President George W. Bush issued the following statement today:
This administration will soon issue regulations that require mortgage brokers to fully disclose their fees and closing costs. We’re pursuing wrongdoing and fraud in the mortgage industry through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and other agencies. In other words, if you’ve been cheating somebody we’re going to find you and hold you to account. And we’ll continue to do our part to help improve all aspects of the mortgage marketplace that is really important to this economy of ours.
Bush’s statement, which was made while addressing the media on the larger issue of homeownership financing, is his first related to real estate and mortgage fraud that I could recall. The President, who was joined by Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alfonso Jackson, and Henry Paulson Jr., Secretary of the Department of Treasury, also said:
Economic growth is healthy, and just yesterday we learned that our economy grew at a strong rate of 4 percent in the second quarter of this year. Wages are rising, unemployment is low, exports are up, and steady job creation continues.
We [Bush, Jackson, and Paulson]… had a good discussion about the situation in America’s financial markets. … One area that has shown particular strain is the mortgage market, especially what’s known as the sub-prime sector of the mortgage market. This market has seen tremendous innovation in recent years, as new lending products make credit available to more people. For the most part, this has been a positive development, and the reason why is millions of families have taken out mortgages to buy their homes, and American homeownership is at a near all-time high.
Unfortunately, there’s also been some excesses in the lending industry. One of the most troubling developments has been the increase in adjustable rate mortgages that start out with a very low interest rate and then reset to a higher rate after a few years. This has led some homeowners to take out loans larger than they could afford based on overly optimistic assumptions about the future performance of the housing market. Others may have been confused by the terms of their loan, or misled by irresponsible lenders. Whatever the reason they chose this kind of mortgage, some borrowers are now unable to make their monthly payments, or facing foreclosure.
The recent disturbances in the sub-prime mortgage industry are modest… But if you’re a family–if your family is one of those having trouble making the monthly payments–this problem doesn’t seem modest at all. I understand these concerns, and therefore, I’ve made this a top priority to help our homeowners navigate these financial challenges, so that many families as possible can stay in their homes. That’s what we’ve been working on, a plan to help homeowners.
We’ve got a role, the government has got a role to play — but it is limited. A federal bailout of lenders would only encourage a recurrence of the problem. It’s not the government’s job to bail out speculators, or those who made the decision to buy a home they knew they could never afford.
In the coming days, the FHA will launch a new program called FHA-Secure. This program will allow American homeowners who have got good credit history but cannot afford their current payments to refinance into FHA-insured mortgages.
I’m going to work with Congress to temporarily reform a key housing provision of the federal tax code, which will make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages during this time of market stress. Under current law, homeowners who are unable to meet their mortgage payments can face an unexpected tax bill. … I believe we need to change the code to make it easier for people to refinance their homes and stay in their homes. … I’ve called Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and told her that she’s on to a good idea with the bill that she…submitted to the Senate. … With a few changes in the Senate version and the House version, this administration can support [the] bill.
Above, when Bush refers to U.S. Senator Stabenow’s bill, he’s talking about the Mortgage Relief Act. The Mortgage Relief Act, introduced in May of this year by Senator Stabenow, would change current law that forces individuals to pay an income tax when they have had a part of their mortgage loan forgiven or have been forced to foreclose because of their inability to pay their mortgage.
Finally, Bush had this to say about the nation’s extremely high rate of foreclosures:
My administration will launch a new foreclosure avoidance initiative to help struggling homeowners find a way to refinance. Secretary Jackson and Secretary Paulson are going to reach out to a wide variety of groups that offer foreclosure counseling and refinancing for American homeowners. These groups include community organizations like NeighborWorks and mortgage lenders and loan services, and the FHA, as well as government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These organizations exist to help people refinance, and we expect them to do that.
The Bush administration is hopeful that the aforementioned steps will deliver help and hope to American families who need it. “We’ll help guard against future problems in the housing sector, President Bush said. “We’ll reaffirm the vital place of homeownership in our nation. When more families own their own homes, neighborhoods are more vibrant and communities are stronger, and more people have a stake in the future of this country.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interesting to read is the comment to this article!
This is the letter I sent to the Governor Office who respond to my complaint I hope this letter is past on to the President George W. Bush following statement today. If any one need help more than ever it’s me. I have managed to come this far on my own, and am still in my home. Please help me stay in the home that I have worked so hard to keep. Argent Mortgage has done all they could putting all there expected wrongdoing and fraud in the mortgage industry. For the one that have been following my issued it all true I had to file Chapter 13 to stop the sale of my home on 8-7-07. I am hoping it can be stop before it goes any farther, please help. I have untill September 10, 2007 to respond the day of my Birthday Please read this letter and past it on.
