The next housing shock
60 Minutes -- August 7, 2011
As more and more Americans face mortgage foreclosure, banks' crucial ownership documents for the properties are often unclear and are sometimes even bogus, a condition that's causing lawsuits and hampering an already weak housing market. Scott Pelley reports.
Mortgage paperwork mess: Next housing shock?
(CBS News) -- August 7, 2011
Many of them are stuck on the market for a reason that you wouldn't expect: banks can't find the ownership documents. It's bizarre, but it turns out that Wall Street cut corners when it created those mortgage-backed investments that triggered the financial collapse.
As we reported earlier this year, now that banks want to evict people, they're discovering that often the legal documents behind the mortgages simply aren't there. Caught in a jam of their own making, some companies appear to be resorting to forgery and phony paperwork to throw people, down on their luck, out of their homes.
And it gets worse ...
"In my mind this is an absolute, intentional fraud," Lynn Szymoniak, who is fighting foreclosure, told Pelley.
(CBS News -- page 2) -- August 7, 2011
But what the bank may not have known is that Szymoniak is a lawyer and fraud investigator with a specialty in forged documents. She has trained FBI agents.
She told Pelley she asked for copies of those documents.
Asked what she found, Szymoniak told Pelley, "When I looked at the assignment of my mortgage, and this is the assignment: it looked that even the date they put in, which was 10/17/08, was several months after they sued me for foreclosure. So, what they were saying to the court was, 'We sued her in July of 2008 and we acquired this mortgage in October of 2008.' It made absolutely no sense."
Curious, she used her legal training to go online and research 10,000 mortgages.
"I often, because of my training, look for patterns. And then I began to find the strange signatures," she explained.
One of the strangest signatures belonged to the bank vice president who had signed Szymoniak's newly discovered mortgage documents. The name is Linda Green. But, on thousands of other mortgages, the style of Green's signature changed a lot.
And, even more remarkable, Szymoniak found Green was vice president of 20 banks -- all at the same time. [...]
Hopefully someone (several someones) in these Document Mills go to Jails.
Hopefully someone (several someones) on Wall Street who created those Toxic Assets go to Jails, too.
They put people out of their homes -- robbing their Life Savings -- all based on Incompetence, Fraud, and Lies.
How can this be? In America. A country founded on the idea of Equal Justice for all ...
Not only that -- these Wall Street Wizards pawned off their bogus AAA-rated paper, to unsuspecting Institutional Investors -- which ultimately crashed the world's Economy -- as all those Mortgage Resets started to fall like Dominoes.
And they walk away Scott-Free - Pocketing Billions upon Billions in Easy Profits.
No wonder the American People are so disillusioned. Where is the Justice? Where is the help for the thousands upon thousands of families -- Displaced?
Afterall ... They aren't called Banksters -- for Nothing!
FRONTLINE Presents: The Warning (on the economic meltdown)
by jamess -- Oct 19, 2009
Ratigan reviews Frontline's Warning, labels Wall Street as Legalized Gambling
by jamess -- Oct 23, 2009
Mortgage Fraud -- just another Scheme of the Shadow Bankers
by jamess -- Apr 15, 2010
Phantom Insurance: 6x more than the Property Insured!
by jamess -- Sep 30, 2008
The naked truth about this house of cards
by jamess -- Sep 23, 2008
Judges find 'Strawman' behind Wall Street's 'House of Cards' Securities
by jamess -- Mar 13, 2011
A Brief History of Band-Aid Accountability in the unfolding MERS Foreclosure Scandal
by Jamess -- Mar 12, 2011
Should MERS get a Get-out-Jail-Free Card -- while MERS' victims just have to Get-Out?
by jamess -- Jun 22, 2011
Citibank fails to prove Mortgage Ownership, in Foreclosure Suit
by jamess -- Oct 01, 2010
Hedging their bets -- about exactly WHO owns your Mortgage?
by jamess -- Sep 28, 2008
Where is the DOJ -- asleep at the Switch -- AGAIN!?
UPDATED -- Apparently the DOJ is wide-awake on this matter:
Operation Stolen Dreams
Hundreds Arrested in Mortgage Fraud Sweep
“Mortgage fraud ruins lives, destroys families, and devastates whole communities,” Attorney General Eric Holder said this morning at a press conference to announce the results of “Operation Stolen Dreams.” Launched on March 1, 2010, the multi-agency initiative has led to a total of 485 arrests. More than 330 convictions have been obtained, and nearly $11 million has been recovered. Losses from a variety of fraud schemes are estimated to exceed $2 billion. [...]
H/T to cotterperson for pointing this out.
NOTE: there seems to be considerable discussion on whether or not those arrested in Operation Stolen Dreams, are the Big Bank operatives behind MERS etc, or just your run of the mill small-time Mortgage scammers ?
I guess we will all have to wait and see. Or else dig into the details more and report on it, as the story continues to emerge.