Hearings Planned on Continued Robo-Signing

In addition to some lawmakers calling for increased regulation, oversight and enforcement after revelations of continued robo-signing, others with the ability to call hearings into the matter have announced that they would do so.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio., chair of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, said the subcommittee will hold a hearing on the robo-signing issue.

“Wall Street and some in Washington want us to believe that robo-signing is a thing of the past,” said Brown. “But the same risky practices that put our economy on the brink of collapse continue to infect the housing market.”

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., a senior member of the House Committee on Financial Services said the lenders who continue the practice “need to be investigated and prosecuted.” She told The Associated Press that she believed regulators should step in and that the absence of stronger regulation is “the reason why the system broke down in the first place.” She said the county officials’ findings show lenders will not stop practices like robo-signing on their own.

“(The lenders) have complete disregard for the damage they have already caused and have no intention of changing their ways,” said Waters, who also called for more hearings on the issue.

This is a real breakthrough for the registers of deeds, to get a major story in the AP and response at the state and federal level. In addition to hearings, which hopefully will feature John O’Brien or Jeff Thigpen or Curtis Hertel, lawmakers at the state level are moving forward, and other registers of deeds are stepping up:

Early Tuesday, an official from the office of Minnesota attorney general, Lori Swanson, contacted the Essex County’s John O’Brien to get more information for its own investigation into robo-signing. The Massachusetts attorney general’s office also confirmed that it is meeting with several of the state’s 21 registers of deeds to assess the extent of robo-signing in the state.

Also on Tuesday, nine recorders of deeds in Illinois held a press conference to say they will assist the state’s attorney general Lisa Madigan who is investigating robo-signing in her state.

Fantastic. This was the registers’ plan all along, to slowly gather support at their level and work from the bottom up. It’s heartening to see it working.

Meanwhile, the exciting part for us is getting to learn a bunch of new robo-signer names. We know Linda Green, but now we have Nicholas Hoye, and Ricky L. Thompson, and Christina Carter, and Malik Basurto, and dozens of others. They’re household names now, in the sense that their signatures illegally cause suffering for households.

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