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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Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone Magazine treats us to one of the most compelling acounts of mortgage foreclosure fraud and Florida's "rocket docket" yet:

"Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners"
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/232611?RS_show_page=0

 

Give the article a read and forward the link to a friend or colleague!

 

Also add some online Comments and encourage Matt to keep up the great work!

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The Equitable One
I haven't yet read this but expect another wowser from Taibbi.

His publication can have such a different readership than NYT, WSJ, WaPo, etc. Good that someone catering to Rolling Stone readers cares enough to really do the research and write so eloquently.

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That is truly the best article yet on this mess, and from a most unlikely source.  I decided to send it to every lawyer in my address book.  I was surprised to find there are now 19+1.  Seventeen still have a consumer practice, one was once a consumer lawyer, but she went to the dark side and now represents lenders, and #19 is now representing investors and is suing banks.  It also went to my favorite lawyer of all (#+1) - she works for the FTC.
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William A. Roper, Jr.
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Way To Go said
That is truly the best article yet on this mess, and from a most unlikely source.

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anon

as a true veteran of the rocket docket in Miami courtesy of retired Judge Schwartz who was to have my house sold by auction by Nov. 1, 2010 and only still here by the grace of god and my tireless efforts, this is an awesome article.

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Thank you Mr. Roper for sharing this piece, and kudos Rolling Stone and Matt Taibbi.  This straight-talking, shoot-from-the-hip article succeeds in simply telling the story while WSJ, and others who should tell it, have failed. When it comes right down to it folks, it doesn't take long for someone to come up to speed on the fraud that is being perpetuated, that is, if they choose to do so.  Hmmm.  Don't suppose WSJ and others may have reasons of their own to not want to talk about this, do you?  Guess they're all racing out to buy bigger brooms to sweep this thing back under the rug.
In any event, I attempted to post my thanks directly on the Rolling Stone site, but was unable to successfully complete the sign-in process.  Sigh. I can only hope they see this here, and keep up the good work.  In the end, when justice prevails, the truth tellers will be recognized as the heros they are.  
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anon

show your support buy a copy of the magazine.

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Then I am not alone, I couldn't sign up to leave a comment either.  The sign-up page will not scroll down to allow completion of the process.  I tried it on three different browsers and two different machines.  And if ever there was an article deserving of comment this is the one.
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arkygirl
Judge A.C. Soud is disgusting. The state of Florida is disgusting for even conceiving of this accessory to fraud court. Reading this made me want to spit!

Threatening the defendant and the lawyer (April Charney) for speaking to and bringing a reporter into HIS courtroom. What, this guy thinks he is the USSR and deserves secrecy for his own crimes? This judge has absolutely no regard for the rule of law and the right for all parties to be fairly heard. I wish a reporter would show up every single day in this pig's courtroom and take copious notes.

This person should be disrobed, debenched, defrocked, disbarred and thrown onto the streets himself. Spit*ack* spit. Haaack*spit*-that one is for the evil-tolerating state of Florida. That state is rife with all types of fraud. Do they stop it? Heck NO, they aid and abet it! Even the judges are frauds!

JMHO.
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This is one FANTABULOUS article.  Thank you Mr. Taibbi for simply and eloquently bringing a little "sunshine" to the abuses being perpetrated on a daily basis to the residents of Florida.  Your ending paragraph encapsulates the essence of what is happening in this country.

I have passed this around to everyone I know and have it posted on FB.  I also wrote a comment as a Guest - GREAT WORK!!!.  Keep it up.
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Irate
Florida Judicial Complaints should be addressed to:

Florida
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director
Michael Schneider, Associate General Counsel
Judicial Qualifications Commission
1110 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL  32303-6224
(850) 488-1581
FAX (850) 922-6781
http://floridajqc.com/

 

The complaint form is online at:

 

http://floridajqc.com/images/JQCComplaintForm.pdf

 

While the complaint is required to be sworn, as long as the complaintant honestly represents the facts set forth, I cannot see why anyone couldn't file a complaint.

 

For example, if one were to state that while the person had no personal knowledge of the Judge's misconduct, that a description of the misconduct appears in print in a news article within a newspaper of national circulation, etc., then citing the particular article, including an online link, I would think that the authorities would be put on formal notice of these matters.

 

Some actual metrics relating to the disposition of cases heard by Judge Soud might also be sufficient proof of the misconduct.  These judges are pointing to their case clearance rates as a badge of pride.  These ought to be taken as a Scarlet letter and Judge Soud should find his public pension at risk for his clear misconduct.

