Southern Essex Registry of Deeds Audit Reveals That 75% of Assignments of Mortgage Are Invalid; O’Brien Says Banks Responsible for an Epidemic of Fraud


Salem, MA

June 29th, 2011


Kevin Harvey, 1st Assistant Register


Marie McDonnell, President, McDonnell Property Analytics, Inc.


Southern Essex Registry of Deeds Audit Reveals That 75% of Assignments of Mortgage Are Invalid; O’Brien Says Banks Responsible for an Epidemic of Fraud.  Once again urges Attorney’s General to stop Bank settlement talks.

Yesterday at the Annual Conference of The International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurers (IACREOT), Register John O’Brien revealed the results of an independent audit of his registry.  The audit, which is released as a legal affidavit was performed by McDonnell Property Analytics, examined assignments of mortgage recorded in the Essex Southern District Registry of Deeds issued to and from JPMorgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, and Bank of America during 2010.  In total, 565 assignments related to 473 unique mortgages were analyzed.

McDonnell’s Report includes the following key findings:

  • Only 16% of assignments of mortgage are valid
  • 75% of assignments of mortgage are invalid.
  • 9% of assignments of mortgage are questionable
  • 27% of the invalid assignments are fraudulent, 35% are ”robo-signed” and 10% violate the Massachusetts Mortgage Fraud    Statute.
  • The identity of financial institutions that are current owners of the mortgages could only be determined for 287 out of 473(60%)
  • There are 683 missing assignments for the 287 traced mortgages, representing approximately $180,000 in lost recording fees
  • per 1,000 mortgages whose current ownership can be traced.

McDonnell told O’Brien, “I have been auditing residential mortgage loans for the past twenty years on a one-by-one basis.  In the process, I have been cataloging the ramp up in predatory lending and mortgage fraud for all of those years, but I was not prepared for the shocking results of my audit.  What this means is that the degradation in standards of commerce by which the banks originated, sold and securitized these mortgages are so fatally flawed that the institutions, including many pension funds, that purchased these mortgages don’t actually own them because the assignments of mortgage were never prepared, executed and delivered to them in the normal course of business at the time of the transaction.  In a blatant attempt to engineer a ‘fix’ to the problem, the banks set up in-house document execution teams, or outsourced the preparation of their assignments to third parties who manufactured them out of thin air without researching who really owns the mortgage.”

O’Brien asked McDonnell what this means for his constituents.  “It is vitally important for your constituents to know that if they are in foreclosure now or if their homes have been foreclosed upon, they can stop the foreclosure from proceeding, or institute a court action to vacate a completed foreclosure. The MA Supreme Judicial Court has established the law of the land in its decisions U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Ibanez and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. LaRace and I can tell you that every single assignment of mortgage that was recorded for the purpose of foreclosing the homeowner is invalid, overtly fraudulent, or criminally fraudulent. My findings also show that your constituents who are not in foreclosure, and have never been delinquent in their payments also have clouds on title due to the recording of defective and invalid discharges and assignments of mortgage.”

“My registry is a crime scene as evidenced by this forensic examination,” stated John O’Brien. “This crime that has affected thousands of homeowners in Essex County who, through no fault of their own, have had their property rights trampled on and their chain of title compromised. This evidence has made it clear to me that the only way we can ever determine the total economic loss and the amount damage done to the taxpayers is by conducting a full forensic audit of all registry of deeds in Massachusetts. I suspect that at the end of the day we are going to find that the taxpayers have been bilked in this state alone of over 400 million dollars not including the accrued interest plus costs and penalties. The Audit makes the finding that this was not only a MERS problem, but a scheme also perpetuated by MERS shareholder banks such Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and others. I am stunned and appalled by the fact that America’s biggest banks have played fast and loose with people’s biggest asset – their homes.  This is disgusting, and this is criminal,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien continued “Once again I am asking Attorney General Martha Coakley and the other state Attorney’s General to follow the lead of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and stop any settlement talks with the banks. The results of this report are only for my registry, but I can assure you that this type of criminal fraud is rampant across the nation. This leaves me to question why anyone would consider settling with these banks until we know the full extent of the damage that they have caused to the homeowners chain of title across this country and the amount of money they have bilked the taxpayers for their failure to pay recording fees.”

