Attorney General Tom Miller today called on three major mortgage companies to halt pending foreclosure proceedings in Iowa while Miller investigates apparent improper submissions of foreclosure documents filed in Iowa courts. Ally Financial is one of three national companies to admit to using so-called “robosigners,” or employees who rubber stamped foreclosure affidavits without reviewing the details of each case.

Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan says that’s a clear violation of state law. “The person who signs that affidavit is saying that I have personal knowledge of these facts and I can testify to these facts. And it turns out that that was not the case, that instead they were placing two, three, four hundred documents in front of this person on a daily basis and they would sign them,” Madigan says.

Madigan says that may constitute civil fraud in this state. “What’s come out is that the lenders have taken some shortcuts in the foreclosure process. Our position is, even if the affidavits are correct factually, it’s still a violation of Iowa law not to follow the rules,” Madigan says. Ally is suspending evictions in Iowa and twenty-two other states.

The Attorney General has contacted Ally Financial (formerly GMAC Mortgage), Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase, to request that the companies suspend pending foreclosure proceedings, foreclosure evictions and sheriff’s sales in Iowa. Miller also called on any mortgage company with knowledge of improper affidavits or other foreclosure documents submitted to Iowa courts, or with anything less than absolute confidence in its internal foreclosure review procedures, to immediately suspend pending foreclosure actions in Iowa.