Michael Olenick: The Administration Likes Foxes in Charge of Henhouses – Proof that OCC Foreclosure Reviews Are a Sham
By Michael Olenick, founder and CEO of Legalprise, and creator of FindtheFraud, a crowd sourced foreclosure document review system (still in alpha)
“There Goes the Neighborhood,” which ran on 60 Minutes last Sunday, is a must-see piece. Scott Pelley walks through a pillaged house in Cleveland, slated for demolition in a county neighborhood stabilization program. This abandoned house is owned by Structured Asset Investment Trust 2003-BC11. An investor reports lists the property as “in foreclosure” despite no court filing. Ohio is a judicial foreclosure state, so a foreclosure filing requires a lawsuit, but there isn’t one.
According to the prospectus, Trust 2003-BC11 was underwritten by Lehman Brothers. Aurora Loan Services is the Master Servicer, though the entire trust was passed to sub-servicers. Specifically Chase, Option One, Ocwen, and Wells Fargo serviced 30.46%, 29.47%, 26.84%, and 12.19% of the loans.
The Murrayhill Company is the Credit Risk Manager. According to the prospectus Murrayhill “will monitor and advise the servicers with respect to default management of the mortgage loans.” Later, the prospectus clarifies “The Murrayhill Company, a Colorado corporation .. will monitor and make recommendations to the Master Servicer and the Servicers regarding certain delinquent and defaulted Mortgage Loans…”
Murrayhill literally wrote the book on how Aurora should deal with defaults for Trust 2003-BC11, then took upon themselves to the obligation to monitor that same book.
Colorado-based Murrayhill was founded by Sue Ellis Allon and apparently did spectacularly well back in the past. In a case study published by the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in 2003, the same Trust 2003-BC11 closed, Allon bragged her company enjoyed “more than 100% annual growth” for the prior three years.
Murrayhill was eventually acquired and merged into Clayton Holdings. Allon served on their Board of Directors. Eventually she formed Allonhill, her newest company, also in Colorado. Various news reports portray Allon as a “reformer,” really trying to get to the core of the housing crisis.
On September 9, 2011, Allonhill signed an engagement letter — a definitive agreement — with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), as part of the consent order wherein servicers agreed to submit foreclosure fraud for review by “independent” third-party companies. The engagement letter notes that Allon founded Murrayhill, “which pioneered the concept of independent third-party oversight of loans and servicers.” But there is no mention that Murrayhill was tasked with promulgating and monitoring Aurora’s default policies and procedures.
That is, OCC chief John Walsh signed off on hiring Allon to audit her prior work for fraud.