FORECLOSURE…THE NEW “IT” THING? OWNERS STOP PAYING THE MORTGAGE…FANTASTIC!

Can you imagine if everyone just stopped paying that thing called mortgage but kept up with homeowners/condo associations (because these can foreclose faster than you can blink) Oh what a wonderful world!

This article really does not portray the majority. Some don’t have a job period! If you can… get a great attorney, a loan audit and the lender to the table!

Owners Stop Paying Mortgage … and Stop Fretting About It

Chip Litherland for The New York Times Wendy Pemberton, a barber in Florida, with a customer, Howard Cook. She stopped paying her mortgage two years ago.

By DAVID STREITFELD NYTIMES
Published: May 31, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For Alex Pemberton and Susan Reboyras, foreclosure is becoming a way of life — something they did not want but are in no hurry to get out of.

Foreclosure has allowed them to stabilize the family business. Go to Outback occasionally for a steak. Take their gas-guzzling airboat out for the weekend. Visit the Hard Rock Casino.

Chip Litherland for The New York Times Alex Pemberton and Susan Reboyras stopped paying the mortgage on their house in St. Petersburg, Fla., last summer.

“Instead of the house dragging us down, it’s become a life raft,” said Mr. Pemberton, who stopped paying themortgage on their house here last summer. “It’s really been a blessing.”

A growing number of the people whose homes are in foreclosure are refusing to slink away in shame. They are fashioning a sort of homemade mortgage modification, one that brings their payments all the way down to zero. They use the money they save to get back on their feet or just get by.

This type of modification does not beg for a lender’s permission but is delivered as an ultimatum: Force me out if you can. Any moral qualms are overshadowed by a conviction that the banks created the crisis by snookering homeowners with loans that got them in over their heads.

“I tried to explain my situation to the lender, but they wouldn’t help,” said Mr. Pemberton’s mother, Wendy Pemberton, herself in foreclosure on a small house a few blocks away from her son’s. She stopped paying her mortgage two years ago after a bout with lung cancer. “They’re all crooks.”

Foreclosure procedures have been initiated against 1.7 million of the nation’s households. The pace of resolving these problem loans is slow and getting slower because of legal challenges, foreclosure moratoriums, government pressure to offer modifications and the inability of the lenders to cope with so many souring mortgages.

The average borrower in foreclosure has been delinquent for 438 days before actually being evicted, up from 251 days in January 2008, according to LPS Applied Analytics.

While there are no firm figures on how many households are following the Pemberton-Reboyras path of passive resistance, real estate agents and other experts say the number of overextended borrowers taking the “free rent” approach is on the rise.

There is no question, though, that for some borrowers in default, foreclosure is only a theoretical threat for a long time.

More than 650,000 households had not paid in 18 months, LPS calculated earlier this year. With 19 percent of those homes, the lender had not even begun to take action to repossess the property — double the rate of a year earlier.

In some states, including California and Texas, lenders can pursue foreclosures outside of the courts. With the lender in control, the pace can be brisk. But in Florida, New York and 19 other states, judicial foreclosure is the rule, which slows the process substantially.

In Pinellas and Pasco counties, which include St. Petersburg and the suburbs to the north, there are 34,000 open foreclosure cases, said J. Thomas McGrady, chief judge of the Pinellas-Pasco Circuit. Ten years ago, the average was about 4,000. “The volume is killing us,” Judge McGrady said.

Mr. Pemberton and Ms. Reboyras decided to stop paying because their business, which restores attics that have been invaded by pests, was on the verge of failing. Scrambling to get by, their credit already shot, they had little to lose.

“We could pay the mortgage company way more than the house is worth and starve to death,” said Mr. Pemberton, 43. “Or we could pay ourselves so our business could sustain us and people who work for us over a long period of time. It may sound very horrible, but it comes down to a self-preservation thing.”

They used the $1,837 a month that they were not paying their lender to publicize A Plus Restorations, first with print ads, then local television. Word apparently got around, because the business is recovering.

The couple owe $280,000 on the house, where they live with Ms. Reboyras’s two daughters, their two dogs and a very round pet raccoon named Roxanne. The house is worth less than half that amount — which they say would be their starting point in future negotiations with their lender.

“If they took the house from us, that’s all they would end up getting for it anyway,” said Ms. Reboyras, 46.

One reason the house is worth so much less than the debt is because of the real estate crash. But the couple also refinanced at the height of the market, taking out cash to buy a truck they used as a contest prize for their hired animal trappers.

Chip Litherland for The New York Times Mark P. Stopa is a lawyer who says he has 350 clients in foreclosure, each paying him $1,500 a year in fees.

It was a stupid move by their lender, according to Mr. Pemberton. “They went outside their own guidelines on debt to income,” he said. “And when they did, they put themselves in jeopardy.”

His mother, Wendy Pemberton, who has been cutting hair at the same barber shop for 30 years, has been in default since spring 2008. Mrs. Pemberton, 68, refinanced several times during the boom but says she benefited only once, when she got enough money for a new roof. The other times, she said, unscrupulous salesmen promised her lower rates but simply charged her high fees.

