As the years have gone by, Miami foreclosure defense lawyers and attorneys throughout the nation have been able to show judges that the tactics used by banks and their associates to take away people’s homes — whether underwater on the mortgage or not — are immoral and don’t justify a foreclosure.
Now, authorities are finally beginning to come around to the fact that the actions of these banks may also be criminal. A grand jury in Missouri recently indicted a foreclosure service company of forgery, The New York Times reports.
The number of Miami foreclosures haven’t dropped significantly, and analysts believe there may be a new wave of cases from homeowners who have been trying to get by, but who are teetering perilously close to losing their homes. For many of these people, they owe more than what their homes are worth, forcing them to let the house go into foreclosure as a form of strategic default.
In Missouri, DocX, one of the largest companies that worked on foreclosures on behalf of lenders nationwide was indicted by a grand jury on charges of forgery, which is now one of the few cases where prosecutors have brought criminal actions against companies and officials involved in foreclosures. Late last year, Las Vegas officials charged two people running a mortgage servicer company in connection with alleged robo-signing activities.
The Missouri indictment alleges 136 counts of forgery in preparing documents that were used to evict borrowers who were behind on payments from their homes. The company’s founder and former president faces the same charges as the company.
The business, whose parent company is based in Jacksonville, notarized and executed millions of mortgage documents for big banks and loan servicers in recent years. The newspaper reports the company was closed in April 2010, after it was discovered that robo-signing was common practice.
The company faces a $10,000 fine for each of the counts under which it is convicted. The former official faces up to seven years in prison per count.
The newspaper reports, as our Miami foreclosure defense lawyers have said in the past, that few criminal actions have been taken so far based off these major problems. While states have brought civil lawsuits mainly against companies involved in the foreclosure process, it has been rare for people to actually face criminal charges for creating false documents and authorizing paperwork that was falsely notarized.
Our Miami foreclosure lawyers believe that many criminal acts have taken place in this industry and they must come to light in order for the responsible parties to be held accountable. Bank officials ordered unlawful activity, and yet they’ve been able to come out of this economic meltdown free from trouble.
Workers in mortgage servicer companies and other businesses contracted by lenders skirted laws and deceived the public through their activities. Yet few have faced the possibility of going to jail or prison. When everyday citizens commit a crime, they are arrested. Yet, obvious crimes were committed in the handling of tens of thousands of Miami foreclosures and little has been done. Justice must be served in order to protect homeowners from officials willing to put profits ahead of the law.
If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas, contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.
More Blog Entries:
Some Officials Are Trying to Show That Miami Foreclosures Are Criminal: February 5, 2012
A Miami Foreclosure Is Not Only a Tragedy, But a Crime Scene: Part 3: January 3, 2012
Company Faces Forgery Charges in Mo. Foreclosures, by Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times