Mortgage Servicing Fraud
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
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Mortgage Assignment Fraud - Marshall C. Watson Law Firm

Action Date: March 12, 2011  http://4closurefraud.org/2011/03/12/mortgage-fraud-freddie-mac-marshall-c-watson-law-firm/
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) announced on March 11, 2011, that it is taking its foreclosure cases away from the Marshall C. Watson Law Firm. The Watson firm, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was one of the firms most often used by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and mortgage-backed trusts to foreclose in Florida. The Watson Firm came under the scrutiny of the Economic Crimes Division of the Florida Attorney General for improper loan documentation and foreclosure practices.

In over ten thousand Florida foreclosure cases, the Watson firm used mortgage assignments signed by the firm’s own employees to prove that their clients owned the mortgages. In most of these cases, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and mortgage-backed trusts were claiming to own the mortgages. Fannie, Freddie and the trusts lost or never obtained the mortgage assignments needed to prove ownership.

In these cases, two associate lawyers in the Watson firm, Patricia Arango and Caryn Graham, signed the Assignments to the trusts so that the foreclosures could proceed. When Arango and Graham signed these mortgage assignments, they did not disclose that they were lawyers in the Watson Firm. Instead, Arango and Graham signed as officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.

In the last three years, Arango and Graham signed as officers of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as Nominee for the following lenders on over 10,000 documents used in Florida foreclosures:

• Aegis Wholesale Corporation;
• America Imperial Mortgage Business, Inc.;
• American Bancorp Mortgage Corp.;
• American Home Mortgage;
• America’s Wholesale Lender;
• BNC Mortgage, Inc.;
• Century 21 Mortgage;
• Countrywide Bank, FSB;
• Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.;
• CTX Mortgage Company, LLC;
• Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services;
• Decision One Mortgage Company, LLC;
• E-Loan, Inc.;
• First Choice Funding Group;
• First Magnus Financial Corporation;
• Flagstar Bank, FSB;
• Greenpoint Mortgage Funding;
• Guaranteed Mortgage Bankers;
• HomeAmerica Mortgage Corp.;
• Interstate Home Loan Center, Inc.;
• Ivanhoe Financial, Inc.;
• KB Home Mortgage Company;
• MFC Mortgage Inc. of FL;
• Quicken Loans, Inc.;
• Suntrust Mortgage, Inc.; and
• Universal American Mortgage Company, LLC.

On the majority of these documents, the date of the alleged transaction is falsely stated. The documents were so poorly prepared that in many cases, the new owner is shown to have acquired the mortgage months and even years AFTER the foreclosure cases were filed by those new mortgage owners.

The Watson Firm was also the law firm that most frequently used mortgage assignments prepared by Docx, LLC. The assignments from Docx, LLC include thousands of documents with forged signatures of Linda Green, Tywanna Thomas and Korell Harp, as well as dozens of documents where the lenders were identified as “Bogus Assignee” and “A Bad Bene.” These Docx-prepared assignments also falsely stated the dates of the alleged transfers, and even the authority of the signers to sign on behalf of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.

Despite the well-documented problems with foreclosure cases brought by the Watson Firm, Fannie Mae has not removed the firm from its list of approved law firms. Fannie Mae removed Florida firm Ben-Ezra & Katz in February, 2011, and required the firm to transfer over 15,000 files. Fannie also removed The Law Offices of David J. Stern in Plantation, Florida. That firm announced that it would stop doing all foreclosure work as of March 31, 2011.

No criminal charges have been filed in any case involving forged or fraudulent loan documents used by banks and mortgage lenders to foreclose.

While courts have been critical of such documents and have added requirements to civil procedure rules so that law firms can be sanctioned for using such documents, no sanction has ever included any criminal charges.

~

4closureFraud.org

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floridagal
If assignment is not needed to foreclose, why do they bother?
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William A. Roper, Jr.
According to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, written assignment of the mortgage is necessary in that state.  But this is the anomalie rather than the rule.

The purpose of the mortgage assignment historically was to protect the purchaser of the mortgage from fraud in the multiple sale of the same mortgage.  It creates a notice of ownership.

