13 Questions: Here is what the OCC said should be minimum operating standards for “servicers”

by Neil Garfield

On April 19, 2013, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published “Operating standards for scheduled foreclosure sales.” This was about 5 years after public recognition of the mortgage meltdown, and 1 year after the infamous 50-state settlement in which the “servicers” and Wall Street brokers settled claims of fabrication of false documents that were forged, backdated, and robosigned. Another 50-state agreement was reached last year in a settlement with Nationstar, now known as Mr. Cooper.

The settlement was all about money with some provisions in which the “servicers” promised to take corrective action. It should have been about title. It avoided the essential question on the table: Why was it necessary for anyone to fabricate and forge false documentation? In an industry that invented all the paperwork for “loans”, why was it necessary to trash the original paperwork and invent new stuff? None of the parties to the agreement or the Wall Street brokers that paid for it ever changed anything. see foreclosure_standards_42013

The interesting thing about all this is that these minimum standards are said to apply only after the foreclosure process is complete and a sale is scheduled. Why they wouldn’t be applied at the commencement of “servicing activity” is or should be subject to scrutiny. This effectively gives a pass to anyone operating under false pretense right up until the actual sale.

I would also add that the one question missing from all of this that should be present is the one posed by Article 9 §203 of the UCC: Has the named claimant paid value for the underlying obligation? That statute, adopted by all U.S. jurisdictions verbatim, says simply that there can’t be foreclosure by anyone who has not fulfilled that condition precedent.

Here are the questions posed by OCC:
1. Is the loan’s default status accurate? [Editor’s Note: Failure to understand the possibility of false claims for securitization — the question should have the following words tacked onto the end “as to the named claimant.” Wall Street has been successful at pointing to scheduled payments as the sole basis for the action. But knowledge of scheduled payments does not mean ownership. Litigators who fail to understand this distinction are giving away the store. A secondary question here which probably ought to be the first question is whether there is a debt, i.e.: is there anyone who is carrying the alleged debt as a loan account receivable on its accounting ledgers?]

2. Does the servicer have and can demonstrate the appropriate legal authority to foreclose (documented assignments, note endorsements, and other necessary legal documentation, as applicable)? [Editor’s Note: It isn’t enough that there are documents fabricated to demonstrated the claimed authority. The authority can only come from one who paid value for the underlying debt and who owns it. Note that it is possible under the “securitization” scheme invented by Wall Street to pay value without getting a conveyance of any right, title or interest in the scheduled payments of a homeowner — e.g., investors who buy certificates]

3. Have required foreclosure notices or other required communications to the borrower or others, as applicable, been provided in a timely manner?

4. Has the servicer taken all steps necessary to confirm whether the borrower, co-borrower, and all obligors on the mortgage, trust deed, or other security in the nature of a mortgage are entitled to protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), including running queries through the Department of Defense database? If the borrower, co-borrower, or other obligor is subject to SCRA protections, has the servicer complied with all applicable legal requirements to foreclose?

5. Determine whether the borrower is in active bankruptcy. If so, does the servicer have documented legal authority to foreclose? [Editor’s Note: Again the emphasis is on documents instead of a determination as to whether the documents are a memorialization of some real transaction in the real world or just some imaginary transaction to justify a disinterested party getting the windfall award of foreclosure.]

6. Determine whether the loan is currently under loss mitigation or other retention review or such review has been requested by the borrower as part of the foreclosure process. If so, did the servicer notify the borrower that all conditions necessary to effect the loss mitigation or retention action have not been met, what is needed to meet those conditions, and the date necessary to cure the deficiencies to avoid further foreclosure action? If a borrower submitted a complete loan modification application after the foreclosure referral, did the servicer comply with any applicable dual track restrictions? [Editor’s Note: The missing question is whether the “servicer” or anyone else has any legal authority to solicit, accept, consider or decide upon loss mitigation and retention. If they are not the owner of the debt or presenting someone who owns the debt (by virtue of payment in exchange for a conveyance of the debt) then they should not be accepting any discussion, correspondence to communication regarding the alleged debt.]

