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News Link • Housing

Foreclosure-Gate: Lender Processing Services and The ‘Surrogate Signer’ Problem

Now the amusing bit is that this isn’t the first time we’ve had mention of this term “surrogate signer”. One person who seemed awfully well informed about it back in October was Paul Jackson. Lender Processing Services happens to be Housing Wire’s biggest advertiser. Jackson has defended LPS at least twice in editorials, and is reportedly very proud of having “rescued” the company. And we have what has the hallmarks of an anticipatory defense, revealingly using LPS’s very own term of art for this abuse. The indented paragraph is from a Gretchen Morgenson story, followed by Jackson’s commentary: On still other important documents, a single official’s name is signed in such radically different ways that some appear to be forgeries. That last sentence does deserve pause, because it refers to allegations that foreclosing lenders quite literally forged loan assignments. As in someone willingly signed someone else’s name on a dotted line, and managed to then have that document notarized and filed with the court. We’ll call this one the ’surrogate signer’ controversy, since every good set of mistakes deserves its own name. Notice the characteristic Jackson three card monte: he first admits that this practice is forgery, then attempts to depict it as a “mistake”. As Thomas’ deposition makes clear, this was no mistake but an institutionalized practice at LPS. And so what does Jackson make of this? It’s back to the usual “might makes right” argument, this time couched as “deadbeat borrower”

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