Open Letter to Honorable Judges in Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Proceedings

LYNN E. SZYMONIAK, ESQ.

 The Metropolitan, PH2-05 403

South Sapodilla Avenue

West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

April 19, 2010

 

Dear Honorable Judges in Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Proceedings:
 
 
This letter concerns how a Jacksonville, Florida publicly-traded company, Lender Processing Services, Inc. solves Deutsche Bank National Trust Company missing documents in foreclosure cases. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (“DBNTC”) is the plaintiff in the majority of foreclosure actions filed in thousands of counties in America since 2007. Deutsche Bank is sometimes referred to as “America Foreclosure King.” There is currently a Department of Justice investigation of LPS and its influence over law firms in foreclosure actions, according to an article in the Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review on April 16, 2010.

In these foreclosure actions, DBNTC is usually acting as the trustee for a mortgagebacked securitized trust. This means that a securities company made a commodity out of approximately 5,000 mortgages that were bundled together. The notes in the trust have a face value of approximately $1.5 billion in each trust. Investors buy shares of these trusts. Deutsche Bank is the most common name in the business of being a Trustee for Mortgage-Backed trusts. Other banks very active in this role of Trustee include Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Citibank, Bank of New York, JP Morgan Chase and HSBC.

When each of these trusts was made, the securities company responsible for the securitization (often Financial Assets Securities Corporation in Greenwich, Connecticut) was supposed to have obtained mortgage assignments showing that the trust had acquired each mortgage and note from the previous owner, which was most often the original lender. The trust documents specify that the mortgages, notes and assignments in recordable from will have been obtained by the trust. Most mortgage-backed trusts included the following or equivalent language regarding Assignments:

Assignments of the Mortgage Loans to the Trustee (or its nominee) will not be recorded in any jurisdiction, but will be delivered to the Trustee in recordable form, so that they can be recorded in the event recordation is necessary in connection with the servicing of a Mortgage Loan.

Trustees take very few actions relating to the individual properties in the trust. Typically, the bank acting as a trustee for a mortgage-backed trust hires a mortgage servicing company to deal with issues involving the individual mortgages in the trust. The mortgage servicing companies in turn hire a “default management company” to foreclose when a homeowner defaults on payments on a loan that is part of the trust. Lender Processing Services in Jacksonville, Florida, is the largest mortgage default management company. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company uses several mortgage servicing companies, but most often uses American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. in Irving, Texas as its mortgage servicing company.

In tens of thousands of foreclosure cases filed by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as trustee for a mortgage-backed trust, Deutsche Bank has not produced the mortgage, note or Assignment and instead has filed pleadings claiming that the original mortgage and note were inexplicably lost. In these cases, Deutsche Bank uses specially prepared Mortgage Assignments to show that they have the right to foreclose. These documents were often prepared by clerical employees of Docx, LLC, a subsidiary company of Lender Processing Services, the default management company. Hundreds of thousands of other Mortgage Assignments came from the LPS office in Dakota County, Minnesota. More recently, these documents were produced from the LPS offices in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida. In thousands of other cases, LPS directs the law firms it hires to use the employees of the law firms to sign as officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems to create the documents necessary for foreclosure

a) Mortgage Electronic Registration Services (MERS) is identified as the grantor and American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. is identified as the grantee; within days (or minutes), a second Assignment is filed, identifying American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. as the grantor and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as trustee for the trust as the grantee;

b) a mortgage company no longer in existence is identified as the grantor and American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. is identified as the grantee; within days (or minutes), a second Assignment is filed, identifying American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. as the grantor and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as trustee for the trust as the grantee;

c) a mortgage company no longer in existence is identified as the grantor and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as trustee is identified as the grantee;

d) American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., purporting to be the “successor-in-interest” to Option One Mortgage Company, is identified as the grantor and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as trustee is identified as the grantee;

e) Sand Canyon Corporation, formerly known as Option One Mortgage Company, is identified as the grantor and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as trustee is identified as the grantee, with no further explanation of how both American Home Mortgage Servicing and Sand Canyon have authority to act for Option One Mortgage.

On several hundred thousand Assignments, the individuals signing as officers of the grantor were actually clerical employees of Lender Processing Services, the mortgage default management company hired by American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., working for the grantee – Deutsche Bank National Trust Company. On several hundred thousand Assignments, the very same individuals signed as officers of both the grantor and grantee.

