NY Times: CA Audit Reveals Most Foreclosures Fatally Flawed


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EDITOR’S COMMENT: Challenge to California Bar Association. There has been much ado about foreclosure rescue operations that are scams and there should be enforcement activity where lawyers and non-lawyers are promising things they can’t deliver or are practicing law without a license. The Bar Association in California and other states has been vigilant in investigating and prosecuting lawyers — to a fault. Several instances are emerging where the Bar is taking lawyers out of circulation or out of foreclosure defense when their only error was that they mistakenly associated with con artists that gouged customers before turning them over as clients of the lawyers.

But more than that the attorneys representing the banks and servicers deserve a good hard look. It may be easier to prosecute lawyers who violate advertising or fee-splitting rules but it is more important that the Bar protect the public from attorneys who knowingly proffer fabricated documents with forged signatures con documents containing false statements of material facts. That this is not only widespread, but even the rule is attested in the public domain as this article (see below) reveals, as the Missouri indictments reveal in 136 counts, and as the cease and desist orders attest along with hundreds of millions of dollars in fines being paid and tens of billions of penalties and damages being paid.

The unequal treatment between prosecuting lawyers seeking to represent homeowners and the complete absence of prosecution of lawyers representing the banks and servicers is not only unfair, it contributes to blocking access to the courts for homeowners who are actually being harmed — they are losing homes and lifestyles to bogus claims from parties with no interest other than satisfying their greed at the expense of those who DID pay money and at the expense of those who were tricked into exotic loan products coming in more than 400 variations.

Exactly what more do you need to discipline the licenses of attorneys whose offices create fabricate documents or who transmit them and offer them to courts knowing they are false, unauthroized, robosigned, forged and containing false declarations of key facts without which they would not be permitted to foreclose. Memo to Bar prosecutors: take a look at the complaints filed by your own Attorney General.

Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures

An audit by San Francisco county officials of about 400 recent foreclosures there determined that almost all involved either legal violations or suspicious documentation, according to a report released Wednesday.
Annie Tritt for The New York Times
Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor-recorder, found widespread violations or irregularities in files of properties subject to foreclosure sales.
Anecdotal evidence indicating foreclosure abuse has been plentiful since the mortgage boom turned to bust in 2008. But the detailed and comprehensive nature of the San Francisco findings suggest how pervasive foreclosure irregularities may be across the nation.
The improprieties range from the basic — a failure to warn borrowers that they were in default on their loans as required by law — to the arcane. For example, transfers of many loans in the foreclosure files were made by entities that had no right to assign them and institutions took back properties in auctions even though they had not proved ownership.
Commissioned by Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor-recorder, the report examined files of properties subject to foreclosure sales in the county from January 2009 to November 2011. About 84 percent of the files contained what appear to be clear violations of law, it said, and fully two-thirds had at least four violations or irregularities.
Kathleen Engel, a professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston said: “If there were any lingering doubts about whether the problems with loan documents in foreclosures were isolated, this study puts the question to rest.”
The report comes just days after the $26 billion settlement over foreclosure improprieties between five major banks and 49 state attorneys general, including California’s. Among other things, that settlement requires participating banks to reduce mortgage amounts outstanding on a wide array of loans and provide $1.5 billion in reparations for borrowers who were improperly removed from their homes.
But the precise terms of the states’ deal have not yet been disclosed. As the San Francisco analysis points out, “the settlement does not resolve most of the issues this report identifies nor immunizes lenders and servicers from a host of potential liabilities.” For example, it is a felony to knowingly file false documents with any public office in California.
In an interview late Tuesday, Mr. Ting said he would forward his findings and foreclosure files to the attorney general’s office and to local law enforcement officials. Kamala D. Harris, the California attorney general, announced a joint investigation into foreclosure abuses last December with the Nevada attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto. The joint investigation spans both civil and criminal matters.
The depth of the problem raises questions about whether at least some foreclosures should be considered void, Mr. Ting said. “We’re not saying that every consumer should not have been foreclosed on or every lender is a bad actor, but there are significant and troubling issues,” he said.
California has been among the states hurt the most by the mortgage crisis. Because its laws, like those of 29 other states, do not require a judge to oversee foreclosures, the conduct of banks in the process is rarely scrutinized. Mr. Ting said his report was the first rigorous analysis of foreclosure improprieties in California and that it cast doubt on the validity of almost every foreclosure it examined.
“Clearly, we need to set up a process where lenders are following every part of the law,” Mr. Ting said in the interview. “It is very apparent that the system is broken from many different vantage points.”
The report, which was compiled by Aequitas Compliance Solutions, a mortgage regulatory compliance firm, did not identify specific banks involved in the irregularities. But among the legal violations uncovered in the analysis were cases where the loan
servicer did not provide borrowers with a notice of default before beginning the eviction process; 8 percent of the audited foreclosures had that basic defect.
In a significant number of cases — 85 percent — documents recording the transfer of a defaulted property to a new trustee were not filed properly or on time, the report found. And in 45 percent of the foreclosures, properties were sold at auction to entities improperly claiming to be the beneficiary of the deeds of trust. In other words, the report said, “a ‘stranger’ to the deed of trust,” gained ownership of the property; as a result, the sale may be invalid, it said.
In 6 percent of cases, the same deed of trust to a property was assigned to two or more different entities, raising questions about which of them actually had the right to foreclose. Many of the foreclosures that were scrutinized showed gaps in the chain of title, the report said, indicating that written transfers from the original owner to the entity currently claiming to own the deed of trust have disappeared.
Banks involved in buying and selling foreclosed properties appear to be aware of potential problems if gaps in the chain of title cloud a subsequent buyer’s ownership of the home. Lou Pizante, a partner at Aequitas who worked on the audit, pointed to documents that banks now require buyers to sign holding the institution harmless if questions arise about the validity of the foreclosure sale.
The audit also raises serious questions about the accuracy of information recorded in the Mortgage Electronic Registry System, or MERS, which was set up in 1995 by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and major lenders. The report found that 58 percent of loans listed in the MERS database showed different owners than were reflected in other public documents like those filed with the county recorder’s office.
The report contradicted the contentions of many banks that foreclosure improprieties did little harm because the borrowers were behind on their mortgages and should have been evicted anyway. “We can deduce from the public evidence,” the report noted, “that there are indeed legitimate victims in the mortgage crisis. Whether these homeowners are systematically being deprived of legal safeguards and due process rights is an important question.”

