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If you missed the 60 minutes report on fraudulent mortgage paperwork (as I did) and would like the whole story, please read Myrl's report below and then click on her link. It will make you sick to your stomach to know the extend of greed and corruption at the highest levels involved in the mortgage problems! We can only hope that those at the top levels of these fraudulent schemes see serious prison time! It is enough to make you sick!
Most of us in the real estate industry have come to understand these past few years, how deep the problem was which took sub-prime lending, and evolved those mortgages into packaged "assets" called derivatives sold by Wall Street. From there it became a short jump to take the more toxic of these, and morph them into Credit Default Swaps. However fewer knew, another darker facet was going on, once foreclosures began to overwhelm the financial industry. Although many real estate professionals are aware of a tactic to assist some troubled homeowners, called "Produce the Note," few of us knew just how deep the problem of producing the note can be for many mortgage lenders and banks.
"60 Minutes" profiled cases, where Wall Street in an effort to cut corners, while packaging mortgage-backed investments, which launched the housing market and the global economy into financial collapse. In Scott Pelley's "60 Minutes" segment, he explains an aftershock of the U.S. financial collapse - An epidemic of forged and missing mortgage documents. As it is now being discovered, Wall Street repeatedly cut corners, when it created these mortgage-backed investments. The banks want to evict troubled homeowners, but are discovering as they unwind these exotic investments, the legal documents to secure the mortgages often aren't there.
So what is the remedy? Apparently, some companies have resorted to forgery and phony paperwork to throw people out of their homes.
Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, the non-profit organization which hosts events at convention centers around the country, has a goal of trying to help people compute what they can afford, and then walks them across the hall to bank representatives to ask for lower payments. A percentage of these folks will be successful in getting their mortgages adjusted, but the rest find they simply can't keep their home.
That's when a real surprise comes in - these same banks have fouled up all of their own paperwork to a historic degree.
Showcased in the Scott Pelley, "60 Minutes" segment was Lynn Szymoniak, who stated, "In my mind this is an absolute, intentional fraud." Szymoniak is fighting foreclosure. During an effort to save her own home, she discovered something. Back when Wall Street was using sophisticated algorithms and computers to design disastrous mortgage-backed securities, it appears they didn't want old-fashioned paperwork slowing down the profits.
That was back during the time they were pumping up these investments and moving them faster than a racehorse on steroids. Transfer of these "securities," were performed by computer keystrokes, rather than actual transfer of paper documents, from one entity to another.
Lynn Szymoniak's mortgage had been bundled along with thousands of others into one of those Wall Street securities, and traded from investor to investor. In court, her bank first said it had lost her documents, including the critical assignment of mortgage, which transfers ownership. However, there came a courthouse surprise.
They found all of her paperwork more than a year after they initially said that they had lost it?
However, what the bank did not know is that Szymoniak is a lawyer and fraud investigator with a specialty in forged documents. She has trained FBI agents.
That's when things became curious.
Szymoniak used her legal training to go online and research 10,000 mortgages. She was looking for patterns. And she began to find strange signatures. One signature belonged to Linda Green, a bank vice president of 20 banks - all at the same time. Szymoniak wondered where all those documents come from? The trail led to "the" Linda Green in rural Georgia, who told 60 Minutes she had never been a bank vice president. Szymoniak discovered it was obvious the "Linda Green" signature was created by many entities.
As for the "real" Linda Green, in 2003, her grandson told her about a job at a company called Docx. Docx was a sweatshop for forged mortgage documents. Docx, and companies similar to it, recreated missing mortgage assignments for the banks, providing legally required signatures of bank vice presidents and notaries. Linda Green says she was named a bank vice president by Docx because her name was short and easy to spell. Linda Green's career prior to being "promoted" to bank vice president was as a shipping clerk for auto parts.
Because of the overwhelming number of foreclosures and subsequent need for recreation of "lost" documents,Docx need to hire many more "Linda Greens" to sign recreated documents. Many were high school students, who would sign at least 350 documents with the "Linda Green" signature each day, for a wage of approximately $10 an hour.
The Scott Pelley CBS 60 Minutes segment was a little heart stopping for those of us in the industry. We understand the gravity of this discovery. The full text of the program, and complete video is available via the CBS - 60 Minutes website. I HIGHLY recommend you either read, or watch the video, if you missed last night's presentation. It is accessible at: "Mortgage Paperwork Mess - Next Housing Shock?"
If you are thinking of purchasing in the Palm Harbor, Crystal Beach, Safety Harbor, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs area or along our pristine Gulf Beaches, give me a call! With years of experience in the local real estate market, I am here to assist you in making one of the most important purchases of your life! Give me a call today! Find out for yourself why living along the Gulf Coast is indeed living in Paradise!
Having grown up in south Tampa and lived here in Pinellas County for the last 20+ years, I know the area well!
Give me a call today at 727-512-0910 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. Be sure to visit my web site: www.barbarajo.com
Ich spreche Deutsch!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.