Attorney Linda Tirelli Defines Robo-Signing for Clueless Steven Mnuchin

It seemed like the Treasury Secretary doth protest a bit too much as a Shakespearean drama unfolded at a July 27th meeting of the House Financial Services Subcommittee . Steven Mnuchin, like some wayward damsel in distress, took deep umbrage at Representative Keith Ellison’s (D-MN) suggestion that he was anything but an honest, ethical banker; albeit one who headed up the hyper-controversial OneWest Bank.

The ghosts of banking’s past seemed to surface with a vengeance when the term “robo-signing” — a foreclosure short-cut liberally used by OneWest — was hurled his way by the Congressman. This, in turn, proved too much for the normally passive Treasury boss who decided, like Network’s, Howard Beale, he was angry, really angry and wasn’t going to take it any more.

In prickly fashion he loaded up his blunderbuss and unloaded some lead balls Ellison’s way:

Do you even know what Robo-signing is?

The die was cast and the stage set for a few minute’s worth of parrying, ducking and sparring. Ellison, citing the documented work of OneWest robosigner Erica Johnson-Seck in helping to expedite the foreclosure process, was met by Mnuchin’s spiteful refusal to accept this truth.

Earlier on, and without any prompting from the committee, the Treasury Secretary had also surfaced a bit of Hamlet-style guilt; offering this pronouncement:

I take great offense to anybody who calls me the foreclosure king,

His anger towards Ellison was so palpable that Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) asked the Treasury Secretary to apologize.

Mnuchin refused to back down; instead, donning a Crown of Thorns, he portrayed himself as an innocent being lead to the slaughter.

I’m not apologizing to anybody because robo-signing is not a legal term and I was being harassed

This got me thinking: why not test the veracity of the Treasury Secretary’s statement by running it by an old acquaintance, Linda Tirelli, a bankruptcy attorney in White Plains, N.Y., who knows a great deal about the subject. In a 2012 post for American Banker I referenced her keen sense for sniffing out fraudulent foreclosure documents.

In my opinion — and in this realm — she ranks as a lawyer of Wonder Woman stature.

Seeing this as a teachable moment Tirelli graciously offered to respond directly to the Treasury Secretary:

Secretary Munchin: I do know what robo-signing is and while you don’t think it’s a “legal” term all you need to do is enter the term “robo-signer“ into a search engine and, lo and behold, discover it’s a widely used and accepted term found in legal documents, deposition transcripts, and judicial opinions throughout the country.

I’ve spent the last ten years of my legal career calling out the systemic fraud that is robo-signing; a practice that’s been adopted as a “business as usual model” by the largest financial institutions in our country.

Just for fun, Secretary Munchin, please Google “Linda Tirelli robo signer” and you’ll find no less than eight hundred and forty hits highlighting my work as a consumer advocate exposing the fraud that is robo-signing and document fabrication.

Next: Google “Steven Mnuchin robo signer” and you’ll come up with nearly the same number of results; essentially, pointing out your rationalizing the practice.

Some background: falsified documents are routinely robo-signed by low-income wage earners trying to make ends meet. In depositions (I dare you to ask me for transcripts) they freely admit that they aren’t the person whose name is on the document, be it the VP of CitiBank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo,Chase or any other financial institution, Many admit to signing or notarizing hundreds of documents per day.

In one case involving Bank of America I discovered three robo-signed documents purporting to assign a homeowners note and mortgage and it was signed by the same person, David Perez, on the same day, in front of the same notary; with the signatory claiming to be a Vice-President with authority to sign as an agent for three different banks. In fact — not mentioned in any of these assignments — was he was working for just one bank: the aforementioned Bank of America.

Linda Tirelli
David Perez, GFI Mortgage Bankers, Inc.

