Mortgage Crisis

Lenders Knew of Foreclosure Problems

Banks should have anticipated the widespread problems with foreclosures, now under investigation in all 50 states, because they hired so many inexperienced workers and pushed them to blow through paperwork at a superfast rate. At JPMorgan Chase, the hires were mocked as "Burger King kids"—employees who hardly knew what a mortgage was. Overworked drones at Citigroup and GMAC sometimes just threw documents into the trash. “I don’t know the ins and outs of the loan,” an employee of a lending arm of Goldman Sachs said in a deposition. “I’m not a loan officer.” The banks, some of whom have frozen foreclosures, say they were just overwhelmed by the mortgage crisis. But employees and regulators paint a different picture, saying the national paperwork problem took years to create, beginning during the housing bubble, when banks paid a lot more attention to getting more loans and less to actually servicing them.