In all of these hundreds of thousands of cases, no Assignment actually took place on the date stated and no consideration was paid by the grantee to the grantor despite the representations in the Assignments. Most significantly, no disclosure was ever made to the Court in the foreclosure or bankruptcy case or to the homeowners in default that the original Assignments to the Trust were never made – or were lost – or were defective and that the recently-filed Assignments were specially made to facilitate foreclosures years after the property was transferred to the trust.

An examination of the signatures on these Assignments shows that many are forgeries, with several different people signing the names Linda Green, Tywanna Thomas, Korell Harp, Jennifer Ohde, Linda Thoresen and many of the other names used on several million mortgage assignments, as I have reported in my article “Compare These Signatures.” Many of these same individuals use at least a dozen different job titles as I have reported in my article, “An Officer of Too Many Banks.” These articles are available at www.frauddigest.com.

A summary of my credentials can be found at www.szymoniakfirm.com.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for additional information.

Yours truly,

Lynn E. Szymoniak, Esq.

This article could also have been titled:  

HOW LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES, INC. SOLVES U.S. BANK’S MISSING PAPERWORK PROBLEM IN FORECLOSURES
-or-
HOW LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES, INC. SOLVES WELLS FARGO MISSING PAPERWORK PROBLEM IN FORECLOSURES
-or-
HOW LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES, INC. SOLVES BANK OF NEW YORK MISSING PAPERWORK PROBLEM IN FORECLOSURES
-or-
HOW LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES, INC. SOLVES CITIBANK’S MISSING PAPERWORK PROBLEM IN FORECLOSURES
-or-
HOW LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES, INC. SOLVES HSBC’S MISSING PAPERWORK PROBLEM IN FORECLOSURES

 

For a copy of the Exhibits referenced below, please contact szymoniak@mac.com.

Copies of Assignments from MERS to American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. are attached hereto as Exhibit 1.

Copies of Assignments from American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. to Deutsche Bank as Trustee are attached as Exhibit 2.

Copies of Assignments from American Brokers Conduit, a mortgage company no longer in existence at the time the Assignments were made, to Deutsche Bank as trustee are attached as Exhibit 3.

Copies of other Assignments to Deutsche Bank as Trustee signed by employees of Lender Processing Services, working for the grantee Deutsche Bank, but signing on behalf of the grantor mortgage companies or banks, or MERS as nominee for the grantor mortgage companies or banks, are attached as Exhibit 4.

Copies of Assignments from American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. as the successorin-interest to Option One Mortgage as grantor and Deutsche Bank as Trustee as the grantee are attached as Exhibit 5.

Copies of Assignments from Sand Canyon, formerly known as Option One Mortgage as grantor and Deutsche Bank as Trustee as the grantee are attached as Exhibit 6.

Copies of Assignments signed by employees of law firms working for Lender Processing Services on behalf of American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. and ultimately for grantee Deutsche Bank, where such employees signed as officers of MERS as grantor are attached as Exhibit 7.

Copies of Assignments signed by employees of Lender Processing Services on behalf of grantors and notarized in Duval County, Florida for grantee Deutsche Bank, filed by law firms working for Deutsche Bank are attached as Exhibit 8.

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For those of you who like “irony”: LPS meets Goldman

Anytime you have the word “FRAUD” involved in an on-going investigation, It makes you wonder when corps go at it together even more…click the links below to see what I mean.

Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS) climbed 1.16% to $37.42 after Goldman Sachs upgraded the company’s share from Neutral to Buy with an one year price target of $48.

DOJ Probing Mortgage Data Processing Firms LPS FKA FIDELITY BK 5-13-09 Part 1

 DOJ Probing Mortgage Data Processing Firms

By Peg Brickley Of DOW JONES DAILY BANKRUPTCY REVIEW

The Department of Justice is conducting a nationwide probe of the company whose automated systems handle half the mortgages in the U.S., looking for evidence Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) has “improperly directed” the actions of lawyers in bankruptcy court.

The Jacksonville, Fla., company was spun out last year from Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS), a financial technology giant that is also under scrutiny for its role in court actions, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia.

Although the companies say they are providers of electronic information services, the U.S. trustee believes LPS and Fidelity play a “much greater” role in court actions where thousands of homes are at risk of foreclosure, according to Bankruptcy Judge Diane Weiss Sigmund.

“The thoughtless mechanical employment of computer-driven models and communications to inexpensively traverse the path to foreclosure offends the integrity of our American bankruptcy system,” Sigmund wrote in a decision released Wednesday, April 15.

