Real Estate & Property Law

6 Law Firm Notaries Lose Office, Suit Filed in Probe of Fake Lawyer Signatures on Foreclosure Docs

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Six notaries who worked for two Maryland law firms have lost their commissions as an apparent result of a continuing probe into who signed documents in mortgage foreclosure cases, although it isn’t clear whether their jobs at the law firms have otherwise been affected.

The probe began after a lawyer for a homeowner in a foreclosure case noticed a “corrective affidavit” in the file that indicated an attorney who purportedly had signed notarized documents in the case had not, in fact, initially done so, reports the Washington Post.

A review of all Prince George County Circuit Court foreclosure cases containing such corrective affidavits is continuing, Judge Thomas Smith tells the newspaper. He is in charge of a new foreclosure committee for the court.

The notaries didn’t contest allegations that they either weren’t present, as required, when documents were signed or failed to keep a required registry of signatures.

An earlier Baltimore Sun article says two unidentified attorneys at two unidentified Maryland law firms apparently at issue in the corrective affidavit matter filed some 20,000 foreclosure cases since 2008.

A later Baltimore Sun article says the lawyers are Jacob Geesing of Bethesda and Thomas Dore of Hunt Valley, and that the documents at issue were signed at their direction but not by them personally.

Neither article makes clear how many of the 20,000 cases might be reviewed as a result of the attorney signature probe.

However, one Sun article notes that a federal class action is being brought against one of the law firms and a Baltimore Business Journal article says the two law firms are Bierman Geesing & Ward and Covahey Boozer Devan and Dore.

It also says that attorney Gerald Solomon of Florida is representing Maryland homeowner Timothy Michau in a Howard County Circuit Court case arguing that his client’s lender, HSBC Mortgage Services, pursued a foreclosure case using forged signatures.

HSBC was represented by the Bierman firm.

None of the articles includes any comment from the lawyers whose signatures are at issue or their law firms.

“If we don’t follow rules, if we don’t follow laws, then we’re dead as a society,” Solomon tells the legal publication.

Hat tip: Housing Wire.

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