Through the years our experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorneys have come to understand the often underhanded efforts used by lenders when seeking to take back a property from a distressed homeowner. Unfortunately, our Chicago foreclosure lawyers know that some banks are willing to engage in unsavory, aggressive, and even illegal conduct on occasion if it suits their bottom line. It is important for families facing these irresponsible lenders to stand up to these practices and protect their rights as homeowners. Banks often engage in these practices so long as they are not called out on it. It is only when they are pressed that the dishonesty abates.
For example, last week news broke of new allegations from a mortgage foreclosure case that accuses mega-lender Wells Fargo of forging loan documents to expedite foreclosure proceedings. The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently covered the situation, explaining how the claims were the latest effort on the part of a foreclosure defense attorney to hold mortgage lenders accountable for their often-illegal practices.
This particular suit stems from forged signatures and backdated documents involved in a $350,000 loan to an area man. There are two different deeds of trust involving the property at issue in the case. The first deed, dated from January of 2010, bears the signature of a bank employee identified as the assistant secretary of the mortgage servicer. However on the second deed from less than a month later the same employee’s signature is present, this time identified as the firm’s president. Both assignments were notarized as authentic. In addition, the attorney alleges that the bank back-dated a document and used a notary stamp that was not even in existence at the time of the signature.
These latest allegations were made to a judge to review three failed mediations between the homeowners and Well Fargo, the lending company. The mediation was conducted pursuant to legislation in that state which sought to help the thousands of homeowners struggling following the nationwide housing crisis. Of course as part of the mediation process—and all foreclosure proceedings—the banks must prove that they actually own the mortgages and therefore have a right to foreclosure. Yet, many banks failed to follow the law when securing these mortgages. In an effort to cover up for those mistakes they often avoid efforts to prove their ownership rights. In some cases, like that alleged in this case, banks are willing to forge documents and otherwise break the law in order to correct their previous errors.
Those familiar with this case explain that the state’s Attorney General is expected to file criminal charges against the bank, title company employees, and notary public involved in these forgeries. This is an aggressive, but necessary step to ensure that the laws as they relate to foreclosures are followed. Banks, title companies, and others companies in the process are not above the law.
The Chicago foreclosure attorneys at the Emerson Law Firm are proud to stand with homeowners who are fighting these bank practices. Unfortunately, many local families are still under the impression that they have no defensive options when up against banks during foreclosure. This is not true. All those facing foreclosure should take the time to visit with a professional, explain their situation, and learn what options may be available to reach a satisfactory outcome.
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