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Robo-signing could be a much larger problem than initially expected

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Here in the U.S., the practice of robo-signing mortgage documents is still going on. Months after banks and lenders said they would stop the practice of signing foreclosure documents they hadn’t read or using fake signatures on those documents. In an Associated Press story today, county officials from three states say they’ve received thousands of questionable signatures.

Pallavi Gogoi is a business writer for the Associated Press and she’s with us now. Hi Pallavi.

PALLAVI GOGOI: Hi, how are you?

CHIOTAKIS: I’m doing well. Robo-signing got a lot of banks into a lot of trouble last fall — many of the stopping the all the foreclosure proceeding while they sorted that problem out. But it’s still going on?

GOGOI: Apparently they never sorted the problem out. Land Record Offices around the country are now discovering that basically the paperwork that’s been filed even after a foreclosure stopped continue to have robo-signed signatures on them.

CHIOTAKIS: What does this say to you, Pallavi about the housing situation in this country?

GOGOI: Everybody know that foreclosures is a huge issue. If you have a foreclosure on your street, it brings down all the housing prices. If you have a robo-signing, regular people with regular homes might have documents that have been signed by robo-signers. So you have a question on whether that document is valid or invalid. And that is the question that’s being raised by these local officials in these various counties around the country.

CHIOTAKIS: How wide-spread a problem is this?

GOGOI: From our analysis, and from what we’ve seen, we have only looked at a handful of counties. And this is in Michigan, North Carolina, Massachusetts. We haven’t looked at the thousands of other counties that exist in the country and I think if there is a broad scale examination after documents like these county officials have done, I think it’s going to be scary. You know, chances are we’re going to see you know millions. Now we’re coming up with thousands. It’s going to be millions and that’s the scary part.

CHIOTAKIS: Pallavi Gogoi with the AP from New York. Pallavi thank you.

GOGOI: Thank you.

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