Exactly 2 years ago to this day you held a rally in Toledo, Ohio. In your speech you spoke about our economy and the path it would travel if we did not propose “Change”.
In this speech in Ohio you proposed a 90 day Moratorium on Foreclosures.
You made this statement.
“We cannot allow homeowners and small towns to suffer because of the mess made by Wall Street and by Washington and for those Americans in danger of losing their homes today I’m also proposing a three month moratorium on foreclosures. If your a bank…if your a bank or a lender who’s getting money from the rescue plan that passed congress and your customers are making a good faith effort to make their mortgage payments and renegotiate their mortgage you will not be able to foreclose on their home for three months. We need to get to give the people the breathing room to get back on their feet”.
Today we come to the conclusion they not only are kicking us out of our homes but engaging in a “pattern of conduct” using fraudulent documents to do so. This is clear fraud upon the courts and this is unacceptable in AMERICA.
Yesterday I received an email informing me of a 74 year old woman will be evicted today. This is our sister, mother…grandmother. Can you imagine walking in her shoes and all she has struggled to maybe have a taste of being whole at 74? Do you understand the fear she has of not knowing where she will go, end up? Does anyone care what will happen to this human?
These are the emails that make me contribute to the cause.
I once had hope for change but now I am hopeless in what I witness being accepted.
Below is the actual video of the rally you held in Ohio. I hope you listen carefully to your own words and do the right thing for the American people today.
We are listening and demand a Foreclosure Freeze to this rampant Foreclosure Fraud.
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) — Elizabeth Warren, the White House adviser in charge of forming the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, discusses her first month on the job, the need for U.S. lenders to simplify home mortgage paperwork and the outlook for financial industry regulation. Warren, speaking with Margaret Brennan on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness.” (Source: Bloomberg)
By Dakin Campbell and Prashant Gopal – Oct 8, 2010 5:43 PM ET
Attorneys general in about 40 states may announce a joint investigation into foreclosures at the largest banks and mortgage firms, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
State attorneys general led by Iowa’s Tom Miller are in talks that may lead to the announcement of a coordinated probe as soon as Oct. 12, said the person, who declined to be identified because a final agreement hasn’t been reached. The number of states may change because several are still deciding whether to join the investigation, the person said. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said today in a statement that his state will join a multi-state effort.
Lawyers representing the banks are expecting a more widespread investigation, according to Patrick McManemin, a partner at Patton Boggs LLP, a Washington-based law firm that represents banks, loan servicers and financial institutions. Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. lender, today extended a freeze on foreclosures to all 50 states.
“We are aware of or involved in a large number of investigations that lead us to believe there are in the neighborhood of 40 state attorneys general who have initiated investigations or expressed an interest,” McManemin said in a telephone interview.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 8, 2010; 2:16 PM
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called on major lenders to halt foreclosures across the country Friday following Bank of America‘s announcement that it will suspend all such proceedings until a review of possible paperwork problems is completed.
Reid, who had sent a letter to major banks asking them to suspend foreclosures in Nevada, extended his concern to include all 50 states.
“I thank Bank of America for doing the right thing by suspending actions on foreclosures while this investigation runs its course,” he said. “I urge other major mortgage servicers to consider expanding the area where they have halted foreclosures to all 50 states as well.”
Reid is the latest Democratic leader to join a growing chorus of lawmakers and state attorneys general who have called for greater scrutiny of the foreclosure process and a nationwide moratorium. Homeowner advocates say that lenders have used dubious paperwork to expedite the eviction of homeowners who are behind on their payments.
Pressure on the banks continues to grow on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) said Friday that the banking committee he chairs will hold hearings Nov. 16 to investigate the foreclosure paperwork morass.
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.
Coakley begins probe, calls for foreclosure moratorium
By Herald Staff
Saturday, October 2, 2010 –
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley called on Bank of America and other major creditors to delay all foreclosure proceedings and pledged to begin her own investigation in light of recent revelations that they may not have complied with the law.
