SCHUETTE ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH MORTGAGE DOCUMENT PROCESSOR

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
and received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by
the sender.) 
January  31, 2013 
Press Release:  Schuette Announces Civil Settlement with
Mortgage Document Processor Over Fraudulent Robo-Signing 
Michigan Department of Attorney General
Office of Communications
517-373-8060 
Copy of press release: 
Schuette Announces Civil Settlement with Mortgage Document
Processor Over Fraudulent Robo-Signing 
Lender Processing Services, Parent Company of DocX, Will Pay
$2.5 Million to State of Michigan for Thousands of Fraudulent
Mortgage Documents Filed in Michigan 
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today
announced that he has reached a $2.5 million civil settlement
with Lender Processing Services, Inc., and its now defunct
subsidiary DocX, a document processing company located in
Georgia. 
In November 2012, Schuette criminally charged the former
president of DocX, Lorraine Brown, with racketeering for her
alleged role in authorizing the fraudulent signing of mortgage
documents filed in Michigan.  The felony charge against Brown
and the civil settlement announced today are the result of the
Attorney General’s investigation into questionable mortgage
documents filed with Michigan’s Register of Deeds offices during
the foreclosure crisis. 
“Shortcuts like robo-signing are just one example of the damage
caused by the mortgage foreclosure crisis,” said Schuette.  “Our
investigation into questionable mortgage practices remains
ongoing, and we will bring to justice every lawbreaker we find.” 
In April 2011, Schuette launched an investigation after county
officials across the state reported that they suspected
Assignment of Mortgage documents filed in their offices may have
been forged.  A“60 Minutes” news broadcast had shown that the
name “Linda Green” was signed to thousands of mortgage-related
documents nationwide, but with many different variations in
handwriting.  County officials in Michigan reviewed their files
and found similar documents, thus raising questions about the
authenticity of the documents filed.
In his investigation, Schuette reviewed documents prepared by
DocX and filed in Michigan.  DocX processed mortgage assignments
and lien releases for residential lenders and servicers
nationwide.  Schuette’s investigation revealed that former DocX
president Lorraine Brown allegedly orchestrated a widespread
scheme in which employees were directed to forge signatures on
mortgage documents in order to execute these documents as
quickly as possible, producing increased profits for DocX.
Internally, DocX identified this practice as “facsimile signing”
or “surrogate signing.”  The investigation revealed that more
than 1,000 unauthorized and improperly executed documents were
filed with county registers of deeds throughout Michigan. 
In light of the findings of the investigation, Brown was
criminally charged on November 26, 2012 with one count of
Conducting Criminal Enterprises (Racketeering), a 20-year
felony, in Kent County’s 61st District Court.  A criminal charge
is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed
innocent unless proven guilty. 
 LPS suspended DocX’s operations in 2010, halting its work as a
mortgage document processor.  The $2.5 million settlement, which
includes DocX, its parent company, Lender Processing Services,
Inc., and another LPS subsidiary, LPS Default Solutions, was
filed in Ingham County Circuit Court.  The settlement amount is
based upon estimated earnings generated from the alleged illegal
conduct related to documents filed in Michigan, in addition to
obligations to correct improperly executed documents when
possible and take other remedial and preventative action.
Additionally, the settlement includes requirements aimed at
preventing such conduct from recurring, requirements to correct
documents when possible, and requirements to provide consumer
support.  LPS will make a toll-free hotline available for
consumers who have questions about any mortgage documentation
filed by DocX, and the telephone number will be posted on
Schuette’s website once the hotline goes live.  Consumers can
check back at www.michigan.gov/mortgagesettlement for more
information. 
National Mortgage Settlement Bringing Relief to Michigan
Families 
In addition to investigating robo-signing allegations in
Michigan, Schuette previously joined 48 other state attorneys
general in entering into a $25 billion settlement with the five
leading bank mortgage servicers. The settlement addressed
allegations of faulty foreclosure processes and poor servicing
of mortgages that harmed Michigan homeowners. The settlement
also required comprehensive reforms of mortgage loan servicing
to improve customer service for Michigan borrowers.
On August 1, 2012, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation to
create the $97 million Homeowner Protection Fund.  The fund will
be used to help avoid preventable foreclosures, alleviate the
effects of the foreclosure crisis, support law enforcement
activities to prevent or prosecute financial fraud or deceptive
practices, and to compensate the state for costs resulting from
unlawful conduct of the defendants in the lawsuit. 
More information on the National Mortgage Settlement is
available on the Attorney General’s Website at
www.michigan.gov/mortgagesettlement. 
(bjh) NY 
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