The On Going Saga Of Foreclosures On Auto Pilot.
The on-going saga in the foreclosure “robo-signing” fiasco questions whether thousands of homeowners wrongfully foreclosed and evicted will be able to sue lenders.
While the media has focused attention on the improper practices of mortgage servicers the real question is what lenders will do to rectify past wrongs and how homeowners can protect themselves hereafter.
There’s no question now that many mortgage lenders have improperly submitted documents used to force the sales of homes across the country. In some cases many homes were foreclosed even though homeowners were in the process of working through a home loan modification.
Bank officials, relying on their mortgage servicers, signed off on the massive foreclosure paperwork without doing any reviews. This is now a practice known as “robo-signing.”
To get a judicial foreclosure the lender must submit proof of ownership and default on the mortgage. This proof typically consists of copies of various documents and a written statement under oath (affidavit) that the documents are true and accurate. To make such a statement, the individual signing the affidavit must not only review the documents but also have some personal basis for believing them to be true. Not just anyone can sign. Thus, this is where the problems begin.
In particular, mortgage lenders have assigned the “statement under oath” task to third-party servicers who not only don’t review the documents but who have no personal knowledge of the facts; and many affidavits were signed outside of the presence of a notary public, contrary to state laws.
In light of the number of questionable documents, 50 State Attorney Generals have joined a coordinated multistate effort to inquire whether or not lenders improperly submitted legal affidavits and other documents in support of foreclosures in those states.
Recent government involvement urged a stop to foreclosures and initially mortgage lenders did halt the progress however lenders decided while they evaluate past documentation deficiencies they will continue forward with foreclosures while making sure they comply with state laws.
Where does this leave inconvenienced and vulnerable homeowners? Well, despite upcoming regulatory changes, homeowners shouldn’t expect quick results and it probably will come down to homeowners hiring lawyers.
Homeowners shouldn’t count on moving back into their home, especially if back payments are owed but there could be compensatory damages paid.
There are too many variables to address here but if you are in this situation, consult a legal expert to go over the facts.