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Ethics Investigations of Florida Foreclosure Lawyers Triple

Lay "Robo Signers" triggered the scandal which has now ensnared 157 Florida lawyers.

The scandal that began with the “robo signers” – lay persons who signed thousands of foreclosure documents for huge mortgage firms — has now snared 157 lawyers.

That’s the number of investigations by the Florida Bar against foreclosure lawyers, and it represents a tripling of the 48 who were under inquiry at the beginning of 2011.

The bar, which is responsible for investigating complaints of attorney misconduct,  now has 222 foreclosure fraud cases pending against the 157 lawyers.

“While specifics of the cases are not public, complaints generally about the handling of foreclosures have included knowingly forged signatures on court documents, bad notarizations on assignments of mortgage and shortcuts taken that led to illegal home repossessions,” according to according to the Palm Beach Post.

Foreclosure Defects Stem From Younger Lawyers

Florida Bar President Mayanne Downs said much of the lawyer-related foreclosure problems stem from a lack of education and oversight of young attorneys.

The scandal began in Florida last fall when judges disqualified an employe of GMAC, which writes over $50 billion in mortgages annually, from signing many thousands of foreclosure-related documents. That lead to a near-nationwide halt in evictions and foreclosure-related actions as big lenders reviewed their operations, mainly in judicial foreclosure states.

The sobriquet “robo signers” stemmed from mortgage workers who regularly signed thousands of real estate papers without personal knowledge of the accuracy of the individual foreclosure documents, which were destined for court.

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