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50-state foreclosure probe loses several influential voices after midterm elections

By Ariana Eunjung Cha

Thumbnail image for midtermmoney.gifIowa Attorney General Thomas Miller, the point man on the 50-state investigation into the foreclosure mess, won reelection this week. But a number of the other 13 attorneys generals on the inquiry's executive committee will leave in the coming months.

Miller, a Democrat, beat Brenna Findley, a Republican who had been backed by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

In Ohio, Attorney General Richard Cordray -- a Democrat who was the first to sue a major lender over the foreclosure problems -- lost to Republican Mike DeWine. "A campaign website for Mr. DeWine lists job creation and opposing the health-care plan as his top priorities and makes no obvious mention of the foreclosure scandal, the multistate investigation or Mr. Cordray's lawsuit against GMAC," noted the Wall Street Journal. On Wednesday, DeWine declined to comment on the foreclosure issue, saying that the office will "evaluate each piece of existing litigation."


Another key official with experience dealing with mortgage companies -- Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) -- lost the race for governor. Goddard took the lead in negotiating a settlement, announced in October, with Wells Fargo. The lender, which was facing allegations of deceptive marketing, agreed to spend an estimated $772 million modifying loans for borrowers across the country.

Republican Tom Horne beat Democrat Felecia Rotellini to win Goddard's former job late Wednesday, ending the Democrats' 12-year-hold on the office.

Florida's Bill McCollum, also influential in the investigation, will be leaving at the end of this year, having lost in the GOP's gubernatorial primary. McCollum has been spearheading a probe into four "foreclosure mill" law firms. Republican Pam Bondi, a former state prosecutor, will take over as the new AG.

On her campaign Web site, Bondi prominently mentions mortgage fraud committed by scam artists but does not address the controversy over foreclosure documentation roiling the courts in Florida, the New York Times reported.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | November 4, 2010; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections, Housing  
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Comments

This goes far beyond the foreclosure issue. If the records of mortgage ownership are a mess, then the paperwork supplied when the mortgage is paid off are also questionable. That makes the title of every house with a mortgage recorded in MERS open to question when it is eventually sold.

I think some bank CEO's and their lawyers belong in jail over this. Each of the robosigners has thousands of instances of perjury. Let the prosecutors get them in and ask them who told them to perjure themselves and forge documents. Then work up the chain. It should end at the top of the banks with the CEO's and other executives. They should have the book thrown at them.

Also, to fix the problem, make the banks file all the back paperwork and pay all the back taxes and fees to state and local governments. How much of the state and local budget crunch came from the big banks' fraudulent avoidance of those taxes and fees? Probably millions or billions of dollars. One estimate for California alone is $60 billion to $120 billion.

Posted by: StanKlein | November 4, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

So big business wins after all. We need to see how campaign money is the key to public office and how it is a direct conflict of interest when these legislators take anything from lobbyists.

Posted by: ObservantOne | November 4, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Must be a slow, very slow news day for this non-story to appear. Four new attorneys general were elected, but not one of them has offered a word declaring an intention to back out of the suit. So why is this relevant? A story about how your grandmother spends her day would do as well if you just had to write something.

Posted by: infuse | November 4, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Mortgage Fraud - Foreclosure Fraud - & - Fraud on the Court by Officers of the Court - what can a borrower even hope?

It is a good thing the AG's are looking into it. However, who enforces the deal after the publicity goes away?

Countrywide settlement of 8.4-Billion Dollars 2008 - what happened after the publicity went away? Last I checked they used less than 2% of those funds and how many families did Countrywide toss to the streets? That equates to approx 57-thousand families having their foreclosures PAID in FULL - did any of those families see relief? What if they rewrote their loans @ 5% & discounted by 75k on the balance. 112-thousand families could have saved their homes. What about the 142-Billion Countrywide sold to consumers KNOWING they could not repay. That is over 965-thousand families sold illegal mortgage loans by Countrywide - what is being done about that? NOTE: there is NO-WAY our courts know if these families knew their loans were set to self-destruct? The COURTS are PRESUMING and making CONCLUSIONS not even allowing rebuttals in most cases? What's wrong with that picture?

