John O'Brien, Southern Essex District Register of Deeds in Salem, Massachusetts extends an invitation to banks and all attorney generals to visit his registry.

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John O’Brien, Southern Essex District Register of Deeds in Salem, Massachusetts extends an invitation to banks and all attorney generals to visit his registry.

John O’Brien, Southern Essex District Register of Deeds in Salem, Massachusetts extends an invitation to banks and all attorney generals to visit his registry.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds
Shetland Park
45 Congress Street
Suite 4100
Salem, Massachusetts 01970

NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Salem, MA
August 30, 2011
Contact:
John O’Brien, Register of Deeds
978-542-1722
jl.obrien@sec.state.ma.us

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John O’Brien, Southern Essex District Register of Deeds in Salem, Massachusetts extends an invitation to banks and all attorney generals to visit his registry.

O’Brien who has been leading the national effort to hold lenders accountable and was the first in the nation to refuse to record robo-signed documents, has invited the CEO’s of the nation’s largest banks including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo along with the 50 states’ attorneys general to come to the Salem Registry and view first-hand the damage that these banks and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) has caused to thousands of Essex County homeowners’ chains of title.

“It’s as if a hurricane came through here,” said Register John O’Brien, referring to the financial havoc and damage done to property records at the Registry of Deeds.

“Following any disaster, the powers-that-be generally visit the scene to assess the damage. That is what I would like these major lenders and the attorneys general to do – a visit to my registry sooner rather than later, may help these lenders to truly appreciate the extent of the damage” O’Brien said.

O’Brien believes that a sweetheart deal, in the form of a settlement to grant lenders immunity from prosecution, is in the works. O’Brien stated, “There can be no settlement granting the lenders immunity and at the same time letting MERS of the hook”. “I believe the responsible thing to do would be to see the damage before they talk settlement. They owe the American people that. If they are truly sincere about cleaning up this mess then they should take me up on my offer”.

The settlement currently in negotiations with the banks is being led by Tom Miller, the Iowa Attorney General who just last week removed New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a vocal critic of the proposed settlement. O’Brien has expressed his outrage over the ouster and has called for Miller to step aside. O’Brien said “we need more Eric Schneidermans fighting the fight. He is the voice of Main Street not Wall Street”. According to O’Brien, any settlement at this time would be a total sellout of the American property owner and their property rights.

We still do not know the extent of the damage and just how much they have fleeced from taxpayers in lost recording fees, which in my opinion run into billions of dollars.

These CEO’s have to step up and take full responsibility for what they have allowed to happen. They have played fast and loose with people’s property rights, and have corrupted the chains of title to hundreds of thousands of property owners across this country,” O’Brien says.

In addition, O’Brien believes that the only way lenders and the attorneys general can fully appreciate the ramifications of the schemes (including the recording of fraudulent documents, which in some cases were used to take people’s homes illegally; the use of robo-signers; and the failure to record assignments) is to travel to Salem, sit across the table from him and review the documents. Only then, will they fully understand the extent of the damage that’s been caused.

“Hopefully,” O’Brien says, “By viewing the thousands of fraudulent documents recorded in my Registry, they will begin to understand how serious this issue is and work with Registers of Deeds across this country to correct the wrongs that have been committed.”

“All I am looking for is justice for these homeowners. I have said all along, that the banks need to talk to Registers of Deeds. What better way, than to come to an actual Registry and see first-hand what I am talking about. It would be the responsible thing for them to do. We would be able to have an open and frank discussion which hopefully would lead to a solution. The last thing the American people need now is to have this issue swept under the rug and settled for pennies on the dollar,” O’Brien said.

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