More bad news in 'robo-signing' scandal

Lag between default, foreclosure will grow

In normal times, the disclosure that mortgage lenders have cut corners in foreclosing on delinquent borrowers would have been a ho-hum item to the media. But these are not normal times. The foreclosure rate hasn’t been higher since the Great Depression of the 1930s; we are in the midst of an election period; and much of the electorate is angry.

The news has stoked public outrage and converted the item to front-page status. It has also stimulated attorneys general in 50 states to investigate (when has that ever happened before?), fanned the lust of class-action lawyers, and encouraged some politicians to call for a wholesale moratorium on foreclosures.

While deficiencies in foreclosure procedures are inexcusable, it is unfortunate that public and political outrage has become fixated on it. From all indications, the deficiencies in foreclosure procedures have inadvertently caused injustice to a very small number of borrowers in default, if any.