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VIDEO: DYLAN RATIGAN, FORECLOSURE FRAUD & $45 TRILLION DOLLARS

VIDEO: DYLAN RATIGAN, FORECLOSURE FRAUD & $45 TRILLION DOLLARS

Source: The Dylan Ratigan Show- LINK
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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. GRG [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, securitization1 Comment

Fannie, Freddie One Less Foreclosure Baron, Ditch Stern

Fannie, Freddie One Less Foreclosure Baron, Ditch Stern

Mother Jones has dropped an exclusive today and reports Fannie, Freddie Ditch Foreclosure King David J. Stern’s firm.

Here is an excerpt by Andy Kroll:

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.

Continue reading…Mother Jones

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© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in CitiGroup, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, GMAC, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC.1 Comment

Analysis: Foreclosure “mess” unfolds state by state

Analysis: Foreclosure “mess” unfolds state by state

By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO | Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:46am EDT

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

Continue reading… REUTERS

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© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in assignment of mortgage, Beth Cottrell, Bryan Bly, chain in title, Cheryl Samons, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, Crystal Moore, deed of trust, dennis kirkpatrick, deposition, eric friedman, erica johnson seck, Erika Herrera, fannie mae, florida default law group, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, investigation, jeffrey stephan, jpmorgan chase, judge arthur schack, Korrel Harp, Kristine Wilson, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, Wall Street1 Comment

ALLY TOLD FREDDIE AND FANNIE OF FAULTY FORECLOSURE AFFIDAVITS WEEKS AGO!

ALLY TOLD FREDDIE AND FANNIE OF FAULTY FORECLOSURE AFFIDAVITS WEEKS AGO!

This all makes sense now since the Obama administration was about to hold a conference on what to do with both Fannie and Freddie around this same time.

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.

Servicers ‘Accountable’

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.”

Continue Reading… BLOOMBERG

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© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in assignment of mortgage, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, investigation, jeffrey stephan, jpmorgan chase, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, note, robo signers, shapiro & fishman pa, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD1 Comment

OPEN LETTER TO ‘MERS’ BOARD OF DIRECTORS From Lynn Szymoniak

OPEN LETTER TO ‘MERS’ BOARD OF DIRECTORS From Lynn Szymoniak

Lynn E. Szymoniak, Esq.
The Metropolitan, PH 2-5
403 S. Sapodilla Avenue
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
(szymoniak@mac.com)

Mr. Ed Albrigo
Senior Vice President
FREDDIE MAC
8200 Jones Branch Drive MS 200
McLean, Virginia 22102

Mr. R.K. Arnold, President and CEO
Merscorp, Inc.
1595 Spring Hill Road, Suite 310
Vienna, Virginia 22182

Marianne Sullivan
Senior Vice President
FANNIE MAE
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
officers;

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.

Yours truly,

Lynn E. Szymoniak


© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, fraud digest, Freddie Mac, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, Lynn Szymoniak ESQ, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, Notary, notary fraud, R.K. Arnold, robo signers, shapiro & fishman pa, stopforeclosurefraud.com1 Comment

“Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.: A Survey of Cases Discussing MERS’ Authority to Act “

“Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.: A Survey of Cases Discussing MERS’ Authority to Act “

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 “.

Click image below for Article:

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in chain in title, Christopher Peterson, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, mbs, MERS, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Notary, note, R.K. Arnold, robo signers0 Comments

Them Be Fightin’ Words: The Fight Over Foreclosure Fees

Them Be Fightin’ Words: The Fight Over Foreclosure Fees

by PAUL JACKSON

Monday, August 30th, 2010, 2:56 pm

For the law firms that manage and process foreclosures on behalf of investors and banking institutions, what’s a fair legal fee? What’s a fair filing fee? Should fees to outsourcers be prohibited? And just how much money should it really cost to process a foreclosure?

As I write this, the answer to these and other questions are being fought out in the trenches, in an out-of-sight but increasingly heated battle involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the law firms that specialize in creditor’s rights, default industry service providers, and various private equity interests.

It’s a complex fight that many say will ultimately shape the way U.S. mortgages are serviced over the course of the next decade — and perhaps beyond. It’s also a debate that promises to spill over into how loans are originated and priced.

“No aspect of the U.S. mortgage business will go untouched by the outcome of this current debate,” said one attorney I spoke with, on condition of anonymity. “This is the single most important issue facing mortgage markets today, and will even determine how securities are structured in the future.”

How foreclosures are managed

Typically, a foreclosure involves legal and court filing fees — it is, after all, a legal process involving the forced transfer of a property from a non-paying borrower to secured lender. But the foreclosure process also typically involves a host of other associated fees, including necessary title searches, potential property insurance, homeowner’s association dues, property maintenance and repair, and much more.

Many of these fees are ultimately tacked onto the “past due” amounts tied to a delinquent borrower — and done so legally. Much like when a credit card becomes past due and the interest rate kicks into high oblivion, consumers looking to catch up on their delinquent mortgage payments must also make up the difference in additional fees in order to successfully do so.

Legal fees in the foreclosure business, however, aren’t what you might think. Instead of billing hourly for most work, as most attorneys in other fields would do, attorneys that specialize in processing foreclosures are paid on a flat-fee basis, using pre-determined fee schedules.

Thanks to the market-making power of the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — both of whom publish allowable fee schedules for every imaginable legal filing and process in the foreclosure repertoire — the entire foreclosure process has been reduced to a set of flat fees.

And not even negotiated fees, at that. For firms that operate in the field of foreclosure management, the GSE allowable fees amount to a take-it-or-leave-it menu of prices.

“For us, it doesn’t matter who the client is, even if it isn’t Fannie or Freddie,” said one attorney I spoke with, under condition of anonymity. “We know we’re only going to be able to claim whatever that flat fee schedule they set says we can claim, since other investors tend to employ whatever the GSE fee caps are.”

Fannie and Freddie as housing HMOs? In the foreclosure business, that’s pretty much what it amounts to.

But beyond determining the legal fee schedule for much of the multi-billion dollar default services market, the GSEs also largely determine who gets their own foreclosure work. Both Fannie and Freddie maintain networks of law firms called “designated counsel” or “approved counsel” in key states marked with significant foreclosure volume — and they either strongly suggest or require that any servicers managing a Fannie or Freddie loan in foreclosure refer any needed legal work to their approved legal counsel.

