Source: The Dylan Ratigan Show- LINK
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Not only have Fannie and Freddie suspended foreclosure referrals to Stern’s firm, the Wall Street Journal reported, but two major banks—Citigroup and GMAC—have also stopped sending cases to the firm, which is under investigation by the Florida attorney general Bill McCollum. “Pending the outcome of the AG’s investigation, Citi is not referring new matters to this firm,” read a company statement.
California Democratic Congressional Delegation Urges Bank Investigations
October 5, 2010
Washington, D.C. – Today, California Democratic Congressional Delegation (CDCD) members sent a letter to Attorney General Holder, Federal Reserve Chair Bernanke, and Comptroller of the Currency Walsh requesting investigations into systemic wrongdoing by financial institutions in their handling of delinquent mortgages, mortgage modifications, and foreclosures. Delegation members have received thousands of complaints from their constituents, which appear to outline a clear pattern of misconduct on the part of lenders and servicers. Recent press accounts have also reinforced the view that these institutions are routinely failing to respond in a timely manner, misplacing requested documents, and misleading both borrowers and the government about loan modifications, forbearances, and other housing related applications.
“It’s clear that even after promising to work with borrowers, and receiving government incentives to do so, financial institutions are simply stringing the American people along,” noted Delegation Chair, Rep. Zoe Lofgren. “After reviewing thousands of complaints from our constituents, it appears that we aren’t dealing with isolated incidents and that a pattern of misconduct and obstruction is present.”
Dear Attorney General Holder, Chairman Bernanke and Comptroller Dugan, As members of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation, we urge you and your respective agencies to investigate possible violations of law or regulations by financial institutions in their handling of delinquent mortgages, mortgage modifications, and foreclosures.
Over the last few years, thousands of our constituents have reported that many financial institutions, despite good faith efforts on the part of most homeowners to work out reasonable loan modifications or simply seek forbearance of foreclosure, routinely fail to respond in a timely manner, misplace requested documents, and send mixed signals about the requirements that need to be met to avoid foreclosures. We are particularly perplexed by this apparent pattern in light of the many incentives Congress and the Obama Administration have offered to servicers and lenders to avoid foreclosures where financially viable, including subsidies and loan guarantees from taxpayers. Avoidable foreclosures end up being unnecessarily costly for homeowners, lenders and servicers, and our housing market, whose health is essential to our economic recovery.
The apparent pattern reported by our constituents leads us to conclude that their problems are not just personal anecdotes anymore. Recent reports that Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) and JP Morgan may have approved thousands of unwarranted foreclosures only amplify our concerns that systemic problems exist in the ways many financial institutions have dealt with homeowners who are seeking to avoid foreclosures.
who are seeking to avoid foreclosures. We are now in the third year of the worst housing crisis we have seen in decades. Far too many families in California, and across the country, continue to lose their homes. While Congress and the Obama Administration have taken steps to help mitigate the housing problem, this devastation has persisted and, in fact, worsened as the country’s unemployment rate increased. We have heard numerous stories of financial institutions being uncooperative at best or misleading and acting in bad faith at worst. These heartbreaking stories are commonplace, persisting across the state and across lenders and servicers. As you can see from the attached document, which highlights examples of casework throughout California, it appears that banks have repeatedly misled and obstructed homeowners from receiving the help Congress and the Administration have sought to provide.
The excuses we have heard from financial institutions are simply not credible three years into this crisis. People in our districts are hurting. We have tried to help them in the face of the many challenges they have faced in their dealings with financial institutions. It is time that banks are held accountable for their practices that have left too many homeowners without real help.
The California Democratic Congressional Delegation consists of 34 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California. This group outnumbers all other state House delegations – Republicans and Democrats combined.
Documents submitted to a court are supposed to be true as submitted. As an attorney, If I file a document with a court in which I swore I personally verified that the information contained within the document is true, and I didn’t actually do that, I’d get in real trouble. It’s simple: That’s fraud in the eyes of the court.
