Marie McDonnell, Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of McDonnell Property Analytics is a Master Analyst in Financial Forensics®, a designation awarded to qualified professionals by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts®. The Master Analyst in Financial Forensics® credential is designed to provide assurance to the business and legal communities—the primary users of financial forensic consulting services—that the designee possesses a level of experience and knowledge deemed acceptable by the Association to provide competent and professional financial forensic consulting services
Over the past thirty-four (34) years, Ms. McDonnell has developed, extensively tested, and reliably employed a proprietary set of mortgage auditing tools and protocols that enable her to track with precision a lender’s loan servicing system and determine with particularity whether a problem is the result of borrower failure, lender malfeasance, or whether it is technology and policy related.
Ms. McDonnell’s Financial Forensics Examination distinguishes McDonnell Property Analytics (“MPA”) from all other firms offering expert and litigation support services involving mortgage related disputes.
Ms. McDonnell integrates her knowledge of the mathematics of finance with her ability to translate the written language contained in a mortgage note into its mathematical form and effect. Using Microsoft Excel as a technology platform, Ms. McDonnell has developed a dynamic three-dimensional mathematical model that allows her to analyze both simple and complex alternative mortgage products such as a negative amortization, pay-option, adjustable rate mortgage loan.
Once Ms. McDonnell has completed a Financial Forensics Examination, she is able to identify errors, overcharges, missing payments, and malfeasance in the servicing of a mortgage loan account which give rise to claims such as for breach of contract, predatory lending, fraudulent inducement, wrongful foreclosure, violations of the Truth In Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, etc.
Because this is an expert-level service, we work closely with our clients and their attorneys to establish the factual basis upon which to assert claims or raise affirmative defenses in mortgage disputes, litigation, and bankruptcy. Here are some examples from our files:
CASE STUDY – Breach of Contract
MPA’s Colorado Client engaged Ms. McDonnell in 2017 to investigate who really owned his mortgage loan and to serve as an expert witness in a Quiet Title lawsuit he filed in 2011 against UBS Tampa Branch, the nominal lender, Thornburg Mortgage Home Loans, Inc., the servicer, and others.
On the eve of trial, U.S. Bank National Association (successor to Bank of America, N.A, successor by merger to LaSalle Bank N.A), as Trustee, on behalf of the holders of the Thornburg Mortgage Securities Trust 2007-5 Mortgage Loan Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-5 (“U.S. Bank”) filed a petition pursuant to Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 120 to obtain permission from the Court to proceed with a nonjudicial foreclosure action.
To defend against the impending foreclosure, our Client expanded the scope of Ms. McDonnell’s engagement to include a Financial Forensics Examination. Ms. McDonnell discovered that the subject mortgage loan had been modified on October 1, 2010, and that the servicer had breached the Loan Modification Agreement by failing to comply with the terms of the Agreement which states unequivocally that:
Interest will be charged on the Unpaid Principal Balance at the yearly rate of 2.5%, effective August 1, 2009. Borrowers promise to make interest-only payments in the amount of U.S. $10,065.86, beginning on the first day of September, 2009, and continuing thereafter on the same day of each succeeding month for the next twelve months.
Ms. McDonnell was able to prove to a mathematical certainty that the servicer had charged interest during that 12-month period at the rate of 7.651172%, which resulted in an overcharge of $248,884.68.
Ms. McDonnell was also able to pinpoint November 17, 2010, as the date on which the servicer accelerated the mortgage loan. Colorado has a 6-year statute of limitation proscribing the enforcement of contracts. Thus, pursuant to Colorado law, the Note was unenforceable, and the Deed of Trust was void by operation of law on June 17, 2019, when U.S. Bank filed its Rule 120 Petition.
A hearing was held on December 9, 2019, however, the Colorado District Court never issued a ruling on U.S. Bank’s Petition. Four (4) months later, our Client filed for bankruptcy pursuant to 11 U.S. Code Chapter 11. The property was sold with the approval of the Bankruptcy Court during the summer of 2021. Shortly thereafter, our Client withdrew from bankruptcy. The proceeds of the sale (over $8,400,000.00) are being held in escrow pending resolution of this dispute.
CASE STUDY – Theft by Deception
MPA’s Connecticut Clients contacted us in 2018, five (5) years after the Court had issued a judgment of strict foreclosure. They made many attempts to reopen the judgment but were unsuccessful. They argued that they were not in default when the complaint to foreclose was filed, but even their accountant could not prove their claim. We sent Request for Information letters and in response we received an account summary that showed the servicer had received many payments but did not credit those to principal or interest. Our Clients subsequently engaged Ms. McDonnell to conduct a Financial Forensics Examination which revealed that our Clients had made $89,508.22 in mortgage payments that cleared their bank account but which the servicer did not credit to their mortgage loan. As of November 2021, this matter is presently on appeal.
CASE STUDY – Fraud
MPA’s New Hampshire Clients hired us to conduct a Case Opening Review and to send out Request for Information letters which we did on April 1, 2021. On April 27, the wife filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure sale that was scheduled for May 5, 2021.
Our Clients provided paperwork to us that showed Bank of America, N.A. had modified their mortgage loan on June 1, 2012, by capitalizing their arrearages into a “New Principal Balance” of $341,783.73. Of that amount, $102,535.12 —designated as “the Deferred Principal Balance”— was to be treated as a non-interest bearing principal forbearance which was eligible for forgiveness over the next three years, providing the couple did not re-default.
Soon after Bank of America had modified their mortgage loan, it transferred servicing to Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC (“SLS”). SLS promised the couple that they would offer a more favorable loan modification and instructed them not to make any mortgage payments while their application was in progress. SLS never came through with their promise and instituted a nonjudicial foreclosure action instead.
Our Case Opening Review revealed that Bank of America had issued a 1099-C Cancellation of Debt in the amount of $102,535.12 on June 8, 2012, one week after it had consummated the Loan Modification Agreement with our Clients. We also discovered that on or about November 30, 2006, the subject mortgage loan was securitized into the First Franklin Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-FF16 over which Deutsche Bank National Trust Company serves as Trustee (“Deutsche Bank”). Deutsche Bank’s Monthly Remittance Report dated July 25, 2012, also shows that Deutsche Bank booked a loss in the amount of $102,535.12.
Based on these extraordinary findings, our Clients have engaged Marie McDonnell to perform a Financial Forensics Examination and submit an Expert Affidavit in opposition to Deutsche Bank’s Proof of Claim.