Alabama joins other 49 states in foreclosure probe

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama has joined the other 49 states in an investigation into allegations that mortgage companies mishandled documents and violated laws when they foreclosed on hundreds of thousands of homeowners.

Alabama initially was the only state that did not sign onto the investigation. But Attorney General Troy King said in a statement Wednesday that his office would join the national investigation. King said at this time no allegations of violations of Alabama law have been made concerning the handling of foreclosures.

Attorneys general are investigating allegations concerning the accuracy and legitimacy of documents that lenders use to evict people from the homes. Employees of four large lenders have acknowledged in depositions that they signed off on foreclosure documents without reading them.

This is what AG King's statement said:

"To be clear, no violations of Alabama law have been alleged at this time.  That said, we are troubled to see that mortgage lenders around the country were violating the procedures of our sister States.  Accordingly, we are joining the national investigation (all 50 States) to ensure that the lenders' wrongdoings did not extend beyond what is already known to encompass actions that violated Alabama law and thus adversely affected Alabama citizens.  If the investigation does not uncover any wrongdoing under Alabama law, then the lenders have nothing to fear from us.  If the investigation does uncover wrongdoing in Alabama, we stand ready to take the appropriate action. "

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. WSFA 12 News contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.)