Interview with Thigpen
For weeks now, I’ve been accusing Guilford County Register of Deeds, Jeff Thigpen, of political grandstanding for announcing the presence of thousands of fraudulent mortgage documents, when in fact none of them is significant to the chain of title, given our state’s excellent notary and foreclosure procedures.
He tried to friend me on Facebook last night and we’ve been going back and forth all day. He has acceded to my request that he simply state that NC enjoys excellent mortgage protections. As to the promissory notes, he can’t produce one because they are in fact recorded with the clerk of court and not the Register of Deeds.
He did trot out an obviously fraudulent Assignment of Deed of Trust.
Here’s part of what I said:
What I’m really asking is for you to use your visibility to properly contextualize the issue. Celebrate the fact that you’re from NC. Then tell people the AG settlement is captured by bank interests, especially the Republicans. Educate people about the danger to MBS by violation of REMICs and destruction of the chain of title docs. Put some heat where it belongs, on the securitization trusts. This is a highly complicated issue with many villains. Complaining that the closet ain’t clean is merely one of the issues…
This thing is going to land in the lap of the securitization trusts and the pensions are gonna get first bite at the apple. All you’re doing is muddying the water.
And Thigpen’s response:
I agree, I have serious questions about the AG’s investigation, and even on your comments about securitization trusts and pensions, that may be true. But I’m fighting what I see as a fundamental violation of the public trust at the core of public recording offices and even fair dealing in commerce. If I were an investor, the trusts would be a “real issue”. But I’m a public recorder, so mucking around with chain of title, forging documents, and violating notary laws are a “real issue” to me. Call it muddying the water if you’d like and that’s fine from your point of view. But major financial institutions should not be above the law and act as though they are filing toilet paper in my office. Sorry. And when I see it on a massive scale I’m not going to sit back and say I’ll let the investors deal with it. If so, my office would just become a public library and/or anyone could sign anything for anyone else whenever they wanted and I could just be a repository of lies and stolen goods. Is that what public recording offices should be about? I don’t think so. Not that I have all the policy answers either, but all assignments in the 50 states should be filed. Banks should pay for the filing of satisfaction documents, and if you lie on public records like this, it’s your ass. Bottom line.
Here’s what I said:
The problem now is keeping the banks from getting a waiver of liability for a fine.
Here’s part of his response:
Explaining MBS’s and REMIC’s to reporters is a nightmare unless you are talking to a Wall Street reporter. I talk about chain of title issues every time I do an interview. I agree, this is highly complicated. Yet every attorney I know who knows anything about securitization trusts wants me to talk from a public recorder perspective because that opens the door to the securitization trusts issues…
If I were a federal regulator keeping them from getting the waiver of liability would be my first line of business and I even support it. But I’m a public recorder. That’s my focus as I believe it should be.
I appreciate Thigpen taking the time to speak with me.