Last week, Lorraine Brown, former officer of a subsidiary of Lender Processing Services (LPS), plead guilty to a variety of criminal charges in three separate cases; one by the Department of Justice, one by the state of Missouri, and one by the state of Michigan. Could it be that LPS, banks, and mortgage servicers worked out a plan, perhaps in conjunction with Brown herself, to let Brown be the fall guy for a nationwide criminal real estate fraud that benefited top financial firms? We are expected to believe that Brown ran a huge criminal conspiracy, one that fraudulently conveyed billions in property, all by herself without a single co-conspirator. An important question remains unanswered. Why is there a need for banks to fabricate millions of new documents to foreclose? The answer to that question is simple. The banks and their foreclosure mills do not have the necessary and valid documents required to foreclose, so they outsource their document fabrication needs to Lender Processing Services, Nationwide Title Clearing, off-shore outfits like Firm Solutions in Panama and David Stern’s now defunct foreclosure mill, and the like.
Here’s an excerpt from the DOJ’s press release published on November 20, 2012.
Former Executive at Florida-Based Lender Processing Services Inc. Admits Role in Mortgage-Related Document Fraud Scheme
Over 1 Million Documents Prepared and Filed with Forged and False Signatures, Fraudulent Notarizations
WASHINGTON – A former executive of Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) – a publicly traded company based in Jacksonville, Fla. – pleaded guilty today, admitting her participation in a six-year scheme to prepare and file more than 1 million fraudulently signed and notarized mortgage-related documents and affidavits with property recorders’ offices throughout the United States.
Over a million criminally fraudulent real estate documents have been recorded in the land records across America affecting property American citizens own and homes where millions of Americans live. Most of these homes have already been foreclosed or will end up in foreclosure. Many of these foreclosures are dependent on bank-produced evidence and documents. The same documents that are now admitted to be fraudulent. This is a grave injustice and violation of constitutional property rights that continues to this day despite the growing admissions and evidence that the mortgage documents, including promissory notes, the very documents that are required for a Florida foreclosure to occur, are rife with fraud, forgery, and photo-shop images.
Unbelievably, even in the wake of this admission of criminal fraud, foreclosures based on these fraudulent documents, which are the sole evidence of a bank’s right to take a family’s home, proceed at their usual rapid-fire pace in South Florida courts. Anti-foreclosure fraud activists have put out a call to action, requesting citizens contact their local chief judges and other elected officials demanding a response to the admission that at least a million criminally fraudulent property related documents have been recorded on citizens’ property.
Back in 2010, Bill McCollum, the former Florida Attorney General launched a civil investigation of LPS for fabricating fraudulent documents. That investigation changed drastically when Pam Bondi, the Florida Attorney General who started her term in January 2011, took over the helm of the FL AG’s office. She and her staff have been highly deferential to LPS, a target. Instead of funding, staffing, and supporting the LPS investigation by two assistant attorneys general, June Clarkson and Theresa Edwards, she protected the target of the investigation. Within months, Bondi fired the two investigators, Clarkson and Edwards, for their hard-core investigative tactics into LPS and other foreclosure fraud perpetrators.
There was a statewide outcry. Many Floridians and state legislators demanded an investigation into the Clarkson and Edwards firings. At first Bondi strongly resisted, but when a Florida state Senator and Representative called in the Department of Justice, Bondi capitulated in order to avert a DOJ investigation. Bondi collaborated with her friend, Jeff Atwater the Florida CEO and fellow elected Florida cabinet member, to have Atwater lend his inspector general to conduct an investigation and report on his findings. In January 2012, the IG released an 81-page report, a hatchet job on Clarkson and Edwards. It reveals a poorly conducted investigation, spouts LPS defenses straight from LPS’ attorney, and staunchly denies any evidence that LPS worked behind the scenes with FL AG staffers to prompt the Clarkson and Edwards firings. The report defended the firings as justified since Clarkson and Edwards had messy desks, were not friendly enough to targets under investigation, and that the duo were on a wild goose chase with their LPS investigation. The same criminally fraudulent acts that, in the past two weeks, resulted in three criminal guilty pleas (DOJ, and two states; MI and MO) was actually defended by top Bondi staffers!
Even more of a shock is the leaked secret internal emails that show LPS attorney Joan Meyer making a friendly request of a Bondi staffer, Victoria Butler. Butler was asked to call the Michigan AG’s office to encourage that state’s law enforcement team to back off their criminal investigation. Remember that LPS was publicly under investigation by Bondi’s office when this email was sent! Imagine being so friendly with the law enforcement agency that is investigating you that you feel welcome to ask that they intervene in and suppress another state’s law enforcement investigation. After ousting Clarkson and Edwards, Bondi’s office went totally silent on the LPS and foreclosure mill investigations. Apparently, Bondi has dropped any pretense of continuing these investigations. Apparently no longer interested in the ongoing fraud, a few months ago Bondi’s office directed local elected officials and citizens to report suspected real estate document fraud to their state attorney. For those who wish to report suspected real estate document fraud committed by the financial industry, the state attorneys in South Florida are Dave Aronberg (elected to start in January 2013) in Palm Beach, Mike Satz (re-elected for his tenth term) in Broward, and Katherine Fernandez Rudle (re-elected for her sixth term) in Miami-Dade.
Our firm carefully examines all the foreclosure related real estate documents that banks and their lawyers submit to the court and public records to determine the best legal strategy to vigorously defend our clients against fraudulent foreclosures.
If you are in South Florida and are looking for help with debt, foreclosure, real estate or want more information about bankruptcy law, call us at (754) 400-5150 or fill out our online form for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let the lawyers and staff at the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen serve you!
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