Has your bank gone AWOL?

McGookey Law
Aug 8, 2013


We’ve had several cases recently where our client/homeowner’s bank essentially disappeared from the radar screen in terms of trying to collect payments on the mortgage.  This has happened both in a case following a long foreclosure battle and in situations where no foreclosure was ever filed, despite the fact a payment was not for years.  The end result of these matters was that the bank, for whatever its reason, essentially decided to walk away from its mortgage and accept an amount, which was only a small fraction of the loan balance as payment in full.

Greg first came into our office years ago with a foreclosure complaint in hand.  After a year or so of fighting the foreclosure, the court eventually granted the bank judgment.  We then appealed, arguing that Greg’s bank had failed to prove that it was the right party to be suing.  The Court of Appeals agreed, reversed the judgment, sending the matter back to the trial court for further proceedings.  What happened next was truly amazing.  Rather than continuing the battle, the bank offered to accept as a full payoff a sum essentially amounting to what it would have cost Greg to continue to fight the foreclosure.  

Bill’s journey was different than Greg’s, but the end result no doubt will be the same.  Before coming to see us, Bill experienced problems with his mortgage, and started missing payments.  Several years of nonpayment went by, but surprisingly Bill’s bank never sought foreclosure.  Tired of being kept in limbo, Bill authorized us to reach out to his bank in order to get the matter concluded.  After all, even though he was not paying on his mortgage, it still was recorded with the county recorder, a fact which prevented him from doing anything with the real estate.  Right out of the box, Bill’s bank offered a substantial discount as a full payoff, which would result in a cancellation of the recorded mortgage.  Though we are still in the process of negotiation, it appears certain that we will reach a deal, and Bill’s mortgage will disappear.

The lesson in these stories is that in this day and age of loan securitization, a process where mortgages are bundled, sold and resold, you never know when the bank claiming to own the mortgage may throw its hands up in the air in exasperation and admit defeat in terms of trying to collect.  If you are a homeowner who hasn’t made a payment for months, and yet your bank hasn’t filed foreclosure, you are not completely in the clear because you still have a recorded mortgage against your home.  On the other hand, the fact your bank has gone AWOL may very well signal a huge opportunity to rid yourself of the mortgage, you safely in your home for good.

Note from the author: If you have questions or comments- regarding this or any Foreclosure Story article, please visit www.mcgookeylaw.com or visit us on Facebook.

Kate Eyster and Lauren McGookey contributed to this article.

Copyright 2013 Daniel L. McGookey



I certainly wish banks would go awol. I feel they are the major contributors of our bad economy.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Partly true. The Community Reinvestment Act signed into law by Jimmy Carter created the industry in subprime mortgages.

The Obama administration now has launched a major push for banks to hand out mortgages to those with even "weaker credit". MSM wont report on this though.

Who created institutions like Countrywide? In 1995 Clinton began pushing of sub-prime mortgages in order to spread the evident risk and minimize it. The icing on the cake was when the government created Fannie and Freddie. When Bush came to office was already to late to fix it.

Licorice Schtick

What a novel view, trying to tie the subprime fiasco to three Democratic presidents, with no mention of Republicans. Partisan nonsense. The blame clearly belongs to Wall Street, their Republican toadies in Congress, and to the Dubya Bush administration.


Isn't it odd to find out that Wall Street is Republican? Funny when many of the folks in the present administration have come from Wall Street and that the democrats get many donations from there? Tis a puzzlement. Maybe there are both repubes and dims that work and run Wall Street? But that, while being true, would not fit the sterotypes that some try to force fit people into. Or more accurately the wingers in the parties try to fit people into. Got to wear the party blinders securely to your head. Gotta love people who think for themselves.


My only surprise is that the Register allowed comments on this weekly advertisement posing as a news article.

Julie R.

I am, too.


Mr. McGookey, I applaud your courage in opening up comments on this column.

One problem I have is that many of the clients you mention clearly bit off more than they could chew in their housing purchases, and your work often results in them getting to keep or even own free and clear their homes without paying what they contracted to pay. In other words, they get to break their contractual word and get more than what's ethically coming to them.

Julie R.

I have some questions, Mr. McGookey, but they sure aren't about FORECLOSURES.

Julie R.

If property owned by a married couple (but not JOINTLY) for close to 40 years scot-free and clear of a mortgage can't be sold through normal channels after the 2nd elderly owner's death (i.e. a buyer going through a bank, who would require a title search) unless the FRAUD committed on the 1st elderly owner's half seven months prior to her death is acknowledged and the property put back into her probate estate ....... can the unethical jokes at the Erie County courthouse force it to be sold with SERIOUS DEFECTS in the title and one of the beneficiaries defrauded at a scam sheriff sale through a scam partition action and a FRAUD preliminary judicial report that falsely states there are no defects in the title at a substantial discount to an LLC to use as rental property?


