State Joins $120 Million Multistate Agreement With Lender Processing Services

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Attorney General Bob Cooper on Thursday announced that Tennessee and 45 other Attorneys General have reached a $120 million multistate agreement with a national loan default servicing company and its subsidiaries.

Tennessee will receive approximately $2.3 million as a result of its complaint and agreed final judgment with Lender Processing Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries, LPS Default Solutions and DocX, which are being filed Thursday in Davidson County Circuit Court. 

The agreement resolves allegations that LPS, which primarily provides technological support to banks and mortgage loan servicers, was “robo-signing” documents and engaging in other improper conduct related to mortgage loan default servicing.  The judgment requires LPS and its subsidiaries to reform its business practices and, if necessary, to correct documents it executed to assist the homeowner. 

“This agreement with LPS is the next step in our ongoing efforts relating to mortgage servicing and the foreclosure process in Tennessee,” said Attorney General Cooper.  “It is important that the mortgage foreclosure process work as intended and Tennessee borrowers are able to rely on the accuracy of the documents used by LPS.”

Among other things, the judgment will require proper execution of documents and prohibit signature by unauthorized persons or those without first-hand knowledge of facts attested to in the documents, enhanced oversight of the default services provided, and a review of all third-party fees to ensure that the fees have been earned and are reasonable and accurate.  The agreement also accomplishes the following:

· Prohibits LPS (including DOCX) from engaging in the practice of surrogate signing of documents;

· Ensures that LPS has proper authority to sign documents on behalf of a servicer, if in fact it is signing documents;

· Requires LPS to accurately identify the authority that the signer has to execute the document and where that signer works;

· Prohibits LPS from notarizing documents outside the presence of a notary and ensures that notarizations will comply with applicable laws;

· Prohibits LPS from improperly interfering with the attorney-client relationship between attorneys and services;

· Prohibits LPS from incentivizing or promoting attorney speed or volume to the detriment of accuracy;

· Requires LPS to ensure that foreclosure and bankruptcy counsel or trustees can communicate directly with the servicer;

· Requires LPS to have enhanced oversight and review of processes over third parties it manages, including those entities that perform property preservation services;

· Prohibits LPS from imposing unreasonable mark-ups or other fees on third party providers’ default or foreclosure-related services;

· Requires LPS to establish and maintain a toll-free phone number for consumers concerning document execution and property preservation services (including winterization, inspection, preservation, and maintenance); and

· Requires LPS to modify mortgage documents that require remediation when LPS has legal authority to do so and when reasonably necessary to assist a consumer or when required by state or local laws.

In the judgment, LPS stipulates to significant facts uncovered in the investigation, including the practice by DocX of so-called “surrogate signing,” the signing of documents by an unauthorized person in the name of another and notarizing those documents as if they had been signed by the proper person, as well as other improprieties in the document execution and recordation or filing process.

As part of the agreement, LPS will undertake a review of documents executed from Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2010 to determine whether any documents need to be re-executed or corrected. If LPS is authorized to make the corrections, it will do so and will make periodic reports to the Attorney General of the status of its review and/or modification of documents. Consumers may also call the LPS toll-free number and request review and correction of any documents executed by LPS at any time.

 


Habitat For Humanity Of Greater Chattanooga Greater Area And Thrivent Financial Partner To Improve A Family’s Life

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area  has been awarded $67,000 from Thrivent Financial to support construction of a Habitat home for an area family, as part of the Thrivent Builds program. This is the eighth home in Chattanooga to be built, thanks to Thrivent’s support. Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity is an ongoing multi-year, multi-million ... (click for more)

Real Estate Transfers For Jan. 22-28

NOTICE: The Hamilton County Register’s Office did not publish this data. All information in the Register’s Office is public information as set out in T.C.A. 10-7-503. For questions regarding this report, please call Chattanoogan.com at 423 266-2325. GI numbers, listed when street addresses are not available, refer to the location of transactions (book number and page number) ... (click for more)

Chance Loftis Set To Be Freed From Jail After Jury Finds Him Guilty Of Only Misdemeanor Charge

Chance Loftis is set to be freed from jail on Monday after a Criminal Court jury on Friday afternoon found him guilty of only a minor charge. Instead of murder in the death of 46-year-old Donald Rogers, the jury in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole found him guilty of the lesser charge of reckless endangerment. He was found not guilty of aggravated animal cruelty in the beating ... (click for more)

Dr. David Seaberg Steps Down From Position As Dean For UT College Of Medicine In Chattanooga

David M. Stern, MD, executive dean of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at UT Health Science Center (UTHSC), and Kevin Spiegel, president and CEO for Erlanger Health System, announced that  David Seaberg, MD, will be stepping down from the joint positions of dean of the UT College of Medicine, Chattanooga, and senior vice president of the Erlanger Health System. ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Magic Bank Account

As the month of January is almost out the door, I am opening my email today to share a marvelous story that legend has it was printed on piece of paper found in Bear Bryant’s wallet when he died in 1983. While I don’t know that the famed Alabama football coach had this lesson in his wallet, chances are he might have if he’d read it. * * * THE BANK ACCOUNT & RULES Imagine ... (click for more)