7. Is the borrower currently in an active trial loss mitigation plan?

8. Determine whether the servicer accepted any payment from the borrower in the preceding 60 days (that is, were borrower payments, including interest, principal, fees, escrow payments, applied to the borrower’s account or retained in a suspense account). If so, did the servicer clearly communicate to the borrower that he or she is neither in nor being considered for a loss mitigation program and that the bank’s acceptance of the payment in no way affected the status of the foreclosure that is proceeding?

9. As applicable, was the borrower solicited for and offered a loss mitigation option, such as, those required by HAMP, government sponsored enterprise, the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S. Veterans Administration, state-level government programs under U.S. Department of Treasury, other third party investor, or the servicer’s loss mitigation and modification programs? To the extent applicable, has the servicer complied with its loss mitigation obligations detailed in the National Mortgage Settlement? Have any borrower complaints, appeals, or escalations been considered and addressed? [Editor’s Note: The obvious problem here is the reference to third party investors. So they are conceding that third-party investors might be involved but still allowing a virtual creditor to be designated as the claimant. Again, litigators who fail to notice this distinction are probably doomed to failure in attempting to defend against illegal foreclosures. ]

10. Was the fully executed loan modification application submitted by the borrower, as defined by the applicable modification program, reviewed by the servicer as required, including any timeline or notice requirements?

11. Was the modification decision correct and validated as required by the applicable modification program (to include, as applicable, compliance with program requirements and accuracy of calculations and application of the NPV test) along with appropriate resolution and communication of any borrower complaint, appeal, or escalation?

12. Was the borrower or the borrower’s representative (housing counselor or attorney) notified of the loan modification decision and rationale as required by program or policy guidelines?

13. If required by a GSE or other investor, has the servicer certified to the attorney conducting the foreclosure that all delinquency management requirements have been met, including that there is neither an approved payment plan arrangement nor a foreclosure alternative offer pending or accepted?

     
 

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New Jersey Homeowners Get Mortgage Relief

Patch.com

Homeowners are advised to take advantage of a new Mortgage Stimulus Program before it’s gone. This is likely to be the largest benefit program …

 
 

Short-seller Marc Cohodes defends his discipline, warns against investing blindly, and slams …

Business Insider

Cohodes is best known for exposing fraud at mortgage lender Novastar … “I go after bad people, bad companies, frauds, criminals, things like that.

 
 

Strengthening Price Gouging Statute | Illegal Fees for Mortgage Payments | AGs Contest Reprieve …

Lexology

Strengthening Price Gouging Statute | Illegal Fees for Mortgage Payments | AGs … of the mortgages, which would violate most states’ statutes of fraud.

 
 

Mortgage Servicer Says Software Co. Held Its Data ‘Hostage’

Law360

Caliber accuses Sagent of breach of contract, theft, unfair competition, negligence and violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

 
 

Update on the latest in business:

Federal News Network

US long-term mortgage rates flat; 30-year stays at 2.73% … man has pleaded guilty to securities fraud for cheating investors of nearly $90 million by …

 
 

First American division launches fraud solution

The Title Report

… enables high-volume lenders and investors to more precisely identify the risk of fraud and early payment default on both new mortgage applications …

 
 

Ex-Pasadena Lawyer Faces Sentencing for Fraud Crime of `Desperation’

Pasadena Now

Ex-Pasadena Lawyer Faces Sentencing for Fraud Crime of `Desperation’ … In February 2016, Ohanian presented the victim with a counterfeit $1.9 … needed to make payments for back taxes and overdue mortgage payments in …

 
 

SoftPro, Mortgage Cadence integrate

The Title Report

… phishing and wire fraud. “Connection is key to lending efficiency and automation,” Mortgage Cadence CEO Peter Espinosa said. “And we’re excited …

 
 

Homeowners Can Get $3684 Mortgage Relief!

