Foreclosure defense attorney infiltrates Ally mortgage unit

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Foreclosure defense attorney infiltrates Ally mortgage unit
by KERRY CURRY
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011, 4:44 pm

Ally Financial (GJM: 23.42 +0.69%) said it discovered a foreclosure defense attorney was working for its mortgage unit and pilfering confidential information on the company’s foreclosure operations.

That’s according to a lawsuit filed against the terminated employee, Tanya L. Blackwell, an attorney actively licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania State Bar Association, which did not list any disciplinary actions against her.

Blackwell describes her law firm on her LinkedIn page as a “plaintiff’s only firm protecting the rights of everyday people and providing affordable legal services. Practice areas include: employment discrimination, foreclosure defense litigation, bankruptcy, and personal injury.”

She began working for Ally’s GMAC Mortgage LLC unit about Jan. 10. She served as a foreclosure specialist in its Fort Washington, Pa., Residential Capital business unit. She was fired in mid-June.

Ally alleges Blackwell forwarded confidential information to her personal email account and then disseminated it to third parties. That information, the company said, included organizational charts for Ally’s foreclosure operations, “numerous confidential internal emails not addressed to her attention,” including mortgage accounts not assigned to her, the lawsuit alleges.

Ally requested Blackwell return all information.

“Defendant has used and/or is presently misusing Ally’s confidential information by disseminating it,” the lawsuit alleges.

Ally said Blackwell signed a conflict of interest questionnaire at the inception of her employment that “clearly advised defendant that she had a duty to act soley in the best interest of Ally and to provide Ally with her individual loyalty,” according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Pennsylvania.

The company’s code of ethics also prohibited Blackwell from having a material interest or investment in any businesses that could create a conflict of interest, Ally said.

Blackwell “never disclosed to Ally that she was an attorney much less that her law firm actively represents that it is adverse to financial services companies such as Ally,” the lawsuit said.

Ally seeks a temporary restraining order or permanent injunction against Blackwell, and anyone participating with her, from using or disclosing the information she obtained. The company wants Blackwell’s computer hard drive and other storage devices so it can delete all Ally information from them, it said.

Blackwell could not be immediately reached for comment.

Write to Kerry Curry.

Follow her at Twitter @communicatorKLC.

26 Responses

  1. oh wow i didn’t know this happened.. been out of the loop lol. Hows the company doing now? anyone know?

  2. I just hope Blackwell continuously lives on with her Law firm’s principles.

  3. JohnGault- am in Pa., not a very consumer-friendly state, never any breaking case law here, except for GMAC robosugning. Pa has a grand history of fraud going on forever. Am looking for the next page of that series of notes, though I had add more than that on that subject. will post. Can you elaborate on that section of UCC? I know less than nothing about it. Thanks.

  4. @Ian – I had that, lost it and have been hunting for forever. THANKS
    THANKS THANKS
    I said as much here a while back, then was asked by someone to support it and couldnt’ because I couldn’t find it again.
    It means just what it sounds like. Payments on a note by anyone including Santa are applied to the note just as if the borrower made those payments.
    What state are you in?

  5. Ian (and everyone)—if you haven’t already seen this—it’s a MUST READ…starting at “Introductory Comments”…

    Davies V. Deutsche Bank BAP Case No. 11-1221
    Davies Reply Brief filed 07/29/2011

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/61235368/Davies-v-Deutsche-Bank-Appelant-Reply-Brief-Davies-BAP-Case-No-11-1221

  6. Found this in my notes, haven’t much about this, any input? UCC3-608″…..collateral source payment discharges obligation, even if by a stranger to the transaction” i think was me trying to find out what was left of an obligation (mortgage) after it was paid off by insurance, credit default swaps,etc.

  7. The “best interest” of Ally is to always tell the truth, isnt it? Blackthorn might contact Kroll OnTrack – they were leaders in electronic discovery and related legal issues (re: her computer hard drive) before most of us even heard of it.

    This is too funny. She did what I only dreamed of doing.

