Although foreclosure servicers have, for the most part, cleaned up their act under intense public scrutiny, robo-signing is still rampant in many areas of the mortgage industry, alleges the associated press, citing an investigation that, among other things, found the signature “Linda Green” signed more than 20 different ways in just one firm. The Linda Green in questions actually worked for a company that processed mortgage paperwork and was shut down more than a year ago. Yet based on these documents, she is still signing away.
The study raises concerns that although the foreclosure processes in many major lenders may be on the mend, other servicing acts may still be barely, if at all, legitimate. According to the AP, “county officials in at least three states say they have received thousands of mortgage documents with questionable signatures wince last fall,” with lenders responding that they “cannot explain why the practice…has continued”. An investigation in Salem, Massachusetts, for example, yielded so many robo-signed signatures that the local registrar of deeds concluded that about 3.5 percent of all homeowners in the county probably have paperwork on file with fraudulent paperwork (that’s more than 25,000 homeowners in Salem County alone). “Robo-signing is not even close to over,” says Curtis Hertel, recorder of deeds in Ingham County, MI, calling the issue an epidemic. “My office is a crime scene,” adds the registrar of deeds in Salem.
And the paperwork is not all foreclosure-related anymore. In fact, much of it is for refinancing or for new purchases by people “in good standing in the eyes of the bank.” What do you think should be done about robo-signing when it is not related to foreclosures?
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