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Readers resond: Wells sued over 'blueprint for fraud' foreclosure manual

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Mortgage Professional America | 29 Mar 2014, 12:01 AM Agree 0
This week Wells Fargo has been adding to its collection of comments decrying its behavior. There have certainly been some willing to defend the big bank's right to a presumption of innocence, but there's also plenty of vitriol aimed at its business practices.
  • Mark | | 29 Mar 2014, 12:27 PM Agree 0
    After reading this article, guilty or not, I closed out my WF accounts & went to a local CU. Enough is enough. Much Happier!
  • Del | | 29 Mar 2014, 12:59 PM Agree 0
    Another dumb story and probably untrue. Not that I'm a fan. If this is turns out to be true I gaurantee its stupidity not intentional fraud that caused. DUMB!
  • C Bond | | 29 Mar 2014, 03:52 PM Agree 0
    No big surprise here.. unfortunately my mortgage was sold off to Wells Fargo, and although I make my payments on time, I regularly receive junk mail from them offering me $3,000 to walk away from my house and anytime I call, I am frequently offered opportunities to discuss short sale options etc.. The first question out of their mouths is always "do you intend to keep your house?" Seems to me they are more interested in getting my house rather than my mortgage payments. ( I have lots of equity! ) I wonder if they are still getting government money to cover their paper losses?
  • eric Wellman | | 30 Mar 2014, 12:28 PM Agree 0
    That is not all...Keep digging !
  • Orange County Banker | | 30 Mar 2014, 12:49 PM Agree 0
    There is something to be said about the lack of coverage this is receiving. Anyone in the lending industry will tell you that this is BIG news. However, for an even bigger bank it's just a drop in a very large and extremely profitable bucket. As others have mentioned. They will pay the fine, most of us will only recall this incident if asked and everyone moves on, business as usual. It will continue to be difficult for brokers and smaller lenders to compete with big banks. Our industry has become so overly regulated no one can give you a straight answer on whAt you can and cannot do. Even the CFPB can only issue "guidance" which is followed by a long disclaimer staying that you can still get sued, fined and shut down for following their guidance and they are not to be held liable.

    Wells Fargo will live to see another day.
  • Wm Matz | | 31 Mar 2014, 02:15 PM Agree 0
    I am a 30+ year attorney and broker in CA. I have the details of this directly from the attorney who discovered the manual. I have spoken personally with a WF ex-employee whose job was to cut and paste docs to create missing file docs, just as the manual details.

    But this is just one of countless examples of willful violations by Big Banks that have now shown a widespread pattern of cavalier disregard for all rules, whenever convenient. They have disregarded HAMP, the OCC order, the Federal Reserve order, the Attorneys General Settlement, and now even CA's Homeowners Bill of Rights, among others. In essence the Banks/Wall Street play the odds that very few owners will fight, even where violations are clear. And enforcement by government has been anemic to non-existent. What limited accountability there is has almost always resulted from actions by borrowers' attorneys via persistence in lawsuits. The situation reminds me of the Pinto scandal in the 70's, when Ford decided that it was cheaper to let people die and settle the few lawsuits than to fix the faulty fuel tanks.

    Make no mistake, these are deliberate violations, not mistakes. They result from corporate policies intended to avoid accountability. Numerous insiders from all the Big Banks and related firms have admitted these violations. But when the US Atty General says that he is afraid to prosecute because it might take down the financial system, why should any of them change their practices? Just pay some penalties and make it up by monopolizing home mortgages and overcharging. As much as this is a smoking gun, it is just one among many others. Systemic change is not likely.
  • Lee in CA | | 01 Apr 2014, 03:17 PM Agree 0
    I am going to submit 3 different posts on 3 different aspects to this situation. Here is the first. Without attesting to the integrity or character of Wells Fargo as an institution, Del is not so far off in his perspective.
    Wells purchased tens of thousands of mortgages during the heyday of the mortgage industry. Most of those in "bulk" transactions. So we are not necessarily talking about Wells originated mortgages. Most likely the mortgages "missing" documents were from the files shipped to support the bulk purchase transactions. Due to the sheer volume of mortgages, the files were not "scrubbed" very well to determine missing documentation. And for the most part, unless you need to take some legal action against the borrower, the missing documents are not an issue.
  • Lee in CA | | 01 Apr 2014, 03:42 PM Agree 0
    2nd post - The recreation of missing documents in not a nefarious as it sounds. The documents they are recreating are the documents that the borrower actually did sign. So this is not the creation of damning documents so they can cheat someone out of a house. This is an effort to "complete" a file with the documents that they originator should have delivered with it. If your thinking that the borrower should get "lucky" and not have to pay his mortgage because of missing documents... then consider how you would feel if it was your neighbor that got lucky and your lender had the full file so you lost your home. A technicality should not be a valid reason why one homeowner can ditch his responsibilities and not pay his debt while his neighbor not only has paid, but "has to pay" because his file was complete.
  • Wm Matz | | 01 Apr 2014, 05:31 PM Agree 0
    Sorry, Lee; you don't know what is going on. Many of these documents are created to try to show ownership that does not exist. No one is saying borrowers should get a free house. But borrowers in distress should be able to deal with the true owner of their mortgage. In other cases non-existent documents have be fabricated, e.g. prepayment penalty addendums that borrowers never signed. The bottom line is that WF and other big banks are saying that they should not have to follow the law to take someone's house. There are court procedures for proving the contents of lost documents; WF just can't be bothered.
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