Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mortgage assignments still in the news

For 300 years or so, mortgage assignments were fairly innocuous documents but they have been much in the news lately, both because of the "robo-signing" controversy and because of challenges to MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc.).  Recent stories about both caught my attention.

First was a story from a CBS affiliate in Atlanta on efforts bu local housing activists to have those who robo-signed documents criminally prosecuted.  The segment, available online here, included an interview with our own Essex South Register of Deeds John O'Brien who had this to say:

John O'Brien, Register of Deeds for the Southern Essex District in suburban Boston, has uncovered 38,000 fraudulent documents that have been recorded in his office. O'Brien said an outside audit revealed only 16 percent of the assignments in his registry are legitimate. 

"Totally fraudulent. The signatures are fraudulent and the information in some of the documents are fraudulent and they knew this. The banks knew this and the attorneys who processed this know it," O'Brien said. 

O'Brien found many different robosigners penned the same name.

"I can't look people in the eye and tell them who owns their mortgage because their mortgage has been sold so many times," O'Brien said.

"I am someone doing his job and I suspect the people of your state want your register of deeds to do their job," O'Brien said.  

On the MERS front, a US District Court judge in Oregon granted a motion to dismiss a civil complaint brought by a home owner who sought to have his mortgage declared void because the mortgage was held by MERS while the underlying promissory note had been negotiated to another entity without a traditional assignment of mortgage being involved.  The full decision in the case, Oliver v. Delta Financial Liquidating Trust, is available here

1 comment:

John Braithwaite said...

Register O'Brien is accepting "deeds" which do not meet the requirements for recording a document. These documents are being proffered by "soverign citizens" in attempts to steal property that is not theirs.

O'Brien is taking politically inspired pot shots at banks for submitting documents that are in proper form. Yet he is allowing documents to be filed which do not meet the standards that are required.