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EDITOR’S NOTE: Sometimes politics makes strange bedfellows and sometimes it even works for citizens. Keep your eye on this alliance as it could spin out in any number of directions. Let’s hope they keep their focus, even as their aspirations for higher office lift their sights to other agendas.

California, Nevada team up to investigate foreclosure fraud

Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris to join California's foreclosure probe with Nevada's investigation
California and Nevada, two states at the heart of the nation’s housing crisis, will join forces to investigate allegations of foreclosure fraud and other types of mortgage improprieties.

The agreement to share resources and work jointly is the latest sign that the nation’s state attorneys general want to be out front in cracking down on bank practices the housing crisis — from the selling of mortgage-backed securities to the handling of foreclosures.

At a joint news conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday, California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and Nevada Atty Gen. Catherine Cortez Masto said their offices would share litigation strategies and evidence would link their offices’ civil and criminal teams.

The announcement comes less than a week after Massachusetts said it was suing the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over alleged foreclosure illegalities. The move marked the first such litigation to be filed by a state.

Harris’ office has opened a number of its own probes of the mortgage business. Investigators have subpoenaed information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of a wide-ranging inquiry into lending and foreclosure practices in the state, The Times has previously reported. Her office also is investigating Bank of America and its mortgage arm Countrywide Financial, along with Citibank, seeking information on their sale of mortgaged-backed securities in California.

The new alliance between Harris and Masto comes as banks are working to strike a deal with a coalition of attorneys general who are working to seek relief for consumers allegedly wronged by faulty mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices.

Harris formally withdrew from those talks earlier this year. Masto has said Nevada officials would evaluate any proposal the talks might produce but would also push ahead with their own work. New York, Delaware, Kentucky and Minnesota also have signaled they are unhappy with the direction of the talks with the banks. All of those states have expressed concern that the banks could be let off too easily.


Banks’ foreclosure activity picks up

California AG subpoenas Freddie, Fannie

BofA settles mortgage suit for $315 million

— Alejandro Lazo

Photo: California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris. Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times

12 Responses

  1. Let us all pray that this is (finally) the beginning of the end of the Fraudclosure business and that the IRS will fine these folks and put them in prison( where they should have been if the first place… and certainly belong in) for among other things, tax evasion.

    Elections are coming soon and unfortunately, there isn’t any legitimate candidate that sees the light of the day. Ron Paul will most likely get my vote because he seems to be the outsider in D.C. And the only guy that ” gets it” when it comes to incompetence and waste in Washington and fraud by corporations and banks.

    I have seriously looked at moving out of this Country because I do not like what I’ve seen, I do not like the way our ( idiot) President has reacted to the economic situation and the never ending fighting in Congress and the Senate.

    Unfortunately, our system will never change until they start shooting Politicians and burn Washington to the ground and start over…and we all know that ” ain’t” gonna happen soon enough.

  2. mary,

    The “mortgages” NEVER went into the trusts because they were NEVER “mortgages”…it’s like ANONYMOUS has been saying all along…just collection rights transferred at closing…no funding…no mortgages…hence no transfer to trusts…the IRS better get to the truth…NOW.

    And the illegal foreclosures need to be HALTED…NOW.

  3. The CA AG is grandstanding. What was her reaction to the NY AG’s position? There’s your answer and it is not a good one for Californian homeowners.

  4. @Mary

    I read this article the other day. I’m curious. How do you know if you’re note made it to the trust in the time frame? I’ve read many times that the notes never made it to the trust.

    How does one research this? I have my pooling and servicing agreement that says the same. I have a copy of my note that is endorsed to the “Trustee” not the actual Trust. There is an “undated” allonge with the note.

    So the trustee, Deutsche, who is claiming to be the owner (although not the creditor), can say it was transfered in the time frame. Does anybody know how to verify this? Does anybody know how to research if the note made it to the trust?

  5. Boy oh boy! We’re finally going to recoup some of that money and invest it into… America!

  6. I read Massachusetts took a stand and was suing the TBTF banks. As a result Ally will not lend in Mass if the suit continues. I wonder if the same is in store for AZ and CA?

