Monday, April 18, 2011

Story Corrected Oct. 6, 2012---Prosecutor Bill Mason Investigates Chase Home Finance, Bricker And Eckler Lawfirm, Judge O'Donnell, Sheriff Reid For Potential Mortgage Fraud

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason

From the Metro Desk of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com and Cleveland Urban News.Com (

Chase Home Finance Company is under investigation by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason's office for potential mortgage fraud against Black homeowners of Cuyahoga County.

At issue is the attempt by attorneys for Chase Mortgage Company, which no longer exists , foreclosing on homes of Black people when their current mortgage company is Chase Home Finance, though they are require that all foreclosure complaints initiated before 2005 by Chase Mortgage Company must be dismissed and refiled by Chase Homes Finance, the new company, and upon refiling the mortgage company cannot ask for legal fees. This holds true for any other foreclosures where during the litigation the mortgage company changes hands.And data show that Chase Home Finance might not hold the mortgage note since the mortgage transfers were allegedly done without a notary public.

"They did call here about a mortgage fraud investigation," said Mark Budzar, the bailiff for Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell, who has cases brought by Chase Mortgage Company before 2005 and has not dismissed them to require that that are refiled by Chase Home Finance. Instead, O'Donnell is permitting Chase Finance Company attorneys to maintain the first foreclosure lawsuit before him under the name of Chase Mortgage Company and to file second foreclosure complaints against the same homeowners with Cuyahoga Judge Carolyn Friedland to protect Chase Home Finance. Friedland then dismisses the cases without prejudice saying she lacks jurisdiction and then tries to have O'Donnell go ahead and steal a homes via a foreclosure by Chase Mortgage Company, even though this company does not exists and he has jurisdiction to do so. And when people complain O'Donnell has them thrown in the county jail with the help of the department of the county sheriff.

And lawyers for Chase Mortgage Company, namely Bricker and Eckler and Lerner, Sampson and Rothfuss, are falsifying notices of foreclosure sale to Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid and leaving off the name of Chase Mortgage Company, because it does not exist. Hence, Reid can illegally proceed with an illegal foreclosure under the defunct Chase Mortgage Company when it no longer exits and is now Chase Home Finance and the foreclosure complaint must be dismissed and refiled.

Case records of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas reveal that the main person falsifying foreclosure notices of sale and handing them to O'Donnell and the sheriff is Miranda Hamrick, an attorney for Lerner, Sampson and Rothfuss.

"We are investigating this issue," Timothy Lea of Mason's mortgage fraud unit said last week," though Lea is really harassing homeowners and threatening foreclosure unless they cut deals with Chase Home Finance, a company so powerful that it can foreclose before O'Donnell with Reid's help without even filing a foreclosure complaint or lawsuit. And then Reid sales the foreclosed it to Chase Home Finance at up to an 80 percent discount, all with the support of Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, who appoints  Reid by county charter.

O'Donnell staff attorney Alexa Beeler referred questions to the foreclosure department.

Mason's office did not respond to a request for comment on the mortgage fraud investigation.

Cuyahoga County Chief Foreclosure Magistrate Stephen Bucha is accused of harassing homeowners subject to the alleged illegal activity by saying that they must hire attorneys to challenge the activity though the Ohio Judicial Code of Conduct and the Ohio Lawyer's Professional Code of Responsibility require that a judge or lawyer that is made aware of an ethics or rule violation must report it to the bar. And they must do all things possible to deal with it like in Donnell's case dismissing foreclosure complaints sua sponte that have Chase Mortgage Company as the plaintiff because the company no longer exists and thus does not hold or own mortgage note and accordingly, it lacks standing to litigate foreclosures, even against Black homeowners.

Bricker and Eckler was hired by county officials to investigate potential malfeasance of county employees, a questionable gesture some say since its attorneys are simultaneously participating in potential mortgage fraud against Black homeowners.

And since Fitzgerald has adopted ethics rules for county employees like Reid, questions have arisen as to why the appointed sheriff is not questioning illegal notices of foreclosure sales. Also, Reid's office said that they are aware that Chase Mortgage Company no longer exists and attorneys for Chase Home Finance are still trying to sale the homes of Black people via questionable foreclosure activity.

Reid spokesperson Jim Bitterman would not comment further. He referred all questions to O'Donnell, saying that "we have nothing to do with that man." He did, however, admit that Reid's office is deflating the values of foreclosed homes to sale a discounts and data show that those getting discounts are friends of the sheriff and the Cuyahiga County Republican and Democratic parties, and the sheriff himself.

Fitzgerald did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The Cleveland Urban News.Com. Blog is continuing its investigation and will keep the community apprised via upcoming articles.