Last week (20 September) the New York Times reported that GMAC was suspending foreclosure actions after it was revealed that those responsible for preparing affidavits for the court filings had been signing affidavits at a rate incompatible with a review any more detailed than making sure there was an amount due and a borrower’s name on them. Actually, they announced that they would be suspending foreclosures in the 23 states in which foreclosures take place in a courtroom. That seemed suspicious.

Yesterday the Times reported that JPMorgan Chase was following suit. Strangely enough, Morgan unit is also only suspending foreclosures in 23 states. This is wrong. Given that it is almost certain that it is in those 23 states, where defendants and their counsel have a venue for challenging the lenders’ paperwork, that the problems were the fewest, smallest, and most subject to being found out.

Two national lenders have now both decided to carry on with their suspect actions against homeowners in the states where they have the best chance of getting away with it, and taking a second look at the paperwork in the states where they might get caught at something underhanded. If I Were King, or a governor of one of the other 27 states, I would order that all foreclosures be vacated that had not yet led to new owners paying for the repossessed properties, and that no new filings would be allowed from these vendors until they had submitted plans for preventing recurrence. I would also instruct my investigators to survey the courts to see if other banks that have not yet admitted to the problem needed to be dealt with in the same way.