Exactly 2 years ago to this day you held a rally in Toledo, Ohio. In your speech you spoke about our economy and the path it would travel if we did not propose “Change”.
In this speech in Ohio you proposed a 90 day Moratorium on Foreclosures.
You made this statement.
“We cannot allow homeowners and small towns to suffer because of the mess made by Wall Street and by Washington and for those Americans in danger of losing their homes today I’m also proposing a three month moratorium on foreclosures. If your a bank…if your a bank or a lender who’s getting money from the rescue plan that passed congress and your customers are making a good faith effort to make their mortgage payments and renegotiate their mortgage you will not be able to foreclose on their home for three months. We need to get to give the people the breathing room to get back on their feet”.
Today we come to the conclusion they not only are kicking us out of our homes but engaging in a “pattern of conduct” using fraudulent documents to do so. This is clear fraud upon the courts and this is unacceptable in AMERICA.
Yesterday I received an email informing me of a 74 year old woman will be evicted today. This is our sister, mother…grandmother. Can you imagine walking in her shoes and all she has struggled to maybe have a taste of being whole at 74? Do you understand the fear she has of not knowing where she will go, end up? Does anyone care what will happen to this human?
These are the emails that make me contribute to the cause.
I once had hope for change but now I am hopeless in what I witness being accepted.
Below is the actual video of the rally you held in Ohio. I hope you listen carefully to your own words and do the right thing for the American people today.
We are listening and demand a Foreclosure Freeze to this rampant Foreclosure Fraud.
California Democratic Congressional Delegation Urges Bank Investigations
October 5, 2010
Washington, D.C. – Today, California Democratic Congressional Delegation (CDCD) members sent a letter to Attorney General Holder, Federal Reserve Chair Bernanke, and Comptroller of the Currency Walsh requesting investigations into systemic wrongdoing by financial institutions in their handling of delinquent mortgages, mortgage modifications, and foreclosures. Delegation members have received thousands of complaints from their constituents, which appear to outline a clear pattern of misconduct on the part of lenders and servicers. Recent press accounts have also reinforced the view that these institutions are routinely failing to respond in a timely manner, misplacing requested documents, and misleading both borrowers and the government about loan modifications, forbearances, and other housing related applications.
“It’s clear that even after promising to work with borrowers, and receiving government incentives to do so, financial institutions are simply stringing the American people along,” noted Delegation Chair, Rep. Zoe Lofgren. “After reviewing thousands of complaints from our constituents, it appears that we aren’t dealing with isolated incidents and that a pattern of misconduct and obstruction is present.”
Dear Attorney General Holder, Chairman Bernanke and Comptroller Dugan, As members of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation, we urge you and your respective agencies to investigate possible violations of law or regulations by financial institutions in their handling of delinquent mortgages, mortgage modifications, and foreclosures.
Over the last few years, thousands of our constituents have reported that many financial institutions, despite good faith efforts on the part of most homeowners to work out reasonable loan modifications or simply seek forbearance of foreclosure, routinely fail to respond in a timely manner, misplace requested documents, and send mixed signals about the requirements that need to be met to avoid foreclosures. We are particularly perplexed by this apparent pattern in light of the many incentives Congress and the Obama Administration have offered to servicers and lenders to avoid foreclosures where financially viable, including subsidies and loan guarantees from taxpayers. Avoidable foreclosures end up being unnecessarily costly for homeowners, lenders and servicers, and our housing market, whose health is essential to our economic recovery.
The apparent pattern reported by our constituents leads us to conclude that their problems are not just personal anecdotes anymore. Recent reports that Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) and JP Morgan may have approved thousands of unwarranted foreclosures only amplify our concerns that systemic problems exist in the ways many financial institutions have dealt with homeowners who are seeking to avoid foreclosures.
who are seeking to avoid foreclosures. We are now in the third year of the worst housing crisis we have seen in decades. Far too many families in California, and across the country, continue to lose their homes. While Congress and the Obama Administration have taken steps to help mitigate the housing problem, this devastation has persisted and, in fact, worsened as the country’s unemployment rate increased. We have heard numerous stories of financial institutions being uncooperative at best or misleading and acting in bad faith at worst. These heartbreaking stories are commonplace, persisting across the state and across lenders and servicers. As you can see from the attached document, which highlights examples of casework throughout California, it appears that banks have repeatedly misled and obstructed homeowners from receiving the help Congress and the Administration have sought to provide.
