The Story of the Law Firm that Built Its Own Evidence for Foreclosures

The Story of the Law Firm that Built Its Own Evidence for Foreclosures
By: Cynthia Kouril Monday April 19, 2010 9:15 am

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Last March, Patricia Arango signed an assignment of mortgage over to Country Wide Home Servicing, LP as “Assistant Secretary” of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Incorporated (MERS) as nominee for Countrywide Bank, FSB. “Assistant Secretary” is meant in the sense of the Secretary of the corporation, a corporate officer, not in the sense of someone who does they typing, phones and filing.

You can see the entire document here [PDF].

Last October, Caryn Graham signed an assignment of mortgage over to The Bank of New York Mellon FKA Bank of New York, as Trustee for the certificate holders CWMBS Series 2006-HYB5, as “Assistant Secretary” of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Incorporated (MERS) as nominee for HomeAmercian Mortgage Corporation.

You can see the entire document here [PDF].

However, neither Ms. Graham nor Ms. Arango are employees of MERS. They are lawyers at the law firm which filed these assignments. You can see their names on the law firm’s website . And you can see the name of the firm, Law Office of Marshall C. Watson in the top left hand corner of the documents at the links. You can’t miss it there is an arrow pointing to the name and address of the firm with instructions to “record and return to” the law office.

A query to the MERS confirmed that neither Ms. Graham nor Ms. Arango are employees of MERS. According to MERS spokesperson Karmela Lejarde:

Caryn A. Graham and Patricia Arango are duly authorized officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. This authorization is obtained through a Corporate Resolution that is granted by our Corporate Secretary and approved by the MERS Board of Directors. These individuals are not employees of MERS. [emphasis added]

For complete image click here [PDF].

So MERS has created a system, where people who are not employed by MERS and do not work at MERS are nonetheless designated as “officers” of MERS and are signing documents which are presented in court in the course of foreclosures and judges are innocently relying on these documents, falsely believing them to represent arms length transactions entered into by people with actual knowledge of the status to the mortgage file.

Don’t for a minute think these are the only two such documents or that this is the only law firm involved.

MERS must realize that this does not look very good because they have suddenly decided that hereafter certifying officers (those non–employee signers) must take a training program before being authorized to sign.

In his law firm’s blog Mather Weidener suspects that the “training” will consist of “making sure they don’t tell the truth in a deposition like Cheryl Sammons did (No I don’t read the documents before I sign them).” Read her whole transcript here [PDF]; your eyeballs will fall out of your head.

[Earlier posts in this series and related links at Kouril’s Foreclosure Fraud Resources]

8 Responses


    Today, October 06, 2010, 2 hours ago | Yves Smith


    In the last two years, local attorneys working for the small minority of borrowers who contest foreclosures have reported a wide range of what in spin doctor land would be called irregularities. These reports were so widespread and consistent as to suggest that malfeasance was endemic, but without corroborating evidence that these abuses were happening on an institutionalized basis, it was easy to dismiss them as anecdotal.

    much more here:

    The admission by GMAC that it produced improper affidavits, followed by suspension of foreclosures by GMAC, Chase, and Bank of America in 23 judicial foreclosures states, is the tip of the iceberg of widespread foreclosure abuses. Yet comparatively few members of the media have asked the right question: why would servicers and law firms engage in fraudulent activity on such a widespread basis?

    it here. So many fellow travelers!

    Now: What I am about to post is succintly written, but could and
    likely will arouse ire from someone here. I promote his words
    because his words swear him to the CONSPIRACY.



    October 5, 2010 by mstopa …. a Foreclosure Defense Attorney

    I’m pleased to see so many high-ranking officials in our country demanding changes to the foreclosure process. I’m disappointed, though, that all of these demands seem to be coming from Democrats, including, for example, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This is not a political issue, folks! Fraud is fraud. Democrat, Republican, Independent – whatever your preference – it shouldn’t matter.

