Saturday, December 3, 2011

City: BofA The Biggest Culprit In Ignoring City Ordinance To Ensure Maintenance Of Vacant Homes; Bankster Heads List Of Worcester Scofflaws

In Worcester, Massachusetts, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports:

  • A national bank that city officials say is the biggest culprit in ignoring a city ordinance to ensure vacant properties are maintained and secured has been ordered to comply with the local law.


  • Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America was ordered by a Worcester Housing Court judge last week to obey the city’s vacant and foreclosing property ordinance for 1 Blodgett Place. The city’s Department of Inspectional Services has issued orders on 124 other properties owned by Bank of America. If the bank does not comply, those cases they will be forwarded to Housing Court for adjudication.


  • The city has taken other banks to court and they have lost too, but none was as large as Bank of America, according to city officials. The move comes as the city tries to hold owners of vacant and foreclosed properties accountable for the condition of those properties.


  • You would hope there was a sense of responsibility in these mega-institutions for the mess they all contributed to, but I gather that is asking too much,” City Manager Michael V. O’Brien said. “Look, these banks, ‘too big to fail,’ as the regulators say, got billions and billions and billions of taxpayer dollars rewarding them for their excesses and largesse, faulty lending practices and exotic financial products that collapsed our economy.”

For more, see Bank of America faces local order (City seeks compliance with vacancy ordinance).

Victimized Florida Foreclosure Defense Attorney Points Finger Of Blame At BofA For Role In $100K+ Ripoff; Says Bankster Was Asleep At Wheel

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, WTVJ-TV Channel 6 reports:

  • A Fort Lauderdale attorney says she was duped out of more than $100,000 by her former trusted accountant. Carolyn Hochberg owns the Foreclosure Defense Law Group. She says the accountant, who worked in her office, opened his own bogus business called Foreclosure Defense Loss Mitigation Group and then opened a bank account to go along with it.


  • Hochberg says the accountant would take checks written out to her business and deposit them into his account. Since the names of the two businesses were similar, Hochberg says bank employees never questioned it.


  • "If somebody at Bank of America had read the name on the check, he wouldn't have been able to do that," she said. Hochberg says Bank of America took those checks for about one year. She told NBC Miami the accountant opened his own account at a branch right near her office on Commercial Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale.


  • Hochberg is angry at the bank, and she feels the institution has not responded appropriately. "They're taking no responsibility. They don't realize their negligence. They want to pass it off on everybody," she said.


  • Fort Lauderdale police are investigating, and they say this type of check fraud is not so rare. They say the most common check fraud crime is old-fashioned check printing. Bank of America is also investigating.


  • "Simply when somebody compromises your account, makes up checks and circulates them to individuals to go into banks or other check cashing places and basically withdraws funds from your account, " said Det. Steve Sceolfo. Hochberg has a list of more than 60 checks for $110,000, all of it stolen, she says, by her former trusted accountant.

Source: Woman Claims She Was Duped by Former Accountant (Carolyn Hochberg claims she was duped by a former employee).

Pair Pinched For Allegedly Ripping Off, Pawning Property From Home In Foreclosure They Were Hired To Winterize

In Pahrump, Nevada, KTNV-TV Channel 13 reports:

  • A couple that was hired to winterize a home in Pahrump has been accused instead of stealing property from it. A company had been hired by a bank to winterize a home in Pahrump that was scheduled for foreclosure. The company in turn hired a couple, Ricardo and Jenny Muniz, to do the work.


  • Witnesses said these individuals appeared to be winterizing the property at first and then stealing from it after the fact. Ricardo then allegedly pawned some of the stolen property from the home.


  • Nye Country Sheriff's Deputies arrested and booked both Ricardo and Jenny Muniz on the charges of grand larceny, burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and transfer of stolen property. Susequent to their arrest, NCSO Detectives recovered several additional stolen items from the Muniz residence in Las Vegas.

Source: Couple hired to winterize home in Pahrump accused of burglary.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tenants In 100-Unit Apt. Complex In F'closure Left Out In Cold As Landlord Skips Town, Closes Utility Account, Leaves Residents w/out Heat, Hot Water

In Bethany, Oklahoma, The Oklahoman reports:

  • When tenants saw the moving trucks outside their landlord's apartment at Rockwell Arms, they became concerned. When their heat and hot water was shut off a few days later, they panicked.


  • Would the residents of all 100 units be evicted? With Thanksgiving just around the corner, where would they have their holiday meal? “I saw her moving van, but all of us tenants thought, ‘Oh, we must be getting new management,'” said Sarah Shamblin, who has lived in the apartments at 2500 N Rockwell Ave. for more than a year. “We didn't think anything about her moving.”


  • Shamblin said living without heat and hot water for the past four days has been a challenge, especially with her 6-year-old daughter. “To keep warm and hot I clean my house even though it's already cleaned,” Shamblin joked. “We have electricity and we got some heaters. Some of us have central heat and air, a lot of us don't. I have heaters, five of them, but it's still freezing cold.”


  • The tenants pay for their own electricity, but the property manager paid the gas bill and before she skipped town in the midst of a foreclosure, she called the gas company and had the service turned off.


  • Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. received a shut-off order on Nov. 11, asking that service be terminated Nov. 18, spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard said. Gas service was shut off Nov. 19 because the utility company did not know anyone was living at the apartment complex. "Had we known ... that people still lived there, we wouldn't have done that,” Ballard said.


  • She said ONG tried to restore gas service to the apartments, but the boiler room was locked. It took a judge intervening to get the gas restored to tenants Tuesday afternoon. However, while the units had hot water, the heating systems still weren't working Tuesday evening.

For the story, see Bethany landlord facing foreclosure moves, leaves tenants in the cold (Rockwell Arms tenants spent the last four days without heat after their landlord moved out of town and had the gas shut off to the complex).

New Haven Slumlord Continues Pocketing Taxpayer-Subsidized Sec. 8 Rent Despite Stiffing Tenant Out Of $30K Lawsuit Award For Ceiling Cave-In Injuries

In New Haven, Connecticut, the New Haven Independent reports:

  • It’s been more than two years since the bathroom ceiling in Delwanna Wiggins’ apartment caved in on her. It’s been four months since Apple Holdings LLC—one of New Haven slumlord Michael Steinbach’s corporate aliases—was ordered to pay her $30,665.50 in damages. Wiggins never got a cent.