GMAC, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America recently admitted that their employees routinely sign thousands of documents without verifying what they’re signing. Those documents are then submitted to courts as if the documents were true, to enable the banks to foreclose on delinquent properties. Wells Fargo and CitiMortgage told the New York Times their employees do not engage in similar practices. Yet new evidence shows they do.
Confusion at Wells Fargo
Herman John Kennerty of Wells Fargo has given a deposition describing the department he oversees for Wells Fargo. It’s a department dedicated to simply signing documents. Kennerty testified that he signs 50 to 150 documents a day, verifying only the date on each. What else might he want to verify? Well, in one document he signed, he supposedly transferred the mortgage from Washington Mutual Bank FA to Wells Fargo on July 12, 2010. But that’s impossible, since Washington Mutual Bank FA changed its name in 2004, and by any name WaMu ceased to exist in 2008, when the FDIC took it over. Making the document even less comprehensible, the debtor had declared bankruptcy a month earlier, according to Linda Tirelli, who represented the debtor. Why would Wells Fargo want a mortgage from someone in bankruptcy? Finally, Tirelli pointed out that the papers Wells Fargo filed included a different transfer of the mortgage dated three days before the debtor took out the loan. The documents are a mess, yet Kennerty signed them regardless. Legal Nonsense at CitiMortgage
Similarly, one M. Matthews signed a number of documents that CitiMortgage has used to try to foreclose on properties. While Matthews may or may not sign hundreds of documents a day — I have not yet found a deposition in which he swears that he does — he certainly does not verify the contents of the documents he’s signing. For example, he signed a document supposedly transferring a mortgage from Lehman Brothers to Citi in 2009. It’s hard to see how that’s possible, since Lehman had already ceased to exist. When confronted with its nonsensical filing, Citigroup decided not to foreclose. Instead, it gave the homeowner a meaningful mortgage modification–$15,000 principal reduction, plus a 30 year fixed mortgage at 3%. Tirelli, who represented the debtor in that case too, notes that she sees bad documents in the vast majority of cases, and she keeps files of “robosigned” documents.
It’s true that in both the WaMu and Lehman Brothers documents, the signers were officially representing an entity called MERS and acting as the “nominee” of WaMu and the “nominee” of Lehman Brothers. But that doesn’t change the fraudulent nature of the documents as filed. MERS can’t continue to be the nominee of an entity that doesn’t exist. Moreover, MERS can’t assign something it doesn’t have, and MERS itself will admit it doesn’t own the underlying note or mortgage.
Possible Sanctions for JPMorgan Chase
Wells Fargo and CitiMortgage aren’t the only big banks to misrepresent their practices in the media; JPMorgan Chase told the New York Times that it had not withdrawn any documents in a pending case. However, Chase has in fact withdrawn robosigned documents in a case Tirelli is currently defending. Chase now faces possible sanctions in the case.
Why are the big, sophisticated banks submitting such problematic documents to the courts? The key reason is that sometimes when a bank wants to foreclose, it has to prove it actually has the right to foreclose — that it owns the note and accompanying mortgage. Unfortunately for the banks, the securitization of mortgages and the changes in property ownership documentation that accompanied it make it hard for the banks to establish clean chains of title and produce original documents. Hard, that is, in an environment where a massive number of foreclosures must be started and completed in a timely manner.
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.
Titles attributed to John Kennerty include the following:
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for 1st Continental Mortgage Corp.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for American Brokers Conduit;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for American Enterprise Bank of Florida;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for American Home Mortgage;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Amnet Mortgage, Inc. d/b/a American Mortgage Network of Florida;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Bayside Mortgage Services, Inc.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for CT Mortgage, Inc.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for First Magnus Financial Corporation, an Arizona Corp.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for First National Bank of AZ;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Fremont Investment & Loan;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Group One Mortgage, Inc.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Guaranty Bank;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Homebuyers Financial, LLC;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for IndyMac Bank, FSB, a Federally Chartered Savings Bank (in June 2010);
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Irwin Mortgage Corporation;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Ivanhoe Financial, Inc., a Delaware Corp.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Mortgage Network, Inc.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Ohio Savings Bank;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Paramount Financial, Inc.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Pinnacle Direct Funding Corp.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for RBC Mortgage Company;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Seacoast National Bank;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Shelter Mortgage Company, LLC;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Stuart Mortgage Corp.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Suntrust Mortgage;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Transaland Financial Corp.;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Universal American Mortgage Co., LLC;
Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Wachovia Mortgage Corp.;
Vice President of Loan Documentation, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.;
Vice President of Loan Documentation, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., successor by merger to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. f/k/a Norwest Mortgage, Inc.
