It is said that you should write about things that you like or things that you are familiar with. Unfortunately, for this writer, the expertise is in the affects of being a victim of mortgage fraud. The fraud that occurred in our case, however, was not reflective of what the media has put out there for American public to be made aware of. Our case was not a circumstance of robo-signing that has come to national attention in the past year. Ours involves a case of outright forgery, by the mortgage broker, to the mortgage that would secure our home to a mortgage.
In 2010, the now infamous robo-signing scandal began involving GMAC Mortgage and numerous other major US banks. Banks were forced to stop foreclosures in many states when it was discovered that the paperwork, involved in an inordinate amount of mortgages contracts that were illegitimate because the signers, certifying that as another person they had reviewed the documents. Some robo-signers were middle-managers while others were temporary office workers with effectively no clue as to what they were doing in regards to the work they were performing.
Our case is quite a bit different, and has been ongoing for the past six years. In our particular circumstance, a notary was instructed to forge our signatures to the mortgage document (the deed that secures the house to the note) and notarize it. For the past six years we have tried doggedly to get the media to take notice of this case. The media has us all caught up in the robo-signing scandal; however, although we know that this is serious misconduct on the part of the bank, this type of misconduct will not strip the mortgages from the bank; they will be able to keep their security in these assets. In our case, we never were afforded the opportunity to read a mortgage. We were never contacted by the bank and asked to come in and complete the missing document. They took it upon themselves to sign our names, notarized the signatures as authentic and then recorded the document with the Register of Deeds, legitimizing their crime; with fingers-crossed that no one would ever discover their misdeed.
I would like to say, unfortunately for them, we did discover their deception; but the reality is that it has been one of the worst things we could have ever found. Yes, we were the victims of forgery, by a bank that we, as Americans’ should demand public trust from; but by fighting this crime against us we have become victimized beyond our wildest dreams. We have been chewed up and spit out, damaging our lives and our credit, not to mention our self-esteem and self-worth. Lawyers for the banks are ruthless in their endeavor to attack your very soul if it means they will win for the bank. It doesn’t matter that they broke the law, because they are going to make you look like you are the fool; you are the one that, “although a victim of unfortunate circumstances”, will be treated as the real criminal here. Your intent will override your victimization according to the bank.
How did this happen you ask? That is the same question that we have asked for years. The irony here is that we signed a document that stated that if any documentation needed further signatures, that the bank would contact us and we would be morally, ethically and legally bound to come in and take care of any deficiencies. This contract would be used against us, with the bank attorneys’ stating that we had signed this document so we were legally bound by it; however, the bank could not see why they should be bound by the document as well, they could only focus on what our commitment was. Seriously, what part of when the bank contacts you negates the bank from the decency of contacting us? Were we supposed to be psychic, demonstrating sixth sense abilities in regards to our obligation to do the banks work?
My question in this whole fiasco is when are the banks going to be held responsible for their crimes against the homeowners’ in this country? When you forge a person’s signature you are committing a crime. Had it been a citizen that committed this crime they would have served time in jail and paid restitution. They would have had a criminal record and would be held accountable for their crime. The banks however, can commit the exact same crime and they lose nothing, except a few dollars for legal fees; to pay high-priced attorneys for exceptional slight-of-hand trickery within our court systems. Throwing up a smokescreen through a litany of cases, not-on-point, twisted to fit their view of the circumstances, always pointing the finger towards the irresponsible homeowner. Their antics being swallowed hook, line and sinker in the bankruptcy courts, much to the detriment of the debtors and to the delight of the banks. In the real world that I was brought up in, if you do the crime you should do the time; however, the only one’s doing time for this crime has been the homeowners’. Six years of our lives have been put on hold; with the ever persistent fear of will this be the day we lose our home. At least if we had gone through foreclosure, we would have been through it and have moved on with our lives. There has been no moving on with our lives. We watch as our home slowly deteriorates and there is nothing we can do; one because our lawyer advises strongly against it, in case we lose our case and secondly, this non-existent mortgage, that was avoided by the bankruptcy court in 2007, still shows on our credit reports.
We have been fortunate enough to have legal representation that is willing to go the distance based on the basic principles of right and wrong in this case. We are the first case in the United States where the homeowners’ are 100% innocent of any wrongdoing. We are the first homeowners’ that actually found their signatures forged to a mortgage document by the bank. Did God find us as special as to be anointed as the only ones that have ever had this happen? A logical thinking person would deduce that there are obviously more of these forged deeds out there. So why does the media not want to get involved and get this information out to the public? What form of politics is keeping this serious situation under the radar and off the screen in regards to informing the American public? Is this a can of worms that is having the lid kept on by the banks through various political contributions? We know every time Lindsey Lohan or some other wayward starlet goes to court, but we don’t know that there is a potential for a host of forged mortgages to be floating through our local Register of Deeds offices throughout the country.
Our case went before the 6th US Circuit Court recently and is in the hands of three judges entrusted to their positions by various past presidents’. We can only hope that they will rule on this case with a strong sense of public policy, as well as a strong grounding in ethics. We as a nation need to stop bailing out the big guys and start respecting that this nation was built on the backs of the middle and lower class. Over the past five years we, as American’s, have watched as the government has bailed out a multitudes of banks and corporations countless times, only to discover that they have been abusing the privileges afforded to them and financial institutions are tearing people out of their homes through the legal system, when in reality they have been manipulating the system to fit their needs, not caring how many people’s lives that they decimate in the process. We as citizens are held accountable for our misdeeds. Why should corporations and financial institutions be any different?