Linda Tirelli
David Perez, Weichert Financial Services

Linda Tirelli
David Perez, Countrywide Bank, NA

I was also instrumental in uncovering the Wells Fargo Attorney Foreclosure manual. Have you read it Secretary Mnuchin? I’ve got twelve different editions if you’re interested and only one has been made public. It isn’t very long but it reads like a blueprint for fraud. There’s no provision in this manual that allows Wells Fargo lawyers to admit any wrong-doing no matter how legally defective they find the documentation to be. The manual simply white washes any notion that Wells Fargo may not have the right to enforce a mortgage lien or foreclose on a property.

I no longer count how many cases I see involving fraud against unsuspecting homeowners. Just to remind myself that a fraudulent document I’m reading is just that I went on-line and for $9.99 bought my own rubber stamp (with a red-ink pad).

What does it say? “WTF!” in big letters.

Now, before you dismiss me as a fanatic Hillary supporter, let me disabuse you of that notion. I don’t wear pussy-hat caps nor Birkenstocks and I don’t scarf down granola. I’m not a bleeding heart liberal. I’m a well educated lawyer and successful business owner who is also a registered Republican and Trump supporter. I call it like I see it and as I see it the Mega-Banks and servicers sold out and gave up any semblance of integrity. They went down the very wrong path of lies and deception and, in the process, wreaked havoc with Main Street. As a hard working conservative, I come from a place where I acknowledge a problem when I see it, and do whatever I can to fix it.

Secretary Mnuchin: pull your head out of the sand and admit the problem of robo-signing exists and persists. Stand up to those who want to give the financial services industry a free pass — like former AG, Eric Holder — allowing them to buy their way out of jail with some “settlement money.” As recent history demonstrates, that does nothing to fix the problem.

I encourage you to take a stand and hold the corporate blood sucking thieves accountable. I’m not a proponent of over-regulation because I believe it does hurt smaller local banks and credit unions. However, I do want the sleazy predatory Mega-Banks — the ones that continue to engage in practices like robo-signing — to be held accountable and, for Pete’s sake, let’s stop trying to emasculate the one Federal agency that is the consumer’s watch-dog: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

As far as taking offense at being called a “Foreclosure King?” Grow up. Your July 27th appearance before the House Financial Services Committee made you look like a pompous jerk.

Wipe the smirk off your face, roll up your sleeves and go do something to restore Main Street’s confidence in our financial institutions.

If you need further input and suggestions I might be able to find some time in my schedule.

Joel Sucher, along with Steven Fischler, is a founder of Pacific Street Films (note: check out the new website) and has written for a number of platforms including American Banker, In These Times, HuffPost and Observer. com. Sucher is currently working on a memoir, An Outsider’s Guide to Inside Goldman Sachs.

Danielle Kelley Looks at New Florida Law: Pitfalls and Possibilities

The fundamental paradigm shift that is coming is that the banks are the deadbeats, not the borrowers. The borrowers are seeking to enforce a fair deal; the banks are seeking to steal and lie their way through the PONZI scheme we called “Securitization.” —Neil F Garfield,
If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.


The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available TO PROVIDE ACTIVE LITIGATION SUPPORT to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Danielle Kelley, Esq. is a partner in Garfield, Gwaltney, Kelley and White located in Tallahassee. She has been a constant contributor to the dialogue on wrongful foreclosures and has been quoted recently in a number of articles in mainstream media. For further information on the firm’s services please call 850-765-1236.

Editor’s Comment: The Florida bill was clearly meant to speed up the “inevitable” foreclosure process, which is the wrong assumption right off the bat. If the foreclosures are wrongful we are not talking about some “i” that wasn’t dotted or some “t” that wasn’t crossed. We are talking about foreclosures that (a) didn’t need to happen and (b) couldn’t happen legally if the party  bringing the foreclosure had no right to do so.
The fundamental paradigm shift that is coming is that the banks are the deadbeats, not the borrowers. The borrowers are seeking to enforce a fair deal; the banks are seeking to steal and lie their way through the PONZI scheme we called “Securitization.”

