Saturday, May 1, 2010


Widespread Assignment / Notary / Foreclosure Fraud- Deposition of David Stern Employee Cheryl Sammons

February 22nd, 2010 · 12 Comments · ForeclosureUncategorized

I’ve been yammering on for months now about how Plaintiff’s law firms are engaging in widespread fraud and misrepresentations as they improperly create and submit documents to courts across the state that purport to support their right to take a homeowner’s home.  This widespread problem has only recently become apparent but attorneys and judges are becoming more aware of the epidemic.  One problem is there have been very few depositions of the robo signers who improperly execute the documents that purport to give a faceless lender the right to proceed in a foreclosure case.  A champion and pioneer of foreclosure defense, Thomas Ice from the Ice Law firm in West Palm cared enough to take a deposition….a great effort for him, but the results are so valuable.  This is totally unsolicited advertising, but if you’re in foreclosure anywhere in Florida and you need an attorney….Put ICE on your short list!
I attach here all 138 pages of a deposition that was taken of Cheryl Sammons.  Ms. Sammons may personally be responsible for more Floridians losing their homes than any other single person in this state.  I say this because, according to her deposition, she has been employed by David Stern’s office for more than 14 years.  David Stern’s office has probably processed more foreclosures in the State of Florida during the 14 year period than any other office.  When Sammons’ depo was taken in 2009, she estimated that Stern’s office employed more than 900 people.  Sammons couldn’t come up with any reliable estimate of how many official documents she signed as an employee, but she estimated that she spent an average of two hours a day signing assignments of mortgage, five days a week and sometimes on the weekend.  Apparently, Stern’s office has several floors and Sammons would just walk from floor to floor where she would be confronted with stacks of documents that she would sign…as you read below, she admits to having no knowledge whatsoever of what she’s signing.
Now keep in mind as you read the complete deposition and the excerpts below that every document she signs is one the document that a judge relies upon to take a home from a consumer.  As the homeowner or consumer is thrown out (based on this document) the order also grants a final judgment for hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars to the nameless, untraceable entity that Ms. Sammons alone says is entitled to collect this money.  Amazingly, in her more than 14 years of dedicated service creating documents to take people’s homes, she’s only been deposed on this matter once.
The formatting here is bad, but struggle through it and read the full deposition.  When you need support for arguments that lenders and their attorneys are engaging in widespread fraud, print this depo out, along with that of Erica Seck Johnson and share it with your judge….read and weep….
How much time do you spend examining each
11    document before you sign them?
12            A.    Very little.
13            Q.    Do you read the document?
14            A.    No.
Right, because we’re
8            specifically talking about my understanding on
9            these is what I do as far as assignments for MERS,
10            and that’s a different capacity than an affidavit
11            or something.
12          Now, the assignments are reviewed by an
13            attorney before they come to me.  I do not review
14            them for errors.  I simply sign them.
23            Q.    I understand.  So is it fair to say that if
24    it’s an assignment you don’t read it, correct?
25            A.    I only make sure it’s from MERS and that Ihave signing authority for that client.
Q.    And then you sign it?      A.    Yes, sir.
Q.    Why does MERS appoint you as a vice
8    president or assistant secretary as opposed to some other
9    thing like a manager or an authorized agent?
10            A.    I don’t know.
11            Q.    Why would MERS give you a title at all?  In
12    other words, why not just give you the authority to sign
13    a mortgage from MERS?
14                  MR. BAKALAR:  Objection.  Are you asking
15            her to speculate?
16                  MR. ICE:  Just if she knows.
17                  THE WITNESS:  I don’t know.
Q.    Down in the jurat I think it calls you a
19    vice president of Amro, correct?
20            A.    Yes, it does.
21            Q.    Are you either of those things?
22            A.    No, I’m not.
23            Q.    Do you have any explanation for that
24    document?
25            A.    Well, this document is obviously incorrect
Q.    Do you have any involvement in the process
9    of creating the assignment of mortgage before it gets to
10    the table where you walk in and sign it?
11            A.    No, sir.
12            Q.    So you wouldn’t be able to comment on how
13    information gets into the assignment, like who is the
14    assignee or assignor?
Q.    Following the date of October 20th, 2008,
23    there is another date where it says, “But effective as of
24    the 4th day of September, 2008?”
25            A.    Uh-huh
Q.    Who puts that date in there?
4            A.    That is typed in by the processor.
5            Q.    Who tells the processor or how does the
6    processor decide what date to put in there?
