Wells Fargo used robo-signers in foreclosures


With one out of every 245 Minnesota housing units in foreclosure during September, news has broken that Wells Fargo, along with other big banks, may have helped push some homeowners off properties with the use of "robo signers."

And the bank, with deep ties to Minnesota, has no intention of changing its ways.

That revelation emerged as Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson joined colleagues from every state in opening an investigation into mortgage lenders.

"We are in the fourth year of a housing and economic crisis that was brought on by lax practices of the mortgage lending industry," Swanson told Reuters. "The latest allegations of corner cutting and slipshod paperwork are troubling, but perhaps not surprising."

The Financial Times is reporting that in one bizarre case, a Wells Fargo vice president of loan documentation robo signed as many as 500 foreclosure-related papers a day on behalf of the bank.

Basically, she checked to make sure her own name and title appeared right on the documents that crossed her path, never checked the financial data, rubber stamped them and sent them on their way. Toss a family to the street. Case closed.

Wells says everything's fine, and issued a statement saying that it has "no plans to initiate a foreclosure moratorium. Our affidavit procedures and daily auditing demonstrate that our foreclosure affidavits are accurate."

Meanwhile, Bank of America, GMAC and JPMorgan have temporarily halted home evictions across the country in an effort to make sure they're not heaping undue misery on folks, and damaging their bottom lines.

Wells Fargo, which merged with Minnesota banking giant Norwest in 1997? Not so much.

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