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Are Notary Journals being shredded by JP Morgan Chase and California Reconveyance?

Posted by on May 2, 2013 | 1 comment

Recently Info to Fight Foreclosure has started offering a service to track down the notary logs of notaries who are notarizing real property records such as Assignment of Deed of Trust and Substitution of Trustee.  We have just begun but the process has already proven to be one of intrigue which is showing signs of Chase’s continued use of unsafe and unsound practices in foreclosing on individuals homes.

Specifically, we were hired to track down the journal entries of two documents notarized by a Carlos Bernal, notarizing the infamous Deborah Brignac signatrues.  (Does anyone have an example of her real signature? There are so many variations out there it is hard to determine which one is actually hers).

Carlos Bernal’s commission expired on June 18, 2011.  As per California Statute, Gov. Code § 8209 he is required to turn his journal record book (log) into the County within 30 days of the expiration of his commission, if he does not renew.  In this case, he did not renew.  (I had another member reach out to a notary in Lousiana who worked for Chase, she said it is Chase’s policy to retain the notary logs.)

Our first call was to the Secretary of State to confirm the address he has on record – the Notary Public Department shows that his address is listed as “California Reconveyance at 9200 Oakdale Road, Chatsworth, California”.   The representative confirmed he had not renewed his commission.

The second call was to the Los Angeles County where I was directed to Andrea Reyes.  She checked her electronic records and did a manual check, there are no journal logs submitted by Carlos Bernal.  Cost to get a “Certificate of Fact of Non Filing” is $27.00 and $5.00 for the search.

The third call was to California Recoveyance to ask for Carlos Bernal.  He is no longer employed by California Reconveyance but is still employed by Chase.  However, she stated she could not tell me where he worked or how to contact him. (Really? Read further and you will understand why I question her honesty).

The fourth call  was to the New York office of JP Morgan Chase, in which I let the receptionist know I was trying to reach “Carlos Bernal” and could she please provide me with his direct line.  She not only gave me his direct line, but then she transferred me to him.

The fifth call was Carlos Bernal himself.  I let him know that I was seeking a photocopy of a couple of line item entries in his journal, but it appears he had not turned in his journals to the County as required.  He responded, “Oh, I think those were shredded”.   Of course my response was to inform him those are public records and he is required to turn those over to the state by submitting them to the County and is he sure they were shredded? He then started asking who I was, who I was affiliated with, and why did I want them.  I told him I am a member of the public interested in a copy of a couple of line items in his journal, which are public records.  I then asked him what his mailing address is so that I can send him a formal request for the copies, and he put me on hold.

When he returned he gave me the address of…ready?  9200 Oakdale Road, Chatsworth, California.  Hmmm…Chase and California Reconveyance sitting in an office,  S-T-E-A-L-I-N-G , first comes fraud, then comes theft.  (Sing to “sitting in a tree”)

Bernal’s commission expired on June 18, 2011.  He had until July 17, 2011 to turn over his logs to Los Angeles County.  So here are a couple of interesting Government Codes, which by the way, it appears the Statute of Limitations is four years from the act.

It is time we started going after EVERYONE in the chain of fraud, the Notary included.   We will keep you updated on our progress with getting the records from Bernal.  Wish us luck!

     Calif. Gov. Code § 8209.  (a) If any notary public resigns, is disqualified, removed from office, or allows his or her appointment to expire without obtaining reappointment within 30 days, all notarial records and papers shall be delivered within 30 days to the clerk of the county in which the notary public’s current official oath of office is on file. If the notary public willfully fails or refuses to deliver all notarial records and papers to the county clerk within 30 days, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be personally liable for damages to any person injured by that action or inaction.

   (b) In the case of the death of a notary public, the personal representative of the deceased shall promptly notify the Secretary of State of the death of the notary public and shall deliver all notarial records and papers of the deceased to the clerk of the county in which the notary public’s official oath of office is on file.

   (c) After 10 years from the date of deposit with the county clerk, if no request for, or reference to such records has been made, they may be destroyed upon order of court.

            Calif. Gov. Code § 8214.  For the official misconduct or neglect of a notary public, the notary public and the sureties on the notary public’s official bond are liable in a civil action to the persons injured thereby for all the damages sustained.

            Calif. Gov. Code § 8214.1.  The Secretary of State may refuse to appoint any person as notary public or may revoke or suspend the commission of any notary public upon any of the following grounds:

            (i) Commission of any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with the intent to             substantially benefit the notary public or another, or substantially injure another.

            Calif. Gov. Code § 8214.15.  (a) In addition to any commissioning or disciplinary sanction, a violation of subdivision (f), (i), (l), (m), or (p) of Section 8214.1 is punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500).

            Calif. Gov. Code § 8214.2.  (a) A notary public who knowingly and willfully with intent to defraud performs any notarial act in relation to a deed of trust on real property consisting of a single-family residence containing not more than four dwelling units, with knowledge that the deed of trust contains any false statements or is forged, in whole or in part, is guilty of a felony.

            (b) The penalty provided by this section is not an exclusive remedy and does not affect    any other relief or remedy provided by law.

            Calif. Gov. Code § 8214.4.  Notwithstanding this chapter or Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3, if the Secretary of State determines, after proceedings conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3, that any notary public has committed or omitted acts constituting grounds for suspension or revocation of a notary public’s commission, the resignation or expiration of the notary public’s commission shall not bar the Secretary of State from instituting or continuing an investigation or instituting disciplinary proceedings. Upon completion of the disciplinary proceedings, the Secretary of State shall enter an order finding the facts and stating the conclusion that the facts would or would not have constituted grounds for suspension or revocation of the commission if the commission had still been in effect.

             Calif. Gov. Code § 8221.  (a) If any person shall knowingly destroy, deface, or conceal any records or papers belonging to the office of a notary public, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and be liable in a civil action for damages to any person injured as a result of such destruction, defacing, or concealment.

             (b) Notwithstanding any other limitation of time described in Section 802 of the Penal Code, or any other provision of law, prosecution for a violation of this offense shall be commenced within four years after discovery of the commission of the offense, or within four years after  the completion of the offense, whichever is later.

                (c) The penalty provided by this section is not an exclusive remedy and does not affect any  other relief or remedy provided by law.

             Calif. Gov. Code § 8227.3.  Any person who is not a duly commissioned, qualified, and acting notary public who does any of the acts prohibited by Section 8227.1 in relation to any document or instrument affecting title to, placing an encumbrance on, or placing an interest  secured by a  mortgage or deed of trust on, real property consisting of a single-family residence containing not more than four dwelling units, is guilty of a felony.

It is time to start going after everyone in the chain of fraud, including the notaries.




LEGAL DISCLAIMER:    I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. This is for educational and informational purposes only. Take no action on this  Information without consulting an attorney in your jurisdiction

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Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 | 0 comments

It is official, we are no longer wingnuts relying on wild internet theories that the Banks are corrupt and stealing our homes through the use of invalid documents.   NBC Channel’s “The Investigative Unit” has tapped into the foreclosure shenigans and has put together a really great set of stories and video’s documenting and explaining the ongoing fraud by the big banks in foreclosing on homes in the San Francisco Bay area.

For those of you who tend to ignore main stream media because of their typical bank spin, this group’s motto is “The Unit is dedicated to uncovering the truth, holding the powerful accountable and making the Bay Area a better place to live.”   Here here!  Bravo NBC for investing the resources to bring this very serious issue into the “light”.

So when your friends or family tell you (or look at you), you are crazy, point them here.  The truth cannot be ignored.




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