The judge denied an order to stay the eviction set for tomorrow, Thursday, November 9th, despite clear evidence of wrongdoing in giving a strictly forbidden reverse mortgage to a local African American disabled man on his income producing 20 acre farm.
The fraud stems from distorted pictures in appraisals used to originate the reverse mortgage that obscure the cell tower on the farm property which makes it an income producing property. There is also an income producing second house used as a rental which was photographed from an angle which allowed it to be called “storage” in the appraisals. The Williams family were given a strictly forbidden reverse mortgage since the guidelines and regulations strictly forbid it.
HUD finally sent the heir, Annette Williams, the appraisals requested by Congressman Steny Hoyer in 2014 on September 29, 2017, more than 6 weeks after an order granting a writ of possession to evict the Williams family. Both that 2003 origination appraisal and 2014 foreclosure appraisal confirmed fraud from day one — an effort that appears to be succeeding to defraud an 81-year-old disabled African American man of valuable property in Calvert County which he wanted to leave as an inheritance for his daughter, Annette Williams, a single woman and heir.
An income-producing commercial cell tower with its land lease made his 20-acre farm ineligible for a reverse mortgage and the mortgage company knew it, but they did it anyway.
Those appraisals arrived right before a local judge in Calvert County ruled to let Fannie Mae take possession of the entire property (and issued a third eviction notice — this time to be out by 12:00 noon on Thursday, November 9, 2017). That judge ruled in favor of Fannie Mae after another judge approved a motion to stay the eviction pending an appeal, but that order was dependent upon posting a $10,000 supersedeas bond. Since Fannie Mae is not considered a bona fide purchaser, the heir was not required to post a supersedeas bond. Despite the illegality of the originating note, opposing counsel argued that the heir had to also pay $2,000 a month “as rent” for the duration of the appeal period to cover their expenses. The heir has struggled financially because she was the caregiver for her disabled parent and disabled twin sister and has had no other income since their deaths except for the income from the cell tower. She was without legal representation when I submitted my motion to waive posting that supersedeas bond and an affidavit of indigency which was denied. Besides Fannie Mae not being a bona fide purchaser, there is another exception to posting the bond that the heir only recently discovered.
After activism on the part of local churches and friends, Williams acquired the services of an attorney who had worked with her to stay the first eviction attempt pending appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. He filed a motion with evidence of the fraud but that motion was denied. The appraisals which are part of the court record prove a pattern of fraud – fraud intended to rob an elderly, disabled African-American man (and his heir/s) of valuable property and leave them homeless and penniless in the process. The motion recently filed is based upon Maryland Rule 14-211 (fraud) to permit a new hearing and stay the eviction. The entire foreclosure should be dismissed. There is also the possibility of collecting damages for the fraud from a federal suit if Williams can get the money to file it.
This is a wrongful foreclosure on a reverse mortgage that never should have been given. There is evidence of violations of several federal statutes. Mortgage fraud, especially fraud for profit that is often done against the elderly like in this case is a federal crime. It is possible that other foreclosures may have also involved such fraud, and other families had their homes and property stolen from them. Such injustice would have to be corrected.
Now about those new appraisals — when I lined them all up (I have 5 of the 6 appraisals done by appraisers hired by the mortgage companies) and compared them to one done by an appraiser whom I hired to determine the market value of the entire property, there were some glaring differences. Each involved a deliberate attempt to conceal the presence of that income-producing cell tower.
Then the company that owns that cell tower informed me that they were stopping their monthly payments pending the outcome of litigation. Talk about a perfect storm.
So now again I do not have enough money to cover my legal expenses. Unless something happens very soon to reverse that trend, the attorney who just filed paperwork on my behalf may strike his appearance and walk away. If that happens, the opposing counsel will immediately go right back to court to steal everything despite the fraud because I won’t have anyone to protect my rights.
The mortgage company had Williams on a dual track to defraud her of the property, telling her they were cooperating with her to refinance the mortgage while moving forward at the same time in a foreclosure. The banks have accepted a consent order that forbids them from this practice while a document obtained from an examiner with the State of Maryland’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation proved robo-signing. Lynn Szymoniak, the fraud expert in Florida who discovered robo-signing, sent Williams an email confirming that there was both fraud and fraudulent actions involved in her particular case. In fact, all three of the mortgage companies’ assignments were “robo-signed”and included the signature of that notorious robo-signer Linda Green; one assignment even included an address for Countrywide, which was responsible for Bank of America’s downfall.
Williams, the heir, is a 65-year-old cancer survivor on a fixed income. Every cent of her income has been used for copying, scanning, mailing and for lawyer fees. The expenses associated with foreclosure defense can run into the thousands, not counting legal fees.
Williams says she will continue to fight. “My parents worked too long and too hard for me to let someone steal it from me.”