34 Responses

  1. Barry Fagan v Wells Fargo Bank Re REQUEST for JUDICIAL NOTICE of a RELATED CASE:REPORT Office of the Assessor-Recorder San Francisco Report as Sponsored by Phil Ting Assessor-Recorder for San Francisco Entitled Foreclosure in California a CRISIS OF COMPLIANCE


  2. @shelly – those three guys weren’t trustees, in all likelihood. They were, however, very chummy with the trustee from what you’ve
    described (and the auctioneer isn’t the trustee, either, but chummy there, too). They get to know each other. I would say those guys are regulars. I supppose it’s no crime in and of itself to be chummy with the trustee, unless there’s more to it, like rigging the bid, or rigging the minimum bid. Oh, geez. I’ld bet the ranch that goes on.

    “Ten Dollars” is not what is paid. The recitation is “Ten Dollars and other good and valuable consideration”. The actual dollar amt does not have to be disclosed in a deed. We used to be able to figure it out by the amt of the transfer tax paid, though. You can figure it out if you want. Start by looking up the “mil rate” for your county or call and ask and see the tax paid. The transfer tax is paid according to the mil rate. I forget where the transfer tax amt is to be found, but you can find it. It’s not a secret.
    This is the same bs stated in MERS- member self-assignment assignments (any assignments, really). But in the case of MERS, I would love to see the “10.00 and other good and valuable consideration” paid by ONE bankster to MERS for an assignment. They may have paid a fee to MERS to be able to bogus-up an assignment, because that’s how they operate, (pay money to use MERS’ name) but it AIN’T money paid for any conveyed interest given that under any theory on this planet, MERS has no interest to convey. And that’s a fact. That recitation of value in those assgts is a big fat LIE and it is so not negligible. It gives an appearance of
    propriety, of an actual transfer of something of value, but MERS did not hold the interest allegedly being conveyed. MERS said it held “title”
    (bah humbug) to the interest as nominee only, NOT the interest itself.

  3. I’m getting rusty indeed and that assumes I knew anything to forget; not sure of that either these days. I understand Stopa’s arguments, all right, as I’ve made them myself. But what is confusing me is that under rule 17, the real party in interest must nonetheless be joined
    in an action. Two years ago I could have rattled off cases in support. Would have to dig thru my files these days. Now, I would have to admit I don’t recall servicers alleging an agency in litigation before. (But I quit scouring pleadings morning, noon, and night). I recall the argument being that as servicer, foreclosure is in the job description, but not pursuant to any alleged agency. I mean what I don’t get is that this issue has been adjudicated and the decision is: servicer not the real party in interest for purposes of rule 17 (except one case which ignored this, and I called that case a pig in lipstick at the time). I can’t imagine having the cheek to allege an agency with a phantom principal, as Stopa recites here. Even were the principal identified, as Stopa said and I say like this: the record produces no evidence of that authority / agency. Honestly, I’m surprised the servicer admitted it didn’t own the note. And I’d still like to know how the servicer got its hands on the note? Needed it to foreclose, which it alleges, and allege is all it can do in the absence of e v i d e n c e , it’s part of its duty to foreclose? IN order for the (alleged) custodian of documents to release the note to the servicer, it would have to do its own diligence to determine that doing so was kosher. I hate to bring that up because next thing we know, we’ll be getting some bs declaration / affidavit of a 10.00 an hour clerk at the alleged custodian swearing to this and this and that to stand in for evidence. But, the question of how the servicer or any pretender got the note is unavoidable to me. Servicers used to get hard copies of the closing file, which contained a copy of the note, probably endorsed in blank or even specially. These days, I’d imagine the copies are scanned and transmitted electronically. It’s my opinion, and of course I’m not alone, that the servicers are pulling those electronic copies but not before applying some photo shop ‘details’ and or using certain “stamps”. But back to the main theme here – how does the servicer bringing the action comport with rule 17? Unless my memory is worse than I even think, it doesn’t.
    So I can’t figure why we’re here again.

  4. I filed criminal charges with the local sheriffs office in El Dorado, CA County and the DA said it was a civil matter and will not prosecute.

    I filed criminal charges 3 times with the FBI and still have not heard back.

    I made an ore tenus motion for proof that DBNTC was the creditor in my Unlawful detainer and repeated the request to the judge for a ruling and was ignore and evicted in El Dorado County, CA

    Kamala Harris office said we have to appear before the same judges you do and has not acted on our many complaints.

    We placed the physical evidence before the UD judge and he refused to follow the law 764.010 and quiet the title and ruled on our case as a limited land lord tenant issue and refused to abied by CA cc86 and 85 which require him to do so and said good luck and thanks for coming.

    When will we get to be heard?

    Please feel free to call and offer help our new number is 530620 7982 and the cell has stayed the same 916 716 2542

    We will not rest until we get justiced.

  5. They are the moral hazzard! I have said this on the internet several times, I and my son went to an auction on the patio, just outside N.W. Trustees tower building in Bellevue WA, to watch what was happening. I had guessed the servicers were stealing the houses for free, so we went to watch. Three guys from N.W. Trustees walked out together, they knew the fouth guy the auctioneer, and they began to bid and took turns between the three buying the houses, bidding starting at over a hundred thousandt up and they would say Joe you can take this one, and jeff you can take this one and walt you can have this one. Names are fake and I dont remember their names anymore. They purchased all the houses then went back in the front doors of the N.W. Trustee tower building. I was sure if we could check the money trail there would be no money trail. Then I went through massive county records to find Robo signers and found both RECONTRUST AND DEUTSCHE BANK claiming on the newly purchased at auction houses they had paid ten dollars. It is sickening and it is public record. You will find this in every county register. I looked them up by MERS and Duetsche Bank not the borrowers names.

  6. @ Enraged

    I am on it…good advice and I’ll bet the outcome will be very telling.

  7. Well, this looks like another notice that we were right all along. They don’t have squat. Fight them! Do not give up. You have to sue them.

  8. WAIT a minute. They are opposed to moral hazard? 39 billion dollars worth of collateral interests in our homes were first purchased for
    20. 5 billion? Now a face value – quite a drop there, eh? – of 7.04
    billion (and I would love an explanation in this drop in face value)will be sold or has been sold for we-have-wait-til-april-16th to find out?

