A grand jury in Nevada yesterday indicted two title officers, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, on 606 counts of robo-signing between 2005 and 2008, a scheme that resulted in the fraudulent filing of tens of thousands of other documents with the Clark County register of deeds. This has the potential to be a groundbreaking case; it’s the first I can think of which actually indicts a robo-signer on criminal charges for fraud. And by going after the title officers, the Attorney General of Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto, appears to be laying out a strategy to go up the chain and hollow out the entire industry and their illegal document fraud.
|By: David Dayen Thursday November 17, 2011 8:50 am|
|By: David Dayen Thursday October 27, 2011 1:00 pm|
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has received a lot of the headlines for his no-holds-barred investigations against the banks, but he’s had a partner in Delaware’s Beau Biden. Because New York and Delaware were where most of the securitization trusts were originated, having a united front on this issue of fraud is vital, and despite the family ties with the White House, Biden has been uncompromising. His latest salvo is a lawsuit against MERS, the electronic registry owned and funded by the banks, which they used to evade the public land transfer system and save money on county recorder fees.
|By: David Dayen Thursday July 21, 2011 9:35 am|
Almost as astonishing is that it took them a year to determine the settlement terms. Now that we see it for what it is, you’re talking about hundreds of dollars per borrower, not thousands, on systemic abuses. Remember, Countrywide’s CEO Angelo Mozilo isn’t going to jail for any of this.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday July 19, 2011 7:40 am|
Remember that whole thing about the banks using armies of Wal-Mart castoffs and entry-level employees to sign affidavits attesting to the legitimacy of complicated mortgage documents without knowing any of the contents inside? Remember how they took responsibility for that and said they were halting foreclosure operations until they figured things out? Remember how they said they got things under control and would resume foreclosure operations, all legal-like? Remember how they signed consent orders from a federal regulator saying they would overhaul their servicing operations, and how they entered into negotiations with the banks on penalties for the same?
Funny story. They’re still robo-signing.
|By: David Dayen Thursday June 30, 2011 7:10 pm|
John O’Brien is engaged in some real activism. He told every homeowner in his district to check the records at his website and see if their home mortgage documentation has been robo-signed. He’s facilitating consumer protection complaints through the Massachusetts AG. He has provided letters that homeowners can print out and send to their servicers, demanding their full chain of title pursuant to federal law.
|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.