Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

Tag Archive | "Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud"

High Court Opinions Anticipated MERS Suit

High Court Opinions Anticipated MERS Suit


Read the case: The Conclusion…If we could only turn back time: IN THE MATTER OF MERSCORP, INC. v. Romaine, 2005 NY Slip Op 9728 – NY: Supreme Court, Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2005

NYLawJournal.com-

More than five years ago, two worried judges on the New York Court of Appeals described the emerging electronic mortgage recording industry as a potential nightmare for consumers and local governments, and urged the Legislature to make sure old statutes conformed to modern realities.

But nothing was done in Albany, and the concerns raised by then Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and current senior associate Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick are now allegations in a lawsuit Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed last week targeting the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) and the financial industry that created and uses it.

In recent days, as settlement discussions in the nationwide mortgage servicing agreement intensified, the banks demanded the elimination of the MERS claims as a settlement condition, but Mr. Schneiderman refused to yield.

[NYLAWJOURNAL.COM]

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Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

WHAT LPS & THE MILLS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW…WHO REALLY OWNS THE NOTE!

WHAT LPS & THE MILLS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW…WHO REALLY OWNS THE NOTE!


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:

  • SERVICER
  • TRUST
  • TRUSTEE/NOTE-OWNER
  • BORROWER

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.

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, conflict of interest, CONTROL FRAUD, DOCX, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, Lender Processing Services Inc., MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., note, racketeering, RICO, scam, securitization, servicers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Wall StreetComments (7)

MASSACHUSETTES CALLS FOR A FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM

MASSACHUSETTES CALLS FOR A FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM


Coakley begins probe, calls for foreclosure moratorium

By Herald Staff
Saturday, October 2, 2010 –

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley called on Bank of America and other major creditors to delay all foreclosure proceedings and pledged to begin her own investigation in light of recent revelations that they may not have complied with the law.

Bank of America announced Friday it was delaying foreclosures in 23 states, not including Massachusetts, as it examines whether it rushed the foreclosure process for thousands of homeowners without reading the documents.

“Our office has been extremely active in holding major banks and Wall Street firms accountable during this foreclosure crisis. We are concerned about the revelations that Bank of America and other major lenders have failed to properly review foreclosure documentation,” Coakley said yesterday in a statement. “Our office is now investigating this apparent failure of major creditors to follow state foreclosure law to ensure that Massachusetts homeowners are properly protected. In light of these revelations, we are asking Bank of America and other major creditors to cease foreclosure proceedings for Massachusetts homeowners until they can demonstrate that they have complied with Massachusetts law.”

Continue reading…BOSTON HERALD

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, bank of new york, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, GMAC, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

Documents Show CitiMortgage and Wells Fargo Also Commit Foreclosure Fraud

Documents Show CitiMortgage and Wells Fargo Also Commit Foreclosure Fraud


More of MESCORPS “Shareholders”. Make sure you catch their “old evidence” below…and have a barf bag because this is going to make you sick!

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By ABIGAIL FIELD Posted 6:29 PM 10/01/10

Documents submitted to a court are supposed to be true as submitted. As an attorney, If I file a document with a court in which I swore I personally verified that the information contained within the document is true, and I didn’t actually do that, I’d get in real trouble. It’s simple: That’s fraud in the eyes of the court.

GMAC, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America recently admitted that their employees routinely sign thousands of documents without verifying what they’re signing. Those documents are then submitted to courts as if the documents were true, to enable the banks to foreclose on delinquent properties. Wells Fargo and CitiMortgage told the New York Times their employees do not engage in similar practices. Yet new evidence shows they do.

Confusion at Wells Fargo
Herman John Kennerty of Wells Fargo has given a deposition describing the department he oversees for Wells Fargo. It’s a department dedicated to simply signing documents. Kennerty testified that he signs 50 to 150 documents a day, verifying only the date on each. What else might he want to verify? Well, in one document he signed, he supposedly transferred the mortgage from Washington Mutual Bank FA to Wells Fargo on July 12, 2010. But that’s impossible, since Washington Mutual Bank FA changed its name in 2004, and by any name WaMu ceased to exist in 2008, when the FDIC took it over. Making the document even less comprehensible, the debtor had declared bankruptcy a month earlier, according to Linda Tirelli, who represented the debtor. Why would Wells Fargo want a mortgage from someone in bankruptcy? Finally, Tirelli pointed out that the papers Wells Fargo filed included a different transfer of the mortgage dated three days before the debtor took out the loan. The documents are a mess, yet Kennerty signed them regardless.

Legal Nonsense at CitiMortgage

Similarly, one M. Matthews signed a number of documents that CitiMortgage has used to try to foreclose on properties. While Matthews may or may not sign hundreds of documents a day — I have not yet found a deposition in which he swears that he does — he certainly does not verify the contents of the documents he’s signing. For example, he signed a document supposedly transferring a mortgage from Lehman Brothers to Citi in 2009. It’s hard to see how that’s possible, since Lehman had already ceased to exist. When confronted with its nonsensical filing, Citigroup decided not to foreclose. Instead, it gave the homeowner a meaningful mortgage modification–$15,000 principal reduction, plus a 30 year fixed mortgage at 3%. Tirelli, who represented the debtor in that case too, notes that she sees bad documents in the vast majority of cases, and she keeps files of “robosigned” documents.

It’s true that in both the WaMu and Lehman Brothers documents, the signers were officially representing an entity called MERS and acting as the “nominee” of WaMu and the “nominee” of Lehman Brothers. But that doesn’t change the fraudulent nature of the documents as filed. MERS can’t continue to be the nominee of an entity that doesn’t exist. Moreover, MERS can’t assign something it doesn’t have, and MERS itself will admit it doesn’t own the underlying note or mortgage.

Possible Sanctions for JPMorgan Chase
Wells Fargo and CitiMortgage aren’t the only big banks to misrepresent their practices in the media; JPMorgan Chase told the New York Times that it had not withdrawn any documents in a pending case. However, Chase has in fact withdrawn robosigned documents in a case Tirelli is currently defending. Chase now faces possible sanctions in the case.

Why are the big, sophisticated banks submitting such problematic documents to the courts? The key reason is that sometimes when a bank wants to foreclose, it has to prove it actually has the right to foreclose — that it owns the note and accompanying mortgage. Unfortunately for the banks, the securitization of mortgages and the changes in property ownership documentation that accompanied it make it hard for the banks to establish clean chains of title and produce original documents. Hard, that is, in an environment where a massive number of foreclosures must be started and completed in a timely manner.