    The truth is, a principle reduction, the great moral hazard, has and is being realized.
    Just not by homeowners, because to grant that principle reduction is moral hazard? Not moral hazard to give that principle reduction to someone else and now someone OUT OF THIS COUNTRY? I’m getting sick(er). Let’s say the 39 billion had cost 2 billion to administrate long enough to give reductions to homeowners. 39 – 2 = 37 billion. Sale price of 20.5 billion. That means that for the SAME net, the homeowners whose loans were in that ‘bundle’ could have realized 16.5 billion dollars in principle reduction.

    **Someone more savvy than me who might access the number of loans involved, please calculate the principle reduction which might have been afforded homeowners instead of some business with that 16.5 billion.**
    Who the hell are these people who would claim they want to clear their balance sheets and are doing it at the benefit of anyone but homeowners, which imo would also help our economy? Even if I’ve
    made this overly simplistic, it is nonetheless a rather glaring
    double-standard, and speaking of standards, which one do these acts stand for?

  9. @chris,

    What you need to look at too (and it can open your horizons even wider…) is actually read the documents you are alleged to have signed. You may very well find that page 14 ends with some unfinished sentence you would want to see ending on top of page 15… but it jumps to something else. Inother words, either you signed/initialed papers that were already missing a few pages or your initials were transposed to docments that are not those your signed.

    Also, when you compare the copies given to you at closing (your 2 copies you’re supposed to receive within 3 days of closing) and those you received after sending a QWR a few years later, you may very well discover that they are not the same! Paragraphs on the original copies are missing on the later version (even though your initials are there…) or paragraphs have been added. Going through everything with a fine comb is enlightening!

  10. johngault,

    NO. The opposite. The liability remains with the originator/”arranger,” since the terms of the deals required shielding of the trusts, trustees, and security investors from liability. Since most originators (as to subprime) are gone, liability falls with the “arrangers,” who is the security underwriters (actually the parent). Note that the “loans” were first sold by the originator to the arranger BEFORE securitization. This is the missing step in the chain of title, that is rarely divulged in PSAs, although it is implied by the sale of securities to the security underwriter.

    Further, this is supported by the Federal Reserve Opinion to TILA Amendment that states that the security investors are not the creditor. This is most obvious when we consider rescission. A trust, trustee, and security investors, cannot rescind a loan.

    Some here want to continue to state that security investors, such as pension funds, are your “lender”/funder by the securitization process. This is false, and actually feeds into the theory that the trust is your creditor, which makes all of those fake assignments to trustee on behalf of such and such trust, valid — when they are not. It does not matter that security investors indirectly “funded” the subprime by purchasing securities, because they can never be considered your creditor. First, in subprime, no need for funding as the “loans” were only collection rights to false default debt. Second, security investors (some love to use pension funds as an example), cannot NEVER rescind a loan, cannot refinance a loan, and cannot modify an original contract loan. Security investors can object to modification of THEIR pass-through cash flows, but they cannot modify the loan itself. However, your creditor can rescind, refinance, and modify, and absorb the cost itself, thereby, keeping the “security” intact with the pass-through security investors. All that matters to the borrowers is that the creditor has not been divulged. This harms in two ways, 1) we cannot ask for discovery as to how the “creditor” came to be our creditor, thus, questioning the status of the “loan” (collection rights) itself since inception. 2) we cannot directly negotiate with our creditor.

    The reason I have been focusing so much on this is because of settlement. Have to wait to see the details, but if the settlement ignores law, specifically the TILA (and Amendment), by which the creditor MUST be divulged to borrowers, and, instead, continues to support servicer concealment, then the settlement may be in violation of the law. But, if you feed into the theory that pension funds and other security investors DIRECTLY funded your “loan,” you are feeding the fraud, and continuing to conceal the culpable parties.

    Pension funds and other security investors are not our enemy. They are shielded from any derivative liability by borrowers, and they are NOT the parties foreclosing. Further if they have a claim of securities fraud, they cannot go against the borrower, they must go against the security underwriter. As to whether or not pension funds have any claim is very dependent on the “sophisticated investor” doctrine, that is, were the security investors sophisticated enough to understand the risk. I think they were, because they are supposed to read Prospectus, which clearly shows that loans had low FICO scores, thus, outlining the inherent risk. But, they took this risk for a higher market yield. Nevertheless, we have no action against security investors, including, as some like to put it, pension funds. (Note most of the tranches in Subprime trusts were retained by the security underwriters after ALL tranches were FIRST sold directly to security underwriters. It was rare for a pension fund to directly acquire all share of a particular tranche).

    I would like to understand any purpose to the false continued notion by some that the security investors are borrowers funder — thus, their creditor. I see none.

  11. @ johngault,

    Speaking of the title:

    I went and procured my entire work product yesterday from 2007. My reason was I, personally, think I have the cart before the horse and wanted to look back, when the ink dried.

    So, in reading my owners’ title policy a little item caught my eye: SUBJECT TO THE EXCLUSIONS FROM COVERAGE…..insures, as of policy date:
    1. Title to the estate or interest described
    2. ANY defect in or lien or encumbrance on the title
    3. Un-marketability of the title
    4. Lack of a right of access to and from the land.

    Now, having stated this it does say: exclusions…Fraudulent conveyance and fraudulent transfer…but by whom?

    Early this week I am going to file a claim on my title policy to see what happens. I’ll keep you all posted. I am hoping for 2 things: wait for the rejection of claim and why; and let them do the investigating and see what they come up with. For me, any information is good information.

    @ Enraged

    In my work product 95% of the pages are unsigned, except by me. The loan application and income is blank, except for an addendum, that has no page numbers and can easily be removed and altered in the application, when I did supply income. Next: I have 5 different parties claiming to be the lender, yes 5! And one claims to be the lender and the servicer (don’t know if that is relevant yet). One thing I do know, originators are not lenders. No notice of assignment, which is required under the law at least 15 days prior to assignment, under RESPA. Missing right of recession….this is in the first 5 pages, with the privacy disclosure, being 1 of the pages…I guess I have my work cut out, but thought I would share the amount of “questionable” information, in such a small sequence of papers.

  12. @enrage re: anonymous article. As for me, I have to read it five more times. I think what is being said here is there currently is no assignee liability or liability to the party he calls an arranger?
    About that article from mandelman – that was quite a read.

