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The Bankers’ Subversion of the Rule of Law, Notary and Land Records edition

The Bankers’ Subversion of the Rule of Law, Notary and Land Records edition


Abigail C. Filed-

Hi

For the next couple of weeks, I’m one of the David Dayen subs at FireDogLake–no one person could fill his shoes–and this post ran there earlier today. This version is slightly updated but essentially the same.

One way to see the double standard at the heart of the foreclosure fraud—one set of laws for the bailed out banks, one for the rest of us—is to focus on the role of notaries public, and then consider that role in light of what our Supreme Court said about notaries in 1984, in a case called Bernal v. Fainter, Secretary of State of Texas.

First, let’s recap the role of notaries in the foreclosure fraud crisis: Notaries are the people who verify that someone actually is who they say they are when that person signs a document. Because banks and their agents industrialized “Document Execution” as part of their foreclosure business model, notaries did not do their jobs. Notaries’ failure to verify identities has been so complete that many people will sign as one person, say, “Linda Green.” Notaries have also been told to sign documents using one name, and then notarize their own “surrogate” signature. “Well, what’s the big deal?” bank defenders say. Beyond the fact that there’s no “business convenience” exception to following the rule of law, consider Bernal.

Bernal involved Texas’s requirement that all notaries be citizens; lawful permanent resident aliens need not apply. Bernal challenged the Constitutionality for the citizenship requirement. To rule on the question, the Court had to consider what notaries did, and whether or not what notaries did was so political, so central to representative democracy, that limiting being a notary to citizens was rational. In finding that notaries were important but not political officers of the state, the Court made some observations of note.

[REALITY CHECK]

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Review Finds Possible Flaws in More Than 138,000 Bank Foreclosures

Review Finds Possible Flaws in More Than 138,000 Bank Foreclosures


Not this word again “Flaw”…it’s FULL   B L O W N   FRAUD!

Why wasn’t this review done prior to any settlement? Because they never began any investigation.

DealBook-

The nation’s biggest banks may have put the huge $25 billion settlement over bad foreclosure practices behind them, but that doesn’t mean their mortgage troubles are over.

A separate review — this time by independent consultants on behalf of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — flagged more than 138,000 cases for possible flaws in the foreclosure process at the nation’s largest mortgage servicers. Those include foreclosures involved with the so-called robo-signing scandal, in which bank representatives churned through hundreds of documents a day in foreclosure proceedings without reviewing them for accuracy.

[DEALBOOK]

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OPTION ARM | Foreclosure Deal May Let Banks Pick Payment Options

OPTION ARM | Foreclosure Deal May Let Banks Pick Payment Options


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

BLOOMBERG-

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

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


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STATEMENT BY CT ATTORNEY GENERAL GEORGE JEPSEN CONCERNING MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE INVESTIGATION

STATEMENT BY CT ATTORNEY GENERAL GEORGE JEPSEN CONCERNING MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE INVESTIGATION


ATTORNEY GENERAL GEORGE JEPSEN
STATEMENT BY ATTORNEY GENERAL GEORGE JEPSEN
CONCERNING MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE INVESTIGATION

For immediate release ……………………………………..TUESDAY MAY 17, 2011

“The multistate investigation of the nation’s largest mortgage servicing companies confirms what my office has been told by thousands of Connecticut consumers, that these banks have done an incredibly poor job in dealing with the mortgage foreclosure mess they were instrumental in creating. As a result, millions of families have needlessly suffered, homeowners have lost billions of dollars in equity, and the real estate market continues to stagnate. Time is of the essence to fix this problem.

“Thus far, the national servicers have been unwilling to step up to the plate with the money necessary to address the full scope of the problems they themselves created. I believe they face substantial legal liability for their clearly illegal behavior should states be forced to sue. After being bailed out by American taxpayers, the banks owe those same taxpayers a real effort to partner with state and federal officials to clean up this mess.”

Attorney General Jepsen is a member of the National Association of Attorneys General multi-state task force seeking resolution of the mortgage foreclosure crisis

[Source: http://www.ct.gov/ag/site/default.asp]

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Regulatory Actions Related to Foreclosure Activities by Large Servicers and Practical Implications for Community Banks

Regulatory Actions Related to Foreclosure Activities by Large Servicers and Practical Implications for Community Banks


This Special Foreclosure Edition describes lessons learned from an interagency review of foreclosure practices at the 14 largest residential mortgage servicers and includes examples of effective mortgage servicing practices derived from these lessons.

.

Click Image Below

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Banks Rush to Improve Foreclosure Practices,

Banks Rush to Improve Foreclosure Practices,


Tic Toc, Tick Toc,

Tic Toc…

Wall Street Journal-

“We’re not happy” with the time it takes to give borrowers an answer, said Christine Larsen, head of operations for retail financial services at J.P. Morgan, who is responsible for implementing the consent orders. The bank is trying to speed response times by setting new customer-communication deadlines.

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BLOOMBERG | Big Banks Say MERS Mortgage Database Draws Probes

BLOOMBERG | Big Banks Say MERS Mortgage Database Draws Probes


Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. may face added costs or fines after investigators questioned the use of a mortgage database instead of original documents to justify foreclosures.

Earnings at Bank of America, the largest U.S. lender, may suffer materially if using Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems or MERS is found to be invalid, according to a regulatory filing last week. Citigroup and PNC said fines or other penalties may result from investigations into MERS and allegations of faulty foreclosure practices.

