better of the undersigned, however, and a quick Google search of the developer disclosed at least two federal fraud and racketeering lawsuits pending.
9/10/10 Suddenly, their house is taken over David Lazarus

L.A. Times

Their shock was all the greater because they'd been told less than a week earlier that Wells Fargo had rejected their application for a loan modification. Within just a few days, the bank had turned around and sold the property — even though Wells Fargo had assured the couple in writing that it wouldn't do this.

"I have never seen it happen anywhere near this fast," said Laurence Clarke, a Los Angeles real estate attorney who has handled numerous foreclosure cases. "This is a particularly egregious situation."
9/9/10 Open Letter To California Attorney General Brown: Foreclosure Crisis LAW OFFICES OF MOSES S. HALL I believe judgment obtained against BAC was merely the tip of the iceberg. You may or may not be aware that IndyMac Bank, now OneWest Bank, has been sued by their investors for providing false and misleading appraisals along with committing many underwriting violations, which gave thousands of Californians their present unconscionable loans. 
9/9/10

ARMY OF HOMEOWNERS UNITE HELP JOIN THE FIGHT

 

ALL IT TAKES FOR EVIL TO PREVAIL IS FOR ONE GOOD PERSON TO DO “NOTHING!”

Attorney

Carol C Asbury

If Homeowners want to change the system then Homeowners have a duty to fight these foreclosures which are filed by Plaintiff’s who often cannot prove that it owns the very loan it seeks to foreclose.

Right now only about 5 percent of the homeowners hire attorneys to fight their foreclosures.  That means that even if the Plaintiff Lenders and their Attorneys fabricate evidence, falsify documents, forge notes or obstruct justice 95% of the time - the Foreclosure will go through and the Homeowner’s house is sold.

9/9/10

 

 

Frank Russo charges suggest he corrupted county judges

 

I called just to tell you that I took care of those two issues with those two cases that we talked about. … Denied everything.”

Includes links to DOJ news release, charges and Russo's resignation.

Leila Atassi, The Plain Dealer The docket Terry inherited included numerous civil foreclosure cases involving Russo's close friend O'Malley, who was representing one of the litigants. American Home Bank was seeking $190,000 in damages from O'Malley's client.

"Okay, good, so deny the motions for summary judgment, okay, good. ... I just wanted to touch base with you on that," Russo said.

9/9/10

Requesting Rehearing of a Summary Judgment Ruling

Includes briefs

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog The law is simple, if a question of material fact exists, Summary Judgment is not appropriate.  The problem for Plaintiffs and the foreclosure mills is they very rarely are able to put together a case where a skilled attorney cannot document several material facts that preclude entry of Summary Judgment.
9/9/10 BLUEPRINT to Clear the FORECLOSURE Docket Attorney Matt Weidner Blog Matt reviews his prior cases and discovers some disturbing trends that Courts must be aware of.

Includes motions that you may be able to use.

9/8/10 Owner of Legacy Lending Sentenced for Involvement in $20 Million Mortgage Scam Moe Bedard Loan Safe The 31-year-old part owner of Legacy Lending was sentenced yesterday in federal court in St. Paul for participating in a mortgage fraud scheme that involved 37 separate real estate transactions and $20 million in loan proceeds.
9/8/10 Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud? Possible Cause of Action Against Pretenders and Attorneys LIVINGLIES Money is wired into a “pool account.” That came from “investors. Then money is wired into an escrow account which in turn is wired into the accounts of third parties to close the transaction. Sometimes some of the wire proceeds are converted to checks. The procedure is perfectly legal unless the purpose of the or goal of the transaction was illegal, and more specifically fraudulent. The diversion of funds that were wired into undisclosed accounts for undisclosed parties in transactions that were misrepresented on the facts (appraisal fraud on the property and ratings fraud on the securities) makes the deal susceptible to wire fraud allegations.
9/8/10 Ex-Florida Cop Arrested Again for Mortgage Fraud Moe Bedard

Loan Safe

People need to realize that sometimes former and current law enforcement officers are humans with flaws, just like you and I. They make do make mistakes and some commit crimes. Yes, they have sworn to protect the public, but sometimes those promises mean little and they turn into hard core criminals themselves. Victimizing the same community that they had once sworn to protect.
9/8/10

It's the Mortgages, Stupid

Robert Scheer - truthdig Once again the strategy is to stimulate the economy by funding projects and tax cuts while ignoring the root cause of the problem: a housing foreclosure meltdown that has chilled the spending of a majority of American consumers.
9/7/10

 

The State of Texas Demands Permanent Injunction… Against American Home Mortgage Servicing

Also see Ohio AG v. AHMSI

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog Now much of the conduct complained of in the complaint filed by THE STATE OF TEXAS is the very same conduct that virtually every homeowner in foreclosure asserts their lender or servicer has engaged in. 
9/7/10 Complaints against EMC Mortgage Servicing continue to pile up... Denise Richardson

givemebackmycredit.com

Many complaints continue to be directed at EMC -the same mortgage servicing company that two years ago paid $28 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they engaged in unlawful practices in servicing consumers' home mortgage loans. Today, EMC continues to have a growing number of complaints lodged against them by frustrated and angry homeowners who feel they have nobody on their side.
9/7/10 HSBC’s Irregularities: Mortgage Documentation and Corporate Relationships with Ocwen, MERS, and Delta STOPForeclosureFraud In light of the inconsistencies, Neil’s oath could not have been properly taken before a duly authorized officer. Under New Jersey law, a notary public commissioned in New Jersey may perform duties only throughout the state of New Jersey. See N.J. Stat. Ann. 52:7-15. Therefore, a New Jersey notary public could not properly have administered the oath in Florida. A New Jersey notary public also could not properly have certified that the writing was sworn to, when the person signed it in another jurisdiction.
9/7/10 Housing Meltdown

Grassroots effort leads to attorney general probe

“I began noticing patterns of the same people signing assignments [of mortgage] for 20 different banks but their signatures never matched,” Redman said.

Paola Iuspa-Abbott - dbr 4closurefraud.org and ForeclosureHamlet.org have sent copies of filings they consider improper — including potentially fabricated documents and many with signatures they believe are forged — to the Florida attorney general, the FBI, Florida legislators, the U.S. attorney, the Florida Bar and other agencies urging probes of the law firms that filed them. 

They say their efforts have paid off.

9/6/10** Rocket Docket: FL Judges May Favor Banks in Error to Move Foreclosure Case Backlog Cynthia Kouril - FDL I have said it before and I will say it again, we have to educate the judges in every  jurisdiction to make sure they really know the answer to the threshold question of standing before they allow the case to proceed. This is a better way to alleviate the backlog: weed out the bogus cases!
9/4/10** Florida’s High-Speed Answer to a Foreclosure Mess GRETCHEN MORGENSON and GERALDINE FABRIKANT

NY Times

Florida’s foreclosure mess is made murkier by what analysts and lawyers involved in the process say are questionable practices by some law firms that are representing banks. Such tactics, these people say, have drawn out the process significantly, making it extremely lucrative for the lawyers and more draining for troubled homeowners.
10/11/09 Wall Street Titans Use Aliases to Foreclose on Families While Partnering With a Federal Agency  PAM MARTENS |CounterPunch.org A federal agency tasked with expanding the American dream of home ownership and affordable housing free from discrimination to people of modest means has been quietly moving a chunk of that role to Wall Street since 2002. In a stealth partial privatization, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) farmed out its mandate of working with single family homeowners in trouble on their mortgages to the industry most responsible for separating people from their savings and creating an unprecedented wealth gap that renders millions unable to pay those mortgages.
9/3/10

CASE LAW UPDATE-Another Sure Fire Way to Defeat Summary Judgment

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog I had my back up against a wall going into a summary judgment hearing yesterday because my client had been convinced by the lender that he should ignore me and stop working with his attorney to try and protect his case.  The lender assured him that they would work things out so he didn’t need to respond to my letters and emails.
9/3/10

THE $49,000 ORDER IMPOSING SANCTIONS ON FORECLOSURE MILL

Hiatt & Diaz, P.A.

