Quelle Surprise! San Francisco Assessor Finds Pervasive Fraud in Foreclosure Exam (and Paul Jackson Defends His Meal Tickets Yet Again) « naked capitalism
Published on 2012-02-16 01:56:36
It is clear that there has been widespread abuse of mortgage recording procedures that are being ignored by everyone because no one is willing to stand up for the homeowners or to stand against the banks. It is tragic that the administration and the politicians of this country are unwilling to do the right thing. They are all turning their backs on the people every time a large dollar figure gets waved in front of their eyes as has been done with the bogus settlement with the banks and states AGs. Look at the information provide here from the New York Times and then commented on by Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism.
"So the latest report from San Francisco county should come as no surprise. From Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times, emphasis ours:
An audit by San Francisco county officials of about 400 recent foreclosures there determined that almost all involved either legal violations or suspicious documentation, according to a report released Wednesday….
The improprieties range from the basic — a failure to warn borrowers that they were in default on their loans as required by law — to the arcane. For example, transfers of many loans in the foreclosure files were made by entities that had no right to assign them and institutions took back properties in auctions even though they had not proved ownership.Yves here. I wish Morgenson had not deemed the latter abuses as “arcane”. They are actually pretty basic to lawyers – you can’t assign rights you don’t possess or sell what you don’t own. And these are concepts that laypeople can grasp readily. Back to the article, which makes clear the state attorney general Kamala Harris, who was doing a victory lap over the mortgage settlement, had nothing to do with this probe:
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Credit Slips also has another article on the same story about the abuses found in San Francisco.
Here's a bombshell: the San Francisco City Assessor commissioned a serious audit of foreclosure documentation filed in the past few years. The audit examined 400 foreclosures. It found problems with 85% of them, often multiple problems. What's more, some of the problems are pretty serious as they implicate not only borrowers' rights, but the integrity of mortgage-backed securities and the property title system.
The San Francisco City Assessor's audit also serves as a benchmark for evaluating the Federal-State servicing settlement. The San Francisco City Assessor managed to accomplish in a few months what the Federal government and state Attorneys General weren't able to do in nearly a year and a half with far greater resources at their disposal: perform a credible investigation of foreclosure documentation with serious implications about the securitization process in general. That's a lot of egg on the face of Shaun Donovan, Eric Holder, Tom Miller, et al. The SF City Assessor report shows that it really wasn't so hard for a motivated party to undertake a serious investigation. And that raises the question of why the largest consumer fraud settlement in history proceeded with virtually no investigation.