Patch.com

Homeowners Can Get $3,684 Mortgage Relief! Gov Mortgage Relief Org. [Washington D.C] A New Federal Mortgage Program is Giving $3,684 Back to …

 
 

Former State Senator And Third-Party Gubernatorial Candidate Sam McCann Indicted For Fraud

Patch.com

Prosecutors allege McCann used campaign funds to buy personal vehicles, pay personal debts and make mortgage payments. They also allege …

 
 

Controversial former Nike designer accused of defrauding sneaker giant in $1.4 million scam

oregonlive.com

… Nike designer accused of defrauding sneaker giant in $1.4 million scam … He applied for a mortgage loan and submitted a financial statement from …

 
 

The post Home Equity is Increasing Even in Unstable Economy appeared first on theMReport.com

Appraisal Buzz

The post Illinois mortgage pros ensnared in alleged fraud scheme appeared first on HousingWire. James Kleimann. Follow Us …

 
 

Why millions of Americans are now tapping credit unions for loans

CNBC

Before the recession in 2008, 24% of all mortgages from banks were subprime … Affinity saw strong growth in the mortgage business with record-high …

 
 

Ohio pays out more than $330 million in fraudulent pandemic unemployment claims: The Wake Up …

cleveland.com

Unemployment fraud: Ohio paid more than $330 million in fraudulent … In addition to the 56,000 fake Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims filed in … Robert Higgs reports the lending giant now operating as Rocket Mortgage …

     
 
 

FCA chiefs must take responsibility for ‘darkest day’ and £1bn FSCS levy – AMI

Mortgage Solutions

Mortgage industry cleaning house. Sinclair explained that there is “so much fraud and bad practice going on in the pensions and investment market” it is …

 
 

Morning Headlines: Vaccinations Surpass Total COVID-19 Cases; Ohio Paid $330M in Fraudulent

WKSU News

The company now operating as Rocket Mortgage plans to add 700 jobs by the end of 2024 by expanding into the floors above JACK Cleveland …

 
 

Feds Accuse Former Nike Employee of $1.4 Million Fraud

Sole Collector

The feds say Andam used these events to carry out his fraud scheme. … charge is related to a July 2018 attempt to secure a residential mortgage loan.

 
 

Ex-Pasadena Lawyer Faces Sentencing for Fraud Crime of ‘Desperation’

KFI AM 640

Ex-Pasadena Lawyer Faces Sentencing for Fraud Crime of ‘Desperation’ … In February 2016, Ohanian presented the victim with a counterfeit $1.9 … needed to make payments for back taxes and overdue mortgage payments in …

 
 

Former IL Senator Sam McCann Federally Indicted For His Use of Campaign Funds –

Edgar County Watchdogs

… to purchase personal vehicles, pay personal debts, make mortgage payments, … In addition to wire fraud and money laundering, the indictment charges … For the period of the alleged fraud scheme, from May 2015 to June 2020, …

Ex-senator faces charges over campaign funds – Jacksonville Journal-Courier

Full Coverage

 
 

Ex-Pasadena lawyer gets 15 years for defrauding clients

The Pasadena Star-News

In February 2016, Ohanian presented the client with a bogus $1.9 million check … that contained the forged signature of a United States bankruptcy judge. … to make payments for back taxes and overdue mortgage payments in order …

 
 

Ex-Pasadena Lawyer Faces Sentencing for Fraud Crime of ‘Desperation’

MyNewsLA.com

Ex-Pasadena Lawyer Faces Sentencing for Fraud Crime of ‘Desperation’ … In February 2016, Ohanian presented the victim with a counterfeit $1.9 … and overdue mortgage payments in order to acquire the property, and to provide …

 
 

The post Most First-Home Shoppers Misunderstand Their Budgets appeared first on theMReport.com

Appraisal Buzz

UWM originated more than $54 billion in mortgages and generated more than … The post Illinois mortgage pros ensnared in alleged fraud scheme …

 
 
   

CBS13 Investigates: Victims Of EDD Fraud

Yahoo News

CBS13 Investigates: Victims Of EDD Fraud … Vance also charged another Trump campaign official, Paul Manafort, with mortgage fraud and more than …

 
 
   

Ohio’s pandemic unemployment hit with $330 million in fraud

Yahoo News

Ohio’s pandemic unemployment hit with $330 million in fraud … another Trump campaign official, Paul Manafort, with mortgage fraud and more than a …

 
 

