Attorney General to investigate foreclosure crisis

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the recent nationwide foreclosure crisis could constitute deceptive business practices. Now, he's joining other states in an investigation into whether mortgage companies abused the American public in foreclosure proceedings.

All fifty states are taking part in the investigation. The group's goal is to put an immediate end to deceptive foreclosure practices and make sure future actions won't force Virginians to wrongfully lose everything they've worked for.

Richard Scott Grant calls letters from his mortgage company the threat of his life. The sentence stating foreclosure proceedings could result in the loss of his property still haunts him.

"The sentence I only read once, but I remember it every day," he explained. "You try to take something from somebody that they've been working their whole life for, it's pretty disgusting."

Grant said he was never behind on his mortgage payments. In fact, he sent GMAC copies of checks he wrote to them and bank statements proving he was current on his policy.

The Bon Air homeowner believes he was a victim of what's known as "robo-signing." That's the process where mortgage company employees speed through the paperwork and rubber stamp the foreclosure without complete knowledge of each case.

Grant isn't alone in his dilemma and that's why all fifty states have launched the investigation into allegations US mortgage companies repeatedly violated the law.

Grant, who hired a lawyer and was persistent in his complaints to the State Corporation Commission, was able to stop the foreclosure. But he fears he may never get back what he lost.

"The moratorium is a nice thing," he said. "This is a wonderful thing but the truth of the matter is the damage has already been done to a lot of people."

In the meantime, Bank of America, the nation's largest lender, has voluntarily suspended all foreclosures. JP Morgan Chase and GMAC have stopped evictions in 23 states.

The multi-state group will also consult with federal regulators.

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