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Indiana couple accuses Bank of America of racketeering

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Bank of America Corp. and its Countrywide Home Loans unit were accused of racketeering in a lawsuit filed by two Indiana residents claiming that perjured affidavits were used to foreclose on their home.

Dwayne Ransom Davis and Melisa Davis filed the complaint Tuesday in federal court in Indianapolis. Their lawyer, Irwin Levin, confirmed the filing in a phone interview, but it couldn’t be independently verified.

“The defendants and their cohorts engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity in which they routinely and repeatedly prepared perjured affidavits in order to rapidly churn foreclosures,” the couple said in the complaint.

Bank of America, the largest U.S. lender, resumed foreclosures on Oct. 18, after a 10-day nationwide pause to review more than 100,000 cases.

“Our assessment shows underlying information provided as the basis for our past foreclosure decisions is accurate,” Rick Simon, a spokesman for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank, said in an e-mailed statement earlier Tuesday.

Simon was responding then to an announcement by Tom Dart, sheriff of Cook County, Ill., which includes Chicago, that he will halt foreclosure evictions starting Oct. 25 unless Bank of America and two other lenders provide him with assurances that the proceedings are being lawfully pursued.

“To my knowledge, we have not seen this suit and cannot comment on it,” Simon said of the Davis case in a later interview.

The Davises accuse the lenders of using “robo-signers,” people who sign affidavits attesting to facts underlying foreclosures without actual knowledge of those facts, to push through paperwork to take their home in Knightstown.

While the borrowers aren’t asking the court to reverse their foreclosure, they’re seeking compensatory damages tripled under federal racketeering laws, as well as class-action status to sue on behalf of anyone whose home was allegedly taken since October 2006 under similar circumstances.

Levin said the group might include hundreds of thousands of people. The managing partner of Indianapolis law firm Cohen & Malad LLP, Levin has built a national reputation for representing individuals in class-action lawsuits, often against corporate heavyweights.

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  • show me the money
    I have paid my loans now for 6 years. At $4500 a month that adds up to $324,000 USD. My house is currently $120,000 USD under value. I took my loan at 7% fixed that was a good rate at the time. I picked a house that was well below what i could afford. I could of rented the same house for half of what i paid. Why should i keep paying my house payment? If the banks are not lending any money to even ppl with good credit why should i care if they mess up my credit? Its time for tar and feathers.
  • Racketeering, indeed
    Foreclosing on a property one doesn't own is simple fraud. How are these bankers not swinging from lampposts?
  • Honest Living
    Guess what folks? If you commit Fraud in America you can and will be sued. These people need to sue the bank and the officers of the bank and take their houses away and put them out on the street. Don't like American law? MOVE TO RUSSIA.
  • Typical Hoosier Sentiment
    This article has been linked nationally, confirming everyone's knowledge of Indiana being a bursting repository of hindsighters and bigots. IF Auntie had a package she'd be Unk. It's the American Dream to get into debt, stop being so stupid
  • Vultures on the horizon...
    Many people had jobs and could afford the loans before those same banks raised interest on business loans and made it harder to get them, thus stifling the job market, thus making it so their mortgagees could no longer afford to pay because the job market dried up (seriously, many people are losing their homes and CAN NOT FIND JOBS, Look around your towns, how many developments to how many shopping centers with low pay jobs and EMPTY STORES, the ratio is not there), now the Bank stockholders are hiring vultures on CL's to go and hunt down cheap foreclosure properties to grab up the REAL assets...

    On another note...
    Is this going to mean another Bank Bailout in the future? Also, with BOA being the number one holder of the Federal Reserve, what will it mean to the economy if it goes through (with the BOA taking losses for Racketeering, won't that tighten the amount of money printed based on the reserve shares?)? I don't believe it's right for them to get away with all the shadiness they've done, but if the Shareholders jumped ship before this article was released, wouldn't the major criminals have gotten away with it?
  • Shocked!!
    I'm shocked that readers of the IBJ would side with the banks!!! Irrespective of the issues regarding the mortgages and lender's preying on the less sophisticated, you are all just fine with perjured testimony. Why should banks be able to lie under oath? You seem to be fine with bank misdeeds because it's not your ox being gored. Have you already forgotten that it was bank misdeeds that got us here in the first place?
  • interesting
    I find it interesting that these people don't want their foreclosure reversed (cleaning up their credit history) or their house back, they want TRIPLE damages paid to them. When will people learn to earn what you have and live within your means??? Everyone goes somewhere for about 8 hours a day to earn money- it's called work for a reason.
  • Dumb and Dumber
    I think these people should be foreclosed on just for being stupid.
  • I pay my bills too.
    I agree. I live within my means and pay my debts as I have agreed to. Now...I don't have to worry about foreclosure. It's simple.
  • Compensatory Damages?
    What are they asking to be compensated for? Were they wrongfully foreclosed on? They want to get paid because some yahoo in California or whereever signed a form saying he read the documents when he didn't? When they signed the original mortgage, did they read the entire document? If not, then they are just as guilty of "racketeering" as the bank is.

    What a surprise that Levin is representing them! Nothing more than a financial ambulance chaser.
  • I Pay My Bills
    I Pay My Bills...why can't they. Now they are going to bring legal action against the banks that loaned them the money for a house they should not have purchased in the first place...for a house they most likely could not afford in the first place...just to get $$$. This is just going to end up costing ME more money in bank fees. Thanks. Here is an idea. PAY YOUR BILLS. Just my opinion.

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

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