Maryland removes six notaries from office in foreclosure probe

Maryland removes six notaries from office in foreclosure probe
by KERRY CURRY
Thursday, October 14th, 2010, 12:03 pm

 

The Maryland Secretary of State removed six notaries from office as part of an investigation into the national robo-signing foreclosure scandal.

Three of the notaries were employed with the law firm of Covahey, Boozer, Devan, and the other three were with the firm of Bierman, Geesing, Ward & Wood, according to the secretary of state. It was not immediately known if they are still current employees of the firms. Howard Bierman, one of the partners in the law offices of Bierman, Geesing, Ward & Wood told HousingWire that he could not comment on the de-commissioning. Messages were also left with two principals in the Covahey, Boozer, Devan firm.

Rick Morris, director of Charities/Legal Services with the Maryland Secretary of State said the notaries are alleged to have notarized documents without witnessing the signatures, checking for identification or keeping a registration of their notarizations.

That issue has become key in the widening investigations involving potential foreclosure fraud. On Wednesday, all 50 attorneys general said they’d work together to investigate lenders who filed fraudulent affidavits in foreclosure cases, but the financial services lobby has contended that some of the hoopla over potential problems have been overblown.

In Maryland, Morris said none of the six requested a hearing on the accusations, which is why their commissions were immediately revoked.

One was removed from office in early October, two were deposed in September, and three were ousted from their posts in August, according to Morris. At least one had been a notary for more than 10 years and others had from three to nine years of being commissioned.

Write to Kerry Curry.

6 Responses

  1. David,

    I believe you told me that you live in Maryland. Check with your County to see what procedures are being put in place to review all foreclosures that were filed. A hearing should be scheduled at which time the attorneys who filed fraudulent affidavits etc will have to answer to the court.

  2. The Foreclosure Mill Lawyers commit FRAUD on the COURT. So, the terminate the minimumm-wage Notary folks and file “corrective assignments” claiming the information within the documentation is accurate.

    It is a total outrage. These lawyers KNOW their clients (lenders – Trusts) have NO LEGAL standing because these loans are NOT secured by the property. The lenders decided Tax Evasion was better thus bypassed recordation to avoid the fees & taxes…

    MD AG has no problem tossing families to the street by foreclosing if they fail to pay their water-bill or property taxes – but a major LENDER DELIBERATELY refuses to comply to our laws and pay the appropriate fees & taxes – that’s okay & fine…?

    The hypocrisy is beyond words – they filed false affidavits and committed Fraud on the Court – which is direct violation of the O’Mally Mortgage Fraud Act – but I guess he needs to raise election funds somewhere…

    Keep the Powder Dry

  3. I understand your anger Karen. It seems completely disproportionate. On the other hand only the laws on the books NOW can be enforced. Typically decommissioning is about the only powers the SOS have in re notaries.

    Over on MSFraud someone asked how to complain about crooked notaries, and another responded with the methods in 2 states. I’m doing a cut and paste of that below.

    Why complain if all they get is a slap on the wrist? Well, the banks are claiming this is just a paperwork glitch which can be cleared up in a matter of weeks. Personally I don’t believe that. But, how much more difficult will it be for the banks if they suddenly lose their pool of notaries?

    And what about documents (affidavits, assignments, etc.) that have been notarized by a notary who HAS been decommissioned? That could be another checkmark in the “bad” column for a foreclosing plaintiff (and everyone of those counts): “Your honor the evidence proffered by plaintiff bears a notary signature and seal of a notary who has since been found to be of untrustworthy character and decommissioned by the Secretary of State of the State of XXXXXX. Those documents should be accorded no validity or respect whatsoever.”

    Filing a simple complaint with the governmental body that oversees notaries in the proper jurisdiction is what gets the ball rolling. Without a complaint there is nothing on which to base an investigation, or disciplinary action. In the same way a complaint is what begins a civil lawsuit the governing body needs something – a complaint – that initiates action.

    So much of the bad behavior has taken place out of the Mendota Heights Minnesota offices of Fidelity and LPS I’ll use them as an example.

    The MN Secretary of State is the body that oversees notaries. A link below has information relating to such, including what MN statutes apply, how to find a notary and… Most importantly how to file a complaint.

    https://notary.sos.state.mn.us/

    They don’t seem to have a complaint form available online and instead direct complainants to contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Market Assurance Division, by either calling or emailing at the following:

    • Website: http://www.commerce.state.mn.us
    • Phone: 651-296-2488 or 1-800-657-3602 (8 AM – 4:30 PM)
    • Fax: 651-296-4328
    • Email: market.assurance@state.mn.us

    Let the complaints begin!!

    There was also a follow up post with similar information in the state of Texas.

    Complaint information for Texas:

    http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/npcomp.shtml

  4. In Washington State the sentence and fine for a penalty, is gross misdemeanor: gross misdemeanors (punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine).

    All I can say, is there better be some jail time. I hate this and/or. It should be BOTH….and the fine/jail term should go up with the violations being that these penalties are stealing someone’s home.

  5. OUSTED FROM THEIR POSITIONS??? Why were they not charged with FRAUD??? I’m getting pretty sick and tired of this.

    Someone finds you with a small amount of marijuana, you get sent to jail……why are these fraudsters just getting a fucking slap on the wrist???

    It is pissing me off. We need to see these assholes going to jail….and their bosses headed to prison.

  6. Early fruits! Spring has sprung ladies and gents…

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