Signing scandal hitting home
Dubious names affect verification of deeds
FORT WAYNE – Allen County Recorder John McGauley knew property documents with suspect signatures were prevalent. After all, there were so many that a year ago the nation’s largest banks had to halt foreclosures to deal with the sea of paperwork that could not be trusted.
The problem was so big it spawned a new word to describe it: “robo-signing,” meaning offices filled with low-paid workers signing documents they had never read, documents they were not qualified to sign and often signing someone else’s name.
Still, McGauley was surprised to hear that robo-signing was not limited to foreclosure documents but was being found on thousands of homeownership documents having nothing to do with seized homes.
He was even more surprised when a quick check of Allen County records revealed more than 8,000 suspect documents have been filed here since 2006 – records McGauley’s office is charged with preserving as the final word in property ownership.
“It was just like reaching into a hat where your number was on more slips of paper than it wasn’t on,” McGauley said. “Everything you pulled out was another one.”
But the real surprise was when McGauley looked through the documents for his own home. The mortgage release on the house he and his wife sold in 2005 bears the signature of Linda Green – the most notorious robo-signer in the nation.
“This is the kind of thing that can really upset people because the biggest investment most people will ever make is their home,” McGauley said. “It’s frustrating me.”
Much more on this story here…