Southern Essex Register of Deeds John O’Brien: “My registry is a crime scene.”
The register of deeds for Southern Essex fights the good fight against banks that falsify ownership and foreclosure documents.
John O’Brien isn’t camping out on the streets of New York with Occupy Wall Street, but he might as well be. O’Brien, the embattled register of deeds for Southern Essex (Salem), has been carrying on his own fight with the big banks, which, he says, have ruined his registry of deeds by swamping it with fraudulent documents and victimizing registry users.
O’Brien, who has been waging his war with the banks since before OWS first camped out in Zuccotti Park, says his registry is “a crime scene because of Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase.” The big banks, he says, have left the registry awash with more than 30,000 robo-signed or otherwise fabricated documents.
O’Brien calls the flooding of registries across the U.S. with falsified documents “the largest scandal to affect the integrity of the land recordation system in this country since its inception.” He uses the services of a mortgage fraud analyst to help identify false documents, and he and his staff maintain a list of people they know to be robo-signers not actually working for the lenders they sign for. He invites people to bring him paperwork they believe is fraudulent, and he supplies them with affidavits they can take to court attesting that the documents are suspect.
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