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Results

Business Wire

BUSINESS WIRE)–PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE: PMT) … Mr. Spector continued, “2020 was a challenging year for mortgage REITs, … the Company’s ability to detect misconduct and fraud; the Company’s ability to …

 
 

NHS vaccine scam warning: Britons targeted by fake email ‘We never ask’

Daily Express

NHS vaccine scam warning: Britons targeted by fake email ‘We never ask’ … Mortgage: Britons will need key form amid cladding scandal [INSIGHT]

 
 

Point Predictive Launches EmployerCheck™ to Give Lenders a Convenient Tool to Assess the …

Collision Repair Magazine

Every US auto lender, mortgage originator, personal finance company, and … In recent months, Point Predictive’s fraud analysts have investigated …

 
 
   

Publix Vaccine Appointments

Yahoo News

… Trump campaign official, Paul Manafort, with mortgage fraud and more than a dozen other … China arrests suspects in fake COVID-19 vaccine ring.

 
 
   

Misinformation and lies ‘very effective’ in making minorities fear COVID-19 vaccine, some …

Yahoo News

Investigative Reporter Katie LaGrone explains how deceptive campaigns are proving to be as difficult to … Vance also charged another Trump campaign official, Paul Manafort, with mortgage fraud and more than a dozen other state …

 
 

Eagle Financial Bancorp, Inc. Announces Change of Bank’s Name

StreetInsider.com

BANK domain is an industry-led cybersecurity initiative providing banks and our customers with protection against fraud and preparing our platforms for the … On average, Eagle has been the 13th largest mortgage lender in Hamilton …

 
 

Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting law passes

Mortgage Business

Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business. … Try my client who had a credit card fraud on his account….the account was opened …

 
 

Lawyer From Hell? Pasadena Attorney Gets 15 Years For Siphoning Client Cash By Falsely …

MyNewsLA.com

In February 2016, Ohanian presented the client with a bogus $1.9 million … Ohanian denied the check was counterfeit and in March 2016 presented the … needed to make payments for back taxes and overdue mortgage payments in …

 
 

New unit and Audi for worker who took $284k from employer

Queensland Times

On 37 occasions over 15 months Gunthorpe fraudulently transferred a total of … of $3000 and $10,000, and put $40,000 of company money into the mortgage, … After the fraud was discovered by an auditor, Gunthorpe, who had kept …

 
 

Mum could lose home after son fleeced her out of £70000 while living rent-free

Metro

… being left unable to pay her mortgage and faced with the prospect of losing her home. Speight forged 23 cheques worth £11,376 while working at his mum’s gift shop Angels Too in Chapel Allerton, Leeds Crown Court heard.

 
  WEB  
 

First American Data & Analytics Launches AppIntelligence Score for Mortgage Fraud – Mann Report

Mann Publications

AI Score is a new fraud pattern-recognition score that enables high-volume lenders and investors to more precisely identify the risk of fraud and early …

 
 

Is this mortgage fraud? : legaladviceofftopic

Reddit

… while the owner lives elsewhere, I’m assuming to get a better rate for the refinance, would that be considered mortgage fraud? Or some kind of fraud …

 
 

Actual property developer amongst 4 individuals charged with mortgage fraud – Division of Justice …

The Real Estate Tv Show

CHICAGO – A federal grand jury has indicted a real estate developer and three other people for allegedly participating in a mortgage fraud program …

 
 

Illinois mortgage professionals ensnared in alleged fraud scheme

DAILY MORTGAGE PRESS

The threat of mortgage fraud has grown significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Using the Consumer Wire Account Verification Service …

 
 

Illinois mortgage pros ensnared in alleged fraud scheme – Lovebylife

Lovebylife

A Chicago-based real estate developer and two mortgage lenders were involved in a mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded banks of at least $ 3 …

 
 

Mortgage Underwriter – REMOTE Job in Kansas City, MO at RemX

ZipRecruiter

Analyzes mortgage loan documentation in order to determine credit worthiness and to detect signs of possible mortgage fraud or money laundering.

 
 

Illinois mortgage pros ensnared in alleged fraud scheme | News Break

News Break

A Chicago-area real estate developer and two mortgage professionals participated in a mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded banks out of at least $3 …

     
 
 

 

 

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