It's been a long week and I have spent countless hours trying to weed through all of the information that is coming to light here in Maryland relating to foreclosure fraud.
As I had indicated in a previous post, Maryland has in fact begun to investigate fraud in foreclosures statewide. An emergency measure has been put in place to allow the courts to review thousands of affidavits filed in foreclosure cases, many of which (thousands) have corrective affidavits filed in the cases. The judges are now able to demand that the attorney present him/herself to the court in person to certify the legitimacy of the affidavits. More than 14,500 cases are currently under review in ONE COUNTY so you can imagine what the entire state looks like.
These corrective affidavits, signed by the foreclosure attorneys, admit that the original affidavits filed with the court were not signed by the attorney, but in fact had been signed by a staff member on behalf of the attorney. Additionally, there have been several notarys public who have been de-commissioned because they allegedly notarized a signature which they knew to be a fraud and that they did not actually witness.
One of the firms who are currently under investigation are now named as defendants in a class action law suit and I would not doubt that the other firm will shortly have the same problem. Both of these firms have title agencies who handle the outsale of the REO property on behalf of the sellers. REmember, now, they DO NOT DO TITLE SEARCHES.
As I have often stated here it is IMPERATIVE that you advise your client that they NEVER have to use the services of the seller's title agent to conduct their closing on REO property and you NEVER want to persuade them to use those companies.
On a good note, I have been told by my underwriter that as far as insuring title out of foreclosure for REO purchasers it's business as usual. We are able to offer title insurance to your buyer with no additional premium. A quick call to my office will get you a preliminary HUD-1 AND a FREE MINI-TITLE REPORT!!!
Protect your clients. Use the services of an REO title specialist.