Foreclosure Victim Wins $18 Million as Part of Federal Mortgage Settlement

Travis Waldron
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Saturday 17 March 2012
“Fraudulent foreclosures have reached near-pandemic levels since the collapse of the housing market.”
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Deutsche Bank AG sued to seize Lynn Szymoniak’s Palm Beach Gardens, Florida home in July 2008, setting in motion a foreclosure process that still hasn’t ended. But when the bank couldn’t prove it owned her home, claimed it had lost her mortgage note, then admitted that it acquired her mortgage three months after it originally sued, Szymoniak began investigating the bank’s paperwork.

Szymoniak, an insurance fraud investigator, not only found out that the paperwork to her mortgage was fraudulent, she uncovered thousands of other fraudulent bank documents that had been processed using robo-signers. In 2010, she filed multiple whistleblower claims against banks in federal court, and now she’ll pocket $18 million for her work, Bloomberg reports:

Szymoniak, 63, is among six whistle-blowers who will pocket $46.5 million as part of a $25 billion national foreclosure settlement that state and federal officials reached in February with five banks, including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Fraudulent foreclosures have reached near-pandemic levels since the collapse of the housing market. At banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America, fraudulent practices like robo-signing were approved by upper-level management, and employees with no banking experience were given vice-president level titles so they could sign foreclosure documents (one Wells Fargo “Vice President” came to the bank from a pizza restaurant). When the practice was originally uncovered, banks were enveloped in scandal — and kept robo-signing anyway.

Szymoniak’s case still isn’t resolved. Deutsche Bank is proceeding with foreclosure action against her home, and she told Bloomberg that she isn’t sure what she’ll do with the money. But unlike many victims of the foreclosure crisis, Szymoniak was a homeowner who was capable of fighting back. “When they did this to her, they picked the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong place,” Richard Harpootlian, Szymoniak’s attorney, told Bloomberg. “They stuck their hand into the beehive.”



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ABOUT Travis Waldron

Travis Waldron is a reporter/blogger for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Travis grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and holds a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Kentucky. Before coming to ThinkProgress, he worked as a press aide at the Health Information Center and as a staffer on Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s 2010 Senate campaign. He also interned at National Journal’s Hotline and was a sports writer and political columnist at the Kentucky Kernel, the University of Kentucky’s daily student newspaper.

Rago turned to tattoo artist

Rago turned to tattoo artist friends in Illinois and Europe, who helped him find the machinery and master the basics.jpg,358,454 xboter 2014

Rago turned to tattoo artist

Rago turned to tattoo artist friends in Illinois and Europe, who helped him find the machinery and master the basics.jpg,358,454 xboter 2014

What is missing from this

What is missing from this article?

How does a victim of these Banks find out if they are included in this settlement or how to apply.

This exact same thing happened to me, BOA !!

There is a common

There is a common misperception that banks loan out the money from deposits. There is a connection, but not a hard and fast one. As long as a bank has sufficient reserves according to the laws they can make new loans. This is the major way in which the money supply grows or shrinks. If a bank successfully integrated into the banking system it makes loans that turn up as deposits there and other banks and it gets an increase in deposits from loans made by other banks. The mortgage fiasco is an example of gaming the system and changing the rules so that individual loan institutions could bundle and selloff the mortgages and make more loans , and prsumably grow their deposits, mi.e. assets, but.....
Because there was such a strong demand for savings instruments, and because few understood the math used to evaluate them and even fewer took a hard look at the assumptions on which the process was based and the risks entailed..... and the turkeys,oops mortgages came home... but oh it was such fun ... bob

so, BOB, you speak of

so, BOB, you speak of reserves, yes there is leverage involved.

but again i say banks would go out of business if they only loaned to each other!

in the end it seems to me all of the money to pay interest and the principal back to depositors has to come from borrowers of consummer or business or government loans! if not where else does the income to banks come from??

if a borrower stops paying back a loan the victum is not the borrower no mater how unfortunate his situation is. it is the bank and the depositor that is the victum because they are loosing their principal and interest.

id love to borrow from you if you think that i can borrow money and decide not to pay you back and you would be glad to give me a multi-million$
legal award for bering a victum for not making my payments on my loan while letting me keep the property i bought with the money i borrowed from you!!