A spokeswoman for Fidelity did not respond to requests seeking comment on the investigation by the Office of the U.S. Trustee, an arm of the Department of Justice whose mission includes safeguarding the integrity of the bankruptcy courts.

Michelle Kersch, a spokeswoman for LPS, said the U.S. trustee has “advised outside counsel for LPS that it is seeking to better understand LPS’ role.” In an e-mail, Kersch pointed out that the judge held the lawyers, not LPS, responsible for the problems in the case before her.

The probe of the mortgage technology operation surfaced in a Philadelphia case after Sigmund started asking questions about the source of false court filings that came from HSBC Mortgage Corp. In pursuit of homeowners Niles and Angela Taylor, HSBC filed the wrong mortgage, gave incorrect payment amounts and claimed the Taylors had missed monthly payments. This “was simply not true,” Sigmund wrote in a 58-page decision.

Pressed to produce a loan history for the Taylors, HSBC’s lawyer confessed the system simply wouldn’t give it to him.

HSBC, it turns out, had handed off servicing of the troubled loan to Fidelity, which spun out LPS last year. The processes the company uses to crank out court documents for fast, cheap foreclosures were the culprit, the judge found.

By forcing lawyers to talk to computers rather than to their clients – the lenders – LPS makes it hard for lawyers to do right by the court and discharge their ethical obligations, Sigmund said.

Lawyers at one level spot-check a fraction of the documents that are on their way to foreclosure actions, Sigmund found. But the business is built for profitability rather than reliability, and counts on “lower-cost labor,” according to the judge.

Although LPS’s system “has many features that make a volume business process more efficient, the users may not abandon their responsibility for fairness and accuracy to the seduction of electronic communication,”

Sigmund wrote.

She faulted HSBC and some of the lawyers involved in the case for having “sacrificed accuracy and fairness to efficiency and cost-savings,” by relying on LPS’s systems.

Fidelity, later LPS, is the electronic powerhouse behind the foreclosures rolling through much of the country, taking in data and spitting out loan-default notices for 16 of the 20 largest mortgage-loan servicers in the nation. Banks like HSBC and mortgage servicers outsource the handling of their troubled loans to LPS’s default management services business.

Business is booming in the loan default unit, LPS’s financial reports say, with revenue up 68.3% for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Consumer advocates have long complained that Fidelity and LPS are much more than electronic data providers. The companies say which lawyers get the lucrative business of foreclosing on troubled homeowners. Those who move the fastest are rewarded, said O. Max Gardner III, a consumer bankruptcy attorney. Those who pause to ask questions or to investigate whether a loan should be foreclosed, don’t last as LPS network attorneys, Gardner said.

“The Fidelity-LPS system represents a complete outsourcing of the foreclosure and bankruptcy process to a third-party, Fidelity-LPS, who then manages the entire legal process,” Gardner said in an e-mail Thursday, April 16.

Sigmund’s opinion revealed that the Department of Justice is looking at Fidelity, LPS and the law firm that handles HSBC Mortgage Corp.’s troubled loan business nationwide, Moss Codilis LLP.

Moss Codilis did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment on the investigation, which involves a number of bankruptcy cases, according to Philadelphia court documents.

(Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review covers news about distressed companies and those under bankruptcy protection.)

-By Peg Brickley, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review; 302-521-2266; peg.brickley@dowjones.com

_____________________________________

The article references an epic in-depth 58 page opinion written by Pennsylvania US Bankruptcy Judge Sigmund in which she enlightens the world to the practices of these third-party lender processing services, and calls the legal profession to adhere to higher standards of professional responsibility when engaging them. It’s a good read and most timely. It’s an opinion that will surely be controlling across this nation.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All about the misconduct of Lender Processing Services f/k/a FIDELITY a/k/a LPS

U.S. Probing LPS Unit Docx LLC: Report REUTERS

LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES (LPS) Hits Local NEWS!

I have a feeling this is going to be the beginning to many reports on Local Media Outlets in time.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All about the misconduct of Lender Processing Services f/k/a FIDELITY a/k/a LPS

“LPS’ characterization of itself as a stranger to this bankruptcy case is unsupported by the evidence. There is a very live case or controversy concerning the conduct of Fidelity in this bankruptcy case.”
 

“Lawyers must not allow the interests or dictates of a client to control their professional judgment.”
 
 

 

 

Source: FRAUD DIGEST Lynn Szmoniak ESQ.