The Neil Garfield Show featuring Attorney Brent Tantillo: JPMorgan Chase operated a Rackeetering Enterprise to evade Legal Duties to Foreclose

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This evening Washington DC attorney Brent Tantillo will be joining Neil Garfield to discuss the intricacies of Mortgage Resolution Servicing, et. al. v JP Morgan Chase. He will also discuss a related False Claims Act case that is currently before the DC Circuit, where his firm is representing Laurence Schneider, the principal owner of Mortgage Resolution Servicing and its associated companies.

This case was also discussed last week on the Neil Garfield Radio Show (link).

For a copy of the LIST OF LOANS involved in the RICO lawsuit Click the following link: First Fidelity loans purchased from Chase

For a copy of this case click here: RICO Complaint – Chase

JPMorgan Chase was accused of creating a “racketeering enterprise” whose purpose was to evade legal duties owed to borrowers, regulators and Plaintiffs, among others, and failed to properly service federally regulated mortgage loans.  JPMorgan Chase was unable to provide legal documentation to Mortgage Resolution Servicing (MRS) establishing they were the legal owners, while borrowers whose loans were sold to JPMorgan Chase could not obtain proof regarding the ownership of their loans (likely because all documentation was intentionally destroyed).

The loans were void, not voidable,  without the proper documentation (notes, reconveyances and assignments).   When JPMorgan Chase went to foreclose on the “loans” with no legitimate documentation,  they would instead use third-parties like Nationwide Title Clearing to create false title and paperwork necessary to foreclose or to attach to a proof of claim in bankruptcy. Nationwide Title Clearing had no evidence that JPMorgan Chase was the rightful owner, but fabricated the documents on request.

This blockbuster lawsuit illuminates the fact that JPMorgan Chase was selling thousands of loans it didn’t own including loans it had previously sold to other MBS trusts!  It is alleged that Chase transferred these defective “loans” in order to avoid non-reimbursable advances and expenses.

S&A Capital Mortgage Partners, Mortgage Resolution Servicing and 1st Fidelity Loan Servicing are suing JPMorgan Chase in the Southern District of New York District court for failure to service loans in a manner consistent with its legal obligations under: RESPA, TILA, FTC violations, the FDCPA, The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act; and other applicable state and federal usury, consumer credit protection and privacy, predatory and abusive lending laws (collectively “the Acts”).  It is likely that this is not an isolated incident, but JPMorgan Chase’s normal operational standard.

The Plaintiffs complain that JPMC, rather than comply with the costly and time consuming legal obligations it faced under the Acts, the Defendants warehoused loans in a database of charged-off loans known as RCV1 and intentionally and recklessly sold these liabilities to unaware buyers such as the Plaintiffs.

To accomplish the transfer of these obligations Defendants prevented Plaintiff’s from conducting normal due diligence, failure to provide information, and changing terms of transactions after consummation; as well as failure to transfer mortgages to them. Because the Plaintiff’s did not receive the information about the loans purchased, the Defendants tortuously interfered with the Plantiff’s relationships with the borrowers including illegally sending borrowers debt forgiveness letters and releasing liens.   These actions not only resulted in specific damage to said lien’s value, but caused Plaintiffs reputational harm with borrowers, loan sellers, investors, lenders and regulators.

In reality both investors and borrowers should unite and sue JPMorgan Chase for Fraud and Fraudulent Inducement, Tortious Interference with Business Relations, conversion, breach of contract, and promissory estoppel and additional relief.

Highlights from the case include these bombshells accusing JPMorgan Chase of:

(iv) Knowingly breached every representation they made in the MLPA, including failing to legally transfer 3,529 closed-end 1st lien mortgages worth $156,324,399.24 to the Plaintiffs, and to provide Plaintiffs with the information required by both RESPA and the MMLSA so that Plaintiffs could legally service said loans.

(v) Took numerous actions post-facto that tortiously interfered with Plaintiffs’ relationships with borrowers including illegally sending borrowers debt forgiveness letters and releasing liens.

