LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan subpoenaed a loan processing company on Wednesday as part of a probe into alleged "robosigning."
The two issued their subpoenas to Lender Processing Services for allegedly robosigning, which is the practice of signing documents used by mortgage servicing companies or banks to foreclose on borrowers without verifying their accuracy. This process could allegedly lead to thousands of different documents signed by a single individual per day, during which the robosigners may not read or understand the documents they are signing.
Other alleged illegal activities by LPS include misconduct affecting borrowers facing, or in the midst of foreclosure.
"California homeowners have been exposed to fraud and crime at every step of the mortgage process," Harris said. "Justice demands we come to their aid and a key step in that is to investigate robosigning and the potential for inaccurate or unjust foreclosures."
Harris alleges that former LPS employees have testified that LPS designees robosigned foreclosure documents. These foreclosure documents were allegedly recorded and prepared on behalf of the largest mortgage servers and lenders in the county. As part of the investigative subpoena, LPS is required to provide documents and verify written answers to questions from Harris' office. The time period covered by the subpoena begins Jan. 1, 2007, and ends just before the compliance date of June 24 of this year.
LPS provides loan management services to mortgage lenders, including document preparation services and a software platform that is used by most of the mortgage industry. LPS, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., and has several offices in California, claims on its website that its systems are used for servicing over 50 percent of all mortgages in the United States and that more than 80 million financial institutions contract with LPC for the service of more than 30 million loans with an outstanding principal balance of more than $4.5 trillion.
Harris warned that risks posed by robosigning are particularly dangerous in non-judicial foreclosure states like California where the courts are usually not involved in overseeing the foreclosure process. Harris announced the creation of a Mortgage Fraud Strike Force on Monday to investigate, monitor and prosecute mortgage-related violations.
Madigan also issued a subpoena to Nationwide Title Clearing Inc.