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Reply #57: Inside the Coakley Foreclosure Fraud Lawsuit [View All]

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #33
57. Inside the Coakley Foreclosure Fraud Lawsuit
http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/12/01/inside-the-coakl... /

So we now have the complaint in Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakleys lawsuit against five big banks for foreclosure fraud, the first lawsuit to directly target banks for robo-signing (Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada went after some low-level employees of document processing company LPS, but hasnt worked her way up to the banks yet).

Simply put, Coakley seeks penalties for unfair and deceptive practices in violation of state consumer protection laws, in particular the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act. The top list of complaints tells the story:

1. Engaging in unfair and deceptive foreclosure practices by conducting foreclosures when the defendants lacked the right to do so and misrepresenting to homeowners their roles as mortgagees or as the holders of the mortgages;

2. Engaging in false documentation practices to facilitate their foreclosure practices;

3. Deceiving homeowners in the course of servicing mortgage loans by misrepresenting to borrowers regarding its loan modification programs, acting deceptively in implementing loan modifications and deceiving borrowers regarding foreclosure proceedings; and

4. Failing to comply with Massachusetts registration statute.

Thats a pretty clear rendering of what went on. Notice that she tags robo-signing and document fraud (in #2) as a facilitator for the main crime, which is to foreclose on borrowers without the legal standing to do so. To prove this, Coakley cites the Ibanez decision, and the upholding of it recently in Belivacqua, which clearly states that, under Massachusetts law, any effort to foreclose by a party lacking jurisdiction and authority to carry out a foreclosure under the relevant statutes is void. The laymans term for that is stealing homes. Coakley is accusing banks of stealing homes. They didnt have the proper proof of ownership to take control of the homes in a foreclosure, and they did it anyway, by forging documents and committing fraud upon state courts.

Then theres this ancillary point about mortgage servicing abuse, kind of a separate claim against the banks but one that fits well. Because the argument here is that the servicers have lied to borrowers about loan modification programs, deceptively strung them out and then engaged in foreclosures instead of granting the modifications. We know that servicers have a financial incentive to foreclose over modifying, regardless of the extreme disincentive from the standpoint of the general economy or the investors the servicers are supposed to work for. The one fly in the ointment here is that nobody can prove ownership of the underlying loan. But this ruins the servicers ingenious plan to force people into foreclosure rather than modifying their loans! So thats where the document fraud comes in...

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