The Rot from Within

A stunning article from Housingwire.com about how this foreclosure fraud mess exposes a lot of shocking practices that have gone largely unnoticed for too long:

For years, mortgage servicing as an industry has been rotting from within, slowly but surely. Much of the industry has long confused rampant cost-cutting with process improvement, and has always been about moving as fast as possible — believing that moving faster was always the best approach to limiting investor losses.

But the result of these industry forces now seem apparent: in an effort to appease clients, and push speed at all costs, it appears some law firms cut corners in order to get from point A to point B as fast as they could. However they could do it. (I have to think this isn’t every firm in the industry, as there are very good firms that take their legal work very seriously, too.)

None of that matters, however, in the end. As a reminder, from the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitition (italics are mine):

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Some part of the default industry have clearly allowed their charge to protect this vital Constitutional right — to ensure that no person is deprived of property without due process of law — to literally rot on the proverbial vine. I don’t claim to know which part.

That this rot is being exposed right now, however, just as our nation’s property rights are truly being tested by a real estate collapse of historic proportions, is a threat to those same rights. The only question left is how we choose to respond. To those lawyers and servicers in the industry who have worked so hard to protect the sanctity of the due process of law, often for so little thanks in return: you’re needed now, more than ever before.

 

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