Martin Andelman, of Mandelman Matters fame, posted a clever blog regarding the rampant fraudulent documents being used by banks in foreclosure cases (no longer available online, but reproduced below).
Tax fraud, tax evasion, securities fraud, a fraud on the courts, a Ponzi scheme of Herculean proportion, the unqualified failure of our government’s regulatory and enforcement agencies… the money long gone to bankers in the form of mega-bonuses… and a group of Wall Street bankers confident that Congress will simply white wash over everything (read: socialize the debt) and send the bill to the American people. It’s a horror picture, no question about that.
And yet, in terms of a national understanding of what’s happened to ours and in fact the world’s economy, we’ve still got more than 50% of our population blaming homeowners, reciting the ridiculous rhetoric about “irresponsible sub-prime borrowers” buying more house than they could afford. It’s truly stunning work, banker-people. Nice job brainwashing millions. When this is over, could you guys make us all believe in Santa Claus again? I liked it when I believed in Santa Claus. …
And on September 29th, the Washington Post reported that someone had awoken a top federal bank regulator from his nap, told him about the widespread illegal mishandling of foreclosures and evictions and as a result he had directed seven of the nation’s largest banks to review their foreclosure processes. In addition to JPMorgan Chase, the list included Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.
And with the midterms only a month or so away, U.S. Representatives Alan Grayson (D-FL), Barney Frank (D- MA) and Corrine Brown (D-FL) sent a letter dated September 24th, to Fannie Mae questioning the failed GSE’s use of “foreclosure mills,” which the letter described as “law firms representing lenders that specialize in speeding up the foreclosure process, often without regard to process, substance or legal propriety.”
On September 30, Grayson even posted a video on YouTube in which he presented examples of travesties resulting from robo-signed documents. He included a man who was foreclosed on even though he didn’t have a mortgage and had paid cash for his home; a home that had two foreclosure suits against it because two servicers claimed to have ownership of the title; and a couple foreclosed on over a $75 late fee that they were in the process of contesting.
So, it would seem that in non-judicial foreclosure states, since you don’t have to prove you hold the note and therefore have the right to foreclose, you don’t have to forge anything that proves that you do, and therefore everything’s fine in those states? …
For one thing, it’s important to recognize that these robo-signers are not low-level bank employees. According to April Charney, who the press often calls the country’s top foreclosure fighter, the signing is taking place only a handful of floors below the C-Suite offices, and if you think about it, this would have to be the case.
I mean, at JPMorgan Chase you have to have some juice to run a department whose job is to fraudulently prepare important documents needed by the court in order to foreclose on property. That’s a senior management position if there ever was one, because I’m pretty sure that traditionally speaking anyway, forgeries and fraudulent documents are frowned upon by banks in general, and JPMorgan Chase isn’t likely to be an exception.
I also want to make sure that we all recognize that this is not a case of rogue employees going off the reservation. GMAC/Ally, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and ALL THE REST, regardless of whether they have yet admitted the truth about their practices (read: crimes), knew exactly what they’ve been doing. It’s not an accident, or something that went on without the bank’s knowledge.
They all knew it was wrong. They knew they were breaking all sorts of state and federal laws. They conspired to defraud the federal government, the courts, the states, the American people, and in fact, the entire world. They carefully planned what they did, and until recently, it appeared that they had executed their plans effectively, and certainly with great aplomb.
But now, thanks to a bunch of dedicated consumer attorneys, many of which are associated with O. Max Gardner III, and April Charney, they’ve been caught… red-handed, as they say… hands in the proverbial cookie jar, mouth and pockets stuffed with cookies, and with crumbs and chocolate all over their faces. …
Predictably, GMAC/Ally and JPMorgan Chase have basically said that the laws being broken through the use of the robo-signers were mere “technicalities”… insignificant little dalliances, conceived by paper-pushers, and wholly unnecessary in today’s fast paced, high-technology world. In other words… it’s no no big deal.
But, we know they are being disingenuous when they say those things, because we know they considered the laws they were breaking to be quite serious. If they hadn’t considered the laws in question serious, they wouldn’t have needed to go to such lengths to get around them, right? It’s not easy to sign your name 10,000 times a month… it’s hard work… certainly not the sort of thing you’d set up just to get out of the equivalent of a parking ticket.
You don’t have people working near the top of a major financial institution, signing their names thousands of times a month, or employ “document production companies,” as in the cases of the foreclosure mills like David Stern’s law firm, or LPS, DOCX, or any of the other variations on the same theme, in order to get around something trivial. No, if the banks had considered the issues involved to be akin to not paying a parking ticket, they would have handled it much differently.
Heck, when the banksters didn’t want to account for losses on their financial statements, they simply got Tim “Transparency” Geithner to suspend the FASB regulations they considered most inconvenient.
It’s so rare to find a mortgage’s note legally assigned to its supposed trust, that Max Gardner, or… “O. Max Gardner III,” if you don’t know him, I suppose, who is considered by many to be at the top of any list of the country’s consumer bankruptcy attorneys, and who has also become expert in the issues surrounding the mortgage meltdown and resulting foreclosure and credit crises, has often told the hundreds of attorneys around the country that follow his thinking on the issues and legal remedies, that if anyone ever finds a deal where the note was correctly endorsed to the trust, he or she should bronze it and hang it on their wall.