Hope this comes out as I am not using a full size computer at the moment!
Introduction Issues have recently arisen with respect to potential defects with affidavits submitted by servicers in support of motions for summary judgment in states with judicial foreclosure processes. The issues pertain to whether the individuals executing the affidavits on behalf of the servicer had the required personal knowledge of the information contained in the affidavits and whether the affidavits were notarized in accordance with applicable requirements.Mortgage Selling and Servicing Contract (the Contract) and Servicing Guide provisions with regard to the following:
Fannie Mae is directing all of its servicers to immediately undertake a review of their policies and procedures relating to the execution of affidavits, verifications, and other legal documents in connection with the default process. If the servicer has any concerns with its policies and procedures or their implementation, the servicer must advise its legal counsel to contact Fannie Mae in writing immediately via e-mail to email@example.com.
Fannie Mae is also taking this opportunity to emphasize the application of existing
Servicer’s basic duties and responsibilities
Compliance with applicable laws and mortgage documents
Servicer’s audit and control systems
Consequences of non-performance of servicer’s duties and responsibilities and non-compliance with applicable laws and mortgage documents
Mortgage Selling and Servicing Contract (the Contract) and Servicing Guide provisions with regard to the following:
Mortgage Selling and Servicing Contract (the Contract) and Servicing Guide provisions with regard to the following:
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – An outcry over questionable foreclosures by GMAC Mortgage and other lenders is likely to hit some states more than others because of major differences in real estate law across the nation.
But ramifications for federal taxpayers and investors will depend on the costs of clearing up the problem, the latest fallout from the bursting of the U.S. real estate bubble.
GMAC Mortgage announced last week that it had suspended evictions and post-foreclosure closings in 23 states due to concerns over paperwork. In order for a lender to foreclose on a property, it must prove that it actually checked the borrower’s loan agreements, and that the homeowner defaulted.
But the unit of Ally Financial, which is 56.3 percent owned by the U.S. government after a $17 billion bailout, said employees preparing foreclosures had submitted affidavits to judges containing information they did not personally verify.
“It’s a real mess,” said Justice Arthur Schack, a jurist on foreclosure issues who sits on the New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.
GMAC’s announcement has raised doubts about whether some people lost their homes without good reason. Attorneys general in several states, including California, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio, are investigating.
“The law demands that lenders prove their case in foreclosure actions,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said last week.
But Ally characterizes the problem as merely technical, arguing that the underlying facts in each foreclosure are accurate.
“We are confident that the processing errors did not result in any inappropriate foreclosures,” it said in a statement last week.
GMAC landed in its predicament after one of its employees testified in a December 2009 deposition that he signed off on tens of thousands of affidavits containing information he did not verify.
The company said it has “substantially increased” the number of employees to verify documents, provided additional training, and suspended evictions out of an “abundance of caution.”
Ally isn’t the only firm under the microscope.
JPMorgan Chase & Co is delaying its current foreclosure proceedings and has begun to systematically re-examine related documents after discovering that some employees may have signed affidavits in some cases without personally reviewing the files.
Lawyers in Florida are questioning JPMorgan’s practices after discovering one of its executives did not check the details of its claims against a homeowner.
