Tired Robo-Signers Let Other People Sign Their Names

What's Hot

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

Feel sorry for the poor robo-signer who had to sign 1,000 foreclosure files a day? Then here's some good news: allegations are now surfacing that at least one robo-signer got help from co-workers.

Money Talks News has been doing an investigative series about a local foreclosure law firm that’s one of the nation’s largest. If you haven’t seen it yet, part 1 is The Foreclosure Freeze and Why It Matters. Part 2 is The Mother of All Foreclosure Mistakes.

There’s been a lot of press lately about bank robo-signers signing hundreds of foreclosure-related documents daily without bothering to review what was in the files.  Many on Wall Street are calling this a mere technicality: for example, here’s JP Morgan CEO Jamie Diamond, quoted in this recent article in Fortune:  “We’ve known there are issues for a while,” he said of the foreclosure process. But, he stressed, “We’re not evicting people who deserve to stay in their house.”

Others point out that whether the right people are being thrown out is beside the point: Robo-signing is far from a technicality, because these signers are essentially swearing to a judge that they have personal knowledge that the foreclosure file is accurate. They’re attesting that the lender has the legal right to take the home, and the people losing the home are the right people: something kind of hard to do if you haven’t read the file.

But while taking people’s homes without reading their file has to be a tough job, nobody seems to care how difficult it must be to sign your name 1,000 times a day. Sound exhausting? It must be, because now allegations are surfacing that at least one robo-signer was so over worked, she had to get help to sign her own name.

The Florida Attorney General is currently conducting an investigation into one of the largest foreclosure law firms in the country, the law offices of David Stern. As part of that investigation, they’re taking depositions from some of Stern’s former paralegals, giving a fascinating glimpse into the workings of a firm that processed an incredible 70,000 foreclosure cases in 2009.

It’s through the deposition of a former Stern employee named Kelly Scott, taken on October 4, 2010, that we learn how other employees of Stern’s firm allegedly came to the aid of their beleaguered robo-signing colleague – by signing her name for her.

According to Ms. Scott, the person who was doing most of the robo-signing was Stern employee Cheryl Salmons.  Here’s a cut-and-paste from Scott’s deposition about Cheryl getting help from co-workers.

Q: Are you aware of anyone other than Cheryl Salmons signing Cheryl Salmons’ name to documents?

A: Yes

Q: Could you tell me about that, please?

A: Cheryl would give certain paralegals rights to sign her name, because most of the time she was very tired, exhausted from signing her name numerous times per day. You had to understand it was more than five hundred files that she’s signing morning and afternoon.

Q: Five hundred in the morning and then another five hundred in the afternoon?

A: Yes.

Q: So approximately a thousand a day?

A: A thousand a day. So, yes, she would, you know, if they were very close with Cheryl Salmons –

Q: They who? Could you give me their names?

A: Shannon Smith, Elizabeth Davilla, Beth Cerni.

Q: These people were allowed to sign her name?

A: Yes.

So, what do you think? Is it OK for law firm employees to robo-sign foreclosure files? If so, I guess there’s no reason that someone else shouldn’t sign their name when they got tired…right?

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right Now

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,823 more deals!