This year, I have done quite a few posts illustrating how much fraud took place on the part of mortgage lenders. There are many conservative bloggers who have spent a lot of bandwidth spreading the theory that “the homeowners owe money to someone, so they should just pay. It is the homeowners’ fault for taking out loans they couldn’t repay,” all the while denying that the banks had any responsibility in the mess we are in.
Those same people will probably not want to see this:
Some of the nation’s largest mortgage companies used a single document processor who said he signed off on foreclosures without having read the paperwork – an admission that may open the door for homeowners across the country to challenge foreclosure proceedings.
The legal predicament compelled Ally Financial, the nation’s fourth-largest home lender [ed. note: Ally used to go by the name GMAC], to halt evictions of homeowners in 23 states this week. Now Ally officials say hundreds of other companies, including mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, may also be affected because they use Ally to service their loans.
In other words, these document factories are producing paperwork on demand, as the lawyer handling the foreclosure needs it. Read on:
As head of Ally’s foreclosure document processing team, 41-year-old Jeffrey Stephan was required to review cases to make sure the proceedings were legally justified and the information was accurate. He was also required to sign the documents in the presence of a notary.
In a sworn deposition, he testified that he did neither.
The reason may be the sheer volume of the documents he had to hand-sign: 10,000 a month. Stephan had been at that job for five years.
10,000 times a month, this man testified in a sworn affidavit that he personally reviewed the records, and determined that the person whose home was being taken was rightfully losing his home. TEN THOUSAND TIMES A MONTH. That works out to over 500 people every business day who lost homes based upon FRAUD. At 8 hours per business day, this man reviewed the paperwork for each foreclosure and signed an affidavit swearing it was accurate in an average of 55 seconds per foreclosure. It is obvious that a person cannot review all of the mortgage paperwork and testify to its accuracy in only 55 seconds. For five years. This one man’s fraud and lies were used to take 600,000 homes.
That is just from one paperwork factory. There are hundreds of these companies out there. But hey, those deadbeat homeowners should pay. The lawyers are never wrong. The courts use this paperwork, generated in less than a minute, to justify holding a hearing under “rocket docket” rules, where each homeowner is given an average of 60 seconds to argue his case, and that even assumes that the bank isn’t granted summary judgment without a hearing, based upon the forged paperwork.
The same conservatives who complain that we can’t trust the courts to safeguard our right to keep and bear arms, our freedom of religion, and our right to free speech trust the court to decide who takes a home and who doesn’t.