RICO

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KENTUCKY RICO CLASS ACTION INVOLVING MERSCORP, LPS, DOCX, GMAC, DEUTSCHE BANK, US BANK et al

KENTUCKY RICO CLASS ACTION INVOLVING MERSCORP, LPS, DOCX, GMAC, DEUTSCHE BANK, US BANK et al

KABOOM!!

I have a feeling this is not the last…

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, class action, deutsche bank, DOCX, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Lender Processing Services Inc., linda green, LPS, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., RICO, robo signers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD6 Comments

WHAT LPS & THE MILLS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW…WHO REALLY OWNS THE NOTE!

WHAT LPS & THE MILLS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW…WHO REALLY OWNS THE NOTE!

Below is a document that Lender Processing Services, Inc. or it’s many subsidiaries submits by wire transmission to the foreclosure mill with instructions NOT to name the actual owner of the note on the foreclosure but in the name of the servicer!

“FORECLOSURE SHOULD BE IN THE NAME OF ”

It clearly states the names of the real parties:

  • SERVICER
  • TRUST
  • TRUSTEE/NOTE-OWNER
  • BORROWER

A foreclosure is rarely commenced under the “Real Entity.” So why do they keep this from us when they knew all along the real parties of interest? This was only discovered during an actual case or we would have never found this.

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, conflict of interest, CONTROL FRAUD, DOCX, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, Lender Processing Services Inc., MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., note, racketeering, RICO, scam, securitization, servicers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Wall Street7 Comments

AMENDED |NEW YORK FORECLOSURE CLASS ACTION AGAINST STEVEN J. BAUM & MERSCORP

AMENDED |NEW YORK FORECLOSURE CLASS ACTION AGAINST STEVEN J. BAUM & MERSCORP

Class Action Attorney Susan Chana Lask targets Foreclosure Mill Attorneys as source of foreclosure crisis.

This is the amended complaint against Foreclosure Mill Steven J. Baum and MERSCORP.

Want to join the Class? No problem!

Please contact: SUSAN CHANA LASK, ESQ.

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Related posts:

CLASS ACTION | Connie Campbell v. Steven Baum, MERSCORP, Inc

_________________________

CLASS ACTION AMENDED against MERSCORP to include Shareholders, DJSP

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, note, racketeering, RICO, Steven J Baum, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Susan Chana Lask, Trusts, truth in lending act, Wall Street2 Comments

MERS is a “defective” product, should MERS be recalled nationwide?

MERS is a “defective” product, should MERS be recalled nationwide?

This is not a GMAC thing… this is a MERS thing!

THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS THIS IS A MERS THING!

THIS IS A 65 MILLION LOAN THING!

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.

Related:

MERS101


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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, jeffrey stephan, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, QUI TAM, quiet title, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, shapiro & fishman pa, signatures, Wall Street0 Comments

GMAC, MERS & STEVEN J. BAUM PC…THE COURT IS AT LOSS ON A PURPORTED “CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT”

GMAC, MERS & STEVEN J. BAUM PC…THE COURT IS AT LOSS ON A PURPORTED “CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT”

I go through hundreds of cases each week and I have been saving this one for a rainy day. We’ll it’s raining today.

SUPREME COURT – STATE OF NEW YORK I.A.S. PART XXXVI SUFFOLK COUNTY PRESENT: HON. PAUL J. BAISLEY, JR., J.S.C.

DATED: MAY 10. 2010

The Court is at a loss to understand how a purported “correcting assignment” can be executed eight days before the assignment it is purporting to correct. Moreover, the Court is at a loss as to the identity of the true holder of the mortgage at the time of the commencement of the action (irrespective of any arguments regarding the validity of the purported assignment(s) by MERS as nominee of the original mortgagee; see, for example, US Bank, N.A. II Collymore, 200 NY Slip Op 09019 [2d Dept 2009]), While it is well established that any issues as to a plaintiff’s standing to commence a foreclosure action are waived by the defendant-mortgagor’s failure to appear and answer (HSBC Bank v Dammond, 59 A03d 679 l2d Sept 2009]), the contradictory and conflicting submissions on this motion implicate far more than the more issue of “standing.” Indeed, the submissions appear to have been drafted with utter disregard for the facts, or for counsel’s responsibilities as an officer of the Court, and border on the fraudulent.

In the the circumstances, the motion, which is unsupported either factually or legally, is denied in all respects. Moreover, in light of the failure of the movant to establish that any party was in fact the holder of the mortgage (and the underlying note, see KLuge v Fugm:y, 145 AD2d [2d Sept 1988J) at the time of the commencement of this action – an omission that in the circumstances may not be corrected by mere amendment — the Court, on its own motion, hereby directs the plaintiff to show cause why the complaint should not be dismissed; and further directs Steven J. Baum, P.c. and Heather A. Johnson, Esq., the attorney of record for the plaintiff in this action and the scrivener of the affirmation referred to above, to appear before the undersigned on June 24, 2010 at II :00 a.m. to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed on plaintiff and/or its attorney(s) for frivolous conduct pursuant to 22 NYCRR §130-1.1 (c).

Dated: May 10. 2010

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



Posted in assignment of mortgage, bogus, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, note, RICO, Steven J Baum, Supreme Court, Susan Chana Lask, Trusts1 Comment

SECURITIZATION Might Be The Scope Of Mortgage Issues

SECURITIZATION Might Be The Scope Of Mortgage Issues

Again… look towards the “Common Thread” chances are MERS is involved if they’ve been securitized . Remember every loan needs a “MOM

FBI crackdown on fraudulent mortgages may underestimate scope of problem

by CHRISTINE RICCIARDI
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010, 1:00 pm

When the Federal Bureau of Investigation began Operation Stolen Dreams in March 2010, the government’s largest mortgage fraud takedown, the FBI estimated about $2.3 billion of fraudulent mortgages were originated in 2009. However, recent estimates from a source monitoring the operation indicates that number is now closer to $14 billion.

The numbers were put together recently by an European investment bank in the run-up to a mortgage fraud conference in the U.K. next month. It found that mortgage fraud in the U.K. stood at $120 million in 2009.  “The phenomenon, though worrying and one that certainly requires strong intervention from authorities, is not of the same scale as in the U.S.,” said the source. “Securitization is therefore well protected from this issue.”

Continue to…House Wire

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



Posted in foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, investigation, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, originator, Real Estate, RICO, scam, securitization, servicers, sub-prime, trustee, Trusts, Violations, Wall Street1 Comment

Congress Needs To ZERO IN On A “Common Thread” To Fannie, Freddie Mortgage Crisis

Congress Needs To ZERO IN On A “Common Thread” To Fannie, Freddie Mortgage Crisis

Anyone can see the “Fiction” that was set into place from all the institutions in this article below. Each one of these named parties as a shareholder utilizes Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., yet Washington never mentions this MERS device.

All this talk of false and misleading loans blah blah blah …I mean grab the bull by it’s nuts and put these criminals behind bars. Not just seek refunds! This clean up should also seek Racketeering Indictments.

Congress Seeks Fannie, Freddie Exit as Banks Eat Soured Loans

By Dawn Kopecki – Sep 15, 2010 1:00 AM ET

U.S. lawmakers will grapple today with how to end the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after two years and almost $150 billion, and who pays the bill for bad loans made during the housing boom.

Regulators who seized control of the two mortgage lenders in 2008 are under pressure to stem losses for taxpayers and recoup money from banks that sold faulty loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — all without hindering the housing market’s recovery. Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr and Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, are scheduled to testify today on their progress at the House Financial Services Committee.

The Obama administration and Congress are weighing the future of the two companies as part of an overhaul of the U.S. housing finance system. Fannie Mae, based in Washington, and Freddie Mac, based in McLean, Virginia, lost $166 billion on guarantees of single-family mortgages from the end of 2007 through the second quarter, according to the FHFA. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has promised a comprehensive proposal by early next year.

“The biggest problem in the economy is that we have three or four million too many homes,” said Chris Kotowski, a banking analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. The solution “will take another two or three years to work out until we sop up the excess supply,” Kotowski said.

Loan Clean-Up

The clean-up includes seeking refunds from lenders who sold loans based on false or misleading information, and the two government-backed firms aren’t the only ones demanding buybacks. The Federal Reserve, private mortgage investors and mortgage insurers are combing through loan documents for faulty appraisals, inflated borrower incomes and missing documentation that would support a refund request.

As of the end of the second quarter 2010, Fannie Mae had $4.7 billion in outstanding repurchase requests, and Freddie Mac had $6.4 billion in outstanding repurchase requests. DeMarco said in his prepared testimony that outstanding repurchase requests continue to be “of concern.”