  13. @enraged – I remember back in the 80’s when an associate, someone more knowledgeable than me, said in some context I forget of course that we just thought we knew what things looking bad was. He said wait til people have no food, no electricity, etc. It was probably around was it October 86 or 7, a time when the market took a dive. Btw, this is weird, but I’ve never forgotten it. Someone like Jean Dixon predicted in the 80’s that there would be market swings of something like 300 points often, might have been only 100. Whatever was the number, it seemed incredible at the time. Was she a true psychic or was it that she knew people capable of logically predicting this? Well, she was right.
    Anyway, I suppose it’s inevitable that crime will escalate along with this homelessness and poverty. I don’t think we’re going to like that
    experience at all. On this one, Obama really better wake up and smell the chaos.

  14. AHA! What that infamous settlement should allow but won’t and why…

    Failure of Banks and Fannie and Freddie to Write Down Principal is Against Their On Interest
    In Forclosure on February 15, 2012 at 9:01 am

    A column in today’s LA Times makes a compelling case for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to rethink their adamant opposition to principal forgiveness. Michael Hiltzak’s analysis also highlights the hypocrisy of the still mysterious Attorneys General settlement.

    The dirty little secret is that $17-25 Billion of the AG’s Settlement that is reportedly going to be devoted to principal reduction will actually provide more that $17-25 billion in value to the banks and other lenders. This additional benefit to lenders results because reducing the principal of loans increases the likelihood that those loans will paid. As a result, the Net Present Value of the loans will be increased.

    So the bulk of the “heralded” settlement is actually not a cost but a net financial benefit to the scofflaws that the AGs were supposed to be punishing.

    Principal forgiveness is actually a win-win proposition for lender and homeowner when a loan is significantly under water.

    Hiltzak explains it:

    “The reason should be obvious. The most important factor in a borrower’s likelihood of default is the loan’s negative equity. Put simply, if you think you’re so deeply underwater that you won’t have equity in your home by the time you’re ready to sell it, or ever, then default looks more rational the more your ability to pay comes under strain.

    The closer you are to breaking even or going positive, the more you’ll fight to keep the house. Forbearance doesn’t get you any closer to that point (you still owe the original principal, one way or another), but forgiveness does.”

    Principal forgiveness recaptures the self-interest of the borrower to the benefit of both borrower and lender.

    Even the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the agency charged with overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac told Members of Congress, that principal forgiveness can increase the net present value of underperforming loans.

    So, you ask, if its good for lenders and good for borrowers, why isn’t there an effort to rewrite all under water loans in America?

    One answer to the question is accountants (no offense to my brother the CPA, well, ok, maybe a little offense intended)

    Lenders including Fannie and Freddie are carrying these non-performing loans on their books as if every dime promised is going to be paid. Principal reduction requires that the lenders immediately write down those loans that will effect share prices in the case of the banks and create political risk in the case of the now federally controlled Fannie and Freddie.

    The second answer to the question is a little more nefarious, servicers, including all of the big banks that have entered the still undisclosed agreement with Attorneys General charge investors, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac significantly higher fees when loans are in default. The percentage of loan proceeds to be paid to servicers increases, plus mortgage loan servicers have become masterful at creating other ways to pay themselves by way of forced place insurance and inspection costs. In foreclosure, the servicers get paid first and if there is not enough from the foreclosure sale, the investor pays the bill.

    My hope is that as congress, shareholders and the general public figure this out sooner rather than later.

  15. Anonymous mentioned this article in a previous post. Apparently, he couldn’t post the link without moderator blocking it so, I’m giving a try with posting the actual article…

    Comments, anyone? What troubles me is the recommandation that the “market police itself”. This is a summary of an actual paper I haven’t yet read but it gives an idea of what a HDC really is.

    Complexity, Complicity, and Liability up the Securitization Food Chain
    Posted by Tom Fitzpatrick
    This post is a summary of a working paper the two of us finished recently, available here.

    There are numerous discussions taking place about the future of housing finance, most focusing on the secondary market. The central themes in theses discussions have been the government’s future role in secondary markets and restarting private secondary markets. But one area that is not receiving much attention is the potential liability of either the entities that arrange securitizations or the trusts (the assignees) that end up owning loans, for unlawful acts at loan origination.

    During the housing boom, everyone seemed to think that assignees were shielded from the consequences of lenders’ illegal acts. It appears that the market assumed that the holder in due course (HDC) rule(which protects note purchasers from most defenses to non-payment on notes) and originators’ loan repurchase obligations through representations and warranties would take care of assignee liability risk. These turned out to be pretty bad assumptions. Originator repurchase obligations are only effective if the originator is still around to repurchase loans, which has been the case less and less frequently through the crisis.

    In addition, assignees are not protected from liability by the HDC rule unless the notes are negotiable instruments, and the buyers and sellers of the notes observed the formalities necessary to obtain the rules protection. As we have seen with the shoddy foreclosure documentation, the industry ignored fundamental formalities and undermined the HDC shield.

    The more interesting point is that many securitization arrangers may find themselves exposed to liability for the illegal actions of originators based on theories such as joint venture. Such claims have survived summary judgment motions when the arrangers prospectively agreed to purchase all or some of the loans originators made, and the arrangers had some knowledge of the originators’ illegal acts. Arrangers could often glean information on lenders and their loan practices through due diligence, media reports, and informal information sharing in vertically-integrated firms (the last being very difficult to prove). Arrangers have also exposed themselves to liability by actually supplying deceptive disclosures and payment schedules to originators, who then provided the documents to borrowers.

    So far, consumer claims against securitization arrangers have been rare and most have been settled, but this trend may reverse. Now that litigators and judges better understand the organization of the private label securities markets, these claims may have sturdier footing and judges and juries may be more sympathetic to consumers.

    Uncertainty is clearly the theme when it comes to both assignee and arranger liability. This uncertainty impedes accurate pricing of MBS, especially given the potential for claims by attorneys general, large class actions, and widespread borrower rescission of loans. Policy-makers that want to stimulate the secondary market need to address the legal complexity that causes uncertainty (among other things). Going forward, the simplest solution is to create incentives for the market to police itself, by allowing assignee and arranger liability for originator wrongdoing. The next step should be to set parameters for arranger and assignee liability to allow it to be quantified and priced into credit. Together these actions will sanction future bad actors, protect consumers, and help the MBS market by making it possible to price litigation risk.

