After facing widespread criticism that it had only added Mark Cullen, son of high-profile foreclosure fraud investigator Lynn Szymoniak, to a foreclosure case as an act of retaliation, Deutsche Bank has filed a “Notice of Dropping Party” with the Florida courts dismissing claims against Cullen. Szymoniak originally stopped paying her mortgage after the lender raised her interest rate in 2008, alleging that the raise was “in violation of the original contract.” She then took to the airwaves and brought many other federal law enforcement agencies into the mix when she discovered that her mortgage – and, as it turned out, myriad others – was involved in the forgery integral to the robo-signer fiasco.
Szymoniak’s case originally rested on the idea that raising her interest rate was not legal or in her original contract, but she soon moved on to the fact that her bank had “relied on forged signatures to prove that they owned her loan in the first place.” She appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes” and shortly thereafter a judge threw her case out of court, giving the lender the option to re-file with better documentation. Re-file they did, and this time Cullen had been added to the case due to the fact, claimed Deutsche Bank’s lawyers, that he might have a secondary claim to the home and might attempt to press charges if the lender succeeded in evicting his mother. Critics of the move allege that it was an act of intimidation, while the lender insists it was simply a legal strategy. Whatever the reason, after much furor Cullen has been dropped.
Do you think that Deutsche Bank would have been willing to act if his mother had not played such a critical role in the media frenzy associated with the robo-signer scandal? How about the judge that threw out the case – would it still be in court if Szymoniak had not appeared on “60 Minutes?”
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