Chase puts hold on 56,000 foreclosures

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In what's been dubbed the "robo-signing" scandal, JP Morgan Chase and Co. has joined GMAC Mortgage in temporarily halting foreclosure proceedings in judicial foreclosure states, following allegations that workers the companies employed failed to follow the proper legal procedures in filing paperwork demonstrating that the lenders had the right to foreclose.In the past, such allegations -- often brought by attorneys representing homeowners in disputed foreclosure proceedings -- have mostly delayed, not stopped foreclosure proceedings.But the robo-signing allegations could affect other lenders who rely on a paperless loan registration system developed for the industry by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS), slowing foreclosure proceedings in courts nationwide.On Sept. 17, GMAC Mortgage temporarily halted foreclosure proceedings on homeowners in 23 states including Florida, New York, Illinois and Ohio. The company has said employees preparing foreclosure filings...