Journalist David Dayen’s Forthcoming Book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, Wins Studs and Ida Terkel Prize

chain of title

Journalist David Dayen’s Forthcoming Book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, Wins Studs and Ida Terkel Prize

The New Press is pleased to announce that Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud by David Dayen, to be published in May 2016, is the winner of the 2016 Studs and Ida Terkel Prize. Awarded annually to a first-time author who shares legendary New Press author Studs Terkel’s commitment to exploring aspects of America that are underrepresented by mainstream media, the Award was established by Studs and his son Dan on Studs’s ninetieth birthday, May 16, 2001.

Chain of Title is the dramatic true story of how, in the depths of the Great Recession, a nurse, a car dealership worker, and a forensic expert helped uncover the largest consumer crime in American history—a scandal that implicated dozens of major executives on Wall Street. They called it foreclosure fraud: millions of families were kicked out of their homes based on false evidence by mortgage companies that had no legal right to foreclose. Dayen, a contributing writer to Salon and a weekly columnist for the Fiscal Times, recounts how these three ordinary Floridians challenged the most powerful institutions in America armed only with the truth. According to Dayen’s editor, New Press editorial director Carl Bromley, “Chain of Title is a remarkable work of narrative nonfiction that tells the story of regular Americans who decide to fight rather than fold before Wall Street. Recalling the humanism of Studs Terkel and the idealism of Frank Capra, it is all the more remarkable that it is a debut work.”

They did not work in government or law enforcement. They had no history of anticorporate activism. Instead they were all foreclosure victims, and while struggling with their shame and isolation they committed a revolutionary act: closely reading their mortgage documents, discovering the deceit behind them, and building a movement to expose it.

Columnist David Dayen recounts how these ordinary Floridians challenged the most powerful institutions in America armed only with the truth—and for a brief moment they brought the corrupt financial industry to its knees.


10 Responses to “Journalist David Dayen’s Forthcoming Book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, Wins Studs and Ida Terkel Prize”
  1. SMD says:

    Engraved on the front of the US Supreme Court building in Washington DC is the quote: “Equal Justice Under Law”. Homeowners across this Nation have held on to the promise that our legal system is committed to the fair and impartial treatment of all who seek it’s protection. The words spoken by Lewis Powell, US Supreme Court Justice ” Equal Justice under the law is not merely a caption on the façade of the Supreme Court building it is, perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists…it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status”. Most certainly homeowners lack the legal resources that the banks have at their disposal. Manufactured and manipulated documents recorded against their properties go ignored by Judges who have chosen to turn a blind eye to the criminal activities. Lack of prosecutions by Our Elected Officials, Federal Agencies, and AG’S (except for their token Lee Farkas TBW) has done nothing but condone the behavior by Banks/Servicers, Notaries, MERS and Law Firms who continue to destroy lives of so many Americans across this once Great Nation we call home.

    Just recently here in Massachusetts affidavits filed in the Registry of Deeds by Nationstar led to the revocation of the notary commission after 8 months of investigation. Every opportunity had been allotted this individual to respond to three separate complaints for failing to produce copies from her Notary Journal which she is required. One only needs to ask themselves why in eight months she failed to produce copies from this journal, failed to respond to the Notary Complaints Unit of Texas, failed to request a hearing and to date after the revocation failed to turn in her notary journals as required?

    Perhaps one only needs to look back at the Taylor, Bean, Whitaker case: United States of America vs Lee Bentley Farkas . In their own words they state “Lee Farkas, orchestrated a fraud of immense size–one of the largest bank fraud schemes in this country’s history”.

    The years since then have only shown the extent of fraud that has had to continue to cover-up what started behind the doors of TBW. The failure to record the direct chain of title of assignments by MERS acting on behalf of TBW. Did the homeowner pay some entity not entitled to payments after receiving notice servicing had been transferred to the new entity? Or is MERS data base not as accurate as they claim. The failure by Ocwen to honor the modification entered into by the homeowner claiming the homeowner never signed and returned the final documents therefore disqualifying her ( all proven to be false by the certified mail receipts clearly showing they received not once but twice these signed and notarized documents due to a quality control issue on their part) The QWR by homeowner returned with a Deed of Trust for a property in Arizona when in-fact the property in question is in Massachusetts. Once again I have to question if MERS data base is as accurate as they claim to be, or given the fact TBW has been charged with securities fraud for double and multiple pledging of assets and mortgage back securities? The revocation of the Notary Commission on the affidavit in itself speaks volumes. However no response from Nationstar with regards to multiple affidavits filed in the Commonwealth bearing this notary in question.

