Robo-Signing Banks Set to Be Punished?

Is the ever-evolving trend of quickie foreclosures, robo-signing, rocket dockets and more that banks have adopted as of late finally going to cause them to get more than a handslap? According to recent reports, the answer is yes.

Tom Ice of Ice Legal who was profiled in AOL Real Estate however, has a different viewpoint pointing specifically to the serious flaw in the investigation. "I have said it from the beginning that this process was going to take much longer than the months they have projected," he told AOL Real Estate. He points out the article in the Washington Post which highlights a group investigation by the federal government and 50 state attorneys general.

The worst part is the attitude of the courts and the attorneys, who in many cases still don't know who owns the loan on any given home. "In every single affidavit we are signing," says Ice, "it states that the plaintiff and the homeowners are the owner of the note."

Still, the courts can't produce the paper for about 500 cases Ice and others are working, and they're saying only a handful of homeowners were foreclosed on wrongly.

"If you say servicers are entitled to foreclose, this is incorrect, because they are rarely the owners and never claim to be the owners," he says.

This threat or handslap, Ice believes, actually serves the banks in their attempt to influence public opinion, sending the message that not all banks are implicated in the scandal.

In essence, banks were accessing the accounts of homeowners before they went through the foreclosure process. Under their watch, they offered a trial period with a suggestion that at the
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end if homeowners made all their modified payments, they would get a permanent modification. That's exactly what happened. However, in the fine print of many mortgage documents, all that is stated is that the lender will consider a permanent modification.

"What I am afraid is that [the mortgage modification initiative] won't really have any permanent effect and will in turn adversely affect the economy if they take it any further," says Ice. "They're going to come up with something great on paper, but no one will ever benefit from it."

And is the practice still going on? Ice says absolutely, because even in the Florida Supreme Court system they have supposedly devised a plan to stop the robo signing that has also been "robotized" where now they're not really checking that the facts in the complaint are true.

"There's a huge resistance to get additional depositions from those who have already been deposed, because they've lawyered up," says Ice. "To me, it's an acknowledgement that there's still a problem."

For more on mortgages and related topics see these AOL Real Estateguides:

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