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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT  OccupyOxnard.org

Ventura, CA, released on March 9, 2012 On Monday, March 12th, The People of Ventura County will add their voices to the resounding majority of Americans across our state and nation demanding that County Recorders and public officials maintain their oaths of office and halt all foreclosures in the county of Ventura until such time as a thorough audit by the County Recorder has been completed and any resulting illegal activity referred to the District Attorney for prosecution.

WHO: OccupyOxnard, OccupyVentura, Occupy805, and Local Affiliates

WHAT: In protest of City officials pandering to banks and illegal foreclosuresin our county;

WHERE:  We will meet at the Government Center, the corner of Victoria and Telephone

WHEN:  March 12, 2012
10:30 am. Victoria and Telephone
11am: Government Center Home Auction
Before Noon: We will proceed to the Recorder’s Office and present a                                                            written letter, signed by many Ventura County residents;

WHY:  Because 99% of the homes foreclosed may have been done illegally

A recent audit by the San Francisco County Recorder found 99% of the foreclosures audited had questionable activity, 84% had at least one clear violation of law on foreclosures and over 66% with 4 or more violations.*  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has found a similar level of foreclosure fraud related to the MERS system, which is depriving counties and municipalities of mortgage deed filing fees in the millions of dollars.**

Yet, on a statewide basis, very little is being done by elected and appointed government officials either to expose or prosecute foreclosure fraud. It’s outrageous that the nation’s largest banks and Wall Street are allowed to dictate the terms and conditions of their punishment for foreclosure fraud while thousands of people in California are losing their beloved homes as the result of fraudulent foreclosure practices.

On Monday, March 12th, Occupy groups from across California will hold multiple simultan-eous events at county recorder offices and home auctions in as many as 58 California county seats to call attention to massive ongoing foreclosure fraud.

THE GOALS OF THE EVENT:  The goals of these events are twofold:

1) WE are seeking to expose the full extent of foreclosure fraud by banks and Wall Street in California. Therefore, we demand that every county recorder conduct similar audits both to measure the level of foreclosure fraud and to determine the amount of tax dollars that have been lost due to fraudulent filings.

2) WE are seeking an end to illegal foreclosures. Therefore, we demand that California Attorney General Kamala Harris (and/or the State Legislature? and/or the Governor?) immediately suspend all foreclosures in the state until both these county audits and the Attorney General’s criminal investigation of foreclosure fraud are complete.

THE BIG BANKS GET BAILED OUT AND FAMILIES GET THROWN OUT
Despite the well financed campaign to convince America that the epidemic of empty buildings we see around us is simply a natural market correction to bad choices made by a few irresponsible borrowers, the actual evidence points to wide scale criminal activity on the part of the mortgage and banking industry itself. So much evidence of wrongdoing by the big banks has been uncovered that the Federal Government recently negotiated a nationwide, $25 billion dollar settlement with the five largest banks; and yet, both New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and our own Kamala Harris say this doesn’t settle all issues of wrong-doing by the banks, and further actions are expected.

A newly released audit of the foreclosure system by San Francisco Assessor – Recorders office entitled “FORECLOSURE IN CALIFORNIA, A CRISIS OF COMPLIANCE”, details some of the abuses that led to the settlement, and makes very clear that more must be done to end the systemic problems in real estate funding.

Research by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found systemic issues related to the title industry’s use of the MERS Mortgage Electronic Registration System , which  deprives counties and municipalities of mortgage deed filing fees in the millions of dollars, while making it impossible for homeowner to know who truly owns their mortgages.  This confusion also makes it difficult for homeowners to address issues once they occur.

We are here to expose the full extent of foreclosure fraud by banks and and set things right for hard-working Californians. WE demand that the county immediately halt all foreclosure proceedings until the systemic problems with title recording and foreclosure practices has been thoroughly understood and corrected; WE demand a full investigation of foreclosure practices in Ventura County, including the role played by county officials;

WE demand an exact accounting of  revenue lost by unpaid title processing fees and other fraudulent practices of the banking industry;

And, WE demand that all who are guilty of wrong doing be stripped of their ill-gotten gains and punished to the full extent of the law.

