A Florida lawyer representing 3,000 homeowners in disputed foreclosures said Monday he will meet with federal officials Tuesday about their cases.
Peter Ticktin of the Ticktin Law Group in Deerfield Beach, Fla., also said he plans to meet Tuesday with other attorneys who are interested in filing a national class action lawsuit against major banks in the widening court paperwork scandal.
Federal bank regulators announced Monday that they are jointly reviewing foreclosure practices and procedures at major banks, to verify they complied with state rules and did not improperly harm any homeowners. The Department of Justice and the special inspector general of the TARP bank bailout program are also looking into the practices.
Ticktin said the federal officials he is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, at his offices in Florida, are not from the Justice Department or its criminal law enforcement arm, the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
He declined further comment on the identities of the federal officials but said, “We are fully cooperating with federal authorities…The federal government is becoming very involved.”
Ticktin said he is prepared to turn over 150 depositions of bank employees his firm has taken in its cases to federal investigators, along with other evidence. Ticktin claims the depositions show employees were unqualified and unknowledgeable; had no formal training in processing foreclosures, and were hired to quickly process foreclosures without question in assembly lines – so-called “robo-signing.”
“We believe that they (federal officials) are very interested in this—in our evidence and pursuing these matters,” Ticktin said.
Ticktin said he also has been contacted by representatives of some state attorneys general about his cases; last week, attorneys general from all 50 state announced a joint investigation into the court filings controversy.
“We’re anticipating that they (the attorneys general) are going to want all” of his firm’s evidence in the cases, Ticktin said.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), JPMorganChase (NYSE:JPM) , Ally Bank and other mortgage servicers suspended foreclosures in some or all 50 states in tens of thousands of foreclosures earlier this month, after court proceedings nationwide revealed they did not meet court requirements, such as properly certifying loan documents.
The banks have called them “technical problems” that they can quickly fix. They say the underlying facts in the disputed cases are solid and that property repossessions and sales will resume.
Bank of America announced Monday that starting next week, it will resubmit affidavits in 102,000 cases in the 23 states that require a court order to complete a repossession. A spokesperson said BofA expects the process to delay just 30,000 foreclosures.
A spokesperson for JPMorganChase said he had no updates or numbers to disclose on his bank’s internal foreclosure case review.
An Ally Bank spokesperson said that Ally also would not disclose the number of cases it may refile paperwork in. But she said, “We have already begun the remediation process.”
“Our review process related to the affidavits has been underway for about two months,” she said. “As files are reviewed and, if needed, remediated, the foreclosure process moves forward.”