Jeff Thigpen | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

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Jeff L. Thigpen | Book: ON POINT – Voices and Values of the Young Elected Officials

Jeff L. Thigpen | Book: ON POINT – Voices and Values of the Young Elected Officials


 

New Book On Point-highlights 16 young elected officials as they tell their stories

“In a time where slogans of a few words capture a position and controversy swirls with each news cycle, On Point offers refreshing and timely insights from a new generation of young elected officials in the eternal struggle to build a more perfect union,” wrote Senator George J. Mitchell in his introduction to On Point: Voices and Values of the Young Elected Officials, by Jeff L. Thigpen.

 

 GO TO JEFFTHIGPEN.COM TO BUY NOW! 

 

The author had that point in mind when he decided to write the book focusing on the these young electeds and on a national organization called the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network with over 600 elected leaders 35 and under.   

“I wrote On Point because there’s an emerging group of principled leaders shaping a new era in American politics. It’s time we know them and why they were inspired to run for elected office, and how they are meeting the challenges of this time in history.  Most importantly, it is time we hear their stories,” said Thigpen.

The book was published by Polar Bear & Co., PO Box 311, Solon, Maine, 04979 (207) 643-2795

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Commissioners: Bristol County, MA joining Norfolk, Plymouth counties in filing suits against MERS

Commissioners: Bristol County, MA joining Norfolk, Plymouth counties in filing suits against MERS


Taunton Gazette-

The Bristol County Board of Commissioners received a letter from Attorney Garrett Bradley notifying them that a complaint against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) was filed in Suffolk County on March 29.

Previously, the commissioners voted on Feb. 14 to file a lawsuit to reclaim millions of dollars from MERS for allegedly skirting public recording laws at the expense of the county’s three property registries.

Bristol County is joining Norfolk and Plymouth counties in filing lawsuits against MERS.

Commissioners have previously said the county won’t know exactly how much money they are looking to collect until the discovery process of litigation.

Read more: [TAUNTON GAZETTE]

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Rachel Maddow Exclusive: Standing up to banks, putting who-owns-what back in order w/ Special Guest Jeff Thigpen

Rachel Maddow Exclusive: Standing up to banks, putting who-owns-what back in order w/ Special Guest Jeff Thigpen


Rachel Maddow reports on one North Carolina town standing up to the big banks that destroyed the housing market and the lives of many local families with foreclosures that may turn out to be fraudulent.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Guilford County, NC vs LPS/DocX, MERSCORP, MERS, Inc. et al

Guilford County, NC vs LPS/DocX, MERSCORP, MERS, Inc. et al


STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE
SUPERIOR COURT DIVISION

COUNTY OF GUILFORD

GUILFORD COUNTY, ex rel. JEFF L.
THIGPEN, GUILFORD COUNTY
REGISTER OF DEEDS,
Plaintiff,

v.

LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES, INC.;
DOCX, LLC; LPS DEFAULT SOLUTIONS,
INC.; MERSCORP HOLDINGS, INC.;
MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC
REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC.; WELLS
FARGO BANK, N.A.; WELLS FARGO
HOME MORTGAGE, INC.; BANK OF
AMERICA, N.A.; JPMORGAN CHASE
BANK, N.A.; CHASE HOME FINANCE
LLC; EMC MORTGAGE CORPORATION;
MIDFIRST BANK; SAND CANYON
CORPORATION; CITI RESIDENTIAL
LENDING, INC.; GREEN TREE
SERVICING, LLC; AMERIQUEST
MORTGAGE COMPANY; USAA
FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK; AMERICAN
HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC.;
MOREQUITY, INC.; U.S. BANK
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION;
EQUICREDIT CORPORATION OF
AMERICA; NATIONSCREDIT
FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP.; ARGENT
MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC; THE
BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON; THE
BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON TRUST
COMPANY, N.A.; CAPITAL ONE, N.A.;
FIRST FRANKLIN FINANCIAL CORP.;
NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION; and
WEICHERT FINANCIAL SERVICES;
Defendants.

[ipaper docId=85235617 access_key=key-1g5fk84g1cy0nyzvnllk height=600 width=600 /]

 

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Guilford County, NC Sues To Clean Up Banks’ “Mess” at the Register of Deeds

Guilford County, NC Sues To Clean Up Banks’ “Mess” at the Register of Deeds


For Immediate Release: March 13, 2012
Contact: Ginger Cavanaugh (704) 246-3896
ginger@talcottfranklin.com

Guilford County Sues To Clean Up Banks’ “Mess” at the Register of Deeds

 

Guilford County, ex rel. Jeff L. Thigpen, Guilford County Register of Deeds, filed suit today against LPS/DocX, MERSCORP, MERS, Inc., and numerous banks, loan servicers, and foreclosure specialists seeking to clean up the “mess” Defendants created in the County’s property records registry.

“Our office uncovered an abundance of falsified, forged, and fraudulently executed mortgage documents,” said Thigpen. “But our investigation only found the tip of the iceberg. We need the banks to clean up their mess.”

