Foreclosure Fraud: Who Owns Your House? Where’s the Note?
October 16, 2010
(ChattahBox US News)— The Service Employees International Union is sponsoring a website to help homeowners protect themselves from fraudulent foreclosures, by providing an easy online form to request that their mortgage lender produce the original note. Who Owns your house? Do you really know which bank or mortgage company holds the original note for your property? It turns out that the banks don’t know either. During the years that Wall Street sliced and diced your mortgages and repackaged them into bonds to be resold over and over again, the bank notes didn’t make the trip into the void of exotic instruments. So, now that the banks are foreclosing on these homes, they don’t have the legal authority to do so. Why? They don’t hold the original note. And they know it. That’s why the major banks hired a crop of so-called “robo-signers” to hurriedly sign off on the avalanche of foreclosure documents before their fraudulent practices came to light. Well, now the gig is up and as the light shines brighter on these sleazy big bank scammers, their greed begins to look more like criminal activity.
The SEIU is warning consumers that in this current wild west mortgage environment, big banks can’t be trusted to follow the rules. To protect yourself from being thrown out of your home illegally, homeowners should “Demand to see your mortgage note,” advises SEIU.
“The Wall Street banks’ foreclosure system is a mess. Their total disregard for mortgage laws and standards is what created the foreclosure epidemic in the first place. Now, their total mismanagement is catching up to them. As of today, some of the largest mortgage lenders – JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and GMAC (now called Ally) – have been forced to halt foreclosures in 23 states and growing. We can’t rely on Wall Street banks to follow basic rules. We have to hold them accountable. At very least, they must provide the mortgage notes.”
The widespread foreclosure fraud is so out of control that there have been instances of banks foreclosing on a house that didn’t have a mortgage. And in one case, a frightened homeowner called 911 when a strange man broke into her home to change the locks. He was from the bank and the homeowner’s mortgage was not even in foreclosure.
“When Wall Street banks securitized, packaged, sold, and resold our mortgages, they created a system where it is often impossible to figure out who actually owns mortgage notes and therefore has the authority to foreclose on properties. But the big banks are getting tangled up in their own web. Recent events have exposed a handful of banks that are throwing families out of their homes even though they don’t have the mortgage note that proves they actually have a legal right to do so. There have been instances of two banks trying to foreclose on the same home, and in at least one case, of a bank trying to foreclose on a house where the homeowner had never even taken out a mortgage with anyone in the first place.”
“Whether you are facing foreclosure, have an underwater mortgage, or are just a concerned homeowner, it’s important that you contact your bank and demand to see the original note on your mortgage. It only takes a few minutes using our free online tool.”
The online form allows you to choose your lender from a list and compose a letter demanding to see proof of your note.
As of today, only three of the top five mortgage lenders are temporarily halting foreclosures until they can review the validity of their documents. Ally Financial and Bank of America are examining their documents for errors in all 50 states. JPMorgan Chase is only halting foreclosures in the 23 “judicial states” that require the courts to approve the foreclosures. But Wells Fargo and Citigroup are holding firm, even though their documents are also in question.
Many of the bank’s fraudulent foreclosure practices and illegal affidavits came to light from the online publishing of damaging deposition testimony of “robo-signers” taken by a few enterprising attorneys.
Many of the eye-opening depositions can be found at the website 4closurefraud.org.