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  • Thousands with criminal records work unlicensed as loan originators
    the law In the first half of 2005 during the peak of the boom 355 didn t file required reports according to the state s own records Falk the former president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers said the lack of reporting in the state system allows too many gaps The lack of tracking leads to even more problems Without any central registration and with no requirements for entry loan originators with criminal histories can move from firm to firm without divulging their past There is no state law requiring lenders to check their background If they had they would have found that Kafka spent nearly three years in federal prison for loan fraud in 1999 and illegally keeping an arsenal of guns and ammunition while a resident of Ocean Ridge near Boynton Beach Sencer who hired Kafka at Financial Security in Wellington said he learned of Kafka s police record only after federal Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents showed up at his office in 2005 Sencer said that when he met with prosecutors they told me You got duped Assistant U S Attorney Neil Karadbil who prosecuted Kafka said the former loan originator was able to conceal his past while peddling loans partly because he didn t have to submit to criminal background checks There has to be some way to know in this industry whether you re dealing with a convicted felon Karadbil said At least borrowers or employers should know that Even before his latest conviction Kafka had a criminal record dating to 1977 including 15 arrests and four felony convictions court records show The charges include grand theft burglary and possession of contraband in prison He is now back in prison serving 57 months for the most recent mortgage scheme A NEW CALLING Harry Rolle was a convicted felon who had declared personal bankruptcy three times before he became a loan originator in 2001 for International Lenders of South Florida in Oakland Park Within months he found his first victim Elsa Erarte a single mother who worked at Walgreens in Miami Rolle pocketed a 16 000 down payment she had given him while he was supposed to help her find a home saying it was nonrefundable She sued Rolle in Miami Dade Circuit Court and got her money back in a judgment in 2004 It was all the money she had recalled her attorney Joel Friedman She had spent years saving it But the court case didn t stop Rolle The 53 year old loan salesman went on to cheat four more borrowers through a variety of means pocketing their down payments skimming from their loans and selling their homes without their approval court records state The guy was a consummate con artist said Joseph Wilson an investigator for the Office of Financial Regulation who referred the case to police He had the ability to gain people s confidence by saying what people wanted to hear In 2005 the Miami Dade County state attorney s

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/unlicensed_loan_originators.html (2016-02-14)
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  • AP Exclusive: Mortgage 'robo-signing' goes on
    homeowner and defense lawyer called the settlement a farce because no real punishment was meted out making it easy for lenders and mortgage processors to continue the practice of robo signing Robo signing refers to a variety of practices It can mean a qualified executive in the mortgage industry signs a mortgage affidavit document without verifying the information It can mean someone forges an executive s signature or a lower level employee signs his or her own name with a fake title It can mean failing to comply with notary procedures In all of these cases robo signing involves people signing documents and swearing to their accuracy without verifying any of the information Most of the tainted mortgage documents in question last fall were related to homes in foreclosure But much of the suspect paperwork that has been filed since then is for refinancing or for new purchases by people who are in good standing in the eyes of the bank In addition foreclosures are down 30 percent this year from last Home sales have also fallen So the new suspect documents come at a time when much less paperwork is streaming through the nation s mortgage machinery None of the almost 1 300 suspect Linda Green signed documents from O Brien s office for example involve foreclosures And Jeff Thigpen the register of deeds in North Carolina s Guilford County says fewer than 40 of the 456 suspect documents filed to his office since October involved foreclosures Banks and their partner firms file mortgage documents with county deeds offices to prove that there are no liens on a property that the bank owns a mortgage or that a bank filing for foreclosure has the authority to do so The signature of a qualified bank or mortgage official on these legal documents is supposed to guarantee that this information is accurate The paper trail ensures a legal chain of title on a property and has been the backbone of U S property ownership for more than 300 years The county officials say the problem could be even worse than what they re reporting That s because they are working off lists of known robo signed names such as Linda Green and Crystal Moore that were identified during the investigation that began last fall Officials suspect that other names on documents they have received since then are also robo signed It is a federal crime to sign someone else s name to a legal document It is also illegal to sign your name to an affidavit if you have not verified the information you re swearing to Both are punishable by prison In Michigan the attorney general took the rare step in June of filing criminal subpoenas to out of state mortgage processing companies after 23 county registers of deeds filed a criminal complaint with his office over robo signed documents they say they have received New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman s office has said it is conducting a banking

