Foreclosure Fraud North by Northwest with Attorney Shawn Newman, A Mandelman Matters Podcast
Shawn T. Newman of Olympia, Washington is a highly experienced lawyer who fights for the rights of homeowners, among others. Washington State homeowners should know of him, as should the other foreclosure defense attorneys around the country. Unquestionably, he’s one of “US.”
Here’s an excerpt from Shawn’s article, Freddie and Fannie’s Mortgage Shell Game, which appeared as a Guest Post on Mandelman Matters:
Chances are Fannie or Freddie “own your mortgage.” If you are in litigation, you should follow up with targeted discovery requests to the servicer confirming the servicer does not “own” your mortgage. Moreover, you should inquire and demand any records showing Freddie or Fannie assigned the mortgage to the servicer. Servicers will point to Freddie or Fannie servicing guidelines which basically provide that the servicer forecloses in its (the servicer’s) own name. Given a mortgage is an interest in land and the requirement under the statute of frauds that such contracts be in writing, the servicer’s standing to foreclose can be challenged absent some proof that the mortgage was specifically assigned by Freddie or Fannie to the servicer. Legally, Freddie and Fannie must assign back the note to the servicer. In fact, Freddie has a specific form 105 to do so.
However, Freddie and Fannie’s guidelines have evolved over time and you may find that there is no such assignment in most cases. Unless there is a written assignment from the mortgage owner (Freddy or Fannie) to the servicer, the servicer cannot foreclose for the simple reason they are not part of the mortgage contract. Simply put, only the mortgage owner can foreclose on the mortgage contract. Moreover, if the assignment of the mortgage is invalid or fraudulent, then there is a “cloud on title” which should be identified by title and mortgage insurers.
Shawn has worked as a Washington State Assistant Attorney General (Education Division), Evergreen State College Legal Counsel, Washington State Senate Staff Counsel (Senate Committee Services) and as a Public Defender. In his private practice, he represents various individuals, community groups, for profit and non-profit organizations and businesses.
Shawn is currently General Counsel to Saint Martin’s University and has served on the editorial board of the Journal of College and University Law. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Mr. Newman also serves as Washington State Director for the Initiative and Referendum Institute, based at the University of Southern California.
Shawn is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School and Ohio State University. While at Notre Dame, he received a fellowship from the White Center for Law and Government and served as the Legislative Research Editor for the Journal of Legislation.