To the President George W. Bush
Thank you all
THE STORY OF THE YEAR
Date: September 3, 2007
To: Office of the Governor
From: Nick Ramirez
227 Central Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501
RE: Complaint against Argent Mortgage Company LLC, AMC Mortgage Services and Shelly Poe, Independent Broker with Pinnacle Financial and also the Notary Public signing of the Grant Deed,
I would like to thank you for taking the time to review my complaint. I have contacted several attorneys’ regarding this matter with no luck. Every attorney that I have contacted informed me that although I do have enough information and proof to file a case against the above mentioned parties, none of them were willing to take it on due to how time consuming it would be and also the fact that they would have to take it on contingency. It has been very difficult to try to fight a big mortgage company with their own legal department, who are trained in this type of work.
I have managed to come this far on my own, and am still in my home. Please help me stay in the home that I have worked so hard to keep.
First I will give you a little background explaining how I got into this situation I purchased my home in 1997, and lived here with my wife and two boys. In 2002, my wife and I divorced and
I stayed in my home with my two boys. I refinanced my home in order to buy out my wife and start my own business, so I could stay close to home and raise my two boys. I was never late on a single house payment.
In October 2005, I refinanced again. This is when I met Shelly Poe, who was an independent broker, working for Mortgage Pointer Solutions. In November 2005, I was in a very serious accident. I spent two weeks in the hospital and was in a wheelchair for the next several months. Due to my accident, I was unable to work, and therefore had no income. I had to live off of my savings. By March 2006, I needed to refinance again. This is when I obtained the loan with Argent Mortgage, again, with the help of Ms. Shelly Poe, who was then working for Pinnacle Financial.
In April 2007, I filed a complaint with Argent Mortgage, Office of the President stating that the signatures on my loan documents had been forged, and that I was overcharged in fees and interest. I stated that my loan was an invalid loan and I would like my loan reinstated at payment that I can afford and would like reimbursement for the interest that I was overcharged.
At the time, my house was to foreclose on May 14, 2007. My file was given to Mr. Mark VerPlank, Lead Investigator of the Office of the President for Argent Mortgage. He assured me that this matter would be taken very seriously. He stated that the foreclosure proceedings would stop while this matter was under investigation. He said that he would help me get my loan reinstated and that he would even help me with my credit. “Not to Worry”,
Mr. VerPlank contacted me via telephone on May 2, 2007 to inform me that he would be sending me an identity theft package that I was to fill out and return to him ASAP. He also informed me that I needed to file an Identity Theft report with the Alameda Police Department. I received the package on May 3, 2007 via overnight delivery. After reading the information, I called Mr. VerPlank to confirm that this was the correct route to take. According to the forms sent to me, the definition of Identity theft was that the loan was applied for without my knowledge, which was not the case. He stated that due to the forgery of my signatures by the broker, this was considered an identity theft case. I completed the forms, filed a police report, and supplied all requested documents to Mr. VerPlank. He informed me that he received all the necessary documents and informed me that he would contact me when the investigation was complete.
During the next few weeks, I contacted Mr. VerPlank several times. I informed Mr. VerPlank how desperate I was for this matter to be resolved. I informed him that my utilities were shut off, and that I had no money to reconnect them or for food. Due to an accident that occurred in November 2005, I was unable to work and needed to refinance my home to get my landscaping business going again. Mr. VerPlank again assured me that he would do everything he could to help me. I believed him.
On June 28, 2007, I received a letter from Mr. VerPlank stating that after an exhaustive investigation, he found that there was no wrongdoing on the part of Argent Mortgage and that I was aware of the terms of this loan at the time of closing. Therefore, I was not a victim of identity theft and that the collection proceedings would continue. The letter also said that there would be many options available to me to reinstate my loan and gave me a number to call to discuss these options.
After receiving this letter, I tried several times to contact Mr. VerPlank. I left several messages on his voicemail. I requested via voicemail a copy of the investigation file. I wanted to know how they came to their conclusion. I never received this, nor did I receive a return call from Mr. VerPlank. I did receive a package from Argent Mortgage that included the application, which I never filled out and the signature on it is clearly forged. There was also a letter (see below copy) regarding my credit report, and inquires derogatory trade lines, which I have never seen before, and my signature is clearly forged. Again, I tried to reach Mr. VerPlank with no success.
