John O'Brien


On the heels of a guilty plea by DocX founder and president Lorraine Brown, to mail and wire fraud, in the Federal Court in Jacksonville, Florida, Massachusetts Southern Essex County, Register of Deeds John O’Brien has filed an affidavit and a request for restitution on behalf of the citizens of his district. DocX was one of the largest mortgage related document preparers in the country representing a number of the major banks.

O’Brien said, “The fact that DocX has admitted in Federal Court that they have been recording fraudulent documents in registries across the country only validates what my office and others have been saying all along.   They have recorded over 10,567 mortgage related documents in my registry and the time has come for them to prepare and record valid documents to replace the fraudulent ones.  Not only would this begin to correct the mess that they have made of homeowners’ chains of title, but the additional recording fees for the corrective documents will amount to $792,375 dollars in new revenue for the taxpayers of the Commonwealth.”    O’Brien also said “It is one thing to record a corrected document, but that in its self will not insure a valid chain of title. That is why I have also asked the court for $492,015 dollars in restitution, so that I can seek proposals for a full forensic audit.  This audit will show us just how far this fraud has gone in affecting other documents relating to homeowners’ chains of title.  I suspect that we will find the validity of those documents to also be corrupted.  Of the 10,567 fraudulent documents, the overwhelming majority are documents that have been recorded on properties that are not in foreclosure.  My concern is that this may affect the property owners’ ability to refinance, convey or obtain title insurance.  Responsible lenders and title insurers rely on the integrity and accuracy of the land records recorded in registries and obviously these 10,567 cannot be relied upon.   I view this entire sad episode as no different from an oil spill, where the perpetrators are held criminally and civilly responsible to pay for the cleanup.

O’Brien is the first Register of Deeds in the country to seek restitution and this could have wide spread ramifications for other document preparers and the major banks that retained them. “The big banks cut corners and this has caused a national scandal, destroying the integrity of the land recordation system.  Those lenders and document preparers trampled on peoples’ property rights by recording forged and fraudulent documents and that is not acceptable to me,” said O’Brien.  “My proposal could be a national model for other registers across the country to implement in order to bring back the integrity of their land records.”

If successful, O’Brien intends to hold other preparers and banks that participated in this scheme responsible. Attorney Sarah McKee, a former General Counsel Interpol U.S. National Central Bureau in Washington D.C. prepared the affidavit for O’Brien at no cost to the taxpayers. “Had it not been for Attorney McKee’s assistance and her commitment to the integrity of our land recordation system and peoples’ property rights, I could never have taken this action. I am grateful, as I am sure the people of the Southern Essex District are, for her courage in taking this action on their behalf.   Attorney McKee said, “Robo-signed, that is, forged mortgage documents corrupt the land records in registries of deeds nationwide.  They now cloud the titles of millions of unsuspecting Americans’ homes.  Register of Deeds John L. O’Brien’s request that guilty “robo-sign” executive Lorraine Brown pay restitution for corrupting homeowners’ title records is thus historic.  It is a first in the nation.”

O’Brien also praised certified fraud examiner Marie McDonnell of McDonnell Property Analytics, Inc. for the work that she has done to bring this issue to the public’s attention and educate him and his staff on just how this scheme has dramatically impacted property owners’ chains of title.  Ms. McDonnell said “John O’Brien was the first Register of Deeds in the country to have a forensic examination of a Registry of Deeds. He did so because he was troubled by the fact that he could no longer look his constituents in the eye and tell them truthfully who owned their property.” Despite his awareness, Register O’Brien was shocked by the results of my audit, and when he finished reading my report he declared publicly:  “My registry is a crime scene.”

O’Brien feels strongly that this bold action for restitution is a reasonable and sound approach to bring an end to this national scandal once and for all. O’Brien said the duties of a register of deeds are to maintain and promote the integrity, transparency, accuracy and consistency of the registries land records.  “All I am doing, is the job, that the people of Essex County elected me to do … no more and no less. I am trying to do everything I can to hold these banks and their document preparers accountable for what they have done. Hopefully, the Federal Court in Jacksonville, Florida will agree with me.”

O’Brien has contacted Massachusetts United States Senators John Kerry and Elizabeth Warren, Congressman John Tierney, United States Attorney General Carmen Ortiz, Governor Duval Patrick, Attorney General Martha Coakley, Secretary of State William Galvin and State Treasurer Steven Grossman asking that they file an affidavit in support of his actions.

More info below…



DocX Plea Agreement

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John O’Brien Affidavit

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Marie McDonnell Affidavit

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  1. leapfrog says:

    “I view this entire sad episode as no different from an oil spill, where the perpetrators are held criminally and civilly responsible to pay for the cleanup.”

