RMBS buybacks expected to increase due to robo-signing: DBRS
Researchers at DBRS, a global rating agency, said Monday the recent robo-signing debacle will likely lead to a large number of residential mortgage-backed securities repurchases, as well as higher monetary losses and continual ratings downgrades if it is proven that loans were not serviced in accordance with federal guidelines. Fitch Ratings predicted earlier this summer the amount of buybacks for the big four banks alone would be $180 billion this year. Robo-signing will inevitably increase that amount. Many servicers were approving foreclosure affidavits without reviewing the documents or signing them without a notary present, a technique that has been dubbed "robo-signing." Servicers allegedly used outsourcers to accommodate the record numbers of foreclosure cases entering the market: Bank of America, the largest servicer in the U.S., announced Friday it was following suit behind JPMorgan Chase and GMAC Mortgage and suspended foreclosures in 23 states. Those states include Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin. At the end of last week, attorneys general in Connecticut and California called for foreclosure moratoriums, as did members of Congress. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency told the seven largest mortgage servicers to review all their case files, including Citigroup, HSBC Financial Corp., U.S. Bank, PNC Bank and the three that have already halted foreclosures. Wells Fargo has stood by its claim that all foreclosure affidavits were handled in the proper legal fashion. Write to Christine Ricciardi.