Never let it be said that where there is big money invested, there won’t be crooks in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter how big you are there’s always a short cut that can that can potentially create more wealth – if you don’t get caught.
An investigator in the northwest uncovered just such a scam – so big that authorities claim it needs multi-state attention. It appears Green Tree Servicing has been flying under the radar and was hardly noticed until a recordation research team began uncovering similarly signed documents – yup, the old robo-signed Assignment of Mortgage trickery again… but this time new and improved via computer, maybe for speed and precision, ya think?
It appears the signatures are in the computer – no dummies needed to sign – just fill in the blanks and push the buttons (as if that wasn’t committing an unlawful act)… “Who, me? I just filled in the information and pressed print…” Why bother to use humans when computers will do just the same… and what are they going to do – arrest or sue the computer?” How about the programmer or the button pusher or the boss?!
If you’ll look closely at Derrick White‘s signatures – you’ll notice they are identical – nifty trick, yeah? But it gets even better. Take a look at the Florida notary, “MA” for Miranda Avila. Check out these “notarized”??? documents:
Not much different between these documents except the loan numbers. Can you believe the signatures?! Can you see any difference at all?
If you will remember the Brian J. Bly robo scandal where he signed with just a “B”, it was determined that Florida law says: “Once commissioned, the notary must sign precisely as commissioned by the state of Florida, in the exact name appearing on your notarial commission certificate.” Naughty Miranda – surely she knows better – but do the powers that be at Green Tree? Or do they care?
And just “Whois” Green Tree Servicing?
The New York Times wrote that Green Tree was once part of the insurance giant Conseco, which bought the company, then a mobile-home lender, for $6.4 billion in 1998.
Loan losses at Green Tree, in addition to other missteps, drove Conseco to file for bankruptcy in 2002.
Green Tree was sold in 2003 for $850 million to the private equity firms Cerberus Capital Management, Fortress Investment Group and J.C. Flowers. Another private equity firm, Centerbridge Partners, bought Green Tree for an undisclosed price in 2007.
More recently in 2010, Walter Investment Management agreed to acquire Green Tree Credit Solutions, a loan servicer, in a deal valued at more than $1 billion – and guess who put this deal together? Answer according to Bloomberg: Morgan Stanley. Green Tree has about $175 million of annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and appreciation. Walter Investment planned to issue 1.8 million shares of common stock to the privately held Green Tree and assume $20 million of its debt. Walter Investment also planned to issue $765 million of new debt. Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Scotland are financing the new debt. Do TARP deals come to mind?
Okay AGs – this is what happens when you make weak deals. There are thousands of documents just like the ones above thumbing their noses at you, at the expense of American homeowners and taxpayers.
Lawsuits, like BROCK v. GREEN TREE SERVICING, LLC, et.al. (Ky 2008) have found that “a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether GreenTree retained its right to sue when Centerbridge acquired an ownership interest in Green Tree.” Obviously, Green Tree is just another litigious servicer with a lot of new tricks.
And it looks like Berglind et al v. White et. al. (July 2012 - South Carolina District Court) has named Derrick White among the Defendants including Green Tree Servicing and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.
(Ed. note: Wonder if Berglind knows that there is a difference between MERS and MERS®, yet?). No doubt there are, and will be many more lawsuits. So, if you find Green Tree Servicing has entered your world, give a local foreclosure defense attorney a call. Post your Assignment of Mortgage documents – the more the merrier, so other folks can compare signatures and compile data for the courts.
And if you are a state recordation office, AG or state legislator – time to take a sweep through your land records from 2008 – present… You’ll see Sand Canyon to Green Tree (yes, after Sand Canyon was closed), lots of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (acronym “MERS”) to Green Tree, Aurora, Bank of America the same old players and progression.
Centerbridge Partners Links to President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
An interesting note: Mark T. Gallogly is a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and is Cofounder and Managing Principal of Centerbridge Partners. Centerbridge is an investment firm with over $15 billion of assets under management. The firm is focused on private equity and credit investing. Prior to founding Centerbridge in partnership with Jeffrey H. Aronson in October 2005, Mr. Gallogly was with the Blackstone Group for 16 years. At Blackstone, he was most recently a senior managing director, the head of private equity and a member of the firm’s management committee and the private equity group’s investment committee.