America’s Wholesale Lender Scam: Unraveling the Nightmare of Mortgage Liens

Former Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo

MFI-Miami has been inundated with distress calls from homeowners and title agents, seeking guidance on the long-lasting repercussions of Countrywide Financial’s notorious America’s Wholesale Lender scam. These mortgage liens, dating back over 15 years, still haunt individuals as they struggle to sell their homes or refinance. It’s a title nightmare that seems never-ending.

How the America’s Wholesale Lender Scam Unfolded

Around 2001, Countrywide Financial introduced America’s Wholesale Lender to separate their wholesale and retail loan divisions. However, there’s one glaring problem: America’s Wholesale Lender was never a legitimate entity. It was merely a clever front used by Countrywide Financial and its CEO Angelo Mozilo, the mastermind behind the scam.

Any mortgage issued by Countrywide Home Loans and bearing the name America’s Wholesale Lender raises concerns. The document would typically state, “Lender is a Corporation organized and existing under the laws of New York.” Yet, America’s Wholesale Lender never existed as a corporation in New York. Countrywide Financial conveniently failed to incorporate it or register an assumed name in any county in the state. This leaves homeowners wondering whether it was mere mismanagement or a deliberate act of fraud.

Bank of America: Caught in the Aftermath

Bank of America finds itself in a precarious position due to its connection to the America’s Wholesale Lender scam. In 2007, under pressure from the Bush Administration, the bank acquired the struggling Countrywide Financial. To resolve the issue, Bank of America hastily dumped the loans and servicing on the secondary market when America’s Wholesale Lender became a liability after the financial crisis. The repercussions of their actions were swift, resembling the rapid clearance of Saul Goodman’s office at the end of Breaking Bad.

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The consequences are two-fold for Bank of America. Firstly, it emerges that Countrywide had misled homeowners from the start about their actual lender. Secondly, America’s Wholesale Lender was never a legally recognized New York corporation. Although Countrywide trademarked the name, it held no legal standing. This misstep puts the bank in a precarious position and leaves them holding unenforceable mortgages.

MERS: Complicit in the Scam?

The fallout from the America’s Wholesale Lender scam also creates significant liability for MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) and those authorized to sign on its behalf. MERS can only act as a nominee for its members and assign mortgagee rights accordingly. However, they should have known that America’s Wholesale Lender was never a MERS member or a legitimate New York corporation. This oversight opens the door for potential fraud lawsuits against MERS and its signatories. Furthermore, MBS Trusts and Bank of America could find themselves left with unenforceable mortgages.

Unveiling Further Scams

As if the America’s Wholesale Lender scam wasn’t enough, several individuals attempted to capitalize on the chaos of the financial crisis. In 2008, scam artists, including Dennis L. Bell, formed a fake America’s Wholesale Lender LLC in New York. Their aim was simple: exploit the foreclosure crisis and claim free properties. It’s important to note that this LLC had no connection to Countrywide or Bank of America. Bell and his associates filed false mortgage assignments and loan satisfactions to acquire homes unlawfully.

Bank of America took legal action against Bell in 2012, uncovering the title fraud in California. They also discovered Bell’s extensive criminal record in Missouri, along with his involvement in various mortgage fraud schemes. Alongside Jan Van Eck and Cheri B. English, Bell filed fraudulent reconveyances and bogus judgments in California state courts, falsely releasing liens on properties with Countrywide mortgages. Ironically, Bell admitted to his role in the America’s Wholesale Lender scam while filing a lawsuit against Van Eck. The lawsuit brought his fraudulent activities to light.

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To read Bank of America’s lawsuit regarding the America’s Wholesale Lender scam, click here.

If you find yourself entangled in the America’s Wholesale Lender nightmare, contact us at 888.737.6344. Our team is here to help you navigate the complexities and seek justice.