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Foreclosure Defense Florida

A Big Fat Steaming Pile of Bogus Assignments– Look out for HSBC Bank!

I’ve been at this practice of law thing for a very long time now.   One thing that was made very clear to me from the moment I ever thought of stepping foot in the courtroom was that you never…ever lie.   Now that’s not a problem for me or most attorneys because not lying to the court is wrapped right up there tightly with the respect I and most attorneys have for judges and the court.

Foreclosure Fraud- Total Disregard For Courts, Judges And The Rule of Law

The lack of respect for the court and for our system of laws is one of the things that makes me just furious about the Foreclosure Fraud Fight many of us are currently engaged in.   So our system of laws and respect for judges and the courts has broken down so badly that the Supreme Court has to pass a rule, requiring parties to specifically swear to the truthfulness of what they’re filing….oh and even after the rule is passed, the lying wrongdoers just ignore the Rule…and there apparently aren’t any consequences…..anyway, I digress…it’s just that I’m blown away that the fraud and lying has become so widespread.

An Average Joe With a Bombshell Set of Documents

So with that as the backstory, let me get to the heart of this stinking story. Into my office today walks a regular Joe.   Not an attorney or someone with any legal training, but a bright guy with a head on his shoulders who just happened to be getting foreclosed on by HSBC.   He thought that was strange because he never borrowed any money from HSBC and didn’t know who they were.   He didn’t just roll over when they sued him, he demanded they show him proof that they were entitled to sue him, so they filed an Assignment of Mortgage. Hang with me here because now’s when the story gets good.   The Assignment of Mortgage that allegedly gave HSBC the legal right to sue him looked suspicious to Joe so he started calling around….he called HSBC.

Turns out the woman who signed the Assignment of Mortgage which purported to give HSBC the right to sue him was signed by…….an employee of HSBC, Michelle Ragland.   Not only that, but the witnesses and Notary Public…all of them are employees of HSBC.   So just so we’re clear here…HSBC executed the document they later submitted to the court which they claim gives them the right to sue my client. Now this would be bad enough if it happened just once, but as he started digging around in courthouses across the country he started finding more and more such questionable assignments.

I’ve attached a sampling of these questionable assignments here…look closely at each of them.   Michele Ragland, Jamie Giglio, Christopher Ribbeck.   Scroll through each of the Assignments and look at the names, look how they switch from witnesses to Vice President. Compare each of the alleged signatures against one another….don’t they appear different?   Next look at the names these questionable assignments are being executed on behalf of….Wilmington Finance, Accredited Home Lenders, Decision One Mortgage, Ameritrust Mortgage…..who knows who actually holds the note in each of these cases, my guess is they just pulled the name off the mortgage and just popped that into the old word processor.

And look who else is part of this whole questionable party…..our old friend MERS.

  1. I wonder whether any of the lenders on whose behalf these mortgages were allegedly assigned actually granted the signers the power to assign these mortgages?
  2. I wonder whether MERS granted these signers the authority to sign these documents?
  3. I wonder whether the Federal Bankruptcy Trustee granted authority for these signers to transfer bankruptcy estate property for those lenders that were in bankruptcy when these alleged transfers occurred?
  4. I wonder just how many more assignments there are like this out there floating around?
  5. I wonder how many families have already lost their homes or who will lose their homes based on Assignments that are so questionable on their face? (I mean, the documents say, “Prepared by HSBC” on their face…isn’t that enough to make anyone say…..HOLD IT!”)

Anyway, for all you out there who are being sued by HSBC….take a close look at your assignments….for all you attorneys out there….pull through your files and have a close look.   For all you pro se advocates out there…let this be an example of the game changing, bombshell work that you can do and the massive contributions you can make to the fight against Foreclosure Fraud. Keep digging, Keep Fighting.

And for you Average Joe….please respond to this post so that others can do the same work you did and forward these questionable assignments to you.   Great work…maybe the ball you’ve started rolling will end up like the federal investigation of the Lender Processing Services!


  • dormanmom says:

    Isn’t it nice that Michelle Ragland even notes at the bottom she’s prepared it and who she works for (and I have only seen the first assingment so far).

    This is so common, not only with HSBC.

  • I can’t believe we haven’t seen a class action yet.

  • Dave L says:

    Speaking of bogus signatures….here is a nice collection. Is there not an authoritative body that can investigate this? It’s so blatant….

  • Matt,

    This is almost the same way Chase does it. They have the foreclosure mill prepare the assignment then have one of their employees sign it as a MERS VP.