Continue reading…BLOOMBERG

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



Posted in bank of america, chain in title, CitiGroup, concealment, congress, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, Credit Suisse, fannie mae, federal reserve board, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, investigation, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., RICO, scam, servicers, settlement, stopforeclosurefraud.com, sub-prime, trustee, Trusts, us bank, Wall Street2 Comments

MUST WATCH: ‘MERS’ ON FOX NEWS!!!

MUST WATCH: ‘MERS’ ON FOX NEWS!!!

I was wondering why this site blew up with hits today!

THIS INVOLVES 65 MILLION LOANS…it was ’62’ !!! I have a source that confirmed this.


“The Curse Of The MERS”

READ ALL ABOUT MERS HERE…MERS 101

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



Posted in chain in title, class action, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deed of trust, Economy, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, investigation, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, Notary, notary fraud, note, quiet title, R.K. Arnold, racketeering, Real Estate, repossession, RICO, rmbs, robo signers, stopforeclosurefraud.com, sub-prime, trade secrets, trustee, Trusts, Wall Street4 Comments

Handcuffs for Wall Street, Not Happy-Talk

Handcuffs for Wall Street, Not Happy-Talk

“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists
– to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”
– BARACK OBAMA, speech, Aug. 28, 2006

Zach Carter

Zach Carter

Economics Editor, AlterNet; Fellow, Campaign for America’s Future

Posted: September 12, 2010 02:52 PM

The Washington Post has published a very silly op-ed by Chrystia Freeland accusing President Barack Obama of unfairly “demonizing” Wall Street. Freeland wants to see Obama tone down his rhetoric and play nice with executives in pursuit of a harmonious economic recovery. The trouble is, Obama hasn’t actually deployed harsh words against Wall Street. What’s more, in order to avoid being characterized as “anti-business,” the Obama administration has refused to mete out serious punishment for outright financial fraud. Complaining about nouns and adjectives is a little ridiculous when handcuffs and prison sentences are in order.

Freeland is a long-time business editor at Reuters and the Financial Times, and the story she spins about the financial crisis comes across as very reasonable. It’s also completely inaccurate. Here’s the key line:

“Stricter regulation of financial services is necessary not because American bankers were bad, but because the rules governing them were.”

Bank regulations were lousy, of course. But Wall Street spent decades lobbying hard for those rules, and screamed bloody murder when Obama had the audacity to tweak them. More importantly, the financial crisis was not only the result of bad rules. It was the result of bad rules and rampant, straightforward fraud, something a seasoned business editor like Freeland ought to know. Seeking economic harmony with criminals seems like a pretty poor foundation for an economic recovery.

The FBI was warning about an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud as early as 2004. Mortgage fraud is typically perpetrated by lenders, not borrowers — 80 percent of the time, according to the FBI. Banks made a lot of quick bucks over the past decade by illegally conning borrowers. Then bankers who knew these loans were fraudulent still packaged them into securities and sold them to investors without disclosing that fraud. They lied to their own shareholders about how many bad loans were on their books, and lied to them about the bonuses that were derived from the entire scheme. When you do these things, you are stealing lots of money from innocent people, and you are, in fact, behaving badly (to put it mildly).

The fraud allegations that have emerged over the past year are not restricted to a few bad apples at shady companies– they involve some of the largest players in global finance. Washington Mutual executives knew their company was issuing fraudulent loans, and securitized them anyway without stopping the influx of fraud in the lending pipeline. Wachovia is settling charges that it illegally laundered $380 billion in drug money in order to maintain access to liquidity. Barclays is accused of illegally laundering money from Iran, Sudan and other nations, jumping through elaborate technical hoops to conceal the source of their funds. Goldman Sachs set up its own clients to fail and bragged about their “shitty deals.” Citibank executives deceived their shareholders about the extent of their subprime mortgage holdings. Bank of America executives concealed heavy losses from the Merrill Lynch merger, and then lied to their shareholders about the massive bonuses they were paying out. IndyMac Bank and at least five other banks cooked their books by backdating capital injections.

Continue reading…..The  Huffington Post


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



Posted in Bank Owned, citi, conspiracy, Economy, FED FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, goldman sachs, hamp, indymac, investigation, jobless, lehman brothers, MERS, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., OCC, racketeering, RICO, rmbs, Wall Street, wamu, washington mutual, wells fargo0 Comments

CALL TO ACTION: MERS ASSIGNMENTS

CALL TO ACTION: MERS ASSIGNMENTS

The Time To Act Is NOW!

I am working on a special project & need your help to gather as many MERS Assignments as we can possibly get.

What is especially needed are the Certifying Officers signing these assignments for MERS. I don’t care if it’s old, new, signed, undated, unmarked, lender has gone bankrupt ages ago…I just want them ALL!


Click the Envelope to load up your MERS Assignment(s).

Or Info at stopforeclosurefraud.com

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



Posted in Bank Owned, bankruptcy, chain in title, concealment, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, Notary, notary fraud, note, quiet title, racketeering, Real Estate, REO, RICO, rmbs, robo signers, securitization, servicers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Supreme Court, trade secrets, trustee, Trusts, Wall Street1 Comment

DJSP reports smaller profit as AG probe looms

DJSP reports smaller profit as AG probe looms

South Florida Business Journal

Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 6:05pm EDT

As an investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s Office looms over its chairman and CEO, Plantation-based DJSP Enterprises reported a decline in both profits and income during the second quarter.

The foreclosure and title processing company (NASDAQ: DJSP) reported net income of $3.8 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenue of $56.1 million. That’s down from net income of $14.1 million, or 73 cents a share, on revenue of $61.7 million in the second quarter of 2009.

DJSP handles foreclosure legal work for major lenders, and its largest client is the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A. The lawyer is chairman and CEO of DJSP.

On Aug. 10, Attorney General Bill McCollum announced he had started an investigation of David J. Stern, P.A., along with three other Florida law firms, over whether they engaged in unfair and deceptive actions in the handling of foreclosure cases. There have been allegations that the law firms fabricated mortgage assignments to speed up foreclosures.

David J. Stern, P.A. responded to the news by stating that it would cooperate with the investigation and it has done nothing wrong.

In addition, a pending class action lawsuit accuses Stern and his firm of violating the RICO Act.

Continue reading… South Florida Business Journal


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



Posted in chain in title, class action, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, djsp enterprises, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, stock, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, title company3 Comments

ALTER EGO DOCTRINE: ‘Pierce the Corporate Veil’

ALTER EGO DOCTRINE: ‘Pierce the Corporate Veil’

A doctrine of law which disregards the principle of limited liability enjoyed by a corporate entity when it is proven that, in fact, no separate identity of the individual and corporation exists. The alter ego principle may also apply to relationships between corporate entities and their subsidiaries.

  • Litigants often invoke the alter ego doctrine but are rarely successful. Still, under the proper circumstances, it can be a powerful and effective equitable device for litigants before and after judgment.
  • Where the Creditor Directs Management of an Affiliated Transferee. Where the borrower has transferred title to a different entity controlled by the lender (or lenders, as the use of such entities at foreclosure is common in the participation setting), liability for an (unanticipated) uninsured loss often flows upward to the controlling parties anyway. Lender liability, alter-ego and other theories may be applied. See § (K)(1), infra (use of affiliates and  environmental liability). For a discussion of the liability of the affiliated secured lender, see Talley, § XIII(A)(3), supra.
  • Piercing the corporate veil in business is when a corporation performs an act through their officers or board of directors in good faith, so the company isn’t doing the deed themselves. In other words piercing the corporate veil has to do with the corporation through it’s officers and through the board of directors NOT acting in compliance with the corporation articles of incorporation and corporate bylaws require. And when they do that, they do that at the peril of the officers and the board of directors.

read more on this paper… HERE

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



Posted in bogus, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, investigation, mbs, mortgage, notary fraud, note, racketeering, RICO, Trusts, Wall Street9 Comments

MUST WATCH | ‘INSIDE JOB’ The Global Financial Meltdown

MUST WATCH | ‘INSIDE JOB’ The Global Financial Meltdown

From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

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



Posted in bear stearns, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, FED FRAUD, federal reserve board, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, geithner, goldman sachs, insider, investigation, jobless, lehman brothers, mbs, mortgage, Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, note, racketeering, Real Estate, repossession, RICO, securitization, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, sub-prime, trade secrets, Trusts, Wall Street0 Comments

WHISTLE BLOWER | Report On Fraudulent & Forged Assignments Of Mortgages & Deeds In U.S. Foreclosures

WHISTLE BLOWER | Report On Fraudulent & Forged Assignments Of Mortgages & Deeds In U.S. Foreclosures

Pew family trusts which I am a beneficiary and/or remainderman have maintained
investments in various banks, mutual funds, and other entities that maintain
interests in various shares, mortgage backed securities and/or debt issuances and I
have been a shareholder in many mortgage companies including Fannie Mae,
Bear Stearns, JPMorganChase, Washington Mutual, MGIC, Ocwen and Radian,
many of which are members, owners and shareholders in Mortgage Electronic
Registration Systems, Inc. [MERS].