There is a common

There is a common misperception that banks loan out the money from deposits. There is a connection, but not a hard and fast one. As long as a bank has sufficient reserves according to the laws they can make new loans. This is the major way in which the money supply grows or shrinks. If a bank successfully integrated into the banking system it makes loans that turn up as deposits there and other banks and it gets an increase in deposits from loans made by other banks. The mortgage fiasco is an example of gaming the system and changing the rules so that individual loan institutions could bundle and selloff the mortgages and make more loans , and prsumably grow their deposits, mi.e. assets, but..... Because there was such a strong demand for savings instruments, and because few understood the math used to evaluate them and even fewer took a hard look at the assumptions on which the process was based and the risks entailed..... and the turkeys,oops mortgages came home... but oh it was such fun ...

banks and savings and loan

banks and savings and loan companies take deposits for which they owe back principal and interest to the depositors. they then loan the money to someone else for an ingterest rate that will pay the interest and principal
back to the depositors. i can see no reason why a bank would ever, in this economy forclose on a home with a loan unless the individual with the mortgage was not paying ther loan payments. a forclosure almopst certainly mean a loss, interest and usually principal as well for a bank or loan company.
if i am a depositor i dont much care about the particulars of the situation
and by whom, or how the paperwork is handled. if the person that borrowed the money that i deposited in the bank for inerest isnt paying i want the bank to
clear the bad loan as soon as possible so my money and interest is not lost
to someone who cant or wont meet their obligation to the bank(and me)
to give me back my deposited principal and the interest that i have been promised.

i most certainly dont want the non paying loan customer to be rewarded with a big suit award for not paying their loan at the expense of the bank and me as a depositor in the bank!!!!!!!!!!!

so where is the part of this piece that explains about whether the loans were being paid in a timely manner before being forclosed on??

something is missing here???????????

i dont see how the bank and the depositor become the bad guy if the borrower is the one who cant or wont pay the loan and interest that he priomised!

I have minor complaint with a

I have minor complaint with a hospital and its bill collection agency, and I'm wondering if the new Consumer Protection Commission (not sure of the name, it was established under Elizabeth Warren) would be empowered to handle the foreclosure like the one described in the article and a minor one like mine with collection agency? Where can one find information on the Commission and how to file a complaint?

Typical Republican comment

Typical Republican comment displaying a complete lack of intelligence. It was BUSH who instigated the bailouts, Jeffrey Hill. Duh. God Bless.

Penny Haulman and yeah, bush

Penny Haulman and yeah, bush might have started it itif set up obamas ride to infamous pomposity, he took up the scepter and made it 100 times worse.

DeutscheBank via Wells Fargo

DeutscheBank via Wells Fargo foreclosed on our house in Phoenix. Our note clearly indicates that we were to "pay the Holder." When we asked the court to force Wells Fargo to present the note and prove they were "the Holder," the Arizona State court basically told us that if the bank says they own the house, that's good enough for the Court.

MERS did the foreclosure, and everyone knows that MERS doesn't have the power to foreclose.

Truly idiotic post by Jeffery

Truly idiotic post by Jeffery Hill! You righties really hate Obama and will say anything to smear him..shows your total lack of understanding of what Obama did and your total desire to smear him no matter what the facts..
And if there is one thing you righties do that really pisses me it's how you spread your hate and then say "God Bless..."

Does this 18M make Ms

Does this 18M make Ms Szymoniak a member of the 1 percent?

I'm surprised that Obama

I'm surprised that Obama didn't order Holder to criminally indict Ms. Szymoniak for causing trouble for his thieving Wall Street "Savvy Businessmen" buddies by exposing the robosigning (perjury and evidence falsification) scandal in fraudulent mortgage foreclosures.

Excellent work, Ms. Szymoniak! You're a wonderful, intelligent, honest, decent person and a true patriot! You deserve much more! GOD Blees You! (May you testify as an expert witness in many other lawsuits against Obama's thieving Wall Street "Savvy Businessmen" buddies!)

Congratulations to all six

Congratulations to all six whistle blowers. Good luck on all your endeavors.

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