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

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


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

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

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

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


STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE
SUPERIOR COURT DIVISION

COUNTY OF GUILFORD

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

v.

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

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

 

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

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


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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Homeowners, Investors in Mortgage Backed Securities Feel Your Pain. Hear Their Lawyer Talk About Servicer Nightmares.

Homeowners, Investors in Mortgage Backed Securities Feel Your Pain. Hear Their Lawyer Talk About Servicer Nightmares.


Absolutely do not miss this piece from Abigail Field – So head over and please absorb the information.

 

Abigail C. Field-

If you want to cut through some of the nonsense the banks have managed to sell as information about the housing situation, robosigning, mortgage modifications, check out this very accessible interview of attorney Talcott Franklin by Martin Andelman.

Tal represents the majority of investors hosed once by Wall Streeers selling AAA-rated mortgage backed junk, and constantly being hosed again by the big bank servicers of those mortgages. Interestingly, his perspective sounds very much like homeowners’. Yes, a couple of times it gets a little too legalistic, but only for about 5 minutes of the slightly longer than the hour chat—when you hit the overview of the contracts structuring securitization, or any other topic that is more in the weeds than you want to go, take a deep breath and keep going. Most of the interview is in a rhythm and a language that creates clarity I’ve not seen or heard elsewhere.

[REALITY CHECK]

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The World of the Investor with Attorney Talcott Franklin – A Mandelman Matters Podcast

The World of the Investor with Attorney Talcott Franklin – A Mandelman Matters Podcast


Please find some time today or over the weekend to listen to this excellent podcast of Martin Andelman’s interview with Attorney Talcott Franklin, who represents more than half of all the investors in mortgage-backed securities on the planet.  Tal’s the co-author of the “Mortgage and Asset-backed Securities Litigation Handbook,” and he’s a very experienced and highly sophisticated litigator. You will learn a whole lot and many thanks to Martin for this super interview.

Please head over to Mandelman Matters for the full article.

The podcast is available in two versions… MP4 and MP3.  The MP4 version includes a couple of slides that show diagrams of the basic securitization process, but the MP4 format may not play on some computers.  The MP3 version is audio only, and should play on most any computer.  Most listeners will have no trouble following along either way.

So, turn up the volume on your speakers, and click the MP4 or MP3 version.  I loved recoding this podcast.  If you want to know more about the foreclosure crisis, you’re about to learn from an expert on the other side of the foreclosures, the investor side… it doesn’t get any better than this!

CLICK HERE TO PLAY THE ENHANCED MP4 VERSION

… INCLUDES SLIDES ON SECURITIZATION

 OR

CLICK HERE TO PLAY THE MP3 VERSION

Mandelman out.


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COMPLAINT | Knights of Columbus v. Bank of New York Mellon “Did not acquire residential mortgage-backed securities, but instead acquired securities backed by nothing at all”

COMPLAINT | Knights of Columbus v. Bank of New York Mellon “Did not acquire residential mortgage-backed securities, but instead acquired securities backed by nothing at all”


SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

COUNTY OF NEW YORK
——————————————————-
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS,
Plaintiff,
v.
THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON,
Defendant.
——————————————————-
AMENDED COMPLAINT

SUMMARY

1. This action originally requested the Court to order an immediate accounting of

two trusts known as CWALT 2005-6CB and CWALT 2006-6CB. These trusts hold

residential mortgage loans for the benefit of investors such as Plaintiff. The original

Complaint was not directed at the Defendant Trustee, but information obtained after the

filing of the Complaint demonstrates that the Defendant Trustee has violated its

contractual and other obligations to Plaintiff. Accordingly, Plaintiff seeks to hold the

Defendant Trustee liable for Plaintiff’s damages in all of the following trusts ….


[…]


BACKGROUND – DEFENDANT’S FAILURE TO ACQUIRE THE TRUST CORPUS

36. Based on the following allegations, it is apparent that the Defendant knowingly

failed in its obligation to receive, process, maintain, and hold all or part of the Mortgage

Files as required under the PSA. As a consequence, Plaintiff did not acquire residential

mortgage-backed securities, but instead acquired securities backed by nothing at all.

37. In a case styled Kemp v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 440 B.R. 624 (D.N.J.

Bankr. 2010), the Master Servicer, identifying itself as the servicer for Defendant, filed a

secured claim in the bankruptcy of homeowner and debtor Kemp. Kemp filed an

adversary complaint against the Master Servicer asserting that “the Bank of New York

cannot enforce the underlying obligation.” Id. at 626.

38. At trial, a supervisor and operational team leader for the Litigation Management

Department for the Master Servicer testified that “to her knowledge, the original note

never left the possession of Countrywide, and that the original note appears to have been

transferred to Countrywide’s foreclosure unit, as evidenced by internal FedEx tracking

numbers. She also confirmed that the new allonge had not been attached or otherwise

affixed to the note. She testified further that it was customary for Countrywide to

maintain possession of the original note and related loan documents.” Id. at 628.

39. Summarizing the record, the New Jersey Bankruptcy Court found that:

[W]e have established on this record that at the time of the filing of the proof of

claim, the debtor’s mortgage had been assigned to the Bank of New York, but that

Countrywide did not transfer possession of the associated note to the Bank.

Shortly before trial in this matter, the defendant executed an allonge to transfer

the note to the Bank of New York; however, the allonge was not initially affixed

to the original note, and possession of the note never actually changed. The

Pooling and Servicing Agreement required an indorsement and transfer of the

note to the Trustee, but this was not accomplished prior to the filing of the proof

of claim. The defendant has now produced the original note and has apparently

affixed the new allonge to it, but the original note and allonge still have not been

transferred to the possession of the Bank of New York. Countrywide, the

originator of the loan, filed the proof of claim on behalf of the Bank of New York

as Trustee, claiming that it was the servicer for the loan. Pursuant to the PSA,

Countrywide Servicing, and not Countrywide, Inc., was the master servicer for

the transferred loans. At all relevant times, the original note appears to have been

either in the possession of Countrywide or Countrywide Servicing.

Id. at 629.

40. “With this factual backdrop”, the New Jersey Bankruptcy Court turned “to the

issue of whether the challenge to the proof of claim filed on behalf of the Bank of New

York, by its servicer Countrywide, can be sustained”, and found that:

Countrywide’s claim here must be disallowed, because it is unenforceable under

New Jersey law on two grounds. First, under New Jersey’s Uniform Commercial

Code (“UCC”) provisions, the fact that the owner of the note, the Bank of New

York, never had possession of the note, is fatal to its enforcement. Second, upon

the sale of the note and mortgage to the Bank of New York, the fact that the note

was not properly indorsed to the new owner also defeats the enforceability of the

note.

Id. at 629-630.

[ipaper docId=62469942 access_key=key-2bvzo523qnrk8qu0w8yu height=600 width=600 /]
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