Foreclosure Fraud Here to Stay in Florida; So Why Are Top State Investigators Told To Leave?

| 3 Comments | No TrackBacks
As I've reported too many times recently, foreclosure fraud is a major problem in this country.  Thankfully there are people who are willing to fight against it and uncover shady dealings and unlawful mortgage and foreclosure practices that defraud the public and our courts.

Unfortunately, that battle just got a little bit harder in Florida because two of the top foreclosure fraud investigators for the state have been asked to resign a/k/a fired. Could their resignations be more about politics and less about people? We can only hope not. We need to ensure our elected officials base their decisions on what's right vs wrong --and not right vs  left. But with news that robo-signing foreclosures are not leaving the state -yet top state investigators are asked to, that raises questions and concerns. 

Despite having spent over a year trying to uncover the worst of the foreclosure fraud offenders in the state, and despite the fact that it was their efforts that were instrumental in winning a New York homeowner her case, Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson were told in no uncertain terms to resign their positions peacefully or they would be let go.

Edwards, a former Assistant Attorney General, believes that she and Clarkson were asked to resign because Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi want to fill the investigation positions with people who are more in line with "their own ways of thinking."  It makes you wonder what their ways of thinking might be, since the people they are removing were actually getting results.
Oddly enough, the investigators had both previously been cited as doing exceptional work and instrumental in triggering a nationwide review of fraudulent foreclosure practices--exceeding expectations during evaluations by Robert Julian, who at the time of the evaluations was bureau chief for the South Florida portion of the Economic Crimes Section. Since the requests for resignation were issued, Julian has been moved to a new position so that he will no longer oversee or evaluate foreclosure fraud investigations for the state.

It seems strange that everyone involved with the investigations has been removed from them in one way or another, don't you think? 

While performing their investigations, Edwards and Clarkson managed to secure the first settlement in the nation against "foreclosure mills," though, it seems that the powers that be didn't think that a $2 million settlement from the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson was sufficient to continue the investigations.

Of course, if you've been following some of the other problems I've mentioned on the Florida foreclosure front, then it shouldn't come as a surprise.  Several independent journalists, and investigative reporters as well as state and national news organizations have reported on the mortgage servicing and foreclosure fraud problem in Florida, including a particularly telling interview that appeared on the CBS news magazine show 60 Minutes.

There is a bright side to the forced resignations, however.  Edwards and Clarkson are continuing the fight against foreclosure fraud, opening a private foreclosure defense practice in Hollywood, Florida so they can still put their experience to work for the citizens of the state.

Fortunately the people of Florida aren't afraid to take matters into their own hands when the politicians can't or won't do anything about the rampant fraud in their state.  A number of homeowners and activists in Florida uncovered foreclosure fraud prior to the start of Edwards' and Clarkson's investigation. They have organized rallies to Tallahassee, launched weekly live radio shows, founded support groups and created document sharing websites aimed at uncovering fraud --and now, along with with the precedents set by Edwards and Clarkson, it's likely they will uncover more.  And that's good news ---and here's why:

According to a recent Reuters investigation, despite the promises of major financial institutions that their  "dubious foreclosure practices" including the use of robo-signers had stopped by the end of 2010 -that's not the case. 
Reuters identified;

"... at least six "robo-signers," individuals who in recent months have each signed thousands of mortgage assignments -- legal documents which pinpoint ownership of a property. These same individuals have been identified -- in depositions, court testimony or court rulings -- as previously having signed vast numbers of foreclosure documents that they never read or checked. Read more on Reuters investigative findings

This news doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the fraudulent foreclosure front, but the fact that the Florida AG's office has asked for the resignation of two of its top investigators is!

Enhanced by Zemanta

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


I have complained to my state congressman Ken Roberson, and it is quite clear from his responses to my issues he is far more concerned about political issues than the people he represents. Absolutely disgusting. And I will NEVER allow him to say "he didn't know" as he WAS told, and he has been told just how bad it is!

What is happening with attorneys who are implicated in "robo" and other fraudulent practices? Are they being disciplined?

I feel these mortgage companies are only getting a slap on the hand. They know exactly what they are doing yet no one seems to be concerned about the families that have lost everything. I am very upset that no one is here to help us. I cannot let this go for any reason because my family has been financially struggling since this current loan started in September 2007 to the present. Who can you trust anymore?

Leave a comment

A memoir exposing the steep price consumers pay when facing mortgage servicing errors, inaccurate credit reporting, illegal debt collection practices, identity theft and weak consumer protection laws. THE BOOK » DENISE'S STORY »