Attorney General Pam Bondi goes after “foreclosure fraudsters”

Pam Bondi & MERSToday’s St. Pete Times editorial examines the investigation by Attorney General Pam Bondi into “foreclosure fraudsters”. The enabling entity underlying all these practices is the  little-known Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, commonly called MERS.

The majority of the nation’s home mortgages include language that “assigns” the mortgage to MERS. This allows the mortgages to be bundled into securities for investors which are bought and sold on the open market.

Two problems with MERS related mortgages are that 1. County transfer fees are avoided each time the mortgage changes hands and 2. When these mortgages fall into foreclosure, the paper trail of who owns what becomes a nightmare.

The Federal Government is so concerned with the effects of MERS upon the economy that a bill (H.R. 6460) has been introduced to Congress that would “prohibit Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae from owning or guaranteeing any mortgage that is assigned to the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems or for which MERS is the mortgagee of record.”

Given the pervasiveness of the MERS system, and negative impact caused, it is incumbent upon local governments to ensure that they are not further contributing to this mess.

An audit needs to be made of any  “department” “board” or “authority” that touch upon any mortgage at any time. An example would be the recent Hillsborough BOCC approval of County Housing Finance Authority’s $250 MILLION finance plan “…for the purpose of providing funds for the purchase of qualifying mortgage loans…”

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


2 Responses to “Attorney General Pam Bondi goes after “foreclosure fraudsters””

  1. Marilyn Smith Says:

    The BOCC has been way too comfortable with not reading or bothering to even listen to what the public has been saying about the AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEPT. Way before the new BOCC, which has a new group of COMMISSIONERS

    It would appear the AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEPT. was too ” complicated” to understand and the County Administrator BEAN compounded the problems with cover-ups, denials and eliminating anyone who tried to bring the problems to light. So, it became the same ole’ slipshod operation, taking HUD money, fill in the blanks, fulfill HUD requirements and continue to compound the “complicated”
    The continued path of taking in more foreclosures; and, more on the way, is the very reason why revenues of HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY ARE SHRINKING while the liabilities grow like TOPSY. BEAN did help compound this issue with almost 20 years involvement and control of AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT.

    Like many other areas, BEAN did obfuscate issues to suit her time frame and control. Her right hand person before she was put on ” leaving of absence” for
    120 days, Miracle Michael Merrill, was suppose to run the operation….he just kept the cover-ups going. So, as caretaker, MERRILL, did not want to rock the boat…

    MIRACLE MICHAEL MERRILL did not really run the BOND OPERATION on all levels by all means; and now, he has shuffled most of the duties of BONDS off to the
    Clerk of Court, except the very pertinent tracking what is where and how the funds can be utilized. Merrill never knew what was going on there and now there is no qualified person handling those duties since THE REAL QUALIFIED PERSON would not lie for Merrill and decided to retire.
    Merrill really doesn’t know what to do with or about MERS.

    Oh what is the phrase tossed about…He is the best ad the brightest…yes, he is really good at obfuscating issues so the public finds it difficult understand
    what is being brought before the BOCC and NOT EXPLAINED TO THE PUBLIC.
    The beat goes on…HAGAN with his financial education, doesn’t seem to want to know about MERS…..ever. Are we proud of this level of ignorance practiced by several members of the BOCC????


  2. You tried to tell the BOCC……it’s disgusting to think that there was $250 million dollar item relating to mortgages on a consent agenda! Actually, it should be malfeasance at best and criminal at worst.

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