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Wells Fargo and Florida’s Verified Complaint Rule…Another Wild Day In The Deposition Chair

wells-fargo-bank-foreclosure

First, let’s remember what the purpose of the Florida Supreme Court’s Verified Complaint Rule is:

The primary purposes of this amendment are (1) to provide incentive for the plaintiff to appropriately investigate and verify its ownership of the note or right to enforce the note and ensure that the allegations in the complaint are accurate; (2) to conserve judicial resources that are currently being wasted on inappropriately pleaded ” lost note” counts and inconsistent allegations; (3) to prevent the wasting of judicial resources and harm to defendants resulting from suits brought by plaintiffs not entitled to enforce the note; and (4) to give trial courts greater authority to sanction plaintiffs who make false allegations.

Blah, blah, blah…right?   I mean who really cares…right?   I mean, we’ve got a Recovery to get to….right?   And all these deadbeat homeowners are screwing us all….right? And oh, by the way, we can all just ignore the rules and the law because you haven’t paid a payment….right?

Next, understand that I’m not aware of a single trial court that has ever sanctioned a single plaintiff for failing to comply with the rule., this despite the fact that tens of thousands have been filed and there are undoubtedly countless that should result in sanction.   But let’s focus on the process used by Wells Fargo to try and comply with the Supreme Court Rule.   Now keep in mind yesterday’s deposition about the procedures used in bankruptcy court.   The general defense was, “meh?”, but added in, “We ain’t been doing this bad stuff for years, so ignore it.”   Well, another decade, another shifty affidavit process.   This time, a great deposition from Ice Legal.   Here, listen in:

Q. Let’s take just as an example the —
3 Ms. is one of the homeowner’s that I represent,
4 okay. Are you with me?
5 A. Yes, I’m with you.
6 Q. All right. She has a loan that you
7 have designated as Wells Fargo Bank as the owner?
8 A. As the name to foreclose in, not the
9 owner.
10 Q. Correct. Okay. Now, how do you know
11 that distinction, the owner versus the name to
12 foreclose in?
13 A. I look at our system, per our system it
14 gives us codes, which we need to then plug those
15 codes into the Investor Matrix; that Investor Matrix
16 is what we rely on to give us that information.
17 Q. All right. Then how do you verify that
18 information, if at all?
19 MR. WINSTON: Object to form.
20 THE WITNESS: Again, I take the
21 information from the loan, the codes from the loan,
22 and I plug those codes into our Investor Matrix; and
23 our Investor Matrix gives me what the correct — who
24 the owner and the correct name to foreclose in, and
25 that’s what I rely on.

Q. Okay. So, when you’re reviewing the
2 information as far as who the proper name is for the
3 entity to own the loan and to bring the lawsuit in
4 you’re relying on the information that’s in that
5 computer system, the Investor Matrix?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you ever get a look at the actual
8 loan document itself, the note or the mortgage?
9 MR. WINSTON: Object to form.
10 THE WITNESS: No.
11 BY MR. FLANAGAN: (resumed)
12 Q. How about do you get a look at any
13 documents that actually transfer or assign ownership
14 of any note or mortgage?
15 A. No, I do not look at them, but I don’t
16 need to look at them because I know what our
17 processes are that refer those loans to our
18 attorneys. And I rely that our attorneys do their
19 job and put the information in those complaints
20 accurately and correctly based on the information
21 that was provided to them in our referral process.
22 Q. The Investor Matrix, what’s the general
23 information that’s in that system that you need to
24 look at?

A. In some instances Fanny Mae may own the
2 loan, and Wells Fargo is the servicer, and per the
3 servicing agreements and our Investor Matrix it will
4 show us that, and it will show that the correct name
5 to foreclose in would be Wells Fargo Bank, NA.
6 Q. Is that the only information that’s on
7 that screen when you pull up, are those two entries?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. If that’s what you’re
10 looking on at the computer screen, that it comes up
11 the owner of the loan, when you’re verifying that
12 then you’re assuming that the information on that
13 computer screen is accurate?
14 A. My belief is that information is
15 accurate, because we have a department who maintains
16 that Investor Matrix and accurately reflects the
17 information based upon which loan.
18 Q. Okay. Did you do anything as far as
19 looking for any documents or back up to verify the
20 name of the entity that’s designated as the owner of
21 the loan?
22 MR. WINSTON: Object to form.
23 THE WITNESS: No. Again I rely that
24 that information is accurately input into our
25 Investor Matrix by our department whose job it is.

Q. Okay. And for the name of the entity
5 that’s to be designated to bring the suit, do you do
6 anything to verify or identify the accuracy of that
7 information?
8 MR. WINSTON: Object to the form.
9 THE WITNESS: No. Again, I rely on the
10 information that’s imputed into the Investor Matrix.
11 BY MR. FLANAGAN: (resumed)
12 Q. Okay. So, when you go — the attorney
13 that’s bringing the suit uploads information into
14 the computer program, the portal that they want you
15 to review?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You pull it up — you go into the
18 computer and you pull it up and there is Wells
19 Fargo, NA Bank versus Smith, and you’re looking at
20 that loan just generally, right?
21 A. Yes.

