Schuette Has Become A Pro At Sleight Of Hand Tricks
On Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau along with all 50 state Attorneys Generals signed a $2.1 Billion Consent Agreement with OCWEN Financial involving The case actually began when the Obama created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began investigating OCWEN Financial because of complaints OCWEN contributed to premature and unauthorized foreclosures of homeowners, violated homeowners’ rights and protections, and used of falsified documents and affidavits, including “robo-signing to foreclose on people.
However, CFPB ran into a problem. Most of these issues fall under the jurisdiction of the states due to the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, the CFPB needed the state Attorneys General to sign on. One of the those Attorney Generals was Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette who signed up at the 11th hour doing minimal work or committing any resources to the investigation. Schuette has been jumping on everyone else’s bandwagon when it comes to protecting homeowners over the past year in order to deflect attention away from the fact that two of his biggest campaign contributors conspired with OCWEN to commit these acts that he finds so appalling.
Let’s go back in in our Wayback Machine thanks to Mr. Peabody and his boy, Sherman.
The first was when former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway pleading guilty to the government’s weak case of bank fraud and admitting to misleading ING Direct in order to for them to expedite the short sale of her home in the posh Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Park. I still contend she should have fought these charges because the government had a weak case and because this case was more about political hype by Michigan Republicans than it was about mortgage fraud. Also, because the U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record when it comes convicting white collar criminals or political corruption cases.
At the plea hearing, it was obvious that Schuette could hardly contain his jubilation over her guilty plea. He was so excited at the crowd gathered outside the courthouse was expecting him to start break dancing like Shabba-Doo in Breakin’ 2: The Electric Boogaloo while singing “Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch Is Dead!” even though he had nothing to do with the case.
Although that probably would have been a big hit with the Young Republicans of Michigan, all Schuette did that day was reiterate his proclamation, “Public corruption scandals have damaged the public’s trust in government and tarnished our state’s reputation.”
The second was earlier this year when word broke out that Lender Processing Services along with its subsidiaries, LPS Default Solutions and DocX reached a multi-state settlement 45 state Attorneys General to resolve allegations of unlawful foreclosure practices and robo-signing for $121 million.
Schuette was pretty excited about the settlement considering his office has done nothing to combat robo-signing or mortgage fraud. He was also one of the last of the state Attorneys General in November to bring charges against LPS’s now defunct DocX subsidiary and it’s founder Lorraine Brown which he only did when it appeared a settlement was imminent and he didn’t want to be left out. After all, how dare he be left out on a successful lawsuit initiated by a group of liberal Democrats.
You would have thought Schuette just got a visit from the late Ed McMahon and the American Family Sweepstakes Prize Patrol when he got word Michigan was receiving $2.5 million from the settlement because he was beaming in front of cameras. Schuette was pleased by this paltry sum and just like last weel’s OCWEN deal it was easy money for something that didn’t have to do any work on. The $2.5 million was small compared to Florida which is receiving $8.6 million. It’s also miniscule when you stop and think that the shenanigans by LPS and the foreclosure mills have cost Michigan nearly $6 Billion since 2001. In all his excitement, Schuette proclaimed,
“Shortcuts like robo-signing are just one example of the damage caused by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Our investigation into questionable mortgage practices remains ongoing, and we will bring to justice every lawbreaker we find.”
This comment seems to answer the question that foreclosure defense attorney Kelli Meeks asked in November of 2012 when Schuette announced his indictments against Lorraine Brown and DocX, “Will any future indictments by Attorney General Schuette include any other perpetrators of pervasive document fraud who are still at large and are known through out the foreclosure defense community?”
We need to remember that career politicians like Schuette are like magicians. They treat everything with the public as if it were an illusion. First, Schuette has really done nothing to combat mortgage or foreclosure fraud in Michigan since taking office in 2011. What Schuette isn’t talking about is that OCWEN like DocX and LPS before them had co-conspirators in Michigan in their multi-billion dollar fraud schemes who actually did the grunt work. Two of the co-conspirators were and are major contributors to not only to Schuette’s campaigns for Attorney General but they are also major contributors to the Republican Party.
Orlans Associates and Trott & Trott routinely prepared affidavits and mortgage assignments containing fraudulent signatures of Lind Green and forged notary signatures with the Register of Deeds offices across the state . Orlans Associates is also the home to infamous robo-signer, Marshall Isaacs, whose signatures have more variations than there are sexual positions in the Kama Sutra. His fraudulent signature has been found in Register of Deeds offices in nearly every county in Michigan and in at least four states. So when Linda Orlans wasn’t shipping the documents south to have DocX employees sign Linda Green’s name she was having her employees sign Marshall Isaacs’ name.
David Trott’s firm, Trott & Trott also has his share of robo-signers like Ellen Coon, Marcy Ford, and Kenneth Kurel who are also willing participants in the financial terrorism that has contributed to the destruction of Michigan’s housing market. After Trott and his employees gave Schuette a big fat campaign check in 2010, he rehired Trott’s wife Kappy who had been working for Schuette’s predecessor, Mike Cox. Kappy Trott was hired by Cox by her husband writing a big check just as he did with Schuette.
Since taking office, Schutte has been bombarded with requests to investigate both Orlans Associates and Trott & Trott by attorneys, politicians, housing advocates and homeowners. These groups continually tell me that their requests fall on deaf ears and ask me why Schuette isn’t doing something? I have to tell these people that Linda Orlans, David Trott, members of their respected families and employees have given nearly $250,000 to the Michigan Republican Party, Bill Schuette’s campaign for Attorney General and Ruth Johnson’s campaign for Secretary of State.
I continually have to be like a dad who has tell his kid that there is no such thing as Santa Claus by telling homeowners that deep pocked foreclosure mill operators don’t throw around money without expecting something in return. People like Linda Orlans and David Trott give lots of money to people like Schuette to ignore what they do. As billionairess and former Michigan GOP Chair Betsy DeVos (who has also given thousands of dollars to Schuette and Johnson) so eloquently points out money buys influence in Michigan:
“I know a little something about soft money, as my family is the single largest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Party. I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return.” -Betsy DeVos