April 24, 2013
An “admitted robo-signer” and her bank were let off the hook in Grullon v. Bank of America et al. (Mar. 28, 2013, No. 10-5427 (KSH) (PS)) (D.N.J.). (19) Grullon, a homeowner, alleged that he, and others similarly situated, was entitled to relief under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act because of BoA’s “bad practices, including: robo-signing, foreclosure documents, concealing the true owner of loans from the borrowers, and initiating foreclosure proceedings before it had the right too, resulted in unreliable and unfair foreclosure proceedings and ascertainable losses.” (1)
Grullon alleged a variety of fraudulent robo-signing practices, including for affidavits and assignments. The Court found that in “light of the lack of- or de minimis nature of- the errors found on the documents said to have been “robo-signed,” and Grullon’s lack of standing to challenge the Assignment, the Court is not satisfied that Grullon has proffered sufficient evidence to support his NJCFA claim on this basis.” (21) The Court was also not satisfied that Grullon “has adequately shown that he suffered any ascertainable loss as a result of the 2009 NOI [Notice of Intention to Foreclosure] or the ‘robo-signed’ documents.” (24) The Court also appears to find that the “robo-signing” of assignments presents no problem as the signer is not attesting to the truth of such a document. (20-21)
Bottom line: one needs to demonstrate that there was a wrong and that harm resulted from it. Scatter shot allegations of robo-signing don’t work.