26 June 2020 – In the wake of a lawsuit by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB), the US District Court for the Central District of California just issued a stipulated judgment and order for CFLA (Certified Forensic Loan Auditors) and Andrew Lehman to desist from offering mortgage relief and financial advisory services, and to pay $40,000 in restitution, plus $3 million in redress to be suspended if Lehman complies with the order. See the order here:
Lehman, having earned millions of dollars scamming home loan borrowers by selling them useless securitization audits and teaching fellow grifters how to do such audits, claimed to the court that he is broke and cannot pay a big fine. See the request to proceed as a pauper here:
Note to gullible mortgagors thinking about a securitization audit or chain of title audit…
The CFPB attacked CFLA, Andrew Lehman, and Michael Carrigan for good reason: they had brought in millions of dollars by scamming thousands of borrowers and hopeful service providers by selling securitization audits and teaching people how to conduct them, even though courts across the land have denounced or otherwise treated the audits as worthless. The audits did not save homes from foreclosure. Angry clients complained to the CFPB which eventually took action.
The allegedly “Certified” loan auditors of CFLA had no valid certification from any government-authorized entity. Lehman used that term in the company name, and “J.D.” signifying a law degree, to give CFLA and his pronouncements marketing “altitude” and make them seem credible and legitimate.
The RipoffReport website contains only glowing reports about CFLA because Lehman paid (I would say “bribed”) the RipoffReport site owner to remove complaints and replace them with marketing fluff. In reality Lehman scammed many clients and students. That’s why the CFPB shut CFLA, Lehman, and Carrigan down and forbade them from offering any mortgage relief or financial advisory services in the future, under penalty of serious fines.
Word to the Wise: stay away from such scams and scammers. Securitization and Chain of Title audits are WORTHLESS.
If You Want to Know Who Owns Your Loan, Ask Your Servicer
You can look up who owns your mortgage online, call, or send a written request to your servicer asking who owns your mortgage. The servicer has an obligation to provide you, to the best of its knowledge, the name, address, and telephone number of who owns your loan.
It’s not always easy to tell who owns your mortgage. Many mortgage loans are sold and the servicer you pay every month may not own your mortgage. Whenever the owner of your loan transfers the mortgage to a new owner, the new owner is required to send you a notice.
If you don’t know who owns your mortgage, there are different ways to find out.
Call your mortgage servicer
You can find the number for your mortgage servicer on your monthly mortgage statement or coupon book.
Look it up online
There are some online tools you can use to look up who owns your mortgage.
Another option is to send a written request to your mortgage servicer. Your servicer is obligated to provide you, to the best of their knowledge, with the name, address, and telephone number of the owner of your loan. You can send a Qualified Written Request or a Request for Information.
Here is a sample letter to help you write your mortgage servicer to request information.
Certified Forensic Loan Auditors, LLC (CFLA) 13101 West Washington Blvd. Suite 444 Los Angeles, CA 90066 310-579-7422 Andrew Lehman, CFLA President/Owne
Warning to Borrowers Facing Foreclosure: In my opinion, a securitization audit or chain of title audit will not help mortgagors who defaulted on their loan win a foreclosure battle in court and such audit services are therefore virtually worthless. Numerous pundit and court opinions, cited below, support this warning. You might agree with me after you finish reading this article and following its links to other text.
First, understand the concept of securitization and chain of title audits from this article of denunciation I wrote years ago:
Furthermore, see how and why securitization trust beneficiaries can ratify violations of the securitization trust pooling and servicing agreement, and that the borrower has no standing to dispute or enforce such violations. Pay particular attention to the explanation by Storm Bradford in this article:
CFLA is a major purveyor of such audit services and conducts training courses to teach others to perform and sell the audits. CFLA aggressively promotes its loan audit, securitization audit, and chain of title audit services to home loan borrowers (mortgagors) who have defaulted on their loans and feel desperate to prevent foreclosure. CFLA gives such desperate borrowers false hope that the borrowers can use their audits and expert witness testimony to avert foreclosure, even though borrowers breached the terms of their loan contracts and really ought to lose their homes to foreclosure. A mortgagor in foreclosure who purchases a loan-related audit from CFLA or any other company has “pin the tail on the donkey blindfolded” chance of averting foreclosure because of information contained in the audit. The following statements by experts show why.
VIOLATIONS.””A person who violates any provision of
this section commits an unfair and deceptive trade practice as
defined in part II of this chapter. Violators are subject to the
penalties and remedies provided in part II of this chapter, including
a monetary penalty not to exceed $15,000 per violation.
