Friday, January 11, 2008

Countrywide forged documents to forclose on borrower.

Via Majikthise, this NYT report that Troubled Mortgage Broker Countrywide forged three letters relating to the bankruptcy case of a homeowner who was seeking to avoid foreclosure. The homeowner had met the bankruptcy conditions and her case was closed on March 9 2007. One month later, she suddenly received a letter saying she owed an additional $4,166. To justify this claim, Countrywide sent the homeowner's lawyers copies of three letters on company letterhead , dated September 2003, October 2004 and March 2007. These letters purported to be warnings to the homeowner, her lawyers and the bankruptcy court that the homeowners escrow payments had been adjusted an she owed more money.

The problem is that those letters were not sent in September 2003, October 2004 and March 2007. By Countrywide's own admission, they were "recreated" and placed in the homeowners file in April. The first letter actually had the wrong address for the lawyer, who had not yet moved into the office listed. Here's how the times presents Countrywide's explanation of the "recreated" letters
Under questioning by the judge, Ms. Puida [a lawyer for countrywide] said that “a processor” at Countrywide had generated the letters to show how the escrow discrepancies arose. “They were not offered to prove that they had been sent,” Ms. Puida said. But she also said, under questioning from the court, that the letters did not carry a disclaimer indicating that they were not actual correspondence or that they had never been sent.
Countrywide's lawyer could not explain why the faked letters were sent to the homeowners lawyer, if it wasn't as evidence that real letters has been sent earlier.

More information and background is available at Majikthise and the cites she links to.


with open ARMs said...

Countrywide is losing money now, but it originated $408 billion in new mortgages last year. And despite all the bellyaching about the subprime mortgage crisis, try to think about it from a fatcat banker's perspective. Bank of America just can't wait to get its hands on the 93% of Countrywide's mortgage portfolio that is still being paid on time.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

I don't really care whether they have a lot of assets. I'm upset that they are corrupt and mismanaged, and that they purchased our mortgage more or less as soon as we took it out from Wachovia.