  16. […] Filed under: bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, Eviction, foreclosure, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, securities fraud Tagged: 60 minutes, AHMSI, appraisal fraud, attorney general, auction fraud, Chris Koster, credit bids, DocX Indictment, foreclosure fraud, FORECLOSURE SETTLEMENT, foreclosures, forgery, housing market, housing prices, investors, linda green, LPS, Missouri, mortgage fruad, mortgages, Robo-Signing, settlement, strategic default Livinglies’s Weblog […]

  17. @johngault

    “Those of us here have not joined the ranks of the homeless.”

    You have no idea how close I am to this. Many thought they were being responsible to pay down a toxic mortgage (even principal pay downs) for years and even after losing a job with all their savings and liquidating all they own until they could not pay anymore and the subsequent shenanigans of servicer collectors opened their eyes…too late.

    In CA massive amounts of equity have evaporated. The decline is deeper over a longer time than is reported. People who had equity and who might have made a “responsible” decision to downsize could not going back years ago now.

    In my case I phoned the servicer, Hope For Homeowners ect. and many attorneys before I was ever delinquent and was told to eat cake which I could not “afford”.

    There are people still in homes who are not a permanent lost cause to be able to afford a mortgage. Many factors have made it impossible for millions to “afford” temporarily – not permanently. There is enough inventory to go around. How many vacant houses do we need? How many need to be thrown out with no safe haven? Who will buy the houses?

    But if someone is destined to lose a long time cherished home and be rendered homeless – the beneficiary of this should be the real deal and no other. Even paupers should not required to pay a thief just because they are broke and out of work. A loan shark might be a beneficiary. A thief is not.

  18. Bringing Up the Rear – Dale Westhoff, Credit Suisse Group AG

    Remember a few ago, when I posted something from Mandelman about Credit Suisse and Dale Westhoff (an ex-engineer turned banker and very, very rich…)?

    Here is the follow up, compliments of Mandelman (who, I’m sure, won’t mind my spreading his news…)

    It takes brass balls to be a banker these days and come out in opposition to writing down mortgage balances for homeowners hopelessly underwater because of “moral hazard.” And yet, that is precisely what Credit Suisse’s global head of structured products, Mr. Dale Westhoff has done.

    In January, he was interviewed for a story on Bloomberg.com under the headline: “Mortgage Principal Cuts Don’t Help Homeowners.”

    The term, ‘moral hazard,” just everyone understands, is a term used in economics or finance, and it’s what can occur when one party is making the decisions about investment risk, while another party is on the hook for the losses should those decisions go awry.

    You know, like if I were deciding where to invest money, but you had to cover my losses when I chose to invest in Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns. I’m trying to think of a good example that everyone will understand… hmmm… there must be something that would work… oh wait, I know… exactly like today’s banks… the ones that have been deemed too big to fail, and too big to jail.

    Today’s too big to fail banks know that the government won’t let them follow Lehman’s path to bankruptcy, so they take on more risk than is prudent. And when their leveraged bubble du jour pops, we-the-people spend years trying to get their gum out of our collective hair.

    In the parlance of Wall Street, taking on risk means taking on leverage.

    Leverage is Wall Street’s euphemistic word for borrowing or debt, so when a Wall Street banker says his firm is leveraged, what he means is that the firm is investing using borrowed money. As long as the chosen investments are increasing in value, or at least can be reported as increasing in value… everything’s fine.

    When the market realizes what’s happening, investors start to get nervous, so they start moving money out of riskier investments into more defensive positions, which in turn increases the risk of staying put to other investors, and at some point everyone rushes to get their money out before there’s no money there to get.

    Here’s a quick example, just to make sure we’re all on the same page about this topic. Let’s say we pooled our money and came up with $100,000 in order to invest in the stock market. And we make a nice 10 percent return… so, we now have $110,000.

    Then one day, I mention that I have a rich uncle from whom I can borrow whenever I want or need to with an interest rate that’s only one percent. My idea is that we borrow let’s say $900,000, so we can invest $1,000,000 instead of only the $100,000 that we brought to the game.

    So, we invest the million dollars, and once again, we earn a 10 percent return, which is $100,000… and voila’… we’re superstars… we’ve doubled the money we’ve invested… and so we repay my uncle plus one percent interest, and then pay ourselves huge bonuses while telling each other how smart we are.

    But want happens when our chosen investments not only fail to produce 10 percent returns, but their value falls by 10 percent. If we had invested only our own $100,000, then we’d lose ten grand, lick our wounds and get ready to fight another day. But if we had invested the million bucks that included the $900,000 we borrowed from my uncle, we’d lose $100,000… and be entirely wiped out because we only had $100,000 in the first place.

    Now consider that we’d borrowed 40:1… so our $100,000 fund becomes $4 million we can invest… and now, should we lose 10 percent on our investments, we lose $400,000… but don’t worry ‘cause we’re too big to fail and the American taxpayer will pick up our $390,000 tab in order to make sure that we don’t threaten the entire global banking system.

    And that’s precisely what occurred in September of 2008.

    The banks had derivative securities called collateralized debt obligations or CDOs that they had valued themselves using their own internal models, and then they borrowed against them.

    When their value collapsed, and their payments came due… we deemed them too big to fail and invented TARP… and we’ve been inventing other, shall we say less televised ways to pump more than $16 TRILLION into those banks ever since. It’s money that our children and perhaps our grandchildren are going to be paying back for a long time to come.

    Leverage, however, is like financial crack. Once you’ve been on it and experienced its highs, it’s hard to go back to investing money the old fashioned way… especially when you know you’re too big to fail.

    The temptation must be impossible to resist because it might interest you to know that in 2011, margin debt on the NYSE climbed to its highest levels since February of 2008… right before the S&P collapsed in half. And the only time in history net leverage has ever been higher than it is today was back in June of 2007, which was the absolute pinnacle of the most devastating credit bubble the world has ever seen.

    And that, my financially minded friends, is what is meant by the term, “MORAL HAZARD.”

    To Credit Suisse’s Bail Bestoff… no, that’s wrong… I meant, Dale Westhoff… we would create moral hazard were we to write down the principal balances of mortgages that are hopelessly underwater. Dale seems to feel that if we did that, everyone and their brother-in-law would immediately start defaulting on their loans in order to get their balances reduced.