    I was able to obtain one of their phone numbers at JPMorgan so I called. Her voice mail announced her as a “Document Executor”

    All the witnesses, VP, Assistant Secretary and notary’s on these documents all work for Chase.

    Here are some of their names off the top of my head..

    Shelly is my favorite “Thieven”

    Barbara Hindman
    Shelly Thieven
    Whitney Cook
    Beth Cotrell
    Christina Trowbridge
    Cindy Smith
    Stacy Spohn


    • Miguel says:

      I have a case involving an assignment of mortgage from Chase bank USA to Chase Home Finance supposedly signed by Cindy A. Smith, Assistant Secretary for Chase bank. Do you have any assignments signed by Cindy Smith that you could email, or point me to before her depo?

  • myhousenotyours says:

    I’m the ” average Joe” that Matt Weidner is referring too.
    I would like to appeal to anyone out there that has more copies of these ” questionable assignments” to PLEASE email me a copy of them to: so we can compile more ammo for our case. We are going to fight them and expose this corrupt practice, so please email your assignments. For those of you who are unsure how to find your assignment of mortgage, go to your County Court House (online or in person) and visit the Clerk of the Court. They have the assignments filed there; you may just be shocked at what you find out!

    • nikkiL says:

      In March 2009 my husband and I applied for the hardship program due to him being laid of from General Motors. When we contacted HSBC we were actually told it was not “worth our time” because it would take 3-6 months for the paperwork to be reviewed. We said it didn’t matter because at that time he had already been laid off 4 different weeks and in March was being laid off indefinitely.

      Reluctantly the woman on the other end said okay, we will send the papers out. At that point were never told that we couldn’t receive help because of us being in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and that’s why our lawyer suggested we apply for the hardship due to the impending layoff. However, the papers never came so my lawyer, Diane Sekerak Stevens, told me to call again and ask for the paper work, which I did. We never received them until May 2009. In between that time I tried making a payment only to be told that they wouldn’t accept it and that I should call their lawyer.

      On June 19 2009 I over-nighted all the paper work to HSBC. I have the person’s signature, the date and the time of which the information was received. We never heard anything back from HSBC about the hardship, nor did our lawyer. I was told to call them once again and see what was going on and was told that they never received the papers. I called my lawyer and she told me to forward them to her and she then would forward them to HSBC attorneys, which she did. None of us ever heard back from them until October when they said I owed $7000 and needed to pay that in 10 days or they would start foreclosure proceeding.

      Once again I called and tried to talk to someone and make a payment only to be told that they couldn’t take the money and I needed to contact their attorney. I also asked about the hardship program and they told me they had no record of us applying so again I told them to send the paper work. They told me to contact Novadebt/, which we did. Novadebt contacted them; we did a three way call. The lady at HSBC told them yes we could do the hardship and we needed the paperwork done, so we told them to send it out, they never did…that was attempt number 3.

      Present day…we still know nothing about our home.

      Our attorney had tried several times to contact their lawyer and nobody calls her back (this is of March 3, 2010). We were discharged form our bankruptcy in January 2010 and have just received our very 1st billing statement form HSBC on February 22, 2010 (which is was due by March 16, 2010 in the amount of $16, 424). We have had HSBC since 2003 and have NEVER received any paperwork or anything when they became our bank other than a booklet with the account number and a phone number for them. They purchased our loan from another bank which is how they became our present Mortgagee. We didn’t even know the actual balance on our home until this year when we received this current billing statement. When they purchased our loan they also omitted my name off of the loan for whatever reason and also come to find out someone put my husband’s name on our deed. It was land owned by me and only had my name on it since before us building our house. They raised our interest rate three times, which we were told that they could not due while we were in a bankruptcy. Our payment started at $937 and ended up at $1335]. They also didn’t apply our payments to our loan 4+times and then would call us saying that we never made a payment and were default when in fact the had withdrawn the money from our account and never applied it to our mortgage, they did this so often that when we would make our monthly sometimes the payment was around $900, when it should have been $1335. Almost like someone wasn’t calculating correctly.

      Our interest rate hadn’t changed and we only made the monthly minimum payment the months before, so how on earth could it have went down that far?….”oh” they would say, as if to be surprised, and low and behold they were holding the money elsewhere, for whatever reason, but never crediting full payments to our account…makes zero sense why they would do that, because we never knew anything about an escrow account, because during this time our taxes or insurance were not paid through them. We paid for that separately. (This is why I have never MAILED a payment fearing that they would say they never received it.)

      On March 3, 2010, after talking to my attorney I called to see what was going on. I talked to three different people all of who gave me different information each time. I was told that unless I make the full $16,000 payment they would not accept anything from us. The 3rd person that I talked to actually said there was no record at all of us ever trying to apply for a hardship in 2009, which as I said before was actually 3 times, and you will be our 5th. She went on to say that they can only go by this year’s pay/income, not last years. If that is the case, then they will clearly deny us because of my husband not getting laid off until the week of March 1 and the week of March 8.

      As of 4-27-2010 we found out through the local newspaper that HSBC had filed foreclosure proceedings on our property as Household Realty Corporation on 4-23-2010…no clue who that is, because according to my current statement it’s HSBC Mortgage Services NOT Household Realty Corp. We only knew that HSBC became our current lender because they sent us a 5×7 booklet in the mail with their name/logo, payment address, email address, and phone number along with our account number.

      There have also been major discrepancies as far as to what and how much our payments should be. Because to our payment was $937 and went to $1335 and back down to $1114 (which is what it is now) this all happened in the last 5 years. Our payment fluctuates every month and from April 2007 to March 2009 we paid well over $40,000.

      Now if you add all this up since they have become our lender, even when we were paying $937 and then $1335 (those amounts went up $400 in ONE month), to present we have paid approx. $86,000.

      The loan that HSBC purchased was, according to my paperwork from Regions Bank, which granted could be incorrect but even so, if we have been paying all that kind of money our loan would technically be in the 60’s without the fact of interest and finance charges, of course…..BUT it does make a person go Hmmm…AND we never got extra money…so if in fact the account that is closed and paid on my credit report is Regions Bank dba American Home Mortgage, that loan balance was only at $143,100…how is it now that I have paid $86,000 to HSBC and my balance is now $143,600?

      Oh and yes, we do have an arm loan with an APR of 11% but to our understanding the APR laws of ARM loans can only go up 1 point or down 1 point every 6 months. I would have to say that $400 is more than 1 point in less than two years; how is that?

      On Saturday May 2, 2010, I received my “certified” letters from HSBC.

      As I looked through the paperwork, on the next to last page it states: “Corporate Assignment of Mortgage, Sellers Servicing Number: Ludwig, Date of Assignment: February 18, 2010, Assignor: MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC AS NOMINEE FOR REGIONS BANK “IT’S SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS” AT 1595 SPRING HILL ROAD STE 310 VIENNA VA 22182,

      Assignee: Household Realty Corporation at 2929 Walden ave Depew NY 14013 Executed by Matthew Ludwin (note the N should be a G) and Susan Nicole Ludwig, husband and wife, for their joint lives, remainder to the survivor of them To: MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC AS NOMINEE FOR REGIONS BANK”.

      It goes on to say they had our loan and they are assigning the mortgage to Household realty Corp, the said Note having an original principal sum of $152,100 (None of these totals match up and we NEVER this paper…it is signed by someone name Christopher Ribbeck, Vice-President, VICE PRESIDENT OF WHAT?

      …FUNNY thing is that in my original loan docs from REGIONS bank I have a paper called RESPA…it states that they had at that time (when we refinanced 2003) full intention on selling our loan. However, it didn’t state to whom. AND it also says that we have to be notified 15 days prior to 15 days after the initial sell/transfer of our mortgage…

      GUESS WHAT???

      We have nothing except the aforementioned booklet by HSBC. And this new one with MERS we didn’t know UNTIL we opened our certified letters for the foreclosure.

      What the heck is going on here?

      I have called the Jim Johnston at the Attorney General’s office, our State Representative Charlie Wilson, and Save the Dream Ohio and they in turn have told me to contact ESOP and NDS from Ravenna; which I am currently doing. I am also in contact with Community Action; all of which was suggested to do by our attorney.

      We don’t want to not make a payment nor do we want to lose our home (I am the 3rd generation to own this land). We just need someone to help us. Something isn’t right and something truly needs to be done.

