Schuette Issues Second Subpoena in Criminal Probe of Mortgage Processors
March 13, 2012
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that he
has issued a second criminal investigative subpoena against national mortgage
servicing support provider DocX as his office continues to investigate
questionable mortgage documentation filed with Michigan's Register of Deeds
offices during the current foreclosure crisis.
"We are moving forward with our investigative efforts to find
answers on behalf of Michigan homeowners," said Schuette.
General is empowered to pursue criminal investigative subpoenas under the Code
of Criminal Procedure (MCL 767A.2(2)). Schuette's office has requested
documents and information regarding DocX operations in relation to foreclosure
and/or bankruptcy-related document processing. The subpoena was approved by the
54B District Court in Ingham County, and the information must be provided to the
Attorney General's Office on or before April 4, 2012. This is the second
criminal subpoena filed during the course of Schuette's investigation. Schuette
previously filed a criminal subpoena against DocX on June 12, 2011.
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.
urges any current or former employees of mortgage servicers or processing
companies with knowledge of unlawful practices related to mortgage servicing or
the execution of documents in Michigan to call the Attorney General's Corporate
Oversight Division at (517) 373-1160.
Schuette's criminal investigation is independent of the recently
announced multi-state nationwide settlement
with five of
the nation's largest banks/mortgage servicers in response to allegations of
faulty foreclosure processes and poor servicing of mortgages that harmed
Michigan homeowners. Michigan residents will receive approximately a
half-billion dollars in benefits, including a $97 million fund provided directly
to the State of Michigan.
funds, Schuette has called for the creation of the Michigan Homeowner Protection
Fund to direct the monies towards six initiatives to ensure Michigan families,
children and veterans affected by the foreclosure crisis receive the maximum
benefit from the settlement funds. The initiatives include: foreclosure
counseling, restitution for certain victims of foreclosure rescue scams,
payments to borrowers who suffered foreclosure, veteran's assistance, aid for
children made homeless by foreclosure and expansion of mortgage fraud
prosecutions through an expanded Homeowner Protection Unit within the Department
of Attorney General. Schuette noted he looks forward to working with the
Michigan legislature to secure the necessary appropriations for the Homeowner
Protection Fund once settlement is finalized.
reminds Michigan homeowners that citizens do not need to pay to speak with their
lender or servicer or to obtain outside assistance with foreclosure issues.
Free local assistance with foreclosure issues can be found by calling the
Michigan State Housing Development Authority at (866) 946-7432.