4closureFraud – A Full In Depth Report on Fraudulent Mortgage Assignments by Todd Ruger of the Herald Tribune

Excellent investigative reporting here…

Now we’re talkin. Let’s keep this issue hot and forward this story to other media outlets and encourage them to do the same type of investigative journalism in their readership.

Offer to help them, link the Foreclosure Fraud Guide on this site to assist them in their task.

Once the masses realize that the property records of the entire country are in disarray because of total disregard to property law, and it is no longer about “deadbeats”, there will be more people standing up to the fraudsters that launched largest ponzi scheme ever perpetrated on the American public…

Below are the best excerpts from the report with some links added by 4closureFraud.

Shortcuts on the foreclosure paper trail

By Todd Ruger

The report starts off with…

To get a sense of the lawlessness in Florida’s court-run foreclosure process, look no further than public records at the Sarasota and Manatee county courthouses.

Wow, LAWLESSNESS in Florida’s Courts!

There, on foreclosure documents open to everyone, is the evidence that at least one law firm’s employees repeatedly broke a state law in a rush to push cases through the courthouse so banks could seize people’s homes.

I’ll give you three guesses on what firm the reporter is talking about…

The evidence — missing signatures and misdated documents that could not have been signed on the dates specified…

Kinda like this?

Foreclosure Fraud of the Week – David J. Stern ESQ / Cheryl Samons Assignment of Mortgage – No Signature, No Problem!

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on June 14, 2010 ·

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with this little “game.” Can you believe there has been so much other fraud going on that I haven’t had the time? Anyway, each week when I have the chance, we will be taking ten random foreclosure cases out of the Palm Beach County court house and picking out … Read more

Or this?

Mortgage Assignment Fraud – David Sterns Office Commits Fraud on The Court – Case Dismissed WITH Prejudice

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on April 7, 2010 ·

U.S. Bank National Assoc., as Trustee v. Ernest E. Harpster Sl-2007-CA-6684-ES Via Matt Weidners Blog Well well well… Looks like an Assignment of Mortgage was FRAUDULENTLY created by David Sterns office and signed by Cheryl Samons. Who woulda thunk… “By now the fact that foreclosure mills, pretender lenders and their document mills across the country … Read more

Back to the report…

Stern’s attorney and his employees have repeatedly told state investigators and reporters that mistakes on the paperwork they generated were just that — unintentional and isolated errors.

Some quotes from Stern’s lawyer Jeffrey Tew…

Kimberly Miller PB Post – Lawsuit claims that Florida’s largest foreclosure firm faked documents

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on August 4, 2010 ·

Miami attorney Jeffrey Tew, of Tew Cardenas law firm, is representing Stern. He said Stern and his company have done nothing wrong, and that it is accepted practice for a firm employee to be given power to approve assignments. … Read more

Foreclosure Fraud – Some Quotes from the Report of Three S. Fla. Law Firms Target of Probe – South Florida Business Journal

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on August 12, 2010 ·

Three S. Fla. law firms target of probe – South Florida Business Journal Bill McCollum “We are seeing a paperwork trail where law firms, through a mill, prepared paperwork with signatures from lenders who had assigned the mortgage,” Jeffrey Tew of Tew Cardenas LLP in Miami, who represents David J. Stern “His client is cooperating and that it is their position they have done nothing wrong.” Tew said that, in the last few years, Stern’s firm has handled more than 100,000 foreclosure cases, and there have been fewer than 20 instances in which documents were “inadvertently misstated” and, when found, were corrected. “With that kind of volume, there will be mistakes,” he said. “The firm realized it, they were corrected, withdrawn and proper documents substituted.” Tew said his client operates under the strict guidelines created by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and that the foreclosure process is supervised by a circuit court judge. “Everything done is done by the judge who is there to protect the rights of the borrower and lender,” he said. “David Stern didn’t create that problem; he is representing banks who are entitled to foreclose. Since he is the visible person, he will get a lot of bad publicity. There’s been a huge train wreck and David is like the surgeon in the ER: He is part of the process.” Read more

Homeowner Fights Foreclosure in Lawsuit Claiming Documents are Fraudulent

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on August 20, 2010 ·

Jeffrey Tew, a Miami attorney who represents Stern’s firm, said while the attorney general may have received complaints, there “will not be evidence of fraud.” Due to the large volume of foreclosures, there may have been clerical mistakes, he said. ~ But he disputes that Stern’s law firm fabricated any documents. “I haven’t seen any … Read more

Florida Bar Confirms that it is Also Investigating David J. Stern for Numerous Allegations of Violating Attorney Regulations

