Daily Archives: November 13, 2012

Corporate criminals beware: Morgan Stanley wants to make you pay

In April 2011, Morgan Stanley paid $32 million to resolve a Securities and Exchange Commission case against Joseph “Chip” Skowron, the Morgan Stanley hedge fund manager who pled guilty to insider trading charges in August 2011. Skowron, who trained as a physician, ran a healthcare hedge fund called FrontPoint, which Morgan Stanley acquired in 2006. Over the next four years, until he was fired in December 2010, Skowron earned more than $32 million from Morgan Stanley, which also fronted almost $5 million in legal fees to defend its erstwhile trading star before he finally admitted his guilt.

Morgan Stanley believes that Skowron owes the bank all of that money: the legal fees, the compensation and the cost of the SEC settlement. In an unusual complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan on Oct. 31 (but first disclosed Nov. 9), Morgan Stanley’s lawyers at Marino, Tortorella & Boyle asserted that Skowron was a faithless employee who defrauded Morgan Stanley, breaching his employment contract and his fiduciary duty. That misconduct, the bank argued, entitle Morgan Stanley to recover from Skowron every penny that his insider trading cost the bank.

Read on.


Lynn E. Szymoniak
Director, Housing Justice Foundation
505 South Flagler Drive, Suite 1331
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

November 9, 2012

Dear Mr. Harris and Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:

Thank you very much for the opportunity to examine some of the mortgage documents that have been used to foreclose on Mr. Mark Harris. As Veterans Day approaches, I am grateful to have an opportunity to help a retired veteran, Mr. Harris, stay in his home.

After review, I consider the documents I reviewed to be fraudulent and, in my opinion, no foreclosure should proceed on the basis of these documents.

I looked at the following documents:

1. Transfer of Security Deed from National City Real Estate Services, LLC to National City Mortgage, Inc. f/k/a National City Mortgage Company –
Signed by Jeff Blum, Mortgage Officer, Team One Mortgage Services, Inc. on July 15, 2008 in Montgomery County, OH.

2. Assignment of Mortgage/Deed from “PNC Bank National Association Successor By Merger National City Bank” to Green Tree Servicing, LLC –
Signed by Bryan Bly and Crystal Moore, Vice Presidents, PNC Bank National Association Successor By Merger National City Bank on April 6, 2010 in Pinellas County, FL.

3. “Corrective” Assignment of Security Deed from PNC Mortgage, a Division of PNC Bank, N.A. s/b/m National City Real Estate Services, LLC s/b/m National CityMortgage, Inc. f/k/a National City Mortgage Company to Green Tree Servicing, LLC –
Signed by Vilma Castro and Elsa McKinnon, as Vice President and Assistant Secretary, respectively, of PNC Mortgage, a division of PNC Bank, NA, s/b/m National City Real Estate Services, LLC, s/b/m National City Mortgage, Inc., f/k/a National CityMortgage Company on July 22, 2011 in Pinellas County, FL.

The reason stated for the correction was “to correct bank signing was rec’d 4-12-2010.”

4. “Corrective” Assignment of Security Deed, also to Green Tree Servicing, LLC –
Signed by Lisa RisingMoore, Asst. Vice President, PNC Mortgage, a division of PNC Bank, NA, s/b/m National City Real Estate Services, LLC, s/b/m National CityMortgage, Inc., f/k/a National City Mortgage Company by its Attorney- In-Fact Green Tree Servicing, LLC on November 1, 2011 in Pinellas County, FL.

The reason stated for the correction was “to correct the notary section within the Assignment of Security Deed recorded on 4-12-2010.”

5. An Affidavit of Lost Assignment that states that the current mortgagee, PNC Bank, NA successor by Merger National City Bank cannot locate any Assignment from Team One Services, Inc. to current mortgagee –
Signed by Bryan Bly, Vice President, PNC Bank, NA Successor By Merger National City Bank.

I have examined over 10,000 Mortgage Assignments since 2009 from at least 20 states and hundreds of banks, mortgage companies and document preparation companies. The documents in Mr. Harris’ file are some of the worst prepared, conflicting and unreliable documents I have seen.

As set forth above, there are two “corrective assignments” and a Lost Assignment Affidavit. This Affidavit was signed on April 6, 2010, by Bryan Bly, who claims to have personal knowledge of the facts of this case. This is obviously false as there is indeed an Assignment from Team One Mortgage Services.

This is yet another case where no one is really whom they claim to be.

Most importantly, Jeff Blum, who claims to be a mortgage officer for Team One, was actually an employee of National City Mortgage. Mr. Blum has posted his resume online at LinkedIn. National City Mortgage is assigning to itself, using the subterfuge of having one of its employees, Jeff Blum, signing as an officer of Team One Mortgage.

As for the subsequent three assignments, all to Green Tree Servicing, all three were signed by individuals claiming to be officers of PNC Bank or PNC Mortgage, but in fact, all of these individuals are well-known employees of Nationwide Title Clearing, a mortgage document mill in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against Nationwide Title Clearing in February, 2012. “The practices that NTC used were a key contributor to the mortgage crisis by undermining the integrity and accuracy of the mortgage servicing and foreclosure process,” Attorney General Madigan said in a press release at the time the lawsuit was filed.

