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Florida AG investigating LPS subsidiary: Jacksonville Business Journal

Florida AG investigating LPS subsidiary: Jacksonville Business Journal


Monday, May 17, 2010, 1:50pm EDT  |  Modified: Monday, May 17, 2010, 1:51pm

Jacksonville Business Journal – by Christian Conte Staff Writer

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has launched a civil investigation similar to one launched by a Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office against Fidelity National Financial Inc. and Lender Processing Services Inc., along with an LPS subsidiary, relating to possible forged documents in foreclosure cases.

According to the Attorney General’s website, DOCX LLC, based in Alpharetta, Ga., “seems to be creating and manufacturing ‘bogus assignments’ of mortgage in order that foreclosures may go through more quickly and efficiently. These documents appear to be forged, incorrectly and illegally executed, false and misleading. These documents are used in court cases as ‘real’ documents of assignment and presented to the court as so, when it actually appears that they are fabricated in order to meet the documentation to foreclosure according to law.”

The Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division in Fort Lauderdale is handling the case.

Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF), based in Jacksonville, provides title insurance, specialty insurance, claims management services and information services. Lender Processing Services (NYSE: LPS), also based in Jacksonville, provides mortgage processing services, settlement services, mortgage performance analytics and default solutions.

Fidelity National acquired DOCX, which processes and files lien releases and mortgage assignments for lenders, in 2005.

The U.S. Attorney’s office launched its investigation of DOCX in February.

LPS stated in its 2009 annual report that there was a “business process that caused an error in the notarization” of mortgage documents, some in the foreclosure proceedings in “various jurisdictions around the country,” according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

While the company said it fixed the problem, the annual report stated it spurred an inquiry by the Clerk of Superior Court in Fulton County, Ga., and most recently, LPS was notified by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, based in Tampa, that it is also investigating the “business processes” of DOCX.

cconte@bizjournals.com | 265-2227
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RELATED STORY: MISSION: VOID LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES “ASSIGNMENTS”

Posted in concealment, conspiracy, corruption, foreclosure fraud, forensic loan audit, Former Fidelity National Information Services, fraud digest, investigation, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, Lender Processing Services Inc., LPS, Lynn Szymoniak ESQ, mortgage electronic registration system, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, scam, stop foreclosure fraudComments (0)

MORTGAGE SERVICING COMPANIES PREPARING “REPLACEMENT” MORTGAGE ASSIGNMENTS: By Lynn E. Szymoniak, Esq., Ed.

MORTGAGE SERVICING COMPANIES PREPARING “REPLACEMENT” MORTGAGE ASSIGNMENTS: By Lynn E. Szymoniak, Esq., Ed.