These forged assignments have been used as convenient false evidence in support of foreclosure cases.  Courts have routinely granted millions of foreclosures based upon these forgeries without questioning them.

In a judicial foreclosure, the court is typically trying a case which is usually decided by default (the defendant fails to answer) OR summary judgment.

The forged assignment appears to be good summary judgment evidence against a poorly informed or poorly represented defendant.  More than 90% of foreclosure defendants are unrepresented by an attorney and those represented by attorneys found it inconceivable that ALL of the assignments were actually forgeries.

The assignment forgery issue is much, much bigger than the robo-signing of perjured affidavits, as it is almost universal.  The perjured affidavits were mostly used in defended cases in support of summary judgment.

You continue to have trouble getting your head around the problem because you REFUSE to believe that the assignments would be forged if this wasn't actually NECESSARY.  This ongoing criminal activity was and still IS conducted because it was quick and convenient.

And victims, such as yourself, continue to deceive yourselves and remain IN DENIAL.  And in so doing, you throw up a hopeless and easily defeated defense.
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Anon
William

The issue I have with your statement about the forgery of the assignement, is that how is that an affirmative defense to a foreclosure action?  To me it looks like a delay tactic only, if you can prove it was a forgery. 
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William A. Roper, Jr.
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Anon said:
The issue I have with your statement about the forgery of the assignement, is that how is that an affirmative defense to a foreclosure action?  To me it looks like a delay tactic only, if you can prove it was a forgery.


The affirmative defense is unclean hands.

But even a properly pled and proven unclean hands defense is probably anemic if the assignment forgery is the only thing.  You need to give the plaintiff an opportunity to LIE under oath in its interrogatory responses.  You need to give them an opportunity to plead into evidence other fabricated evidence in addition to the assignment forgery.  And you need to give them a chance to perjure themselves in respect of the affidavit of merit.

*

The plaintiff will TRY to simply put the assignment into evidence WITHOUT any authentication.  They will do the same with almost all of the other evidence.  They do NOT want to authenticate ANY exhibit because every robo-perjurer is well aware that the plaintiff is fabricating evidence in support of the case and the robo-signer NEVER really knows what is real and what is fabricated!  The robo-perjurer wants to be on the hook for as little as possible.

So you need to press the evidentiary defects and to get the plaintiff to SWEAR TO the false evidence.

Then and only then do you begin to tighten the noose.

But if you think you are tightening it by proving that the purported signer lacked authority or that the securitizatioin wasn't properly done, you are absolutely barking up the wrong tree!  Sure, it is OK to feignt in that direction, but the REAL ISSUE is the criminality.

The KEY is deposing those who actually executed the documents.  A number of the depositions conducted to date have been very good, particularly those done by Ice Legal.  But even these don't quite go far enough.

Because the key to defeating the assignment and showing the forgery is to focus on the economic reality of the assignments or LACK THEREOF.

Those well familiar with business will realize that when one BUYS OR SELLS a negotiable instrument that this has accounting and tax consequences.

A REAL purchase or sale of a mortgage results in a transfer of consideration and accounting journal entries which reflect the accounting treatment of the transaction.

What PROVES that the assignments are total forgeries is the TOTAL ABSENCE of accounting journal entries reflecting such assignments!

When you get the right witness under oath, the really key questions involve asking the witness to explain the accounting entries that are created as a consequence of the assignment.  THERE ARE NONE.  These assignments are NEVER USED for accounting or tax purposes.  In fact, they are probably CONCEALED from the bank's accountants!

You probably need a good expert witness.  There are probably only several people in the U.S. that presently have the skill, knowledge and expertise to perform this task, though successfully demonstrated one or more times, almost any really sharp CPA ought to be able to do this.

*

If you attack the assignment without first establishing a strong record in discovery and giving the plaintiff an oportunity to LIE A LOT under oath, you will find that the plaintiff simply repudiates the assignment and tells the court to disregard it. 
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Can you say more about this, William?    It seems to say that its a good idea to let them admit a bunch of malarkey into evidence that proves they're a bunch of lying crooks, but at the end of the day how does a homeowner actually use that evidence?