Well, Julie, this is progress - you're consulting a lawyer. However, this is not the place. Mr. McGookey's contact information is provided - this is a private discussion you need to have with him, and not hijack any more comment threads.

Julie R.

I'm not "consulting a lawyer" ....... I'm being sarcastic. I already know they couldn't do that. Want some more sarcasm? I got plenty when it comes to that corrupt courthouse.

Julie R.

Isn't this lawyer related to the Erie County probate court judge Beverly K. McGookey?


Julie, you've been swimming upstream for years now and to what end? Turn the whole situation over to God and let it go or you will never have any piece of mind. He can't do anything about it until you get yourself out of the way. I do not mean this to be harsh as you've given it your best shot and pushing against a closed door will not open it if one is on the same side as the hinges. Have a good evening.


Julie has no goal in all of this - she's been asked for her goal multiple times with no response. It's nothing but her personal catharsis now.

Julie R.

Hey Nemesis, the other day I received a letter from a holding company for Prudential stock. It was addressed to my deceased mother in c/o of me. It said they had numerous dividend checks still in my mother's name that had never been cashed and if they weren't cashed in 45 days they were going to turn them over to the state ........ so I contacted them. I told them I knew all about those checks and how I informed the probate court a hundred times over about them and also about the stocks that were still in her name but the court refused to address it. I also told them that a crook attorney for one of the FRAUD power of attorney Huronites had the dividend checks and refused to put them in my mother's probate estate. They also told me that two of the checks ~ one in 2003 and 2004 were cashed at a bank in Huron, Ohio with my mother's "signature" on them. I said I know. I have a copy of them ---- and her signature of course was forged. She passed away in 2002. I told him how the dirt-bags were still depositing and cashing forged checks at that dirty bank in Huron (who had my mother's death cert. on file) right up until that joke forged Will was filed two years and two weeks after her death.

They're now going to send me the checks --- in my mother's name, of course. This should be real interesting. Gee, should I put them in my mother's probate estate? The estate the attorneys when they filed that forged Will said: "There are no more assets left in the decedent's name?"


In all seriousness:
You should consult an attorney on what to do with them - immediately.
Not only would your attorney be able to advise you on what to do with them, but he/she could protect you from accusations of fraudulent intent in having those checks sent to you.

Julie R.

Forged power of attorneys, forged wills, fraudulent transfer of property on a forged power of attorney concealed in Lorain County, internal criminal changes to contracts, including securities, cash surrendering in life insurance policies on a forged power of attorney with "power of attorney" wrote next to bogus Erie County Recorder numbers faxed down the side of it two months before my mother's death, continuing to forge checks ~ including stock dividend checks for 2 years after my mother's death right up until they filed that JOKE forged Will ........... and those dirt-bags would accuse ME of fraudulent intent because the holding company knows I was only one that tried to get the dirt-bags to put the shares of stock and the stock dividend checks still in my mother's name into her probate estate ....... and they even knew the probate court was aware of it and ignored the complaints?

Let them even TRY and go for it.


Julie, based on your past rants, they've been successful so far. You would be a fool not to protect yourself at this point.

Julie R.

Protect myself from what? Because a holding company for Prudential stock ~ who by the way is monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission ~ sent checks in my deceased mother's name to the two fraud power of attorneys and they left them uncashed instead of putting them into my mother's probate estate so they are now sending them to me? So what do you think I'm going to do? Forge my deceased mother's name on them like the one fraud power of attorney and her stepfather did to two of them and go down to the Huron bank and cash them? If so, sorry. Those checks are going into my mother's probate estate which means an estate has to be opened. Right?

Also, considering that ownership of the majority of the stocks was changed BEFORE my mother's death ~ and stock companies don't accept power of attorneys ~ the only way ownership can be changed is by the owner herself and it has to be signed in front of a bank rep that has a Medallion Gold Signature Guarantee ~ I think the SEC should be finding out how the dirt-bags got away with that ~ like maybe check out that Huron bank or something.

Julie R.

Gee, I don't know why the probate court and those Lorain County attorneys for the one fraud power of attorney (from the same law firm as the Lorain County attorney I filed complaints against --- complaints that the probate court and the common pleas court of Binette refused to address) didn't want the shares of stocks still in my mother's name put into her probate estate. Neither do I know why the Lorain County attorneys sent the uncashed dividend checks that were going in c/o of their client over to the Cleveland attorney for the other fraud power of attorney. Neither do I know why the dirt-bag Cleveland attorney and his client refused to put the checks into my mother's estate. After all, his client ~ one of the fraud power of attorneys ~ was appointed by McGookey to be the JOKE executor of my mother's estate FIVE YEARS after her death under that JOKE forged Will that was filed TWO YEARS after her death. Wasn't the "executor" (puke) and his attorney supposed to put those uncashed checks into probate?

