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The suit further argued that “the act of fabricating the assignments is evidence that the MBS Trust did not own the notes and/or the mortgage liens for some assets claimed to be in the pool.”The federal government, states and cities joined the lawsuit under 25 counts of the federal False Claims Act and state-based versions of the law.
All of them bought mortgage-backed securities from banks that never conveyed the mortgages or notes to the trusts.
“I’m really glad I was part of collecting this money for the government, and I’m looking forward to going through discovery and collecting the rest of it,” Szymoniak told Salon.
Was it just cheaper to mock up the documents than to provide the real ones?According to the suit, “A typewritten note on the right hand side of the document states: ‘This Assignment of Mortgage was inadvertently not recorded prior to the Final Judgment of Foreclosure…but is now being recorded to clear title.’”This admission confirms that the mortgage assignment was not made before the closing date of the trust, invalidating ownership.But to this day, the resulting chaos in disentangling ownership harms homeowners trying to sell these properties, as well as those trying to purchase them. To this day, banks foreclose on borrowers using fraudulent mortgage assignments, a legacy of failing to prosecute this conduct and instead letting banks pay a fine to settle it.
This disappoints Szymoniak, who told Salon the owner of these loans is now essentially “whoever lies the most convincingly and whoever gets the benefit of doubt from the judge.” Szymoniak used her share of the settlement to start the Housing Justice Foundation, a non-profit that attempts to raise awareness of the continuing corruption of the nation’s courts and land title system.Along with her legal team (which includes the law firm of Grant & Eisenhoffer, which has recovered more money under the False Claims Act than any firm in the country), Szymoniak can pursue discovery and go to trial against the rest of the named defendants, including HSBC, the Bank of New York Mellon, Deutsche Bank and US Bank.