  8. .
    sleazy behavior by pirates generates cries to burn them Salem style.
    sleazy behavior by investigators, putting pirates out of business, generates congratulations and pats on the back from society.

    It’s called justice.

    J-u-s-t-i-c-e
    .

  9. Interesting case, though… Ally (whose hands are so dirty, they can’t be cleaned any longer and need to be simply chooped off) going after Blackwell, whose hands are apparently… not so clean either.

    Where do courts go from there? Do they simply dismiss Ally’s legal action and send them resolve their conflict elsewhere? Do they hear the case and weigh in whose hands are dirtier? Does it actually become a contest between whose hands are cleaner?

    I don’t know what the strategies are but my feeling is that Ally will have a whole lot of explaning to do if Blackwell is able to pull the dirt she uncovered and introduce it in her defense…

    Whay I find remarkable is that Ally seems to allege that Blackwell accessed e-mails that were not addressed to her and information she wasn’t supposed to be privvy to. How can that be unless Ally’s employees gave her (directly or indirectly) access to them? This is going to be gooooood!

  10. My opinion. Two wrongs don’t make a right. If what Ally (GMAC) says is true, why is the dirty deed Blackwell allegedly accused of doing any different than what Ally did to thousands of people. And I can’t believe Ally did not do a thorough research on her before hiring her. Well, maybe they did!!!! Stange.

  11. Abigail Field : GMAC/ ALLY’s Assignment Problem – Reality Check

    http://abigailcfield.com/?p=202
    By Abigail Caplovitz Field | July 28, 2011

    Yesterday Paul Kiel of ProPublica and Sophia Pearson of Bloomberg broke two document fraud stories that are probably inter-related. ProPublica exposed GMAC/Ally’s internal documents that apparently show Ally knowingly falsified documents to pursue foreclosures. Bloomberg reported that Ally is suing a former employee for stealing company documents related to their foreclosure processes. Both stories could use a little more context, however.

    In HousingWire’s version of the Ally-sues-employee story, Ally comes across as duly outraged by the employee’s apparent deception, conflicts of interest and betrayal:

    “Ally Financial said it discovered a foreclosure defense attorney was working for its mortgage unit and pilfering confidential information on the company’s foreclosure operations.

    …Ally said [the attorney, Tanya L.] Blackwell signed a conflict of interest questionnaire at the inception of her employment that “clearly advised defendant that she had a duty to act soley in the best interest of Ally and to provide Ally with her individual loyalty,”…The company’s code of ethics also prohibited Blackwell from having a material interest or investment in any businesses that could create a conflict of interest”.

    The context that helps evaluate Ally’s huffiness is Ally’s own conflicts. As a mortgage originator and securitizer it faces potential liability for lousy loans. And as a servicer of many securitized loans, it faces potential liability for not telling trustees about lousy loans. A reason to tell and not to tell–how’s that for a conflict of interest?

    I’m not claiming that Ally’s conflicts justify Blackwell’s actions in an eye for an eye sense. I presume Blackwell sees herself a bit like Upton Sinclair going undercover in meatpacking plants to research The Jungle. Or perhaps like Tim DeChristopher she believes she’s entitled to a necessity defense because fraudulent documents are choking our courts. My point is simply that Ally, like many of the big banks, has deep conflicts of interest. And unlike Blackwell’s conflicted actions, which—if she’s ProPublica’s source—benefit the public, the banks’ conflicts are very much against the public interest.

    So that’s the context for Ally’s suit against Blackwell.

    ProPublica’s expose makes clear that Ally realized it had a problem with an assignment of mortgage: the lender that was supposed to do the assigning didn’t exist anymore. So Ally fabricated the piece of paper it needed. The context needed for this piece is that it’s not a unique situation.

    Public records everywhere show this practice—making up a needed assignment regardless of whether the bank supposedly giving the mortgage to the receiving bank exists—is a common occurrence. And standard industry practices ensure it will continue to be.

    Consider the recent “assignments” by New Century Mortgage I discussed in an earlier post. New Century has been bankrupt for a few years now. At least one judge has recognized that means New Century can’t assign anything anymore, though that hasn’t stopped someone—surely mortgage servicers and their agents—from creating documents that say New Century assigned mortgages to them or the securitization trusts they’re working for.