    22222222And before you knew it… we’d have… what’s the word I’m looking for… oh yeah… prosperity? People making mortgage payments again? An actual housing market? Economic recovery on Main Street? Consumer spending? A positive GDP without fudging the numbers? What Dale… what is it you fear, my lad?

    Earlier this year, in the latter part of January, Dale told Bloomberg…

    “Reducing mortgage balances is a risky idea that hasn’t been shown to keep borrowers who owe more than their property’s worth in their homes.”

    Well, gosh Dale… you are obviously quite the research expert aren’t you? That’s true, isn’t it? Did your research point to any reasons why that would be the case? Would you mind terribly if I were to just throw out a guess just for fun? It’ll be like a game show…

    I’ll take, “Because we haven’t tried it, you witless moron. And make that for $200, Alex.” Dale also said…

    “We’ve never done this before; we don’t know what the risk is.”

    So, I guess reducing principal balances hasn’t been shown NOT to keep people in their homes either, isn’t that right Dale? Did you forget to tell Bloomberg that part? I see… you’re a weasel, Dale.

    How about this for a headline in an upcoming story I’m working on now…

    “Non-recognition of Losses and 0% Interest Loans Don’t Help Banks.”

    Suspending accounting rules is a risky idea that hasn’t been shown to keep banks that borrowed more than their assets are worth from becoming insolvent, according to Credit Slush Fund PIG.

    Are you feeling me, Dale?

    Here’s the thing, my boy… I think you’re the moral hazard here, would you like to know why? Because although you failed to mention it, I happened to be doing some reading the other day and wouldn’t you know it… Credit Suisse was in a bit of news. Nothing earthshattering or even unexpected, mind you… but news nonetheless.

    Apparently, right before you made your idiotic comments about moral hazard, saying that principal write-downs won’t save homes, Credit Suisse had just won the bidding process and as a result bought $7.014 billion in face value RMBS from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Fed bought the securities from AIG and had them in their Maiden Lane II… what do you call that sort of entity… shell company?

    So, when Maiden Lane II bought the assets their face value was $39 billion… and they paid $20.5 billion. Now their face value is just over $7 billion and Credit Suisse paid… oh dear, wouldn’t you know it… the NY Fed says the actual price you guys paid won’t be disclosed until April 16, 2012.

    Why is that, Dale? Why can’t the Fed disclose how much the Credit Suisse bid was until April 16, 2012, when the sale was made on January 19, 2012? I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason don’t get me wrong… I’m sure it’s just something to protect the interests of U.S. taxpayers. Always looking out for us, aren’t you, Dale?

    So, I hate to even mention it, but does the fact that you guys at Credit Suisse are running around like vulture investors trying to scoop up distressed residential mortgage-back backed securities at bargain basement prices bother you at all… I mean, considering that at the same time you’re publishing supposed “research” in articles on Bloomberg like the one I’m referencing now.

    The only reason I’m asking is that Laurie Goodman of Amherst Securities was quoted in that same Bloomberg article and she said…

    “Amherst’s (Laurie) Goodman says that principal reductions are needed to avoid 8 million to 10 million more distressed-property sales.”

    See, she said that, I’m pretty sure, because she felt it would be a bad thing to have 8-10 million more distressed property sales, but it looks like Credit Suisse wouldn’t actually mind at all if there were lots more distressed property sales, since Credit Suisse is scampering about in the night buying them for pennies on the… no, that’s not right… for some undisclosed amount to be disclosed on April 16, 2012.

    The suspense is killing me, Dale. I wonder if Credit Suisse overpaid for the distressed assets they bought? Any guesses on how it will turn out?

    Care to know what else Laurie Goodman said about this topic? Me too… she said…

    “We have shown that, even controlling for all other factors, principal reductions are more effective. Realize also that banks are doing it on their own portfolios and have been for years. Why would they continue if it was not more effective?”

    Oh, Dale, Dale, Dale… so the banks have been doing principal write-downs for loans in their own portfolios for years, isn’t that fascinating?

    So, it must be that principal reductions are only an effective methodology for preventing foreclosures when we’re talking about portfolio loans on a bank balance sheet.

    The whole moral hazard thing only makes principal write-down ineffective when the U.S taxpayers are on the hook for the losses… and when Credit Suisse might get a chance to buy the distressed assets at pennies on the… ooops, I almost forgot… can’t tell until mid-April.

    Congratulations, Dale. As rear ends go, you have no peer.

  19. I tried researching my Bank’s attorney – I found ownership documents that appear to indicate that the attorney representing the bank has flipped the same property between herself, her fiance -now husband and her parents. Her associate appears to have a side business with her family buying foreclosed properties. Note I say appear, I have contacted a PI firm to pull the records and verify. Wouldn’t this be a conflict of interest?

  20. @Johngault,

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar statistics of homelessness (not numbers but percentages) in Arizona, Nevada and Florida. You bet a moratorium is a must!!!

    Without that, it will turn very badly very fast. Don’t know if Obama realizes the gravity of the situation…

  21. Plaintiff as Servicer? I Think Not.
    Posted on February 15th, 2012 by Mark Stopa


    I observed a foreclosure trial today, and one aspect of it in particular really bothered me. The plaintiff prosecuting the case was not the owner of the Note, but merely the servicer. Many judges and, of course, plaintiffs’ attorneys, seem to think this is fine, arguing the servicer can foreclose because it’s the “holder” of the Note, even though, by its own admission, it’s not the owner. In other words, the plaintiff/servicer concedes it does not “own” the Note, i.e. it’s not the plaintiff’s Note, but because it has the Note in its possession, and the Note is indorsed in blank, it can foreclose.

    I’ve thought about this argument a lot, read a lot of case law, and see some fatal problems. Frankly, I’m frustrated these problems are largely being ignored and hope that everyone starts arguing and adjudicating this issue appropriately.

    First off, taking the plaintiff’s argument to its logical extreme, anyone can steal a Note with a blank indorsement – literally, be a thief – but because he possesses the Note, and the Note is indorsed in blank, he could foreclose simply because he’s the holder. That sounds insane, but once you accept the argument that the plaintiff need only be the “holder,” and that ownership is irrelevant, that’s what you’re allowing – a thief can foreclose. Anyone can foreclose. Come to court with a Note with a blank indorsement, and how you obtained that Note is irrelevant – you can foreclose.