The suit cites as evidence, Thigpen’s identification of over 6,100 mortgage documents (4,519 of those by DocX) which were filed with the Register of Deeds and signed in the names of known robo-signer aliases: “Linda Green,” “Christie Baldwin,” “Pat Kingston,” “Korell Harp,” “Jessica Ohde,” “Rita Knowles,” “Linda Thoresen,” and “Brent Bagley.”

“How can we maintain accurate records of title with fraudulent documents? The banks are also maintaining their own private registry called ‘MERS’ that prevents the public from discovering who owns what loans. Because there is no accountability for MERS, its records are also a mess,” said Thigpen. “The system is broken and it needs to be fixed. We’re telling MERS and the banks: you broke it, you fix it.”

In an April 6, 2011 letter, Thigpen and Southern Essex (MA) District Registry of Deeds John O’Brien urged Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to investigate MERS and its impact on Registers of Deeds as part of the national attorneys general robo-signing investigation. The suit cites numerous reasons why MERS fails to keep reliable chains of title, and notes that the recent attorneys general settlement did not address MERS’s and robo-signing’s impact on Registers of Deeds.

“When you combine the fraudulent documents with MERS, it is difficult if not impossible to trace title for property. Potential title defects hurt Guilford County homeowners and businesses by impacting property values,” said Thigpen. “We need to clean up chains of title to ensure certainty in the land records system.”

Under Thigpen, the Guilford County Register of Deeds strives to serve as a model register. The Register of Deeds implemented electronic filing, created an audit software program to improve indexing and correct filing errors, intensified staff training, redacted social security numbers from land records, and significantly upgraded technology.

In 2009, the Register of Deeds received a Local Government Federal Credit Union Productivity Award from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners for technological innovations.

“It is unbelievably frustrating to expend County resources in an attempt to create an efficient, accurate registry and have these banks wreak havoc on our efforts through fraudulent documents and a secret registry. If we don’t fix this now, the future impact on land records and property values could be severe and incurable.”

“Registries of deeds pre-date the founding of this country and are essential functions of government,” said Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne. “The Guilford County

Register of Deeds has created an outstanding infrastructure, but no registry can work if it is filled with falsified documents.”

The lawsuit, filed by Payne and Deputy County Attorney Matthew Turcola, describes the process by which the Defendants made and sold loans, created and maintained MERS, filed robo-signed documents, and damaged the Register of Deeds and the people of Guilford County. Among other things, the suit seeks the appointment of a special master to oversee an audit of the mortgage documents on file at the Register of Deeds and make necessary corrections.

“While the suit goes into detail on a complex series of transactions, the message is pretty simple,” said Payne. “We’re saying to the banks: ‘You made the mess, you clean it up.’”

Guilford County is located in central North Carolina. Its population is approximately 500,000. Greensboro is the largest city within Guilford County. Guilford County was established in 1771, the same year it began its Registry of Deeds. To assist with the suit, Guilford County retained Talcott Franklin P.C., the nation’s preeminent securitization litigation law firm. Talcott Franklin P.C. has offices in Dallas, Texas and Davidson, North Carolina.
Links:

http://www.restorepublicrecords.com (For copies of the Complaint and associated materials).

[ipaper docId=85235617 access_key=key-1g5fk84g1cy0nyzvnllk height=600 width=600 /]

 

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Bristol County, MA commissioners vote to participate in suit against MERS

Bristol County, MA commissioners vote to participate in suit against MERS


HERALD NEWS-

The Bristol County Board of Commissioners moved on Tuesday to file a lawsuit to reclaim millions of dollars from Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, commonly known as MERS, for allegedly skirting public recording laws at the expense of the county’s three property registries.

Commissioner John Mitchell said Bristol County is joining with Norfolk and Plymouth counties in filing lawsuits against MERS.

“MERS has hidden all the assignment of mortgages,” Mitchell said. “This (lawsuit) is to get fees back for the recording of assignments of mortgages. You don’t know how many times they did it. They did it privately. Supposedly, somewhere, this MERS has a registry of their own assignments of mortgages which show who is the true owner of a mortgage, except I guess in practice they don’t really have it. And that’s been a problem with foreclosures. When a bankruptcy court says, ‘Who owns the mortgage now?,’ they haven’t always been able to come up with it.”

Mitchell said it has been a “substantial” problem, but the county won’t be sure about how much money they are actually looking to collect until the discovery process of litigation — rough estimates put together by county registries last year indicate that the loss of revenue ranges well into the millions of dollars.

[HERALD NEWS]

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Lawmakers call for hearings on robo-signing

Lawmakers call for hearings on robo-signing


By MICHELLE CONLIN, AP Business Writers –

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawmakers and enforcement agencies called for hearings and further investigation Tuesday after learning that the illegal practice known as robo-signing has continued in the mortgage industry.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that county officials in at least three states — Massachusetts, North Carolina and Michigan — say they have received thousands of mortgage documents with questionable signatures since last fall. That’s when forged signatures and false affidavits — also called robo-signing — led to a temporary halt to foreclosures. Banks and mortgage processers promised to stop the practice. But the findings of the county officials indicate that robo-signing is still a widespread problem.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio., chair of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, said the subcommittee will hold a hearing on the robo-signing issue.

