Journalism in the Public Interest

Read: State Judge Testifies Foreclosure Problems Are ‘Pervasive’

We’ve noted that in many states judges play a key role in determining whether foreclosure cases fly through on the word of the banks or whether they’ll be subjected to fresh scrutiny in light of the foreclosure scandal.

Invited to testify before a House judiciary panel this week, one judge—a justice on New York’s supreme court—said he’s seeing problems in foreclosure cases “on a recurrent basis.”

“Standing has become such a pervasive issue,” wrote Judge H. Dana Winslow in a submitted testimony, “that I frequently use the term ‘presumptive mortgagee in foreclosure’ to describe the Plaintiff Mortgagee” claiming to have the right to enforce the foreclosure.

He noted that in addition to the questionable signatures and notarizations on key documents, parties trying to enforce foreclosures often fail to produce the promissory note (which shows a borrower's obligation to repay the lender), produce the wrong note, or use lost-note affidavits ($), which are documents that claim that the original note is lost and cannot be recovered, though this isn't always true.

The information in the foreclosure documents doesn’t always match title records kept by the County Clerk, he noted. And notes are sometimes assigned to the party trying to foreclose after the foreclosure process has been initiated, which according to some state courts does not confer legal standing.

His proposed solution to untangling the foreclosure mess? “A paradigm change” that focuses on the homeowners’ ability to pay, Winslow testified, and not on “artificial financial requirements” by banks.

Read the testimony for more details.

Inform our investigations: Do you have information or expertise relevant to this story? Help us and journalists around the country by sharing your stories and experiences.

This continues to be good news for those aware of the fraud-closures. You’d have to be deeper in denial and a Fannie Mae vice president to doubt the word of a state supreme court justice. A judge who has no financial interest in the proceedings, one way or the other.
Hope more judges put their foot down and refuse to rubber-stamp unlawful evictions of middle class people who dared to try to use the HAMP program.
The deck was stacked against them and they were shot into a mtg. cannon as fodder for a bank’s bottom line.
Keep up the pressure, We are counting on you.


Dec. 3, 2010, 4:38 p.m.

The Banks are bringing this in to themselves, if they wouldn’t be so greedy and they would implemented the HAMP Program and Implemented correctly they way the were suppose to, all this mess that now the Banks are facing could be avoided if they would honestly tried to help the homeowner, gave people a reasonable affordable payment and save millions of foreclosures nobody would notice that Banks don’t even have the Note to foreclose, All they have to do is modify those loan and save the states and the economy

Still, not even Propublica wants to tackle the “real” problem. What went on over the last almost 30 years was a concerted effort by the money classes to take down the citizenry of this country. In this recent fiasco they recruited people without formal education or any ability to produce things, who could talk and wanted earn a very good living without “heavy lifting” to broker garbage and sell mortgages to workingclass people that were told by them and the media that the bubble would just keep bubbling. Starting in the early 1980’s big businessship paid off the Congress to let them ship our jobs to China to cut labor cost and eliminate trade unions. They had to cover the loss with bubbles. First it was the S&L situation, then the Dot.Com, the the housing boom. Wake up folks, There are no more booms or bubbles, they have stripped the middleclass in this country to the bone, there is nothing left to steal. Big business has to move on now to South America or the Middle East where they can divid and counquer. These Harvard/Yale educatedcriminals chipped away at all regulations so they would face no jail time and gave, with the unique help of the media, created “wedge issues” such as abortion, class warefare, religion, etc, etc, to have the fools that we are fight about,  while they looted this country and have it now on the edge of 3rd World status.  Rollerball is here. Don’t miss the games on your new 3D TV.

Hardly ever hear about foreclosures on current mortgages.  Easiest way to keep the foreclosure monster at bay is to pay your bills. Used to be that folks paid bills, even when it was a stretch for them.  My old man had a miserable time paying off a mortgage with a double digit interest rate while feeding 8 kids, but he did it, he didnt blame the bankers for high interest rates.  He didnt blame the mortgage market for boxing him out of refinance options, he just went to work and paid his bills and if every whiny punk out there did likewise, we’d be much better off.

Hey Toojersey-are you Gov. Chrispy Creme? You sure sound like him,. You comment is interesting, especially when you say your Dad just went to work and paid his bills. That would be just fine if there was work. Just think if your Dad was here today, he’d been taking a 26 hour flight to China to pay his bills and feed 8 kids. Therein lies the answer to your comment. You must be a public servent in Jersey collecting or piling up a big pension and being overpaid to do nothing, say like a cop, a state worker or a politician. You can’t be Gov. Crispy Creme because he’d be stuffing his face at this time of day, or maybe you have an I-pad and can eat and text at the same table. Grow up and smell the coffee. Once you loose your tax supported job, you’ll understand me comment above.

Tatiana Neroni

Dec. 4, 2010, 6:45 p.m.

I am a New York attorney and my firm and I personally defend foreclosure cases, so I speak from experience as to what is happening at least in the courts I practice in.  Unfortunately, a lot of courts continue to be in denial as to the problem of standing and foreclosure frauds.  I keep appearing at settlement conferences where banks adamantly refuse to bring the original of the note, as required by law, and the courts simply disregard that standing problem.  Next, instead of a Plaintiff’s attorney of record fully authorized to settle at a settlement conference, a stand-in counsel appears who knows nothing, has no documents and is not authorized to settle.  I am not surprised any more with assignments that happen after the lawsuit is brought, assignment made through MERS as a nominee.  I have yet to see one authorization for that nominee to act on the original lender’s behalf, or to assign the mortgage down the road, or to bring foreclosure actions.


thank you for stepping up.

what is unfortunate is that these local judges, just like our congress have been bought off by the banks.