Verification of the complaint has taken another bizarre turn. In reading the testimony and affidavits of those who “verified” the complaint, it turns out they signed the verification but knew nothing about the case. The only thing they verified was that the complaint contained information that was given to her or him by unknown parties through computer via a computer monitor.

Banks are using the verification aspect to bolster their false claims to the business records exception of hearsay. They are wrong and any judge who rules that is wrong if the verifier or affiant (a) is not the records custodian and (b) had no basis for personally knowing the truth. Pressed to give an accounting for how they know what they know, the verifier will answer “it’s in the complaint.” They often express confidence that it wouldn’t be in the complaint if it wasn’t true. Talk about circular logic!

The recent revelations about Bank of America are the tip of the iceberg of lying and deception that started when the first mortgage bond was sold and the first loan application was taken within the scope of the PONZI scheme that required bonds to be sold in order to make payments to the investors.

The fact that BOA told its employees to lie to customers in order to get them into foreclosure is enough to infer the truth, to wit: the goal was foreclosures and not financial recovery. How is that possible? What bank would not want the most it could get in mitigation of a “loss” it supposedly incurred as a result of a “default” by a “borrower” on a “debt” that was owed to the bank because the bank funded the origination or acquisition of the loan?

The questions answer themselves. If the Bank had a real loss they would want to mitigate the loss as quickly as possible. In the past that has always meant some sort of workout when that possible. Now we find out that BOA was paying its employees to lie and deceive the “borrowers” for the express purpose of getting the property into foreclosure even though that means getting a lot less money for the “creditor” than any modification, settlement or workout. So the answer is that they had no real loss and they must want the foreclosure for some other reason.

The “other reason” is simply that foreclosure is the cover-up for the PONZI scheme. And the government feels stuck by assurances it gave the large banks (see statements of future whistle blowers) when they forced the banks to acquire the investment banks, the aggregators and other players in this scheme, before the government knew that the scheme existed. So the government is buying up worthless mortgage bonds with no loans backing them and pretending that the bonds are really worth something. This is supposed to shore up the financial system by avoiding massive failures of the largest banks — something that is eventually going to happen anyway because the $ trillions that were siphoned off from from investors were then siphoned off from the banks and management now controls that money.

If you look at the merger and bond activity you can see the banks acquiring other institutions in order to provide a safety valve through which part of the ill-gotten gains from the PONZI scheme can be repatriated and the “earnings” of the bank can be seen as stable or increasing even while the rest of the world goes to hell in a hand basket. (see below). The rest of the money is being controlled by a handful of people (see future whistle blowers) who are actually controlling world events by controlling the purse strings of all world economies.

Sounds like a conspiracy theory, doesn’t it. Maybe a little less crazy now that we know that BOA was rewarding employees for lying to customers. And maybe a little less so now that we know the bonus was paid with a Target gift card. If it was a legitimate bonus, why use Target as the intermediary? Answer: the auditors of the bank probably would not like seeing bonuses paid to people who were supposedly working with borrowers on modification or settlement of the loan — especially when the record shows that the bonus was for getting the case into foreclosure rather than settlement.

As you can read for yourself below, the pace of foreclosures is picking up and is going to accelerate under the new Florida law. They are in a rush to hush up any further whistle blowers who might blow the whole thing wide open. But the carrot they held out to homeowners might be the bank’s undoing if the borrower moves promptly and fights the foreclosure on the basis of ownership of the loan. There is only one way to really own a loan and that is by paying for it. The argument has been rejected by many judges, but now it is right in the statute that the proof of ownership must be present as a condition precedent which means that the real burden of proof is switching back to the banks, where it belongs.


Danielle Kelley, Esq. June, 2013

The banks wanted this bill – so let’s take a look at the “consumer friendly” portions and get ready.  Keep in mind the act is remedial in nature.  All complaints filed after June 7, 2013 will be subject to a motion to dismiss if the plaintiff does not meet the requirements of the new bill:

1) they must give affirmative allegations that at the time foreclosure is filed they are the holder of the original note, allege with specificity the factual basis by which they are entitled to enforce the note under 673.3011 (no more either/or pleading),

3) a plaintiff given authority to sue (i.e. servicer or someone coming in with a POA like we’ve been seeing) – the Complaint shall describe their authority and identify with specificity the document that gives them authority to act on behalf of the Plaintiff.

