The Mortgage Meltdown—Rampant Foreclosure Filing Improprieties Found in San Francisco


We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Friday, February 24th, 2012

by Norma Garcia

On Thursday, February 16, 2012, San Francisco’s Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting announced the findings of the City’s audit on foreclosure filings , discussed in the New York Times.

The audit found rampant foreclosure improprieties, including one or more irregularities in 99% of the subject loans and in 84% of the loans, the office “identified what appear to be one or more clear violations of law.”  The analysis focused on six primary areas critical to the integrity of the foreclosure process and point to what could be clear signs of a systematic failure of the mortgage industry’s compliance with important aspects of California’s non-judicial foreclosure laws.   The findings also suggest that the homeowners on the losing side may indeed be victims of improper foreclosures in this non-judicial foreclosure state where foreclosure filings are not reviewed by a court.

This information from San Francisco follows on the heels of two very important developments in the crusade to clean up the mortgage mess and to hold the banks accountable for their misconduct.   On January 25, 2012, President Obama announced in his State of the Union address the appointment of New York Attorney Eric Schneiderman to head up a new mortgage fraud task force to investigate and prosecute the industry.  And on February 10, 2012 the U.S. Department of Justice and Attorneys General from 49 states announced a $25 billion settlement with five major banks in the country to settle allegations of fraudulent robo-signing of mortgage documents and other abusive practices that contributed to a record number of foreclosures in recent years.

We believe that Americans are still waiting for financial institutions to be held accountable for their role in causing the biggest financial downturn since the Great Depression.  Now, more than ever, America needs a vigorous investigation so that the culpable are held accountable and there is meaningful relief for homeowners.  Do you think it’s time for a crack-down on the banks?

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