This just in from GRE:

“That makes any foreclosures in the city based on these documents illegal and unenforceable, and makes the King County recording offices where the documents are located a massive crime scene.

The problems stem from the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems(MERS), an entity banks created so they could transfer mortgages privately, saving them billions of dollars in transfer fees to public recording offices. In Washington state, MERS’ practices were found illegal by the State Supreme Court in 2012. But MERS continued those practices with only cosmetic changes, the audit found.

That finding has national implications. Every state has its own mortgage laws, and some of the audit’s conclusions may not necessarily apply elsewhere. But it shows how MERS reacted to being caught defrauding the public by trying to sneak through foreclosures anyway. Combined with evidence in other parts of the country, like the failure to register out-of-state business trusts in Montana, it suggests that the mortgage industry has been inattentive to and dismissive of state foreclosure laws.

Source: https://theintercept.com/2015/09/18/leaked-seattle-audit-concludes-many-mortgage-documents-void/

A Seattle housing activist on Wednesday uploaded an explosive land-record audit that the local City Council had been sitting on, revealing its far-reaching conclusion: that all assignments of mortgages the auditors studied are void.

That makes any foreclosures in the city based on these documents illegal and unenforceable, and makes the King County recording offices where the documents are located a massive crime scene.

The problems stem from the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems(MERS), an entity banks created so they could transfer mortgages privately, saving them billions of dollars in transfer fees to public recording offices. In Washington state, MERS’ practices were found illegal by the State Supreme Court in 2012. But MERS continued those practices with only cosmetic changes, the audit found.

That finding has national implications. Every state has its own mortgage laws, and some of the audit’s conclusions may not necessarily apply elsewhere. But it shows how MERS reacted to being caught defrauding the public by trying to sneak through foreclosures anyway. Combined with evidence in other parts of the country, like the failure to register out-of-state business trusts in Montana, it suggests that the mortgage industry has been inattentive to and dismissive of state foreclosure laws.

Christopher King, a Seattle-area real estate professional who makes short films about the foreclosure crisis at MortgageMovies.net, confronted the City Council at its Monday night meeting. King has been among several Seattle-area activists demanding that council members pay attention to fraud in the public records, even inviting them to public seminars on the issue.

“Some of you have attended my seminars and acknowledged that there’s criminal activity going on,” King told the council. “I want to have the taxpayers have confidence in the City Council that we’re going to address the problem, because it’s right here.”

King, who said he received the audit from fellow activists, published it onScribd, an upload site for large documents.

The council had commissioned the audit from McDonnell Property Analytics, a forensic analyst of mortgage documents. It surveyed assignments from the first half of 2013 involving MERS, which is owned by big banks Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Please click here to read more