MORTGAGE SERVICING COMPANIES

PREPARING “ REPLACEMENT” MORTGAGE ASSIGNMENTS

By Lynn E. Szymoniak, Esq., Ed. Fraud Digest, May 6, 2010

CALIFORNIA – ORANGE COUNTY

Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC

Tom Croft and others

CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Chase Home Finance

FLORIDA – BROWARD COUNTY

Patricia Arango, Caryn Graham and others

Law Offices of Marshal Watson

FLORIDA – BROWARD COUNTY

Cheryl Samons, Beth Cerni and others

Law Offices of David Stern

FLORIDA – DUVAL COUNTY

Lender Processing Services

Valerie Broom, Margaret Dalton, Michele Halyard, Michael Hunt, Joseph

Kaminsky, Kathy Smith, Coleman Stokes and others

FLORIDA- HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

Florida Default Law Group or Law Offices of Daniel Consuegra

FLORIDA – PALM BEACH COUNTY

Ocwen Loan Servicing

Scott Anderson, Oscar Taveras, Doris Chapman, Jonathan Burgess, Laura

Buxton and others

FLORIDA – PINELLAS COUNTY

Nationwide Title Clearing

Bryan Bly, Vilma Castro, Dhurato Doko, Jessica Fretwell and others

GEORGIA – FULTON COUNTY

Lender Processing Services

Linda Green, Korell Harp, Jessice Ohde, Linda Thoresen, Tywanna Thomas,

Cheryl Thomas, Christie Baldwin and others

MINNESOTA -DAKOTA COUNTY

Lender Processing Services

Liquenda Allotey, Topeka Love, Christine Anderson, Christine Allen, Eric Tate

OHIO – FRANKLIN COUNTY

Chase Home Finance

Christina Trowbridge, Whitney Cook and others

PENNSYLVANIA – ALLEGHANY COUNTY

Home Loan Services, Inc.

PENNSYLVANIA – MONTGOMERY COUNTY

GMAC (and Homecomings Financial)

Jeffrey Stephan, John Kerr and others

SOUTH CAROLINA – YORK COUNTY

America’s Servicing Company

John Kennerty, China Brown and others

TEXAS – COLLIN COUNTY

BAC Home Loan Servicing, f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP

TEXAS – DALLAS COUNTY (COPPELL, TX)

American Home Mortgage Servicing

TEXAS – HARRIS COUNTY

Litton Loan Servicing, LP

Marti Noriega, Denise Bailey, Diane Dixon and others

TEXAS – TARRANT COUNTY

Saxon Mortgage Services

TEXAS – TRAVIS COUNTY

IndyMac Bank Home Loan Servicing

Brian Burnett, Kristen Kemp, Suchan Murray, Chamagne Williams and others

TEXAS – WILLIAMSON COUNTY

IndyMac Bank (years after IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. ceased to exist, many of the signers will sign as officers of IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. (the entity that should have made the assignment to the trust years ealier)

Erica A. Johnson-Seck, Dennis Kirkpatick, Eric Friedman and others

UTAH

SALT LAKE COUNTY

Select Portfolio Servicing

Luisa Alfonso, Bill Koch and others

Many mortgage-backed securitized trusts are missing critical documents needed to foreclose – i.e., the mortgage assignment. An excellent discussion of this is found in the decision of Massachusetts Land Court Judge Keith Long reaffirming a 2009 ruling (Ibanez) that invalidated foreclosures on two properties because the lenders did not hold clear title to the properties at the time of the foreclosure sale. Mortgage assignments were a key issue in Ibanez, a case that involved ineffective assignments to the Trust. Judge Long noted:

…the plaintiffs’ own securitization documents required mortgage assignments to be made to the plaintiffs in recordable form for each and every loan at the time the plaintiffs acquired them. Surely, compliance with this requirement would (and certainly should) have been a priority for an entity issuing securities dependent on recoveries from loans, such as these, known from the start to have a higher than normal risk of delinquency and default. U.S. BANK, N.A. v. Antonio Ibanez, et al., Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Land Court Dept., 08 MISC 384283 (KCL).

This Ibanez decision and many others deal with the issue of mortgage assignments prepared years after the closing date of the trust, usually when the Trustee or mortgage servicer has realized that the Trust does not have the assignment needed to foreclose or has a defective assignment – such as one issued in blank, unsigned and undated.

Many trusts and servicers try to replace the missing assignments, often with assignments executed within a few months of the foreclosure – and in many cases even after the foreclosure is filed or the home is sold (in non-judicial foreclosure states). The date and place of the Assignment often reveals whether the Assignment is actually a “replacement” – issued years after the Trust closed, and even years after the original lender supposedly making the Assignment disappeared into bankruptcy.

The servicer rarely identifies itself and discloses that this is an attempt to replace a missing assignment. It is, therefore, very useful to know that Mortgage Assignments notarized in the counties above are more often than not replacement Assignments prepared by or on behalf of the Trusts – by the servicers for the Trust or document preparation companies working for the servicers, or even law firm employees working for the Trust.

Please send corrections/additions to szymoniak@mac.com.

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