  • Steinbach, on the other hand, continued to collect rent for her apartment from the government long after the ceiling collapsed—courtesy of the taxpayer. Wiggins lives in a property with rents subsidized by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 8 program.


  • Her encounter is the latest example of the individual impact of a string of problem properties controlled by Steinbach and his partner Janet Dawson, with the generous help of government officials. “I was going through a hell of a lot of pain,” said the 34-year-old Wiggins, who was pregnant at the time of the accident. She miscarried a few months later.


  • She called her lawyer about the accident, gave her testimony. They filed suit. They won. She thought justice had been served. But when her attorney, Loren Costantini, sent out a notice to Michael Steinbach to collect the $30,665.50 judgment in September, all he got in return was a notice of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


  • It turned out that Apple Holdings, LLC had filed for bankruptcy in August. That would make it far more difficult for the damages to be collected, Costantini said. “I’m disgusted by the situation.”


  • Since then, Wiggins has given up hope of getting any money. She has an infant son to care for. Her mother, who lives in the apartment directly below her, has cancer and visits the doctor as often as twice a month. Before the accident Wiggins was a store manager at McDonald’s making good money; she hasn’t been able to work since then.

***

  • Michael Steinbach and his business partner, Janet Dawson, own hundreds of rental properties in New Haven under a never-ending string of corporate aliases. Rents at many of the properties are paid for by the government’s Section 8 program, which means they must pass regular housing inspections. Tenants allege rampant abuse by the landlords, who they say just “barely” fix what needs to be fixed and then let the problems rot until the next year’s inspection.


  • City inspectors consider them among the most notorious of New Haven’s problem landlords and have been chasing them for years to take better care of their properties. The two are listed as defendants in more than 100 lawsuits in Connecticut. Many of those are foreclosure lawsuits that they’ve managed to drag out for years while continuing to collect government rent.


  • Others allege defective premises and were filed by people like Wiggins. (Click here to read a story in the New Haven Advocate about more of those lawsuits.)

For more, see Ceiling Fell. Baby Died. Slumlords Paid Nothing.

Florida 'Ana Nicole' Judge Accused Of Attempting To Hijack Now-Deceased Widow's Estate Settles Civil Action

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:

  • The civil case accusing former Broward Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin of fleecing a wealthy, widowed neighbor of money and property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars has been resolved by way of a confidential settlement, according to one of the attorneys involved in the case.


  • Barbara M. Kasler, who lived in the same Fort Lauderdale condo as the onetime judge, his family and in-laws, died Nov. 7, 2010, at age 84. A confidential mediation settlement agreement was signed by the parties in September and October.


  • The civil lawsuit filed in Kasler's name, estimated her wealth at $5 million, and accused Seidlin — who gained national notoriety over his televised tearful handling of the Anna Nicole Smith death case — of feigning friendship with the widow, siphoning off her money and trying to hijack her estate.


  • The suit also accused Seidlin's in-laws, Oren and Barbara Ray, of buying a condo from Kasler at an unfair discount.

For more, see Former judge accused of exploiting elderly neighbor settles lawsuit.

Repeatedly Kissing Co-Worker, Representing Mom In F'closure After Stiffing Her On Illegal Campaign Loan Among Antics Meriting Pink Slip For Judge

In Tallahassee, Florida, Florida Today reports:

  • The state Supreme Court removed a central Florida judge from the bench [], ruling that he was unfit to hold office because of a pattern of unethical and illegal conduct.


  • One of the high court’s findings was that Circuit Judge N. James Turner of Osceola County repeatedly hugged and kissed a female court worker, Heather Shelby, without her permission.


  • Turner became involved in her personal life by asking to visit her home and her son in the hospital, as well as inviting her to lunch and to his office for a personal discussion while he was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, the justices said in an unsigned unanimous opinion.


  • Judge Turner refused to take no for an answer on several occasions,” the justices wrote. "Moreover, Judge Turner’s interest in Ms. Shelby was well known throughout the court, causing Ms. Shelby extreme embarrassment and requiring changes to her professional life.”


  • The high court also found Turner violated judicial ethics by representing his mother in a foreclosure case while a sitting judge and the state’s campaign finance law by accepting and failing to report a $30,000 campaign loan from her.(1) The loan violated a $500 contribution limit.

For more, see State Supreme Court removes Osceola judge (Justices: Turner unfit for office due to unethical, illegal conduct).

For the Florida Supreme Court ruling, see In Re Inquiry Concerning A Judge Turner, No. SC09-1182 (Fla. November 18, 2011).

(1) It is interesting to note that the $30,000 loaned to Turner came as a result of him talking his presumably elderly mother into refinancing her condo in Miami-Dade County, Florida, enabling him to get his hands on the cash needed to help him pay off the outstanding campaign debt he incurred in his successful run for his seat on the Osceola County bench (In Re Inquiry Concerning A Judge Turner, Count 7). It was this refinanced mortgage that his mother had subsequently become unable to repay that drew Turner into his ill-advised representation of her in the associated foreclosure action (In Re Inquiry Concerning A Judge Turner, Counts 8-9).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Victim Of Possible Contract For Deed Scam Fights To Save Home; Says Bank F'closed Despite Her Prompt Payments To Intermediary 'Investment Company'

In Horry County, South Carolina, WMBF-TV reports:

  • One local viewer contacted WMBF News saying she's making her payments on time to live in her home, but it was recently foreclosed on. Linda Duncan said she is doing everything she can to hold on to it, but she said she is not the one at fault in the legal battle she is fighting.


  • Duncan said, "My grandkids love it here they call it the beach house." Duncan said she makes payments to an investment company, but her home is now getting foreclosed on by the bank. Duncan added, "It's a money order so I don't know who cashes them, and I don't know what happens to it once it hits the mailbox. We have done everything by the book."


  • Duncan said she's put almost all of her savings into fixing up her home in Longs. Duncan said, "We put up fans, made repairs, brought appliances, added cabinets. We love it here." So the thought of a foreclosure is what Linda calls a nightmare. Duncan added, "We pay electric, phone, lawyer, not asking for a handout-take a chance on us and let us keep our home."


