Funny how The Journal, and you, completely ignore why all these "robo" things are going on. Why the documents seem to have magically disappeared - and why an industry that has a thousand year history of studiously keeping its books of account can't produce the essence of the contract - the paper bearing the borrower's signature.
We hasten to add that technicalities are important; the rule of law is nothing but a profound commitment to honor technicalities. But let's understand that in the absence of the snafu, we'd have a faster, smoother-working foreclosure process, in which more Americans would more quickly be shoved out into the street in perfect compliance with the law.
Well, no, we wouldn't. And that's the problem - and the root of the lie.
See, were the documents produced - in perfect accordance with the law - we'd have hundreds of thousands of challenges to the Truth in Lending statute. We'd have challenges to the implied covenant of good faith, since Citibank has admitted that it knew that by 2007 eighty percent of its loans were bad - a clear statement of knowing malfeasance.
And we'd have all sorts of challenges by MBS holders, who would be arguing (successfully!) that the loans were never conveyed, they don't own MBS, they were sold empty boxes and they'd be pounding the table demanding that the banks give them back their money.
The white-hat, black-hat casting couch has become crowded with gray hats. The Obama administration has been trying to keep people in their homes by cutting their mortgages down to a size they could afford, but has succeeded in modifying relatively few, and then mostly for people so hard-up they defaulted anyway.
That's because the original contract was fraudulent in the inducement - and as Citibank has documented, the banks knew it.
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