When Should County Recorders Refuse to Record Documents?

This question cuts both ways since homeowners have filed or tried to file various documents that cloud the title until a dispute is resolved. But the focus of today’s conference is on the filings by “new” beneficiaries and “new”substituted trustees” and deeds on foreclosures executed by “authorized signors” for the “Substituted trustees.”

County Recorders are clearly upset about the status of title chains in their records as a result of the dubious documents filed by banks, servicers and their attorneys and trustees.

Those include people like Helen Purcel, County recorder for Maricopa County in Arizona who stated publicly and directly that the MERS documentation alone raises serious questions about the clarity of title in hundreds of thousands of title chains. She says she doesn’t have the resources from the state to do a proper investigation and offers by private groups to fund or actually perform the investigation have been rebuffed. But she stands by her comments that title is in doubt, which creates uncertainty in the marketplace for anyone purchasing or refinancing a home.

The real question is whether the documents electronically filed in Maricopa county from “trusted sources” can be trusted at all. Many documents have been robo-signed, surrogate signed or signed without any apparent authorization. An “authorized signor” is a term used in banking to allow other people to sign checks and perform other functions on bank accounts but does not convey ownership of the account. Similarly “authorized signors” therefore by definition do not have ownership or authority to sign for an owner unless there is proper paperwork to back it up or it is specifically allowed by statutes.

The authorized paperwork that SHOULD accompany a valid document for recording should meet the same standards that the banks apply when accepting documents from consumers or borrowers. If you are signing on behalf of a corporate entity, it should show that the proper corporate resolution has been been passed by the proper people specifically allowing the signor to execute the document on behalf of the entity — whether it is a corporate entity, trust or anything else.

Many of the assignments or substitutions of trustee come to the recorder without any evidence of the actual authority to execute such a document. They  specifically refer to powers of attorney or authorizations or prior assignments that are not in the title record and not offered with the document offered to be recorded.

So for example if the substitution of trustee is signed by John Jones, authorized signor for ABC Corp., as attorney in fact for DEF Corp, as assignor from GHI Corp., as trustee for the the holders of mortgage backed securities, there are several open questions raised by the document itself.

A Bank would require that John Jones produce signed resolutions from the ABC Corp and probably require the presence of the the signers and proof that the ABC Corp exists and that the those who executed the resolution had the power to do so. Yet the Banks turn around and submit such documents without the authority being recited or shown or attached to the “Substitution of trustee” and without any affidavit from anyone saying that the resolution is correct.

A Bank would require that that if ABC Corp not only authorized John Jones to sign but would demand that the power of attorney from DEF Corp be produced and verified. And the Bank would most likely have the signatures on file of those people who maintain accounts as “owners” so they could be sure that they were getting the right instructions from the right person. And they still might demand, despite the presence of a notary stamp, that the persons produce identification of some sort. But this doesn’t stop them from recording documents without any of those assurances when it suits them.

A Bank would require that an assignment be recorded and that it be verified and authorized just as stated above along with an affidavit from appropriate people that the assignment took place and might even require proof of money exchanging hands. Otherwise they are just taking a piece of paper that is supported by consideration. But banks record such documents as “trusted sources” all the time.

All that said, the county recorder is put on the spot. If you go to the extreme, which is what the banks are saying, then even if the recorder was told directly by the person filing the bogus document that there was no authority, there were no resolutions, there was no power of attorney executed or authorized by whoever executed one, and that there was no trust that was funded or owned anything, the county recorder has no powers to reject the document for recording. But the same recorders are rejecting similar documents under one theory or another sent down from the County Attorney office — if they come from borrowers.

The County recorder is administrative agency and as such should provide some administrative remedies to at least hear the issues that might be presented by the borrower when challenging the previous recording or the attempted recording of a bogus or dubious document. The recorder is bound by statute by obviously there is lots of room for interpretation when it comes to filings by borrowers rather than the alleged “pretender lenders.”

In the end, the County recorder had best be prepared to be called into court and testify as to the integrity of the county recording system and whether they have an opinion as to whether title has been corrupted in their county and specifically whether a document should have been recorded after it is shown that the proper authority and ownership was not already in the title record and not presented at time of recording of a single document.

Either way they go, they are likely to be presented with a lawsuit from one side or the other. If they start looking at documents from all sources and asking questions about the authority of a person to sign a document, they will face the wrath of banks who are trying to slip by on theories that go against every standard in their own industry.

Some recorders have done the studies and all of them have concluded that large percentages of the filings were bogus or questionable. This will lead to future title litigation that might well be endless considering the number of transactions that supposedly occurred, albeit without any consideration “for value received”.

The deed on foreclosure executed after a supposed auction is often signed and submitted by someone without any knowledge of the transaction at all. The person is frequently a hired contractor who is there to say they have a bid from the “creditor” of X number of dollars, that the bid is accepted and the deed issues without payment of any actual money because it is presumed that the bidder was the authorized creditor, when in fact in most cases they are not.