Even without the burden of paying $938 a month for her decaying house, Mrs. Pemberton is having a tough time. Most of her customers are senior citizens who pay only $8 for a cut, and they are spacing out their visits.

“The longer I’m in foreclosure, the better,” she said.

In Florida, the average property spends 518 days in foreclosure, second only to New York’s 561 days. Defense attorneys stress they can keep this number high.

Both generations of Pembertons have hired a local lawyer, Mark P. Stopa. He sends out letters — 1,700 in a recent week — to Floridians who have had a foreclosure suit filed against them by a lender.

Even if you have “no defenses,” the form letter says, “you may be able to keep living in your home for weeks, months or even years without paying your mortgage.”

About 10 new clients a week sign up, according to Mr. Stopa, who says he now has 350 clients in foreclosure, each of whom pays $1,500 a year for a maximum of six hours of attorney time. “I just do as much as needs to be done to force the bank to prove its case,” Mr. Stopa said.

Many mortgages were sold by the original lender, a circumstance that homeowners’ lawyers try to exploit by asking them to prove they own the loan. In Mrs. Pemberton’s case, Mr. Stopa filed a motion to dismiss on March 17, 2009, and the case has not moved since then. He filed a similar motion in her son’s case last December.

From the lenders’ standpoint, people who stay in their homes without paying the mortgage or actively trying to work out some other solution, like selling it, are “milking the process,” said Kyle Lundstedt, managing director of Lender Processing Service’s analytics group. LPS provides technology, services and data to the mortgage industry.  DinSFLA: WHAT AN IDIOTIC THING TO SAY! Who is exactly milking what??

These “free riders” are “the unintended and unfortunate consequence” of lenders struggling to work out a solution, Mr. Lundstedt said. “These people are playing a dangerous game. There are processes in many states to go after folks who have substantial assets postforeclosure.” DinSFLA: I invite you Mr. Lundstedt to look over this blog and see your “Free Riders”. SIR!

But for borrowers like Jim Tsiogas, the benefits of not paying now outweigh any worries about the future.

“I stopped paying in August 2008,” said Mr. Tsiogas, who is in foreclosure on his house and two rental properties. “I told the lady at the bank, ‘I can’t afford $2,500. I can only afford $1,300.’ ”

Mr. Tsiogas, who lives on the coast south of St. Petersburg, blames his lenders for being unwilling to help when the crash began and his properties needed shoring up.

Their attitude seems to have changed since he went into foreclosure. Now their letters say things like “we’re willing to work with you.” But Mr. Tsiogas feels little urge to respond.

“I need another year,” he said, “and I’m going to be pretty comfortable.”

SmarTrend’s Trend Spotter Sees Continued Downward Momentum on Shares of Lender Processing Services (LPS)

May 27, 2010 (SmarTrend(R) Spotlight via COMTEX) —-SmarTrend identified a Downtrend for Lender Processing Services (NYSE:LPS) on May 07, 2010 at $35.31. In approximately 3 weeks, Lender Processing Services has returned 5.8% as of today’s recent price of $33.27.

Lender Processing Services is currently below its 50-day moving average of $37.60 and below its 200-day moving average of $38.92. Look for these moving averages to decline to confirm the company’s downward momentum.

SmarTrend will continue to scan these moving averages and a number of other proprietary indicators for any changes in momentum for shares of Lender Processing Services.

Write to Chip Brian at cbrian@tradethetrend.com

Post Earnings Update: Lender Processing Services Has Trended 10.89% Lower In Past 29 Days (LPS)

Written on Sun, 05/23/2010 – 10:25am
By Chip Brian

When Lender Processing Services (NYSE:LPS) reported earnings 29 days ago on April 22, 2010, analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of $0.79 on sales of $595 million.

The company actually reported EPS of $0.80 on sales of $592 million, beating EPS estimates by $0.01 and missing revenues estimates by $3 million.

Since the company’s report, share of Lender Processing Services have fallen from $38.66 to $34.45, representing a loss of 10.89% in the past 29 days.

SmarTrend is bearish on shares of Lender Processing Services and our subscribers were alerted to Sell on May 07, 2010 at $35.31. The stock has fallen 2.4% since the alert was issued.

LPS CEO Jeff Carbiener: Speaks about Assignment Mortgage Fraud

Stock is down, Fidelity is looking for a buyer…Now they speak!

They first tried to make a statement on a title forum, in which you had to subscribe to *only* but no one bothered to go there. So now they had to use this plat form.

Reply: Mortgage documents: Placeholder items were innocent

Posted: May 20, 2010 – 4:35pm Jacksonville.com

LPS is very involved in the Jacksonville community and highly values its role and reputation as a good corporate citizen.

Therefore, I believe it is vitally important to provide clarification to the May 14 article in The Florida Times-Union, “Florida Investigating ‘Bogus’ Foreclosure Records.”

The article discusses LPS’ subsidiary, Docx LLC, which provided a document preparation service to its customers and/or their attorneys from 2008 to 2009.

