Wells Fargo exec admits verifying only the date on hundreds of foreclosure documents he signed

By Alan Zibel, AP
Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bank exec checked only date on foreclosure docs

WASHINGTON — A Wells Fargo executive has acknowledged that he verified only the dates on up to 150 foreclosure documents he signed daily.

The executive made his admission in a May deposition involving a Washington state homeowner. He said he relied on co-workers to ensure that other information in the documents was correct.

Three other lenders, Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit, Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have halted tens of thousands of foreclosures after similar practices became public.

Wells Fargo & Co. is confident that foreclosure documents involving the bank are accurate, and it has no plans to halt foreclosures, said Vickee Adams, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based bank. She noted that the Washington homeowner’s case was dismissed.

The deposition of the Fort-Mill, S.C.-based Wells Fargo vice president, Herman John Kennerty, was reported over the weekend by AOL Daily Finance and obtained by The Associated Press. Efforts to reach Kennerty were unsuccessful.

The growing questions about foreclosure documents could cause thousands of homeowners to contest foreclosures that are in the works or completed. But analysts say most homeowners facing foreclosure are still likely to lose their homes.

State attorneys general, who enforce foreclosure laws, are stepping up pressure on the industry.

On Saturday, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said her office is investigating an “apparent failure of major creditors to follow state foreclosure law.”

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