By Ben Mook
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller Wednesday unveiled the details of the multi-state mortgage foreclosure working group created to review the practice of “robo-signing” and other issues that have arisen against banks and mortgage processing firms.
All 50 states are part of the group after Alabama joined Wednesday afternoon. The states, as well as state banking and mortgage regulators in more than 36 states, will look at whether mortgage servicers have improperly submitted documents to speed up the foreclosure process.
“This group has the backing of nearly every state in the nation to get to the bottom of this foreclosure mess, and we plan to work together as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible,” Miller said in a statement. “Since this issue affects peoples’ homes and has clear economic implications, this probe and its outcome need to be fair both to homeowners and also to lenders.”
Miller said the group’s scope could expand. He said submitting foreclosure documents without verification, or with false representation, as well as signing some legal documents without notarization might violate state laws and court rules.
“These are starting points, and it’s possible this group may limit, expand or change its objectives,” Miller said. “What’s important here is this is a cooperative and coordinated effort by states to address a serious problem. This is not simply about a glitch in paperwork. It’s also about some companies violating the law and many people losing their homes.”