Each state will have numerous designated counsel — sometimes as many as five law firms — but in practice, attorneys say, two to three firms end up with the lion’s share of each state’s foreclosure work. In states hit hard by the housing downturn and foreclosure surge, like Florida, the amount of work can be substantial.

“The GSEs can force a servicer to use their designated counsel, especially if timeline performance in foreclosure management is out of some set boundary,” said one servicing executive at a large bank, who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s usually easiest to simply use their counsel on their loans, even if we don’t see that firm as best-in-class.”

With the vast majority of the mortgage market now running through the GSEs, and much of what’s left of the private market following the guidelines Fannie and Freddie establish, it should come as no surprise to find that a few law firms in each state end up with the majority of the foreclosure work, sources say.

The rise of the ‘foreclosure mills’

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. (DJSP: 3.22 -1.23%) — the publicly-traded processing company tied to the law firm.

While Stern’s operation may win the award for ‘most susceptible to negative publicity,’ how the law firm operates is far from unique in the foreclosure industry.

Continue reading…Housing Wire

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in conflict of interest, CONTROL FRAUD, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., lawsuit, Lender Processing Services Inc., LPS, mortgage1 Comment

CLASS ACTION AMENDED against MERSCORP to include Shareholders, DJSP

CLASS ACTION AMENDED against MERSCORP to include Shareholders, DJSP

Kenneth Eric Trent, P.A. of Broward County has amended the Class Action complaint Figueroa v. MERSCORP, Inc. et al filed on July 26, 2010 in the Southern District of Florida.

Included in the amended complaint is MERS shareholders HSBC, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, WAMU, Countrywide, GMAC, Guaranty Bank, Merrill Lynch, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Norwest, Bank of America, Everhome, American Land Title, First American Title, Corinthian Mtg, MGIC Investor Svc, Nationwide Advantage, Stewart Title,  CRE Finance Council f/k/a Commercial Mortgage Securities Association, Suntrust Mortgage,  CCO Mortgage Corporation, PMI Mortgage Insurance Company, Wells Fargo and also DJS Processing which is owned by David J. Stern.

MERSCORP shareholders…HERE

[ipaper docId=36456183 access_key=key-26csq0mmgo6l8zsnw0is height=600 width=600 /]

Related article:

______________________

CLASS ACTION FILED| Figueroa v. Law Offices Of David J. Stern, P.A. and MERSCORP, Inc.

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in bank of america, chain in title, citimortgage, class action, concealment, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, countrywide, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, HSBC, investigation, jpmorgan chase, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., lawsuit, mail fraud, mbs, Merrill Lynch, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, Mortgage Bankers Association, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, non disclosure, notary fraud, note, racketeering, Real Estate, RICO, rmbs, securitization, stock, title company, trade secrets, trustee, Trusts, truth in lending act, wamu, washington mutual, wells fargo13 Comments

Homeowner fights foreclosure in lawsuit claiming documents are fraudulent

Homeowner fights foreclosure in lawsuit claiming documents are fraudulent

Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel
August 20, 2010
After months of wrangling with CitiMortgage, Dennis and Joyce Brown got fed up and hired an attorney to fight CitiMortgage’s foreclosure on their Lauderdale Lakes home. The Browns claim they are victims of fabricated documents used to foreclose after CitiMortgage failed to credit them for mortgage payments.

“They ran my blood pressure up so bad,” said Dennis Brown, who hired Fort Lauderdale lawyer Kenneth Eric Trent to fight the foreclosure.

CitiMortgage and its lawyers, David Stern Law Offices, voluntarily withdrew the case against the Browns in Broward County Circuit Court on June 16. But the Browns can’t rest easy. Recently, they’ve received new foreclosure letters from another lawyer representing CitiMortgage.

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.

He also is suing Stern and his Plantation law firm in federal court in a separate foreclosure case with similar allegations.

In that lawsuit, on behalf of Oakland Park homeowner Ignacio Damian Figueroa, Trent contends that Stern and a mortgage registration firm generated fraudulent mortgage documents that are intentionally ambiguous to cloud the real ownership of the Figueroa’s mortgage note.

The foreclosure practices of Stern and two other law firms are under investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s Office. The attorney general recently requested records going back to Jan. 1, 2008, from Stern as well as The Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson, P.A., and Shapiro & Fishman, LLP.

Thousands of Florida homeowners may have lost their homes as a result of improper actions by the firms under investigation. In announcing the probe, Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican who is a running for governor, said the law firms may have presented fabricated documents in court to speed the foreclosure process and obtain judgments against homeowners.

Jeffrey Tew, a Miami attorney who represents Stern’s firm, said while the attorney general may have received complaints, there “will not be evidence of fraud.” Due to the large volume of foreclosures, there may have been clerical mistakes, he said. “In past two to three years, the Stern law firm has processed probably 100,000 foreclosures.”

But he disputes that Stern’s law firm fabricated any documents. “I haven’t seen any example where a bank didn’t have a mortgage in default,” Tew said.

Stern represents well known mortgage lenders including Bank of America, Chase, CitiMortgage, Inc., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HSBC, SunTrust, and Wells Fargo. These lenders also are the shareholders of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS).

MERS is at the heart of the matter for Trent and other lawyers trying to stop what they view as illegal foreclosures in the nation.

The mortgage registry was created by lenders in the early 1990s to track home loans, including those repackaged as securities and sold to investors. When such loans were in foreclosure, MERS – not the original lender — was often the entity foreclosing. Some lawyers have successfully fought foreclosures by contending that MERS doesn’t own the note, or the borrower’s obligation to repay.

University of Utah law professor Christopher Peterson said MERS mortgage processing system goes against long-standing principles of property law in assigning rights to a note or mortgage. He said the “owner” of a mortgage can’t be the same as the “agent” representing the homeowner, for example.

Yet MERS records “false documents” with names of people who are not executives of the registry system, but often paralegals and clerks of law firms, he said. “It’s an extremely controversial and arguably fraudlent practice,” Peterson said.

Merscorp spokeswoman Karmela Lejarde declined to comment on the criticism of MERS or Trent’s lawsuit, citing company policy not to comment on pending lititgation.

Tew, who represents Stern’s Law Offices, called Trent’s lawsuit “fiction.” He points to Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeal that ruled in July against a homeowner who tried to fight foreclosure on the basis that MERS didn’t own the note or mortgage.