© 2010 Nye Lavalle, Pew Mortgage Institute
•10675 Pebble Cove Lane • Boca Raton, FL 33498
561/860-7632 • mortgagefrauds@aol.com

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



Posted in bear stearns, bogus, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forensic document examiner, forensic mortgage investigation audit, forgery, insider, investigation, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., Lender Processing Services Inc., LPS, Max Gardner, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, neil garfield, notary fraud, note, OCC, R.K. Arnold, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, shapiro & fishman pa, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, trade secrets, Trusts, Violations, Wall Street0 Comments

Banks’ Self-Dealing Super-Charged Financial Crisis

Banks’ Self-Dealing Super-Charged Financial Crisis

ProPublica

Over the last two years of the housing bubble, Wall Street bankers perpetrated one of the greatest episodes of self-dealing in financial history.

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

They created fake demand.

A ProPublica analysis shows for the first time the extent to which banks — primarily Merrill Lynch, but also Citigroup, UBS and others — bought their own products and cranked up an assembly line that otherwise should have flagged.

The products they were buying and selling were at the heart of the 2008 meltdown — collections of mortgage bonds known as collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs.

As the housing boom began to slow in mid-2006, investors became skittish about the riskier parts of those investments. So the banks created — and ultimately provided most of the money for — new CDOs. Those new CDOs bought the hard-to-sell pieces of the original CDOs. The result was a daisy chain [1] that solved one problem but created another: Each new CDO had its own risky pieces. Banks created yet other CDOs to buy those.

Individual instances of these questionable trades have been reported before, but ProPublica’s investigation shows that by late 2006 they became a common industry practice.

Source: Thetica SystemsSource: Thetica Systems

An analysis by research firm Thetica Systems, commissioned by ProPublica, shows that in the last years of the boom, CDOs had become the dominant purchaser of key, risky parts of other CDOs, largely replacing real investors like pension funds. By 2007, 67 percent of those slices were bought by other CDOs, up from 36 percent just three years earlier. The banks often orchestrated these purchases. In the last two years of the boom, nearly half of all CDOs sponsored by market leader Merrill Lynch bought significant portions of other Merrill CDOs [2].ProPublica also found 85 instances during 2006 and 2007 in which two CDOs bought pieces of each other’s unsold inventory. These trades, which involved $107 billion worth of CDOs, underscore the extent to which the market lacked real buyers. Often the CDOs that swapped purchases closed within days of each other, the analysis shows.

There were supposed to be protections against this sort of abuse. While banks provided the blueprint for the CDOs and marketed them, they typically selected independent managers who chose the specific bonds to go inside them. The managers had a legal obligation to do what was best for the CDO. They were paid by the CDO, not the bank, and were supposed to serve as a bulwark against self-dealing by the banks, which had the fullest understanding of the complex and lightly regulated mortgage bonds.

It rarely worked out that way. The managers were beholden to the banks that sent them the business. On a billion-dollar deal, managers could earn a million dollars in fees, with little risk. Some small firms did several billion dollars of CDOs in a matter of months.

“All these banks for years were spawning trading partners,” says a former executive from Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, a major insurer of the CDO market. “You don’t have a trading partner? Create one.”

The executive, like most of the dozens of people ProPublica spoke with about the inner workings of the market at the time, asked not to be named out of fear of being sucked into ongoing investigations or because they are involved in civil litigation.

Keeping the assembly line going had a wealth of short-term advantages for the banks. Fees rolled in. A typical CDO could net the bank that created it between $5 million and $10 million — about half of which usually ended up as employee bonuses. Indeed, Wall Street awarded record bonuses in 2006, a hefty chunk of which came from the CDO business.

The self-dealing super-charged the market for CDOs, enticing some less-savvy investors to try their luck. Crucially, such deals maintained the value of mortgage bonds at a time when the lack of buyers should have driven their prices down.

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

The incestuous trading also made the CDOs more intertwined and thus fragile, accelerating their decline in value that began in the fall of 2007 and deepened over the next year. Most are now worth pennies on the dollar. Nearly half of the nearly trillion dollars in losses to the global banking system came from CDOs, losses ultimately absorbed by taxpayers and investors around the world. The banks’ troubles sent the world’s economies into a tailspin from which they have yet to recover.

It remains unclear whether any of this violated laws. The SEC has said [4] that it is actively looking at as many as 50 CDO managers as part of its broad examination of the CDO business’ role in the financial crisis. In particular, the agency is focusing on the relationship between the banks and the managers. The SEC is exploring how deals were structured, if any quid pro quo arrangements existed, and whether banks pressured managers to take bad assets.

The banks declined to directly address ProPublica’s questions. Asked about its relationship with managers and the cross-ownership among its CDOs, Citibank responded with a one-sentence statement:

“It has been widely reported that there are ongoing industry-wide investigations into CDO-related matters and we do not comment on pending investigations.”

None of ProPublica’s questions had mentioned the SEC or pending investigations.

Posed a similar list of questions, Bank of America, which now owns Merrill Lynch, said:

“These are very specific questions regarding individuals who left Merrill Lynch several years ago and a CDO origination business that, due to market conditions, was discontinued by Merrill before Bank of America acquired the company.”

This is the second installment of a ProPublica series about the largely hidden history of the CDO boom and bust. Our first story [5] looked at how one hedge fund helped create at least $40 billion in CDOs as part of a strategy to bet against the market. This story turns the focus on the banks.

Merrill Lynch Pioneers Pervert the Market
By 2004, the housing market was in full swing, and Wall Street bankers flocked to the CDO frenzy. It seemed to be the perfect money machine, and for a time everyone was happy.

Homeowners got easy mortgages. Banks and mortgage companies felt secure lending the money because they could sell the mortgages almost immediately to Wall Street and get back all their cash plus a little extra for their trouble. The investment banks charged massive fees for repackaging the mortgages into fancy financial products. Investors all around the world got to play in the then-phenomenal American housing market.

The mortgages were bundled into bonds, which were in turn combined into CDOs offering varying interest rates and levels of risk.

Investors holding the top tier of a CDO were first in line to get money coming from mortgages. By 2006, some banks often kept this layer, which credit agencies blessed with their highest rating of Triple A.

Buyers of the lower tiers took on more risk and got higher returns. They would be the first to take the hit if homeowners funding the CDO stopped paying their mortgages. (Here’s a video explaining how CDOs worked [6].)

Over time, these risky slices became increasingly hard to sell, posing a problem for the banks. If they remained unsold, the sketchy assets stayed on their books, like rotting inventory. That would require the banks to set aside money to cover any losses. Banks hate doing that because it means the money can’t be loaned out or put to other uses.

Being stuck with the risky portions of CDOs would ultimately lower profits and endanger the whole assembly line.

The banks, notably Merrill and Citibank, solved this problem by greatly expanding what had been a common and accepted practice: CDOs buying small pieces of other CDOs.

Architects of CDOs typically included what they called a “bucket” — which held bits of other CDOs paying higher rates of interest. The idea was to boost overall returns of deals primarily composed of safer assets. In the early days, the bucket was a small portion of an overall CDO.

One pioneer of pushing CDOs to buy CDOs was Merrill Lynch’s Chris Ricciardi, who had been brought to the firm in 2003 to take Merrill to the top of the CDO business. According to former colleagues, Ricciardi’s team cultivated managers, especially smaller firms.

Merrill exercised its leverage over the managers. A strong relationship with Merrill could be the difference between a business that thrived and one that didn’t. The more deals the banks gave a manager, the more money the manager got paid.

As the head of Merrill’s CDO business, Ricciardi also wooed managers with golf outings and dinners. One Merrill executive summed up the overall arrangement: “I’m going to make you rich. You just have to be my bitch.”

But not all managers went for it.

An executive from Trainer Wortham, a CDO manager, recalls a 2005 conversation with Ricciardi. “I wasn’t going to buy other CDOs. Chris said: ‘You don’t get it. You have got to buy other guys’ CDOs to get your deal done. That’s how it works.'” When the manager refused, Ricciardi told him, “‘That’s it. You are not going to get another deal done.'” Trainer Wortham largely withdrew from the market, concerned about the practice and the overheated prices for CDOs.

Ricciardi declined multiple requests to comment.

Merrill CDOs often bought slices of other Merrill deals. This seems to have happened more in the second half of any given year, according to ProPublica’s analysis, though the purchases were still a small portion compared to what would come later. Annual bonuses are based on the deals bankers completed by yearend.

Ricciardi left Merrill Lynch in February 2006. But the machine he put into place not only survived his departure, it became a model for competitors.

