Md. judges OK foreclosure audits
Maryland's highest court has given administrative judges across the state the green light to hire examiners to help scrutinize documents in potentially thousands of foreclosure cases.
The Court of Appeals voted 6 to 0 in favor of the emergency proposal. (The seventh judge was feeling poorly and was not at the meeting.)
The committee that proposes rules to the court had recommended the move on Friday.
Some courts have already begun reviewing foreclosure cases -- particularly ones with "corrective affidavits" filed by two Maryland attorneys, in which they acknowledge that they had others reproduce their signatures for them on earlier affidavits. These documents, the written equivalent of court testimony, can't be signed on another's behalf.
Judges in Howard and Prince George's counties, where reviews are underway, said any help they can get to examine cases is appreciated. (The rules approved by the Court of Appeals Tuesday permit courts to pass the costs of examiners onto firms trying to foreclose, who cannot in turn pass the costs onto homeowners unless the documents in need of review were filed by the borrowers.)
Reader comments on the foreclosure drama have continued to run the gamut. Nehemiah wrote that borrowers who got behind on their payments "did NOT break the law. They may have made bad decisions but they did NOT break the law. These lenders & lawyers KNEW the law - KNEW the consequences and DID IT ANYWAY… They should be made an example of by our AG."
Reader elweedz says it's a molehill masquerading as a mountain: "Get a grip people. 99.9% of the foreclosures were legitimate because the homeowner wasnt paying their mortgage. Who gives a flip who signed some standard paperwork. For those that had a real error, it will get fixed."
And reader Josh Dowlut sees two sides to the story: "On the one hand, this has become hand to hand class warfare with the banks. It is reasonable to make them 'work for it' if they are going to try and take your home. On the other hand, this is only delaying the inevitable. These are procedural errors that will not result in any homeowner getting their mortgage or note voided."