Here, the fourth in a series of posts explaining the hows and whys of ForeclosureGate and the Florida Home Loan Fraud crisis: blatant acts of fraud are performed by lenders, lawyers, and others who should know better.
As the number of homeowners defaulting on their mortgages continued to rise, a parallel increase in chaos was happening on the part of the lenders and those working with them. As previously discussed, major errors were happening: documents were being lost; work was not being completed; and in an amazing number of situations, fraudulent paperwork was being created.
In the aftermath, as Congressional committees began taking testimony and collecting documents, all sorts of bad acts were revealed. One particularly amazing collection of examples of fraudulent acts undertaken by banks and those working with them has been compiled by June M. Clarkson, Theresa B. Edwards, and Rene D. Harrod of the Economic Crimes Division of the Office of the Florida Attorney General in a presentation entitled “Unfair, Deceptive, and Unconscionable Acts in Foreclosure Cases.” (Read the entire report online at http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/dbr/Foreclosure-Report-from-Florida-AG080311.pdf.)
It is due in no small part to the work of these three Assistant Attorneys General that more and more people know about the infamous Linda Green. Here, with a hat tip to the state governmental agency’s efforts, is that true story.
What was important about Linda Green’s signature?
The name of “Linda Green” is handwritten as a signature on literally thousands of different mortgage assignments that have been reviewed by the Florida Attorney General’s Office. Thousands- think about that: thousands of documents.
Earlier, the importance of those mortgage assignments was discussed. Without a valid assignment of the mortgage from Bank A to Bank B, the buyer of the mortgage and note (Bank B) should not be able to legally foreclose on the home after the home buyer stops paying on the mortgage he signed with his bank (Bank A).
Assignments are extremely important pieces of paperwork for banks wanting to foreclose. It is not surprising that lots of the files contained invalid or no assignments at all. It was shocking to discover the people who signed off on those assignments; where they really officers or agents of the various lenders.
Investigations discovered that “Linda Green” was shown as an officer for lots of different lenders. Linda Green was named as an officer for all sorts of banks as well as mortgage companies. It has been reported that “Linda Green” was shown on various documents as being a vice president at over fourteen (14) different companies, including some big names like Citi Residential Lending and Wells Fargo.
Who was the real Linda Green?
In April 2011, the CBS-TV show 60 Minutes aired its own investigation (watch the video online at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7361572n) where the real Linda Green was tracked down to her home in Georgia. According to Ms. Green, while she worked for Lender Processing Services (LPS), it was decided she would be deemed a “vice president” for various banks (the 60 Minutes report tallies her name being used by 20 different financial institutions) because it was a short name and easy to spell. (Note: Lender Processing Services was sued in August 2011 by American Home Mortgage for improprieties in its paperwork processing services. AHM seeks an unspecified amount of damages, but it is alleged to be harmed by millions of dollars by LPS’s actions.)
Examples of the Fake “Linda Green” Signatures that the Florida AG Found
Sometimes, Ms. Green signed her name to documents. Other times, her signature was signed by others – which is pretty obvious when you compare some of the paperwork (remember, this is official legal paperwork to support mortgage ownership and/or a promissory note to pay a significant amount of money). Here, are just a few examples of “Linda Green” signatures discovered by the Florida Attorney General’s Office:
Next week: Other fraudulent acts revealed as investigations begin into Foreclosure Fraud.
You may also be interested in: The Non-Lawyer’s Guide to Foreclosure Fraud – Part 3: Enter the Robo-Signers