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on August 23, 2010 · 

Stern’s attorney, Jeffrey Tew, has brushed off McCollum’s announcement by saying that Stern handled 100,000 cases in the last few years, and a few mistakes were inevitable. Tew said this week that resolving the 2002 Bar complaint also involved Stern agreeing to have all staff who perform title insurance work to be on the payroll of a separate title company. Tew, of Miami-based Tew Cardenas LLP, said any alleged deception from the 2002 complaint “was inadvertent on David’s part,” and “there hasn’t been any Bar discipline since 2002.” Tew said Stern employs 1,200 paralegals in Plantation, and may have turned to using staff in Manila, Philippines, partly due to a lack of space. “The Bar has approved the use of paralegals in other countries,” Tew said. “DJSP has a group of paralegals in Manila. He doesn’t necessarily have room for more here, and it may be partly related to pay scales also.” As for Stern’s running of a public company, Tew says that is a settled matter and should not be controversial. “The non-lawyer component of his law firm was spun off into a separate company,” Tew said. “The public company has fully disclosed that arrangement, and there’s nothing secret about it.” … Read more

TAMMIE LOU KAPUSTA – Tampa Tribune – Fired worker says home foreclosure firm forged documents

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on October 8, 2010 · 

Florida Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation into four of the state’s largest foreclosure firms, alleging made-up paperwork and forged signatures. Stern’s office learned about Kapusta’s statement Thursday, when it was posted on the Internet and picked up on attorneys’ blogs, said Jeffrey Tew, a lawyer representing Stern. The statement isn’t true, Tew said. “It’s terribly unfair to circulate these allegations on the Internet,” he said. “I’m a little astounded that the attorney general would proceed this way,” he added. “It’s not fair that we were not aware of this statement and not given the right to question this statement.”  … Read more

There is more, but I am sure you get the idea…

Back to the report…

But a Herald-Tribune review of more than 1,000 property and foreclosure documents filed by Stern’s firm in 2008 and 2009 shows that the errors were blatant, widespread and repeated:

At least 60 local homeowners have lost property based on improper mortgage assignments, and dozens more are just a hearing away from the same fate. A spot check of six other counties turned up similar examples.

One in 10 mortgage assignments filed by Stern’s law firm in Sarasota County contains mistakes that violate state law.

And to date, not one arrest or indictment…

At least 14 Stern employees notarized documents — essentially swearing they were accurate — even though the documents contain omissions, incorrect dates and improper signatures that clearly show they were not proper.

Judges do not question the documents unless homeowners question them first, so they continue to rule in favor of lenders. Twelfth Circuit Chief Judge Lee Haworth said judges must remain neutral in court, and cannot raise possible defenses — such as bad paperwork — on behalf of homeowners who choose not to fight, or don’t know how to fight, their foreclosure.

“The judges will accept, as they do in every case, pleadings that are represented by counsel as legitimate,” said Haworth. “It’s the defendant’s case. … If they don’t want to hire an attorney, that’s their business.”

So essentially the courts know that they are allowing massive fraud to perpetrate their courtrooms but it’s not their “business” that it is happening…

Heck, it seems to me that they do everything in their power to assist the banksters attorneys get the judgments by signing orders before the hearings and even moving cases along for the plaintiff’s…

Mark Stopa to Lee County – It’s Time to Change your Foreclosure Procedures

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on November 24, 2010 · 

Lee County – It’s Time to Change your Foreclosure Procedures I’ve spokenly openly and candidly on this blog on many occasions about the need to change the perverse judicial procedures that permeate some of our courtrooms in Florida.  Nothing has gotten my gander up more in this regard than the perverse judicial procedures employed in Lee … Read more

Is Justice Dead? Attorney Mark Stopa – Final Judgment of Foreclosure – Without a Hearing!

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on September 28, 2010 · 

This comes in from Mark Stopa, you can check out his site here… Final Judgment of Foreclosure – Without a Hearing! I’ve had a lot of wild experiences in foreclosure cases, but this one might take the cake. … On September 2, 2010, I attended a hearing before Judge David Demers in Pinellas County Case No. … Read more

OUTRAGEOUS! Foreclosure Rocket Docket Judge Entering Final Judgments Against Homeowners BEFORE Hearings

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on August 21, 2010 · 

Talk about being GUILTY until proven innocent… This has to be one the the most egregious things I have heard throughout this foreclosure crisis and the theft of Americas Homes. It’s one thing for the banks and Foreclosure Mills to game the system with fake, forged documents and unfair and deceptive business practices, but now … Read more

Back to the report…

The vast majority of errors involve homeowners who fell behind or stopped making payments, not people whose homes were seized by mistake. Because of that, problems with foreclosure documents have often been dismissed as technicalities.

But experts say a greater threat looms.

An orderly real estate market depends on the legal transfer of property. Someone who bought a home from a bank that used questionable paperwork might have trouble selling the property. In addition, previous owners may be able to sue to get their house back.

Experts expect a flood of legal challenges based on inaccurate documents.

