False Deeds in Maryland: More Foreclosure Fraud Damage Emerges As if the country needed more proof of the outlaw behaviors of banks and their agents, The Baltimore Sun's Jamie Smith Hopkins reports that 1,000 or more Maryland deeds are likely forgeries, created by a foreclosure mill. A former notary from law firm Shapiro & Burson filed an affidavit with law enforcement and regulators charging that the attorneys' signatures on the deeds and other important documents were forgeries signed at the express direction of management. The affidavit attached sample signatures.

If the forgery claims are true -- and that's not much of an "if" -- the false deeds cloud the properties' titles, creating a nightmare for the innocent people who bought the homes after they were foreclosed upon.

This isn't the first time this has come up in Maryland: Last year, two other law firms in the state, Bierman Geesing & Ward and Covahey Boozer Devan and Dore, admitted that they had forged signatures on foreclosure documents in a similar manner. And Baltimore firm Friedman & MacFayden is being investigated for similar allegations, the Sun reports. At this rate, the title issues in Maryland could prove to be as tragic in scope as those in Florida.

A Nationwide Fraud Problem

But it's not just a Maryland issue. Evidence of the same illegal practices has surfaced in Pennsylvania. Given the speed-over-substance approach applied nationally to foreclosures, and the volume of foreclosures processed by foreclosure mills, surely the problem extends across the country, and the fraud will likely be found to have been going on for at least the last few years. So we're bound to see a storm front of clouded titles develop and spread across the land, above and beyond the title issues caused by MERS.

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Both problems are a direct consequence of cost-cutting efforts at big, supposedly massively profitable banks. That's both tragic and ironic, given that America's previously-rock solid private property rights system underpinned our prosperity -- the prosperity that allowed the big banks to grow in the first place.

Confusingly, the government is reportedly nearly ready to allow the big banks to pay big dividends again. This is a terrible idea. Before a dime goes to shareholders, the state and U.S. attorneys general, federal regulators, and others working to settle the mortgage mess need to cordon off enough cash to pay for all the damage the banks' cut-rate policies and illegal practices have created. The government didn't hesitate to raise a similar concern about BP's assets in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But we know from the State of the Union speech that Big Oil isn't particularly popular in Washington, D.C., at the moment. Is Big Finance really so beloved that the government will let these companies distribute assets that surely will be needed to repair the damage their actions caused?

To put it another way: How can "stress tests" show the banks are sound enough to pay dividends when the costs of hiring the employees necessary to carry out even the most minimal settlement the government and regulators could accept would be massive, the potential bill from mortgage mess litigation continues to grow, and any penalty associated with a settlement has the potential to be "material" according to the banks themselves? Whether or not the banks are allowed to start paying dividends is going to be a big tell about how forcefully the government plans to bring the banks to heel. Another big tell will be whether criminal indictment come soon: The blog FireDogLake shows how easy such indictments would be to bring.

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We have similar evidence among my friend's documents and mine by Wells Fargo in California. Whom do we contact to show this fraud and stop our evictions? We went to FBI. Do we need to send it to the attorney general or get an attorney or what? Thanks.

March 13 2011 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes I am the Victim

Were Foreclosed while still in process of Loan modification--
We feel that GMAC our Mortgage company used delaying tactics in response to our loan modifications request. Are they also under investigation??

Living under Chapter 13 BANKRUPTCY IS HELL.



March 10 2011 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mail&parcel's comment

GMAC is horrible!! They told us in order to be approved for a short sale we would have to be 3 payments late. Stupidly we did just that. Then when we got an offer for $248,000 (we owed $252,000) they told us no and proceed with the foreclose they had already started while I was trying to short sale!! They eventually sold the home for $250,000!! We tried everything with them they always lost our paper work no matter what means we used to get it to them!! On top of all that David Stern was the lawyer for the bank and the assignment was signed by the famous Jeffrey Stephan!! Banks are not willing to help anyone and if anyone has GMAC or any of these other jacks I feel for them!!

March 10 2011 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I worked for this company for over a year. I witnessed this happen for not only Maryland, but for Virginia and DC as well. Not only on deeds, but disbursements and checks. The people who are "managers" cover up mistakes they make constantly and blame lower employees that they hire whom have never even worked in the real estate let alone law field before. They are now being investigated by a client and I would hope that the rest such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae pull and investigate them.

March 10 2011 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rssandtveit's comment

They all should go to jail already! It is insane that some of these people have jobs still and are able to lead a normal life!! So many lives ruined and they are not even held accountable is complete bull!

March 10 2011 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We submitted a request for a mortgage quote and received 3 great offers at "123 Mortgage Refinance". Thank you for helping us lower our house payment with 3.14% mortgage refinance rate. Highly recommend and best place for mortgage refinance.

March 10 2011 at 2:45 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Must of used THE WIRE

March 09 2011 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have always said that Maryland was shady....
all these states where you are finding this pattern of illegal mortgages are all the states that have migrated to MYRTLE BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA...

March 09 2011 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If it's true, as ruled by the bankruptcy judges, sitting en banc in Nevada, that MERS as no standing to bring foreclosure actions against debtors in bankruptcy, one wonders what, if any, authority MERS has to do anything. Keep in mind that MERS is commonly the beneficiary under millions of trust deeds nationwide, and has filed notices of default under millions of those trust deeds to start the foreclosure process in so-called private right of action foreclosure states. In Nevada, the only state that requires lenders to participate in mediations where homeowners are threatened with foreclosure of owner-occuplied residences, mediators have allowed MERS to assign trust deeds back to lenders to ultimately permit them to foreclose. To me, the noteholders are the only parties in interest and their collateral for multi-millions of their loans is suspect because of the MERS status (or lack thereof) as trust deed beneficiaries.

March 09 2011 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why does this not surprise me.

March 09 2011 at 3:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Sign the petition/ Share the petition

Hello Again, there seems to be a great deal of people finally standing up against this deceptive business practice. I ask that all of you sign this petition and help get the movement needed to allow this to grow into a full pledged campaign, we need your help!

( http://www.change.org/petitions/one-million-loan-revolt---loan-modification-foreclosure-deception#signatures )

It'll just take a minute! Once you're done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well.

Grassroots movements succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!

One Million Loan Revolt- Share, follow & Fight back!

If the link is broken, go to www.change.org and look for (One-Million-Loan-Revolt), please help this grow!

March 09 2011 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to douglasparkresidents@gmail.com's comment

COUNT ME IN ---Where do I sign


March 10 2011 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply