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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In face of rally, eviction canceled ... for now

By Jerry Kronenberg   |   Thursday, January 24, 2008   

Subprime-mortgage firm Ocwen halted plans yesterday to kick a Dorchester woman and her three kids to the curb after some 50 protesters rallied to block the family’s foreclosure eviction.

“House by house, block by block, people are losing their homes and we have to fight!” Cheryl Lawrence of activist group City Life told a crowd gathered at the home of Melonie Griffiths-Evans.

Griffiths-Evans lost title to her house through foreclosure after falling behind on what she admits was a no-money-down mortgage.

Ocwen planned to evict the family yesterday, but backed down after protesters vowed to block the home’s doors even if doing so meant getting arrested.

“If they want to take me down to jail, I’m willing to go,” said Inez Mendes, a 64-year-old neighbor who’s facing eviction herself because her landlord fell into foreclosure.

Dave Grossman, Griffiths-Evans’ lawyer, said he got a call from Ocwen halting the eviction just moments before a constable had been scheduled to appear.

However, Grossman said the firm didn’t say how long the family can stay.

City Life wants subprime lenders to rent foreclosed homes back to former owners, or to sell properties to nonprofit groups for use as affordable housing.

Ocwen’s lawyer didn’t return calls seeking comment, but a company spokesmen said only U.S. Bancorp - which oversees an investment pool that owns Griffiths-Evans’ mortgage - can make such decisions.

However, U.S. Bancorp countered that it’s Ocwen’s job to handle foreclosure decisions.

Either way, Griffiths-Evans - who previously told the Herald she has nowhere to go - said activists who rallied to her cause “show that people can still connect in a world where we think everything has gone so wrong.”

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Although, this article really isn't about the type of problems that most of us here have had to face, it is interesting from the stand point that these people were actually willing to be arrested in order to stop foreclosure. I didn't see statements in this article about the mortgage servicer acting in a criminal manner, but the fact that Ocwen was named as the servicer in this case that pretty much speaks for itself. After all, I don't believe Ocwen is even capable of acting in any other way than criminal. Actually, I don't know of any servicer that would knowingly comply with the law for that matter.

My Opinion.

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I for one am pleased that friends and neighbors, and strangers are now beginning to show up and no longer just standby!   I'm proud to hear of this, it shows things are really beginning to change!  We could use more of this. 

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Gary Wait wrote:

I for one am pleased that friends and neighbors, and strangers are now beginning to show up and no longer just standby!   I'm proud to hear of this, it shows things are really beginning to change!  We could use more of this. 

That was my point gary wait .smurf

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I very much, enjoyed reading the article smurf. It gave me a sense of pride, for this woman, & for the people.
It also shows Americans are waking up, to realize the frauds that ARE being committed in their own front yards.

Thank you for the article
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Joe B


     I have a (maybe surprising) different take on this issue. I read the article very closely, and an article on the same issue in a different publication. If I have read it properly, this woman lost her home because her payments went from $3,500 to $5,000 per month. She has not alleged origination fraud, servicing fraud, or any other misleading tactics in this process. Now, I DO feel sorry that she is/was being kicked out of her home; that is unfortunate to be sure. However, I am not sure she is a cause celebre for us here.

     I know NOTHING about anyone in this article, but the math concerns me. If we assume an aggressive 50 percent debt to income ratio, this math means this woman must have been making (take home) more than $80K per year. After the adjustment to $5K per month, this same woman must have been assumed to be making $120K per year. If we use more conservative numbers, then she must have been making much more! This is not impossible, but improbable.

     Now, I suspect that there was too much home at the end of the money. If we assume there is nothing untoward in the process (fairly safe, or it SHOULD have been mentioned in the article), then there was certainly a BAD loan made. Probably not an illegal loan, just a really rotten one.

     This woman was foreclosed on, and the chief complaint that I hear that this crowd was making was NOT that she be allowed to keep her home as an OWNER. Rather, they were protesting the fact that she was being kicked out and not afforded the opportunity to stay as a renter of that property. This seems like a rather odd argument, and one that I feel undermines the "structure" of our current lending environment; don't think 'retribution,' think 'fair and reasonable.'