Bank of America announced Friday it was delaying foreclosures in 23 states, not including Massachusetts, as it examines whether it rushed the foreclosure process for thousands of homeowners without reading the documents.
“Our office has been extremely active in holding major banks and Wall Street firms accountable during this foreclosure crisis. We are concerned about the revelations that Bank of America and other major lenders have failed to properly review foreclosure documentation,” Coakley said yesterday in a statement. “Our office is now investigating this apparent failure of major creditors to follow state foreclosure law to ensure that Massachusetts homeowners are properly protected. In light of these revelations, we are asking Bank of America and other major creditors to cease foreclosure proceedings for Massachusetts homeowners until they can demonstrate that they have complied with Massachusetts law.”
“They have no personal knowledge of the issue and they are supposed to. That is what these judges rely on when they issue judgments against homeowners,” said Matt Englett, KEL Law Firm.
(I-Newswire) October 2, 2010 – CENTRAL FLORIDA — Thousands of Floridians may soon be rescued from foreclosure. Last week KEL Attorneys filed a motion with the Supreme Court asking Chief Justice Canady for a stay on foreclosure cases being handled by law firms currently under investigation for document fraud.
The State Attorney General launched a formal investigation against Shapiro & Fishman, Marshall Watson and David Stern last month. Lenders hired the three big law firms, which handle 80 percent of all foreclosures in Florida, now accused of fraudulently signing documents to speed up the foreclosure process.
“They have no personal knowledge of the issue and they are supposed to. That is what these judges rely on when they issue judgments against homeowners,” said Matt Englett, KEL Law Firm.
Attorney Matt Englett has testimony from one of the people hired to just sign documentation. He describes a conference room with thousands of documents. He testified he would sign one affidavit after another, taking no more than a minute on each one.
“Time is money. The longer it takes to get the property back and sell the property, the more money they lose on that loan,” Englett said.
Englett hopes the motion will stop wrongful foreclosure it its tracks. He estimates that tens of thousands of homes may have already been wrongfully foreclosed upon, and about 80-percent of pending foreclosure actions contains fraudulent documents.
If Englett is successful, homeowners who have already lost their homes could collect thousands from their lender. And for the hundreds of others in Central Florida in the middle of foreclosure, it would buy time to save their home.
About KEL Attorneys:
Our law firm has had the honor to represent clients all over the country. We are also licensed in federal courts throughout the country and we are able to represent your case in state or federal court. In either venue, rest assured that our law firm will pursue your case aggressively and in the most cost effective manner possible.
We are not just your ordinary law firm, we operate as a full-service law firm that provides legal services nationwide and have a strong presence, with a law firm in Orlando and a law firm in Tampa. Due to size, legal expertise and handling client matters for over ten years, we can handle any legal issue or situation you may have.
Company Contact Information KEL Attorneys
111 N Magnolia Ave
Phone : 4075131900
The attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, also said he is investigating JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) over its foreclosure practices. He previously said he was investigating Ally Financial Inc and its GMAC Mortgage unit.
“Banks that lured consumers into loans they couldn’t afford now seek to stampede them into foreclosure,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “This freeze should stop a foreclosure steamroller based on defective documents and enable effective remedies.”
The decisions came after borrowers’ lawyers released affidavits suggesting that some lenders’ employees are submitting documentation in foreclosure proceedings without understanding the contents.
Investigators in at least six U.S. states are examining foreclosure practices at GMAC, JPMorgan or both, and calling for such practices to be defended or halted.
Blumenthal, a Democrat, is running for the U.S. Senate. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by John Wallace)
Continue to REUTERS
Attorney General Asks CT Courts To Freeze Home Foreclosures 60 Days Because Of Defective Docs October 1, 2010
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today asked the state Judicial Department to freeze all home foreclosures for 60 days because of defective document filings and institute measures to assure the integrity of future filings.
