In the pending mortgage foreclosure case of DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY v. DOMINIC CODIO, et al. (Kings County Supreme Court, Index No. 6839/2010), the law firm of Knuckles, Komosinski & Elliott LLP representing foreclosure plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, brought to our office a document that their attorney Fincey John, Esq. claimed was an original promissory note that our client Dominic Codio, the homeowner, had signed when he received a mortgage loan. Mr. Codio, who was present for the inspection of the document, immediately recognized that his signature and initials at the bottom of each page had been forged and the document was a fake.
Mr. Codio has graciously allowed us to write about his case as a public service to other New York homeowners who are losing their homes to banks and mortgage trusts that submit false, forged and fraudulent documents to courts to prove ownership of mortgage loans that they do not own. To put it bluntly the banks and mortgage trusts are stealing the homes of people who owe them no money — and getting away with it.
Under New York law a bank or trust must prove ownership of the mortgage loan upon which it is trying to foreclose, which means that the bank must produce the original, properly endorsed promissory note that the homeowner signed. Without the original promissory note showing an unbroken chain of endorsements transferring ownership of a mortgage loan from the original lender to the bank or mortgage trust currently claiming to own the loan, the homeowner should prevail in a foreclosure (or quiet title) case.
One of the first things our law firm does in a foreclosure or quiet title case is to demand to see the original promissory note. The law firm representing the bank or mortgage trust usually resists showing it to us at first, but they know they will need to produce the original, properly endorsed promissory note if they want to win at trial. They also know that if they do not allow the homeowner’s law firm to inspect the original promissory note, the court will probably not allow them to introduce the promissory note as evidence at trial and they will lose the case. After a frank discussion of the consequences of not allowing us to inspect the original promissory note, the attorneys for the bank or mortgage trust have always agreed to let us inspect the document and make photocopies and/or color scans of the document for our files.
Whenever possible, we have our client present when we inspect the document because the client is the only person in the conference room who saw the original promissory note when it was signed and initialed at the bottom of each page. Clients can easily tell if their own signatures and initials have been forged and they can spot differences between the original document they signed and the document being presented.
After Mr. Codio informed us that his signature and initials had been forged, we contacted handwriting analyst Roger Rubin, a preeminent expert in his field who has been qualified as an expert witness in well over a hundred New York lawsuits and arbitrations. He has helped the US Department of Justice solve crimes using handwriting analysis, taught handwriting analysis, and amassed other impressive credentials as detailed in Roger Rubin’s attached Curriculum Vitae.
Mr. Rubin compared the signatures and initials on the document presented as the original promissory note with a variety of other samples of Mr. Codio’s signature that were obtained from official documents, from a copy of the original promissory note filed by the original lender, and from other handwriting samples that Mr. Codio provided.
As detailed in Roger Rubin’s attached report, Mr. Rubin concluded that none of the signatures or initials on the document that Deutsche Bank National Trust Company’s attorney presented to us as the original promissory note had been written by our client Dominic Codio.
We now have undisputed expert proof that all of the signatures and initials on the document presented by plaintiff’s attorney Fincey John, Esq. as the original promissory note are not those of Mr. Codio, which means that Deutsche Bank National Trust Company is trying to foreclose upon Mr. Codio’s home using a forged, fake promissory note.
Last month (4/13) during routine discovery, we were shocked to learn that plaintiff’s attorneys Knuckles, Komosinski & Elliott LLP had not hired a handwriting expert and did not intend to retain an expert, even though they were notified four months earlier (12/12) of Mr. Rubin’s expert findings that the signatures and initials on the document Fincey John, Esq. presented as the original promissory note were not those of Mr. Codio.
Although Dominic Codio has pledged his full cooperation with any handwriting expert that Knuckles, Komosinski & Elliott LLP wishes to use, so far they have not accepted his generous offer and have neglected to hire a handwriting expert to investigate the undisputed expert evidence that they are attempting to foreclose upon Mr. Codio’s home using a forged instrument. We hope they will eventually agree to investigate whether their law firm is facilitating a fraud on Mr.Codio, our firm, and the Court.
Thanks to Dominic Codio for allowing us to share his story. We hope that the time, effort and expense that he has been forced to invest in defending against this undisputedly fraudulent foreclosure attempt will not go to waste if other homeowners benefit from learning about Mr. Codio’s ordeal.
Expect to see updates as this important case develops.
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