Foreclosure Firm Allegedly Forged Bank Execs' Signatures On Affidavits

A foreclosure firm listed “Bogus Assignee” as the mortgage owner on the documents they submitted to the court to process the foreclosure. That’s one of the many oddities surfacing in the investigation of a Florida foreclosure firm for allegedly using improper documentation to speed up foreclosures. Another is an employee “Linda Green” who signed of on thousands of foreclosure affidavits claiming to be executives from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and other lenders.

Many of the signatures look like they were forged by other employees, reports the Washington Post:

David Berenbaum, chief program officer for the nonprofit National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said companies eager to get bad loans off their books quickly have given rise to a foreclosure system that is as faulty as the excessive lending that created the problem in the first place.

“What’s happened here is that there are these foreclosure machines that don’t do due diligence and that are profiting at the expense of consumers,” he said.

They get ya coming and going.

Under piles of paperwork, a foreclosure system in chaos [The Washington Post] (Thanks to MercuryPDX!)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Holybalheadedchrist! says:

    From the Dept. of No Shit.

  2. JustLurking says:

    Let’s hope the courts just throw those foreclosures — and related liens — out the window. After all, if they can’t properly document the loan or the sale of the title, then it didn’t happen.

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      I wouldn’t be opposed to some fines/jail time for some fraudsters in addition to throwing out the foreclosures.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      I don’t think they’d be able to get the liens removed – even if they did, those people would be in for one hell of a tax bill (all of that would be considered taxable income, remember!). Also, it doesn’t pass the fairness test – you are punishing company A for the actions of company B. Unless you could prove company A knew of those actions (and did nothing to stop it) you don’t have any action against company A.

      Now, company B… I want them burned at the stake.

      • JustLurking says:

        As I understand it, in several states now, judges have tossed out liens outright during foreclosure proceedings because the paperwork of sold mortgages was so off that the banks could not come up with the proper documentation showing that they actually owned the mortgages in question.

        As far as taxable income goes, it’s only a realized capital gain when you actually sell the asset and there are exceptions for primary residences, depending on your age and what (and when) you do with the proceeds.

        I ain’t a lawyer nor an accountant, but that’s my understanding anyway.

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          I’m not a lawyer, so I couldn’t tell you whether or not they could throw out the leins. But I am a CPA and I do deal with a lot of stuff that borders on the legal side of things. I can see if the bank can’t prove it owns the loan throwing it out, but I don’t think this was the case. I think the third parties were just making it up to move things faster (ie, make more money).

          As for the tax – whenever a debt you owe is forgiven, it is taxable income to you – including a mortgage. It rarely happens, so no one thinks about it. But if a court erases the mortgage, that $100k or whatever suddenly becomes income IN THAT YEAR. Talk about a surprise if someone making $40k a year suddenly has to report income of $140k – where are they going to come up with the $30k to pay their taxes on that? Ironically, they get a mortgage on the (now free and clear house) to pay for it :)

  3. c!tizen says:

    Ok, if we don’t see some serious jail time from this then the banking industry and their regulators have truly learned nothing.

    • c!tizen says:

      Haha, I made a joke… financial regulators; HA.

    • Difdi says:

      If we don’t see jail time from criminal fraud this blatant, simply because it was by a corporation, then I’ll be strongly tempted to incorporate, just so I can be issued a Get Out Of Jail Free card too.

  4. dolemite says:

    So…sounds like lots of people going to jail? Probably not.

    If this were flip flopped, and you had homeowners forging documents though, they probably would be, or at the very least, losing their homes and paying huge fines.

    • ARP says:

      …and possibly jail time. Ah, being a corporation- a person who can do what they want as long as you fill out some paperwork every year. The worst case is that you’re fined or shut down, only to reopen with another name.

  5. Suburban Idiot says:

    Nice to know that being really busy is a good excuse for forging signatures, filing false paperwork, and otherwise failing to follow the law. I will use this excuse the next time I’m ever accused of any wrongdoing.

    “I was really in a hurry to keep up with what’s expected of me” doesn’t tend to hold any sway with the police when I’m caught speeding, but I guess that’s because I’m not a large corporation.

  6. robertdoubting says:

    These (ex) homeowners are totally screwed. There was a really great article in the times about a week ago about how the state of Florida has brought a bunch of judges out of retirement for the sole purpose of speeding the foreclosure process up and getting these cases off the dockets. The judges don’t seem to care if the paperwork is legit or not and are just focused on closing cases.

  7. runswithscissors says:

    Sounds like a lot of financial and banking executives deserve some pretty massive bonuses!

  8. blinky says:

    if these are signed affidavits then it’s a felony to have false information.

  9. u1itn0w2day says:

    Not only is this FRAUD, a crime in many respects they forked themselves even more by trying to get the bad debt off the books as quickly as possible. The quicker they get stuff written off the larger those numbers become. So if they had taken the correct amount of time perhaps we would’ve never seen some of the catastrophic numbers we’ve seen on the housing boom/bust. The losses would’ve been more spread out if not delayed.

  10. planet_clerodendrum says:

    I hope whichever judiciary agency disciplines attorneys in Florida takes notice of this and punishes or disbarred any attorneys who assisted in this nonsense.

  11. pj1280 says:

    I wonder what S. Larson at Citibank has to say about this.

    http://bit.ly/brnSbH

  12. Urgleglurk says:

    Class-action lawsuit city. Send the responsible employees to prison, all the way up to the CEO if they are involved and/or had knowledge that this was happening.

    All those foreclousres and liens should be nullified. Let the banksters whine.

  13. allknowingtomato says:

    Such behaviors should get their foreclosure proceedings dismissed WITH PREJUDICE. Unless we start punishing these companies by destroying their financial interest in the property, they have no real reason to stop.

  14. dumblonde says:

    When will lawmakers step up to the plate and demand foreclosures go through some sort of hearing process? The stakes are too high and people are getting away with too much crap. I don’t mean there should be a trial for every foreclosure but there needs to be a forum in which people actually need to prove they have the mortgage and give the foreclosed reasonable time to move out with some dignity.

  15. Chairman-Meow says:

    This happened in Florida ?

    Who would have though ? /sarcasm

  16. jrwn says:

    I’m looking for an easy low paying job where no one is checking my work… just asking where to send my resume.

  17. megafly says:

    Don’t cancel the debt. Just the claim on the property. Lets see them collect a $150,000 loan with no security to claim it against.

  18. Geotpf says:

    There’s a very simple way to not get foreclosed upon. It’s called paying your bills. I don’t feel sorry for deadbeats who don’t, especially those who either bought at the peak of the market with some sort of stupid loan that had payments of $500 the first five years and $5,000 from then on, or those who drained all the equity out of their house to pay off their credit cards, remdoel the kitchen, take a trip to Hawaii, and buy a new BMW.

    These forged signatures and other problems don’t change the fact that the home owner wasn’t paying their bills.

    • e065702 says:

      There’s a very simple way to foreclose. It’s called obeying the law. I don’t feel sorry for deadbeats who don’t, especially those who forged documents.

      These non-payment and other problems don’t change the fact that the banks were breaking the law.

      2 sides to every coin and all that

    • Conformist138 says:

      Um… so, failing to pay a bill (a civil matter) make it okay for them to commit massive fraud (oh SO criminal)? Who is the deadbeat here? They want the house, they can have it, but they have to do it properly. If they are missing the paperwork, well gee, now who’s irresponsible?

      Here’s a cookie for the troll.

  19. sopmodm14 says:

    if they wrongfully take a home, they should rightfully give a home