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/amvWqK

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RELATED:

HEY NY TIMES…’NO PROOF’ JEFFREY STEPHAN HAS AUTHORITY TO EXECUTE AFFIDAVIT FOR WELLS FARGO

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Homeowner fights foreclosure in lawsuit claiming documents are fraudulent


THE ACTUAL DEPOSITION IN THIS CASE CITMORTGAGE v. BROWN

DEPOSITION OF NOTARY SHANNON SMITH OF THIS CASE

[ipaper docId=34340050 access_key=key-1eb2fh5kgjs1rbxhfwhq height=600 width=600 /]

MORE ON THIS CASE & FIRM BELOW

_________________

Take Two: *New* Full Deposition of Law Office of David J. Stern’s Cheryl Samons

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Law Offices of David J. Stern, MERS | Assignment of Mortgage NOT EXECUTED but RECORDED

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Cheryl Samons | No Signature, No Notary, 1 Witness…No Problem!

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STERN’S CHERYL SAMONS| SHANNON SMITH Assignment Of Mortgage| NOTARY FRAUD!

_________________________________________________

MAESTRO PLEASE…AND THE WINNER OF THE “MOST JOB TITLES” CONTEST IS…

JOHN KENNERTY, a/k/a HERMAN JOHN KENNERTY

JOHN KENNERTY a/k/a Herman John Kennerty has been employed for many years in the Ft. Mill, SC offices of America’s Servicing Company, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. He signed many different job titles on mortgage-related documents, often using different titles on the same day. He often signs as an officer of MERS (“Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.”) On many Mortgage Assignments signed by Kennerty, Wells Fargo, or the trust serviced by ASC, is shown as acquiring the mortgage weeks or even months AFTER the foreclosure action is filed.

Titles attributed to John Kennerty include the following:

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for 1st Continental Mortgage Corp.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for American Brokers Conduit;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for American Enterprise Bank of Florida;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for American Home Mortgage;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Amnet Mortgage, Inc. d/b/a American Mortgage Network of Florida;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Bayside Mortgage Services, Inc.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for CT Mortgage, Inc.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for First Magnus Financial Corporation, an Arizona Corp.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for First National Bank of AZ;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Fremont Investment & Loan;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Group One Mortgage, Inc.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Guaranty Bank;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Homebuyers Financial, LLC;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for IndyMac Bank, FSB, a Federally Chartered Savings Bank (in June 2010);

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Irwin Mortgage Corporation;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Ivanhoe Financial, Inc., a Delaware Corp.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Mortgage Network, Inc.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Ohio Savings Bank;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Paramount Financial, Inc.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Pinnacle Direct Funding Corp.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for RBC Mortgage Company;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Seacoast National Bank;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Shelter Mortgage Company, LLC;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Stuart Mortgage Corp.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Suntrust Mortgage;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Transaland Financial Corp.;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Universal American Mortgage Co., LLC;

Asst. Secretary, MERS, as Nominee for Wachovia Mortgage Corp.;

Vice President of Loan Documentation, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.;

Vice President of Loan Documentation, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., successor by merger to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. f/k/a Norwest Mortgage, Inc.

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in assignment of mortgage, Beth Cottrell, bogus, chain in title, citimortgage, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deed of trust, erica johnson seck, Erika Herrera, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, herman john kennerty, investigation, linda green, LPS, Max Gardner, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, wells fargoComments (2)

Bank exec. signed, didn’t read foreclosure papers

Bank exec. signed, didn’t read foreclosure papers


By ALAN ZIBEL

The Associated Press
Friday, October 1, 2010; 4:28 PM

WASHINGTON — A Bank of America official acknowledges in a legal proceeding that she signed up to 8,000 foreclosure documents a month and typically didn’t read them.

The executive’s admission adds the nation’s largest bank to a growing list of mortgage companies whose employees signed documents in foreclosure cases without verifying the information in them.

Two other companies, Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit and JPMorgan Chase, have halted tens of thousands of foreclosure cases after similar problems became public.

The Bank of America executive said in a February deposition in a Massachusetts bankruptcy case that she signed 7,000 to 8,000 foreclosure documents a month.

“I typically don’t read them because of the volume that we sign,” the executive said.

The disclosure comes two days after JPMorgan said it would temporarily stop foreclosing on more than 50,000 homes so it can review documents that might contain errors. Last week, GMAC halted certain evictions and sales of foreclosed homes in 23 states to review those cases after finding procedural errors in some foreclosure affidavits.

After GMAC’s announcement, state attorneys general in California and Connecticut told the company to stop foreclosures until it proves it’s complying with their state laws. The Ohio attorney general this week asked judges to review GMAC foreclosure cases.

And in Florida, the state attorney general is investigating four law firms, two with ties to GMAC, for allegedly providing fraudulent documents in foreclosure cases.

In some states, lenders can foreclose quickly on delinquent mortgage borrowers. But 23 states use a lengthy court process for foreclosures. They require documents to verify information on the mortgage, including who owns it. Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois are the biggest states with this process.

...WASHINGTON POST

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Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

There you go Connecticut ‘ALL’ Bank Foreclosures Stopped

There you go Connecticut ‘ALL’ Bank Foreclosures Stopped


Connecticut halts all foreclosures for all banks

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | October 1, 2010; 2:41 PM ET

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Friday ordered a moratorium on all foreclosures by all banks for 60 days–the most radical action taken by a state on issue of document irregularities.

California also expanded the moratorium on foreclosures it announced last week on Ally Financial foreclosures to include those by J.P. Morgan Chase.

Calling the companies’ review of key foreclosure documents “a ruse,” California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) ordered J.P. Morgan to prove it is following the law before it continues foreclosures in the state.

Both J.P. Morgan Chase and Ally have frozen foreclosures in 23 states because some employees had signed off on foreclosure paperwork without properly reviewing the files.

Colorado and Illinois have stopped foreclosures by Ally and at least seven other states have launched probes into the issue. But Connecticut is the first to institute an industry-wide ban.

Washington Post

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© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in concealment, conflict of interest, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, robo signers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

Every Attorney General Needs To Follow Connecticut AG and seek 60-day freeze on foreclosures

Every Attorney General Needs To Follow Connecticut AG and seek 60-day freeze on foreclosures


Here are excerpts to Reuters:

Connecticut AG seeks 60-day freeze on foreclosures

Fri Oct 1, 2010 12:09pm EDT

* Blumenthal says defective documents warrant freeze

* JPMorgan, Ally/GMAC being investigated

The attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, also said he is investigating JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) over its foreclosure practices. He previously said he was investigating Ally Financial Inc and its GMAC Mortgage unit.

“Banks that lured consumers into loans they couldn’t afford now seek to stampede them into foreclosure,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “This freeze should stop a foreclosure steamroller based on defective documents and enable effective remedies.”

The decisions came after borrowers’ lawyers released affidavits suggesting that some lenders’ employees are submitting documentation in foreclosure proceedings without understanding the contents.

Investigators in at least six U.S. states are examining foreclosure practices at GMAC, JPMorgan or both, and calling for such practices to be defended or halted.

