Thursday, September 22, 2011

"They [Wells Fargo] admitted how disorganized they were, that they lost paperwork," Crosby said.

Wells Fargo accused of forging loan documents

Posted: Sep. 22, 2011 | 2:02 a.m.
Updated: Sep. 22, 2011 | 8:27 a.m.
A Las Vegas attorney who represents people facing foreclosure has accused Wells Fargo of forging loan documents. The allegation is the latest sign that efforts to hold mortgage lenders accountable are escalating in Nevada.
In court papers filed this month in Clark County District Court, attorney Dave Crosby alleged bank employees committed forgery and fraud in making a $350,000 loan to a father of four who was unemployed at the time.
"They forged signatures, they backdated documents," Crosby said. "We've got them cold."
Crosby said the bank has presented two deeds of trust for the same property. One bears the signature of Olivia A. Todd, who on Jan. 27, 2010, was identified as an assistant secretary with MERS, Inc., a mortgage servicer from the Phoenix area and a co-defendant in the lawsuit.
But on Feb. 16, 2010, Todd's signature appears on a second deed of trust, where she is identified as the firm's president. Both assignments were notarized as authentic, Crosby said in court papers.
Crosby made his allegations in a request to have a judge review three failed mediations between him and his clients, Ryan and Mical Henderson of Las Vegas, and lawyers with Wells Fargo, formerly Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
Attempts to contact bank attorney Kevin Soderstrom were unsuccessful. Calls to Wells Fargo also went unreturned.
Nevada Foreclosure Mediation rules allow for a judicial review of failed mediations. In Clark County, District Judge Donald Mosley hears all such reviews.
The Legislature created the Foreclosure Mediation Program in 2009 to help thousands of troubled homeowners in the state, considered ground zero of the U.S. housing crisis, where tens of thousands of homes have been abandoned or foreclosed and a staggering 80 percent of homeowners owe significantly more than their homes are worth.
But banks and title insurance companies have not always been able to prove they own the mortgage and have the right to foreclose.
The Henderson case is the latest shot across the bow of mortgage lenders. The Nevada Supreme Court has issued rulings favoring homeowners in several recent cases on appeal. Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is expected to file criminal charges against bank and title company employees, as well as notary publics, over allegations of robo signing.
The term applies to a practice of signing affidavits attesting that bank officials have reviewed documents and found them proper even without making any review.
When the robo-signing scandal erupted last October in Florida, bank employees admitted to signing 10,000 documents a month without knowing whether they are legitimate.
Masto's office declined comment on any plans for criminal action against robo-signers. She has taken an aggressive approach to holding banks accountable, and the Legislature earlier this year enacted new laws regarding robo signing.
Crosby said he suspects robo-signing is widespread in Nevada. One of his cases was the subject of an appeal filed with the state's high court, and he used the lender's own words against it.
Supreme Court justices found in favor of Crosby's client, Moises Leyva, ruling unanimously that lenders have an absolute duty to strictly follow foreclosure mediation rules exactly as written.
More important, the high court ensured lenders couldn't simply provide a sworn statement, often from their own employees, that they were the lender even when they failed to provide a verified copy of the deed of trust.
"They admitted how disorganized they were, that they lost paperwork," Crosby said.
In court papers, Crosby accused Wells Fargo of continuing to play outside the lines. He alleged that a document the bank produced during mediation was backdated and bore a style of notary stamp that didn't exist at the time it was signed. The document is included in the court file.
He also alleged that two documents bore the name of a bank employee and "are notarized by the same notary, (but) both signatures do not belong to the same person."
Crosby wants Mosley to rule that Wells Fargo acted in bad faith, to award sanctions for the "obvious forged, backdated and falsified documents" and to award cash sanctions.
Crosby will ask Mosley to fine Wells Fargo an amount equal to the difference between the loan and the home's current value.
The Supreme Court in its recent decision has made it clear to judges that such sanctions are appropriate when lenders are found to have acted in bad faith. A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 6.
Review-Journal writer Chris Sieroty contributed to this report. Contact Doug McMurdo at or 224-5512.

Comments (30)

Share your thoughts on this story. You are not currently logged in.
You must be registered to comment.Register | Sign in | Terms and Conditions
Some comments may not display immediately due to an automatic filter. These comments will be reviewed within 24 hours. Please do not submit a comment more than once.
Note: Comments made by reporters and editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal are presented with a yellow background.

red.dave wrote on September 22, 2011 05:32 PM:Read You will find that the average person wants to be sure that the payments they are making are to the people/business that can prove they are going to be able to reward they borrower with the property when the final payment is made. If you think you are above the crimes the banks have committed because you make your payment on time, and you are better than the people that are struggling, check your county recorders office documents very closely and you will most likely find you are also a victim.

