“Robo-Signing” Fraud Continues–Surprise!

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

In April, 14 of the nation’s biggest banks promised federal regulators they would stop robo-signing documents to foreclose on homes.  This was part of a settlement to clean up the foreclosure mess caused by wild lending of the banks.  Nearly 8 months ago, the banks were caught red handed fraudulently creating fake documents because they lost track of the originals in the haze of creating mortgaged-backed securities.  Why is this still going on?  More importantly, why are not bank executives going to jail instead of letting them off the hook?  Many have called this outright organized crime!!!  The implications of this, to me, say the mortgage industry and bankers are panicked and desperate.  It also signals the real estate market will not recover for many years.

The story that follows is a must read from the Associated Press:  “Mortgage industry employees are still signing documents they haven’t read and using fake signatures more than eight months after big banks and mortgage companies promised to stop the illegal practices that led to a nationwide halt of home foreclosures.  County officials in at least three states tell The Associated Press they have received thousands of mortgage documents with questionable signatures since last fall, suggesting that the practices, known collectively as “robo-signing,” remain widespread in the industry.  The documents have come from several companies that process mortgage paperwork, and have been filed on behalf of several major banks. One name, “Linda Green,” was signed almost two dozen different ways.  Lenders say they are working with regulators to fix the problem but cannot explain why it has persisted.  Last fall, the nation’s largest banks and mortgage lenders, including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and an arm of Goldman Sachs, suspended foreclosures while they investigated how corners were cut to keep pace with the crush of foreclosure paperwork.  Critics say the new findings point to a systemic problem with the paperwork involved in home mortgages and titles. And they say it shows that banks and mortgage processors haven’t acted aggressively enough to put an end to widespread document fraud in the mortgage industry.  “Robo-signing is not even close to over,” says Curtis Hertel, the recorder of deeds in Ingham County, Mich., which includes Lansing. “It’s still an epidemic.”  (For the complete AP story Click here.)

Comments
  1. g.johnson

    when you say “the real estate market will not recover for many years” what do you mean exactly?

    are you saying that the market returning to previous price levels and then beginning to trend up again would mark a real estate market recovery?

    in my book, the real estate market is recovering. maybe not fast enough, but headed in the right direction…..down.

    should price ever finally return to the point where the average mortgage payment reflects no more than 20% of the mortgage holder’s income, then the market will have recovered.

    as it was, and still is now, real estate investment is investment in inflation. if you have no moral problem with others having to suffer financially so that you can make a profit in real estate investing, the i have a moral problem with you.

    i heartily agree that these banksters need to taste justice. as for real estate investors losing their shirts because they didn’t know any better than to bet on prices going higher than the market could possibly bear, i have no sympathy. if you are in this boat, grow a pair and take the hit you deserve. you may find that a little grace beats the hell out of a little immoral profiteering.

    • Greg

      G, Johnson,
      It will not bottom until 2016 or longer and yes it is headed lower. I think it falls antoher 40% from here in the next 5 years or so.
      Greg

    • Malcolm McLean

      @g.johnson

      Not to be disingenuous to your posting – which I have heard many times before – but the market cannot return to ‘normal’ until a number of factors have corrected themselves:

      First it is still very difficult to get a new mortgage unless the borrower has a significant down payment – why – because the banks want a significant ‘buffer’ as they know home prices will continue to drop.

      At this time interest rates are so low, that they have artificially held the market ‘price’ at the foreclosure valuation of properties.

      At this time the only reason to buy a home is to take advantage of the low interest rate – coupled with the assumption that home prices cannot go any lower.

      When interest rates increase – home sales will stop dead.

      It’s all about debt to income ratio’s – when interest rates go up – to buy the same home – the selling price must come down.

      As more bank and investor shadow inventory is offloaded onto the market – home prices will drop once again as more inventory is available.

      Miami for example has over 15 years of unsold inventory (based on pre 2005 sales figures!

      Property taxes are increasing in many cities – and utilities are also increasing – just take Los Angeles DWP in 2010 wanting to increase prices across the board by 30% – and instead they have spread this increase over a number of years.

      When Dr. Bernanke states that ‘home ownership is not to be seen as an investment” then you know there is big trouble on the horizon!

      Greg suggests 2016 – maybe – but compare home prices from 2003 to now.

      The sharp increase from 2000 to 2004/5/6 – was so dramatic – some homes selling 4 times what they were bought for in 2000!

      And then there is the Commercial Property crash to come!

      Look at the values of REITS – some are down 80% of their stock price in 2005!

