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'The American Lawyer' Interviews the Attorney Credited With Discovering Robo-Signers

To ease you all into another week of . . . whatever it is all of you do . . . I thought I'd link out to some easy, feel-good reading on The American Lawyer magazine's website.

Every day, new, more disturbing allegations about the "robo-signers" employed by mortgage lenders to process foreclosures are coming to light. The magazine published a brief interview with the attorney whose actions are being hailed as the proximate cause of the ever-expanding foreclosure freeze (or, if you must, Foreclosure-Gate).

Thomas Cox, of Portland, Maine, has been working on foreclosure cases -- pro bono, through an organization called Pine Tree Legal Assistance -- for several years. In a front-page New York Times story on Friday, he describes how he came to take the deposition of Jeffrey Stephan, an employee of GMAC who signed thousands of foreclosure affidavits in his role as a "limited signing officer."

In the deposition, Stephan admitted candidly that he had signed approximately 400 foreclosure affidavits a day for GMAC, without reviewing the underlying files, and without having his signature properly notarized. As the dominos have fallen, many of the country's largest mortgage lenders have halted foreclosures, either in certain states or nationwide, and the attorneys general of all 50 states, as well as the Justice Department, are investigating.

So next time you raise a glass, toast Thomas Cox. Praise him for doing good deeds for homeowners who have fallen on hard times while simultaneously keeping the banks' attorneys busy churning those billables in an attempt to minimize damage caused by the sh*tstorm he started.

Posted by Eric Lipman on October 18, 2010 at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)


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