Given what we know about how they verify complaints, they will have a hard road showing they can verify the plaintiff actually “has” the original note.  I won’t settle for anything less than a declaration that they have seen it in person – not on a computer screen.  The bill states, “The term “original note” or “original promissory note” means the signed or executed promissory note rather than a copy thereof.”  I don’t want to hear about a janitor who was adopted as assistant vice president through corporate resolution and is verifying they saw the “original note” on a screen.  Keep in mind that they executed the complaints filed this month months ago – they sign right after they send off for verification usually. 

If they file a lost note count they must attach an affidavit under penalty of perjury to the Complaint that
1) details a clear chain endorsements, transfers, or assignments Note;
2) set forth facts showing the Plaintiff is entitled to enforce the lost instrument (Note); and
3) attach documents to the affidavit such as copies of the Note, allonges, audit reports, or other evidence of acquisition, ownership, and possession.  
Relevant portions of the bill below:
(2) A complaint that seeks to foreclose a mortgage or other lien on residential real property, including individual units of condominiums and cooperatives, designed principally for  occupation by from one to four families which secures a  promissory note must:
(a) Contain affirmative allegations expressly made by the plaintiff at the time the proceeding is commenced that the plaintiff is the holder of the original note secured by the mortgage; or
(b) Allege with specificity the factual basis by which the plaintiff is a person entitled to enforce the note under s. 673.3011.
(3) If a plaintiff has been delegated the authority to institute a mortgage foreclosure action on behalf of the person entitled to enforce the note, the complaint shall describe the authority of the plaintiff and identify, with specificity, the document that grants the plaintiff the authority to act on behalf of the person entitled to enforce the note. This subsection is intended to require initial disclosure of status and pertinent facts and not to modify law regarding standing or real parties in interest. The term “original note” or “original promissory note” means the signed or executed promissory note rather than a copy thereof. The term includes any renewal, replacement, consolidation, or amended and restated note or instrument given in renewal, replacement, or substitution for a previous promissory note. The term also includes a transferable record, as defined by the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act in s. 668.50(16).
(4) If the plaintiff is in possession of the original promissory note, the plaintiff must file under penalty of perjury a certification with the court, contemporaneously with the filing of the complaint for foreclosure, that the plaintiff is in possession of the original promissory note. The certification must set forth the location of the note, the name and title of the individual giving the certification, the name of the person who personally verified such possession, and the time and date on which the possession was verified. Correct copies of the note and all allonges to the note must be attached to the certification. The original note and the allonges must be filed with the court before the entry of any judgment of foreclosure or judgment on the note.
(5) If the plaintiff seeks to enforce a lost, destroyed, or stolen instrument, an affidavit executed under penalty of perjury must be attached to the complaint. The affidavit must:
(a) Detail a clear chain of all endorsements, transfers, or assignments of the promissory note that is the subject of the action.
(b) Set forth facts showing that the plaintiff is entitled to enforce a lost, destroyed, or stolen instrument pursuant to s. 673.3091. Adequate protection as required under s. 673.3091(2) shall be provided before the entry of final judgment.
(c) Include as exhibits to the affidavit such copies of the note and the allonges to the note, audit reports showing receipt of the original note, or other evidence of the acquisition, ownership, and possession of the note as may be available to the plaintiff.
(6) The court may sanction the plaintiff for failure to comply with this section.
Unnatural Disaster How mortgage servicers are strong-arming the victims of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado (among others)
HAMP Extension 2015 Could Help Millions More Avoid Foreclosure, Reports

