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Local Foreclosure Activists File Grand Jury Complaints
Short article on grand jury filings.
This week, two local activists filed complaints with the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury asking for an investigation into the county Assessor/Recorder's Office to determine whether there is any evidence of nonpayment of fees by financial institutions on transfer of title following foreclosure proceedings.
Occupy Santa Cruz member Steve Pleich and longtime local activist Nancy Abbey filed the complaints on information and belief alleging, among other things, that Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Chase Home Mortgage and Bank of America Home Mortgage may be avoiding payment of transfer and recordation fees by utilizing the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS).
By ordinance, the Assessor/Recorder has "a statutory duty and public responsibility to collect all property taxes generated within the County of Santa Cruz arising from any and all transfers of real property".
While no misconduct of any kind is alleged with respect to Assessor/Recorder Sean Saldavia, the complaint calls for a full citizen investigation into the manner in which mortgage loan institutions take title to property following non-judicial foreclosure and asks for a determination of their transfer tax liability.