The excuses we have heard from financial institutions are simply not credible three years into this crisis. People in our districts are hurting. We have tried to help them in the face of the many challenges they have faced in their dealings with financial institutions. It is time that banks are held accountable for their practices that have left too many homeowners without real help.
The California Democratic Congressional Delegation consists of 34 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California. This group outnumbers all other state House delegations – Republicans and Democrats combined.
Be it Resolved that the attached list of candidates are employees of (Insert Name of MERS Member), a Member of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), and are hereby appointed as assistant secretaries and vice presidents of MERS, and, as such, are authorized to:
(1) Release the lien of any mortgage loan registered on the MERS® System that is shown to be registered to the Member;
(2) Assign the lien of any mortgage loan naming MERS as the mortgagee when the Member is also the current promissory note-holder, or if the mortgage loan is registered on the MERS® System, is shown to be registered to the Member;
(3) Execute any and all documents necessary to foreclose upon the property securing any mortgage loan registered on the MERS® System that is shown to be registered to the Member, including but not limited to (a) substitution of trustee on Deeds of Trust, (b) Trustee’s Deeds upon sale on behalf of MERS, (c) Affidavits of Non-military Status, (d) Affidavits of Judgment, (e) Affidavits of Debt, (f) quitclaim deeds, (g) Affidavits
regarding lost promissory notes, and (h) endorsements of promissory notes to VA or HUD on behalf of MERS as a required part of the claims process;
(4) Take any and all actions and execute all documents necessary to protect the interest of the Member, the beneficial owner of such mortgage loan, or MERS in any bankruptcy proceeding regarding a loan registered on the MERS® System that is shown to be registered to the Member, including but not limited to: (a) executing Proofs of Claim and Affidavits of Movant under 11 U.S.C. Sec. 501-502, Bankruptcy Rule 3001-3003, and applicable local bankruptcy rules, (b) entering a Notice of Appearance, (c) vote for a trustee of the estate of the debtor, (d) vote for a committee of creditors, (e) attend the meeting of creditors of the debtor, or any adjournment thereof, and vote on behalf of the Member, the beneficial owner of such mortgage loan, or MERS, on any question that may be lawfully submitted before creditors in such a meeting, (f) complete, execute, and return a ballot accepting or rejecting a plan, and (g) execute reaffirmation agreements;
(5) Take any and all actions and execute all documents necessary to refinance, subordinate, amend or modify any mortgage loan registered on the MERS® System that is shown to be registered to the Member.
(6) Endorse checks made payable to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. to the Member that are received by the Member for payment on any mortgage loan registered on the MERS® System that is shown to be registered to the Member;
(7) Take any such actions and execute such documents as may be necessary to fulfill the Member’s servicing obligations to the beneficial owner of such mortgage loan (including mortgage loans that are removed from the MERS® System as a result of the transfer thereof to a non-member of MERS).
I, William C. Hultman, being the Corporate Secretary of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of a Resolution duly adopted by the Board of Directors of said corporation effective as of the day of , which is in full force and effect on this date and does not conflict with the Certificate of Incorporation or By-Laws of said corporation.
William C. Hultman, Secretary
Excellent resource on MERS below from the law department:
Gretchen Morgenson is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.Gretchen is one of the first journalist who began reporting on the mortgage crisis and understands exactly what is happening all around us. We thank Gretchen for all her hard work and we are proud to say she is aware of StopForeclosureFraud.com
Gretchen Morgenson, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times writer, interviewed for Pacific Street’s upcoming feature doc on the financial crisis. Begun in 2007, this film (yet untitled) has strayed in many directions; covered much ground, and, when completed, will offer a very different perspective on the personalities and companies that have played the principal leads in the longest-running soap opera in this country’s financial history. A Ken Burns documentary it is not…
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:
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.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – An outcry over questionable foreclosures by GMAC Mortgage and other lenders is likely to hit some states more than others because of major differences in real estate law across the nation.