Includes Order

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog The thing about this Order is, if more

 judges would issue Orders like this, 

the  whole practice of foreclosure would

 change overnight!

9/3/10

Fannie Mae May Penalize Loan Servicers for Foreclosure Delays

 

Includes links to cases where the court canceled mortgages and awarded 6-figure damages.

Ohio attorney 

Robert Franco

Lenders, servicers, and large foreclosure law firms, sometimes referred to as "foreclosure mills," are notorious for abusing the rules.  This can sometimes lead to valid counterclaims that can be asserted to protect the homeowners.  The best examples come from New York, where one particular judge has cracked down on shoddy foreclosure practices. 

Ordinarily, a jury trial cannot be had in a foreclosure case.  However, the right counterclaims may entitle the homeowner to a jury trial.  This should frighten the lenders and their attorneys.  If Judge Spinner is willing to award homeowners more than $100,000 in damages, what would a jury do?

9/2/10 Norfolk homeowner narrowly averts foreclosure Josh Brown
The Virginian-Pilot
Among the problems, she said, was that the attorneys had not been hired by McBeth's current mortgage company, Wells Fargo. The attorneys, instead, had been hired by EverHome Mortgage Co., which had transferred the servicing of the loan to Wells Fargo before foreclosure proceedings began.

In the meantime, Abbott is preparing to file a lawsuit alleging mishandling of McBeth's case.

9/1/10**

If You Have a MERS Mortgage – Here is Their Deposition

 

THE WHOLE THING WAS A SHAM!  

IN THE PROCESS THEY NOT ONLY ROBBED INVESTORS, PENSIONERS, BORROWERS AND HOMEOWNERS, BUT EVERY PURPORTED SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE GETTING CLEAR TITLE. 

MERS Deposition

livinglies In a nutshell, the obligation is legally unsecured in every MERS-related transaction. The note was a remote instrument that did NOT reflect the terms of the transaction with the Lender (investor) who received an entirely different set of documents. The loan is not only bankruptcy remote, it is also security remote.  Meaning an entity that couldn’t go bankrupt and was separate and apart from any entity that could go bankrupt.  Why couldn’t they go bankrupt? Because they had no assets, liabilities, income or expenses. Specifically, at no time did ANY MERS entity claim any loan as an asset.

The only thing anyone was actually interested in was the money. THAT is what was securitized. The investors’ own money was securitized.

Feel stupid?  Well at least you don't have a prison cell waiting for you. 

9/1/10

Key Motions to Dismiss That Will CLEAR YOUR CASE LOAD!

 

Includes Motion to Dismiss and appeal brief

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog The problem with many of our judges is they think the only way to fulfill that objective is to grant summary judgment.  The problem with this singular focus on Summary Judgment is it has created the environment where fraud, mistakes and unchallenged abuses are occurring in courtrooms across the state.  Now that these abuses are being investigated, the key perpetrators of the abuses are looking to shift the blame and guess who they are blaming for the abuses they’ve heaped upon our courts….

THE JUDGES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSES!

9/1/10 The Myth of the Credit Bid – Red-Handed livinglies There are so many chairs and shells moving around I know it is difficult to keep them straight. That is exactly the point. The pretender lenders are going to keep them moving as long as they can because they are getting thousands of free houses every week through intimidation, fraud and deception of borrowers, court clerks, and Judges. But there are a few points in time at which the the chairs and shells stop moving or at least slow down. One of them is at the sale on the courthouse steps.
9/1/10

Governments, community groups to get first crack at foreclosed homes

KIMBERLY MILLER 

Palm Beach Post

Cash investors hunting for abandoned and foreclosed properties will take a back seat to buyers using federal housing money under an "unprecedented" agreement with the nation's largest private lenders.

The "First Look" program, announced Wednesday, gives local governments and community groups using Neighborhood Stabilization money the first crack at buying bank-owned homes in areas hit hard by the real estate crash. 

While plans to spend stabilization money differ among organizations, the general intent of the nearly $6 billion awarded nationwide is to refurbish and eventually sell or rent the homes to low- to middle-income families.

9/1/10 THE DESPERATE NEED TO STEAL YOUR HOME Foreclosureblues Over 95 percent of all mortgages made this year are backed by the Federal government so why do we even need banks serving as middlemen here to skim additional profits?  Why not let the public borrow directly from the government for say a 30 year fixed mortgage?  The underwriting is already computerized and IRS data is already in the government’s hands (heck, at least you’ll know the government will check this as opposed to the no-doc fraud of the too big to fail banks.  Either way, the report is more of a reflection of banks not realizing losses and pretending all is well.
9/1/10

white paper

Report On Fraudulent & Forged Assignments of Mortgages and Deeds in U.S. Foreclosures Nye Lavalle Throughout America, countless millions of American homeowners have been unlawfully foreclosed upon via fraudulent means.  
8/31/10

FORECLOSURE FRAUD – TRAPS AND MORE TRAPS FOR HOMEOWNERS

Homeowners must realize that the Banks do not own these loans.

Attorney Carol Asbury  This is a warning to all Homeowners who are facing foreclosure.  All of you must remember that the lender will lie to you continually.  Always keep track of the calls you make, who you talked to , and what they said.
8/31/10 Mortgage Fraud: The Untold Story of the Housing Meltdown Michael Hudson

Housing Watch

Appraisers falsified property reports. Mortgage brokers and loan officers forged borrowers' signatures on key paperwork and faked tax documents to qualify homeowners' for loans that they couldn't afford and altered the dollar figures on elderly borrowers' Social Security award letters.
Lenders and Wall Street banks misled investors about the quality of the loans and the quality of the securities that were backed by those loans.
8/31/10

also see below...

Florida Court Clobbers Foreclosure Mill With $49K Contempt Citation; Continuous Failure To Appear At Hearings w/out Giving Notice Raises Judge's Ire

homeequitytheft Circuit Judge Janette Dunnigan scolded five lawyers from the Smith, Hiatt and Diaz firm in connection with a Manatee County foreclosure case filed in 2007. The firm is one of several "foreclosure mills" filing thousands of foreclosure cases monthly. The firm's attorneys filed what amounted to "sham" paperwork setting seven hearings over two years, and then failed to appear in court or tell the judge or other parties when they were canceled. The case is still unresolved.
8/31/10** Explanation of Securitization Richard Kessler So as it now stands, a lawful foreclosure cannot occur against a mortgage whose note has been securitized because of the lack of an actual damaged party who has standing to state a claim.
8/31/10

Judge fines major legal firm for foreclosure conduct

 

Order Ajudicating HSBC's Attorneys in Contempt

Todd Ruger Herald Tribune In a judicial district that has taken a hard line on fraudulent or messy foreclosure filings, the judge's ruling is the first time a court officer has openly attacked the methods of one of the firms responsible for thousands of foreclosures statewide.
8/31/10

Conflict of Interest? ABC 4 investigates judges' ties to Bank of America

Kelli O'Hara- abc4.com After the decision, ABC4 got a tip about the case and started digging. Our tipster said that Judge Waddoups may have a conflict of interest in hearing the Bank of America. cases. Why? Because Judge Waddoups' old law firm represents Bank of America. 
8/30/10 Them be fightin’ words: the fight over foreclosure fees Paul Jackson

Housing Wire

Being designated as approved counsel by Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac does carry risk. Just ask Florida’s David Stern, who has seen his burgeoning operation pejoratively branded a ‘foreclosure mill’ by consumer groups, dragged through the press for both alleged and real consumer misdeeds, and facing numerous investor lawsuits surrounding the operation of DJSP Enterprises, Inc.
8/30/10 FORECLOSURE FRAUD – TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL ABBOTT CHARGES AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING INC WITH VIOLATING STATE DEBT COLLECTION LAWS Texas AG

4closureFraud

AHMS agents falsely claimed that homeowners did not make payments so the agents could justify profitable late fees or escrow accounts. The defendant also failed to properly credit homeowners after AHMS agents withdrew funds from the homeowners’ checking accounts. Because of the defendant’s unlawful conduct, homeowners defaulted on their loans, leading to foreclosure proceedings.
The State is also seeking civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation of the DTPA.
8/28/10** Marietta woman gets to stay in foreclosed home jgillooly@mdjonline.com And the judge warned the attorneys for Wells Fargo, McCalla Raymer and Prommis what would likely occur if they elected to continue litigation.

