Thanks to Abigail Field for the title post and thank you to Joe over at BP Investigative Agency for this submission.
According to a Handwriting Expert… yes, documents were forged and altered.
As if Breaking and Entering weren’t enough, add forgery to the lengths JP Morgan Chase will go to take a home.
When foreclosure proceedings began on William Paatalo’s Montana property in January 2010, he, like many homeowners, felt emotionally drained and devastated. “ I couldn’t believe how I got to this place. I had perfect credit in 2008. I was making payments on three properties through Washington Mutual, but they began to misapply payments to the wrong accounts and even turned off my ‘auto-pay’ feature in an attempt to sabotage my credit and spin me into default.”
By the time Paatalo discovered the error, his credit had tanked and things started spiraling downward. “It was brutal. My business lines of credit were shut down, and I couldn’t access any of my lines of credit ; WAMU was slow to acknowledge the problem; the credit agencies ignored me; and then I got the foreclosure notices. It was a living hell. I spent a lot time being angry. “
In the end, Paatalo did what many home owners are now doing. He started pushing back. “I didn’t want to just roll over. I figured I still had some rights, so I began the painstaking process of researching my loan in hopes I could modify or delay the action. The Trustee’s sale wasn’t scheduled until June, so I figured I had a little bit of time to rectify the situation.”
But unbeknownst to Paatalo, Chase, who had acquired WAMU in 2008, took early action. In March, they broke into his home, changed all the locks, and stole property, including personal documents and a handgun. “I was out of town, and when I found out what they had done I was outraged.”
Paatalo filed a criminal complaint and took additional action. However, law enforcement sat idle as it was perceived to be a “civil matter.” Tired of being victimized, he began investigating practices in the mortgage industry and uncovered much of what is now known. In October of 2010 he filed suit against JP Morgan Chase pro se and has been litigating since then.
But his case, scheduled for trial in September, took a bizarre turn recently. “I was reading about the class action suit in California Bakenie v. JPMorgan Chase Bank and I got to wondering if my note might’ve been forged. So I got a color copy of the note, and in my office I magnified the signatures 800 fold.”
What he found was astounding. Even to the layman’s eye, the signatures appeared to have been photo-shopped. In one instance, even the signature line was colored blue. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It looked like something a high school kid did.
Paatalo sent the document to Dr. Laurie Hoeltzel in southern California; a handwriting / document expert with over 20 years of experience. Her findings verified what Paatalo suspected, the documents had indeed been forged. “All along Chase has argued on record they hold the note. Clearly, they do not. It’s one thing to claim the note entitles them to foreclose, it’s another to commit a felonious act to illegally take a home they are not entitled to. It’s absolutely appalling. This is no longer a civil dispute.”
Paatalo intends to file a criminal complaint against Chase, along with formal Bar complaints against their attorneys . The expert declaration is now in the hands of Montana’s Federal Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby. How this new information plays out in court is yet to be determined, but Paatalo is sure of one thing. “Nothing these banks do surprises me anymore. I can only hope our judicial system has the backbone to hold these people accountable.”
Addendum: Paatalo notified Chase of his discovery last week and was attempting to have the evidence surrendered to the court and sequestered. After all, attorneys have a duty to uphold justice and refrain from assisting in fraud. He was notified today by Chase’s attorney that the documents had been removed from Butte, Montana and are now in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Paatalo has objected to the transferring of the documents, and Chase’s attempts to withhold evidence of a crime.
Read the handwriting expert’s affidavit below begin at page 5…
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