This not only puts in doubt most of the foreclosure “sales” and future title transfers but also the eviction actions that often follows. The referee in all this is supposedly the county recorders’ offices. But they are genuinely confused about their powers and obligations in this unprecedented situation.

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14 Responses

  1. @ stopGovtWaste: Excellent lead. Your link apparently originated from the attorney website with very good related articles & videos:

    *****http://tawebster.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/top-reasons-why-your-clerk-of-court-or-register-of-deeds-should-reject-a-document-for-recording/

    A good trick used in http://www.VeteransToday.com is putting ****** at beginning of each web-link to prevent delay in posting the comment. So, when you copy below links and paste into your browser delete the stars ***** These other documents were mentioned in the first link.

    GALDJIE v. Darwish:
    *****http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=20031857CalRptr3d178_1163.xml&docbase=CSLWAR2-1986-2006

    Below case cites the above case:
    United States District Court, N.D. California.
    Gregory M. JORDAN, on behalf of a putative class, Plaintiff, v. PAUL FINANCIAL, LLC, et al., Defendants. No. C 07-04496 SI. July 1, 2009.
    *****http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/73913170/338092879/name/New-Lender-Takes-Subject-to-Tila-Violation.pdf

    EXECUTION COPY FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION-FANNIE MAE-Issuer and Trustee TRUST AGREEMENT Dated as of September 1- 2006 is lined below:
    *****http://www.fanniemae.com/resources/file/mbs/pdf/remictrustagreement.pdf

    FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION ISSUE SUPPLEMENT Dated as of August 1, 2012
    TO REMIC MASTER TRUST AGREEMENT Dated as of May 1, 2010 For GUARANTEED REMIC PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES *****http://documents.efanniemae.com/syndicated/documents/mbs/remictrustagreement/2012-094_Issue_Supplement.pdf

  2. Clerks, Registrars and Recorders have the authority to reject documents submitted for recording if they are deemed to be ‘deficient’ in some way shape or form. Below is a list of top reasons for rejection at the Clerks of Court or Register of Deeds Office. The list is a culmination of rejections I’ve seen throughout the years and is in no way all inclusive.

  3. Link to presentations of this article:

    At the beginning of the first link O’Brien confirms that he records every robo-signed document which he is sure is robo-signed “because it is required by law”. What damn law??? He just made that crap up because the law is the opposite!!! Delete **** in browser:

    On Nov 8, 172 people signed up for the call with John O’Brien, Registrar of Deeds in Salem MA and his key aide, Kevin Harvey. It was a great call and is now edited, uploaded, and linked.

    O’Brien Presentation: ****http://kiwi6.com/file/6ot32p7ep6
    Q&A1 with John: ****http://kiwi6.com/file/mm3fqe8943
    Q&A2 with Kevin and later: ****http://kiwi6.com/file/7wx2vlb4yo
    Nov 5, CJ Foreclosure Update on KPFA Flashpoints: ****http://kiwi6.com/file/w9xt9tk2q4

  4. They cannot interfere with the Secretary s order to repossess homes.

    Do uou have a citation please. treasury decision?

  5. If the assignment is not made within the closing date (which it usually is since most trusts are just shells) then you know something is wrong.

    This may be Correct – The foreclosures are implemented by the Dept of Treasury. Attorneys are officers of the court . They cannot interfere with the Secretary s order to repossess homes. Lawyers taking cases for the plaintiff are taking money from clients they cannot represent. Lawyers representing foreclosure victims are officers of the court and barred fro these foreclosure defenses – they are subject to sanctions malpractice and being disbarred – I say Caution homeowners Caution Write your Bar or call ASAP for more info…Caution .
    (I wont be silenced as a fraud any longer NG – Get the truth out NOW )

    Not an attorney and not intended as legal advice – for informational purpose only

  6. Neil, we have been represented by a firm in Reno you have worked with in the not so distant past. RIP Bobby. Our last hope is based on the lack of notice presented for a public auction that never happened. The property was “sold”, paid for with a credit bid, for almost half the amount claimed to be owed. A tenant was ready to bid, had they been given half a chance. The substitution of trustee recording at the county is stamped “Accommodation Recording Only”. They, (Indymac FSB, Deutsche Bank National Trust 2006-AR5, & OWB) are using that recording to foreclose and evict. We were told today that this is just a technicality and the federal court will ignore these facts. WTF? I want to know what other “laws” are just technicalities?

  7. Very good, Christine! Not everyone is so fourtunate! Here in Los Angeles, they do not even accept a complaint! However, this problem is not going to last long. The coconut is going to crack soon! All it takes is good people to wake up and act using our laws and constitution. We have the finest legal system in the world. Law is a weapon and a tool. All you need to know is how to use it in court. Rest will follow. Its not difficult but not easy either as one needs to follow and understand the local state laws along with federal laws that is applied differently (and sometimes reasonably so)in various circuits and states.

    This corruption will not last long! Nature will act through us all, no matter what, to balance it all!