    Or consider MERS, the industry database of mortgage servicing rights (and sometimes mortgage ownership) that claims to eliminate assignments as long as a loan is being sold among MERS members. Unfortunately, MERS wasn’t thought through, including no one considering that a lender might not exist to do an assignment when it is needed. MERS sharply raises the chances of Ally’s document quandary recurring: since assignments weren’t done along the way, but are needed to foreclose, what are servicers to do when they want to foreclose on loan originated by a belly up bank?

    Like MERS, another major source of missing assignments is busted securitizations. That is, loans that were incompletely packaged into mortgage-backed securities. While some evidence indicates that Countrywide routinely didn’t follow securitization procedures properly, the problem isn’t limited to Countrywide/Bank of America. Lynn Szymoniak gave me this Deutsche Bank filing in the American Home Mortgage bankruptcy.

    Deutsche wanted to the court to know that as the trustee and document custodian for a lot of American Home securitizations, Deutsche knew of many problems with American Home mortgages. Specifically, Deutsche said that in many cases the loans didn’t match up to what investors were promised. One reason the loans were flawed, according to paragraph 16: “…there exist missing or defective loan file documents for several billion dollars in original principal amount of the loans.” (Bold added.) Deutsche is only talking about the loans it handles as document custodian; it also tells the court other document custodians are missing lots of American Home documents as well.

    What are the odds that American Home was the only lender that didn’t have its documents in order? Longer than I’d be willing to bet on.

    And that’s the context for the ProPublica piece—yes, we don’t have internal documents from the other banks showing that they recognize the problem and try to paper over it, but I don’t think we need them. The public record is full of assignments created to solve a missing documents problem.

  12. That’s why I qualified my post with “If indeed the story is true…” Let’s consider the source.

  13. Ally is painting a picture of Blackwell as some kind of super-spy/hacker type: able to elude background checks, able to forward emails not sent to her, no regard for corporate ethics (that’s rich, considering who is calling her unethical), stealing critical data without anyone knowing about it, etc. And on top of all that, she also runs a law firn that’s been in business over a decade.

    She must really have some dirt on Ally for them to come after her like this…I hope she makes or has already made the info public. Then there’s nothing they can do to her…

  14. Most of the time i hate living in the state of PA, because our roads are the worst in the country, and i pay how much in taxes?? I digress, there are lots of people here with balls that fight back though, and i’m glad shes sticking it too them, f*** Ally(gmac) and all the other tbtf banks!

  15. Blackwell is HOT!

    http://tanyablackwell.com

    Now that I think about it, how could Blackwell work full-time for Ally AND run a law practice? Ally accuses her of forwarding confidential emails not addressed to her attention–how would she do that, exactly? If you don’t get an email, how can you forward it? Something about this story doesn’t add up…

  16. Keep in mind that this is Ally’s side of the story. We have yet to hear from Blackwell. I’m sure that since she IS an attorney, she worked within the limits of the law–so no one should rush to the conclusion that she is a scoundrel or of the same lowlife ilk as Ally after hearing only Ally’s side of the story. The only way the press even knows about this is that Ally issued a press release about it to try to turn the public against foreclosure defense, and at least Housing Wire–no friend to foreclosure defense–ran with it. Think Housing Wire will trumpet Blackwell’s press release if and when she issues one? Don’t count on it. Notice the article says that Blackwell couldn’t be “immediately” reached for comment. Could that be because Kerry Curry didn’t have Blackwell’s number? Or had it but didn’t use it? Who knows? But this story is the definition of a smear job, and maybe Blackwell is giving the bastards enough rope to hang themselves for her own libel suit or other counterclaim.

    I wonder if Ally will get Jeffrey Stephan to robo-sign any affidavits for them regarding this case. Wouldn’t put it past ’em…

  17. How much MORE sleazy behavior goes on with the banksters attorneys than the homeowners? How predictable that you would defend your precious banksters, shill.