The executive said she had been part of an eight-person team that signs 18,000 documents a
The Florida Constitution and court rules did not give the Chief Justice authority to intercede in pending cases involving attorney misconduct, or to investigate allegations of fraud or misconduct in foreclosure cases. The fraud cases must first beadjudicated in trial courts.
Congressman Grayson has asked the Florida Bar to take action.
Florida Default Law Group has been added as the fourth law firm under investigation along the Law offices of David J. Stern, Shapiro & Fishman and Law Office of Marshall Watson.
Ally’s GMAC unit withdraws foreclosure affidavits signed by second employee
By Ariana Eunjung Cha | September 25, 2010; 11:34 AM ET
Was Kristine Wilson another “robo-signer”?
Attorneys for homeowners in Florida say Ally Financial’s GMAC mortgage unit has begun to withdraw affidavits submitted in support of foreclosures that were signed by a second employee. Like Jeffrey Stephan–the document processor who admitted in sworn testimony that he signed 10,000 documents a month without reviewing them–Kristine Wilson signed as a “limited signing officer” for GMAC.
In a request to withdraw an affidavit listing debts owed by a homeowner that was signed by Wilson in a Palm Beach County Circuit Court case, lawyers for GMAC say that “information in the affidavit may not have been properly verified.”
Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) — Attorneys general in three U.S. states are investigating foreclosures at Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit after the lender said it would halt some evictions following a discovery of faulty documentation.
Texas, Iowa and Illinois have started investigations into mortgage practices at Ally, while California, which isn’t affected by GMAC’s action, ordered the company to stop foreclosures unless it can prove compliance with state law, according to statements. Ally said it has issued a “more robust policy” on processing foreclosures, increased staff to handle documents and instituted more training for employees.
“Preserving the integrity of the foreclosure process is of the utmost importance,” Ally said yesterday in a statement. “While we are exercising an abundance of caution in the review process, we are confident that the processing errors did not result in any inappropriate foreclosures.”
Continue reading…BUSINESS WEEK
September 24, 2010
ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN DEMANDS MEETING WITH
MORTGAGE LENDER AT CENTER OF FORECLOSURE CONTROVERSY
GMAC Suspected of Submitting False Documents in Foreclosure Cases
Chicago Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued a letter to the mortgage lender Ally (formerly GMAC) demanding a meeting to address concerns that the company has violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act in its pursuit of Illinois homeowners in foreclosure. Madigan’s letter responds to reports raising serious questions about the accuracy of documents the lender files in foreclosure lawsuits.
An Ally employee testified in a Florida court case that he routinely signed affidavits for foreclosure lawsuits and submitted them to Ally’s attorneys without reviewing the homeowners’ loan documents. These affidavits were then filed with the court as evidence of Ally’s right to foreclose on the homes. The employee testified that he signed at least 10,000 affidavits a month without reviewing the underlying paperwork, and thus had no way of knowing whether the information in the affidavits was actually true.
“Families’ homes are at stake here,” Madigan said. “If I determine that Ally is rubber-stamping affidavits and filing them with our courts as evidence, I will take appropriate action. The law demands that lenders prove their case in foreclosure actions, and Illinois homeowners demand the same.”
Following these revelations, Ally announced this week that it is suspending foreclosure lawsuits in 23 states, including Illinois.
Madigan also requested that Ally immediately provide her office with details on the impact of Ally’s conduct on Illinois homeowners, including the number of Illinois homeowners affected by the suspension of foreclosures; the names of the Illinois law firms that Ally retains to pursue foreclosure actions; information about how these firms will implement and monitor the suspension of foreclosure lawsuits in Illinois; and the length of the suspension.
GMAC ranked fourth among U.S. home mortgage lenders in the first six months of this year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry newsletter.
Thank you to our friends at American United For Justice for providing this mind blowing audio on a conference Mr. Stern held for DJSP investors. These are some of the highlights of this conference in no particular order. Read it carefully and don’t miss the audio below.
“We take em’ from cradle to grave.”
David Stern, President and CEO of DJSP Enterprises, Inc.