“Wall Street and some in Washington want us to believe that robo-signing is a thing of the past,” said Brown. “But the same risky practices that put our economy on the brink of collapse continue to infect the housing market.”

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., a senior member of the House Committee on Financial Services said the lenders who continue the practice “need to be investigated and prosecuted.” She told The Associated Press that she believed regulators should step in and that the absence of stronger regulation is “the reason why the system broke down in the first place.” She said the county officials’ findings show lenders will not stop practices like robo-signing on their own.

“(The lenders) have complete disregard for the damage they have already caused and have no intention of changing their ways,” said Waters, who also called for more hearings on the issue.

County officials who are responsible for keeping land records, including property deeds, say that they have received thousands of robo-signed documents filed in their offices since October.

In Essex County, Mass., the office that handles property deeds has received almost 1,300 documents since October with the signature of “Linda Green,” but in 22 different handwriting styles and with many different titles.

In Guilford County, N.C., the office that records deeds says it received 456 documents with suspect signatures from Oct. 1, 2010, through June 30. And in Michigan, a fraud investigator who works on behalf of homeowners says he has uncovered documents filed this year bearing the purported signature of Marshall Isaacs, an attorney with foreclosure law firm Orlans Associates.

Early Tuesday, an official from the office of Minnesota attorney general, Lori Swanson, contacted the Essex County’s John O’Brien to get more information for its own investigation into robo-signing. The Massachusetts attorney general’s office also confirmed that it is meeting with several of the state’s 21 registers of deeds to assess the extent of robo-signing in the state.

Also on Tuesday, nine recorders of deeds in Illinois held a press conference to say they will assist the state’s attorney general Lisa Madigan who is investigating robo-signing in her state.

Rep. Waters, meanwhile, says the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or the OCC, is the main federal regulator for banks. As such, it’s the OCC’s responsibility to investigate the banks.

The OCC has been criticized by lawmakers and consumer advocates for going easy on banks in the past. The same criticism has resurfaced since the robo-signing scandal broke in September. Last fall, The Associated Press found that robo-signed documents led to banks wrongfully foreclosing on people who had paid their mortgages in full. When asked about the issue, an OCC spokesman flatly denied that any such thing had ever occurred.

The OCC partnered with other federal regulators and conducted a review of bank procedures including robo-signing in December. In April, the 14 largest national banks entered into a consent decree with the OCC in which they vowed to submit action plans as to how they would address such systemic issues as robo-signing.

Last week, the banks delivered those action plans to the OCC, which is now reviewing them, a spokesman said.

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AP Exclusive: Mortgage ‘robo-signing’ goes on

AP Exclusive: Mortgage ‘robo-signing’ goes on


By MICHELLE CONLIN, AP Business Writers –

Mortgage industry employees are still signing documents they haven’t read and using fake signatures more than eight months after big banks and mortgage companies promised to stop the illegal practices that led to a nationwide halt of home foreclosures.

County officials in at least three states say they have received thousands of mortgage documents with questionable signatures since last fall, suggesting that the practices, known collectively as “robo-signing,” remain widespread in the industry.

The documents have come from several companies that process mortgage paperwork, and have been filed on behalf of several major banks. One name, “Linda Green,” was signed almost two dozen different ways.

Lenders say they are working with regulators to fix the problem but cannot explain why it has persisted.

Last fall, the nation’s largest banks and mortgage lenders, including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and an arm of Goldman Sachs, suspended foreclosures while they investigated how corners were cut to keep pace with the crush of foreclosure paperwork.

Critics say the new findings point to a systemic problem with the paperwork involved in home mortgages and titles. And they say it shows that banks and mortgage processors haven’t acted aggressively enough to put an end to widespread document fraud in the mortgage industry.

“Robo-signing is not even close to over,” says Curtis Hertel, the recorder of deeds in Ingham County, Mich., which includes Lansing. “It’s still an epidemic.”

In Essex County, Mass., the office that handles property deeds has received almost 1,300 documents since October with the signature of “Linda Green,” but in 22 different handwriting styles and with many different titles.

Linda Green worked for a company called DocX that processed mortgage paperwork and was shut down in the spring of 2010. County officials say they believe Green hasn’t worked in the industry since. Why her signature remains in use is not clear.

“My office is a crime scene,” says John O’Brien, the registrar of deeds in Essex County, which is north of Boston and includes the city of Salem.

In Guilford County, N.C., the office that records deeds says it received 456 documents with suspect signatures from Oct. 1, 2010, through June 30. The documents, mortgage assignments and certificates of satisfaction, transfer loans from one bank to another or certify a loan has been paid off.

Suspect signatures on the paperwork include 290 signed by Bryan Bly and 155 by Crystal Moore. In the mortgage investigations last fall, both admitted signing their names to mortgage documents without having read them. Neither was charged with a crime.

And in Michigan, a fraud investigator who works on behalf of homeowners says he has uncovered documents filed this year bearing the purported signature of Marshall Isaacs, an attorney with foreclosure law firm Orlans Associates. Isaacs’ name did not come up in last year’s investigations, but county officials across Michigan believe his name is being robo-signed.

