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The Power of FOIAs to uncover Foreclosure Data

Read about Eric Mains here.

LPS Consent Judgement

On the last West Coast Foreclosure Show (August 3, 2017), California attorney Charles Marshall was joined by former FDIC team manager Eric Mains who has been fighting his own foreclosure case.  Mains believes an important tool is the use of Freedom of Information Requests to obtain information regarding the LPS Consent Judgement that was signed by all state Attorney Generals.

The LPS Consent Judgement required that foreclosure violations be corrected and forgeries remediated.  Violating the consent judgement and commencing and proceeding with forgeries in a foreclosure action is a damage that targets the foreclosure mills (bank attorneys) who knew they were violating the consent judgement, but also LPS and servicers.

When you write to your Attorney General, remember it wasn’t just “Linda Green” whose name was forged on LPS documents, there were hundreds of people doing the exact same thing for LPS/BlackKnight.  LPS employees were signing other employee’s names to documents, notaries were signing off on these fraudulent documents and also backdating assignments when necessary.

Lynn Szymoniak’s qui tam lawsuit named dozens of suspected LPS forgers by name and location, so it is a cakewalk to see if their names appear on assignments used in past foreclosures or current ones. Simply google the name on the party that endorsed your note or signed your assignment.   You can start comparing signatures to see if they match.  It is highly likely that even though required to remediate the forgeries rather than proceed with litigation (as in my case) that many attorneys hired and retained by LPS/Black Knight proceeded with foreclosure anyway in violation of the CJ’s terms. 

Although you may not get a past foreclosure overturned, the consent judgement specifically allows consumers to sue because they were damaged by litigation which was commenced and proceeded based on forged documents in violation of a consent judgment.

Livinglies has a client who recently discovered he lost his Appeal against a servicer because its attorneys, who used LPS/Black Knight for “foreclosure services”, altered a mortgage note by adding an endorsement in its Appellee brief in 2014.  Although this is fraud on the court, his attorney at the time failed to catch the forged endorsement until the court had already ruled against the homeowner.   This is clearly a violation of the consent judgement if the forged endorsement can be tied back to LPS/Black Knight.  That is why it is important that homeowners demand that their Attorney General release information related to the consent judgement because it appears that LPS/Black Knight did not stop its illegal practices after all.

Eric Mains brings up the Statute of Frauds: 10 years for liability and Rule 60(b) Motions to overturn foreclosure judgement based on forgery. Check your state time limits.  Unfortunately, you may not be able to get your home back, but you might be able to sue for damages.    If  foreclosure-mill law firms working for servicers like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, CitiBank, Nationstar and others continued to order documents that were prohibited by the consent judgement, and LPS supplied them, these law firms could be sued for discovery violation, fraud, fraud on the court and racketeering.

Obtaining information about LPS/Black Knight could result in another round of class actions against law firms and Black Knight for deliberately violating the consent judgement’s terms.

The state AG offices have troves of information that can be used by damaged homeowners, but the information is being illegally withheld.  If dozens of forgeries are discovered to have been used in foreclosures despite the required terms, the AG’s are cornered and will be forced to take action because the public will condemn that they took money from LPS and did nothing else to protect homeowners when they are REQUIRED to have followed up and taken action on these forgeries.  Obtaining the Compliance Reports is key and the AG’s are on the hook through January 2018 to enforce compliance with the consent judgement.

All consumers and their attorneys should be looking to see if any LPS robosigners were used in their foreclosures, and if so, looking to file for damage claims with the knowing violations of the consent judgement as the basis.

Eric Mains has taken action by demanding that the AG provide the information that is required to be submitted to the AG in the consent judgement.  If EVERYONE from consumers to new outlets and attorneys start FOIA’ng each state’s AG office using the same form he did- the AGs will have a BIG problem because there are 50 separate AG offices and millions of homeowners damaged by LPS/Black Knight.  Not every office will be able to hide the information when homeowners unite and sue their AGs to comply with the consent judgement.