  • Local attorney Steve Fowler said that is not out of the realm of possibility. Duncan gave WMBF News the documents proving her payments are up to date, and Fowler said her case may hold up in court. Fowler said, "She indicated to me that she made all the payments and not violated the terms of agreement so that is frustrating in this economy when they are doing what supposed to do."


  • Fowler said the housing business can be tricky so it's important to always keep records. Fowler said, "Make sure you keep the lines of communication with your attorney, lending institution, don't want to be a subject of foreclosure after making payments."


  • Linda Duncan said she is talking with her attorney about how to get the case dismissed. The bank and the investment company had no comment for WMBF News.

Source: Local woman fights to keep home.

Banksters Abusing FDIC Loss-Share Agreements?

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:

  • In the wake of the recent real-estate meltdown, the borrower of a nonperforming loan called his lender with promising news: "I have a buyer looking to make an all-cash offer for my Florida property. Will you meet with us tomorrow?" The lender's answer: "No."


  • Disturbingly, this implausible response is not uncharacteristic of lenders who exploit FDIC loss-share agreements by seeking to foreclose on nonperforming loans, even when prudent business judgment calls for short sale or loan modification solutions.


  • By perverting the terms and spirit of loss-share agreements, these lenders are reaping windfalls while prolonging the foreclosure crisis, depressing real-estate values and sticking taxpayers with the bill.

For more, see Are loss-share lenders gouging us?

Fire, Vandalism To Attached Neighboring Property In Foreclosure Destroys Dreams For Young NJ Family

In Trenton, New Jersey, The Times of Trenton reports:

  • Remy Joseph says his American dream has been torn apart. Three years ago, he moved into 262 Home Ave. with his wife and three young children, thinking he had it made. His boss at the construction company where he works owned the building, and offered to rent it at a reasonable price. With three bedrooms, two baths, a backyard and a basement, it looked like the perfect place to raise a growing family. “The kitchen, the bedroom, everything was new,” Joseph said.


  • But adjacent to him was a gathering storm. The neighboring house, which shares a common wall with his, went into foreclosure. Last October the neighbors were kicked out and the home went to a sheriff’s sale. Neighborhood teenagers began using the vacant home as their clubhouse, and Joseph said they began harassing him and his family.


  • Finally, in June, the neighboring house went up in flames, which also caused heavy damage to Joseph’s home, and was followed by a rash of vandalism and looting that has left his place in tatters and barely worth repairing. The fire that drove Joseph from his residence struck June 30.


  • His children and his neighbor’s kids were on the second floor watching TV when the abandoned house went up in flames. The blaze got into the walls and made its way into Joseph’s house. Everyone escaped unharmed, but his home suffered heavy fire, smoke and water damage to the second floor and was left uninhabitable, according to the fire chief’s report.


  • The police said the youths had set the fire and arrested three of them. When they were released from custody they came back for their revenge, breaking into Joseph’s house, which had been boarded up for repairs, and completely trashing the inside, he said. “That’s like a slap in the face,” he said. “It’s not right. It’s not right at all. From where I come from, you don’t disrespect people.”


  • After the break-ins, more vandals and thieves followed. Less than five months later, the house is a husk, stripped of almost anything of value. Paint is strewn over the furniture and the dining room mirror. All the copper piping was ripped out of the basement and the walls; even the shower was torn apart to get to the metal.

***

  • Joseph’s daughter’s bed lies on its side in a destroyed room where the Latin Kings gang symbol has been marked on the pink walls. His children, a 7-year-old boy and 11- and 12-year-old daughters, are with his wife in New York while he stays in Trenton so he can keep working.


  • I’m at a point right now, I’m at a boiling point, where I’m like, ‘Forget it,’” he said. “It’s like telling those kids, ‘Do what you want to do. You’ll get a slap on the wrist.’” His boss has told him to simply let the home go into foreclosure, because repairs will now be too expensive, he said.

***

  • He estimates his side of the house needs $60,000 in repairs. He doesn’t have the money to fix the place up and his boss can’t get a loan for the work. The two homes’ problems are literally connected. The ceiling of Joseph’s home has been torn apart, so that thieves can move easily through the rafters from one house to another.

For more, see Dream of life in Trenton home fades after foreclosure, vandalism and fire.

State High Court Gives Florida Attorney 90 Days In 'Penalty Box' For Representing Homeowner In Foreclosure Without Latter's Knowledge, Consent

In Tampa, Florida, the St. Petersburg Times reports:

  • Tampa condo owner Alejandro Salazar was surprised to learn that Clearwater lawyer Bruce Harlan was representing him in a foreclosure case. Surprised because Salazar never met Harlan, didn't hire him and didn't even want the condo.


  • But someone else did — Lori Polin, a real estate agent with a checkered past who paid Harlan $1,500 to delay the foreclosure because she hoped to buy Salazar's condo in a short sale.


  • Because of Harlan's actions in the case, the Florida Supreme Court this month suspended him from practicing law for 90 days starting in mid December. "Even if Mr. Harlan had good intentions, his clients, Mr. Salazar and Ms. Polin, had adverse interests and Mr. Harlan was representing both of them at the same time,'' the Florida Bar said in finding Harlan guilty of a conflict of interest.


  • The bizarre chain of events started in 2007 when Salazar's architectural design business foundered and he and his wife moved to her native Spain, defaulting on their mortgage and condo maintenance fees. The Westchase Community Association took title to the condo and deeded the unit to Polin after she paid the back fees.


  • At the time, Polin was about to go into foreclosure on her own Westchase condo. She moved into the Salazars' unit and rented out hers, collecting more than $14,000 in rent, but not making payments on either property. Instead, Polin hired Harlan to delay the foreclosure on the Salazars' condo while she negotiated with the bank to buy it for far less than the $137,000 the couple then owed.


  • When Salazar returned to Tampa for a visit in 2009, he called the bank to see why its foreclosure suit had dragged on for so long with steadily mounting fees. "Because,'' the bank told him, "your attorney has been fighting us for a year.''


  • Salazar pieced together what happened and complained to the Bar.

For more, see Clearwater attorney is suspended for involvement in agent's dubious real estate deal.

