Robo-Signing and Consumer Disclosures

by Jeff Sovern

As I listen to more of the Chain of Title audiobook, I am struck by how the acts of the robo-signers resemble those of consumers faced with disclosures.  Like the consumers, the robo-signers signed the documents without reading them, trusting that the documents presented for their signature were what they should be.  And maybe that shouldn't be surprising, because many of the robo-signers, despite having the title of bank vice presidents, were just ordinary people.  One such robo-signer, who was identified as a vice president for five different banks (depending on which bank he was signing on behalf of), was paid only $10 an hour.  Perhaps this is too much of a stretch, but I wonder if contemporary society's culture of not reading disclosures contributed to this phenomenon.  But unlike many consumers, the robo-signers were committing fraud.  The robo-signer who was paid $10 an hour wasn't signing his name, but someone else's. And often the documents they signed were affidavits stating that the affiant had personal knowledge of the events described in the affidavit.  One passage that brings this home lists the prices from a catalog for re-creating documents, including affidavits. This might sound only like a technicality, until you realize that these documents were used to foreclose upon people and kick them out of their homes.  And sometimes banks did that to people who had not defaulted on their payments or had not even taken out a mortgage.

In my previous post on the book, I mentioned a few consumer law professors whose names have turned up in the volume; since then, the book has referred to Adam Levitin. And consumer lawyers also make an appearance, including April Charney and Max Gardner, both of whom come across as heroic.

0 thoughts on “Robo-Signing and Consumer Disclosures

  1. dee preston says:

    Robo signing is a crime. Anyone who partakes in this crime must be punished by jail and thrown out of the business. Banks are still doing this every day. The AGs who allowed that settlement should be prosecuted and jailed as well. Robosigning is a crime and must be treated as such! This must stop! If you or I did this, we would be in jail and not get a free get out of jail card. They have ruined millions of titles on homes across America. LPS, NTC and blacknight should all be shuttered and jailed.

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