 

POST THIS INFORMATION AND THE LINKS ON EVERY NEWSPAPER COMMENT SECTION AND MESSAGE BOARD YOU CAN FIND.  LET US SEE IF WE CAN GENERATE 1,000 OR MORE SWORN COMPLAINTS AGAINST JUDGE SOUD!

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Margaret

I'll be working on getting that complaint out tomorrow.

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I also could not make a comment.

I have left a message with Mr. Taibbi as I too have a judge that is more concerned about getting the 62% off the books.

Re-reading the court transcript amazes me of how he stated that there is NO freeze in his courts!!!

Our due process has been shrunk to a mere 5 minutes of defense to fight for our home with the fact that our servicer put us in default. And, fraud shown to judge during a previous hearing yet nothing was done at that time.

Our legislation enacted the clearing of the dockets, but forgot to mention to the judges that we are still entitled to due process as per our constitutional rights!!!!
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Anonymous2
Here is something interesting about Judge Soud.  His wife, Ginger Soud, has been in real estate for over 20 years and owns Ginger Soud Realty.  She is also a member of the National Realtors Association, The Florida Association of Realtors, and the The Jacksonville Association of Realtors.  Mrs. Soud was also council member for many years.

http://www.coj.net/City+Council/Former+Council+Members/AL4GingerSoud.htm

Conflict of interest????
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arkygirl
Why don't we have a disgusted-face smiley thingy here? I could have worn it out over this one story.

Sounds like this judge is RE/NAR friendly. Maybe he thinks his wife will be allowed to sell some of these foreclosures? Sounds like some sort of moral hazard to me. Maybe he thinks he will profit through the pain of others? A pain he is in a position to inflict.

****SPIT****

Thanks, Anonymous2 for the head's up.

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She appears to be a self-employed agent/broker and without any apparent ties to a firm.  A quick search shows only one residential listing.  It’s hard to tell if the listing is a foreclosure but it does include a link to Wells Fargo for pre-approval.

A judge in a judicial foreclosure state is really not in a position to feed the sale of the properties he or sh rules on to a broker.  Then again a judge is in a position to review a lot of detailed information about the properties well before the foreclosure case is heard.  Although this information is public a judge is in an unique position.

Someone should do a real property grantors search in the Jacksonville area and see if either of them appear.  Then if they do the check the docket and see who ruled on the foreclosure case.

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Irate
Have you filed your compaint yet??

You can always supplement the complaint with additional material you find relating to the Judge's wife.  But the material appearing within the Rolling Stone article, together with metrics relating to the Judge's case clearance rates, seems to support complaints even without the conflict of interest issue identified.
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The question becomes is 93 seconds adequate judicial review of a non-contested, judicial, foreclosure?  If it is not contested does a judge still have a duty to insure justice is served?  The problem is if a defendant fails to appear most states allow that to be an admission of guilt and an automatic judgment in favor of the plaintiff.  When defendants fail to defend foreclosures they become the servicers best friend.

It is why we keep saying you must defend by first answering the complaint within the prescribed time and then make your best effort from that point forward to raise a defense.  Of course the best course of action is to engage a lawyer.  And that is especially important today because there are lawyers, private practice, Pro Bono, and legal aid, that are hip to the drift.

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anon
There is not so many attorneys who are hip especially in South Florida.Its money, money, money.

Its remarkable how passive the residents of Florida are especially since they just voted a whole slate of tea partyists to the legislature and notably Rubio to the senate. I also suspect that foreclosures are a good way of keeping people from the polls as in Florida precincts are tied to the voters address. The address needs to be correct to vote. The first question anyone is asked is if their address is correct. Most people undergoing foreclosure are too stressed to get their addresses correct 30 days before any election. IMO.
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The Equitable One
WTG,

The Ohio Federal Court decisions of Boyko, Rose, O'Malley, etc., as well as a number of the Schack decisions have come in cases in which the defendant made no answer or appearance at all. These decisions were made sua sponte, or on the courts initiative.

I do not know what the rules are in other jurisdictions but I imagine that all courts CAN act sua sponte if they choose.

There seems to be a bit more momentum being gained in foreclosure defense. I am hopeful other courts will follow the leads of the Ohio Federal and the New York counties Supreme courts.

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Florida foreclosed homeowners sue Banks to regain homes

Class action against three major lenders could affect thousands

|Diane C. Lade, Sun

South Florida homeowners have filed suit against three major banks and are demanding more than compensation for what they say were illegal foreclosures.

