FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, MS—Attorney General Jim Hood is joining a 49-state bipartisan mortgage foreclosure working group, as part of a coordinated national effort by states to review the practice of so-called robo-signing within the mortgage servicing industry.
The Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group, comprised of state attorneys general in 49 states, and state banking and mortgage regulators in 30 states, will explore whether individual mortgage servicers have improperly submitted documents in support of foreclosures. Specifically, the group will look into whether companies misrepresented on affidavits and other documents that they reviewed and verified supporting foreclosure documentation. The group will also attempt to determine whether companies also signed affidavits outside the presence of a notary public, along with other possible issues regarding servicing irregularities or abuses.
This issue affects peoples homes as well as the economy, said Attorney General Hood. This probe will be thorough, expeditious, and fair to both homeowners and lenders.
Submitting foreclosure documents without verification, with false representation, and/or signing certain legal documents outside the presence of a notary public may constitute deceptive acts and/or unfair practices, and may otherwise violate state laws and court rules.
The multistate group, through an executive committee, will contact a comprehensive list of individual mortgage servicers. The groups initial objectives include:
Put an immediate stop to improper mortgage foreclosure practices.
Review past and present practices by mortgage servicers subject to the inquiry.
Evaluate potential remedies for past practices and to deter future improper practices.
Establish a mechanism for more effective independent monitoring of future mortgage foreclosure practices.
The Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group will consult with federal regulators and agencies, including the Mortgage Fraud Working Group of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in 2009.
This is a cooperative and coordinated effort to address a serious problem, said Attorney General Hood. The group may limit, expand or change its objectives, but it wont stray from the goal of addressing a situation that has affected and continues to affect homeowners.