Local Genesee county attorney, Rex Anderson, argued a mortgage fraud case before the United States 6th Circuit Court in Cincinnati this past October 12, 2011. In January 2012, the 6th Circuit issued its decision finding that the bank was not entitled to an "equitable" mortgage where two home owners' signatures had been forged on a mortgage while in the sole and exclusive possession of the lender.
The lower court found that lender’s notary had lied that the homeowners signed a mortgage in Oakland County when the home owners were in California at the time. Incredibly, US Bank fought for more than six years demanding that the Courts convert their forged mortgage into a valid mortgage.
This is a prime example of the banks “gaming the system,” and trying to wear out defrauded homeowners in a battle of attrition. US Bank deliberately strategized that it could outspend these destitute people with its tall building lawyers. Fortunately, for this Lapeer family, their lawyer, Rex Anderson, did not give up on them, despite three appeals and hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees which he provided pro bono.
On January 3, 2012 the United States 6th Circuit Court in a landmark decision, handed down its judgment, finding that the forged mortgage was void ab initio and denied US Bank's demand for imposition of an equitable mortgage. The 6th circuit specifically said that a bank has no right to ask for an equitable mortgage when it comes to court with “unclean hands”.
That’s putting it mildly. The lender’s officers should be investigated for criminal fraud and prosecuted. Instead of doing an internal investigation to determine who was responsible for this fraud, US Bank chose to throw its weight around and put this family through six years of litigation in an attempt to evict them.
Instead of working with these homeowners, US Bank and its title insurance company strove to create yet another empty house with grass growing six feet tall, a vandalism risk depreciating the neighboring homes at the same time. US Bank slandered and clouded the deed and title of this family’s residence for six years causing the home to fall into severe disrepair and inhabitability. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.
The only other court that US Bank can appeal to is the United States Supreme Court. After three appeals, US Bank finally got the message. When a bank or lender commits the crime of forgery they will not get the benefit of their wrong doing. This is a huge win for homeowners' across this country.
This decision shows that our judicial system still works despite the long history of national banks lobbying our congress to legalize their criminality. Banks have done enough damage to our economy with their high risk gambling that provides them with all the upside gain of huge profits and tax payer bailouts when their investments turn out bad.
The 6th Circuit Court has sent an undeniable message to the lending institutions and their tall building lawyers that they will not be rewarded for nefarious behavior. US Bank has now allowed the time period to expire in which it had to file a further appeal to the United States Supreme Court.