His baseball pitch-
One of my favorite questions from one of my believers, one of my investors on the first call-in, “What inning are we in? If this was a baseball game, what inning are we in?” And my response is, we’re only in the 2nd inning. We still have 3 innings of foreclosures left, and after the foreclosures, we have 3 innings of REO liquidation and as the REO liquidations pan out, we get into the re-fi and we get into the origination.
[ . . . ]
So yeah, we’re in the 2nd inning, but guess what – when we get to the 9th inning, it’s going to be a doubleheader and we got a second game coming. So when people say, “Oh my God, the economy is bad!” I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s great.” I mean, I hate to hear people are losing their homes and credit isn’t available and credit is such that they can’t re-fi, but if you are in our niche, it’s what we do and it’s what we want to see.
Crystal ball admission here-
No matter what Obama rolls out, there is no stopping this inflow of continued defaults that we anticipate to go for another two or three years late behind that is the math of REO’s that need to be liquidated and at the end of the day, the cycle will start again. Well, foreclosure volumes through 2012 are expected to increase dramatically and remain at high levels going on till 2017?
“Increase in Modification Services… This is what Obama rolled out. . Home Affordable Modification Program. Unfortunately, it’s what…folks if you do what I do…unfortunately it is failing. We have the opportunity to handle the modification or where we do have a modification, we get to charge for title search, we get to charge for title exam, we get to charge for doc prep we get a 600.00 dollar incentive fee?
And at the end of the day when it’s all said, 66,000 have been done to date… of the 66,000 more than 20% have failed. So we can get the file in, we start with the foreclosure, we bill for the foreclosure, we get the mod in, we make the incentive, we doc prep, we get the title, the mod is done and guess what? It falls out. It all comes back to foreclosure land and we get to start the foreclosure all over again! So no matter what the Obama Administration brings our way. We have found a way to create a profit center on it and that I think is part of that success!”
California officials today demanded that Ally Financial Inc. stop foreclosing on homes in the state, citing reports indicating the big mortgage lender is violating the law.
The cease-and-desist letter, issued by Attorney General Jerry Brown, came as officials in several other states began investigating Ally’s operations.
The controversy stems from a Florida court case in which an Ally official reportedly testified that he signed thousands of documents in foreclosure cases without even reviewing the homeowners’ loan documents.
This should send a powerful message to each and every Foreclosure Mill out there! You are NEXT!
September 24, 2010
Michael J. Williams
President and Chief Executive Officer
3900 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016
Dear Mr. Williams,
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.
Several of the busiest of these mills show up as members of Fannie Mae’s Retained Attorney Network, a set of legal contractors on whom Fannie relies to represent its interests as a note-holder. The network also serves as a pool of legal talent that represents Fannie in its pre-filing mediation program, a program designed to facilitate communication between borrowers and servicers prior to foreclosure. In other words, Fannie Mae seems to specifically delegate its foreclosure avoidance obligations out to lawyers who specialize in kicking people out of their homes.
The legal pressure to foreclose at all costs is leading to a situation where servicers are foreclosing on properties on which they do not even own the note. This practice is blessed by a legal system overwhelmed with foreclosure cases and unable to sort out murky legal details, and a set of law firms who mass produce filings to move foreclosures as quickly as possible. At the very least, we would encourage you to remove foreclosure mills under investigation for document fraud from the Fannie Mae’s Retained Attorney Network. We also believe that Fannie should have guidelines allowing servicers to proceed on a foreclosure only when its legal entitlement to foreclose is clearly documented. In addition, these charges raise a number of questions for us about the foreclosure process as it pertains to Fannie Mae’s holdings.
Why is Fannie Mae using lawyers that are accused of regularly engaging in fraud to kick people out of their homes? Given that Fannie Mae is at this point a government entity, and it is the policy of the government that foreclosures are a costly situation best avoided if there are any lower cost alternatives, what steps is Fannie Mae taking to avoid the use of foreclosure mills? What additional steps is Fannie Mae going to take to ensure that foreclosures are done only when necessary and only in accordance with recognized law? How do your servicer guidelines take into account the incentives for fraud in the fee structure of foreclosure attorneys and others engage in the foreclosure process? What mechanisms do you employ to monitor legal outsourcing?
