The New Jersey Courts system announced steps to ramp up the integrity of foreclosure proceedings in the state in light of the recent robo-signing allegations.
Six mortgage lenders and service providers in connection with the foreclosure snafus have been ordered “to show cause why the processing of uncontested residential mortgage foreclosure actions they have filed should not be suspended.”
The lenders involved, Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Onewest Bank, and Wells Fargo, must do so at a hearing scheduled for January 19, 2011.
Another 24 lenders and service providers who have filed more than 200 foreclosure actions this year must “demonstrate affirmatively that there are no irregularities in their handling of foreclosure proceedings, via submissions to retired Superior Court Judge Walter R. Barisonek,” who has been temporarily recalled to duty for this purpose.
“Today’s actions are intended to provide greater confidence that the tens of thousands of residential foreclosure proceedings underway in New Jersey are based on reliable information. Nearly 95 percent of those cases are uncontested, despite evidence of flaws in the foreclosure process,” said Chief Justice Rabner, in a release.
“For judges to sign an order foreclosing on a person’s home, they must first be able to rely on the accuracy of documents submitted by lenders. That step is critical to the integrity of the judicial process,” he added.
The big question remains whether this just delays the inevitable or really provides meaningful change to the way foreclosures are handled.