So What Could be Worse Than Robo Signers? Oh – DEAD Robo Signers! Why Didn’t We Think of That??

03 Jan

Just when the world was trying to make noise that things were going to get better in the land of debt collection and mortgage fraud… Sure – B of A will pay Fannie and Freddie something on order of 2 Billion against some (what, 4 or 6 Billion in bad loans?) and we should all think that things are being ‘handled’ – sure…

Except that they are not and they will not be until we ourselves insist that they change… So this story should be no surprise – dead people signing affidavits… why not? Next it will be the real land of the zombies and dead people will be named as the beneficiaries and the collectors of debt as well?

And you thought zombie banks and zombie nation was just an expression…

Woman Deceased in 1995 Continued to Robo Sign Till at Least 2008

from naked capitalism by Yves Smith

How, may you ask, can a woman who has been dead since 1995 sign documents more than a decade later? Normally, one would hazard to guess that stamps with her signature on them were still in use (this is more common than you would think in foreclosure land). That would be plenty troubling.

But this little account comes from the debt collection realm, a cesspool of bad practices. Here, the credit card company Providian (acquired by WaMu in 2005) had employees signing affidavits in the name of Martha Kunkle for over a decade. Debt collection agencies continued to use these bogus affidavits. From the Wall Street Journal:

In 2008, Judy Montoya, an employee at Portfolio Recovery Associates, testified in a debt-collection suit filed by the company that its “legal specialists” sign as many as 200 affidavits a day. The company’s spokeswoman said such employees sign an average of 100 affidavits a day and are guided by “a very rigorous set of policies and procedures.” Ms. Montoya couldn’t be reached to comment.

Questions about Martha Kunkle first popped up in 2008 after her name appeared in thousands of affidavits generated by a unit of Providian National Corp. The credit-card issuer sold an undisclosed number of delinquent account balances to Portfolio Recovery Associates and other debt collectors, which then sued the borrowers to collect the debt…..

Concerns about Ms. Kunkle’s affidavits were raised in 2008 by lawyers for Jeanie Cole, one of thousands of Montana residents sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates to collect debts. After failing to locate Ms. Kunkle, lawyers for Ms. Cole interviewed her daughter, who worked at Providian in a document-processing division.

The daughter testified in a deposition that other Providian employees used the name Martha Kunkle when signing affidavits. Along with other employees, the daughter was responsible for signing affidavits. After countersuing Portfolio Recovery Associates for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Ms. Cole was the lead plaintiff in a 2008 federal-court suit in Montana alleging the company targeted 16,000 borrowers using “false and misleading” affidavits.

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