The fraudulent practices of Bryan Bly, the NTC employee who signed both an Assignment and an Affidavit in the Harris case,were discussed in a Reuters article by Scott Paltrow who wrote as follows regarding notorious robo-signers:

“Among them is Bryan Bly, an employee of Nationwide Title Clearing of Palm Harbor, Florida. Bly testified in a July 2010 foreclosure case in Florida that he signed up to 5,000 mortgage assignments per day at the loan-servicing company. Although he is an employee of Nationwide, he signed the documents as a “vice president” of Option OneMortgage, Deutsche Bank, CitiBank and other institutions. (Case # 2009-CA-1920, Circuit Court of the Fourth Judicial District, Clay County, FL)

In his deposition, Bly said Nationwide multiplied his output by electronically stamping his signature on additional mortgage assignments that Bly said he never saw. He testified, too, that all the documents then were falsely notarized. Nationwide’s notaries were given stacks of the already-signed documents, he said, and attested falsely that Bly had signed the legal papers in front of them. Bly said he didn’t verify the information in the papers he signed, and that he didn’t understand key words and expressions in them.”

Corrective Assignment #4 above also does not stand up to scrutiny as we have Green Tree acting as both assignor and assignee. In addition, the individual signing as an employee of Green Tree is actually an employee of Nationwide Title Clearing.

The abuses in this case are egregious. These are the kinds of abuses that the Justice Department and the Attorney General Task Force have been working to enjoin and prevent.

I am prepared to testify and swear to all of the above.

Best regards,


Source: 4closurefraud


Law 360 reports:

The Eighth Circuit in a published opinion Thursday revived a quiet title action by foreclosed-upon homeowners who say assignments of the titles to their properties were faulty, distinguishing their claims from a discredited theory requiring a foreclosing party to hold an original promissory note [ie. “show-me-the note theory”].

In its eight-page opinion, the three-judge panel said Minnesota borrowers hadadvanced a pair of arguments that might have legs.(1)

More here…

Copy of the decision below…

House Financial Services Committee Losing 20% of Its Members

WASHINGTON – The House Financial Services Committee is poised for a major facelift next year.

Beyond changes in leadership, the panel is going to lose roughly one fifth of its current members to retirement and campaign losses.

The exodus is bipartisan, with five Democrats leaving the 61-member committee while seven Republicans follow suit.

“This is a significant shift in terms of total number,” said Isaac Boltansky, a policy analyst for Compass Point Trading & Research.

The biggest change for the panel will be in who heads it. The current chairman, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., is widely anticipated to pass the gavel to Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, due to term limits. And Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is expected to take over for retiring Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., as the panel’s lead Democrat.

Read on.

AIG Trying To Become ‘Direct Investors In Mortgages,’ CEO Says

HONG KONG (Reuters) – American International Group Inc <aig.n> is planning to sell its savings and loan business as soon as a federal panel labels the insurance giant “too big to fail,” its chief executive said on Monday.

But even without a banking business, AIG is now looking more aggressively at making and purchasing mortgages as investment vehicles, Chief Executive Officer Bob Benmosche said in a telephone interview from Tokyo.

AIG, which received $182.5 billion in bailout money from U.S. taxpayers at the height of the financial crisis four years ago, has been working to repay the government and regain its credibility ever since.

Read on.

How Bear Stearns Really Screwed Investors

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that JP  Morgan will merely pay a fine for transgressions   that occurred at Bear Stearns  prior to the large money-center bank’s   life-saving takeover of the former Wall  Street broker.

With merely a fine to be paid, global investors and  American   taxpayers are once again left scratching their head wondering if the   transgressions involved happened without any sort of meaningful human    involvement. I mean, how is that JP Morgan will pay a fine likely in the    hundreds of millions of dollars and not one single individual is likely   to  face the music. More on that in a second. What today’s WSJ report and many other  reports fail to identify is what really happened at Bear Stearns. Let’s  navigate.

Investors got screwed by the actions at Bear Stearns  in two ways:

  1. Bear, much like every other firm on the street, was  involved in   packaging and distributing mortgages that had been fraudulently    underwritten. Regulators not only failed to protect investors beforehand   but  have failed to protect them after the fact as well.
  2. In the case where mortgages identified by the trustee  as not   meeting well defined standards, those mortgages were taken out of the    deal and sold back to the originator.  The funds derived by these    repurchases should have gone back to the trustee for the benefit of the    investors. In the case brought against JP Morgan (that is, Bear Stearns,   ex  post facto), investigators make the strong and compelling argument   that these  funds were retained by the firm and not delivered back to the   trust for the  benefit of investors. If this activity is not the   definition of theft, I do  not know what is. You can rest assured that   the diversion of these funds did  not occur based on a computer model.   Given the size of the deals and the fact  that Bear was one of the   largest dealers in the mortgage sector, the funds  inappropriately   diverted likely ran well into the hundreds of millions of  dollars if not   more than that.

Which investors were hurt the most? Those who  typically purchase the   lower credit tranches of the deals. Who are they?  Typically insurance   companies. Make no mistake, insurance companies invest  their own funds   on behalf of their own customers, those being tens of millions  of   individuals.

Which makes NY AG Schneiderman’s lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase-Bear Stearns more creditable for him to pursue. Read more from Business Insider. Click here.

Marin Lawyer Faces Disbarment in Foreclosure ‘Rescue’ Scam Case

A Greenbrae attorney involved in what court officials called a bogus predatory lending lawsuit scheme and foreclosure rescue scam faces disbarment after a decision by a State Bar Court hearing judge this week.

Sharon L. Lapin, 57, attorney of record in 130 predatory lending lawsuits from August 2009 to November 2010, was charged with 26 counts of professional misconduct and found guilty of most. None of the victims listed in the decision were from Marin County.

Lapin claimed innocence and said she would appeal.

Read on.

The fifth lawsuit dismissal went down in flames. Goldman Sachs fail to end FHFA lawsuits

(Reuters) – A U.S. judge rejected bids by Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) to dismiss a federal regulator’s lawsuits accusing them of misleading Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) into buying billions of dollars of risky mortgage debt.

Read on.