If the mortgage mess makes little sense to you, the Florida attorney general’s office created a handy slideshow titled “Unfair, Deceptive and Unconscionable Acts in Foreclosure Cases.” It’s both a great primer on the mortgage servicing industry, and a damning description of what Attorney General Pam Bondi calls a broken system.
The presentation starts out with a quick but in-depth look at how a loan is transferred from the original lender to other banks and loan servicers that actually handle the busywork of receiving loan payments, and making sure that investors and local taxes are paid.
The key to that process is called the “assignment,” which is used to transfer ownership of the loan from one party to the next. The typical loan receives four letters of assignment, and sometimes more, as it passes from the original lender all the way to the investors who ultimately come to own it.
That’s where things began to fall apart, according to Bondi. During the housing boom, banks were dealing with so many assignments of so many mortgages that they simply could not keep up.
So they cheated, Bondi says. Her presentation tracks the impossibly varied career of Linda Green, whose signature was forged onto hundreds of thousands of mortgage assignments. The presentation shows 13 such signatures, none of which resemble the others in any way. It also documents 14 jobs that Linda Green’s signature forgers claimed she had, as vice president of everything from Bank of America to Seattle Mortgage Company.
In their rush to plow through as many assignments as possible, made up other things, too. One document in the presentation says the loan assignment will become effective on 9/9/9999.
Another transfers the mortgage to “BOGUS ASSIGNEE.”
House image: Kevin Dooley, via Flickr.com
Signature image from slide show at www.StopForeclosureFraud.com