Maybe I should call the attorney in these foreclosure stories just to get his input.


It's not exactly his specialty, but you should call SOME attorney. Based on your rants, I'd think you'd want one from another county.

Julie R.

Instead of doing stories on foreclosures, why don't some of these attorneys around do some stories on why some properties in Erie County are so undervalued compared to others? For example, how does the guy that was all for the Perkins school levy get his property on Quail Hollow valued lower than it was 22 years ago?

They could also do some stories on why appraisers are using properties in the jurisdiction of other cities (like Sandusky and Vermilion) as "comparable sales" to properties situated in the city of Huron ~ sort of like the matter of public record shows a Huron appraiser did prior to a court-ordered illegal scam sheriff sale of property that had serious defects in the title as a result of fraud.

Is that one of the ways they are getting away with undervaluing property?

Julie R.

Hey Nemesis, considering how the corrupt Erie County courts forced fraudulently transferred property with one of the beneficiaries defrauded to be sold at a scam sheriff sale through a scam partition action and a fraud preliminary judicial report because they knew unless the attorneys and the two fraud power of attorneys didn't acknowledge the criminal transfer of my mother's half seven months before her death and put the property back into her probate estate then it couldn't be sold through normal channels ....... stands to reason they wouldn't want the stocks and the dividend checks still in my deceased mother's name to be put into her probate estate, either.

So which one of the TRASH that criminally defrauded an elderly incompetent person at the end of her life is going to get me for "fraudulent intent" because a holding company for Prudential stock is now going to reissue dividend checks in my deceased mother's name and send them to me --- the uncashed checks that the two fraud power of attorneys, the dirty attorneys, and the probate court didn't want put into my mother's probate estate, either.


Julie, I have no idea which one, but if half or what you say is true, they've successfully outmaneuvered you throughout this situation. Don't take a knife to a gun fight.

Julie R.

The corrupt jokes at the Erie County courthouse and their favorite Lorain County law firm of Stumphauzer & O'Toole also made the mistake of thinking they successfully outmaneuvered the Huron River Greenway property owners, too. Remember?


First of all, it's the Metroparks board that thought they outmaneuvered the property owners, not the county courts, which had little to nothing to do with the situation. More importantly, the greenway property owners have their property back - do you? No? Who has the property? Who's collecting rent on it? Certainly not you. In case you didn't notice, the greenway property owners retained competent attorneys to represent them and protect their interests, just as I've said you should do. You can follow the example of people who successfully got their property back, or you can keep ranting here, telling anyone with an internet connection that you're getting copies of those checks, so your adversaries, who clearly know how to work the system to their advantage, get advance notice of what you're doing, so they can get busy manufacturing the evidence needed to turn this against you yet again.

Julie R.

First of all, why would I want the property that I inherited back? All I did was try to get the jokes at the courthouse to follow the law and they refused. My mother's half that the dirt-bags fraudulently transferred seven months before her death and defrauded the 4th beneficiary on should have been put back into her estate so it could have been sold through normal channels with a CLEAR TITLE.

As for "giving my adversaries advance notice" about the dividend checks that a holding company is now re-issuing and sending to me in a last attempt to get the checks cashed before turning them over to the state --- what a joke. I informed that probate court so many times I lost count that there were still assets in my mother's name that the dirt-bags for some odd reason couldn't criminally transfer before her death and even odder were unable to transfer after her death .... and the joke court refused to address it. I also showed proof how 2 of the dividend checks were cashed at a Huron bank AFTER her death with her name forged on them. I also showed proof how the holding company sent other dividend checks in c/o of the one fraud power of attorney and they were left uncashed. After McGookey appointed the other fraud power of attorney to be the joke (and I do mean joke) executor of my mother's probate estate (that there was nothing in) five years after her death under that forged Will that was filed two years after her death, I then showed the court how the holding company re-issued the checks and sent them in c/o of him and he, too, left the checks uncashed ..... and once again, the court refused to address it.

So pray tell --- what are my idiot joke "adversaries" going to do about it? Gee, maybe the one fraud power of attorney ~ the appointed joke executor of the estate ~ will cash the checks as the "executor" and put them in my mother's probate estate ... ya think?

Julie R.

Hey Nemesis, isn't there a LAW that states "before property that's part of an estate can be sold, if the administrator of the estate is aware of any fraud having been committed on the property, then the administrator and/or his or her attorneys are to commence an action in the common pleas of the county in which the property is situated to have the fraud acknowledged?" There sure is. Which meant of course that before the property (that was not owned jointly) of my deceased mother and stepfather could be sold after the 2nd owner's death the fraud committed on my elderly mother's half seven months before her death had to be acknowledged and the property had to be put back into her probate estate so it could be sold through normal channels with a clear title, right?