As Housing Market Wanes, Self-Dealing Takes Off
By mid-2006, the housing market was on the wane. This was particularly true for subprime mortgages, which were given to borrowers with spotty credit at higher interest rates. Subprime lenders began to fold, in what would become a mass extinction. In the first half of the year, the percentage of subprime borrowers who didn’t even make the first month’s mortgage payment tripled from the previous year.

That made CDO investors like pension funds and insurance companies increasingly nervous. If homeowners couldn’t make their mortgage payments, then the stream of cash to CDOs would dry up. Real “buyers began to shrivel and shrivel,” says Fiachra O’Driscoll, who co-ran Credit Suisse’s CDO business from 2003 to 2008.

Faced with disappearing investor demand, bankers could have wound down the lucrative business and moved on. That’s the way a market is supposed to work. Demand disappears; supply follows. But bankers were making lots of money. And they had amassed warehouses full of CDOs and other mortgage-based assets whose value was going down.

Rather than stop, bankers at Merrill, Citi, UBS and elsewhere kept making CDOs.

The question was: Who would buy them?

The top 80 percent, the less risky layers or so-called “super senior,” were held by the banks themselves. The beauty of owning that supposedly safe top portion was that it required hardly any money be held in reserve.

That left 20 percent, which the banks did not want to keep because it was riskier and required them to set aside reserves to cover any losses. Banks often sold the bottom, riskiest part to hedge funds [5]. That left the middle layer, known on Wall Street as the “mezzanine,” which was sold to new CDOs whose top 80 percent was ultimately owned by … the banks.

“As we got further into 2006, the mezzanine was going into other CDOs,” says Credit Suisse’s O’Driscoll.

This was the daisy chain [1]. On paper, the risky stuff was gone, held by new independent CDOs. In reality, however, the banks were buying their own otherwise unsellable assets.

How could something so seemingly short-sighted have happened?

It’s one of the great mysteries of the crash. Banks have fleets of risk managers to defend against just such reckless behavior. Top executives have maintained that while they suspected that the housing market was cooling, they never imagined the crash. For those doing the deals, the payoff was immediate. The dangers seemed abstract and remote.

The CDO managers played a crucial role. CDOs were so complex that even buyers had a hard time seeing exactly what was in them — making a neutral third party that much more essential.

“When you’re investing in a CDO you are very much putting your faith in the manager,” says Peter Nowell, a former London-based investor for the Royal Bank of Scotland. “The manager is choosing all the bonds that go into the CDO.” (RBS suffered mightily in the global financial meltdown, posting the largest loss in United Kingdom history, and was de facto nationalized by the British government.)

Source: Asset-Backed AlertSource: Asset-Backed Alert

By persuading managers to pick the unsold slices of CDOs, the banks helped keep the market going. “It guaranteed distribution when, quite frankly, there was not a huge market for them,” says Nowell.The counterintuitive result was that even as investors began to vanish, the mortgage CDO market more than doubled from 2005 to 2006, reaching $226 billion, according to the trade publication Asset-Backed Alert.

Citi and Merrill Hand Out Sweetheart Deals
As the CDO market grew, so did the number of CDO management firms, including many small shops that relied on a single bank for most of their business. According to Fitch, the number of CDO managers it rated rose from 89 in July 2006 to 140 in September 2007.

One CDO manager epitomized the devolution of the business, according to numerous industry insiders: a Wall Street veteran named Wing Chau.

Earlier in the decade, Chau had run the CDO department for Maxim Group, a boutique investment firm in New York. Chau had built a profitable business for Maxim based largely on his relationship with Merrill Lynch. In just a few years, Maxim had corralled more than $4 billion worth of assets under management just from Merrill CDOs.

In August 2006, Chau bolted from Maxim to start his own CDO management business, taking several colleagues with him. Chau’s departure gave Merrill, the biggest CDO producer, one more avenue for unsold inventory.

Chau named the firm Harding, after the town in New Jersey where he lived. The CDO market was starting its most profitable stretch ever, and Harding would play a big part. In an eleven-month period, ending in August 2007, Harding managed $13 billion of CDOs, including more than $5 billion from Merrill, and another nearly $5 billion from Citigroup. (Chau would later earn a measure of notoriety for a cameo appearance in Michael Lewis’ bestseller “The Big Short [7],” where he is depicted as a cheerfully feckless “go-to buyer” for Merrill Lynch’s CDO machine.)

Chau had a long-standing friendship with Ken Margolis, who was Merrill’s top CDO salesman under Ricciardi. When Ricciardi left Merrill in 2006, Margolis became a co-head of Merrill’s CDO group. He carried a genial, let’s-just-get-the-deal-done demeanor into his new position. An avid poker player, Margolis told a friend that in a previous job he had stood down a casino owner during a foreclosure negotiation after the owner had threatened to put a fork through his eye.

Chau’s close relationship with Merrill continued. In late 2006, Merrill sublet office space to Chau’s startup in the Merrill tower in Lower Manhattan’s financial district. A Merrill banker, David Moffitt, scheduled visits to Harding for prospective investors in the bank’s CDOs. “It was a nice office,” overlooking New York Harbor, recalls a CDO buyer. “But it did feel a little weird that it was Merrill’s building,” he said.

Moffitt did not respond to requests for comment.

Under Margolis, other small managers with meager track records were also suddenly handling CDOs valued at as much as $2 billion. Margolis declined to answer any questions about his own involvement in these matters.

A Wall Street Journal article [8] ($) from late 2007, one of the first of its kind, described how Margolis worked with one inexperienced CDO manager called NIR on a CDO named Norma, in the spring of that year. The Long Island-based NIR made about $1.5 million a year for managing Norma, a CDO that imploded.

“NIR’s collateral management business had arisen from efforts by Merrill Lynch to assemble a stable of captive small firms to manage its CDOs that would be beholden to Merrill Lynch on account of the business it funneled to them,” alleged a lawsuit filed in New York state court against Merrill over Norma that was settled quietly after the plaintiffs received internal Merrill documents.

NIR declined to comment.

Banks had a variety of ways to influence managers’ behavior.

Some of the few outside investors remaining in the market believed that the manager would do a better job if he owned a small slice of the CDO he was managing. That way, the manager would have more incentive to manage the investment well, since he, too, was an investor. But small management firms rarely had money to invest. Some banks solved this problem by advancing money to managers such as Harding.

Chau’s group managed two Citigroup CDOs — 888 Tactical Fund and Jupiter High-Grade VII — in which the bank loaned Harding money to buy risky pieces of the deal. The loans would be paid back out of the fees the managers took from the CDO and its investors. The loans were disclosed to investors in a few sentences among the hundreds of pages of legalese accompanying the deals.

In response to ProPublica’s questions, Chau’s lawyer said, “Harding Advisory’s dealings with investment banks were proper and fully disclosed.”

Citigroup made similar deals with other managers. The bank lent money to a manager called Vanderbilt Capital Advisors for its Armitage CDO, completed in March 2007.

Vanderbilt declined to comment. It couldn’t be learned how much money Citigroup loaned or whether it was ever repaid.

Yet again banks had masked their true stakes in CDO. Banks were lending money to CDO managers so they could buy the banks’ dodgy assets. If the managers couldn’t pay the loans back — and most were thinly capitalized — the banks were on the hook for even more losses when the CDO business collapsed.

Goldman, Merrill and Others Get Tough
When the housing market deteriorated, banks took advantage of a little-used power they had over managers.

The way CDOs are put together, there is a brief period when the bonds picked by managers sit on the banks’ balance sheets. Because the value of such assets can fall, banks reserved the right to overrule managers’ selections.

According to numerous bankers, managers and investors, banks rarely wielded that veto until late 2006, after which it became common. Merrill was in the lead.

“I would go to Merrill and tell them that I wanted to buy, say, a Citi bond,” recalls a CDO manager. “They would say ‘no.’ I would suggest a UBS bond, they would say ‘no.’ Eventually, you got the joke.” Managers could choose assets to put into their CDOs but they had to come from Merrill CDOs. One rival investment banker says Merrill treated CDO managers the way Henry Ford treated his Model T customers: You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.

Once, Merrill’s Ken Margolis pushed a manager to buy a CDO slice for a Merrill-produced CDO called Port Jackson that was completed in the beginning of 2007: “‘You don’t have to buy the deal but you are crazy if you don’t because of your business,'” an executive at the management firm recalls Margolis telling him. “‘We have a big pipeline and only so many more mandates to give you.’ You got the message.” In other words: Take our stuff and we’ll send you more business. If not, forget it.

Margolis declined to comment on the incident.

“All the managers complained about it,” recalls O’Driscoll, the former Credit Suisse banker who competed with other investment banks to put deals together and market them. But “they were indentured slaves.” O’Driscoll recalls managers grumbling that Merrill in particular told them “what to buy and when to buy it.”

