What Is a Robo-Signer?
Robo signer refers to an employee of a mortgage service company who signs documents such as foreclosure documents robotically without reviewing them. Instead of reviewing the individual details of each case, robotic signers assume the documentation is correct and sign it automatically, just like robots. In some cases, the software is used for automatic signing.
Robot signers document rubber stamps without any serious inspection of approved or rejected materials or documents, so they can approve or reject applications with or without merit. As a result, it can lead to unfair, unethical, or even illegal practices. The robot firm has been exposed by journalists and financial regulators in recent years.
In the third and fourth quarters of 2010, a robot signing scandal broke out in the United States involving GMAC Mortgage and several major US banks. Banks had to stop thousands of foreclosures in many states when they realized the paperwork was illegitimate because the signers hadn’t reviewed it. While some signatories were middle managers, others were temporary workers who did not understand the work they were doing.
How Robo-Signers Affected the Legal Standing of Foreclosures
The recurring problem with car subscribers has been their tendency to push through foreclosure documents with little time spent processing and reviewing their contents. This was due to problematic circumstances such as high workload and high expectations of participation. In some cases, these signatories have admitted to the courts that they have signed up to 10,000 foreclosure documents a month. Although these signatures are intended to include a thorough review of documents, these procedures have not always been followed. Instead, the subscriber could only search for basic information, such as what is owed on a mortgage and the name of the borrower. The rest were supposed to be accurate and the documents were signed.
Although little training has been provided, self-signatories often admit that they did not fully understand the characteristics of the documents they signed. This included ignoring how these documents could be used in court proceedings. In addition, signatories often had little staff concerning the total workload assigned to them to process, sometimes with little or no guidance on how to handle documents. In addition to signing foreclosure documents without much review time, some self-signers also introduced new errors, such as incorrectly calculating the value of the home or failing to report the impact of an appraisal of that value.
The questionable management practices of these workers led attorneys for homeowners facing foreclosure to withdraw the cases, arguing that the documents had no legal value.
Once the existence of the Robo-signers was made public, by forcing them to review the enforcement acts, the workers who have practiced this practice may have been subject to disciplinary sanctions and the dismissal of the entities that hired them to carry out this work. . While lenders have no problem with their work before the general exposure, they can fire a Robo signer for not following company policies.
The importance of robotic signaling
As the Martins and Reinagel cases show, robot signature applications are unlikely to be successful when a lender’s chain of title is up for debate. As long as there is a value chain (which will be addressed in Part 3), the borrower cannot beat that value chain with robot signature accusations.
While the robo sign is a buzzword, it’s important to remember why it’s important. Automatic signature refers to the mechanical signing of large amounts of legal documents of memory without personal knowledge. For the transfer of title, this may be acceptable, assuming that the party had the authority to act on behalf of someone who had the title to transfer. After all, if a lender is transferring a thousand loans to another lender, does the person signing up need to review each assignment to make sure it is included in the package? If the declarant is wrong, the consequence is that his principal may have delivered more than he intended.
The most worrying circumstance arises when an apparent stranger appears in the transaction and enters the security chain. Would the Fifth Circuit have been as optimistic if Micky Mouse had served as Silver’s lawyer? What if a notorious scammer, such as Bernie Madoff, signed a sale of himself as a notary to the original creditor? Would this offset the presumption of facial validity? Finally, what happens if Deutsche Bank, the transferee, in this case, signs a transfer as a power of attorney for the original creditor? According to the judgment of the Fifth Circuit, this would seem valid in the absence of evidence that Deutsche Bank did not have a power of attorney. Therefore, if Deutsche Bank acquired a Silver loan portfolio without obtaining the proper allocations, nothing would prevent Deutsche Bank from creating its own securities chain as long as it used the magic words “as a lawyer” and the original lender did not object.
The facially valid rule limits the debtor to appeal when the chain of title is broken or there are two competing parties. In the Reinagel case, if Citi Residential had signed the appointments on Silver’s behalf without adding “de facto attorney,” the chain of title would be broken or, to put it in Fifth Circuit terms, the assignment would be flawed. Also, if both the Agent and Deutsche Bank have requested payment and threatened to execute it, the borrower can claim.
It’s important to remember that the robot signing controversy arose from affidavits, not commissions. When a robotic signer makes hundreds of affidavits without your knowledge, they are committing fraud in court. As the Court stated in Midland Funding, LLC v. Brent, 644 F. Supp.2d 961 (ND Ohio 2009) [improved version]:
The country continues to face historically high foreclosure rates, which are straining the justice system and the financial position of many individuals and financial institutions. The uncertainty created by the alleged lack of documentation and internal protocols of mortgage market participants in the origination, granting, securitization, and foreclosure processes is likely to exacerbate these problems. The economic and legal repercussions of the alleged shortcomings will be felt in the coming years.
For information on foreclosure defense call us at (877) 399 2995. We offer litigation document review support, mortgage audit reports, securitization audit reports, affidavit of expert witness notarized, and more.