We look forward to your responses and to understanding more about these disturbing dynamics in future hearings.
Ally Said to Tell Freddie Mac of Faulty Foreclosures Weeks Ago
By Lorraine Woellert and Dakin Campbell – Sep 24, 2010 12:01 AM ET
Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit told Freddie Mac that foreclosures by the auto and home lender might have been faulty weeks before halting its own evictions, according to two people briefed on the matter.
Ally informed Freddie Mac on Aug. 25 that affidavits for court proceedings might not be valid, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. By Sept. 1, Freddie Mac had notified its network of lawyers and stopped related foreclosures and evictions, said the person, who declined to be identified because the matter hasn’t been formally disclosed. GMAC told agents to halt evictions in 23 states on Sept. 17.
Fannie Mae, the largest government-backed mortgage firm, said it notified lawyers of flaws in GMAC documentation after it was alerted. Fannie Mae spokesman Brian Faith declined to say when GMAC contacted the company, and Gina Proia, the spokeswoman for Detroit-based Ally, said she couldn’t comment.
“We are obviously dismayed by reports of document problems,” Freddie Mac spokesman Brad German said in an interview. “The practices described in these reports are clearly not in compliance with Freddie Mac guidelines and servicer directives.” German wouldn’t say how many of the McLean, Virginia-based firm’s holdings were affected by the freeze.
Fannie Mae said in a statement that its servicers must adhere to all legal requirements. “It is their responsibility to put processes in place that ensure they are fulfilling this requirement, and they are accountable for rectifying any issues that may arise in this regard.”
I have the perfect solution…Why not give the current homeowner a “short sale” price modification and call it a happy ending to all? Buyers are too wise nowadays.
Besides most future homeowners will have a defective title or will have an F in the past!
Here’s an example why it makes sense to work with the current owner:
LPS using their MN address purchased my home at auction for 75% discount put it on the market for about 80% and made a few grand from the highest contract that was accepted. It benefited no one!
Now if they use my solution not only will the investors save on the fees they payout to the foreclosure mills but also on the late fees the homeowner accrues…see isn’t this economic sense for everyone?
By John Gittelsohn and Kathleen M. Howley – Sep 15, 2010 12:14 PM ET
The slide in U.S. home prices may have another three years to go as sellers add as many as 12 million more properties to the market.
Shadow inventory — the supply of homes in default or foreclosure that may be offered for sale — is preventing prices from bottoming after a 28 percent plunge from 2006, according to analysts from Moody’s Analytics Inc., Fannie Mae, Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc. Those properties are in addition to houses that are vacant or that may soon be put on the market by owners.
“Whether it’s the sidelined, shadow or current inventory, the issue is there’s more supply than demand,” said Oliver Chang, a U.S. housing strategist with Morgan Stanley in San Francisco. “Once you reach a bottom, it will take three or four years for prices to begin to rise 1 or 2 percent a year.”
Rising supply threatens to undermine government efforts to boost the housing market as homebuyers wait for better deals. Further price declines are necessary for a sustainable rebound as a stimulus-driven recovery falters, said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist of Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc., a New York economic forecasting firm.
Sales of new and existing homes fell to the lowest levels on record in July as a federal tax credit for buyers expired and U.S. unemployment remained near a 26-year high. The median price of a previously owned home in the month was $182,600, about the level it was in 2003, the National Association of Realtors said.
Fannie Mae Forecast
Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. mortgage finance company, today lowered its forecast for home sales this year, projecting a 7 percent decline from 2009. A drop in demand after the April 30 tax credit expiration “suggests weakening home prices” in the third quarter, according to the report.
There were 4 million homes listed with brokers for sale as of July. It would take a record 12.5 months for those properties to be sold at that month’s sales pace, according to the Chicago- based Realtors group.