When a customer or its attorney requested that Docx prepare a document, Docx downloaded the information provided in the customer or attorney order into a pre-approved form provided by the customer or its attorney.

When preparing the documents, if specific pieces of information were not provided by the customer or attorney, Docx used the phrases “Bogus Assignee” and “Bad Bene” as highly visible placeholders that would then be replaced when the missing information was provided to Docx. DinSFLA: Now wouldn’t this be subconscious thinking of what these really are or meant to be “BOGUS” “BAD” such as “Make Believe” “Worthless”? …Out of a  dictionary of words they choose these???

Unfortunately, on a few occasions, documents containing the placeholder phrases were inadvertently recorded before the field was updated.

While to our knowledge, none of these documents have been used in actual court proceedings, LPS deeply regrets this error.

However, these placeholder phrases had no other meaning other than to indicate that more information was needed. Docx is not a party to any court proceedings and our role ends when the prepared documents are returned to the attorney or customer.

In a separate matter, LPS reported in February that it identified a business process that caused an error in the notarization of certain documents, some of which were used in foreclosure proceedings. LPS immediately corrected the business process and believes it has completed the remedial actions necessary to minimize the impact of the error. DinSFLA: Exactly what foreclosed party was notified of these errors? Can you provide a list of names? I know someone who has a few thousand!

Finally, although LPS has not been contacted by the Florida attorney general regarding this or any other matter, LPS continues to express its willingness to cooperate with any governmental agency that contacts us.

JEFF CARBIENER,

president and CEO,

Lender Processing Services,

Jacksonville

RELATED STORIES:

http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/category/lender-processing-services-inc/

Fidelity National Takeover Talks Fail: WSJ

MAY 17, 2010, 10:55 P.M. ET

BY PETER LATTMAN: The Wall Street Journal

The pending takeover of Fidelity National Information Services Inc. collapsed late Monday, with a Blackstone Group-led consortium dropping its plan to acquire the financial-data processor, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Fidelity National’s board had asked for a “substantial increase” above the $32-per-share bid the private-equity firms had proposed, said a person familiar with the deal talks. The two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on price, this person said, and the investor group backed out of the deal.

Late Monday, Fidelity National shares dropped nearly 10% in after-hours trading, to roughly $26 each. (Fidelity National is unrelated to

Continue reading HERE

RELATED STORY: Reports say buyout firms looking to acquire Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS)

Law Firm of David J. Stern (DJSP) Appears to Be Under State And Federal Investigation For Fraud, Stern Law Firm Even Has It’s Own “Michael Clayton”.

Forrest McSurdy Michael Clayton came to Stern’s rescue on my ordeal with the MILL! So I can vouch for what this article states about the “fixer” is 100% accurate !

Meticulously Written by Florida’s Very Own Bill Warner Private Detective, SARASOTA TO PANAMA CITY FL

Friday, May 14, 2010

A subsidiary of a company that is a top provider of the documentation used by banks in the foreclosure process is under investigation by federal prosecutors. The prosecutors are “reviewing the business processes” of the subsidiary of Lender Processing Services Inc., (LPS) based in Jacksonville, Fla., according to the company’s annual securities filing released in February. People familiar with the matter say the probe is criminal in nature.

Lender Processing Services Inc., (LPS) does work for the Law Firm of David J. Stern (DJSE) in Plantation Fl. Michelle Kersch, an LPS spokeswoman, said the subsidiary being investigated is Docx LLC. Docx processes and sometimes produces documents needed by banks to prove they own the mortgages. LPS’s annual report said that the processes under review have been “terminated,” and that the company has expressed its willingness to cooperate. Ms. Kersch declined to comment further on the probe.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office for the middle district of Florida, which the annual report says is handling the matter, declined to comment.  The case follows on the dismissal of numerous foreclosure cases in which judges across the U.S. have found that the materials banks had submitted to support their claims were wrong. Faulty bank paperwork has been an issue in foreclosure proceedings since the housing crisis took hold a few years ago. It is often difficult to pin down who the real owner of a mortgage is, thanks to the complexity of the mortgage market. LPS was recently referenced in a bankruptcy case involving Sylvia Nuer, a Bronx, N.Y., homeowner who had filed for protection from creditors in 2008.

Diana Adams, a U.S. government lawyer who monitors bankruptcy courts, argued in a brief filed earlier this year in the Nuer case that an LPS employee signed a document that wrongly said J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. had owned Ms. Nuer’s loan.  Documents related to the loan were “patently false or misleading,” according to Ms. Adams’s court papers. J.P. Morgan Chase, which has withdrawn its request to foreclose, declined to comment.

A Florida state-court judge, in a rare ruling, said a major national bank perpetrated a “fraud” in a foreclosure lawsuit filed by the Law Firm of David J. Stern, raising questions about how banks are attempting to claim homes from borrowers in default.

The ruling, made last month in Pasco County, Fla., comes amid increased scrutiny of foreclosures by the prosecutors and judges in regions hurt by the recession. Judges have said in hearings they are increasingly concerned that banks are attempting to seize properties they don’t own.

