Big Banks Pay Senator to Make It Easier to Foreclose on Homes

Big Banks Pay Senator to Make It Easier to Foreclose on Homes

Susanne.Posel-Headline.News.Official- washington.hobbs.northwest.trustees.rco_occupycorporatismSusanne Posel ,Chief Editor Occupy Corporatism | The US Independent
February 18, 2015


Mark Wilson, mortgage lender and resident of Everett, wrote to Washington State legislator Steve Hobbs and many other senators regarding Senate Bill 5968 which would make it “easier for citizen’s homes to be taken from them without any responsibility for wrongful foreclosure.”

The bill was not voted on and the residents who came out to the Capitol expressed their grievances over the nature and implications proposed by this legislation.

Wilson wrote to Hobbs: “…your proposed bill seeks to accelerate that annihilation. It doubles down on an already suffering citizenry.”

This week Hobbs proposed legislation for consideration to the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee (FIIC) to amend the Deeds of Trust Act to allow nearly anyone to initiate a foreclosure against the homeowner without having to possess the mortgage note at the time of filing of proceedings.

Scott Stafne, a Washington State attorney and advocate against bank foreclosures, wrote an open letter to Hobbs as commentary on the proposed legislation.

Stafne wrote: “Hobbs’ bill, SB 5968, is designed by lawyers for trustees to undo what few protections the people of Washington have against slime ball debt collectors taking Washingtonians’ homes. Why? Because the trustee makes money on every house it can take away from a Washington voter. And the trustee gives a enough of that money to someone like Hobbs, who has no interest in protecting his constituents’ rights.”

Joshua Trumbull, partner of the Stafne Trumball law firm in Arlington, wrote to Hobbs as a constituent of the senator: “I am extremely disappointed to learn that you are a sponsor of SB 5968. SB 5968 would hurt homeowners and the people of this state, while exclusively benefiting the special interests of the Financial Industry.”

Trumbull explained that the legal definition of “holder” and “owner” would be “impacted” by this bill: “The notice and proof of ownership requirements embodied in the current Deed of Trust Act are essential so homeowners can identify the owner of their loan who shares an economic interest in finding a mutually beneficial, or “win-win,” alternative to foreclosure. The proof of ownership requirement is also crucial to ensure that the party authorizing nonjudicial foreclosure is the lender/owner, or its successor in interest, that has the contractual right to foreclose under the deed of trust. SB 5968 would eliminate these valuable protections that Washington homeowners currently enjoy under the existing law.”

Residents and attorneys agree that Hobbs is motivated by special interest groups in the banking industry who would benefit from this broad redefining of “owner” and “holder” in order that more foreclosures could be initiated by banks and their representatives.

Trumbull pointed out: “It is very important for a borrower to know who owns their loan. The owner of the loan is the true stakeholder that the borrower needs to negotiate with in order to attempt to find an alternative to foreclosure. Because the loan servicer or other third party is financially incentivized to foreclose, foreclosure is what happens. If this bill passed, it would deprive homeowners of knowing the role of the entity they are communicating with, and will allow the servicers to continue to prey on borrowers and mislead them into foreclosure.”

At the heart of the foreclosure industry in Washington State and the dubious connection to Hobbs is a corporation called Northwest Trustees (NWT) and their alliance with lawyers that contributed to Hobbs senatorial campaign.

NWT has netted high profits from the more than 250,000 foreclosures administered in Washington State.

Financial contributions totaling $26,500 from NWT to Hobb’s congressional campaign for state senate was provided by:

• David and Catherine Fennell for $13,000
• Stephen and Jo Anne Routh for $10,000
• Lance and Jennifer Olsen $3,500

David Fennell is a Washington State attorney, who works with and is a shareholder principle owner of NWT, to file mortgage default notices “against delinquent homeowners” and is a senior attorney of Routh Crabtree Olsen law firm (RCOLegal).

Through the 3 partners of RCOLegal, NWT spent just under $30,000 to Hobbs who has recently introduced a bill that would directly benefit NWT in their efforts to continue to impose foreclosures on residents of Washington State.

Two years ago, Fennell was accused of “inflating the cost of foreclosure filings” 18% above average “during the [height of the] housing crisis.”

The complaint was dismissed by the Oregon State Bar for failure to prove “Fennell had direct knowledge of” the price hikes and even intimated that “some of the price increases could possibly be legitimate.”

The OSB said: “In order to hold Mr. Fennell responsible for a misrepresentation by omission, the Bar must establish that Mr. Fennell knew how FEI was describing its publication charges and that it was material to Bend area trustees or trust deed beneficiaries to know that they were being charged more than what the newspaper charged for publication. In the absence of direct evidence, the only way the Bar could establish that Mr. Fennell knew about FEI’s actions and the expectations of Bend area trustees is through inference from the evidence we do have.”

Ironically Fennell was accused of the very same price gouging in the late 1990s and again in 2004.

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