Patt Morrison for October 14, 2010

It’s a defaulting mess: as foreclosures rise, complications over shoddy paperwork grow

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John Moore/Getty Images

An auctioneer notes a bid on a foreclosed home during an auction on in Denver, Colorado.

You have probably heard the term ‘robo-signer’ in the last month as the news broke that many banks had employees automatically approve paperwork that allowed for repossessions and foreclosures with no real review or vetting. The question is – did anyone lose their home because of paperwork that was filed improperly? Banks are saying no, though some major lending institutions have frozen foreclosures. Attorneys General from all 50 states are going forward with an investigation looking at home foreclosure practices. Meanwhile, lenders seized more homes this summer than in any three-month stretch since the market began to bust in 2006, 288,000+ foreclosures from July to September. What happens now that bank repossessions and foreclosure auctions have hit record levels and if you are currently in foreclosure does this news do you any good?


Stuart A. Gabriel, Director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA and Professor of Finance at the UCLA Anderson School of Management

Lisa Sitkin, staff attorney for Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, a California statewide, not-for-profit legal service and advocacy organization. Their core practice areas are predatory or unfair mortgage lending, foreclosure prevention and fair housing.

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