The Resolution Law Group: Jon Stewart – Residential Evil

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-may-7-2013/residential-evil?xrs=share_copy

 

Lender Litigation, Unlawful Foreclosure, Tarp Money, Mortgage Backed Securities, Derivitives Lawsuits, Insider Trading Lawsuit, SEC Settlements, Ponzi Scheme Lawsuits, Intentional Misrepresentation, Securitized Mortgage, Class Action Securities Lawsuit, Robo-Signing Lawsuit, Lost Equity Litigation, Mortgage Lender Fraud, FINRA Fraud Lawsuit, Suing Banks, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Short Sale Fraud, Fraudulent Business Practices, Mortgage Litigation, Complex Tort Litigation, Injunctive Relief, MERS Fraud

Advertisements

The Resolution Law Group: Mortgage Registry Muddles Foreclosures

MORE good news from the housing front last week. Pending home sales rose 2.4 percent in July, to their highest level since April 2010. Mortgage delinquency rates are down: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported a decline of 6.3 percent at the end of June from the March quarter.

Granted, new foreclosures continued to be filed — 256,000 people had a foreclosure added to their credit reports in the June quarter — but that figure was the lowest since mid-2007, the Fed said.

In stark contrast to this improving backdrop are the legal battles still being waged over wrongful foreclosure practices. The glacial progress in these cases is not surprising, given the crowded courts and combatants’ usual stalling tactics.

What is surprising is the fresh evidence these cases are turning up of cockeyed mortgage practices, during both the boom and the bust. As these matters are adjudicated, perhaps we will finally learn whether these practices were intended or accidental.

Take the problem of questionable legal fees levied on troubled borrowers. Although these costs may seem small in the scheme of things, they certainly add to the burdens of many hard-pressed Americans.

A foreclosure from Ohio highlights this problem. The facts from this matter are central to a prospective class action filed by a borrower, who contends he was charged improper court costs and legal-related fees in his foreclosure.

The case involved legal moves taken against a bank in 2007 that did not even have an interest in either of the two mortgage liens associated with the foreclosed property. Even though the bank should never have been dragged into the matter, it was — generating $775 in court costs and legal fees paid by the borrower, documents show. Only two years later, during the discovery process, did it emerge that the bank had no ownership in the underlying property.

That $775 may not sound like much. But Paul Grobman, a lawyer in New York who represents the borrower, said he believed the collection of what he called improper legal charges is rampant in foreclosures.

The case involving the $775 began in 2007 when Eugene D. Kline fell behind on the first and second mortgages on his home in Centerville, Ohio. Wells Fargo, noting that as trustee of a securitization it held the note backing the $160,000 first mortgage, sued Mr. Kline and his wife, Patricia, in state court.

Because Mr. Kline had also taken out a second mortgage, Wells Fargo sued the institution that it said owned the additional obligation. Here is where Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems comes in, the company that runs the database set up by banks in the mid-1990s to speed the transfer of mortgages nationwide and track their ownership. To save the costs of recording a mortgage’s transfer from one institution to another, MERS acts as mortgagee in county land records. But it does not own the note underlying a property.

Amid the foreclosure crisis, however, critics have contended that the registry actually served to hide the true owner of a mortgage, making it difficult for borrowers to get help in working out their loans.

The facts in Mr. Kline’s case seem to indicate another flaw with the MERS registry — that it may not even track mortgages effectively.

MERS was the nominee for WMC Mortgage, an entity that held the second lien on the Kline property, according to Wells Fargo’s court filings. Oddly, lawyers for WMC confirmed that it had an interest in the loan, whose value was around $30,000.

In 2008, Mr. Kline advised the lawyers for the banks that he would sell the house and pay off the loans, which totaled approximately $200,000. He did so, paying the legal costs associated with the suit involving the second lien.

But in 2009, documents produced in the Ohio action showed that WMC Mortgage had not, in fact, held the second mortgage when the foreclosure began. WMC had sold Mr. Kline’s loan three years earlier into a securitization trust put together by Merrill Lynch. That trust also held Mr. Kline’s first mortgage and was overseen by — you guessed it — Wells Fargo.

So, to recap: At the time of the foreclosure, Wells Fargo held both loans taken on by Mr. Kline. Nevertheless, its lawyers sued WMC, contending WMC held the smaller loan. Even though WMC did not own the loan, its lawyers represented to the court that it did. All the while court costs and other charges were billed to Mr. Kline.

Many questions arise in this case. For starters, if the MERS registry is the accurate record it claims to be, why didn’t Wells Fargo or its lawyers see that it, not WMC, held the second lien when the Kline foreclosure began?

