Democrats Are Doing More Harm To Homeowners By Staying Silent And Sitting On Their Hands
Steve Dibert, MFI-Miami
I’ve been involved in Democratic Party politics on and off for most of my adult life and what amazes me about the majority of 21st century Democrats is that they have virtually no knowledge of the basic mechanics of finance and banking. When I try to educate active Democrats, they look at me with a blank look and then dismiss me like they know everything when in reality they know almost nothing.
The problem is Democrats assume that they know enough to get by and because they are an elected official, it’s enough information for them to take on the banks. What makes it worse is most Democrats have no interest in learning more of how the system works.
Here’s a perfect example, last month when MERS executive, Bill Hultman gave testimony to the Michigan House Banking Committee, Ingham County Register of Deeds, Curtis Hertel, Jr. and I gave Democrats and Republicans on the committee hard hitting questions to ask him. We knew the Republicans wouldn’t ask these questions since they wouldn’t want to bite the banking lobby’s hand that feeds them. We had hoped the Democrats would take advantage of the opportunity to grill one of the key players in destruction of the housing market. Especially since the hearing was being blasted live on the web. We even put bullet points on the sheets so the members would understand the questions and appear more educated than Mr. Hultman. In the video, the Democrats on the Committee sat there mute and refused to ask a single question.
I was baffled by the fact that not a single Democrat opened their mouth. This became even more troubling when Republican Chairman, Marty Knollenberg commented after the hearing about how he had no idea what MERS was until two months before hearing. Why aren’t they standing up, holding press conferences or calling for his removal?
Joe DiSano, a Democratic Political Strategist based in Michigan appeared on the Tony Trupiano Show in Detroit the other day and made an interesting observation, “I think there is a question if the Democrats are going to take advantages of the missteps from the opposing party. Democrats are not known to take advantage of those opportunities…”
It appears that aside from not knowing anything about finance and banking, Michigan Democrats have never studied military history. Here’s a phrase that Michigan Democrats politicians need to memorize and live by, L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace!
Then you have the other side of the coin, Democratic politicians in other states who embrace L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace! to an extreme and become so blinded by wanting to do the right thing when it comes to helping homeowners that they lose all sense of reality and don’t do the smart thing. Politicians namely Democrats, armed with only limited knowledge of banking and their own naivete can lay the groundwork for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Doing the smart thing is critical especially when litigation or public policy is involved because one poorly crafted lawsuits, piece of litigation or public relations stunt by an inept attorney or politician can set a dangerous precedence that can ripple across the country affecting hundreds of thousands of homeowners.
This is exactly what is going on in Massachusetts.
In Massachusetts, The Southern Essex County Register of Deeds, John O’Brien is so obsessed with exposing robo-signing that he has bombarded the media with press releases for the past six months.
The most interesting one being the one in February where he claimed MERS owed the Southern Essex District nearly $22.3 million in unpaid recording fees. This number is based on the claim that the mortgage was assigned twice in the MERS system. This is unlikely because in the nearly 500 mortgage investigations MFI-Miami has done involving MERS mortgages only two have been assigned multiple times in the MERS system. Usually the mortgage goes in and comes comes out when being assigned into a mortgage pool or when it is publicly recorded prior to a foreclosure. I will give O’Brien huge kudos for bringing MERS into the spotlight even though I believe his math is flawed.
O’Brien has also teamed up with a Marie McDonnell, a forensic mortgage examiner on Cape Cod. Now, I normally don’t write about competitors because I find it in bad taste but in this case, I’m making an exception.
She markets the investigation work she did on the Ibanez/LaRace cases as the crown jewel of her career. Thanks mainly to the hard work of other people like attorney Glenn Russell, the cases received a favorable ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
However, what she doesn’t tell people is that she was kicked off the case as an expert because she lacked a finance or mortgage background and the research she provided had to be re-done and certified by someone else. She heavily promoted her involvement in this case before it went to the SJC and ran the risk of looking foolish because of her removal. In order to save face, she filed an Amicus Curiae in the case.
She then promoted this Amicus Curiae as if it was the linchpin that held this case together and that it was the secret weapon that caused the SJC to hear the case. When in reality, it had no bearing on the case or the favorable outcome.
Again what she doesn’t tell people is that anyone can file an Amicus Curiae in a case. It’s nothing more than an unsolicited opinion filed on a pending court action from the general public. She used it as a marketing ploy to solicit homeowners ignorant of the law and to increase her presence with the online foreclosure activist community.
She also has a history of lifting other people’s research and claiming it as her own. She did this several months ago using an investigation that MFI-Miami did into robo-signing at Orlans Associates and Orlans Moran. When she was confronted about it she openly admitted to taking MFI-Miami research and used it in her solicitation material to several Register of Deeds across the US.
Don’t get me wrong, John O’Brien is an okay guy and a great public servant, but unfortunately like most other Democrats it appears he believes in some Utopian Fantasy World inspired by 40 year old John Lennon music or the dusty writings of Bobby Kennedy. He thinks because some one offers their services for free, they are looking out for their neighbor or want to hold hands in a circle and sing Ladysmith Black Mambazo songs. In many cases, this is not true. After all, free advice is seldom cheap. There are plenty of opportunists who want to take advantage of a politician’s trust and play on their vanity if there is a chance for profit.
I admit I’m a cynic which is why I gave up my Democratic Party membership nine years ago. I gave up believing what people tell me. It could be from the hypocrisy of politics, the cut throat nature of the mortgage industry or watching too many David Lynch movies but I’ve come to believe none of what I’m told and only half of what I see.
Democratic politicians need to understand that people are better served when our elected officials stand up and do the smart thing politically not what they feel is the right thing. The first smart thing they can do is to get educated about how mortgage lending works and who the players are instead of just simply jumping on the bandwagon of bashing Linda Green and DocX. They then need to stand up, ask questions and demand answers from the banks.
If you ask the majority of the politicians from both sides of the political aisle who hires companies like DocX, LPS, or NTC chances are Curtis Hertel, Jr. is the only one who knows the answer.