Blumenthal made the request after a second bank, JP Morgan Chase, acknowledged filing defective foreclosure documents. Like GMAC/Ally, JP Morgan admitted that so-called “robo-signers” signed affidavits without verifying the information in them. The GMAC robo-signer said under oath that he signed 8,000 to 10,000 foreclosure affidavits a month while a robo-signer for JP Morgan testified to spending less than two minutes on each affidavit.
Blumenthal is investigating GMAC/Ally and JP Morgan, as well as whether other banks may have engaged in similar practices.
Submitting defective documents is a possible fraud upon the court, potentially undermining foreclosures and underlying mortgages.
“This freeze should stop a foreclosure steamroller based on defective documents and enable effective remedies,” Blumenthal said. “The actions of GMAC/Ally and JP Morgan are inexcusable, a possible fraud on the court undermining the integrity of the legal process and consumers’ ability to fight foreclosures. Banks that lured consumers into loans they couldn’t afford now seek to stampede them into foreclosure. We must stop this runaway foreclosure train, restoring proper procedure and property owner rights.
“The Judicial Department should take additional measures — including requiring signers to state the basis for verifying information in affidavits — to restore the integrity of foreclosure documents. This appalling practice must be stopped before it poisons the legal system and unfairly evicts families from their homes.”
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
SECRETARY BRUNNER OUTLINES TWO LINES OF ATTACK IN FIGHTING HIGH OHIO FORECLOSURE RATES
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s chief elections officer and the state officer responsible for licensing notary publics, today issued a directive to boards of elections that foreclosures cannot be used without further investigation to disqualify voters and revealed that she has referred specific instances of notary abuse occurring at Chase Home Mortgage in Columbus and by the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) to a federal prosecutor for investigation.
DIRECTIVE ON VOTERS FACING FORECLOSURES: Secretary Brunner, in Directive 2010-66, instructed Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections that they may not cancel an Ohioan’s voter registration based solely on the fact that the person is involved in the foreclosure process. The filing of a foreclosure action does not affect a voter’s right to vote until there is a final judgment entry, including the passage of at least 30 days from the date of the entry because of the right of appeal, and verification that the person no longer resides at the property. Ohio continues to experience high residential foreclosure rates.
Those who lose their homes because of foreclosure may wait until Election Day to update their address. Boards are instructed in the directive how to help voters displaced because of foreclosure, based on whether they move (1) within the same precinct, (2) within the same county but to a different precinct, or (3) to a different county in Ohio. Voters facing foreclosure may use their current location of residence as their residence for the purposes of voting.
REFERRAL OF CHASE HOME MORTGAGE AND MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. TO FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Secretary Brunner, in two letters dated Aug. 11, 2010 and Sept. 1, 2010, referred matters of alleged notary abuse in thousands of home mortgage foreclosures by Chase Home Mortgage and the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. to U.S. District Attorney Steven Dettelbach in Cleveland. Citing two depositions, (one & two) of Chase employee Beth Cottrell, taken in Columbus in May of 2010, and a deposition of MERS Secretary and Treasurer, William Hultman taken in New Jersey in April of 2010. These depositions contain sworn testimony that at Chase Home Mortgage, 18,000 documents per month are executed and notarized per month by eight people, with admissions that:
it is the notary and not the document signer who gives an oath who fills in numbers in the affidavits used in court ordered foreclosures,
no oath is administered for the signing of each document,
notarized documents are not verified by the person signing and giving oath that they have personal knowledge of the contents of the documents, but rather, signers are relying on verification by others,
documents are signed in bulk and notarized in bulk separately,
notaries know this at the time they notarize documents in this process.
The MERS deposition of William Hultman demonstrates that after corporate status changes occurred for MERS, new designations of authority were not executed, leaving one or more individuals for the former MERS corporation continuing to delegate authority on behalf of the new corporation without authorization by the new corporation.
