Prince William Residents Blame Robo-signing For Rash Of Foreclosures | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Prince William Residents Blame Robo-signing For Rash Of Foreclosures

Play associated audio
 
A foreclosed home now for sale in the Georgetown South neighborhood of Prince William County, Va.
Elliott Francis
  A foreclosed home now for sale in the Georgetown South neighborhood of Prince William County, Va.

Prince William County has the highest rate of foreclosures in Virginia, and residents of one neighborhood who blame the foreclosure rate on the practice of 'robo-signing,' are demanding accountability from the banks and an investigation by state officials.  At the height of the foreclosure crunch, approximately 25 percent of homes in the Georgetown South development in Manassas were foreclosed and vacant. 

Residents find evidence of robo-signing

A team of citizen advocates, concerned over the disproportionate number of foreclosures, launched an investigation this past summer to find out why. They released a report yesterday that found the rapid and voluminous rate of shuttered homes in Georgetown South was the result of robo-signing.

Robo-signing, a practice allegedly used by some banks to fast track the foreclosure process, involves the signing of documents without confirming information, or, in some cases, the use of forged signatures. 

"Robo-signing and the speed of foreclosure in Virginia have hurt individual homeowners, and entire communities, and we need action now," Rev. Clyde Ellis, one of the activists, said during a rally to announce the results of the investigation on the steps of the Prince William County courthouse Sept. 20. The report is "just a next step in our campaign to hold financial institutions accountable for this foreclosure crisis," Ellis added.

"One woman actually signed documents as a vice president of seven different banks over the course of two years which indicates to us potentially false credentials," says Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd, who helped organize the document investigation.

Complaints of blight left in forclosures' wake

The velocity of foreclosure left no homeowners behind to tell the stories. The neighbors who remain talk about blighted blocks and abandoned homes attracting crime. Ellis says there's a good reason why it happened here.

"I think it goes back to the fact that Prince William County is now predominantly majority minority, and by virtue of that fact, the bankers purposely targeted this area," he says. 

McDonald Ladd says the group is demanding Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli launch a full investigation into the robo-signing. "We have not heard back yet from Ken Cuccinelli and the governor but we're just making those appeals now," she says. 

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 30

Two film festivals open in the D.C. area this week.

NPR

Apps Aim To Guide You On 'Sustainable Food' (Whatever That Means)

Consumers who care about how their food is produced have a growing number of apps they can turn to at the supermarket. The problem? Nailing down just what sustainability means when it comes to food.
NPR

Tunisia's Secularists Victorious In Parliamentary Vote

The Nidda Tounes (Tunisia Calls) party won just under 40 percent of the seats, beating out the ruling Islamist Ennahda party.
NPR

Moving Past The Password, But At What Cost?

Apps working with a new Twitter service would simply ask for your phone number instead of a password. In exchange, the company would get some of the most valuable information about you.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.