Blumenthal, a Democrat, is running for the U.S. Senate. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by John Wallace)

Continue to REUTERS

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Press Release

Attorney General Asks CT Courts To Freeze Home Foreclosures 60 Days Because Of Defective Docs

October 1, 2010

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today asked the state Judicial Department to freeze all home foreclosures for 60 days because of defective document filings and institute measures to assure the integrity of future filings.

Blumenthal made the request after a second bank, JP Morgan Chase, acknowledged filing defective foreclosure documents. Like GMAC/Ally, JP Morgan admitted that so-called “robo-signers” signed affidavits without verifying the information in them. The GMAC robo-signer said under oath that he signed 8,000 to 10,000 foreclosure affidavits a month while a robo-signer for JP Morgan testified to spending less than two minutes on each affidavit.

Blumenthal is investigating GMAC/Ally and JP Morgan, as well as whether other banks may have engaged in similar practices.

Submitting defective documents is a possible fraud upon the court, potentially undermining foreclosures and underlying mortgages.

“This freeze should stop a foreclosure steamroller based on defective documents and enable effective remedies,” Blumenthal said. “The actions of GMAC/Ally and JP Morgan are inexcusable, a possible fraud on the court undermining the integrity of the legal process and consumers’ ability to fight foreclosures. Banks that lured consumers into loans they couldn’t afford now seek to stampede them into foreclosure. We must stop this runaway foreclosure train, restoring proper procedure and property owner rights.

“The Judicial Department should take additional measures — including requiring signers to state the basis for verifying information in affidavits — to restore the integrity of foreclosure documents. This appalling practice must be stopped before it poisons the legal system and unfairly evicts families from their homes.”

Connecticut Attorney General

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, bogus, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, robo signers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

Fraud Factories, MERS, LPS, Forgeries: Rep. Alan Grayson Explains the Foreclosure Fraud Crisis

Fraud Factories, MERS, LPS, Forgeries: Rep. Alan Grayson Explains the Foreclosure Fraud Crisis


RepAlanGrayson | September 30, 2010
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This is Rep. Alan Grayson explaining the crisis of foreclosure fraud and how it links to the entire securitization chain of Wall Street.

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One of My First Videos 2/10/2010

This is what made plenty of noise!


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This is the actual “BOGUS ASSIGNEE” that was found…then came many.


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© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in assignment of mortgage, bogus, chain in title, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, dinsfla, DOCX, fannie mae, florida default law group, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, investigation, jeff carbiener, jeffrey stephan, Kristine Wilson, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, Lender Processing Services Inc., linda green, LPS, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, notary fraud, note, robo signers, securitization, shapiro & fishman pa, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, sub-prime, Supreme Court, trade secrets, Tywanna ThomasComments (1)

Analysis: Foreclosure “mess” unfolds state by state

Analysis: Foreclosure “mess” unfolds state by state


By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO | Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:46am EDT

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

Continue reading… REUTERS

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© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in assignment of mortgage, Beth Cottrell, Bryan Bly, chain in title, Cheryl Samons, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, Crystal Moore, deed of trust, dennis kirkpatrick, deposition, eric friedman, erica johnson seck, Erika Herrera, fannie mae, florida default law group, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Freddie Mac, investigation, jeffrey stephan, jpmorgan chase, judge arthur schack, Korrel Harp, Kristine Wilson, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, Wall StreetComments (1)

Robo-Signer Called Out in Ohio by Attorney General Cordray

Robo-Signer Called Out in Ohio by Attorney General Cordray


The Honorable Judge
County Court of Common Pleas

Re: Foreclosure Affidavits

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.

Thank you.
Sincerely,
Richard Cordray
Ohio Attorney General

CC:
Sarah Lynn, Deputy Chief Counsel, Ohio Attorney General
Susan Choe, Consumer Protection Section Chief, Ohio Attorney General

[ipaper docId=38440652 access_key=key-6qk0oxuezmg7toyjlbw height=600 width=600 /]

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, conflict of interest, CONTROL FRAUD, deed of trust, DOCX, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, investigation, jeffrey stephan, jpmorgan chase, LPS, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, robo signers, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, Supreme Court, TRO, Wall StreetComments (1)

HERE COMES JPMORGAN CHASE, LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES…AND THE ROBO-SIGNERS

HERE COMES JPMORGAN CHASE, LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES…AND THE ROBO-SIGNERS


Mortgage Fraud

Chase Home Finance, LLC
Whitney Cook
Beth Cottrell
Margaret Dalton
JPMorgan Chase
Lender Processing Services
Long Beach Mortgage
Stacy Spohn
Christina Trowbridge
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.

Sample Of The Work

[ipaper docId=38430629 access_key=key-g6cuuygszzcvosanu4s height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, chase, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deed of trust, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, fraud digest, investigation, jeffrey stephan, jpmorgan chase, Kristine Wilson, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, Lender Processing Services Inc., LPS, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Notary, robo signers, shapiro & fishman pa, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Supreme Court, Violations, Wall Street, wamu, washington mutualComments (9)

CAUTION: FRAUD WILL NOT HALT A FORECLOSURE IN FLORIDA

CAUTION: FRAUD WILL NOT HALT A FORECLOSURE IN FLORIDA


It was a very sad day for Floridians yesterday when the Florida Supreme Court issued a statement that it does not have authority to intercede while a fraud investigation is pending. Although we may not agree with the decision, we must respect procedures that must be followed.

Florida, do not quit what you are doing because there are many states that we must continue to focus on. Judges need to put themselves in the homeowners situation and understand we cannot make these fraudulent documents up. These documents are sworn statements, under perjury of law and notarized. As officers of the court they must be held accountable. No ifs, ands, buts or suppose here. These are not errors.

Rest assured that The Florida Bar still has many pending investigations with these foreclosure firms and they have authority overseeing the misconduct of their members.

I am your voice, America. I share your fears, read your concerns and do try my best to reach out to you.

DinSFLA

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Florida Supreme Court Will Not Stop Foreclosure Mills Pending Investigations Of Fraud

Florida Supreme Court Will Not Stop Foreclosure Mills Pending Investigations Of Fraud


The Florida Supreme Court said today:

The Florida Constitution and court rules did not give the Chief Justice authority to intercede in pending cases involving attorney misconduct, or to investigate allegations of fraud or misconduct in foreclosure cases. The fraud cases must first beadjudicated in trial courts.

Congressman Grayson has asked the Florida Bar to take action.

Florida Default Law Group has been added as the fourth law firm under investigation along the Law offices of David J. Stern, Shapiro & Fishman and Law Office of Marshall Watson.

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Judge Schack “Every Case Is Unique,” Wants Every Assignment and Mortgage To Be Recorded!

Judge Schack “Every Case Is Unique,” Wants Every Assignment and Mortgage To Be Recorded!


