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Written by John Wright
March 14th, 2012
.I was one of the people who had their mortgage originate from Countrywide Home Loans. One of the things I remember was that Countrywide always made me pay for and use their inside appraisal company, instead of allowing me to use a cheaper one that I had found. I did not have a choice in the matter — because Countrywide said that I had to use their appraisal company if I wanted to be approved for the loan. Countrywide would continue to enforce this policy when I chose to refinance a few years later.
At that time I just figured that we had to use the Countrywide appraisal because maybe they were concerned that an outside company might deflate the value of the home to the homeowners benefit. That is until it would be later alleged in the news that the Countrywide Home Loans appraiser was fraudulently inflating the homeowner’s home value.
On February 28th, 2012, the United States of America unsealed a 50 page whistleblower complaint that had been filed pursuant to the False Claims Act. The complaint had been filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on May 13th, 2009.
The Plaintiff’s listed in the complaint were:
- Countrywide Financial Corporation Countrywide Home Loans Inc. Countrywide-KB Home Loans Countrywide Mortgage Ventures LLC. Countrywide Banks FSB Loansafe Inc. Landsafe Appraisal Services Inc. KB Home Bank of America Corporation Partick Ames Todd Baur Kay Cobb Angelo Mozilo Robert Patrick Tracy Sanderson Jack Schakett Richard Wentz.
The complaint itself centers on a former Countrywide Financial employee whistleblower named Kyle W. Lagow. Mr. Lagow claimed to have first-hand knowledge of Countrywide’s “corrupt underwriting appraisal process” while working from 2004 to November 2008 in a Countrywide appraisal unit in Plano Texas. Federal prosecutors had been probing allegations that the bank and Countrywide defrauded the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) (United States of America) (YOU THE TAXPAYER) because they knowingly gave loans to unqualified borrowers. For example, though unconfirmed, I had heard that there was one case where a bank gave some 18 year old kid working at Mac Donald’s a million dollar home loan. Well it does not take a rocket scientist to know that the kid was probably going to default on the mortgage payment the minute it was due the next month. However, the lender did not care though, because the loan was a MBS (Mortgage Backed Security) loan. This means that it was insured at the TOP MARKET VALUE by the United States Government (THE TAXPAYER).
Additionally, federal prosecutors also probed allegations that the bank and Countrywide defrauded the United States Government (FHA) by originating loans based on inflated LandSafe appraisals. This is how it said that it worked — Countrywide funneled all their customers’ home appraisals through LandSafe, a subsidiary of Countrywide, in which it was alleged that LandSafe – would in return – give the appraisal value at whatever Countrywide had ordered them to put it at. According to the complaint, appraisals were inflated by $82,169.00 per property, according to two KB Home developments cited in the complaint. The disadvantage for the homeowner is that they are now paying on a loan that was not established at the true market value. Unfortunately, the homeowner often would not realize this until they hired their own independent appraiser when it was time to sell the home.
Now not many of you probably know that a whistleblower is entitled up to 25% of any settlement reached. In the case of this whistleblower — the amount might end up being something that could maybe make Attorney Mitchell J. Stein start crying, after you consider that on February 9th, 2012 — Bank of America settled the case for a whopping one billion dollars. - see settlement details Now do the math on that one – because 25% of 1 billion dollars is (drum roll please) $250 MILLION DOLLARS! For example, the 60 minutes whistleblower received $18 million dollars – read story Well that sure beat the hell out of that Countrywide job they used to have. It is ultimately why I will be applying for jobs at a bank as early as tomorrow, in which I will be filling out the part in the application where it says “Position desired” with “Whistleblower.” I am confident that I will be able to find something to blow the whistle on. This is especially since I am already blowing the whistle before I have even applied. Now none of you will be surprised when I am standing there with my new job at Bank of America blowing on a whistle — but only five minutes after I started working there. I would apply at BofA because I might be guaranteed to find something illegal going on if I work there. I mean, have you been watching the news? I know! I will blow the “multiple trust” and “multiple beneficiary” existing at the time of the foreclosure whistle! So, for whoever at BofA that is going to be writing out my 250 million dollar whistleblower check – you spell my last name “Wright.” Wow! What a great first day of work that is going to be!
I can already hear the headlines once everyone figures out that they can get 25% of settlement money.
Breaking news: People around the world are practicing for their new Bofa job!
The settlement was also included as part of the $25 billion deal recently reached between the AGs and the nation’s five largest lenders and state and government officials over wrongful foreclosures. For the record, nobody has been arrested in this case for defrauding the United States of America. – click here
Now what does all this mean to you? Well — it means that you might have ended up being upside-down on your payments the minute you singed your name on those Countrywide Home loan documents you signed when bought your home. However — don’t worry! This is because the AGs have entered into a “racketeering agreement” – I mean “settlement agreement” that will give each homeowner approximately $2,000.00 for their troubles. (tongue-in-cheeck)
Welcome to the American Nightmare!
Brought to you by Bank of Destroying The American Dream.
Matt Taibbi has written a great story about BofA today in RollingStone magazine titled – “Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out? – read article
Read related article:
- Behind The HAMP Curtain
- SEC Whistleblowers Waiting For Big Payouts As Rumors Of First Award Mount
- Woman Who Couldn’t Be Intimidated by Citigroup Wins $31 Million
- Whistleblowers Win $46.5 Million in Foreclosure Settlement
All Rise! The Honorable Judge Wright has left The Courtroom of Public Opinion!
My name is John Wright AND I AM FIGHTING BACK!
in mortgage case
Piggybankblog posted 05/30/12
Piggybankblog posted picture
Cross linked with reuters.com
(Reuters) – A former home appraiser will receive $14.5 million as part of a whistleblower lawsuit that accused subprime lender Countrywide Financial of inflating appraisals on government-insured loans, his attorneys said Tuesday.
Kyle Lagow’s lawsuit sparked an investigation that culminated in a $1 billion settlement announced in February between Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and the U.S. Justice Department over allegations of mortgage fraud at Countrywide, his attorneys said in a news release. Bank of America bought Countrywide in 2008.
Lagow’s suit was one of five whistleblower complaints that were folded into the $25 billion national mortgage settlement that state and federal officials reached with Bank of America and four other lenders this year. His suit was unsealed in February, but the amount of his settlement had not been disclosed.
Gregory Mackler, a whistleblower who challenged Bank of America’s handling of the government’s HAMP mortgage modification program, has also finalized a settlement, said Shayne Stevenson, an attorney with the Hagens Berman law firm, which represented both whistleblowers. Stevenson declined to comment on Mackler’s settlement amount.
The complaints were brought under a whistleblower provision in the U.S. False Claims Act, which allows private individuals with knowledge of wrongdoing to bring suits on behalf of the government and share in the proceeds of any settlement.
Both Lagow and Mackler lost their jobs after raising concerns about practices at their companies and faced difficult times awaiting settlements, Stevenson said. Lagow, who worked in a Countrywide appraisal unit, filed his suit in 2009; Mackler, who worked at a firm called Urban Lending Solutions, brought his case in 2011.
“These guys are inspirational,” Stevenson said. “They both did the right thing. They should inspire other people to come forward.”
Bank of America declined to comment. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, which handled the Bank of America settlement, also declined to comment.
(Reporting By Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina; editing by Andre Grenon)
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