"Y'all can draw this out for the next three, four, five years, if that's what you want to do," Flournoy said. "All you're going to do is end up - she's going to keep her house, number one. Two, attorneys' fees is just going to run up hundreds of thousands of dollars, and three, you're going to pay some damages to REO Solutions."
8/28/10

Policy Options Dwindle as Economic Fears Grow “The big question is, who’s going to swallow the losses,” says Mr. Stiglitz. “It should be the banks, but they don’t want to." he said.

PETER S. GOODMAN

NY Times

Right now, many homeowners owe the bank more than their homes are worth, prompting some to abandon properties, adding inventory to a market choked with vacant addresses. An Obama administration program aimed at slowing foreclosures has prolonged trouble, say some economists, by failing to relieve borrowers of unsustainable debt burdens or making transparent the extent of losses yet to be confronted by the financial system.  (Do you think more foreclosures will fix this problem the banks created? MSF)
8/26/10 Philadelphia Scandal Underscores Pitiful State of Public Housing Oversight

Dysfunction Is Widespread in Housing Authorities

JONATHAN BERR

dailyfinance

Though Philadelphia's situation seems extreme -- U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has raised questions recently about PHA's management -- allegations of mismanagement involving the nation's 3,200 housing authorities are hardly new.

Former HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, who at one point tried to investigate Greene, was forced to leave office himself amid corruption allegations. He later was cleared, and recently had this to say about Greene: "Everyone knew .... It was just a matter of time before he imploded and it became public knowledge."

8/26/10**

TERRIFYING – ARMED GUARDS NOW BLOCKING ACCESS TO FORECLOSURE COURTS?

4closurefraud  I visited the Court House today and went to the 5th Floor where the Court has been created.  When the elevator door opened, I was greeted by a police officer, fully armed and he ask me where I was going.  I replied “the new foreclosure court”  He responded, “Are you an attorney?”  I said “no, I am a pro-se defendant, defending my home.”  He says “You can’t go in there, only attorneys are allowed”.   WHAAAAAAAAT?
8/26/10

BANKS’ SELF-DEALING SUPER-CHARGED FINANCIAL CRISIS

But the strategy of speeding up the assembly line had devastating consequences for homeowners, the banks themselves and, ultimately, the global economy. Because of Wall Street's machinations, more mortgages had been granted to ever-shakier borrowers. The results can now be seen in foreclosed houses across America.

Jake Bernstein and Jesse Eisinger
ProPublica
Over the last two years of the housing bubble, Wall Street bankers perpetrated one of the greatest episodes of self-dealing in financial history.

Faced with increasing difficulty in selling the mortgage-backed securities that had been among their most lucrative products, the banks hit on a solution that preserved their quarterly earnings and huge bonuses:

They created fake demand.

8/26/10

ACTION ALERT:

LINDA GREEN OF DOCX (ET AL?) DID NOT HAVE SIGNING AUTHORITY ON BEHALF OF MERS

Lynn Szymoniak
Fraud Digest
[This Corrective Assignment of Mortgage is being recorded to correct the Assignment of Mortgage dated October 17, 2008 and recorded October 13, 2009, the said Assignment was executed by Linda Green, Vice President who at that time did not have authority on behalf of MERS.]
8/26/10

BROOKLYN BEATDOWN – JUDGE SCHACK HITS EM AGAIN 

 This time it's:

ARGENT MORTGAGE and 

AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC. 

Judge Schack's opinion

4closurefraud.org  

Opinion by Judge Schack

Plaintiff’s counsel never notified the Court that the mortgage had been satisfied and failed to discontinue the instant action with prejudice. I discovered that the mortgage had been satisfied by personally searching the Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS) website of the Office of the City Register, New York City Department of Finance. AHMSI’s President and Chief Executive Officer or its Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary Jordan D. Dorchuck, Esq., its counsel, Melissa A. Sposato, Esq. and her firm, Jordan S. Katz, P.C., will be given an opportunity to be heard as to why this Court should not sanction them for making a “frivolous motion.
8/26/10

Foreclosure Crisis

New strategy attacks validity of affidavits

Paola Iuspa-Abbott

When it comes to fighting foreclosures, homeowners and their lawyers may have found a new strategy to score courtroom victories.

Defense lawyers across the state are increasingly attacking the validity of affidavits that owners of notes must file with the courts as part of the foreclosure process. 

Attorneys like Dustin Zacks, of the firm Ice Legal in West Palm Beach, are successfully arguing that plaintiffs — usually a trust that owns the note or the servicer of the note — are violating court rules by filing affidavits with no records attached to support their foreclosure suits

8/26/10

Fraud Case Shows Boom’s Dark Side Emma Ashburn

China Real Time Report

On trial is the head of a finance company who stands accused of bribing bank officials in return for more than 700 million yuan, or more than $100 million, in loans for fake mortgages and small businesses, according to Chinese media reports.

But mortgage fraud may be an increasingly attractive way for corrupt executives to carry out crimes in the wake of the credit that flooded China’s banks as part of the government’s response to the global economic downturn.

8/25/10

FORECLOSURE FRAUD Personally CAUGHT by JUDGE SCHACK! Dismissed with PREJUDICE! StopForeclosureFraud Plaintiff’s counsel never had the courtesy or professionalism to notify the Court that the instant mortgage was satisfied and file a motion to discontinue the instant action. The Court is gravely concerned that it: expended scarce resources on an action that should have been discontinued; and, would have signed an order that could have possibly damaged the credit rating of defendant and put an unfair cloud on the title to the subject premises, causing both defendants much time and effort to correct an error caused by the failure of successor plaintiff AHMSI and plaintiff’s counsel to exercise due diligence. If successor plaintiff AHMSI is a responsible lender, not a vulture investor looking to profit “when blood is running in the streets,” it should have notified the Court that the subject mortgage had been satisfied.
8/25/10

If the Signature is a Fraud, the Judge may Dismiss the Case against You with Prejudice for "Fraud on the Court". 

George Gingo & James Orth Attorneys at Law

Have you seen your "original note" in the court file?  Is your signature on it in electric blue/green ink?  Our belief is that this electric blue/green ink is a fraud and we are working hard to put together a team of experts and proper equipment to challenge the authenticity of such signatures.  It may be that the fraudsters are using a computer controlled mechanical pen to make that fraudulent signature.
8/25/10 Owner of Home Sold at Auction Sues Bank of America MyFoxPhoenix Joel Williams is accusing Bank of America of fraud and misrepresentation, saying he was duped. Williams says that while they were working with him to modify his loan, they were foreclosing on his Lake Havasu home at the same time.
8/25/10

BREAKING AND ENTERING IS NOT A CRIME?

From the complaint: A conspiracy exists between Defendants First Property, WAMU and Chase wherein the parties expressly agreed that their representatives, agents or assigns would illegally, improperly, extra-judicially and forcibly enter into the Plaintiffs residential real property, change the locks and remove any personal property located therein.

From the complaint: A conspiracy exists between Defendants First Property, WAMU and Chase wherein the parties expressly agreed that their representatives, agents or assigns would illegally, improperly, extra-judicially and forcibly enter into the Plaintiffs residential real property, change the locks and remove any personal property located therein.
Attorney Matt Weidner Blog I have begun collecting terrifying examples of bank terror and will continue to publish the examples.  For starters, I want each of you to read the lawsuit I’ve just filed.  Read carefully the allegations made in the lawsuit, but most importantly read the report from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department.  Read the findings of fact.  Two thugs broke into a home, moved property around, helped themselves to a beer.  The thugs returned and boldly told their victims they would return to terrorize again.  Two visitors to our country were terrified.  Thousands of dollars in property was stolen.  But the Sheriff’s office can't seem to find a crime here.
8/25/10 It's Okay To Walk Away: Let's End The "Morality" Double-Standard On Mortgage Defaults Henry Blodget

Tech Ticker

More and more commercial real-estate companies are doing what many indebted homeowners would like to do: Walk away from mortgages on properties that are now worth a lot less than they paid for them.

