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LPS, DocX, FNF, CT Corp. served with criminal subpoenas in Michigan

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Criminal investigation into four mortgage servicers

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced today that an Ingham County judge has approved his subpoenas which he intends to execute in his criminal investigation into four mortgage processors including Lender Processing Services (LPS) Inc. (said to be the processor of half of all American mortgages), LPS subsidiary DocX, Fidelity National Financial Inc., and CT Corporation System as a part of the AG’s probe into mortgage documentation practices, namely the robosigning scandal.

Schuette has been a part of the 50 state collaborative effort to investigate mortgage processors and punish any transgressions, but this subpoena does not imply that Michigan is no longer a part of the collaborative effort that is continuing alongside a dozen governmental agencies.

The subpoenas demand documents “regarding the mortgage processing companies’ operations in relation to foreclosure and/or bankruptcy-related document processing” by June 20th, according the the Attorney General office.

“Allegations of forged mortgage documents are very serious and require a thorough investigation. I will continue to work closely with federal and local authorities to find answers on behalf of Michigan homeowners,” Schuette said in a statement.

The AG office also encouraged any current or former mortgage servicing company employees who know of unlawful practices related to mortgage servicing to contact his office and reminded consumers that they do not have to pay their mortgage servicer a fee in order to speak with them about their loan.

More troubles for servicers

News of Michigan’s probe into these servicers follows the FDIC suing LPS for “negligence and breaches of contract for which they are demanding a jury trial to recoup $154.5 million in losses on behalf of Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) of which they are now the receiver.”

Michigan isn’t the only state investigating as California and Illinois announced in May that they too were subpoenaing LPS and California formed a “mortgage fraud strike force” in response to the illegal foreclosures due to robosigned documents that never received human review prior to repossession.

LPS has also had a rough time in Alabama where a judge ordered documents public that LPS had requested remain sealed in a case where “attorney Nick Wooten who is currently suing LPS in several cases on behalf of homeowners, alleging an illegal fee-splitting scheme between default services attorneys using LPS’ platform.”

Times are certainly troubled for these four servicers, especially for LPS as they are the processors of so many mortgages. The final verdict is not yet out on the robosigning debacle, but it appears the government on all levels is now seeking to take action and in this case, Michigan is pushing for criminal charges.

At the time of publication, LPS, FNF and CT Corporation had not responded to our calls. AG is not affiliated with any of the aforementioned companies.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Senka

    June 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    The results of Wall Street’s fraud are numerous FRAUDclosuers, topped with the ignorance that works well for those who committed the biggest financial crime in the history of the world. Nothing will change until the responsible for this scam are prosecuted! We must do that, we should not rest until the truth is out and all those responsible are prosecuted.
    Please send a letter to your Registrar of Deeds – they are the key players vs MERS and they should take a lead in this fight for justice and our future. MA Essex County Register O'Brien is the first in the nation to say NO to fraud, MERS, BofA, robosigning: https://boston67.blog.com/mers-mortgage-securitization-county-recorders/peoples-hero/

    Here is also my open letter to Attorney General Miller – currently the lead negotiator with the Banks: https://boston67.blog.com/state-attorney-generals-vs-banks/

    Also, please visit Home Preservation Network – a site where nation's best foreclosure lawyers, bloggers, homeowners are sharing their knowledge and stories and helping each other: https://www.homepreservationnetwork.com/blog/bloggers/an-open-letter-to-attorney-general-tom-miller

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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