Robo-signing continues, despite bank assurances
Last fall, several of the United States’ largest mortgage lenders halted foreclosures after mass reports of foreclosure fraud. Known as ‘robo-signing’, attorney generals from Georgia and several other states alleged that mortgage lender employees were falsely signing foreclosure documents in order to more quickly deal with the massive amounts of mortgage paperwork associated with the recession.
After a reportedly close examination of their practices, the lenders resumed foreclosures, assuring court officials and the public that robo-signing was no longer an issue. However, recent reports indicate this may not be the case.
Robo-signing takes many forms: qualified employees signing mortgage documents without verifying the information, unqualified employees forging the signatures of their superiors, low-level employees signing their own names with a fake title, or simply lack of proper notarization. Although forging such a document is a federal crime, no individuals have been criminally charged in relation to the robo-signing scandal.
One of the most cited examples of the robo-signing scandal is the repeated signature of a purported employee named Linda Green, who worked at a document processing company until it closed in the spring of 2010. Although Green is not believed to have worked in the industry since, her signature has appeared on almost 2,000 documents since October of 2010, with a variety of different signatures and titles.
County registrars have reported several similar instances as examples that robo-signing persists in many areas of the country, despite the fact that foreclosures are down by as much as 30 percent from this time last year. Mortgage lenders have not come forward with an explanation for the discrepancies, but claim that they are working with regulators to fix the problem.
The ongoing uncertainty means that Atlanta homeowners who have begun foreclosure proceedings should be extra-vigilant about their case, enlisting the help of a Georgia foreclosure attorney if possible.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Mortgage ‘robo-signing’ goes on,” Pallavi Gogoi, 18 July 2011