The Florida case began in December 2007 when U.S. Bank N.A. sued a homeowner, Ernest E. Harpster, after he defaulted on a $190,000 loan he received in January of that year. The Law Offices of David J. Stern, which represented the bank, prepared a document called an “assignment of mortgage” showing that the bank received ownership of the mortgage in December 2007. The document was dated December 2007.

But after investigating the matter, Circuit Court Judge Lynn Tepper ruled that the document couldn’t have been prepared until 2008. Thus, she ruled, the bank couldn’t prove it owned the mortgage at the time the suit was filed. The document filed by the plaintiff (through the Law Firm of David J. Stern), Judge Tepper wrote last month, “did not exist at the time of the filing of this action…was subsequently created and…fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead.” She dismissed the case.

Forrest McSurdy, a lawyer at the David Stern firm (McSurdy is General Councel for Stern law Firm) that handled the U.S. Bank case, said the mistake was due to “carelessness.” The mortgage document was initially prepared and signed in 2007 but wasn’t notarized until months later, he said. After discovering similar problems in other foreclosure cases, he said, the firm voluntarily withdrew the suits and later re-filed them using appropriate documents.

Foreclosure mill lawyer Forrest McSurdy calls truth a “technicality”. Lawyers operating foreclosure mills often are paid based on the volume of cases they complete. Some receive $1,000 per case, court records show. Firms compete for business in part based on how quickly they can foreclose. The David Stern law firm had about 900 employees as of last year, court records show.


“The pure volume of foreclosures has a tendency perhaps to encourage sloppiness, boilerplate paperwork or a lack of thoroughness” by attorneys for banks, said Judge Tepper of Florida, in an interview. The deluge of foreclosures makes the process “fraught with potential for fraud,” she said (Law Firm of the David J. Stern) .

At an unrelated hearing in a separate matter last week, Anthony Rondolino, a state-court judge in St. Petersburg, Fla., said that an affidavit submitted by the David Stern law firm on behalf of GMAC Mortgage LLC in a foreclosure case wasn’t necessarily sufficient to establish that GMAC was the owner of the mortgage. “I don’t have any confidence that any of the documents the Court’s receiving on these mass foreclosures are valid,” the judge said at the hearing.

Forrest G. McSurdy of Stern & McSurdy, P.A. Incorporated by David J Stern, Forrest G McSurdy, Stern and McSurdy, P.A. is located at 801 S University Dr Ste 500 Plantation, FL 33324. Stern and McSurdy, P.A. was incorporated on Friday, October 08, 1999 in the State of FL and is currently active. David J Stern represents Stern and McSurdy, P.A. as their registered agent.

Forrest McSurdy of the Law Firm of David J. Stern in Plantation Florida appears to show up everytime there is a legal mess to clean up for the Stern Law Office, McSurdy is Stern’s fixer ”Michael Clayton”.   ”Michael Clayton Movie” The Truth Can Be Adjusted Plot: A law firm brings in its “fixer” to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multi-billion dollar class action suit.


Forrest McSurdy of the Law Firm of David J. Stern in Plantation Florida shows up as legal counsel for all of Stern’s attorneys when there is a Florida Bar complaint filed agasint them.

Chardan 2008 China Acquisition Corp. (CACA, CACAW, CACAU) signed a definitive agreement for a business combination with DAL Group, LLC, a provider of processing services for mortgage lenders and servicers in Florida. At the closing of the business combination with Chardan, DAL will own 100% of the business and operations of Default Servicing, Inc. and Professional Title & Abstract Company of Florida and the non-legal operations supporting the foreclosure and other legal proceedings handled by the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A., collectively known as the Company.  Default Servicing, Inc is now STERN HOLDING COMPANY – DS, INC see Florida Division of Corporations records click here.

Upon consummation of the transaction, Beijing, China-based Chardan will change its name to DJSP Enterprises, Inc. “DJSP” (David J. Stern Processing), and its stock is expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbols DJSP, DJSPU, and DJSPW. Assuming no redemptions by Chardan shareholders, the current owners of the company, the “Stern Parties” will receive approximately $111 million from DAL and the right to receive another $35 million in post-closing cash. In addition, “Stern Parties” will also hold equity interests. Kerry Propper, Chardan’s chief executive officer said, “The acquisition should generate significant value for our shareholders. David J. Stern, who will be DJSP’s CEO, has an impressive record building this business by continually strengthening the customer relationships on which it is based.”

Chardan 2008 China Acquisition was run by Kerry S. Propper he has had some problems with the SBA and the Department of Justice as did his father Dr. Richard D. Propper. Kerry S, Proper, Richard D. Propper and Royale Holdings own 1,151,128 shares of Chardan 2008 China Acquisition, they are the majority share holders of the company now directly linked to David J. Stern and DJSP Enterprises, Inc..