But ramifications for federal taxpayers and investors will depend on the costs of clearing up the problem, the latest fallout from the bursting of the U.S. real estate bubble.
GMAC Mortgage announced last week that it had suspended evictions and post-foreclosure closings in 23 states due to concerns over paperwork. In order for a lender to foreclose on a property, it must prove that it actually checked the borrower’s loan agreements, and that the homeowner defaulted.
But the unit of Ally Financial, which is 56.3 percent owned by the U.S. government after a $17 billion bailout, said employees preparing foreclosures had submitted affidavits to judges containing information they did not personally verify.
“It’s a real mess,” said Justice Arthur Schack, a jurist on foreclosure issues who sits on the New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.
GMAC’s announcement has raised doubts about whether some people lost their homes without good reason. Attorneys general in several states, including California, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio, are investigating.
“The law demands that lenders prove their case in foreclosure actions,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said last week.
But Ally characterizes the problem as merely technical, arguing that the underlying facts in each foreclosure are accurate.
“We are confident that the processing errors did not result in any inappropriate foreclosures,” it said in a statement last week.
GMAC landed in its predicament after one of its employees testified in a December 2009 deposition that he signed off on tens of thousands of affidavits containing information he did not verify.
The company said it has “substantially increased” the number of employees to verify documents, provided additional training, and suspended evictions out of an “abundance of caution.”
Ally isn’t the only firm under the microscope.
JPMorgan Chase & Co is delaying its current foreclosure proceedings and has begun to systematically re-examine related documents after discovering that some employees may have signed affidavits in some cases without personally reviewing the files.
Lawyers in Florida are questioning JPMorgan’s practices after discovering one of its executives did not check the details of its claims against a homeowner.
The executive said she had been part of an eight-person team that signs 18,000 documents a
Dear Judge XXXXX, I write you, and the other presiding and administrative judges of the Ohio Courts of Common Pleas, to draw your attention to an issue that may be of interest to you.
As you are aware, when a plaintiff in a foreclosure case moves for default or summary judgment, it will attach an affidavit from the lender or mortgage servicer attesting to the ownership and default status of loan. During the last week, questions have arisen about the validity of the foreclosure affidavits filed by a large servicer, GMAC Mortgage. GMAC (also operating as “Ally Financial”) issued a press release on September 20, 2010 announcing that it had directed certain of its vendors to suspend evictions and REO closings because of “a potential issue that was raised in a number of existing foreclosures challenging the internal procedure we used for executing one or more judicially required forms.”
A number of media outlets, including The Washington Post and The New York Times, reported on this statement. The news articles suggest that GMAC’s actions are related to a Florida deposition and a Maine deposition given by one of its employees, Jeffrey Stephan. Mr. Stephan signed thousands of foreclosure affidavits for GMAC, but in his depositions stated that he does not have knowledge of how the information in the affidavit is determined (Deposition of Jeffrey Stephan, June 7, 2010, p 30), does not know how the accuracy of the information is verified (Id.), does not review the exhibits attached to the affidavit (Id., p 54), does not read every paragraph of the affidavit (Id. p 61), and does not have the affidavit notarized in his presence (Id., p 56).
The depositions were not taken by my office, so I do not opine on their accuracy, but I wanted to draw your attention to this issue. At least one court has found that filing affidavits that falsely claim personal knowledge is a violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act when filed in connection with consumer transactions. Midland Funding, LLC v. Brent, 644 F. Supp. 2d 961, 977 (N.D. Ohio, 2009).