Other big CDO-producing banks quickly adopted the practice.

A little-noticed document released this year during a congressional investigation into Goldman Sachs’ CDO business reveals that bank’s thinking. The firm wrote a November 2006 internal memorandum [9] about a CDO called Timberwolf, managed by Greywolf, a small manager headed by ex-Goldman bankers. In a section headed “Reasons To Pursue,” the authors touted that “Goldman is approving every asset” that will end up in the CDO. What the bank intended to do with that approval power is clear from the memo: “We expect that a significant portion of the portfolio by closing will come from Goldman’s offerings.”

When asked to comment whether Goldman’s memo demonstrates that it had effective control over the asset selection process and that Greywolf was not in fact an independent manager, the bank responded: “Greywolf was an experienced, independent manager and made its own decisions about what reference assets to include. The securities included in Timberwolf were fully disclosed to the professional investors who invested in the transaction.”

Greywolf declined to comment. One of the investors, Basis Capital of Australia, filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan against Goldman over the deal. The bank maintains the lawsuit is without merit.

By March 2007, the housing market’s signals were flashing red. Existing home sales plunged at the fastest rate in almost 20 years. Foreclosures were on the rise. And yet, to CDO buyer Peter Nowell’s surprise, banks continued to churn out CDOs.

“We were pulling back. We couldn’t find anything safe enough,” says Nowell. “We were amazed that April through June they were still printing deals. We thought things were over.”

Instead, the CDO machine was in overdrive. Wall Street produced $70 billion in mortgage CDOs in the first quarter of the year.

Many shareholder lawsuits battling their way through the court system today focus on this period of the CDO market. They allege that the banks were using the sales of CDOs to other CDOs to prop up prices and hide their losses.

“Citi’s CDO operations during late 2006 and 2007 functioned largely to sell CDOs to yet newer CDOs created by Citi to house them,” charges a pending shareholder lawsuit against the bank that was filed in federal court in Manhattan in February 2009. “Citigroup concocted a scheme whereby it repackaged many of these investments into other freshly-baked vehicles to avoid incurring a loss.”

Citigroup described the allegations as “irrational,” saying the bank’s executives would never knowingly take actions that would lead to “catastrophic losses.”

In the Hall of Mirrors, Myopic Rating Agencies
The portion of CDOs owned by other CDOs grew right alongside the market. What had been 5 percent of CDOs (remember the “bucket”) now came to constitute as much as 30 or 40 percent of new CDOs. (Wall Street also rolled out CDOs that were almost entirely made up of CDOs, called CDO squareds [10].)

The ever-expanding bucket provided new opportunities for incestuous trades.

It worked like this: A CDO would buy a piece of another CDO, which then returned the favor. The transactions moved both CDOs closer to completion, when bankers and managers would receive their fees.

Source: Thetica SystemsSource: Thetica Systems

ProPublica’s analysis shows that in the final two years of the business, CDOs with cross-ownership amounted to about one-fifth of the market, about $107 billion.Here’s an example from early May 2007:

  • A CDO called Jupiter VI bought a piece of a CDO called Tazlina II.
  • Tazlina II bought a piece of Jupiter VI.

Both Jupiter VI and Tazlina II were created by Merrill and were completed within a week of each other. Both were managed by small firms that did significant business with Merrill: Jupiter by Wing Chau’s Harding, and Tazlina by Terwin Advisors. Chau did not respond to questions about this deal. Terwin Advisors could not reached.

Just a few weeks earlier, CDO managers completed a comparable swap between Jupiter VI and another Merrill CDO called Forge 1.

Forge has its own intriguing history. It was the only deal done by a tiny manager of the same name based in Tampa, Fla. The firm was started less than a year earlier by several former Wall Street executives with mortgage experience. It received seed money from Bryan Zwan, who in 2001 settled an SEC civil lawsuit over his company’s accounting problems in a federal court in Florida. Zwan and Forge executives didn’t respond to requests for comment.

After seemingly coming out of nowhere, Forge won the right to manage a $1.5 billion Merrill CDO. That earned Forge a visit from the rating agency Moody’s.

“We just wanted to make sure that they actually existed,” says a former Moody’s executive. The rating agency saw that the group had an office near the airport and expertise to do the job.

Rating agencies regularly did such research on managers, but failed to ask more fundamental questions. The credit ratings agencies “did heavy, heavy due diligence on managers but they were looking for the wrong things: how you processed a ticket or how your surveillance systems worked,” says an executive at a CDO manager. “They didn’t check whether you were buying good bonds.”

One Forge employee recalled in a recent interview that he was amazed Merrill had been able to find buyers so quickly. “They were able to sell all the tranches” — slices of the CDO — “in a fairly rapid period of time,” said Rod Jensen, a former research analyst for Forge.

Forge achieved this feat because Merrill sold the slices to other CDOs, many linked to Merrill.

The ProPublica analysis shows that two Merrill CDOs, Maxim II and West Trade III, each bought pieces of Forge. Small managers oversaw both deals.

Forge, in turn, was filled with detritus from Merrill. Eighty-two percent of the CDO bonds owned by Forge came from other Merrill deals.

Citigroup did its own version of the shuffle, as these three CDOs demonstrate:

  • A CDO called Octonion bought some of Adams Square Funding II.
  • • Adams Square II bought a piece of Octonion.
  • • A third CDO, Class V Funding III, also bought some of Octonion.
  • • Octonion, in turn, bought a piece of Class V Funding III.

All of these Citi deals were completed within days of each other. Wing Chau was once again a central player. His firm managed Octonion. The other two were managed by a unit of Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Not all cross-ownership deals were consummated.

In spring 2007, Deutsche Bank was creating a CDO and found a manager that wanted to take a piece of it. The manager was overseeing a CDO that Merrill was assembling. Merrill blocked the manager from putting the Deutsche bonds into the Merrill CDO. A former Deutsche Bank banker says that when Deutsche Bank complained to Andy Phelps, a Merrill CDO executive, Phelps offered a quid pro quo: If Deutsche was willing to have the manager of its CDO buy some Merrill bonds, Merrill would stop blocking the purchase. Phelps declined to comment.

The Deutsche banker, who says its managers were independent, recalls being shocked: “We said we don’t control what people buy in their deals.” The swap didn’t happen.

The Missing Regulators and the Aftermath
In September 2007, as the market finally started to catch up with Merrill Lynch, Ken Margolis left the firm to join Wing Chau at Harding.

Chau and Margolis circulated a marketing plan for a new hedge fund to prospective investors touting their expertise in how CDOs were made and what was in them. The fund proposed to buy failed CDOs — at bargain basement prices. In the end, Margolis and Chau couldn’t make the business work and dropped the idea.

Why didn’t regulators intervene during the boom to stop the self-dealing that had permeated the CDO market?

No one agency had authority over the whole business. Since the business came and went in just a few years, it may have been too much to expect even assertive regulators to comprehend what was happening in time to stop it.

While the financial regulatory bill passed by Congress in July creates more oversight powers, it’s unclear whether regulators have sufficient tools to prevent a replay of the debacle.

In just two years, the CDO market had cut a swath of destruction. Partly because CDOs had bought so many pieces of each other, they collapsed in unison. Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, the biggest perpetrators of the self-dealing, were among the biggest losers. Merrill lost about $26 billion on mortgage CDOs and Citigroup about $34 billion.

Additional reporting by Kitty Bennett, Krista Kjellman Schmidt, Lisa Schwartz and Karen Weise.


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



Posted in bank of america, cdo, citi, CitiGroup, concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, Credit Suisse, deutsche bank, Economy, goldman sachs, investigation, Merrill Lynch, racketeering, RICO, rmbs, stock, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, trade secrets, Wall Street0 Comments

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

MUST READ |E-Discovery…Electronic Registration Systems WORST NIGHTMARE!

MUST READ |E-Discovery…Electronic Registration Systems WORST NIGHTMARE!

Via: Discovery Tactics aka Anthony Martinez & Assoc.

Latest Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Cases

I’ve been harping on the importance of demanding and acessing ESI from foreclosing parties for quite some time now.  A properly made ESI discovery request will provide numerous “smoking gun” documents that are sure to place the opposing party in a uncomfortable position.  Below I’ve identifed some of the most recent and more important cases that involve ESI.