And, most importantly, that this be immediately followed up with safeguards, so as to ensure that California homeowners will never be held hostage by the banking and mortgage industry again.

Visit OccupyOxnard.org for more.

It’s Our Government/ Our Responsibility

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OUR NATIONAL PROBLEM IS VENTURA COUNTY’S PROBLEM

According to Realty Trac, about twice as many homes in Oxnard are in foreclosure than have been sold in the last nine months.  According to Zillow’s index of Ventura, home prices went from $565k in May of 2007 to $328k December 2011. It is this downward pressure on housing prices that is putting homeowners underwater and drying up municipal revenues.

A 2006 study by Immergluck and Smith found that an increase of one standard deviation in the foreclosure rate (about 2.8 foreclosures for every 100 owner-occupied properties in one year) corresponds to an increase in neighborhood violent crime of approximately 6.7 percent. According to a 2005 study by Apgar and Duda, “One foreclosure can impose up to $34,000 in direct costs on local government agencies, including inspections, court actions, police and fire department efforts, potential demolition, unpaid water and sewage, and trash removal;” and that further: “One foreclosure can result in as much as an additional $220,000 in reduced property value and home equity for nearby homes.”

Mortgage News Daily says that for each foreclosed home, “The local government loses $19,227 through diminished taxes and fees and a shrinking tax base as home prices decrease. ”

So much evidence of wrongdoing by the big banks has been uncovered, that the Federal Government recently negotiated a nationwide, $25 billion dollar settlement with the five largest banks (a fraction of the $700 billion TARP bail out taxpayers gave the banks).  There was also an audit of the foreclosure system by San Francisco Assessor – Recorders Office, which was released in February 2012.  The document, entitled, “FORECLOSURE IN CALIFORNIA, A CRISIS OF COMPLIANCE,” details some of the abuses that led to the settlement between the big banks and 49 state attorney generals.  The settlement makes very clear that more must be done to end the systemic problems in real estate funding and bank fraud.

If only for the practical purpose of controlling the costs imposed on government by this unprecedented increase in foreclosure activity, we feel an immediate halt and overhaul of foreclosure practices is urgently needed at this time, while council conduct immediate reviews of county procedures and foreclosure practices.

It’s Our Government/ Our Responsibility

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WE BEGGED THE RIGHT QUESTION, BUT WAS THE DEREGULATION OF BANKS THE RIGHT ANSWER?

In 1999 congress abandoned Glass-Steagall, declaring that the financial markets were capable of regulating themselves.  Our legislators decided to let market forces, through individual profit motive and risk assessment, keep the market robust. In doing so, they placed the fox in charge of the chickens and failed to take into account the irresistible draw of corporate criminal greed.

Deregulation of the financial markets and the choices made by our elected represent-atives in congress are the direct cause of every bit of this financial “crisis”. Through criminal collusion, congress and the Bush administration orchestrated the largest transfer of property in US History.  It took property out of the hands of hard-working Americans who played and continue to play by the rules, and put it into the hands of the1% who write the rules for their benefit.

Our investigation into foreclosure procedures and practices has resulted in an important epiphany: none of this theft by the banks could have been possible without the collusion of county recorders offices across the state and nation.  It is the recorder’s responsibility to ensure that every transfer of title follows all rules enacted by the legislature, and that no party receives special treatment, and that all reasonable efforts be made to ensure all transfers of title are true, correct, and legal.

We are here today to find out who, precisely, in our government, represents the taxpaying voters; and who works for the powerful tax-avoiding 1% who corrupt politicians with political contributions, insider tips, and outright bribes.

We’re here to tell you that we know the truth about the criminal collusion between the big banks and our representatives.  And this knowledge has made us angry enough to do something about it. We’re not going to wait for elections, and we’re not going to accept anymore excuses. We intend to clean up our government, starting right here right now, and not stop until every corrupt politician and his fat cat friends are behind bars.