When companies do this, no one bats an eye--it's just "smart business."

When ordinary homeowners think about doing it, the mortgage industry and government begin moaning that a mortgage is more than a business contract. It's a social contract, in which homeowners have a "moral obligation" to pay... That's bunk

8/25/10

Government Tactic: Help Banks by Lying to Homeowners

Fannie Mae knew full well what they were doing however, when they used the Making Home Affordable program to their advantage to sink struggling homeowners, rather than help them as the program was supposedly intended to do.

Richard Zombeck

Huffington Post

So not only did Fannie Mae purposely string homeowners along with no end in sight, and draining savings and causing millions of people sleepless nights while they  wait for the shoe to drop...

they essentially closed the exit to the burning building while they lit the wick.

8/25/10

Reuters goes to ground to find homes resold at 13 times foreclosure price Nick Carey 

 Reuters

“Public records show it sold in foreclosure for $25,500 in January 2009, then resold for $355,000 in October. In between, a $110,000 mortgage was taken out on the home, supposedly for renovations. This June, the property went back into foreclosure.”
8/25/10

Former L.A. attorney settles charges over 'frivolous and phony' foreclosure relief lawsuits Nathan Olivarez-Giles,

 Los Angeles Times

Mitchell Roth agrees to pay $1 million in restitution to homeowners from whom he collected fees plus $125,000 in penalties, the California attorney general's office says.
8/25/10**

Unconstitutionality of a Power of Sale

The power of sale raises constitutional questions — namely, that: No  person should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Reuben Nieves

livinglies

As an addendum to my prior comment on the unconstitutionality of a power of sale provision in a mortgage contract with respect to federally chartered bank corporations created for public and national purposes I am submitting my research to this site and invite any opposition or legal commentator to dispel or affirm my research
8/24/10** Banksters: Predators Becoming Prey Attorney Joel D. Hesch It just became more profitable to prey on their fellow banksters than to seek out new victims for racketeering schemes. The government has adopted two whistleblower programs which turn up the heat on predators by offering rewards worth up to a billion dollars simply for switching sides and teaming up with the government.
8/24/10** E-Discovery, MetaData, and Spoliation of Evidence livinglies Almost everything done during this mortgage fraud was accomplished through the use of electronic media.  Transmittal of loan information from a loan originator was not done through sending the loan the documents.  In most cases it was accomplished by including a description of loans on a spreadsheet with limited information — just enough to make the loans look good enough to sell, even though they were (a) already sold and (b) had a negative value from the start.
8/23/10**

Hot Off The Presses: Taylor Motion For Rehearing

 

taylorrehearing

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog The homeowners and borrowers did not create this chaos that reigns in our courtrooms and which is provoking such flawed and catastrophic legal outcomes…the Wall Street Wizards did.  The problems the foreclosure mills face in achieving their ill-conceived goal of forced dispossession of hundreds of thousands of our neighbors cannot be solved through flawed legal process.  Our courts must apply the laws and rules as they currently exist and in so doing compel the Wall Street Wizards to engage in real world, practical problem solving to get out of the crisis they have created.
8/23/10** The Pursuit of NON-Performing Mortgages in 2009 by Bank of America & Deutsche Bank Lynn E. Szymoniak, Esq., Ed., 

Fraud Digest

Have the Trustees disclosed to the investors that the trusts have embarked on this path that will cause the trusts to incur significant costs and attorney’s fees to pursue these foreclosures?
8/23/10** NEW RULES AND OLD RULES Neil Garfield

livinglies

It was fraud that got us into this mess - and it is the prosecution of fraud that will get us out. 

Anything else, any other way of looking at it, merely compounds the record title problems that will soon explode in our faces, the economic problems that can’t go away unless they are actually addressed

8/23/10

Housing Slide in U.S. Threatens to Drag Economy Into Recession

John Gittelsohn and Bob Willis Bloomberg “If foreclosures continue to mount and depress home prices, that could send the economy back into a recession,” said Celia Chen, an economist who tracks the industry for Moody’s Analytics Inc.
8/23/10

U.S. Judges Sound Off on Bank Settlements

BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

NY Times

Everything was rolling along traditional lines. A bank broke the rules. The government found out. The company agreed to pay a fine and improve its behavior...

Then the judge assigned to approve the deal blew his top and asked: “Why isn’t the government getting tough with banks?”

8/22/10

The Foreclosure Docket in Pinellas County Has Been Cleared- And The Court Budget is Restored!

I’m convinced that many of these Plaintiffs have no right to obtain a foreclosure judgment, much less the property, or the proceeds from the sale of the property.

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog Across this state law firms are pushing  foreclosures and judges are throwing their neighbors into the streets.

I’m also very interested in a very disturbing phenomena I’ve recently discovered and that is the number of foreclosure cases that have been filed and later abandoned by the foreclosure mill that filed the case.  Given what we now know about faked, forged, fraudulent endorsements, assignments and affidavits, I have real questions about whether the Plaintiff had the right to file these cases in the first place and even if they did, why did the foreclosure mill just abandon these cases?

8/22/10

 

Homeowner fights foreclosure in lawsuit claiming documents are fraudulent Marcia Heroux Pounds

 Sun Sentinel

After months of wrangling with CitiMortgage, Dennis and Joyce Brown got fed up and hired an attorney to fight CitiMortgage's foreclosure on their home. The Browns claim they are victims of fabricated documents used to foreclose after CitiMortgage failed to credit them for mortgage payments.
The Browns' story is just one example of foreclosures resulting from allegedly fraudulent mortgage assignments and other tactics that "eliminate due process for the homeowner," Trent said.
8/21/10

OUTRAGEOUS! Foreclosure Rocket Docket Judge Entering Final Judgments Against Homeowners BEFORE Hearings 4closureFraud Talk about being GUILTY until proven innocent…

This has to be one the the most egregious things I have heard throughout this foreclosure crisis and the theft of Americas Homes. It’s one thing for the banks and Foreclosure Mills to game the system with fake, forged documents and unfair and deceptive business practices, but now to hear more and more Judges, elected Judges, are pulling the types of shenanigans as discussed below is OUTRAGEOUS.

8/21/10 TRUSTS EXTINCT ON PLANET MERS DUE TO CATASTROPHIC TRIGGER EVENT ForeclosureBlues The government and agencies are aware of what is going on. “Moral Hazard” issue, supported by Mr. Bernanke is blocking any assistance to homeowners DESPITE the fraud that continues. If this moral hazard issue is dispelled – there will be help. TARP Inspector General has tried to point out how ridiculous the concept of moral hazard is.
8/20/10**

Three Valuable Documents (Including Leaked Case Strategy From Mortgage Bankers)

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog We’re also fulfilling a key role contemplated by the founders of our country to protect and defend our court system and judges by keeping them aware of the serious threats this current foreclosure catastrophe poses to the judicial branch.
8/20/10** Homeowner fights foreclosure in lawsuit claiming documents are fraudulent Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel The Browns' story is just one example of foreclosures resulting from allegedly fraudulent mortgage assignments and other tactics that "eliminate due process for the homeowner," Trent said. 

Thousands of Florida homeowners may have lost their homes as a result of improper actions by the firms under investigation.

