Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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Posted By Cliff Tuttle | October 1, 2010

No. 509

Serious internal investigations appear to be underway at J P Morgan and elsewhere concerning mortgage servicing practices related to foreclosures. Of course, unfair and unethical practices, such as forging affidavits to cover lost documents and starting foreclosures in the name of a party who does not own the mortgage have been under attack from a cadre of dedicated lawyers, such as April Charney in Jacksonville Florida, who have been winning cases with increasing frequency. Along the way, several state attorney generals (but not including Pennsylvania) have joined the movement.

The New York Times has been running articles on the subject, highlighting the practice that as come to be called “robosigning”.  That practice has spread to law firms, where attorneys are supposedly appointed as “Vice Presidents of Documentation” to sign verifications on pleading without the delay or trouble of sending them back to the servicers for signing.  While the need to file responses within strict time limits sometimes requires counsel to verify pleadings or suffer default, no such pressure exists in the case of a mortgage foreclosure complaint.  This practice has lead to what are called “signing parties” where hundreds of verifications are signed en mass.  It is speculated that these investigations may lead to the reopening of many cases, especially those involving parties who were not represented by counsel.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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