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/robo-signing.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Appraiser Exposes Toxic Debt Tie to Inflated Values
    properties In some cases he valued condos that needed substantial work as if they were complete He also used the sale prices of more expensive apartments nearby to justify inflated values The decision cost both Hill and Perez Hill landed a 28 year prison sentence for using the appraisals to defraud lenders out of 112 million and Perez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and is awaiting sentencing He declined to comment Appraisers who resist pressure to inflate values said they may be blacklisted Squeeze Another 20 25 000 Paul Bodeving saw his business dry up after he was hired by an appraisal management company to evaluate a four bedroom 3 500 square foot house in Grants Pass Oregon last February After examining the value of comparable homes Bodeving determined the property was worth 837 000 The appraisal management firm asked him to squeeze another 20 25 000 in value so the lender could close the loan Bodeving said He refused and rarely gets work from the company anymore It s absolutely horrible he said We ve never had the pressure we have now Debbie Huber a Las Vegas home appraiser says a third of the mortgage lenders who want to hire her are looking for a guaranteed value before she appraises the property Pistol Packing Appraiser We get calls like that every hour of every day said Huber past president of the Nevada Appraisal Commission the state agency that oversees appraisers The problem became so severe in Florida that appraiser Pamela Crowley said she started an e mail distribution list in 2003 for real estate appraisers to report suspicious sales and refinancing deals Crowley said she was forced out of the appraisal business because she refused to report property values that were higher than the actual worth She has turned the e mail list into a Web site and says she now works with a snub nosed 38 caliber pistol at hand because she s afraid of retribution There are a lot of people who made a lot of money on this whole game and I was hurting them Crowley said Appraisers also are being pressured to overlook imperfections in homes or ignore housing trends in a community that might bring a property s value down said John Oakvik of Tozzer Oakvik Associates Inc in Fort Lauderdale Florida Oakvik said he got a call in October from a mortgage broker who asked him if he d made a mistake when he checked a box on an appraisal report that said home prices were falling in the area No Red Flags She asked me to change the box from declining market to stable market Oakvik said Mortgage brokers just want a generic report no red flags Appraisal practices are drawing the scrutiny of prosecutors At least seven states have opened investigations into the mortgage industry including ties between appraisers lenders and brokers In New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/appraiser_inflated_values.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Prolific US sub-prime lender charged with fraud
    said it was charging him and his two most senior lieutenants with deceiving investors and insider dealing in the company s shares Mr Mozilo knew as early as 2006 that his company was offering riskier and riskier loans to ever riskier borrowers and that over zealous employees were selling mortgages that breached even the company s own guidelines In emails in 2006 Mr Mozilo described many of his company s loans as toxic and as poison and he said We have no way with any reasonable certainty to assess the real risk of holding these loans on our balance sheet The bottom line is that we are flying blind on how these loans will perform in a stressed environment of higher unemployment reduced values and slowing home sales Countrywide s loans were packaged into credit derivatives and sold throughout the financial system When customers defaulted in record numbers the losses spread across the globe This is the tale of two companies said Robert Khuzami director of the SEC s enforcement division Countrywide portrayed itself as underwriting mainly prime quality mortgages using high underwriting standards But concealed from shareholders was the true Countrywide an increasingly reckless lender assuming greater and greater

