Monday, July 11, 2011

Brooklyn Judge Demands Court Appearances From Bankster Exec, Foreclosure Mill To Explain Document Filings "Replete With False Statements"

In Brooklyn, New York, the New York Daily News reports:

  • A Brooklyn judge has ordered the head of one of the nation's biggest banks to appear in court and explain why it should not be penalized for submitting false documents in a foreclosure case.

  • In a scathing decision issued Friday, Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack dismissed HSBC's case against Bedford-Stuyvesant homeowner Ellen Tahrer as a "frivolous motion" and a "waste of judicial resources."

  • The bank failed to prove it even owned the $475,000 mortgage on Tahrer's home, Schack ruled. Instead, its lawyers submitted documents from several notorious "robo-signers,"(1) all of which claimed the original loan had been transferred to HSBC from Delta Funding Corp., the original lender, which declared bankruptcy in 2007.

  • Those documents were "replete with false statements," Schack ruled. He ordered the British bank's North American CEO, Irene Dorner, to appear July 15 to explain. Tahrer, 55, the delinquent homeowner, still lives in the two-story home and had no idea what had happened with her case.

  • Laid off in 2009 as an office worker at American Express, Tahrer has been unable to make her $3,000 monthly mortgage payment. "I went to legal aid for help and tried to get a mortgage modification, but had no success," she said. "A few months ago, the bank called and offered me $20,000 to get out of the house. I told them, I had no place to go."

  • Schack's decision freezes Tahrer's status for perhaps another year or two. With his tough stance on shoddy foreclosure filings, Schack has emerged as a folk hero among financially strapped homeowners. In HSBC, he is tackling the ninth-largest bank in the U.S., and he has concluded that what happened goes beyond shoddy paperwork.

For the story, see Supreme Court Justice Schack hits HSBC for 'frivolous motion' in foreclosure, asks boss to explain.

For the court ruling, see HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Taher, 2011 NY Slip Op 51208(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Kings Cty. July 1, 2011).

Thanks to William A. Roper, Jr. for the heads-up on the court ruling.

(1) Among the notorious, prolific, nationally-recognized, multiple corporate hat-wearing robosigners involved in this case:

  • Robosigner Scott W. Anderson: In describing the history of his handiwork, Schack notes (among other things):

    While I have never personally met Mr. Anderson, his signatures have appeared in many foreclosure documents in this Court. His claims of wearing different corporate hats and the variations in the scrawls of initials used for his signature on mortgage documents has earned Mr. Anderson notoriety as a robosigner. [...]

  • Robosigner Margery ("The Milliner's Delight") Rotundo: In describing the robosigning history of the "peripatetic" Ms. Rotundo, Schack includes a quote from an earlier ruling in another case:

    The late gossip columnist Hedda Hopper and the late United States Representative Bella Abzug were famous for wearing many colorful hats. With all the corporate hats Ms. Rotundo has recently worn, she might become the contemporary millinery rival to both Ms. Hopper and Ms. Abzug. [...]

  • Robosigner Christina Carter: Regarding a foreclosure mill attorney's statement filed in court describing Carter as an employee of the plaintiff, HSBC, Schack responds:

    This is disingenuous. Ms. Carter is not employed by plaintiff, but by OCWEN. She executed documents as an officer of MERS and as an employee of OCWEN. Ms. Carter's signature on documents is suspect because of the variations of her signature used. This Court examined eight recent documents that exhibit three different variations of Christina Carter's signature. [...]

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