DAVID J. STERN LAW OFFICE is DJSP Enterprises on NASDAQ, Major Shareholders David J. Stern and Kerry S. Propper the Subject of Department of Justice Investigation And SBA Law Suit.
1). Kerry S. Propper was the subject of 2003 Federal law suit filed in Conn. by the Small Business Administration one of his co-defendants was Acorn Ct Investments LP, they all ended up paying the SBA $1,764,333 in total see link http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/04D0487P.pdf

2). Kerry S. Propper was/is under Dept of Justice investigation with his father Richard Propper. One of their partners was convicted of defrauding the SBA and sent to Federal prison for 70 months. SBA seeks to recover $96 million from Richard Propper and the rest of the crew in yet another SBA lawsuit, see info below……

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE;
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2006, U.S. Files Suit Against John Torkelsen, Richard Propper, Daniel Beharry, & Sovereign Bank Alleging Fraud of $32 Million Against the Small Business Administration.

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that it has filed a lawsuit accusing John Torkelsen, Richard Propper, Daniel Beharry, and Sovereign Bank of defrauding the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program of $32 million. The suit was filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania under the False Claims Act, which allows the United States to recover up to three times the amount of its losses plus civil penalties.


The government’s complaint alleges that Torkelsen, Propper and Beharry violated the conflict of interest and management fee rules of the SBIC program by engaging in multiple secret transactions that funneled government money into companies controlled by Propper and Beharry or Torkelsen and his family. The SBIC program has rules designed to prevent the unauthorized investment of government funds in companies controlled by those who act as managers of the SBICs. The alleged fraud is believed to be the largest perpetrated upon the program to date.


The SBIC program, administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, was created in 1958 to fill the gap between the availability of venture capital and the needs of small businesses in start-up and growth situations. The government, itself, does not make direct investments or target specific industries. Rather, the SBIC program is a “fund of funds” – meaning that portfolio management and investment decisions are left to qualified private fund managers. Small businesses which qualify for assistance from the program are able to receive equity capital, long-term loans and expert management assistance.


The investigation of the fraud allegations against the defendants was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Philadelphia, Pa.; the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General and Office of General Counsel; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Justice Department’s Civil Division. The United States has settled with, or reached settlement in principle with, a number of other individuals or entities involved in the alleged fraud.


David J Stern Attorney, Related People:

Adam S Gumsom
•Forrest G McSurdy
•Gibbons Cline
•Howard Bernstein
•James Rosen
•Nuccia McCormick
•Roger Wittenberns
•Spring Baldini


Related Companies:
•Attorneys’ Title Agency, P.A.
•Default Services, Inc.
•Default Servicing, Inc.
•Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A.
•Professional Title and Abstract Company of Florida
Stern and McSurdy, P.A.
•Sunset Servers of South Florida, Inc.
•The Harborage Association Inc.

What can be done about the backlog of foreclosure cases in Palm Beach County (and other Florida counties)? By Lynn Szymoniack ESQ.

BACKLOG

1. Dismiss all cases filed after February 11, 2010, that do not include a verification in accordance with the Florida Supreme Court revised  rules of Civil Procedure.   The big foreclosure firms, particularly the Law Offices of David Stern, are choosing to ignore the rule requiring verifications.  All parties should be required to follow the rules.

2. Dismiss all of the cases where the plaintiff is a bank “as Trustee” but the name of the trust is not disclosed.  Failure to identify the actual trust is one of the newest strategies of the foreclosure mills.  The trust, not the trustee, is the real party in interest.

3. Dismiss all of the cases where the complaint is not signed by the attorney whose name appears on the pleading.  The big foreclosure firms in thousands of cases have someone other than the attorney on the pleading sign “for” the attorney who drafted the pleading.  This is done so that both attorneys can deny responsibility.

4. Dismiss all of the cases that include these boilerplate allegations by the bank or trust: “We own the note. We had possession of the note. We lost the note.”  These allegations appear in over 20,000 cases.  By now it is apparent this is a ruse – no one actually lost 20,000 mortgages and notes. Frauds upon the courts should not be tolerated.

5. Dismiss all of the cases that include a Mortgage Assignment that was signed by an employee of the foreclosure mill law firm signing as a MERS officer.  This would include thousands of cases where Cheryl Samons and Beth Cerni, administrative employees for David Stern, signed as a representative of the GRANTOR when the firm was actually working for the GRANTEE.  This would also include cases where Patricia Arango and Caryn Graham, two associates working for The Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson, signed as MERS officers.  This would also include all cases where Christopher Bossman, an administrative employee in the Daniel Consuegra fiirm, signed as a MERS officer.  This would also include all cases where officers of Florida Default Law Group signed as MERS officers. In all of these cases, no disclosure was made to the Court or to the homeowner/defendants that the Assignments were prepared by law firm employees with no knowledge of the truth of the matters asserted therein.

6. Dismiss all of the cases where a Mortgage Assignment was signed by Jeffrey Stephan of GMAC (notarized in Montgomery County, PA).  Stephan has already admitted in sworn testimony that a notary was NOT present when he signed mortgage assignments, even though the Assignments contained a contrary statement.

