Deposition provides an idea of how it all worked. This unhappy looking young woman had no clue what she was signing or for whom. She worked for Nationwide Title Clearing, a firm hired by many loan servicers to process foreclosures because they were too backed up to do it themselves. Certainly it looks bad, and certainly the loan servicing operations should have been better staffed, but keep in mind that these filings are the end result of homeowners who haven't paid their mortgages in at least a year, often two years. To me, picking on process seems almost besides the point. Lots of people in lots of offices sign documents that they haven't examined or can't begin to understand. They sign because for whatever reason a signature is needed and they're the only ones available. And they're told to.
The issue for courts to decide is whether banks are seizing homes that they never legally acquired, visiting Harvard Law professor Katherine Porter told a Congressional Oversight Panel on Oct. 27. The legal debate centers on whether assignments can be created to show transfers between banks that happened years earlier, Porter said. "The largest and most complex harm that may exist with the loans in default or foreclosure today is that the paperwork for the loans was not transferred correctly," Porter said. "I emphasize that what constitutes a correct transfer is a gray area; we need more direction from courts and legislatures on this subject."