NC joins $120M ‘robosigning’ settlement with Lender Processing Services

Money part of $120M awarded from mortgage ‘robosigning’ allegations

adunn@charlotteobserver.comJanuary 31, 2013 

North Carolina has joined in a $120 million settlement announced Thursday with Lender Processing Services Inc. that addresses allegations that the Jacksonville, Fla., company “robosigned” documents to speed foreclosures.

LPS has provided technology and loan processing for a number of banks, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. As one of the country’s largest foreclosure service companies, it has been the subject of a number of legal settlements since the beginning of the mortgage crisis.

The latest settlement, entered with attorneys general of 46 states and the District of Columbia, requires the company and its subsidiaries to put in place added oversight. It also prohibits the company from incentivizing speed over accuracy, notarizing documents without a notary present, and from “surrogate signing,” or having an employee sign a document in the name of another.

LPS also will have to go back and review documents filed between 2008 and 2010 and correct those with errors.

North Carolina will receive $4.2 million. The Attorney General’s Office will use it for consumer protection, spokeswoman Noelle Talley said by email.

“Practices like robo-signing rushed through foreclosures without giving people a fair shot to try to save their homes,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. “When foreclosures have to happen, they need to be done right, and efforts to cut corners aren’t appropriate.”

In a statement, the company indicated that the wrongdoing alleged by the states occurred in the past and was no longer a problem.

“Today’s settlements are another major step toward putting issues related to past business practices behind us,” CEO Hugh Harris said in a statement. “As LPS continues to grow and exercise its leadership in the mortgage industry, we remain committed to enhanced regulatory compliance and operational excellence, which are crucial in our changing industry.”

The company already had settled with Missouri, Delaware and Colorado. A claim from Nevada remains active.

Wells Fargo declined to comment, and Bank of America did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dunn: 704-358-5235 Twitter: @andrew_dunn

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