There’s nothing like a bank being shown to be a liar.
I was told yesterday that Wells Fargo has been making the rounds among policy types in DC this week to tell its story that (of course) the foreclosure crisis is overblown. Moreover, Wells reportedly said that it was not like the other major servicers, that it ran a tight shop and hadn’t engaged in the bad practices of other firms, particularly the use of improper affidavits, aka robo signers.
This was a particularly stupid claim to make, since there are depositions which attest to the Wells’ use of robo signers. And in an interesting bit of synchronicity, the Financial Times got hold of one and made it the subject of its lead article today.
The FT story confirms the account we got, that Wells has been maintaining that it didn’t have serious procedural lapses. Hhm, does that mean its legal department is so out to lunch as to not be aware of the damaging deposition, and/or to have failed to do adequate internal checks once the robo signer issue came to the fore? Or more likely, does Wells operate in parallel universe in which the submission of improper affidavits (and more serious lapses that they are probably designed to cure), which is a fraud on the court, is no big deal?
Note also that Wells’ robo signer reports to have signed up to 500 documents a day. This level is coming to look like an industry norm.
From the Financial Times:
The US mortgage foreclosure crisis deepened as it emerged that Wells Fargo may have used practices that prompted rivals to halt home repossessions, and JPMorgan Chase said banks might be fined over the issue.
Bank of America, JPMorgan and GMAC have halted foreclosures after learning that “robo signers” had rubber-stamped thousands of mortgage documents without checking their accuracy…..
Legal documents obtained by the Financial Times suggest that Wells Fargo, the second-largest US mortgage servicer, also used a “robo signer”.
Unlike its rivals, Wells Fargo has not halted foreclosures. The San Francisco-based bank said on Tuesday it was reviewing some pending cases, but it has maintained that it has checks and balances designed to prevent serious procedural lapses.
In a sworn deposition on March 9 seen by the FT, Xee Moua, identified in court documents as a vice-president of loan documentation for Wells, said she signed as many as 500 foreclosure-related papers a day on behalf of the bank.
Ms Moua, who was deposed as part of a foreclosure lawsuit in Palm Beach County, Florida, said that the only information she verified was whether her name and title appeared correctly, according to the document.
Asked whether she checked the accuracy of the principal and interest that Wells claimed the borrower owed – a crucial step in banks’ legal actions to repossess homes – Ms Moua said: “I do not.”
Ms Moua nevertheless signed affidavits that said she had “personal knowledge of the facts regarding the sums of money which are due and owing to Wells Fargo”. The affidavits were used by the bank in foreclosure proceedings.