A MERS spokeswoman declined to comment, citing the pending litigation. Elise Wilkinson, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, said that as trustee of the securitization, the bank “would not be in possession of any information regarding a foreclosure action.”

“All such information would be in the possession of the mortgage loan servicer,” she said, “which is the party responsible for initiating and managing all aspects of the mortgage loan foreclosure process.” That was the HomEq Servicing Corporation, which is no longer in the business, the Wells spokeswoman said.

Ditto for WMC. Why didn’t it recognize early on that it had sold the Kline loan years before, saving Mr. Kline legal fees? Rick DeBlasis, a lawyer handling the matter at Lerner Sampson & Rothfuss of Cincinnati, declined to comment, saying it was part of the class action.

It will be interesting to watch that case unfold. But in a unanimous ruling against MERS last month in Washington State Supreme Court, the judges described their problems with the registry. “Under the MERS system,” they wrote, “questions of authority and accountability arise, and determining who has authority to negotiate loan modifications and who is accountable for misrepresentation and fraud becomes extraordinarily difficult.”

Mr. Grobman agrees, arguing that the involvement of MERS in the Kline case allowed the law firms to charge improper fees. “Both Wells Fargo, MERS and their attorneys in this action could falsely represent that the first and second mortgage were owned by different entities,” he said, “and could pass on the legal fees and expenses purportedly incurred in the suit.”

And what about the Klines? They now rent a home. “It’s a rental that we were blessed enough to be able to rent from a friend,” said Ms. Kline.

If you, your family, friends, neighbors or associates have been subjected to Mortgage Fraud, please contact The Resolution Law Group at (203) 542-7275 for a confidential, no obligation consultation.

Lender Litigation, Unlawful Foreclosure, Tarp Money, Mortgage Backed Securities, Derivitives Lawsuits, Insider Trading Lawsuit, SEC Settlements, Ponzi Scheme Lawsuits, Intentional Misrepresentation, Securitized Mortgage, Class Action Securities Lawsuit, Robo-Signing Lawsuit, Lost Equity Litigation, Mortgage Lender Fraud, FINRA Fraud Lawsuit, Suing Banks, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Short Sale Fraud, Fraudulent Business Practices, Mortgage Litigation, Complex Tort Litigation, Injunctive Relief, MERS Fraud

The Resolution Law Group: SEC Charges Ex-LPL Financial Adviser With Defrauding Investors of $2M

Blake Richards, a former LPL Financial LLC adviser, is now facing Securities and Exchange Commission charges for allegedly defrauding investors and misappropriating about $2 million from at least seven customers. Most of the funds that were misappropriated were life insurance proceeds from dead spouses and retirement funds. Last week, the regulator filed an emergency action asking a judge for a temporary restraining order, which was granted. Now, Richard’s assets have been frozen.

Per the SEC, Richards told investors to write checks to BMO Investments and Blake Richards Investments, which he controlled. They expected that he would put their money in variable annuities, fixed income assets, and common stock. Instead, contends the agency, none of these investments were ever executed and Richards allegedly took the money and used it for his personal spending.

The Commission is accusing Richards of violating the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC is also alleging Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Advisers Act violations.

The complaint refers to Richards as a marginal broker at LPL Financial. Noting that his production at the firm has been “virtually nonexistent” in the last few years, SEC says that his case is one involving “selling away,” with the broker using activities outside the firm to bilk clients. (Richards even allegedly brought pain medication to the husband of one client during a snowstorm to build trust).

Richards’ other misconduct allegedly included:

• Giving an investor a bogus statement on what was supposed to be LPL letterhead.
• Making a false statement to an investor that the latter had funds in a Jackson Life Insurance product.
• Giving an investor a business card that designated him as an AAMS. Richards is not an Accredited Asset Management Specialist.
• Making a false statement to LPL that he cleared investors’ funds via Goldman Sachs & Co.

An LPL spokesperson says that Richards was reported to the financial firm by another firm adviser. The brokerage firm fired the following day reported him to FINRA, the SEC, the FBI, and other authorities.

This is just one more indicator of allegedly poor supervision involving LPL Financial, which was not named in the complaint against Richards. Just last week, the financial firm was ordered to pay $7.5 million for nearly three dozen e-mail system failures. Also, Massachusetts regulators announced that instead of paying investors $2.2 million in restitution over the improper sale of nontraded real estate investment trusts, it would have to pay $4.8 million.

