Robo-stamped | Full Deposition of Michele Sjolander Executive Vice President of Countrywide Home Loans
Q – I mean, have you ever personally, you know, with
a pen signed an endorsement on a promissory note?
A – No.
Below is the full deposition of Michele Sjolander, an alleged Executive Vice President of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Her stamped signature “appeared” on the promissory note late in the lawsuit with Bank of America and others months after employees of both Fannie Mae and BAC Home Loans Servicing filed affidavits that an un-endorsed note was the “true and correct copy” in the case.
Apparently these types of “ta-da” endorsements are fairly common for Countrywide and a lot of them have the names of Michele Sjolander and Laurie Meder on them. The Defendants in the case had gotten Mrs. Sjolander to sign a Declaration that the “ta-da” endorsement in the case was in fact “true and correct” after twice trying to enter the endorsed note in the record without authentication.
Then there was an opportunity to depose her on January 25th, 2012 in Van Nuys, California. At the deposition, she revealed that she did not place the endorsement on the note and in fact is not allowed into the area where endorsing is supposedly done (at Recontrust, by Recontrust employees) without an escort.
She also stated that she does not know the name of the person who supposedly did place the endorsement on the note. She stated that the endorsement is placed on the notes with a rubber stamp onto which is carved her name, Laurie Meder’s name, and all the other information that appears on the endorsement.
In other words, the Countrywide Bank, FSB endorsement to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (using Laurie Meder’s name) and the Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. to “blank” endorsement (using Michele Sjolander’s name) is a single stamp that is purportedly placed on notes by employees of Recontrust. That is why the two endorsements line up perfectly.
Mrs. Sjolander even admitted that there is no way to know for sure when the endorsement on the note was placed there, obviously a crucial issue.
Long story short, it appears that Mrs. Sjolander’s only connection to the note in the case–and presumably in other cases–is that her stamped named appears on the purported endorsements.
She has no personal knowledge of when or if the notes are actually stamped at the Recontrust vaults.
From the transcript…
Q It’s employees at Recontrust that stamp the
7 endorsements on the notes in general, including this one;
8 is that right?
9 A Yes.
10 Q And you’ve seen that taking place?
11 A Yes.
12 Q In Simi Valley?
13 A Yes.
14 Q Is there some type of manual or set of
16 A They have my power of attorney.
17 Q Well, okay. That’s not what I’m asking. But I
18 do want to know about that. But what I’m saying: Is
19 there some sort of manual or instructions or —
20 A If you want to know the desk procedures, you
21 would have to speak with an associate of Recontrust.
22 Q Okay. Okay. Sorry. I’m just reading the notes
23 again. Now, I’m going to try to explain this. I may
24 have to do it a couple of times, but just bear with me.
25 And you’ve been very helpful so far. I appreciate it,
1 there it sat is I guess what I’m asking.
2 A In safekeeping, yes.
3 Q Okay. All right. Now, this is something you
4 touched on a minute ago. I’m going to try to phrase it
5 in a way that makes sense. Who — and let’s just deal
6 with Countrywide in 2007.
7 Who is allowed to be an endorser as you were? I
8 mean, who — let me leave it at that and see if that
9 makes sense to you.
10 A I don’t know what you’re asking.
11 Q What I’m saying is: Are there people other than
12 you at Countrywide in 2007 whose names would appear on a
13 note as an endorsement?
14 A For Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.?
15 Q Yes.
16 A In 2007, I was the endorser for Countrywide Home
17 Loans, Inc.
18 Q Okay. And, I mean, can you explain why you, in
19 particular? I mean, how is that established?
20 A Just lucky.
21 Q I mean, I know this is going to sound silly, but
22 was there some competition for it? Did they come to you
23 and say, “Ms. Sjolander, we choose you?” I mean, how did
24 you come to be designated the person?
25 A It is the position I held within Countrywide.
1 Q Okay. And did you know that going in; you know,
2 if you take this job, you’re going to be the endorser?
3 Was that explained to you at some point?
4 A I knew that my previous boss was the endorser,
6 Q Oh, okay. Now, we covered this, that other
7 people stamped your signature and the other — her name
8 is — oh, it’s Laurie Meder?
9 A Meder.
10 Q Okay. So other people have a stamp with her
11 name and your name on it, and how do those people have
12 the authority to put her name and your name on a note for
13 it to be an effective endorsement?
14 A With my name, they have a power of attorney.
15 Q And what does the power of attorney say?
16 A The power of attorney allows them to place my
17 endorsement stamp on collateral.
18 Q How do they come to have your power of attorney?
19 A I gave that to them.
20 Q But, I mean, in what sort of process? You know,
21 how does someone at Recontrust — I mean, I understand
22 that a power of attorney document exists, I’m assuming;
24 A Yes.
25 Q And how do those people come to operate under
2 A It’s common, standard practice.
3 Q I may not be asking it quite right. I guess
4 what I’m asking is: Do they — the people who actually
5 use the stamps — is there more than one, or is there
6 just one stamp? I said “stamps” multiple. Is there only
7 one, or is there —
8 A No, there’s multiple stamps.
9 Q So do these people sign something that says, “I
10 understand I’m under Michele Sjolander’s power of
12 A Once again, you would have to look at the desk
13 procedures for Recontrust, and you would have to talk to
14 someone at Recontrust.
15 Q So that’s your understanding that you — did you
16 sign a power of attorney document?
17 A Yes, I did.
18 Q And, I mean, can you explain just in — you
19 know, in general, not word for word what it says, but
20 what does it purport to grant as power of attorney?
21 A It grants Recontrust. They can endorse and
22 assign notes on behalf of myself.
23 Q And do you know if this applies to a select
24 group of people?
25 A I do not have — I would have to read the
2 Q Okay. But just to clarify, once again, you
3 don’t actually know the legal mechanism by which these
4 people with the stamps operate under this power of
6 A As I said, I would have to go back through all
7 of the documentation that surrounds the power of
8 attorney, and Recontrust has desk procedures, and it
9 would be their procedures for them to assign that, to
10 place the stamp on the collateral.
11 Q And this was a procedure in 2007, what we’re
12 talking here is 2007?
13 A Correct.
14 Q And to the present?
15 A No.
Full deposition below…