See The Florida Bar v. Harlan for the Report Of The Referee Accepting Consent Judgment.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

$285M SEC/Citi Settlement Over Mtg Derivatives Kiboshed; Judge: Policy Of Allowing Targets Off Hook w/out Admissions, Denials Not In Public Interest

In New York City, The New York Times reports:

  • A federal judge in New York on Monday threw out a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup over a 2007 mortgage derivatives deal, saying that the S.E.C.’s policy of settling cases by allowing a company to neither admit nor deny the agency’s allegations did not satisfy the law.


  • The judge, Jed S. Rakoff of United States District Court in Manhattan, ruled that the S.E.C.’s $285 million settlement, announced last month, is “neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest(1) because it does not provide the court with evidence on which to judge the settlement.


  • The ruling could throw the S.E.C.’s enforcement efforts into chaos, because a majority of the fraud cases and other actions that the agency brings against Wall Street firms are settled out of court, most often with a condition that the defendant does not admit that it violated the law while also promising not to deny it.

For more, see Judge Blocks Citigroup Settlement With S.E.C.

For the ruling, see SEC v. Citgroup Global Markets, Inc.

(1) With regard to the settlement falling short in meeting the public interest, Judge Rakoff stated (SEC v. Citgroup Global Markets, Inc., at page 15):

  • Finally, in any case like this that touches on the transparency of financial markets whose gyrations have so depressed our economy and debilitated our lives, there is an overriding public interest in knowing the truth.

    In much of the world, propaganda reigns, and truth is confined to secretive, fearful whispers. Even in our nation, apologists for suppressing or obscuring the truth may always be found. But the S.E.C., of all agencies, has a duty, inherent in its statutory mission, to see that the truth emerges; and if fails to do so, this Court must not, in the name of deference or convenience, grant judicial enforcement to the agency's contrivances.

    Accordingly, the Court refuses to approve the proposed Consent Judgment. Instead, the Court hereby consolidates this case with the Stoker action, adopts the Case Management Order in that action as equally applicable to the instant case, and directs the parties to be ready to try this case on July 16, 2012.

    SO ORDERED.

Elderly Woman Gets 5 Years In Loan Modification Foreclosure Rescue Ripoff; Stiffed Victims Out Of Promised Services After Pocketing Upfront Fees

In Fremont, California, Central Valley Business Times reports:

  • Angeline Lisa Lizarrago of Fremont could be as old as 74 when she finally totters out of state prison, following her sentencing [] for a mortgage scam that ripped off homeowners in the Central Valley and Northern California. She was ordered to prison for five years for charging homeowners for foreclosure services that were never delivered.

***

  • In September 2010, Ms. Lizarrago was charged with 23 counts of felony fraud and theft committed at her Fremont business, Avemos Financial Group. The charges against Ms. Lizarrago and her co-defendant, Michael Douglas Young, 68, of Los Gatos, were based on 11 cases of fraud and theft totaling more than $50,000.


  • From June 2008 to October 2009, Ms. Lizarrago, owner of Avemos, and Mr. Young, the general manager, targeted Spanish-speaking homeowners, as well as Southeast Asian immigrants, who were desperate to save their homes.


  • People stood in line for hours to get into the Avemos waiting room, which was decorated with shrines to the Virgin Mary. Clients seeking help typically paid $1,500 initially. Ms. Lizarrago promised she would take steps to stop banks from foreclosing on clients' homes and renegotiate their loans to lower monthly loan payments and reflect their homes' current market value. She guaranteed a refund if they were unsuccessful. Many clients lost their homes in foreclosure and did not receive a refund.


  • Ms. Lizarrago also took advantage of the foreclosure crisis in another way, the attorney general says. She told an 89-year-old man and his wife, who wanted to move away from Stockton, that she owned 51 properties, many of which had been foreclosed upon, and she could find them a home in Fremont. She asked for an up-front fee, which she promised to return with interest once the purchase was made. In a series of payments, the couple gave her $25,000. She never found them a home, nor returned their money.


  • Mr. Young, who pled not guilty to the felony charges, is scheduled for jury trial on Jan. 23, 2012.

For the story, see Five-year sentence for foreclosure scam targeting Central Valley homeowners (Homeowners who were scammed lost their homes to foreclosure; An office decorated with shrines to the Virgin Mary).

The Fumbles In Foreclosure Cases Continue For One Palm Beach County Trial Judge As Florida Appeals Court Boots Back Another Blown Ruling

Another Florida trial judge fumbled the ball on a summary judgment motion in a foreclosure action. In this case, the foreclosing bankster failed to attach an assignment of mortgage to its foreclosure complaint, and neglected to submit the assignment thereafter. As expected, and possibly figuring that the filing of an appeal of her ruling was unaffordable for the homeowner, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Meenu T. Sasser disregarded the failure to submit the mortgage assignment and, as has become common, she proceeded to issue an erroneous ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the bankster.

However, the screwed over homeowner did, in fact, appeal, and in a ruling not unlike similar earlier rulings by Florida appeals courts, reversed(1) and booted the case back to Sasser.(2)

For the ruling, see Duke v. HSBC Mortgage Services, LLC, No. 4D09-5183 (Fla. App. 4th DCA, November 23, 2011).

(1) According to the court:

  • The Dukes argued that at the time the foreclosure complaint was filed, the mortgage was held by First NLC, not appellee, HSBC. In its complaint, HSBC alleged it owned and held the note and mortgage at the time the complaint was filed. “When exhibits are attached to a complaint, the contents of the exhibits control over the allegations of the complaint.” BAC Funding Consortium Inc. v. Jean-Jacques, 28 So. 3d 936, 938 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010).

    Here, HSBC alleged in its complaint that it “now owns and holds the Note and Mortgage,” but an assignment was not attached to the complaint, supporting HSBC’s position. Instead, the mortgage attached to the complaint showed First NLC as the lender, creating discrepancies between the complaint and the attached exhibit.

    Thus, at the time of the argument on the summary judgment motion, genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether HSBC was the proper owner and holder of the note and mortgage where First NLC was named on the mortgage and evidence of an assignment was not included.

    We therefore reverse the trial court’s order granting summary judgment because genuine issues of material fact remain in dispute regarding the owner and holder of the note and mortgage at the time the complaint was filed.