They want their property back, according to a complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in Miami.

Legal experts, however, say it's highly unlikely the courts would force out new owners of these homes if they had bought them in good faith, as they would have protection under the law, said Nina Simon, director of litigation for the Center for Responsible Lending. That probably is particularly true in states like Florida, she said, where judges must approve foreclosure actions.

But if the lender or an affiliate still has the property? "Who knows?" Simon said. "A lot of stuff still is in inventory."

Attorneys who filed the suit have requested it be certified as a class action lawsuit.

The suit, filed on behalf of three Miami-Dade County homeowners, names three major lenders: BAC Home Loans Servicing, a subsidiary of Bank of America; Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, and US Bank National Association. The action alleges that court documents used in the homeowners' foreclosures were improperly notarized and false, because the agents testifying to the paperwork's accuracy never personally reviewed it.

Spokesmen for Deutsche Bank and US Bank said their companies acted as trustees for the trusts holding the mortgage securities. So it was not them but the loan servicers, and the foreclosure law firms they employed, that handled the foreclosure procedures referenced in the lawsuit, they said.

Bank of America spokeswoman Shirley Norton said the lender, one of the largest in Florida and the nation, had not yet seen the suit. But in regards to other suits filed against the company, "we believe we have valid defenses against them and intend to vigorously defend against them," she said.

Class action filings are springing up around the country, as state investigations and private lawsuits uncover similar questionable foreclosure procedures by lenders, loan servicers and their law firms. The Center for Responsible Lending is one of several parties involved in a class action, on behalf of Maine homeowners, against Ally Financial's GMAC mortgage unit.

While the allegations echo those in the Miami suit, Simon said the Maine case asks for ongoing foreclosures or evicitions to be stopped, or monetary damages if the homeowners already have lost their property.

The Miami class action, if certified, could include homeowners outside of Florida and number in the thousands.

Attorney Juan P. Bauta of The Ferraro Law Firm, one of three firms involved in the Miami suit, said innocent buyers of an illegally foreclosed upon house would have no more rights than those who unwittingly bought a stolen car. Wrongful foreclosures must be thrown out, and the paperwork redone, "or we will have issues cropping up years from now," Bauta said.

Bauta said he did not know if the properties referenced in the suite had new owners and if so, how the courts might treat them. "It's uncharted territory," he said.

Diane Lade can be reached at 954-356-4295 or dlade@sunsentinel.com.

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Suck on THIS, Soud,. I hope reporters flood your courtroom every single day from now on. You need to be watched.

And how dumb is it to e-mail an attorney to scold her anyway? You didn't think that would be reported as well? You left a trail of physical electronic evidence against yourself. Duh!

You may be a judge, but you ain't too smart IMHO.

Fla. chief justice: Foreclosures must be open

Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 11:46am EST

The chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court has sent a letter to the state’s 20 chief judges, telling them to make sure they are not improperly closing judicial proceedings to the public.

Chief Justice Charles Canady’s letter comes in response to a letter he received Friday from the Florida Press Association’s general counsel and other organizations, alleging numerous instances in which judges have barred the public from attending foreclosure proceedings.

On Monday, Canady issued a statement, saying he was “deeply concerned” about the allegations.

In his letter, Florida Press Association attorney Sam Morley outlined several instances reported since August. Among them:

  • A court observer in Hillsborough County called to ask about the rules governing attendance at foreclosure proceedings, and was told they were not open to the public.
  • A defendant representing herself in a foreclosure proceeding in Duval County was told by a member of court security that she could not attend foreclosure proceedings because only attorneys could attend.
  • A court observer in Orange County was told that foreclosure hearings were held in private chambers and not open to the public.
  • An attorney in Jacksonville was “castigated” for bringing a reporter from Rolling Stone into a foreclosure proceeding.

In his letter, Canady told the state’s chief judges to communicate with their clerks and bailiffs to ensure visitors and callers are provided with correct information about attendance at foreclosure and other proceedings.

He also said the goal of resolving 62 percent of foreclosure cases should not keep judges from deciding each case fairly on its merits.

“Each case must be adjudicated in accordance with the law,” Canady wrote.

That 62 percent goal was set after Florida lawmakers appropriated $6 million to help trial courts deal with the backload of foreclosure filings.



Read more: Fla. chief justice: Foreclosures must be open | Tampa Bay Business Journal


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