Robo-signing - the Latest Illegal Foreclosure Scam Perpetrated by Major Banks

Robo-signing fake docsRobo-signing is the robotic process of the mass production of false and forged signing of mortgage foreclosure documents by persons with no knowledge of the facts in the documents.  Often times the robo-signer does not even exist.  The following article was written by Jim Hightower and originally printed at OtherWords.org, a project of the Institute of Policy Studies. We thank him for his good work on this article. - Team Afro

Illegal Foreclosure Epidemic

Robo-signing foreclosure paperwork is a federal crime, but no bank or banker has even been charged.

Jim Hightower By Jim Hightower

Two-year-olds often go running around the house too wildly and crash into something. They get an "ouchie" and fall down crying, but they learn from it.

That's the virtue of the "ouchie" that Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and other big financiers got last year when they ran into the law after racing wildly through home foreclosure paperwork. They were caught falsifying thousands of documents and taking illegal shortcuts that were causing innocent families to lose their homes. They had to pay fines, make restitution, suspend foreclosures, and pledge to clean up their act. But at least they learned their lesson.

Banksy on the foreclosure crisis (posted by Finger Food / Flickr)
Banksy on the foreclosure crisis (posted by Finger Food / Flickr)

Oh, wait — these aren't two-year-olds. They are wily bankers, and the only lesson they ever seem to learn is that shortcuts can be profitable — as long as you don't get caught. But once again they've been caught rushing through foreclosures, using the same old scam called "robo-signing."

To foreclose on someone's home, an authorized bank employee must sign the foreclosure document, swearing that the facts in it are true. But that requires hiring people to review each case. To avoid that cost, they take an illegal shortcut by signing the name of someone who has not read the document and might not even exist.

In one Massachusetts county, for example, the signature of "Linda Green" has recently appeared on some 1,300 foreclosures. Curiously, her signature was written in many different styles, and she had many different titles. Also, there's no Linda Green presently working in the mortgage banking company involved. Meanwhile, state officials say that robo-signing is, once again, "an epidemic" all across the country.

It's a federal crime to do this, yet no bank or banker has even been charged. Until we put a CEO in jail, the banking barons will never learn their lesson.

Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He's also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

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