State AGs join forces to combat robo-signed foreclosures
A group of perhaps up to 40 state attorneys general offices, led by Iowa AG Tom Miller, will sit down with lenders that have suspended foreclosures over faulty documents and attempt to fix the broken process. Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Ally Financial (GJM), PNC Financial (PNC) and Goldman Sachs' (GS) Litton Loan Servicing each either announced a suspension foreclosures in at least 23 states or have reports out about them doing so after employees signed affidavits without reviewing the documentation or having a notary witness the signature. BofA agreed to work with Miller and extended the suspension to not only Iowa but the entire country. Geoff Greenwood, communications director for Miller's office told HousingWire that the coalition has not been finalized yet as they wait for more AG offices to respond. A deadline is set for Tuesday with an official announcement to come Wednesday. Florida AG Bill McCollum sent a letter Tuesday to the above lenders asking for a meeting to discuss the effects the robo-signers have had on the Florida foreclosure process. Ryan Wiggins, the communications director for the Florida AG, said in an e-mailed statement that McCollum is "part of a working group." The offices of California AG Jerry Brown and New York AG Andrew Cuomo confirmed joining the coalition. While McCollum did say he was "distressed" to learn of the improper filings in Florida courts, he does not like the idea of a full-scale moratorium while the servicers sort out the problems. "In my view, the moratoria and the private litigation are counterproductive to obtaining the swift solution necessary to address this serious problem facing Florida's already fragile economy," McCollum wrote. Texas, Delaware, California, Connecticut, North Carolina, Ohio and Nevada AG offices have taken action as well. Outside of the major servicers above, one REO broker told HousingWire OneWest Bank suspended REO sales in New York. And McCollum's office launched an investigation into a Florida law firm alleging it robo-signed documents and committed other abuses to the system. Write to Jon Prior.