    Respectfully, that’s just not the law. It can’t be the law. There’s no way the law can allow or would allow a thief to foreclose. Undoubtedly, this is why Rule 1.944 requires the plaintiff be the “owner and holder.”

    I can hear the plaintiffs’ attorneys now. “But many Florida cases say being a holder is sufficient; they don’t have an ownership requirement.” To a limited extent, I suppose that is true, but read those cases. For example, Riggs v. Aurora Loan Services, 36 So. 3d 942 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010), talks at length about whether the plaintiff was the holder, and plaintiffs’ lawyers love to cite Riggs for the proposition that being the “holder” is all that matters. However, the issue of ownership wasn’t a question in Riggs – in that case, the plaintiff showed it was the “owner and holder.” Respectfully, it is totally misguided to take a case where ownership was not in question and use that case for the proposition that ownership is immaterial. It may have been immaterial in that case because ownership wasn’t disputed, but that certainly doesn’t mean ownership is immaterial in all cases.

    Consider, again, my thief example. Once you accept that a thief cannot foreclose, you necessarily accept that the plaintiff who forecloses must own the Note.

    Again, I can hear the plaintiffs’ lawyers. “But a servicer can foreclose because the servicer is the holder and has a servicing agreement with the owner, so it’s foreclosing with the consent of the owner of the Note.” This was the argument being espoused at the trial I observed today – the servicer doesn’t own the Note, but is foreclosing with the consent of the owner.

    This argument may sound unique or complicated, but it’s one the Florida courts have adjudicated for many years in a number of contexts – that of principal and agent. Here, the plaintiff is saying that it, the servicer, is acting as the agent of the owner, the principal, by prosecuting the foreclosure case. This is the dynamic we see in thousands of foreclosure cases – the servicer alleges it can prosecute the case for the owner under a theory of agency.

    In my view, this begs the question of when can an agent bind the principal? Let’s say that again:

    Under what circumstances can an agent bind a principal?

    There are zero Florida cases that discuss this concept in the context of foreclosure cases, so let’s look to case law in other contexts.

    In Fla. State Oriental Med. Ass’n v. Slepin, the First District ruled an attorney was not entitled to collect attorneys’ fees incurred representing a corporation because the attorney (the alleged agent) did not have the authority to act on behalf of the corporation (the alleged principal). 971 So. 2d 141 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007). The attorney said he was acting on the corporation’s behalf, and he purported to act on its behalf, but the First District ruled he wasn’t, in fact, an agent and didn’t have the authority to bind the corporation. In so ruling, the court explained:

    A finding of actual authority would require evidence that a principal acknowledged an agent’s power, that the agent accepted the responsibility of representing the principal, and that the principal retained control over the agent’s actions.

    Similarly, the Florida Supreme Court has explained:

    Essential to the existence of an actual agency relationship is (1) acknowledgment by the principal that the agent will act for him, (2) the agent’s acceptance of the undertaking, and (3) control by the principal over the actions of the agent.

    Villazon v. Prudential Health Care Plan, 843 So. 2d 842 (Fla. 2003).
    Let’s read those requirements closely, and break them down, one by one.

    1. The principal acknowledged the agent’s power.

    2. The agent accepted the responsibility of representing the principal.

    3. The principal retained control over the agent’s actions.

    In the trial I observed today, the plaintiff/servicer admitted it did not even know who the owner of the Note was. Think about that for a minute. The servicer was supposed to be acting on behalf of the owner, with the owner’s consent, but it didn’t even know who the owner was. On these facts, how on earth could the servicer possibly prove the owner/principal “acknowledged the agent’s power”? Clearly, it couldn’t, and it didn’t. The servicer couldn’t even identify the owner, much less prove the owner authorized the servicer’s actions.

    This argument is so simple it’s ridiculous.

    “I have authority to foreclose.”

    “Who gave you authority?”

    “I don’t know, but I have authority.”

    I can just see my kids making this argument to me and my wife.

    “I have permission to stay up until 10:00. That’s my new bedtime.”

    “Who gave you that permission?”

    “I don’t know, but it’s allowed.”

    These arguments don’t even begin to make sense, but that’s what the servicer was arguing today. “I don’t know who gave me authority, but I have authority.”

    As I see it, to prove the requisite authority, the servicer must either (a) introduce a servicing agreement into evidence; or (b) provide testimony from the owner as to the servicer’s authority. Without one of those two things, I just don’t see how the servicer can possibly show the owner of the note authorized the servicer to foreclose. Do you disagree? You tell me … without a servicing agreement or testimony from the owner as to the servicer’s authority, how can the servicer prove the owner “acknowledged the servicer’s power”? Once you conclude there is no such answer, then you necessarily agree that a servicer cannot foreclose without such proof.

    Similarly, in the trial I observed, the plaintiff/servicer failed to show the owner of the Note “retained control over the agent’s actions.” After all, how could the servicer possibly show the owner of the Note “retained control over the servicer’s actions” when the servicer couldn’t even identify the owner? Clearly, the servicer was acting as its own boss here, answering to nobody.

    I realize that some of the arguments being espoused by servicers in foreclosure cases seem unique, and there appears to be an absence of case law setting forth these issues. However, once you realize a servicer purports to act on behalf of the owner, and is hence just another fancy word for an agent, it should become clear that basic principles of law regarding agents and principals must apply, as quoted above. This requires proof in foreclosure cases that, many times, is simply not forthcoming.

    Mark Stopa Esq.


  22. More from the article:

    “An audit by San Francisco county officials of about 400 recent foreclosures there determined that almost all involved either legal violations or suspicious documentation, according to a report released Wednesday.”

    “..transfers of many loans in the foreclosure files were made by entities that had no right to assign them and institutions took back properties in auctions even though they had not proved ownership.”
    “About 84 percent of the files contained what appear to be clear violations of law, it said, and fully two-thirds had at least four violations or irregularities.”

    Here is a link to the report:


    excerpts from the report:

    “23% of the subject loans, the foreclosure documents contradict the findings of a securitization audit regarding who is the true, current owner of this loan. Specifically, federal securities data regarding the ownership of the loan contradict the documents filed at the County Recorder’s office.”

    “27% of the time we found evidence to suggest that the original or prior owner of the loan may not have signed the Assignment and that it instead was improperly signed by an employee of the Servicer or Trustee.”

