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Hair Stylists, Walmart Workers & Assy. Line Workers, Hired To "Defraud Homeowners"

This is just surreal: the Associated Press has put together a must read profile of all the people who the mortgage servicing industry has been scrambling to get together since 2007. The outcome, and stereotypes, are stunning: "In an effort to rush through thousands of home foreclosures since 2007, financial institutions and their mortgage servicing departments hired hair stylists, Walmart floor workers and people who had worked on assembly lines and installed them in "foreclosure expert" jobs with no formal training, a Florida lawyer says." And it gets even scarier - these "experts" pretty much all confirm they participated in fraud, either willingly or unwillingly: "In depositions released Tuesday, many of those workers testified that they barely knew what a mortgage was. Some couldn't define the word "affidavit." Others didn't know what a complaint was, or even what was meant by personal property. Most troubling, several said they knew they were lying when they signed the foreclosure affidavits and that they agreed with the defense lawyers' accusations about document fraud." And here is punchline: " In what is perhaps a sign of things to come, a Simi Valley, Calif., couple and their nine children broke into their foreclosed home over the weekend and moved back in, according to television station KABC of Simi Valley. The family was evicted from their Spanish-style two-story in July. The home has been sold, and the new owner was due to move in soon." And this is a problem that will go away in a few months? More From the AP: "The mortgage servicers hired people who would never question authority," said Peter Ticktin, a Deerfield Beach, Fla., lawyer who is defending 3,000 homeowners in foreclosure cases. As part of his work, Ticktin gathered 150 depositions from bank employees who say they signed foreclosure affidavits without reviewing the documents or ever laying eyes on them -- earning them the name "robo-signers." The deposed employees worked for the mortgage service divisions of banks such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, as well as for mortgage servicers like Litton Loan Servicing, a division of Goldman Sachs. Ticktin said he would make the testimony available to state and federal agencies that are investigating financial institutions for allegations of possible mortgage fraud. This comes on the eve of an expected announcement Wednesday from 40 state attorneys general that they will launch a collective probe into the mortgage industry. "This was an industrywide scheme designed to defraud homeowners," Ticktin said.

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