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Court Grants Defendant’s Motion for Entry of Clawback Provision

Rajala v. McGuire Woods LLP, 2010 WL 2649582 (D. Kan. July 22, 2010) Plaintiff, as Bankruptcy Trustee, brought suit against defendant, alleging several claims. The parties could not agree on the entry of a clawback provision. Accordingly, defendant moved the…

Jury Instruction Allowing Inference that Destroyed Evidence Was Unfavorable and Payment of Attorneys’ Fees and Costs Ordered as Sanction for Failure to Preserve

Medcorp, Inc. v. Pinpoint Tech., Inc., 2010 WL 2500301 (D. Colo. June 15, 2010) Finding “willful” spoliation of 43 hard drives “in the sense that Plaintiff was aware of its responsibilities to preserve relevant evidence and failed to take necessary…

Judge Scheindlin Amends Recent Pension Opinion

On May 28th, Judge Shira Scheindlin entered an order amending her recent opinion in Pension Comm. of Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Bank of Am. Secs., LLC. The order provides important clarification regarding the scope of a party’s obligation…

Court Rules Failure to Copy Files on Flash Drive Prior to Failure of the Drive Violated Duty to Preserve

Wilson v. Thorn Energy, LLC, 2010 WL 1712236 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 15, 2010) In this case, the court ordered sanctions for defendants’ failure to preserve relevant data where defendants failed to back up a flash drive containing all relevant financial records…

Court Orders Monetary Sanctions for Production Delay Resulting from Counsel’s Failure to Become Familiar with Plaintiff’s Retention Policies and Systems

GFI Acquisition, LLC v. Am. Federated Title Corp. (In re A & M Fla. Props. II, LLC), 2010 WL 1418861 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Apr. 7, 2010) Where plaintiff’s counsel “failed in his obligation to locate and produce all relevant documents in…

Court Rules Communications with Attorney Using Work Computer are Protected as Privileged

Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., 2010 WL 1189458 (N.J. Mar. 30, 2010) In this employment litigation, the Supreme Court of New Jersey addressed whether employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy as to attorney-client privileged emails sent and received…

Despite Malaysian Blocking Statute, Court Compels Third Party’s Production of Foreign Banking Information Pursuant to Subpoena

Gucci Amer., Inc. v. Curveal Fashion, 2010 WL 808639 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 8, 2010) Plaintiff sought to compel the production of documents and information regarding defendants’ Malaysian bank accounts pursuant to a subpoena served on United Overseas Bank’s New York Agency…

Court Provides Detailed Analysis of Law of Spoliation, Orders Adverse Inference Instruction, Monetary Sanctions for Intentional Spoliation of ESI

Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. v. Cammarata, 2010 WL 645253 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 19, 2010) For intentional spoliation, the court declined to order terminating sanctions but ordered an adverse inference instruction and for defendants to pay plaintiff’s attorneys fees and costs….

Court Finds Data “Not Reasonably Accessible,” Denies Motion to Compel

Rodriguez-Torres v. Gov. Dev. Bank of Puerto Rico, 265 F.R.D. 40 (D.P.R. 2010) In this employment discrimination case, the court found the electronically stored information (“ESI”) requested by the plaintiffs “not reasonably accessible because of the undue burden and cost”…

“Zubulake Revisited: Six Years Later”: Judge Shira Scheindlin Issues her Latest e-Discovery Opinion

Pension Comm. of Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Bank of Am. Secs., LLC, 2010 WL 184312 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2010) (Amended Order) Issued earlier this month, Judge Shira Scheindlin’s opinion in Pension Comm. of Univer. of Montreal Pension Plan…

Court Compels Discovery from Foreign Corporation Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

In re Global Power Equip. Group, Inc., 418 B.R. 833 (Bankr. D. Del. 2009) Upon a motion to compel production of documents from claimant, a foreign corporation, the court found the documents at issue to be within the control of…

Swiss Government Says It Would Seize UBS Data Sought by U.S.

Bloomberg.com, July 8, 2009 By David Voreacos and Mort Lucoff July 8 (Bloomberg) — Switzerland said it would seize UBS AG data to prevent the U.S. Justice Department from pursuing a U.S. court order seeking the identities of 52,000 American…

Finding Defendants’ Behavior “a Textbook Case of Discovery Abuse,” Court Orders $1,022,700 in Monetary Sanctions

Kipperman v. Onex Corp., 2009 WL 1473708 (N.D. Ga. May 27, 2009) In this constructive transfer and fraud case arising out of the 2003 bankruptcy of Magnatrax Corporation, plaintiff alleged numerous discovery abuses on the part of defendants and sought…

Court Declines to Compel Production of Documents from Foreign Jurisdiction upon Finding a Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and where Certain Documents are Protected from Production by Israeli Law

Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC, 2009 WL 1456573 (E.D.N.Y. May 22, 2009) In this case, defendant Arab Bank moved to compel production of documents, pursuant to subpoena, by non-parties Israel Discount Bank, Ltd. (“IDB”), its indirect, wholly –owned subsidiary, Israel…

Granting Motion to Compel, Court Orders Appointment of Independent Expert “to Retrieve any Deleted Responsive Files from Defendants’ Computers”

Bank of Mongolia v. M & P Global Fin. Servs., Inc., 2009 WL 1117312 (S.D. Fla. Apr. 24, 2009) In this case arising from allegations that defendants conspired to defraud plaintiff of $23 million, defendants failed to properly and timely…

Court Orders Production of Relevant Source Code Citing Defendant’s Suggestion for Mitigating Costs

Metavante Corp. v. Emigrant Savings Bank, 2008 WL 4722336 (E.D. Wis. Oct. 24, 2008) In this breach of contract case, Emigrant filed several motions to compel Metavante’s response to multiple discovery requests. One motion sought the production of source code…

Updated List: Local Rules, Forms and Guidelines of United States District Courts Addressing E-Discovery Issues

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Finding “No Reason to Treat Websites Differently than Other Electronic Files,” Court Grants Adverse Inference for Failure to Preserve Website

Arteria Prop. Pty Ltd. v. Universal Funding V.T.O., Inc., 2008 WL 4513696 (D.N.J. Oct. 1, 2008) (Not for Publication) In this case arising from failed negotiations for a long term development loan, the plaintiff filed a motion for spoliation sanctions…

Court Denies Protective Order, Orders Allegedly Proprietary Data Produced Directly to Competitor

In re NVMS, LLC, 2008 WL 4488963 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. Mar. 21, 2008) In this case, the debtor, a medical services company, moved for expedited discovery of information contained in the database of a former billing partner. In July of…

No Spoliation Found Where Expert Drafted His Report on Computer, Without Saving or Preserving Progressive Iterations

In re Teleglobe Communications Corp., 2008 WL 3198875 (Bankr. D. Del. Aug. 7, 2008) In this lengthy opinion addressing a variety of issues, the bankruptcy judge denied defendants’ motion to exclude testimony of the plaintiff’s expert as a sanction for…

Magistrate Judge “Clearly Erred” by Analyzing Cost-Shifting Dispute for Paper Production under Seven-Factor Zubulake Test

Tierno v. Rite Aid Corp., 2008 WL 3287035 (N.D. Cal. July 31, 2008) In this wage and hour employment case, plaintiff sought documents about class members’ employment and salary history, terminations, performance evaluations, discipline, certain communications, and personnel files. Rite…

Inadequate Preservation Efforts Necessitate Restoration and Production of Email from Backup Tapes, and Forensic Search of CEO’s Laptop

Treppel v. Biovail Corp., 2008 WL 866594 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 2, 2008) In this case, plaintiff alleged that Biovail Corp., its CEO, general counsel and others engaged in a “smear campaign” that destroyed plaintiff’s career as a securities analyst. He asserted…

Magistrate Judge Sets Protocol for Plaintiff’s Forensic Examination of Former Employee’s Computer and Requests Affidavit from Expert Explaining Certain Issues

Equity Analytics, LLC v. Lundin, 248 F.R.D. 331 (D.D.C. 2008) In this case, plaintiff Equity Analytics claimed that defendant, its former employee, gained illegal access to electronically stored information after he was fired. Defendant explained that another Equity employee had…

Recent Amendments to Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil and Criminal Procedure Require Redaction of Personal Identification Information from Documents Filed with the Court

On December 1, 2007, the amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Procedure that implement the E-Government Act of 2002 became effective. The amendment to Appellate Rule 25, and new Bankruptcy Rule 9037, Civil Rule 5.2,…

The Biggest Data Disaster Ever

From The Red Tape Chronicles, Posted: Friday, November 30 at 05:15 am CT by Bob Sullivan: “It’s being called the worst data leak of the information age. Earlier this month, U.K. officials had to admit they’d lost hard drives containing…

Email Communications Between Physician and His Attorney Exchanged Over Hospital’s Email System Not Protected by Attorney-Client Privilege or Work Product Doctrine

Scott v. Beth Israel Med. Center Inc., 2007 WL 3053351 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Oct. 17, 2007) Plaintiff is a physician who sued for breach of contract based upon his termination from defendant hospital (“BI”). Under the contract at issue, BI…

Inadequate Legal Hold Measures, and Resulting Spoliation, Warrant Sanctions

In re NTL, Inc. Sec. Litig., 2007 WL 241344 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 30, 2007) In this opinion, Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck granted plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions in the form of an adverse inference instruction and awarded plaintiffs their costs and…

Court Allows Plaintiffs to Conduct Expedited Discovery Regarding Possible Spoliation

Roberts v. Canadian Pac. R.R. Ltd., 2007 WL 118901 (D. Minn. Jan. 11, 2007) In this decision, Chief District Judge James M. Rosenbaum granted plaintiff’s motion for leave to conduct limited discovery concerning spoliation of evidence on an expedited basis….

