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The Story of the Law Firm that Built Its Own Evidence for Foreclosures

Last March, Patricia Arango signed an assignment of mortgage over to Country Wide Home Servicing, LP as "Assistant Secretary" of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Incorporated (MERS) as nominee for Countrywide Bank, FSB.  "Assistant Secretary"  is meant in the sense of the Secretary of the corporation, a corporate officer, not in the sense of someone who does they typing, phones and filing.

You can see the entire document here [PDF].

Last October, Caryn Graham signed an assignment of mortgage over to The Bank of New York Mellon FKA Bank of New York, as Trustee for the certificate holders CWMBS Series 2006-HYB5, as “Assistant Secretary” of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Incorporated (MERS) as nominee for HomeAmercian Mortgage Corporation.

You can see the entire document here [PDF].

However, neither Ms. Graham nor Ms. Arango are employees of MERS. They are lawyers at the law firm which filed these assignments. You can see their names on the law firm’s website . And you can see the name of the firm, Law Office of Marshall C. Watson in the top left hand corner of the documents at the links. You can’t miss it there is an arrow pointing to the name and address of the firm with instructions to “record and return to” the law office.

A query to the MERS confirmed that neither Ms. Graham nor Ms. Arango are employees of MERS.  According to MERS spokesperson Karmela Lejarde:

Caryn A. Graham and Patricia Arango are duly authorized officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. This authorization is obtained through a Corporate Resolution that is granted by our Corporate Secretary and approved by the MERS Board of Directors. These individuals are not employees of MERS. [emphasis added]

For complete image click here [PDF].

So MERS has created a system, where people who are not employed by MERS and do not work at MERS are nonetheless designated as "officers" of MERS and are signing documents which are presented in court in the course of foreclosures and judges are innocently relying on these documents, falsely believing them to represent arms length transactions entered into by people with actual knowledge of the status to the mortgage file.

Don’t for a minute think these are the only two such documents or that this is the only law firm involved.

MERS must realize that this does not look very good because they have suddenly decided that hereafter certifying officers (those non–employee signers) must take a training program before being authorized to sign.

In his law firm’s blog Mather Weidener suspects that the “training” will consist of  “making sure they don’t tell the truth in a deposition like Cheryl Sammons did (No I don’t read the documents before I sign them).” Read her whole transcript here [PDF]; your eyeballs will fall out of your head.

[Earlier posts in this series and related links at Kouril’s Foreclosure Fraud Resources]

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Cynthia Kouril

Cynthia Kouril

Cynthia Kouril is a former Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York under several different U.S. Attorneys, former counsel to the Inspector General for the N.Y.C. Department of Environmental Protection where she investigated threats to the New York City water supply and other environmental crimes, as well as public corruption and fraud against the government, former Examining Attorney at the N.Y.C. Department of Investigation and former Capital Construction Counsel at New York City Parks and Recreation.
She is now in private practice with a colleague whom she met while at the USA Attorney's Office. Ms. Kouril is a member of the Steering Committee, National Committeewoman and Regional Coordinator for the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, a member of the Program Committee of the Federal Bar Council and a member of the Election Law Committee at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She is active in several other Bar Associations.
Most important of all, she is a soccer mom.