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

Mortgage mayhem

B’klyn judge tosses bad foreclosure filings

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?

Continue Reading…NEW YORK POST

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, CONTROL FRAUD, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, jpmorgan chase, judge arthur schack, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., robo signers, securitization, Wall StreetComments (0)

KRISTINE WILSON “SECOND” GMAC ROBO-SIGNER SURFACES, AFFIDAVITS WITHDRAWN

KRISTINE WILSON “SECOND” GMAC ROBO-SIGNER SURFACES, AFFIDAVITS WITHDRAWN


Ally’s GMAC unit withdraws foreclosure affidavits signed by second employee

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 25, 2010; 11:34 AM ET

Was Kristine Wilson another “robo-signer”?

Attorneys for homeowners in Florida say Ally Financial’s GMAC mortgage unit has begun to withdraw affidavits submitted in support of foreclosures that were signed by a second employee. Like Jeffrey Stephan–the document processor who admitted in sworn testimony that he signed 10,000 documents a month without reviewing them–Kristine Wilson signed as a “limited signing officer” for GMAC.

In a request to withdraw an affidavit listing debts owed by a homeowner that was signed by Wilson in a Palm Beach County Circuit Court case, lawyers for GMAC say that “information in the affidavit may not have been properly verified.”

Continue reading…WASHINGTON POST

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, chain in title, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deed of trust, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, investigation, jeffrey stephan, Kristine Wilson, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., note, robo signers, stopforeclosurefraud.comComments (1)

Illinois Joins U.S. State Officials On GMAC Investigation

Illinois Joins U.S. State Officials On GMAC Investigation


U.S. State Officials Investigate After GMAC Halts Evictions

September 25, 2010, 12:01 AM EDT

By Dakin Campbell

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) — Attorneys general in three U.S. states are investigating foreclosures at Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit after the lender said it would halt some evictions following a discovery of faulty documentation.

Texas, Iowa and Illinois have started investigations into mortgage practices at Ally, while California, which isn’t affected by GMAC’s action, ordered the company to stop foreclosures unless it can prove compliance with state law, according to statements. Ally said it has issued a “more robust policy” on processing foreclosures, increased staff to handle documents and instituted more training for employees.

“Preserving the integrity of the foreclosure process is of the utmost importance,” Ally said yesterday in a statement. “While we are exercising an abundance of caution in the review process, we are confident that the processing errors did not result in any inappropriate foreclosures.”

Continue reading…BUSINESS WEEK

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September 24, 2010

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN DEMANDS MEETING WITH
MORTGAGE LENDER AT CENTER OF FORECLOSURE CONTROVERSY

GMAC Suspected of Submitting False Documents in Foreclosure Cases

Chicago ­ Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued a letter to the mortgage lender Ally (formerly GMAC) demanding a meeting to address concerns that the company has violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act in its pursuit of Illinois homeowners in foreclosure. Madigan’s letter responds to reports raising serious questions about the accuracy of documents the lender files in foreclosure lawsuits.

An Ally employee testified in a Florida court case that he routinely signed affidavits for foreclosure lawsuits and submitted them to Ally’s attorneys without reviewing the homeowners’ loan documents. These affidavits were then filed with the court as evidence of Ally’s right to foreclose on the homes. The employee testified that he signed at least 10,000 affidavits a month without reviewing the underlying paperwork, and thus had no way of knowing whether the information in the affidavits was actually true.

“Families’ homes are at stake here,” Madigan said. “If I determine that Ally is rubber-stamping affidavits and filing them with our courts as evidence, I will take appropriate action. The law demands that lenders prove their case in foreclosure actions, and Illinois homeowners demand the same.”

Following these revelations, Ally announced this week that it is suspending foreclosure lawsuits in 23 states, including Illinois.

Madigan also requested that Ally immediately provide her office with details on the impact of Ally’s conduct on Illinois homeowners, including the number of Illinois homeowners affected by the suspension of foreclosures; the names of the Illinois law firms that Ally retains to pursue foreclosure actions; information about how these firms will implement and monitor the suspension of foreclosure lawsuits in Illinois; and the length of the suspension.

GMAC ranked fourth among U.S. home mortgage lenders in the first six months of this year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry newsletter.

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, bloomberg, Bryan Bly, chain in title, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deed of trust, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, GMAC, investigation, jeffrey stephan, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., robo signers, trade secretsComments (2)

FORECLOSURES TO COME TO A HALT IN FLORIDA? WE WROTE THEY READ IT!

FORECLOSURES TO COME TO A HALT IN FLORIDA? WE WROTE THEY READ IT!


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THIS IS HUGE! Coming in… Florida might halt all Foreclosures…While pending investigation of MILLS!

SUPREME COURT,

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?

Sincerely,

Damian-

Supreme Court spokesman Craig Waters said Friday that the court was preparing a response, but did not elaborate.

All anyone has to do is click the link below for all the evidence I included of this massive nationwide fraud of all of Fannie and Freddie Baron’s:

FORECLOSURE FRAUD LETTER TO FANNIE MAE FROM GRAYSON, FRANK and BROWN

.

Creed of Professionalism

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.”

.

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, ben-ezra, bogus, chain in title, Cheryl Samons, class action, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, Craig Waters, florida default law group, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, GMAC, investigation, jeffrey stephan, Kenneth Eric Trent, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., Notary, notary fraud, note, rmbs, securitization, shapiro & fishman pa, smith hiatt & diaz pa, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Supreme Court, Susan Chana Lask, trustee, Trusts, Wall StreetComments (5)

California Attorney General Demands Halt To Foreclosures By Mortgage Giant

California Attorney General Demands Halt To Foreclosures By Mortgage Giant


California Demands Halt To Foreclosures By Mortgage Giant

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com

Published: Friday, Sep. 24, 2010 – 11:39 am
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 24, 2010 – 11:46 am
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California officials today demanded that Ally Financial Inc. stop foreclosing on homes in the state, citing reports indicating the big mortgage lender is violating the law.

The cease-and-desist letter, issued by Attorney General Jerry Brown, came as officials in several other states began investigating Ally’s operations.

The controversy stems from a Florida court case in which an Ally official reportedly testified that he signed thousands of documents in foreclosure cases without even reviewing the homeowners’ loan documents.

Continue Reading…THE SACRAMENTO BEE

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Posted in chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, deed of trust, fannie mae, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, GMAC, investigation, jeffrey stephan, MERS, MERSCORP, Moratorium, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., non judicial, note, robo signers, stopforeclosurefraud.comComments (2)

FORECLOSURE FRAUD LETTER TO FANNIE MAE FROM GRAYSON, FRANK and BROWN

FORECLOSURE FRAUD LETTER TO FANNIE MAE FROM GRAYSON, FRANK and BROWN


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
Fannie Mae
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.

