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Notary Bulletin

Financial Institutions Implementing National Mortgage Settlement Servicing Standards

MoneyHouseThumb.jpgThe five financial institutions that were part of the National Mortgage Settlement have “implemented between 35 and 72 percent of the servicing standards” mandated by the agreement, according to an interim progress report.

Among other standards, all the financial institutions say that sworn statements, affidavits and other documents filed in bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings fully comply with applicable state laws, are based on the affiants’ personal knowledge of the facts and are signed by hand, according to the report from the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight.

This is the first report released by Joseph A. Smith, Jr., Monitor for the National Mortgage Settlement. Smith is charged with making sure the financial institutions comply with the terms of the agreement, which was negotiated to resolve the abuses surrounding the “robo-signing” crisis.

The information in the report was voluntarily submitted by the lenders. The report notes the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight will begin formally evaluating compliance with the servicing standards starting in the first quarter of 2013.

The servicers’ compliance will be evaluated according to a variety of metrics, including:

  • Integrity of sworn documents
  • Management of third-party vendors
  • Adequacy of staffing and training

Michael Lewis is Managing Editor at the National Notary Association.

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