Even if they are crooks, unless you can defeat them under UCC 301 with the note, even crooks have a valid cause of action, no ?



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William A. Roper, Jr.
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FnDoomed said:
Can you say more about this, William?    It seems to say that its a good idea to let them admit a bunch of malarkey into evidence that proves they're a bunch of lying crooks, but at the end of the day how does a homeowner actually use that evidence?


The precise strategy is always going to be case and fact dependent, as well as dependant on the contours of the law of a particular jurisdiction.

Very often, there are glaring evidentiary defects in a plaintiff's case.  And if the defendant has run even a little bit of useful discovery, establishing sufficient disputes as to material fact, then the plaintiff is going to have difficulty winning a summary judgment.

In my foreclosure case, the plaintiff started lying right away.  (You knew they were lying right away any time their lips were moving!)  The foreclosure mill law firm filed a sworn affidavit signed by a lawyer swearing that MERS was the owner and the holder of the alleged promissory note.  Then, the Plaintiff filed suit alleging that CitiMortgage was the owner and the holder.  In an interrogatory response, CitiMortgage stated that Freddie Mac was the owner.  They also admitted that they didn't have custody of the promissory note at commencement.  Then their robo-perjurer stated that CitiMortgage was the owner and the holder.  And her notary said she was a Texas notary though the document was purported to be executed in Maryland.  And the affiant "accidentally" forgot to swear to her averments. 

No promissory note was attached to the original complaint.  About four months later, the plaintiff's local counsel told me that they had just obtained the promissory note and were going to file a motion for summary judgment.

So who was the owner and who was the holder?  When did the plaintiff obtain the alleged note?

With the plaintiff filing with the court two conflicting affidavits, identifying two different mutually exclusive owner/holder alternatives and then answering differently in the discovery, it is rather difficult to tell the court with a straight face that no facts are in dispute!

Add a variety of other rather daunting problems, like the failure to actually name and serve all of the defendants, failure to properly substitute a named defendant in a timely way, substituting a new plaintiff without obtaining the court's permission, lack of capacity, lack of standing, evidentiary defects in the plaintiff's affidavit of merit, judicial admissions, etc., the plaintiff has already lost its case about ten different ways!

*

One really core problem for liars is keeping their stories straight.  Let's see, What did we allege in the complaint?  What did we say in that motion?  What evidence did we forge and fabricate?  What did we say in that discovery response?  What did we say in our responses to the defendant's motions?

Keeping track of lies and deceit is really hard work, even if you are BRIGHT.  If you are a lazy, dishonest, overworked attorney putting in an absolute minimum of time on each case file, the prospect that you might start to confuse the various lies as a case drags on for months and then years is actually pretty high!

There is a certain simplicity to just telling the truth!  It is far less work and requires less coordination.

When you start deposing live witnesses under oath in respect of various conflicting and untruthful prior averments and allegations, it is pretty easy to shake these witnesses up.  They aren't the brightest bulbs in the lamp anyway.

I would get the plaintiff lying early and often.  Let them lie as much as they want.  Then hold them accountable.  You might end up with a free house!
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I would get the plaintiff lying early and often.  Let them lie as much as they want.  Then hold them accountable.  You might end up with a free house!


I'm trying.  I'm in non-judicial NH so there's no initial filing on "plaintiff's" part and until they actually start a sales process there is no case.  Then the homeowner has to file a motion to enjoin the sale as a plaintiff so we start off with the burden of proof upon us.

NH hasn't been sympathetic to home owners, no matter how bogus the case looks.


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William A. Roper, Jr.
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FnDoomed said:
I'm trying.  I'm in non-judicial NH so there's no initial filing on "plaintiff's" part and until they actually start a sales process there is no case.  Then the homeowner has to file a motion to enjoin the sale as a plaintiff so we start off with the burden of proof upon us.

NH hasn't been sympathetic to home owners, no matter how bogus the case looks.


Trying to defend your home against this fraud while bearing the burden of proof, as often occurs in the non-judicial foreclosure states, is particularly daunting.