7            A.    We train them to put in that date.
8            Q.    In your training, what do you tell them to
9    do?
10            A.    To put in the date that the file was
11    referred to us for foreclosure.
Q.    You don’t actually swear to anything that’s
10    in this assignment, correct?
11            A.    Correct.
12            Q.    All you’re doing is acknowledging that you
13    are executing this as an officer of MERS?
14            A.    Correct.
15            Q.    You have no personal knowledge that
16    anything happened with respect to the transfer of this
17    mortgage on September 4th, 2008?
18            A.    No, sir.
19            Q.    No, sir meaning you don’t have any personal
20    knowledge?
21            A.    No, sir, I don’t have any personal
22    knowledge.
Q.    So your firm, the firm you work for, is
23    pursuing a case on behalf of Deutsche Bank against MERS
24    while, at the same time, you are signing an assignment as
25    a MERS officer to help Deutsche Bank win the case againstMERS, correct?
2            A.    Yes.
3            Q.    Do you see any conflict there?
4                  MR. BAKALAR:  Objection.
5                  THE WITNESS:  No
Q.    Does David J. Stern, P.A. have any
8    agreement in writing from MERS waiving that conflict?
9            A.    I don’t know.
There’s no rhyme or reason for
16    what day anybody signs or notarizes for me.  It’s whoever
17    I find.
.    That’s your signature?
4            A.    Yes.
5            Q.    And it’s witnessed by Michelle Camacho
6    again?
7            A.    Yes.
8            Q.    And notarized by Michelle Camacho?
9            A.    Yes.
10            Q.    On December 14th of ‘07?
11            A.    Yes.
12            Q.    Again, she or someone handwrote in those
13    dates, correct?
14            A.    Yes.
15            Q.    And once again, that would be before her
16    commission was ever issued?
17                  MR. BAKALAR:  Objection.  Are you asking
18            her to testify when someone’s notary commission
19            was issued?
20                  MR. ICE:  No.  The question is the date
21            that’s on this assignment predates her commission
22            by a little under three months.
Q.    Do you see that date?
14            A.    Yes.
15            Q.    So, once again, the date of the assignment
16    is prior to the date of filing, correct?
17            A.    Yes.
Do I have to say the same
3            thing on every single assignment?  I’m just
4            asking.  Because I can tell you I don’t remember.
5            I sign a lot.  You’re going to ask me if I think
6            it was backdated.  I’m going to tell you no.  I’m
7            going to tell you I don’t know what the mistake
8            is.  I don’t know if I want to answer the same
9            question every single time.
10                  MS. EVERTZ:  It seems redundant.  Say how
11            many are there.  Same answer as to all.
12                  THE WITNESS:  Right.  I don’t have an
13            explanation for you other than mistake
:               If you will stipulate that all 21
18            of these are executed with a date that is before
19            the notary’s commission was ever issued –
20                 If you just look at the document itself,
21    you will see that the expiration date is more than four
22    years after the execution date.
23            A.    Okay.
24            Q.    Which means that unless they are capable of
25    time travel, they couldn’t have used that stamp that wasn’t going to be issued until after this document was
2    executed?
3            A.    Okay.
4            Q.    Will you stipulate that that’s the case in
5    all 21 of these assignments?
(With a lot of detail, the attorneys for the witness stipulate that many of the 21 documents were executed before the notary’s commission was executed.)
Q.    Would you say because they are all recorded
on the same day and all notarized and witnessed by the
same two people that it’s likely that they were all
executed on the same day?
A.    It’s a possibility.
Q.    Yet the execution dates vary for a whole
year from February of ‘07 all the way to February of ‘08?
A.    Yes.
Q.    Do you have any explanation for that?
A.    No, sir, I don’t.
Q.    Now, this problem of notarizing with stamps
that haven’t been issued yet, that’s been brought to your
attention before this deposition, correct?
A.    Correct.
Q.    But as far as the others, you are aware
11    that this issue had come up about assignments executed
12    with stamps that didn’t exist yet?
13            A.    Correct.
14            Q.    Are all of these notaries still notarizing
15    documents here at David J. Stern, P.A?
16            A.    Yes.
17            Q.    Has the firm done anything to discipline
18    any of these notaries?
19            A.    Discipline, no.
20            Q.    Reprimand?
21            A.    I would not use the word reprimand, no.
Q.    Were you aware of an occasion when David
12    Stern was reprimanded by the Florida Bar for professional
13    misconduct regarding potentially misleading affidavits?
14            A.    Yes.
15            Q.    What is your knowledge about that?
16            A.    My knowledge was that there was a case and
17    there was a Florida Bar reprimand.  That’s all I know.

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