As part of the mortgage foreclosure process, a lender must prove two things:
That the homeowner defaulted on the loan,
and that the lender or bank properly owns the mortgage. The lender proves its
ownership in the mortgage by submitting evidentiary documents as well
as an affidavit signed under oath. The person who signs the affidavit
(usually a bank employee) swears that he or she has reviewed the documents,
that the information is correct, and that he or she personally believes
that the information the affidavit contains is true to the best of his
or her knowledge.
During the height of the foreclosure crisis, the term “robo-signing”
made headlines across the country. After several high-profile foreclosure
cases, it came to light that several large mortgage lenders had low-level
employees sign thousands of affidavits
en masse, even though the signers did not verify the information and had no personal
knowledge of the documents’ accuracy. These employees were referred
to as robo-signers because they simply signed anything put in front of
them, like robots.
This type of fraudulent activity extended to notaries who either pre-notarized
blank affidavits or post-notarized affidavits that they did not personally
witness. Additionally, some employees signed affidavits with either forged
signatures of bank executives or signed their own name with fake titles.
The robo-signing scandal resulted in millions of foreclosure cases being
put on hold while the mortgage servicers scrambled to create new and accurate
documents. In 2012, five of the biggest mortgage servicers in the country
settled allegations of robo-signing fraud with the attorneys general of
49 states and were ordered to pay approximately $26 billion to the federal
government. This money eventually created homeowner relief programs around
Today, the banks and mortgage servicers have largely learned their lesson
and are now more careful to ensure that someone with actual knowledge
of a case verifies and signs an affidavit before foreclosure. However,
it is still important to ensure that the person who signed the affidavit
on behalf of the mortgage servicer verified and had actual knowledge of
the information in the affidavit.
During a foreclosure case, defense attorneys will often depose the person
who signed the affidavit and will make sure that person checked out the
mortgage documents before signing. While robo-signing is less common now,
a false affidavit can still stop a mortgage foreclosure case and prevent
a servicer from taking the home.
Robo-signing is one of just many defenses to foreclosure. If you are facing
the prospect of losing your home, it is important to contact an experienced
Florida foreclosure defense attorney who understands how to fight back.
At Loan Lawyers, our attorneys will review your foreclosure case for free,
and help you determine your legal options.
To schedule your confidential and complimentary consultation, contact Loan
Lawyers today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813)