Just this week I had another client in my office who
almost lost their home because they had given thousands of dollars to
a loan audit/securitization “expert” who told the to ignore the
lawsuit that was filed against them. They did not respond to the
lawsuit and the bank was prepared to set a sale. The judge did not
have to let my new client defend the case, but the judge recognized
that this old, immigrant family had indeed been the victim of a
widespread and rampant fraud so the judge allowed them to defend
their case and their home is safe…for now. Good call by the judge.
Fair. Balanced. So now, I’m going to bust my hump to make sure
this client fills out all their paperwork and gets the modification
done. Here’s the thing….with their income, they could have had
the modification done months ago….if only the scammer had not sold
them up the river.
I get variations of the loan audit scam in my office
nearly every single day. Hapless consumers are either directly
approached by companies or they respond directly to any one of the
hundreds of websites that have sprung up everywhere. Here’s the
rap: The company or expert will audit their loan, show them how the
bank committed fraud or their documents are bad or whatever and the
homeowner can use that information to get a free house….for a small
upfront fee of several thousand dollars…and maybe a small monthly
fee if the mark can swing it.
ANY REPRESENTATIONS LIKE THIS ARE A VIOLATION OF
STATE AND FEDERAL LAW!
“there is no evidence that forensic loan audits will
help you get a loan modification or any other foreclosure relief,
even if they’re conducted by a licensed, legitimate and trained
auditor, mortgage professional or lawyer.”
This alert and warning is issued to call to your
attention the often overblown and exaggerated “sales pitch(es)”
regarding the supposed value of questionable Forensic Loan Audits. It
is critical to note that a loan audit (audit report) has absolutely
no value as a stand-alone document.
Whether they call themselves Forensic Loan Auditors,
Certified Forensic Loan Auditors (there are no such certifications in
the State of California), Mortgage Loan Auditors, Forensic
Attorney-Backed Foreclosure Prevention Auditors, or some other
official, important or lofty sounding title(s), there are thousands
of individuals and companies that have popped up and appeared all
over the State of California. Most of these individuals and companies
are unlicensed, and some were previously engaged in illegal
foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams.
The DRE has seen a wide variety of claims and sales
pitches, where impressive sounding loan review services are offered
with the goal of taking your money. Quite simply, the bad players
market hope – and all too often, it is false hope.
A Georgia US District Court in Demilio
v US Bank issued a scathing indictment of Demilio’s effort to
subvert a foreclosure with a CFLA securitization audit.
Having reviewed the Complaint and all appropriate
exhibits, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to set forth
sufficient facts to show he is entitled to relief on any of his
asserted claims. In fact, rather than alleging any material facts in
his pleading, Plaintiff attempts to “lodge” “[t]he facts and
statements made in the securitization audit attached
herein.”13Frankly, the Court is astonished by
Plaintiff’s audacity. Instead of providing the “short and plain
statement” of facts required by the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure,14 Plaintiff requires the Court to scour a
poorly‐copied, 45‐page “Certified Forensic Loan Audit” in an
attempt to discern the basic facts of his case. This alone would be
sufficient for dismissal.15 However, the Court is equally
concerned by Plaintiff’s attempt to incorporate such an “audit,”
which is more than likely the product of “charlatans who prey upon
people in economically dire situation,” rather than a
legitimate recitation of Plaintiff’s factual allegations.16As
one bankruptcy judge bluntly explained, “[the Court] is quite
confident there is no such thing as a ‘Certified Forensic Loan
Audit’ or a ‘certified forensic auditor.’”17In
fact, the Federal Trade Commission has issued a “Consumer Alert”
regarding such “Forensic Loan Audits.”18The Court
will not, in good conscience, consider any facts recited by such a
19 See, e.g., Fidel, 2011 WL 2436134, at *1 (disregarding
a “Securitization Audit and Forensic Audit” attached as exhibits
to plaintiff’s complaint); accord Hewett v. Shapiro & Ingle,
No. 1:11CV278, 2012 WL 1230740, at *4, n.4 (M.D.N.C. Apr. 12, 2012)
(discussing various “audits” and noting that such documents
“confirm the empty gimmickery of these types of claims.”).