It’s Our Government/ Our Responsibility

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The ongoing illegal foreclosure practices are causing direct and indirect pain and suffering to the citizens of our community, who are victims of the foreclosure scandal  The following is a list of just some of the hardships the foreclosed homeowners of Ventura County must endure because of our broken, fraudulent system:

 Healthcare cost increase due to mental health and stress-related issues.

 Child endangerment

 Family breakup

 Homelessness

 Damage to communities

 Housing deterioration

 Loss of tax base resulting in municipal deficits

 Loss of property values

 Rise in crime rates

 Rise in unemployment

 Economic collapse and runaway economic destruction

 The loss of treasured valuables and possessions

It’s Our Government/ Our Responsibility

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Bank Actions That Are Acts of Fraud

o Falsely claiming to be the owner/holder of the mortgage;

o Falsely claiming standing by use of names such as Trustee, Assignee, Nominee, Beneficiary,

o Fraudulently invoking the jurisdiction of the court; o Preying on the ignorance of the court and homeowner;

o Falsely claiming Pooling & Servicing Agreements, industry standards, rules, guidelines or other industry-authored writings supersede the law;

o Failing to follow PSA guidelines;

o Robo-Signing legal documents without the legal authority to do so.

o Entering on-time payments as late, to exact illegal and unauthorized fees;

o Manipulating account records;

o Backdating legal documents;

o Filing forged documents in courts and public records;

o Charging force-placed insurance when the homeowner already has full coverage;

o Falsely reporting a default to the credit bureaus when it is the

pretender lender who is manufacturing the default;

o Paying property taxes late, then charging the late penalties to the borrower;

o Paying taxes and insurance on the wrong property;

o Refusing payments to guarantee default;

o Adding thousands of dollars in unearned legal fees to create a default;

o Ignoring customer complaints and “qualified written requests”;

o Arrogantly violating numerous laws and regulations;

o Coercing the homeowner into signing a forbearance agreement to strip away their legal rights;

o Falsifying records and documents;

o Committing fraud upon the courts by stating they are the Holder and Owner of the Note – when in fact – they do not own or hold the “original” Note;

o Intentionally causing delays to run up your legal expenses;

o Creating fictitious documents (Lost Note Affidavits, Power of Attorney, etc.);

o Triggering the terms of the null and void Deed of Trust/Mortgage

o Apply to the trust for reimbursement after deducting the fees from the borrowers p&i payments, (Known as double-dipping)

o Rounding up ARM rates when on a downward trend;

o Not adhering to the terms of the loan documents;

o Creating additional false deficiencies through a variety of questionable practices;

o Adding misc. fees to purposely create a deficiency with the borrower’s next payment;

o Not applying payments to principal and interest;

o Committing perjury through misrepresentations;

o Withholding or redacting discovery evidence;

o Tampering with court transcripts and removing evidence from the record;

o Conjuring up events that never happened while refusing to provide documentation to support their fallacies;

o Refusing to cooperate with attempts to refinance and stop the illegal foreclosure;

o Using abuse of litigation, appeals and malicious prosecution to litigate forever;

o Payoffs to the consumer’s attorney, law enforcement officials, judges, court personnel and government officials;

o Threats & intimidation; o Electronic surveillance;

o Purposely having homeowner apply and reapply for loan modifications–not to qualify them for a loan, but to get government money for putting one through the application process

o Wire Fraud / Mail Fraud;

o Conspiracy;

o Fraud in the inducement;

o Unjust Enrichment;

o Embezzlement;

o Racketeering – RICO;

o Extortion;

o Abuse of Process;

o Violation of ethics;

o Grand Theft;

o Extortion;

o Tax Fraud (REMIC);

o Public Corruption;

o Notary Fraud;

o Evidence Tampering;

o Theft of Government Services;

o Perjury;

o Felonious Influence of Public Officials;

o Money Laundering;

o Insurance Fraud;

o Securities Fraud;

o Constitutional and Civil Right violations.

o Loan Modification Fraud: Making homeowners apply repeatedly for loan modifications

So banks can get kickbacks from the government for each application

It’s Our Government/ Our Responsibility

 

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