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/sub-prime_fraud.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Why Bank of America Must be Thrilled to Pay a $3 Billion Penalty
    You don t need to be a mortgage analyst to know that a 1 loss doesn t begin to characterize housing s deterioration No Wonder the Market Celebrated After this revelation struck financial stocks were broadly up yesterday This should come as no surprise BoA Countrywide together were originating more than to one quarter of the mortgages created when the housing market was humming along in the middle of the last decade If the losses imposed by Fannie and Freddie s put backs are in the couple billion dollar range for BoA Countrywide then you only need to multiply by three to figure out what the rest of the market probably owes If this settlement is any indication then the other banks and probably won t be responsible for much more than 9 billion of put backs from the government entities That s a loss they would be happy to endure considering that the downside could have been well into the tens of billions of dollars No wonder they re celebrating A Backdoor Bailout This settlement has a few implications The most significant is that Fannie and Freddie are essentially admitting that the vast majority of their losses are their fault The cost of the bailout alone to taxpayers is expected to easily exceed 150 billion If it obtains a measly 12 billion or so from banks that puts its responsibility at roughly 92 This means one of two things The first possibility is that Fannie and Freddie really were so screwed up that banks rarely broke any rules or tricked these companies into buying and guaranteeing their garbage mortgages This is actually somewhat plausible considering that there was a relatively standardized system in place for selling mortgage risk to Fannie and Freddie Any bad behavior by banks should be

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/boa_3bln_thrill.html (2016-02-14)
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  • BofA's Countrywide to pay $335 million over bias case
    a range of alleged wrongdoing including charging African Americans and Hispanics higher interest rates and fees than non minorities Minorities also were steered to more expensive subprime loans even though they were qualified for traditional mortgage rates Justice Department officials said it was the largest residential discrimination settlement in U S history The victims had no idea they were being victimized They were thrilled to have gotten a loan and realize the American dream Thomas Perez head of the Justice Department s civil rights division told reporters This is discrimination with a smile The settlement comes as the Obama administration has faced some criticism for the lack of prosecutions related to the conduct of financial institutions during the U S housing crisis More than 200 000 African American and Hispanic borrowers in 41 states and the District of Columbia were affected by Countrywide s conduct the Justice Department said They will receive compensation from the money paid by the Bank of America unit Countrywide had net earnings of about 6 7 billion between 2004 and 2007 according to the Justice Department We are committed to fair and equal treatment of all our customers and will continue to focus on doing

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/335mln_bias_case.html (2016-02-14)
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  • Executive Ex-Taylor, Bean Official Admits Guilt in $1.9 Billion Fraud
    unsecured bond Hidden Overdrafts The crime included conspiring to transfer funds between closely held Taylor Bean and Colonial Bank a unit of Colonial BancGroup Inc to hide overdrafts prosecutors said The bank was one of the 50 largest in the U S according to the government The SEC s complaint alleges Brown violated antifraud reporting books and records and internal controls provisions of federal securities laws She agreed to an injunction against future violations without admitting or denying the SEC s allegations In the criminal case Brown admitted that from late 2003 through August 2009 she Farkas and other unidentified individuals conspired to defraud Colonial Bank Colonial BancGroup Inc shareholders of Colonial BancGroup TARP and investors in Ocala Funding LLC which included Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA according to Brown s statements in court and a Justice Department statement Scheme to Defraud One of the goals of the scheme was to obtain funding for Taylor Bean to help cover expenses for operations and servicing payments owed to third party purchasers of loans and or mortgage backed securities the department said in the statement The U S said the scheme contributed to the failures of Colonial Bank and Taylor Bean which was based in Ocala Florida William Cummings a lawyer for Farkas attended today s hearing In an interview he said he expected more guilty pleas before his client goes to trial He said his client who has pleaded not guilty has had some settlement discussions with the government though nothing has come out of it yet Brown said in court that she has been talking with the government for the past six months Brown was vice president of special projects at Taylor Bean starting in October 2002 In 2004 she was named controller and then treasurer Fake Mortgage

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/2bln_mortgage_fraud.html (2016-02-14)
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  • SEC lawyers probed for insider trading: report
    the FBI The lawyers were not named in the report but the Journal said one a female staff lawyer had been with the SEC for 28 years and other is a man working in the enforcement division s chief counsel office The daily did not cite specific allegations including profit gained by the suspects from their trades A violation of internal SEC rules is not an automatic crime For insider

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/sec_insider_trading.html (2016-02-14)
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