    This now begs the question how many times do our Elected Officials, Federal Agencies, AG’S and Judges turn a blind eye to what has been allowed and continues to be allowed to take place. Has our Supreme Court not ruled that FRAUD VITIATES EVERYTHING?

  2. Elaine Williams says:

    I doubt very seriously that we will see this publication be talked about or the Mr. Dayden being interviewed in any mainstream media.

    For us – it all started in 2009 with a dramatic dip in income. In fighting back I had obtained irrefutable proof from a certified forensic audit in 2010 that the foreclosure mill of Shapiro & Burson (now Brown) backdated, forged and created documents out of thin air in order to take my house. We were fighting back with everything we had. Desperate times call for desperate measures. They were getting nervous about their questionable documents – what if a judge in Baltimore County actually looked at what we had? Fat chance. That never happened. Next comes along a greedy bastard with waterfront lust. Shapiro & Burson then inserted him as an innocent “third party” to bid on my waterfront house. Five years later they got what they came for. The greedy bastard is in my home and we’re living with my 81 year old mother in law. Oh and by the way – those “documents” passed an audit after a judge ratified the sale. Go figure. Three attorneys later, with our 401k wiped out and up to our neck in legal fees – we are starting over from scratch at age 60 with no way to provide a decent wedding for our daughter. Most people are planning retirement – we’ll be working until we drop dead.

  3. ldynps says:

    It is still going on in every Courtroom in every county and EVERY State to this day??? The Courts are allowing the banks to steal our homes and it will be allowed because the banks have convinced US Government that if they stopped, the world economy will crumble!!! This process will continue for many more years to cover up the in precedented crime because there were 63 million loans, that’s half of all American home loans, that were illegally filed with MERS, the banks own company replacement of the County Recorders. MERS is a “paperless” process and there are No Note to prove ownership!!! This cover up crime has been given a certain timeframe to foreclose on these loans, ruin people’s lives in order to forge any documents required throw homeowners out and re sale it to create a Note! There are no notes to prove the bank owns any note because MERS is paperless and the notes were destroyed for their illegal process! Vice President Biden’s recently died son, Deleware Attorney General, Beau Buden, said and is posted on You Tube….”Honestly people, the banks have no idea who owns any loans.” We are screwed because the Justice we have been brainwashed to believe is our American rights layed out in the Constitution and Bill Of Rights are all lies! For me, I lost 2 homes in 8 years to illegal processes and the Courts are allowing this crime!! Unbelievable reality of the downfall of the American way of life…..

    • ldynps says:

      Vote out the entire Senate and Congress
      in 2016….it’s the only hope to stop the insanity of this crime! It’s the ONLY way

  4. Mike Drouin says:

    The dynamics of the crime perpetrated by the Banks against the American citizen , once understood , will disgust you !!! I sat down with a person from the Fraud division at the NH AG’S Office and explained to him what I knew to be the truth , and his response to me was , ” what would happen if we enforce that ? ” and said ” we let a couple of them fail , but we couldn’t let them all fail ” ? So instead of upholding LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL , they chose to become accessories to the crime ???? so did the Government , Judiciary ,and main stream Media !?!? As one person on the Executive counsel here in the State of NH put it , COLLECTIVISM AT ITS BEST !

  5. Kent says:

    When in 2016 dies it come out ?

  6. Ben Howard says:

    I wish all this evidence of corruption, would create a huge civil & criminal backlash across the nation, that would truly bring the big Wall street institutions, US government, judicial system to there knees, and keep them there until all restitution is paid, and, or served

  7. Mike Drouin says:

    Not only is the Financial Industry corrupt , but the Government that provided the Legislation so the Banks could perpetrate the crime is guilty , along with all Fifty States Justice Departments who were made aware of multiple Laws being broken and did nothing , are guilty , along with the Judiciary who turned a blind eye to the evidence presented before them down to the main stream Media who hid the truth from the American people are guilty .
    Every person in America is entitled to equal protection under the Law !! But Washington is in the business of Legislating exclusive privileges to make the Rich , Richer and the Potent , more Powerful which is an INJUSTICE to the common citizen !!! Case # 1:11-CV-00596-JL US DISTRICT COURT , DISTRICT OF NH , DROUIN V AHMSI

    • Kent says:

      The state of Florida was bought off with millions and the ones in possession of forged documents were never prosecuted which by the way is a class 2 felony

  8. Rita F. says:

    WoW! How come you have to wait until May 2016 to get this printed. I want a copy now!

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