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How accurate are property records? By Tom Harvey

The Salt Lake Tribune Published: January 16, 2011

Keane has filed lawsuit that resulted in homeowners getting title to their property even if they owed someone money because of flaws introduced into the nation's property recording system by an entity created by the Mortgage Bankers Association. A Utah court case in which the owner of a Draper townhouse got clear title to the property, even though he still owed $132,000 on it, raises new legal and financial questions about a property-records database created by mortgage bankers. The award of a title free of liens means that whoever owns the promissory note on the Draper property — likely a group of faraway investors — no longer has the right to foreclose to collect on a delinquent loan. Indeed, the townhouse owner has sold the property and kept the money. Those who own the promissory note probably don’t even know what occurred.

Published in Feature Headlines

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Wells Fargo, US Bancorp Lose Key Foreclosure Ruling

Friday, 7 Jan 2011 | 1:55 PM ET

In a ruling that may affect foreclosures nationwide, Massachusetts' highest court voided the seizure of two homes by Wells Fargo and US Bancorp after the banks failed to show they held the mortgages at the time they foreclosed.

Bank shares fell, dragging down the broader U.S. stock market, after the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts on Friday issued its decision, which upheld a lower court ruling.

The decision is among the earliest to address the validity of foreclosures conducted without full documentation. That issue last year prompted an uproar that led lenders such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Ally Financial to temporarily stop seizing homes.

Published in Feature Headlines