    “For 59% of the subject loans, an Assignment of the Deed of Trust was filed subsequent to the Notice of Default. Therefore, the persons filing the Notice of Default claimed at that time to represent one purported Beneficiary and then, subsequently, stated that the actual Beneficiary was another person/entity”……………This could indicate that the Notice of Default was not executed under the proper authority of the true Beneficiary of this loan. Cal. Civ. Code section §2924(a)(1)(C) expressly requires that a Notice of Default include “A statement setting forth the nature of each breach actually known to the beneficiary.”

    “……….§2923.5 because that statute requires the actual Beneficiary of the loan to attempt to discuss alternatives to foreclosure with the Borrower. It should be noted that while the new Beneficiary came to light late in the foreclosure process, the new Beneficiary may have purchased the loan years before the Assignment was recorded.”
    “For 85% of the subject loans, the Substitution of Trustee was not executed by the Beneficiary of the loan.”

    “For 45% of the subject loans, the property securing a loan was sold at auction to an entity that is claiming to be the Beneficiary of the Deed of Trust when that entity is not the original Beneficiary”

    “Securitization involves a series of conveyances of the note evidencing the residential loan and assignment of the mortgage or trust deed securing it. Therefore, chain of title and beneficial interest issues frequently turn on the securitization trajectories.”

    “What is first important to understand is that to effect the securitization process both the note and trust deed (the security interest) must be assigned from the Originator to the Sponsor/Seller, then from the Sponsor/Seller to the Depositor and, finally, from the Depositor to the Securitization Trust. Each assignee, up until it makes an assignment to the next party along the chain of title, is the beneficiary under the trust deed. There is a break in this chain of title where an assignment is not made or is otherwise invalid.”

  23. Where is tnharry when you need him

  24. @joann – that’s a really good question. Maybe it’ll happen – the moratorium. In fact, it absolutely should, now that you mention it!
    I’ll say this again: a homeless, defenseless society is not safe. This situation has become a matter of public concern and safety.
    Those of us here have not joined the ranks of the homeless. I, being one of us, am very greatful I am not homeless. But even for me, or you, it could just be a matter of time. I’m horrified at that recent report or article or whatever it was on the number of homeless in this country.
    Not only am I horrified for those people and their conditions, I am
    ashamed that those numbers are here in the U S of A. So, yes, joann’s question about a moratorium is spot on. Who was it the other day who pointed to starting something in one area as opposed to
    gunshot? I think he/she had it. The homeless number report was about California. So to me it stands to reason the effort to impose a moratorium should begin in that state by its citizens. What will those citizens do, what are they willing to do, to get a moratorium?



  26. This article says that foreclosers are requiring buyers of foreclosed properties to hold them harmless in regard to title issues. Well, I don’t think they can do that. If they refuse to sell to one who refuses to sign such an agreement but will sell to one who will sign the agreement, this is discrimination. Owners of 4 of less homes may discrimate in the sales of those homes, but those who own more than 4 may not. (Think it’s 4 – as I’m often quick to say, it’s been awhile since I studied that stuff), buuut
    “The Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, addresses housing discrimination. This law prohibits housing discrimination by real estate firms and homeowners.”
    This anti-discrimination only references race, religion, gender, color, or national origin. The Act does not reference economic discrimination, which is what the bankster may call it if challenged. The ‘economic’ issue is only one of potential, though, not necessarily actual. The economic only becomes actual when there is, if ever, a challenge to the title. I think it’s an abomination, of course, to require a buyer to execute such a waiver, never mind how we feel about people buying homes we think were stolen, if we can. Some of us may think heck with the buyer – he deserves what he might get. Still, I don’t like what I see as an acknowledgement of ‘misdeeds’ by the bankster foisted off to yet another individual. It’s actually dishonest when you think about it. They want the buyer to execute a waiver of circumstances, the misdeeds, which they KNOW to exist. That’s just wrong. It’s the same thing as my analogy a couple weeks ago about selling a lame horse as if it’s a champion steed.

  27. “……..in 45 percent of the foreclosures, properties were sold at auction to entities improperly claiming to be the beneficiary of the deeds of trust. In other words, the report said, “a ‘stranger’ to the deed of trust,” gained ownership of the property; as a result, the sale may be invalid, it said.”

    Why is this not enough to enact a moratorium until this is investigated in every county?

  28. […] Continue reading here: NY Times: CA Audit Reveals Most Foreclosures Fatally Flawed […]

  29. I would LOVE to sue the heck out of the Foreclosure mill—they sold my house based on the blatant LIES (in writing) that the ORIGINAL lender/creditor was MERS—and the Trustee (Deutsche) of an empty MBS was my CURRENT creditor/lender…ALL TOTAL LIES.


  30. I am reminded again of the “supposed” Jefferson quote:

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

  31. I also have it by hearsay that certain large banks target certain foreclosure defense attorneys and try to bribe them to stop. Typical behavior when you want to get a plaintiff to drop a case, for instance, you dig up as much dirt on them as you can. If they refuse to stop, then suddenly their bar license is rendered “inactive.”

    We just rec’d our Notice of Foreclosure Review from the OCC today.
    Since I had a head start I already went through the process in the form of an appeal to the complaint I made to the OCC last year. I will give you people the head’s up that the review for me was a complete WASTE of time with the alleged “independent” reviewer from Wells Fargo stating that our foreclosure and eviction were both VALID.

    To top that off, WF phoned to give us this cheery news on the morning of the announcement of the AG settlement! Hmmm. I am sure they are hoping to shove us into the settlement so they don’t have to deal with us.

    Our appeal included the title report and securitization audit and other evidence. Was I supposed to hire an attorney for that, too??

    What a complete joke. Any reviewer can see a break in the chain of title or a sub of trustee recorded AFTER the NOD, and robo-signatures. Or, are they hiring hairdressers for that process, too?

  32. It doesn’t seem like the settlement should affect the ability of agencies and Justice Depts. to file cases, criminal and civil against the banks.

  33. “In 6 percent of cases, the same deed of trust to a property was assigned to two or more different entities, raising questions about which of them actually had the right to foreclose. Many of the foreclosures that were scrutinized showed gaps in the chain of title, the report said, indicating that written transfers from the original owner to the entity currently claiming to own the deed of trust have disappeared.”

    I think that figure is a little low…

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