According to its website: “MERS was created by the mortgage banking industry to streamline the mortgage process by using electronic commerce to eliminate paper…MERS acts as nominee in the county land records for the lender and servicer. Any loan registered on the MERS® System is inoculated against future assignments because MERS remains the nominal mortgagee no matter how many times servicing is traded. MERS as original mortgagee (MOM) is approved by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, FHA and VA, California and Utah Housing Finance Agencies, as well as all of the major Wall Street rating agencies.”
MERS was created by the mortgage lending industry to:
eliminate frequent re-recording of liens,
avoid paying county recorder fees and other local taxes as mortgage loans are assigned as backing or securitization for derivatives trading by banks and other financial institutions,
monitor and facilitate the transfer of original mortgage notes in the trading of mortgage-backed securities,
foreclose on mortgage notes for unnamed note holders, even though it is not the real financial party in interest and does not hold the original note for the mortgage.
Currently, over half of all new residential mortgage loans in the U.S. are registered with MERS and recorded in county recording offices in MERS’ name, reducing transparency, leaving consumers unable to determine who actually holds the note on their homes.
Secretary Brunner made the following statement on the situation:
“Mortgage foreclosure documents must be notarized according to the law. Requiring this is not an afterthought or an exercise of form over substance—the law must be followed when taking away someone’s home, regardless of the circumstances.
For too long thousands of homes have been taken from consumers without proof that the foreclosing party actually has that right. Our courts must be cautious and require absolute adherence to the law. As the officer in Ohio who licenses notaries, I cannot stand idly by and watch financial institutions concoct a chain of title they never had by abusing the notary process.
It’s not fair to consumers or to the employees who by virtue of their jobs, are signing these documents. I urge the U.S. Department of Justice to take up this investigation with vigor and purpose to protect consumers and hold financial institutions to the standards of scrutiny and exactitude required by law, even if it means prosecuting some of our largest corporations. These apparent violations of state law point to schemes that merit federal investigation of large institution lending practices and use of the U.S. Postal Service.”
Last week, GMAC Mortgage announced it had suspended evictions and post-foreclosure closings in 23 states over concerns about employees preparing foreclosures with affidavits submitted to judges containing information they did not personally verify. Yesterday it was announced that JPMorgan Chase and Co hired external counsel to review its affidavit process based on the depositions of Beth Cottrell and is delaying approximately 56,000 current foreclosure proceedings.
Chase Home Finance, LLC
Lender Processing Services
Long Beach Mortgage
Washington Mutual Bank
Action Date: September 30, 2010
Location: New York, NY
On September 29, 2010, financial giant JP Morgan Chase announced it was suspending 56,000 foreclosures because its documents may have been “submitted without proper review.” To assist JPMorgan Chase, Fraud Digest suggests that it dismiss those actions where the Affidavits or Mortgage Assignments were signed by the following robo-signers: Beth Cottrell, Whitney Cook, Christina Trowbridge and Stacy Spohn from the Chase Home Finance office in Franklin County, OH; Margaret Dalton and Barbara Hindman from the Jacksonville, FL office of JPMorgan Chase; and any of the Lender Processing Services robo-signers from the Dakota County, MN office including Christina Allen, Liquenda Allotey, Christine Anderson, Alfonzo Greene, Laura Hescott, Bethany Hood, Cecelia Knox, Topako Love, Jodi Sobotta, Eric Tate, Amy Weis and Rick Wilken. In particular, JP Morgan Chase should look at those cases where the bank has supposedly assigned mortgages to WaMu, WMALT, Long Beach Mortgage Company and NovaStar trusts years after the closing dates of these trusts. The number of questionable or fraudulent documents is likely to be much closer to 560,000 than to 56,000, and that will only be a good beginning.
It was a very sad day for Floridians yesterday when the Florida Supreme Court issued a statement that it does not have authority to intercede while a fraud investigation is pending. Although we may not agree with the decision, we must respect procedures that must be followed.
