Missouri settles charges against mortgage company

Thursday, August 2, 2012 | 7:08 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A settlement has been reached with a mortgage services company over criminal allegations of fake signatures being used on documents to speed processing, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said Thursday.

The now-closed company, DocX, and its former president were indicted in February on charges of forgery and false declarations. The indictment was handed down by a grand jury in Boone County and included 68 notarized deeds filed between April and July 2009 using the name of Linda Green, a former DocX employee.

Under the settlement, Lender Processing Services Inc. — the parent company of DocX — will pay Missouri $1.5 million and another $500,000 to reimburse the attorney general's office for the cost of the investigation. Koster's office said it spent months investigating so-called robo-signing of mortgage documents.

Besides the payments, Lender Processing Services agreed to cooperate with the attorney general's continuing criminal investigation of the DocX's former president. The Missouri attorney general's office said it will not to prosecute the companies so long as Lender Processing Services fulfills the agreement.

The settlement was signed Tuesday and announced Thursday.

"The agreement we have reached in this criminal case with DocX should remind all mortgage-services processers that our system of titling real property will be held to a standard of accuracy and truth expected by homeowners across the country," Koster said in a statement.

Hugh Harris, the president and CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Lender Processing Services, said the company shutdown DocX in 2010. He called the agreement with Missouri authorities an important "milestone" in resolving legal and regulatory issues related to DocX.

"LPS remains focused on resolving all remaining legal and regulatory challenges as expeditiously as possible and is committed to ensuring that we continue to operate with integrity and compliance in everything we do," Harris said in a written statement.

Koster's office said the settlement also requires Lender Processing Services to report quarterly on compliance for Missouri customers with a federal consent order that requires the company to allow an independent consultant to review document services from 2008 through the end of 2010.

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