Whistle-blowing attorney joins former cop's eviction fight - CBS46 News

Whistle-blowing attorney joins former cop's eviction fight

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Jacqueline Barber Jacqueline Barber

Jacqueline Barber says her lender was anything but up front. She believes what the company did was downright underhanded.

"I'm thinking you're dealing with a business. Everyone is going to be up front," Barber said.

Barber explained that her lender, Wells Fargo, used robo-signed documents, paperwork forged illegally, to foreclose on her home.

"I never thought a bank would think about fraud or robo-signing," Barber said.

Barber is a former undercover narcotics detective with the Atlanta Police Department, a cancer survivor and a grandmother of four.

Barber bought her house on Stearman Road in 2005 so her four grandchildren would have a place to call home

She hit hard times after her disability benefits were eliminated.

Her mortgage adjusted from $2,400 a month to nearly $3,900 a short time later.

Barber said the lender foreclosed on her property earlier this year even as company executives told her they would try to negotiate a deal.

Fellow officers, current and retired, forged an unlikely alliance with Occupy Atlanta to pressure the company that is handling Barber's loan to modify her mortgage so she can stay in her home.

And now, a nationally known attorney is joining the fight.

Lynn Szymoniak is a Florida lawyer and fraud investigator who blew the whistle on robo-signing while she fought to save her own home from foreclosure. 

Szymoniak accused Wells Fargo of forging documents to push through foreclosure proceedings on Barber's home.

"This is a robo-signed document," Szymoniak said, referring to a document she said was used to transfer Barber's loan to several different companies.

"It's full of inaccuracies," Szymoniak said. "They don't read  (the documents). They just blindly sign a name. They sometimes don't even sign their own name."

One document shows the signature of  Nicholas Hoye on Aug. 19, 2011. Another shows Natasha Clark's signature on May 19, 2008.

Both documents indicate that Hoye and Clark worked for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc.

Szymoniak said that neither Hoye nor Clark worked for that company.

"Natasha Clark is a famous robo-signer who worked for Wells Fargo in their document production mill in South Carolina," Szymoniak said.

"They are inconsistent, they contradict each other and there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how they acquired the mortgage," Szymoniak said.

The mortgage should have been transferred only once in 2006 in order for the transaction to be legal, Szymoniak said.

"There are four different dates where they claimed to have acquired Jacqueline's mortgage," said Szymoniak, who noted that lenders around the country are robo-signing documents to force people out of their homes.

She said mortgage servicers, middle men in the mortgage process, have big incentives to push through foreclosures. They earn more from foreclosure fees than they do from trying to negotiate a loan modification.

"What they really do is produce papers to force people out of their homes to convince judges trusts had documents they didn't have," Szymoniak said.

"I feel betrayed," Barber said. "It's making me very upset and angry to know this is happening. I never would've thought this would happen that a bank would do this."     

CBS Atlanta called Wells Fargo to ask if the company robo-signed documents to hasten foreclosure proceedings on Barber's home.

We are still working to get an answer.

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