O’Brien caused a stir in June at a national convention of county clerks by presenting his findings and encouraging his counterparts to investigate continued robo-signing.

The nation’s foreclosure machine almost came to a standstill when the nation’s largest banks suspended foreclosures last fall. Part of the problem, banks contended, was that foreclosures became so rampant in 2009 and 2010 that they were overwhelmed with paperwork.

The banks reviewed thousands of foreclosure filings, and where they found problems, they submitted new paperwork to courts handling the cases, with signatures they said were valid. The banks slowly started to resume foreclosures this winter and spring.

The 14 biggest U.S. banks reached a settlement with federal regulators in April in which they promised to clean up their mistakes and pay restitution to homeowners who had been wrongly foreclosed upon. The full amount of the settlement has not been determined. But it will not involve independent mortgage processing firms, the companies that some banks use to handle and file paperwork for mortgages.

So far, no individuals, lenders or paperwork processors have been charged with a crime over the robo-signed signatures found on documents last year. Critics such as April Charney, a Florida homeowner and defense lawyer, called the settlement a farce because no real punishment was meted out, making it easy for lenders and mortgage processors to continue the practice of robo-signing.

Robo-signing refers to a variety of practices. It can mean a qualified executive in the mortgage industry signs a mortgage affidavit document without verifying the information. It can mean someone forges an executive’s signature, or a lower-level employee signs his or her own name with a fake title. It can mean failing to comply with notary procedures. In all of these cases, robo-signing involves people signing documents and swearing to their accuracy without verifying any of the information.

Most of the tainted mortgage documents in question last fall were related to homes in foreclosure. But much of the suspect paperwork that has been filed since then is for refinancing or for new purchases by people who are in good standing in the eyes of the bank. In addition, foreclosures are down 30 percent this year from last. Home sales have also fallen. So the new suspect documents come at a time when much less paperwork is streaming through the nation’s mortgage machinery.

None of the almost 1,300 suspect Linda Green-signed documents from O’Brien’s office, for example, involve foreclosures. And Jeff Thigpen, the register of deeds in North Carolina’s Guilford County, says fewer than 40 of the 456 suspect documents filed to his office since October involved foreclosures.

Banks and their partner firms file mortgage documents with county deeds offices to prove that there are no liens on a property, that the bank owns a mortgage or that a bank filing for foreclosure has the authority to do so.

The signature of a qualified bank or mortgage official on these legal documents is supposed to guarantee that this information is accurate. The paper trail ensures a legal chain of title on a property and has been the backbone of U.S. property ownership for more than 300 years.

The county officials say the problem could be even worse than what they’re reporting. That’s because they are working off lists of known robo-signed names, such as Linda Green and Crystal Moore, that were identified during the investigation that began last fall. Officials suspect that other names on documents they have received since then are also robo-signed.

It is a federal crime to sign someone else’s name to a legal document. It is also illegal to sign your name to an affidavit if you have not verified the information you’re swearing to. Both are punishable by prison.

In Michigan, the attorney general took the rare step in June of filing criminal subpoenas to out-of-state mortgage processing companies after 23 county registers of deeds filed a criminal complaint with his office over robo-signed documents they say they have received. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has said it is conducting a banking probe that could lead to criminal charges against financial executives. The attorneys general of Delaware, California and Illinois are conducting their own probes.

The legal issues are grave, deeds officials across the country say. At worst, legal experts say, the document debacle has opened the property system to legal liability well beyond the nation’s foreclosure crisis. So someone buying a home and trying to obtain title insurance might be delayed or denied if robo-signed documents turn up in the property’s history. That’s because forged signatures call into question who owns mortgages and the properties they are attached to.

“The banks have completely screwed up property records,” says L. Randall Wray, an economics professor and senior scholar at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

In the Massachusetts case, The Associated Press tried to reach Linda Green, whose name was purportedly signed 1,300 times since October. The AP, using a phone number provided by lawyers who have been investigating the documents since last year, reached a person who said she was Linda Green, but not the Linda Green involved in the mortgage investigation.

In the Michigan case, a lawyer for the Orlans Associates law firm, where Isaacs works, denies that Isaacs or the firm has done anything wrong. “People have signatures that change,” says Terry Cramer, general counsel for the firm. “We do not engage in ‘robo-signing’ at Orlans.”

To combat the stream of suspect filings, O’Brien and Jeff Thigpen, the register of deeds in North Carolina’s Guilford County, stopped accepting questionable paperwork June 7. They say they had no choice after complaining to federal and state authorities for months without getting anywhere.

Since then, O’Brien has received nine documents from Bank of America purportedly signed by Linda Burton, another name on authorities’ list of known robo-signers. For years, his office has regularly received documents signed with Burton’s name but written in such vastly different handwriting that two forensic investigators say it’s highly unlikely it all came from the same person.

O’Brien returned the nine Burton documents to Bank of America in mid-June. He told the bank he would not file them unless the bank signed an affidavit certifying the signature and accepting responsibility if the title was called into question down the road. Instead, Bank of America sent new documents with new signatures and new notaries.

