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Oct 15

Foreclosures – Exposing the Flaws

by Mary Teresa Fowler

The word 'foreclosure' strikes enough fear into people's minds without adding 'flawed' into the mix. Yet the nation is now facing the issue of "flawed foreclosures." What a mess!

Flawed Mess

Most of us have been faced with the issue of messy paperwork in our offices from time to time. This latest fiasco makes it evident, however, that even banks let their paperwork get out of hand. A scary thought – considering how much trust we are required to put in our financial institutions.


Vermont was one of the latest US states to become part of the joint investigation into the banks' use of flawed disclosure documents. The banks are been accused of "robo-signing" foreclosure documents. Supposedly, many recent foreclosures might have been based on false affidavits. A person signed the documents confirming that they had knowledge of the situation. The claim is that many officials had no knowledge of the circumstances regarding specific foreclosures.

Vermont joins other states in foreclosure investigation

Checking Signatures

Suspected incidents of flawed foreclosures have cropped up across the country. This flawed process comes as a surprise to everyone who trusted the system. One would think that all documents were double checked during a foreclosure. One would also expect officials to know the score when they sign their name to a document. Unfortunately, the whole process has to be rechecked because there seems to be monumental mistakes.

Foreclosure Moratorium

Despite the flaws that have come to light, the Obama administration does not want to issue a national moratorium on foreclosures. Their reasoning is that it might backfire and cause a decline in housing prices. Yet industry experts disagree and think that it might restore confidence in the market.

"...If you buy a foreclosed home, you would have confidence there would be no title fights down the road and someone else couldn’t make a claim to the house you are living in,..." says housing expert, Dean Baker."

Of course, a few banks, including GMAC’s Ally Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America have issued their own moratorium on foreclosures. If you take comfort in that fact, don't let it make you feel too relaxed about the system. Obviously, banks are looking out for their own interests. If they were certain that they have no flawed foreclosures, the banks would proceed with normal business.

Most likely, they are not 100% sure about their practices. Did we double check these figures? Did our officials know the score? Inefficiency within a bank is cause for concern at the best of times. When you consider how tied up people's lives are in foreclosures, these flaws take on nightmarish proportions.

What You Need to Know About Flawed Foreclosures

Home Owner Response

Home owners are now left wondering if they have clear titles to their home – and they have to find the answers. Many people do not even know the details of their title insurance policy. Home owners need to know what is covered by that policy. A good real estate lawyer can be well worth the investment if it helps you to figure out this flawed process.

An Honest Mistake

Different sources have classified the flawed foreclosures as everything from technical mistakes to deliberate actions. We can expect the banks to favor the 'technical mistake' angle. U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson thinks that the 'mistake' was a deliberate action. Grayson has called for a criminal investigation.

"These banks are still claiming that the massive fraud they have perpetrated amounts to nothing more than a series of technical mistakes," says Grayson. "This is absurd. This is deliberate, systemic fraud, and it is a crime."

Grayson calls for criminal foreclosure probe

Do You Think That Flawed Foreclosures Were Honest Mistakes?

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