Defense lawyers raise new issue: ‘Robo-verifiers’

Boot Camper Margery Golant is featured in a Daily Business Review article on ‘robo-verifiers.

Lenders and their law firms are violating new procedures implemented by the Florida Supreme Court intended to address a controversy over botched foreclosure cases, according to attorneys for homeowners.

After a national foreclosure scandal that resulted in a moratorium, new procedures implemented by lenders and their law firms are still falling short of requirements set by the state’s high court, the defense lawyers say. …

The rule, as interpreted by several attorneys and based on recent trial court rulings, requires lenders to review and verify the accuracy of foreclosure complaints and their attachments after they are assembled by their attorneys.

A lender employee who independently double-checks the information would then sign the documents to verify the accuracy.

But foreclosure defense lawyers say that in many cases the same attorney who put together the lawsuit is signing as the verifier.

And when the attorney handling the foreclosure sends the complaint to the lender for verification, the lenders’ employees are using an unreliable verification method, they say. …

Margery Golant, a consumer attorney in Boca Raton, said the process described by the Wells Fargo employee is “clearly improper.”

“If the attachment isn’t there, they can’t verify that what is attached is true and correct,” said Golant, who will conduct a Florida Bar course next month to train foreclosure attorneys on verification procedures.

‘Pretend’ Verifiers

Golant said another major issue with the lack of compliance with the Supreme Court rule is that many attorneys in Florida are verifying their own complaints.

Foreclosure defense attorneys are increasingly challenging the process in court.

“This is a strange situation, but the question will ultimately have to be decided by an appeals court or the Supreme Court,” Golant said. “But my opinion is an attorney’s verification doesn’t mean anything. I don’t think that was the intention of the rule.” …