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Intro: "Affirming what anecdotal evidence has suggested about the mortgage crisis, an audit out of San Francisco has found that more than 80% of foreclosures broke some kind of law."

In San Francisco, an audit found that 84 percent of foreclosures broke laws. (photo: Google Images)
In San Francisco, an audit found that 84 percent of foreclosures broke laws. (photo: Google Images)

Audit Reveals 84% of San Francisco Foreclosures Violated Law

By David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov

22 February 12


ffirming what anecdotal evidence has suggested about the mortgage crisis, an audit out of San Francisco has found that more than 80% of foreclosures broke some kind of law.

City officials requested the audit that examined 382 randomly chosen foreclosures that occurred from January 2009 through October 2011. The findings revealed that 84% of the files involved "what appear to be one or more clear violations of law." The violations included not giving homeowners warning that they were in default on their loans (6%), not giving homeowners adequate legal warning their property was being sold (10%), backdating of documents (59%) and transfers of loans by entities that had no business doing so (45%).

Another disturbing discovery related to the Mortgage Electronic Registry System (MERS). In 1995 the bigger banks created MERS as a privately owned electronic system for registering mortgage sales that was supposed to replace local county recording. In the words of the New York Attorney General’s Office, they did so "to allow financial institutions to evade local county recording fees, avoid the hassle and paperwork of publicly recording mortgage transfers, and facilitate the rapid sale and securitization of mortgages." The San Francisco audit found that in 58% of cases, the loan beneficiary listed on the deed of sale was different from the one listed in the MERS database.

Kathleen Engel, a professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, told The New York Times: "If there were any lingering doubts about whether the problems with loan documents in foreclosures were isolated, this study puts the question to rest."

To Learn More:

Foreclosure in California: A Crisis in Compliance (by Aequitas Compliance Solutions) (pdf)

Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures (by Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times)

Massachusetts Sues Big 5 Banks over Illegal Foreclosures (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

California Bill Would Charge Banks $20,000 for Each Foreclosure (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) your social media marketing partner


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+6 # bluepilgrim 2012-02-22 11:40
Silber is all over it:

"The question assumes that "the law" exists in a manner separate and independent from particular actors in our corporatist-aut horitarian system of government -- that "the law" will in some unspecified manner root out wrongdoing and punish it. That particular assumption will reliably be found in fifth-grade civics textbooks. It has no place in discussions conducted by adults about politics in the real world."
+4 # bluepilgrim 2012-02-22 11:43
So James Corbett and Catherine Austin Fitts:

"As a former investment banker and Assistant Secretary of Housing, Catherine Austin Fitts spent years learning how the system really works."

Video is also at
+3 # giraffee2012 2012-02-22 12:12
The "bank(s)" broke "the law" (ran the red light) - got caught - gives back the "loot" and PAYS the PENALITY
+5 # Tippitc 2012-02-22 14:46
It just keeps getting better and better - or should I say rotten!! This whole mess is stinkin' to high heaven - how will the banksters and the g-men explain this away through their gas masks?!
+2 # Dion Giles 2012-02-22 19:12
They've broken the law, and surely a challenge to them through the courts is also a challenge to the courts.

Apart from criminal law, people evicted as a result of illegal foreclosures must have a case for substantial damages against those who actually evicted them (including the bailiffs where they came into it).

Of course none of this would have occurred if the administration was working for Main Street not Wall Street, as it would long ago have outlawed all foreclosures arising from financial distress caused the occupants as a result of Wall Street's malfeasance.
+2 # hkatzman 2012-02-23 09:41
illegal transfers of loans, evading recording fees, wrongly listig the owner of loan...

There are laws that protect the homeowner. Banks merely ignore these important regulations. It would seem to me that these are illegal loans. Not only should the foreclosures be nullified, but illegal loans should also be nullified.

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