    There is a lot of people out there who know, but the economics of it all makes it complicated. I will do what I can to help:Join those who share information and with the art and craft of going about it where ever possible. Good Luck All! Good times will soon be here!

  8. Tks Shatish. We’ve been very lucky in NH. Since the Carroll County Sheriff wrote to everyone that he was starting a big investigation of the banks in July and to contact him if we bought or refinanced after 1997 the banks have been very quiet. We don’t make a lot of noise up here but we have good people who really work for us. And it’s not that hard to find a good attorney. We have the lowest foreclosure rate in the whole country. Even the judges don’t want people to lose their houses. They help us a lot.

  9. Hello Christine,
    Are you OK now? If you need any assistance or information, please feel free to call me. (818)340-7600.

  10. @ALL

    Everybody that thinks that this was all a hoorible fraud with consequences reaching far into future and affecting many people that had noting to do with a foreclosure—simply borrowed and repaid a securitized mortgage originated after 2002——just say:

    THANKYOU SEC FOR YOUR DILIGENT WORK {NOT} SCRUTINIZING THOSE multi-billion dollar securitization filings for completeness –forget accuracy–how about just completeness—ie when a 4 inch exhibit of a list of loans was to be filed–was it?

    Now we hear about all the great stuff E. Warren could should or might do—–but is she and all the rest of the Senate gonna be able to make SEC bureucrates do their basic jobs correctly. ???

    let there be no mistake–the problems here arose out of the securitization process—-would have been aveted by SEC —shouldv been caught by private entities ratings agencies and audit firms—and not one of those three groups is being held accountable—nor is it at all certain that the same thing is not occurring again

    The SEC failure is today being furthered by the policies of DOJ—-which has frozen hiring–allowing only new bodies that are unpaid “volunteers” –mostly from firms that represented banks—-and that is made more certain by a set of background checks

    Query–does anybody here think that a lawyer could pass a background check if she has a credit bureau report littered with a bankruptcy or mortgage foreclosure–perhaps uncertain deficiency???

    Speaks for itself who is vulunteering to work for DOJ—-conflict of interest? How about a gaping hole in experience–from victim perspective—how about some consultants with victime experience? Not likely.

    So the federal govt injured millions by allowing SEC during Bush era to turn its back on its regulatory duties of the simplest nature—and the Obama DOJ is furthering the failure today.

    big challenge there for E. Warren a lone senator junior —with little or no staff –and no committee aptms–and even if she does get a committee apptmt–no control over committee staff…. HMMM –dont hold your breath folks

    These guys wont follow up on any abusesby debt collectors—even dead and injured whistelblowers dont increase their pulse rates.

    and if past experience is any measure —–remember Clinton—-and Bush—the administration turns out the lights at the start of the 2nd term—–posts a note on the front door of every agency “GONE FISHING”—————take what you want –see you in 5-6 years

  11. And thank you Neil for cleaning up this site.

  12. Tx Satish. This is the kind of information everybody needs and i was looking for 2 years ago when i (briefly) posted for a while and gave up on.

  13. Dear homeowners,
    While we are all aware of what is going on in the court system there is one thing we all can do.
    1. Go to your County Recorder’s office and obtain copies of documents recorded on your propery.
    2. Look for assignment documents and check the dates of assignments from and to and chronologically arrange them.
    3. If you find assignments to Securitization trusts, then go to http://www.sec.gov. Clicl on company filings and then type in partial information related to the trust. e.g. 2006-A4 and in the next line click on “contains”. You will now get a list of trusts that contains that Trust information.
    4. Now look for 424b filing, Free writing prospectus and pooling and servicing agreements. You will find a lot of documents but these are the important ones. These documents with usually either be a Exhibit 99.1 or Exhibit 4.1 to these filigs referenced above.
    5. Look for information related to cut off dates and closing dates.
    6. If the assignment is not made within the closing date (which it usually is since most trusts are just shells) then you know something is wrong.
    NOW investigate both: Title and securitization facts and documents related to those facts.
    7. Check the noraty who notarized the documents and write to them for copies of book entries related to your document recorded. Usually the State can give you information related to notaryname address and is usually available on the internet.
    8. You should get a response. If not write to the state licensing authority.
    9. Now compare simialr documents at the county recorder’s office. Alternatively you can obtain such information from title companies, subscription services and other. I can help you find one in your location.
    10. Write to your county recorder regarding false, fabricated documents recorded on your property and the basis for your allegation.
    11. They may not respond or they may just send your documets or letter back. If this happens it’s OK. This is what normallyhappens here in Los Angeles.
    12. Try to talk to someone at the county recorder’s office and see if you can get someone to talk to and assist you to expunge false documents. This may not happen. But do all that is necessary to obtain some kind of feedback from them.
    13. If you can administratively document that you did everything you could in the matter and failed its time to see an attorney prepare yourself to file a MANDAMUS action to expunge false documents. This can be done nationwide.
    Please note: Send all correspondence by certified mail and keep your receipts, and document who you met when, where at what time and obtain business cards etc and document in detail your experience. This will help you in Court.
    THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!

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