Daily Archives: May 18, 2014


Hamtramck residents battle home foreclosure (video)

Hamtramck residents battle home foreclosure (video)

Mark and Nomora Rozier talk about losing their home to foreclosure. Romain Blanquart/Detroit Free Press


U.S. House candidate David Trott made millions in mortgage crisis

U.S. House candidate David Trott made millions in mortgage crisis

In a commercial for his congressional campaign, David Trott tells of joining his mom and dad’s business in 1985 and later taking the helm.

“The business grew from six people to 1,800,” Trott says, as the camera shows him, dressed in an open-collared shirt, in a light-filled room, before shifting to scenes of people working in a warehouse setting and an office. “I’m a job creator.”

Trott never identifies what the family business does. The stock footage used in the political ad shows what appears to be manufacturing or shipping.

In reality, Trott is an attorney and his specialty is foreclosing on homes on behalf of banks and other lenders — as many as 80,000 in Michigan in a single year, by his own count, during the peak of the housing crisis.

His Farmington Hills law firm, Trott & Trott, is Michigan’s largest foreclosure law firm and one of the biggest in the country. Financial disclosure statements he filed in December as part of his congressional campaign show the financial holdings of Trott and his wife, Kathleen, are worth at least $60.2 million and possibly as much as $204.9 million.

Trott became a leader in the foreclosure industry that boomed in 2008 when the housing market went bust by buying up companies needed to complete a foreclosure from beginning to end. And he profits at each step of the process.

Besides his law firm that handles legal work, Trott owns or has a financial interest in the document company that processes paperwork, a newspaper that publishes required legal notices, the title companies that do the deed work, and a large real estate firm that sometimes handles the homes on which his clients have foreclosed.


Questions raised about notary signatures in foreclosure cases

Questions raised about notary signatures in foreclosure cases

Robosigning is still existing…

Detroit Legal News clerk Chris Fahgren’s notarized signature appeared on dozens of legal documents required for posting public foreclosure notices in the newspaper in late December 2009 and early 2010.

But Fahgren was in a coma at the time, following a Dec. 21, 2009, car accident. Even after she died on Jan. 4, 2010, her signature — dated and notarized — continued to show up in legal documents for more than three weeks, including one dated Jan. 30, 2010.

Fahgren had pre-signed and notarized stacks of documents ahead of time and a co-worker later added the appropriate date when it came time to publish a foreclosure ad, according to testimony in a later lawsuit. It was an admittedly illegal, but routine procedure, the co-worker testified, done to expedite the thousands of foreclosure ads being published monthly during the height of the housing crisis.

Many of those ads came from the Farmington Hills law firm run by David Trott, who had part ownership in Detroit Legal News Publishing and who at the time was getting paid a $500,000 yearly consulting fee by the newspaper.

Trott’s part ownership in the legal publication was among several holdings he had as part of a unique business model that gave him a financial interest at nearly every step of the foreclosure process while while offering a streamlined process to banks overwhelmed with loan defaults. It helped establish Trott & Trott as the largest foreclosure law firm in Michigan, growing to 1,800 employees at its peak and handling — by Trott’s own count — 80,000 foreclosures in a single year.

Trott told the Free Press, in response to questions about the questionable signatures, that he had no control over the day-to-day operations of the Detroit Legal News, and that he was unaware of the practice of pre-notarizing documents and then post-dating them.


JPMorgan, RBC Capital Markets to move jobs to NJ for $300M break

JPMorgan, RBC Capital Markets to move jobs to NJ for $300M break

It’s all about the benjamins for the banksters…

The two banks promised to to create 1,900 new jobs in Jersey City. RBC said its U.S. headquarters will remain in lower Manhattan.

(Bloomberg) — New Jersey awarded JPMorgan Chase & Co. and RBC Capital Markets $300 million of tax credits over 10 years after the companies pledged to create 1,900 new jobs in Jersey City, across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

The Economic Development Authority approved annual grants of $22.5 million for JPMorgan and $7.9 million for RBC at a meeting Friday in Trenton. JPMorgan’s project would add 1,000 jobs and retain 2,612, while RBC’s would add 900 positions, according to their applications.

JPMorgan, in its application, said it has been evaluating the location of its expanding regional technology and operations hub. Its options included consolidating multiple New Jersey facilities into one in Jersey City or relocating most of those operations to lower-cost locations in Delaware and Ohio.

RBC leases space in five locations in Manhattan with about 2,700 employees. With leases expiring at 1 Liberty Plaza and the World Financial Center, it began evaluating options, including renovating and expanding space in Jersey City and in Minnesota. While the one-time cost of expanding would be greater in Minnesota, annual operating costs would be higher in New Jersey, according to its application.


On Your Side: Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance could be illegal

On Your Side: Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance could be illegal

Note: This homeowner’s case is going to court on June 24.

RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — If you own a home, or are thinking about buying one, you may want to check your paperwork. You could be paying thousands of dollars for an insurance policy which you will never be able to collect on.

On Your Side is investigating what’s called Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance, or LPMI. It’s an insurance policy designed to protect the bank if you lose your home. But you are footing the bill, and you might not even know it.

