More words have been created in the last three years to cover up the fraud at the core of the financial crisis and afterwards, but one of the most outrageous has to be “robo-signing.”
“Robo-signing” is not only fraud, but almost always also perjury. What banks and contractors they hired did was sign and/or certify foreclosure documents which were then usually filed in court to commence foreclosure proceedings. When filed in court, these documents were filed under pains and penalties of perjury.
The truth is that these documents were knowingly false and perjury because the original documents were not located and/or reviewed as certified in the filings. These are misleadingly called “irregularities,” “deficiencies” or “misconduct.” While they might be that, they are also fraud and fraud committed on our court system throughout the country.
Yet, regulators continue to treat such conduct as if it was a paperwork issue, often decrying the banks failure to staff up to handle the increased foreclosures. I can’t think of any other context in which such egregious illegal conduct would be treated so lightly. It’s yet another double standard: there are the banks and everyone else.
The latest of too many examples to list is the settlement Goldman struck with regulators.