RCV1 Evades Regulatory Standards and Servicing Requirements

  1. Defendants routinely and illicitly sought to avoid costly and time-consuming servicing of federally related mortgage loans. Since 2000, Defendants maintained loans on various mortgage servicing Systems of Records (“SOR”) which are required to meet servicing standards and regulatory mandates. However, Defendants installed RCV1, an off-the-books system of records to conduct illicit practices outside the realm of regulation or auditing. Defendants’ scheme involves flagging defaulted and problem federally related loans on the legitimate SOR and installing a subsequent process to then identify and transfer the loan records from the legitimate SOR to RCV1. The process could be disguised as a reporting process within the legitimate SOR and the data then loaded to the RCV1 repository on an ongoing basis undetected by federal regulators.
  2. Defendants inactivated federally related mortgage loans from their various SORs such as from the Mortgage Servicing Platform (“MSP”) and Vendor Lending System (“VLS”).

 

  1. RCV1’s design and functionality does not meet any servicing standards or requirements under applicable federal, state, and local laws pertaining to mortgage servicing or consumer protection. Instead, the practices implemented by Defendants on the RCV1 population are focused on debt collection.

 

  1. Defendants seek to maximize revenue through a scheme of flagging, inactivating, and then illicitly housing charged-off problematic residential mortgage loans in the vacuum of RCV1, improperly converting these problematic residential mortgage loans into purely debt collection cases that are akin to bad credit card debt, and recklessly disregarding virtually all servicing obligations in the process. In order to maximize revenue, Defendants used unscrupulous collection methods on homeowners utilizing third-party collection agencies and deceptive sales tactics on unsuspecting note sale investors, all the while applying for governmental credits and feigning compliance with regulatory standards.

 

  1. In short, the RCV1 is where mortgage loans and associated borrowers are intentionally mishandled in such a manner that compliance with any regulatory requirements is impossible. In derogation of the RESPA, which requires mortgage servicers to correct account errors and disclose account information when a borrower sends a written request for information, the information for loans in RCV1 remains uncorrected and is sent as an inventory list from one collection agency to another, progressively resulting in further degradation of the loan information. In dereliction of various regulations related to loan servicing, loans once in RCV1 are not verified individually and the identity of the true owner of the note per the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) is often concealed. Regulatory controls regarding grace periods, crediting funds properly, charging correct amounts are not followed.

 

  1. More specifically, a borrower sending a qualified written request under Section 6 of RESPA concerning the servicing of his/her loan or request for correction under 12 U.S.C. §2605(e), 12 CFR §1024.35 could not obtain resolution because RCV1 is a repository for housing debt rather than a platform for housing and servicing federally related loans. RCV1 contains no functionalities for accounting nor escrow management in contravention of §10 of RESPA, Regulation X, 12 CFR §1024.34.

 

In contravention of 12 CFR §1024.39, Chase failed to inform Borrowers whose loans were flagged, inactivated, and housed in RCV1, about the availability of loss mitigation options, and in contravention of 12 CFR §1024.40. Chase also failed to make available to each Borrower personnel assigned to him/her to apprise the Borrower of the actions the Borrower must take, status of any loss mitigation application, circumstances under which property would be referred to foreclosure, or applicable loss mitigation deadlines in careless disregard of any of the loss mitigation procedures under Reg X 12 CFR § 1024.41.

 

  1. Unbeknownst to Plaintiffs and regulatory agencies, Chase has systematically used RCV1 to park flagged loans inactivated in the MSP, VLS, and other customary SORs to (1) eschew Regulatory requirements while publicly assuring compliance, (2) request credits and insurance on the charge-offs., (3) continue collection, and (4) sell-off these problematic loans to unsuspecting investors to maximize profit/side-step liability, all with the end of maximizing profit.