     Please, I am not an idealist, but I do believe in the free market within the laws. I see no evidence that any law was broken, or that she has alleged any wrongdoing. So, based on what position do we feel that this particular woman was wronged? I understand empathy, and I certainly have that. However, the bank truly "owes" her nothing. Under what condition should we allow someone who could not afford the mortgage stay as a renter? What would the rent have to be to cover the note, taxes, property management, etc.? It's not likely to be a significant savings in any case...

     Here's my problem... Any time we trumpet an issue like this, that on its face has absolutely NOTHING to do with MS Fraud, we dilute the cause. Again, I do feel sorry for this family, and I do wish her well. However, the folks here on this board have REAL fraud, and have LOST real money and property due to FRAUD. There is a really, really big difference. Now if people want to march and protest people losing their home due to FRAUD, then I can get behind that all day long!

     Please don't misread my comments as lack of feeling. I just think that cheering for a 'victory' like this dilutes all of our cases just a little bit. It also shakes our credibility as well when we really just want to exact a measure of revenge, rather than justice to MSFraud victims.

     If I have offended anyone's sensibilities, I am sorry, and feel free to fire away! However, if you can separate emotion from this particular situation, I think there are folks here on this board that deserve our empathy far more.

It's just my $.02.

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thank you for your summary of this woman's home.
It's apparent some of us hadn't done further research into this "particular" cause, & case of Foreclosure.
For those who hadn't researched this article (further), it was left to our already disgruntled beliefs, that this woman's home was yet another statistic in the realm of MSF.
There is a single caption within this article that perturbed this reader (me)!
The caption written by the aurthor: "Griffiths-Evans lost title to her house through foreclosure after falling behind on what she "admits" was a no-money-down mortgage."
the bold print (above) ensues to us/me, that this home owner was more than likely convinced, sweet talked into, and probably pressured into such a Loan Type.
Especially after reading the name of THEE "Servicer" & hence already being familiarized with the name, stories, & relevant (proof) of existence of fraud, from this Company. Leads the already disgruntled victim of fraud; under much impression that because she admitted this was a "No money Down Loan" that IT WAS TO BE  ALL HER FAULT; as it appears the Author of the article would have you believe.
Again, given the name of the Foreclosing Company, says too much. Is this company also a MORTGAGE COMPANY, or are they ONLY & SPECIFICALLY a SERVICER? Were they the creator of the loan? These further questions warrant further information, before a complete decision COULD be made that this woman has not SUFFERED FROM SOME DEGREE OR "DEPTH" of FRAUD.
Joe you're right there is no doubt about that, if what you say is true, that this woman has defaulted to no fault of her own.but for those of us who didn't research this article further, we had no idea.
Furthermore, we TRULY don't know if this woman had "tried" to reinstate her loan, after coming up with the past due amounts. It is VERY, VERY, highly possible this woman came up with the funds to reinstate the loan and the SERVICER blatantly REFUSED to cooperate.
this has happened too many times, to NOT be a considerable aspect.
erroneous fees? where there any? Was this company completely complicit in the Foreclosure? Truth is we don't know.
But surmising the the data from the gregarious MSF Companies, with the inclusion of this Company's name equals to the belief, that there is fraud contained within this Foreclosure.
Though, as you have stated, this article was about her neighbors standing up for her due to the fact that the Company has refused to "allow" her to RENT the home is bothersome to a large degree.
The Company now owns the home within its REO Department. It is their choice as to whether they allow renting, or selling, of the property; and neighbors should not have been involved in such a demonstration, if that is ALL the demonstration was about.
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Though this particular article doesn't state the below (in bold) it ensures fraud was a 99.% probability in the creation of this loan.

Melonie Griffiths-Evans defaulted on a mortgage loan arranged by a broker who has since been barred from working in Massachusetts. Facing a 9 a.m. eviction, Griffiths-Evans had refused to pack, saying that God was on her side....

Rest of the story:

Not only did was the brokers license revoked in Mass. but the Loan Origination Company has also been barred from creating any further loans in Mass.

