This article from the Huffington Post (2/2012) discusses local officials’ efforts to identify the extensiveness of the current problem of fraudulent mortgage documents. The Federal Government conducted resesearch on the issue in connection with the recent $26 billion settlement with the five leading mortgage banks, but had not released the information at the time this article was published.
Information obtained in connection with the Government’s investigation was supposed to be released when the settlement was submitted to the Court for approval, which was Monday March 12, 2012.
The article discusses the investigations conducted by local officials in San Francisco, Guilford County (SC), and Southern Essex District (MA). These local officials found that anywhere from 74% to 85% of mortgages in each office had serious problems or were outright illegal.
John O’Brien, the Southern Essex District register of deeds, instituted a policy whereby his office refused to accept documents from people or companies known to have participated in document fraud. His office offered those seeking to file documents the option of executing an affidavit attesting to who they were, but not one person has done so.