      i received this email yesterday from ESOP regarding my loan modification:
      “Hi Nikki! Unfortunately the lender has stated that they are unwilling to do a loan modification. At this time, they have advised me to tell you to call this number and set up payment arrangements. The number is: 800-958-2540. The lender has stated that by looking at your budget, you can afford the mortgage.”
      SOOO… i called the lender tonite(5-21-10) around 8ish…a lady name Jana proceeded to tell me that the only payment plan they will offer will require us to pay $9,377.08, which by the way is half of what we are behind. And then and only then will they decide if we can have a payment plan of regular payments. I told her that I don’t have that kind of money and she told me to borrow it. I also told her that if they would have worked with us last year I wouldn’t b talking to her on the phone right now. She said she can’t talk about the past bc she doesn’t know anything about that( basically insinuating that I am lying) and said that all she can do is talk about the future. She said I am not going to argue with u over this. This is how it is and that’s it. Then she mentioned putting my home on the market or DIL or short sale and I said u would rather take my home than work with us? It makes zero sense! She just kept reiterating what she was saying about the “down payment”. I don’t know what to do. She told me that i have only 15 days to respond. This isn’t right. I’m really upset. I have nobody to ask that kind of money from. My dad is 73 years old and works at wal-mart for gods sake so he can’t help us.
      Does anyone understand how hard this was to do with a knot in the throat and fighting back tears?
      as i stated before…i am default 14 months in my house payments, HOWEVER, i TRIED to make (3) payments only for them to deny and that was in the begining last year, which would have been a minimal amount that i would have to pay. i then tried again in march of this year to make a payment only to once again be denied…oh but there’s NO record of that and this lady is saying i don’t know anything about the past. she kept bringing up thye fact that we were in bankruptcy and that THEY(HSBC) do not have to contact me or give me info EVEN if i call them, however my bankruptcy lawyer called their attorney and still NOTHING, as they have NEVER called her back or given her an answer to anything!SO, what is it exactly we were/are supposed to do if nobody was talking? ….oh and she(the lady at HFC/Beneficial) once again told me that my signature is NOWHERE in the mortgage docs. i had to have my husband give them permission to speak with me, as he has to do every time. we have also faxed an authorization form to give me permanent access to the account, only for them to say there isn’t one on file….GRRRR…why are the allowed to lie and say these things?

      i also asked her when i called the above number,why it comes up HFC/Beneficial, because HSBC is our bank…her response was because HSBC OWNS HFC/Beneficial…uh still doesn’t make sense because i have never made a payment to them(HFC) AND in the foreclosure it states “Household Realty Corporation” and at the county recorders office online it says “REGIONS BANK /MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC” what is up with this?

      oh and one last thing…i was looking over my loan papers again from REGIONS bank and low and behold there is a paper that says they sold/transferred our loan to equifirst corp. the SAME day that we signed the loan -oct 21-2003…we have never made any payments to equifirst…my lawyer says we can’t have cake and eat it too, AND we’re not saying that we aren’t going to make payments, but someone needs to firgure out our loan and make it right before i pay another dime.

  • Leanne says:

    We’re going through hell with HSBC now trying to get our loan modified, and looking back….why AM I paying HSBC? My loan, of record, is to MERS, Inc. as nominee for Wilmington Finance.

    I’m wondering if this is something to look into.

  • Debra says:

    Matt and myhousenotyours, this blog is an excellent source of information about HSBC. I joined this blog today and posted the story of my fight to save my home in the biography section under my name.

    As I have yet to be foreclosed upon, my county recorder’s office still shows MERS as the mortgagor. No assignments have ever been filed. If/when an assignment is filed, I will post the information here.

    Thank you for this informative site.

  • alliegirl2 says:

    I guess it wouldn’t surprise anyone that the CEO of HSBC earned $2.5 million in 2009….

  • RodgerD says:

    Hi, I’m down to the wire.. foreclosure sale is set for next Monday July 12.. Note was signed First NLC Financial… now Bankrupt… and complaint is from HSBC.. I looked at my Assignment and yes.. it is backdated after the complaint was filed.. and yes.. it was prepared by Shelene Strauss Vice-President.. HSBC Mortgage services…as Nominee for First NLC FINANCIAL… If there is a class action… sign me up…

  • Douglas Jones, Esq. says:

    I have another document signed by Ribbeck as VP of MERS as nominee for Wilmington Finance, Inc. If you give me your e-mail address, I’m happy to send it to you.

  • Beth A. says:

    HSBC never bothered to file an assignment – ever – but after alerting the servicer I knew all…including the fraud in the original mortgage applications – mortgage foreclosure was cancelled about a week before the sale date (verbally via a phone call in a non-judicial state – no printed notice in paper of cancellation as required).

    Since then servicer has been desperate to get us to fill out modification forms. Curious, since most people can’t get their modifications processed. Of course – they are anxious to have us sign new paperwork to sign our rights away and void the fraudulent paperwork. Won’t happen…they keep on us – but we aren’t about to sign away our rights. They’ve committed fraud at every level and they need to face the music — its shameful that AG Holder and all of our corrupt lawmakers are trying to brush all of the criminal activity under the proverbial rug…at the expense of the good people of the USA.

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