“Every one of them is suspect. Some of them are clearly criminal. All of them need to be investigated by law enforcement,” said Sarasota real estate attorney Michael Belle, who reviews foreclosure filings as part of a court-sponsored program.

As reports of widespread problems with foreclosure paperwork circulated across the nation, the Herald-Tribune examined the work done by Stern’s law firm to discover how pervasive problems were during the height of foreclosure filings.

LA Times: Despite Judge Meenu Sasser’s Vehement Protestations Otherwise, Foreclosure “Paperwork” Problems are Widespread ~ US Treasury Official

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on November 23, 2010 · 

LINK – Lawsuit claims that Florida’s largest foreclosure firm faked documents Aug 3, 2010 … “I haven’t seen any widespread problem,” Sasser said. The same Judge Meenu Sasser who’s office was found to have been engaging in improper …  Review of foreclosure paperwork process finds ‘widespread’ and ‘inexcusable’ breakdowns, Treasury official … Read more

To the report…

The newspaper focused on the boldest and simplest type of paperwork mistake — already called fraud in one case by a Florida judge. The newspaper compared the date a notary signed a mortgage assignment to the date their notary commission began.

If the signature predated when the notary stamp was issued, the paperwork was considered misdated.

Homeowners could easily review their own foreclosure paperwork for this type of irregularity.

By placing their official stamp on documents, notaries verify that signatures were done in front of them by the correct people on the date shown.

Yet Stern’s notaries filed documents that include missing information and signatures that could not have been made on the reported date. Sometimes the supposed signature dates came before a notary became a notary. Sometimes the documents had one date but were marked with a notary stamp that was issued months later. (Notaries are required to get a new stamp every four years.)

Both practices violate state laws that govern notary behavior and make the documents in question invalid, experts said.

For people thinking about purchasing foreclosed properties, the prospect of such challenges is frightening. Their ownership rights could be questioned and the title could be wrapped up in a long court battle.

The Herald-Tribune found 60 examples of similarly misdated mortgage assignments filed in one 12-month period, as well as dozens more that are questionable for other reasons.

Two real estate attorneys and two longtime notaries consulted by the Herald-Tribune said the documents clearly constituted a crime.

State law makes it a third-degree felony to falsely notarize a document.

While some defense attorneys believe foreclosure operations purposefully backdated documents to save money, others argue that the errors were unintentional.

Employees at Stern’s law firm and other foreclosure operations have described set-ups that virtually guaranteed mistakes.

In interviews with Attorney General investigators, one Stern law firm employee acknowledged the firm produced thousands of notarized documents without reading them.

In investigative documents, two former Stern employees described how a 15-foot-long table was used to expedite the signing of the tens of thousands of foreclosure cases it took on statewide.

The secretary for Cheryl Samons, a 20-year Stern employee and a notary, gave a sworn statement to investigators that told how paralegals would bring stacks of documents to the meeting table for Samons to sign.

“Once she has signed all of the documents, she would send a massive e-mail: ‘Please come collect your files,'” Kelly Scott, who worked at the firm from January 2008 to February 2009, said in a sworn statement.

Another 4closureFraud Bombshell – Full Deposition of Kelly Scott of the Law Office of David J Stern

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on October 18, 2010 ·

You’re gonna have to read it through. I do not have time to pull out the juicy parts… It’s a good one. Enjoy! ~ 4closureFraud.org ~ Full Deposition of Kelly Scott of the Law Office of David J Stern… Read more

Tammy Kapusta, a senior paralegal at Stern from March 2008 to July 2009, described the same table where she said teams of paralegals would notarize documents with the signatures and dates to be filled in later. Mortgage assignments were done sometimes after the final judgment was entered in a case, Kapusta said.

“As far as notaries go in the firm I don’t think any notary actually used their own notary stamp,” Kapusta told the attorney general’s investigators. “The team used them. We would stamp them and they would get signed.”

“I know that people had left because they were uncomfortable with the things that they were being asked to do, as most of us were,” Kapusta said in a deposition.

Exclusive Bombshell of Foreclosure Fraud – Full Deposition of TAMMIE LOU KAPUSTA Law Office of David J Stern

Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on October 7, 2010 · 

HEY JUDGE COX, THIS IS WHAT THE MOTION TO QUASH IS PROTECTING! ~ MY GOD! ~ WHERE ARE THE FEDERAL AGENTS!!! ~ “I personally did not do it because I refused to do it.” “I wasn’t going to falsify a military document.” “I was told that that’s fine, somebody else on your team will do … Read more

Robert Koehler, a Tampa-based notary trainer, said the acts described in the depositions are clearly illegal.

And there you have it…

Lies, lawlessness, fraud, felonies and toxic titles all being allowed by the Florida courts…

And the courts think they are backlogged now…

Wait til all these cases start coming back to haunt them…

Be sure to check out Todd Ruger’s full report here…

Now which journalists would like to take on the other three firms that are under investigation???

