NY Judge Slams Wells Fargo For Forging Documents... And Why Nothing Will Change

Tyler Durden's picture

Bankruptcy judge Robert Drain of the New York Southern District has long been one of the more fascinating litigators at One Bowling Green. However, until today we though that his often outspoken style is reserved for his career caseload, which includes among it Delphi, Hostess, and RCN; little did we know that Drain is also an activist on par with the infamous Jed Rakoff (author of the infamous rhetorical essay "Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted In Connection With The Financial Crisis?" which over 1 year later still has no answer).

Today, thanks to Zero Hedge contributor 4closurefraud.org, who over the weekend noticed a critical filing in the case of Cynthia Carrsow-Franklin vs Wells Fargo, we find something stunning: in his 30-page decision (attached below), Drain accused Wells of forging, and explicitly used the word "forged", not once, not twice, but a whopping 22 times in his opinion!

By way of background, the case involves a debtor, New York speech pathologist for autistic children, Cynthia Carrsow Franklin, whose Westchester Country house Wells Fargo is trying to prove it has a right to foreclose on. The proceedings had been going on since 2010, and it took five years of endless Wells Fargo lies for the presiding judge to finally snap and, as the Post reported, "shred Wells Fargo’s arguments regarding two crucial documents needed to prove ownership of a loan: an indorsement (another term for endorsement) on a note and an assignment of mortgage."

It goes without saying that a whole lot of robosigning and rubberstamping are involved.

What followed was an epic litany of incendiary allegations that Wells Fargo, which for its sake is not being prosecuted, is nothing but a petty criminal engaging in forgery and fabrication.

Some examples:

  • ... the Debtor contended that the blank indorsement that appeared for the first time on the form of Note attached to Claim No. 1-2 was as improper as the purported July 12, 2010 Assignment of Mortgage to Wells Fargo executed on behalf of the assignor/nominee by an employee of Wells Fargo. As alleged by the Claim Objection, the blank indorsement was forged in response to problems with the documentation of Wells Fargo’s right to enforce the Note, just, as the Debtor contended, the July 12, 2010 Assignment of Mortgage was manufactured three days before Claim No. 1-1 was filed in order to falsely lead the Debtor and the Court to think that Wells Fargo had an independent right to enforce a mortgage on the Property.
  • ... While agreeing to the admission of the original version of the Note, the Debtor did not, of course, agree to the validity of the blank ABN Amro indorsement, continuing to assert that it was forged. The Debtor also objected to the admission of certain other proposed exhibits printed from Wells Fargo’s computer file for the loan at issue, which Wells Fargo offered as business records under Fed. R. Evid. 803(6).
  • ... It constitutes substantial evidence that Wells Fargo’s administrative group responsible for the documentary aspects of enforcing defaulted loan documents created new mortgage assignments and forged indorsements when it was determined by outside counsel that they were required to enforce loans. Given that evidence, Wells Fargo should have the burden to establish the bona fides of the blank ABN Amro indorsement...
  • ...Because Wells Fargo does not rely on the Assignment of Mortgage to prove its claim, the foregoing evidence is helpful to the Debtor only indirectly, insofar as it goes to show that the blank indorsement, upon which Wells Fargo is relying, was forged. Nevertheless it does show a general willingness and practice on Wells Fargo’s part to create documentary evidence, after-the-fact, when enforcing its claims, WHICH IS EXTRAORDINARY.

The basis for Drain's harsh accusations of petty criminality by Warren Buffett's preferred bank is sourced in the work of Herman John Kennerty, who was deposed for this case by Franklin’s attorney. Kennerty is one of those mortgage loan processing managers who, like the infamous Linda Green was best known for engaging in massive and widespread robosigning: "Drain casts a harsh eye on Kennerty’s statements about his work as a manager heading up a “default documents” department for Wells Fargo at the time of Franklin’s foreclosure. Kennerty admitted to signing between 50 and 150 original documents each day related to administration and enforcement of Wells’ defaulted loans, according to the ruling." To wit:

It appears from Mr. Kennerty’s deposition transcript, although his testimony on this point was at times quite evasive, that during the period in question in 2010 he signed on average between 50 and 150 original documents a day in connection with Wells Fargo’s administration and enforcement of defaulted loans.


In other words, on a daily basis Mr. Kennerty and his team, members of which he also testified signed a like number of documents each day, id., processed a large volume of loan documents for enforcement with very little thought about what they were doing.


