Your Mortgage: Financing Your Home Without Falling for Fraud with Marie McDonnell

“If I have one piece of advice to give your audience, it is to impress upon them the importance of maintaining and safeguarding a complete mortgage file in two parts: 1st) a permanent archive of the mortgage loan documents they received from and supplied to the lender from application to closing (i.e., the inactive file); and 2nd) an annual file containing their monthly mortgage statements, real estate tax bills, homeowners insurance premiums, year-end 1098 mortgage interest statement, annual escrow account disclosure statement, correspondence, etc. (i.e., the active file). They should retain these documents until, at least, one year after they have paid off their mortgage loan.” ~ Marie McDonnell

By Catherine Austin Fitts

Entering into a home mortgage is a major legal and financial undertaking. It quite literally “pays” to take the time to understand your options and to ensure that application and closing process are correctly done. After closing, you must ensure that all terms and conditions that were agreed are maintained. It will be your responsibility to make sure this enforcement is the case.

To help you do so, I invited Marie McDonnell, President of McDonnell Property Analytics, to join me this week on the Solari Report. Marie is a Mortgage Fraud and Forensic Analyst™, a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and a Master Analyst In Financial Forensics (MAFF) with significant experience in transactional analysis, mortgage auditing, and mortgage fraud investigation. Her firm provides a variety of analytical services to individual clients and offers litigation support, mortgage-backed securities research and foreclosure forensics to attorneys nationwide. McDonnell Property Analytics also advises and performs services for county registers of deeds, attorneys general, courts and other governmental agencies.

Because mortgage finance is a complex affair, Marie has generously prepared and provided supporting documents. Please login to find handouts, including:

  • The Mortgage Loan Origination Process and Pitfalls How to Recognize the Red Flags of Fraud
  • Document Custodian Checklist
  • Glossary of Terms

One point you will hear emphasized repeatedly – it is essential that you understand the documents that you are supposed to have and that you sign and that you maintain all copies. Unfortunately, horror stories abound of what can go wrong. However, if you take care to manage your origination, closing and payment of your mortgage and do a good job of archiving your documents, you should be able to avoid potential pitfalls and present your proofs if things outside of your control go wrong – such as your mortgage being transferred to a sloppy or fraudulent servicer.

Marie McDonnell is our Solari hero this week. She and I have been in communication for more than a year, hoping that she could join me on the Solari Report. It takes hard work, intelligence and grit to represent consumers in the mortgage process and mortgage litigation – courage too!

Once you make sure the legal and financial aspects of your home are well organized, there is no sense in stopping there! In Lets Go to the Movies, I will review the new series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the Japanese tidying guru whose goal is to “spark joy” in your home.

My all time favorite pro for making your home beautiful inside and out is Eunice Boston who joined me on the Solari Report for Coming Clean: Transforming Lives through the Power of Cleaning with Eunice Boston.” If you have not listened to this interview, please do check it out. Eunice produces miracles – indeed, as described in our discussion, one of them saved my life when it was threatened by one of the worst perpetrators of mortgage fraud in the world.

E-mail or post your questions for Ask Catherine at the Money & Markets commentary here.

Talk to you Thursday!