I’ve had several cases recently where elements of fraud or forgery by the banks were presented or proven in court…and the banks and their attorneys “moonwalked away from the crime scene” as we like to say. This means they were able to just shrug their shoulders, or voluntarily dismiss the case and suffer no consequence.
We all know…if you or I or a normal person presented obviously forged documents to the court…there would be stiff and severe consequences. And there should be.
But let me run through a few of these cases and you’ll see how there is no consequence for the banks.
CitiBank And The Case of The Forged Note
One copy of note, with allonges attached to the complaint. The “original” note filed at trial is obviously and markedly different. On the day of trial, the attorney waited to find out if I caught this…and was prepared to walk through a Final Judgment based on these forgeries. I knew, he shrugged his shoulders and dismissed the case. No penalty. The kicker about this one is this is the 3rd time they have tried to use this forged note. No penalty times 3!
PennyMac And The Case of The Forged Borrower Signature on Note
Months before trial, my client presents the documents she signed at closing…and then shows me how the bank’s “original” note was obviously different. At trial, we presented an expert who testified, “you don’t need to be an expert here…you can see this is a very poor attempt to trace over a signature”. We presented the attorney who closed the loan, with his closing file. “Judge, here is my original closing file…and this note they are trying to use is not part of the closing..” And finally we presented the client who had her original closing paperwork. “Judge, here is my file with all my documents…that note they are showing you as an original is a forgery.” You’d think with all that it would be a clear dismissal at least…right? Well, a senior judge couldn’t care less about the fraud and forgery…he just granted them a judgment. A judgment that was reversed by the appellate court.
AMP Lending And The Case of The Forged Letter
The bank’s lawyers present the evidence they will use at trial before the trial. We knew we were in good shape because they did not send the default letter to the correct address. Then, as the moment at trial developed…they introduced a new and completely different default letter…WITH THE CORRECT ADDRESS REMARKABLY INCLUDED! How did they do this? An obvious and very sloppy bit of digital document production:
JPMorgan And The Fake Original Note
John Smith could barely contain his fury as he walked from the St. Petersburg courtroom in late July after Judge Karl Grube for the second time in five months set a date to sell his family home. “How can this happen? He didn’t even listen to you. This is a total fraud!” the 12-year police officer fumed as he paced around Weidner, his lawyer, in the courthouse hallway while his wife sat rigidly behind sunglasses on a nearby bench and his two small kids’ wide eyes took in the scene. “I could go in and arrest that lawyer. I can call the economic crimes unit right now,” he said, brandishing his cell phone.
And what’s the penalty for all this? In each of these cases? Nothing. Why? The short answer is the courts have simply turned a blind eye to all of this and are completely unwilling to allow any consequence to be placed upon the banks and their lawyers. Why? Because we live in a country where the Rule of Law is applied quite differently to banks and institutions.
And the worst part is…this is very much only the beginning..it’s going to get much, much worse.