Condemning Defendant’s Gamesmanship, Court Orders Production of Database

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Neovi, Inc., 2006 WL 3803152 (S.D. Ohio Nov. 14, 2006) In this case involving UCC claims stemming from defendant’s internet-based check service, defendant disputed that it did sufficient business with Ohio residents to subject it…

Court Grants Plaintiff Access to Defendant’s Database

Bianchi v. The Bureaus, Inc., 2006 WL 3802758 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 1, 2006) In this brief order, the court granted plaintiff’s motion to allow her computer expert access a database maintained by defendant, for the purpose of determining whether the…

Citing Conference of Chief Justices’ Guidelines to State Courts, North Carolina Court Refuses to Compel Nonparty to Produce Deleted Emails from Backup Tapes

Bank of America Corp. v. SR Int’l Bus. Ins. Co., Ltd., 2006 WL 3093174, 2006 NCBC 15 (N.C. Super. Nov. 1, 2006) In its introductory remarks, the court advised: This opinion should be read in conjunction with the opinion in…

North Carolina Court Orders Production of Email from Backup Tapes; Parties to Share Restoration Costs Equally

Analog Devices, Inc. v. Michalski, 2006 WL 3287382 (N.C. Super. Nov. 1, 2006) (Unpublished) In this misappropriation of trade secrets case, defendants moved to compel the production of emails of the originators of the trade secrets at issue relating to…

North Carolina Court Relies on Conference of Chief Justices’ Guidelines in Two Decisions Involving the Production of Email from Backup Tapes

These two opinions, both filed on November 1, 2006, discuss for the first time the extent to which inaccessible electronic data is discoverable and who should pay for its production under the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Bank of…

$1.888 Million Judgment Entered in Favor of Bankruptcy Trustee Based on Adverse Party’s Spoliation of Financial Records

In re Quintus Corp., 353 B.R. 77 (Bankr. D. Del. 2006) Avaya, Inc. purchased the assets of the debtors in bankruptcy, and agreed to assume certain of the debtors’ liabilities. Thereafter, the trustee filed an adversary complaint against Avaya asserting…

Failure to Conduct Reasonable Investigation for Responsive Documents and Other Discovery Abuses Warrant Adverse Inference Instruction

3M Innovative Props. Co. v. Tomar Elecs., 2006 WL 2670038 (D. Minn. Sept. 18, 2006) In this patent infringement litigation, the district court judge affirmed the magistrate’s report and recommendation that plaintiff’s motion for sanctions against the defendant be granted…

Party Not Entitled to Shift Costs of Restoring Emails that were Converted to Inaccessible Format After Duty to Preserve was Triggered

Quinby v. WestLB AG, 2006 WL 2597900 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 5, 2006) Like the plaintiff in the Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, the plaintiff in this case was a highly-paid investment banker who accused her employer of gender discrimination and illegal…

Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege Invoked to Allow Testimony and Production of Notes by Attorney, Where Executive’s Deletion of Email Sought by Grand Jury Could Constitute Obstruction of Justice

In re Grand Jury Investigation, 445 F.3d 266 (3rd Cir. 2006) This opinion relates to an ongoing grand jury investigation of suspected federal criminal activity; because of the secrecy of the proceeding, the court’s opinion lacks specific details. The grand…

Second Circuit Reverses Frank Quattrone Conviction for Obstruction of Justice and Witness Tampering

In 2000, Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation (“CSFB”) employed Frank Quattrone as head of its Global Technology Group (the “Tech Group”). In that capacity, Quattrone managed approximately 400 technology investment bankers from the firm’s Palo Alto, California office. The Tech…

Florida Court Affirms $75,000 Coercive Civil Contempt Sanction Against Defendants For Prolonged Discovery Abuse

Channel Components, Inc. v. Am. II Electronics, Inc., 915 So. 2d 1278 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2005) In this case alleging tortious interference and related claims against two former employees, the plaintiff sought intervention by the court several times in…

Defendant Sanctioned for Negligent Failure to Institute and Communicate Legal Hold

In re Old Banc One Shareholders Sec. Litig., 2005 WL 3372783 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 8, 2005) In this opinion, the District Court adopted in full the Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation regarding plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions based upon the defendant’s failure…

Bank of America Corporation Ordered to Provide Discovery on Behalf of Non-Party Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries

In re ATM Fee Antitrust Litig., 2005 WL 3299763 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 5, 2005) In this class action, plaintiffs propounded requests for production of documents and a request for admissions to all named defendants, including Bank of America Corporation (“BAC”)….

Despite Evidence of Intentional and Negligent Concealment, Bankruptcy Court Dismisses Trustee’s Spoliation of Evidence Counterclaims Because No Injury Was Shown

In re Tri-State Armored Services, Inc., 332 B.R. 690 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2005) Insurance company brought adversary proceeding against Chapter 7 trustee, seeking either equitable rescission of employee dishonesty, crime, and disappearance insurance policies issued to debtor armored car company, or…

Court Orders Production of Home Office Backup Tape Created in Connection with CFTC Receivership

Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Equity Financial Group, LLC, et al., 2005 WL 2205789 (D.N.J. Sept. 9, 2005) In April 2004, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) filed an enforcement action against Equity Financial Group, LLC (“Equity”) and others…

UBS Securities to Pay $2.1 Million in Penalties and Fines for Failure to Preserve Email

On July 13, 2005 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) issued an Order in connection with the alleged failure of UBS Securities LLC (“UBS”) to preserve email. The Commission accepted an Offer of Settlement and UBS consented to entry of…

Spoliation Instruction Appropriate where Defendants Failed to Preserve Email

Arndt v. First Union Nat’l Bank, 613 S.E.2d 274 (N.C. Ct.App. 2005) Donald Arndt (“Arndt”) was hired by First Union National Bank (“First Union”) in June 1996 with an initial salary of $90,000 per year and a guaranteed minimum incentive…

Seventh Circuit Reverses Sanction Requiring Production of Documents Listed on Privilege Log

American National Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago v. Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, 406 F.3d 867 (7th Cir. 2005) American National Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago, as Trustee f/b/o Emerald Investments LP, and Emerald Investments…

Privilege Not Necessarily Waived Where Email Between Employee and Personal Attorney Maintained on Corporate Email System

In re Asia Global Crossing, Ltd., 322 B.R. 247 (S.D.N.Y. 2005) Asia Global Crossing, Ltd. and Asia Global Crossing Development Co. (collectively “Asia Global”) were pan-Asian telecommunication carriers which filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 on November 17, 2002. Asia…

Magistrate Recommends Adverse Inference Instruction and Monetary Sanctions for Failure to Preserve Hard Drives, Audio Recordings and Email

E*Trade Securities LLC v. Deutsche Bank AG, et al., Civil No. 02-3711 RHK/AJB and Civil No. 02-3682 RHK/AJB (D. Minn. Feb. 17, 2005) United States Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan filed a Report and Recommendation regarding several electronic discovery disputes…

Court Denies Motion to Compel Review of CD-ROMs for Responsive Documents

Zakre v. Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, 2004 WL 764895 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 9, 2004) Plaintiff requested an order compelling defendant to review for responsive documents two compact discs containing some 204,000 emails. Defendant had conducted a review of the emails for privileged…

Court Precludes Offering of Evidence as Sanction for Discovery Evasion

In re LTV Steel Co., Inc., 307 B.R. 37 (N.D. Ohio 2004) In bankruptcy proceeding, a creditor (“C&K”) submitted a claim for $1.9 million against the estate, a portion of which the debtor agreed was due. When the debtor sought…

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



Posted in breach of contract, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, discovery, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, lawsuit, mail fraud, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., non disclosure, notary fraud, note, originator, RICO, robo signers, securitization, servicers, trade secrets, Trusts, Violations0 Comments

Whatcha Gonna Do Mr. White Shoe Boy When the American Lion Comes for You?

Whatcha Gonna Do Mr. White Shoe Boy When the American Lion Comes for You?

“I’m not going to be here next week” is how Mr. Geeai greeted me on a delightfully cool morning last week,  “so your readers are going to have to live without me.  You can come and hang out,  but you have to bring your own coffee.”

“Is this the annual Geeai family campout?’

“Indeed it is”,  he replied.   “Chris is coming up from California and we are all going to hang for a week.  So you and your readers have to live without me next week.”