Before they were judges, they were prosecutors, insurance defense attorneys, work for banks, or are political hacks that take orders from monied interests. Any lawyer worth his salt wouldn’t be a state court judge unless he or she is just plain lazy.

It is indeed ashame that even Propublica doesn’t want to enter the real fray and expose the corruption up and down in the court system across this nation.

Only Mr. Taibbi from Rollingstone is diving into this mess that was created as planned by big business and right wing nuts working for the monied interests over the past 40 years, inch by inch, mile by mile.

Keep up the good work, all of the enlightened will be praying for you.

Please don’t knock a site that is trying to do a good job…we need more like Pro-Publica.
You are right on target about going back at least 30 years to the incoming Reagan Administration (though Carter started the downhill ball rolling on deregulation) which gave monumental forward motion to starting to, “....crush American labor (organized, middle class) to a world level playing field” so that American corporations would be able to “globalize.”
It’s been downhill for ordinary Americans since then.
We have a thoroughly corrupt nation…especially our “elected” legislators….
But, that’s the story of every “nation” in history in decline…..

@ TooJersey - you might want to read up on the fraud-closure scandal. Taxpayer money was earmarked to incent banks to refi boom-time loans to prevailing rates. The same rates that the vulture speculators now get, on firesale prices that drop the comps for all homes. Including yours.
Millions were told to stop paying for three months to “qualify” for a rework. They did so, and were instantly slammed into fc. Even BOA acknowledged “two tracks” for refi apps, which are specifically prohibited on the HAMP site, @ the Fed.
The sleight of hand, which the banks try to obscure by screaming “no free homes for deadbeats” is the issue.
No-one cares what your dad (or mine) did or did not do. If he was paying double-digit interest that rate was also available as interest on savings. The out-of-skew rates now, with one percent for savers and six, seven or eight percent for boom-time mortgages, is a big part of the disparity.
Millions of borrowers were specifically targeted for this fraud: misled and then ignored by the Fed who is just idly watching an estimated 14 million homes get seized in five years.
The boom buyers’ original home prices helped raise the value of all homes, and about half of that gain is intact (even in the worst-hit bubble cities.) Boom buyers also have shouldered a hugely disproportionate prop tax bill for years, supporting services like schools, fire, library and so on. Those things help keep communities desirable to new buyers, including the one who will someday buy your home.
You might be among the tens of millions of homeowners who bought before the boom and have been enriched thru house appreciation and also property tax infusion to your locality.
That some of these buyer want to pay prevailing mtg. rates, which would cost the taxpayers nothing aside from the small incentive payments, is hardly worth derision or sneering. I for one am tired of carrying my community’s prop tax burden on my back and am eager to get out from under. Even a HAMP rework would leave my loca tax bill intact. Not sure you deserve so much of my money, and it is time for you to ante up.
Oh, and good luck running your city on the paltry tax bills the vulture purchases will generate. The police and teacher layoffs and reduced services you read about every day in the paper are a flavor of what’s ahead. Going to be a bumpy ride…


Dec. 5, 2010, 5:52 p.m.

For toojersey (Yesterday, 4:20 p.m) , You should know that when your father use to pay his Mortgage the money was going to bank that lend him the money got his mortgage paid and that is it, Not in todays financial institutions were they sold and resold the mortgage many times! you don’t eve know who is holding the note, the type of loans they gave to people is not like the one the gave to your father these kind of loans were liar loans and trap loans (interest changes, in the middle of the loans, pre-penalties and so son just to name a few practices ) and on top of that they bought insurance against the borrowers property if it goes to foreclosure, (AIG BAILL OUT) and they got money form the tax payers, plus they catch them doing FRAUD-CLOSURES and there is a lot more… All of this did not happened when You father got his mortgage and pay it, that is the BIG Difference, you should get inform Go see the documentary Movie Inside Job and watch Dylan Ratigan every day on MSNBC learn !


Dec. 5, 2010, 6:05 p.m.

Tatiana Neroni Thanks for your post people should get inform about what is really going onproperty right are being violated by these banksters every day !

Toojersey isn’t looking very hard….

or maybe they are current on their mortgages because they don’t have one…....

wire transfer attached to complaint

look up maria-and-jose-perez-v-bac-home-loans-servicing-lp-recontrust-na on scribd…

You can’t see if you don’t open your eyes.

there is a story like this every few days…

@toojersey.  You should spend more time reading instead of watching “Jerseyshore”.  Pompous windbag.

Nissim Sasson

Dec. 8, 2010, 7:02 p.m.

Toojersey, I think you have it backwards but i will give to time to do some research and learn,  then we can have a reasonable conversation about this
Please get Inform so you can level

your comment about propublica to trubee may be accurate, we do need more sites like this one but I will remind you that propublicas main benefactor is the Sander foundation, aka banksters, Golden West Financial the parent company to World Savings, who sold to Wachovia who sold to Wells Fargo and from what i know is run by many of World savings employees.For over 40 years the Sandlers made a huge business in the interest only loans, stated income loan business and Atlas Investments. Golden West was a part of this fiasco too.


Thank you for that information. I was unaware of the connection. I truly hope that Mr. Steiger isn’t influenced by the people essentially paying his salary like our congress and our judiciary. Unfortunately, upon considering the stories this blog has broken since I have been reading it more or less tries to avoid specifics when it comes to bansters. Propublica has, since my interest, has done an excellent job exposing the corrupt pharma industry, the New Orleans criminal police department but has skirted the courts and the banksters who are the lead players in destroying our economy. Hopefully Mr. Steiger will attempt to put his personal monetary issues in his back pocket and move forward. I know its hard Mr. Steiger, but you can do it.Show us all that you are not a carbon copy of Mr. Obama. IWe know you can do it!  you’re a good person as you work to date clearly shows! Try harder in 2011. Thanks for a great 2010.

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