8/20/10 Foreclosure – JP Morgan Chase Fraud is Underway with the FDIC morningliberty.com Foreclosing on somebody's house is a function of fraud.  Banks are aware of this.  The transactions the FDIC arranged between WAMU and JP Morgan Chase has not settled yet.  Somebody is getting Foreclosure Happy.  These Big Banks are not playing within the law.  We must ask the right questions in order to get the right answers.
8/20/10

REPEATED

below

  Class Action RICO Suit Alleges Tens of Thousands of New York Foreclosure Frauds Orchestrated by “Foreclosure Mill” Attorney, MERS & HSBC" Hundreds of Millions in Damages Demanded for New York Homeowners

The COMPLAINT

 

PRWEB On August 17, 2010, attorney Susan Chana Lask filed a Federal Class Action Complaint on behalf of tens of thousands of New York State homeowners who lost their homes to an alleged foreclosure fraud orchestrated for years by a New York “foreclosure mill” attorney and major mortgage companies. The case is filed in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, entitled “Connie Campbell against Steven Baum, MERSCORP, Inc, et al.”, Case #10CV3800.It alleges RICO civil racketeering, RESPA, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations and that homeowners paid inflated foreclosure and other fees fictionalized by Mr. Baum who profited from the scheme since 2005.
8/20/10 Bondholders Say Bank Left Them High & Dry Courthouse News Service In a federal class action, bondholders say the Bank of the Cascades cost them $23.5 million by handing over the money to a company that "had no assets, no investments, no independent income, and in fact was prohibited from receiving bond proceeds under the terms of the offering documents."
8/20/10**

Nearly Half of Participants in Obama Mortgage Aid Program Drop Out

Associated Press The Treasury Department said approximately 630,000 people who had tried to get their monthly mortgage payments lowered through the effort have been cut loose through July. That's about 48 percent of the 1.3 million homeowners who had enrolled since March 2009. That is up from more than 40 percent through June.
8/20/10**

Class action suit filed in New York against "foreclosure mill" attorneys and banks

 

The Complaint

 

National Mortgage Professional The action seeks to return tens of thousands of foreclosed homes to their owners or the values thereof and hundreds of millions in punitive damages against Baum, MERSCORP and HSBC.
8/20/10

Bank of America ex-CEO Lewis deny Cuomo fraud charges

Grant McCool and Jonathan Stempel

Reuters

The denials had been expected and in response, the prosecutor's spokesman, Richard Bamberger, said the Attorney General's office "stands by the allegations set forth in its Complaint" and the defendant's filings "do nothing to change this office's view of the case."

The takeover of Merrill was a signature event in the 2008 financial crisis. It was announced on September 15, the same day Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc went bankrupt.

8/19/10**

The Motion Every Judge Should Read (And the one the foreclosure mills hoped would never see the light of day!)

The Motion

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog Our judges have struggled to grasp all these issues under the tidal wave of cases that have been dumped in their courtrooms, but the recent announcement that the Florida Attorney General is investigating the four foreclosure mills that are responsible for the majority of foreclosures in Florida demonstrates that these issues are serious and that even if the courts will not address the issues, the state’s top law enforcement offer may be willing to do so.
8/19/10

Chase/WAMU foreclosure case dismissed; FL Judge finds fraud.

"Neither WAMU or Chase had the right to foreclose...but that didn't stop them from trying. 

The Judge would!

Denise Richardson

givemebackmycredit

Jacksonville homeowners Hank and Marilyn Pocopanni, along with their attorneys Chip and Patricia Parker of Parker & DuFresne were able to successfully prove what many homeowners have been claiming; their home was about to be stolen out from under them. The Pocopanni's were in danger of being wrongfully foreclosed and the banks were using fabricated documents to do so.
8/19/10

The Erosion of America's Middle Class

Thomas Schulz In its current annual report, the US Department of Agriculture notes that "food insecurity" is on the rise, and that 50 million Americans couldn't afford to buy enough food to stay healthy at some point last year. One in eight American adults and one in four children now survive on government food stamps. These are unbelievable numbers for the world's richest nation.
8/18/10**

white paper

Could 62 Million Homes Be FORECLOSURE-PROOF?

 

Hordes of victims of predatory lending could end up owning their homes free and clear-while the financial industry could end up skewered on its own sword.

Ellen Brown, Esq. MERS was convenient for the mortgage industry, but courts are now questioning the impact of all of this financial juggling when it comes to mortgage ownership. To foreclose on real property, the plaintiff must be able to establish the chain of title entitling it to relief. But MERS has acknowledged, and recent cases have held, that MERS is a mere "nominee"-an entity appointed by the true owner simply for the purpose of holding property in order to facilitate transactions. Recent court opinions stress that this defect is not just a procedural but is a substantive failure, one that is fatal to the plaintiff's legal ability to foreclose.
8/18/10 CASE IN POINT: FORECLOSURE MILLS, JUDICIAL FRAUD, CONSUMER EXPLOITATION, GOVERNMENT SCAMS Barbara Ann Jackson Unscrupulous foreclosure mill activities are more criminally exploitive than what becomes reported –not only in Florida.  Appalling collection abuses have resulted in mill lawyers (or their affiliates) obtaining ownership of fraudulently foreclosed properties via purported bids at “simulated” auctions.  Certain fraudulently auctioned properties become “flipped” illegally to Freddie Mac.  Some mill lawyers file into court records fee-making pleadings (summary judgments, etc) when Freddie Mac is not party to cases, and they bill $$$$ fees pretending to represent Freddie Mac.  As manifest throughout my www.lawgrace.org website, mills have cooperation and applause of federal and state courts.
8/18/10 Increasing Foreclosures Lead To More Mortgage Frauds RE Journal For the economy to ever have a chance at bouncing back, the issue of mortgage fraud should be addressed. With foreclosures happening left and right, different scams are coming to fore and it’s hurting the country’s chances of ever picking up from the economic slump.
8/18/10

Standing Before A Judge

Anthony Martinez Most Pro-Se Homeowners don’t know this and EVERY attorney representing a homeowner in a foreclosure case should.  When you go in front of a Florida Court Judge for any type of hearing, be prepared…be prepare…be prepared!  So what exactly does that mean? I’m going to get into depth on this topic because I’ve been sitting in judges chambers as of late watching homeowners and attorneys go before some really great judges that actually listen yet lose interest and get frustrated because of the terrible presentation before them.
8/18/10 Mortgage Fraud Proving Difficult to Eradicate

 According to a new report, once mortgage fraud takes hold, it can take years to shut fraudsters down for good.
SmartPros Communities that are currently struggling from the effects of fraudulent mortgage transactions may still be suffering years from now, according to research released today by Interthinx.
8/18/10**

The Top 10 Foreclosure Stories The Press Should Be Reporting

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog "I encourage each of you to make contact with reporters in your area and convince them to do these kind of stories.  Members of the press are always looking for story ideas and they will jump at the chance to tell compelling stories that their readers and viewers will respond to."
8/18/10**

Bank of America and JPMorgan may lead Banks Facing $134 Billion Loss on Loan Refunds, Compass Says

David Mildenberg and Jody Shenn

Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase are among 11 lenders that could suffer $133.8 billion in combined losses as mortgage-bond investors and insurers demand refunds for soured loans.

The losses would be in addition to $28 billion of buyback demands by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that Compass previously predicted. Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are among lenders confronting the biggest potential impact.

8/18/10** Mortgage Mayhem: Homeowners Stranded Lauren Tara LaCapra The Street In desperation, homeowners have handed millions of dollars to shysters promising fast-track solutions. No less than five federal agencies and attorneys general in more than 30 states have taken action against thousands of such individuals. Yet the government response has been uncoordinated and unhelpful to those who most need assistance.
8/18/10** Home Affordable Modification Program 

vs.

 Foreclosures

Lauren Tara LaCapra

The Street

While HAMP seems to be making progress at times, its pace is glacial when compared to foreclosures that have been piling up. Banks, meanwhile, have been taking matters into their own hands while fraud cases have been piling up.
8/18/10

 

Democrat Frank says abolish Freddie and Fannie

JoAnne Allen 

Reuters

"They should be abolished," Frank said in an interview on Fox Business, when asked whether the mortgage giants should be elements in housing market reform. "They only question is what do you put in their place," Frank said. The Federal Housing Administration should be fully self-financing and Freddie and Fannie should be replaced with a new mechanism to help subsidize housing, Frank said in the interview.
8/18/10

News Flash: Fannie, Freddie Kaput Lauren Tara LaCapra

TheStreet

Civil-rights advocate Marc Morial, who heads the National Urban League, took umbrage at the suggestion that low-income borrowers had played a key role in the housing downturn. He characterized them as victims who have been taken advantage of and suffered greatly, rather than as naïve or irresponsible borrowers.
8/17/10 Washington Mutual JPMorgan Chase FDIC Deal NOT Finalized? So how can JPMorgan Foreclose on WAMU Loans?

Purchase and Assumption Agreement attached.

