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Confusion Mounts Over Missing WilCo Mortgage Documents
Frustration is boiling in Williamson County over an audit that revealed thousands could face an unexpected foreclosure.
County Clerk Nancy Rister tells us the office has been flooded with hundreds of calls after claims there are an estimated 60,000 missing loan documents and more than half of the existing files are forged.
Right now Rister says they have uncovered 20 people who are affected, but she is expecting that number to grow.
Ken Craven is one of them. "I saw your story last night and thought that would be a really easy thing to take care of. So I got up this morning around seven and started working on it," Craven said.
Around 5 p.m. he uncovered his mortgage documents have been filed through the Mortgage Electronic Recording System or MERS, the national database Williamson County blames for all the missing and fraudulent documents.
"It was through the universal, which is Lenoir Homes. They sold it to Countrywide, which then became part of the MERS network, which Bank of America took over. Then Fannie Mae at one point owned the loan," he said.
Craven says the only document filed with the county is from his very first lender.
"I talked to the county clerk at least three times today. What they say is the rule is every assignment of the mortgage has to be documented with a record in the county," Craven said.
But when he asked his mortgage company to file with the county, they told him that wasn't necessary. MERS released a statement saying that as well.
The county says those companies are breaking the law.
So what should he do? Real Estate attorney Robert Avera says unexpected foreclosures are rare. His advice is to keep paying your loan.
"Mortgage payments that are being made on time, there is no reason to have concern. It's when homeowners get delinquent is when the problems start happening," Avera said.
In the meantime, Craven is taking matters in his own hands.
"I'm going to send a letter to Bank of America, Fannie Mae requesting them to send an assignment of debt or loan to the county, to be recorded," Craven said.
To check your records go to the county website. If your current mortgage documents do not match which lender you are paying, contact your mortgage company to file an assignment note.
Rister advises if you are running into road blocks with your lender contact the Texas Attorney General's Office or the Better Business Bureau.
She says on Monday she will meet with the county attorney to see what legal steps they will take.
Right now Dallas County is suing MERS.
By Christie Post