7. Dismiss all of the cases where the documents were prepared by employees of Lender Processing Services since this company has already admitted in its Annual Statement with the SEC that investigations, internal and otherwise, revealed problems with the documents that were so significant that the company implemented a “remediation” program (and in January, 2010, laid off most of its employees in Alpharetta, GA. Until this company discloses which documents were determined to be defective, and what corrective actions were taken, no documents from LPS submitted to establish ownership and standing (notarized in Fulton County, GA; Duval County, FL and Dakota County, MN) should be relied upon by the Courts.

8. Dismiss all cases where a Mortgage Assignment has been made by American Brokers Conduit, American Home Mortgage Acceptance or American Home Mortgage Company, or nominees or mortgage servicing companies working for these American Home companies, after August 6, 2007, the day these companies filed for bankruptcy.  The bankruptcy court did not authorizing these actions.

If Palm Beach County judges looked critically at the documents submitted by the foreclosure mills,  they would reach the same conclusion as judges in other Florida Circuits – that the documents submitted by the foreclosure mills are worthless and the attorneys submitting these documents deserve strict sanctions.

LYNN E. SZYMONIAK ESQ.

Lender Processing Services Bearish Moving Average Crossover Alert (LPS) Pt2

Where is Chip Brian when we need him? He is suppose to monitor this like he said.

Goldman? I think  another boost is needed ASAP!

Today at 12:18pm ET they were at 37.43 then at 2:48pm they took a nose dive down to 34.90…PHEW!

Ended the day at 35.82…I think this is the lowest they have gone this year.

LPS – Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE)‎

35.82 -0.56‎ (-1.54%‎)  May 4:03pm ET
35.82‎ +0.00‎ (0.00%‎)  After Hours
Open: 36.22
High: 37.63
Low: 34.85
Volume: 1,716,428
Avg Vol: 1,028,000
Mkt Cap: 3.41B
Disclaimer

Reports say buyout firms looking to acquire Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS)

Posted: May 6, 2010 – 1:19pm Jacksonville.com

By Mark Basch

Two large private equity firms are in talks to buy out Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Information Services Inc., according to news reports today.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Blackstone Group LP was considering the deal along with other firms. Bloomberg News later reported that Thomas H. Lee Partners LP is joining Blackstone in the bid.

Fidelity said the company’s policy is to not comment on speculation about acquisitions.

Fidelity National Information Services, or FIS, provide technology services for financial companies. It was spun off from title insurance company Fidelity National Financial Inc. Another publicly-traded company, Lender Processing Services Inc., was spun off from FIS.

The two Fidelity companies and LPS are all headquartered in Jacksonville, but all three operate independently.

Bloomberg reported that “two people with knowledge of the situation” said the deal is “under discussion and may not happen.”

mark.basch@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4308

RELATED STORIES: HERE

Homes can be lost by mistake when banks miscommunicate: USAtoday

By Paul Kiel, ProPublica

Last November, Michael Hill of Lexington, S.C., finally got the call he’d been waiting for. Congratulations, a rep from JPMorgan Chase told him, your trial mortgage modification is approved. Hill’s monthly payment, around $900, would be nearly halved. Except there was a problem. Chase had foreclosed on Hill’s home a month earlier, and his family was just days away from eviction.

“I listened to her and then I just said, ‘Well, that sounds good,’ ” Hill recalled. ” ‘Tell me how we’re going to do this, seeing as how you sold the house?’ ” That, he found out, was news to Chase.

 CHARTS: Tracking the U.S. housing market’s rise, fall and rebound

Millions of homeowners face losing their homes in the continuing foreclosure crisis, but homeowners often have more than the struggling economy and slumping house prices to worry about: Disorganization within the big banks that service mortgages has made a bad problem worse.

Hill was able to avoid eviction — for now. Chase reversed the sale by paying the man who’d bought the home an extra $19,500 on top of the $86,000 he’d paid at the auction. But other homeowners say they lost their homes because the communication breakdown within the banks was so complete that it led to premature or mistaken foreclosures.

“We believe in many cases people are losing their homes when they should not have,” said Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, which counts dozens of non-profits that work with homeowners among its members.

In the worst breakdowns, such as Hill’s, banks — and other companies that service loans — actually work at cross-purposes, with one arm of the company foreclosing on the home while the other offers help. Servicers say such mistakes are rare and result from the high volume of defaults and foreclosures.

The problems happen even among servicers participating in the administration’s $75 billion foreclosure-prevention program. Servicers operating under the year-old program are forbidden from auctioning someone’s home while a modification decision is pending.

It happens anyway.

Consumer advocates say the lapses continue because they go unpunished. “We’ve had too much of the carrot, and we need a stick,” Stein says. The Treasury Department has yet to penalize a servicer for breaking the program’s rules. The program provides federal subsidies to encourage modifications.

Treasury officials overseeing the program say they’re aware of the problems and have moved to fix them. Some states are going further to protect homeowners, however, with recent rules that stop the foreclosure process if the homeowner requests a modification.

Many homeowners, seeing no other option, have gone to court to reclaim their homes. At least 50 homeowners have recently filed lawsuits alleging the servicer foreclosed with a loan mod request pending or even while they were on a payment plan.