“The best thing that could happen is for prices to get to a level that clears the market,” said Shapiro, who predicts prices may fall another 10 percent to 15 percent. “Right now, buyers know it hasn’t hit bottom, so they’re sitting on the sidelines.”
About 2 million houses will be seized by lenders by the end of next year, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He estimates prices will drop 5 percent by 2013.
After reaching bottom, prices will gain at the historic annual pace of 3 percent, requiring more than 10 years to return to their peak, he said.
Lynn E. Szymoniak, Esq.
The Metropolitan, PH 2-5
403 S. Sapodilla Avenue
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Mr. Ed Albrigo
Senior Vice President
8200 Jones Branch Drive MS 200
McLean, Virginia 22102
Mr. R.K. Arnold, President and CEO
1595 Spring Hill Road, Suite 310
Vienna, Virginia 22182
Senior Vice President
3900 Wisconsin Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20016
September 6, 2010
Re: Abuses and Forgeries By MERS Officers in Mortgage Foreclosures
Dear Mr. Albrigo, Mr. Arnold and Ms. Sullivan:
I am writing to you in your capacity as members of the Board of Directors of MERS.
This letter concerns certain widespread abuses by individuals using MERS titles. After extensive research regarding Mortgage Assignments prepared in Alpharetta, Georgia, purportedly signed by MERS certifying officers, it is apparent that:
1. there were widespread forgeries by individuals who signed over a million Mortgage Assignments as MERS officers with many different individuals signing the same four names;
2. the individuals signing these names also used many different MERS titles,with Linda Green, Korell Harp and Tywanna Thomas claiming to be authorized by many different lenders to convey mortgages as MERS
3. the information on the Mortgage Assignments is false particularly regarding the dates on which mortgages were conveyed. In several hundred thousand cases, Assignments to Residential Mortgage-Backed Securitized
Trusts state that the Trusts acquired the mortgages AFTER foreclosure litigation was filed by the Trusts. This has resulted in a tremendous backlog of cases as the wrong parties often file the foreclosure actions.
These Mortgage Assignments are being used extensively in foreclosure actions in Florida and other states. Because of the apparent authority of MERS, these assignments are most often assumed to be correct by judges. Because so many foreclosure litigants are unrepresented by counsel, these Mortgage Assignments
are going unchallenged even though they are obvious forgeries.
Please carefully examine the attached mortgage assignments signed by Linda Green, Korell Harp, Tywanna Thomas and Jessica Ohde as MERS officers as these examples plainly show many variations of the Green, Harp, Ohde, and Thomas signatures.
Many of the MERS job titles that have been attributed to Linda Green are listed in Schedule A attached hereto. Many of the MERS job titles that have been attributed to Korell Harp are listed in Schedule B. Many of the MERS job titles that have been attributed to Tywanna Thomas are listed in Schedule C.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. There were nearly 11,000 mortgage foreclosures granted in Palm Beach County, Florida in the last six weeks. Many of these foreclosures were granted based on these Mortgage Assignments signed by individuals using MERS titles. It is apparent that these signatures and MERS titles are misleading judges and homeowners. The Palm Beach County experience is occurring throughout the country.
The Florida Attorney General is investigating fraudulent documents used to “facilitate” foreclosures.
Most often, in Florida, these fraudulent Assignments are used by the same law firms that are hired by Lender Processing Services, in its role as a foreclosure management company. In Florida, the firms that most often use these documents to foreclose are the Law Offices of David J. Stern, Florida Default Law Group, Shapiro & Fishman, and the Law Offices of Marshall Watson.
All four of these law firms have also been named by the Florida Attorney General as being under investigation for using fraudulent documents in foreclosures.
I am prepared to brief you or your designees fully on my research.
Thank you for your attention to this most serious matter.
Anyone can see the “Fiction” that was set into place from all the institutions in this article below. Each one of these named parties as a shareholder utilizes Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., yet Washington never mentions this MERS device.