For the Browns’, foreclosure troubles began with not getting credit for their payments from CitiMortgage, their mortgage servicer.

The couple says they couldn’t clear it up with the lender. “They were claiming I was behind in payment, but I was paying every month,” said Brown, a carpenter who works for the Broward County School System and whose three children and four grandchildren also live in his Lauderdale Lakes home.

They stopped paying on their mortgage in late 2007 and sought legal help.

Another issue in Browns’ case is the signature on the assignment of Brown’s mortgage, giving rights to CitiMortgage, Trent said. The signature is by Cheryl Samons, who is identified as “assistant secretary of Merscorp.” In reality, Samons is an employee of Stern’s law office.

Tew confirmed Samons’ employment by Stern, but said “it’s very common for companies to appoint a registered agent. That process is absolutely legal and normal.”

But Trent contends that mortgage assignments need to be made on personal knowledge, not hearsay, to be admissible in court.

The Browns could be facing another foreclosure action, but Trent said he is confident he can fight it again. “They don’t have the basis to foreclose,” he said.

CitiMortgage spokesman Mark Rodgers said privacy restrictions prevent the financial institution from discussing a customer’s foreclosure action. But Rodgers said procedures may resume in cases “where, despite our best efforts, we have been unable to arrive at a satisfactory resolution acceptable to all the parties involved.”

Tew said foreclosure defense lawyers are portraying homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgages as helpless victims. “Everyone is sympathetic, including us, for the homeowner who can’t pay his mortgage. But it’s not fair to paint the banks and law firms that represent them as wearing the black hats.”

Marcia Heroux Pounds can be reached at mpounds@sunsentinel.com or 561-243-6650.

Browns’ Assignment of Mortgage & Vol. Dismissal below:

DEPOSITION OF NOTARY SHANNON SMITH OF THIS CASE

[ipaper docId=34340050 access_key=key-1eb2fh5kgjs1rbxhfwhq height=600 width=600 /]

MORE ON THIS CASE & FIRM BELOW

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Take Two: *New* Full Deposition of Law Office of David J. Stern’s Cheryl Samons

_________________

Law Offices of David J. Stern, MERS | Assignment of Mortgage NOT EXECUTED but RECORDED

_________________

Cheryl Samons | No Signature, No Notary, 1 Witness…No Problem!

_________________

STERN’S CHERYL SAMONS| SHANNON SMITH Assignment Of Mortgage| NOTARY FRAUD!

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. GRG [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in Christopher Peterson, citimortgage, class action, concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, non disclosure, Notary, notary fraud, note, RICO, shapiro & fishman pa, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD1 Comment

Banking Execs Say Gov’t Needs To Back Mortgages

Banking Execs Say Gov’t Needs To Back Mortgages

Banking Executives Tell Obama Officials Government Needs To Play Large Role In Mortgage Market

(AP) WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration invited banking executives Tuesday to offer advice on changing the government’s role in the mortgage market. Their response: stay big.

While the executives disagreed on the exact level of support needed, the group overwhelmingly advocated the government should maintain a large role propping up the nearly $11 trillion market.

Bill Gross, managing director of bond giant Pimco, said the economic recovery required more government stimulus, particularly in the housing market. He suggested the administration push for the automatic refinancing of millions homes backed by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac.

Refinancing those homes at the lowest mortgage rates in decades would give Americans more money each month. That would boost consumer spending by $50 billion to $60 billion and lift housing prices by as much as 10 percent, he said.

Without such stimulus in the next six months, Gross said, the economy will move at a “snails pace.”

Treasury officials have said they have no plans to enact such a plan, which has been the subject of intense rumors on Wall Street in recent weeks.

Tuesday’s conference at the Treasury Department is the administration’s first of many steps toward restructuring the troubled industry. So far, rescuing Fannie and Freddie has cost the government more than $148 billion. That number is expected to grow.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pledged “fundamental change” to the structure of Fannie and Freddie. The mortgage giants profited tremendously during good times but burdened taxpayers with losses when the housing market went bust. He said the two companies weren’t the only cause of the financial crisis, but made it worse.

Fannie and Freddie buy mortgages and package them into securities with a guarantee against default. They have ensured that millions of Americans can get home loans – even after the housing market collapsed.

The two companies, the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration together backed about 90 percent of loans made in the first half of the year, according to trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance.

Geithner did not offer a specific exit strategy for Fannie and Freddie. He agreed that the government could remain involved in the mortgage system by guaranteeing investors in mortgage-backed securities get paid, even when borrowers default.

There is a “strong case to be made” for such an arrangement, Geithner said.’

But Geithner suggested that Fannie and Freddie’s replacements could pay the government to insure the loans. That money could be tapped if the housing market collapses and would ensure taxpayers do not get hit with losses in the future.

“It is our responsibility to make sure that we create a system that is not vulnerable to these same failures happening again,” Geithner said.

Republicans are expected to pick up seats in Congress in November and the Obama administration will need support from both parties to enact changes next year.

The Obama administration’s management of Fannie and Freddie has been under fire for months from Republicans on Capitol Hill. In December, the Treasury Department eliminated a $400 billion cap on how much money it would give the mortgage giants to keep them from failing.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, accused the Obama administration of excluding critics of the government’s role in the mortgage system from Tuesday’s conference.

In a letter to Geithner, Bachus said Treasury appears to be “laying the groundwork for a predetermined policy outcome that looks uncomfortably similar to the failed status quo.”

But the industry executives and experts at the conference seemed to agree that the government should maintain a role in the mortgage market, even if Fannie and Freddie disappear someday. Where they disagreed was on the level of government involvement and whether it should be reduced gradually.

Gross advocated the biggest government role. He said Fannie and Freddie’s function should be consolidated into one government agency that would issue mortgage-backed securities. Without such a solid guarantee, mortgage rates would soar, he warned.

Gross said he is skeptical of having those securities issued by the private sector, saying that doing so would favor “Wall Street as opposed to Main Street.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, geithner, mbs, mortgage, non disclosure, Real Estate, rmbs, scam, sub-prime, trade secrets1 Comment

VIDEO| History will repeat itself on tax payer dime! ‘COOP’

VIDEO| History will repeat itself on tax payer dime! ‘COOP’

Watch carefully at the latest “Master Plan” the banks have up their sleeves!