  7. NUCLEAR BOMBSHELL- THE IRS Enters The Fraudclosure Fight
    December 6th, 2011 | Author: Matthew D. Weidner, Esq.

    Ignore everything else we think might happen in fraudclosuregate….the three letters that send a cold shiver up any thinking person’s spine are….



    The issue is simple. The mortgage backed trusts flagrantly violated the IRS’s REMIC regulations. The banksters got favored treatment under the REMIC pass-through rules. These rules required the banksters to transfer the mortgages into the trusts within 120 days of closing. They ignored this, and many other important REMIC rules. And if they ignore the rules, they blow their REMIC tax-favored status and owe the IRS BAAAAAAHHHHJILLIONS of dollars……

    We’ve all know for a long time that if the IRS ever dug into this issue ….. all bets are off …..


    The IRS confirmed to Reuters that the review comes in response to mounting evidence that banks violated tax requirements by mishandling the transfer of mortgages to REMICs, short for Real Estate Mortgage Conduits.

    Should the IRS find reason to take tough action, the financial impact could be enormous. REMIC investments are held by pension funds, in individual retirement plans such as 401(k)s and by state and local government entities.

    As of the end of 2010, investments in REMICs totaled more than $3 trillion, according to data supplied by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

    In a brief statement in response to questions from Reuters, the agency said: “The IRS is aware of questions in the market regarding REMICs and proper ownership of the underlying mortgages as set out in federal tax law, and is actively reviewing certain aspects of this issue.”


  8. A MAN. the banks have there boys forge false assignments,notice of default,substitute of trustee claiming property they do not own, no money invested takin bailout money. Mr Richard Anderson do you think the greed banks should get a free house to ad to there wealth. do you have interest in these bank? Your statement sounds
    very ignorant to the facts. THE BANKS CAN BUY THE LAW HOWEVER THEY CAN NOT BUY THE LORD****

  9. I am glad that Ms. Harris and Ms. Masto are making an alliance to investigate the banks for fraud in the housing foreclosures, etc. I am still puzzled as to why they are not putting stop to the fraud right now. Everyone knows there’s fraud, no more secrets there, they have proof of ROBOSIGNING, SECURITIZATION, fraud in the ORIGINATION of the loans, MISREPRESENTATIONS, etc., you name it it’s there.

    Why wait till MILLIONS MORE LOSE THEIR HOMES BEFORE A JUSTICE IS DONE? They know that the banks fraudulently foreclosed on all those homes they are griping about, and they know that the banks continue on foreclosing in the same fraudulent way, HELLO ANYBODY THERE! The only way to save the state, the people of the state, and the property values, and the economy is to put a STOP NOW TO ALL THE SHEBANG!

    No one loses if they stop the foreclosure proceedings during the investigation, and they can do that in their own state. They have the power to make a difference NOW, because if they wait till the investigation is over, which could take many months or a few years, the rest of the homes will be foreclosed on. Oh wait, then they’d have to go back and review all those foreclosures to see how fraud effected them, which again will cost money, time and confusion. Everyone loses if they allow it to continue.

    When a person commits a crime and is been arrested for the crime, they jail (confine), that person until the trial, or post such a bail that makes it difficult for him/her to make a move till after the trial, even when the evidence is circumstantial. The banks have been found to have caused this crisis and they have been sued over and over, and paid fines to investors and some homeowners who had the opportunity to stand up to them, what else is needed. I am not saying they should not be investigated, that’s all fine and good, but knowing that there’s a problem and not putting an end to it now, makes no sense at all.

    It’s time somebody in power takes a real stand and actually do something, something that can make a difference on behave of the people who are in distress right now! Talk is cheap, investigation takes time, but time is what people don’t have much of. Stop throwing crumbs and a short robe to the victims, it’s TIME TO HAULT THE EVICTION OF THE AMERICAN FAMILIES NOW!!!!!

  10. This should have been done starting in 2008. She still wants to take out any group that attempts to help homeowners. We have left the government here to help and they have fallen short. This is more grandstanding and most likely will not result in any bigger cases that the level of Notary.

  11. If I was the NV AG I wouldn’t share anything with Harris’s office She has shown over and over again her alligence is to the Banks. Her office does these things to grab headlines . I for one DONT BELEIVE anything that comes out of Kamilla Harris”s office

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