“That’s OK.  I’ll take notes”

“So what new has happened this week?”

“Remember David Stern?”

The jerk who is making hundreds of millions by throwing people out of their houses?  Yes,  I remember him.”

Want to know the name of his 130 foot yacht?”

“I’m afraid to ask.”

Su Casa es Mi Casa

And then Mr. Geeai did something that really surprised me.  With all of the emotion of a great white shark coming in for a kill he said,  “Ok,  that’s a knee cap buddy”.  And then he formed his fingers into the shape of a pistol and unloaded on my kneecap.  “Bang”  he said,  and looked at me with dead eyes,  “That’s just for naming your boat what you did.  It shows who you are and that’s worth a kneecap without any other consideration.  Oh,  I’m sorry,  is that painful ?  Good.  Now,  let’s talk about what your real punishment is going to be.”

It didn’t surprise me that he blew away the kneecap so much as the totally uncaring,  nonchalant attitude he took towards the action.  It was as if he were telling one of his tenants they were responsible for a late payment.  Totally emotionless,  you’re a mark in a book.  ‘Oh,  it says here I blow your kneecap off.  *bang*  Scratch that one,  what’s next on the list?’  That’s not like him.  I know him as a man of great compassion but all of that was gone as he thought of dealing with the ones responsible for ripping off the whole country for their personal aggrandizement.

There is a seething anger in this country and them that are responsible best take heed.  If Mr. Geeai can seriously consider blowing off a kneecap … and then consider what might be appropriate punishment …  then there is real trouble brewing.  Mr. Geeai is as laid back as they come.

There was a MERS story this past week from www.wallstreetoasis.com.   Wall Street Oasis bills themselves as  a place where “monkeys” (their terms,  not mine) from investment banks,  hedge funds and private equity firms can come to relax,  trade barbs & quips,  rant,  and generally find an outlet for the frustrations built from breathing the rarified air of corporate finance.

In order to comment on any of their blogs,  you have to be a member and in order to become a member,  you have to fill out an exhaustive series of questions such as,  where did you go to school?  Where did you get your MBA?  What was your GPA?  I was reminded of standing in the little boy’s room in grammer school competing with all of the other boys to see who could step the furthest away from the urinal and still arc a flow into the bowl.  Doug Jones was the best at two steps away from the back wall,  his closest competition was four but then Doug was the best athlete on the playground so we weren’t surprised.  We were awed.  Qualifications to become a member of Wall Street Oasis are just as meaningless as arcing a flow into the urinal if you ask me.  I suppose some people are in awe just like I was with Doug Jones but I’ve grown up a bit since then.  I digress.

Continue Reading…Chink in the Armor

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



Posted in class action, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, djsp enterprises, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, racketeering, RICO, robo signers, Wall Street0 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

_________________

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

HOMEOWNERS’ REBELLION: COULD 62 MILLION HOMES BE FORECLOSURE-PROOF?

HOMEOWNERS’ REBELLION: COULD 62 MILLION HOMES BE FORECLOSURE-PROOF?

Ellen Brown, August 18th, 2010
WEBofDEBT

Over 62 million mortgages are now held in the name of MERS, an electronic recording system devised by and for the convenience of the mortgage industry. A California bankruptcy court, following landmark cases in other jurisdictions, recently held that this electronic shortcut makes it impossible for banks to establish their ownership of property titles—and therefore to foreclose on mortgaged properties. The logical result could be 62 million homes that are foreclosure-proof.

Mortgages bundled into securities were a favorite investment of speculators at the height of the financial bubble leading up to the crash of 2008. The securities changed hands frequently, and the companies profiting from mortgage payments were often not the same parties that negotiated the loans. At the heart of this disconnect was the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, a company that serves as the mortgagee of record for lenders, allowing properties to change hands without the necessity of recording each transfer.

MERS was convenient for the mortgage industry, but courts are now questioning the impact of all of this financial juggling when it comes to mortgage ownership. To foreclose on real property, the plaintiff must be able to establish the chain of title entitling it to relief. But MERS has acknowledged, and recent cases have held, that MERS is a mere “nominee”—an entity appointed by the true owner simply for the purpose of holding property in order to facilitate transactions. Recent court opinions stress that this defect is not just a procedural but is a substantive failure, one that is fatal to the plaintiff’s legal ability to foreclose.

That means hordes of victims of predatory lending could end up owning their homes free and clear—while the financial industry could end up skewered on its own sword.

California Precedent

The latest of these court decisions came down in California on May 20, 2010, in a bankruptcy case called In re Walker, Case no. 10-21656-E–11. The court held that MERS could not foreclose because it was a mere nominee; and that as a result, plaintiff Citibank could not collect on its claim. The judge opined:

Since no evidence of MERS’ ownership of the underlying note has been offered, and other courts have concluded that MERS does not own the underlying notes, this court is convinced that MERS had no interest it could transfer to Citibank. Since MERS did not own the underlying note, it could not transfer the beneficial interest of the Deed of Trust to another. Any attempt to transfer the beneficial interest of a trust deed without ownership of the underlying note is void under California law.

In support, the judge cited In Re Vargas (California Bankruptcy Court); Landmark v. Kesler (Kansas Supreme Court); LaSalle Bank v. Lamy (a New York case); and In Re Foreclosure Cases (the “Boyko” decision from Ohio Federal Court). (For more on these earlier cases, see here, here and here.) The court concluded:

Since the claimant, Citibank, has not established that it is the owner of the promissory note secured by the trust deed, Citibank is unable to assert a claim for payment in this case.

The broad impact the case could have on California foreclosures is suggested by attorney Jeff Barnes, who writes:

This opinion . . . serves as a legal basis to challenge any foreclosure in California based on a MERS assignment; to seek to void any MERS assignment of the Deed of Trust or the note to a third party for purposes of foreclosure; and should be sufficient for a borrower to not only obtain a TRO [temporary restraining order] against a Trustee’s Sale, but also a Preliminary Injunction barring any sale pending any litigation filed by the borrower challenging a foreclosure based on a MERS assignment.

While not binding on courts in other jurisdictions, the ruling could serve as persuasive precedent there as well, because the court cited non-bankruptcy cases related to the lack of authority of MERS, and because the opinion is consistent with prior rulings in Idaho and Nevada Bankruptcy courts on the same issue.

What Could This Mean for Homeowners?

Earlier cases focused on the inability of MERS to produce a promissory note or assignment establishing that it was entitled to relief, but most courts have considered this a mere procedural defect and continue to look the other way on MERS’ technical lack of standing to sue. The more recent cases, however, are looking at something more serious. If MERS is not the title holder of properties held in its name, the chain of title has been broken, and no one may have standing to sue. In MERS v. Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, MERS insisted that it had no actionable interest in title, and the court agreed.

An August 2010 article in Mother Jones titled “Fannie and Freddie’s Foreclosure Barons” exposes a widespread practice of “foreclosure mills” in backdating assignments after foreclosures have been filed. Not only is this perjury, a prosecutable offense, but if MERS was never the title holder, there is nothing to assign. The defaulting homeowners could wind up with free and clear title.

In Jacksonville, Florida, legal aid attorney April Charney has been using the missing-note argument ever since she first identified that weakness in the lenders’ case in 2004. Five years later, she says, some of the homeowners she’s helped are still in their homes. According to a Huffington Post article titled “‘Produce the Note’ Movement Helps Stall Foreclosures”:

Because of the missing ownership documentation, Charney is now starting to file quiet title actions, hoping to get her homeowner clients full title to their homes (a quiet title action ‘quiets’ all other claims). Charney says she’s helped thousands of homeowners delay or prevent foreclosure, and trained thousands of lawyers across the country on how to protect homeowners and battle in court.

Criminal Charges?

Other suits go beyond merely challenging title to alleging criminal activity. On July 26, 2010, a class action was filed in Florida seeking relief against MERS and an associated legal firm for racketeering and mail fraud. It alleges that the defendants used “the artifice of MERS to sabotage the judicial process to the detriment of borrowers;” that “to perpetuate the scheme, MERS was and is used in a way so that the average consumer, or even legal professional, can never determine who or what was or is ultimately receiving the benefits of any mortgage payments;” that the scheme depended on “the MERS artifice and the ability to generate any necessary ‘assignment’ which flowed from it;” and that “by engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, specifically ‘mail or wire fraud,’ the Defendants . . . participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate commerce.”

Ellen Brown wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Ellen developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how the Federal Reserve and “the money trust” have usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are webofdebt.com, ellenbrown.com, and public-banking.com.

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



Posted in bogus, chain in title, class action, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, lawsuit, mail fraud, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, racketeering, RICO, servicers, trade secrets, trustee, Trusts, Wall Street5 Comments

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

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