Locally two law firms were CAUGHT arrogantly violating our laws. One being Bierman, Geesing & Ward - CAUGHT filing Forged documents & Forged Notaries - committing PERJURY, Fraudulent Assignments & False Affidavits - literally - FRAUD ON THE COURT. Where are the Attorney Generals? What was done? Articles describing it as “paperwork mishaps” - charges? Yet, these arrogant Foreclosure Mills trample the rights of the People - disregard Law - disrespect our Courts - and where are our Attorney Generals’?
What if those borrowers submitted forged Certificates of Satisfaction? Would that be a paper-work mishap?

How can our courts have any integrity? Why should the People trust our judicial system with such blatant hypocrisy? Our courts have no-way of knowing if these borrowers were given authentic disclosures. It is a FACT the borrowers were qualified using the fully indexed rates. Yet, a judge will eject a family because they allegedly “signed” a document they did NOT understand. Then hypocritically allow LAWYERS to PERJURE themselves - commit FRAUD on the COURT - and ignore it?

I supposed since the LOANS were FRAUDS - the FORECLOSURES might-as-well-be too?
I guess the term “Non-Judicial” has an expanded definition..?

Why does the court give these homes to total “strangers to the transaction”, are not owed a penny, not the injured party, do not own the debt, violated our laws eliminating Holder & bona-fide status, in most cases cannot even produce the "wet-ink signed" NOTE or other documents, failed to Assign by legal required date, then ridicules, and holds borrowers LIABLE? How is this possible in America?

Posted by: nehemiah1 | November 4, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION to my comment at 1:47 pm

WRONG STATEMENT: It is a FACT the borrowers were qualified using the fully indexed rates.

CORRECTION: It is a FACT the borrowers were "NOT" qualified using the fully indexed rates.

This is FACT based upon Depositions from Countrywide and they admitted it. These folks were qualified using FAKE interest rates - deliberately misrepresenting to the borrowers their actual loan schedules.

965-thousand families that WILL BE or HAVE BEEN foreclosed when these loans reset. These families did not & most likely do not realize what was done.

Keep in mind - ALL of these loans are/were PAID OFF by the Mortgage Ins - and are PAID again by other insurances held by the Trust. These LENDERS are the TRUST so they are paid MULTIPLE TIMES for the SAME LOAN - then were BAILED OUT.

Why are our COURTS ignoring it?

Posted by: nehemiah1 | November 4, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The ULTIMATE COST that should not be paid for faulty foreclosure!
(the 'elephants that hide in plain sight' killed this little boy, destroyed this family, and remains unaccountable!!!!) Miami Herald news story
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/03/1907758/behind-a-foreclosure-danger-and.html

*also see: Foreclosure frauds, Foxes, hidden Elephants in Plain Sight, Havoc
http://open.salon.com/blog/wwwlawgraceorg/2010/11/02/foreclosure_frauds_foxes_hidden_elephants_in_plain_sig

Posted by: lawgrace | November 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The Teahadists, being in the pockets of the banks, will quickly move to shut down these probes.

Florida likely will eliminate the need for judicial foreclosures, but only for primary residences.

Bondi, a former intake attorney at the Hillsborough County State Attorney office, will take in campaign contributions from the banks and drop the probe ASAP.

Business will continue to enjoy due process of law, but not mere homeowners.

Thank you, Teahadists.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 4, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Goddard lost his recent bid running as Governor in AZ primarily due to his opposition to SB1070. When AZ residents had to resort to hiring private attorneys to do his AG job Goddard's political career was doomed.

He handpicked causes his office tackled instead of performing the job he was elected to serve. Since he was an utter failure as AG voters dismissed his dream of becoming governor. When you are elected to do a job you do it regardless of your own opinion. Like Obama Goddard failed to obey and earned the consequences. He will not be missed.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | November 4, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The [probes will go away.

But, as much as I hate to say it, maybe the mess needs to be addressed with federal laws on foreclosures. One of the problems is the myriad of state laws that leave national mortgagers with different rules for accomplishing what must be done.

As much as I do think that most foreclosures are done against those who did not pay their notes, I also think that the mortgagers would be the first to take advantage of a mistake in paperwork by a defendent - and the judges would let them do it without a blink.

Does mortgage foreclosure need to be under federal statutes simply to avoid this same problem again? Because, I don't want to let mortgagers get away with it again.

Posted by: amelia45 | November 4, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The foreclosure probe loses political voices after midterm elections. The liberal Democrats were pushing the probe for political their lefts agenda to bring banks and lenders down and advantage the bad credits borrowers entitlement to home ownership.

The demise of the foreclosure probe is evident of rotten Democrat politics of welfare entitlements to minorities and low income and at the price of the industrious and detrimental to economy recovery and growth for all Americans.

Posted by: klausdmk | November 4, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The foreclosure probe loses political voices after midterm elections. The liberal Democrats were pushing the probe for political their lefts agenda to bring banks and lenders down and advantage the bad credits borrowers entitlement to home ownership.

The demise of the foreclosure probe is evident of rotten Democrat politics of welfare entitlements to minorities and low income and at the price of the industrious and detrimental to economy recovery and growth for all Americans.

Posted by: klausdmk | November 4, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps those people in electorate who are teeter-tottering with foreclosure need to lose their homes big time. Perhaps they'll understand the meaning of 'to the victors becomes the spoils."

It is truly a shame anyone has to encounter this. During the Great Depression, the government set up a dept to restructure home loans. Unfortunately that won't happen now. The banks have been waiting to continue their rape on the middle class which are the primary people engulfed in this travesty. One can say the Obama Administration didn't get to this matter, and with good reason...you had the Party of No. And now they're going to be the Party of Yes...as it pertains to the continuation of their rape of the middle class. Hail Hail Democracy is dead...the Plutarchs are here!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The enormity of the problem is hidden in the cryptic blending coming from the Fed. For example Bernanke is talking about another TRILLION dollars starting with 660-billion… The August - Real/Point Monthly Delinquency Report - tracking foreclosures - was STAGGERING. Banks are about to experience the mother-load of defaulting & foreclosure mortgages. Estimates are mind-boggling - the total UNPAID Balance for CMBS Pools August 2010 was 773.98 BILLION DOLLARS. That was AUGUST 2010. That TRILLION DOLLARS was “eaten” back in August-September.

Setting aside politics - how many folks think it was a coincidence Bernanke waited until THE DAY AFTER the election? Forget about democrat or republican - we are WAY past partisanship. Several leading economists we've seen less than 1/4 of the foreclosures yet. It is estimated there will be 1 in 5 mortgages in default/foreclosure if something very radicle is not done SOON. They have already thrown 3-trillion dollars at it. NOW another trillion and as was shown - that trillion was gone two months ago. It would have been gone before then had it not been for the election. Think about it - the MORNING AFTER election - it was DONE. We are in serious trouble - much more than people understand.

Bernanke claims those funds are to buy-back bonds. THAT’S what Mortgage Back Securities are - BONDS. The lenders sold - resold - resold - & resold THE SAME MORTGAGES OVER & OVER… The regulators were flat on their butts. The lenders ran rampant. This is 10-times the Great Depression - Enron - Bernie Madoff - combined then blasted into the stratosphere.

The loans were illegal - the foreclosures are illegal - and unless someone shuts down the Fed Reserve to cut off the addicts cold-turkey - there will be nothing anyone can do. Hyper-inflation to the peso-dollar will hit with a vengeance.

If the courts enforced the laws, it would shut-off the hemorrhaging and force the Big Lenders to fold. The retirement funds & pensions for millions would evaporate - but we could restart from a REAL balance. Tossing 20-million FAMILIES into the streets will only create RIOTS. AND when those folks learn their loans were deliberately set to implode - learn it was illegal - learn the foreclosure was illegal - learn that the courts gave their homes to the very thieves that put them in dire-straits - outrage & revenge will reek havoc across this country.

I know it sounds crazy - too conspiracy theory - edgy - etc… It is impossible to keep something this huge with such severe consequences to so many folks hidden. It simply is not possible to contain. They’ve done it for the past 4-6 years. It is busting at the seams.

sorry to ramble

PLEASE KEEP REPORTING IT. THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH.

Posted by: nehemiah1 | November 4, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Now the election is over, the time has run out on these deadbeats. No more political interference with foreclosures means they will resume again, and with avengeance. Sorry, but I have little pity for people now living in their houses and not paying mortgage payments in hopes of postponing the process inevitably. It is screwing up our economy, and we need to declare an end to this crisis so house prices can recover and we can go on with our lives. People who buy extravagantly expensive houses beyond their possible means of repayment knew what they were getting into. Some were clearly speculators hoping to sell their homes at higher prices in a few years, and I think very few were duped into signing documents they really didn't want to.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | November 4, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Letter to Wells Fargo Spokeswpman Vickee Adams,

Dear Ms. Vickee Adams,

In your recent Wells Fargo’s press release, you declared that “”Our
records show that Wells Fargo’s foreclosure affidavits are accurate, When the company finds employees that don’t follow procedure, it takes “corrective action.”

That’s a lie. I can say for a fact that Wells Fargo made us fraudulent mortgage loan and foreclosed my home based on hugely inflated and fraudulent appraisal and refused to correct its mortgage fraud.

Wells Fargo teamed up with its attorneys and spent last 4 years in Nevada courts defending its appraisal and mortgage fraud.

Wells Fargo and its attorneys knew it’s Category C Felony to make mortgage loan based on fraudulent appraisal.

Wells Fargo and its attorneys knew it’s Category C Felony to foreclose home based on fraudulent appraisal.

Wells Fargo chose to violate the law and chose to defraud us.

Kentucky AG Consumer Protection Division contacted Wells Fargo on our behalf regarding on Wells Fargo’s appraisal fraud and mortgage fraud. Here is Wells Fargo’s Nov. 1, 2010′s resonse:

“This letter is in response to your correspondence received on October 26, 2010, which was forwarded to the WFHM Retail Office of the President, regarding theh borrowers’ concerns with the appraisal.

WFHM filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on March 16, 2009, which was granted.

The borrowers are currently in the process of appealing the dismissal. The issues in question are part of the litigation and the outcome of the appeal process is still pending. The borrowers will need to have their attorney contact our outside legal counsel with all questions regarding pending appeal.

If you have any questions regarding the information provided within this letter, please contact me at (800)840-5812, extension 43610, …”

Sincerely,

John R. Petermeier
Executive Mortgage Specialist
Retail Office of the President

John R. Petermeier was the one told us that mortgage loan made based on fraudulent appraisal should be voided. If we can prove appraisal fraud, Wells Fargo will rescind the loan contract and help us recover all of our financial losses.

Hold Wells Fargo Accountable! Save American Dream! Restore banking integrity.

Please sign the Petition at http://www.wellsfargomortgagefraud.com. Let our voice be heard!

Posted by: WellsFargoFraudVictim | November 5, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

edwardallen54 - funny - extravagant houses? The misinformed are pawns of the system. Those that have the extravagant houses are simply WALKING AWAY because of the appraisal FRAUD… or an "investment decision." They actually haven’t been foreclosed yet…

As is typical blaming the (so-called) “deadbeats” is akin to blaming the drivers having accidents driving those Toyota vehicles with braking issues. Folks yourself would simply say - well it’s obvious those lazy deadbeats did not service & maintain their vehicles properly - therefore it is THEIR fault.

The foreclosures in process - deadbeats - as you refer - those are ILLEGAL LOANS - deliberately designed to induce those borrowers into fraud. It went sort-a like this - if you sign here - your payment will be 7-800 bucks and it might jump up another 100-150 bucks in 3-4 yrs. They were NOT told the loan would jump to 1800 - 2200 or even 3000 dollars per month. However since those families were ILLEGALLY qualified at the 7-800 payment which was also their maximum amount - well - that there is where the ILLEGAL aspect hits… So, those deadbeats - trusted the loan agent but the loan agent LIED. Before you blather about disclosure and documents I would point you back to the reason of the investigations - they were NOT disclosed nor given proper documentation and THAT is why you here about “paper-work snafus” in the media… but then the lenders and foreclosure mills don’t care about LAW - so, why should the misinformed…?

And just so you know - since the rampant foreclosures are ILLEGAL, they might be foreclosing on YOU soon. It does not matter if you pay or not - they simply process the foreclosure docs anyway... Once labeled a deadbeat - due process is denied - illegal seizure of your property is to be expected, right?

Posted by: nehemiah1 | November 5, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

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