I called the reinstatement line several times to try to discuss any options that were available. I was told that they needed to order the reinstatement figures, which would take several days. There were never any options made available to me. I was told to send them my financial statement. I informed them that I was not working, and that Mr. VerPlank was aware of my financial status, and informed them that Mr. VerPlank stated that there would be many options for me. I was then transferred back to the Office of the President because the reinstatement department was not aware of the options Mr. VerPlank was referring to.
I spoke to Kathy, VP of the office of the President, who was Mr. VerPlank supervisor. I informed her of my frustration and that I was not satisfied with the results of the investigation. I informed her that I told Mr. VerPlank from the beginning that I did not feel this was identity theft. This loan was invalid due to forgery. She told me that she needed to review the file and would call me back; I have never received a return phone call from her.
On July 16 2007, a letter of Notice of Trustee’s Sale was taped on my door. It states that my home is to go on sale on August 7, 2007. I never received a Notice of Default, or A Notice of Intent to Foreclose. Nor did I receive any reinstatement figures. Not even a full 30 days notice!
I then called Mr. VerPlank and he informed me that during the investigation he compared my signatures with the signatures on my prior loan and that they looked similar.
He stated that if I had any further complaints that he would reopen the investigation.
After speaking with an attorney, I called the Argent Office of the President and spoke to Cynthia. I informed her that I was not treated fairly by her office, that I was not satisfied with Mr. VerPlank, and that I want to challenge the validity of the Deed of Trust. This document is not a valid document. I informed her that the Deed of Trust recorded with the county and the Deed of Trust that I received directly from the Mortgage Company was not the same document. My name of the first page of the County copy was white out and hand written in, and the copy from the mortgage company my name was typed in. None of the signatures is my signature as well as the initials. In addition, the phone numbers on their letterhead, located at the bottom of the pages are different numbers.
One page the phone number is (900-521-7291); and on another copy of the same page the phone number (800-521-7291). This proves that the deed of trust which was recorded through the County of Alameda is not the same document as the one that was sent to me by the Mortgage Company.
It is for the above reasons that the Deed of Trust should be void.
Also enclosed is a copy of The Grant Deed, which is dated April 17 2006. I never signed this document on April 17, 2007. Shelly Poe, who was my broker, not the notary public, notarized the signature on the document.
The Government Code: 8224 States Conflict of Interest: Financial or Beneficial Interest In Transaction: A notary public who has a direct financial or beneficial interest in a Transaction shall not perform any Notarial act in connection with such transaction,
Another reason that the loan should be rescinded.
On August 30, 2007 I received, via Fed Ex, from ACC Capital Holdings Corporation, a parent company of Argent Mortgage Company, LLC., containing copies of my loan documents as well as a letter dated August 29, 2007 from Kinkeo Kangnavon, Legal Analyst II, Legal Department, responding to the complaint that I filed with the State of California Department of Corporations; File No. 413-0578. After reviewing the letter, I found several statements that are not accurate. I immediately called Ms. Kangnavong to discuss these issues. Below is a recap of our conversation.
First, her letter states that based on the information and supporting documentation provided by your Broker, Argent approved me for a loan for $550,800.00 at an adjustable interest rate of 8.100 %. It then states that I acknowledged and agreed to the same, as evidence by the loan documents I signed at closing on April 11, 2006. Please find enclosed some of the loan documents I signed at closing bearing my signature, including the Reduced Payment Adjustable Rate Note, Deed of Trust, Final Truth-in Lending Disclosure Statement, and Notice of Right to Cancel. I informed her that I never received an 8.100%. According to the Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement (Final) Dated April 11, 2006, that was included in the package she sent me the rate was 10.660%. Had it been at a rate of 8.1 % it would of saved me approximately $15,000 to $20,000 or more. When asked where she came up with the 8.1 % she responded that she was not sure where that came from and would have to look it up.
Second, her letter states that after reviewing the loan documents I provided, which I claim to have the alleged forged signatures, appears to be similar to the signatures on the loan documents that Pinnacle Financial provided to Argent on my behalf. Additionally, it appears that Pinnacle Financials loan documents contain the same signing date of March 17, 2006. Furthermore, our review confirms that all of Argent’s loan documents that you signed at the closing on April 11, 2006 appear to match the signatures on my identification and social security card I provided. I asked Ms. Kangnavong to please explain to me how they came to this decision. I asked if she had tried to contact Ms. Shelly Poe, the broker in question, the answer was no. I asked if she tried to contact the Notary Public to obtain a copy of the line item which should include my fingerprint; the answer was no. I asked her if they used a handwriting analyst to see if the signatures were mine and the answer was no. I then informed her that I had contacted the Notary Association, who gave me Ms.Shelly Poe’s address and phone number, which by law is to be current. I called Ms. Poe and left two messages on her voicemail asking for a copy of the line item, I also sent her the request via Certified Mail. These request have gone unanswered. I am entitled to this information by law. I feel that by Ms. Shelly Poe not being able to produce the line item with my fingerprint this is further proof that the documents have been forged. I also informed her that I have sent my loan documents to a handwriting analyst, which works for the Department of Justice and am still waiting for his results.
