CBS Atlanta (Video Interview)
An official in Massachusetts is cracking down on forged documents by refusing to accept them.
John O’Brien, Register of Deeds for the Southern Essex District in suburban Boston, has uncovered 38,000 fraudulent documents that have been recorded in his office. O’Brien said an outside audit revealed only 16 percent of the assignments in his registry are legitimate.
“Totally fraudulent. The signatures are fraudulent and the information in some of the documents are fraudulent and they knew this. The banks knew this and the attorneys who processed this know it,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien found many different robosigners penned the same name.
“I can’t look people in the eye and tell them who owns their mortgage because their mortgage has been sold so many times,” O’Brien said.
Senka Huskic, of Peabody, MA, doesn’t know who really owns her mortgage. She said Bank of America gave her the runaround when she tried to modify her loan and then tried to foreclose using a phony assignment. Huskic fought it and hasn’t made a mortgage payment in nearly two years.
“I think they’re not coming after me because the banks know I’m ready to sue them for wrongful foreclosure,” Huskic said.
Only the mortgage owner can foreclose and since the bank made such a mess of the paperwork and her mortgage has been resold so many times, no one has been able to show who owns Huskic’s note.
O’Brien said his office no longer accepts assignments completed by known robosigners. He instructed his staff to return them to the bank with an affidavit asking bank officials to swear to their authenticity. O’Brien said no bank has signed the affidavit and returned it.
“I am someone doing his job and I suspect the people of your state want your register of deeds to do their job,” O’Brien said.
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