(2) For other posts on earlier screw-ups by this judge, see:

Unwitting Denver Couple Left Holding The Bag On Recent REO Buy As Foreclosing Lender Unloads Meth-Infected Time Bomb On Young Family

In Denver, Colorado, KMGH-TV Channel 7 reports:

  • Josh and Areli LeFevre have spent tens of thousands of dollars renovating a house in the south side of Denver as a new home for their growing family. But they didn’t know the previous tenants cooked methamphetamine in the house until a neighbor brought it up. “We were just outside talking about what we were going to do to the house, and he came up to us and just told us it was a meth lab,” Areli LeFevre said.


  • The couple called their Realtor who told them the house had been cleaned up and had a certificate of the cleanup filed with the Denver Department of Environmental Health. But CALL7 Investigators retested the house, finding it still tested positive for the drugs. The attic was 10 times over what the state regulations say are acceptable.


  • The LeFevres are at a loss for what to do. "We’re just concerned about it because we have a baby,” Areli said. "We live here. I’m trying to get pregnant again so we’re just mad about it."


  • An expert, who testified about meth contamination and clean up at the General Assembly when lawmakers passed the regulations in 2006, said the state certification process does not ensure a house is safe to inhabit. The owner of a meth house must have it cleaned and then that company certifies that the property is safe for people to inhabit. A certificate of the cleanup is filed with the county. But the county never verifies the house was properly cleaned up because the legislature never provided funding to check the houses. And the seller doesn’t have to notify a buyer that there was a meth lab in the house because it is certified as cleaned up.


  • The LeFevres’ house wasn’t the only one meth testing consultant CaoimhĂ­n Connell found was certified cleaned but still had high levels of meth residue.

***

  • The LeFevres’ house was a foreclosure they bought from a bank, and Connell said the banks often have an incentive to get the affidavit and sell the house whether it’s safe or not.


  • "My experience is that if (it's) a foreclosure and banks want to move that along, they’re hoping to get someone to issue a letter and say it’s OK even when it’s not OK," Connell said. (Sellers) "hold up that affidavit and say we’re off the hook, we did our best and (the affidavit) may never be seen again."(1)

For more, see Meth May Remain In Homes After Certified Cleaning (CALL7 Investigators Find Meth In Home Despite Certificate With City Saying It's Clean).

(1) For other stories relating to the unwitting purchase of homes infected with methamphetamine residue, see:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Recent Seizure Of Two Subs After Taking Beating For Underwriting Too Many Crappy Home Loans Pushes Mortgage Insurer To File For Ch. 11 Protection

The Associated Press reports:

  • Private mortgage insurer PMI Group Inc. is seeking shelter from creditors under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy code after the seizure of two of its subsidiaries by regulators in Arizona.


  • The company said Wednesday that it filed a petition for relief with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, but will continue operating as usual. PMI intends to use bankruptcy protection to assess its options in light of the action taken by the Arizona Department of Insurance.


  • On Oct. 20, insurance regulators in Arizona seized PMI’s main subsidiaries in the state, PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. and PMI Insurance Co., because the companies did not have enough money on hand to meet state requirements.


  • The state obtained an order from an Arizona Superior Court judge to take over the PMI subsidiaries. Shortly after, PMI said it would begin paying claims at just 50 percent.

***

  • The seizure of PMI’s subsidiaries followed heavy losses at the company since the housing market bubble burst. Private mortgage insurance protects lenders from losses if a homeowner defaults and the lender doesn’t recoup costs through foreclosure. The insurance costs the borrower a monthly fee, typically a set percentage of the total mortgage loan.


  • Like other mortgage insurers, PMI has been able to sell profitable policies in recent years, but the gains from those sales hasn’t outpaced losses from policies sold before the housing market collapsed. As flagging home prices have strapped borrowers, the company has had to pay more claims.

For the story, see PMI Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, cites subsidiaries’ seizure by Arizona.

Municipal Insurer Coughs Up $884K To Cover 90% Of County Employee/Bookkeeper's Theft In Foreclosure Surplus Snatching Scam

In Memphis, Tennessee, The Commercial Appeal reports:

  • Shelby County government's insurance carrier has issued a check for $884,306 to cover about 90 percent of losses incurred in a Chancery Court embezzlement scheme. County Chief Administrative Officer Harvey Kennedy said Tuesday that Traveler's Insurance cut the check last week.


  • "We've been paying premiums all these years. It's one of these things where you never expect to need it," Kennedy said.


  • Former Chancery bookkeeper Brandon Gunn, 47, pleaded guilty in federal court last month to three counts of theft, conspiracy and money laundering in connection with a three-year scheme that tapped $1,063,903 from trust funds owed to Shelby Countians who lost homes in tax foreclosure sales. A second man, Correy Isom, 35, a Hickory Hill restaurant employee, also has been charged. Isom has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.


  • Although Gunn admitted to stealing more than $1 million, Kennedy said the "net theft'' amounted to $982,548 because Gunn repaid $81,355. That happened last spring when Gunn, still working for the county, funneled two large cashier's checks written under disguised names to the county after his bosses asked him to repay money.


  • Following the payment from Traveler's, the county is left with $98,242 in losses resulting from the embezzlement scheme. "We will ultimately be responsible for that,'' Kennedy said. "The (former home) owners are entitled to that money."

Source: Insurer covers 90 percent of loss in Chancery Court embezzlement.

Fiduciary Illegally Doctored Land Docs To Hock 101 Acres Of Fla. Land Held In Trust To Pocket $17M, Say 52 Investor/Beneficiaries Now Facing F'closure

In Cape Coral, Florida, WINK News reports:

  • Investors in the Pine Island 101 Land Trust call for action after finding out their land was mortgaged and is in foreclosure. They say the land was worth millions of dollars and want to know why the trustee of the land, Cape Coral realtor Greg Eagle, mortgaged the land in the first place.


  • The Pine Island 101 Land trust is 101 acres of property near the German American Club on Pine Island Road in Cape Coral. It is owned by 52 investors who bought the property together in the 1990s for 3 million dollars.

