In what is being considered the first meaningful response to the foreclosure crisis, the federal government has ordered 14 mortgage lenders involved in the “robo-signing” scandal to send letters to 4.3 million consumers who may have been victimized by foreclosure errors and misconduct, paving the way for a massive number of individual case reviews and potential compensation.
Regulators are paying particular attention to ensuring that notarizations and other documentary processes were properly performed. The production of false or forged executions of mortgage assignments, improperly performed “notarizations” by non-Notaries, and signings by executives who had no knowledge of what the signed documents contained were all cited as major contributors to the ongoing crisis.
Those who receive the letters — most of whom may have suffered financial harm as a resultof foreclosure misconduct that occurred during 2009 and 2010, at the peak of the crisis — must submit their cases to lender-funded independent consultants who have been vetted by regulators. The third- party consultants will review cases for signs of misrepresentation or error, and borrowers who are shown to have suffered financially as a direct result of the misconduct will be compensated.