Knights of Columbus Targets BofA Foreclosure Actions in Knights of Columbus v. Bank of New York Mellon
Knights of Columbus, a charitable organization and an investor in mortgage-backed securities, is seeking a court order to learn more about foreclosure practices by Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the biggest U.S. bank.
Bank of America, which services mortgage loans on behalf of investors, may be acting for its own benefit, Knights of Columbus said in a lawsuit filed today in New York State Supreme Court. The bank also may be harming borrowers whose loans were pooled and sold, and “undermining efforts to restore economic prosperity to the country,” the group said.
Mortgage services have come under government scrutiny over their foreclosure and servicing practices. State officials this week told the five largest mortgage servicers, including Bank of America, that they may face lawsuits seeking $17 billion if they don’t settle a nationwide investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be named because the talks are private.
Check out the rest from Bloomberg here…
From the complaint…
BACKGROUND – GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
Recent revelations from a variety of credible sources indicate that the Master Servicer may be acting for its own benefit rather than for the benefit of investors. Furthermore, the acts detailed below indicate that the Master Servicer may be damagingthe borrowers whose loans make up each Trust’s corpus and undermining efforts to restore economic prosperity to this Country.
BACKGROUND – THE NATIONAL FINANCIAL CRISIS
As this Court well understands, a national financial crisis exists, which was primarily caused by irresponsible lending practices and leveraging of debt on the part of the nation’s largest financial institutions. This financial crisis required an unprecedented federal bailout of the nation’s largest financial institutions, including the Defendant Trustee and the Master Servicer described in this Complaint. The Defendant Trustee received $3,000,000,000 under the Capital Purchase Program, while the Master Servicer received $25,000,000,000 under the Capital Purchase Program and $20,000,000,000 under the Targeted Investment Program.
BACKGROUND – THE NATIONAL FORECLOSURE CRISIS
As this Court also understands, a national foreclosure crisis accompanies the financial crisis. “The Federal Reserve considers the record rate of mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures and their impacts on communities an urgent problem.” See http://data.newyorkfed.org/creditconditionsmap/#.
Losing a home to foreclosure can be one of the most serious, stressful, and devastating events in a person’s life.
During the foreclosure process, borrowers should be treated with respect, and the foreclosure process should be performed in a manner that is honest, legal, and in compliance with due process of law.
BACKGROUND – ROBO-SIGNING
In a February 19, 2010 deposition in a Massachusetts bankruptcy case, Renee D. Hertzler, an employee of the Master Servicer, admitted under oath to signing seven to eight thousand legal documents a month outside the presence of a notary and without reviewing the documents prior to signing them. Ms. Hertzler testified “I typically don’t read them because of the volume that we sign.”
Ms. Hertzler further admitted to signing affidavits as the Vice President of the Defendant The Bank of New York Mellon when, in fact, she was not and never had been employed by Defendant.
Tam Doan worked on pre-sale foreclosures for the Master Servicer in Southern California. While his job required him to sign various legal documents, he primarily handled notices to delinquent borrowers that their loan was proceeding to foreclosure. His signature constituted an affirmation that the Master Servicer had reviewed the loan and it did not qualify for modification. Yet, Mr. Doan told CNN that “[w]e had no knowledge of whether the foreclosure could proceed or couldn’t, but regardless, we signed the documents to get these foreclosures out of the way.” In some cases he claimed that he did not even know what kind of document he was signing. “I had no idea what I was signing,” said Doan. “Either you were in or you were out.”
On May 4, 2011, the Register of Deeds of Guilford County, Jeff L. Thigpen, surveyed various recorded documents filed with his office. Scores of filings in the name of Bank of America, N.A. were signed by Christie Baldwin. Filings in the name of Bank of New York Trust Company, N.A. were signed by Pat Kingston, who also signed for numerous other entities, including EMC Mortgage Corp., Citi Residential Lending Inc., Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. “Pat Kingston” and “Christie Baldwin” respectively used eight and twelve different signatures in Guilford County, including the following examples:
Full complaint below…
It’s a great read…