Nurse connects dots in foreclosure crisis (and a note on local involvement)
This is an amazing story because it shows so clearly what's happening out in the hinterlands, and perhaps right next to you, right now:
Florida has been ground zero for foreclosure fraud, but even with multibillion-dollar settlements and federal consent orders, the state's financial services industry may face new scrutiny from a community activist who's taken a critical look at the industry and its practices.
Lisa Epstein, who's running for clerk of court in Palm Beach County, was once an oncology nurse. For most of her career she saw her patients strike deals with their banks when they ran into debt problems, particularly with mortgage payments, once they became ill.
But when the housing crisis struck and foreclosures mounted, that changed. Banks and mortgage servicers overloaded with delinquent loans struggled with the paperwork [fraud] and the complexity of linking struggling borrowers with decision-makers [fraud, i.e., no wet ink signatures]. To speed up the foreclosure process [fraud], reams of documentation was mishandled [fraud], signed improperly [fraud] and filed [fraud] at county courthouses.
In 2007, Epstein noticed her patients were no longer being helped. They were being rushed through the foreclosure system.
"That was my first hint that there was something very different," Epstein said during a HousingWire interview.
So began her advocacy work in Florida fighting against banks and third-party firms handling the foreclosure process. In June, she was placed on the ballot for clerk of court of Palm Beach County, the third largest clerk office in the state.
If elected in August, she will be in charge of many things, including managing an overloaded docket, acting as treasurer and chief financial officer of the county's funds, and most importantly, serving as the keeper of public record.
We, and especially DCBlogger, keep saying get involved locally. Reading this article, and thinking about the pervasiveness of the foreclosure crisis -- by which I mean the banksters using criminal methods to steal people's homes from them -- makes me think that "keeper of the public records would be a very good place for any genuine progressive to be.