8News Investigates: 'Grand Theft House' - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

8News Investigates: 'Grand Theft House'

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These are the full court documents retrieved by 8News Investigative Reporter A.J. Lagoe, in his report on "robo-signing," a form of mortgage fraud here in Virginia.

Read the court petition HERE
Read the final judgement HERE

 

RICHMOND, VA—We've called it "Grand Theft House" for the past two years.

8News Investigative reporter AJ Lagoe has been exposing robo-signing—a form of mortgage fraud in the commonwealth.

Today a $120 million multi-state settlement was reached with the company behind much of the fraud we brought to light.

Virginia is set to receive $3.5 million as part of the multi-state robo-signing settlement reached today with the company behind thousands of bogus signatures and notarizations that appeared on foreclosures used to take Virginians homes away from them.

"I collapsed— I just couldn't believe I just lost my home," said Ester Ramierez, a foreclosure victim.

"I didn't have any idea that anything of this nature was going on," said Mary Mitchell, a robo-signing victim.

8News exposed fraudulent foreclosure papers. The name Linda Green can be found signed to countless mortgage documents we found in area courthouses. She's listed under a number of titles, allegedly working of numerous banks.

But look at the signatures. You don't have to be a handwriting expert to see they were not signed by the same person. That makes them fraudulent.

8News found more than 20 different variations of the Linda Green signature in courthouses right here in the Metro-Richmond area—prime examples of what's known as robo-signing—a fancy phrase for fraud and perjury on legal mortgage papers.

"This was a widespread national conspiracy," said state senator Chap Peterson.

The company at the center of the national conspiracy Peterson is referring to is Processing Services Inc., and it's subsidiaries that include DOCX.

Many of America's biggest banks hired outside parties, such as DOCX to manufacture documents during the housing bubble.

They often signed papers without ever looking at them using fake titles and names such as Linda Green, and Linda Green is certainly not the only questionable signature used.

Our investigation uncovered dozens of different robo-signed names on thousands of mortgages here in Central Virginia.

Take a look at this—here's at least four different variations of the signature for a Korell Harp, who if all these papers are to be believes is a vice president of SunTrust, American Home Mortgaging, Option One Mortgage and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc, aka Mers—all at the same time, this bogus paperwork was then used to foreclose on families homes.

"It was basically fraud, they were fraudulently foreclosing on people," said Jay Speers, from the Virginia poverty law center.

Speaking of this robo-signing settlement, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued a statement saying LPS Engaged in the worst form of robo-signing, broke state notary laws and undermined the trust of many in the foreclosure process. He adds such conduct will not be tolerated.

It remains to be seen what Virginia will do with the $3.5 million it's receiving from the settlement.

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

 

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