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, insurance, mbs, mortgage, note, securitization, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, trade secrets1 Comment

Say Goodbye to Fannie and Freddie

Say Goodbye to Fannie and Freddie

By WILLIAM POOLE
Published: August 11, 2010

Elkton, Md.

THE Federal National Mortgage Association — known as Fannie Mae — and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation — Freddie Mac — were poorly structured from the time, 40 years ago, when they were set up as so-called government-sponsored enterprises. Both of these technically private companies, designed to foster the issuance of home mortgages, enjoyed implicit federal backing in the event they got into financial trouble but only weak regulation to prevent such trouble. Essentially, the federal government insured the companies’ liabilities but never charged a premium.

Fannie and Freddie had a license to print money. They could borrow at an interest rate only a bit over the Treasury rate and then accumulate large portfolios of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities earning the market rate. What a deal — borrow at the low rate, invest at a higher one, hold little capital and let the federal government bear the risk! Investors enjoyed high returns, and management enjoyed high salaries. Incidentally, politicians also got a steady flow of campaign contributions from the companies’ executives.

Fannie and Freddie’s risky policies led to their near collapse; in September 2008, the federal government brought them under federal conservatorship. Fannie and Freddie have cost taxpayers about $150 billion so far.

On Tuesday, the Obama administration plans to hold a conference to address the question of what to do with the two companies. Clearly, it would be an inexcusable mistake to reconstitute them as private companies in anything close to their prior form. Some people have suggested recasting them as a single new “Fan-Fred agency” that would continue to securitize and guarantee home mortgages. It’s true that Fannie and Freddie played an important role in developing the market for mortgage-backed securities. But they have completed that work, and they should not be preserved in any form. They should be thanked for their successes and gracefully retired.

Continue Reading…NYTimes

William Poole, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and a distinguished scholar in residence at the University of Delaware, was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis from 1998 to 2008.


© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in fannie mae, Freddie Mac, mbs2 Comments

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac losing political support as U.S. reshapes housing finance system

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac losing political support as U.S. reshapes housing finance system

Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 7, 2010

For several decades, whenever a question of housing policy came up in Washington, two companies dominated. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac marshaled armies of lobbyists, deep political connections and millions of dollars in contributions to get their way.

But now Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, titans of the mortgage finance industry, are wards of the state, bailed out by Washington to the tune of $160 billion and banned from political activity. As the Obama administration and Congress prepare to take up overhauling the $12 trillion U.S. mortgage market, new interests are shaping the debate like never before.

Among those influencing many Democrats are affordable housing advocates and liberal think tanks that want the government to do less to foster homeownership and more to support rental housing for low-income people. Those influencing Republicans favor sharply reducing all federal support for housing.

In the past, Fannie and Freddie found backers on both sides of the political aisle. Key Democrats in Congress and in the Clinton administration were their most ardent supporters. President George W. Bush touted an “ownership society,” relying on Fannie and Freddie to help low-income people buy homes.

Officials from both parties now agree that the housing finance system is unsustainable; virtually all new home loans are guaranteed by Fannie, Freddie or the Federal Housing Administration, putting taxpayers on the line. Administration officials say they still believe in a significant government role in promoting home ownership, but one less expansive than under previous presidents. Republicans, who have introduced legislation to get rid of Fannie and Freddie altogether, might not vote for an overhaul that retains any government role in housing.

On Aug. 17, the Treasury Department is hosting a conference of financial companies, housing advocates, academics and other interested parties to begin discussing how to design a new system that doesn’t rely as much on taxpayers. The Obama administration is required to make a proposal by January under the bill recently passed by Congress to reshape financial regulation.

Continue Reading…Washington Post

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in fannie mae, Freddie Mac1 Comment

1st Comes Fannie, then comes Freddie, then comes tax payer with…

1st Comes Fannie, then comes Freddie, then comes tax payer with…

Scratch this record!!!!! Need help go to MERS!!

Last week Fannie Mae asked treasury for $1.5 billiion in assistance …now comes Freddie with loss and seeks aid.

You know this is outrageous! They applaud MERS and write recommendations of how they are excited with MERS but yet MERS does nothing but conceal information from the borrowers and has secret agreements with the possible beneficiaries of these loans. MERS takes tax dollars away from our schools, children, counties etc.

While we are on this subject of counties and states, why are they crying bankruptcy and major cut backs…how about ending the MERS sham and go after the fees that you cry about with them? Who does this benefit? Not us but the Mortgage Banking Industry and Wall Street so called Lending Institutions.

All these problems came about the same time MERS came to existence…now tell me something? Isn’t this a tad of a coincidence these issues became at the same time sub-prime loans hit peak?

By now we all have witness the Foreclosure Barons you have as designated counsel and what do you plan to do about it? No matter what dots there are, both Fannie and Freddie have a connection?

Why was all this NEVER a REAL PROBLEM in the past with assignments…lets say prior to 1998? Hmmm…

We are no fools.

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in bogus, chain in title, concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, Mortgage Bankers Association, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., non disclosure, notary fraud, note, originator, QUI TAM, racketeering, sub-prime, trade secrets, Violations, Wall Street0 Comments

MERS comments on the Commission’s Proposed Rule for Asset-Backed w/ Referrals

MERS comments on the Commission’s Proposed Rule for Asset-Backed w/ Referrals

Excerpts:

MERS was created in 1995 under the auspices of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), as the mortgage industry’s utility, to streamline the mortgage process by using electronic commerce to eliminate paper. Our Board of Directors and shareholders are comprised of representatives from the MBA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, large and small mortgage companies, the American Land Title Association (ALTA), the CRE Finance Council, title underwriters, and mortgage insurance companies.

Our initial focus was to eliminate the need to prepare and record assignments when trading mortgage loans. Our members make MERS the mortgagee and their nominee on the security instruments they record in the county land records. Then they register their loans on the MERS® System so they can electronically track changes in ownership over the life of the loans. This process eliminates the need to record assignments every time the loans are traded. Over 3000 MERS members have registered more than 65 million loans on the MERS® System, saving the mortgage industry hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) approved MERS for government loans because they recognized the value to consumers. On table-funded loans, MERS eliminates the cost to the consumer of the mortgage assignment ($30 – $150). In addition, the MERS process ensures that lien releases are not delayed by eliminating potential breaks in the chain of title. Similar to the residential product, we also addressed the assignment problem in the commercial market with MERS® Commercial, on which is registered over $110 billion in Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS) loans.

More than 60 percent of existing mortgages have an assigned MIN, making a total of 65,000,000 loans registered since the inception of the system in 1997. The corresponding data for these mortgages is tracked on the MERS® System from origination through sale and until payoff. MERS therefore offers a substantial base of historical data about existing loans that can be harnessed to bring transparency to existing MBS products. Attached are letters from the MBA, FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on this point.

[ipaper docId=35515524 access_key=key-vw36i36b7uiubwj5x8u height=600 width=600 /]

Related:

MERS May NOT Foreclose for Fannie Mae effective 5/1/2010

_________________________________________

Fannie Mae’s Announcing Miscellaneous Servicing Policy Changes

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in bank of america, chain in title, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, Mortgage Bankers Association, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Notary, R.K. Arnold, Real Estate, robo signers, S.E.C., securitization, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, title company, Wall Street2 Comments

Foreclosure Mills| Wall Street’s Latest Fraud Scheme

Foreclosure Mills| Wall Street’s Latest Fraud Scheme

Posted by Zach Carter at 7:30 am
August 5, 2010



Financial giants have figured out yet another way to profit from fraud. After devastating communities across the country with shady subprime loans, the mortgage industry has launched a new assault on America’s neighborhoods. 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.

Andy Kroll lays out the insanity in a terrific piece for Mother Jones. “Foreclosure mills,” as they are known, have been around for years, but they’ve become a much bigger problem as the mortgage crisis has deepened. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac spurred the creation of these social beasts decades ago to help them process large volumes of foreclosures quickly and cheaply. Pretty soon big banks wanted in on the action, and bailout barons at Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America starting sending foreclosures to these scummy law firms by the thousands.

Banks opt to outsource dirty work like this for a reason. It takes weeks to process the legal work necessary to kick somebody out of their home, since cops and judges don’t want to give borrowers the boot without proof. If you can cut down that processing time, you can save a lot of money on legal bills. Foreclosure mills cut costs for banks by cutting corners—when they can’t compile the documentation needed to push families out of their homes right now, they simply fabricate the documents. Still worse, these guys illegally withhold documentation from borrowers seeking to negotiate loan modifications with their banks—effectively forcing borrowers out of their homes instead of allowing them to cut a deal with the bank. When borrowers actually do straighten things out with foreclosure mills, the scumbags slap them with huge illegal fees. Kroll details a foreclosure mill that erroneously tried to evict a Florida couple who had been paying their mortgage on time. When it became clear that the couple could not be kicked out of their home, the foreclosure mill tried to charge them $18,500 in fees for mistakes committed by the foreclosure mill and the bank. The foreclosure mill even invented two new people who it said lived in the home in order to demand four sets of legal processing fees instead of two.

If nobody holds you accountable, then lying, cheating and stealing are very profitable business models. That’s one reason why banks love sending this kind of work to foreclosure mills. While the foreclosure mills and their lawyers have been bombarded with lawsuits for their trickery, the banks are not directly involved in the funny business. So Citi, BofA, Fannie and Freddie get to cut their costs with shady practices, but they don’t have to shoulder the legal liability for them, even though they must surely know what goes on (if they don’t know, they’re being astonishingly negligent, and should be held responsible).

The foreclosure mill scandal is very similar to a game the banks played in the craziest days of the housing bubble. A few years back, banks outsourced much of the work that goes into issuing mortgages to third-party mortgage brokers. Banks knew that many of these brokers were up to no good, and routinely trained brokers how to steer borrowers into unaffordable subprime loans. Banks also lobbied regulators aggressively for the right to look the other way when brokers abused borrowers or committed fraud. For a few years, banks made big bucks as mortgage brokers turned out fraudulent loans by the truckload. When those loans started defaulting, the banks pleaded innocence and blamed the brokers for the social and economic fallout.

Continue Reading …AlterNet

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in CONTROL FRAUD, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, investigation, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Wall Street1 Comment

Fannie and Freddie Continue to Rely on Foreclosure Mills Despite Evidence of Fraud

Fannie and Freddie Continue to Rely on Foreclosure Mills Despite Evidence of Fraud

Posted by Yves Smith at 6:08 am

A good piece at Mother Jones, “Fannie and Freddie’s Foreclosure Barons” (hat tip Foghorn Leghorn) provides a window on a seamy big business: cut rate foreclosure processing machines that routinely ride roughshod over borrowers and the law.

Unfortunately, space limitations prevent the story from going deeply into some critical issues. The piece does a good job of explaining how these cut rate legal services operations are creations of Fannie and Freddie and illustrating how they are engaging in fabricating documents. The story focuses on a specific bad actor, a law firm founded by David Stern that handles roughly 1/5 of the foreclosures in Florida:

Ariane Ice sat poring over records on the website of Florida’s Palm Beach County…She and her husband, Tom, an attorney, ran a boutique foreclosure defense firm called Ice Legal…. Ice had a strong hunch that Stern’s operation was up to something, and that night she found her smoking gun.

It involved something called an “assignment of mortgage,” the document that certifies who owns the property and is thus entitled to foreclose on it….By law, a firm must execute (complete, sign, and notarize) an assignment before attempting to seize somebody’s home.

A Florida notary’s stamp is valid for four years, and its expiration date is visible on the imprint. But here in front of Ice were dozens of assignments notarized with stamps that hadn’t even existed until months—in some cases nearly a year—after the foreclosures were filed. Which meant Stern’s people were foreclosing first and doing their legal paperwork later. In effect, it also meant they were lying to the court—an act that could get a lawyer disbarred or even prosecuted. “There’s no question that it’s pervasive,” says Tom Ice of the backdated documents—nearly two dozen of which were verified by Mother Jones. “We’ve found tons of them.”

This all might seem like a legal technicality, but it’s not. The faster a foreclosure moves, the more difficult it is for a homeowner to fight it—even if the case was filed in error. In March, upon discovering that Stern’s firm had fudged an assignment of mortgage in another case, a judge in central Florida’s Pasco County dismissed the case with prejudice—an unusually harsh ruling that means it can never again be refiled. “The execution date and notarial date,” she wrote in a blunt ruling, “were fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead the defendant and this court.”…

But the Ices had uncovered what looked like a pattern, so Tom booked a deposition with Stern’s top deputy, Cheryl Samons, and confronted her with the backdated documents—including two from cases her firm had filed against Ice Legal’s clients. Samons, whose counsel was present, insisted that the filings were just a mistake. She refused to elaborate, so the Ices moved to depose the notaries and other Stern employees whose names were on the evidence. On the eve of those depositions, however, the firm dropped foreclosure proceedings against the Ices’ clients.