Pick Me! Marshall Watson

No, Pick Me!! Shapiro & Fishman

No, No, No, Pick Me!!! Florida Default Law Group

~

4closureFraud.org

Comments
8 Responses to “4closureFraud – A Full In Depth Report on Fraudulent Mortgage Assignments by Todd Ruger of the Herald Tribune”
  1. Officer of the Law says:

    Great work by one of the best newspapers in the state!

    Since a front page article has pointed out that crimes have been committed by the banks, will Earl Moreland prosecute anyone or will he pretend to investigate and just ask for more cash?

  2. Concerned says:

    I sure wish that you would add Goldman-Sachs’ Litton Servicing to your list of firms you check out.

    CountryWide/BofA and BoNY-Mellon have a deal with Litton to pursue some of the foreclosures. Servicing is transferred after the default. They may do it after a mod is actually issued – a permanent mod at that.

    Now after the servicing moves, Litton personnel use MERS to do the generation of documents. Par for the course, CountryWide did not do the assignments needed to transfer the loan into the pool that BoNY-Mellon is the trustee for.

    Nope, Litton personnel end up geneating the assignment that tries to put the mortgage into the long-closed pool. Of course they use MERS. The signatures do not match between different documents that show up on the internet.

    It is very interesting to take a look at the involvement of Litton. They are APPARENTLY working for BoNY-Mellon’s Trustee for the particular pool already when they are appointed the debt collector/servicer. Yet they LATER generate the documents that would be the first officially filed docments that show BoNY-Mellon.

    So, BoNY-Mellon appoints Litton, who genertes the documents empowering BoNY-Mellon, and thus Litton, thru the assignment Litton personnel generate in favor of BoNY-Mellon?

    Hey, somebody, buy a MERS membership and lets go start assigning the mortgages of some list of say rocket-docket judges and some of the pro-bankster members of congress to some type of holding company. This should especially be done on mortgages that are improperly securitized. This needs to be done in a way that demonstrates that MERS cannot be relied upon and is wide open to perpetration of FRAUD.

  3. John R. says:

    And don’t forget the word of Ghandi…
    not that I personally liked him but I just don’t care where I hear the truth!

    First they laugh at you
    Then they ignore you
    and then you win!

  4. indio007 says:

    Judge’s are required to do due diligence in determining their own jurisdiction. “Staying neutral” is a cop out. At least we know what their defense is going to be when they get sued themselves. That will avail them nothing because they are acting in absence of all jurisdiction. No judge is going to get found guilty of judicial misconduct for dismissing a case because of fraud laced filing. They are pretending they have a legal duty to adjudicate a plaintiff’s fraud. That is ridiculous on it’s face.

    Here s an example of real misconduct in regards to not staying neutral.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40360107/ns/local_news-indianapolis_in

    • Stupendous Man - Defender of Liberty - Foe of Tyranny says:

      Many of the Ohio Federal Court decisions of Boyko, et. al., in 2007 were made sua sponte in cases where the defendant homeowner had made no appearance at all. A number of the decisions of New York Judge Arthur Schack have also been sua sponte.

      Clearly courts/judges do have the authority to act though there appears to be no mandate to do so. It appears, however, that this authority may be limited.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sua_sponte

      http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=2032

      If you have read many complaints in foreclosure cases you’ll be familiar with some of the most common defects and will recognize there are many instances in which more courts could be ruling in this manner.

  5. Anne says:

    The biggest problem with the missing paperwork is that the banks actually find out their paperwork is lacking when a homeowner applies for a modification (which the banks were given billions of dollars to create). Since the banks don’t actually have the note/mortgage anymore because they sliced and diced them and sold them to different investors, they refuse the modification for no reason (other than that they have no note/mortgage to modify). The modifications would keep people who can pay the mortgages in their homes and get the recovery in motion. Instead, the banks start bullying the homeowners and delaying the process because they can’t produce the mortgage for modification. In their bullying process, the banks get some homeowners to panic and borrow elsewhere to bring their mortgage current. Otherwise, the bank rolls the dice and goes to court and hopes the homeowners and their lawyers and the judges don’t realize the banks have no paperwork. Now the public winds up homeless with no credit to pursue another mortgage and the banks wind up with houses they don’t want and can’t sell because the people who would buy them have been branded by foreclosure. The government obviously won’t stop the banks because they’re afraid of letting them “fail”. They should be afraid of letting them “succeed”. There will be no recovery. We are doomed.

    • housemanrob says:

      Anytime it appears “doom” is upon us I visit websites on ……Guadalahara, LAKE CHAPALA (spectacular spring like mountain weather year round), PUERTO VALLERTA and others in Mexico. Costa Rica…….I will also review!Never give up hope! NEVER……..NEVER……….NEVER!!!!!!!!

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