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 Recording Firm (MERS) Accused of Illegal Shortcuts to Speed Foreclosures

Fri Jan 25, 11:54 AM ET

To: REAL ESTATE EDITORS

Contact: Kathleen Day of the Center for Responsible Lending, +1-202-349-1871

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the economy continues to suffer from fall-out from subprime mortgage foreclosures, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) is accused of skipping legally required steps to remove people from their homes in Minnesota. Today a group of Hennepin County homeowners with subprime mortgages filed a class action lawsuit to stop illegal foreclosures by MERS, a Virginia-based company.

The suit alleges that MERS, which handles 40% of the foreclosures in the seven-county metropolitan area, violates Minnesota law by expediting foreclosures without following mandatory procedures. Some states require mortgage lenders to file a lawsuit before they can foreclose. In Minnesota, lenders have an alternative that is often called foreclosure by advertisement because it allows a party to foreclose after publishing a notice of foreclosure in the newspaper. For lenders, it is faster, easier, and less expensive than going to court. However, the law requires the foreclosing party to meet certain basic requirements before forcing homeowners out of the home.

Foreclosure by advertisement is a privilege, not a right, said Amber Hawkins, an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, one of the law firms representing the plaintiffs. If a mortgage lender wants to use a quick and easy process to take someones house, at the very least they should have to follow the steps that Minnesota law requires.

The central issue is whether MERS routinely initiates foreclosures without listing all loan assignments - that is, all changes in ownership that occur with the mortgage in question, since mortgages often go through a chain of assignees. A basic requirement on Minnesotas books is that mortgage assignments must be recorded with the county if the mortgage is no longer held by the original lender. Additionally, assignments must also be listed in the Notice of Mortgage Foreclosure Sale, published in the newspaper. and delivered to the homeowner prior to the sale.

The lawsuit alleges that MERS systematically ignores these requirements and routinely forecloses upon mortgages that have been assigned without recording those assignments or listing them in the published foreclosure notice. Ironically, MERS was established for the very purpose of tracking loan assignments privately, rather than recording them with government officials.

In the midst of the subprime foreclosure crisis, this case highlights the lack of accountability among subprime lenders, who often aggressively marketed subprime loans without properly underwriting them, then avoided assuming any risk by selling the loan to investors. The result is that homeowners can be left homeless, but all too often it is difficult to even ascertain who is responsible for the mortgage. Among the families MERS seeks to remove without taking proper steps include single mothers and a man who is caring for a family member with terminal cancer.

According to Eric Halperin, director of the Washington office of the Center for Responsible Lending, When lenders or other foreclosing parties neglect to identify the entities that support bad loans, the public is deprived of critical information about who the real players are in this foreclosure mess.

The attorneys representing the plaintiffs are from the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, the Center for Responsible Lending, and Crowder Teske, PLLP. For more information, contact Kathleen Day at the Center for Responsible Lending, (202) 349-1871.

Minnesota Homeowners who are being or have been foreclosed upon by MERS can call the following number for more information: (612) 746-3740. If an interpreter is needed, please call (612) 332-1441.

SOURCE Center for Responsible Lending
http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20080125/pl_usnw/mortgage_recording_firm_accused_of_illegal_shortcuts_to_speed_foreclosures
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Hundreds of abandoned and boarded houses in north Minneapolis are vacant because of foreclosure. (MPR Photo/Dan Olson)

Lenders sued for rushing through foreclosure process

by Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
January 25, 2008

St. Paul, Minn. — There's a new effort to slow the rate of home foreclosures in the Twin Cities. Minneapolis Legal Aid attorneys are accusing a group of home loan companies of rushing foreclosure proceedings in violation of state law.

They filed a class action lawsuit Friday on behalf of a group of Hennepin County homeowners with subprime mortgages, to halt the activities of a Virginia-based service created by the companies, called MERS, or Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc.

The complaint, filed in Hennepin County District Court, alleges MERS skips legally required steps to remove people from their homes. The complaint says the creation by lenders of MERS also allows them to hide the identity of the investors who actually own the homes being foreclosed.

Minneapolis Legal Aid attorney Amber Hawkins said homeowners and cities trying to cope with the effects of foreclosure often find it impossible to trace who owns a property.

"Homeowners have a right to know who is taking their homes," said Hawkins. "They have a right to know who has bought and sold the mortgage that is secured by their property. Who is calling the shots? Who is deciding whether they get some kind of a loan modification or not?"

Some states require mortgage lenders to file a lawsuit before they can foreclose. In Minnesota, lenders have an alternative that is often called "foreclosure by advertisement," because it allows a party to foreclose after publishing a notice of foreclosure in the newspaper.

For lenders, it is faster, easier, and less expensive than going to court. However, the law requires the foreclosing party to meet certain basic requirements before forcing homeowners out of the home. The lawsuit claims that MERS does not meet those basic requirements.

The result, Legal Aid attornies say, is homeowners and cities trying to cope with the effects of foreclosure often find it impossible to trace who owns a property.

MERS handles 40 percent of the foreclosures in the seven-county metropolitan area, and about half the approximately 5,600 home foreclosures in Hennepin County alone last year.

The complaint asks the court to halt foreclosures MERS is involved in, and for money damages for people who were foreclosed.

 

source

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/01/25/foreclosurelawsuit/?rsssource=1

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                               Nice work Ann!!

 

                              How do you spell

S-M-O-K-I-N-G   G-U-N?

 

                                  MR ;^D

 
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Joe B
Folks-
   
     A bit of a fishing expedition here, sorry...

     Does anyone know if MERS does its own work, or if they outsource it? I know they are the company in whose name these filings are made, but are they the ones actually fabricating (ahem, locating ) these documents, or is someone else doing the dirty work?

     Sorry for the temporary diversion!

Thanks!

JB
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Joe,
Email me please.

Ann Holden 
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Joe B.:

MERS NEVER OWNS the promissory note and NEVER is the beneficial owner of the alleged mortgage indebtedness.  Neither does MERS act through its own EMPLOYEES.  To the contrary, MERS acts through the employees of its member servicers who are appointed as vice presidents and assistant secretaries of MERS by corporate resolution.

So when MERS is foreclosing on Minnesota homeowners, it is lending its NAME ONLY to the foreclosure action.  For this reason, since MERS is NEVER the owner of the alleged indebtedness and NEVER at risk for ANY AMOUNT alleged to be owed, MERS NEVER has standing to institute suit in any court in the United States!

I HAVE ALL OF THE EVIDENCE TO DEFEAT MERS IN ANY JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE ACTION.  Anyone litigating against MERS should contact me for more information. 
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Joe B


     Thanks everyone for your responses. I know of MERS in the periphery, as they are not involved in my case. I was really just trying to see if they use a similar system as our friend Fairbanks. It would be a curious coincidence, and perhaps explain some of the interesting paperwork...

Thank you again!

JB
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Nye Lavalle
The servicers via their OUTSOURCERS and vendors like Fidelity National Default or foreclosure and bankruptcy divisions or FANDO First American National Default Operations are the ones who do 90% of the work for servicers and NEVER MERS. SERVICES LEAVE IT TO THEM TO CALL THE SHOTS..

Why so many lawsuits now targeting them. Want to make some money? SHORT the hell out of them, they are the next to fall!
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