from March 2012 Huffington Post
Lynn Szymoniak may have just won $18 million for uncovering massive, systemic foreclosure fraud. But that doesn’t mean her troubles are over.
Szymoniak, a white-collar attorney who became famous last year as the whistleblower in a far-reaching foreclosure fraud case, is still enmeshed in conflict with Deutsche Bank, which foreclosed on Szymoniak’s Florida home in 2008.
Deutsche Bank is now calling forth a parade of maintenance workers — including Szymoniak’s plumber, landscaper and pool repair crews — in what Szymoniak described to the Palm Beach Post as an effort to “harass the living hell out of me.”
It’s been an eventful few years for Szymoniak, so here’s a quick reminder of what she’s been up to. In 2008, Deutsche Bank filed to foreclose on her house. Szymoniak had fallen behind on her mortgage payments, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, because medical emergencies had dented her income and her savings. Still, she thought Deutsche Bank was cutting corners in its paperwork, so she started reviewing other Florida foreclosure cases.
What Szymoniak found was that some of the country’s largest banks were forging paperwork en masse — part of the robo-signing epidemic that has clotted the country’s foreclosure courts in recent years. In 2011, Szymoniak appeared on 60 Minutes to explain what she’d learned, and earlier this month she was awarded $18 million as part of the $25 billion mortgage settlement paid out by five major national banks.
Szymoniak has said that she plans to use that money to pay off her mortgage. But Deutsche Bank has nevertheless announced that it will be deposing eight companies that have worked on Szymoniak’s house.
According to the PBP, Szymoniak said that the bank might be checking to make sure she used her loan for its intended purpose of home improvements. But she thinks it’s more likely an attempt on the bank’s part to cast suspicion on her character and run up her legal expenses.
This isn’t the first time Deutsche Bank has thrown a spotlight on a peripheral figure in Szymoniak’s case. Last May,the bank sued Szymoniak’s son, who was in New York pursuing a graduate degree in poetry at the time, hadn’t lived in Szymoniak’s house since 2004, and had no meaningful connection to the property.