CommunityThe Bullpen

Florida’s Killer Presentation on Foreclosure Fraud

I’ve mentioned this report from the Florida Attorney General’s office twice now, but I thought I’d highlight it again, because it makes the issues in foreclosure fraud so completely clear. The report consists of 98 slides, laying out the specific activities of mortgage servicers, foreclosure mills and the parent company banks to swindle homeowners and pursue illegal foreclosures with fraudulent documents. It’s a full pictorial history of the past decade in the mortgage industry, complete with actual shots of improper mortgage assignments. They show the same name of a bank officer being written four different ways, clearly forged. They show stamps from notarizations that expired after before they were used to certify foreclosure documents.

I don’t have a copy of the script that goes along with this presentation, but the slides make it very clear. In slide 7, you see the text “The History of Mortgages in America: Banks used to take the original note and mortgage and secure it in a vault.” That simple line shows how radical a change we’ve seen in the past decade, where notes are traded like bubble-gum cards, routinely lost or not conveyed properly at all, and then mocked up and forged after the fact. Slide 14: “Keep in mind these are some of the largest banks in the country… losing ownership paperwork!”

Starting with Slide 15, the presentation explains why the assignments of mortgages used in foreclosure cases are completely invalid, leading to an ineligibility to foreclose, and total chaos. As it says on Slide 23, “many of the individuals who executed the assignments knew nothing about the documents they were signing.” They signed thousands and thousands of foreclosure documents, acting essentially as accessories to fraud. And it’s not just the robo-signers; you have fake witnesses signing documents, fake notary stamps, fake affidavits, and fake underlying mortgage documents. Some of the documents were so mocked up that they were attributed to “bogus assignee” and had an effective date of 9999. They just weren’t changed from the templates. Other documents date the assignment of the mortgage AFTER the request for foreclosure. Still other documents contain assignments for assignees who are out of business. The whole thing is a fantasy.

Seriously, just flip through this entire presentation. It won’t come as anything new, but it lays out the facts in the clearest manner possible. And it was put together by the ATTORNEY GENERAL OF FLORIDA, a Republican. The Sun-Sentinel in Florida has a full report, as well.

It’s impossible to read through the presentation and not see those acts as criminal fraud. Only someone trying to protect the status quo would call the remedy for such actions “inherently civil”.

The good news is that all Attorneys General or law enforcement officials don’t have to abide by the 50-state investigation. With damning evidence like this – and it’s available across the country – there is plenty of reason to draw up criminal charges. CREDO has a petition out asking Eric Schneiderman – New York’s new Attorney General, who railed against Wall Street and actions just like this during the campaign – to live up to his promises and hold the criminals who did this responsible. Any other AG can come off the sidelines here, or for that matter a district attorney or other law enforcement official.

It’s impossible to talk about the mortgage industry without using the word “crime.” That’s what has been committed.

Previous post

The Fruits of Corporatism and War: Democratic Party ID Ties 22-Year Low

Next post

This Death-Penalty Case Should Give Anyone Pause

David Dayen

David Dayen