Investigation: 5 Banks Accused of Fraudulent Foreclosures in MA Violating National Mortgage Settlement
Investigation: 5 Banks Accused of Fraudulent Foreclosures in MA
Five of the nation’s largest banks are now violating an agreement with the federal government in Massachusetts, according to an investigation of local foreclosure affidavits conducted by GoLocalWorcester.
The investigation involved nearly 200 affidavits from Ally, Bank of America, Citi, Chase, and Wells Fargo filed with the Registry of Deeds in Worcester and Essex Counties and found that these documents had been expedited and signed without required knowledge of the signer, which is in violation of federal standards banks agreed to uphold with the federal government.
Housing Attorney, Tom Vawter of Newton, MA said that there is no way they comply with the standards the banks agreed to uphold. He surmises that economic gain is behind the banks’ behavior, which nullifies many of the reasons behind the Monitor’s established agreement with the banks.
“In order to sign these affidavits under personal knowledge, they would have needed to be at the foreclosure sale. The knowledge that this person would need to have would likely be more than what one person has,” he said, comparing these incidences to hearsay. “Their affidavit is not based on personal knowledge, but by review of the file in the office. They didn’t review anything at all.”
Essex County Register of Deeds, John O’Brien, said that this situation and scale of fraud is “appalling,” and that their broken promises are hurting homeowners.
“The banks have decided to have attorneys sign these, but they weren’t at the foreclosure sale, so they don’t have personal knowledge of that,” Vawter said, adding that in most cases, the person signing the affidavit has no idea what they’re signing, putting homeowners at risk.