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Connecticut Suspends All Foreclosures; BofA Close to Doing the Same

CT-Sen candidate and state attorney general Richard Blumenthal

This story is moving fast. First to Connecticut, where Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (also running for US Senate) just put a halt to all foreclosures from all banks. California followed suit on a limited basis, with the banks that have already suspended evictions while they review their processes.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Friday ordered a moratorium on all foreclosures by all banks for 60 days–the most radical action taken by a state on issue of document irregularities.

California also expanded the moratorium on foreclosures it announced last week on Ally Financial foreclosures to include those by J.P. Morgan Chase.

Calling the companies’ review of key foreclosure documents “a ruse,” California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) ordered J.P. Morgan to prove it is following the law before it continues foreclosures in the state.

Blumenthal, in a statement, said that JPMorgan and Ally possibly committed a fraud on the court and undermined the integrity of the foreclosure process. He might want to add Bank of America to that list:

A Bank of America official acknowledges in a legal proceeding that she signed up to 8,000 foreclosure documents a month and typically didn’t read them.

The executive’s admission adds the nation’s largest bank to a growing list of mortgage companies whose employees signed documents in foreclosure cases without verifying the information in them.

Zero Hedge notes that BofA is the third of the four largest mortgage lenders to make this admission, with only Wells Fargo swimming against the tide (and in fact accelerating their foreclosure operations). Executives at smaller lenders like One West Bank have admitted spending as little as 30 seconds on foreclosure documents before signing off on them. This is my favorite quote so far of this crisis:

She explained that while she does not check everything, she does check some information, “which is why I said 30 seconds instead of two seconds.”

So lay off, she does check SOMETHING.

I think we can conclude that this was simply the policy of the entire industry. Nobody looked too hard at the foreclosure documents because nobody really wanted to see what was contained in them – dodgy claims to ownership and even document forgeries.

Good for Blumenthal to put a stop to this in Connecticut, and really, it’s clearly only the beginning.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Connecticut Suspends All Foreclosures; BofA Close to Doing the Same

This story is moving fast. First to Connecticut, where Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (also running for US Senate) just put a halt to all foreclosures from all banks. California followed suit on a limited basis, with the banks that have already suspended evictions while they review their processes.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Friday ordered a moratorium on all foreclosures by all banks for 60 days–the most radical action taken by a state on issue of document irregularities.

California also expanded the moratorium on foreclosures it announced last week on Ally Financial foreclosures to include those by J.P. Morgan Chase.

Calling the companies’ review of key foreclosure documents “a ruse,” California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) ordered J.P. Morgan to prove it is following the law before it continues foreclosures in the state.

Blumenthal, in a statement, said that JPMorgan and Ally possibly committed a fraud on the court and undermined the integrity of the foreclosure process. He might want to add Bank of America to that list:

A Bank of America official acknowledges in a legal proceeding that she signed up to 8,000 foreclosure documents a month and typically didn’t read them.

The executive’s admission adds the nation’s largest bank to a growing list of mortgage companies whose employees signed documents in foreclosure cases without verifying the information in them.

Zero Hedge notes that BofA is the third of the four largest mortgage lenders to make this admission, with only Wells Fargo swimming against the tide (and in fact accelerating their foreclosure operations). Executives at smaller lenders like One West Bank have admitted spending as little as 30 seconds on foreclosure documents before signing off on them. This is my favorite quote so far of this crisis:

She explained that while she does not check everything, she does check some information, “which is why I said 30 seconds instead of two seconds.”

So lay off, she does check SOMETHING.

I think we can conclude that this was simply the policy of the entire industry. Nobody looked too hard at the foreclosure documents because nobody really wanted to see what was contained in them – dodgy claims to ownership and even document forgeries.

Good for Blumenthal to put a stop to this in Connecticut, and really, it’s clearly only the beginning.

UPDATE: And now BofA has followed suit, suspending foreclosure processes in 23 states.

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David Dayen

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