Florida, do not quit what you are doing because there are many states that we must continue to focus on. Judges need to put themselves in the homeowners situation and understand we cannot make these fraudulent documents up. These documents are sworn statements, under perjury of law and notarized. As officers of the court they must be held accountable. No ifs, ands, buts or suppose here. These are not errors.
Rest assured that The Florida Bar still has many pending investigations with these foreclosure firms and they have authority overseeing the misconduct of their members.
I am your voice, America. I share your fears, read your concerns and do try my best to reach out to you.
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.
Please welcome Ericka Johnson Seck to the ROBO-SIGNER Hall of Sham!
MERS & LPS once again the “Common Thread”
Here is a list of her many Corporate Hats:
Vice President of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS)
Vice President of Deutsch Bank National Trust
Vice President of Bank of New York
Attorney in Fact of IndyMac
Attorney in Fact of ONEWEST
Attorney in Fact of FDIC
I must confess, she was my first study because she signed two assignments for “one” of my properties using “two” different employers. 🙂 ‘<blush> I even created my very first youtube video in her honor (see below)!
Thanks to Judge Arthur Schack and Tom Ice from Ice Legal in Palm Beach County, we all became familiar with Erica for wearing too many corporate hats.
She is the “Robo-Signer” Judge Schack called out in three particular cases in NY and made her an instant foreclosure household name. I don’t think she ever emerged in NY soon after this. Also see the HSCB v. Yasmin case.
Excerpt of DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST v. HARRIS
The Court is perplexed as to why the assignment was not executed in Pasadena, California, at 46U Sierra Madre Villa, the alleged “principal place of business” for both the assignor and the assignee. In my January 3 1, 2008 decision (Deutsche Bank National Tr (1st Canpuny v Maraj, – Misc 3d – [A], 2008 NY Slip Op 50176 [U]), I noted that Erica Johnson-Seck, claimed that she was a Vice President of MERS in her July 3,2007 INDYMAC to DEUTSCHE BANK assignment, and then in her July 3 1,2007 affidavit claimed to be a DEUTSCHE BANK Vice President. Just as in Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v Maraj, at 2, the Court in the instant action, before granting itn application for an order of reference, requires an affidavit from Ms. Johnson-Seck, describing her employment history for the past three years.
Further, the Court requires an explanation from an officer of plaintiff DEUTSCHE BANK as to why, in the middle of our national subprime mortgage financial crisis, DEUTSCHE BANK would purchase a non-perferforming loan from INDYMAC, and why DEUTSCHE BANK, INDYMAC and MERS all share office space at 460 Sierra Madre Villa, Pasadena, CA 91 107.
24,000 Monthly Documents executed by her team
Now Lets move on to this below… according to this deposition her office signs 24,000 mortgage related documents out of the this figure she signed about “750” a week making it approximately 3000 mortgage documents used in foreclosure cases. Anything from Affidavits of Debt, Lost Note Affidavits, Assignment of Mortgages, Declarations pretty much anything having to deal with Bankruptcy and Foreclosures.
This is what she signs without any notary present.
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.
THIS IS HUGE! Coming in… Florida might halt all Foreclosures…While pending investigation of MILLS!
Do what is right and protect these families. This involves children that do not understand what is going on. I lost my home to this fraud and they do not have to go through my stressful experience. You set new rules and these foreclosure mills continued to ignore you. What is it going to take?
I revere the law, the judicial system, and the legal profession and will at all times in my professional
and private lives uphold the dignity and esteem of each.
I will further my profession’s devotion to public service and to the public good.
I will strictly adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of my profession’s code of ethics, to the extent
that the law permits and will at all times be guided by a fundamental sense of honor, integrity, and fair
play. I will not knowingly misstate, distort, or improperly exaggerate any fact or opinion and will not
improperly permit my silence or inaction to mislead anyone.
I will conduct myself to assure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action and
resolution of every controversy.