In November 2011, Reno resident Rollin Lazzarone was busy submitting paperwork for a loan modification, hoping to keep his home and avoid foreclosure, when the Caughlin Fire happened. It destroyed 32 homes, including Lazzarone’s on Meadow Country Drive in southwest Reno.

Even today, only the concrete foundation remains.

After the fire, an investigator with MGIC Insurance showed up asking about a Lender Paid Mortgage policy that had been taken out on the property. Lazzarone said that was the first he had ever heard of LPMI. He said he never would have known about it if his house had not burned to the ground, because the bank never told him.

“Don’t you have a right to know what insurance policies are being carried on your property,” asked Lazzarone.

“Nobody knows about LPMI. It’s fraud,” declared Reno Attorney Ken McKenna.

McKenna is representing Lazzarone, taking on the lender Wells Fargo in a case that is headed to trial next month in Washoe District Court. At issue, whether the bank ignored federal law by failing to disclose the LPMI policy when Lazzarone bought his house. “I didn’t even know what LPMI was until about two months ago,” said Lazzarone.

According to the description on the Wells Fargo website, it is the homeowner who typically pays for LPMI through a higher interest rate on their loan, even though it is the banks who are covered by these policies. If a home is lost through foreclosure or a fire, the bank can collect the unpaid principle, any delinquent interest and foreclosure costs.

That is why disclosure laws are in place. The Federal Homeowners Protection Act, passed by Congress, mandates that if you are paying for LPMI, you need to be informed about it first.


Graves vs Wells Fargo: Social activist suing bank for improperly foreclosing on and illegally trying to evict him from home

Graves vs Wells Fargo: Social activist suing bank for improperly foreclosing on and illegally trying to evict him from home

GRAHAM — A prominent social activist and member of the Burlington Housing Authority is suing Wells Fargo, accusing the bank of improperly foreclosing on and illegally trying to evict him from his home.

Michael Graves, leader of Concerned Citizens of Alamance County and a former Alamance County NAACP president, filed the suit last month through his attorney, Bryan Ray. The complaint alleges Wells Fargo was in the midst of renegotiating the terms of Graves’ loan when it directed a subtrustee to initiate foreclosure.

According to court documents, Graves secured a $450,000 home mortgage loan for the residence at 2012 Sunnybrook Drive, Burlington, part of the Shannon Valley Subdivision. According to documents filed by Wells Fargo, Graves defaulted on the loan in 2008, and the bank began foreclosure proceedings. Foreclosure sales were set but postponed five times from November 2009 to Jan. 14 of this year, when court documents show the home was sold for $244,236.14. Each time the sales were postponed, it was for “additional time for mortgagor to allow reinstatement, a modification or a payoff of a loan,” documents said.

The bank, through substitute trustees Brock and Scott, began eviction proceedings in late March, after the January sale.

Graves filed an injunction against eviction and the foreclosure April 11.


AIG Lied During Government Bailout, Former Executive Says

AIG Lied During Government Bailout, Former Executive Says


MANHATTAN (CN) – American International Group defrauded the United States by failing to disclose that it was selling insurance without a license during negotiations over the bailout it received during the global financial crisis, a former executive claims in a federal lawsuit.
     Alex Grabcheski, the former worldwide director of human resources at an AIG subsidiary, originally filed his lawsuit under seal in May 2010.
     On Tuesday, May 13, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels unsealed the case,granting Grabcheski leave to file an amended complaint, after the United States declined to join the action.
     Grabcheski claims the insurance giant defrauded the United States in 2009 by failing to disclose the unlicensed status of two of its life insurance units when it negotiated a $25 billion reduction it owed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as part of the bailout.
     Grabcheski based his allegations on the “inside view” his position gave him to senior management of AIG’s Global Life companies and the firm as a whole, and that he was on hand when AIG “suffered a spectacular liquidity crisis” in September 2008, he says in the lawsuit.


NJ State Senator Lesniak statement on NJ foreclosure crisis, NJ now has the highest mortgage foreclosure rate in the country

NJ State Senator Lesniak statement on NJ foreclosure crisis, NJ now has the highest mortgage foreclosure rate in the country

TRENTON – Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, issued the following statement on Thursday in response to the report by the Mortgage Bankers Association showing that New Jersey now has the highest mortgage foreclosure rate in the country:

 “The foreclosure crisis that has plagued New Jersey isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse. We not only have the highest rate of mortgage foreclosures in the country, this is the only state that had the rate increase during the most recent three-month period.

 “In addition to the tragic loss of homes, this ongoing crisis is both a symptom and a cause of a struggling state economy. This is both a housing failure and an economic failure under Governor Christie. His indifference to this crisis is dragging down our economic recovery, depressing home values and allowing vandalism and crime to spread in neighborhoods with empty homes.

 “Three times we placed legislation on the governor’s desk to help solve this pressing issue and three times he turned his back on the problem by repeatedly vetoing the ‘Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act’. I expect to give him another opportunity to help turn this crisis around by sending him the bill again.

 “It is tragically obvious that the mortgage crisis won’t correct itself and it is equally obvious that the state’s economy is chronically impaired.”