It is not clear that Mr. Kennerty fully understood the legal consequences of signing these documents; for example, he testified when shown the Assignment of Mortgage that he executed it not on behalf of the assigning party but, rather, on behalf of the party “in getting the assignment,” although he also testified that “I’m – I’m not an attorney, but the way I understand this document, it was assigning the mortgage, taking it out of MERS’ name and putting into Wells Fargo Bank’s name.” Id. at 93-4. It is clear, however, that he pretty much signed whatever outside counsel working on the default put in front of him and that these documents often included assignments, including the Assignment of Mortgage, drafted by Wells Fargo’s outside enforcement counsel to fill in missing gaps in the record.

The fabrication process in detail:

... in describing the work of his “assignment team” Mr. Kennerty stated, “[I]f there was not an assignment in there [that is, in Wells Fargo’s loan file] then they would – excuse me, they would advise the attorney that we did not have it, that they would need to draft the – the appropriate assignment.” Id. at 116. See also id. at 76 (“[I]f the assignment needed to be created they would have advised the attorney, the requesting attorney to – that we did not have the assignment in the collateral file, then they needed to draw up the appropriate document.”); id. at 121 (“Once it [that is, the collateral file] was received then they would check to see if it was something that could be used or not used; and, if it’s something that was in the file, but couldn’t be used then they would advise the requesting attorney to go ahead and draft the actual document.”).

And some more from Kinnerty's own testimony:

Q. And the actual procedure for endorsing an original note, if you could just walk me through that process. What would the processor do?


A. To the best of my recollection, they would – the request would come in. Again, we would check to see if we had the collateral file. If we – if we had it and depending on the status of the – of the loan itself, if we had the note then we could check to see, you know, what was actually on the note to see what needed to be done. If we did not have the collateral file then they would work – that processor would work with the collateral file ordering team to reach out with the appropriate attorney or, I’m sorry, the appropriate custodian to obtain the collateral file. And then they would look to – once the file came in they would look to ensure that the original note was in  there and check to see if there was any endorsement on the back of the note.


Q. Okay. And if there wasn’t how would they go about – how would the processor go about endorsing the note?


A. I don’t recall specifically how they completed that particular task.


Q. Was it a rubber stamp? Was it somebody signing? How was it?


A. To the best of my recollection, a stamp was involved but then it had to be signed.


Q. Okay. And if an endorsement was coming from an entity that no longer existed how would it be signed?


A. I do not recall.

So now that Wells has been exposed in court fir its data forgery, what happens next?

Several things. According to the Post, "Wells Fargo has about two weeks to file a notice of appeal. The megabank lost this round, but the judge also made it clear that Franklin’s debt remains."

To be sure, Wells will redouble its efforts to avoid an adverse case decision, as this is already the second legal loss for the California bank in just one week: "Drain’s ruling followed another major loss for Wells Fargo in a residential foreclosure case last week — and another smackdown, this time from a Missouri state court judge. This in turn comes after Wells Fargo and three other big banks were hit with a $2.7 million penalty to settle allegations of unlawful foreclosures in Massachusetts."

On Jan. 26, Judge R. Brent Elliott of Missouri’s 43rd Judicial Circuit awarded $2.9 million in punitive damages to a Missouri couple who spent years in limbo after Wells wrongfully foreclosed on their home. Wells sold it to Freddie Mac on Aug. 15, 2008, even after agreeing to a reinstatement of the loan following a disputed debt.


Elliott also blasted Wells Fargo for “outrageous and reprehensible” decisions and “deceptive and intentional conduct” that “displayed a complete and total disregard for the rights of David and Crystal Holm.


Defendant Wells Fargo operated from a position of superiority provided by its enormous wealth,” Brent wrote in a blistering nine-page decision. “Wells Fargo’s decision took advantage of an obviously financially vulnerable family,” the judge continued, noting that Wells Fargo showed no evidence of remorse for the harm caused.


“In fact, the Court recalls the lack of remorse and humanity illustrated by a Wells Fargo corporate representative who testified, ‘I’m not here as a human being. I’m here as a representative of Wells Fargo,’ ” the judge wrote.


The couple and their 12-year-old daughter got their home back, along with a total of $3.25 million in damages.

