State AGs Announce Multistate Robo-Signing Settlement


On January 31, the state attorneys general (AGs) for 45 states obtained an agreement from a mortgage servicing and foreclosure vendor, and its former subsidiary, to resolve allegations that the company “robo-signed” foreclosure documents and engaged in other improper default servicing conduct. (See, e.g., announcements from the AGs for Iowa, Massachusetts, and New York.) The agreements require the company to pay a combined $120 million and finalize substantial revisions to its business and compliance practices. The company also must (i) properly execute documents, (ii) enhance oversight of its default services, and (iii) review of all third-party fees to ensure that the fees have been earned and are reasonable and accurate. The settlement also prohibits various conduct including, for example, (i) surrogate signing of documents; (ii) notarizing documents outside the presence of a notary; (iii) improper interference with the attorney-client relationship between attorneys and services; and (iv) unreasonable mark-ups or other fees on third party providers’ default or foreclosure-related services. The company must review documents executed during the period of January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010 to determine if any must be re-executed or otherwise corrected. Borrowers also may request review and correction of any documents executed by the company at any time. The Michigan AG announced a separate agreement with the company on the same day, and three other state AGs previously settled similar allegations against the firm (see, e.g., Missouri AG settlement).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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