    Personally, for example, I am a registered **Republican**. I always have been. I’m also socially conservative, so much so that I disagree with Nancy Pelosi on just about everything. You know what, though? When it comes to foreclosure fraud, none of that should matter. Presenting false evidence to the courts on a widespread basis should bother everyone – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. With that in mind, I must ask:

    Where are all of my fellow ** Republicans **?

    Are ** Republicans ** really that tied to party allegiances that they’re unwilling to call a spade a spade? If so, that disappoints me. Yes, I suppose that calling out the big banks is contrary to traditional **Republican** views favoring big business. But WRONG IS WRONG, and it’s time more **Republicans** said so.

  3. The Courts are supposed to belong to the American
    people but only Bar Certified Attorneys are allowed to
    represent people because they are supposed to be so
    much wiser and honest than the rest of us mere mortals.
    What we see in the Foreclosure Crisis is the complete absudity of the idea that attorneys are better
    than the rest of us and deserving of special privileges.
    Corruption is rampant in the legal profession and many of them feather each others nest. This is what
    one gets with a monopoly: high prices, poor service, and extreme corruption. The UPL laws are not meant
    to protect the public. They are meant to protect the corrupt and incompetent attorneys who would be out of a job if they had to compete with paralegals, who in many cases could do a better job at a much lower cost.
    The Libertarians are correct, licensing laws need to go inorder to restore freedom to America.

  4. I know in my case the judge LIED. He did not “err”. He did not make a “mistake”.

    I have been bullied and harrassed for refusing to back down and capitulate and say I just forgot or got confused. I forgot nothing and I’m not confused.

    The judge in my case abused his authority and used deception to hold a hearing I was not advised of. He was wrong.

    And the people who wish to browbeat me into saying it was anything else are lowlifes imo. Be interesting to see how they feel when it happens to them.

  5. Hello All,
    This same practice has been evidenced in NY by the law firm of Steven J. Baum, PC, and McCabe, Weisberg, Wallace, and Conway P.C..

    At Baum’s office, he as a Nicole Gazzo, Esq. and Elpiniki Bechakas (see judge schack cases) who are employees of the firm and sign as MERS executives.

    At McCabe, Weisberg, & Conway, PC, the signor for MERS is Lisa Wallace, Esq. who I believe is an actual partner of the firm now.

    Hope this Helps!

  6. I wonder if these guys also practice the increasingly exposed lawless activites:

    I am attempting now to perform some background research on these mutes, Routh Castle Cooper Olsen LLC, specifically Marty G. Baker AZSB(025278) and Ian D. Quinn AZSB(024515), as in suspicious affiliations and practices, outstanding integrity, or harmless mediocrity in their case, what might it be? What percentage of their work was foreclosures for questionable clients? Are there any characteristics about their practice and volume of litigation type that could make them similar to the Florida law firms described by Allan Grayson, Congressional Rep., Florida? The entire ring of clowns surrounding AHMSI is very inactive and secretive when it comes to requests for information, and as I see several state Attorneys General (MA, OH, TX) have filed suit against them, I have taken up the task of investigating the reputation and public information available on some of the participants, so any information is appreciated. trigonometry7_at_gmail_dot_com. I would like to help inform the Arizona Attorney General and the US Department of Justice to perhaps have a closer look at AHMSI’s interstate activities in Arizona state. I’ve realized that if a TV station, such as Dallas 10, a “lunatic fringe”, or citizens in general do not blow a whistle on the crooks (the lawless), it seems no one will. Thanks for any attention or advice

    send any info to: trigonometry7_at_gmail dot com.

  7. Please forgive me Neil, it sure looks like I jumped the gun. I followed the “mother link” and I got to the relevant docs.

    It now feels like it is way too late and I am way too tired.

    Peace to All.


  8. Dear Neil,

    The offered links to the pertinent docs in this post are not working.

    Please repost.

    Thanks in advance,


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