CitiMortgage reviewing 14,000 foreclosure affidavits
CitiMortgage is reviewing about 14,000 foreclosure affidavits, including 4,000 that may have been signed outside the presence of a notary, said Harold Lewis, managing director of CitiMortgage, in written testimony to a congressional committee looking into the nation's foreclosure crisis. Of the 14,000 affidavits, Lewis said about 10,000 were executed in pending judicial foreclosures initiated prior to February 2010. The review is under way "to assure that these affidavits are substantively correct and properly executed. Citi expects that affidavits executed prior to the fall of 2009 will need to be refiled." Separately, Citi is reviewing another 4,000 pending foreclosure affidavits in judicial states that were executed at its Dallas processing center “and may not have been signed in the presence of a notary, to assure that these affidavits are substantively correct and properly executed. Citi expects that it will refile these affidavits.” Lewis filed his written testimony in advance of Thursday's House Financial Services Committee hearing where congressmen will focus on the nation's foreclosure crisis. He and other major lenders are expected to appear before the committee. Citi has been continuously reviewing its foreclosure processes and believes its process is sound without systemic issues, Lewis said in his written testimony. Unlike several of the nation's other big mortgage lenders, Citi did not suspend its foreclosure cases when the robo-signing scandal broke. “We have subsequently focused on ensuring that pending foreclosures, regardless of when they were initiated, as well as cases that were being handled by the Stern law firm, also meet our current standards.” Citi, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac removed all pending cases and stopped referring new cases to the Law Offices of David J. Stern after allegations arose of robo-signing and improper filing of foreclosure cases. Beginning in the fall of 2009, Citi took steps to shore up its foreclosure practices, Lewis said. That included centralizing its foreclosure operations into one unit, adding staff and enhanced training, he said. Citi also limits the volume of documents that staff processes and requires annual certification of its employees’ understanding of the proper procedures. The steps were fully implemented as of February, he said. Write to Kerry Curry.