Eric Mains is not going to go away quietly while his appeal is pending with the SCOTUS.  He intends to go to every media outlet, consumer organization and attorney with an interest in this information.  He believes that the judiciary will not allow the AGs to block the release of information that is in the public interest, but that does not fall under attorney privilege.

Are you ready?  Livinglies recommends that readers organize and create state committees to demand that the AG in their state provide the information mandated by the LPS/Black Knight consent judgement.

Eric will also discuss his experience with Onewest Bank and Financial Freedom while employed with the FDIC.  He was assigned to a group overseeing HECM Loans…when he became aware Financial Freedom was asking borrowers to sign loan documents years after the fact that were unenforceable.

Attorney Charles Marshall can be contacted:

Charles Marshall, Esq.

Law Office of Charles T. Marshall

415 Laurel St., #405

San Diego, CA 92101

Phone 619.807.2628

9 Responses

  1. Probably Office of the Comptroller along with Attorney Generals. A coordinated effort would be good. I also have been looking at HMDA data. If Ocwen not not available any entities they teamed up with or transfers from could be an approach. Pretty sure they had their own settlement as well.

  2. Yes. But out of luck if Ocwen involved as all records went to Ocwen pre settlement.

  3. Further:

    Case No. 12 CH 03602

    7. On the basis of these findings and for the purpose of entering this Final Consent Decree, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant, its agents, employees, and all persons or entities associated, affiliated or connected with Defendant, and any successor corporation or business entity shall, as of the effective date of this Final Consent Decree,
    comply with and remain in compliance with Section 2 the Consumer Fraud Act and Section 2 of the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Specifically, the Defendant, its agents, employees, and all persons or entities associated, affiliated or connected with Defendant, and
    any successor corporation or business entity shall comply with the following terms:

    a. Defendant shall not sign a document that is recorded in the county
    recording offices in Illinois unless the person signing the document(” the signatory”) has performed a substantive review of the information
    contained in the document to ensure the accuracy and validity of that
    information. Substantive review means that the signatory must read,
    understand, and review each document to be recorded. Defendant must train and supervise each signatory to ensure that the signatory is
    performing a substantive review of each document in compliance with this subsection.
    b. Defendant shall ensure that affidavits( or any other document containing sworn testimony ) executed by the Defendant, or executed by any person at the direction of the Defendant, are based on the affiant’s review and personal knowledge of the accuracy d of the assertions in the affidavits. Any such affidavit shall set forth facts that Defendant reasonably believes to be true, and the ffidavit must explain why the affiant is competent to testify on the matters asserted in the affidavit. The affiant shall confirm that the affiant has reviewed competent and reliable information to substantiate the assertions contained within the affidavit.
    c. Documents prepared for electronic recording shall be electronically signed by the signatory only after the signatory has performed the substantive review described in subsection( a) above. Electronically recorded documents shall be notarized by the identified notary only after performing the notarial acts required by law. Electronically recorded documents shall not be signed or notarized outside of the presence, knowledge and control of the signatory or notary.
    d. Documents signed by signatories at the direction of the Defendant for the purpose of recordation in Illinois shall accurately identify the signatory’s employer( e.g., employed by Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc.) and indicate that the signatory has the qualified authority to sign on behalf of the financial institution or mortgage servicer.
    e. Documents recorded by Defendant shall accurately reflect the nature and substance of the transaction.
    f. Assignments into and out of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (” MERS”) shall not claim that both the mortgage and note have been assigned when, in fact, only the mortgage has been transferred by the assignment.
    g. Defendant shall remediate any document in Illinois that is found by a court to be a cloud on title or otherwise unlawful. Defendant shall also
    remediate any document when reasonably necessary to assist any person or borrower, or when required by federal, state, or local law. Defendant shall establish, advertise and staff a toll- free telephone hotline where Illinois consumers may ask questions regarding any document executed by NTC,including but not limited to requests that NTC remediate a document. NTC shall ensure that the hotline is adequately staffed by competent, trained employees. For a period of twenty-four months NTC shall maintain a log of calls and responses, including the consumer’ s name, contact information, and a description of the question or request and NTC’ s response. NTC shall keep the same type of log for any consumer communication submitted to NTC by any other form or manner. NTC shall provide an up-to-date log upon request at any time by the Illinois Attorney General’ s Office. After conclusion of the 24- month period, the parties shall confer, and the Attorney General shall make a reasonable determination as to whether the Defendant shall continue to maintain the hotline and logs described in this paragraph for a period of no longer than twelve additional months.

