In the wake of the housing bubble’s collapse, foreclosure fraud has become an issue which the RE community knows all too well. In most cases, the culprit is revealed to be an individual or small group, responsible for deceiving innocent homeowners and taking advantage of their unsuspecting victims, who often believes he or she is being helped. This may no longer be the case though, as a recent court ruling has placed the smoking gun in the hands of someone you may not have expected – banking giant Wells Fargo.
Recently, a New York judge ruled that a new piece of evidence will be allowed in the lawsuit between Carlos Mota and Wells Fargo. The piece of evidence – Wells Fargo’s Home Mortgage Foreclosure Attorney Procedure Manual.
Attorney Linda Tirelli’s case alleges that Wells Fargo used the Wells Fargo manual to falsely create evidence of ownership, known as the note, and to show how to proceed with a foreclosure when crucial documents are missing.
According to Wells Fargo, Tirelli is misrepresenting the manual in several ways. In the eyes of Wells Fargo, its foreclosures are legal and customer-focused.
Unfortunately for Wells Fargo, not everyone shares this opinion.
“Wells Fargo can no longer deny having procedures for endorsing notes or provide witnesses who lack knowledge about the procedures, which is what they have consistently done in the past,” Tirelli stated. “The procedure manual is raising a lot of eyebrows and rightfully so.”
You can view and download the manual here:
As part of the judge’s ruling, Wells Fargo must also provide Tirelli a witness to answer questions about the guidebook in a deposition – a decision which could expose this corruption once and for all.
While a final ruling has yet to be made in this case, it would appear that now, more than ever, fraud and corruption truly run rampant in the realm of real estate.
Do you think the practices mentioned in Wells Fargo’s foreclosure manual should be considered fair game, or is the banking giant taking advantage of the people it claims to serve? What are your thoughts?
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