She was once president of a successful mortgage document processing firm, called DocX LLC.
But for at least the next three years, she’ll be known by her prison inmate number.
Our Miami foreclosure lawyers have learned that Lorraine Brown has been sentenced to a minimum 40 months in prison by a Michigan court on a charge of racketeering, in connection with a long-running robo-signing scandal. She could serve as much as 20 years behind bars.
The Michigan Attorney General was one of the few to aggressively pursue charges against Brown, though her crimes reverberated throughout the country. Federal prosecutors in Florida also pursued charges against Brown, whose company had been acquired by the Jacksonville-based Lender Processing Services Inc. The state of Florida did virtually nothing to thwart her efforts to run over the rights of hardworking homeowners.
LPS later agreed to settle for $2 million for any role it may have played (pittance compared to what the company rakes in each year) and Brown later pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. On that charge, she faces a maximum of five years in prison, though she has yet to be sentenced.
To give you an idea of the scope of the wrongdoing that Brown and her firm perpetuated, consider that in Michigan alone, some 1,000 falsified mortgage documents were filed with county registers of deeds throughout the state.
The primary transgression was later identified as something with which we’ve all by now become familiar: robo-signing. Essentially, DocX employees were instructed by Brown to fraudulently sign another person’s name on key mortgage documents. This in turn would allow those documents to be processed more quickly, which allowed the foreclosures to be processed faster, which in turn meant that DocX was paid more money.
But it meant something very different for homeowners. It meant that foreclosures were filed and carried out without any real proof that banks had the proper legal authority to do so.
Internally, Brown and her administrators called this “surrogate signing.” Sounds so much nicer, doesn’t it? As if she and her firm were making some sort of sacrifice to help out.
For homeowners, the harm was extensive.
Following the issuance of her sentence, Brown was immediately remanded to the Michigan Department of Corrections to begin serving her sentence.
The investigation by Michigan authorities was first launched back in the spring of 2011, following a 60 Minutes broadcast showing that thousands of mortgage documents had been signed by a woman named “Linda Green.” However, there were a great many variations on that signature, which was discovered on foreclosure documents throughout the country.
County officials in Michigan began pouring over their records at that point, finding that many of their deeds contained that same signature. That’s when the state attorney general got involved.
We applaud the fact that this case was seen through to the end, and that the consequences for Brown will be substantial. We only wish we could say the same for so many others who perpetuated such egregious and long-lasting wrongs here in Florida.
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. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on “Mortgage Wars,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.
Ex-DocX President Gets at Least 40 Months in Robo-Sign Case (1), May 3, 2013, By Andrew Harris, Bloomberg Businessweek
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Bank of America Foreclosures Questioned Amid Claims of Error, May 3, 2013, Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog