The Boy Who Cried Force-Placed Insurance: Changing Tides


While the Occupy movement picked up steam worldwide, I was seriously struggling, both personally and professionally. By the end of 2011, my life was in shambles. The banks had hit me with everything they had. I owed the IRS money due to an audit resulting from documentation the bank sent them. I was struggling to pay my bills, so my internet & electricity would occasionally shut off. I faced several weeks of the Phoenix summer without air conditioning. I sold nearly all my personal possessions, pulled a title loan out on my Cadillac that I knew I’d never pay back, and moved in with my parents in a small town near the border. When I got there, I was both mentally broken and emotionally unstable. It was part of the plan…but that provided little comfort through the storm…


I spent the Summer and Fall of 2011 exploring my personal demons through the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. I knew that in the end, it was going to boil down to me against the bank. I had already experienced their retaliation machine firsthand, and I was not about to let them intimidate me. I knew the bank would look for weaknesses to attack, so I took a page out of Keysor Soze’s book and launched a preemptive strike. I tore myself apart in every way I could think of. I reduced myself to an unstable, emotional, shattered mess of a person. By the time I was finished picking apart my psyche, I was barely recognizable anymore.


January 2012:

Thousands of homeowners throughout the country are being foreclosed on, even evicted, often through the greed and fraud of the big banks, law firms, and mortgage companies that crashed our nation’s economy in 2008, but the 99% are fighting back in full force. With the 48 State Attorneys General’s foreclosure settlement looming on the horizon, I’m beginning to lose hope. The settlement is rumored to cover a mere fraction of the actual losses sustained by the American populace. Early reports indicated this was to be nothing more than another blow from the banksters to the citizens. My deposition appeared to have changed nothing.


I’m working part time as a security guard in a dilapidated strip mall. My brother and parents treat me like a failure. I can sense the pity, and it does nothing but anger me. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I made a mistake. Maybe I should have just let the atrocities continue. When I fall asleep at night, I don’t know what’s going to happen anymore. Sometimes I wake up smiling just before dawn, feeling proud of myself for being strong enough to stand up for the innocent. Other times I wake up in the middle of the night terrified and unable to breathe, having flashbacks of the many shadowy figures I encountered on my journey. There are some days I don’t even want to wake up at all, and opt to lay in my bed staring at my ceiling fan or a candle, desperately searching for a port in the storm.


Every day I search the news, seeking evidence of any kind that I didn’t throw my life away for nothing. Every day I try to find hope in the midst of despair as I pass the one year anniversary of my departure from the bank. Finally on January 11, 2012, I woke up to an email from Lisa:


“BRIAN, this is YOUR issue!” – Lisa Epstein – 1/11/2012, 9:32 AM


It turns out I’m not being ignored. The information I meticulously fed into the system had caught on. Someone was listening. While Lisa and her supporters defend homeowners from Jamie Dimon’s henchmen in Florida, I meet with regulators from Benjamin Lawsky’s New York Department of Financial Services to discuss the internal workings of the banks and connect some of the dots from the scattered information they received during their investigation. Several times during the meeting, we have to stop, as the chants of Occupy Wall Street protesters in nearby Zuccotti Park get too loud. I can’t help but smile as Joy apologizes to me for the protesters. It takes all the strength I have not to apologize to her as I can hear the frustration in her voice, and I know my part in creating the events unfolding outside her office.


listen to ‘DFS Voicemail’ on Audioboo


I give Lawsky’s office just barely enough information to get them excited, because I have grown to distrust politicians and regulators by this time, having already been thoroughly disappointed by the treatment I received from Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and Sen. John McCain. After discussing the events with Lisa, I’m invited to speak on her radio show the next week. While the rest of America is relaxing and watching the NFL Playoffs, we’re working our fingers to the bones in very different roles in the class war.


CALL IN TO WSBR South Florida 740am at your assigned time please

  1. *Jeff* about 1/26 Fraudclosure Teach in Broward after break at*6:20pm*
  2. *Maia* about 2/16 Foreclosure Awareness Day Rally in Tally after break at *6:40pm (this is just a quick update)*
  3. *Brian* about forced place insurance scam at *6:45pm* (will talk until 7pm break and then back on for 7pm segment)
  4. *Glenda* about her effective actions in central Florida opposing due process violations in Judge Dickey’s 300 cases in 3 days fraudclosure court at *7:20*


By the end of January, I have my confidence back. I’m exactly where I predicted I would be one year ago. I’ve faced my demons and come to terms with my decisions. I’m stronger than I’ve been in a long time. I’m at peace with myself. I’m ready to fight again…


Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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