A Bank of America spokesman says Burton is an assistant vice president with a subsidiary, ReconTrust. That company handles mortgage paperwork processing for Bank of America.

“She signed the documents on behalf of the bank,” spokesman Richard Simon says. The bank says providing the affidavit O’Brien asked for would have been costly and time-consuming. Instead, Simon says Bank of America sent a new set of documents “signed by an authorized associate who Mr. O’Brien wasn’t challenging.”

The bank didn’t respond to questions about why Burton’s name has been signed in different ways or why her signature appeared on documents that investigators in at least two states have deemed invalid.

Several attempts by the AP to reach Burton at ReconTrust were unsuccessful.

O’Brien says the bank’s actions show “consciousness of guilt.” Earlier this year, he hired Marie McDonnell, a mortgage fraud investigator and forensic document analyst, to verify his suspicions about Burton’s and other names on suspect paperwork.

She compared valid copies of Burton’s signature with the documents O’Brien had received in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and found that Burton’s name was fraudulently signed on hundreds of documents.

Most of the documents reviewed by McDonnell were mortgage discharges, which are issued when a home changes hands or is refinanced by a new lender and are supposed to confirm that the previous mortgage has been paid off. Bank of America declined comment on McDonnell’s findings.

In Michigan, recorder of deeds Hertel and his counterparts in 23 other counties found numerous suspect signatures on documents filed since the beginning of the year.

In June, their findings led the Michigan attorney general to issue criminal subpoenas to several firms that process mortgages for banks, including Lender Processing Services, the parent company of DocX, where Linda Green worked. On July 6, the CEO of that company, which is also under investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s office, resigned, citing health reasons.

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MASS Registry of Deeds: A Household Name in Foreclosure Households

MASS Registry of Deeds: A Household Name in Foreclosure Households


HuffPO’s Richard Zombeck:

With the exception of Elizabeth Warren, there are very few heroes fighting for the little guy when it comes to consumer rights and mortgage malpractice. Tom Miller, the Ohio Attorney General, had a brief moment of righteous advocacy until he received $261,445 in campaign contributions from out-of-state law firms and donors from the finance, insurance, and real estate sector shortly after he announced he was seeking criminal charges and retribution from the banks for mortgage fraud — that’s 88 times what he has received in the past decade.

continue reading [HUFFINGTONPOST]

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An Open Letter to Jeff Thigpen, Guilford County, NC Register of Deeds and John O’Brien, Southern Essex County, Massachusetts Register of Deeds

An Open Letter to Jeff Thigpen, Guilford County, NC Register of Deeds and John O’Brien, Southern Essex County, Massachusetts Register of Deeds


Mortgage Fraud

Lender Processing Services/DocX

Action Date: June 8, 2011
Location: Guilford County, NC

An Open Letter to Jeff Thigpen, Guilford County, NC Register of Deeds and John O’Brien, Southern Essex County, Massachusetts Register of Deeds

Dear Jeff and John,

I want to remind you exactly who you stood up for yesterday. I get emails – hundreds each week – from sick, unemployed, elderly people, young families and veterans who are frightened, too broke to afford a lawyer, and being foreclosed by banks that are using badly forged documents to claim their homes.

This week, judges across the country will grant foreclosures – based on mortgage assignments signed by Linda Green, Korell Harp, Tywanna Thomas and others like them who were following orders from the banks.

A Miami judge said to me “I know who you are – you’re that woman who thinks she can stop a foreclosure because the notary signed her name upside-down.”

The hostility in the courtrooms is really amazing. I expect I will get thrown in jail in Miami some day for contempt for even suggesting a bank committed fraud.

Most days, it is my ragtag, never-say-die colleagues in foreclosure (wonderful people) and some non-bank-owned journalists who are willing to speak the truth about the bank documents used to steal homes.

You two were the first two public officials in the country who were willing to do more than “investigate” – who actually took action.

You will never know how much your act gave me encouragement when I needed it most.

Thank you from me, and on behalf of thousands of people across the country who doubted any public official would ever stand up, speak the truth and take action.

With admiration,

Lynn Szymoniak

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Massachusetts Register of Deeds John O’Brien is first in the nation to say no to recording robo-signed documents; North Carolina Register of Deeds, Jeff Thigpen agrees.

Massachusetts Register of Deeds John O’Brien is first in the nation to say no to recording robo-signed documents; North Carolina Register of Deeds, Jeff Thigpen agrees.


Register O’Brien said, “Knowing what I now know, it would be a dereliction of my duties as the keeper of the records to record these documents and any other documents that contain questionable signatures. To do so, would make me a willing participant in a continuing scheme which has corrupted the chain of title of thousands of Essex County property owners. I have decided to put a stop to this reckless behavior and hold these lenders and their agents accountable for the authenticity of what they are attempting to record in my Registry. I do not believe this to be unreasonable.”

