Opinion

Commentary: Banks' robo-signing practices outrageous and unacceptable

For many homeowners, losing their homes to foreclosure was devastating. It is beyond outrageous that many banks were so cavalier with the process that employees didn't even bother to read or verify the information in foreclosure documents.

It is even more dismaying to us that one or both of Charlotte's big banks may be among the culprits in this travesty of faulty work known as "robo-signing."

Bank of America has halted foreclosures while it investigates and straightens out faulty paperwork. It's delaying foreclosures in 23 states including South Carolina. Over the weekend, questions arose about Wells Fargo's foreclosure documents. Wells said it doesn't plan to delay foreclosures because it's confident its foreclosures documents are accurate.

We're not so confident. N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper is right to ask lenders to suspend foreclosures in this state until they can show their process conforms with the law. Given how badly this state was hit with foreclosures, banks involved in lending to North Carolinians should be probing robo-signing practices.

Nationwide, Ally Financial's GMAC Mortgage unit and JPMorgan Chase have halted tens of thousands of foreclosures. Ally stopped evictions here and in 22 other states. Robo-signing is so prevalent more banks are expected to follow suit.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.charlotteobserver.com.

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