It was a bittersweet victory: The Ices had won their cases, but Stern’s practices remained under wraps. “This was done to cover up fraud,” Tom fumes. “It was done precisely so they could try to hit a reset button and keep us from getting the real goods.”

Backdated documents, according to a chorus of foreclosure experts, are typical of the sort of shenanigans practiced by a breed of law firms known as “foreclosure mills.” ….The mills think “they can just change things and make it up to get to the end result they want, because there’s no one holding them accountable,” says Prentiss Cox, a foreclosure expert at the University of Minnesota Law School. “We’ve got these people with incentives to go ahead with foreclosures and flood the real estate market.”

Yves here. This is far from the only form of document forgeries. A widespread abuse is what bankruptcy attorney Max Gardner calls the “alphabet problem.”

Mortgage securitizations were very carefully designed to satisfy a number of concerns. One of them was bankruptcy remoteness, that if an originator failed, as Countrywide, New Century, IndyMac and a host of others did, that the creditors in the bankruptcy would not be able to claw mortgages back out of securitizations (assets sold close to the date of a bankruptcy may be deemed to have been conveyed fraudulently, and thus can be seized by the court on behalf of the creditors).

To prevent this from occurring, the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (the master document that governs the securitization) would provided for a minimum of two independent legal entities to sit between the originator and the trust that would hold the mortgages being securitized (technically, the note, which is the IOU; the mortgage, which is a lien, follows the note in 45 states). So the prescribed minimum number of steps was A (originator) => B => C => D (trust). Some securitizations (for reasons unrelated to establishing bankruptcy remoteness) would provide for even more steps.

Keep in mind that the PSA also required that the notes be conveyed to the trust, with the proper chain of endorsements, by closing; certain exceptions and fixes were permitted up to 90 days after closing, but these would be applicable only to a very small proportion of the pool.

Continue Reading…NakedCapitalism

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in CONTROL FRAUD, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, ice law, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Notary, notary fraud, note, RICO, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD2 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Fannie and Freddie’s Foreclosure Barons

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.

— By Andy Kroll

Wed Aug. 4, 2010 12:01 AM PDT

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. (Slogan: “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 she found her smoking gun.

It involved something called an “assignment of mortgage,” the document that certifies who owns the property and is thus entitled to foreclose on it. Especially these days, the assignment is key evidence in a foreclosure case: With so many loans having been bought, sold, securitized, and traded, establishing who owns the mortgage is hardly a trivial matter. It frequently requires months of sleuthing in order to untangle the web of banks, brokers, and investors, among others. By law, a firm must execute (complete, sign, and notarize) an assignment before attempting to seize somebody’s home.

A Florida notary’s stamp is valid for four years, and its expiration date is visible on the imprint. But here in front of Ice were dozens of assignments notarized with stamps that hadn’t even existed until months—in some cases nearly a year—after the foreclosures were filed. Which meant Stern’s people were foreclosing first and doing their legal paperwork later. In effect, it also meant they were lying to the court—an act that could get a lawyer disbarred or even prosecuted. “There’s no question that it’s pervasive,” says Tom Ice of the backdated documents—nearly two dozen of which were verified by Mother Jones. “We’ve found tons of them.”

This all might seem like a legal technicality, but it’s not. The faster a foreclosure moves, the more difficult it is for a homeowner to fight it—even if the case was filed in error. In March, upon discovering that Stern’s firm had fudged an assignment of mortgage in another case, a judge in central Florida’s Pasco County dismissed the case with prejudice—an unusually harsh ruling that means it can never again be refiled. “The execution date and notarial date,” she wrote in a blunt ruling, “were fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead the defendant and this court.”

Stern has made a fortune foreclosing on homeowners. He owns a $15 million mansion, four Ferraris, and a 130-foot yacht.

More often than not in uncontested cases, missing or problematic documents simply go overlooked. In Florida, where foreclosure cases must go before a judge (some states handle them as a bureaucratic matter), dwindling budgets and soaring caseloads have overwhelmed local courts. Last year, the foreclosure dockets of Lee County in southwest Florida became so clogged that the court initiated rapid-fire hearings lasting less than 20 seconds per case—”the rocket docket,” attorneys called it. In Broward County, the epicenter of America’s housing bust, the courthouse recently began holding foreclosure hearings in a hallway, a scene that local attorneys call the “new Broward Zoo.” “The judges are so swamped with this stuff that they just don’t pay attention,” says Margery Golant, a veteran Florida foreclosure defense lawyer. “They just rubber-stamp them.”

But the Ices had uncovered what looked like a pattern, so Tom booked a deposition with Stern’s top deputy, Cheryl Samons, and confronted her with the backdated documents—including two from cases her firm had filed against Ice Legal’s clients. Samons, whose counsel was present, insisted that the filings were just a mistake. She refused to elaborate, so the Ices moved to depose the notaries and other Stern employees whose names were on the evidence. On the eve of those depositions, however, the firm dropped foreclosure proceedings against the Ices’ clients.

It was a bittersweet victory: The Ices had won their cases, but Stern’s practices remained under wraps. “This was done to cover up fraud,” Tom fumes. “It was done precisely so they could try to hit a reset button and keep us from getting the real goods.”

Backdated documents, according to a chorus of foreclosure experts, are typical of the sort of shenanigans practiced by a breed of law firms known as “foreclosure mills.” While far less scrutinized than subprime lenders or Wall Street banks, these firms undermine efforts by government and the mortgage industry to put struggling homeowners back on track at a time of record foreclosures. (There were 2.8 million foreclosures in 2009, and 3.8 million are projected for this year.) The mills think “they can just change things and make it up to get to the end result they want, because there’s no one holding them accountable,” says Prentiss Cox, a foreclosure expert at the University of Minnesota Law School. “We’ve got these people with incentives to go ahead with foreclosures and flood the real estate market.”