State and federal courts across the land have
denounced securitization and chain of title audits, and have
uniformly ruled against the clients of CFLA who relied on CFLA audits
to save their homes from foreclosure. The end of this report lists
26 court opinions which borrowers should read BEFORE deciding to
spend money on a useless CFLA loan/securitization/chain-of-title
audit. None of the judges in those case ruled in favor of the
borrower. The Leadbeater
v JP Morgan opinion provides this comment in footnote 9:
Madeline Cox Arleo has previously cautioned that she has “concern
over the dubious nature of such reports [prepared by Certified
Forensic Loan Auditors, LLC.]”Hicks
v. The Bank of New York, et al.,
Action No. 15-1620, Letter Order, D.E. 22 (Feb. 22, 2016). The FTC
has recently warned consumers to be wary of “forensic mortgage
loan audits.” Federal Trade Commission, Forensic Loan Audits,
(last visited September 13, 2017) (“According to the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, the
latest foreclosure rescue scam to exploit financially strapped
homeowners pitches forensic mortgage loan audits.”).”
Rodriguez, Attorney at Law –Patricia
is another of CFLA’s instructors. She also has been very active
representing homeowners. Going back to June of 2012,Westlaw
shows her handling 20 cases,
(and you can find a list of her cases at that link).
were any sort of win for the homeowners… in one she was sanctioned
by the court and the 19 others were dismissed, many with prejudice or
without leave to amend… the three quiet title cases were all
dismissed.She also filed a mass joinder lawsuit that was also
v. Wells Fargo Bank,
2012 WL 6019108 (U.S. DC N.D. Ca. 12/3/12), that deserves to be
highlighted because in this case, Ms. Rodriguez ended up being
sanctioned by the court for violating Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, and ordered to attend 20 hours of continuing legal
education. Here’s what the court said about Ms. Rodriguez…
The Court is disheartened
by counsel’s failure in this case, even in responding to the
present motion, to recognize that she has erred. If she had
approached her practice with a measure of common sense, Counsel might
have reconsidered her position…
And on a very basic
level, the Court wishes to remind counsel that if an ordinary person
cannot understand what she is saying in her pleadings—a neighbor,
friend, or family member—then it is very likely that the Court and
opposing counsel will not be able to either. The kind of garbled
pleading that counsel has three times submitted to this Court imposes
a burden that all involved would like to avoid in the future.
Accordingly, the Court
hereby orders counsel, Patricia Rodriguez, to attend a minimum of
twenty (20) hours of MCLE-accredited legal education courses, apart
from any compliance hours regularly required by the California Bar
Association. These hours shall include a minimum of eight hours in
complaint-drafting or other legal writing, eight hours addressing the
substantive law of foreclosure, if indeed it is an area in which Ms.
Rodriguez wishes to continue practicing, and two hours of legal
remember that Patricia
is a CFLA Instructor,
training lawyers and others around the country in how to represent
homeowners in quiet title cases and how to use CFLA’s
securitization audits in foreclosure defense.
I understand that foreclosure defense has been incredibly difficult
even for the most dedicated and experienced attorneys. So losing is
not necessarily a bad thing all by itself. But
the way CFLA markets the company’s instructors, experts and
seminars as leading the industry is at least misleading.
Andelman wrote a monumental expose of CFLA at this web page, exhaustively detailing numerous reasons to doubt the validity of CFLA audit services and technical competence of its instructors. See it here:
Apparently, CFLA owner Andrew Lehman threatened to sue Andelman for exposing CFLA. Andelman ended his article with this challenging rebuke:
And Andrew, don’t bother sending me another letter telling me how powerful you are, and how you’re going to sue me for whatever you think you can sue me for… I’ve got an idea of how big and powerful you are… and yet, I still wrote this… so that should clear up any questions you might have as to the nature of my response to such threats.
On the other hand, if you want to present any facts that would show me that what you’re doing is actually doing some good, you’ll find me both open and a very reasonable person with whom to converse.
I don’t need much, by the way. How about a couple of cases where homeowners were awarded quiet title when they still owed on their mortgages? Or, how about even one such case? How about any sort of favorable outcome based on the use of your products and services… or based on your experts testifying
Anything, Andrew… can I see anything at all?
Mortgagors facing foreclosure might wonder why they cannot find more consumer complaints against CFLA at sites like RipoffReport.com. Upon visiting that site a search for CFLA under its full name will reveal multiple pages of advertising showing CFLA to be a model company, but no complaints at all. The reason: CFLA’s principal has apparently paid the principal of RipoffReport to remove all complaints against CFLA from the site and replace them with advertisements making CFLA seem honorable. It seems apparent to me that CFLA and its minions have earned so much money selling useless services to troubled mortgagors that CFLA can afford to pay bribes or issue threats to get webmasters to remove complaints and to get angry customers to retract their complaints.
The court opinions that follow prove foreclosure victims cannot rely upon CFLA securitization, chain-of-title, and loan audit services. Why? Because the borrowers who tried to rely on them lost in court.
Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware)…
Court Opinions Showing Borrowers
LOSE by Relying on CFLA Audits