  2. droidX-G

    GREG what a pleasant surprise! I was hoping you would be posting more
    ,

    • Greg

      droidX-G,
      I plan on posting something 5 days a week from here on out. Thank you for noticing.
      Greg

  3. Baja Bryan

    Greg,

    I tend to agree with your assessment on what this signals for the real estate market. Regarding the “Robo-Signing” issue, it is quite transparent that these banks and their henchmen are lower than squid feces. Heck, even the criminal mafia has a code of ethics but these unscrupulous gangsters have absolutely none yet they continue to get a pass. If the Law persists to fail, citizen’s arrests may be the order of the day in the not too distant future.

    “As citizens, we all have an obligation to intervene and become involved – it’s the citizen who changes things.” ~Jose Saramago

    • Greg

      Yes Bryan they are the lowest of the low. Thank you for the comment..
      Greg

    • Malcolm McLean

      The issue was not just the banks and their co-conspiratorial Law Firms – but also the judges who allowed the ‘robo-signing’ when they knew that the documents being presented were fraudulent.

      In Lee County – foreclosures took less than 20 seconds – yet the clerks of the court were bringing to the attention of the judges that signatures were different for the same persons name – from one document to the next.

      Also clerks pointed out that ‘notary’ signatures were for people no longer licensed as notaries – their licenses had expired years previously.

      Yet THE JUDGES ‘RUBBER STAMPED’ THE ‘ROBO SIGNED’ DOCUMENTS – because they were in collusion with the banks and attorneys.

      The bar associations have never once taken a judge to task for knowingly Rubber Stamping the Robo Signed Documents – why? Because the Judges hide behind the lie, “that the person representing the bank of law firm ‘swore to tell the truth’ there fore they had no reason to believe the documents were fraudulent”.

      The judges were and are part of the problem!

      • Greg

        Malcolm McLean,
        Good stuff man!!! Thank you.
        Greg

  4. Jan

    Why not carry on with the past practice, no punishment or at best a small slap on the wrist. There is money to be made. It is sick.

    Maybe we can get Congress to get out of the business of backing mortgages. Government has no business being a safety net for private banks.

    • Greg

      Jan,
      But they are and that is why we are in monster trouble. Thanks for weighing in.
      Greg

  5. Ron

    The people at MERS should be investigated by the FBI for Fraud. If anyone wanted to intentionally destroy the USA, it would be accomplished by destroying the Financial Institutions first.
    Remember the downfall of the Soviet Union? It was through economic destruction and without a single bullet fired. When it was over, it was over.

    • Greg

      Ron,
      The big banks own MERS. Investigating them would be extra special.
      Greg

    • Mitch Bupp

      MERS an arm of the criminal banksters designed to eliminate local taxes and fees. I read one article from North Carolina where one county tax collector estimated that MERS didn’t pay them for $1.7 million (??)In fees just from fees and processing charges.

      Right here in your backyard, Greg!

      http://www.co.guilford.nc.us/departments/rod/THIGPEN_WANTS_TO_TAKE_ON_MORTGAGE_GIANTS.pdf

  6. Mitch Bupp

    Wow, where was I? I missed this article Greg. This is a case of pure fraud where many times the original documents don’t evn exist anymore or can not be found. And many of them even if they had the deed and contract have finally figured out that most lawyers can stop the foreclosure because the deed was not put into a trust when the securtising occured. Any way …. this is a big money maker for lawyers once the cracks in the banksters armor has been found and that is happening now!

  7. Lynn

    Greg,

    If their are fraudulent signatures on any of my Loan disclosures do I owe WFHM the remainder of my Mortgage?

    • Greg

      Lynn,
      I would contact a real estate attorney in your state and ask that question. The only thing I can tell you is to find and keep all loan documents and put them in a safe place. You may need them in the future. Thank you for the question.
      Greg

    • Mike W.

      Lynn,

      Your question to Greg tells me you’re part of the problem. You BORROWED money to buy that house you live in, and, therefore, should be expected to pay it back. Unfortunately, your philosophy is shared by about 60% of this country’s population, so there is little or no hope of avoiding great calamity. We’ve become collectively too stupid. Pathetic.

      Mike

  8. Rick

    - “because they lost track of the originals in the haze of creating mortgaged-backed securities.”

    My research has shown that the banks in question didn’t lose the documents as much as they had to foreclose in order to cover their tracks. If real estate investors ever found out that the banks sold the securities over and over and over, sometimes 20 times over on the same properties then they would take the banks to court and sue.

    By foreclosing, the banks are free to cover their tracks and keep making money. In my opinion, the counties are complicit in the scheme not whistle blowers. To my knowledge, no county has ever prosecuted a mortgage lender, even when the lender foreclosed on property that the lender never lent on.

    Don’t you think that should be the story?

    • Greg

      Rick,
      That is a good point and yes that is one of the many frauds out there. Thank you for the comment.
      Greg

  9. Joe

    Greg,
    The fraud in 1913, started everything, setting up the false crash of 29 when govern`t gave banks power to print money. This was never to happen, and gold/sil;ver were to back any paper per constitution not taken off. We need to research our govern`t and realize the thieft going on and read the Kyensian plophsy of how we were put into this.
    We hve been taken down the path to distruction and do not even want to get out.