If you are an LPL investor who has suffered losses that you suspect may be a result of errors or negligence on the part of the firm or one of its brokers, please contact our securities fraud law firm right away. www.TheResolutionLawGroup.com

Lender Litigation, Unlawful Foreclosure, Tarp Money, Mortgage Backed Securities, Derivitives Lawsuits, Insider Trading Lawsuit, SEC Settlements, Ponzi Scheme Lawsuits, Intentional Misrepresentation, Securitized Mortgage, Class Action Securities Lawsuit, Robo-Signing Lawsuit, Lost Equity Litigation, Mortgage Lender Fraud, FINRA Fraud Lawsuit, Suing Banks, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Short Sale Fraud, Fraudulent Business Practices, Mortgage Litigation, Complex Tort Litigation, Injunctive Relief, MERS Fraud

Investor in Goldman Sachs Special Opportunities Fund 2006 to Get $2.5M FINRA Arbitration Award For Allegedly Unsuitable Investment

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Panel is ordering Goldman Sachs & Co. (GS) to pay about $2.5M to Tracy Landow for recommending that she invest in the Goldman Sachs Special Opportunities Fund 2006, which she is now contending was an investment that was not appropriate for her. Landow filed her arbitration claim against the unit and her broker a couple of years ago, claiming that unauthorized trades were made. She also alleged misrepresentation and failure to supervise.

The FINRA arbitration panel determined that Goldman liable, ordering the financial firm to compensate the claimant with $1.6M in damages plus about $1M in interest and additional fees. Broker John D. Blondel, Jr., however, was not found responsible. The panel determined that he did not play a part in the alleged investment sales-related violation, theft, forgery, misappropriation, or fund conversion and he was not accountable for the private equity fund and the transactions that resulted. It is recommending that his name be expunged from the case.

Meantime, Landow’s interest in the fund will go back to the financial firm within 30 days from the award date.

FINRA Arbitration
If you believe that your investment losses were a result of broker negligence, you may have grounds for filing a claim with FINRA. It is important that the investment your financial firm recommended to you was suitable for your needs and goals and did not place you at risk of suffering huge losses that your account could not handle.

At The Resolution Law Group P.C., it is our business to recover securities losses on behalf of our clients. Contact us today at www.TheResolutionLawGroup.com.

Lender Litigation, Unlawful Foreclosure, Tarp Money, Mortgage Backed Securities, Derivitives Lawsuits, Insider Trading Lawsuit, SEC Settlements, Ponzi Scheme Lawsuits, Intentional Misrepresentation, Securitized Mortgage, Class Action Securities Lawsuit, Robo-Signing Lawsuit, Lost Equity Litigation, Mortgage Lender Fraud, FINRA Fraud Lawsuit, Suing Banks, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Short Sale Fraud, Fraudulent Business Practices, Mortgage Litigation, Complex Tort Litigation, Injunctive Relief, MERS Fraud

The Resolution Law Group: The housing market will continue to suffer until it is fixed by the Courts or the Legislature. Somebody has to fix the problem. That is why The Resolution Law Group continues its fight for homeowners. Homeowners cannot expect the problem to fix itself.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that New York City leads the unprecedented increase in homelessness. An average of more than 50,000 people slept each night in New York City’s homeless shelters last month, which included more than 20,000 children.

New York City has seen a 73% increase in homeless families since 2002, and the surge is directly attributable to the financial crash and mortgage meltdown, which put many lower-middle class families out of their homes.

Geoffrey Broderick, the senior partner of the Resolution Law Group, says “Mayor Bloomberg boasts that the City has recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession, but many jobs were replaced with lower paying and part time jobs. The economy in New York City has not recovered and people are living in shelters and in the streets in record numbers” Experts opine that this crisis has been fueled, in part, by the Mayor’s administration’s ending of a long standing policy where the City allocated a share of federal public housing apartment and federal housing vouchers to homeless families. The program that had been successfully working since the 1990s was abruptly ended, without public hearing or comment.

Mr. Broderick adds that “The housing market will continue to suffer until it is fixed by the Courts or the Legislature. Somebody has to fix the problem. That is why The Resolution Law Group continues its fight for homeowners. Homeowners cannot expect the problem to fix itself.”

The Resolution Law Group continues to prosecute ground breaking litigation in Federal Court on behalf of homeowners suing lenders and servicers for, among other things, the illegal use of MERS, robo-signing, and intentionally ignoring underwriting standards and encouraging inflated appraisals.