I then asked her to look at the signature. I stated that in the Deed of Trust it states that “all signatures must match” I told her that clearly these signatures that are included in the package that she sent me do not match. They are all different. She then stated that I was correct. That the signatures that were dated prior to April 11, 2006 appear to be forged. I then asked why she did not include that statement in her letter. I asked her that the letter should have included all of her findings, not just the ones that are favorable to Argent. I then requested that she send to me in writing that she admitted that the signatures prior to April 11, 2006 appear to be forged. She stated that she would have to check with her supervisor and would get back to me. I am entitled to have this in writing, and am entitled to a fair investigation.
She then stated that they rely on the Broker to submit the correct information. I informed her that I also relied on the Broker to submit the correct information. I then asked who is liable when the Broker submits fraudulent documents to a lender. That is why the lender has an underwriter who is supposed to check the documents prior to approving the loan. Clearly this was not done.
It is for all of the above reasons that this loan is not a valid loan. Thank you again for taking the time to review all of the documents that are attached. Once you have reviewed them I am sure that you will conclude that the signatures are forged and that this loan should be rescinded.
This criminal act has gone on for long enough. It has affected my health, and sanity. Please help me make this right. I am not asking for anything that I am not entitled to.
This has to stop. We as homeowners put our trust into the brokers and lenders and expect them to be fair and honest. They are the professionals. We punish the criminals who come into our homes and steel our possessions. These professionals are doing much worse. They are stealing the equity from our homes. Please help me stop them from taking my home from my family and maybe prevent this from happening to anyone else.
227 Central Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501
About the Deed of Trust
1 # starting with the Deed of Trust I receive this document on April 8 2007, . The document my name was white out and looks like it was fill in by hand with a pen. The initial are not my signature. In addition, this documents under the initial there a phone number (900-521-7291);
2#. Note April 11, 2007 AMC Mortgage Company send me a Deed of Trust document my name was type in correct and not white out. Note: Why did the county receive a white out copy and I received a type in correct copy. The initial are not my signature. In addition, this document under the initial there a phone number (800-521-7291);
3 # Deed of Trust I receive this document on August 11, 2007 this document my name was white out and looks like it was fill in by hand with a pen. The initial are not my signature. Also under the initial there a phone number (800)-521-7291); I don’t know what happen but it not right? What funny is that I make a point that the phone numbers were not the same? I call Mark VerPlanck of Argent Mortgage Co, on June 28, 2007. After receiving there letter of No wrongdoing on Argent part and I told Mark VerPlanck about how Deed of Trust were not the same he said they were like knew .Before he Promises to help me with this invalid loan and Help me fix my credit . Now he was ruled the same with. Ms Danny Hernandez she was assigned right after Mark VerPlanck to my file. I had left her several messages on her voicemail and getting the run around for two week later. I was able talked to her she was just as ruled I told her about how Deed of Trust were not the same she said they were like she knew.
What happen between? There investigation.
I have a Deed of Trust I receive on April 8, 2007 .With A phone number (900-521-7291); I called to find the Phone number disconnected.
In addition, I receive a Deed of Trust August 11, 2007. With a phone number (800)-521-7291); I called to find this Phone number to be Walker training services.
Note If I did not go to the county to look up some documents I never would have known about the change of phone number. Lucky I did or they would have made a fool out of me. Because I was making a big point about how these two documents were not the same.
Why did someone go in to the county and make this move. What is the cover up along with the rest that has being comment? First, the Broker now the mortgage company. Everything is on paper that they send me. I have nothing to do with this wrongdoing.
WHY DID THEY CHANGE THE PHONE NUMBER BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT THE SAME FROM THE BEING IT WAS NOT THE SAME DOCUMENT AND NOW YOU ARE TALKING GOING IN TO THE COUNTY AND COMMIT THIS WRONGDOING.
Comment by NICK RAMIREZ — September 4, 2007