Ron.Sliter wrote on September 22, 2011 04:51 PM:Ever heard of to little too late! Wells Fargo all along has said everything they have done is perfectly legal. And if you believe that I can lift the Empire State Building and carry it to Las Vegas. This only comes about 4 maybe 6 years too late. Where has everyone been hibernating?

Joe C wrote on September 22, 2011 02:16 PM:@IAmTruth,,,There isn’t an entity in the housing chain from builders, brokers, sales, title companies, some buyers and banks that didn’t have their dirty pig hands in the cookie jar, uncaring of the consequences many knew were coming because of their actions. Although you forgot one entity that is also just as guilty, State governments, governments that seen huge dollar signs from higher property tax revenues. The success of this giant bubble and phony economy was successful because every entity that had any responsibility in ensuring things like this doesn’t happen was dirty and all gorged themselves on the profits including State governments. Now some are trying to cover their butts, like Masto, worried that someone might look their way concerning their failures also.

bill.gates wrote on September 22, 2011 02:14 PM:it is very simple people...dont buy what u cant afford..the use of credit cards and financing something to use when u cant afford to buy it now. I have no credit cards have never financed anything and have no debt at all. every thing I own home, new car and ect I have payd with cash. I'm nor rich by any means but saved the money to buy the things I want and have. no sympathy from me at all for the people that are in the mess they are in now

Mr. Cosmopolitan wrote on September 22, 2011 01:29 PM:There certainly are dumb people on this planet who don't know how to manage their finances ... no doubt about it. But, banks and mortgage companies that routinely qualified folks for twice the mortgage amounts they could really afford also bear responsibility for the current mess.

IAmTruth wrote on September 22, 2011 01:28 PM:What about the realtors that partnered with brokers during the boom and together they would inflate the value of the home and get a major cash out at closing? The homeowner went along with it because they were assured by both the realtor and broker that home values would continue to rise and the homeowner could flip the home within months for a substantial profit. This cash on the back end was in addition to their exorbitant fees. How come these people have never been held accountable to their contribution to the mortgage meltdown? Numerous complaints were made to the mortgage fraud unit run by maesto, but nothing ever came of it. We're talking over seven figures in illegal activity. I guess going after the banks only makes her image improve? That is what she is all about, political gain. God help us if she ever becomes a judge.

Provoke Discussion wrote on September 22, 2011 01:16 PM:Guru, we are in the category you describe. In 2004, we put 30% down and have made over $60k in improvements with cash. We did not do what so many else did; get a 110% mortgage to buy cars, take cruises, and buy vacation homes. We are $114k (growing daily) under water and still make pointless payments. We would love a chance to lower our interest rate, not bail. So much for being responsible. Those of us who pay our debts will be on the hook for the deadbeats and shady lenders.

Raterpillar wrote on September 22, 2011 12:47 PM:Even if it was "robo-signed", does that automaticall relieve people from having to pay? The bank(s) is not the problem, it is people trying to live larger than they could afford and show off too much. This is just another way for this man to lose his house while attorneys line thier pockets.

Guru wrote on September 22, 2011 12:47 PM:Where is the program to reward those who are responsible and paying (not defaulting) on their mortgages? For example, reducing principal in phases IF you pay your loan as agreed. That would have prevented property values from plunging so far and thus would have prevented this ongoing recession. The only programs are for those who don't pay. Idiots.

Guru wrote on September 22, 2011 12:45 PM:Is there ever going to be any help for responsible borrowers who: (A) sought conservative mortgages (<80% LTV), (B) are current on their payments, despite 3) being upside down due to the irresponsible borrowers who received liberal mortgages (100% financing, neg am, no doc etc). Liberal Lending hurt this economy but conservatives are the only ones getting hurt, the only ones who lost money. Did the plaintiffs features in the article lose money or are they continuing to enrich themselves by living for FREE, while their conservative neighbors continue to suffer to further price declines?
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment


If you would like to receive information on how you might avoid the foreclosure of your home, please e-mail me your name, address, and phone number. Someone from our office will be in touch right away to assist you. With Warm Regards, Kelly L. Hansen, HOMEOWNERS HELPING HOMEOWNERS,
Be happy, healthy and prosperous, but most of all, be blessed.
Kelly L. Hansen's photo.

Kelly L. Hansen

Jurisdictionary® just click on the link
Make Sure Your Attorney Is Working For You!
Kelly L. Hansen
33605 W. 88th Street
De Soto, KS 66018
913-269-0399 Phone
888-881-2349 Fax