It's not hard to find the fraud in the case. For starters, the assignment of mortgage is autographed by a notorious robo-signer — John Kennerty, who gave a deposition this summer admitting that he signed as many as 150 documents a day for Wells Fargo. In Cooper's case, the document with Kennerty's signature on it places the date on which Wells Fargo obtained the mortgage as May 5th, 2010. The trouble is, the bank bought the loan from Wachovia — a bank that went out of business in 2008. All of which is interesting, because in her file, it states that Wells Fargo sued Cooper for foreclosure on February 22nd, 2010. In other words, the bank foreclosed on Cooper three months before it obtained her mortgage from a nonexistent company.
That's what this foreclosure crisis is all about: fleeing the scene of the crime. Add into the equation the fact that some of these big banks were simultaneously betting big money against these mortgages — Goldman Sachs being the prime example — and you can see that there were heavy incentives across the board to push anyone in trouble over the cliff.
fraud in the inducement - n. the use of deceit or trick to cause someone to act to his/her disadvantage, such as signing an agreement or deeding away real property. The heart of this type of fraud is misleading the other party as to the facts upon which he/she will base his/her decision to act. Example: "there will be tax advantages to you if you let me take title to your property," or "you don't have to read the rest of the contract-it is just routine legal language" but actually includes a balloon payment.
It was fraud.
1. The banks had the ability to keep proper records.
2. Keeping proper records may have demonstrated that (a) fraud was rampant and that (b) the banks may be exposed to tax liability.
3. Banks often encouraged homeowners to default as a means of opening up loan modification as an alternative ("you need to be in default before we can modify your loan").
4. The State of Florida created a court system that preferences the interests of banks over homeowners.
5. The banks take advantage of their preferred position by further providing more fraudulent documents (that are often sloppily created) in order to support to idea that these are open/shut foreclosure cases.
6. Regardless as to whether or not the homeowner is able to pay or not, the bank is inclined to foreclose ASAP as a means to obscure the original fraud.
Why don't the banks want us to see the paperwork on all these mortgages? Because the documents represent a death sentence for them. According to the rules of the mortgage trusts, a lender like Bank of America, which controls all the Countrywide loans, is required by law to buy back from investors every faulty loan the crooks at Countrywide ever issued.
When you meet people who are losing their homes in this foreclosure crisis, they almost all have the same look of deep shame and anguish. Nowhere else on the planet is it such a crime to be down on your luck, even if you were put there by some of the world's richest banks, which continue to rake in record profits purely because they got a big fat handout from the government. That's why one banker CEO after another keeps going on TV to explain that despite their own deceptive loans and fraudulent paperwork, the real problem is these deadbeat homeowners who won't pay their fucking bills. And that's why most people in this country are so ready to buy that explanation. Because in America, it's far more shameful to owe money than it is to steal it.
Hundreds — and possibly thousands — of Massachusetts homeowners are facing back-to-back foreclosures as lenders realize there were problems with property titles the first time around. Those lenders, often unable to obtain title insurance, are opting to start from scratch with what is being called a “re-foreclosure.’’
valkyryn: Hanlon's Razor does really, really bad things to Taibbi's whole oeuvre.
the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida and a coalition of journalistic and First Amendment organizations earlier this week sent letters to Chief Justice Charles P. Canady of the Supreme Court of Florida and Chief Judge Donald R. Moran of Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit highlighting a number of reports from around the state pointing to a troubling pattern of foreclosure courts operating behind closed doors rather than openly as mandated by Florida law,
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