More broadly, I urge you as administrators to share this letter with your colleagues and urge them to exercise caution when approving any foreclosure orders involving GMAC. Further, I encourage you to consider whether additional administrative procedures need to be established to protect homeowners who are facing the threat of foreclosure. Issues similar to those surrounding GMAC have arisen in Ohio. For example, my office filed an amicus brief in an appellate case where a foreclosure affidavit averred that it was executed in Florida but the jurat and notarization stated that it was executed in New Jersey. The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by striking the faulty affidavit. HSBC Bank USA v. Thompson, 2010-Ohio-4158.
Please feel free to contact me or my Consumer Protection Section Chief, Susan Choe, at 614.466.1305, if we can be of any assistance regarding this letter.
Ohio Attorney General
Sarah Lynn, Deputy Chief Counsel, Ohio Attorney General
Susan Choe, Consumer Protection Section Chief, Ohio Attorney General
Chase Home Finance, LLC
Lender Processing Services
Long Beach Mortgage
Washington Mutual Bank
Action Date: September 30, 2010
Location: New York, NY
On September 29, 2010, financial giant JP Morgan Chase announced it was suspending 56,000 foreclosures because its documents may have been “submitted without proper review.” To assist JPMorgan Chase, Fraud Digest suggests that it dismiss those actions where the Affidavits or Mortgage Assignments were signed by the following robo-signers: Beth Cottrell, Whitney Cook, Christina Trowbridge and Stacy Spohn from the Chase Home Finance office in Franklin County, OH; Margaret Dalton and Barbara Hindman from the Jacksonville, FL office of JPMorgan Chase; and any of the Lender Processing Services robo-signers from the Dakota County, MN office including Christina Allen, Liquenda Allotey, Christine Anderson, Alfonzo Greene, Laura Hescott, Bethany Hood, Cecelia Knox, Topako Love, Jodi Sobotta, Eric Tate, Amy Weis and Rick Wilken. In particular, JP Morgan Chase should look at those cases where the bank has supposedly assigned mortgages to WaMu, WMALT, Long Beach Mortgage Company and NovaStar trusts years after the closing dates of these trusts. The number of questionable or fraudulent documents is likely to be much closer to 560,000 than to 56,000, and that will only be a good beginning.
See where Judge Schack takes this and even if not mentioned he makes reference to MERS. Every judge must follow his example and read and research each case because it the end “each case is unique”.If we can only make a rubber stamp weigh 2 tons?? Hmm
By GREGORY BRESIGER Last Updated: 1:29 AM, September 26, 2010 Posted: 1:07 AM, September 26, 2010
With foreclosure filings growing by the month, some judges are holding banks and loan servicers’ feet to the fire to prove they “own” the mortgage and that they know what information is in the filing.
Recently, JPMorgan Chase, a mortgage servicer, was charged by a Florida judge with submitting fraudulent foreclosure paperwork on a home it did not own.
Ally Bank, formerly GMAC, the credit arm of the troubled automaker General Motors, suspended foreclosure proceedings in 23 states including New York last week, while it reviews its foreclosure procedures.
Ally, which has a $349.1 billion mortgage portfolio, according to industry records, and was also the beneficiary of more than $17 billion in US bailout funds, said this week it has amended its foreclosure procedure to make sure the documents contain truthful information and that there is a notary present when documents are signed.
Closer to home, in New York State Supreme Court no foreclosure hearing is routine in Judge Arthur Schack’s courtroom in Brooklyn. That’s where dozens of bank attorneys are learning that every detail must be right or else.
Judge Schack — the scourge of numerous banks and poorly prepared attorneys — has thrown out dozens of foreclosure applications for just the same reasons cited in Florida.
Judge Schack examines every filing in detail. That’s because “every case is unique,” said the 64-year-old judge, a former high-school social-studies teacher.
Why the large number of foreclosure dismissals for a procedure that is often routinely granted?
THIS IS HUGE! Coming in… Florida might halt all Foreclosures…While pending investigation of MILLS!
Do what is right and protect these families. This involves children that do not understand what is going on. I lost my home to this fraud and they do not have to go through my stressful experience. You set new rules and these foreclosure mills continued to ignore you. What is it going to take?
I revere the law, the judicial system, and the legal profession and will at all times in my professional
and private lives uphold the dignity and esteem of each.