    Our Founders said; Banks are more of a danger to this country than standing armies and;

    If the people knew what the banks and politicians did ; there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
    Yet the lack of wisdom has caused most to believe in the two sided one coin political system. Where ignorance of this monster has caused the battles we see today. We battle fights while they win the war.
    LOOK UP cafr1.com false flag operations
    etc. you will know why we are where we are.
    And as long as we listren to the general media we will be as sheep to be slaughtered.

    Joe

    • Greg

      Thanks Joe and Jerry.
      Greg

  10. Jerry

    Solution? Make it legal for the banks to do illegal things. Make is so the banks are allowed to commit robo-signing and forgery. Make is so the banks are allowed to foreclose on any home they don’t have a note to or have a copy of the note to, and not the original note! Problem solved! That way you can get it over with faster by giving the banks the world and your right to live since they rightfully own it.

  11. Ron

    Greg,

    Do you remember that about 6 months ago (Jan?) there was a news report stating that thousands of American “Mortgage Files” were found in a dump, in a remote town, in Mexico?
    Did you hear any more about this story?

    • Greg

      Ron,
      I am not surprised because the originals are probably full of fraud. I have not heard anything more on it. Thank you for reminding about it.
      Greg

  12. Ron

    Greg,

    I graduated from Law School with a Juris Doctorate in Law back in 1978 and I taught Real Estate Law to College level students (here in California) who were preparing for their Real Estate Brokers’ License for over 4 years. That was 30 years ago and I have been following this so called “Sub-Prime” issue for the last two years, so I believe that I am correct in making the following assessment. If there is a Real Estate Attorney out there who can correct me, your input here is welcome. So I am just going to put this out here and hope that someone out there can tell me where I’m wrong.
    First of all, banks do not foreclose on houses-the banks forclose on the rights of citizens. Houses do not have rights, citizens do. Houses do not go up and down in value, people determine the house value based upon what people are willing to pay for the house.
    The person who obtains title to a property obtains the rights of time, title, interest and possession of the property. The foreclosure process eliminates the homeowner’s title to the property which here, in Calilfornia, (a non-judicial state) bestows title to the creditor according to contract law. No judge, no jury, just contract law. This is referred to as a non-judicial foreclosure. Changing the title to the property does not eliminate the balance of the homeowner’s “bundle of rights” which include possession of the property. (Possession is the right to live in the property.)
    That is why the bank must obtain a seperate “eviction order” after the non-judicial foreclosure in order to force the homeowner to be removed from the property.
    Now, what if the original contract that is being enforced upon by the Court is a Fraudulent document in the first instance?
    This is where MERS comes in. Up until now, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) was by design, a slick method that the Attorneys for the banks used to avoid any review of the contract. For those of you that never went to law school, you need to know that “Fraud Visiciates Everything”. This means that in Contract law, whenever it is found that a party to the contract, “the bank”, or through it’s agents, etc., has misrepresented the terms of the contract, (the mortgage) that the entire contract is “Void”.
    MERS was an attempt, (successful up to now), to avoid the Fraud word. MERS, by it’s lack of Congressional authority, is a slap in the face of Real Estate Law in this country. The Real Estate Law is embedded in the laws of the various states and was authorized by the Congress of the various states.
    I welcome a response and discussion from the Real Estate Attorneys out there on this memo.

    Thanks Greg for the opportunity to get this out there.

    Ron

    • Greg

      Ron,
      Thank you for your expert analysis and for adding to the post! You are always welcome here!!! I think few on this site will disagree or challenge you. Your argument is sound and backed up by fact and law!!!
      Greg

  13. Jennifer

    I’ve been wondering about all the foreclosed homeowner’s out there, won’t they be reentering the real estate market in the next few years? With homes prices and interest rates so low won’t they be able to afford to buy once their credit cleans up, which is right around the corner for many? Won’t an increase in the number of buyers cause an increase in prices or at least help stabilize the market. Is my thinking faulty?

    • Greg

      Jennifer,
      According to a recent report from Realty Trac the bottom will not hit the housing market until 2016. There are 3.35 million homes sitting on banks balance sheets and they are getting more faster than they are being sold. Interest rates will be much higher in the future because at some point the government will stop suppressing rates and let the market set the rate. I think rates should be 8 or 9% right now. When rates go higher then prices of homes will go lower. Be patient and save for a big down payment if you are looking to buy.
      Greg

  14. Thomas One

    how about one form and one signature. I guess robo- signing is simlar o sloppy work or rubber stamping. However,why is it fraud?. Whis is the victim. We need to simplify requirements otherwise the rubber stamping is inevitable. How does one validate signatures on a sh–load of documents and why bother if there are not issues.

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