Through a News Release issued on October 6, 2010, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that he is calling on 14 mortgage lenders to suspend foreclosures in North Carolina until they can show that their affidavit procedures have been reviewed and are in compliance with the law. The move comes amid rising concerns that mortgage lender employees, and outside lawyers, signed documents without verifying information. To date, three banks, including Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp., have temporarily stopped some foreclosure-related actions in about half of the country in response to growing pressure from state attorney generals, and foreclosure defense attorneys.
In letters sent October 5, 2010, Cooper asked the following 14 mortgage companies for information about their foreclosure practices and to suspend foreclosures in the state until they can show that they have complied with North Carolina law. The list includes: Bank of America; Wells Fargo; J.P. Morgan Chase; Citi Mortgage; SunTrust Mortgage; PHH Mortgage; OneWest Bank; PNC Mortgage; Aurora Bank; US Bank Home Mortgage; HSBC; MetLife Home Loans; BB&T Mortgage; American Home Mortgage Servicing. Last week Cooper’s office sent Ally Financial (GMAC) a letter asking it to provide information about its foreclosure practices in the state after the lender said it was halting evictions related to foreclosures in North Carolina, Florida, and 21 other states as it conducts a review. Those lenders being investigated by the Attorney General constitute the 15 largest mortgage servicers in North Carolina.
Rafael A. Gaitan, lead attorney of the Gaitan Morales Real Estate practice group, has received several Notices withdrawing the Affidavit of Indebtedness previously filed in each case. Because the unverified affidavits could constitute fraud, withdrawal of the Affidavit halts the foreclosure process until a properly verified affidavit is filed. While foreclosure proceedings are halted, the borrower has the opportunity to seek a permanent loan modification or other foreclosure alternative. This is a critical time which should not be wasted.