Business Journal Does this mean that all the WAMU foreclosures being pushed through the courts by JPMorgan Chase using the FDIC Purchase and Sale Agreement are invalid?

Does it mean if they haven’t closed the deal THEY DO NOT OWN THE LOANS OR THEIR SERVICING RIGHTS?

8/17/10 More and Better Predatory Loan Servicing Fraud George W. Mantor

RISMedia

How the White House can go on ignoring what everyone else already knows is inexplicable. The foreclosure crisis will leave a scar deeper, wider and slower to heal than the Great Depression.
8/16/10 Fraud on The Court? Case Dismissed! Attorney Matt Weidner Blog All across this country some judges have become numb to the fraud that is being committed in their courtrooms.  Some judges are afraid to call it what it is and to be direct and clear about the seriousness of the violations.

What’s most disturbing about this is the fact that I believe there could be thousands perhaps tens of thousands of these orders that could be issued every day.  

8/16/10**

Mortgage Servicing Companies Unregulated in Texas

Becky Oliver

Fox News - Dallas

So, you think you have your mortgage covered…you make your payments on time, pay your taxes and insurance, and then somehow you get the dreaded foreclosure letter. How can that be? FOX 4 investigates American Home Mortgage Servicing's tactics and what the state is (or isn’t) doing about it.
8/16/10 Maine Supreme Court Invalidates MERS Standing War on the Home Front The good news is that we have yet another state Supreme Court invalidating the legal standing of MERS. But there are many other lessons to be learned from this decision. The main lesson for litigants without legal representation is that the sophistication of legal and procedural arguments has reached a point beyond the capabilities of virtually any layman.
 

8/16/10

 

Fed Adopts Rules Meant to Protect Home Buyer

DAVID STREITFELD

NY Times

The Fed announced that it was adopting new rules banning yield spread premiums, which allowed mortgage brokers and lenders to gain additional profit from loans by charging borrowers higher-than-market interest rates.
8/14/10** Trouble signs: Tax credit's end and foreclosures' rise Tom Bayles

Herald Tribune

The subsequent decline is coming at a time when more properties are being dumped on the market by banks through foreclosure actions.

The median price in the Sarasota market was $155,000 last month, down from $175,000 in June.

8/14/10** The Ultimate Question of the “Who”? G. Alex Morfesis The facts are that about 95% of the Florida foreclosure cases get slam dunked without so much as a whimper from anyone. The foreclosure mills don’t even come into court to get their summary judgments, they just call them in. Actually, they get the judges to call them. You see these mill lawyers are very busy beavers and court and due process and proper evidence are just nuisances that should be avoided at all cost.  So the most time a “mill” lawyer has to spend on a foreclosure case is about 90 seconds on a call in to the judge’s chambers…yup, not even in open court. Today, in America, a consumer can lose a home over the phone.
8/13/10 Foreclosure crisis spreads across U.S. Sarah Coffey

WalletPop

The housing crisis is getting worse and spreading to more places across the country.

Home foreclosures are up in the Northwest and Midwest, areas that had previously escaped the brunt of the mortgage crisis, says real estate data firm RealtyTrac. Foreclosure rates in Utah, Idaho, Illinois and Colorado rose in April, May and June and are now among the 10 highest in the country. The number of homes seized by lenders at least doubled in 19 states, and more than tripled in seven of them, according to RealtyTrac.
8/13/10** Failings of the foreclosure process laid bare Todd Ruger

Herald Tribune

A closer look at some of those cases illustrates just how suspect the foreclosure court process has become.

The state inquiry comes in the wake of repeated complaints about foreclosure corruption from defense attorneys and homeowners from Sarasota and across the state who have said for years that properties were being unjustly taken by so-called “foreclosure mills” that handle the vast majority of cases on behalf of lenders.

8/13/10** WELLS FARGO Foreclosed on Philadelphia Housing Chief Alec Foege

Housing Watch

The head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority can relate better than most housing officials to the mortgage default problems facing many Americans. That's because Wells Fargo Bank has foreclosed on his $615,035 condominium in the upscale Naval Square development in Philadelphia.
8/13/10 Study Shows Foreclosure Lowers a Property's Value by 27% Carrie Bay

DSnews

“It’s not surprising that there is a discount due to foreclosure,” said Pathak. “But it is surprising that it’s so large.”
8/13/10

Manhattan Luxury Condos Try FHA Backing in `Game Changer'

Oshrat Carmiel 

Bloomberg

The FHA, created in 1934 to make homeownership attainable for low- to moderate-income Americans, is now providing a lifeline to new Manhattan luxury condominiums after sales stalled. Buildings featuring pet spas, concierges and rooftop lounges are applying for agency backing to unlock bank financing for purchasers. The FHA guarantees that if a homebuyer defaults on his mortgage, the agency will pay it.
8/12/10 Long-feared foreclosure wave has begun in area Michael Braga
Herald Tribune
"They've reassigned a lot of people internally and have a mandate to aggressively move forward to take back properties."
8/12/10** Massachusetts Passes Cornerstone Homeowner and Tenant Protection Bill Richard Zombeck

Huffington Post

Massachusetts is once again leading the pack in protecting consumers by passing legislation to protect families from getting thrown out of their homes.
8/12/10** McCollum’s office announces investigation of ‘foreclosure mills Travis Pillow

Florida Independent

The office of Attorney General Bill McCollum said Tuesday that it has issued subpoenas to three Florida law firms accused of churning out reams of paperwork to fuel a raft of dubious foreclosure filings.

Lawyers for homeowners had raised complaints about the operations, which would churn out reams of documents (possibly with the help of offshore affiliates) to file foreclosures in bulk. Their filings were often riddled with errors

8/12/10

Couple in Duluth SWAT Standoff Speaks MyFoxAtlanta A couple who lost their home to foreclosure and spent hours locked in a SWAT standoff with police when they refused to leave, talked about the situation Thursday.
8/12/10

Foreclosure Crisis Spreads Across U.S. as Idaho Defaults Mount

Dan Levy

Bloomberg

Home foreclosures are climbing in the Northwest and Midwest, areas that had earlier dodged the worst of the mortgage crisis. With 14.6 million Americans out of work and consumer spending declining, further weakness in housing could push the economy back into recession, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Aug. 1.
8/11/10 Lawsuit filed to stop wrongful foreclosure of Texas property Michelle Massey

The Southeast Texas Record

In an attempt to stop a non-judicial foreclosure on their property, Collin County residents Alan and Kelley Anderson filed a lawsuit against CitiMortgage Inc. and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, also known as MERS, on July 23 in Collin County District Court.
8/11/10**

As it appeared on the FRONT PAGE of the PALM BEACH POST  ILLEGAL FORECLOSURES?

Full Internet version:

State probes whether three law firms falsified foreclosure documents

Reporting on both:

KIMBERLY MILLER

Palm Beach Post

Three of Florida's largest foreclosure law firms are under investigation by the state attorney general following allegations they illegally rushed thousands of cases through the court system.

Under investigation: Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson in Fort Lauderdale, Shapiro & Fishman, which has offices in Boca Raton and Tampa, and the Plantation-based firm of David J. Stern

8/11/10 Credit Suisse Must Face MBIA Fraud Claims Over Mortgage Bonds

Also named in the suit are DLJ Mortgage Capital Inc., which originated the loans, and Select Portfolio Servicing Inc., which serviced the mortgages.

Bloomberg Because MBIA was asked to make a decision on insuring the bonds on short notice, the company alleges it didn't have time to review loan documents, according the ruling. Instead, MBIA says it relied on representations made by Credit Suisse about the quality of the loans when it agreed to cover losses on the securities in April 2007.
8/11/10** BEING FORECLOSED WITH AN OPTION ARM? READ THIS NOW 4closureFraud The Court granted DISMISSAL based upon the insufficiency of Documentary Stamp Tax remitted, and other grounds discussed herein.
8/11/10

Protect homeowners' rights: Keep judges in charge of foreclosures

Palm Beach Post

Bankers say legislation that would let lenders bypass Florida judges and evict homeowners in as little as three months would reduce the backlog of foreclosure cases clogging the court.