All this talk of false and misleading loans blah blah blah …I mean grab the bull by it’s nuts and put these criminals behind bars. Not just seek refunds! This clean up should also seek Racketeering Indictments.
Congress Seeks Fannie, Freddie Exit as Banks Eat Soured Loans
By Dawn Kopecki – Sep 15, 2010 1:00 AM ET
U.S. lawmakers will grapple today with how to end the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after two years and almost $150 billion, and who pays the bill for bad loans made during the housing boom.
Regulators who seized control of the two mortgage lenders in 2008 are under pressure to stem losses for taxpayers and recoup money from banks that sold faulty loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — all without hindering the housing market’s recovery. Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr and Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, are scheduled to testify today on their progress at the House Financial Services Committee.
The Obama administration and Congress are weighing the future of the two companies as part of an overhaul of the U.S. housing finance system. Fannie Mae, based in Washington, and Freddie Mac, based in McLean, Virginia, lost $166 billion on guarantees of single-family mortgages from the end of 2007 through the second quarter, according to the FHFA. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has promised a comprehensive proposal by early next year.
“The biggest problem in the economy is that we have three or four million too many homes,” said Chris Kotowski, a banking analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. The solution “will take another two or three years to work out until we sop up the excess supply,” Kotowski said.
The clean-up includes seeking refunds from lenders who sold loans based on false or misleading information, and the two government-backed firms aren’t the only ones demanding buybacks. The Federal Reserve, private mortgage investors and mortgage insurers are combing through loan documents for faulty appraisals, inflated borrower incomes and missing documentation that would support a refund request.
As of the end of the second quarter 2010, Fannie Mae had $4.7 billion in outstanding repurchase requests, and Freddie Mac had $6.4 billion in outstanding repurchase requests. DeMarco said in his prepared testimony that outstanding repurchase requests continue to be “of concern.”
John Hooge Co-Writes Article Surveying MERS Mortgage Loan Cases
Half the residential loans in this country are MERS mortgage loans and are being given increased scrutiny both in bankruptcy cases and foreclosure actions. John Hooge and Laurie Williams, the Wichita, KS. Chapter 13 Trustee, have co-written an article, “Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.: A Survey of Cases Discussing MERS’ Authority to Act “.
Michael Burry, the former head of Scion Capital LLC who predicted the housing market’s plunge, talks with Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman about his investments in agricultural land, real estate and gold.
Michael Lewis made him famous in his book “The Big Short”.
(This is an excerpt. Source: Bloomberg)
“I believe that agricultural land, productive agricultural land with water on site, will be very valuable in the future. And I’ve put a good amount of money into that. So I’m investing in alternative investments as well as stocks.”
“I think there is some value in real estate. You have to buy it right. It’s not in general, that’s the problem. I think that there are an awful lot of people out there looking to buy these distressed properties out there and so you need to find special situations. That is how I’ve invested from the beginning. I’m looking for these special situations, these unique ideas and that’s true in real estate too.”
“In my situation I’d rather go long on housing itself, real estate itself. Depending on how you structure it, in the real market, in the physical market, you can get some pretty good deals and I’ve done some of that too.”
“Paulson is big in gold and that is something is interesting to me and given how I see the world playing out. Other than that, I’m just saying, other than gold I haven’t really bought into the other…
The foreclosure and title processing company (NASDAQ: DJSP) reported net income of $3.8 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenue of $56.1 million. That’s down from net income of $14.1 million, or 73 cents a share, on revenue of $61.7 million in the second quarter of 2009.
DJSP handles foreclosure legal work for major lenders, and its largest client is the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A. The lawyer is chairman and CEO of DJSP.
On Aug. 10, Attorney General Bill McCollum announced he had started an investigation of David J. Stern, P.A., along with three other Florida law firms, over whether they engaged in unfair and deceptive actions in the handling of foreclosure cases. There have been allegations that the law firms fabricated mortgage assignments to speed up foreclosures.
David J. Stern, P.A. responded to the news by stating that it would cooperate with the investigation and it has done nothing wrong.