So why do you say that the Erie County Probate Court, the Common Pleas Court, and their Lorain County attorney friends "successfully outmaneuvered me" by pulling off an illegal scam to sell the property with serious defects in the title at a sheriff sale? Shouldn't you say instead that your joke courts in Erie County and their Lorain County attorney friends successfully outmaneuvered the law?


It really doesn't matter - all that matters is who is now collecting rent on the house - newsflash - IT'S NOT YOU. In other words, they succeeded and you failed, and now all you have left is a solid reputation as the crazy lady of the Register comments.

Again, answer the questions:

-What do you hope to accomplish from your rants here?
-What HAVE you accomplished through your rants here?
-What is your desired end result?
-How does your behavior here work toward that result?

Julie R.

So who really cares who is collecting rent on a house with serious defects in the title sold at an illegal court-ordered scam sheriff sale. Is that something to brag about? If so, why didn't anybody show up at the sheriff sale but a realtor and one of the fraud power of attorneys?



Who cares? YOU SHOULD. Otherwise, what is the point of all this? Why have you spent all this time ranting about this, except that somebody essentially stole from you? What kind of nutjob rants about someone stealing from them but doesn't want what was stolen back? The fact remains that, so far in this sad tale of yours, they are winning and you are losing. They are making money, and you are.....what? Is it more important to solve the problem, or to whine about it? Every time you post, they are probably laughing at your continued loss of credibility - you are HELPING them get away with it.

It's clear you don't know what you're talking about - you don't even understand the terminology you are using. You repeatedly talk about "power of attorneys" doing things - a power of attorney can't DO anything because the term refers not to a person, but to a piece of paper.

Answer the questions and you'll begin to understand.

Julie R.

Gee Nemesis, it wasn't just the stocks that were still in my mother's name after her death --- the stocks that for some odd reason the dirt-bag attorneys couldn't get out of her name --- that the dirt-bags and the probate court made sure weren't put into her probate estate. Neither was it just the property that was fraudulently transferred 7 months before her death that ~ thanks to the Erie County courts ~ wasn't put back into her estate.

The one fraud power of attorney (who by the way, even ended up defrauding the other fraud power of attorney) didn't have to put the $140K that was left from the internal, criminal changes to my mother's contracts at an insurance company and a Huron bank prior to her death, either ~ which was the money from my mother's side of the family that I was supposed to make sure was paid out someday to 4 people. The trash didn't even have to put the money from the life insurance policies that she cash surrendered in 2 months before my mother's death on a forged power of attorney with bogus Erie County Recorder numbers faxed down the side of it.

And you say that scum is going to get me for "fraudulent intent" because a holding company for Prudential stock is making a last attempt to get dividend checks still in my mother's name cashed before they turn them over to the state? What a joke ---- about as big a joke as your corrupt Erie County courts.


Keep digging Julie.

Julie R.

Once again, those Erie County clerk of court's records that are now online sure are false and misleading ---- and I do mean FALSE!

I never filed a partition action to have my deceased mother and stepfather's property sold at a scam sheriff sale with one of the beneficiaries to it defrauded under a fraud preliminary judicial report that falsely stated there were no defects in the title --- and the common pleas and probate court knew I didn't. Neither did I ever file a bogus sham lawsuit in the jurisdiction of Cuyahoga County ~ a jurisdiction that had nothing to do with my mother's Erie County probate estate ~ against Prudential Life Insurance Co., Huron's Key Bank, and that one despicable fraud power of attorney. (who by then was the executrix of her Huron Italian stepfather's probate estate) Once again, the crook attorney I had filed those things and he did it without my knowledge or consent. When I found out what the crook did, I fired him .... yet the records say he "withdrew" from the case. The records then show how fast the Lorain County attorneys for the executrix to her stepfather's estate (from the same Lorain County law firm as the Lorain County attorney I had complaints filed against) were to request a hearing on that scam partition action after I fired the crook --- a hearing that I was never notified of. The record also states that another attorney right before that hearing "withdrew" as my attorney ---and that sure is a joke because that crook attorney (from the same law firm as the one I fired) was never my attorney to begin with.

Also, notice that the online records say the property was sold at a sheriff sale in October 2007. That information is false. After Binette denied my petition to stop the sheriff sale, I received a certified letter from that crook attorney (who wasn't even my attorney) that the property was sold on May 8, 2007. He even gave the amount it was sold for and the name of the person who bought it --- and at the time it sure wasn't "Maximal Properties, LLC." Yet 3 months after I was told the property had been sold, I received a call from the city of Huron that neighbors were complaining about the grass not being cut and said if it wasn't cut the city was going to do it. I noticed on the online records that Binette even took THAT charge right off the top of the scam.


answer the questions, Julie