Depending upon the borrower's financial circumstances and resources, very often the single best strategy is a bankruptcy filing, which shifts the matter into Federal Court and puts the burden back on the plaintiff to plead and prove a claim and a motion for relief of stay.

But Bankruptcy Court is really not a place where a pro se litigant ought to be confronting the problem absent assistance of a really capable bankruptcy and consumer debt attorney.  But you need an attorney who really understands foreclosure, perhaps someone who has attended Max Gardner's boot camp.

*

One interesting strategic note though is that where a foreclosure is undertaken by private sale and the process is fatally defective, as is described in the Massachusetts Ibanez case, the substitute trustee's deed may be a nullity and convey NO TITLE AT ALL.

One strategy is to stand and fight seeking a TRO, filing for bankruptcy, etc.  But there is another strategy that MIGHT be ultimately more effective, though it is both speculative and rather costly in terms of disruption (although no more disruptive than simply acquiescing to an undefended foreclosure).

That strategy is to NOT OPPOSE the non-judicial foreclosure and to surrender the premises WITHOUT A FIGHT.  Then WAIT OUT the limitations period on suit on a note from the date of acceleration by the purported mortgage investor and after the expiration period FILE A SUIT TO QUIET TITLE to have the substitute trustee's deed declared void.

One of the challenges associated with interposing various defenses in the non-judicial foreclosure states is that IF you prove that the foreclosure was defectively conducted, very likely the mortgage investor is simply going to conduct the foreclosure over again.

That is, you can WIN your case and then AFTERWARDS still LOSE YOUR HOUSE when the purported mortgage investor cleans up its case and files and conducts a new foreclosure.

If caught engaged in particularly egregious conduct in Bankruptcy Court, the borrower MIGHT get a good settlement.  But if you allege irregularities in the conduct of the sale to obtain a TRO and the Judge doesn't find sufficient actionable misconduct to give the borrower some substantive relief, the mortgage investor simply retreats, alters its arguments and/or forges new evidence and returns to a successful foreclosure.

If you contest the foreclosure by going to court and LOSE, res judicata is usually going to BAR you from relitigating the SAME issues again after limitations have run.  BEWARE that limitations are TOLLED during any periods of bankruptcy and you also might face a problem if you declare bankruptcy and fail to list your asserted interest in the "foreclosed" property.

*

I want to throw out several cautions here that will be familiar to regulars.  First, I am NOT AN ATTORNEY and THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.  Second, you are ENCOURAGED to discuss these issues and alternatives with and attorney and to conduct independent research on your own to better understand how the laws of your jurisdictions might either support or preclude such a strategy.  Third, you need to bear in mind that ONLY those defects which might render the deed VOID rather than merely voidable would support such a strategy.  You would be getting the court to recognize that the substitute trustee's deed was void ab initio due to execution by a stranger to the title.  Fourth, please understand that I am aware of NO ONE who has successfully employed this strategy (though this is in part due to the fact that the mortgage meltdown started in 2007 and the limitations period on suits on a promissory note is six years in most places).
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One strategy is to stand and fight seeking a TRO, filing for bankruptcy, etc.  But there is another strategy that MIGHT be ultimately more effective, though it is both speculative and rather costly in terms of disruption (although no more disruptive than simply acquiescing to an undefended foreclosure).

That strategy is to NOT OPPOSE the non-judicial foreclosure and to surrender the premises WITHOUT A FIGHT.  Then WAIT OUT the limitations period on suit on a note from the date of acceleration by the purported mortgage investor and after the expiration period FILE A SUIT TO QUIET TITLE to have the substitute trustee's deed declared void.


Alas, they've already thought of that in NH.  You *have* to contest or you lose your right to contest it later.  If you contest and lose, you get one year and one day from the date of the recorded foreclosure deed to contest the noticing and foreclosure and sale itself or you lose that forever as well.


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William A. Roper, Jr.
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FnDoomed said:
Alas, they've already thought of that in NH.  You *have* to contest or you lose your right to contest it later.  If you contest and lose, you get one year and one day from the date of the recorded foreclosure deed to contest the noticing and foreclosure and sale itself or you lose that forever as well.