    I agree with you, John, and you are a hero for looking out for the land title records. Thank you. However, the big bank/MERs scheme participants are no different than the big oil cartel in regard to a spill. They are not held accountable, not investigated on criminal charges and not accordingly fined/jailed. The piddling civil settlement fines they pay are no more than a slap on the wrist to them and a “cost of doing business.”

  2. Sue Em says:

    John O’ Brian is my hero. Their office immediately sent an affidavit that my loan assigned by a robo-signor. Not that anyone cared. I am glad to see for once that even homeowners that are not in foreclosure are affected, as well. I took my bank to court and in court they were flip flopping about who owns my loan. What I would like to from all the courts in the country is: if we want to sell our house – are we obligated to disclose that we have a broken chain of title??

  3. neidermeyer says:

    Contacting my corrupt Clerk of Court won’t help … How can we sue them and force them to act … I’m in Orlando 9th district FLorida .. any lawyers out there want to stir the pot?

  4. Faith says:

    Please email this to your Registrar of Deeds and follow up with a phone call asking him/her if they will stand up and do the same.

  5. A man of integrity. Hopefully others will follow his lead!

  6. MARIO KENNY says:

    he is a very brave man

  7. concerned21 says:

    I wish we had an ethical person at the MA Plymouth Registry of Deeds that is fighting like John O’Brien. This is what needs to happen and then we need ethical Judges. My family had a perfect payment history for 24 years. Our home was illegally foreclosed with no NOD because we weren’t in arrears, no Notice of Sale, nor was it published in the local newspaper. The Judge ignored all the facts of law and made a judgment for the corrupt bank. I feel like I was given a life sentence. I am consumed with this tragedy and how our family was financially ruined. We are different from most cases. We didn’t have an APR and we were making payments. We didn’t know when the house was illegally sold until 43 days later. It was also bought with an INVALID CREDIT BID. Where do I go now? We already paid $35,000 in legal fees. We lost our home, our retirement & life savings and I have proof of every payment and all the complaints, QWR’s etc to the bank and to the FBI, Division of Banks, Attorney General Martha Coakley & Daniel Crane of the Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulations! All the state officers are guilty of “Dereliction of Duty”. The bank employee is guilty of DEFALCATION!

    • Tim says:

      Yes Our Hampden County registry of Deeds is same deal. God bless John Obrien for doing what is right and fighting for home owners in his county. I wish Ashe would take some initiative.
      Speaking of initiative, d patrick gov of massachusetts is busy…..Gov Cuomos of NY isnt going to beat him to the white house. How do you two guys sleep at night just knowing what you have just stirred up for political gain… guys dont care bout sandy hook”
      kids on tv pathetic…..I even recieved a chance to purchase an Obama gold coin lol… the mail today….Ron Paul was only guy who could save us…he was pushed out by the bad guys and laughed at……were doomed.

      • concerned21 says:

        Thank you! I have already contacted John O’Brien. It is so unbelievable to think that you had met the burden of proof, had a preponderance of evidence prooving FRAUD, ILLEGAL FORECLOSURE, INVALID CREDIT BID etc but the corrupt Judge chose to ignore the rules of the law. We later found out that the Judges wife is an attorney who is the head of the legal department for the #1 big bank charged with illegal foreclosures. I know people that haven’t paid their mortgage in 3 years and are living in their home. We never missed a payment and if all payments had been credited we had paid off our mortgage. The bank ignored MGL ch 244 sec. 14 which in itself is a DEFENSE. I want to expose this Judge and all the corruption that he chose to ignore. We now know that he had a conflict of interest. I am open to any suggestions you may have.

  8. Rhonda Mills says:

    Working hard for the people!! This takes courage and integrity!! Thanks Marie and John for all your hard work!M

  9. Restitution on behalf of the homeowners…Really….Like how the Attorney General’s fought on the behalf of the homeowners….Let’s get things straight…when government sues, it is for government, under the guise of something else…homeowners will not (and I know I am repeating myself from eight months earlier) get a dime…the money will go into the coffers of their local government…anyone want to make a wager?

    • Tim says:

      not me shery….your absolutely right! They have already demonstrated that ,Although, I have seen good things in my state of Massachusetts by Martha Coakley. She is up on big bank fraud and has implimented some State guidelines for banks to follow. But….the banks get by them by lying and robo signing and the judges dont seem to be educated in these tactics….but, what do i know….im just a dead beat with a bank named indymac / one west bank…….ever hear of it? lol

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