Rarely do I actually blog anymore. My seven day work week with very often 12+ hour days is best spent fighting for clients while squeezing in the time it takes to read all the latest developments in case law, proposed legislation, and various other news stories affecting the foreclosure crisis. Typically forwarding links to all the articles I read via twitter and Facebook to help keep others informed is the best I can do.
However, last night, I read an article about an audit that was prepared by county officials in San Francisco of approximately 400 cases in which people had lost their home in foreclosure between January 2009 and November 2011. The results are simply mind blowing. “84 percent of the files contained what appear to be clear violations of law” and “in 45 percent of the foreclosures, properties were sold at auction to entities improperly claiming to be the beneficiary of the deeds of trust.” Put another way, in 45 percent of the cases the county reviewed, a “stranger” was allowed to take someone else’s property without any showing of a legal right to do so.
In 6 percent of the cases the same mortgage, or “deed of trust” as it’s called in California and various other states, was assigned to two or more different entities, which raises serious doubts about who actually had the right to foreclose. The article goes on to state that, “many of the foreclosures that were scrutinized showed gaps in the chain of title, the report said, indicating that written transfers from the original owner to the entity currently claiming to own the deed of trust have disappeared.”
The audit also revealed that 58 percent of the loans that were listed in the MERS database showed different “owners” than what was reflected in the foreclosure documents and public records. This only further serves to confirm the absolute mess that MERS has made of our long standing, previously very stable method of recording property information in our county recorders’ offices.
We regularly see banks and servicers attempting the same feat in our cases but not once has one been able to do so. For the full article, please read here: