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Mortgage Foreclosure Scandal Continues: Mortgage Servicer in Big Trouble!

Posted on Apr 17, 2011
For quite some time the news has been full of stories about mortgage companies and their shenanigans in foreclosure actions. "Blind Stamping," the inability to produce key documents, and other tactics, have landed them in hot water. However, this crisis has now spilled over into bankruptcy court, more specifically in Louisiana.

One of the largest mortgage loan servicing companies in the country, LPS (formerly known as Fidelity National Default Solutions), was caught red handed in outright fraud by a New Orleans bankruptcy judge. In an article posted to the Bankruptcy Law Network (BLN), it was reported that a married couple in chapter 13 bankruptcy had had their mortgage company Option One (through LPS) seek relief from the bankruptcy stay to proceed with foreclosure because the debtors were behind on their mortgage payments. Only one problem: they were current!

In the course of the motion for stay relief, the court investigated the facts behind an affidavit of a Ms. Dory Goebel, who was ostensibly an Assistant Secretary for Option One Mortgage Corporation. Come to find out (as reported in BLN's post):
  • Dory Goebel wasn't an Assistant Secretary for Option One; She was an employee of LPS.
  • Option One had no control over the debtor's file once in bankruptcy. LPS controlled every aspect.
  • Bankruptcy payments were sent to Option One and not entered into LPS's system. Option One notified LPS that it had the bankruptcy payments LPS accused the debtors of not paying.
  • The problems with the debtors' account had occurred because LPS failed to log their bankruptcy into the system.
  • Option One's lawyers initially did not tell LPS that the debtor's claimed to have made all bankruptcy payments.
  • Although the affidavit signed by Ms. Goebel referred to attachments, there are never any such attachments, and she never verifies the truthfulness of any affidavit she signs. She merely compares the numbers on a page with numbers on a computer screen. She does not review any information in the loan file, even if it is available.
  • Ms. Goebel signs dozens of affidavits per day, spending about five minutes on each file.
  • Even if Ms. Goebel knew the information contained in the affidavit were patently false, she would have signed it anyway because an attorney created it.
  • Ms. Goebel followed the procedures in place at LPS. In other words, every single affidavit executed within the walls of LPS is just as false as the one filed in the the debtors' case.

Needless to say, the bankruptcy judge was not pleased! These motions are often argued using written affidavits of mortgage company employees to spare them the expense of coming in to court on every single case. As a result, these documents are relied upon to be true and accurate. That will most likely not be the case with LPS for quite awhile!

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