 Long waits for help

 In good times, banks and other servicers —Bank of America is the biggest, followed by Chase and Wells Fargo— were known mainly to homeowners simply as where they sent their monthly mortgage payment. But the companies have been deluged over the past couple years by requests for help from millions of struggling homeowners.

 Homeowners commonly wait six months for an answer on a loan mod application. The federal program for encouraging loan mods includes a three-month trial period, after which servicers are supposed to decide whether to make the modifications permanent. But some homeowners have waited as long as 10 months for a final answer.

The experience of Hill, married with two children, typifies the delays and confusion. After the mistaken foreclosure, he began the trial modification last December. He made those payments, but two months after his trial period was supposed to end, Hill is still waiting for a final answer from Chase.

The miscommunications have continued. He received a letter in January saying that he’d been approved for a permanent modification, but he was then told he’d received it in error.

His family remains partially packed, ready to move should the modification not go through. “I’m on pins and needles every time someone’s knocking on the door or calling,” he said.

Christine Holevas, a Chase spokeswoman, said that Chase had “agreed with Hill’s request to rescind the foreclosure” and was “now reviewing his loan for permanent modification.” She said Chase services “more than 10 million mortgages — the vast majority without a hitch.”

Communication breakdowns occur because of the way the servicers are structured. One division typically deals with modifications and another with foreclosures. Servicers also hire a local trustee or attorney to actually pursue foreclosure.

 “Often they just simply don’t communicate with each other,” said Laurie Maggiano, the Treasury official in charge of setting policy for the modification program. Such problems were particularly bad last summer, in the first few months of the program, she said. “Basically, you have the right hand at the mortgage company not knowing what the left hand is doing,” said Mark Pearce, North Carolina’s deputy commissioner of banks. Communication glitches and mistakes are “systemic, more than anecdotal” among mortgage servicers, he said.

 “We’ve had cases where we’ve informed the mortgage company that they’re about to foreclose on someone.” The experience for the homeowner, he said, can be “Kafkaesque.”

 “We’re all human, and the servicers are overworked and trying their best,” said Vicki Vidal, of the Mortgage Bankers Association. She said foreclosure errors are rare, particularly if struggling homeowners are prompt in contacting their servicer.

 Frances Gomez, of Tempe, Ariz., lived in her house for over 30 years. Three years ago, she refinanced it with Countrywide, now part of Bank of America, for nearly $300,000. The home’s value has declined dramatically, said Gomez, who put some of the money from the refinancing into her hair salon.

Last year, the recession forced her to close her shop. Gomez fell behind on her mortgage, and after striking out with a company that promised to work with Bank of America to get her a loan mod, she learned in December that her home was scheduled for foreclosure.

So Gomez applied herself. She twice succeeded in getting Bank of America to postpone the sale date, and she said she was assured it would not happen until her application was reviewed. Gomez had opened a smaller salon and understood there was a good chance she would qualify for a modification.

She was still waiting in March when a Realtor, representing the new owner of her home, showed up. Her house had sold at auction — for less than half of what Gomez owed. “They don’t give you an opportunity,” she said. “They just go and do it with no warning.”

It’s not supposed to work that way.

Under the federal program, which requires servicers to follow a set of guidelines for modifications, servicers must give borrowers a written denial before foreclosing. When Gomez called Bank of America about the sale, she said, she was told there was a mistake but nothing could be done. She did get a denial notice — some three weeks after the house was sold and just days before she was evicted.

“I just want people to know what they’re doing,” Gomez, now living with family members, said.

After being contacted by ProPublica, Bank of America reviewed Gomez’s case. Bank spokesman Rick Simon acknowledged that Gomez might not have been told her house would be sold and that the bank made a mistake in denying Gomez, because it did not take into account the income from her new salon business. Simon said a Bank of America representative would seek to negotiate with the new owner of Gomez’s house to see if the sale could be unwound.

Simon said the bank regrets when such mistakes happen due to the “very high volume” of cases and that any errors in Gomez’s case were “inadvertent.”

Even avoiding a mistaken sale can also be a stressful process.

One day in February, a man approached Ron Bermudez of Emeryville, Calif., in front of his house and told him his home would be sold in a few hours. This came as a shock to Bermudez; Bank of America had told him weeks earlier that he’d been approved for a trial modification and that the papers would soon arrive. He made a panicked phone call to an attorney, who was able to make sure there was no auction.

To contest a foreclosure under the federal program, Maggiano, the Treasury official, said a homeowner should call the HOPE Hotline, 888-995-HOPE, a Treasury Department-endorsed hotline staffed by housing counselors. Those counselors can escalate the case if the servicer still won’t correct the problem, she said.

That escalation process has saved “a number” of homeowners from being wrongfully booted out of their homes, Maggiano said. Hill, the South Carolina homeowner, is an example of someone helped by the HOPE Hotline.

Of course, the homeowner must know about the hotline to call it. Gomez, the Arizona homeowner who lost her home to foreclosure, said she’d never heard of it.