Q. Okay. As far as the ownership of the
12 loan and the name to be designated for the
13 foreclosure you’re simply confirming the information
14 that’s in the Investor Matrix?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You don’t do anything else as far as
17 investigating or confirming the accuracy of that
18 information that’s in the Investor Matrix?
19 A. No, I do not; again I rely on the
20 information that was put in by our department whose
21 job it is to maintain that Investor Matrix.

MR. FLANAGAN: Well, I thought of that,
19 but I am a little confused, so bear with me. I’m
20 older than you are, so you know I confuse easily.
21 First of all maybe I should get more
22 elemental. When you pull up the information on the
23 attorneys portal what comes up, what are you
24 reviewing?
1655 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Suite 500 – West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Ph. 561.682.0905 – Fax. 561.682.1771
Page 47
1 THE WITNESS: I’m reviewing the
2 complaint.
3 BY MR. FLANAGAN: (resumed)
4 Q. Just the two or three page complaint,
5 or are there documents attached with it?
6 A. It’s just the two or three page
7 complaint. No other documents were attached to it,
8 that information was sent to the attorneys and part
9 of our referral process, and there was no need for
10 the attorneys to send it back to us.
11 Q. Okay. So you’re looking at what is
12 intended to be the pleading that is entitled
13 “Complaint,” to be filed in the court?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is the style of the case already there,
16 that is, “The Circuit Court,” here’s the name of the
17 Plaintiff, here’s the name of the defendants?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then it says, “Complaint,” and
20 “comes now the bank…” —
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you review that usually two or
23 three pages, that’s it, right?
24 A. Yeah.

Q. Okay. And I take it you never get a
9 look at a copy of the mortgage that’s attached, or
10 referenced in the complaint, am I correct?
11 A. No I do not get a look at that again.
12 That’s part of our referral process, the original is
13 sent to our attorneys; and I rely that they
14 accurately input that information into the
15 complaint, and there is no need that they send it
16 back to us, when we originally sent it to them.
17 Q. Now, once you verify the information
18 per your computer programs, the Investor Matrix and
19 the other information, is that where you either
20 approve or reject?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And if you accept it have I got
23 that right there, the choices you have, either
24 accept or reject?
25 A. Accept, reject, approve or disapprove.

Q. Okay. Was there ever a time where you
9 actually saw the hard copy of either the note or the
10 mortgage that were attached to any complaint?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And, so, when in your verification
13 process you don’t know if the attorneys attached the
14 actual document that was designated in the
15 complaint, do you?
16 MR. WINSTON: Object to form.
17 THE WITNESS: Could you repeat that?
18 BY MR. FLANAGAN: (resumed)
19 Q. Sure. For example, just as a sample,
20 you could say, “Wells Fargo Bank versus Smith,” and
21 you review and verify the information, and approve
22 it. Okay?
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. Are you with me so far?
25 A. Yes.

Q. But then you don’t know if the attorney
2 actually attached the proper note and mortgage that
3 was identified in that complaint, right?
4 MR. WINSTON: Object to form.
5 THE WITNESS: Attached it to what?
6 BY MR. FLANAGAN: (resumed)
7 Q. To the complaint. When it actually
8 came time to be filed with the court you don’t know
9 if the note and mortgage that’s actually the Smith’s
10 was actually attached to the document that you
11 reviewed?
12 MR. WINSTON: Object to form.
13 THE WITNESS: I personally would not
14 know, but I believe that our referral process was
15 accurate.
16 BY MR. FLANAGAN: (resumed)
17 Q. Yeah. I mean, you’re just relying that
18 somebody down the line at the attorney’s office got
19 the right documents with the right complaint?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. But my point being you didn’t
22 see the final product before it was filed?
23 MR. WINSTON: Object to form.
24 THE WITNESS: No.

MORE ON VERIFICATION

 

4 Comments

  • JamesM says:

    James Flanagan of Ice Legal did a VERY GOOD JOB on that depo.

    Nice the way he did not let her distract and politely brought the focus back to find out exactly what she believes and the source for that information. This sounds obvious but corralling and tying it down in a depo, in an adversarial action, is not easy. Real life is not TV and takes a lot more preparation, care, sill and patience than people realize.

  • HungarianProse says:

    I know this case……still open…the bank is fighting very hard. But the judge ruled the verification was proper.

  • HungarianProse says:

    I am talking about the one with HSBC……just read the whole file yesterday…

  • DolleyMadison says:

    So…I read the entire deposition and for the life of me I cannot see that anything was ever verified! That is some crazy sh#T. I especially love that WF hired a guy studying to an auto mechanic to be a legal documents specialist! It would be hilarious if it were not so diabolical…

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