 

Specifics of Defendants’ RICO Scheme and Conduct:

  1. Since at least 2000, Defendants evaded their legal obligations and liabilities with respect to the proper servicing of federally related mortgages, causing Plaintiffs damage through Defendants’ misconduct from their scheme to violate:
  • The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA);
  • The Truth in Lending Act (TILA);
  • The Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC);
  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA);
  • The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank);
  • The Equal Credit Opportunity Act; and
  • The Fair Housing Act.
  1. After Plaintiffs acquired mortgage loans from Defendants, during the period 2011 through at least 2016, Defendants released thousands of liens related to RCV1 loans, including RCV1 loans Defendants no longer owned, to avoid detection of non-compliance with the Lender Settlements. These lien releases caused harm to the Plaintiffs and to numerous other note sale investors.

 

  1. Similarly, in September 2008, Chase Bank entered into an agreement with the FDIC as receiver for WAMU-Henderson. Chase Bank made a number of representations in its agreement with the FDIC, including that Chase Bank and its subsidiaries were in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws. However, at the time of execution and delivery of the agreement, Chase owned thousands of loans with respect to which, through its improper servicing and other misconduct relating to the RCV1, it was in violation of many federal and state laws. These circumstances created a further motive for Chase Bank to participate in the scheme to transfer thousands of noncompliant loans to Plaintiffs and others.

 

  1. Plaintiff MRS purchased loans from Chase pursuant to the MLPA that were actually Chase’s most problematic loans and mostly housed in the RCV1 repository. In March, 2009, bare notes and deeds, without the promised required loan files documenting servicing and borrower information, were simply shipped to Plaintiffs as the “loan files”. Plaintiffs also received loans for which no notes, deeds or loan files were provided at all. Nevertheless, Defendants kept promising that the complete loan files were forthcoming, with no intent of ever providing them. Without the necessary documentation, it was difficult or impossible for Plaintiffs to service and collect on the loans. And despite herculean efforts, most often Plaintiffs could not locate the necessary information to service and collect on the loans.

 

  1. Defendants’ plan to entice an existing and approved, but unsuspecting note sale buyer to purchase these toxic loans is in plain view in various recently produced email exchanges discussing Defendant’s fraudulent scheme to dump non-serviced loans with inadequate documentation on Plaintiffs from October 2008 through February 2009.

 

  1. As early as 2008, Defendants’ knew the public was becoming more aware of its the scope of its improper actions. Ultimately, in 2012, public pressure prompted the federal government and many states to bring a complaint against JPMorgan and Chase Bank, as well as other banks responsible for fraudulent and unfair mortgage practices that cost consumers, the federal government, and the states tens of billions of dollars. The complaint alleged that JPMorgan and Chase Bank, as well as other financial institutions, engaged in improper practices related to mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, and foreclosures, including, but not limited to, irresponsible and inadequate oversight of the banks’ quality control standards. Unfortunately, the complaint failed to note, and the government appeared unaware of, the Defendants’ deeper institutional directives designed to hide their improprieties (such as the establishment of the RCV1 and its true purpose).

 

  1. 48. At all applicable times, Defendants had been continuing to utilize its RCV1 database.

 

  1. However, as in 2008, the loans housed in the RCV1 repository presented a huge reputational risk and legal liability as the loans housed in RCV1 were not being treated as federally related mortgage loans, were not in compliance, were no longer being serviced as such, but were being collected upon.

 

  1. By 2012, the RCV1 database contained hundreds of thousands of federally related mortgage loans, which had been inactivated in regular systems of records and whose accounts were no longer tracked pursuant to regulatory requirements, including escrow accounting.

 

  1. Other knowing participants in the conspiracy include third party title clearing agencies, such as Nationwide Title Clearing Company (NTC), Pierson Patterson, and LCS Financial Services, who were directed by Defendants to prepare and then file fraudulent lien releases and other documents affecting interests in property. Either these entities were hired to verify liens and successively failed to properly validate the liens before creating documents and lien releases containing false information, or these entities were directed by Chase to create the documents with the information provided by Defendants. In either case, these title clearing agencies which recorded fraudulent releases of liens and related documents in the public record, had independent and separate duty from Defendants to file, under various state laws, all relevant documents only after a good faith proper validation of the liens. Instead these entities deliberately violated their duty of care by knowingly or recklessly filing false lien releases and false documents on properties not owned by Defendants.