And yet, despite these pyrrhic victories, the most likely recourse by Wells, who as Judge Elliott noted "operates from a position of superiority provided by its enormous wealth" will be to spend some more of that wealth to make sure the US judicial system works as expected: on behalf of the richest and most criminal.  Moments ago Reuters reported a far more expected and traditional outcome of this corrupt day and age: "A U.S. judge on Monday rejected allegations by the New York state attorney general that Wells Fargo was not complying with the $25 billion mortgage settlement that federal and state authorities reached with five banks in 2012."

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer described Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's allegations as "so insubstantial" that the state failed to alleged a breach of the agreement.


In 2013, Schneiderman accused Wells Fargo of failing to comply with several mortgage servicing standards as prescribed by the earlier settlement.

And here is the absolutely epic punchline: DC District "Judge" Rosemary Collyer... 

... was recently appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to a seven year term on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which expires in 2020. As a reminder, the Court is the one that, in absolute isolation with zero checks and balances, "oversees" the surveillance activities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Said otherwise, she is one of the 11 judges in charge of making sure that the NSA spies only on foreigners, not on US citizens, something which the Snowden revelations have shown, is patently false.

In other words, the same US "judge" who decides that perpetuating the US crony capitalist system in which a bank caught forging documents is for, reasons unknown, allowed to get away with everything without as much as a wrist slap, is the same judge who makes sure that the NSA can continue spying on US citizens without fear of any reprisals or being caught in breach of any number of surveillance laws and constitutional amendments (read more in "How a Court Secretly Evolved, Extending U.S. Spies’ Reach.")

Wait, did we say "reasons unknown" - what we meant was reasons very well known. The only unknown is whether the reasons are in the 7 or 8 figures. Because when one "operates from a position of superiority provided by its enormous wealth", not to mention tens of billions in taxpayer bailouts, that is the only question.

Oh, and when Judge Rakoff decided to pen the post-script to his "Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted In Connection With The Financial Crisis?" Op-Ed, maybe he should speak to "Judge" Collyer first for some truly valuable perspective on how the US judicial system really works.

* * *

Judge Drain's full, if completely irrelevant, opinion below

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ekm1's picture

Duuuuh. This is Warren Buffett's bank.


Buffett is practically the modern Rothchild. He owns the White House and half of congress

SickDollar's picture

exactly. ALL A FARCE

keep the show going lol

ekm1's picture

Koch bros are minions compared to the control Buffett has.

Romney Wordsworth's picture
Romney Wordsworth (not verified) ekm1 Feb 2, 2015 6:30 PM

& yet he's [BUFFETT] still a minion in the BIG PICTURE [Considerably less than Lex Luthor getting 'Australia']


We're so f***ed!

lordylord's picture

And what did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned our government must be strong
It's always right and never wrong
Our leaders are the finest men
And we elect them again and again
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school

Tom Paxton '64

Alea Iactaest's picture

I learned about Comer v Bank of Canada.

logicalman's picture

I've been following this one since the beginning - Was at a Comer conference the Saturday before the appeal.

Rocco Galati was one of the speakers, along with a forensic accountant called Al Rosen.

Both had interesting things to say.

Kristin Wong-Tam a Toronto Councillor had some interesting things to say.

Should be available on-line soon.


Handful of Dust's picture

Departments of Chicanery and Fraud are one of the most robust divisions of financial institutions. Wall Street and Bank fraud & forgery is a booming business heading into the 21st century.


I think there's even a grad degree in that; it's called, an "MBA".

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Why do zerohedgers have this obsession with punishing executives for corporate misdoings? It simply does not make sense to hold executives responsible for crimes that occur at a corporate level. Most multinationals have thousands of employees - you simply cannot expect executives to be responsible for the actions of each and every one of these employees; it's just not fair or practical. The way that our legal system works now is wholly appropriate – if crimes have been committed at a corporate level, then fine the corporation, not the executives! Corporate crimes deserve corporate punishment – this is justice, fair and square. The readers that disagree with this should study some corporate law, because they have no idea what they are talking about. 

Insanity Wolf's picture

Yeah, fine corporate execs for their misdeeds

...with a good ass-raping!

El Oregonian's picture

"if crimes have been committed at a corporate level, then fine the corporation, not the executives! Corporate crimes deserve corporal punishment"



BKbroiler's picture

corporations are people my friend

lincolnsteffens's picture

No, corporations are not people. People are human beings. Corporations are persons. Persons are, unless modified by the word natural, corporations or entities, or the all capitalized "TITLE" name.  JOHN DOE is a person. John Doe is one of the people, a human being.

cooky puss's picture

Come on, man. It's a Mitt Romney reference if I recall correctly. The <sarc tag is implicit here ;-)

A Nanny Moose's picture

How about Linda Green. Is she a people?

