Wells Fargo continues foreclosures full speed ahead despite testimony of dubious practices
October 15, 2010
[ChattahBox] – In troubling news out of Washington D.C., Wells Fargo has announced it has no plans to halt foreclosures, despite sworn testimony from one employee that she signed 300-500 foreclosure orders a day – without even reading them.
In a deposition given by the employee, Xee Moua, in March she states that while based at the firm’s central offices in Fort Mill, South Carolina she recalls signing 300-500 such documents every day, checking only her name and job title.Such practices, which research shows were also engaged in by many of Wells’ peers, have drawn the attention of Attorneys General in all 50 states, who have since accused the firms of violating state laws.
But Wells says that after reviewing the relevant papers it found no flaws and any foreclosures currently in process remain unaffected. It may, however, review forthcoming actions, we’re told.
“Our records show that Wells Fargo’s foreclosure affidavits are accurate,” said company spokeswoman Vickee Adams.
Ms. Adams also assured the Huff Post that when employees don’t follow procedure, “corrective action” is used
Ms. Moua’s deposition is the second time an employee with direct knowledge of Wells’ practices has spoken out. In May, Herman Kennerty told authorities he signed up to 150 foreclosure orders a day – checking only the dates, and expecting junior staff to ensure the facts were correct.
In her interview, Ms. Adams declined to even say whether Moua, is still employed by the bank.
Unlike Wells, firms such as GMAC Mortgage, Bank of America and JP-Morgan Chase have suspended tens of thousands of foreclosures to review the procedures after their tacit endorsement of such shallow reviews became public knowledge.
The growing concern caused by these revelations could prompt thousands of homeowners who now face, or have already suffered such blunt-force repossession to challenge the actions. But analysts say most will still lose their homes.
And with the growing prospect that such tenuous adherence to due process could cost the banks billions, Wall Street has not taken this lightly – Wells’ shares fell 4.2 percent, CitiGroup lost 4.5, and Bank of America’s stock dropped by a bleak 5.2.
Yesterday, JP Morgan admitted it has created a war-chest of $1.3 billion for legal expenses; including the foreclosure problem. But CEO, Jamie Dimon said the final cost depends on how soon the bank can resume ‘a normal foreclosure schedule.’
In one sliver of good news, the bank also confirmed it was expanding its foreclosure review to 41 states, bringing 115,000 homeowners some slim chance of reprieve.
But it has stopped proceedings in 23 states where any such action requires a Judge’s approval.