 

  1. In many states, the act of creating these documents is considered the unauthorized practice of law. In Florida, where NTC is organized, there is a small exception for title companies who are only permitted to prepare documents and perform other necessary acts affecting the legal title of property where the property in question is to be insured, to fulfill a condition for issuance of a title policy or title insurance commitment by the Insurer or if a separate charge was made for such services apart from the insurance premium of the Insurer. Plaintiffs have not ascertained whether Nationwide Title or any other agencies created documents for Chase as a necessary incident to Chase’s purchase of title insurance in Florida.

 

  1. Chase used Real Time Resolutions, GC Services, and Five Lakes Agency, among other collection agencies, to maximize its own back door revenues on loans that were problematic and had been inactivated/“charged off” and thereby were invisible to regulatory agencies.

 

  1. At all times, Defendants directed the collection of revenue on problematic federal mortgage loans, placing them in succession at third party collection agencies. Those third party collection agencies included:

 

  1. The third-party collection agencies had a duty to verify whether the debts were owned by Chase, offer pre-foreclosure loss mitigation, offer Borrowers foreclosure alternatives, and comply with any of HUD’s quality control directives and knowingly or recklessly failed to do so. The third-party collectors knew that the debts they were collecting at Defendants’ directions were mortgage loans. They also knew they did not have the mechanisms to provide any regulatory servicing. Nonetheless, the third-party collection agencies continued collection on behalf of Chase for RCV1 loans. The collection agencies continued to collect without oversight or verification and did in fact continue collecting on debt on behalf of Defendants, despite the mortgage loans being owned by the Schneider entities. The ongoing collection gave Chase continued windfalls.

 

  1. A September 30, 2014 document shows that as late as September 30, 2014, Defendants had charged-off and ported 699,541 loans into RCV1.

 

  1. Unbeknownst to Plaintiffs, Chase was selling non-compliant and thus no longer “federally related mortgage loans” to Plaintiff which Chase had ported and inactivated within their regulated systems of records but had copied over to a separate data repository solely for the purpose of collecting without servicing.

 

 

  1. Plaintiff MRS was not privy to Defendants’ internal communications of October 30, 2008, which clarify that Chase knew that the loans it was intending to off load onto the Plaintiff were not on the primary system of record and were being provided from the un-serviced repository called RCV1. The information in RCV1 was not complete because it was not a regulated system of record. As indicated by Chase’s communications, Chase purposefully cut and pasted select information where it could from other systems of records to the information in RCV1. Defendants’ emails discuss data from the FORTRACS application, the acronym for Foreclosure Tracking System, which is an automated, loan default tracking application that also handles the loss mitigation, foreclosure processing, bankruptcy monitoring, and whose data would have originally come from a primary system of record. Rather than a normal and customary data tape, Chase was providing a Frankenstein of a data tape, stitched together from a patchwork of questionable information.

 

  1. Despite its representation and warranty that Chase “is the owner of the Mortgage Loans and has full right to transfer the Mortgage Loans,” a significant portion of the loans listed on Exhibit A were not directly owned by Chase.

 

  1. Upon information and belief, some of the loans sold to MRS were RMBS trust loans which Chase was servicing. Chase had transferred these to MRS in order to avoid non-reimbursable advances and expenses. The unlawful transfer of these loans to MRS as part of the portfolio of loans sold under the MLPA aided the Defendants in concealing Regulatory non-compliance and fraud while increasing the liabilities of MRS.

 

  1. Chase committed, inter alia, the following violations of law with respect to the loans sold to MRS: a. Chase transferred the servicing of the mortgage loans to and from multiple unlicensed and unregulated debt collection agencies which lacked the mortgage servicing platforms to account for or service the borrowers’ loan with any accuracy or integrity.