Help Is Not Coming's picture

I'm fine with "Corporations being people" as long as the corporation is also exposed to "the death penalty".

If the corporation commits a felony then all of its assets should be imprisoned for the same amount of time a person would have been imprisoned.

A corporation should also be exposed to the death penalty if it commits a serious enough crime and all of its assets are to be sold, first all wronged parties "made whole", all fines paid, all creditors paid and only then will any remaining money be returned to the shareholders (witholding the amount against capital gains/losses, etc).

Then the corporation gets dissolved and is no more.

So if corporations is to get all the benefits of being a person they also should get all the liabilities of being a person.

EDIT: as noted above "corporations are persons" and not people.

e_goldstein's picture

Corporations aren't people until Texas executes one or two of them.

logicalman's picture

You absolutely can not be serious.

Every now and agian you show up and say a bunch of totally insane stuff in a, for want of a better term, totally amazed 'tone' that is almost believable.


You should be writing for The Onion!

just in case i'm wrong, let's run with what you said.

If a person commits a criminal act that results in the death of another person it is called murder and the penalty is, in most places, life in priosn.

If a corporation does something illegal that causes a SINGLE death, it has committed murder and its Corporate Charter is GONE.

Think of Tepco - Union Carbide - Monsanto - etc. etc.

All GONE and you would have to be OK with that, based on your comment.

Stained Class's picture

We are talking about what happens in a court room, jackass, between a judge who cares and, ugh, oh please excuse me, I got sucked in by Million $Dollar Bonus or Bogus, or whoever.

That guy should be banned for his twisted cerebral cognizance, and his attempted waste of my time. Fuck You MDB! Whoever the fuck you are, douche bag.

Do me a favor, get me banned. I'll have more time for myself.


"corporate misdoings" are actually crimes against humanity because the

Corporatist criminals are aware that their crimes will lead to increases in all sorts of other crimes that would not have manifested if the Corporatists had operated within the law, and spirit of the law in the

first place. Only Corporatists can justify their crimes against humanity

by rationalization that crimes against humanity are to be viewed as

"corporate misdoings", MillionDollarBullshitartist.

InanimateCarbonRod's picture

holy omaha MDB. You're just on fire with the faux rhetoric...well done, Sir/Madam!

SubjectivObject's picture

Sarbanes-Oxley, anyone?

No?  Just for small fry you say?

ersatz007's picture

Because corporate executives get paid ridiculously, dare I say obscenely huge amounts of money to oversee the operations of the thousands of divisions and employees who report to them.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I am very, very surprised that there has been any citizen initiated, retribution killings, yet.


johngaltfla's picture

Race to the bottom, there were several down here in Florida during the peak of the fraudulent foreclosures in 2007-2009. Several servers and LEOs were shot by homeowners who were being served foreclosure/eviction notifications and they were at the end of their rope and eventually their lives.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I did not know that.  Thanks for the information Jaohngaltfla

logicalman's picture

There probably have, but MSM would call the perp 'crazy' or 'disgruntled' or some other meaningless, yet derogatory sounding name.

If someone steals your life, I think disgruntled is a reasonable response.

Maybe violence would be a reasonable response. Just don't try saying that to the judge.


Rock and Hard Space's picture

Praytel, how would we know?

Ya' think the paid-for MSM would tell us?

Just like the millions paid out for harm though the US vaccination courts, the MSM refuses to report it so the plebes believe it isn't happening.

If vaccines were so damned safe we wouldn't have a court that doles out damages (to an industry that was given a 100% liability pass by the Dems and Reagan) to the families of the harmed.

If a vaccine kills a kid and the MSM doesn't report on it, does the kid's family feel no grief?  Guess not.

So, just because "you haven't heard" of such doings, in no way reflects the reality on the ground.

Kept in the dark and fed bullshit, we all be mushrooms now.

logicalman's picture

Just be careful next time you throw your hat!

Romney Wordsworth's picture
Romney Wordsworth (not verified) knukles Feb 2, 2015 6:36 PM

Neo Elmer Fuddalism

DaveyJones's picture

Theodorick of York Medieval Banker

Ps. Great Article

I especially like the Wells Fargo rep announcing that he was there not as a human being but as a bank representative

I guess he had to say that, he did swear under oath

Bloppy's picture

Yup, and if Buffett owns it, then CNBC LOVES it. Which means Wells Fargo is the best bank evah.