“They’re recognizing the writing on the wall, that there are serious problems associated with the basic business model and legal theories of the MERS system,” Christopher L. Peterson, a law professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City who has written articles on Reston, Virginia-based MERS, said yesterday.

Continue reading…. BLOOMBERG

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Why a Full Blown Foreclosure Moratorium Should Be In Order

Why a Full Blown Foreclosure Moratorium Should Be In Order


The filings speak for their own…

PNC:

While the two consent orders have not been finalized, PNC expects the orders to cover a range of matters. Among other things, we expect the orders to require PNC and/or PNC Bank to develop and implement written plans and programs and undertake other remedial actions with respect to various matters relating to loan servicing, loss mitigation and other foreclosure activities and operations, including, among other things, enterprise risk management, risk assessment and management, compliance, internal audit, outsourcing of foreclosure and related functions, management information systems, borrower communications, potential related financial injuries, and activities with respect to the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (a widely used electronic registry designed to track mortgage servicing rights and ownership of U.S. residential mortgage loans). We also expect that the orders will require PNC, PNC Bank and their boards to take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the orders and with the plans and programs to be established under the orders.

U.S. Bank:

In January, 2011, U.S. federal banking regulators communicated to the Company the preliminary results of an interagency examination of the Company’s policies, procedures, and internal controls related to residential mortgage foreclosure practices. This examination was part of a review by the regulators of the foreclosure practices of 14 large mortgage servicers. As a result of the review, the Company expects the regulators will require the Company to address certain aspects of its foreclosure processes, including developing plans related to control procedures and monitoring of loss mitigation and foreclosure activities, and taking certain other remedial actions. Though the Company believes its policies, procedures and internal controls related to foreclosure practices materially follow established safeguards and legal requirements, the Company intends to comply with the expected requirements of the regulators in all respects. The Company does not believe those requirements will materially affect its financial position, results of operations, or ability to conduct normal business activities. In addition, the Company expects monetary penalties may be assessed but does not know the amount of any such penalties.

JPMorgan Chase:

The Firm expects to incur additional costs and expenses in connection with its efforts to correct and enhance its mortgage foreclosure procedures. Multiple state and federal officials have announced investigations into the procedures followed by mortgage servicing companies and banks, including JPMorgan Chase and its affiliates, relating to foreclosure and loss mitigation processes. The Firm is cooperating with these investigations, and these investigations could result in material fines, penalties, equitable remedies (including requiring default servicing or other process changes), or other enforcement actions, as well as significant legal costs in responding to governmental investigations and additional litigation. The Firm cannot predict the ultimate outcome of these matters or the impact that they could have on the Firm’s financial results.

HSBC Holdings: Did the right thing & Halted Foreclosures 3/1/2011

State and federal officials are investigating the procedures followed by mortgage servicing companies and banks, including HSBC Finance Corporation and certain of our affiliates, relating to foreclosures. We and our affiliates have responded to all related inquiries and cooperated with all applicable investigations, including a joint examination by staffs of the Federal Reserve Board (the “Federal Reserve”) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) as part of their broad horizontal review of industry foreclosure practices. Following the examination, the Federal Reserve issued a supervisory letter to HSBC Finance Corporation and HSBC North America noting certain deficiencies in the processing, preparation and signing of affidavits and other documents supporting foreclosures and in governance of and resources devoted to our foreclosure processes, including the evaluation and monitoring of third party law firms retained to effect our foreclosures. Certain other processes were deemed adequate. The OCC issued a similar supervisory letter to HSBC Bank USA. We have suspended foreclosures until such time as we have substantially addressed the noted deficiencies in our processes. We are also reviewing foreclosures where judgment has not yet been entered and will correct deficient documentation and re-file affidavits where necessary. See “Executive Overview” in MD&A for further discussion.

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PNC expects the orders to cover a range of matters, names MERS in filing

PNC expects the orders to cover a range of matters, names MERS in filing


according to a PNC filing:

While the two consent orders have not been finalized, PNC expects the orders to cover a range of matters. Among other things, we expect the orders to require PNC and/or PNC Bank to develop and implement written plans and programs and undertake other remedial actions with respect to various matters relating to loan servicing, loss mitigation and other foreclosure activities and operations, including, among other things, enterprise risk management, risk assessment and management, compliance, internal audit, outsourcing of foreclosure and related functions, management information systems, borrower communications, potential related financial injuries, and activities with respect to the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (a widely used electronic registry designed to track mortgage servicing rights and ownership of U.S. residential mortgage loans). We also expect that the orders will require PNC, PNC Bank and their boards to take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the orders and with the plans and programs to be established under the orders.

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LETTER: OHIO AG CORDRAY URGES COURTS TO TAKE ACTION ON FORECLOSURE CASES

LETTER: OHIO AG CORDRAY URGES COURTS TO TAKE ACTION ON FORECLOSURE CASES


Excerpt from letter:

On September 28, October 18, and October 29, 2010, I wrote to you and the other presiding and administrative judges of the Ohio Courts of Common Pleas, noting widespread questions about the accuracy of affidavits filed in foreclosure cases by GMAC Mortgage, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, Wells Fargo and others. I am writing to update you on developments in this area.

In my last letter, I asked you to send my office affidavits signed by robo-signers as well as any motions you received from foreclosure counsel to submit a new affidavit or ratify a foreclosure judgment. A number of you have done so, and I thank you for helping us keep track of the situation. Our office is deciding whether and how to take action in these individual cases.

Read full letter below:

[ipaper docId=46048055 access_key=key-7x9ncx1oue2hnvh1t1t height=600 width=600 /]

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GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
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