Editorial: Root out the fraud

County officials find irregularities in mortgage documents; attorney general must figure it out

The Detroit News

County officials across Michigan are discovering hundreds of forged loan documents that can only make it tougher to recover from a nationwide mortgage scandal whose impact on property values threatens to destroy the finances of local governments and schools. Attorney General Bill Schuette should move swiftly to investigate and coordinate with federal authorities on fixing this fast.

Michigan hasn’t been spared the latest seamy revelations to emerge: Mortgages were bundled into batches and irresponsibly traded among financial institutions using false signatures and sloppy or nonexistent documentation. So eagerly were home loans bought and sold that mortgage and banking firms resorted to document mills where robo-signers authorized the transactions, forged names and made little or no effort to authenticate the paperwork.

Like many of his counterparts, Oakland County Register of Deeds Bill Bullard still is trying to get a handle on the scope of the problem in his bailiwick. The dealings in question, called assignments of mortgage, are very common. Bullard says there were 12,000 assignments of mortgage in 2010 alone in Oakland County. He already has uncovered more than 40 mortgage documents from 2008 and 2009 that he believes contain phony signatures.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110504/OPINION01/105040319/Editorial–Root-out-the-fraud#ixzz1LQpUrwIz

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