Former GMAC servicer Ally cleans up foreclosure process, citing defects
Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC Mortgage, shed more light on its foreclosure issue, citing defects in affidavits used in some cases. In a memo addressed to agents and brokers, the lender ordered a pause in the eviction process in 23 states and to halt any closings on previously foreclosed properties. The company later denied a complete moratorium in those areas as it addressed procedural issues. In a number of cases, an affidavit was executed by GMAC without "the direct personal knowledge of all of the information stated" in the document, Ally spokesperson James Olecki said in an e-mailed response to HousingWire's request for comment. Instead, the affidavits were used based on the knowledge of other personnel and agents in the company. "In addition, in a number of cases the affidavit was not signed in the physical presence of a notary public," Olecki said. "However, in each case the individual who executed the affidavit was well-known to the notary and the notary recognized the affiant’s signature." While Olecki said an internal review revealed no factual misstatements contained in the affidavits such as the loan balance, its delinquency and who actually owned the note on the mortgage, signing documents without knowledge of what is contained within is a growing issue. "This situation with GMAC isn't limited to GMAC," Margery Golant, of Golant & Golant, a foreclosure law firm in Boca Raton, Fla., said in an interview with HousingWire. "All the mortgage servicers do the same thing. They have people either on the inside or through outsourcers that we call Robo signers. They just sign everything in sight, but the legal system requires that they actually know the information." Olecki said there was never any intent to bypass court rules or procedures with this latest issue. "As previously noted, the problem was identified by the company and addressed a few months ago and this practice is no longer taking place," Olecki said. "Meanwhile, we are actively addressing all of the foreclosure proceedings in which this may have occurred, and hope to see the vast majority of them remediated in the next few weeks." Golant pointed to a recent case in Florida involving one borrower who was foreclosed on by two different lenders at the same time. Neither could agree on who held the mortgage note. In June, The Florida Attorney General's office launched an investigation into Fidelity National Financial, its former subsidiary Lender Processing Services and LPS subsidiary Docx, alleging the companies used false documents to foreclose on Florida homeowners. "We bring this up in court all the time, and the judges look at us like we're crazy because it's hard for anyone to believe the massiveness of this," Golant said. "It's a tremendous issue, and this GMAC thing is the tip of the iceberg." Olecki said the remainder foreclosure proceedings GMAC found trouble in will require court intervention. Write to Jon Prior.