Reporter Investigating Foreclosure Fraud Finds Out He's A Victim Of Foreclosure Fraud - The Consumerist
Three years ago reporter George Knapp of KLAS-TV purchased a foreclosed-upon house. Or at least he thought he'd purchased the home. As part of his interview with a local lawyer, Knapp gave the attorney his home address to see what, if any, mistakes had been made during the foreclosure and subsequent sale.
Turned out it was a a little more than a mistake. After the attorney quickly discovered an error in the chain of title for the property, Knapp contacted the Nevada Attorney General's office, which confirmed he did not actually own the house because of fake signatures and improper filings.
Thanks to Mystery Reader for this ironic tale. I have been reading a number of books and reports on the subprime meltdown and the foreclosure tsunami, and there is a consistent theme in all of these accounts. For about five or six years, nobody in the financial sector was doing things by the book. It was rampant criminality. Financial institutions large and small, from the world's biggest investment banks all the way down to the smallest mortgage originators, were cheating people, cutting corners, falsifying documents, lying, claiming they believed things they knew were lies, and then lying again in order to blame it all on poor people while expecting the taxpayers to bail them out one way or another. Now the mortgage servicers are lying and cheating so they can foreclose without even proving they own the note, and former subprime lenders have become "mortgage rescue" specialists who take people's money for nothing or steal the title to their homes.
And the rule of thumbs seems to be that you don't go to jail for any of this.