19 May 2011

Here Is a Shocker

The Registrar of Deeds for Guilford County, North Carolina, Greensboro and environs, after hearing horror stories about fraudulent loans, decided to go through his own deeds, and went through all the deeds transferred from 2006 to 2010.

The results? That in a cursory examination, well over half of the deeds were in some manner fraudulent:
But Jeff Thigpen, the register of deeds in Guilford County, North Carolina, a county of about 465,000 in the center of the state (the largest city is Greensboro), decided to survey all the mortgage documents submitted to his office by DocX, a notorious "mortgage mill" that processes documents on behalf of lenders, between August 2006 and April 2010. He was inspired by a 60 Minutes investigation revealing numerous forgeries, backdating, and other false information on mortgage documents. "When I saw that [story], I was basically on fire," Thigpen says. "'I know this material is in my office, I've got to find it, I've got to get it out.'"

Out of the 6,100 documents Thigpen examined, 4,500 showed signature irregularities. The name of one DocX employee, Linda Green, who was acting as a vice president for several major banks, was forged 15 different ways on the Guilford County documents, rendering them invalid. Thigpen's investigation was one of the first systematic assessments of mortgage document fraud in the entire country, certainly more robust than anything conducted by state and federal regulators.
Thigpen, as well as his Essex County equivalent John O'Brien, have been making as much of a stink as they can about this, they have asked the Iowa Attorney General, Tom Miller, to hold off on his proposed national settlement pending a real investigation. (some older posts here)

That would be the right thing to do, of course, but considering the fact that Miller is angling for some sort of position in the Obama administration, and the Obama administration is as interested in pursuing the banks for wrong doing as they are in pursuing Dick Cheney for outing a CIA agent, I don't expect that there will ever be a meaningful investigation of Bankster wrongdoing.


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