Criminal investigation into four mortgage servicers
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced today that an Ingham County judge has approved his subpoenas which he intends to execute in his criminal investigation into four mortgage processors including Lender Processing Services (LPS) Inc. (said to be the processor of half of all American mortgages), LPS subsidiary DocX, Fidelity National Financial Inc., and CT Corporation System as a part of the AG’s probe into mortgage documentation practices, namely the robosigning scandal.
Schuette has been a part of the 50 state collaborative effort to investigate mortgage processors and punish any transgressions, but this subpoena does not imply that Michigan is no longer a part of the collaborative effort that is continuing alongside a dozen governmental agencies.
The subpoenas demand documents “regarding the mortgage processing companies’ operations in relation to foreclosure and/or bankruptcy-related document processing” by June 20th, according the the Attorney General office.
“Allegations of forged mortgage documents are very serious and require a thorough investigation. I will continue to work closely with federal and local authorities to find answers on behalf of Michigan homeowners,” Schuette said in a statement.
The AG office also encouraged any current or former mortgage servicing company employees who know of unlawful practices related to mortgage servicing to contact his office and reminded consumers that they do not have to pay their mortgage servicer a fee in order to speak with them about their loan.
More troubles for servicers
News of Michigan’s probe into these servicers follows the FDIC suing LPS for “negligence and breaches of contract for which they are demanding a jury trial to recoup $154.5 million in losses on behalf of Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) of which they are now the receiver.”
Michigan isn’t the only state investigating as California and Illinois announced in May that they too were subpoenaing LPS and California formed a “mortgage fraud strike force” in response to the illegal foreclosures due to robosigned documents that never received human review prior to repossession.
LPS has also had a rough time in Alabama where a judge ordered documents public that LPS had requested remain sealed in a case where “attorney Nick Wooten who is currently suing LPS in several cases on behalf of homeowners, alleging an illegal fee-splitting scheme between default services attorneys using LPS’ platform.”
Times are certainly troubled for these four servicers, especially for LPS as they are the processors of so many mortgages. The final verdict is not yet out on the robosigning debacle, but it appears the government on all levels is now seeking to take action and in this case, Michigan is pushing for criminal charges.
At the time of publication, LPS, FNF and CT Corporation had not responded to our calls. AG is not affiliated with any of the aforementioned companies.