The Full Report is included with this release and may also be requested at


21 Responses to “Southern Essex Registry of Deeds Audit Reveals That 75% of Assignments of Mortgage Are Invalid; O’Brien Says Banks Responsible for an Epidemic of Fraud”
  1. lvent says:

    Settlement with the banks? What exactly is a proper settlement for a crime wave this massive that effects the entire country? The entire country is folding up like a house of cards one state at a time because of all of the mortgage fraud and corruption..How many states can’t pay their bills? How many people have lost their jobs, homes and life savings because of this foreign multinational tyranny who has hijacked America and robbed and looted and it has not stopped? I heard a comment on the mainstream that if there is no NFL football this season, you can blame the mortagage fraud. This massive unsecure debt they created is unsustainable and WE THE PEOPLE cannot pay for their MASSIVE PONZI SCHEME SWINDLE AND HEIST. These criminals manufactured a depression in order to own and enslave us with that debt. Stop paying the criminals who robbed you America. Make the criminals pay.

    • I vent…WE THE PEOPLE are not going to pay anymore for this massive fraudulent ponzi scheme, swindle and heist. They they pay….Audits need to be done in every county in America…regardless how big or small…Final figures of fraudulent lost monies and interest…need to be paid with no cuts in the settlements. We need to follow and give them back the same as we all received from them…pay up or close the doors….No cuts…nothing…they are the criminals…we are the victims….we don’t owe them shit….but they owe the citizens plenty.. every citizen in this country has been scammed to the hilt….FUK ‘EM ALL….Soon the wolves will be eating each other…it is the wild instinct …an inborn tendency to behave in a way characteristic of that species…Empires fail….Racketeering proves they kill each other…the drive of greed and control is their own enemy…. Stop the flow of money…stop all payments….cut the cord as money is their lifeline….Stop the Federal Reserve…. our money must say the United States of America…NOT a Federal Reserve Note… WAKE UP AMERICA….START DEMANDING OUR RIGHTS…..EVERY VOICE COUNTS….YOU ARE ONE STEP AWAY FROM BEING DOOMED…..YOU NEED TO STEP FORWARD AND KEEP GOING FORWARD ….OR WE HAVE FAILED.

      • lvent says:

        I don’t know about gas, food, property taxes and utility bills down in Florida but up here in Illinois they are OUTRAGEOUS. Today gas was $4.03 a gallon. I have received $1000.00 in CATCH UP BILLS FROM NICOR GAS BECA– USE THEY ARE SAYING WE UNDERPAYED LAST WINTER. Everyone I talk to in my town is OUTRAGED about our $3-400.00 WATER BILLS. RUMOR HAS IT, OUR VILLAGE STIFFED THE TOWN THAT DELIVERS OUR WATER AND THEY ARE FORCING US TO PAY FOR IT.. COM ED $550.00 CATCH UP BILL THEY ARE SAYING WE UNDERPAID OUR ELECTRIC BILL ALL WINTER. NEVER IN OUR LIVES HAVE WE _EVER_ BEEN TOLD WE HAVE BEEN UNDERPAYING OUR GAS AND ELECTRIC BILLS AND WE HAVE TO PAY HUUUUUUUUUGE CATCH UP BILLS ON TOP OF OUR REGULAR BILLS. We get less and less for our money every week. I received my new tax assessment and my house is now OFFICIALLY UNDERWATER. They are FINALLY saying my house is now worth $80,000.00 less than last year. I would say it is worth EVEN LESS. WE have been paying HYPER-INFLATED PROPERTY TAX BILLS FOR 3 YEARS. NOTHING IS SELLING IN CROOK COUNTY. YET THERE ARE MORE AND MORE HOMES GOING UP FOR SALE EVERYDAY. We are paying for the MORTGAGE FRAUD PONZI SCHEME SWINDLE AND HEIST in EVERYTHING we do.. I went to court 2 weeks ago for my FRAUDCLOSURE. and not ONE person fought back. NOT ONE PERSON. I am sorry to say this Marilyn but, people are SHEEPLE. I am horrified. The only thing on FOX today was the Casey Anthony trial. For the love of God. The country is freaking falling apart at the seams and this is the main topic of the day? It is just a real damned shame the people let these bastards in the media distract us with that. COME ON AMERICA, IT IS UNBELIEVABLY TRAGIC and HORRIFIC WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT BABY BUT_ THAT IS NOT NEWS, _THAT IS A REALITY TV SOAP OPERA.. WAKE UP AMERICA. THEY ARE STEALING YOUR FREEDOM AND YOUR COUNTRY.

