Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.
Law Offices of Marshall Watson
New Century Mortgage Corp.
Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC
Action Date: October 21, 2010
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
On October 21, 2010, in St. Petersburg, Florida, Circuit Court Judge Anthony Rondolino dismissed the plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint in a foreclosure action, Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., et al. v. Donnie J. Decker, et al., Case No. 09-20548-CI-13, 6th Judicial Circuit, in and for Pinellas County, Florida.
The complaint was brought by Deutsche Bank as trustee for a mortgage-backed trust, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Capital, Inc., under a Pooling & Servicing Agreement dated May 1, 2001. The original complaint was dismissed due to chain-of-title problems.
The amended complaint included an Assignment from New Century Mortgage Corp. to the plaintiff that was executed on February 17, 2010 by Scott Anderson in his capacity as an Executive Vice President of Residential Loan Servicing for Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC through its authority as Attorney-In-Fact for New Century Mortgage Corporation. Regarding this Assignment, Judge Rondolino commented as follows:
“There is nothing about this assignment which would support a determination at the pleading stage that it is invalid. On the other hand, should evidence be presented at a summary judgment hearing that New Century Mortgage Corporation, LLC became the subject of a bankruptcy proceeding which resulted in a liquidation order, the validity of this assignment would be called into question. Then, absent specific proof that Ocwen had authority from either the bankruptcy court or the liquidation trustee, this disposition of New Century’s (the debtor in bankruptcy) asset there would be a disputed material fact precluding a summary judgment. These concerns however are not ripe at this time…”
In closing, Judge Rondolino warned the plaintiff and its counsel, the Law Offices of Marshall Watson, that any new complaint must be verified, in accordance with the revised Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
Judge Rondolino then warned very plainly, “If it is thereafter determined that the verification was not based on an appropriate investigation or that the allegations were false, the Plaintiff and the person who signed the verified complaint will be subject to sanctions which may include dismissal of the action with prejudice, assessment of fees and costs, monetary or incarcerative sanctions and referral to the State Attorney for prosecution pursuant to F.S. 837.”
Rondolino’s concerns arose in part because the Assignment came after the foreclosure action was filed. Plaintiff’s law firm is one of four law firms under investigation by the Florida Attorney General for using forged and fraudulent documents in foreclosure actions.
Scott Anderson of Ocwen has been named in foreclosure opinions of Brooklyn Judge Arthur M. Schack as an individual who signs using many different job titles. The trust in this case had a closing date in 2001, but according to the Anderson Assignment, acquired Decker’s non-performing loan in February, 2010. These same or similar facts have been presented in hundreds of foreclosure cases across the country.
Almost every major robo-signer, including Liquenda Allotey, China Brown, Linda Green, Alfonzo Greene, Korell Harp, Bethany Hood and John Kennerty have signed as Attorney-In-Fact for New Century Mortgage Corporation in 2009 and 2010 to transfer mortgages to securitized trusts that closed years earlier.
Judge Rondolino’s opinion lays a blueprint for other judges to follow when presented with mortgage assignments that appear to have been specially created to facilitate foreclosures. It is the first opinion in Florida to warn of possible “incarcerative sanctions.” (Five different versions of the “Scott Anderson” signature are posted in the “Pleadings” section of this web site.)