Bank of America gave bonuses for hitting foreclosure quotas, suit alleges



COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary CLICK HERE TO GET COMBO TITLE AND SECURITIZATION REPORT

EDITOR’S COMMENT: When someone said mortgage fraud they were pointing the finger at borrowers or mortgage brokers. Now they are pointing the fingers at Banks, mortgage brokers, mortgage originators and everyone else that sold borrowers false loan products based upon intentional misrepresentations and omissions. The cost to the entire society, including those who were not foreclosed is starting to emerge. It is higher than anyone ever imagined.



by Harry Bradford

Millions of Americans have been forced out of their homes in the wake of the housing collapse, and from that has come allegation after allegation of foreclosure fraud by the responsible lenders. In certain hard-hit states, the costs of such improper action is starting to pile up.

Mortgage fraud cost several states over a hundred million dollars in the third quarter of this year, according to mortgage industry news website All of the top states have seen their faire share of headlines about alleged foreclosure fraud. Florida, once a housing boom hotspot, was hit especially hard after the bubble burst. And despite only having the third-highest foreclosure fraud cost, it remains the state with the highest volume of cases, reports.

Mortgage fraud may be more rampant than previously thought on a national scale. Eileen Foster, a former executive at Countrywide Financial, once the largest lender in the nation, told CBS’s 60 Minutes that mortgage fraud was “systemic” and par for the course in the industry.

Pressure lately has heated up on banks to more carefully review cases before foreclosing on homeowners. Earlier this month, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a law suit against five of the top mortgage lenders — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Financial Inc. — alleging the banks improperly foreclosed on homeowners while doing little to help homeowners obtain loan modifications. Likewise, Attorneys General from California, which tops this list, and Nevada, have teamed up to persecute mortgage fraud after growing frustrated with a potential national settlement.

Nevada’s absence from the list is somewhat conspicuous, especially after a prominent Las Vegas mortgage attorney estimated that the paperwork was done improperly for nine out of ten mortgages.




COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary GET COMBO TITLE AND SECURITIZATION ANALYSIS – CLICK HERE

EDITOR’S COMMENT: This is but one example of compounded title problems that will mushroom over the next few years. If you think that securitization, false though it was, is difficult to grasp, wait until you try to decipher the chain of title on your own house — regardless of whether you have made payments, all the payments or even over-paid.

This story is about a completely innocent third party purchaser buying a house from Wells Fargo who for reasons explained repeatedly on this blog probably never obtained legal title. Bank of America allegedly made the loan or at least originated it around 2 years ago, so that would be in 2009. Supposedly BOA sent the money to the closing agent and then the closing agent went belly-up, taking the money —- and the closing documents — with it. Wells Fargo said it never got the money — but knowing Wells, it is difficult to imagine how they would ever know.

What we know is that apparently the deed was never recorded from Wells Fargo and probably will never be found. Thus on its face, Wells Fargo is saying you never paid us for the property and even if you find the deed, you can’t record it because you never paid us. But the buyers have been paying BOA for the mortgage faithfully on time each month for two years. And theoretically at least BOA is out the money they say they used to fund the loan. That would be money apparently stolen or lost in the bankruptcy of the title agent that was closing the deal.

There is an old doctrine that might come into play here, called “laches” which is why did Wells sit on its hands so long doing nothing when they had sent out a deed and according to them, never received payment?  Since so many people relied upon the completion of the closing, it might be said that Wells waited too long to assert a claim. Now they are “foreclosing” on the Buyers and the “lender” BOA.

The Buyers relied upon both Wells and BOA to know what they were doing and used a Title Agent presumably picked by one of the banks. So as far as the buyers are concerned, they did everything they were supposed to do. And they are right. The closing agent’s insurance may or may not have been in force and the title carrier represented by the closing agent may or may not have some liability here, but the question is who gets the house and who loses money?

