Friday, October 8, 2010

"Robo-Signers" - No, Really

In a way, this is actually good news:
"BofA Halts All Foreclosure Sales"
Real Estate, The Wall Street Journal (October 8, 2010)

" Bank of America Corp. said it is placing a moratorium on all foreclosure sales across the U.S., amid political pressure on U.S. banks to examine foreclosure-documentation problems.

"The nation's largest bank by assets is the first financial institution to stop all foreclosure sales amid revelations that the banking industry had used 'robo signers,' people who sign hundreds of documents a day without reviewing their contents, when foreclosing on homes. Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Ally Financial Inc. (parent of GMAC Mortgage) last week postponed foreclosures in 23 states where a court's approval is required to foreclosure on a home.

"Bank of America also decided Friday to review the affidavits being used in foreclosure proceedings in the rest of the 50 states so the accuracy of the documents can be assessed. ..."

The Lemming sees this halt on foreclosure activity and implied review of business practices as good news. Mostly since it's happening before Bank of America and other organizations collapse as a result of acting without thinking.

I remember the "savings and loan crisis" of the eighties: at least partly the result of loaning money to folks who couldn't, realistically, pay it back. I was an employment counselor during part of that, and worked with a young farmer who'd have had a much easier time - in my opinion - if he hadn't been changing careers at the same time as a whole lot of other folks who were in the same position.

And that's another topic.

More recently, the financial industry meltdown and 'Big Three' American autoworkers have experienced reality checks. Or would have - but that's yet another topic, and the Lemming is not going to rant today.

So: In the Lemming's opinion, this is good news for Bank of America and other businesses, since they may be staving off a major SNAFU. More-major SNAFU.

It's also good news for those folks whose property was going through foreclosure because some dude had been handed a stack of papers and told to sign them - not because they weren't able to meet their financial obligations.

How many borrowers were unfairly foreclosed? Good question. We don't know, since apparently due process wasn't followed in these cases. After somebody goes through and actually reads and verifies the documents: then it'll be possible to sort out who's able to hold their property, and who's forfeited it.

The Lemming is, once again, profoundly glad that he didn't follow a 'successful' career track in corporate America.

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