  2. Nora says:

    I wrote to my county’s clerk, Jay Stephensen, mentioning the fact that OBrien was taking affirmative action against the fraudsters. Stephensen’s response was, and I quote:

    “I do not believe Georgia’s laws permit a Clerk of Superior Court to place additional filing requirements other than those currently in our laws to the successful recordation of real estate documents. In other words, Georgia clerks can’t make up their own rules-whether based on well founded suspicion of wrongdoing or not.”

    Pretty disappointing. Especially when the introduction of documents known to be fraudulent or false to deprive someone of their tangible property is a third degree FELONY, punishable with inprisonment up to 20 years.

    I’d say some of these banksters should be peeking through bars for for the rest of their lives for the massive scale fraud they’ve committed, but so far not a single criminal charge has been levied. SO alarming, and just downright wrong. How will we ever turn things around if nobody has any balls?

    • So your county clerk says…” I do not believe Georgis’s laws permit….”….. it appears he does not know if it is permitted or not…..your county is just one county in a large state….and all counties have higher state governing powers that he needs to requests the rights to have an audit. I believe this is how it is done. What laws is he speaking of….laws to protect the crooks…or laws to steal with approval. …Your area needs to call..e-mail..swamp the Register of Deeds demanding an audit…rally/ protest ….silence does not gain anything….it takes noise to be heard. Every county in America needs to do an audit…that is money the theives have kept to make all states go broke. Pass the word…call your local newspapers…people must start demanding our rights…These fraudulent documents filed broke the laws…deliberately by the banksters…to gain more profits of greed. It was FRAUD……

  3. mogle says:


  4. Teyyah says:

    It’s one county in mass

  5. Beth A. says:

    The Registrar’s Office, the Auditors and whoever initated the audit should be HIGHLY commended. Excellent findings – wonderful article. I especially enjoyed the closing quote. Thank you for posting this – astounding information and what some people have been trying to shout for years…but no one would listen.

  6. lizinsarasota says:

    Hats off to Massachusetts and O’Brien. If only Florida – the epicenter of foreclosure fraud – could do the same.

    • Florida can do the same….and this needs to be done in all counties here in Florida and in all states…this is money the foreign banksters owe to the counties….we don’t owe them shit but they owe us plenty…..this county of Sarasota and all others need to get off their duffs and do their job as Register of Deeds…if it were a tax the citizens had to pay ….you better believe they would be warning you of a tax sale…..

      • Hey Liz…since we are both from Sarasota….just think if the courts were not so corrupt in this state…for every fraud document passed and approved by the courts were handled as fraud on the courts…plus perjury….and the fines given to each and every one of them…maybe the courts would have enough money to stay ‘ in business ‘ instead of hearing how the courts were broke. Now we hear the States are going broke….they all let the foreign fraud banksters run the show…now the curtain has fallen in their laps…..does that not prove how corrupt the governments are? Must we pity them….I say NOT.

  7. NOW this is great news….finally ONE STATE…Register of Deeds… has come forth with the frauds….look what was lost in recording fees. Stick it to the bastard banks….and no pennies on the dollar settlement either. Charge them the highest interest….an eye for an eye….NOW Florida….that may be another story trying to get anyone or any department to even admit there is a word such as ‘ fraud ‘….let alone an investigation on fraud….More fraud would be used to cover up the fraud found…especially if it went to court. Well…alot of people in other states know what we are up against….they also have the same problems…..but don’t give up the fight….Call your Register of Deeds and ask when the investigation…an independent audit is going to start on the recorded frauds? Call them, e-mail them…and spread the word….tell them as a homeowner and taxpayer an independent audit is needed…..keep it’s only a local call…..

  8. Wayne says:

    It bewilders one’s mind to think Just one state had the balls to do this. Hope you are listening State of Arizona!!!!

  9. George Forfa says:

    Again, for every one of these defective documents, there is one count of filing a false instrument. If a recording clerk faces the real possibility of going to jail, the paperwork will get much closer examination. If the banks can’t get these fraudulent documents filed, they can’t write mortgages. Cut these criminal offenses off at the root.

  10. Fury says:


  11. Javagold says:

    after reading these %……..why is anyone still paying their mortgages

  12. Readdocs says:


  13. lvent says:

    I even have CITIMORTGAGE using an assignment from another bank to attach themselves to my loan. I NEVER GOT A LOAN WITH CITI. THEY ARE ALL CROOKS AND SHOULD BE FORCED TO RESCIND!!!!!

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