Who We Are
The Housing Justice Foundation is a research and education non-profit organization in West Palm Beach, Florida, that focuses on foreclosure fraud and securities research. We are committed to investigating and exposing the pervasive loan documentation fraud in mortgage securitization, and to examining the negative effects of improperly secured mortgage trusts. We believe that crimes were committed and continue to be committed in mortgage foreclosures nationwide and worldwide, and that bank executives and securities company executives who commit crimes should be prosecuted.
Rather than a solution to the housing crisis, foreclosures are a blunt, transient fix to a complex problem. Foreclosures destroy families, neighborhoods, and force home values down, hurting the entire community. As an alternative to foreclosure, we believe it is in the best interest of financial institutions, homeowners, trusts and investors, to support loan modifications with principal reductions to fair market value.
Foreclosure Reform Goals
END avoidable foreclosures that displace families, drive down home prices and destroy communities.
REQUIRE banks to modify mortgages to fair market value to avoid foreclosures.
REQUIRE banks to fairly compensate victims of foreclosures obtained with fraudulent mortgage assignments.
REQUIRE county clerks to put systems in place to prevent widespread use of fraudulent documents to foreclose.
REQUIRE corporations to properly maintain the residential homes and be subject to the same taxes and penalties as individual homeowners.
REQUIRE every bank, mortgage-backed trust, and government entity to file an Assignment of Mortgage within 60 days of the time they claim to have acquired the mortgage.
REQUIRE clerks of the court and county recorders to file every mortgage assignment under the name of the homeowner, as well as the grantor and grantee – so that all homeowners have notice of any transfer of mortgage.
PROSECUTE any individual or entity that files robo-signed, surrogate-signed or otherwise deceptive mortgage documents in the official county records or in any foreclosure proceeding.
The Housing Justice Foundation was founded in 2012 by Lynn E. Szymoniak, a mortgage document fraud whistleblower. The HJF Directors include Rachael Brown, Mark Elliot Cullen, Zachary Cullen, and Lynn Szymoniak.
Lynn Szymoniak is an attorney who has been active in the South Florida area for thirty years. From cases ranging from civil rights issues, insurance fraud, and election procedures, Lynn Szymoniak has a reputation for being a dogged defender of justice and has been called as an expert witness for the United States Government. In 2010, facing foreclosure after being forced from work by breast cancer and to care for her ailing mother, Lynn Szymoniak noticed inconsistencies in the banks paperwork. This lead to the discovery of the illegal practice known as ‘robo-signing,’ where banks fake needed signatures to foreclose on homes. Lynn Szymoniak sued on behalf of the government, forcing the banks to date to pay out over $95 Million to HUD to be used for foreclosure relief, allowing people behind on their mortgages to find a way to stay in their homes. Lynn Szymoniak took her share of the settlement and founded the Housing Justice Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping the victims of foreclosure fraud and exposing the crimes of predatory lenders.
Zachary Cullen is a Director and Vice President of The Housing Justice Foundation, and one of the organizations founding members. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2007. He is currently focused on housing issues in Palm Beach County and the operation of The Housing Justice Foundation.
Rachael Brown is the Treasurer and Co-Director of Housing Justice Foundation. Since graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008, Rachael has worked in property management and Non-Profit business administration.
Mark Elliot Cullen is the Co-Director of The Housing Justice Foundation and one of the founding members. In 2008, Mark earned his B.A. in Professional and Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2012, Mark received a Masters in Fine Arts from The New School. He currently works full time for Housing Justice and is pursuing independent study in literature. He is particularly interested in media representations of the housing crisis.