For those not paying close attention to this issue already, it may be news to you that despite being outed a year ago for using the practice of robosigning to fabricate thousands of documents used to foreclose on homeowners, banks are still using this practice today. American Banker:
Some of the largest mortgage servicers are still fabricating documents that should have been signed years ago and submitting them as evidence to foreclose on homeowners.
The practice continues nearly a year after the companies were caught cutting corners in the robo-signing scandal and about six months after the industry began negotiating a settlement with state attorneys general investigating loan-servicing abuses.
Several dozen documents reviewed by American Banker show that as recently as August some of the largest U.S. banks, including Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Ally Financial Inc., and OneWest Financial Inc., were essentially backdating paperwork necessary to support their right to foreclose.
Some of documents reviewed by American Banker included signatures by current bank employees claiming to represent lenders that no longer exist.
David Dayen explains what this means:
And you see, the banks HAVE to fabricate documents. Because they destroyed the private property system through improper and sloppy securitizations and lost or missing mortgage assignments during the bubble years, and as such they cannot prove standing to foreclose without lying. Robo-signing is a crime, but it’s also a cover-up for a much bigger crime, which involves MERS and improper mortgage transfer and securities fraud. The robo-signed, forged, fabricated documents are the smokescreen being used to foreclose and get the real problem off the books. Banks are trying to wriggle off the hook by saying they are merely “memorializing” past actions with the fake documents. Some courts aren’t buying it; the pooling and servicing agreements stipulate that all assignments showing transfers must take place within 60 days, not years later through “memorialized” actions.
What this really comes down to is that making a settlement with banks around robosigning now, while there has been no real investigation by the state law enforcement officials who are negotiating a settlement and while the practice is continuing as the negotiations go on, is dangerous and premature. The banks can’t possibly be negotiating in good faith with Tom Miller and the other state AGs because they’re still committing the crimes they want to be released from prosecution for!
There’s a massive criminal scheme being revealed by the press and a handful of diligent public officials like Attorneys General Eric Schneiderman, Catherine Cortez Masto and Beau Biden, as well as county Registers of Deeds like Jeff Thigpen in North Carolina and John O’Brien in Massachusetts. These officials seem committed to pursuing investigation and accountability. It’s time their peers get on board.