JPMorgan exec admits to signing unverified mortgage documents

New York-based JPMorgan Chase may face litigation next month that could cast
doubt on thousands of foreclosures after mortgage executive Beth Ann Cottrell said
she didn’t verify documents which were used to justify home seizures, Bloomberg News reported. Citing a May 17 deposition in which Cottrell said she signed
thousands of affidavits and documents supporting the bank’s claims without
personally checking loan records, lawyers for a Palm Beach County, Fla. homeowner
have asked a judge to throw out a foreclosure as a penalty for misleading the
court, according to attorney Tom Ice of Ice Legal PA. The court is scheduled to
hear arguments Oct. 19. Cottrell, a Chase Home Finance operation supervisor, said
she was among eight managers who signed about 18,000 documents a month prepared
by others at the firm, according to a transcript of her deposition provided by
Ice. Now, borrowers who have lost their homes may have a legal basis to
challenge the seizures, based on any inaccurate statements by banks in
foreclosure documents. In 2006, a Florida
court sanctioned Ally Financial’s GMAC Mortgage unit for faulty affidavits, and
this month, the firm suspended evictions in 23 states this month after finding
employees still signing affidavits without checking the data. [Bloomberg]

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