Sincerely,

Alan Grayson
Member of Congress

Barney Frank
Member of Congress

Corrine Brown
Member of Congress


[ipaper docId=38085026 access_key=key-16a2ffn67hrkd71ga6q0 height=600 width=600 /]

BELOW ARE EXAMPLES OF THE WORK COMING

FROM FANNIE/FREDDIE/MERS/LPS

FORECLOSURE MILL BARON’S

THERE IS MORE OF THESE


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Posted in assignment of mortgage, bogus, chain in title, concealment, conflict of interest, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, djsp enterprises, DOCX, fannie mae, florida default law group, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, GMAC, investigation, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., law offices of Marshall C. Watson pa, Lender Processing Services Inc., linda green, mbs, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, robo signers, roger stotts, securitization, shapiro & fishman pa, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, sub-prime, Wall StreetComments (5)

AMENDED |NEW YORK FORECLOSURE CLASS ACTION AGAINST STEVEN J. BAUM & MERSCORP

AMENDED |NEW YORK FORECLOSURE CLASS ACTION AGAINST STEVEN J. BAUM & MERSCORP


Class Action Attorney Susan Chana Lask targets Foreclosure Mill Attorneys as source of foreclosure crisis.

This is the amended complaint against Foreclosure Mill Steven J. Baum and MERSCORP.

Want to join the Class? No problem!

Please contact: SUSAN CHANA LASK, ESQ.

[ipaper docId=37881265 access_key=key-2hj0jnnmfxmm0i37q7l0 height=600 width=600 /]

Related posts:

CLASS ACTION | Connie Campbell v. Steven Baum, MERSCORP, Inc

_________________________

CLASS ACTION AMENDED against MERSCORP to include Shareholders, DJSP

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Posted in assignment of mortgage, concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forgery, Law Office Of Steven J. Baum, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, MERSCORP, mortgage, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., notary fraud, note, racketeering, RICO, Steven J Baum, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, stopforeclosurefraud.com, Susan Chana Lask, Trusts, truth in lending act, Wall StreetComments (2)

In the Matter of Merscorp, Inc., et al., Respondents, v Edward P. Romaine, & c., et al., Appellants, et al., Defendant.

In the Matter of Merscorp, Inc., et al., Respondents, v Edward P. Romaine, & c., et al., Appellants, et al., Defendant.


NEW YORK COURT OF APPEALS

2006 NY Int. 167


This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.


2006 NY Slip Op 09500

Decided on December 19, 2006

No. 179

In the Matter of Merscorp, Inc., et al., Respondents,

v

Edward P. Romaine, & c., et al., Appellants, et al., Defendant.

Richard C. Cahn, for appellants.

Charles C. Martorana, for respondents.

Mortgage Bankers Association; American Land Title

Association; Federal National Mortgage Association et al.;

South Brooklyn Legal Services et al.; County Clerks of the

Counties of Albany, & c., amici curiae.

PIGOTT, J.

We are asked to decide on this appeal whether the Suffolk County Clerk 1 is compelled to record and index mortgages, assignments of mortgage and discharges of mortgage, which name Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. the lender’s nominee or mortgagee of record.

Petitioners, Merscorp, Inc. and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.(collectively “MERS”), commenced this hybrid proceeding in the nature of mandamus to compel the Clerk to record and index the instruments, and to declare them acceptable for recording and indexing.

Supreme Court denied in part petitioners’ motion for summary judgment and granted in part the cross-motion of respondents, the Suffolk County Clerk and the County of Suffolk (collectively “the County”), holding that although the Clerk must record and index the MERS mortgage when presented, the Clerk may refuse to record a MERS assignment and discharge, because those instruments violate the “factual mandates” of section 321 (3) of the Real Property Law.

The Appellate Division reversed so much of Supreme Court’s ruling as relates to the assignments and discharges, finding “no valid distinction between MERS mortgages and MERS assignments and discharges for purposes of recording and indexing” (24 AD3d 673 [2nd Dept 2005]). This Court granted leave and we now affirm.

In 1993, the MERS system was created by several large participants in the real estate mortgage industry 2 to track ownership interests in residential mortgages. Mortgage lenders and other entities,3 known as MERS members, subscribe to the MERS system and pay annual fees for the electronic processing and tracking of ownership and transfers of mortgages. Members contractually agree to appoint MERS to act as their common agent on all mortgages they register in the MERS system.

The initial MERS mortgage is recorded in the County Clerk’s office with “Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.” named as the lender’s nominee or mortgagee of record on the instrument. During the lifetime of the mortgage, the beneficial ownership interest or servicing rights may be transferred among MERS members (“MERS assignments”), but these assignments are not publicly recorded; instead they are tracked electronically in MERS’s private system 4. In the MERS system, the mortgagor is notified of transfers of servicing rights pursuant to the Truth in Lending Act, but not necessarily of assignments of the beneficial interest in the mortgage.

In April 2001, in response to an informal opinion of the Attorney General, which concluded that recording a MERS instrument violates Real Property Law § 316 and frustrates the legislative intent of the recording provisions (2001 Ops Atty Gen No. 2001-2), the Suffolk County Clerk ceased recording the MERS instruments. This proceeding ensued.

The County contends that the MERS mortgage is improper because that mortgage names MERS, an entity that has no interest in the property or loan, as the “nominee” for the lender. Thus, the County contends MERS is not a proper “mortgagee” and the document created cannot be considered a proper “conveyance” for purposes of the recording statute. We disagree.

Section 291 of the Real Property Law provides, in pertinent part, that:

“a conveyance of real property, within the state, on being duly acknowledged by the person executing the same, or proved as required by [the Real Property Law], and such acknowledgment or proof duly certified when required by [such law], may be recorded in the office of the clerk of the county where such real property is situated, and such county clerk shall, upon the request of any party, on tender of the lawful fees therefor, record the same in his said office”

[emphasis added].

Real Property Law § 316-a, which pertains exclusively to Suffolk County, provides that “[e]very instrument affecting real estate or chattels real, situated in the county of Suffolk, which shall be, or which shall have been recorded in the office of the clerk of said county on and after the first day of January, nineteen hundred fifty-one, shall be recorded and indexed pursuant to the provisions of this act”(emphasis added).

Thus, sections 291 and 316-a of the Real Property Law impose upon the Suffolk County Clerk the ministerial duty of recording and indexing instruments affecting real property (see Real Property Law §§ 290[3], 291, 316-a[1, 2], 321 [1]; County Law § 525[1]). The Clerk lacks the statutory authority to look beyond an instrument that otherwise satisfies the limited requirements of the recording statute (see Putnam v Stewart, 97 NY 411 [1884]). Therefore, the County Clerk must accept the MERS mortgage when presented for recording.