PAPER TRAIL

View the documents featured in this story:

Federal Securities Fraud Suit, Cooper and Methi v. DJSP Enterprises, David J. Stern, and Kumar Gursahaney, July 2010

Class Action Racketeering Suit, Figueroa v. MERSCORP, Law Offices of David J. Stern, and David J. Stern, July 2010

Fair Debt Collection Violation Suit, Hugo San Martin and Melissa San Martin v. Law Offices of David J. Stern, July 2010

Class Action Suit for Fair Debt Collecting Violations, Rory Hewitt v. Law Offices of David J. Stern and David J. Stern, October 2009

Florida Bar, Public Reprimand, Complaint Against David J. Stern, Sept. 2002

Florida Bar, Public Reprimand, Consent Judgment Against David J. Stern, Oct. 2002

Freddie Mac Designated Counsel, Retention Agreement with Law Offices of David J. Stern, April 2003

Freddie Mac Designated Counsel, Memo to Law Offices of David J. Stern, March 2006

Amended Complaint Alleging Sexual Harassment, Bridgette Balboni v. Law Offices of David J. Stern and David J. Stern, July 1999

Stern’s is hardly the only outfit to attract criticism, but his story is a useful window into the multibillion-dollar “default services” industry, which includes both law firms like Stern’s and contract companies that handle paper-pushing tasks for other big foreclosure lawyers. Over the past decade and a half, Stern has built up one of the industry’s most powerful operations—a global machine with offices in Florida, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines—squeezing profits from every step in the foreclosure process. Among his loyal clients, who’ve sent him hundreds of thousands of cases, are some of the nation’s biggest (and, thanks to American taxpayers, most handsomely bailed out) banks—including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup. “A lot of these mills are doing the same kinds of things,” says Linda Fisher, a professor and mortgage-fraud expert at Seton Hall University’s law school. But, she added, “I’ve heard some pretty bad stories about Stern from people in Florida.”

While the mortgage fiasco has so far cost American homeowners an estimated $7 trillion in lost equity, it has made Stern (no relation to NBA commissioner David J. Stern) fabulously rich. His $15 million, 16,000-square-foot mansion occupies a corner lot in a private island community on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. It is featured on a water-taxi tour of the area’s grandest estates, along with the abodes of Jay Leno and billionaire Blockbuster founder Wayne Huizenga, as well as the former residence of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. (Last year, Stern snapped up his next-door neighbor’s property for $8 million and tore down the house to make way for a tennis court.) Docked outside is Misunderstood, Stern’s 130-foot, jet-propelled Mangusta yacht—a $20 million-plus replacement for his previous 108-foot Mangusta. He also owns four Ferraris, four Porsches, two Mercedes-Benzes, and a Bugatti—a high-end Italian brand with models costing north of $1 million a pop.

Despite his immense wealth and ability to affect the lives of ordinary people, Stern operates out of the public eye. His law firm has no website, he is rarely mentioned in the mainstream business press, and neither he nor several of his top employees responded to repeated interview requests for this story. Stern’s personal attorney, Jeffrey Tew, also declined to comment. But scores of interviews and thousands of pages of legal and financial filings, internal emails, and other documents obtained by Mother Jones provided insight into his operation. So did eight of Stern’s former employees—attorneys, paralegals, and other staffers who agreed to talk on condition of anonymity. (Most still work in related fields and fear that speaking publicly about their ex-boss could harm their careers.)

Continue readingMOTHER JONES

Andy Kroll is a reporter at Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here. Email him with tips and insights at akroll (at) motherjones (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter here.

— Illustration: Lou Beach

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in chain in title, class action, CONTROL FRAUD, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, FDLG, florida default law group, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, investigation, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., notary fraud, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, stock, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, Wall Street1 Comment

Countrywide probe snares Fannie, Freddie execs

Countrywide probe snares Fannie, Freddie execs

By JAKE SHERMAN | 7/20/10 2:34 PM EDT

Employees at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — including top executives — received 173 cut-rate loans from Countrywide Financial, according to a congressional probe, the latest accusation that the lender tried to curry influence with people in power.


A Republican-led investigation revealed that Fannie Mae employees — including an assistant to the CEO, a government relations lobbyist and a vice president for sales — received 153 favorable loans, while 20 VIP loans were issued to employees at Freddie Mac. Countrywide Financial collapsed in the 2008 housing meltdown and was swallowed by Bank of America, but its connections to powerful political figures continue to reverberate in Washington.


These are the same type of special loans that created an ethics controversy for Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Chris Dodd of Connecticut. The senators were accused of getting VIP mortgages because of their political positions but were later cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee.

Republican investigators believe the preferential treatment on the loans ranges from slashing interest rates and waiving third-party fees to giving enhanced customer service.

The investigation has also uncovered potential evidence that Countrywide was offering bad loans, which would lose money, to influential people at Fannie Mae. An e-mail, obtained by POLITICO, shows Countrywide employees discussing the refinancing of the loan of former Fannie Mae Chief Operating Officer Daniel Mudd, acknowledging the sensitivity and potential for financial loss.

“Make sure the branch … understand[s] the sensitivity of this deal,” the e-mail to former Countrywide Vice President Daniel Rector reads. “We are already taking a loss, it would be horrible to add a service complaint on top and lose any benefit we generate.”

Special-rate loans might violate Fannie Mae’s code of conduct, which prohibits discounted loans, according to a letter summarizing the investigation’s results.

The report redacted most of the names of employees who received VIP loans.

The investigation, headed by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), also identifies Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson, the company’s former CEO, Franklin Raines, former Vice Chairwoman Jamie Gorelick and Mudd as having received loans as part of the “Friends of Angelo” program — named for former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo. The executives were previously identified as being part of the embattled lender’s loan program but have denied knowing that they had been singled out by the lender. Johnson alone received $10 million in loans, according to the letter.

The information was uncovered as part of a wider  investigation into Countrywide Financial by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Issa, the panel’s top Republican, and Towns, its chairman, subpoenaed Countrywide for records dealing with the VIP loan program in October 2009.

Continue reading …POLITICO

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, corruption, countrywide, fannie mae, Freddie Mac, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD1 Comment

Holding Bankers’ Feet to the Fire | GRETCHEN MORGENSON

Holding Bankers’ Feet to the Fire | GRETCHEN MORGENSON

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON Published: July 16, 2010



KUDOS to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the crippled mortgage finance giants. While some in Washington have continued to coddle the big banks even after they drove our economy into the ditch, this agency seems serious about recovering money for taxpayers by holding bad financial actors to account.