I do NOT pretend to be familiar with the statutes or cases that lead you to the conclusions you express in the post above.

But I am uncertain that the matter is quite as cut and dried as to contesting as you set forth.

For example, suppose that a person such as myself who is a total stranger to your mortgage or deed of trust was to forge an assignment purporting to convey that instrument to a confederate who in turn executes an appointment of substitute trustee.  Then furhter suppose that I execute and record various documents purporting to have conducted a private non-judicial sale of your property to floridagal.

Now let us leave aside for a moment the issue of court ordered ejectment to obtain physical possession of the property.

Are you suggesting that floridagal obtains a valid legal title to your property in respect of my substitute trustee's deed?

This would seem to me to fly in the face of five centuries of real property law that teaches us that a deed by a stranger to the title conveys NO INTEREST AT ALL, that I cannot convey that which I do not have and that my deed is therefore not just voidable but absolutely VOID!

*

Now, admittedly, perhaps, hailing you into court in respect of an action for ejectment puts you on notice of my competing fraudulent deed to floridagal and gives you an opportunity to dispute the title.  And there are certainly court rules almost everywhere which provide that claims arising out of certain facts before the court may be subject to certain rules as to mandatory versus optional counterclaims.  That is, perhaps if you have a claim to dispute or quiet title you need to raise it within this action.

But then consider another possibility.  INSTEAD of fighting in Bankruptcy Court, seeking a TRO and/or disputing a claim in an ejectment action, suppose instead that a borrower simply made a strategic retreat

By voluntariliy surrendering the premises, the ejectment action is never filed.

The substitute trustee executes a deed based upon a forged assignment and a defective appointment of substitute trustee.  As in Ibanez, the substitute trustee is a stranger to the title.

Do you really think that the statutes and or cases supporting your assertions would somehow elevate the validity of the VOID deed given by the substitute trustee?

I suspect that the laws you cite might validly apply where there were defects in the notice, the conduct of the sale, or other issues with the regularity and conformity of the sale by a trustee with actual authority.  That is, where the substitute trustee executes a deed which is possibly valid but voidable due to defects, that the borrower may have a limited amount of time to raise these defects and to obtain relief voiding the deed.

But where the deed is void ab initio as where the substitute trustee lacks ANY valid authority whatsoever, my suspicion is that in a well pleaded casein mist jurisdictions that the substitute trustee's deed and the buyers title is VOID and worthless.

You need to appreciate that while real property law in respect of mortgages in the 21st century may seem to you to relate to residential properties occupied by the owner, most statutes and case law relating to real estate developed centuries ago in an era when absentee ownership of vast tracts of land was quite common.  And the laws were designed to favor the rights of such absentee owners whose properties might be occupied, often without the knowledge of the absentee owner, without any valid or colorable claim to title whatsoever.

Disputes over ownership of a particular parcel might arise years later.  This is a key reason why suits to quiet title or for treapass to try title tend to have exceptionally long statutes of limitations.

If the law really works in New Hampshire as you say it does, we need to start a business right away fraudulently deeding portions of New Hampshire's state and national parks to our friends.  We can be reasonably assured that the bureaucrats in govenrment couldn't possibly dispute our friends' titles within this aggressive window and our confederates will soon own all of the public parkland in the state!

We needn't actually execute the various forged instruments ourselves.  There is a business in Dakota County, Minnesota, and another in Alpharetta, Fulton County, Georgia, which will do this for us for a small fee.

Make sure you read the statutes at least TWICE, then read ALL of the cases pertaining to that statute.  Then read the other related statutes and cases.  And then go back and read the statute AGAIN.  Each statute exists in harmony with others.

The really basic principal, which I think is UNLIKELY to be displaced by the laws you cite, is that a person CANNOT convey an interest he doesn't have.  And a VOID deed cannot usually be corrected by time.
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I know some of what you write is tongue in cheek but yeah... I know lots of prime park land.   LOL William... And I'm sorry I don't mean to hijack... Let me start my own NH thread.



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