Robo-Signing: A Tragic Lesson In Failed Spend Management Automation

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A landmark lawsuit settlement involving five of the largest US financial institutions was announced last week by the Department of Justice. A $26 billion dollar deal, which is expected to impact states and homeowners alike, is the result of gross negligence in the mortgage lending industry. Although this massive settlement, second only to the tobacco lawsuit of 1998, sends a clear message to lenders, it introduced a term this reader had not previously heard – robo-signing.

I work for a mid-size software enterprise automation solution provider and this word has far reaching ramifications for those in the business of automating and making lives simpler. It’s a little unnerving to say the least. I cannot imagine taking automation to such a level, but it has apparently been uncovered after a grueling 16 month investigation.

Within the grand walls of these lenders’ and servicers’ illustrious offices, I envision mass signing parties around conference room tables, where homes were foreclosed upon callously with little or no review of the case file. These files and the families inside them fell victim to the laziness of those entrusted to watch and care for every aspect of their American Dream – home ownership. With “blind” or robo-signing the fate of these families, financial institutions across this great nation contributed to heartache and humiliation of millions of homeowners and rendered many of them homeless.

Why would a company like Apptricity care? Well, we are all part of a family, our own and the larger Apptricity family. Within our comfortable office walls are single parents, grandparents, empty-nesters and parents-to-be, many of them homeowners. More importantly, they belong to our success as we pave the way in automated solutions for corporations. Like many of our offices at our headquarters in Irving, Texas, our automated transportation management, warehouse management, spend management and asset management solutions are completely transparent. Why would you want to run a company any other way? With automation, you should feel secure that the software is performing at its peak, but it should also be fully accountable at the end of the day, a week, a month or a quarter. Basically, when you need full accountability and reporting, it should spit out the information immediately, not 16 months and 15,000 exhaustive hours later.

I have owned three homes in my lifetime. I am proud of that accomplishment and hope at some point in the future, when banks lend realistically and not optimistically, I’ll be back to look for my little piece of the American Dream. Until then, I feel confident that automation is alive and well at Apptricity. No blind signatures, no robo this or robo that – just automation that is clear, accountable, and secure. We do it right and sleep very well at night, thank you very much. Headlines, executives, and even banks come and go, so at the end of the day, do it right, do it honestly and whenever possible, automate!