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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States and banks discussing federal fund to help wrongful-foreclosure victims

Bloomberg News

The establishment of a general compensation fund for victims of wrongful foreclosure may be part of possible settlements, according to a spokesman for the leader of the 50-state investigation of the foreclosure crisis and mortgage lender practices.

The coordinated inquiry, led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, is investigating whether banks and loan servicers used false documents and signatures to justify hundreds of thousands of foreclosures. The investigation, announced Oct. 13, came after JPMorgan Chase and Ally Financial's GMAC mortgage unit said they would stop repossessions in Florida and 22 other states where courts supervise home seizures. Bank of America also froze some of its foreclosure proceedings nationwide.

The Washington Post reported earlier that the states and banks are in talks to establish a fund that would compensate people who lost their homes through faulty foreclosures.

``We are in the very early stages of the discussion and a fund is one of several options,'' said Sandi Copes, a spokeswoman for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. McCollum is participating in the attorneys general inquiry. His office has met with Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, GMAC, PNC Financial Group and Litton Loan Servicing so far in its own investigation.

The attorneys general investigation is on ``a fast track'' and any resolution might involve multiple settlements, Miller told Bloomberg last week. A global settlement of the task force investigation is unlikely, Miller said. ``It would be one bank at a time.''

On Wednesday, Miller spokesman Geoff Greenwood told the Sun Sentinel the fund is ``one of the many options being considered.'' He added: ``There are no details that have been hashed out. Any characterization of it as a done deal is just inaccurate.

``It simply has been raised as part of the discussion.''

Consumer advocates in South Florida are wary, said foreclosure defense attorney Margery Golant. A compensation fund won't resolve the legal issues, she said, and she has heard ``part of the deal [with the attorneys general] is a Congressional proposal to paper over the whole mess.''

Weston foreclosure defense attorney Roy Oppenheim applauded the fund proposal. ``The courts cannot handle this problem,'' he said. ``They are part of the problem.''

At the same time, the Florida Bar is increasing its scrutiny of the foreclosure courts.

An article published Monday in the Florida Bar News said that Bar President Mayanne Downs had written to every chief circuit judge in the state, asking that the organization be copied on any judicial order where it was found attorneys did not act according to Florida Bar rules.

The Bar last month added two new complaint categories to help it better track foreclosure attorney misconduct: foreclosure defense and foreclosure fraud. There already are categories for mortgage fraud, loan modification and advertising loan modification.

The Bar currently has 53 pending cases involving 38 attorneys in regards to foreclosure fraud, and another 12 cases involving four attorneys in regards to foreclosure defense.

Sun Sentinel staff reporters Harriet Johnson Brackey and Diane C. Lade contributed to this report.

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INVESTIGATION: Questions mount about documents used in foreclosures- Robot Judges

FLORIDA  - The Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court today ordered judges across the state to stop closing their courtrooms to the public during foreclosure hearings.

The move by Chief Justice Charles Canady is in response to a growing chorus of complaints that banks are sometimes taking short cuts and using questionable documents in foreclosure cases.

It's called the "Rocket Docket" and it was created by the Florida courts to deal with the deluge of foreclosure cases across the state.

In Pinellas and Pasco Counties alone, the courts say, there are a thousand new cases every month. There's a back log of 31,000 foreclosure cases and one of them belongs to Ernie Hassell.

Hassell lost his job and now he's losing his St. Petersburg home.

"To have all that and risk it just going up in vapor is certainly life altering," Hassell says.

Adding insult to injury, Hassel is one of a growing number of people who are discovering the banks are allegedly re-creating the documents needed to get them out of their homes in some cases.

For instance, Hassell and his attorney believe this "Assignment of Mortgage" was created years after discovering the notary who stamped the document didn't witness it being signed and she doesn't know the people who signed it.

"Document Mills across the country are employing officers and agents that purport signing on behalf of corporations that have ceased to exist in many cases before the person signing today," Hassell’s attorney, Matt Weidner says.

One of those so called document mills is Palm Harbor based Nationwide Title Clearing . The company, which isn't involved in Hassel's case, produces mortgage assignments in foreclosure cases around the nation. And while there's nothing illegal about it, Nationwide is coming under intense scrutiny from attorneys specializing in foreclosure defense and here's why.

In a videotaped deposition earlier this month, one of the company's processors Brian Bly, was asked, "What is an assignment of mortgage?” His response? “I have no idea."

Despite not even knowing what an assignment of mortgage actually is, he signs thousands of them a day. "I would say 5,000," Bly testified.

Bly isn't charged with anything. In a statement to ABC Action News , Bly says he wants to correct his testimony saying, "I know exactly what the purpose and types of documents are that I have signed."

But this is what has so many specializing in foreclosure defense outraged. Bly, signed these documents, obtained by ABC Action News, at different times as Vice President of FDIC, VP of CITI Residential Lending, Assistant VP of Washington Mutual, just to name a few companies.

"Do you play any role in the creation of how any documents your signature is electronically affixed?” Bly was asked. “Not at all," he responded.

"Do you ever review those electronic documents after your signature has been affixed?” Bly was then asked. “No," he responded.

Bly says he's had some industry and on the job training.

Nationwide Title Clearing wouldn't talk to us on camera but in a lengthy statement the company tells us its practices "Have been found in court to be legal."

At a meeting earlier this month foreclosure lawyers complained to a panel of judges from Pinellas and Pasco their efforts to challenge documents are routinely shot down by "Rocket Docket" judges charged with getting through foreclosure cases as quickly as possible.

"Sure we're skeptical, but we still have to rule on what's there before us in any particular case,” says Judge Thomas McGrady, Chief Judge of Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

Ernie Hassell is desperately trying to save his home of 15-years and he believes the banks are not playing by what he thinks should be the rules.

"Something needs to be done and the problem isn't just Ernie but when you stack up hundreds of thousands of Ernie’s then you really have a big issue," Hassell says.

The Florida Attorney General's Office is currently investigating a number of law firms and companies suspected of falsifying documents on a large scale basis. In the meantime, the Chief Judge of Pinellas and Pasco says his judges are now being forced to hold more hearings resulting in a longer back log of foreclosure cases.

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Don't miss the the link "Statement to ABC Action News" which is an email to the reporter from Brian Bly, or 'B' as he is officially know, when he signs his name.  Unbelievable!

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The Equitable One
Ann, et. al.,

The piece by Alan Cohn is typical of how media is pussy footing around the real issues. From the article (or what you posted of it):

"Adding insult to injury, Hassel is one of a growing number of people who are discovering the banks are allegedly re-creating the documents needed to get them out of their homes in some cases." [emphsis added]

Um, what the **** does that even mean? I haven't met, or talked with, or corresponded with a single homeowner involved in foreclosure that has awareness of the actions and behavior of foreclosing plaintiffs and plaintiff's counsel that would make a statement with language that muddy, imprecise and hesitant.

The ones I've had contact with would say something more like "The bank trying to foreclose on me is fabricating evidence, forging documents and submitting perjured affidavits."

Allegedly re-creating? LOL.  The word "allegedly" would not be a part of the statement. Neither would they use euphemisms like "re-creating."

Our media needs to start calling a spade a spade and a shovel a shovel!!

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I'm in agreement with the Equitable one.  John R.
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This whole settlement with the state "AG's" stinks to high heaven... IMHO this is being framed, put forth as an effort to help homeowners... but my gut tells me it is a back door way to recover the  loss of fee's for lack of recording of assignments at the county level, and avert further legal actions!
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