While Eric Schneiderman’s MERS lawsuit mostly crashed and burned, another suit against the electronic registry, filed just yesterday, appears to have more determination behind it. Jeff Thigpen, the register of deeds for Guilford County, North Carolina, sued MERS, the document processing company Lender Processing Services and several banks and loan servicers, using as evidence the contents of his register of deeds’ office.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday March 14, 2012 6:00 pm|
|By: David Dayen Tuesday June 21, 2011 3:00 pm|
“It was a bust.”
That’s what Guilford County register of deeds Jeff Thigpen told me about his visit to the White House last Friday. Many were intrigued by the surprise announcement that Thigpen would be part of a reception and policy briefing some of the nation’s brightest young legislators. He has been at the forefront among registers of deeds of the foreclosure fraud crisis, using the power of his office to document forgeries and other abuses by banks seeking to upend the land title recording system that has prevailed in America for centuries. There was a hope that this White House meeting would offer a chance for Thigpen to build on his success, and get the ear of top policymakers about the extent of the fraud.
It didn’t pan out.
|By: David Dayen Friday June 17, 2011 12:30 pm|
I’ve written about Thigpen, but not a lot of other people outside of Guilford County, North Carolina have. I wasn’t sure how much penetration he was getting into the larger community. Well, my eyes have been opened. Jeff Thigpen is headed to Washington today.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday June 7, 2011 1:15 pm|
Only now are we beginning to get the investigations showing the extent of the problems, between Field’s findings, the subpoenas and spade work from state AGs, the HUD Inspector General report showing that the banks filed false claims to recoup government-funded insurance on FHA loans, and the recent discoveries from county registers of deeds. One register, Jeff Thigpen of Guilford County, North Carolina, looked through the records in his office and found thousands of instances of fraudulent documents and forged signatures. Another register, John O’Brien of the Southern Essex District in Massachusetts, has decided to reject all robo-signed records coming into his office, forcing the entities wishing to foreclosure under his jurisdiction to file separate forms.
|By: David Dayen Thursday May 5, 2011 7:15 pm|
Federal regulators simply aren’t that interested in investigating foreclosure fraud and laying down the appropriate punishments. Tom Miller is too busy deflecting criticism about massive campaign contributions from the banking sector to run a proper state-based investigation. So it’s actually come down to the registers of deeds – the unassuming public servants working in county recorder’s offices across the country and carefully recording the transfers of land titles – to step up and deliver some measure of accountability on the banks for violations of law.