“Sheriff Bouchard wisely halted all current MERS foreclosures in Oakland County until the legal ramifications of the case become clearer.”


Time to stop foreclosure fraud

Bill Bullard

“Private property was the original source of freedom. It still is its main bulwark.”

—Walter Lippman

Private property rights are under attack in a widespread national mortgage fraud scandal. Accurate property records are central to protecting those property rights. This national scandal is touching Oakland County records and therefore our property owners.

In the last several years, commercial lenders have invented a new way to trade ownership of mortgages while leaving out the property owners and local record keepers.

New companies such as Mortgage Electronic Registration Services (MERS) and DOCx were set up for the sole purpose of receiving documents from lending institutions to speed up the foreclosure process.

In their rush to process these documents, the companies hired workers to sign these documents. These workers were then listed as “vice presidents” of dozens of different banks. One such worker admitted to signing up to 5,000 of these documents a day. Other individuals have admitted to forging notary signatures to these documents as well.

After becoming aware of this problem, my office conducted an extensive search and forwarded evidence of numerous cases that we suspected to be fraudulent to the Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Bill Schuette is taking the lead on this issue and is receiving assistance from local registers, prosecutors and sheriffs from across the state. Sheriff Michael Bouchard and Prosecutor Jessica Cooper have joined me in pursuing this investigation in Oakland County.

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