Due process and equal protection of the laws are the real issues at stake in the mess surrounding mortgage loan documents and false foreclosures. As much as I’m incensed at the sloppy and fraudulent lending practices that have contributed to the housing collapse, I think those are lesser issues than our flirtation with shrugging off the lenders’ disregard for honesty in the judicial process.
We endanger far more than home values if we are willing to accept the line of the the big banks that, while their employee swore to the truth of the contents of the affidavit without any real knowledge about the truth, the borrowers owed the money, and the foreclosures were appropriate. Who next can invoke the power of the judicial system without any real information about the truth of their contentions?
I suspect that most often, the banks are right about the facts of the debt and the named borrower does owe the money (to someone, but that’s another issue); but our judicial system is set up to test the truth of the claims that seek its assistance in enforcing their rights.
We cannot afford to skip over the fundamental importance of swearing to the truth of matters before a court and to give the lenders a pass just because they are big institutions with big bags of cash for legislators. If we do, we have permanently compromised the integrity of the judicial system and the belief in the public in its essential effort to apply the law evenhandedly.