Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has announced the settlement of criminal proceedings against mortgage servicing company DOCX, in an agreement forged with its parent company Lender Processing Services. Both companies, along with the DOCX founder and company president, were indicted for their alleged role in the foreclosure and robo-signing scandals in 2010.
The indictments against DOCX and the company’s founder and former president Lorraine Brown were for forgery and for making false declarations related to the mortgage documents processed by the Missouri DOCX offices. Company executives were accused of directing employees to falsely sign mortgage documents without proper authorization, and for having had the forged signatures falsely notarized and filed in Missouri courthouses.
“The monetary disgorgement and the agreement we have reached in this criminal case with DOCX should remind all mortgage-services processers that our system of titling real property will be held to a standard of accuracy and truth expected by homeowners across the country,” said Koster, in a recent statement.
According to the settlement, LPS will pay $2 million to the state of Missouri — including the cost of the investigation to the state — and the company has agreed to cooperate in the ongoing criminal investigation. Under federal consent order, LPS will also be required to conduct quarterly compliance reports and allow independent consultants to review mortgage documents serviced between 2008 through the end of 2010.
This case, along with a class-action lawsuit filed in Nevada, continue to draw national attention in the wake of the “robo-signing” scandal, and many states are responding to the ongoing crisis by enacting tougher laws and enforcement policies against those who commit or have committed mortgage-related fraud or misconduct.
More information on this issue can be found in the NNA’s archived risk mitigation webinar “Lessons Notary Employers Can Learn From the National Mortgage Settlement.”