|June 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm #2620|
1. We need you! I know how busy everyone is, but the foreclosure crisis continues to unfold. We’ve got important work going on in the realm of mortgage fraud detection, supporting people going through foreclosure, and challenging the “hiddenness” of the foreclosure sales at the courthouse. It’s fun! It’s exciting! It has real implications for real people! Okay, truth is, some of it is kind of boring at times (leafing through 615 foreclosure files, for example but it’s still important!
2. Come to the Thursday morning meeting! It is so much easier for us to stay connected and energized if we actually see each other face-to-face on a regular basis. At the FWG social that was held at Julie Knight’s house last Saturday, several folks re-committed to doing all they can to getting to the Thursday morning meet-up at Spring Garden Bakery. Bring yourself, plus any thing you’re working on & with: scanners, data collection forms, video, etc. It helps us get stuff done if we have all the stuff we’re working with.
3. Some news about the fraud detection project. We had a great discussion across plates of good food at Julie’s last weeked. In the process, we clarified why we’re working so hard on this tedious, drawn out business of data collection for the fraud detection project. Based on that discussion, Nathan and I have written some stuff that’ll ultimately get posted on the website, but I wanted to make sure everyone had access to this thinking–in hopes it motivates you to keep on trucking!! See below.
4. Also, Fraud Detectives: you can now check out scanners and pick up data collection forms at Glenwood Coffee and Books! If you are unsure of the case numbers you should be reviewing, call one of the senior detectives, and they’ll give you the file numbers for you to focus on.
Senior Detectives Contact List
It’s occasionally evident in a single file that there is some kind of fraud, but most times, the only way to detect fraud is to examine lots and lots of files, looking for patterns and making comparisons. For example, think about what Jeff Thigpen was able to show in the Guilford County Registers files, looking at Deeds of Trust (aka mortgages) with regard to faked signatures. He couldn’t look at any one example of Linda Green’s signature and see that it was a fake (Linda Green is the name of a now infamous robosigner). He had to look at thousands of files to identify multiple, different signatures to prove that many people were signing Linda Green’s name. We’re doing something similar–but with even more types of data–looking at at the foreclosure files in the Clerk of Court’s office.
Once we get the data into the database, we’ll be easily able to analyze it for patterns and to make all kinds of comparisons. We’ll be looking for help from Rochelle and others around the country who have started to identify the names of “bad actors” (e.g., people who’ve signed affidavits they haven’t prepared themselves or notaries who’ve notarized signatures they did not actually see being executed and so on). We’ll be able to search our database for these names and quickly pull up the cases in which they play a role. We’ll also be able to compile lists of all the people and firms who are managing and profiting from the whole foreclosure “industry.” We may even be able to estimate the amount of money generated for these firms from Guilford County foreclosures. We’re don’t know yet the full range of analyses that we’ll do on the data once it’s in the database, but we’re pretty certain that we’ll be able to use the data to document the levels and types of fraud that are going on in Guilford County foreclosures. And that’ll be a story worth telling!
Specific ways we can use the data include:
1 – Robo-Signing
2 – Follow the Money
3 – Clerkish Coziness
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