Inside a Florida Robo-Signing Document Assembly Line

From Abigail Field at DailyFinance. Emphasis added by us.

Whether or not the robo-signers are problematic as a matter of law in this context is hotly contested between Nationwide and Christopher Forrest, the attorney who took the depositions and posted them on YouTube. The depositions describe an assembly-line process that’s awful to look at, but Nationwide defends the system as being benign as sausage-making, while Forrest sees at a minimum tens of thousands of legally problematic documents. …

The deposed employees, Bryan Bly, Crystal Moore, and Durata Doko, have each worked for Nationwide for six or seven years, although Doko has been signing for less than three years. The details of the depositions vary and even conflict, but several core points are consistent: Each one signs thousands of documents a day in capacities that vary from vice president of a lender to witness to notary; none of them reads the documents; and none is particularly clear about what the documents mean.

Bly said he signs 5,000 documents a day, including assignments of mortgage, but he doesn’t know what those are. He spends less than a minute on each document, and he doesn’t check any of the information before signing the document. He’s a notary and routinely notarizes documents a “batch” at a time –approximately 200 documents at once. He does that in his cubicle, which is near the people who are doing the other signing, but he has no line of sight to watch them sign. He also signs documents as a vice president of various financial institutions, relying on his bosses’ statements that he has the power to do so.

Moore signs around 3,000 documents per day, including as a vice president for myriad financial institutions including Citi Residential Lending and MERS. She doesn’t know everyone she’s signed for or who she’s authorized to sign for. When asked about Citi, she admitted that like Bly, she’d never received a paycheck from Citi, had a boss, an office or any other contact with it. On one document, she signed that she lived in California; in fact, she’s never set foot in the state. She simply signed the document because she was “supposed to.”…Unlike Bly, she has a computer at her desk, but she never uses it to verify the information in the documents she signs.

Doko insisted she had signed only as a witness — until she was presented with a document that she had signed as a vice president of “Financial Freedom Funding Corporation.” She explained by saying: “I don’t pay attention” and “I just saw my name and signed.”

Contrary to the banks’ blanket denials that they’ve never tried to wrongfully foreclose on anyone, in cases that Forrest has defended he has encountered two banks trying to foreclose on the same mortgage; two foreclosure law firms filing suit to foreclose on the same mortgage; and banks trying to foreclose on properties sold for cash at a short sale. While those cases don’t represent the majority of his clients, the numbers are significant, particularly when you consider that he doesn’t represent all distressed Florida homeowners.