With respect to the MERS assignments and discharges of mortgage, the County argues that by requiring the Clerk to record the instrument, the Clerk is recording a document that ignores the mandates prescribed by Real Property Law § 321.

Section 321(1)(a) provides that where it does not appear from the record that any interest in a mortgage has been assigned, a certificate of satisfaction must be signed by the mortgagee or the mortgagee’s personal representative in order for the recording officer to mark the record of the mortgage as “discharged.” Where it appears from the record that a mortgage has been assigned, the recording officer cannot mark the record of that mortgage with the word “discharged” unless a certificate is signed by “the person who appears from the record to be the last assignee” of the mortgage, or his or her personal representative (Real Property Law § 321[1][b]). As the nominee for the mortgagee of record or for the last assignee, MERS acknowledges the instrument and therefore, the County Clerk is required to file and record the instruments.

Other provisions are not to the contrary. Under section 321 [2], the Clerk is required to record “every other instrument relating to a mortgage,” if that instrument is properly acknowledged or proved in a manner entitling a conveyance to be recorded. Such instruments include “certificates purporting to discharge a mortgage” that are signed by persons other than those specified in Real Property Law § 321(1).

Further, section 321 (3) of the Real Property Law provides:

“Every certificate presented to the recording officer shall be executed and acknowledged or proved in like manner as to entitle a conveyance to be recorded. If the mortgage has been assigned, in whole or in part, the certificate shall set forth the date of each assignment in the chain of title of the person or persons signing the certificate, the names of the assignor and assignee, the interest assigned, and, if the assignment has been recorded, the book and page where it has been recorded or the serial number of such record; or if the assignment is being recorded simultaneously with the certificate of discharge, the certificate of discharge shall so state. If the mortgage has not been assigned of record, the certificate shall so state”

[emphasis added].

Notably, section 321 (3) does not call for the unrecorded MERS assignments to be listed on the MERS discharge. Rather, under the statute, the discharge is required either to list the assignment by the name of the assignor and assignee, the interest assigned, and the book and page number, where recorded, or, if the assignment has not been recorded, to “so state.”

The legislative history of the statute supports this interpretation. In 1951, Real Property Law section 321 (3) was amended to, among other things, insert the term “of record” (L 1951, c 159, § 1). The relevant memoranda submitted to the Legislature in connection with the amendment indicate that the term was inserted to “correct a difficulty” in complying with the statute (see e.g. Memorandum by the Executive Secretary and Director of Research of the Law Revision Committee in support of Bill in Senate). Prior to the amendment, the statute required that a discharge certificate presented to the County Clerk either list all of the assignments in the chain of title or state that the mortgage was unassigned 5. However, problems developed when an assignment, known to the person executing the discharge, was not in the chain of title. In those situations, the person executing the discharge would make the untrue statement that the mortgage was unassigned. Thus, the Legislature amended the statute allowing the discharge certificate to either list the assignments in the chain of title or to state that the assignment has not been made “of record”. The MERS discharge complies with the statute by stating that the “[m]ortgage has not been further assigned of record” and, therefore, the County Clerk is required to accept the MERS assignments and discharges of mortgage for recording.

Accordingly, the order of the Appellate Division should be affirmed with costs.

CIPARICK, J.(concurring):

I am constrained to agree with the result reached by the majority opinion. However, I write independently to highlight the narrow breadth of this holding and to point out that this issue may be ripe for legislative consideration.

I concur with the majority that the Clerk’s role is merely ministerial in nature and that since the documents sought to be recorded appear, for the most part, to comply with the recording statutes, MERS is entitled to an order directing the clerk to accept and record the subject documents. I wish to note, however, that to the extent that the County and various amici argue that MERS has violated the clear prohibition against separating a lien from its debt and that MERS does not have standing to bring foreclosure actions, those issues remain for another day (see e.g. Merritt v Bartholick, 36 NY 44, 45 [1867][“a transfer of the mortgage without the debt is a nullity, and no interest is acquired by it”]).

In addition to these substantive issues, a plethora of policy arguments have surfaced during the pendency of this proceeding. For instance, if MERS succeeds in its goal of monopolizing the mortgage nominee market, it will have effectively usurped the role of the County Clerk that inevitably would result in a county’s recording fee revenue being substantially diverted to a private entity. Additionally, MERS’s success will arguably detract from the amount of public data available concerning mortgage ownership that otherwise offers a wealth of statistics that are used to analyze trends in lending practices. Another concern raised is that, once an assignment of the mortgage is made, it can be difficult, if not impossible, for a homeowner to find out the true identity of the loan holder. Amici who submitted briefs in favor of the County argue that this can effectively insulate a note holder from liability and further that it encourages predatory lending practices.

Unquestionably there is considerable public value in allowing seamless assignments of mortgages in a secondary market. However, whether this benefit will outweigh the negative consequences cannot be ascertained by this Court. Thus, as the recording act, which as relevant here has not been substantially amended in the last 50 years, could not have envisioned such a system nor its ancillary impacts, I feel that such a decision is best left in the hands of the Legislature.

M/O Merscorp. v Romaine

No. 179

KAYE, Chief Judge (dissenting in part):

In 1993, members of the real estate mortgage industry created MERS, an electronic registration system for mortgages. Its purpose is to streamline the mortgage process by eliminating the need to prepare and record paper assignments of mortgage, as had been done for hundreds of years. To accomplish this goal, MERS acts as nominee and as mortgagee of record for its members nationwide and appoints itself nominee, as mortgagee, for its members’ successors and assigns, thereby remaining nominal mortgagee of record no matter how many times loan servicing, or the mortgage itself, may be transferred. MERS hopes to register every residential and commercial home loan nationwide on its electronic system.

But the MERS system, developed as a tool for banks and title companies, does not entirely fit within the purpose of the Recording Act, which was enacted to “protect the rights of innocent purchasers . . . without knowledge of prior encumbrances” and to “establish a public record which would furnish potential purchasers with notice, or at least ‘constructive notice’, of previous conveyances” (Andy Assocs. v Bankers Trust Co., 49 NY2d 13, 20 [1979]; see Witter v Taggert, 78 NY2d 234, 238 [1991]). It is the incongruity between the needs of the modern electronic secondary mortgage market and our venerable real property laws regulating the market that frames the issue before us.

The Suffolk County Clerk, pursuant to the Recording Act, has a duty to record conveyances that are “entitled to be recorded” (Real Property Law § 316-a [5]), and to discharge mortgages when presented with a validly executed and acknowledged certificate of discharge (Real Property Law § 321). Thus, as part of this ministerial duty, the Clerk is called upon to examine an instrument to see that it is, facially, a “conveyance” of real property or to see that the certificate of discharge complies with the statutory mandates. “The performance of his uniform clerical duty requires him to compare the instruments which come to his possession for record . . . and certify as to the identity of their physical contents. Such a certificate does not involve the expression of an opinion, but calls for the statement of a fact capable of absolute demonstration” (Putnam v Stewart, 97 NY 411, 418 [1884]).