Investigator Bill Paatalo of the BP Investigative Agency points out that allegations in this case support accusations in other lawsuits against JPMorgan Chase including that:

  1. Chase knowingly provided collection agencies with false and misleading information about the borrowers.
  2. Chase failed to provide proper record keeping for escrow accounts.
  3. Chase stripped loan files of most origination documentation, including federal disclosures and good faith estimates, thus putting MRS in a positionwhere it was unable to respond to borrower or regulatory inquiries.
  4. Chase failed to provide any accurate borrower payment histories for any of the loans in theMLPA.
  5. Chase knowingly executed assignments of mortgage to MRS for mortgage loans that Defendants knew had been foreclosed and sold to third parties.
  6. Chase circumvented its own operating procedures and written policies in connection with servicing federally-related mortgage loans by removing the loans from its primary record-keeping platform and creating an entry in its RCV1 repository. This had the effect of denying the borrowers their rights concerning federally related mortgages yet allowed Chase to retain the lien and the benefit of the security interest,
  7. Chase included on Exhibit A loans that it had previously sold to third parties and loans that it had never owned.
  8. Chase knowingly and deliberately changed the loan numbers of numerous valuable loans sold to MRS after the MLPA had been fully executed and in force. This allowed Chase to accept payments from borrowers whose loans had been sold to MRS without its own records disclosing the wrongful acceptance of such payments.
  9. Chase’s failure to provide the assignments of the notes and mortgages was not an act of negligence. As events unfolded, it became clear that Chase failed to provide the assignments of the notes and mortgages because it wanted, in selective instances, to continue to treat the sold loans as its own property.
  10. Chase converted payments from borrowers whose loans it had sold

At what point does the Federal Government take action against these fraudulent practices?  It is likely that ALL major banks are participating in the exact same racketeering enterprises so obvious at JPMorgan Chase.

Contact information for Brent:

Attorney Brent Tantillo

Tantillo Law PLLC

(786) 506-2991

btantillo@tantillolaw.com

http://tantillolaw.com/staff/brent-tantillo

Brent Tantillo Bio:

Brent S. Tantillo is the Managing Shareholder of Tantillo Law, PLLC. Brent guides his clients through high-stakes lawsuits, often involving government and internal investigations, whistleblower actions, and other federal regulatory matters.

Brent has extensive experience handling disputes relating to health care fraud, money laundering, the Bank Secrecy Act, RICO, and the False Claims Act. He also provides clients with risk management and compliance advice.

Brent worked for ten years for the United States Department of Justice, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida from 2006 to 2016. Brent led the Southern District of Florida’s Human Trafficking Task Force from 2006-2010, where he coordinated the efforts of over forty non-governmental organizations and law enforcement agencies in rooting out human slavery. Brent also prosecuted cases involving public corruption, organized crime, and drug and sex trafficking. He also served as Counsel & Legislative Assistant in the United States House of Representatives in 2005-2006, where Brent drafted legislation on tax, banking, energy, environmental, and judiciary issues.

From 2003-2005, Brent served as Deputy Director of the Projects for Civil Justice Reform and International Religious Liberty at Hudson Institute. As Deputy Director of the Projects for Civil Justice Reform and International Religious Liberty, Brent directed a national effort to revise rules of professional conduct in order to prevent attorneys from overcharging their clients and to ensure the enforcement of existing fiduciary standards. He also has played a key role in the drafting of three landmark pieces of legislation of international import: The North Korean Freedom Act, ADVANCE Democracy Act, and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

Brent and his work have been featured in Washington Times, Newsmax, Insight Magazine, National Law Journal, Energy Law Journal, New Jersey Law Journal, Los Angeles Law Journal, among others.

Education

  • University of Houston, 2014Certification, Professional Land Management
  • University of Houston Law Center, 2003JD
  • University of Texas at Austin, 1998BBA, Finance

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Honors and Awards

In 2009, Brent received the Internet Crimes Against Children Award from Attorney General, Eric Holder. He was also the recipient of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Team Award for Exceptional Performance.

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish

 

 

California Attorney Charles Marshall, Esq.
Bill Paatalo
BP Investigative Agency, LLC

 

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