Defining RoboSigning: What Exactly is Robosigning - and Why is Everyone So Upset About It?
Robosigning is a new term of art that we're seeing on almost a daily basis as part of the growing national ForeclosureGate media coverage. However, while references are made in news stories about robosigning and robo-signers, not often are details given to the process. What exactly IS robosigning, what are these robo-signers doing, and why is it so controversial?
Robosigning isn't Just One Thing - There's More Than One Way to Robosign
Earlier in the ForeclosureGate coverage, we learned of robo-signers who were employees working at a variety of financial institutions (banks, Lender Processing Services, etc.). As part of their daily tasks, these robo-signers were signing legal documents required as part of the foreclosure process without bothering to read those documents.
This is a big deal, because these employees were signing the documents before a notary public, and swearing under oath to that notary that they had, indeed, read the substance of the documents they were about to sign. It's illegal to lie like this - to swear falsely before a notary.
For example, media coverage has been given to the deposition testimony of Tammie Lou Kapusta, who worked as a paralegal at the Law Offices of David J. Stern here in Florida (we've written about Mr. Stern's troubles already). Tammie Lou Kapusta reportedly testified (we were unable to find the actual deposition transcript online) that law firm employees signed more than 2000 foreclosure documents a day without reading them. This is one example of robosigning.
Robosigning by Computer - Omitting the Human
There's apparently an even faster way to robosign than repetitive human signatures on documents: earlier this month, Bryan Bly of Florida's Nationwide Title Clearing Inc. testified during his deposition that as his employer was responsible for a large volume of foreclosure and mortgage documentation, modern technology was deployed to maximize efficiency.
Here, computer software was implemented whereby Mr. Bly's signature was automatically placed upon documents held as digital files, along with a notary seal. Push print, and find a completed notarized signature on a finalized document ready for filing and service. With this form of robosigning, critics allege, techology implemented for efficiency has resulted in documentation where no human being is responsible for the information related to the transaction, much less the decisions resulting from it.
If you're interested in learning more about robosigning, the November 4, 2010, video deposition of Bryan Bly by attorney Christopher Forrest has been posted online and can be viewed here: