HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF HOMEOWNERS ARE BEING
ILLEGALLY FORECLOSED ON BY THEIR LENDERS
West Palm Beach, FL-MFI-Miami, LLC, Florida's premier forensic mortgage fraud investigation and mortgage auditing firm is warning consumers facing foreclosure that the lender who is initiating the foreclosure action against them may not have the legal standing to do so. This also means the mortgage servicer may not be legally able to accept payments or negotiate a loan modification.
"It boils down to simple Real Estate 101," explained MFI-Miami CEO Steve Dibert, "If you don't own the note, you can't sell it, modify it or enforce it."
This is not just an isolated phenomenon. It is a nationwide plague that banks and lenders don't want to talk about. Homeowners in subprime loans are most susceptible because most subprime lenders did not service the loans they originated.
"Of the nearly 100 foreclosure clients who have come to me for help, nearly 85% of the lenders cannot prove in a court of law that they have the legal standing to enforce the terms of the mortgage and the scary thing is, the lenders know it before they even begin the foreclosure action and they don't care," explained Steve Dibert.
This creates a number of serious problems for the homeowner because if a homeowner goes into foreclosure and works out a loan modification with who they think is the lender, the real owner of the note could still initiate a foreclosure six months or a year later. The homeowner is left with costly civil litigation as their only remedy to keep their home.
The problem was created by Wall Street firms who traded mortgage backed securities with each other. They would package mortgages in pools and sell them, repackage them and sell them again and again. Through this maze of trades and counter trades, the mortgage and the note are moved upstream but in no case are all of the transfers of ownership recorded in the local property records. Although a fund manager could offer a plethora of reasons as to why, the real reason is, fund managers wanted to save a few dollars by avoiding taxes and filing fees that would apply to each recording. Without recording these transfers in the public record, the right to enforce the mortgage and note is nullified because that recording is what proves ownership.
"Basically Wall Street traded mortgage portfolios like kids trading baseball cards, explained Steve Dibert, "the only problem was, no one kept track of what mortgages were being sold to whom."
MFI-Miami is working with two clients in particular, Nickie Struthers of Bradenton, Florida whose mortgage that was originated by Quicken Loans of Livonia, Michigan appears to have been sold by Quicken Loans to two different servicing entities. Quicken sold the loan to EMC Mortgage in February of 2007 and then sold it a second time to LaSalle Bank of Troy, Michigan in June of 2008. Quicken Loans and LaSalle Bank refused to cooperate with MFI-Miami's investigation into this matter as did LaSalle Bank's attorney, Marshall Watson and Associates of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Watson's firm even attempted to block MFI-Miami and Ms. Struthers from having access to her file and now is attempting to launch a second foreclosure action against Ms. Struthers.
"If Quicken Loans, LaSalle Bank and their attorneys would co-operate with our investigation, it would avoid a lot of legal fees for all the parties involved because now Ms. Struthers has to retain legal counsel just to get access to documents that she has a right to have. These are copies Quicken Loans is legally mandated by federal law to give her when she signed her application and their refusal to co-operate just reinforces the impression they are hiding something," said Steve Dibert.
The second client is Cynthia King of Jamaica, New York whose lender, Deutsche Bank, began foreclosure proceedings against Ms. King and her husband in April of 2008. Deutsche Bank garnished her wages for her delinquent payments. The only problem was the mortgage Deutsche Bank was attempting to foreclose on and garnishing wages on was paid off in February of 2007.
"The crazy thing about this file was no one caught the fact the complaint had the wrong dollar amount, interest rate, or loan number," said Steve Dibert, "The bank, their attorney and the judge all missed it. MFI-Miami was the only one who caught it and with the help of Gerard Sweet at Foreclosure Hotline USA in West Babylon, New York, we were able to save the house."
Headquartered in Boynton Beach, Florida, MFI-Miami, LLC does strictly forensic mortgage auditing and mortgage fraud investigating. MFI-Miami is the only Florida mortgage auditing firm and only one of about five nationally that does their forensic auditing by hand. MFI-Miami looks for violations of RESPA, TILA, HOEPA, HMDA, FCRA, FACTA, the FTC Act, ECOA, FHA, FDCPA, and SCRA. MFI-Miami, LLC is also only one of a few firms that investigate the transfer of the securitization instruments of the client's mortgage. For more information, visit www.mfi-miami.com, contact 561-317-9978, or email email@example.com