Many homeowner advocates say the government’s effort has been largely ineffective at resolving problems with servicers.

“I uniformly hear from attorneys and counseling advocates on the ground that the HOPE Hotline simply parrots back what the servicers have said,” said Alys Cohen, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center. Cohen said she’d voiced her concerns with Treasury officials, who indicated they’d make improvements.

Offering more protection

Under the current rules for the federal program, servicers have been barred from conducting a foreclosure sale if the homeowner requested a modification but are allowed to push along the process, even set a sale date. That allows them to foreclose more quickly if they determine the homeowner doesn’t qualify for a modification.

As a result, a homeowner might get a modification offer one day and a foreclosure notice the next. As of March, servicers were pursuing foreclosure on 1.8 million residences, according to LPS Applied Analytics.

Maggiano, the Treasury official, said that’s been confusing for homeowners. Some “just got discouraged and gave up.”

New rules issued by the Treasury in March say the servicer must first give the homeowner a shot at a modification before beginning the process that leads to foreclosure.

They also require the servicers to adopt new policies to prevent mishaps. For instance, the servicer will be required to provide a written certification to its attorney or trustee that the homeowner does not qualify for the federal program before the house can be sold.

Maggiano said the changes resulted from visits to the servicers’ offices last December that allowed Treasury officials to “much better understand (their) inner workings.”

The rules, however, don’t take effect until June. Nor do they apply to hundreds of thousands of homeowners seeking a modification for whom the process leading to foreclosure has already begun. And Treasury has yet to set any penalties for servicers who don’t follow the rules.

Maggiano said Treasury’s new rule struck a balance to help homeowners who were responsive to servicer communications to stay out of foreclosure while not introducing unnecessary delays for servicers. Some borrowers don’t respond at all to offers of help from the servicer until they’re faced with foreclosure, she said.

Some states, such as North Carolina, have recently gone further to delay moving toward foreclosure if a homeowner requests a modification. State regulators there recently passed a law that requires a servicer to halt the process if a homeowner requests a modification.

Pearce, the North Carolina official, said the rule was prompted by the delays homeowners have been facing and puts the burden on the servicer to expeditiously review the request. “They’re in total control.”

Stopping the process not only removes the possibility of a sudden foreclosure, he said, but also stops the accumulation of fees, which build up and can add thousands to the homeowner’s debt as the servicer moves toward foreclosure.

In California, state Sen. Mark Leno, a Democrat from San Francisco, is pushing a bill that would do something similar. The servicers “should be working a lot harder to keep homeowners in their home,” he said.

 Kiel is a reporter for ProPublica, an independent non-profit newsroom based in New York. USA TODAY editors worked with him in preparing this story for publication.

 SHARE YOUR STORY
Are you a homeowner seeking a loan modification through the government program?Click here to share your story with ProPublica.
 HELP FOR BORROWERS

What should you do if you’re foreclosed on while you’re waiting for an answer on your loan modification application?

Treasury officials say you should call the HOPE Hotline, 888-995-HOPE. It’s staffed by housing counselors, who will contact the servicer to try to resolve the situation.

If the counselors can’t resolve the problem, they can bring the issue to a “solution center” staffed by Fannie Mae, with which Treasury contracted to administer the modification program.

Those employees can intervene on behalf of the Treasury if the servicer is breaking the program’s rules, they said.

 HOW MICHAEL HILL ALMOST LOST HIS HOME
A chronology of one borrower’s experience with a mistaken foreclosure. 

  • Early 2009: After falling behind on his mortgage, Hill has many phone calls with JPMorgan Chase but is not offered a modification.
  • April 2: Chase files to pursue foreclosure on Hill’s house.
  • Aug. 6: Chase refers Hill to a housing counselor. With her help, he applies again for a modification.
  • Oct. 5: Chase sells Hill’s home at a foreclosure auction for $86,000.
  • Nov. 5: The sheriff issues Hill a notice saying he’ll be evicted in one week.
  • Nov. 11: Chase calls to tell Hill that he’s been approved for a trial modification.
  • Nov. 18: Chase buys the home back for $19,521 above the auction price.
  • Dec. 9: Hill begins the trial modification.
    Source: ProPublica interviews with Michael Hill and Hill’s records.
 HOMEOWNER LOSES HOME
More than 50 homeowners have filed lawsuits in the past year, alleging a communication breakdown led to foreclosure.In one of those suits, David Peterson of Grain Valley, Mo. says Chase Home Finance, part of JPMorgan Chase, assured him in December 2008,  that he qualified for a loan modification and would soon receive the papers in the mail. The offer was not under the government program, which didn’t launch until April 2009.

When the papers had still not arrived a month later, he says he called to ask whether he should send in a payment. He was told to wait, the suit says, and was assured he would not be foreclosed on.

Nevertheless, Chase sold his home. More than three weeks later, Peterson says he received the modification papers in the mail. They were dated one day after the foreclosure had occurred.

Chase refused to reverse the sale, according to the suit, which was filed last month. Chase declined to comment on pending litigation.

– By Paul Kiel, ProPublica