***

  • Cape Coral Realtor Greg Eagle arranged the Pine Island 101 deal and is the trustee for the property. Investors told WINK NEWS Eagle's reputation for managing these land trusts made this property attractive.


  • Investors told us they were surprised to receive a letter in April of 2011 telling them the property had been mortgaged and was in foreclosure. In that letter to the 52 investors, Eagle apologizes for using the property as collateral to get a 17 million dollar loan for a project to bring a private homeland security training facility Florida. The bank who issued the loan, First National Bank of Pennsylvania, filed for foreclosure on the property after not receiving payment.


  • Dr. Charles Curtis, one of the investors in the property, said the property wasn't to be mortgaged. "We have a trustee for the property and it had been paid off. So we as a group owned it," said Curtis. The original trust obtained by Wink News shows 52 people with a percentage interest in the property.


  • However, Wink News has uncovered court documents challenging the foreclosure showing Eagle signed and had notorized a document saying he had full ownership of the property and permission to mortgage it. "It's a pretty serious case," said Attorney Michael Whitt, the attorney challenging the foreclosure on behalf of one of the investors, "I mean what we have uncovered the trail of documents and and doctored documents. It's a pretty scary thing what has happened."


  • Whitt says many of the beneficiaries or investors in the trust invested their life savings into the trust. He also says the property is still very valuable. The most recent appraisal done in December of 2008 valued the land at 22 million dollars.


  • CALL FOR ACTION contacted Greg Eagle. He declined our request to go on camera saying he is currently out of town. However, over the phone he told us as trustee he feels he did have the right to mortgage the property. He told WINK NEWS that he signed that affidavit to simplify the process of getting the loan.

For more, see Investors say land trust wrongfully mortgaged.

California High Court Passes On Hearing Attorney Gripe That State Bar Illegally Shut Down 'Mass Joinder' Lawsuit-Peddling Operation

The San Diego Union Tribune reports:

  • The California Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will not hear the case of a Calabasas-based attorney who says the State Bar of California illegally shut down his law practice in August in connection to mortgage fraud.


  • Authorities from the State Bar and the California Department of Justice sued Philip Kramer, other attorneys, and their marketers for allegedly defrauding thousands of U.S. homeowners who thought they were getting mortgage relief but instead lost money, and in some cases, their homes. Among the "non-attorney defendants" in the lawsuit is Clarence John Butt, a 44-year-old Oceanside man.


  • Kramer, whose firm was placed into receivership in August, had his petition refused on Tuesday. "This decision reinforces the State Bar’s determination to aggressively pursue attorneys who mean to take advantage of vulnerable consumers in foreclosure distress," said State Bar Assistant General Counsel Mark Torres-Gil, in a statement.


  • State Bar officials said Kramer’s practice was taken over for "abdicating his professional responsibilities with false advertising and by using non-lawyers to bring in clients, set fees, provide legal advice and evaluate cases."


  • The lawsuit against Kramer and others says the defendants mailed what looked like official materials to homeowners facing foreclosure in California and other states that said they could take part in a mass joinder lawsuit against mortgage lenders or loan servicers. Troubled borrowers paid $3,500 to $10,000 to take part in the lawsuits, State Bar officials said, but they ultimately received no mortgage relief.

Source: Calif. Supreme Court won't hear case of attorney tied to mortgage-fraud lawsuit.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sacramento Feds Put Pinch On Sale Leaseback Foreclosure Rescue Peddler In Connection With Alleged Equity Stripping Ripoff

In Southern California, the Central Valley Business Times reports:

  • John Marcus Desenberg, 44, formerly of Newbury Park, has been arrested by FBI agents in Southern California on a ten-count federal indictment alleging mail fraud on connection with a Central Valley foreclosure scheme. According to the indictment, Mr. Desenberg was purportedly in the business of rescuing homeowners from foreclosure in Merced and Placer couties.


  • Doing business as Creative Lending Solutions, Mr. Desenberg offered homeowners a “Fresh Start” program that would find an investor to purchase homes from distressed homeowners, says U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.


  • Some of the proceeds of the sale would be used to make mortgage payments for the next 12 months and the property owners were allowed to stay in the homes and work on repairing their credit so that at the end of the period, they could obtain new mortgages and purchase their homes back from the investors.


  • But. according to the indictment, Mr. Desenberg [lied] when he said that he would be monitoring the situation for the next 12 months, and that he would ensure the investor made the mortgage payments.


  • In fact, says the grand jury, he did not monitor the 12-month credit-repair period, nor did he ensure the mortgage payments were being made. Eventually homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure, with more than $300,000 in equity lost.


  • Mortgage fraud schemes victimize homeowners, not just mortgage lenders. Foreclosure rescue schemes target homeowners when they are most vulnerable — when they are in fear of losing their homes,” says Mr. Wagner. If convicted, Mr. Desenberg faces a maximum statutory penalty for each count of mail fraud of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years supervised release following incarceration.(1)

Source: Arrest made in Central Valley foreclosure scheme (Homeowners thought they were being ‘rescued’, ‘Foreclosure rescue schemes target homeowners when they are most vulnerable).

For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Merced And Placer Counties Foreclosure Rescue Scheme Results In Arrest.

(1) For more on sale leaseback equity stripping ripoffs, see:

Home Refi Scam Lands Mortgage Broker In Hot Water After Alleged Escrow Cash Ripoff; Unwitting Couple Ultimately Left Homeless By Foreclosure

In Los Angeles, California, The Modesto Bee reports:

  • Authorities arrested a Los Angeles man Tuesday after a federal grand jury indicted him in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme that victimized a Tuolumne County couple who lost their home.


  • Secret Service agents arrested Steve Zaven Kessedjian, 48, in Los Angeles on suspicion of mail fraud, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento. Kessedjian's company, Amerilend Inc. in Woodland Hills, helped homeowners secure loans to refinance their homes. When a loan was funded, Amerilend would use Targa Escrow, another business owned by Kessedjian, to disburse the escrow funds, federal prosecutors said.


  • In December 2007, an Amerilend employee helped the Tuolumne County couple to refinance their home to consolidate their credit card bills. Prosecutors said the bank paid off the first mortgage and then wired the remainder of the loan, $57,343, to Targa Escrow. Instead of disbursing the rest of the loan to the credit card companies, Kessedjian took the funds for his own purposes, according to the indictment.