The agency announced last Monday that it had issued 64 subpoenas to a throng of unidentified financial services institutions, seeking documents related to mortgage securities that Fannie and Freddie bought from Wall Street during the boom years.

The subpoenas are designed to tell the agency what many of us want to know: How did Wall Street package and sell private-label mortgage securities to investors, even though the nature and quality of some of the loans crammed inside those tidy little packages were, at best, suspect?

Once that question has been answered, Fannie and Freddie can force the institutions that sold the securities to repurchase the improper loans, allowing taxpayers to recover some of the losses they’ve swallowed on Fannie’s and Freddie’s federal bailout.

Investigating this aspect of the mortgage mess seems a pretty logical step for a regulator. But in the topsy-turvy world of Washington, the housing finance agency’s move is unusually aggressive. Edward J. DeMarco, its acting director, seems to be that rarity — a regulator who not only talks about looking out for the taxpayer, but actually does something about it.

The subpoenas went to companies that act as trustees for mortgage pools or that service the loans in them. The housing finance agency wants to see loan files and transaction documents related to those pools, including mortgage applications and property appraisals. Recipients of the subpoenas have 30 days to produce the requested documents. Additional subpoenas may follow, it said.

The agency had to resort to subpoenas, it said, because when it asked the institutions for the records it got nowhere for many months. “Difficulty in obtaining the loan documents has presented a challenge to the enterprises’ efforts” to ascertain whether losses at the companies are the responsibility of others, its press release said.

Fannie and Freddie bought only the highest-rated pieces of these deals, but they bought buckets of them. During 2006-7, these entities bought $294 billion of so-called private-label securities. Not all of these purchases are under scrutiny, the agency said.

It is clearly turning up the heat on the major players in mortgage servicing and securitization. Among the bigger trustees in the business are Deutsche Bank and the Bank of New York, while loan servicers include Bank of America and many more. None of the banks would confirm if they had received subpoenas.

Continue reading…The New York Times

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in bank of america, bank of new york, deutsche bank, fannie mae, Freddie Mac, mbs, mortgage, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD0 Comments

US tries to recoup Fannie, Freddie losses

US tries to recoup Fannie, Freddie losses

WILL WE FIND OUT THE TRUTH…THESE LOANS NEVER MADE IT TO THE POOLS?? NEVER SECURITIZED??

WASHINGTON – July 16, 2010 – A federal regulator is taking steps that could lead to the recovery of some losses sustained by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Monday it is looking to get back money that the two government-controlled companies have lost on mortgage securities packaged and sold by Wall Street firms.

During the housing market’s boom years, the two government-sponsored companies snapped up those securities, which contained some of the riskier loans made during the housing boom years. But they declined dramatically in value after the market went bust.

The regulatory agency said it has issued 64 subpoenas seeking loan files and other documents to determine whether the sellers of those securities made any false statements or omissions. Fannie and Freddie had tried to do so themselves but have faced resistance in getting the loan documents, said the agency, which was given subpoena power two years ago.

The agency said in a statement that it is “prepared to take appropriate action to ensure compliance, if necessary.” Any money recovered by the government would offset losses at Fannie and Freddie, which have cost taxpayers $145 billion so far.

Many analysts agree that Fannie and Freddie fed the boom in shady mortgage lending by snapping up billions in dubious mortgage investments and by lowering standards for the mortgages they guaranteed.

“It’s a shame Fannie and Freddie didn’t ask these questions themselves when they were buying these securities in the first place,” said Howard Glaser, a Washington mortgage industry consultant who formerly had both companies as clients. “The truth is that they never really wanted to dig too deep into the true nature of the loans they were buying.”

But the government’s ability to recover money will depend on whether the mortgage companies that made the loans are still operating, said Scott Buchta, chief mortgage strategist with Braver Stern Securities. Many of the lenders who made the worst-performing loans have gone out of business.

“It’s going to be a long process,” Buchta said.

Fannie and Freddie currently hold about $255 billion of these mortgage-backed investments, known as “private label” securities. They amount to less than 5 percent of the $5.5 trillion in mortgage securities the companies own or guarantee and are separate from those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac themselves.

Fannie and Freddie have also been trying to recover money on their own securities by forcing lenders to buy loans that have gone into default.
AP Logo Copyright 2010 The Associated Press, Alan Zibel (AP Real Estate Writer). All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in fannie mae, FHA, Freddie Mac, mbs, mortgage, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, wall street0 Comments

Bank to return woman’s home sold without notice

Bank to return woman’s home sold without notice

Julie Hayden FOX31 Investigative Reporter
June 25, 2010

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo – The Wheat Ridge woman who had the Bank of America sell her house out from under her could be getting her home back.

On Thursday FOX31 News first reported 61-year-old Stephanie Martin’s story. She’s lived in her home for 20 years and now takes care of her 84-year-old mother and 7-year-old granddaughter.

Martin never had any trouble making her house payments, until last June when her legs were crushed in a horrible accident at the Target store where she worked.

She applied for and was accepted into a Freddie Mac program that lowered her mortgage payments and stopped any foreclosure proceedings.

“She is the poster child for this type of program. Somebody who is doing everything they can but, hit some hard times and needed a little bit of help,” her lawyer, Darrell Damschen says.

But, even though her participation in the program was supposed to stop all foreclosure proceedings, Bank of America earlier this month sold her house at a foreclosure auction, to itself.

Martin says they never sent any warning or notification. And she found out about the foreclosure only after her lawyer coincidentally saw the public notice at the courthouse.

“I think this is a situation where the Bank of America made a mistake,” says Damschen. “They’re not communicating internally at all.”

“It’s clear the sale could have never been appropriate,” he adds.

For nearly a month, Martin unsuccessfully tried to get some answers or help from the Freddie Mac program and the bank.

After she contacted FOX31 News and KHOW Radio Talk Show host Peter Boyles, her case received attention.

She and her lawyer say the Bank of America called them Friday and said they are going to rescind the sale and give Martin her house back.

They indicated they will also work with her to keep the lower house payments.

Martin is relieved, but says after all she’s been through, she’ll believe it when she sees it.

“I hope this is true because I’ve been told so many things.”


© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in auction, bank of america, foreclosure, foreclosures, Freddie Mac, mortgage modification1 Comment

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