***

It would also reduce the number of times the criminals got caught making false statements to obtain property (a felony), forging fraudulent documents (a felony), during the commission of a multiple frauds upon the court(s). MSF

8/11/10 Florida AG to Probe Falsified Foreclosures Laura Strachan

FindLaw

Foreclosures have been soaring since the economic downturn, however some of these foreclosures are said to be the product of fraudulent paperwork filed by banks seeking to prematurely foreclose on a property.
8/11/10

Bankrupt Vallejo Should Pay Debt With Car Fees, MBIA Unit Says

Michael B. Marois

Bloomberg

MBIA Inc.’s municipal-bond insurance unit is asking a bankruptcy court judge to order Vallejo, California, to make good on promises to pay investors in case of default by using money from vehicle registrations.
8/10/10

Massachusetts enacts landmark foreclosure protections drafted by Harvard Law School students Harvard Law School Groundbreaking legislation originally drafted by students from the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) to protect tenants from losing their homes after foreclosure was signed into law on August 7.

The new law, if applied appropriately, will be a very important tool in keeping people in their homes and protecting neighborhoods from falling into decay.  “It provides rights to tenants that no law in Massachusetts has for years,”  “It could solve the problem that’s plagued our communities and cost us thousands of hours trying to solve in a less-efficient fashion, through litigating against banks in court.”

8/10/10

Sac DA Task Force Targets Real Estate Fraud CBS Sacramento Sacramento County is cracking down on criminals targeting desperate homeowners.

The DA's office is beefing up their Real Estate Fraud Task Force.
 
They're going after people claiming they can bail out homeowners from foreclosure, and also those who steal home equity, and forge documents.
8/10/10 Real estate, attorney scams rise amid foreclosures Joanna Lin

California Watch Blog

Similarly, the State Bar of California is investigating more than 2,000 of its members for involvement in foreclosure fraud. Twelve attorneys have resigned, three have been disbarred, and five have trials pending, said Suzan Anderson, supervising trial counsel of the bar's special team on loan modification.

"I can't remember a time, not to this extent," when so many attorneys were being disciplined for misconduct, Anderson said.

8/10/10 Florida AG Unveils Foreclosure Mills Probe Andy Kroll

MotherJones

The probes, led by the AG's Economic Crimes Division, are examining whether "improper documentation may have been created and filed with Florida courts to speed up foreclosure processes, potentially without the knowledge or consent of the homeowners involved," according to a press release.

Stern's firm and Stern himself have, over the years, faced an array of damaging lawsuits. They include blithely foreclosing on homeowners who'd never defaulted (pdf), gouging homeowners who were trying to get out of default (pdf), and even sexual harassment (pdf).

8/9/10 The Economic Realities of our Judicial Branch Attorney Matt Weidner Blog Legislators are not concerned with pesky details like the law, the Uniform Commercial Code and they’re certainly not concerned with details like Rules of Civil Procedure and the Evidence Code. They don’t care about practical economic realities like what will be done with foreclosed homes in a state with 25% unemployment.  They don’t care that they Yankee Fat Cats and foreign investors sucked billions of dollars of equity from this state.  They don’t care that all this foreclosing sucks more money out of this state and concentrates that wealth in Yankee Fat Cats and foreign investors.   What the legislature does care about is the well funded banking and mortgage industries that contribute to their campaigns.
8/6/10** Whistleblower: Fannie Mae Bungled HAMP Anti-Foreclosure Program Michael Hudson

The Center for Public Integrity

Fannie Mae executives bungled their stewardship of the federal government’s massive foreclosure-prevention campaign, creating a bureaucratic muddle characterized by “mismanagement and gross waste of public funds,” according to a whistleblower lawsuit by a former Fannie Mae executive and consultant.
8/6/10**

BANK OF AMERICA Mortgage Repurchase Requests Total $11.1 Billion

David Mildenberg and Jody Shenn

Bloomberg

A group with more than $500 billion, coordinating through a Dallas lawyer, last month sent letters to bond trustees seeking their help. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York also said it is trying to exercise “our rights as investors” after taking on debt through its bailouts of Bear Stearns Cos. and AIG.
8/6/10** Foreclosures and Unemployment - The End of America? Attorney Matt Weidner Blog The Fat Cats and financial wizards, with the consent of our elected and appointed leaders, engineered a system that sucked billions of dollars in equity and wealth from the middle and lower class and concentrated that wealth in those at the top of the pyramid…and those in foreign countries.  Now that the wealth and equity has been sucked out of private hands, our courts and our local elected judges are being used to wrestle away the private property rights that were secured by the former privately-held wealth.
8/6/10

 

Maloney, Frank Seek Meeting With Obama to Discuss Elizabeth Warren CFPB Nomination David Dayen

FDL

“As for Warren’s ideology, Fried said she and the new consumer protection agency stand for principles that anyone, liberal or conservative, should support. ‘I support capitalism, and I don’t like thieves. And the people who got us into this mess are thieves, or there are a lot of thieves among them,’ he said. ‘To be sympathetic to people who lie and cheat and take advantage of people is not to be against capitalism.””
8/6/10

Ambac Lawyers Inspect EMC Mortgage's Suspect Mortgage Documents in a `Hazardous' Garage

 Christine Richard Bloomberg Bloomberg American Home sold mortgages to EMC Mortgage Corp. which is being sued by Ambac. The insurer is seeking to have EMC repurchase mortgages bundled into securities that it later guaranteed.
8/6/10

HUD Comes Through with Another Too-Small Response to the Foreclosure Crisis David Dayen

FDL

Fannie Mae is now predicting falling home prices into next year. The continuing rush of foreclosures adds to inventory and contributes to this collapse in the market. This leaves home builders on the sidelines, and crushes property values, putting more homeowners underwater. And the cycle repeats.

Clearly digging out of the foreclosure mess needs to be a top priority for anyone interested in returning the economy to strength. But the measures so far have either been too small or actively harmful.

8/6/10**

Is Fannie Mae Sabotaging Obama's Housing Rescue?

 

Link to law suit

Andy Kroll

Mother Jones

That's the most explosive allegation leveled by Caroline Herron, a former Fannie executive who worked closely with the Treasury Department on the housing program, called the Home Affordable Modification Program. Herron's claims appear in a suit, first reported on by Michael Hudson at the Center for Public Integrity, in which she alleges that Fannie fired her for criticizing the corporation's handling of HAMP and blackballed her from working at Treasury, where she'd hoped to start a new job. Herron's suit, available here, offers a damning critique of Fannie's handling of HAMP, saying the company put the pursuit of easy profits above helping American homeowner even though it's ultimately American taxpayers who've kept Fannie afloat with more than $85 billion in bailout funds.
8/5/10 Well guess what, my family is too big to fail too!

Bank of America Wants Your House...At Any Cost.

Strange way to thank the troops for protecting the Bank's right to screw people.

Richard Zombeck

Huffington Post

Bank of America charged one homeowner for flood insurance. She doesn't carry flood insurance, has never carried flood insurance, doesn't need flood insurance, and her insurance company never wrote anything up for flood insurance. Bank of America however charged her $865.00 out of her escrow account for the insurance that they claim to have paid to an insurance company that exclusively covers veterans. Neither Janice, nor her husband are veterans and the insurance company has no record of them, their home, or their Social Security numbers. So where's the $865.00 going? And how many people are getting this same charge?
8/5/10** Foreclosure Mills: Wall Street’s Latest Fraud Scheme Zach Carter

AlterNet

Big banks are now outsourcing their foreclosure processing to shady law firms with a history of breaking the law for a quick buck. These foreclosure scammers forge documents, backdate signatures, slap families with thousands of dollars in illegal fees and even foreclosure on borrowers who haven’t missed a payment.
8/5/10

Help Coming for Homeowners?

Kevin Drum

MotherJones

Main Street may be about to get its own gigantic bailout. Rumors are running wild from Washington to Wall Street that the Obama administration is about to order government-controlled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive a portion of the mortgage debt of millions of Americans who owe more than what their homes are worth. 
8/5/10 PAYBACK TIME - For Denver Schools, a Financing Deal Takes a Bad turn Gretchen Morgenson

NY Times

The Denver school board unanimously approved the JPMorgan deal and it closed in April 2008, just weeks after a major investment bank, Bear Stearns, failed. In short order, the transaction went awry because of stress in the credit markets, problems with the bond insurer and plummeting interest rates. 