THERE IS fraud in this woman's case, no doubt. She was a victim, of some sort.

The catcher is "she took out two loans" with the same company to get this home.

It's guaranteed that this woman did not come up with this Plan of action to retain the loan.

The Loan origination Company is the one who probably suggested she do this, but then failed to provide due diligence with "Income to ratio" on the 2nd loan she "HAD TO HAVE" in order to purchase this expensive home. IT ECHOES COMPLETE UTTER FRAUD!

 I'll bet she will be filing suit against the parties involved.

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Some of the issues that Joe mentioned in his post are ones that I too have been pondering. I continually hear people say that the homeowner is at fault! If they didn't take the time to read and understand what they signed they should live with the consequences. That said, I'm sure I could come up with many arguments for both sides regarding this issue. Obtaining a home is most likely the biggest single purchase anyone of us will make in our lifetime. So why didn't this or that person read their loan documents thoroughly before signing? And if they did, would it have made a difference in all cases?

I remember it was just the other day that I was thinking to myself... that there really should be an organization and/or business that one can go to and obtain professional advice and/or assistance in procuring the absolute best home loan. About a half a second later, I realized just how dumb that idea truly was, not because of its content but because of its timing. After all... isn't that what brokers are suppose to do, or at least isn't that what they're usually hired to do? I still haven't made up my mind on this particular issue, but I do believe that we should be able to expect professionals to act in a professional manner, and certainly without fraud. After all, how often do we count on other professionals without too much questioning, such as your family Dr?

The fraud that I encountered was perpetrated by the loan servicer, like most others at this site. But I do wonder how much fault really resides with the borrower in most of these cases? 25%, 50% or maybe 100% BTW: Joe, I'm not at all criticizing anything you or anyone else has stated regarding this thread. I'm simply curious about the conclusions that others have come to in this issue.


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JCD writes:

So why didn't this or that person read their loan documents thoroughly before signing? And if they did, would it have made a difference in all cases? 

If you are dealing with an honest company, you should be fine. 

If a white-collar criminal is involved - the game completely changes.  There is NOTHING you can do because they will switch your position from homeowner to sucker without your knowledge, and it may be years, if ever, before you find out what happened.  illegal foreclosures are when most of these fraudulent documents are discovered.

This "switch" was done either, just before they brought the closing papers into the room (which are different from the ones you actually read), or, they forged your signature and altered the terms after you left.  So reading documents provided by a white-collar criminal.

I have spoken to many who ageed to a certain type of loan and ended up with something different, predatory and criminal.  

One person was very specific about what they did not want.  Months later, after putting in a new pool, completely re-landscaped the property and paying thousands more for other upgrades, they STOLE her home.  How?  They switched the documents with the exact loan she repeatedly and specifically stated she did not want. At her closing, they rushed her through stating the documents contained all the terms they had agreed on, and they had to hurry or the loan could be delayed for quite some time, knowing all her belongings were already loaded into the 18-wheel moving van. 

Legal? No.  Did it save her home? No.  Did the judge know about what happened? Yes.

2) Another family found out nearly years later that the loan documents Bank of New York had been using to illegally foreclose on their home of 20 years, were manufactured; and both her and her husband's signatures were clearly forged. 

The woman actually found their signatures were copied from an old loan they obtained and were cut and pasted onto the Note they were using to foreclose. (The forgery was so obvious. They had completely cut off the top half of the signature, and it laid perfectly over the signature from the old loan they paid off decades ago.  A lesson in keeping documents)

Years earlier, they had an attorney, but he seemed to be throwing their case, so the wife decided, and was even told by a lawyer, that she would be better off on her own, because no one knew her complicated case better than she does.

A short time later her former attorney died.  About a year after that, she received a call from the lawyer's family wanting to know why this woman's name was written on their father's checks.  The homeowner was able to get a copy of these mysterious checks and found they were issued by either the mortgage company or their law firm, I can't remember.

HA, I don't know why I got off on such a sidestreet, but I hope I shed some light on your question.

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I agree 100%, Actually that's what I trying to imply when I said: "would it have made a difference"?


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