Palm Beach Gardens homeowner gets $18 million in foreclosure settlement – persistence and skill pays off!

18 Mar

From: Charles Cox [mailto:charles@bayliving.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:15 AM
To: Charles Cox
Subject: Palm Beach Gardens homeowner gets $18 million in foreclosure settlement – persistence and skill pays off!

Palm Beach Gardens homeowner gets $18 million in foreclosure settlement

by Kim Miller

 

Lynn Szymoniak

Palm Beach Gardens homeowner and foreclosure fighter Lynn Szymoniak is slated to get $18 million from the nationwide settlement with the country’s five largest banks that was filed in federal court Monday.

Szymoniak, who was featured on the CBS news show 60 Minutes last year for the work she did uncovering the robo-signing scandal, said this morning that her gain from the settlement seems “surreal.”

“I always tend to discount everything until it’s signed,” she said. “I knew it was part of the settlement in February, but not how much.”

Szymoniak’s settlement is part of a larger $95 million agreement reached with the banks and Bill Nettles, the U.S. District Attorney of South Carolina. That agreement is written into the $25 billion nationwide settlement between 40 state attorneys general and Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Ally Financial, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

South Carolina began investigating allegations in the spring of 2010 that banks were involved in a nationwide practice of failing to obtain required mortgage assignments. The lack of appropriate assignments resulted in servicing misconduct and using false assignments to submit federal housing administration mortgage insurance claims, according to a press release.

The False Claims Act allows the government to bring actions against groups that knowingly use false documents to obtain government money or to conceal an obligation to pay money.

The lawsuit was initially filed by Szymnoniak under a whistleblower provision in the False Claims Act.

Under the act, the whistleblower is entitled to a share of the government’s recovery.

“By this agreement we are making an important first step to hold mortgage servicers accountable for fraudulent and abusive practices, not only in South Carolina but nationwide,” said Nettles. “It also demonstrates the role that whistleblowers can play in working with the government to return dollars to the federal treasury and to expose wrongdoing.”

  • Mortgage Assignments As Evidence of Fraud (April, 2010), Fraud Digest.
  • An Officer of Too Many Banks (January, 2010), Fraud Digest.
  • Compare These Signatures (January, 2010), Fraud Digest.
  • Too Many Jobs (January, 2010), Fraud Digest.
  • Deutsche Bank National Trust Company and Foreclosure Document Mills (January, 2010), Fraud Digest.
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