Ohio Attorney General: No "Do Over" When Banks Commit Perjury
October 31, 2010 • 12:11PM

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has blasted the big banks trying to restart evictions in Ohio after claiming they've fixed the problems in their foreclosure processes. Cordray ridiculed Wells Fargo's efforts to replace affidavits in 55,000 foreclosure cases that, it admitted, did not "adhere" to the law. "The suggestion by Wells Fargo and its colleagues at several other national firms that they can cure fraudulent testimony by simply refiling new affidavits and continuing to proceed toward foreclosures shows they do not recognize the seriousness of the problem they have created," Cordray said in a statement issued Friday. "There is no simple 'do-over' for false testimony that will be likely to avoid sanctions and penalties imposed by the courts. Their brazen efforts to minimize their financial exposure by sweeping these problems under the rug are an insult to the justice system in this country. These disclosures by Wells Fargo will now become the focus for a new prong of our ongoing investigation."

Earlier in the week, Cordray wrote to 133 administrative judges in Ohio asking them to send to him any foreclosure paperwork by a certain Wells Fargo employee who has been identified as a "robo-signer" of foreclosure notices. In a separate letter, he called on Wells Fargo to vacate any foreclosures in Ohio involving false affidavits. His office also filed a friend of the court brief in a foreclosure case involving GMAC in Parma, Ohio, asking the court to consider evidence that fraud committed by GMAC tainted the entire judicial process. "Judges rely upon the accuracy of affidavits to grant judgments and ensure that the integrity of the judicial system can be trusted," said Cordray. "False affidavits throw the entire system into question. Foreclosures should not move forward when the basis of evidence is perjured statements."

In its coverage, Saturday, the Wall Street Journal complained that Cordray's actions "threw a wrench into the banking industry's push to quickly restart foreclosures by fixing faulty paperwork."