  18. sleazy behavior by the bank attys generates cries to burn them Salem style. sleazy behavior by defense attys generates congratulations and pats on the back from commenters. hypocrisy anyone? she’d better start practicing saying “would you like fries with that”

  19. Balls, yes. Brains, no. As an attorney, she is even more culpable due to her background. Remember, ALLY is the U.S. Government now. When they bought “Americredit”, they became the United States BIGGEST subprime lender. They have collection rights as strong as the IRS. Welcome to Big Brother Banking.

  20. My husband was telling me of a say in the Malinke culture: “Stealing from a thief is only taking back what’s yours.”

    That being said, stooping to your enemy’s level discredits you and harms your chances of prevaiing. It does not, in any way, causes harm to your enemy. The only reason homeowners are starting to win is that they consistently take the high road while foreclosure mills used any means to justify the end and have been discovered. When an attorney stoops down that low, the harm is no longer just to her and to Ally but also to all the homeowners she currently represents. I suspect that it may indirectly adversely impact on their chances of prevailing against their servicers and that is not acceptable. If indeed, the story is true, I honestly hope she ends up disbarred even if, deep down, I applaud her guts.

  21. I say GOOD for Tanya – we need more like her, infiltrating these criminal cartels. Here is another interesting article, slightly off topic, but its worth the read:

    “The Federal Housing and Finance Authority announced this week that it was suing UBS for mortgage fraud. (I’m shocked!) This is a big deal. The damages being claimed start at $900mm. I find this lawsuit interesting. Some background.

    On July 10, 2010 FHFA issued a total of 64 subpoenas to various financial institutions. All of these lawsuits were related to losses that either Fannie or Freddie had incurred as a result of improper mortgages that were sold to the Agencies. UBS is the first formal legal action related to those subpoenas.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/ubs-and-fhfa-lawsuit

  22. Evidently they had something to hide, glad she got some inside information that they say is ‘too difficult or extensive to provide’.
    I say more power to her, everyone is just looking the other way and saying that’s just how it’s been done. Well, not paying the mortgage or paying whatever you want is ‘just how things are done’ on the other end, but they sue us and take our homes when we say that. The big AG class action circus will pay most people $1000 or less and they lost a house worth 100 times that much, disgusting.

  23. This is about the most funny!!! Hahahahaha.

    Thanks for the great LAUGH, Tanya. A woman with bigger balls than Eric Holder, Tim Geithner and Barack Obama combined!!!

  24. Screw Ally! Good on Tanya Blackwell–just goes to show the fraudsters that they don’t know all and they can’t get us all and WE ARE COMING FOR THEM! So she cheated a cheater–boo hoo! She’s a modern day Robin Hood. Don’t forget that it was Ally, formerly known as GMAC, that employed Jeffrey Stephan, the O.G. robosigner (to the mainstream media, at least).

    Blackwell did what the attorneys general are too timid to do. She is a badass and I hope she beats the piss out of Ally in this lawsuit. Hell, I hope she brings down the entire financial system–because when the banks are ruined, the people are saved.

  25. This is just like the LPS situation in florida but the opposite. Look at how aggressively allied responded over “conflict of inerest…why isn’t anyone acting like this over the AG sending “help” to LPS. There are so many conflicts of interest in florida from the asst AG going to shapiro and chief judge going to marshall watson. What’s the diff? Thank GOd someone is HELPING the homeowners. For a bank on reprimand and with obvious fraud all over it— they sure got upset over one little mole. I say koodos for the attorney on the inside and how do they like it? They don’t. The fraud that has penetrated the US is at an all time high level and is unprecedented and must stop. Fraud upon America is raping every single one of us. Until they show up at all the banks with a paddywagon we are all stuck in the fraud abiss of theft, rape, conflict of interest, reacketeering, purgery, contemp of court, fraud upon the court, deceptive practices….I know I left some of the feloniesm out but GREED (one of the 7 sins) is the driver and must be stopped before america is home of the fraud and forget about being free. Debra. 5613899339

  26. great for her the tables are turning and the fraud exposure should be released and all the ALLy CEO’s should have to face the Piper and dance.

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