  • The prosecutors said the victims lost their home to foreclosure and their home-based business, as they could not make payments for the refinanced loan and pay the creditors who were supposed to have been paid.


  • If convicted, Kessedjian faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of parole.

Source: Suspected scammer of Tuolumne couple arrested in fraud case.

For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Los Angeles Mortgage Broker Arrested For Stealing Escrow Funds From Tuolumne County Couple.

F'closure Mill A Subtle Surplus Snatcher? Suits Say Outfit Failed To Cough Up Overage From Forced Sales; Agrees To Fork Over Loot After Media Inquiry

In Brooklyn, New York, the New York Post reports:

  • What’s in this law firm’s wallet? New York state’s beleaguered, largest foreclosure law firm -- which [] announced plans to shut down in the face of a firestorm of legal action -- has allegedly failed to turn over about $130,000 owed to three people whose co-ops were foreclosed on, and could be sitting on millions of dollars of hundreds of other people's money without those people knowing, The Post has learned.


  • Steven J. Baum P.C.'s move to shutter came a week after it was made ineligible to get new referrals on any Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages -- essentially a death knell for the controversial firm. The two federally backed mortgage giants moved in the face of numerous complaints about questionable legal filings by Baum.


  • On Friday, a Brooklyn lawyer sued Baum claiming that the firm repeatedly ignored his attempts to obtain about $130,000 for three people whose co-ops were foreclosed on and later sold off in Baum-supervised auctions.


  • The lawyer, Andrew Tilem, said that given Baum's vast foreclosure business there could actually be “millions of dollars” more being withheld from hundreds of others. “I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” said Tilem, who filed the three suits in Brooklyn Supreme Court on behalf of the three former co-op owners Friday after his phone calls and letters to Baum went unanswered for months.


  • Tilem insisted that he already knows of about a dozen other people who are each owed between $2,000 and $100,000 by Baum’s firm, which handled the sales of their foreclosed co-ops on behalf of lenders. The money was left over after payments to the mortgage holder, maintenance fees and other costs. Baum already is under investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office for foreclosure work unrelated to the money allegedly being withheld from foreclosed co-op owners.


  • There’s nobody you can trust anymore. It’s disappointing,” said retiree Richard Adler, 69, one of Tilem’s clients who is suing. Richard Adler said he is owed about $80,000 from Baum for the February 2010 sale of his foreclosed Queens apartment. “I could use the money because I have a lot of expenses. My wife has liver cancer. You know how much that costs, all the medicines and everything?” he said.


  • Another Tilem client, guitar-store worker Eugene Glebas, 63, of Manhattan said he is suing Baum to reclaim the $45,000 he’s allegedly owed from the 2007 sale of his foreclosed co-op. “I don’t understand how somebody lets [Baum] hold my money,” he said.


  • Last month, the firm, without admitting wrongdoing, agreed to pay $2 million to the federal government to settle the Manhattan US Attorney’s investigation into its alleged misleading documentation in foreclosures. The US Justice Dept. put the firm under monitorship and supervision under the settlement.


  • In the past two weeks, federally backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also banned Baum’s firm from getting any new foreclosure or other legal business from banks that service their mortgages.


  • When notified Friday by The Post of Tilem’s claims, Baum within hours agreed to pay his clients, asked him not to file the suits and wrote that they “apologize for the delayed response.”


  • A company spokesman noted that the regulation that controls how co-ops are foreclosed “does not address how surplus monies — money left over after the sale of a unit — should be handled. “The firm places such surplus funds in its [trust account]. Upon appropriate demand, the funds are released,” the company said. “The firm’s operating procedures in these matters are proper.”


  • But when asked how much total money was in such accounts, the company replied,, “We cannot provide a total amount because that account is used for other things such as deposits on contracts and other matters.”


  • A spokesman for state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — asked of the AG was aware of Baum potentially holding huge amounts of money from foreclosed co-ops — said, "While we cannot comment on ongoing investigations [Schneiderman] will continue to bring accountability to the firms responsible for the mortgage crisis, and put an end to the abusive foreclosure practices that have devastated families across the state."

For the story, see Foreclosure mill law firm Steven J. Baum P.C. shuts down.

Suit: Missouri Foreclosure Mill's Conflict Of Interest In Trustee Role Screwed Financially Strapped Homeowners Challenging Legitimacy Of Sale Process

In St. Louis, Missouri, Courthouse News Service reports:

  • The Millsap & Singer law firm, "one of Missouri's largest foreclosure firms," violates its role as a neutral trustee in foreclosures by serving as attorney-in-fact for lenders, a class action claims in City Court.


  • Lead plaintiff Nurdin Beganovic says that in Missouri no court proceeding is needed for a foreclosure, and the trustee is the only neutral party involved. The trustee must work for the benefit of both parties, but Beganovic said Millsap does not.(1) Millsap, which operates out of Chesterfield, Mo., "is one of Missouri's largest foreclosure firms," the complaint states.


  • Beganovic claims Millsap attorneys, who handle thousands of foreclosures, have or should have knowledge of the increasing evidence of widespread fraud and negligence by lenders. But instead of investigating lenders, Beganovic says, Millsap looks the other way due to the profits it receives from foreclosures and because the firm will get more money from unlawful detainer lawsuits on the same homes it foreclosed on.


  • "Millsap & Singer has an ongoing relationship with many of the parties who bid on the properties at the foreclosure sale including, in many cases, an ongoing attorney-client relationship," the complaint states.


  • "Millsap & Singer has appeared as an advocate against debtors who contest the validity of foreclosures while simultaneously and purportedly serving as the trustee regarding those exact same properties. "In addition, upon information and belief, Millsap has actual knowledge of complete files of debtors, the irregularities that exist in said files, the widespread problems with fraud and negligence by mortgage industry actors, evidence suggesting the non-validity of purported note transfers, the non-existence of notes, and the lack of right to initiate foreclosures it has handled."


  • The class consists of all people who have been foreclosed upon in Missouri in which Millsap served as the trustee while it was also the attorney in fact for the party who initiated the foreclosure.

For the story, see Class Blows Whistle on Foreclosure Firm.

