Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud

Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud

by David Dayen


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In the depths of the Great Recession, a cancer nurse, a car dealership worker, and an insurance fraud specialist helped uncover the largest consumer crime in American history—a scandal that implicated dozens of major executives on Wall Street. They called it foreclosure fraud: millions of families were kicked out of their homes based on false evidence by mortgage companies that had no legal right to foreclose.

Lisa Epstein, Michael Redman, and Lynn Szymoniak did not work in government or law enforcement. They had no history of anticorporate activism. Instead they were all foreclosure victims, and while struggling with their shame and isolation they committed a revolutionary act: closely reading their mortgage documents, discovering the deceit behind them, and building a movement to expose it.

Fiscal Times columnist David Dayen recounts how these ordinary Floridians challenged the most powerful institutions in America armed only with the truth—and for a brief moment they brought the corrupt financial industry to its knees.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620971581
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 05/17/2016
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

David Dayen is a contributing writer to Salon and a weekly columnist for the Fiscal Times, and he writes for publications including the New Republic, the American Prospect, The Guardian, Vice, The Intercept, and the Huffington Post. He lives in Los Angeles. This is his first book.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 A Knock at the Door 1

2 The Dark Side of the American Dream 16

3 Securitization FAIL; or, Cirilo Codrington and the Panama Doc Shop 35

4 The Originator 51

5 The Community 63

6 Mr. Anonymous 79

7 When Michael Met Lisa 93

8 Happy Hours 103

9 The Network 113

10 The Specialist 130

11 Black Deeds 145

12 The Revolution Will Be Blogged 155

13 The Ninth Floor 168

14 The Rally in Tally 180

15 By Any Means Necessary 191

16 Downfall 206

17 The Big Time 222

18 We Will Put People in Jail 236

19 Wriggling off the Hook 250

20 The Final Whitewash 264

21 Lisa's Last Stand 281

Epilogue 294

Acknowledgments 313

Notes 317

Index 375

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