When presented with a MERS mortgage to record, the Clerk is able to discern from the face of the instrument that MERS has been appointed, as nominee, “mortgagee of record.” As the instrument appears to reflect a valid conveyance (Real Property Law § 290 [3]), the Clerk is required to record the instrument in MERS’ name “as nominee for lender” (Real Property Law § 291). Given that the identity of the actual lender is ascertainable from the mortgage document itself — indeed, the use of a nominee as the equivalent of an agent for the lender is apparent, and not unusual — I concur with the majority that the Clerk is obligated to record MERS mortgages.1

When presented with a certificate of discharge, however, the Clerk has the duty to examine the mortgage’s prior assignments. The Clerk collects fees precisely for this purpose (Real Property Law § 321 [3] [“the fee or fees which the recording officer is entitled to receive for filing and entering a certificate of discharge of a mortgage and examining assignments of such mortgage shall be payable with respect to each mortgage”]). Section 321 (3) of the Real Property Law further provides:

“Every certificate presented to the recording officer shall be executed and acknowledged or proved in like manner as to entitle a conveyance to be recorded. If the mortgage has been assigned, in whole or in part, the certificate shall set forth the date of each assignment in the chain of title of the person or persons signing the certificate, the names of the assignor or assignee, the interest assigned, and, if the assignment has been recorded, the book and page where it has been recorded or the serial number of such record; or if the mortgage is being recorded simultaneously with the certificate of discharge, the certificate of discharge shall so state. If the mortgage has not been assigned of record, the certificate shall so state”

(emphasis added).

“[W]here the statutory language is clear and unambiguous, the court should construe it so as to give effect to the plain meaning of the words used” (Raritan Dev. Corp. v Silva, 91 NY2d 98, 107 [1997][emphasis and citations omitted]). Plainly, the statute requires all assignments of the mortgage to be listed on the certificate of discharge, whether recorded or not. The statute first sets out this general requirement, then it addresses each possible scenario in turn: if the assignment was recorded, the Clerk must enter the book and page; if the assignment of mortgage is being recorded simultaneously, the certificate shall so state; if the assignment was not recorded, the certificate similarly shall so state. To read the statute as providing that the certificate “either” list the recorded mortgage “or” simply state that the assignment has not been recorded renders the language of the preceding sentences superfluous and the clause regarding the listing of recording details “if recorded” nonsensical.

“[T]he clearest indicator of legislative intent is the statutory text” (Majewski v Broadalbin-Perth Cent. School Dist., 91 NY2d 577, 583 [1998]). The Court need not look to legislative history when the plain meaning of the statute is clear, and

surely should not look to legislative history to override the plain meaning of the statute, as the majority now does.

Here, moreover, the legislative history of § 321 is inapposite. Real Property Law § 321 was amended in 1951 to ameliorate the situation “where assignments are known by the signing party to have existed but are not in his chain of title because the mortgage has been reassigned to the assignor,” such as when “a mortgage has been pledged to secure a loan and on repayment . . . has been reassigned to the mortgagee without the assignment ever having been recorded” (Recommendation of the Law Revision Comm, Bill Jacket, L 1951, ch 159, at 20; see also Mem of Law Revision Comm, Bill Jacket, L 1951, at 11). Thus, the situation the amendment addressed was when a mortgagee’s assigned, unrecorded mortgage was reassigned back to the mortgagee, and the mortgage was then transferred by the mortgagee to a subsequent holder or discharged by the original mortgagee himself. In such a case, “there appears to be no reason for requiring a statement that the mortgage has not been assigned [as] the certificate is executed by the original mortgagee” (Recommendation of the Law Revision Comm, Bill Jacket, L 1951, ch 159, at 20 [emphasis added]), or transferred by the original assignor after it had been assigned back to him (see Report of Comm on Real Property Law, Bill Jacket, L 1951, at 9).

Under the MERS system, by contrast, assignments are made from one lender, to another lender, to another lender, and so on down the line. The 1951 amendment, which assumed that the mortgagee would be discharging the reassigned mortgage, or that a subsequent holder would discharge it unaware that the previous owner had assigned away and been reassigned the mortgage, is thus inapplicable to the issue under review.

The MERS system raises additional concerns that should not go unnoticed.

The benefits of the system to MERS members are not insubstantial. Through use of MERS as nominee, lenders are relieved of the costs of recording each mortgage assignment with the County Clerk, instead paying minimal yearly membership fees to MERS. Transfers of mortgage instruments are faster, allowing for efficient trading in the secondary mortgage market; a mortgage changes hands at least five times on average.

Although creating efficiencies for its members, there is little evidence that the MERS system provides equivalent benefits to home buyers and borrowers — and, in fact, some evidence that it may create substantial disadvantages. While MERS necessarily opted for a system that tracks both the beneficial owner of the loan and the servicer of the loan, its 800 number and Website allow a borrower to access information regarding only his or her loan servicer, not the underlying lender. The lack of disclosure may create substantial difficulty when a homeowner wishes to negotiate the terms of his or her mortgage or enforce a legal right against the mortgagee and is unable to learn the mortgagee’s identity. Public records will no longer contain this information as, if it achieves the success it envisions, the MERS system will render the public record useless by masking beneficial ownership of mortgages and eliminating records of assignments altogether. Not only will this information deficit detract from the amount of public data accessible for research and monitoring of industry trends, but it may also function, perhaps unintentionally, to insulate a note holder from liability, mask lender error and hide predatory lending practices. The County Clerks, of course, are concerned about the depletion of their revenues — allegedly over one million dollars a year in Suffolk County alone.

Admittedly we do not know, at this juncture, the extent to which these concerns will be realized. But it would seem prudent to call to the attention of the Legislature what is at least a disparity between the relevant statute — now 55 years old — and the burgeoning modern-day electronic mortgage industry.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Order affirmed, with costs. Opinion by Judge Pigott. Judges Rosenblatt, Graffeo, Read and Smith concur. Judge Ciparick concurs in result in an opinion. Chief Judge Kaye dissents in part in an opinion.

Decided December 19, 2006


Notes

1 Edward P. Romaine resigned as County Clerk December 31, 2005. Judith A. Pascale is currently the Acting County Clerk.

2 Among the entities creating MERS were the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the Government National Mortgage Association, and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.

3 Members of the MERS system also include entities such as insurance companies, title companies and banks.

4 If a MERS member transfers servicing interests in a mortgage loan to a non-MERS member, an assignment from the MERS member to the non-MERS member is recorded in the County Clerk’s Office and the loan is deactivated within the MERS system.

5 The purpose of such requirement was to facilitate the work of the recording officer in marking the record of the mortgage.