I will further my profession’s devotion to public service and to the public good.
I will strictly adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of my profession’s code of ethics, to the extent
that the law permits and will at all times be guided by a fundamental sense of honor, integrity, and fair
play. I will not knowingly misstate, distort, or improperly exaggerate any fact or opinion and will not
improperly permit my silence or inaction to mislead anyone.
I will conduct myself to assure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action and
resolution of every controversy.
I will abstain from all rude, disruptive, disrespectful, and abusive behavior and will at all times act
with dignity, decency, and courtesy.
I will respect the time and commitments of others.
I will be diligent and punctual in communicating with others and in fulfilling commitments. I will exercise independent judgment and will not be governed by a client’s ill will or deceit.
My word is my bond.
Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar
The general principles which should ever control the lawyer in the practice of the legal profession
are clearly set forth in the following oath of admission to the Bar, which the lawyer is sworn on
admission to obey and for the willful violation to which disbarment may be had.
“I do solemnly swear:
“I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida;
“I will maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;
“I will not counsel or maintain any suit or proceedings which shall appear to me to be unjust, nor
any defense except such as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land;
“I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me such means only as are
consistent with truth and honor, and will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by any artifice or false
statement of fact or law;
“I will maintain the confidence and preserve inviolate the secrets of my clients, and will accept no
compensation in connection with their business except from them or with their knowledge and approval;
“I will abstain from all offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation
of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged;
“I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or
oppressed, or delay anyone’s cause for lucre or malice. So help me God.”
This should send a powerful message to each and every Foreclosure Mill out there! You are NEXT!
September 24, 2010
Michael J. Williams
President and Chief Executive Officer
3900 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016
Dear Mr. Williams,
We are disturbed by the increasing reports of predatory ‘foreclosure mills’ in Florida working for Fannie Mae servicers. Foreclosure mills are law firms representing lenders that specialize in speeding up the foreclosure process, often without regard to process, substance, or legal propriety. According to the New York Times, four of these mills are both among the busiest of the firms and are under investigation by the Attorney General of Florida for fraud. The firms have been accused of fabricating or backdating documents, as well as lying to conceal the true owner of a note.
Several of the busiest of these mills show up as members of Fannie Mae’s Retained Attorney Network, a set of legal contractors on whom Fannie relies to represent its interests as a note-holder. The network also serves as a pool of legal talent that represents Fannie in its pre-filing mediation program, a program designed to facilitate communication between borrowers and servicers prior to foreclosure. In other words, Fannie Mae seems to specifically delegate its foreclosure avoidance obligations out to lawyers who specialize in kicking people out of their homes.
The legal pressure to foreclose at all costs is leading to a situation where servicers are foreclosing on properties on which they do not even own the note. This practice is blessed by a legal system overwhelmed with foreclosure cases and unable to sort out murky legal details, and a set of law firms who mass produce filings to move foreclosures as quickly as possible. At the very least, we would encourage you to remove foreclosure mills under investigation for document fraud from the Fannie Mae’s Retained Attorney Network. We also believe that Fannie should have guidelines allowing servicers to proceed on a foreclosure only when its legal entitlement to foreclose is clearly documented. In addition, these charges raise a number of questions for us about the foreclosure process as it pertains to Fannie Mae’s holdings.
Why is Fannie Mae using lawyers that are accused of regularly engaging in fraud to kick people out of their homes? Given that Fannie Mae is at this point a government entity, and it is the policy of the government that foreclosures are a costly situation best avoided if there are any lower cost alternatives, what steps is Fannie Mae taking to avoid the use of foreclosure mills? What additional steps is Fannie Mae going to take to ensure that foreclosures are done only when necessary and only in accordance with recognized law? How do your servicer guidelines take into account the incentives for fraud in the fee structure of foreclosure attorneys and others engage in the foreclosure process? What mechanisms do you employ to monitor legal outsourcing?
We look forward to your responses and to understanding more about these disturbing dynamics in future hearings.
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.