You know how financial institutions have a way of wielding fine print like a weapon? Well it turns out that when it comes to foreclosures, many of the nation’s lenders are either willfully ignoring procedure or are woefully incompetent at paperwork. Take your pick.

The Guardian’s Dean Baker has some choice words on the matter.

USA Today breaks down the procedure…

In many states, servicers must file a motion in court to take possession of a home in a foreclosure. To support their motion, a representative has to verify they’ve reviewed the supporting documents, checked who owns the mortgage note and had a notary public witness their signature.

…and the practice:

In one case, Erica Johnson-Seck, a vice president at OneWest, said she signed 750 foreclosure documents a week and didn’t read each document before signing it, according to a 2009 deposition obtained by Ice Legal. She also said they were signed without a notary present.

In a May 17 deposition, also taken by Ice Legal, Beth Cottrell, a supervisor at Chase Home Finance, a division of JPMorgan Chase, said she was among eight managers who signed off on about 18,000 foreclosure papers a month.

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