[ipaper docId=57301547 access_key=key-2ldlpwbcwn1md5xxx098 height=600 width=600 /]

[scribd id=57301547 key=key-2ldlpwbcwn1md5xxx098 mode=list]

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OPTION ARM | Foreclosure Deal May Let Banks Pick Payment Options

OPTION ARM | Foreclosure Deal May Let Banks Pick Payment Options


So much for the RegiSTARS, who requested to be included in discussions…and being ignored.

BLOOMBERG-

U.S. banks and state attorneys general, seeking to avoid $17 billion in court claims over faulty foreclosures, are discussing a settlement framework that may let firms choose from a menu of options for helping borrowers, two people briefed on the talks said.

Under the proposal, Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Citigroup Inc. (C) and Ally Financial Inc. would pay penalties and pledge billions of dollars in relief to home buyers, one of the people said, asking not to be named because the talks are private. Firms may fulfill obligations to borrowers over time, choosing among options such as reducing loan principal, cutting fees or paying moving costs, the people said.


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MA Bristol County Board of Commissioners: MERS cost registries millions of dollars

MA Bristol County Board of Commissioners: MERS cost registries millions of dollars


The board also gave the reminder that the Bristol County Advisory Board meeting is coming up. It will take place on June 23 at 6 p.m. at the Taunton Superior Courthouse.

The Taunton Gazette-

The Bristol County Board of Commissioners sent a letter to Attorney General Martha Coakley on Tuesday concerning the “deceptive practices” of a mortgage process streamlining corporation, which it says cost county registries millions of dollars in the last decade.

The commissioners say Mortgage Electronic Registration System, commonly known as MERS, skirt public recording laws about recording mortgage assignments with the Registry of Deeds. The board says MERS is able to do this by keeping a secretive recording system for its participants that is not accessible to others.

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Robo-Signing Continues On Key Land Records In North Carolina

Robo-Signing Continues On Key Land Records In North Carolina


HuffPO-

When banks were caught improperly signing off on foreclosure documents last fall, consumer advocates and property rights experts hoped the public outcry would force the companies to change their foreclosure processing systems to ensure that meaningful document reviews were conducted and wrongful foreclosures were prevented.

But in at least one county in North Carolina, banks have responded by exploiting a filing loophole that has allowed them to continue signing off on key documents en masse, according to a local official.

Come back and check these two links below…

MERS Signing Agreements /Corporate Resolutions Signed Using Stamps

~

ARE MERS’ SIGNATURES ON DOCUMENTS REAL or SCANNED DUPLICATES?

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FDIC Chair Shelia Bair concurs with O’Brien and Thigpen that damages to consumer’s “has yet to be quantified”

FDIC Chair Shelia Bair concurs with O’Brien and Thigpen that damages to consumer’s “has yet to be quantified”


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MAY 13th, 2011

Contact:
Kevin Harvey, 1st Assistant Register
978-542-1724
kevin.harvey@sec.state.ma.us

To: Members of the Media
Fr: Massachusetts Register of Deeds John O’Brien and North Carolina Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen
Re: FDIC Chair Shelia Bair concurs with O’Brien and Thigpen that damages to consumer’s “has yet to be quantified”

This story has to be told: No settlements with the Big Banks until we know the “extent of the problem” and until the amount of exposure is “quantified”.

Bloomberg News
FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair

The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is warning that flaws may have “infected millions of foreclosures” and questioned whether other regulators’ inquiries into problems at the nation’s mortgage-servicing companies have been thorough enough.

“We do not yet really know the full extent of the problem,” FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said Thursday in written remarks submitted to a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee. “Flawed mortgage-banking processes have potentially infected millions of foreclosures, and the damages to be assessed against these operations could be significant and take years to materialize.”

Federal and state officials launched numerous investigations last autumn after revelations that, to process foreclosures, banks used “robo-signers” who didn’t review documents prepared by their colleagues. Banking regulators’ have said their reviews of a sample of 2,800 foreclosure cases have found a small number of improper foreclosures.

Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh said last month that the problems were limited in scope. They include cases that shouldn’t have gone forward under a law blocking foreclosures on military personnel, ones in which the borrower was in bankruptcy and cases in which borrowers were already on the verge of having their loans modified.

But Ms. Bair, who is departing her position in July, argued that other regulators likely missed homeowners who should have been provided loan assistance but who were improperly denied such help. The FDIC, she said, has found a “not insignificant” number of such cases. “There needs to be much more aggressive action,” she told lawmakers.

Under consent orders that 14 banks and thrifts reached with regulators in March, financial institutions are required to hire a consultant to review their foreclosures over the past two years to identify any borrowers who were harmed by foreclosure-processing problems.

Ms. Bair, however, questioned whether those reviews will truly be independent. Such consultants “may have other business with [banks] or future business they would like to do with them,” Ms. Bair said. “This is a huge issue.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in response to questions from lawmakers at the hearing, didn’t address this criticism directly, but reiterated that regulators plan to fine banks as a result of the inquiry into foreclosure problems. He noted that the foreclosure crisis is “at some level” a problem of bank regulation, but noted it is “also a macroeconomic problem.”