The Resolution Law Group is currently enrolling clients into the pending lawsuit. For further information, visit its website at www.TheResolutionLawGroup.com

Lender Litigation, Unlawful Foreclosure, Tarp Money, Mortgage Backed Securities, Derivitives Lawsuits, Insider Trading Lawsuit, SEC Settlements, Ponzi Scheme Lawsuits, Intentional Misrepresentation, Securitized Mortgage, Class Action Securities Lawsuit, Robo-Signing Lawsuit, Lost Equity Litigation, Mortgage Lender Fraud, FINRA Fraud Lawsuit, Suing Banks, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Short Sale Fraud, Fraudulent Business Practices, Mortgage Litigation, Complex Tort Litigation, Injunctive Relief, MERS Fraud

The Resolution Law Group: Mortgage servicing company, Lender Processing Services, Inc., has agreed to pay $14 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed that the company mislead investors about improper practices underlying its business model, including the “robo-signing” of documents in connection with foreclosures.

Mortgage servicing company, Lender Processing Services, Inc., has agreed to pay $14 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed that the company mislead investors about improper practices underlying its business model, including the “robo-signing” of documents in connection with foreclosures. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of those people who purchased shares of stock in the publically traded company.

Following a series of disclosures about its allegedly improper business practices, Lender Processing’s stock fell 18 percent from April 2009 to October 2010.

Lender Processing also entered into a “non-prosecution” agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and paid $35 million to settle an investigation into its mortgage document signing practices.

Geoffrey Broderick, the senior partner of the Resolution Law Group, says “while Lender Processing has settled with its shareholders, and they have dodged criminal prosecution for their shameful conduct, they still need to held accountable to the millions of homeowners they have harmed. “

Mr. Broderick adds that “The housing market will continue to suffer until it is fixed by the Courts or the Legislature. Somebody has to fix the problem. That is why The Resolution Law Group continues its fight for homeowners. Homeowners cannot expect the problem to fix itself.”

The Resolution Law Group continues to prosecute ground breaking litigation in Federal Court on behalf of homeowners suing lenders and servicers for, among other things, the illegal use of MERS, robo-signing, and intentionally ignoring underwriting standards and encouraging inflated appraisals.

The Resolution Law Group is currently enrolling clients into the pending lawsuit. For further information, visit its website at www.TheResolutionLawGroup.com

Lender Litigation, Unlawful Foreclosure, Tarp Money, Mortgage Backed Securities, Derivitives Lawsuits, Insider Trading Lawsuit, SEC Settlements, Ponzi Scheme Lawsuits, Intentional Misrepresentation, Securitized Mortgage, Class Action Securities Lawsuit, Robo-Signing Lawsuit, Lost Equity Litigation, Mortgage Lender Fraud, FINRA Fraud Lawsuit, Suing Banks, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Short Sale Fraud, Fraudulent Business Practices, Mortgage Litigation, Complex Tort Litigation, Injunctive Relief, MERS Fraud

The Resolution Law Group: MBIA is accusing Countrywide of misrepresenting underwriting on almost 400,000 residential mortgage loans backing almost $20 billion of securities it insured from 2005 to 2007.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten has denied Bank of America’s motion for summary judgment and has ruled that Bond insurer MBIA, Inc., may pursue its claim against Bank of America over alleged toxic mortgage-backed securities packaged by Countrywide Financial Corporation.

In its lawsuit, MBIA is accusing Countrywide of misrepresenting underwriting on almost 400,000 residential mortgage loans backing almost $20 billion of securities it insured from 2005 to 2007.

Geoffrey Broderick, the senior partner of the Resolution Law Group, says “this ruling is consistent with the New York court of appeals decision in April that found that MBIA did not need to wait for loans to go into foreclosure before it could force Bank of America to buy them back.”

Mr. Broderick adds that “The housing market will continue to suffer until it is fixed by the Courts or the Legislature. Somebody has to fix the problem. That is why The Resolution Law Group continues its fight for homeowners. Homeowners cannot expect the problem to fix itself.”

The Resolution Law Group continues to prosecute ground breaking litigation in Federal Court on behalf of homeowners suing lenders and servicers for, among other things, the illegal use of MERS, robo-signing, and intentionally ignoring underwriting standards and encouraging inflated appraisals.

The Resolution Law Group is currently enrolling clients into the pending lawsuit. For further information, visit its website at www.TheResolutionLawGroup.com

Lender Litigation, Unlawful Foreclosure, Tarp Money, Mortgage Backed Securities, Derivitives Lawsuits, Insider Trading Lawsuit, SEC Settlements, Ponzi Scheme Lawsuits, Intentional Misrepresentation, Securitized Mortgage, Class Action Securities Lawsuit, Robo-Signing Lawsuit, Lost Equity Litigation, Mortgage Lender Fraud, FINRA Fraud Lawsuit, Suing Banks, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Short Sale Fraud, Fraudulent Business Practices, Mortgage Litigation, Complex Tort Litigation, Injunctive Relief, MERS Fraud