Is the Mortgage Industry Organized Crime?
Foreclosure defense attorneys are becoming increasingly frustrated by the dismal foreclosure statistics and are seeking help from our nation’s criminal prosecutors to investigate the possibility of bringing “foreclosure mills” and banks to justice under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Usually, when we hear terms like “organized crime” and “RICO,” we think of Tony Soprano and John Gotti. However, when the mortgage industry conspires to defraud middle class America, it make the Sopranos look more like the Brady Bunch.
Every day, thousands of foreclosures are being illegally filed by foreclosure mills, with the full knowledge that their clients (the plaintiffs) do not have the legal standing to file the case. These banks and lawyers are not stupid. They know that 99%+ of all foreclosures in this country are never contested by the homeowner or real estate investor, but it still does not make it right.
In almost every single foreclosure case filed in Florida, for example, the plaintiff (usually a mortgage-backed securitized trust) alleges that it owns and hold the note, but that the note was “lost.” This is an absolute lie. The plaintiff, who is almost never the originating lender, never accepted physical delivery of the note. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, the plaintiff is therefore not the owner and holder of the note. Besides, how can they lose something they never had?