Victory for Homeowners!
by Brian Mahany
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the highest court in that state) voided the foreclosure of two homes taken by US Bancorp and Wells Fargo after the banks were unable to show that they properly held the mortgages. The decision was unanimous.
In 2010, many large lenders temporarily stopped foreclosures while attempting to sort through record numbers of foreclosures. The banks assured regulators that they had cleaned up the paperwork but numerous horror stories suggested otherwise.
During depositions, several bank employees stated under oath that they approved several thousand foreclosures per months and often did not even look at the paperwork. These bankers were soon dubbed “robosigners.”
In other foreclosure scandals, banks admitted that loans were sometimes sold so many times that no one could locate the original documents or even prove who now owned the loan.
The Massachusetts high court opinion is a sign that courts are getting tired of the sloppy record keeping of the banks. One supreme court justice called the practices of both banks “utter carelessness.”
Although the ruling is good news to homeowners facing foreclosure, it adds more uncertainty to the fragile real estate market.
Roughly half the states in the U.S. require court approval for foreclosures while the other half, including Massachusetts, do not. Wisconsin requires judges to approve foreclosures meaning he ruling is less likely to have a major impact here. Still, the trend is certainly for the courts to more carefully scrutinize banks here and in all states.
Mahany & Ertl is a full service law firm that assists victims of financial misconduct and fraud. Our Wisconsin fraud lawyers can help homeowners at all stages of the foreclosure process.
Contact Brian Mahany today at (414) 704-6731 (direct) or through the website, https://www.mahanyertl.com.
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