(Bank Fraud blog)
by Brian Mahany
Since our economic crisis began in 2008, we have all heard the depressing mortgage foreclosure statistics. According to the Mortgage Brokers Association, every 3 months, 250,000 new families enter into foreclosure. 138,000 foreclosures alone were commenced in April of this year according to the government. And for every home in foreclosure, as many as a dozen homeowners find themselves seriously in arrears. If this sounds bad, it is. But an even grimmer story is emerging. Mistaken foreclosures.
As banks race to keep pace with the record number of foreclosures, more and more mistakes are being made. Take the example of Jason Grodensky of Ft. Lauderdale. When Mr. Grodensky purchased his home, he paid cash. But in July he learned that his house had been foreclosed by Bank of America and sold, even though he did not have a mortgage.
How did this mistake happen? Bank of America isn’t saying, although they acknowledged the mistake and say they are trying to unwind the transaction. According to a published report in Florida’s Sun Sentinel, one Florida attorney said, “The evidence doesn’t matter, the proof doesn’t matter, due process doesn’t matter. The only thing that maters is that they get rid of these cases.”
This story and many others has some banks temporarily suspending foreclosures until paperwork can be scrutinized. The Florida Attorney General is investigating Grodensky’s case.
In another Florida foreclosure case, this time in Palm Beach involving lender GMAC, one banking official admitted signing as many as 10,000 foreclosure documents in a month and without proper review.
The State of Florida is not alone in its inquiry. Connecticut, California and Ohio have also stepped in after concerns about improper foreclosures in their states. The U.S. Treasury Department and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency are also investigating shoddy foreclosure practices.
Last week Bank of America agreed to delay foreclosures until it could investigate whether bank officials failed to properly follow foreclosure procedures. Bank of America’s action comes on the heels of an admission from an official there that she signed 8,000 foreclosure documents per month without proper review.
How bad is the problem? No one knows, although the National Consumer Law Center believes the problem is widespread. Unfortunately, those who are losing their homes to foreclosure are already cash strapped. Hiring competent counsel is difficult for people who can’t even afford a roof over their heads.
Brian Mahany and the lawyers at Mahany & Ertl, LLC help victims of all types of fraud. We help home owners defend against improper foreclosures too. Our fraud and asset recovery lawyers have helped people across the United States.
From our offices in Milwaukee, we represent people throughout Wisconsin including Madison, Waukesha, Brookfield, West Bend, Racine, Kenosha and Sheboygan. Contact Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731, online at www.mahanyertl.com or by email at