Ms. Bair also raised the possibility that banks may be forced by government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy back more defaulted loans.
Fannie and Freddie have been pressing banks to do so, and numerous investors have filed lawsuits with similar demands. “A significant amount of this exposure has yet to be quantified,” she said in her prepared remarks.

REGISTERS O’BRIEN & THIGPEN SAY “PUT THE BRAKES ON ANY SETTLEMENT WITH THE BIG BANKS … REGISTERS OF DEEDS NEED TO BE AT THE TABLE”

Southern Essex County (MA) Register of Deeds, John O’Brien and Guilford County (NC) Register of Deeds, Jeff Thigpen, are today publicly asking Iowa’s Attorney General, Tom Miller, who has been coordinating the National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) investigation into the banks’ improper mortgage dealings to stop settlement negotiations until there is a full accounting of the damage that the bank’s practices have inflicted upon the land recordation system and consumers chains of title across the nation and have again asked for the Registers of Deeds to have a seat at the negotiation table.

O’Brien and Thigpen, wrote to Miller in early April, asking that the Registers of Deeds be represented at any settlement talks. They have not heard back from Miller, and they find that very disturbing. “We represent Main Street, in contrast to Wall Street, and that constituency needs to be heard” said O’Brien.

Register O’Brien, who is leading the nationwide effort against the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”) and its member banks said, “We need to take a long hard look at the damage that these banks have caused, not only to our economy but also to people’s chains of title. There can be no settlement for pennies on the dollar.” O’Brien points to MERS and their failure to record documents in the local registry of deeds in order to avoid paying billions of dollars in recording fees, thereby corrupting the chains of title of hundreds of thousands of homeowners across the country, as well as the alleged fraud associated with the robo-signing, as reasons for putting on the breaks. “That is why it is so important that the Registers of Deeds be brought into the room. We need to bring our knowledge of the land recordation system and consumer’s problematic chain of title issues to the table.” Common sense mandates that if a bridge collapses and there is a meeting to re-build that bridge, that the structural engineers must be invited to the table. “Why the Registers of Deeds have not been involved in these negotiations is puzzling” according to O’Brien and Thigpen

Thigpen’s office sent Attorney General Miller and Federal Regulators 4,500 potentially fraudulent and/or forged documents recorded in his Registry by Doc X. Doc X is owned by Lender Processing Services, which was acting on behalf of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and MERS, among others. “I am but one county, however I feel confident based upon my research that this is a disaster of epic proportions, for homeowner’s chains of title in the United States. As a result, it needs to be clearly established that citizens can no longer be harmed by the reckless disregard that the major banks and MERS have had for the American consumer and the integrity of public recording offices. People need to be assured that their ownership rights are secure and protected, that people who sign legal documents are who they say they are, and that there is transparency and fair dealing by all. I don’t think we are there yet.” stated Thigpen.

In addition, O’Brien and Thigpen are concerned about the reports that Miller has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from banks, finance, insurance, and real estate contributors since he announced that he was leading the NAAG investigation. O’Brien and Thigpen said, “Without questioning Millers integrity, Miller should consider either returning the contributions or voluntarily stepping aside so that there would not be even the slightest appearance of a conflict of interest.”

These Registers want to know “Why is there such a rush to have a settlement? “How can the consumers be fully protected when the extent of the damages are still unknown?”

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REGISTERS O’BRIEN & THIGPEN SAY “PUT THE BRAKES ON ANY SETTLEMENT WITH THE BIG BANKS … REGISTERS OF DEEDS NEED TO BE AT THE TABLE”

REGISTERS O’BRIEN & THIGPEN SAY “PUT THE BRAKES ON ANY SETTLEMENT WITH THE BIG BANKS … REGISTERS OF DEEDS NEED TO BE AT THE TABLE”


JOHN L. O’BRIEN, JR.
Register of Deeds
Phone: 978-542-1704
Fax: 978-542-1706
website: www.salemdeeds.com
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds Shetland Park
45 Congress Street
Suite 4100
Salem, Massachusetts 01970

NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Salem, MA
May 12th, 2011

Contact:
Kevin Harvey, 1st Assistant Register
978-542-1724
kevin.harvey@sec.state.ma.us

REGISTERS O’BRIEN & THIGPEN SAY “PUT THE BRAKES ON ANY SETTLEMENT WITH THE BIG BANKS … REGISTERS OF DEEDS NEED TO BE AT THE TABLE”

Southern Essex County (MA) Register of Deeds, John O’Brien and Guilford County (NC) Register of Deeds, Jeff Thigpen, are today publicly asking Iowa’s Attorney General, Tom Miller, who has been coordinating the National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) investigation into the banks’ improper mortgage dealings to stop settlement negotiations until there is a full accounting of the damage that the bank’s practices have inflicted upon the land recordation system and consumers chains of title across the nation and have again asked for the Registers of Deeds to have a seat at the negotiation table.

O’Brien and Thigpen, wrote to Miller in early April, asking that the Registers of Deeds be represented at any settlement talks. They have not heard back from Miller, and they find that very disturbing. “We represent Main Street, in contrast to Wall Street, and that constituency needs to be heard” said O’Brien.