When you add the inherent title problems of homes that were subject to loans claimed to be securitized, where the foreclosure was accomplished through fabricated documents (which might be the case here) then you have Wells not able to offer title even though it was the designated Seller. And you have BOA accepting the title situation for what it was because they were supposedly doing real underwriting of the loan, in which these things are checked. And now, get this, Wells wants 20% MORE than the contract price from 2 years ago — a figure the Buyers can’t afford.

This is like a Bar Exam question but it far from unique. It is happening all over the country in one form or another. Ultimately someone must take the loss. Ultimately, someone must be deemed the owner of the house. Obviously this is material for a quiet title lawsuit or declaratory judgment which is essentially the same thing, procedurally. The conventional wisdom would be that if the deed was not recorded, the Buyers didn’t get title — but that is not true.

Failure to record does NOT invalidate a document as many borrowers are finding out when they go to court. The document is valid whether it is recorded or not, assuming it is signed, sealed and delivered, which presumably this was and BOA was very happy, thank you, to take payments since it had originated the loan. So if Wells delivered a signed deed, and a copy of that deed can be found, it can probably be recorded with an affidavit. The Buyers will need to check with a really good property lawyer in their area before they assume anything.

BOA obviously has no recorded mortgage lien, but it has the knowledge that the Buyers were the borrowers who signed for the loan and paid on it. So the obligation from the Buyers exists even though the mortgage was not recorded, much less the lien perfected. But the loan is, according to Wells unsecured because neither the Buyer nor BOA ever obtained title or rights to the land, according to Wells’ theory. If a court sides with Wells, then the Buyers have a huge unsecured obligation to BOA and no house. If a court sides with the Buyers, then presumably it will also side with BOA in which case the transaction will be deemed completed. But that means that the “seller” Wells received no money — or so they say.

If Wells proves its case that it never received the money there are several possibilities. One is that they are simply going to take a loss because the closing agent was their pick, if that is the case. Another is that BOA needs to pay Wells again because the closing agent was their pick, if that is the case. And third possibility is that the Buyer will end up with a double liability — one to BOA which may or may not be secured with a lien on the property, AND one to Wells which may or may not be secured with a lien on the property.

The nightmare continues. And it will continue until the taxpayers, consumers and homeowners of America are seen as victims rather than convenient patsies for big banks and big business.

The Huffington Post  

Under the best of circumstances, foreclosure is a painful process. But in Houston, Texas, one couple is now joining the unenviable ranks of those losing their home for reasons unrelated to payments.

Brian and Khanklink Pyron, as well as their 18-month-old daughter, may soon lose the family’s first home despite allegedly staying current on payments because they were never technically transferred the title of the house, MyFoxHouston reports (h/t The Consumerist).

In 2008, shortly after the Pyrons purchased their home but before the title to the estate was transferred, the responsible company went bankrupt. Never notified of the situation, the family continued for two years to make mortgage payments to their lender Bank of America, according to MyFoxHouston. Those payments, however, never reached Wells Fargo, the mortgage-holder previous to the Pyron’s purchase of the home.

“We did everything we were supposed to do,” Brian Pyron told MyFoxHouston. “Nobody has communicated with us, notified us. We had been paying our mortgage and everything.”

Stories like that of the Pyron’s have become familiar since the recession. In August, a senior couple in Florida faced foreclosure not for missing a payment, but for sending a check too early.

In June it was reported that a man in Massachusetts faced foreclosure over a $0.00 payment that Bank of America said he owed. More recently, a Florida resident nearly lost her condo over what had originally been a fee of $4.70.

Millions have dealt with foreclosures since the housing bust. In August, foreclosure sales accounted for six times more home purchases than they would in a healthy housing market, according to experts.

Now some homeowners are fighting back. AOL Real Estate reports that protests organized by The New Bottom Line, a coalition protesting big bank foreclosure practices, have already taken place in Seattle and Boston and are set to begin in New York, Chicago and Minneapolis this week.

A pending foreclosure settlement against major U.S. banks has recently lost steam, with California pulling out of discussions and Attorneys General from Massachusetts and New York having expressed concerns that the current settlement too easily lets banks off the hook.

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