Victims of Robo-Signing: Fight the Machine!

Stefanos Chen



With the national foreclosure settlement ramping up, victims of the housing crisis may finally be getting some satisfaction. Starting this week, more than 4 million homeowners who faced foreclosure between 2009 and 2010 may be able to get their cases reviewed to determine whether their lenders engaged in robo-signing and other questionable practices.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has ordered the 14 largest mortgage servicers to send out mailers informing borrowers how to request a review if they suffered "financial injury as a result of errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies in foreclosure proceedings" on the purchase of their primary home.

In addition to being spanked for robo-signed signatures (pictured above) and other faulty documentation, banks may also be on the hook for other "financially harmful" practices, such as foreclosing on a home at the same time that the homeowner was in the process of a loan modification.

To qualify, the homeowner's mortgage must have been active in the foreclosure process between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010. Requests for reviews must be submitted by April 30, 2012. The loan must have been serviced by one of the lenders listed here. A neutral third party will review the complaints, according to the OCC release.

There is no word yet as to how much individual homeowners may recoup, nor is there any indication that foreclosed homeowners who fall outside the 2009-2010 window will receive a similar deal. And while this may be a step in the right direction for homeowners wronged by their lenders during the housing bubble, it falls far short of getting to the root of the problem. Robo-signing may have been a widespread phenomenon as far back as the mid-1990s, according to The Associated Press.

To learn more about the program and to see if your loan is eligible, visit IndependentForeclosureReview.com.