1 I also agree that the issues concerning the underlying validity of the MERS mortgage instrument — in particular, whether its failure to transfer beneficial interest renders it a nullity under real property law, whether it violates the prohibition against separating the note from the mortgage, and whether MERS has standing to foreclose on a mortgage — are best left for another day. Although MERSCORP initially requested a declaratory judgment that the MERS instruments were “lawful in all respects” (which Supreme Court denied) the instruments’ validity has not yet been addressed.

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Posted in concealment, conflict of interest, conspiracy, foreclosure, foreclosures, MERS, MERSCORP, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., non disclosureComments (0)

The Conclusion…If we could only turn back time: IN THE MATTER OF MERSCORP, INC. v. Romaine, 2005 NY Slip Op 9728 – NY: Supreme Court, Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2005

The Conclusion…If we could only turn back time: IN THE MATTER OF MERSCORP, INC. v. Romaine, 2005 NY Slip Op 9728 – NY: Supreme Court, Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2005


If we can only turn back time!

2005 NY Slip Op 09728

IN THE MATTER OF MERSCORP, INC., ET AL., appellants-respondents,
v.
EDWARD P. ROMAINE, ETC., ET AL., respondents-appellants.

2004-04735.

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Department.

Decided December 192005.

Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Buffalo, N.Y. (Charles C. Martorana of counsel), for appellants-respondents.

Cahn & Cahn, LLP, Melville, N.Y. (Richard C. Cahn and Daniel K. Cahn of counsel), for respondents-appellants.

Bainton McCarthy, LLC, New York, N.Y. (J. Joseph Bainton of counsel), for American Land Title Association, amicus curiae.

Decher, LLP, New York, N.Y. (Joseph P. Forte and Kathleen N. Massey of counsel), for Mortgage Bankers Association, amicus curiae.

Howard Lindenberg, McLean, VA., for Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, amicus curiae, and Kenneth Scott, Washington, D.C., for Federal National Mortgage Association, amicus curiae (one brief filed).

Brigitte Amiri, Brooklyn, N.Y., for South Brooklyn Legal Services, amicus curiae, April Carrie Charney, Jacksonville, FL., for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc., amicus curiae, and Daniel P. Lindsey, Chicago, IL, for Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, amicus curiae (one brief filed).

Before: ROBERT W. SCHMIDT, J.P., BARRY A. COZIER, REINALDO E. RIVERA, STEVEN W. FISHER, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

ORDERED that the order and judgment is modified, on the law, by (1) deleting the provision thereof denying that branch of the petitioners’ motion for summary judgment which was to compel the Suffolk County Clerk to record and index the subject assignments and discharges, and substituting therefor a provision granting that branch of the motion, and (2) adding thereto a provision declaring that the mortgages, assignments, and discharges which name Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as the lender’s nominee or the mortgagee of record are acceptable for recording and indexing; as so modified, the order and judgment is affirmed insofar as appealed and cross-appealed from, with one bill of costs to the petitioner.

The petitioners, MerscorpInc. (hereinafter Merscorp), and its subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (hereinafter MERS), operate a national electronic registration system (hereinafter the MERS System) for residential mortgages and related instruments (hereinafter MERS Instruments). In essence, lenders who subscribe to the MERS System (hereinafter MERS Members) designate MERS as their nominee or the mortgagee of record for the purpose of recording MERS Instruments in the county where the subject real property is located. The MERS Instruments are registered in a central database, which tracks all future transfers of the beneficial ownership interests and servicing rights among MERS Members throughout the life of the loan.

Merscorp and MERS commenced this hybrid proceeding and action in response to the announcement by the Suffolk County Clerk (hereinafter the Clerk) that, as of May 1, 2001, he would no longer accept MERS Instruments that listed MERS as the mortgagee or nominee of record unless MERS was, in fact, the actual mortgagee. In June 2002 this court granted the motion by Merscorp and MERS to preliminarily compel the Clerk to record MERS Instruments and list MERS as the mortgagee in the County’s alphabetical indexes pending the SupremeCourt’s determination of the hybrid proceeding and action on the merits (see Matter ofMerscorp, Inc. v. Romaine, 295 AD2d 431).

The Supreme Court properly compelled the Clerk to record MERS mortgages (seeKlostermann v. Cuomo, 61 NY2d 525, 539). In short, the Clerk has a statutory duty that is ministerial in nature to record a written conveyance if it is duly acknowledged and accompanied by the proper fee (see Real Property Law §§ 290[3], 291; County Law § 525[1]). Accordingly, the Clerk does not have the authority to refuse to record a conveyance which satisfies the narrowly-drawn prerequisites set forth in the recording statute (see People ex rel. Frost v. Woodbury, 213 NY 51; People ex rel. Title Guar.& Trust Co. v. Grifenhagen, 209 NY 569;Matter of Westminster Hgts. Co. v. Delany, 107 App Div 577, affd 185 NY 539; Putnam v. Stewart, 97 NY 411).

Similarly, Real Property Law § 316-a (1), which only applies to the Suffolk County indexing system, provides that the Clerk must record and index “[e]very instrument affecting real estate or chattels real, situated in the county of Suffolk, which shall be, or which shall have been recorded in the office of the clerk of said county . . . pursuant to the provisions of this act.” Pursuant to Real Property Law § 316-a(2), the Clerk must maintain the indexes so they “contain the date of recording of each instrument, the names of the parties to each instrument and the liber and page of the record thereof” (see also Real Property Law § 316-a[4] and [5]). Thus, the Clerk’s duty to index recorded instruments is mandatory and ministerial in nature.

Contrary to the Supreme Court’s determination, there is no valid distinction between MERS mortgages and MERS assignments or discharges for the purpose of recording and indexing. Pursuant to Real Property Law § 321(1), the discharge document may be signed either by the mortgagee, the person who appears from the public record to be the last assignee, or their personal representatives.

As the proponents of a motion for summary judgment, Merscorp and MERS made a prima facie showing that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law by tendering sufficient evidence to establish that they complied with the applicable recording statutes (see Winegrad v. New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 853Artistic Landscaping v. Board of Assessors,303 AD2d 699). Once this showing was made, the burden shifted to the Clerk, who failed to raise a triable issue of fact in opposition to the motion (Alvarez v. Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320, 324Zuckerman v. City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562).

Since this is a declaratory judgment action, the order and judgment must be modified, inter alia, by adding a declaration that the mortgages, assignments, and discharges which name MERS as the lender’s nominee or the mortgagee of record are acceptable for recording and indexing (see Lanza v. Wagner, 11 NY2d 317, 334, appeal dismissed 371 US 74, cert denied372 US 901).

SCHMIDT, J.P., COZIER, RIVERA and FISHER, JJ., concur.

Posted in case, MERS, Mortgage Bankers Association, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., reversed court decision, securitizationComments (0)

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