This is a real estate fraud/identity theft case brought by plaintiffs Darryl Dumas (“Darryl”) and Darryl Dumas as Trustee of the Dumas Revocable Living Trust Agreement Dated February 7, 2001 against Darryl’s brother Derrick Dumas (“Derrick”), among others, concerning real property located at 1875 Paradise Drive, Los Angeles, Calif. 90025 (“Subject Property”). On January 12, 1994, Darryl purchased the property by Grant Deed. In 1998, Darryl moved out and began renting out the subject property. In April of 2001, Darryl transferred title to the property to his trust.
In 1999, Derrick started a mortgage brokerage company known as Countywide Loans. In February 2008, Derrick indicated he could arrange for Darryl to obtain a line of credit with Chase, secured by the subject property for up to $500,000 on favorable terms. Darryl was interested in an increased line of credit to have the flexibility to make investments when the opportunities arose. Darryl agreed to apply for the Chase secured equity credit line and allegedly provided his brother, Derrick, with his personal financial information in order to facilitate the application.
ID Theft & Real Estate Fraud
Derrick was out of the country from June through November of 2008. In early November 2008, Darryl’s other brother, David, informed him that Derrick had obtained a loan against his home under his name without his knowledge or consent. Darryl then asked David to check the records for the subject property to see if Derrick might have done something similar to him. A few days later, David advised Darryl there was a $350,000 loan against the subject property in favor of a lender named Overland Direct. Derrick’s company, Countywide, had originated the loan and sold it to Overland Direct. Our Company insured this transaction and issued a $350,000 lender’s policy to Overland Direct.
“Derrick confessed that he had stolen Darryl’s identity, forged his signatures on the loan documents to take out a loan…”
Derrick returned to the United States in the middle of November 2008. On November 16, 2008, Darryl confronted him at their parents’ home. Derrick confessed that he had stolen Darryl’s identity, forged his signatures on the loan documents to take out a loan from Overland Direct against the subject property and kept the loan proceeds.
Forgery Claim Covered
The notaries of the various documents involved in this fraud were Dante C. Gumiran (Commission No. 1638844, CA) and Caroline P. Diaz (Commission No. 1522651, CA). Both Gumiran and Diaz were employed by Derrick at Countywide Loans. Gumiran signed a declaration that his boss, Derrick, instructed him to notarize the relevant documents outside the presence of the purported signer, Darryl. Diaz alleges in her declaration that she did not notarize the documents at all and that her signature is a forgery. She insinuates that someone used her notary stamp, which she left at her desk at Countywide Loans.
In February 2009, Overland Direct’s $350,000 note went into default and the loan went into foreclosure. Overland Direct received notification from Darryl, however, that his signature was forged and that he never applied for the loan in question. Based on this information, Overland Direct submitted a claim to Our Company.
Our Company ended up defending our insured lender in a suit filed by Darryl as well as ultimately incurring a policy limits loss ($350,000) plus expenses on this claim.
Recouping our Losses
This matter has been reported to law enforcement and we are following up to ensure the notaries have been reported to the notary board in California for further investigation. In addition, we are pursuing Derrick in a civil action to recoup our losses.
By The Way
We have two other claims involving Derrick forging borrower’s names, which are still in the midst of investigation and will result in further litigation. As a result, the names of the parties (with the exception of the notaries) have been changed.