Archive for April 4th, 2011

Growing Numb from Bank Misconduct

With all of the misdeeds I’ve seen in recent years from the banking industry, there’s nothing you could say at this point that would surprise me about Wall Street misconduct.  To illustrate, only one of the following six headlines is true; the other five I made up.  Which one is true? 

1.  Bank CEO Named President of Satanic Cult

2.  Bank President Testifies Delinquent Homeowners “Deserve Imprisonment” for Not Paying Mortgage

3.  Bank Launders Billions of Dollars in Drug Money

4.  Bank Steals $1 Trillion from U.S. Government

5.  Bank Forecloses on Rehab Center for Special Needs Children.    

6.  Bank Linked to Major Terrorist Organization. 

Your uncertainty proves the point – nothing from the big banks is a shock any more.  We’re all so inundated with the misconduct that it’s easy to become numb to it.   

Anyway, to find out which one is true, click here.  Then shake your head in disgust. 

(No, they’re not all true, at least as far as I can tell, yet.)

Mark Stopa

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How Can the Banks Get Away With This?

Last night, a friend of mine watched this video on 60 Minutes.  He couldn’t believe how widespread and pervasive the mortgage and document fraud has been in the foreclosure industry.  In the video, for instance, multiple people admitted they forged signatures on Assignments of Mortgage, purportedly as Linda Green, to facilitate foreclosures for big banks.  My friend asked me what many homeowners have wondered:

“How can the banks get away with this?”

My inability to give a satisfactory answer that question is maddening.  Sure, I told my friend how banks’ lawyers argue the assignments of mortgage are irrelevant because their standing to foreclose is predicated on an indorsement, not on an assignment, and the intent of assignments is merely to alert creditors to the proper mortgage holder.  But that argument left him cold, just like it leaves me cold when lawyers make that argument in court.  After all, how can banks be committing fraud to this degree, for the express purpose of facilitating foreclosures, and it be irrelevant in foreclosure cases? 

My response, of course, is that it can’t.  Regardless of whether banks file a fraudulent assignment in that particular court file or try to use that assignment to facilitate a foreclosure, to turn the other cheek at this misconduct is to enable it.  

Years ago, I routinely filed Motions to Disqualify Counsel when I saw a fraudulent assignment like this, as often that assignment was drafted by the banks’ lawyers, who were facilitating the misconduct.  I’d estimate I had ten hearings on those motions.  Each time, I argued (among other things) this was a fraud upon the court and the courts should not continue to denigrate the integrity of the profession by allowing this misconduct.  Each time, I pointed out how the public’s perception of the judiciary was getting worse and worse by what could only be characterized as widespread fraud.  Yet each time, those motions were denied.  Each time, the judges didn’t seem to care that the assignments were so obviously bogus, created after-the-fact, by robo-signers for numerous different banks. 

Watch the 60 Minutes video.  As you do, ask yourself:  How can the banks get away with this?  And what does it say about our court system that widespread sanctions have not been implemented for this obvious misconduct?  Or, as my friend wondered:

How can the banks get away with this?

Mark Stopa

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