I will abstain from all rude, disruptive, disrespectful, and abusive behavior and will at all times act
with dignity, decency, and courtesy.
I will respect the time and commitments of others.
I will be diligent and punctual in communicating with others and in fulfilling commitments. I will exercise independent judgment and will not be governed by a client’s ill will or deceit.
My word is my bond.
Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar
The general principles which should ever control the lawyer in the practice of the legal profession
are clearly set forth in the following oath of admission to the Bar, which the lawyer is sworn on
admission to obey and for the willful violation to which disbarment may be had.
“I do solemnly swear:
“I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida;
“I will maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;
“I will not counsel or maintain any suit or proceedings which shall appear to me to be unjust, nor
any defense except such as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land;
“I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me such means only as are
consistent with truth and honor, and will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by any artifice or false
statement of fact or law;
“I will maintain the confidence and preserve inviolate the secrets of my clients, and will accept no
compensation in connection with their business except from them or with their knowledge and approval;
“I will abstain from all offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation
of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged;
“I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or
oppressed, or delay anyone’s cause for lucre or malice. So help me God.”
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.
STEVEN J. BAUM, P.C.
P.O. Box 1291
Buffalo, New York 14240- 1291
Wells Fargo v. Oleg Dmitriev
Plaintiffs application is defective because there is no “affidavit made by the party” of “the facts constituting the claim, the default and the amount due” as required by CPLR §3215(f). The proffered “affidavit of merit and amount due” of Jeffrey Stephan identifies him as “the Limited Signing Officer of GMAC MORTGAGE LLC, servicer,” but no proof of Mr. Stephan’s authority to execute such affidavit on behalf of plaintiff is offered. The proffered affidavit does not otherwise comply with the requirements of CPLR $2309(c) for an out-of-state affidavit. In addition, the facts and dates recited in the affidavit regarding the consolidated mortgage and consolidated note that are the subject of this floreclosure action are at variance with the underlying documents.
In light of the foregoing, the motion for an order of reference is denied, without prejudice to renewal on proper papers.
Proposed order of reference marked “not signed.”
Dated: March 16, 2009
I can tell you there is MAJOR, MAJOR panic happening “behind the scenes” since I have started this site I have not seen this kind of activity!All I can say is don’t stop what ever you are doing GMAC or not…
I haven’t seen the following story get much national press (Ok, none. After all, isn’t Lindsey Lohan still in the news?) but if it continues to escalate, we will. The short & sweet of the matter is that it appears most banks do not have clear title to the homes they are foreclosing. In their mad rush to capitalize on the housing bubble, bankers skipped many of the legal steps necessary to have a clear title if things went badly, which is now, and the mortgages that were bundled then securitized as MBSs (mortgage backed securities) may actually belong to the homeowners.If this plays out as described below some banks will go belly-up, which should have happened a long time ago. Since the Treasury & the Federal Reserve will not let their buddies down, however, I am certain that it is already being sorted out in back room deals. “To hell with the LAW” they will say, Shitibank is on the brink of failure.
A member of Congress has already sent a letter to the Florida Supreme Court requesting it make an order to abate all foreclosure procedures until Florida can complete investigations into the matter. A portion of Representative Grayson’s letter is below.
I respectfully request that you abate all foreclosures involving these firms until the Attorney General of the state of Florida has finished his investigations of those firms for document fraud.
I have included a court order, in which Chase, WAMU, and Shapiro and Fishman are excoriated by a judge for document fraud on the court. In this case, Chase attempted to foreclose on a home, when the mortgage note was actually owned by Fannie Mae.
Taking someone’s home should not be done lightly. And it should certainly be done in accordance with the law.
This original post can be found here
Ok, we now appear to have a pattern of conduct here where organizations trying to foreclose on homeowners are in fact submitting forged (that is, willfully known to be false) affidavits to courts around the nation.
First we had GMAC, now it appears we have JPM/Chase. Everyone’s scrambling on this, of course.
But as I pointed out, the real panic is likely still to come, because I have reason to believe (but cannot yet prove) that many if not most of the non-agency securitizations were defective at the outset.
Worse, they’re now trying to cover it up. I am amassing more and more information on the mess, and what I’m seeing is increasingly looking like a pattern of conduct that may well go far beyond “innocent mistakes” or “accidents.”
So let’s take a close look at this problem, and how we can fix it.
There’s a real visceral outrage at letting people have a “free house.” But is it really a perversity of justice if that’s what happens in point of fact – or effect? Maybe not.
Look, if I want to write you a signature loan for $200,000, I have every right to do it. If you don’t pay I’m screwed in such a case, because I have no security interest.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 22, 2010; 9:22 PM
The nation’s overburdened foreclosure system is riddled with faked documents, forged signatures and lenders who take shortcuts reviewing borrower’s files, according to court documents and interviews with attorneys, housing advocates and company officials.
At least two officials who signed documents indicating that they had reviewed the accuracy of thousands of foreclosure proceedings have testified in sworn depositions that they didn’t actually perform at least some of the reviews.
Do you think your foreclosure documents may have been processed by Stephan or Cottrell? If you have a copy of a foreclosure document signed by Stephan or Cottrell, please post it here. Or send us information on your foreclosure using the form below.
I know if I purchased a stroller for my kid and later knew it these strollers are all defective …I hope the government would kick in and do a nationwide RECALL!!
GMAC stops some evictions, foreclosed home sales
By JANNA HERRON (AP) –
NEW YORK — GMAC Mortgage LLC said Monday it halted certain evictions and sales of foreclosed homes as it corrects “a potential issue” in its foreclosure process.
The action highlights what is becoming a larger problem for lenders and servicers that may have illegally driven homeowners out of their houses. The issue is threatening to clog up an already overloaded foreclosure process.
Lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said last week. Banks have been stepping up repossessions to clear out their backlog of bad loans.
GMAC, which is owned by Detroit-based Ally Financial Inc., did not identify the specific internal issue that prompted the moratorium in its statement, but it has been linked to lawsuits this year surrounding the alleged falsification of a key foreclosure document.
The Florida attorney general is investigating three law firms for allegedly providing fraudulent affidavits that identify who holds the original mortgage note in foreclosure cases. In Florida and in other states, this document allows lenders to bypass a costly trial and proceed with a foreclosure.
Two of the three firms being investigated — the Law Office of Marshall C. Watson and the Law Offices of David J. Stern PA — have represented GMAC in foreclosure proceedings. And the person who signed many of these allegedly false affidavits was an employee of GMAC.
In a deposition taken in December, GMAC employee Jeffrey Stephan said he signed 10,000 affidavits or similar documents a month without personally verifying who the mortgage holder was. That means many foreclosures could have taken place based on false documentation. Stephan could not be located for comment.
“That’s hundreds of thousands of cases,” said Ice Legal PA attorney Christopher Immel who took the deposition. “And there are other people at other places who sign these kinds of documents as well.”
GMAC did not address how many homeowners would be affected by its suspension of evictions and foreclosure sales. It expects the issues to be resolved within a few weeks or, at latest, by year-end. The company didn’t respond to questions beyond its statement.
The issue of documenting who holds the mortgage is not unique to GMAC. Judges and lawyers nationwide are taking a second look at foreclosure affidavits. Many mortgages have been sliced up and sold to many investors as securities and that makes it harder to determine who is the ultimate mortgage holder.
In August, a judge in Duval County, Fla., ruled that JPMorgan Chase could not foreclose upon two homeowners because Fannie Mae carried the mortgage on its books and JPMorgan Chase only serviced the loan. JPMorgan Chase had identified itself as the owner of the loan. Similar cases across the country are pending.
The law firm that represented JPMorgan Chase in that case — Shapiro & Fishman — is the third law firm being investigated by the Florida state attorney.