  4. If you live in Michigan or Illinois – your Attorney General may already have the information you are seeking to defend against foreclosures against banks, lawyers and other plaintiffs using falsified (aka Robosigned) legal documents purported as true. As early as 2011, both states’ AG’s subpoenaed and received much information from Lender Processing Services (LPS) and National Title Clearing (NTC)… What the AG’s did with that raw information is still unclear, but it is fair to say it is stored somewhere.

    In 2011, Lender Processing Services was part of a massive settlement with the government over industry-wide foreclosure misconduct that occurred after the housing crash.

    Using your federal and State Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process to inquire from your own Attorney General may yield you more than trying to get it directly from the “fakers” themselves…

  5. This is what Fannie/Freddie’s ‘boss’ FHFA and Fannie sends in response to FOIAs:

    “Thank you for contacting the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the regulator and conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and regulator for the Federal Home Loan Banks. Please be advised that neither FHFA nor the Enterprises have regulatory or supervisory authority over banks, mortgage lenders, or servicers. We are forwarding your information to Fannie Mae personnel for a more detailed review. As a result, if appropriate, they may contact you to discuss your concerns and to obtain additional information as needed. They will inform us of any communication with you and the resolution of your concern.

    To contact FHFA with any additional questions or concerns, please visit our website.

    Consumer Communications
    Federal Housing Finance Agency

    Notice: The Federal Housing Finance Agency is the regulator and conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and regulator for the Federal Home Loan Banks. FHFA has no regulatory authority over mortgage lenders or servicers. FHFA has delegated certain authorities to the Enterprises, including responsibility for day‐to‐day operations. FHFA generally does not intervene in matters involving individual mortgages, property sales or transfers, foreclosure, or other actions.

    The Enterprises each have a review process to look into situations that arise involving their mortgages or property transactions. In addition, we cannot follow up on the status of your issue, advocate or resolve individual consumer issues, act as a court of law or lawyer on your behalf, give you legal advice, become involved in complaints that are in litigation or have been litigated, or become involved in complaints that involve parties we do not regulate.

    Confidentiality Notice: The information contained in this e-mail and any attachments may be confidential or privileged under applicable law,
    or otherwise may be protected from disclosure to anyone other than the intended recipient(s). Any use, distribution, or copying of this e-mail, including any of its contents or attachments by any person other than the intended recipient, or for any purpose other than its intended use, is strictly prohibited. If you believe you have received this e-mail in error: permanently delete the e-mail and any attachments, and do not save, copy, disclose, or rely on any part of the information contained in this e-mail or its attachments. Please call 202-649-3800 if you have questions.

    All they were being asked was to provide any/all documents paperwork, etc., in reference to Fannie Mae account numbers – nothing more.

    But also take note FHFA “generally’ does not intervene . . .which means there’s a hole or gap that they may fall into and have to intervene – that’s what we need to know; what ‘key’ queries to propound on FHFA/GSEs that opens those ‘holes’.

  6. We need the bigger fish in the legal net – FOIA’s on FHFA/Fannie etc. is more important that schlocky third party vendors like LPS – however FHFA/Fannie has responded they don’t have to respond to FOIA’s – stating that they are not responsible for the ‘banks, lenders, servicers’ – yet most of these cases are deeply in bed with GSEs. LPS is a minnow – algae in fact – we need research on GSE/FHFA/FHA FOIA processes.

  7. This approach should be used with all the settlements out there not complied with. The National Mortgage Settlement is the main one that appears to becorrupted by Chase and most likely every other bankster.

  8. LPS turned over records to Ocwen in 2010. This is because Ocwen did not need the LPS technical platform. So if you have Ocwen — out of luck with this one. No records — no correction. The AG’s didn’t contemplate much when settlements were signed.

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