By Catherine Curan for the New York Post
How exactly do the note endorsement processes described in Wells Fargo’s controversial Home Mortgage Foreclosure Attorney Procedure Manual work?
On March 12, The Post broke the news of this manual and allegations in court papers by attorney Linda Tirelli that the document provides detailed procedures to fabricate foreclosure papers on demand. Wells Fargo denied the allegations.
Now a federal judge wants the nation’s largest mortgage servicer to shed further light on the procedures described in the manual, and how it may have been used in the case of Westchester resident Cynthia Carssow-Franklin.
In an extraordinary move, Judge Robert Drain reopened discovery in the case, which had already gone to trial. At a May 21 hearing in White Plains, Judge Drain ordered Wells Fargo to produce the version of the manual in effect in 2010 when it filed a proof of claim. Carssow-Franklin filed for bankruptcy to halt foreclosure on her home.
Tirelli has challenged the assignment of mortgage and endorsement of the note, documents that transfer ownership when a loan is sold.
At the hearing, attorney David Dunn said the bank’s note endorsement process “relates to the endorsement by Wells Fargo of notes that are payable to Wells Fargo.”
“Well, I don’t know that for sure,” said Judge Drain, who later added: “I don’t know. If … there is an endorsement team that can retroactively put in endorsements.”
Judge Drain also ordered the bank to provide documents relating to the involvement of a note endorsement team, and any agents or employees endorsing notes by Wells Fargo with respect to Carssow-Franklin’s note.
“How this was actually processed is front and center in this case,” said Judge Drain. “I’d rather have the issue cleared up, and, frankly, I think Wells Fargo probably would too.”
“The policies and processes outlined in Wells Fargo’s Foreclosure Attorney Procedure Manual are proper and legal, and Ms. Tirelli’s outrageous claims are completely unsupported. In this case, the contents of the manual are irrelevant and its admission will not change the fact that we were fully authorized to file a proof of claim,” a Wells spokesperson said.