Since it struck the deal, the school system has paid $115 million in interest and other fees, at least $25 million more than it originally anticipated. To avoid mounting expenses, the Denver schools are looking to renegotiate the deal. But to unwind it all, the schools would have to pay the banks (criminals) $81 million in termination fees, or about 19 percent of its $420 million payroll.

8/5/10 MERS Awards Seven-Year Mortgage Services Contract to Genpact
Genpact 

Press Release

Genpact will perform business process services in the United States for MERS, including managing the receipt, identification and delivery of mortgage-related correspondence on behalf of MERS 2,500 members while working to improve the quality and accuracy of the underlying business processes. Typical mortgage-related correspondence includes physical and electronic receipt and delivery of recordable documents, notices of foreclosure or bankruptcies and requests for discharge of a mortgage.
8/5/10 20 Million Homeowners Projected to Be Underwater by End of 2011 Lita Epstein

Housing Watch

More than 14 million homeowners are underwater on their mortgage today and Deutsche Bank projects that number will increase by 6 million to 20 million by the end of 2011. The bank also expects a rise in strategic defaults, especially in the states with non-recourse (the banks can't chase you for any shortfall).
8/4/10** EXCLUSIVE: Fannie and Freddie's Foreclosure Barons

How the federal housing agencies—and some of the biggest bailed-out banks—are helping shady lawyers make millions by pushing families out of their homes.

Andy Kroll

Mother Jones

LATE ONE NIGHT IN February 2009, Ariane Ice sat poring over records on the website of Florida's Palm Beach County. She'd been at it for weeks, forsaking sleep to sift through thousands of legal documents. She and her husband, Tom, an attorney, ran a boutique foreclosure defense firm called Ice Legal whose slogan is: 

("Your home is your castle. Defend it.") 

Now they were up against one of Florida's biggest foreclosure law firms: Founded by multimillionaire attorney David J. Stern, it controlled one-fifth of the state's booming market in foreclosure-related services. Ice had a strong hunch that Stern's operation was up to something, and that night Ariane found her smoking gun.

8/4/10**

N.Y. Fed May Require Banks to Buy Back Faulty Mortgages, Assets

Dawn Kopecki

Bloomberg

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York may require banks to buy back faulty mortgages and other assets acquired through the rescues of Bear Stearns Cos. and American International Group Inc.

[Seems they got wind that Bear Stearns' paper is worthless; some of which was fraudulently "created" by Bears' EMC Mortgage. MSF]

8/4/10** MY GIFTS TO ALL OF YOU- MEMOS AND MOTIONS THAT WILL SHUT DOWN THE FORECLOSURE MILLS! Attorney Matt Weidner Blog In honor of all the national reporting that’s starting to break about all the abuses that are being committed by the foreclosure mills and as part of the continued efforts to support all the good judges out there that really “get it” and who are doing the right thing, I want to share a treasure chest of motions that I have filed over the last several months.
8/3/10

Family Foreclosed, Evicted, Living on The Street While Their Home Remains Vacant and Abandoned. Attorney Matt Weidner Blog The question presented is what economic or practical sense does it make to kick families out of homes only to leave the home vacant?  Who benefits if all the foreclosures were granted tomorrow?  What is the best practical, real world solution to the foreclosure crisis?
8/3/10

Fannie and Freddie's Foreclosure Barons

How fishy foreclosures earned millions for lawyers like David J. Stern—and made the housing crisis even worse.

Andy Kroll

Mother Jones

After sifting through thousands of pages of court documents, interviewing scores of legal experts and former Stern employees, and attending dozens of foreclosure hearings in drab Florida courtrooms, he emerged with a portrait of a law firm—indeed, an entire industry—that was willing to cut corners, deceive judges, and even (allegedly) commit fraud—all at the expense of America's homeowners.
8/3/10 Violence, Civil Unrest a Byproduct of Foreclosure? Today’s Saint Petersburg Times. Attorney Matt Weidner Blog What happens when hundreds of thousands of combat trained veterans come home with no jobs, no hope, PTSD? It’s time we all think long and hard about the consequences and impact of forced displacement into a world that already seems hopeless for so many people.
8/3/10**

BREAKING: FTC Bans Pay-First Debt Relief Cos.

To read more about the FTC rule, click here.

Brevard Watchlist The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new rule that could go a long way in helping Florida and other states fight debt relief companies that claim they can reduce consumer credit card bills for a fee.

Starting Oct. 27, for-profit debt relief companies that sell their plans over the phone will no longer be allowed to charge a fee before they actually settle or reduce a customer's credit card debt, the FTC announced this week.
8/3/10

Hernando sheriff reveals details of fatal shoot-out in Spring Hill

Laura J. Nelson and Danny Valentine,

St. Petersburg Times

In early July, Capkovic wrote a letter to BANK OF AMERICA saying he would kill himself if the bank tried to foreclose on the house where the shoot-out occurred.
8/2/10

FALSE DOCUMENTS, FALSE IDENTITIES

LivingLies We have received information from several homeowners that when they went to the recording office and obtained copies of the documents on their loan closing they discovered that the note and mortgage (deed of trust) were dated before the loan closing. In some cases people are alleging an actual forgery and assert that they have handwriting experts to back them up. This alone is interesting. They don’t dispute the loan closing and they don’t dispute that they signed a note and mortgage. What they dispute is that the documents recorded are not the documents they signed.
8/2/10

ARE YOU SERIOUS?

After $22M haul, debt-relief scammers shut down by FTC and have to pay back only $1.5 million of the $22 million they stole from customers.

WalletPop The settlement order also requires the defendants to surrender all their available assets -- approximately $1.5 million - - which will be used to refund former customers in the United States and Canada. If it turns out the defendants lied about their finances, they'll be required to pay the full amount they defrauded from their customers, $22.5 million.
8/2/10 Homeownership Drops to Near 50-Year Lows Housing Watch According to industry projections, millions of homes spiraling toward foreclosure are putting homeownership in jeopardy of its lowest level in 50 years, reports USA Today.
8/2/10

Five More Community-Based Lenders Shut Down by Regulators

Carrie Bay - DSnews The nation’s failed-bank tally continues to climb. Regulators closed the doors on five more financial institutions over the weekend – two in Florida and one each in Georgia, Oregon, and Washington. That pushes the number of bank closings for the year to 108.
8/2/10** Cleveland Housing Judge Raymond Pianka requiring negligent property owners to pay victim restitution to neighbors

Go Invest Wisely and Fannie Mae are being held liable for violations and economic losses sustained by neighbors during the time when public records show the companies owned the properties.

Sandra Livingston,

The Plain Dealer 

Cleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka is ratcheting up the costs for absentee property owners who spread the damage from the foreclosure crisis. They will have to pay neighbors for economic losses caused by their neglect. Pianka plans to hold his first restitution hearings on the issue this month. The move comes as Cleveland's lone housing judge contends with the fallout from the foreclosure mess.
8/1/10** Foreclosure Judgments Everywhere…They’re Subject to Collateral Attack Forever

 

Attorney Matt Weidner Blog In the rush to push through foreclosure judgments based largely on misplaced trust in the affirmations made by foreclosure mill attorneys to the court, summary judgments in foreclosure cases are being entered where there are real questions of material fact and law.  While these cases are troubling enough, the real problems are those cases where the judgments are void because the court totally lacks jurisdiction over the parties based on faulty or improper service of process.
8/1/10**

Fed Finding No Good Deed Goes Unpunished With Mortgage Bond Trades Failing

 

Caroline Salas 

Jody Shenn

Bloomberg

The difficulty of executing transactions may eventually drive investors away from the $5.2 trillion mortgage-bond market, which has historically been the most liquid behind U.S. Treasuries, potentially causing yields to rise, according to Thomas Wipf, who chairs an industry group that is trying to address the problem. The unsettled trades also stand to exacerbate the damage caused by the collapse of a bank or fund.

 January-July 2010              October-December 2010

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