Is Wells Fargo’s Manual a Blueprint for Foreclosure Fraud?

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A lawsuit filed by a New York homeowner facing foreclosure has brought to light a 150-page manual created by Wells Fargo instructing Wells Fargo attorneys how to process foreclosures when there are missing documents and specifically when an endorsement is missing. The endorsement is a key document that the lender must have to prove they own the mortgage before they can foreclose on a homeowner.

The manual, titled “Foreclosure Attorney Procedures” (for internal use only) was introduced as evidence in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y. last week.

Attorney Linda Tirelli, who filed the lawsuit calls the Wells Fargo manual “a blueprint for fraud”. She, other attorneys, forensic auditors and consumers have long suspected banks were systemically creating improper documents to prove ownership of loans by producing “manufactured documents”. A number of Tirelli’s cases involved mortgage notes that weren’t endorsed by anyone. After the bank was made aware of the blank mortgage note, the bank would “magically” produce the document. Tirelli and other attorneys began calling the paperwork “ta-da” documents.

We all remember “manufactured” documents were introduced several years ago and called “robo-signing”. In 2010, it was revealed the banks were routinely using affidavits signed by employees who signed thousands each month without reviewing and ascertaining the facts to be true (employees averaged 30 seconds per affidavit). Those charges led to a $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) that was supposed to have put a stop to the abusive practices of the five largest banks; Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Ally/GMAC, CITI and Bank of America.

This Wells Fargo manual outlines steps to obtain missing documents after the bank has initiated foreclosure proceedings. There are explicit instructions what their lawyers must do when there is a lost or missing affidavit or if there is no documentation showing who owned the loan. (The bank should have that paperwork already in their files.)

On page 17, Step 3 of the “Foreclosure Attorney Procedures” Manual (for internal use only), there are step-by-step instructions for the Wells Fargo “Default Docs Team” if a blank endorsement is in a file, and the attorney wants that note executed. The manual outlines steps for the attorneys and Default Docs Team to CREATE endorsements to a note on a separate sheet of paper called an Allonge. (An Allonge is an attached, separate paper(s) documenting endorsements, normally arising from a lack of space on a form.)

State Attorneys have been regularly receiving complaints from homeowners that Wells Fargo and Bank of America refused to allow the homeowner to submit missing documentation, and failed to respond to requests to have their mortgage balance or interest rates reduced within the 30 days allotted in the settlement.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Vickee Adams said the pages (from the manual) provided to Wells Fargo appear legitimate, but the bank has not “reviewed the complete document or every line of the section provided to confirm its authenticity entirely.”

The Wells Fargo manual may just be the smoking gun that the systematic document fabrication is still going on.

If you are in foreclosure, or facing foreclosure, you need a good foreclosure defense attorney. Keith Gantenbein Jr. is an experienced foreclosure defense attorney located in Denver, Colorado.

Keith A. Gantenbein, Jr. is a licensed, Colorado foreclosure defense attorney and real estate attorney located in Denver and servicing all of Colorado. His foreclosure defense practice includes foreclosure prevention, judicial foreclosure, HOA foreclosures, foreclosure assistance, loan modifications, short sales, and all other foreclosure defense legal assistance. He also defends homeowners against HOA claims in HOA lawsuits, handles real estate closings, title issues, lien issues, quiet title, real estate contracts, bankruptcies, mortgage negotiations, lender liability, real estate, civil litigation, contracts and landlord/tenant.

If you think you will be facing foreclosure, or are in the foreclosure process, or have had a wrongful foreclosure, contact Keith Gantenbein at (303) 618-2122 for a one-hour consultation where he will discuss your situation and go over all your options with you.

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