Rand Paul in EPIC on-air tirade against CNBC:


saints51's picture

I sure hope you do not believe Rand Paul will make the united states corp better for its citizens. If so then please pass the pixie dust over here.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Rand Paul lost me and millions of other Americans the minute he supported Mitt Romney for President.


Bossman1967's picture

Oh so that asshole stole my house in 2007 cocksucker should die after eating his own shit

sgt_doom's picture

Exactly, plus it is a great article and presentation of data.

Best books about fraudclosure:

The Divide, by Matt Taibbi

A Dream Foreclosed, by Laura Gottesdiener

WillyGroper's picture

don't forget the kids he's diddeling

iclouding's picture
iclouding (not verified) ekm1 Feb 3, 2015 3:39 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... www.globe-report.com

Feel it Reel it's picture

Let me explain this again... The Lawyers protect the Bankers...The Bankers fund the Lawyers who are the Politicians.... 50-55% of The House and Senate are Lawyers/Trial Attorneys....The highest ever in U.S. history....The Law profession is not regulated and never will be...Now do you get it... The Lawyers who are the politicians are corrupt....

55 men's picture

Stupid story but thought i would share.....

I moved to Omaha in 2007 for school and I loved to go jogging in the Dundy area....The houses are beautiful and all very unique, and the area is completely tree covered....They are not multi million dollar homes but very nice....Anyway I was jogging and only really knew the streets and the general location of where I was. I ran by this one particular house and as I passed it, I realized I needed to go the other way, I had stopped and was just processing exactly what direction I needed to go, so I turned around and started jogging back the way I came, and as soon as i came around , there was a gentelmen coming towards me from the house, he stopped me and started questioning me, asked me why i turned around , which i thought was weird at the time because the trees and bushes start to hide the house and thats when i stopped....basically i just rolled my eyes and shook my head and told the guy to leave me alone....Found out later that it was Buffet's house.....which is not real great, basically its a total image thing with the public....Didnt even really know who this guy was until this happened, havent liked him since...2007-2008 was the year that I opened up pandoras box...Deprogramming myself was quite the experience

Imagery's picture

Not to worry.  Wells will just print up any judgments against it which effectively "steals" the judgment from savers thru immediate devaluation of currency in circ.

Latitude25's picture

Yeah I bought my house for cash in 2009 and 2 years later JP MOrgan/Chase sent me a letter informing me that they were the mortgage holders on the house and payments were due.  I sent them a registered letter telling them to fuck off and never heard from them again.

knukles's picture

I had a firm contact me several times for refinancing a mortgage that doesn't exist.  Same thing.  Told them I don't have one.  They told me I was mistaken in one case and a liar in the other, because some database somewhere says I have a mortgage that doesn't exist.
Fuck me!
I once also told a banker that if he'd "best not screw me because I have herpes".
Also went with Mrs K to get Xmas cards one year.  Had a zillion to send out to clients, friends, employees, bosses, partners.... dumb ass shit.  We'd decided to get them printed so as to save hours of hand written insincere lies.  We go into the really fancy store in a really high class place and this lady all dressed to the 9's and snootier than all hell asked me how I wanted them to read and I said "May You Choke To Death on Your Fucking Holiday Dinner."
Mrs K thought something along the lines of Seasons Greetings was bit more socially acceptable.  Which I thought left way too fucking much to the imagination. 
There were times I did not get along with my bosses and misplaced authority very well.

Latitude25's picture

It's happened a lot.  A friend of mine had a mortgage but the bank went under and another one took it over with no paperwork.  He went to court and the bank was thrown out for lack of documentation proving mortgage ownership.  He's still living in the house and probably will continue for years more but never get title to it.

Salsipuedes's picture

As their cities burn and their families are slaughtered, our uncorruptible stalwarts of jurisprudence will surely continue to insist on their FULL PENSIONS!

Romney Wordsworth's picture
Romney Wordsworth (not verified) Salsipuedes Feb 2, 2015 6:41 PM

I <3 the word "jurisprudence"


...as in [other terms I'm interested in]:

- mathematically impossible

- asymmetrical

- representation

- banking


- political

- activism

- jurisprudence


Something about those words tells me that there's a STORY that's waiting to be told.