For the lawsuit, see Beganovic v. Millsap & Singer, P.C.

(1) In support of the allegations that the law firm has violated its duties as a trustee, the plaintiff cites Citizens Bank v. West Quincy Auto Auction, 742 SW 2d 161 (Mo. 1987), which describes the nature of the trustee's obligations to both the debtor and the creditor:


  • In Goode v. Comfort, 39 Mo. 314, 325 (1866), the Court noted:Trustees are considered as agents of both parties—debtors and creditors—and their action in performing the duties of their trust should be conducted with the strongest impartiality and integrity. They are entrusted with the important function of transferring one man's property to another, and therefore both reason and justice will exact of them the most scrupulous fidelity.


  • Six years later the Court, speaking through the same author, Wagner, J., in Graham v. King, 50 Mo. 22 (1872), struck down as void a foreclosure sale under a deed of trust where the named trustee was not at the sale and the sale had been conducted by the trustee's son. In so doing, the Court laid down the rule which has been followed in Missouri throughout the years:

    The office and duties of a trustee are matters of personal confidence, and he must exercise a just and fair discretion in doing whatever is right for the best interests of the debtor. He must in person supervise and watch over the sale, and adjourn it if necessary, to prevent a sacrifice of the property and no one can do it in his stead unless empowered thereto in the instrument conferring the trust. A trustee cannot delegate the trust or power of sale to a third person, and a sale executed by such delegated
    agent is void. (Perry Trusts, Section 779 and notes) Id. at 24. (Emphasis added.)


  • In case after case this settled principle of law affecting title to real estate has been considered by the courts of this state. The decisions have recognized that the named trustee in a deed of trust is a fiduciary—of the debtor and the creditor; that the trustee is vested not only with the power to sell the property but must exercise his discretion in so doing for the benefit of both parties. The power of sale given to the trustee is personal and cannot be transferred or delegated.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Reports Of Bailiff Blockades, Proceedings Conducted In Locked Rooms Suggest Public Still Faces Obstacles When Seeking Access To F'closure Proceedings

In Tampa, Florida, the St. Petersburg Times reports:

  • Hillsborough County's chief judge is taking extra steps to allow the public into foreclosure proceedings after watchdog groups raised concerns about hearings taking place in locked rooms.


  • "There is no policy in place to exclude people," Judge Manuel Menendez said. "Anybody who wants to be in there can be in there."


  • The Florida Press Association, the First Amendment Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Florida Society of News Editors complained in a letter to Menendez last week that bailiffs blocked people twice from "hearing rooms" to witness foreclosure cases. The groups said the practice violates Florida law, and they welcomed Menendez's pledge to make the hearings more accessible.


  • "For a homeowner, a foreclosure case carries incredibly high stakes, and all parties deserve an open hearing," said Larry Schwartztol, an ACLU attorney in New York City.


  • Hearing rooms are smaller offices near judges' chambers. Because of a large backlog of foreclosure cases, the rooms are used for convenience when routine paperwork is done on cases, the judge said.


  • Court administrators have questioned bailiffs and other court workers and believe the incidents were isolated, Menendez said. He plans to schedule the hearings in courtrooms when space is available. Signs will also be posted directing people to call court officials if they are blocked from entering any public hearing. "It should not have happened," the judge said.

Source: Hillsborough County takes extra steps to keep court hearings open.

Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing Come Under Scrutiny In Ongoing Criminal Probe Into Online Foreclosure Rescue, Loan Modification Rackets

The Associated Press reports:

  • A criminal investigation into mortgage swindlers has expanded beyond deceptive advertising on Google's Internet search engine to root out con artists who were luring their victims on Bing and Yahoo, too.


  • Monday's news of the widening probe confirmed that the Internet's three largest search engines had been turned into tools of prey for crooks looking to bilk homeowners scrambling to avoid foreclosure. The scams involved online ads making bogus promises of help people hold onto their homes under a government-backed program to modify mortgage payments.


  • After finding their victims using ads triggered by phrases such as "stop foreclosure," the swindlers extracted upfront fees or arranged to have the mortgage payments sent them without providing any assistance. The ruses had become increasingly common.

***

  • The identities of the alleged swindlers haven't been disclosed, partly because the criminal investigation is still open. A spokesman for agency steering the investigation declined to provide any further details Monday.

For more, see Criminal probe into online mortgage scams widens.

Rumble Over Crappy Home Mortgage Loan Buyback Demands Escalates As Bank Of America Tells Fannie To Take A Hike!

Bloomberg reports:

  • Bank of America Corp. told Fannie Mae it refuses to cooperate with the U.S. mortgage firm’s new stance on loan buybacks, setting the lender up for a potential surge in claims and penalties.


  • The bank is disputing Fannie Mae’s demand that lenders repurchase mortgages or cover any losses themselves if an insurer drops coverage, Bank of America said this month in a regulatory filing. The lender, ranked second by assets among U.S. banks, said it “does not intend to repurchase loans” under what it deems to be new rules, and the refusal may trigger penalties or other sanctions.


  • At stake is Bank of America’s ability to contain costs from faulty mortgages, which have reached about $40 billion for refunds, lawsuits and foreclosures. The company set aside $278 million for loan buybacks in the third quarter, the least since Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan took over almost two years ago. Those expenses may rebound if Fannie Mae’s rules stand, the bank said.


  • Fannie Mae didn’t enforce this policy before because “it was a different economic time,” said David Felt, a former deputy general counsel at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Fannie Mae. Defaults were fewer and the firm didn’t want to harm relations with lenders by being too picky, he said.


  • They’d overlook the small things. Well, they’re no longer small things, and they’re no longer the old Fannie Mae.”

***

  • According to Fannie Mae, lenders were always contractually required to ensure that mortgage insurance was maintained. A guide dated June 30 requires lenders to alert the Washington- based mortgage financing firm of coverage withdrawals within a month of the event and gives them 90 days to appeal a repurchase demand. After June 2012, banks have just one month for appeals.


  • Our contracts are clear that when a mortgage insurance company rescinds the required mortgage insurance, the loan is subject to repurchase by the lender,” said Amy Bonitatibus, a spokeswoman for Fannie Mae.

For more, see BofA Clash With Fannie Mae Escalates Over Loan Buyback Stance.