Register O’Brien, who is leading the nationwide effort against the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”) and its member banks said, “We need to take a long hard look at the damage that these banks have caused, not only to our economy but also to people’s chains of title. There can be no settlement for pennies on the dollar.” O’Brien points to MERS and their failure to record documents in the local registry of deeds in order to avoid paying billions of dollars in recording fees, thereby corrupting the chains of title of hundreds of thousands of homeowners across the country, as well as the alleged fraud associated with the robo-signing, as reasons for putting on the breaks. “That is why it is so important that the Registers of Deeds be brought into the room. We need to bring our knowledge of the land recordation system and consumer’s problematic chain of title issues to the table.” Common sense mandates that if a bridge collapses and there is a meeting to re-build that bridge, that the structural engineers must be invited to the table. “Why the Registers of Deeds have not been involved in these negotiations is puzzling” according to O’Brien and Thigpen

Thigpen’s office sent Attorney General Miller and Federal Regulators 4,500 potentially fraudulent and/or forged documents recorded in his Registry by Doc X. Doc X is owned by Lender Processing Services, which was acting on behalf of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and MERS, among others. “I am but one county, however I feel confident based upon my research that this is a disaster of epic proportions, for homeowner’s chains of title in the United States. As a result, it needs to be clearly established that citizens can no longer be harmed by the reckless disregard that the major banks and MERS have had for the American consumer and the integrity of public recording offices. People need to be assured that their ownership rights are secure and protected, that people who sign legal documents are who they say they are, and that there is transparency and fair dealing by all. I don’t think we are there yet.” stated Thigpen.

In addition, O’Brien and Thigpen are concerned about the reports that Miller has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from banks, finance, insurance, and real estate contributors since he announced that he was leading the NAAG investigation. O’Brien and Thigpen said, “Without questioning Millers integrity, Miller should consider either returning the contributions or voluntarily stepping aside so that there would not be even the slightest appearance of a conflict of interest.”

These Registers want to know “Why is there such a rush to have a settlement? “How can the consumers be fully protected when the extent of the damages are still unknown?”

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MI Clerks Bullard, Hertel testify before House committee about fraudulent mortgage documents

MI Clerks Bullard, Hertel testify before House committee about fraudulent mortgage documents


LegalNews-

If someone does not pay their mortgage they will lose their home. But banks have to play by the rules, too.” Hertel further stated,


“We are looking at a massive fraud committed against the people of the state of Michigan.”


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[VIDEO] Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen Press Release on Mortgage Fraud

[VIDEO] Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen Press Release on Mortgage Fraud


From previous post below:

NC Reg. of Deeds Thigpen Releases Approx. 4,500 DocX Signature Spread Sheet

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BofA, Wells Fargo Mortgage Papers Challenged by North Carolina Official

BofA, Wells Fargo Mortgage Papers Challenged by North Carolina Official


BLOOMBERG-

The signatures of the same names on more than 4,500 documents handled by Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) for real estate valued at $624.8 million varied enough to raise doubts about their validity, Jeff Thigpen, register of deeds in Guilford County, North Carolina, told reporters today in Greensboro.

Check out the link to documents below…

NC Reg. of Deeds Thigpen Releases Approx. 4,500 DocX Signature Spread Sheet

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NC Reg. of Deeds Thigpen Releases Approx. 4,500 DocX Signature Spread Sheet

NC Reg. of Deeds Thigpen Releases Approx. 4,500 DocX Signature Spread Sheet


Take a look at all these residents with DocX signatures…this is only the beginning to his quest. In matter of fact he’s found about 2,300 others.

mortgage fraud information from press conference


[ipaper docId=54630751 access_key=key-18dtymzwmp9dng31z6jd height=600 width=600 /]

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Mortgage fraud investigations prompt calls for change, Michigan legislature holds hearing

Mortgage fraud investigations prompt calls for change, Michigan legislature holds hearing


At the hearing, after watching the 60 Minutes segment on DocX forged documents, they seem to appear in shock…  “This is Compelling,” Rep. Knollenberg said.

Michigan Messenger-

LANSING — The growing controversy over allegedly fraudulent foreclosure documents will receive a hearing Wednesday in the state House Banking Committee. The controversy has also prompted some public officials to call for repeal of Michigan’s foreclosure by advertisement process, and instead adopt a judicial foreclosure act.


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Bristol County Board of Commissioners ask AG Martha Coakley about possible lawsuit against MERS

Bristol County Board of Commissioners ask AG Martha Coakley about possible lawsuit against MERS


TAUNTON —

The Bristol County Board of Commisioners voted unanimously Tuesday to send a letter to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley expressing interest in pursuing litigation against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc, commonly known as MERS, for skirting public recording laws.

MERS is a private network that is partly owned by Bank of America. The commissioners did not specify how much they are looking to recover. “It’d be really rough numbers,” said Commissioner John Mitchell. “We’d have to find out.”

Read more: http://www.tauntongazette.com/news/x916857902/Bristol-County-Board-of-Commissioners-ask-AG-Martha-Coakley-about-possible-lawsuit-against-mortgage-corporation#ixzz1LM9hlvuD

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